“So are you going to become one of us?” Colin asks.
The room falls silent and the tension becomes thick. Goosebumps spring up on my arms and I have the urge to run. I rub my arms and the simple movement draws the eyes of all the men. They look at me, each expression blank. Then Eric looks disgusted and Max gives a smile. Aaron seems curious and he is looking at me with an expression that suggests he wants to know me well. I can’t help but give a slight smile.
“I’m not going to become a freak,” Eric says. He doesn’t surprise me, nor does the fact that he is cuddling the shotgun in his hands. That man smells of nothing but fear.
Max looks at Aaron, and his expression is not pleasant. “What about you? Think we’re freaks?”
Aaron looks at me. “No, but I need to know more.”
“What like?” I ask. I can tell that Max is tense.
“Does it hurt?”
I think about that. “A little, yes. It will help that you’ll know what is going on.”
Aaron’s gaze falls on Max and it is thunderous. “She didn’t know.”
“In his defence,” I say, “We were in a life threatening situation and being held captive by a crazy nurse.”
Aaron blinks at that, but he still glares at Max.
“There was very little choice if I wanted to live,” I say.
“Really?” Aaron asks.
I’m bored though. It is in the past. There is nothing else that can be done. I’ve forgiven Max. And I don’t know this man, even if he has a nice smile. “You become more,” I say. “You are faster, stronger and can heal quickly.”
“But?” Aaron asks.
“You lose a bit of your humanity,” Colin answers. “You know deep down that you are the superior creature and it just makes you less interested…”
“I am not less!” Eric cries and he points the gun at Colin.
Aaron moves slightly but I can see he is getting ready to jump at them. The only problem is that I’m not sure whether he is going to stop Eric or help him. Max moves first. He flashes to Eric and simply snatches the gun from his hands and moves back. I see the movement but from the way Eric stumbles back I realise he hasn’t.
“Enough,” Max says. “You join us or not, but we have no wish to harm you.”
Eric looks stunned. “You…”
“Once you turn you are fast,” Max says.
Aaron indicates to Eric and they walk from the room. I guess they want to discuss something.
“That went well,” Colin says. I roll my eyes and ignore him.
“You are coming with me to check Mel?” I ask.
“Yeah,” Max says with a smile, walking over and resting a hand on my waist. “I figured Colin can babysit the humans.”
“Ha!” Colin says.
I slip my arms around Max’s hard body and lean in. He feels so right.
I hear the steps of the two come back into the room. I’m surprised they didn’t take longer. Max tightens his arms around me and I lean in. Staying with him is fine with me. At the moment I need the closeness.
Aaron leads and as he walks through the door his eyes take in the sight of Max hugging me. I can see his gaze harden.
“We’ve decided,” he says.
There is a moment of silence and I’m reminded of the pause that occurs before winners were announced on reality television. I used to hate it and, as Aaron pauses for effect, I find that I like him less.
“We won’t be joining you yet.”
“Yet?” Colin echoes.
“I’m not sure how long I’ll take to recover and we may need to get out of here,” Aaron explains.
I can understand that.
“Okay,” Max rumbles and I listen to the vibration in his chest.
“So, what’s the plan?” Aaron asks. Eric stands at his shoulder. I can tell that he is unhappy with something but then I’d be surprised if he wasn’t.
“We are going to check on Bitsy’s friends and then we’ll come back here. Colin will stay and watch your backs,” Max says.
Aaron nods. “Sounds like a plan.”
Max shifts, and releases me. Grabbing my hand he leads me out of the room. The warehouse below is cool and I wonder what time it is. I’m dragging my feet and I know why. I feel apprehensive. I can only hope that Mel and Philip are okay, but there is a small voice inside me that keep suggesting there is no need to look, they are already gone.