Little British Girl...

- Decide where you belong -

In a world split into two zones, north and south live separately. The sole-superpower, America in the north, and every other country lives in the south. Trespassing is punishable by death.
When Elia, a British citizen, wakes up in the northern zone she is forced to trust local cop Daniel to keep her safe. With no memory of how Elia came to the north, and no recollection of why, she and Daniel decide to try and figure it all out. But along the way secrets are uncovered, allies are made, and Elia begins to play dangerous games, with tragic costs.

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37. Chapter 37

“It’s been forty minutes, where is she?” Max sighs, burying his head in his hands.

“I’m sure she’ll be here any second,” Daniel tries to comfort him “Luci’s smart, she won’t get caught. I bet she’s already grabbed the gun, and she’s walking back here now.”

“Yeah- yeah that must be it…” Max mutters to himself. Daniel gets up and walks over to the window, and I follow after him, placing my hand on his back. The truth is we’re all worried, surely it can’t have taken this long to fetch a gun and run back here? She did warn us that she could be as long as an hour...but surely that was an exaggeration? Anyway, it doesn’t matter what she said, we’re all still biting our nails off as we wait for her. It was easier at first, when we had things to do. We called Grace, got changed out of our disguises...then it hit us, and suddenly we were all silent, walking back and forth around the room like ghosts.

“Distract me.” I hear Daniel murmur, turning to face me. I smile, this time it’s my turn to support him. I take him over to the bed, sitting down beside him and cupping my hands in his.

“Tell me about that life we’re going to start together...where will we go? North or South?” I begin, leaning in close to him. Daniel grins, taking a moment to think about his answer.

“It doesn’t matter, to us, they’ll just be planet earth...deal?”

“Deal.” I nod, “How about we try to find somewhere in the middle of nowhere?”

“Deal.” He agrees, chuckling, “What about money? How will we make a living?”

“Hm…” I bite my lip, “Farming?” Daniel erupts into laughter, chuckling uncontrollably. “What’s so funny about that?” I ask, also laughing.

“You? A farmer? No way, never...I just can’t picture it. You’re so neat and tidy, you’d end up trying to scrub the mud clean!” He explains himself, shaking his head gently.

“Okay...okay, so farming is a bit of a bust. What about starting up a small shop together? Our own little local business?” I continue in my efforts, desperate to keep us both smiling.

“That sounds more like it,” Daniel grins, “What would we call it? E&D’s Good Food’?”

“No way, that’s too tacky!” I raise my eyebrows, “I want something classy, like ‘Watson and Jackson’.

“I could live with that.” Daniel winks. I feel my smile relax as I melt into his eyes, the silliness of the moment dying down.

“Could you live with me?” Before I know it I’ve spoken my thought aloud. Daniel leans in so close to me that I can feel his warm break on my cheeks. I lifts up my hand, giving it a quick yet gentle kiss.

“I couldn’t not live with you.” He assures me, and for a moment I forget to breathe. We’ve never done this before. Sure, we’ve had our moments, but this is different, this is deliberate, this is obvious. This is it, the moment we confirm what we already knew. That we have feelings for each other.

“I feel the same way.” I confess with a quivering lip, a tiny teardrop escaping my right eye. We sort of do it in time to each other, watching awkwardly what the other is doing so we can position ourselves correctly as we inch closer and closer...then our lips collide, and I feel his hand on the back of my neck pulling me in tighter, I wrap my arms around his waist, and let the moment take over.

Because Daniel is kissing me…

And I am kissing Daniel…

And neither of us ever want to stop.

“Wow, Luci was right...public displays of affection really do make people feel uncomfortable.”  Me and Daniel dart apart at the sound of Annabeth’s voice. Despite the casual words her tone is dark...upset. I turn to look at where the voice came from, and see her standing in the doorway, a more than grim expression on her face. “You two both need to see this.” We get up from the bed and head into the main room, where the TV is on. I feel sick when I read the headline at the bottom of the screen.

‘BREAKING NEWS: LOCAL HOTEL BLOWN UP BY AN UNKNOWN BOMBER’

It’s Xander’s hotel, the one Luci stayed behind in to get her gun. I fall to the ground, listening intensively to the reporter.

“...fireman are still at the scene trying to prevent the blaze from spreading further. The bomber and motive as of yet is unknown but police will investigate as soon as it is safe to.”

I feel my throat swell into a lump as I gasp for breath, I want so badly to still maintain some hope that she is safe, but it’s clear from the images that the explosion was huge. There’s no way I can deny it. Luci is dead.

“M-maybe sh-she g-got out in t-time, we c-can’t…” Max sobbs, trying to find some reason to believe she might still be alive.

“I’m so sorry Max, but she’s...she’s…” even Annabeth can’t bring herself to say it.

“She’s stronger than that!” Max snaps, crying out, “She’s str-stronger…”

I stop paying attention to the room around me, lost in my own cage of grief. Luci was...well she was incredible. Annoying, yes, but incredible none the less. When those eyes looked at you it was as if they were looking right into your soul, and she always seemed to be in control of the situation. Headstrong, fiery-tempered, and of course, a genius…that was Luci all over. If you wanted to go left she had over a million reasons for you to go right. I also realise, with a surprisingly significant fall of heart, that my father is probably dead too. Xander wouldn’t have survived that explosion either, and that means that now both my parents are dead.

I am awoken from my thoughts by the sound of a ringtone. I look around, expecting Annabeth, Max, or Daniel to pick up a phone, but they all look as dumbfounded as me.

