I dont know yet(:


3. The New Me

I wake up he next day around 9am, still in the car. I keep my eyes closed and just listen for a minute. There is no music, just the hum of the engine. I slowly sit up and stretch, taking in my surroundings. We are somewhere in the countryside. Lots of square fields and old houses. I glance over at Kayden before saying good morning.

"You sleep talk." He says. My brow furrows.

"What did i say?" I ask, hoping it wasn't embarrassing.

"Something about cliffs and jumping. Are you planning your suicide?" He asks in a mocking tone.

"Not that I know of." I mutter, smiling and rolling my eyes. It must've been a reflection of the story Matt told yesterday. Was that really only yesterday? "So where are we headed?" I ask, innocently.



"Yeah. We need somewhere low key to get cleaned up."

"What do you mean cleaned up?"

"If I'm going to protect you, you can't look like that." He says.

"Look like what?" I ask,  somewhat offended.

"Like you."

A half hour later we pulled into what is called Hanksville. It's a small family owned farm town. My kind of place. We go to the only Walmart in a 70 mile radius and get out of the car. 

"Alright. Hair die, you pick. Get me a darker shade. Scissors, a razor and at least two changes of clothes." He says as we walk in.

"What!? Hair die? For what?" I ask, confused despite the simplicity of the request.

"For your hair of course." He says smiling as he walks away. I stand in shock at the request before getting my bearings and head for cosmetics. I get Kayden a deep deep shade of brown, almost black, and me a shade of dark burgundy red. I've always wanted to go darker, but I've never had the guts or the cause to. I grab a pack of men's razors, hair scissors and head for clothing.

It's Walmart. You only have so many options. I scan them quickly and decide on a pair of jeans and a pair of green cargo pants. I grab a white tshirt and a blue and white jersey for whatever the local college is. I reach in my pocket for my cell phone only to remember that I no longer have one.  I head towards the cashiers and look around. Kayden isn't anywhere in sight, so I rummage through the sunglass rack. I find a pair of brown aviators that I like and add them to my basket.

Kayden meets me up front shortly after and pays for everything, including a couple outfits for himself, in cash.  We head back for the car silently. How do you make small talk with the guy who kidnapped you?

We get in and I set the bag by my feet. This time I don't ask where we are going. We don't get back on the freeway but continue down the main street.  We pull off to the right into a Marriott parking lot. Kayden parks the car and I carry the bag in, following close behind him. He grabs my hand. Instinctively I return the gesture, only to realize a second later what just happened. We walk up to the front desk and speak to a desk manager. He is tall and skinny. Maybe in his late 30's and has a heavy southern accent.

"Hi," Kayden says in an unusually cheerful voice, "my wife and I are wondering if you have any rooms available?" He asks. So I'm his wife now. Great.

"Yes sir, we have a medium sized common room with one king sized bed. Will that work for you?" The man asks.

"That would be great!" Kayden says, happily. He hands the cashier a credit card and the man swipes the card. He swipes a room key and punches in some numbers before handing Kayden the card.

"There you are, sir. Room 418 is upstairs on the right about 10 doors down." He says with an over enthusiastic smile.

"Thanks." Kayden says and we turn to walk away.

We walk over to the elevator, still hand in hand. Once we get inside, Kayden pushes four and we start moving up. After a second, I realize he hasn't let go of my hand. I glance up at him and he makes no sign of acknowledging our intertwined hands. Once we get to four, he elevator beeps and the doors slide open. That's when he awkwardly lets to of my hand.  We walk down the hall way and find the door on the right. Kayden slides the card in the slot and the door unlocks. He pushes it open to reveal our hotel room. Immidiatley to the right is the sink and closet. Then a door, which, I presume, leads to the bathroom. Straight ahead is a queen sized bed and a couch, facing a desk, a tv and a small refrigerator.  We walked in and I set the bag on the couch, looking around.

"We should get started on changing our appearance." He said. I nodded. In a way, this could be considered a fun adventure; kidnapping, avoiding confrontation and changing my appearance. But at the same time, it's not a game: our lives are in danger. I dump the contents of the bag on the bed. I grab my 2 pairs of pants and 2 shirts and fold them neatly. I set them aside and grab the hair dies. I hold of the one I choose for kayden. He takes it and looks at it.

"Looks good! I like it. How do I do it?" He asks. I laugh and take the box back.

"I can do it for you if you want." I offer.

"That'd be great." He says with a smile.

I take his box and go over to the sink. I start mixing the chemicals to make a black goo. After a few minutes, I grab the chair from the desk and pull it over I front of the sink.

"Alright. Come here." I say, my work station ready.

He walks over and sits down facing the mirror.

"Alright. Uhm, can you take your shirt off?" I ask plainly.

He looks up at me in the mirror with a crooked smile.

"Because...?" He asks suspiciously.

"So I don't stain it!" I say half defensive, half laughing.

He stands up and pulls his shirt off from the back. I try not to state but its kind of hard. He isn't any body builder, but those are some vey nice abs. I look away until he sits back down and then hand him a towel that he drapes over his shoulders.

"Is there any specific way you want me to go any this..?" I ask.

"Nope! Go crazy." He says.  

