Two days later Devi stood, dressed in an elegant but simple dress with flowers, next to Ryan in front of the Justice. She recited the words, kissed Ryan, and signed the documents. She was officially married as they went back to the gym.
Outside she seemed impassive to the whole thing, but inside she was a torrent of emotion. This was not how she ever imagined her life. It seemed so unfair to her, but it was beyond her control. She was helpless in everything in her life, and it was infuriating. She so desperately wanted to just be normal, and face normal choices- not have everything in her life decided for her.
She was married, and not to a man she probably would have chosen for herself. Worse, she couldn't definitively say how she felt about him. From the discussions it seemed she was free to be with whom she wanted, but in law and paper, she would always be Ryan's wife. What kind of life was that? Would it be better for her to just try and make it work with Ryan? She didn't know what to do, but what frightened her most was how much she wanted to stay. She still wasn't sure if it was really a viable option though.
She felt sure that if she ever felt her friends were in danger she would do what she had to, to keep them safe. At least it was one solid in her life: self-sacrifice.
She was surprised to find that at the gym Torri had organized a little party. There was cake, and champagne. She smiled, and joined the others as they celebrated Ryan getting 'hitched.' She cut the cake with Ryan, and then fed him a piece as he fed her one. It was one of the many times she met his eyes to see the same turmoil in him. She knew he wanted this, but he felt like he was betraying Chris. He burned to have her, and yet was celebrating a 'fake' marriage that he wanted to be real. He wanted Devi as his own, and she was aware of it.
Devi looked to Chris, and saw his own troubled eyes. It wrenched her apart. She had known these people less than a week, and already she was causing turmoil. She hated it. The last thing she wanted to do was come between friends, and it seemed exactly what she was doing. She didn't know how to stop, or even how she was to choose. It was all twisted, and she knew no matter what someone would get hurt.
Devi excused herself after a couple hours, and went in search of solitude. She wondered how she let it get this way after everything. She felt disgraced as she lay in the darkness of her windowless room.
The door opened, and Devi glanced at it. All she could make out was a man shape before the door was closed. She tracked the man as he came and sat by her side, and tried to decide it if would be Chris or Ryan.
Her question was answered when Ryan spoke. "You should change out of that of that dress so it doesn't wrinkle." He took Devi's hand, and threaded his fingers with hers. He toyed with the simple ring that graced her finger. "Devi, I know this isn't what you wanted, or how you wanted it, but…"
"But sometimes blessings come in disguise. That's what my grandma used to say when I was younger. I think she was right." Devi sighed, and focused on the feeling of his hand in hers to organize her thoughts. "I can't say that I will always be open to this, but I won't turn my back on it."
Ryan smiled, "That's enough for me." He leaned forward, and gave her a kiss. It wasn't what Devi expected. Their past encounters had been fiery, lustful, and passionate. This was soft, delicate, and caring, much like what she had experienced with Chris. Ryan pulled back, and gave her a smile. He wanted to show Devi that he could love her too.
The moment was ruined when the door opened once more, and shut. Devi saw the man lean against the door, and held her breath.
"Had a feeling I'd find you two here."
"Don't Ryan," Chris sighed. "Look, I realize we got ourselves a little mess here. Ryan, both you and I have feelings for Devi, and I think that Devi likes us both. Am I right?" The question was directed to Devi.
Devi closed her eyes and let out a long breath, "Yes."
Chris nodded to himself. "I know that neither Ryan nor I will make you choose between us, but you will have to eventually. Just choose who you want Devi, I think either of us will understand."
Ryan squeezed Devi's hand, and she chuckled. "I guess I will have to choose, can't have both."
Silence pervaded the room after her statement. Then Chris straightened up, and left the room. Devi looked at Ryan, and felt his eyes on her. Then he too rose. "Change outta that dress; I'm gonna go find Chris."
Devi nodded, and then Ryan dropped her hand and left too.
Ryan found Chris easily. He was in the office. Ryan sat in the office across from Ryan whom was behind the desk. They let the silence be.
"How'd it go?"
Ryan sat down heavily. "Mom understood surprisingly; she was actually happy! Dad… he was angry. He wanted me to turn her in."
Chris stared at him. "Wow… I would have expected the opposite from both."
"How mad is he?"
