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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5. We're Not Lost

This chapter is rushed and not of high quality, sorry.

Lexi

I'm supposed to be focusing on getting back to camp and I am but half of my mind is wondering to the image of Aiden standing next to me. The rain hasn't stopped in the past five hours and now it's eight in the morning so not only is it raining, but dark; getting lighter. They must use this area all the time for this kind of thing because instead of giving us torches there's lamps nailed to tree trunks every seven meters. 

It would be helpful if it was darker because I wouldn't be able to see a very shirtless Aiden González rubbing water on his face and hair. It may be raining but it's humid so while I've only been able to take of my jacket and change into a vest with my back turned to Aiden; the Hispanic bastard more than happily pulled his shirt over his head and tucked it in to the waistband of his trousers like he belongs in an Abercrombie and Fitch advert - you know, minus the amount of photo shop they use.

I'm so used to seeing his hair stick to his forehead when he sweats or up in a quiff early in the morning when training starts that now it's wet and push back I don't know which one is my favourite look. His stomach is as toned and rippled (a freaking eight pack!) just like Hailey, Riley and Tiffany gush about and what surprised me the most was tattoo.

Or should I say tattoos.

Written on his left bicep are the words: Only the strongest survive a quote I've seen around campus. It's written in swirls and slanted but it's small, in fact I could only read it when Aiden was in front of me and turned round to face me. When he was walking in front I got a good look at his other tattoo - it was also a good excuse to watch the way his back muscles and shoulder blades moved as he walked and pulled himself over fallen trees and logs. 

Startingfrom the center of his shoulder blades and going down to the middle of his back is a large tribal looking tattoo. There looks like Jesus' cross is in the center with pointed lines and curving paths leading off in different directions but they don't care far out.

"Are we still lost?" Aiden smirked. Oh yeah, he keeps saying we're lost but me being a girl: I know best and we are not lost.

"We're not lost." Was all I replied, standing up and swinging my back pack over my shoulder.

"Can I see the GPS?"

"We're not lost." I repeated. "And no. You'll end up making us lost."

"We're totally lost."

"We're twenty minutes away."

"If we're lost then I want it written in blood that I was right so that when they find us there's prove that you admitted it." Aiden ignored my comment as he walked behind me wringing out his tee shirt from where he dipped it into a small river. From the corner of my eye I saw him put it on and then he was beside me.

Seeing him peek over my shoulder I quickly pocketed the GPS and he groaned. "Just let me see the damn GPS!"

"No!" I replied. "There should be a track round here somewhere and we simply follow it. It takes us right outside the basic training compound."

He grumbled and mumbled stuff under his breath for the next fifteen minutes, stomping his feet against thin twigs to get them to snap. One hit my back and I whirled round to see him smiling sheepishly at me.

"Will you stop acting like a child!"

"No."

I rolled my eyes and turned back round, walking ahead. "Told you!" I said happily pointing to a clearing in the hedge where you can see the dirt track, what looks like golf cart and bike tire tracks covering the sand.

"Okay fine you were right no biggie." He shrugged but he looked defeated anyway. We stepped out onto it and from here you can see we have maybe ten minutes to walk; the silver gates look small from here but with every step we take I'm getting giddier to get back. There's a chance that even if we make it back first today, tomorrow's assessment will go terribly and I won't be in the top five and I'll have to do it all again.

"Stop worrying." Aiden said gently, bumping my shoulder with his bicep. He's stuffed his hands into his trouser pockets while mine are in my jacket pockets, gripping the GPS in one hand and my finger nails digging into my other palm. "You've done great."

"Doesn't mean tomorrow's going to be any better." I muttered. 

Aiden chuckled and shook his head making me look at him. "Tomorrow's assessment is only 5% of the grade."

"But you told us at the beginning-" I started and Aiden just shrugged.

