Author: SkyeElf PM
Zane Davitz is the youngest teacher at an elite school, where chaos still reigns from time to time. He knows what he's doing is wrong, yet he can't help himself. She was hurt, because of him, she could've died, because of him, and she loses her talent, because of him. Playing with fire has never been this much fun.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 13 - Words: 54,565 - Reviews: 70 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 16 - Updated: 02-21-13 - Published: 03-18-12 - id: 3006173
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: So, I kind of made the chapters longer, it explains why the chapter that should've been eleventh is now ninth.
Anyways, thanks to TheFremioneGirl, JaseCD, Marcus and Sisi for reviewing.
For Liezel, because I've missed your insanity, my friend.
And thanks to Marcus - again.
Chapter 9: Helping Hands
Back at camp
Terry hadn't been able to sleep. When five a.m. arrived, she floundered out of bed, not having slept at all nor caring if she woke Humane, and hastened to the cabin where her sister was staying with a mate. Said mate was up too, rummaging in her bag, possible in search of clothes.
"She's not here?" Terry asked, not bothering with a greeting. The other girl didn't seem to mind, as she kept on searching.
"No, I'm worried, Terry." The mate admitted, looking arounf. Simi – her name was Simi. She had light blonde hair.
"Me too – if Humane asks, I went searching." Terry said to the teenager, she had every intention of entering the forest alone. She didn't see why not, she knew this place the best. When their family had been united, they went camping and hiking a lot. But her father had been a drunk, and her mother had had enough. Enough of waiting, worrying and enough of scarring her children. Terry remembered the day she had to put a blanket over his nude form where he lay on the pavement.
"Stay, won't you? What if she shows up and you're missing? I think we should all stay here – and later everyone can go searching, in groups. Just wait, okay?" Simi begged.
Terry thought about it, and nodded after a while. The girl had a point. What if Lily did return? She'd be confused as to where Terry was, and it wouldn't help anyone if Lily was all right and she ended up being hurt.
"Though we should call an ambulance, or the police." Simi suggested. Terry nodded again; all rational thoughts had been overruled by panic. "And your parents."
Her parents were not going to like this. She was already the least favourite sibling, due to what had happened just before they went to Mosambique, this would make her an outcast.
She'd been distant with her family. Ironically, it was Lily she had the most contact with, and it mostly long-winded e-mails about school, it mentioned nothing of her personal life.
She hadn't seen any of her family since her grandmother's funeral. The Mazes were grouped together, each with their respective smaller families. She with Jon, Tim with his wife, Raquel, and their two children, and Johanna next to their mother. Lily had chosen to sit next to their stepfather.
It had been a funny afair. When they had to sing the song bidding their grandmother farewell, the Maze group had been giggling, because the song was slow and true funeral music.
Once the sermon had ended, however, they were all bawling. Her mother hugged Tim, Raquel and Johanna. Lily'd walked away, hating the fact that they could all see her cry. Terry went to find her. It meant the world to Terry that Lily had allowed her to embrace her, letting her cry.
There was that one thing that gave Terry hope.
Terry left the cabin and strolled to her car. There was good signal there. She thought about trying Lily's mobile, but there wouldn't be any signal at all in the mountains.
And even if there was, Lily didn't have the phone with her, she noted bitterly, as she spotted the phone in her car.
She dialled her other sister's number first, knowing she'd be there in the blink of an eye, not to mention she'd murder Terry if she didn't confide in her.
Taking a breath, she waited for the younger woman to answer.
"Hello?" Johanna's voice sounded through the phone. "Ter?" She already seemed suspicious, her eyebrow possibly raised. The sisters hadn't talked much. Johanna blamed Terry for what her husband had done.
"Hey, Annie." Terry greeted in a feeble attempt at sounding light.
"What's wrong?" Johanna demanded.
"How did you know something was wrong?"
"Because you're calling me while I'm in England." She answered matter-of-factly. "It costs a lot of money."
The real reason was that Terry hadn't gone through a lot of trouble to maintain contact.
"It's Lily." Terry admitted, abandoning all and any attempts to beat around the bush.
In her mind's eye Terry could see Johanna, nineteen and fiery, jump up and start collecting her belongings.
"What about her?" She asked sharply.
"She's missing. Remember the camping trip? Well, we went hiking yesterday, and she hasn't returned yet."
"I'm on my way. We are." She corrected herself, probably looking at someone who was standing next to her.
