"Stop pacing." Zach groaned. He sat with his knees drawn up slightly and his eyes towards the ceiling. His arms were resting on his knees and his hands hung limply over the edge of them. "Amelia, I said stop pa-"
"Pacing, I know. I heard you." I didn't stop pacing.
"Then why aren't you doing it?" He rolled his head to face me.
"Because I don't want to!" I snapped. I ran a hand through my hair. I stopped suddenly. "Why are you so calm?"
"Because." He shrugged and turned to look back at the ceiling.
"Because?" I demanded and kicked his leg.
"Hey! Don't do that!" Zach glared at me and scowled.
"Then answer the question!"
"Because they'll get us out of here, don't sweat it." I growled at his flippant response.
"You don't know that." I slumped down next to him. I'd been pacing our dingy cell for what felt like hours. I'd tapped on the walls to find some sort of weak spot and nothing. It was just one single slab of concrete with a thick metal door. I sighed and closed my eyes.
"Hey." Zach whispered. "We're getting out of here."
"Zach, what we've done is illegal."
"Amelia, we do illegal every day and it always ends up right. Stop worrying."
"But what if it doesn't? What if they try but fail? What if they don't even try? You remember Bobby, right? No one went to help him and now he's doing twenty five to life."
"Okay, first of all, Bobby was a dick and no one liked him. Secondly, he killed people, we didn't-"
"We stole from Buckingham Palace." I pointed out.
"Shush, I'm talking." I scowled at him. "And they have no proof." I rolled my eyes. They didn't need proof. "As I was saying, he killed people, we didn't. Thirdly, Sam is totally into you and he's the leader so..."
"Sam does not like me!" I protested. Zach quirked his eyebrow. I blushed and looked down. We sat in silence for a while and I played the events of the last week over in my head.
We were sat around the table at the flare. I couldn't tell you where it was, Sam has a big privacy thing. No one knows where he lives- and believe me, it's not for lack of trying.
"We have a job." Sam threw a folder down onto the table. We looked up at him expectantly. "I haven't agreed to take it." My jaw dropped. I'd never known Sam to turn down a job. Ever. It looked like the others were thinking along the same lines. Annabel and Elizabeth were whispering to each other, as they often did in their strange twin way. Zach was staring at me from across the table, and Oliver, my cousin, was opening and closing his mouth as if he was trying to talk but nothing came out. "Take a look for yourselves." Sam gestured to the file. I tentatively reached out towards the folder and pulled it towards me. The name on the folder wasn't one I recognised. Anthony Wilson. Sam usually only dealt with people we knew. This job had to be special. I sucked in a breath and looked Sam in the eye.
"No way. We could never pull this off." I told him. He just shrugged as if to say 'whatever' and I passed the folder along.
Annabel and Elizabeth stayed silent and slid it across to Zach. His face darkened immediately.
"No way." The folder was passed to Oliver.
"Oliver?" Sam asked. Oliver glanced up but never moved his head. He closed the folder and slid it back to the middle of the table. He nodded.
"We'll vote then." Sam said. "Those in favour of taking the job, raise your hand." Zach and I kept our hands firmly planted across our chests. Four other hands went up. Sam smiled. "We take the job then."
Things went downhill from there. Fast.
"Amelia and Zach should do it." Elizabeth suggested during the planning stages.
"What?" I almost choked on my water. "Uh, no. Zach and I were both against this, if you remember. No way are we doing it."
"I agree with Beth." Annabel said. I rolled my eyes. Of course she did.
"To be fair, the plan we have... You guys suit it best." Oliver refused to meet my eyes when he said that. I stared at them all.
"You have got to be kidding me!" I yelled.
"They're right, though." Zach said.
"Zach. So. Not. Helpful." I growled at him.
"Just telling the truth." He shrugged. I glared at him.
"Fine!" I sighed. "When is this happening?"
And then we got caught. I closed my eyes and dropped my head onto Zach's shoulder. "This is your fault." I mumbled. Zach just hummed in answer. I was surprised. He'd usually fight back, argue his corner but nothing.
"Wait. Is this your fault?" I pushed myself off him and the wall so I could face him. Zach avoided looking me in the eye. "Zach." I said slowly. "What did you do?"
Before I got an answer I heard footsteps moving away from the door. Someone was leaving. Slowly, I pushed myself off the floor and walked towards the door. The last time I had done this, there has only been one guard out there and someone had just left. I didn't hear anyone come in his place. I thought it was a foolish hope. I was sure there would be someone else there. Maybe I just hadn't heard it. I was wrong.
No one was outside the door. The corridor was completely empty. Well, what little I could see of it was.
"Zach?" I whispered.
"Is he gone?" I jumped at the closeness of his voice. He was right behind me. When did he even get off the floor!
"Don't do that! And yes."
"Then it's time to go."
"If you haven't noticed, we're locked in here. We can't get out." I crossed my arms.
"Are we?" He asked me.
"Are we?" I repeated. Zach reached behind me and pushed. The door was unlocked. I stared at him. "You planned this, didn't you?"
"Let's go." He took my hand and started pulling me out of the room.
"Zach!" I yelled in frustration. "Answer me, dammit!"
"Yes, okay? We planned this." He growled. "Now let's go."
"You know the way out then?" I asked.
"Not a clue." He shrugged.
"What?" I shrieked.
"Well there's not exactly a schematic for this place readily available, is there?" Zach rolled his eyes. "That's why we're here. We're going to map this place out."
"Are you serious right now?"
"Unfortunately so." He paused. "Right or left?"
"Left?" I guessed.
"Let's go then."
My head was reeling. The plan was to get caught and map this place out? Why? What good would it do us to have a plan of this place? There was nothing here to steal, just prisoners. It didn't make any sense.
Our soft shoes fell silent along the stone corridors. Zach kept noting down numbers on a scarp of paper he'd kept in his pocket. We weren't really going about this mapping thing very systematically really but I didn't point this out. Nor did I ask how we planned to actually get out. We hadn't encountered any guards yet and I could only thank whatever deity is out there for that small mercy.
But it was never going to last.
I almost swore when I heard the footsteps running toward us. I pulled Zach around a corner and pressed us close together between two pillars. Hidden from sight as long as they didn't-
"Check the side wing!"
Shit. That. As long as they hadn't done that.