I knew it was Gabe because of the shock of black hair that lay around his head, some sticking to his forehead. It had at some point been pulled from his signature pony tail. He looked pale and his eyes were rimmed with black. Like Will he had taken a beating. The bright crimson red of the impact points on his face contrasted with his pale skin and by the way he was groaning in pain I knew that if I looked at the rest of his body it would be covered in similar red patches where bruises would later form.
I looked at Will once more before heading to Gabe's side. I kneel next to his bed and gently move the hair away from his forehead which is plastered in sweat. His clothes are also wet with the same cool sweat from the exertion of the day's events. His injuries don't seem too bad so I don't think it necessary to carry out the same procedure I had on Will. Instead I decide to put him in some clean clothes and let him rest for the night. Gabe was a lot leaner than Will so it was easier for me to move him, but it was still a challenge to get off his old clothes and replace them with new ones. When I have nearly done I notice the tattoo on his lower chest where his T-shirt was riding up. It was just a simple curving line, nothing out of the ordinary, but I can't help being slightly fascinated by it and before I can stop myself I start tracing it with my finger. When Gabe emits a soft moan of pleasure, I instantly snap out of my trance and remove my fingers from his stomach, then pull up the covers over his body.
What the hell was I doing.
Xander came back next. Nothing even seemed wrong with him. Almost immediately after falling from the chute, his brown eyes snap open and his signature smirk falls back on his lips, I see only the slightest wince of pain as he stands up from his bed, presumably from his fall down the chute as he looks unharmed.
He walks towards me and before I can react wraps his strong arms around me, fixing me in place against his body.
"Miss me?" he whispers in my ear.
"Hell no" I say loud enough for the others to hear me with just enough laughter in my voice to let him know I was joking.
As he laughs at what I said, he pulls me closer to him and I can feel the rumble of his laughter reverberate in his chest. He eventually pulls away to allow him to examine the rest of the room.
"Wow, you look crap" he says, as he observes the other two lying there. I hadn't realised before but Gabe was now sat up in his bed watching us. When I caught eye contact with him he smiled at me and his green eyes brightened.
"How the hell did you manage to get out like that?" Will grumbles
"Well I figured that if I didn't move the shadow dudes would have no reason to either. So I just sat there for like hours and eventually fell asleep. When I woke up they weren't there and a trapdoor was open so I just went down it." We all look at him in astonishment as his smirk grows into a full blown smile "I know I'm a genius. Speaking of which, how did you get out? Cause it looks like you are the only one apart from myself who isn't injured." He asks looking at me.
"Switch under the table, opened the trapdoor" I reply. Now it was his turn to look shocked and I knew Gabe wore a similar expression, Will was just sitting there looking at me having already heard the news.
"That a girl" Xander shouts hoisting me over his shoulder and spinning me round.
He sets me down on my feet and looks around.
"Addy isn't here" He mutters and immediately the whole atmosphere changes.
Xander goes to his bed and sits down, whilst Will and Gabe just lay back down quietly to rest. I on the otherhand go to sit on the battered sofa and hope for Addy's safe return.
I hadn't moved when the projection lit up, I was still staring into the same space I had been before. The whole other end of the room was illuminated by it's glow.
That was your first trial. There will be more. Numbers who have not returned to the dorms will not be returning again. They have been disposed of. Congratulations to the survivors.
With that the room returned to it's previous state, except this time the boys look outraged. Xander is on his feet screaming profanities at the top of his voice, whilst Will and Gabe struggle against the bed sheets to get out.
"Guys" I try to say, but they don't hear me, or they choose not to.
"GUYS" I shriek, this time when they turn to look at me, the silence is deafening.
"I know she was like a sister to you, but there is nothing we can do, they have probably already taken her away, at least she isn't being held here against her will any more." They all seem to have tears in there eyes, and they honestly look defeated " All you can do now for her is get out of here, that is what she would have wanted. You never know she might be okay, they didn't say they killed her, did they, there is still hope, she might have been returned home" I couldn't help the sound of doubt that slipped into my voice "We can't lose anyone else now, we're a team, we have to keep going for Addy. For her"
My words seem to have shook some sense into them, as they begin to look more like the boys I first saw when I got here.
"I'm sorry" Xander whispers, but to who I couldn't tell.
"Sweetheart, it's time for school" My mum calls from the kitchen.
"I..." I trail off, looking around. Something doesn't feel right, I just can't quite place what it is.
"ADDY, get up" My younger brother screeches as he belly flops onto my bed next to me "It's time for school"
"Okay Flynn" I kick him out my room and get dressed, before heading down to greet my mum in the kitchen. I grab a couple of pancakes from the stove and hungrily consume them.
"Addy, a sixteen year old should not eat like that, you're a young lady now"
By the time she's finished I have already finished and am out the door on my way to school
"Love you mum" I shout back
As I trudge through the banks of snow, making my way towards Greywald high school, it hits me.
What my mum said earlier, 'sixteen'
A cold shiver runs down my back.
I can't remember turning sixteen.