"Mum, dad and I. We were planning on surprising Lily… but we'll get on the next flight." Johanna said firmly, Terry could hear Johanna moving around.
"And I thought you were in Romania?" Terry noted, no one told her anything anymore. Not that she could blame them...
"Was – the trip's over, and I came here for a week or two." Johanna said easily. "Mum!" She called in the background. "Phone for you!" And then: "I'll see you, Ter."
There were shuffling noises as the mobile phone was transferred.
"Hello?" Her mother sounded incredibly similar to Johanna. Or maybe Johanna sounded like their mother.
Terry told her the same, only leaving out the detail of Zane Davitz. Her mother said that they'd be there as fast as they could and that she should call the authorities. Her mother was the calm, level one in the family. Johanna was prone to freaking out, a true mama bear, whereas their stepfather was the one to always take action.
Tim had been the joker, before he became sick.
Terry did as her mother had instructed, she called the emergency number, and they promised to be there soon after writing down all the details. It was more than an hour later when she was finally done.
She went around, waking everyone up in a similar fashion to Lily the previous day, by knocking and yelling for them all to wake up, announcing breakfast would be ready soon. No one protested, it was odd how they were all morbid, sensing something was off.
She didn't assign breakfast duty to anyone, but went to the kitchen and started on it. To her surprise, two of Lily's friends, Leek and Keith, entered the kitchen, bade her a good morning and started on the toast and bacon, while she went on with the eggs. She suddenly felt guilty for preventing Lily from helping with a meal, even if Lily was a disaster in the kitchen.
Not long after that, Mrs Humane strolled in, dressed in a deep purple nightgown and matching slippers.
"Morning." Humane said tightly, her face lined with worry. She hadn't slept a wink, that was obvious from the purple rings and bloodshot eyes. Terry thought she herself must look awful, but at that moment she didn't care.
"Moring." Terry greeted evenly as the boys mumbled greetings.
"No sight of them, then?" Humane asked, her voice indicating that she severely hoped someone would prove her wrong.
"None." Terry confirmed, pressing her lips together. Humane's shoulders slumped. Terry reached out a hand and put it on the older woman's shoulder.
"Go get dressed, I'll finish up here." She said softly.
Humane looked down at her clothes. ''I probably should, shouldn't I?'' She turned to leave. ''Terry, have you notified the authorities?''
Terry nodded. ''And my parents - I know now that they aren't off, galivanting. Lily wouldn't do that.''
''Nor would Zane, Terry, despite what you think, I am capable of raising a child successfully.'' She said, her voice tired. ''Now, may I please borrow your mobile? I'd like to notify my husband.''
Terry smiled as she gave Mrs Humane her phone. She always had to have the last word.
But what Mrs Humane had said, hurt. She and her husband hadn't been able to have children. She always wondered why and asked why, but only after the shock with Lily did she have her answer.
. . .
Lily and I walked carefully, my arm clutched tightly around her waist. She still stumbled, and she was losing strenght as we went along. Her hissing grew more frequent, and at one point she would've fallen had it not been for my hand stretched out to catch her.
''Thanks.'' She murmured; the gurgling still there. It worried me, I kept fearing she'd drown in her own spit. I didn't know if it was spit, I hoped it was. She had tried to push herself back, but her strenght failed her. Her breathing became more shallow, and she was loud, slumping, her eyes half-closed, struggling to stay awake and dragging her feet.
I looked at the map again, we were making good time. We'd been going at a good speed, but she was struggling, and she refused to rest. Each time I suggested it, she shook her head stubbornly.
I didn't ask her, I just stopped. Lowering her to a large stone near a river.
''No...'' She protested weakly, her eyes nearly closed in exhaustion.
''We need to wait, Lily, and eat, and you need to rest.'' I said, rummaging in the bag for the left-over fruit flakes. I held them out for her, but she shook her head.
''Please.'' I tried begging her.
''I can't, Zane.'' She said, closing her eyes. She was tired, incredibly so.
''We can stop.'' I offered, even though we had already stopped. The sun was setting, clearly meaning we should stop for the day. We hadn't taken a rest at all, and I could live through it, there was water and a bit of food, I snacked on it as we went, Lily refusing and trying to be brave…her strength dissipated.
''How far are we?'' She asked, shaking her head, but not at me, it was to get the focus back. I stepped closer to her.