"That's what's weird," Ryan said as he stood and began pacing. "He was fine at first. Then I started telling him about Devi. That was when he started getting angry, but at the end he just took a deep breath, and said we talk about it later. He was somewhat calm again." Ryan plopped down again. "I don't know what to make of it."
Devi stood just out of sight listening. She knew what to make of it. He was going to turn her in. He was going to give her up to The Keepers to protect his son, as he rightly should. That meant it was time for Devi to go. Her time had run out and she needed to leave.
Devi waited until almost everyone was gone. As she expected Ryan came to check on her before he too left. He had dinner with his dad tonight. Ryan stepped into her room, and Devi was hard pressed to wait till he closed the door to act. When he did Devi grabbed him shoving him against the wall, pinning him there with her body pressed into his. She kissed him fiercely, and felt him respond immediately. She began to let her hands roam his body as his did the same. She waited until she was sure he was fully submersed in the kiss, and then carefully extracted the key from his pocket. With any luck he wouldn't notice until she was long gone.
As Devi went to tuck the key away in her pocket Ryan caught her hand. Devi looked into his eyes startled. How had he known?
"I may be easily distracted, but that doesn't mean I'm easily taken."
Devi's eyes hardened and she pulled away from him. Ryan held her, and flipped them around so she was pressed to the wall. He took the key back from her, and stowed it away, where Devi didn't see. Devi tried to push him off, but he wouldn't budge.
"Get off of me," she ground out as she struggled against him.
"Not until you tell me why you are trying to escape after we are so close to having you free now," Ryan responded.
Devi glared at him, but was unable to do much else. "Your father," She ground out, and paused when she saw his surprised expression, "I have seen his kind of reaction before. He got calmer at the end because he resolved to turn me in to protect you, as he should."
Ryan laughed, "He wouldn't-"
"No? Not to save the son from himself? Not to save the son he insured would be able to take over his corporation? He wouldn't save him from one little folly that could destroy him? He would let him make a mistake that could jeopardize his business?" Devi asked; she saw the understanding bloom in Ryan's eyes.
Devi pushed him off, and this time he moved away to sit heavily on the bed. "Just let me go. I will visit, but I have to leave to protect all of you."
Ryan was staring off into space. "It will be a trap. If you ever leave they know you will come back, and they will be waiting for you. You will just be running again. We just have to kill you."
"Please Ryan, don't do this."
Ryan stood up, "I have a call to make." He left Devi alone.
Devi sunk to the floor. She would have to free herself.
Ryan slipped back into Devi's room. He laid on the bed behind her, "I have to go to dinner with my dad, but I will be back soon, and Chris will be here in a couple hours. We will be setting the plan into motion tomorrow." He planted a kiss on Devi.
She nodded, but in her head she was thinking, It's too late.
As Ryan moved away she grabbed him, and pulled him close. She kissed him deeply knowing this would be her last. She kept her hands where he would know this wasn't another ploy to get his key.
Ryan kissed her back, and held her close. He could feel her fear for them just below the surface. Finally he broke their kiss. "I have to go." Devi nodded, and Ryan sighed. "I'll be back soon." He rose, and checked his key, and then went to the door. He paused with his hand on the handle, and glanced back at Devi. He couldn't shake the feeling that something was really wrong here, but he opened the door and stepped through it anyway.
Devi rose, and went to the door. She touched it, and whispered, "Be safe Ryan, and be happy." She knew she would likely never see him ever again.
Devi took clothes with her into the locker room. She would at least have one more shower before she went on the run again. She set the clothes on a bench, and then stripped placing those clothes next to the others. She didn't linger like she wanted, but made her shower a quick one.
She dried, and dressed. She set the towel down, and then heard the water turn on in the shower. She spun around with her heart hammering. There was no one there. She whirled back around with her power welling up to the surface. She glimpsed a man in full gear before she was thrown back into the ice cold water. She hit the stall wall with a thud, and her breath left her.
"No fucking games bitch. There are five more on the roof of this place, and all your little friends will die if you try to play."
Devi rose her head to glare at him, but her eyes remained normal. She was jerked out of the shower; she felt like a rag doll.
"Understand me whore?" Devi grudgingly nodded. "One leak of your powers and they all die." Again Devi nodded. The man grunted, and Devi took one last longing look toward the common room, and her friends that were there. Then the man activated a device, and they were gone.
