As Jet strode stalked through the hollow followed by Alex, voices dropped to hushed whispers, as people stared with curiosity, and shot glares of hostility. Alex looked uneasy, as if being in such a familiar place gave him chills. Jet realized this and slowed his pace, looking into his eyes. He gently squeezed Alex’s hand thoughtfully, and then continued on. When the reached the sit in front of where Sophie sat, they stopped. Looking down at her, he spoke.
“We need to talk. Bring your backup.” His voice was cold. He probably had a hatred for me, after all, he had grown close to Alex. Closer than me. Maybe even closer than KD. Close enough to be lovers, really…
God knows what Alex had told him about, but something he had said had got Jet convinced that I was horrible scum that deserved nothing, not even Dirt.
Georgia put her food down at hearing her name, and tensed, waiting for Her superiors reply.
“Okay, what do you want to talk about?” She said in a challenging tone.
“Not here.” He spat meanly, as if it as so obvious that the fact I even pretended to play dumb was annoying.
“Fine.” I rose to my feet and stepped around him, not meeting any eyes of my team, and lead the two of them, as well as Georgia to my tent.
When we all settled down, Jet cleared his throat.
“There are two other guests that want to discuss the same matter as I do.” He flicked his eyes to the text flap as if moved, revealing a solemn KD.
I had to stop my mouth from falling open as he moved inside, – and was followed by John.
“Sophie…” He nodded a greeting, and quietly settled onto the ground.
We all sat in a circle, silent for a while. There was an uncomfortable amount of tension present, and I truly wanted nothing more than to not be in this situation.
Closing my eyes are furrowing my eyebrows, I spoke breaking the silence.
“For the moment, I will ignore that there are at least 10 rules of the game being broken by just everyone being here, so I can get this over with.” I lifted my frustrated tone slightly, and opened my eyes, staring at Jet. “what do you want?”
“We need to discuss Sam.” KD said with emptiness. “He needs to be dealt with, but not in the way we’ve been approaching the situation so far.”
I stayed still, waiting for him to continue.
When Alex spoke up, my eyes switched to his painful face.
“Sam isn’t who he used to be, we all know that.” Alex’s eyes gazed around the room slowly, hovering on each of us for a few seconds. He could see us all remembering the old memories of Sam pass through our eyes.
“Sophie-” Jet cut in
I looked up, frowning.
“He needs to go, and now.” He paused. “to bring him down once and for all, we need eachothers skills and players. If we team up, we can get him. What do you say we kill him together, so everyone can be satisfied?”
For a few seconds, the only thing you could hear, was the crackle of the fire outside of the tent, and crickets chirping the echoed from the depths of the forest.
I stared at him in disbelief, my mouth slightly agape.
“Absolutely not.” I replied firmly. “Sam is just confused, we can still save him-”
“No we can’t.” John countered.
“There’s good in Sam, I know there is,’
“Do you remember what he did when he left?” His words were said with regret, as if he felt like it was his fault.
He had always felt responsible for me.
“That, wasn’t, the real Sam – he had been thrown into a war, and had only just returned! He was confused! he must have had seen horrible things!”
“That’s only an excuse! That doesn’t change who he was or who he is now! What he did – happened, and there is nothing, anyone can do to change that.” His strong words hovered in the air for a while, and I felt guilty. Maybe that was what he had wanted to say in the first place…but I had the feeling he wanted to say more, things he didn’t want to say in front of the other people around us.
“We don’t have to kill him.” I pushed on.
“Oh really?” KD’s voice drawled along, as usual. “And what do you suggest we do?”
(sometimes I wanted to slap that child)
“We get him to leave, If we can-”
Jet cut in suddenly; “Do you really think he would just get up a leave? After everything so far? Come on Sophie, you have a whole team depending on you to lead to a better light, you can’t afford to let his attitude towards John to continue.
“I’m not killing him.” I hesitated for a second, and then turned to John. “John…I want to speak with you, alone.”
He stared deep into my eyes, and I could feel him reaching inside of me, holding my soul in his cool hands and breathing in, I felt light, and full of crisp air.
Saying nothing, he slowly rose off the ground and turned exiting the tent. I followed him, motioning for georgia to stay put. I gave her a quick look, which she acknowledged by nodding sharply.
Keep them talking, ask them about what kind o game they’re good a hunting, stay away from the subject of Sam, try to distract Alex. Ask about how everything works in ‘the lost boys’.
When we emerged from the tent, John turned around, waiting for me.
“let’s take a walk-”
“To the tree house, I know” John interrupted, almost with mockery of a child TI a ‘clueless’ mother.
Ignoring his fresh attitude, we trekked silently through the forest. We passed through the hollow on the way and I remembered something that I’m pretty sure crossed Johns mind too. I remembered when Sam had returned from the war, he had stumbled into this same spot. If only if I hadn’t said that, if only I had thought it through more, then maybe…
I snapped back into reality when I heard Johns low voice.
“Do you want to go up first?” his eyes were empty. I remember when we would visit the treehouse everyday before the war. I remembered how we would visit sometimes after the war started. I remembered that his eyes were full of laughter…and lies, and pain, and suffering, and sadness, and death. He was lonely, and rejected anyone who tried to reach out to him.
If anyone could do it, I would think it would have to be the girl he cared most for. Maybe Sarah or KD…I didn’t know if John even had a girl he cared for deeply. He may not seem it, but when it comes to girls, he’s shy, and I mean blushing-stuttering-awkward and nervous. It makes me want to laugh a little when you put that next to his developed cool and collected personality.
“No, you can climb up first.” he turned around and started to make his way up the wooden boards that had been nailed to the tree many years ago.
We reached the too and hauled ourselves up onto the floor, and crawled to opposite sides of the structure, where we sat leaned up against the wall, and stared at each other. I didn’t expect John to be the first to speak.
“I’ve been…wanting to talk to you…not about Sam…I wanted to know about you…and everyone else…is everything okay?”