Chapter 1

Answers

When I woke up, I was in a pitch black room. I could see nothing except darkness. The only sound I heard was soft breathing. My breath started coming faster and my heart pounded when I realized it wasn't only mine – I wasn't alone. My breathing sped up my heart pounded. I wasn't really even sure what I was scared of. I sat up quickly and looked around for the source of the noise. In front of me: blackness. To my left: more blackness. To my right: I looked and almost screamed. But then, as my eyes adjusted, I realized it who it was. Him.

My mind cleared and my heart and breathing slowed to a more natural pace. It was him; I was safe.

I sighed, wishing for what seemed like the millionth time that I knew where I was. Apparently he heard me, because he sat up and whispered my name into the darkness.

"I'm here," I said softly, thankful that I had recovered my ability to speak.

"Do you know what they're going to do to us?" He asked me, his perfect voice suddenly scared.

Just then I heard loud footsteps echoing off the walls and a light shined through a high window over a door, neither of which I had known were there.

He looked at me with wide eyes and leaned over to whisper in my ear.

"Pretend to be asleep! Quick!" He whispered.

He darted under the covers and I was about to follow when the door slammed open. I screamed.

Even though I had no idea who was in the doorway, the bright red hair looked familiar. And I was pretty sure that was a bad thing.

"Looks like our little Rosie is up," she said in a high, menacing voice. I gulped and looked to him, and he whispered 'sorry' almost inaudibly. I didn't even see his lips moved. I might have imagined it.

I turned my attention to the redhead.

"Wh-who are you?" I demanded, trying (and failing) to keep my voice from shaking. She just smirked and stalked forward.

I was about to scream again when something banged into me and I was knocked to the floor. I probably should have blacked out, but I didn't. It could have been from pure willpower; I didn't know.

A throbbing pain in my left ankle kept me from standing up, so instead I looked around. What I saw was frightening.

He and the redhead were circling each other, as if wrestlers in a ring. The sight brought back a memory- I was lying on a dirty floor, embarrassed, hurt, and angry. He was fighting another boy I didn't recognize, and I could hear the chant of "Fight! Fight! Fight!", though it seemed distant.

I wondered how I had fallen. With a jolt I realized that he had just saved me. The only explanation I could come up with was that he had knocked me to the floor and chosen to fight her. To save me. Me!

I wondered again if he felt the same way about me as I felt about him. But I had no time to ponder this, as she had swung. I held my breath as I stared up at them, seeing him dodge and swing back at her.

It was only when I blinked that I realized I was crying. I touched my cheek and felt the wetness of my tears. I was surprised I could even still cry after all I'd gone through. I only wished that I could remember what it was that I had gone through.

I was snapped out of my reverie when I heard a thump. With a gasp of surprise I glanced to the side. The woman's red hair was sprawled out in front of me, her head slightly bloody. I glanced up at him, and he was looking down at me frantically.

"Are you alright?" he asked. I just nodded, not knowing how else to respond in a situation like this.

After looking at me carefully, he bent down to examine me. His hands roamed my body, lightly, checking for injuries. I yelped when he got to my ankle.

"Does that hurt a lot?" He asked me. I nodded through fresh tears. He frowned.

"I'm going to feel your ankle some more. Try not to cry out." Seeing my incredulous look, he smiled sympathetically. "I know it hurts you, but I need to make sure it's not broken without them discovering us. Just squeeze my hand when you want to scream," he said, offering me his hand.

I squeezed. Hard.

He looked at me sympathetically. "Sorry, Rose," he said.

"Where are we?" I asked, not able to bear the curiosity. He looked up horrified.

"You don't remember? Nothing?" his voice was surprised.

"Wh-what's wrong?" His frantic expression scared me. He sighed.

"Nothing. I'm just dreading explaining it all to you. So… you don't remember me? At all?"

"No." I replied. "Well, sort of."

He looked up hopefully.

"I remembered your face, and I knew you were good, and–" I stopped, coming very close to revealing my secret.

"What?" he asked eagerly.

"And I…" I began, not sure how to tell him. I decided not to. "I'm scared."

"Of course, baby. Now, your ankle looks horribly swollen; I don't think you can walk on it. Sorry about that, by the way. But luckily it's not broken."

"So… how do we get out?" I wondered aloud.

"Well, I was going to carry you, if that's okay," he said, looking up at me hopefully. I nodded and smiled slightly.