“Stop calling me that.” Lizabeth glanced down at the rat, patted it one last time, and stood, following Jack into the darkness ahead of her, the flickering candle illuminating only inches around her feet.
Jack was doing better than when she last saw him, she had to admit. He looked healthy, at least. He had always been attractive—well-built, muscular, tall, even if he slouched, and dark-haired. However, it was his eyes that captured her. They wielded more power over her than any other undergrounder's ever had. She had never been able to look him in the eyes and keep focused.
She glanced down at his scuffed dress shoes and rested her eyes there, walking in silence. The ash was thick as soot in the air, and her skin had become as stained as Jack’s. There was no knowing what was in the deep—most didn’t venture down this far for fear of being lost. Or devoured by savage beasts, if the myths told right.
After about ten minutes of walking, Jack pulled her to a stop.
“Gonna tell me what this’s about?” he asked, leaning against a dirty wall. Lizabeth looked up but avoided his eyes.
“It’s private business between me and them.” She pointed up above, biting her lip.
Jack’s eyes narrowed. He let air hiss out between his teeth, as though he were trying to let out pressure that was building inside him.
“You’re working for the City now.”
“I work for no one.”
“But you aid them? You’re a spy, aren’t you?“
Her palms were a little sweaty now, and she wiped them slowly on the sides of her dress, the satin sliding between her fingers. Jack walked towards her until he was inches from her nose.
“How much do you stand to make off this?”
Her eyes jumped to his instinctively and she mentally cursed herself for it. Her muscles relaxed as she locked eyes with him. She felt as though his anger no longer mattered, although she knew it surely did. The only important thing was that she keep watching his eyes, because the insides of them were beautiful. Perfect. Hypnotizing.
“Lizabeth, you listen. Nothing in this world goes above, you hear? Including you. You belong to this world! Not theirs.” She could feel his breath hot on her face and hear it coming shorter as the angry spells that hit all undergrounders began to take their effects on him. He gripped her forearms, his fingers pressing hard against her flesh, but she couldn't break his gaze--
“Jack, please,” she managed to get out. He blinked, and she wrenched away and started running off into the darkened entrance to the Mausoleum.