Desiree walked the campus, heading towards her dormitory. If she was honest, she shouldn’t have come back here, she wasn’t going to come back here but her mom talked her into it. Saying if she didn’t return, she would always be running, she would never stop because they were always going to be hunting her. Look, it wasn’t her fault that she was good at what she did. For almost nine years she was on her own, and the government was never able to catch her so why allow them to have that honor now? This school, this reforming program was a front for what was truly going on here. Now she just needed to understand why exactly Arthur Kane needed her.
As she walked, she heard his thoughts before he even saw her. Although they’d been muted before, she could hear them as clearly as she could the first time they met. Okay, I just need to tell her… she’ll understand. Hmph, he obviously hasn’t been paying attention if he thinks that. The sixteen year old continued to walk, not bothering to slow down for him, not interested in hearing his excuses for his betrayal. Honestly, if he even tried, she considered throwing him against the wall and leaving him there. It would take no concentration from her if she did.
“I’m not interested.” She snapped quietly but he was persistent. It was one of the things that made her want to hate him. He continued to follow as she rounded corners, pushing through crowds of students and climbed stairs.
“Why don’t you ever take the elevator?” He huffed irritated that she wouldn’t even slow down for him. She didn’t bother responding but continued to move. “Desiree please, I need you to listen to me.”
“I said I’m not interested.”
“He said he could help my brother!” Terrell blurted it out, desperation coloring his voice. She froze in her tracks hearing it, recognizing it. It wasn’t the first time she heard his voice do that, but it was the first time she heard it do that aloud. Terrell may have been pretty social but he was extremely internal when it came to private matters, mainly about his younger brother. She knew just how painful it was for him to see his brother slowly get sicker and sicker with him thinking he can’t do anything about it.
She didn’t move to face him but she didn’t continue to walk away. Terrell took that as a good sign because he needed her to understand. It wasn’t a choice for him but he didn’t move closer. He knew what she could do when she was angry, he didn’t want to make it worse. He may not have any special abilities himself, but he thought he was getting pretty good at reading Desiree Washington.
“I-I didn’t want to do that to you Desiree. But, Kane made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse. He told me if I could bring you to that place, he’d help my brother be put up in a good hospital and he would pay for his treatments.” His voice was quiet, his mind was racing through millions of thoughts, millions of ways he wished everything could have gone, what he wished for in general and unfortunately she could hear it all.
Finally she turned to face him, her brown eyes remained hard but she couldn’t keep hating him. She’d met his brother before they left to come here, Taron was sweet, cute, he cared for their baby sister and he adored his big brother. Terrell could do no wrong in his eyes. Even if he did get into trouble for constantly skipping school and getting involved with people he shouldn’t. Taron probably didn’t know the lengths his brother would go just to make everything better for him.
“He’s been watching us, especially the eight of us and I guess he figured we were close and it’d be easy for me to bring you to him.” I don’t know why he would think that… as much as I may want too, I don’t even know her. Desiree was a little taken aback by that thought but she knew what he meant. She wasn’t open herself. She’d kept to herself for so many years that trying to be open to people now, it wasn’t easy even if she found herself getting emotionally attached to her “new friends”.
“Watching us… so he’s been planning this for a long time. I don’t remember everything that happened once he turned on that… machine… do you know?” The pain was excruciating. It felt like her head was being pounded into the ground by a stone mallet. She remembered Arthur Kane talking to her, demanding her to answer his questions but what those questions were, she wasn’t entirely sure. All of those shocks of electricity wasn’t helpful either. He asked about her abilities, he wanted to know where they came from, if they could be duplicated. That’s about it before she started trying to push back against the pain, against the electricity which caused the blackout. Good riddance.
“I don’t know everything, I was just… used. I’m not actually working with him.”
Desiree clenched her fist trying to control her anger and frustration. It wasn’t Terrell she was mad towards, at least not anymore, but this was turning out to be more than she signed up for. “So, all you know is that he wanted to test his machine on me, to see if he could actually rehabilitate me?”
His hazel eyes widened before he rolled them almost forgetting she could read his mind. It catches him off guard sometimes when she answers a question he hadn’t verbally asked, or if she responded to a thought he had.
“It’d be nice if you could let me know before you do that.”
“Well, I can’t say that I should have to tell you anything. Especially if he is going to come to you to try this again.”
He took a step back, like she’d physically attacked him. Maybe it was a bit harsh but Desiree wasn’t one to censor herself for anyone. Not even Terrell. He had to understand that even if she understood, or she sympathized, it didn’t mean that she could trust him… at least not in the way she did before. She huffed trying to find a way to not make it seem so bad.
“Listen Terrell… I’m glad your brother is okay and that he’s getting the treatment he needs but you can’t agree to stuff like this and not tell us. We’re supposed to be on the same team here, working together to stop Kane, or at least learn enough to get him stopped and you’re ruining it by doing this.” She bit her lip, wanting to physically reassure him, maybe touch his shoulder… or hug him… but she didn’t emotional stuff like that. “There’s always another way. Between the eight of us, there’s always another way.”
Terrell nodded, his head low. Desiree turned to leave but mentally reached out to him.
Come on, we’ll talk to the others to find out what to do. But I’ll make sure your brother doesn’t lose that support.
If it was the last thing she did, she was going to make sure Kane didn’t ruin her friends’ lives.
This is an excerpt from another novel of mine, it’s a little rocky but I wanted to freewrite in the spirit of that novel.
Hope you like it.