Chapter Ten: Little Mouse

I walked to school without Marya, leaving her in my bed. There was no way she could go to school in the state she was in. At least she'd already been interviewed.

As I passed through the tall iron gates, my heart started to pound.

Kahrn walked next to me, unnoticed by anyone else.

He stood to the side of the classroom when I walked in, and I nervously took my usual place beside Caiden.

Less than ten minutes into class, that man from before—Durus—poked his head in the door.

"Laneir Virago?"

I stood up.

"That's me," I said confidently.

"Come with me," he said, holding the door as I walked out with Kahrn quickly following.

He led us to the office, a place I'd only rarely been in, and motioned for me to sit in a chair in front of the principal's desk. He sat in the cushy swivel-chair, and I was slightly jealous.

I avoided looking at Kahrn, afraid of giving away his presence, so, instead, stared directly at Mr. Durus.

"Laneir," he said in his cold voice.

"Mr. Durus," I acknowledged.

"Do you have any knowledge as to why we're here?" He asked.

"No," I lied steadily, "we haven't been told anything."

He nodded.

"Well, can you think of anything?"

"No… all we were told was that there was some kind of dangerous student. I guess it's got to be some kind of killer, or something."

"Hm," he stated.

Hm? What does "Hm" mean?

All I registered was his hand quickly moving downwards and then back up before I registered that he was pointing a gun directly at my face.

I screamed.

"What the fuck?!" I yelled, toppling over backwards in my chair.

I noticed Kahrn run directly in front of the line of fire, protecting me even though Durus couldn't see him.

He slowly put the gun down.

"Sorry, Laneir. It's part of the test," he said calmly.

Trembling, I stood, and picked my chair back up.

"Yeah?" I said weakly, "Did I pass?"

He smiled, though it was far from warm.

"Perhaps."

I was still shaking, and I felt a little nauseous as I sat back down, staring nervously at him.

"That will be all, Laneir."

"That's it?" I gulped.

He nodded.

"You may leave."

I was barely able to stand, but I somehow managed to shakily make my way to the door and let myself (and Kahrn) out.

We walked a little further from the office, and I felt Kahrn return my powers to me.

Why did he point that fucking gun at me? I asked Kahrn.

I think he does it to try and scare the powers out of people. If you're caught in that kind of situation as a psychic, you can't avoid using your powers… He replied.

Oh.

That made sense.

Thank god Kahrn had such convenient powers. I surely would have been caught otherwise.

I went back to class, and Kahrn left.

I was almost over my trembling, but that queasy feeling was still there. As I sat next to Caiden, he looked at me questioningly.

"What did they do?" he whispered.

I just shook my head.

"I don't even know. Jesus."

He stared at me, but decided not to press me any further. He would, after all, find out for himself.

I was in a trance for the rest of class.

Situations like that… where something… frightening happens…

All you can do is tremble.

I felt like a little mouse. I'd thought I was stronger than that.

Apparently not.

I could have died.

He pointed a gun at my face.

A gun!

And all I could do was scream and stumble backwards. I didn't try to fight, or anything.

But, really, what could I have done if he had shot me?

Hopefully, the next time I was ever in that kind of situation, I'd have my powers activated.

Otherwise…

I would just be a normal person, limited by my body's automatic response.

I don't suppose I could afford to be normal against people like the Government. Mice can't fight cats, after all.

Unless they're psychic, I suppose.

The bell rang, shaking me from my thoughts, and I gathered my things, walking out of class in a zombie-like state.

However, as distracted as I was, I noticed a woman in the courtyard staring at me.

She was wearing a bright purple dress with silver snakes decorating it, and her black hair was cut in a bob. She was smoking a cigarette in a long, black cigarette holder. I stopped to look at her. She was completely different from anyone I'd ever seen.

I felt drawn to her for some reason.

I took a few steps toward her, but stopped when I heard someone shouting my name.

"Lani!" Rav cried, waving at me fanatically.

I stopped to look at him, and then looked back to where the woman was.

She was gone.

