Now it was near the end of the week, everyone was making plans for the temporary freedom of the weekend.
Well, except Leo and I.
We weren’t allowed off campus.
All these plans however seemed to be in jeopardy.
“Apparently,” Rin whispers looking irritated yet gleeful to have some gossip. “They’re thinking of banning off campus trips due to all this leaking stuff.”
I shrug and Leo stuffs the rest of his cold pizza breakfast down his throat.
“Makes no difference to us. Thanks to Matt, were not allowed out anyway.” I look pointedly at the bandage on my arm, reminding myself to go to the Nurse and get her to heal it up a bit.
Leo swallows loudly and nods.
“What difference would it make anyway? Obviously the Mole is getting the info out there some other way. There’s been articles almost every day this week.”
Rin shrugs and Roan looks thoughtful.
“You have a point.” Roan shifts Rin on his lap so he can turn to face us more. “But The Head would want to be seen as having some semblance of control when things are spiralling out of it. Taking away our sole privilege would also increase the hatred for the Mole, enforcing the us against them thinking she’s probably going for.”
“So you’re saying she’s purposefully trying to piss us off so we all band together to find the Mole?”
Rin frowns, looking annoyed.
“Essentially yes, though I think I put it better.”
Leo pulls a face at him and eyes my half eaten croissant. I push it towards him and he grins, diving into it.
I have no idea how he stays in such good shape.
Rin folds her arms and shots Roan with puppy dog eyes, running her finger over the bump in Roan’s shirt where the leather chord around his neck ends in an object.
“But we were going to have a real date!” She whines, her voice hitting a pitch I’m sure was making dogs howl somewhere.
Roan strokes her hair.
“We’ll just have to switch the scene. We can have a picnic on the field. I’ll bring some blankets, a bit of wine, chocolate-”
“Oh yuck guys,” Leo drops my empty plate onto the coffee table and drops his arm around my shoulder. “Do you mind?”
Roan gives him an annoyed look.
“Yeah I do, that’s why I was complaining.”
“Okay, before you guys start throwing slaps and pulling hair, I’m breaking this up.”
I grab Leo’s arm and haul him off the sofa. “I want to go to the art room so Leo can come with me and you guys can…whatever.”
“What? I don’t want to look at art-!”
I zap him lightly and pull him along behind me, letting go when he becomes less of a dead weight and follows fairly willingly.
“Are we actually going to the art room?” He moans, rubbing his arm.
I sigh and turn down the corridor, the plain brick walls becoming covered with art, on the walls, the floor and the ceiling. It was as if a rainbow had exploded in the room.
“I want to see some of that Madouc girls art.”
Leo sighs, holding open the door for me as I turn into the sixth form art room where random still life scenes are scattered around the room.
“Is this about the murder joke I made? ‘Cause I don’t see anyone daring to actually try and kill you, Rose.”
“No!” I scan the walls. “Well maybe a little. I just want to see them.”
Leo grabs my shoulder and turns me a full hundred and sixty degrees.
“They’re in the corner.”
I rush over to the huge stack of canvases resting against the wall and turn around the most recent one.
Leo was right, it was a mass of colour, more like surrealism than anything.
“How the hell do you understand this?” I ask slightly disappointed at just how random it all seems.
“That’s the problem. She can usually tell what’s it’s about roughly and give hints but-”
“It’s about the Mole.” A familiar voice says quietly, coming up behind us. She’s wiping her hands with a multi-coloured, paint stained towel and points to what looks like a cage where fire licks against the sides, a metal cross melts in the heat and black eyes glare out of the flame. A paint smear sits alongside them, in the shape of a person but a multitude of colours as if she hadn’t cleaned her brush properly.
The cage sits in front of a brick wall that drips with blood, one dribble of it seeming to turn into red hair framing a blank face.
“What does it mean?” I ask.
Madouc shrugs, eyes wandering over her own piece as if it’s a stranger.
“All I know is it’s about the Mole and I think you have something to do with it.”
I look to Leo but find they’re both looking at me.
“Me? Why me?”
She points to the eyes in the fire and the blood head on the wall.
“The red hair, black eyes and just a feeling. I wanted to tell you yesterday but… I didn’t want to scare you.”
“What does it mean that I’m in the fire and blood on the wall?”
She shakes her head.
“No, the cage is the Mole. You are, or will be, part of the Mole. The blood on the wall… It just means sacrifice, the cross is there too.”
I follow her finger to another blood trail and sure enough the cross is there too, only bigger.
“Whoever or whatever the cross represents, they lose a lot more than you do.”
“So that person is religious?” Leo asks, rubbing the back of his head.
“Maybe, something about the cross is significant to them at least. Apparently how people perceive Rose is important to her or whoever that person is.”
I frown, a headache building at my temples.
“You paint this kind of stuff every time?”
She nods, turning it back around and stacking it against the wall.
Leo shakes his head and groans as the loud clanging of Mrs. Oscar with her bell drifts down the hall.
“You didn’t mind us looking did you?” I ask, chewing on my lip.
“No, my pictures get looked at all the time. I’m used to it.” She smiles kindly and we thank her before leaving.
Leo is quiet as we walk down the colourful corridor, eyes on the painted floor.
“Leo, I’m not going to get murdered.” I sigh, guessing at his thoughts.
“Yeah, I know.” He sighs. “I just don’t want you to get hurt.”
Our eyes meet and we slow to a stop.
Tell him! Tell him!
I open my mouth, breath just about forming his name when we hear a familiar whisper.
“You sure they’re not going out?” Rin whispers.
We smile to each other and turn to face Rin and Roan.
“I did it again didn’t I?”