"Six Years Later"
I grumbled as my alarm clock went off. I rolled over, my muscles protesting with each move that I made. I glared in silence at the blinking red numbers that read 7:00 a.m. Why did Jones make me get up so early?
I reach out and smacked the off button on the alarm clock. Groggily I sat up and pushed my light purple comforter to the end of my bed, it taking the sheets with it. I reached over to the bedside table and grabbed my glasses. The light green walls of my room slowly came into focus and put my feet on the floor, the cold wood a shock to my system.
I stood up and left my room, only half caring that Caleb was laying shirtless under the covers of Jones' bed. Jones was sitting at the table, sipping from a cup of coffee and looking at the data pad on the table.
I got some cereal, milk, and a bowl and sat down across from him. "Morning," I said, my voice scratchy with sleep.
Jones nodded, but didn't look up. "How'd you sleep?"
"Fine. You and Cay kept me up until midnight though. Can't you do that when I'm not here?"
Jones at least had the decency to blush. "Speaking of Cay, will you go wake him up?"
I let my spoon fall back into the bowl and, making a show of it, went over to wake him. I leaned over Jones' side of the bed and flicked Caleb in the ear. The Guardian's eyes opened and he sat up incredibly quickly. The blanket covering him slipped enough that I could see pretty well that he wasn't wearing pants.
I glared over in Jones' direction, before picking up someone's pants from the floor. I flung them at Caleb's face and said, "Put these on, Cay. No one wants to see that."
Caleb looked at me curiously and looked down and blushed. "Sorry," he mumbled.
I just shook my head and went back to my seat, eating my cereal before they could ask me to do anything else. I glanced every few seconds at Jones watching as he slowly turned into the red haired man that he is supposed to be.
"There yet?" he asked the twelfth time I looked at him.
"Not quite. Your eyes are still red."
Jones nodded and continued reading. Caleb sat down a second later, his hair wet and he smelled like roses. In his hand was a cup of grape juice. He didn't speak for a few minutes.
"Jones, are we training today?" I asked.
Jones looked up from his data pad and shook his head. "No, sorry. I have a mission to go on. Carrie said you could hang out with her today though."
I rolled my eyes. Carrie was Jones' twin sister, and I knew for a fact that she had better things to do than hang out with me. No one likes a Wanderer, especially not the Protectors. Except Jones.
After breakfast Jones went to shower and I got dress to wander (no pun intended) around HQ. I put one a pair of jeans and a bright blue shirt with red roses on it. I put my hair in a loose bun and I slipped into my tennis shoes.
I walked out of my room and smiled at Cay, who was watching something on his data pad. I patted him on the head. "I'm going out, Cay."
I shook my head and walked out of our apartment. There was no one in the bright hallway, the yellow walls hurting my eyes. I quickly walked the length of the hallway and then down six flights of stairs, until I came to the lobby of the building. There were several people milling around, always in Guardian/Protector pairs. For several seconds all of the Protectors looked like the creature under the bed, but eventually they turned back into normal beings.
I quickly crossed the lobby and stepped outside.
Okay, let me explain. HQ is in a small town in Mississippi, because the forces of darkness apparently wouldn't think of checking small towns.
Anyway, standing on the street corner was my best friend, Archer, and his younger sister, Amanda. Archer's like me, a Wanderer. Though he's of the more common blonde-hair-blue-eye type. I could pass for a Protector; he could not pass for a Guardian.
Archer smiled at me and I walked over to him, bouncing slightly. "Good morning," he said.
"Morning," I said back, ruffling Amanda's hair softly. The little girl giggled. "What are we doing today?"
Archer looked at the sky, pretending to think. "Well… I thought that maybe we could go to the mall and then see a movie."
I smiled. "You mean Wal-Mart and a Redbox?"
"No. You have a car and a license. Why do we go to Greenville and see a movie in a theater?"
Archer sighed. "Fine. Do you need to tell Jones and Caleb where you're going?"
I looked behind me at HQ. "Probably. Now come on, before Jones decides that his mission should be a 'learning experience'."
Archer grinned and pulled me toward his car.