I stared at the spot for a moment longer, and then began to walk to Rav.

"Did you see her?" I asked him.

"Who?" he asked.

"The woman in the purple dress."

"What woman?"

"Agh," I grumbled, shoving the image of the woman I'd seen into his thoughts, "that woman."

He hissed as he saw what she looked like.

"Fuck," he muttered.

"What? You know her?" I asked.

"Emi Colubra," he growled.

"Who's she?" I asked.

"Lentus's wife."

I blinked in surprise.

"I didn't even know he had a wife."

"Of course he does. She's never in the media, but she certainly exists. Personally, I feel she's much more dangerous than Lentus himself."

"Think he's her puppet or something?" I asked.

He snorted.

"Perhaps."

I shrugged.

"She was so elegant."

He rolled his eyes.

"Don't let her appearance fool you, Lani. She's dangerous. A snake."

I nodded.

She was a snake, and I was a mouse.

All she wanted to do was entrance me with her beauty and mysteriousness so she could swallow me whole.

"What's a mouse like me going to do against a bunch of cats and a snake?" I grumbled quietly.

"Hm?" Rav asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Nothing," I said.

We walked back to my house in silence.

"Did you talk to Marya?" I asked.

"What?"

I stared at him.

"You know, when she woke up."

"She wasn't in your room… I thought she went home…" Rav trailed off.

"What?" I screeched.

I ran as fast as I could along the moving sidewalk, trying desperately to get home as soon as possible.

"There's a better way," Rav growled, grabbing my arm and teleporting us just outside my doorstep.

"Oh yeah," I mused, before walking into the house.

"Mom?" I asked.

"Yes sweetie?"

"Did Marya leave?"

"Yes, she told me she was going home. Why?" she asked.

"Oh, um, I think she left something in my room."

Without further explanation, I ran upstairs, looking for any sign of her.

I found a small note on my pillow, written in her messy handwriting.

Lani—

You know I can't afford to get an abortion.

So I did the next best thing.

I'll miss you.

Tell Rowan to forgive me.

Please forgive me.

I choked on the tears that were starting to form.

"Marya?" I whispered, crushing the note in my hand.

"Rav, Rav, where is she? Help me find her, for god's sake!"

Rav pulled me into a hug, and I felt him entering my mind. How he could navigate through the swirling pain and emptiness I felt, I don't know, but he teleported us to an abandoned street swarming with ambulances.

"MARYA?" I screamed, running towards the hustle.

"Ma'am, you can't come any closer," a friendly fireman said, holding me back.

"No, she's my best friend, she's dead! Let go of me! Let me see her!"

"I'm sorry, miss, but I can't let you."

"LET ME SEE HER!" I yelled at the top of my lungs, tears streaming down my face.

I tried to get past him, but instead, he embraced me.

I started to pound on his chest with my hands, sobbing furiously.

"Let go of me!" I sobbed, sniffling pathetically.

"I can't," the man whispered, "I'm sorry."

---------

Once I had calmed down, and they'd taken Marya's body to the hospital, I was questioned by the police.

I wouldn't let go of the fireman who had stopped me from seeing her. I was clinging onto him, terrified. He didn't say anything; merely let me hold on as I answered the agonizing questions.

"You say she spent the night at your house last night?" a police officer asked.

I nodded, rubbing at my already makeup-smeared eyes.

"And she told you about the child?"

I nodded again, another sob escaping.

"What did she say?"

"She said," I started, sniffling, "that she wanted to get an abortion, and I told her no, it's illegal, and she said she couldn't keep it because of her parents and then I told her to tell Rowan but she said no she couldn't and then she told me that her cousin had raped her and it was his and that's why she couldn't keep it and so I let her sleep in at my house but when I got home I only found a note and…" I rambled incoherently, trailing off into more sobs.

The nice fireman rubbed my back with his hand, an infinitely comforting gesture.

"Were you very close with Miss Heynes?"

I started to sob even louder.

"We were best friends," I started, "but I don't even know… if we were that close…"

"Thank you," the policeman said before walking away to talk to his fellow officers.

