The next morning I was awakened by a knock on my door. Groggily and disoriented, I sat up. Rubbing my eyes with my hands and looked around the bare room. The knocking continued at a steady rate. I sighed. "Come in."The door opened and it was Bo.
"Ha!" he said, smiling and feeling victorious. "When you knock enough the door always opens..." He faded off, looking at me. He bashfully looked down. He looked up at me with his sweet brown eyes. "Sorry." He said, quieter. He moved and sat down at the foot of my bed. "I really am. I acted like a jerk. I've just been...Been...Been."He said more aggressively, running his hands through his hair "So stressed! Its not even the competition! Its everything else! Too many people. Too many words said. The competition." He turned quiet again "The King."
"The King?" I asked. "Your brother-Silas?"
"No. Not that King." He said, and I immediately understood. The old king. The one with the murdered brothers. "He refused Finn a meeting with him yesterday. He's going to try again."
"About what?" I asked, thoroughly confused as no one had really explained it further than "Plotting our own demise."
"About your grandmother. To find out what happened? Because, believe it or not, he can't stop us from knowing things. We are the Kings now. Have been for a while actually"He leaned in closer to me, his fingers lifting my chin up to look closer at his eyes. His voice turned soft again "Can you believe it?" He leaned in and gave me a slight kiss "Because I can't." Another soft one that made me melt inside and feel all warm. I could feel heat rushing to my cheeks. "And, believe me. I've been doing it for a while." He gave another kiss, this one larger then the other two. His lips were warm against mine. His other hand made its way to my hair, which most likely was all knotted from sleep and sticking up everywhere, and I wondered how he could do this. Kiss a girl he barely knew so...passionately. I wondered what Gran and Mom would think. Nothing good, most likely.
"You know what?" He murmured turning his face to the side, whispering to my ear.
"What?" I whispered back, even more quiet than he was
"I think that I might go write another poem. Or four."
"Will you recite me one now?" I asked, looking at his sweet eyes. He laughed
"Well, actually, now, We have to go. I was sent because its meal-time and Finn and Jas and Griff and Si thought that it wouldn't be cool for the other Competitors if you didn't have to show up."
"So pretty much-all of them?" I smiled
"You have to come."
"Have to?" I asked. He smiled.
"You've pretty much made it past the first two. We've all unofficially decided. Also, we can't rid of the seven until you come, and for all we know, it could be you."
"But I won't be-right?" I asked. "And thats why they thought that I should come. Because if I didn't it would be a dead giveaway!"
"Sure." He said shortly, standing up and reaching his hands out for me to do the same. I grabbed his warm hands and pulled myself up.
"Turn." I directed and looked in the wardrobe and found it nearly full with clothes. "Why is this here?" I asked "And when?" Bo turned around.
"The maids know who's being eliminated or not, so they filled your closet and the other 14 who will be staying for the time-being with clothes."
"Oh." I said, pulling out another white shirt, this one was more fitted than Bo's. I pulled off Bo's shirt and carefully hung it on a hanger, I pulled the new one on and admired the heavenly feel of freshly washed clothes. I hastily pulled off the pants and hung them in the place of the olive shorts I took. I shimmied into them and turned around to face him. "Ready?" He smiled and walked toward me. He put a hand in my hair-for the second time in probably five minutes, but this time he just mused my hair, tugging a pulling. "What?" I asked, self consciously.
"Your hair." He smiled "Sleep."I laughed and he led me out into the hall, closing the door behind us."
"Are we speaking single syllable now?" I responded. He laughed, and pointed out landmarks to look for on the way to the dining hall.
I pushed open the large wooden doors and saw that, at the end of the table, sat the King. The old one. With the murdered siblings. And standing besides him, holding a massive dagger, stood a girl-well now a woman, with a stern face. She was dressing in black leggings and a shirt with the States' emblem across it. Her hair was in braided plaits. I shivered. Even her hair looked terrifying.
I looked around for a empty spot. There was one next to one of the girls I had never met, and another one I had also never met. I sat. Bo stood, holding his arms in front of him, hands grasped he stood on the top of the steps into the room. The other 6 kings went and joined him there, standing in a line.
"Eliminated from this round it- and terribly sorry Ladies, your all very nice last time I checked," Said King Jasper, taking a step up from the line. King Soren-his twin finished off for him, naming those eliminated. I looked between them, noticing their similarities and wondering why more people didn't mix them up.
"Callie-sorry. Veronica-sorry. Brittanica-sorry." He began, finishing each of them with a lame apology. I had to stifle a laugh as King Soren's face while reading the names aloud from a small scrap of paper. "Sandy-sorry. Stella-sorry. Kiera-Sorry." He stepped back in the line of Kings and Jasper stepped forward again.
"Terribly sorry ladies. But atlas you got this far. Culus will escort you all out and you all will be sent home. Thank you for participating. Have a nice day." The girls stood-one next to me, and all, looking down at the floor, exited through the back of the room where Culus led them. When they were all gone, King Silas spoke.
"Now, since there are 14..." He faded off and cleared his throat awkwardly "Of you left, it is time to know what the Competitions are really about, and what you will be doing to further your place in this Competition. To speak about it, we have Maro." He said, pointing to the angry looking lady at the Old King's side. He pronounced her name like "Muh-Row." I gulped down air, and the Kings went to sit down as Maro took her spot where they had just left. She stood, her arms behind her back. Chin raised. Bo sat in the abandoned seat next to me. He grabbed my hand and gave it a slight squeeze. I squeezed back, extremely terrified of what was going to happen next.