Chapter 16

His eyes suddenly flicker past my head and I follow his gaze to the door. Nothing has changed, but I can feel the waves of nervousness emanating from him. I find myself surprised at this; no longer is he collected, but panicking.

"We've got to go," he says, and grabs my forearm.

"What? No, I'm not leaving until I get some answers!"

He yanks on my arm and, even though my feet are planted, I fall towards him. "If we don't go now, you won't be alive long enough to get any answers."

The shock of his words makes me lose any obstinacy I had and I follow him as he leads us down the hallway. This area of the building is identical to the rest I've seen, except for the black F on the outside of every door.

"What does that mean?" I ask in a hushed voice, gesturing at the strange symbol.

"It signifies a facilitator's quarters. Now stop talking, or someone will hear us."

I have to bite my tongue to keep from responding. He keeps pulling me, his hand gripping my arm roughly. The room from yesterday, or a few days ago or however long I've been out, comes into view. And I don't want to go back into that suffocating darkness where the walls press in and burly men in masks punch me in the face. But right as Blue-eyes reaches for the handle, he stiffens. He is still for a few moments, and then says,

"Change of plans," and leads me in another direction. 

"Where are we going now? I thought I was supposed to be in solitary confinement."

"I've received orders to transfer you to your own quarters." I want to ask when and how, since we haven't seen anyone, but I hold the questions in. I can't help the bubbling of relief in my stomach. He pulls me again and even though my shoulder screams in protest, I say nothing, afraid of being sent back to confinement. By the time we get back to my room, which I don't recognize until we stop outside of it, I'm pretty sure my entire arm will be black and blue tomorrow.

Blue-eyes looks up and down the hall before taking a circular piece of metal from his pocket and opening the door to my room.

"What's that?" I ask and point to a black X on the outside of my door. I hadn't noticed it before today, and it reminds me of the F Blue-eyes has on the outside of his own room. As I ask, his head jerks down to face me.

"You don't recognize it?"

"Well," I stammer, "I mean, it sort of looks like the F I saw earlier. What, is it an alphabetical thing?" He doesn't answer. He just looks at me, his eyes expressing something he won't say out loud. I can't tell what it is. We stand there, one of his hands resting on the door, the other now lightly grasping my wrist. It slides down so the unusually rough skin of his fingertips just brushes the soft skin on the top of my hand. My breath catches, but I don't pull away this time.

"It's not an alphabetical thing."

Then his head snaps up and his eyes look down the hallway and even though I don't hear anything, he shoves me into the room and shuts the door behind me without another word, without another glance.

I turn around as it shuts, the sudden shift from bright to dark making me dizzy. I make my way to my bed, slowly, and sit down on the edge. My hand still tingles from where he touched me, and for an inexplicable reason, that makes me nervous.

Of course it should make you nervous, something inside of me argues. Perhaps it's my voice of reason. He's one of those animals who knocks you out and performs tests and takes your blood. You have every right to be afraid of him. No matter how kind he seems to be, or how blue his eyes are....

Somewhere along the line I fall to the sheets below, and then I'm asleep.

The End

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