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My heart pounds heavily in my chest as I smash myself inconspicuously up against a classroom door. I am suddenly all too aware of my own breathing, loud and unsteady in the dark. I frantically try to shut it out. Everything. Don’t think. Don’t think… I feel hot tears burning their way out of my eyes and falling like acid on to my cheeks. Don’t think. Don’t think.
Suddenly I hear it, the dreaded sound of heavy boots upon the perfect marble floor. I squeeze my eyes shut trying to drown out my overwhelming feeling of despair. It does no good. He always finds me. There’s no escape. The rhythmic “clack” draws nearer. Don’t think! Don’t think! Even in my mind the mantra sound panicked. I can almost picture the thin beam of light coming from the hall disappearing as He stops just outside the classroom.
I feel a sudden shock in my head as if someone is plugging into me like an outlet…and then I hear his voice; soft, alluring, and insanely seductive.
“How’d you do it this time?”
I want to reply…but a faint alarm in my head keeps my mouth clamped shut.
“You always were a fighter.” He continues.
I feel another jolt as he places images in my mind. “Don’t think! Don’t think!” I repeat over and over. But I can already see her, the one with fiery red hair and startling green eyes. “One.” Her name resounds in my head like a bell toll. Her glassy eyes stare up into my own from the sickeningly familiar white lab chair.
“Such a waste...” I hear him sigh in my head as if recalling a faint but happy memory. He pauses. “But you didn’t fail…did you Three?”
He makes my name sound like music. Long, quiet and beautiful…It’s hard to focus. I bite my lip hard, drawing blood. “You never talk about Two…” I hear myself say in an emotionless tone, before realizing only too late that I have spoken.
“Two doesn’t matter.” He replies simply. There is a dark silence suggesting that he is done discussing Two.
I know I’ve already given up on escaping, but somehow coming out from behind the door to face him feels like a complete surrender.
“So you’re going to make me come in?” His voice questions me pleasantly.
I don’t respond. What can I do? I’ve failed again. All I can do is wait…wait silently and breathlessly as he steps out into the darkness of the deserted classroom.
A quick flip of the switch catches me off guard and I jump back into the door slamming it shut. I clench my eyes closed as they try to adjust to the sudden light.
“I’m sorry,” He apologizes in my head, “I should have warned you before turning on the light.” I feel his presence draw closer, savoring it. “I missed you.” He adds sincere sadness creeping into his voice. “You’ve been gone quite a while…”
His tender words compel me to open my eyes. I am instantly met with a pair of large ice blue eyes. I gasp outwardly. My memory does him no justice…and I am dimly aware of the feeling of relief I have at being able to see him again after two whole weeks. A strand of long black hair hangs in his face and I find my hand reaching up to smooth it back.
He catches my wrist and pulls me closer. “You still haven’t answered how you got past my new security system.” His breathe lands hot upon my neck…
“I don’t want to tell you.”
He pulls back and I feel and empty coldness replace the warmth upon my skin. I shiver instinctively. His blue eyes study mine. “We can talk later perhaps…”
I cast my eyes down. I can feel his disappointment in me and I feel ashamed. How can I let him down like this? Running away from him like that, leaving him to wonder where I’d gone? He gently wraps his arms around me in a forgiving hug. For a brief moment I feel a great sense of real anger and despair. My hands ball up into fists against his back. He’s made me an animal, a dog, controlling my thoughts, my life… A sense of urgency explodes in my brain screaming at me to run! But I can’t. I can’t move. A long thin needle slides seamlessly into the right side of my shoulder. Darkness seeps in blurring my vision as He holds me tightly.
“I love you.” He whispers. My world goes black…