Forty-five minutes later the two of us were standing in line at the box office, looking at movies.
"How about Lycan Revenge III?"
I hit Archer's arm. "How about something age appropriate for your sister?"
"What about Gina's Secret?"
Archer turned to look at me. "Seriously? A Gina movie? She's not five."
I rolled my eyes. "What do you want to see, Amanda?"
The little girl read the list of movies and quite loudly said, "Patrick's Little Man."
I closed my eyes for a minute before reopening them. Archer was trying to explain to other people that she didn't know what she was saying and Amanda was looking at me expectantly.
She pouted. "Why?"
"Its rated R. You're not old enough."
"Really." I steered her and Archer to the window. "Three tickets for Gina's Secret please."
Both of my companions groaned.
When we got out of the movie, neither would shut up about how great Gina was. I tried not to cringe at their voices as I was getting a major headache.
Which only got worse when I saw Caleb leaning against the hood of his car.
"Dangit," I muttered.
Archer looked at me. "What?"
Archer looked and swore. "I knew you should've told him."
"And if I had we wouldn't be having this conversation. We'd be in your room watching some Redbox movie."
We approached Caleb silently. My Guardian regarded us coolly, not betraying the worry I could see in his eyes.
"Hey, Cay," I said softly, hoping to diffuse the tension.
"Annie, get in the car. Archer, you and Amanda get in your car and go back home. I'll have a chat with your mother later."
Archer gulped. His mom took 'Protector' to a whole new level.
We all nodded and did as we were told.
For several minutes Caleb didn't speak to me while we were in the car. Then he sighed.
"Why didn't you tell me where you were going?"
I scowled. "Because I'm fifteen. You aren't my guardian; you are a Guardian. Jones is my parent figure; you're just his boyfriend. I don't tell you where I'm going, I tell Jones-."
"Did you tell Jones? Because he was just as worried as I was. Neither of us could find you-and-" his voice began cracking. I think he was trying not to cry. "-we didn't know where to find you. Y-you left your phone at the apartment a-and-."
"Wait. What do you mean I left my phone in the apartment?" I reached into my pocket and pulled it out. "I have it with me."
Caleb pulled the car over to the side of the road. "We called it, and it rang inside the apartment." He pulled out a phone that looked similar to mine, save for the pink stripe on the back.
"Caleb, that's not my phone. Mine is all black, and it's in my hand."
Cay wiped the tears from his cheeks. "Then whose…?"
It rang. Caleb flipped it open and put it on speaker.
"Hello?" Caleb asked.
"We know where you are."
"Who is this?"
"That is not important. What is important is the girl. Hand her over to us and no one will be harmed. When you get back to your headquarters one of men will be there to take her. Don't do anything stupid, or we will use force."
The line clicked dead.
Caleb and I stared at each other for a few minutes. Who was that? I didn't recognize the voice, and it seemed that neither did Caleb.
Caleb turned back to the steering wheel. "I'm not giving you to them."
I narrowed my eyes at him. "Didn't you hear what he said? I'm pretty sure he didn't mean force against me."
Caleb pulled back on the road. "They will more than likely kill you, Annie. Do you want to die?"
"They won't kill me, Cay. I'm their hostage, their leverage. They'll need me alive."
Caleb let out a sob, but he nodded. "Okay. If that's what you feel, but we will find a way to get you back."
I nodded and looked out the window.
When we got back to HQ, Caleb parked in his usual spot and we got out and looked around for someone out of place. I immediately spotted a boy, a couple years older than me, with chin length black hair, black eyes, and he was wearing black skinny jeans, a black shirt with a white skull on it, and a pair of crimson knee high boots. He also had his ears pierced and was wearing a spiked choker.
When he spotted me he nodded. I walked over to him, not looking back at Caleb for fear of me not being able to go through with this. When I reached the boy he smirked and gestured for me to get into the car behind him. Surprisingly the car was white. I got in the passengers seat.
The boy sat in the drivers seat and he started the car. Before we pulled out of the parking space he said, "Good choice, Wanderer," and jabbed a needle in my neck.
Within seconds I was out cold.