Chapter 9

Shortly after we eat, we curl up in our tents, but my mind races, and I don't want to think about what Emma said, but I just have a feeling that something is wrong. I'm trembling and I can't stop.

The tent is swirling and my head is hurting.

I get up, stumbling out of the cavern onto the terracing to try and get some fresh air. The air helps, the earth returns to normal. A few minutes later, Emma comes outside. She looks pale and beads of sweat are forming on her forehead.

She collapses onto the terracing, completely oblivious to me.

She sits down wiping the sweat from her brow. She takes deep breaths, and I ask her, "Emma, are you okay?"

She practically jumps a foot in the air, clutching a long silver pocket knife.

"God," she mutters under her breath. "Don't scare me like that!"

"Are you okay?" I repeat.

"Yeah," she pants. "Just peachy."

"What's wrong?" I ask genuinely concerned.

"Why do you have to be a therapist all the time?" She asks with a growl. "I said, I'm fine."

"We both know that you, missy, are wearing a mask. No one is ever fine and peachy and dandy. Life isn't a fairy tale," I retort, using her own words against her.

"What?" She asks heatedly. "You were eavesdropping?" She exclaims questioningly.

"How much did you hear?" She throws her hands in the air and huffs. "You know what? I. Don't. Want. To. Know," she say stressing every word.

She gets up, and stomps back into the cavern.

"Emma! Please she listen to me!" I cry out.

Tears are running down her face, and she turns to me. Her dark purple eyes glisten under the moonlight.

"N-No," she whimpers, grabbing the knife from her pocket. She clutches it tightly, and whispers again, louder this time, "No."

"Get away from me!" she whimpers, backing up slightly.

I slink back to my tent, muttering, "sorry," a few times, and I curl into the sleeping bag soddened with my sweat.

When I wake up, something is wrong, I can feel it.

I crawl out of the tent, and the sight that awaits me is terrifying.

Bloody handprints dot the floor, and written in blood is, "If you ever want to see Emma again, come to the top the mountain. With hatred, L,"

I search for the pocket knife that I keep in my pocket, but then I realize; I placed the pocket knife in my tent.

"Ryan! Wren!" I yell out.

"What?" Wren moans, staying in her tent.

"Come out here! You too Ryan!" I yell out shrilly.

Ryan walk out in a daze, kind of stumbling, and when he sees the blood, he nearly faints.

He reads it, and whispers, "It would be a suicide mission to go to the top of the mountain."

"I don't care," I grumble, forcibly. "We are going to rescue her!" I yell triumphantly.

"Calm down, superhero. We will. Just strategically. Get dressed, grab your gun, I'll grab my dagger, and Wren can use my gun. Just," he sighs. "I know you love her, but calm down,if we go in loud and crazy he will kill her. Calm down."

He places his hands on my shoulders and stares me in the eyes.

"Calm down," he mouths.

I change, grab my gun, and clasp my pocket knife in my sweating hand.

"Head out men! Well, Ryan and Jackson!" Wren calls out.

I sprint all the way up the mountain, and just as we reach the peak, I ready my gun.

"Lemme go," Emma says, muffled by something.

"Ha!" A man chuckles. "Well, well, well then little miss rebound. Does someone miss her boyfriend? Oh, that's right, you are far too disgusting, ugly, rancid, and unappealing in general to have one."

I can hear rustling, and Emma's captor lets out a loud yelp of pain.

"You little bi-" he begins, yet stops, and turns our way.

Luka faces me with a wicked smile.

"Jackson, Jackson, Jackson. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Did you not receive all of my note? It said, 'If you ever wanted to see Emma and again, then don't come up to the mountain'."

"That's a lie, and you know it," Ryan bellows.

He lets out an exasperated sigh, and says to me, "I was hoping not to do this," he says pulling out a gun, and holding it to me at point blank range.

Please review