Mystery

Aiden González knows he's good looking, knows he can get any girl he wants and knows that every guy on campus wants to be him. The rebellious teen living at an army camp for 4-19 year olds finds himself in charge of training new candidates after getting back from a three month mission and to say he's pissed off would be an understatement. That is; until he meets a certain Lexi Matthews.
Mystery by Whisper_ ©

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4. Day Five

Aiden

These past four days have gone by really quickly. Between juggling my school work, basic training with Lexi, mission control debuts and preparing for my twelfth army tour time has just flown by.

"How long are you gonna be gone?" My three year old cousin, Antonio, asked... or what I think he asked, he's like most three year olds and has his own language that he likes to use instead of proper English.

"Not long bud." I continued flicking through the maps and statistics that have been given to the boys and I. My eyes flickered to the emergency back pack that I have to take in case the storm that's been brewing for a while comes up. Since we're in the middle of no where we are literally going to be left fifty miles away from campus and to get back there's a whole bunch of woods, open fields and hundreds of hills. The storm has been getting ready for the past two weeks so we've had a lot of rain but all the weather forecasts say that there will thunder, lightning, down pours, hail storms; the lot so we've been given walkie talkies, electric navigation systems and other ways of communicating with the others and the camp if something goes wrong.

Other than that, we're on our own.

"You said that last time." Antonio grumbled from where he's sat on the edge of my bed playing with a toy soldier I gave to him when he was big enough to walk by himself. My dad gave it to me when I was three, just before he died and I've kept it with me ever since but seeing as I can only remember little things about my dad nowadays there was no point in keeping it.

"Anty last time I said that I was going to Iraq for sixteen months and how long was I gone?" I said turning to him and raising an eyebrow.

"Two weeks." He replied.

"See and I'm only going for the night. Nothings gonna happen."

"But what happens if I have a nightmare?" His head shot up and he looked at me with puppy eyes and a wobbling chin. I crouched in front of him and patted the bed he's sat on. 

"See this bed?" I asked and he nodded. "This bed isn't going anywhere and if you have a nightmare or you just can't sleep you can stay in it okay?"

"But you won't be here." He said quietly and a tear slipped from his eye. I wiped it away and looked behind my shoulder.

"Here." I said picking up two walkie talkies that Drew and I used on our last tour. They still work and when I switched them both on they responded immediately. I handed Antonio one and clicked it onto a free station. "If you have a nightmare or if you're scared, you just press this button and speak okay? I'll be on the other side no matter what. Understand?"

He nodded and giggled as I tickled his neck then kissed his forehead. "Alright bud, I gotta go." I stood up, slinging my back pack onto my shoulder and picking up the folder.

"Can I walk with you?" Antonio asked jumping off the bed, managing to pick up one of my beanies off the floor in the process.

"Sure, you gotta come straight back though okay?" I asked clipping my walkie talkie onto the belt straps of my camo trousers. 

"Okay." He nodded slipping his tiny hand into my rough one as I shut the door behind us. The camp is big but there is no danger in the place at all so even though Antonio's the youngest one here, he won't get lost of scared around the place. No one will hurt him; not because he's the manager's son or anything but because apparently I scare people when I get angry and I'm really protective of my cousins so if you hurt them, expect some shit in return.

Antonio ran ahead running alongside tire prints on the sandy roads towards the heli pads. The boys came into few (minus Caleb and Brad at the moment) along with the girls, all of them in small groups around the high metal fences. Antonio spotted Drew and ran full speed - which is incredibly fast for a three year old - towards my best friend who wasn't expecting a three year old to jump and cling onto his neck. He ended up sprawled out on the sandy floor, securing my cousin on his chest with one hand and rubbing the back of his head with the other.

What is it with your family and hurting me every chance you get?" Drew groaned when I stopped beside him. Antonio looked up and grinned proudly as I winked at him and swung him up above my head whilst he laughed, still clutching onto my white beanie and the walkie talkie.

"You should really be expecting it now mate." I laughed nuzzling my cheek against Antonio's when he wrapped his tiny arms round my neck and put his forehead in my neck, his legs latched round my waist - or his feet pressing against my hip bones.

"You babysitting again or...?" Louis asked crushing the remains of his cigarette under his boot.

"No." I shook my head. "He thought I was going back to Iraq and he wanted to come say goodbye."

"I still find it hard to believe Peter made you godfather." Drew shook his head in disbelief. 

Oh yeah I'm also godfather for Antonio and his twin sister, Lucia.

"What part of it?" Joe asked.

"The godfather part." Drew said making me chuckle.

"Right you useless little shi- stink balls." Coach Barns shouted, stopping himself from swearing when he saw Antonio. Coach Barns may be the strictest teacher I've ever had the misfortune to meet but he won't curse in front of kids, especially not Antonio. I don't know if it's because I glare at him or because Antonio tends to repeat everything he hears...

