Songbird Trilogy Book 1: The Maze Girl (complete)
Author: Julia R. West

Chapter 10
Welcome to Death

I can't stop thinking about that day when I turned Orion in, a day I hadn't thought about, let alone talked about for a year, at least. I haven't brought those two sencences he said to me to the front of my mind until now.

I'm so lost in thought I don't realize when we've landed. Rory has to shake my out of the world in my head. I go down the navy blue hallway and get my things. I'm glad I didn't unpack much, because we are in a great hurry.

I walk out behind Soren, watching his every move. Maybe it was him, sneaking around for his dad. No, I tell myself, it's not. He was in his bed when I checked. He couldn't have stolen the ring.

The welcome banner on the hotel looks to happy for what really is going on. In perky letters it mocks me. 'Welcome Teryn Westfall, Soren Lockhart, Ellery Rowe, and Rory Griffin!' it says in real life. But in my mind, 'Welcome to death!' is tagged on at the bottom. Because that's what they're welcoming us to, right? It's always a possibility.

We take our things into the hotel. This time, I am room 113, which should be easy to remember because it is exactly one hundred more than my original number. The hotel, The King's Knight Inn, (which I personally think is beyond cheezy) has many stories with balconies held up by golden pillars. I heard somewhere back home about how it was named for two business men, by the surnames of King and Knight, but I'm not sure.

One thing I am sure about, is that if my family took a trip, this would be one place we would pass right by. I'm sure it's immensly expensive. But this is an all expense paid trip. To death, I add in my thoughts.

Dmitria gets off the plane, along with the person who was our pilot that whole time, who introduces himself as Julius Amherst. He seems friendly. His eyes are distinctly a bright blue, and his hair resembles Rory's a lot. He shakes hands with Teryn, Soren, me, and finally Rory. I wait for Rory to catch up, because the is the only one here who will speak to me anymore.

"What room are you in?" I ask him.

"Umm," he says, looking at his wrist. He must have written it down to remember. "135. Third floor, I think."

"113. Third floor."

I follow him in. The lobby is just as magnificent as the outside of the King's Knight. Dmitria and Julius check us in while we all find our rooms. Soren takes the stairs and Teryn is on the first floor, so Rory and I take the elevator to avoid them all. His room turns out to be on the fourth floor, not the third, so I drop off my suitcase inside my room, pick up the key, and am careful to lock it. I'm sure that in a four star hotel like this, the keys only work for their assigned rooms.

I follow Rory in the elevator. We're alone. He puts down his luggage, which he's been carrying since we stepped off the plane, and stretches his arms. I grab his hand on it's way down and decide this is the time to do it if there ever was one.

I lean my lips up until they're touching his. He doesn't resist, and we kiss the whole way up. But my thoughts prevent me from enjoying it. This is all wrong. I could die, or he could die, so what is this for? What happened to our old friendship? And in this moment, when I, myself, willingly lean in to kiss Rory on the lips, I realize that this isn't what I want us to be. I want us back. As friends.

He pulls away as the elevator doors open. They close and I press three. It's funny how this, this simple event of us both being pulled for The Drawing, has changed who we are forever. Who we are individually, and who we are together. Before all of this, the thought of kissing him never crossed my mind.That was before all of this.


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