Am I dead? I really couldn't make my mind up. The pain was gone. My senses returned and I gagged. It seemed I had spoken too soon. I opened my eyes blinkingly to the glaring sun. Then closed them again. I was vaguely aware of being dragged, but by whom? I wasn't bothered. Any consciousness was focused inwards on the pain. I took in air in gasps and spurts, trying not to scream. My hands grasped at my chest, toward the white flame of pain that erupted there. My legs banged against something frequently but I was not bothered by a pinprick when a giant leapt on my chest. I collapsed onto something soft. A person? I grabbed at it. Whatever it was, held me and crooned. It cried for help and sobbed, each racking movement jarring my lungs. I gasped heavily. Then blacked out again.
I opened my eyes, hot and sweating under a cover. I was on something soft, a bed? My eyes roved wildly over my surroundings. I was in some kind of shelter, similar to the ones by the coast. A chair; wooden beams over my head covered with tarpaulin. My sight was drawn to the corner on the right side of the bed. Ayden. He was laid against a post, eyes closed; unmoving. I panicked. Was my dream playing out? Hyperventilating I waited for him to take that one vital breath. Softly. His chest rose slightly. Sleeping. I smiled vaguely and the pain overtook me as the door burst open to show a boy. Jamie? I drifted. "KAYLEY". The darkness took me.
Ayden had followed me. He had been the boy with the red cloth over his mouth. I'd manage to persuade him just to have it on his wrist now, but he said he'd needed it to be close to him. That made me feel really happy but it was quite embarrassing. I'd been properly conscious now for two days, but I was still sleeping a lot. All anyone would say was that I would heal but they seemed unduly bothered about scarring. I really wasn't bothered. I was in a camp with another sixty or so people, not including Ayden. Jamie was a constant in the shelter. My shelter. It was mine they'd said because I needed it. Humanity knows how to get you down, but someone's always there to help you back up. I'd known roughly where Jamie was going to be because of mums letter but I wouldn't have gone looking in the hills. I think Ayden is drawn to people though. He's so social. He managed to get me up into the rocky wilderness and get a sort of rescue team from here with his shouting. He'd told them who I was and what I'd come for then pretty much collapsed. My brave, brave idiot.
Ayden walked in and I smiled, truly lighting up. He served as a kind of painkiller. I wasn't going to tell them but the morphine really didn't work past its use by date. I just let them keep injecting me. It made them all feel better. He walked toward me looking sort of severe but there was a fun kind of glimmer in his eyes that I recognised and I decided to play along with his game. "Apparently" he said trying to sound horrified "there is no more room" the last three words stressed to sound very trim. I grinned. "Well I simply don't know what to do then". His grin matched mine. "So I was thinking" he said casually " that I should just drag you back to the coast", he sat to my left and held my hand making my skin prickle with electricity. "Well" I pretended to muse, grinning inwardly "we can't be having that." He sat perfectly still as I stroked the back of his hand lingeringly. "So I suppose..." I murmered. He looked at me, pensive and I said "you'll just have to move in with me". Straight faces could only be kept for a second. We laughed so hard I thought I was going to burst with happiness.