"The kid should be around more often." Brad muttered as he and Caleb slipped into our group going unnoticed by Coach Barns.

"You all ready?" Coach shouted to all of his, his keys jiggling in the lock of the gates. I put Antonio on his feet but he refused to let go of my neck.

"Come on bud, it's one night." I whispered smoothing down his hair and managing to pull away. I wiped his eyes with my thumbs and kissed the kid's forehead. I flicked his walkie talkie on and handed it to him. "I expect at least one call alright?"

"Alright." He said and smiled at me when I fist bumped him. "Be safe."

"No promises, my partner's really clumsy." I whispered loud enough for Lexi to hear who kicked a stone at me with great accuracy.

"I'm not that clumsy." She muttered.

"Ten times." Was all I said making her glare at me and I grinned innocently at her, I ignored her friends' wide eyed looks at Lexi and turned back to Antonio. I said goodbye to Antonio and hopped into the helicopter, taking Lexi's hand to pull her up after me. She looked at me - to thank me I guess - and we both froze when her sparkling green eyes met my pretty boring hazel ones. I pulled my hand away from hers and cleared my throat, helping Brad with the back packs. He climbed in and smirked at me, showing he saw everything and I just rolled my eyes. His trainee (Destiny I think her name is) jumped in and sat as close to Brad as humanly possible. I sat on the floor beside Lexi but leaving some space between her thigh and mine whilst leaning against the flyer's seat.

"Ready?" The flyer, Johnson, said as the helicopter came to life.

"Yeah." We all shouted over the noise. I picked up two head sets, threw them to Brad who gave one to Destiny, and then picked up another two. 

She said something quietly but the movement of her lips told me she had just thanked me. After that I put the head set on and didn't look at Lexi until it came to the time when Brad slid the door open and shook off his headset that I tapped Lexi's thigh and helped her up.

"We're jumping!?" Destiny shrieked when Brad put her back pack on her shoulders.

"Yep." I laughed as Brad answered casually. I'm glad that Lexi and I spent hours training to land properly from different heights - this one is only 200 hundred feet off the tip of the grass which is pretty much nothing but when it's in high grass and we don't know how high it is it might be a problem for Destiny. Lexi seems un-fazed by it, instead she wobbled a bit when the helicopter jerked to the side roughly.

"We'll be getting off in about five minutes." I shouted over the noise. She nodded and watched as Destiny and Brad disappeared, Destiny hesitating a bit. I tugged the door shut again and fell into Brad's seat. I watched as Lexi looked out the window, her hair that's too short for her ponytail skimming her bottom lip.

She was in a daze until I picked up the back pack and slid the door open. I looked down and was thankful when I saw that Johnson has put the helicopter down a bit more, being closer to the short grass and the plain field.

I jumped first, tucking my knees and rolling when I hit the floor. I was up and signaling for Lexi to jump. She looked down, behind her and nodded before pushing herself away from the helicopter which took off almost automatically. 

"Okay, your call, what do we do first?" I asked turning to Lexi who unbuttoned the top three buttons of her camo jacket.

"Get out of the open and into somewhere shaded and check what supplies we need and what we don't?" She looked at me like she might have possibly said the wrong thing but her shoulders slacked when I grinned at her. She led the way like instructed whilst I tugged the back pack strap higher up on my shoulder. When we got about three meters into the woods Lexi dropped her pack onto a log. I sat on the log and lent against the tree trunk beside it and watched as Lexi occasionally threw things behind her and other times put it back in the bag.

Ten minutes later she was done and I double checked it. At the end she had gotten rid of a large dictionary, split and empty batteries (at least 25 large batteries that were loose in the bottom); and other useless things leaving her with a spare change of clothes, a rain proof sheet, two penknives, fruit, filled batteries for the GPS, a spare GPS and four plastic 1 liter bottles.

"I should meet your trainer, they did a great job." I joked. 

"Well he was a bit big headed but once you get past that he's alright I guess." She teased slinging the pack over her shoulder.

"Hey!" I shoved her shoulder and she burst out laughing before holding out her palm. 

"Let's see the map." She sat beside me as I dug the map out my pocket and then unfolded it out on our laps. I got out the electric GPS and switched it on. 

"We're 47 miles away from camp," I said signaling where the camp is on the map and where we are. Lexi got a marker and drew a cross on them both. "According to this if we rest for five minutes every two hours we'll get to camp at around 9 tomorrow morning."

"If we sleep?"

"Then we'll have to find somewhere to sleep in about three hours and only sleep for five hours before we're late and the gates will shut." I answered. "They shut at 2 in the afternoon, so what do you want to do?"

Thunder rolled overhead and we both looked up as the rain started. 

"Keep in the trees and rest every two hours." Lexi said. 

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