"That's what we're told to say. You see 70% of the assessment is the training to see how you handle the stress, early mornings and late nights. Things like that. 25% is what we're doing now, navigating and overnight survival. At the end of today the boys and I have to hand in performance reports and the past week and that goes towards tomorrows assessment." He explained and then stopped in his tracks turning to face me. "I'm going to tell you this but you aren't allowed to repeat it to anyone okay?"

I nodded and he carried on. "The trick is to be the first five back today. Tomorrow you just get sat down in Coach's office, he reads the reports out loud and asks you one question on how you found it. He'll ask if you want the space here and then he'll ask how I did. There is no physical, no actual test and no tricks. People stress over it for nothing and it shows. Just stay as calm as you have been the past week and you'll be fine. I promise."

"Trust me I have been anything but calm this past week." I said and he laughed.

"Well you did great here." Aiden said as we started walking again. "I did this and I was pissing myself."

"You were six." I pointed out. "You had every right to be scared to death."

He chuckled. "Been doing the reading then?"

"Tiffany read that one paragraph out to us and everyone now feels pretty crap about what we've managed to do, seeing as you did this ten years ago when we were all most likely complaining about spelling homework at school." I said and he actually laughed.

"I've had many people comment about that but never have I heard that before." He smiled.

"Well..." I trailed off as we reached the gates. Aiden's walkie talkie that he's had his hand on since we left in the helicopter yesterday went off and he had it by his mouth in a flash.

"Antonio what's wrong?" His voice is filled with panic and worry is etched in his face.

"You're back!" The kid shouted down the walkie talkie and Aiden closed his eyes, sighing in relief while I opened the gate and stepped through. I looked up from my shoes and saw Antonio running towards this direction and I nudged Aiden who smiled widely and swept Antonio - who is still in his Ben 10 pajamas, clutching the walkie talkie and a toy soldier in his hands - up into a hug.

"Did you get lost?" The kid asked.

"Yes." Aiden smirked at me as I replied with a 'no!' instantly.

"Yes we did!" Aiden argued. 

"We did not you just over react about everything!" 

"You got us lost."

"You are so delusional!"

"Thank you."

"It's not a compliment."

"I like to think it's open for debate."

"I don't think it is."

Aiden and I ended up in a staring contest until Antonio lent towards Aiden and whispered something in his ear. Aiden turned bright red and shook his head sharply.

"No."

"Yes it is!" Antonio shouted happily and then turned to me. "My cousin likes you a lot! He won't stop talking about you!"

Not only did Aiden turn redder and stutter as he tried telling me that he didn't, I turned red too. "I don't. I'm not into girls who get us lost every ten minutes!"

"For the last time!" I complained and he laughed. 

*

Sleeping was difficult last night. Apparently Aiden and I were the first ones back even though Number 5 (Carly) and Lewis got back three hours ago. Carly had passed out so Lewis had to call for someone to come get them and now Carly's in the medical unit where she'll stay until the training starts up again in a fortnight.

Using the alone time in the bunk room to my full advantage I had a long, hot shower making sure to scrub every inch of my body to get the mud, grit and crusted sweat off my body. I shoved the clothes in the washing machine but didn't start it, instead slid into leggings, a vest top and a much too large varsity jacket that belongs to my Dad. I put on some shoes, grabbed my phone and was allowed to sit on the steps to the training compound, playing games until other people get back. 

Number 3 got back second and ran straight to her bunk after checking in. Hailey was third and she ran straight to me where she clung onto my neck and muttered that she is never going to do that again. Riley and Tiffany showed up not long apart and then after helping them check in we went back to our dorm. The other three took turns taking showers, them being considerate about the lengths as we filled each other in on what happened.

It was pretty much all the same except when I was explaining when they all left the showers and they all nearly fainted when I answered their questions about the eight pack and then they looked ready to have a stroke when I mentioned the tattoos. 

Hailey pushed her bed right next to mine to make a double bed and then Tiffany and Riley helped us move the desks, night stands and everything else to the other end of the room. Tiffany's bed was pushed on the other side of mine and Riley pulled hers towards Hailey's. We all stared at the ceiling, occasionally muttering a random weird that had us all in stitches until the other three fell asleep.