''About here.'' I pointed to a spot on the map. ''We're halfway.'' It was about another day's journey at our current pace, which might be slower now that Lily... was weaker.
''We can go more.'' She insisted, attempting to get up. I placed a firm hand on her shoulder.
''No.'' I said simply, dislodging the bags from my back. The jacket was back in the bag, she'd insisted on it this morning, and she was shivering again.
''They must be worried, we can't let them worry on.'' She said, her voice slurred, she sounded like a drunk man.
''We're stopping, Lily, it's getting dark.'' I stated, making no space for her to argue. She didn't. Her thin frame shook, another violent shudder passing through her body.
''Cold?'' I asked, entirely unnecessarily. She nodded weakly. ''You can get under the jacket.''
''We both can.'' She mumbled.
''No, really...'' I started.
''Don't! I've been complying to your wishes, now, for once, comply to mine!'' She yelled, her voice hoarse at the last part.
''Fine.'' I submitted. It was scary to have her yell at me, even in a weaker state.
''Now, look away, I'm about to get sick.'' She said, her voice thick.
''It's nothing I haven't seen before.''I reassured her. She glared at me.
''It's different.'' She insisted. I looked away, mumbling under my breath.
I heard her get sick. Retching noises filled the air, and I wondered what she could possibly be bringing up. The bulky wetness hit the ground, I heard it.
''Zane... I really need a doctor.'' She said, her voice thin, shaking - fear obvious.
''I swear, Lily, we'll get you one soon.'' I promised, worried, but not looking around.
''Zane, it's blood.'' She squeeked, her voice filled with terror.
''What?'' I hurried over, kneeling next to her, looking into the bile. It was blood, dark blood, shaped like coffee grinds.
''It's blood!'' She yelled, her voice hoarse. ''What's wrong with me?'' She whispered. I then realised how close we were again. I put a hand on her shoulder, moving my fingers to her neck, stroking it to calm her.
''I don't know.'' I admitted, hating myself as I did. Her eyes were wide and scared. I put my other arm around her and propped my chin on her shoulder. ''You'll be okay.'' I promised again. Her one hand crept around my back, and she clung to me. She sniffed in my chest. She was crying. Lily was crying - because of me! Again! Was all I could do bring pain to her?
''I promise.'' I breathed, meaning it. I was going to do everything in my power to get her out of there.
She was shivering. She was shaking violently, her teeth chattering. I pulled away, pulling off my shirt as I went along.
''Here.'' I said, helping her into it. She didn't argue - which surprised me. Lily always fought, she was fiery. ''Little warmer?'' I asked, ignoring the icy winds that snapped across my back. She nodded, her eyes drooping.
I picked her up, cradling her to my chest, I moved her to a nearby tree and settled her into it. It had a nice crook, so it shielded her from the biting winds. The winds were lethal, and it being mid-winter didn't help. Getting a fever, or a cold, or even hypothermia could happen, and that wouldn't help her. Or me. And I feared she would get sick, her immune system wasn't what it should be.
I got the jacket out and threw it over her, tucking her in against the tree. She smiled sleepily, though it looked more like a grimace. I was planning on standing guard.
A hand grabbed mine as I turned to get up.
''Of course not.'' My resistance crumbled into tiny pieces. My plan on standing guard faltered when I sat down next to her. Out of what was now a habit, I put my arm around her and drew her in, apologizing for the hiss that escaped her lips.
''We'll find a way out, Lily.'' I said, repeating my earlier message. My free hand met her good hand, and I played with her fingers. Her hands were blocks of ice. ''You'll be okay.''
She reached over and covered me in the jacket. I thanked her, placing a kiss on her temple. Tomorrow I'd be carrying her; she wouldn't have the strength to walk. I might as well sleep, tomorrow would be a long day.
. . .
Back at camp
The students had all waken up early that morning, mostly due to the fact that Terry had screamed them awake, but also because they knew something was up. Something was wrong. Where was their leader? Where was the teacher? All day they'd heard nothing, and they'd been instructed to keep Teen Town going. They didn't question it, everyone knew Mrs Humane was a hard nut to crack. And when she looked tearful, she was even more dangerous.
Terry, on the other hand, had been pacing, trying to see how the two could have gotten lost. What if Zane Davitz was hurt? Her sister had some knowledge on medical things, but that was due to their mother being a retired nurse. Lily was wet-nosed! And what if Lily was the hurt party? Where would that leave them? She didn't know what the teacher knew, surely sonething of use.
