True Memoirs of A Liar 2: Sacrifice
Author: C Lawson

Chapter 25

            I walked with Isaac, doing most of the talking.  Of course, I knew who I’d much rather be talking with, but for the moment, I was using Isaac as a tool.  I was first and foremost getting away from Donald and Peter, because

            A) I wanted to make Peter and Donald wonder where I was, and

            B) I really didn’t feel like staying around either one of them after Madame Verde had predicted that I was going to bring death to… someone.

            “Why are we going to the train station?” I asked, tugging lightly on the bottom of my sweater.  I hadn’t argued when Isaac proposed to rent a scooter and ride them to the train station.  I thought freely about Alex when Isaac remained silent, and let my mind roam over the last few years.  My life was as perfect as it could have been before I’d met him.  It was safe and secure.  Until Alex came along to shake my whole perspective on life, I was plenty sure I’d hit the jackpot.  Until he decided to show up everywhere I was and make me fall in love with him, I’d known who I was.  I knew three basic facts.  One; I was an intelligent, beautiful, content seventeen-year-old orphan.  Two; I was a heartbreaker.  Three; love did not exist for people like me.

            I wrapped my arms around Isaac’s waist, resting the side of my face on his back.  His back was warm.  I almost fell asleep with the heated feeling. “You okay back there?” he called, raising his voice above the wind.

            “Yeah,” I returned. We came to a stop at the train station, walking through the crowd and making our way to the platform with a waiting train, large and hulking. “So, what are we doing here anyway?” I asked, looking up at Isaac.  Had he gotten taller since I’d last seen him? He stared at the train for a long time, just allowing people to pass him by and board it.  Isaac finally turned to look at me.

            “I’m going away for a while,” he stated sternly.  My mouth dropped open.

            “Why?” I wondered, still in shock.  His gaze traveled back to the train, and he took a step towards it.

            “I don’t belong with my family. I’m not happy with them.  I’m the black sheep. I need to figure some stuff out before I can go back.” Isaac turned to me again and hugged me. “Thanks for coming.” I nodded dumbly.

            “Where will you go?” I asked, trying to concentrate on staying in character.

            “I don’t know exactly.” He planted a soft kiss on my forehead, and waited until the last call for the train echoed throughout the platform.  He heaved a sigh and shoved his hands deep inside his pockets before boarding.  He didn’t turn back, didn’t hesitate.  Isaac easily walked onto the train and disappeared in the mass of people.

            I stared after him for a moment, my mind scrambling to find a solution to what had just happened.  Could it really be that easy? Could someone really just leave behind their entire life like that without so much as a backwards glance?  Then, I realized something.  If I had been assigned to the Rainey brothers…twice…then that must mean that someone wanted them dead.  Twice.  And Isaac…no, Isaac would never.  Would he?  Isaac was so human, so vulnerable.  He wasn’t capable of something so sordid and dirty.  Was he?  I couldn’t think without second-guessing myself.  But I knew where I would find the answers to all my questions.

            I had to fly home, immediately.  Screw the other assignments, screw the psychic, screw the disappointed lecture I knew I would get when I arrived with my only unfinished assignment.  I felt a tiny bit guilty for leaving…again.  Especially without saying goodbye, but I had bigger issues at hand.   Besides, I could very well be saving their lives by leaving again.

            The entire ride to my new home, I rested on Samuel, trying to calm myself but too keyed up to sleep.  Samuel stroked the back of my hand with the pad of his thumb rhythmically.  I tried to figure out how I could possibly word this to Mr. Stone without getting myself killed.  Well, Alex wasn’t there…it wouldn’t matter.

            I was led up to his floor by Othello, the largest of my guards, and soon broke away from him, running to Mr. Stone’s door.  I couldn’t even bring myself to knock on it.  I felt like burning the door down. I kicked the door only once before it opened, taking the air around me with it.  I blinked, letting my eyes adjust to the dim room.

            “Good evening,” Mr. Stone greeted, unsurprised by my sudden arrival.  A goon had probably called him.  Mr. Stone’s ‘quarters’ were lavishly decorated similar to my own.  Also like my room, his den was full, nearly overflowing, with philosophy books.  I guessed that he was the one who’d selected my reading stash.  I stepped inside with Othello close on my heels.  I looked Mr. Stone over and wasn’t exactly thrilled to find that nothing about him had changed.  There was something timeless about that man.  Sort of like a daughter’s memory of her father.

            “Othello, please wait outside,” I requested in a strained voice.  Othello nodded infinitesimally, treated me to a discreet wink, and moved to stand just to the right of the door.  I shut the door behind him.  I pivoted slowly to turn back to Mr. Stone, trying to stare him down in vain.

            “Now,” Mr. Stone interrupted my thoughts, “to whom do I owe this pleasant surprise?” He folded his slightly aging hands in front of him.  His eyes conveyed something… something that I didn’t know.  Something that gave him immeasurable amounts of sinister pleasure.

            “Yourself.” Mr. Stone raised his eyebrows. “You—” I stopped short when I saw someone round the corner.  I retreated into the door, grinding my teeth against the bolt of pain that shot through my back.  My kryptonite stood only a couple of yards away from me.  I had no idea what expression was on my face.  My muscles were tense and frozen.  Alex looked so handsome in his suit and tie.  His hair was carefully gelled back the way I hated it.  But I still couldn’t resist the way his eyes caressed my face.  I wouldn’t let my body thaw.  Why did he have this affect on me?  Always?  Why couldn’t he just leave me alone?  More importantly, why didn’t I want him to?  I was afraid.  Extremely aware of where we were and whose turf we were on.  But, I surprised myself by the other emotion I felt bubbling past my fear.  I was elated; Alex was so near to me, so close, and I couldn’t have been happier.


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