Devi woke in a bumpy vehicle with a black bag over her head. Devi scoffed in her mind. Like that would stop her from doing anything. Before she could be drugged again, she said, "Tell your boss that if either of them die, he is as good as dead."
She heard a chuckle and a, 'yeah right.' Then she felt a sharp prick, and then nothing else.
This time she woke in her normal cell. She picked up a loose pebble, and chucked it across to the bars. It hit with a small sound, and both her guards turned to look at her. Only one was her normal guard. She would have thought they both would be dead.
"Almost a year away from home, did ya miss us hunny?"
"Not in the least."
"Awe, come on, ain't that a bit harsh?"
"Nope. The boss get my message?" She threw another pebble.
Devi looked for another rock, and found none. Her eyes glowed, and all of them rolled back to her in a nice pile. "I get any grub? It's been four days." She saw the non-normal guard start at her knowledge of the time passed though she was drugged the whole time.
"On its way."
When the food arrived Devi was amazed it was more than her normal porridge. "Wow," She said as she fingered the sandwich. "I guess I should escape more often." She took a bite of it and nearly cried. Sprouts and hummus, exactly like Ryan had always made.
Devi didn't act out, or try to escape, but she refused to do anymore experiments, or do tests. She wouldn't let anyone near her. A few times they had tried to force her. It never ended well for the ones trying to make her. They drugged her once, but when they took her to the laboratory none of the machines would work. Anytime they tried to get a needle near her or anything it would fly out of their hands across the room.
"I told ya'll I'm not playing anymore." Devi said as the guards came to her cell.
"No experiments. Boss wants to see you."
Devi rose with a sigh, and went with them. She sat in front of the laptop, and waited for the image to come up. Finally it did, and she looked at the man she hated more than anything in the world.
He smiled, and she rolled her eyes. "I hear you're being problematic dear."
"Just not playing anymore," She said mater-of-factly.
"I see… Do we need to coerce you to cooperate once more?"
Devi glared at him. "Try it. I love them, and I will know if anything happens to either of them."
He chuckled. "And then what? You will come after me?"
Devi smiled maliciously; she noted that that both the boss and the guards shuttered slightly. "I will have nothing left to cooperate for. My soul reason for let you keep me, for living, will be gone. What would you do if you had nothing left to live for?"
It was one of the guards in the room with her that answered, "Kill the ones that were responsible."
Devi smiled. "I think you would do the same, boss."
The image went dead, and Devi went back to her cell.
There were no tests after that. The food was better, and the guards were skittish but nice around her. No one wanted to see what Devi was capable of. They all knew that it was believed she was holding back in all her previous tests, and even in her escape. They didn't want to see what she could do if provoked.
"Been awfully quiet lately."
"Just means boss is trying to figure a way around his predicament," Devi responded. They were playing chess, one of her requests that was granted.
"Maybe, he's hoping that if he's nice to you, you will cooperate with him again."
Devi made a move, and asked, "Would you?"
The response was a long time coming, "No."
"Unhmm. He's just planning." Devi said calmly.
Both guards looked at her. They didn't like her tone. They looked at each other, and then went back to letting the silence pervade.
One of Devi's guards walked away. Devi watched him go. When he was gone the other said, "There has been a lot of ruckus." Devi stayed silent. "Apparently a small group, led by a guy named Chris, is making trouble for the boss."
"No…" the word escaped even though Devi didn't want it too.
Devi woke in the cell room, and instantly her fury woke too. She waited for the image to come up on the laptop. When it did she didn't give the man a chance to say anything as she seethed, "Did you think I was lying?" She saw him pale as her eyes began to glow. "Did you think I wouldn't notice? Did you really think you could get away with it?"
She continued to glare at the screen, and behind her one of the man took out his gun. Slowly he pointed it at the other man in the room whom couldn't move. He took the safety off, and pressed the muzzle to the man's fore head.
"Please no…" The gun fired, and the man fell dead to the floor.
Then the man swung the gun around to place it in his mouth. "No, no, no, no," He begged around the muzzle. Then he pulled the trigger, and killed himself.
Devi looked at the boss whose eyes were wide with fear. "I'm coming," She told him. Devika rose as the door swung open. She would have her vengeance if it was the last thing she ever did.