031Mature

For a second Mary glanced up and I could swear she'd seen me looking, but the next she was resuming her conversation with Celeste. 

I breathed a sigh of relief and moved away, looking over to see that the footman was sound asleep.

That was my chance. I could very easily slipped away, out of the castle and into the village. 

But to be honest I couldn't bear the thought of living in such a time. There was no running water, and just an hour ago I'd had to relieve myself in a pot. Not to mention the fact that everyone was so stupid here, thinking a bunch of terrorists were angels.

It was hard enough for me to believe they had actually been successful in their charade. They all looked so menacing. 

The struggle of survival made itself clear in their hard-set jaws and their scars attested to the challenges of war. Not to mention the fact that having one of them looking at you felt like having someone look into your soul.

Maidie would only glance, Sher would methodically pick you apart, Uriel and Mercy would both bore a hole straight through you, and Celeste would...

Celeste would just smile at you sympathetically and start talking about peace and friendship.

They all bothered me to no end, but they were the best ticket I had back to my time. I had to get back, escape their custody and return home.

As I sat there, thinking about how I would go about it, I recalled what Maidie had said to me earlier.

She had told me that if I became one of the Verisat I would escape my sentence. But if I were to truly gain their trust, it would be simple for me to leave.

In fact, I could go to the Superior American government with information on them! I would be a hero!

And the Verisat would be no more. 

When the meal was over and everyone was filtering out of the room, I quickly found Maidie and started to play out my plan.

"I want to become one of the Verisat." I insisted, getting myself a skeptical stare.

"Don't make me laugh, Preston," she said, "Is this some elaborate way to get yourself food? I'll have you know that we only touched bread and water as part of our holy image."

"No...ugh..."

This was proving harder than I thought it would be.

"No, I want to join. To...be on the right side of the war. To help those orphans back in the forest."

"No offense," Maidie sighed, "But bullshit. I've known you since you were three feet tall, and you wouldn't give a damn unless it paid you back."

Her green eyes seared into mine with resentment and she stalked off, clearly annoyed.

So Maidie wasn't going to be my ticket in. Great.

I approached Celeste next, seeing as she was less hostile than the others.

"I want to join the Verisat." I smiled, realizing too late that I probably seemed like a weirdo.

She shook her head sadly.

"Come back to me when you actually have some sincerity. Then we will see what can be done."

Damn. I turned away, evaluating my options.

I could keep going down my list of remaining people to approach, but I could tell they wouldn't be as friendly to me as the first two were. The only way I was going to get anywhere was by proving my loyalty.

And I'd have to wait for an opportunity like that to present itself. In the meantime all I could do was suggest that my ideas had changed, to ease into my transition.

Wow. Who knew being a hostage involved so much thinking? 

The End

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