Every time I closed my eyes I saw a shirtless Aiden and I would open my eyes to stop any perverted images come to mind. Antonio's words played round my mind and it ended up in an eternal debate about if what the three year old had said was true or not.

When I did fall asleep I didn't dream of anything and before I knew it I was walking into Coach Barns' office after my name was called. The girls and I had spent ages in the morning polishing our boots and pinning our hair back under the caps so that we looked presentable and the uniform is itchy. The whole thing is camo with the blue shirts tucked into our trousers and hidden by the buttons.

Coach Barns is in the commander's uniform with the tie and loads of medals pinned to the breasts of the blazer. 

"Good morning Ms. Matthews, I hope you slept well." He said pointing towards the seat opposite him. I was expecting hard wooden ones like they show in movies but instead there is a comfortable looking, fabricated and plush chair that I sank into but made sure to sit up straight like taught.

"Good morning sir, I did thank you. Hope you did also." I replied and he smiled.

"I did now to business." He said flicking open a brown file with my name printed on the front and a candidate number. "You trainer was Aiden González. He and you spent a lot of time working on far range skills and sniping in which you showed great skill. In both practical, emotional and written work you showed great strength- that sure means something if Aiden wrote this down." He mumbled the last part but I heard and let out a silent breath. "All in all Ms. Matthews this is one of the best performance records I've seen in at least five years. For Aiden to write this is surprising, he's usually very basic with what he produces in this type of report but he has put great effort in this."

He paused and furrowed his eyebrows but shook his head and closed my file. He looked at me with a smile and nodded. "Congratulations Ms. Matthews. You've proved yourself, you have a place on campus if you wish to accept."

Without thinking I slumped in my seat and let out a large breath making Coach chuckled and stand up. He walked round his desk and shook my hand after I stood up. "You may pack your bags and your dorm room is 415 in D Block. Any extras you may want or need are already in your room. Congratulations again, we are proud to have you. You may go now."

"Thank you very much Sir." He nodded and I was almost out the door when he called my name again. When I turned back round he had my file open in his hands.

"It says here at the bottom to tell you before you leave 'Sweetheart I know you got us lost, next time let the man give the directions'. Does that mean anything?" Coach asked.

"It means Aiden's big headed." I grumbled without thinking and Coach laughed, waving his hand towards the door. I left quickly and ran to the dorm rooms where the others are already packing their stuff. All of us have gotten in.

*

You see movies about kids being sent to military schools and the rooms are just rows of bunk beds. I was expecting at least four people in room but when I used the key to unlock my dorm room I was surprised. The door opens into a type of corridor where there is a kitchen counter with a microwave, cupboards lining the wall, a kettle, a sink, a minifridge and washing up things. The cupboards are filled with microwavable snacks, chocolate bars, crisps and other munchies. The minifridge is stocked with fizzy drinks, water bottles, microwave burgers and about five beers. 

When I walked maybe five steps closer into the room, dropping my duffel bag by the closed door I saw the edge of a bed which when I got closer turned out to be a king sized, the sheets and duvet covers all white, on the very edge a brand new grey shirt in a cellophane wrap which I hung up in the wardrobe built into the wall opposite the bed. There's a chest of drawers at the foot of bed, the drawers facing away from the bed but sitting on top of the chest was a flat screen TV, a laptop and a PlayStation 4. There's a desk with an Apple computer and a pile of text books (all of them courses I studied at my old school; sport, biology, Spanish, Mandarin and maths) and then beside the desk is a door to an ensuite bathroom which has a smaller TV set up in the corner by the bath.

I unpacked my duffel bag into the close to already full wardrobe and collapsed on to the bed, not bothering to take my shoes off but my feet are dangling off the edge anyway so it doesn't matter. I woke up from a half hour nap and washed my face before getting dressed into leggings and a tank top, pulling on some white trainer socks and putting my hair into a ponytail afterwards. I have the dorm key on the key chain on the kitchen counter which I swept aside when opening the mini fridge. I grabbed a water bottle and jumped on my bed, powering up the laptop. I've been told I can use my original social media accounts as long as I don't use the school logo, information or location in them so I was glad when I opened up Twitter and replied to the DM's my friend from back home have sent me. 