She refused to think they were dead - it wasn't an option.
''Ma'am?'' One of the boys that helped with breakfast asked.
''Yes?'' She sighed, temporarily ceasing her pacing
''We'll assemble small groups - then we'll go searching in the morning.'' He tried to smile, but it disappeared quickly. ''We can't leave without them.''
''I don't intend to.'' She reassured the teenager. ''I will tell the whole group in a minute. Why don't you go join your friends for dinner?''
She was surprised at the teamwork the entire class portrayed. They worked in their teams, but also as individuals. She had no idea what they did, her head understood numbers and columns, not why the land had such a high expenditure rate or why inflation was what it was, or why some were Communists and other Capitalists. She heard some of them discuss lowering quantities and to lower prices and therefore raise the overall question to products and services.
Not that any of that made sense to Terry, she did numbers, not Economics.
At dawn, a bright red light caught their attention. It was coming through the bushes, and then the siren.
The police had sent someone. She wanted to sob in relief. She promised herself she'd never again say a bad thing about the South African police - never.
Or the ambulances, she noted when one of the small hospitals parked near her car. She and Mrs Humane ran to greet them.
They introduces themselves to the three men, one a policeman and the others emergency workers.
''Any sign of them?'' The police man, Mr Vilakazi, asked. Both women shook their heads in denial. ''I know this isn't right, but could we please wait one more night for them to show up? In the morning, if they haven't shown up, we'll search.'' he spoke in a heavy accent, but his English was understandable, unlike some who sounded like buffoons.
The two women nodded, not wanting to go against authority.The two emergency workers, however, ignored the pair and went to the back of the ambulance, gathering some supplies.
"Sir, we're heading out." The one emergency worker said. The police man nodded, scribbling something on a brown clipboard.
"I will too, boys, I'm just having a word with the women." The moustached man said, the air around him was filled with self-importance. Terry wanted to roll her eyes.
"Ma'am, I'll tell the students." Terry volunteered, Mr Vilakazi annoyed her. Humane nodded her agreement.
Terry called them all together at the fireplace, where the dirty pink walls were. She wondered why they couldn't have chosen a more eartly colour rather than this sickening colour. It reminded her of Dolores Umbridge, from Harry Potter, and only few people liked the character. She did make a great antagonisst, though, that was certain.
''Everyone, I'm certain you've noticed that two of our number is missing.'' She started, attempting to remain calm.
''Yes, Mr Davitz and Lily. Teen Town is reaching its seventh depression phase for this day.'' One of the boys commented to agreeing nods. ''Where are they?''
''That's the question we're all asking.'' Terry sighed. ''They're missing.''
''And you aren't searching?'' A girl asked, rising to her feet as if to go into action. Her friend pulled her down, annoyed, and glared at her.
''Will you shut up? What, were we supposed to leave you all here, to yourselves, and search for them? You may all nearly be adults, but you still have a lot to learn.'' She scoffed. The teenagers fell silent, of course she was right. Or perhaps the angry side of Terry wasn't something anyone wished to provoke. She looked to be a typical Accountant, glasses perched on her nose with short hair tied back, but her voice became different when she was angry.
''Point is, we've notified the authorities, and in the morning we'll all go searching.'' She didn't leave any room to argue. No one wanted to, either. Lily might be a questionable character. She was overemotional and incredibly egotistic, but Mr Davitz was rather kind, even if he did have child-like tendencies.
''We'll help.'' Leek said finally, silently daring anyone to draw his offer back. No one did. ''I suggest we all go to bed directly after dinner, we need to get up early.''
''Yeah, we'll start on dinner.'' Keith stood up, motioning for Lyn and Sigourney to follow him. The two friends did so speedily.
Leek sat forward, his brow furrowed. ''We do have a plan, don't we?''
Terry shook her head, no. She hadn't thought of that. She'd just thought they'd seperate into groups and go searching. But what if one team found them? How would the other teams find out? They had no means of communication, the mobile phones were out of range and... the walkie-talkies. She wondered if Lily had one with her.
''Where are the walkie-talkies?'' She interrupted Leek's planning. He'd been saying they should stick to their team colours, wearing something of that colour and waving signals with said clothes. He looked up at her slowly.
