Alexander gripped my hand tightly and pulled me along. The only difference now was I knew he wasn't angry with me and I knew I wasn't being dragged back to the enemy. The idea of leaving here excited and terrified me at the same time. How long had it been since I had been out in the real world?
He tugged me and I realized I had stopped walking. I blushed and let him pull me through my bedroom door.
"I thought you said we were leaving?" He shut the door behind us and locked it before rummaging through his bag. He pulled out an ordinary backpack and handed to me.
"Fill this up with whatever you think you'll need, but pack lightly; it's going to be a long walk." I nodded and quickly headed to my closet. I immediately reached for one pair of jeans and a few t-shirts. I also grabbed underwear and a fresh pair of socks. I slipped on my tennis shoes and a jacket before returning to my main room.
"Ready?" I was too nervous to speak so I simply nodded and followed him out the door.
This time he didn't reach for my hand, he didn't even bother to check if I was following. His strides were much longer than mine and I had to jog to keep up with him. He darted around corners and I thought I had lost him more than once. By the time he stopped I was tired and frustrated.
The door before us didn't look any different from the many other plain white door but I could tell this one led to my freedom. Alexander's hand hovered over the handle and he looked back at me now. I gave him a short nod to let him know I was ready. He pushed the door open and took off before I could even take in my surroundings. Before I knew it he was out of my sight. I huffed and took off after him.
My legs responded immediately and I ran faster then I ever thought possible. Outside in the open running was easier, I could finally put my abilities to the test. My hair whipped around my head furiously and I had to weave to avoid the dense trees. I'm matter of seconds I found Alexander. He smiled back at me and took off at an even faster pace. I followed further behind and watched as he effortlessly dodged everything in his path. I sped up and closed the distance between us. I was just a foot away when I reached out and grabbed his arm.
The action caused him to abruptly stop and caused me to barrel into him. We fell to the forest floor in a heap and a cloud of dirt surrounded us. I pushed myself off of him and rolled onto my back. I lifted my head and looked to Alexander, like me he was breathing heavily and was covered in dirt. I laughed at how odd this was then laid my head back into the cool dirt.
I closed my eyes and let my myself enjoy they way the sun felt on my skin but not soon after I was shadowed. Alexander stood over me and held out a hand. Despite how badly I wanted to continue to bask in my freedom I took his hand. He pulled me up so fast I almost tumbled into him. He chuckled under his breath and dusted off his pants.
"Sorry for crashing into you." He hefted his bag into his shoulder and began walking.
"We will walk for now, I just needed to get us a safe distance away from the lab. The second Bradley wakes up he'll start looking for you." I wanted to argue but I knew he was right, Bradley wouldn't let me go.
Silence fell between us and for a long time I did nothing but count. Count the trees, count the birds, count the wildflowers. Anything to pass the time. After awhile I began to count out loud but Alexander didn't seem to mind, he kept his gaze forward and his shoulders tense. When I grew bored of counting I started to hum, and when I grew tired of that I began to whistle. Less than thirty seconds after starting Alexander abruptly turned around and glared at me. I sighed and ceased my whistling.
"How much longer? We've been walking for hours and the sun will set soon." He didn't bother answering and began to walk faster. I lengthened my strides to keep up and I fought the urge to sprint just so I could get close enough to hit him. "Seriously?" He shrugged then ducked under a branch. I was just about to complain when I ran into his back. His head snapped in my direction and his eyebrows furrowed.
I stepped back and held my palms up in surrender. He sighed and walked forward into a dense set of trees, I reluctantly followed. My hair caught on a branch, and I was sure to have pine needles imbedded into my hair, but it was worth it. Once through,the land leveled out and the trees thinned. A large pond took up most of the area and the ground was free of rocks. I scanned the space in awe.
I let my bad fall from my shoulders and it hit the ground with a thud. I walked to the edge of the pond and looked out across the glistening water. I could hear Alexander rummaging around but I payed him no attention. I had waited months to be out here, looked through my glass window for months wondering what it would be like out here. It was even better than I had hoped.
"How did you find this?" Alexander joined me at the edge of the water and shoved his hands deep into his jacket pockets.
"Came across it the last time I left." I glanced over at him and took note of his stony expression. I could tell he didn't want to speak further on it but I pushed anyways.
"Why'd you leave last time?" He met my gaze now and stared unblinking for only a moment before turning back and walking away.
"Why do you ask so many questions?" I watched him walk to the boarder of trees that separated the pond from the rest of the forest. "I'm going to go gather some wood, it gets cold at night. Don't wander." He disappeared after that and left me to my thoughts.
I walked back to my bag and plopped ungracefully down beside it. The sun was just starting to wain but still made it through the tops of the trees to shine down on our little oasis. I pushed my backpack beneath my head and laid down in the cool grass. The sun warmed my skin and the grass tickled my skin where it could reach. I raked my hands through the grass at my side and let dirt slide under my nails. Something about the earth made me feel good inside but I knew the feeling wouldn't last long.
I looked to Alexander's duffle off in the distance on my right and sighed. Only two small bags were meant to keep us alive out here. I wanted to trust Alexander knew what he was doing because he had done this before, but things were different this time. He had me to look out for, and I was certain he hadn't packed enough food for the both of us, and he definitely wasn't thoughtful enough to pack blood.
Being out here alone felt safe but with him I felt anxious. If he didn't pack anything for me then he was either expecting me to hold off the hunger, or worse, he was expecting me to snack on him. The thought alone made me hungry which in return disgusted me. He was helping me and I wanted to literally eat him. I laughed at the unfairness of it. I closed my eyes and although I didn't plan on falling asleep, I did. I faintly recall Alexander's return but not much else.
I'd worry about my food source some other time.