I tried to slow my sobs by taking deep breaths, burying myself into the fireman's heavy uniform.

"Hey, you okay?" he asked, petting my hair.

I shook my head.

"How did she die?" I whispered.

"She killed herself with a broken bottle. She bled to death."

I bit my lip to keep from crying.

Marya…

I could only imagine her perfect body lying in the alley, covered in blood.

No blood left in her veins, at all.

I wondered if, when people died like that, it made the embalmer's job easier.

"What's your name?" the fireman whispered to me.

"Laneir," I said softly, "what's yours?"

"Resk."

"Thank you," I mumbled into his coat.

"LANI!" I heard my mother's voice screech, along with the pitter-patter of her feet drawing nearer.

"Oh my god, thank goodness you're okay," she cried, pulling me from Resk and giving me a huge hug.

"She's dead," I whispered.

"I know," my mother said, and I could hear the tears in her voice.

I turned to Resk, who looked uncomfortable.

"Mom, this is Resk. He's a firefighter and he wouldn't let me see Marya but that was just his job and then he let me cry on him."

She smiled painfully, and stuck out her hand.

"Thank you, sir," she said.

"It was nothing, ma'am, I am deeply sorry for your loss," he replied, shaking her hand.

"If you could come by sometime, for dinner, I think we would all appreciate it," she said, then turned around, "Lani, give him our number, and I'll meet you in the car, sweetie."

"Okay," I whispered, drying my tears.

"If you don't want to come, it's okay," I told Resk, "my mom just likes to invite people, but it's fine…"

Resk smiled at me softly.

"Laneir, I would love to come visit you and your family," he said, pulling out a pen from his pocket, "here, write your number on my arm. I won't call you for a few days, so you can get everything out of your system."

I nodded, and wrote my phone number on his arm.

"But if you need me before then," he started, and then began to write on my own arm, "don't hesitate to call me."

I nodded again, and then turned to go get in the car.

New tears started to form as I realized that I'd just gotten a guy's number at my best friend's death site.

What the fuck was wrong with me?

I had enough guys in my life as it was.

I didn't need another one.

Not even a fireman.

I should have been thinking about Marya, not myself.

I never should have gone to school today.

Or I should have taken her with me.

Damnit, Marya, why did you have to go and do something so stupid?

A/N: Okay, so I updated really quickly, but I don't know how long the next chapter will take! First off, I'm graduating high school, so this weekend I'm having a party-thing with my family and some friends, so I won't be able to write this weekend, and THEN I'm going across to country to New Jersey to work for the entire summer. I think I'm getting a laptop, so I might be able to write on weekends and stuff… but I am not sure.

I will definitely update over the summer, I just don't know how frequently. It's a full-time job, and I'll be exploring New York and stuff in my free time, but I will try to get chapters out for you guys! Just bear with me :3

Also, anyone who's near Princeton, New Jersey can stalk me this summer :P

Review Responses:

phelps112: Thanks for the review, and you'll just have to see, won'tcha:D

CaramelBoost: Haha, glad you didn't expect THAT :P And, geez, when I read your review I was like "WTF HOW DID SHE KNOW SHE WAS GOING TO DIE" so, seriously, are you sure YOU'RE not a psychic:3 Maybe I should call YOU Lani :P XD I'm glad you like "Mr. Secret-Agent-Man" that's good. I have fun writing him. I hope this update was quick enough :P But we'll see about the next one… I will try my best. When you dominate the world, can I be like vice president:D I'll bake you cookies and write stories:P

kstar129: Haha sorry it took awhile; this was a much faster update, but can't promise the next one anytime soon. Heh, I bet you feel even worse for Marya now :( Hope this was quick enough for ya!

karatekid369: Heh, this was pretty stressful too, huh? It should be less stressful for a time in a couple chapters… I'm thinking chapter 12 will be a (hopefully) pretty stress-free chapter. Not this next chapter, of course, considering… but hopefully 12 :3 I can't stand to write too much bad stuff for too long, hehe.