''There was one in each of the hiking bags, Lily said. Maybe they still have it?'' He smiled, hope shining in his eyes.
He jumped from his seat and sprinted to the room Mr Davitz and Chazz shared. He knocked at first, tentatively as if afraid to bother. When no answer came he added volume, and when no answer still came, he pushed the door open. Chazz wasn't there, but the dirty green hiking bag stood against the wall. He surged forward and discarded many items, including empty waterbottles, random articles of clothing, a first-aid kit, some dried fruit. When he reached in again his hand clasped around something square and solid. A walkie-talkie. He brought it out, his hands shaking. He hoped it would work. He prayed it would work. He was one of the few people that Lily both respected and trusted, he knew what a hard character she was, and gaining both respect and trust just sort of made you worthy.
Not many of the children liked Lily. She was... odd. A freak. She didn't socialise, she didn't do much but study. Or that's what they think. She didn't socialise because she didn't want to, and she hated studying, what she loved was getting high marks. And he reckoned she had a reason to be smug when she got above 80 percent, because it was good. It was better than most.
He clicked the button and talked.
''Lily, Mr Davitz, come in.'' He liked sounding so professional. He did want to study engineering one day, after all.
. . .
''Lily, Mr Davitz, come in.'' I shook awake at the sound. It was close, yet I couldn't figure out where it came from. It was dark out, Lily was still asleep. I'd been asleep too, no dreams had bothered me. None that I could remember, anyways.
''Please, it's Leek, I'm on the walkie-talkie.''
My eyes widened. Of course, the walkie-talkie! I'd completely forgotten about it! I reached to bag and dug into it. I found spare clothing articles, some water, a sleeping bag and, finally, the walkie-talkie. I wondered why Lily hadn't mentioned the items, we could've used them.
Then again, she was weak and had a possible concussion, she wouldn't be thinking of it.
''It's Zane. Is that really you?'' I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. My saviour would be a teenaged boy whose named after a vegetable, one that's in the same group as an onion and garlic. And I wasn't a fan off either, but I had a feeling this boy was about to get a number one fan.
''Sir? Sir, you're alive!'' He seemed entirely relieved. I could sense the buckets of relief washing over him.
''I am, but Lily's hurt.'' I spoke softly, not wanting to wake my student. Though we'd passed the point of a teacher-student relationship hours prior, if not days. I felt justified in calling her a friend.
''What's wrong?'' His voice had been close and then far, I realised he was walking.
''I don't know. She's asleep, but her arm's busted, and she doesn't want to eat anything. She's weak.'' I explained, hoping she had minimal injuries.
''Where are you?'' Came the next question. The static sounded, and I lifted the device to speak again.
''Got a map? I can dot you our exact place.'' I said. He listened carefully, repeating it back to me and then flying off.
''Zane, darling?'' Mum's voice sounded through the device.
''Hi, mum, turn down the volume, will you?'' I whispered, throwing a worried glance at Lily. She didn't move.
''You're alive!'' She sobbed. It did my heart well to hear her worry. She always did, but this time she had a very good reason.
''Yes. I'm fine, mum. Lily isn't. We need to get her to a doctor.'' I said earnestly, sparing her another glance. She was pale, remarkably so.
''We have an ambulance here... oh, Zane!'' She started to sob anew. I sighed into the device, making the message clear.
''Mr Davitz?'' Ah, Terry. She sounded formal and business-like, the way I would prefer it in this situation, calm and level.
''We're on our way, just stay put and don't move.'' She said, no, commanded. I agreed, too tired to argue. Ot wouldn't help either.
I was tired, my muscles ached and I was hungry. I was also cold. The clothing articles were too small for me, I checked, and I ended up throwing the sleeping bag over us. I tried to eat some of the fruit, but I got queezy, my stomach churned and I decided to stop. No matter how hungry I was, I didn't want to get sick. I could wait.
My head drooped. Several times I snapped back, having fallen asleep and my neck cramped painfully. Even when I laid my head against the tree trunk, I still ended up with a sore neck.
I reluctantly took my arm from Lily's shoulder, nestled the sleeping bag around her, and pulled the jacket on, putting my head on a tree root. I reached forward, entwining my hand with her good one, for in case she woke up and found me missing.
A dull headache started to pound in my head. I blamed stress, it always gave me awful headaches. But it also made me immensely tired. I closed my eyes experimentaly, and, within seconds, the sandman struck.
. . .