When I let go and stand back, Alex smiles. He looks a little nervous. What, does he think I'm gonna hug him and shoot him or something? He's right... we were wrong. He's still him. Even if he doesn't look like he's slept in a bed or had a change of clothes since he went on the run.
"You okay?" I ask. He opens his mouth to reply but shuts it again, frowning. I'll take that as a no.
Apparently he hears something he doesn't like, his head snapping around to the right, looking for something I'll probably not see until it's much closer.
And then he's gone. There's a slight breeze and the faint scent of sweat and his aftershave, but nothing more. For a moment, I wonder what freaked him.
Oh, right, yeah. Jesse. Jesse walks out of the trees towards me, looking thoroughly pissed off.
"Ought to be a little more careful, Joey, baby," he drawls irritably, backing me up against the tree. I say nothing, a wave of claustrophobia and panic setting in all over again. "Where'd Connor go?" I shake my head; I don't know. I'm not a fucking mind reader. "Brilliant. I've lost Alex, and you've lost Connor. Well this plan went swimmingly, didn't it?" he takes a few steps back and spits, glaring in the direction Alex apparently went.
I let out a shaky breath and look at the curling leaves around my feet.
"You're supposed to shoot Alex, not hug him."
"He knocked my gun out of my hand before I could even think about it," I mutter quietly, "I don't know where it went."
"Listen, Joey, he's too dangerous. He might be the same old Alex you've always known, but he's not safe anymore. I don't think he ever was, but-" Wait, what?
"You don't think he ever was? What does that mean?"
"He's a hunter already, all he has to do is turn those skills on the wrong people." Okay, I'm confused now.
"Yeah. Like he'd do that," I laugh, trying not to let it sound hysterical, "he fucking hates you people. You especially. You killed his family and his girlfriend. And now Max is missing, I mean, what reason could he possibly have for turning against the wrong people?"
"I never killed his loved ones, Jo," he shakes his head, "he got it wrong and he's been chasing the wrong person all this time." I blink, unable to believe what I'm hearing.
"I don't know, it doesn't matter. What matters is killing Alex. Don't reattach yourself to him - he's a danger to everyone." I try to speak, but there're no words, nothing will come out of my mouth. "Let's go. We need to find Connor before he ends up the same as Mickey."