So far so good...

*

Saturdays back home are pretty much exactly the same here. I woke up at ten, changed into blue denim jeans, a white tee shirt with spaghetti straps and a red wool cardigan before checking my phone for texts. Hailey sent one two minutes ago saying that the Riley, Tiffany and her are already sitting in the canteen and "since she's such a good friend she got me breakfast".

People in D Block are actually really kind and funny. A lot of them have bruises and scars but the girls are still laughing and moaning over chipped nails or split ends whilst the boys on the first and second floors are pretty much all muscle and look intimidating but they all smile and laugh like little kids. Finding the cafeteria as easy, being taken aback by the polished, state of the art complex was easier. 

I found Riley first, her bright pink trainers gave her away and I slid into the empty seat by Hailey. "Thanks." I smiled as she pushed a plate of Nutella toast, a couple biscuits and a glass of warm milk towards me; my favourite.

"No problem." She replied and the other three continued to ramble about anything and everything. I ate my toast first then dunked my biscuits in to my milk before it was all gone. I put my tray on the rack by the bin and was literally just pulling my seat back in when the doors to the cafeteria opened and everyone's heads spun towards the people walking through. 

"Oh my god." Riley whispered leaning against the table. "They look hotter in normal clothes."

"Can't argue with that." Tiffany agreed shuffling her chair closer towards the table.

"Oh my god they're coming over!" Hailey started panicking but then she plastered on a smile along with the other three leaving me confused until-

"Hey girls." Drew (who trained with Tiffany) said as he dropped into the seat beside Tiffany. "Get a good sleep?"

"Now that we're in proper beds yes we did." Riley replied, widening her eyes when she realized she was saying it sassily but relaxed when Drew, Brad (trained with Riley) and Carter (who trained with Hailey) laughed. The other two boys sat beside Riley whilst the chair beside was pulled out and Aiden lent back in when he sat down. He's wearing black skinny jeans and a black band tee shirt, the short sleeves rolled up to look like a vest which only caused the girls to ogle at his tattoo and he's wearing a white beanie along with white high tops. 

"You didn't get lost on your way did you Sweetheart? I mean I know the woods are pretty big but this place has a lot of confusing turns too." He grinned at me.

"For the last time we did not get lost!" The others sat on the table laughed whilst Aiden just smiled and bit his lip.

"So you guys coming to the party tonight?" Brad asked. 

The six burst into conversation about the party while I just played with the hem of my cardigan until Aiden bumped his elbow with mine.

"You alright?" He asked when I looked at him. The hair that's managed to escape his beanie looks fluffy and messy as if he couldn't be bothered to brush it after getting out of bed but it looks good, he suits it.

"Yeah." I nodded. "You?"

He didn't answer but looked at me, the corners of his eyes crinkled like he's thinking really hard before he looked at the others who are too busy in their conversation to look at us. "Come with me quickly." He said grabbing my hand and standing up. With my hand still enclosed in his he led the way out of the cafeteria and out of the dorm area completely. 

"Where are we going?" I asked. Aiden looked behind his shoulder at me and then down at our hands. His shot away from mine quickly and scratched at the back of his neck whilst mine were quickly shoved into my jean pockets.

"So, um..." He said after a minute or so of us walking side by side, his voice going quiet into a whisper when someone walked past but seeing as it's Saturday most of them seem to be asleep still. "There's a mission that's been going on since before I was even born. When I was fourteen I was sent onto it and it was a bust but we have a new lead and the missions being set up again. The thing is we need less people than last time not to mention that half of the people are retired agents now so," He turned to me and I realized that I've been staring at the way his sharp jawline moves as he speaks and his hazel eyes sparked in the sun and made him look a lot younger than sixteen.

If he knows I've been staring he doesn't say anything. "How would you like to go on your first mission?"

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