I was about to dip my fingers into the goo when I realized I didn't have music. I always have music. I walk over to the desk and turn on the iHome. It is preset to a modern music station. I change it immediately. I skim the channels, quickly finding the local country station.  I smile to myself and walk back over to Kayden, a new bounce in my step. 'I wanna be your Friday night' was on. I hummed along as I dipped my fingers in the sticky black goop. I started on the left side of his head, right above his ear, and started smearing the paste in his hair. I made sure to get all the way to the roots, all the way around. I worked down to the nape of his neck,  and then went to the peak of his forehead and worked my way down the right side. I slowly run my fingers through all his hair, making sure I got it all. T looks like I've covered it all, so I wash my hands. The sink fills with black water. My fingers are stained black and I just smile.

"So how log do I have to stay like this?" He asks. I pick up the box and skim the instructions.

"15 minutes." I say. I go back to the bed and grab my box of hair dye and take my shirt off. I leave my tank top on.  I walk back in and start preping my own dye. I begin repeating the process with my own hair and see Kayden watching me carefully in the mirror. i pretend not to but cant help but think its cute; the way he watches me comb through my hair reminds me of a little kid. my arms start to hurt from holding them up by i don't stop. if i stop, ill start thinking to much about what I'm doing here. I notice Kayden humming along to several of the country songs and can't help but find him a little more attractive than before.

"You listen to country?" I ask without taking my eyes off the mirror.  He gives me a half smile.

"Yeah, my mom was a die hard country fan," he says, still fascinated my my hair dying, "she kinda got me obsessed. When my brother isn't around, that's what I listen to." He says.

"How old is your brother?" I ask casually.

"He is 27." He says quietly. I've come across what seems to be a touchy subject. I don't ask anything else, not wanting to push my luck. I finish my hair and sit down on the floor.

"I kidnapped you, Elizabeth." He says looking at the floor.

I almost laugh. Thanks for stating the obvious!

"Yes, you did." I say somewhat confused. He looks down at me, his eyes sad.

"I'm sorry you got dragged into this." He says.

I nod. I'm not exactly ready to fully accept the apology, but the thought is nice. I glance down at my watch.

"Ok!" I say standing up, "time to wash it out. Do you want me to wash it in the sink or do you want to shower? I still have another 5 minutes." I say.

"I'll shower super quick." He says stepping into the bathroom.  I turn To go sit down on the bed when he pokes his head back out.

"Are you going to run away?" He asks, with a suspicious face.

"You caught me!" I say sarcastically. "No. Actually, I'm staying  here. I think I'm safest with you." I say and blush just a little. He nods and shuts the door. The water turns on and I walk over to the bed and grab my 2 pairs of clothes. I put them in the desk drawer and sit at the desk. I stare at the phone. Should I call anyone? Should I not? Kayden would probably be mad. I shouldn't. I'll ask him later. I turn on the TV and flip through the channels. Nothings on. I turn it off and decide to go down stairs. Before I leave i put my gooey hair up, grab the room key and Kaydens wallet.

Downstairs, the lobby is amazing. There are eccentric chandeliers and beautiful paintings. The tables are  made of a dark, polished wood and topped with a flower arrangement. Towards the back was a little cafe and shop. I went in the shop and looked around. The store was mostly made up of little nicknacks with Hanskville written on them. I look around for a minute before leaving. The cafe was closed so I went outside to find somewhere to get food. Across the street was a Wendy's so I headed over.

Inside was a young girl running the cash register.

"Hi! Welcome to Wendy's!" She said cheerfully. I smiled and looked at the menu. I had no idea what Kayden would want to I got a chicken sandwich and a regular hamburger, two fries and two ice creams. I payed the woman, thank her and leave.

I walk back across the street and into the hotel.  I smile at the cashier and push the button on the elevator. I ride it up to the fourth floor and open our door. Kayden has a gun out and is pointing it at me.

"Ohmygosh! Kayden!" I hiss, quickly shutting the door behind me, "What are you doing!?" I say. I try and keep my voice down but it's kind of hard. He throws his hands down to his side and I set the food on the desk.

"Where were you!?" He yells.

"I went to get food!" I said, pointing at the food.

"I didn't know where you were! I was worried!"

"Worried what?" I ask, my hand on my hip, "that someone kidnapped me?" I say sarcastically.

"That's not funny. Seriously. I thought something happened to you."

"We'll, I'm sorry." I say, quieter.

"You should have left a note or something," he says setting the gun in the drawer of the night stand.  I just nod and get the food out. 

"I didn't know what you wanted so I got a hamburger and a chicken burger. Which do you want?" I ask.

"I'll take the hamburger," he says coming and taking it from me, "thanks."  I nod again and sundown in the couch with my chicken burger. Kayden turns the TV on and flips to some old show. I eat my burger in silence, feeling bad for not telling  him I was leaving but also a little mad that he got mad.  I finish and throw my wrapper away.

"I'm going to shower." I say and walk away. I go in the bathroom, take my clothes off and turn the water on. I double check to make sure the door is locked before getting in. The water falls brownish red around me. I forgot that I had put the dye in. After ten minutes, I come out nice and clean. I put my dirty clothes back on and put the towel on my head. I walk out to see kayden walking toward me.

"I had a present for you...sort of." He says. I look at him with a suspicious look on my face.

"You do?" I ask

"Yup. Here." He says pulling a small card out of his pocket. At first I thought it was the room key, but on closer inspection, I see that it's a drivers license. My drivers license. Well, sort if. It's my face but not my name. The name is Elena Jones. My birthday is now March 27th. I look up at Kayden, a little confused.

"We can't have you using your old name. This will help keep us safe," he says.

"Did you change yours?" I ask.

"Yeah. I'm Nathan McClain."

"It's nice to meet you Nathan McClain, I'm Elena Jones." I said smiling and extended my hand to the new Kayden.

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