“Where’s that coming from?” Annabeth asks us, but we all just stand there clueless.

“Over there!” Daniel realises, pointing to the corner. I turn to look, and confusion clouds my mind...because the sound is coming from Luci’s stolen laptop.

Cautiously, Annabeth walks over. Getting down onto her knees in front of the ringing machine.

“Don’t answer it! It might be the previous owner.” Max warns her, walking over behind her.

“Luci blocked all the contacts.” She shakes her head, in a bit of a daze. This takes me by surprise, if the contacts are blocked, then who is ringing? Slowly, Annabeth opens up the laptop, pressing the enter key to answer the call.

“Finally, you guys are irritatingly stupid.” I almost fall back at the sound of the familiar voice coming through the speaker. I look up, and sure enough, it’s her. Red hair and all.

Luci.

Luci is alive.

Luci is calling us…

Why is Luci calling us? Why didn’t she just come back to the hotel like she planned to?

“Luci? What’s going on? Why aren’t you back here with us?” Annabeth seems to be thinking exactly the same thing as me. Luci rolls her eyes from the other side of the webchat, as if she’s already tired of our questions.

“Because that would be too risky, and I can’t afford to take any risks.” She tells us, her tone bored and her expression unamused.

“Luci? What happened to you? How are you alive? What happened back there with the explosion?...Where are you now?” Max pushes Annabeth away from the laptop, desperately needing some answers.

“I didn’t die in the explosion stupid, I started it.” Luci reveals, smiling as if she’s proud of herself. There’s something worrying in the way she speaks and presents herself...something sinister.

“You need to start explaining right now.” Daniel shakes his head, clearly sharing my concerns.

“I’m trying, but you all keep on asking questions.” Luci sighs, and when she realises we’re all staying silent, she continues to speak, “First things first, you need to understand a few things. 1- I’m not dead, 2- I’m not anywhere near your hotel, 3- I didn’t forget my gun back there, I just told you I did so you’d go away and let me get on with what I needed to do-”

“And what was that?” Annabeth interrupts, causing Luci to scowl.

“I’m just about to get to that part!” She yells, “Stop being so impatient...anyway, the real reason I went back into the hotel was to get something far more important than some cheap gun.” As she speaks, she rotates the camera to reveal a struggling man tied up to a chair. I look closely, and realise that it’s not just any man, it’s my father...Xander Moore.

“What are you doing with my dad?” I speak to her for the first time, a little shocked at the anger in my tone.

“Ah, yes...about that. You see, he’s not your dad Elia, he’s mine.” Luci confesses, “I made it all up! I created the false file, then convinced you that he was your daughter...it was too easy really.” I lean back, struggling to take all this information in. Surely she’s lying? Xander is my father...he must be, why else would he kill my mother to punish me? He wouldn’t murder some random woman!

“I d-don’t understand…” I trial off.

“It all started three years ago, on my birthday. My parents sat me down at a table and told me the truth, that my dad wasn’t actually my dad, and that my birth father was in fact Xander Moore. I lived in the south at the time, like you Elia, but when I heard I knew I had to meet him. So I set up a new identity, and found a contact who agreed to take me to the North. There, I infiltrated the resistance, gradually moving up in their ranks, and even earning the reputation of a genius. I also realised there just how much of a monster my dad is, and developed a strong hatred for the zoning system. Then, I found you. Searching through the files one day I discovered another person like me, who belonged in both the North and the South, you’re father was one of Xander’s entourage on the trip when he met my mother, and thus, both of us were born. I couldn’t believe my luck, and a plan began to form in my head. I created a false file making it seem as if you were Xander’s daughter, then I put it someplace where the rebellium would be able to easily find it. Annabeth was always talking about her kindhearted cousin, the cop who wouldn’t swat a fly. I made sure you’d bump into him as he finished his night shift. Then I just sat back and waited for him to bring you to us, which he eventually did, after an annoyingly long wait. I wanted to get you close to Xander as soon as possible, so I could go behind your back and grab him, but of course you had to rescue Daniel, and then you even got yourself thrown back into the South! I didn’t give up though, I informed the rebellium, who were more than happy to bring you back to me. Of course there were some accidental casualties, I didn’t realise Xander would get so angry that he’d kill your mother, the woman who he believed to be the girl he’d slept with so so long ago. I came close at that rally, but you ruined it again, crying out to the crowd and getting us all arrested...but this time I was more careful. I started by dividing the team, I planted that false file making it seem like Annabeth was a double-agent for Elia or Max to eventually find, then I played the role of the ‘damsel in distress’, using the greatest cover of all...love. Sorry Max, but Daniel was all googly-eyed over Elia so it had to be you. This all lead to the perfect turn-out...I finally succeeded! I’ve kidnapped Xander Moore...I’ve kidnapped my father!” Luci laughs, her eyes alive with the promise of revenge.

“S-so he’s not my dad? But I am still half-british, half-american?” I check.

“Yes, just like me. We’re the same Elia, we belong nowhere.” Luci nods.

“But why did you blow up the hotel?” Annabeth suddenly thinks, coming up with another unsettled matter.

“To buy myself some time. Right now they think Xander’s dead, but when they find no remains they’ll realise he’s been taken. As for me, well, they won’t look for my remains, I’ll be declared dead...and you can’t arrest a dead person, can you?” Luci explains.

“So, what now? You have Xander, what next?” Daniel gets to the point. Luci leans closer in towards the camera, grinning.

“Now I kill him.” She murmurs lustfully, “Then I kill anyone else who thinks zoning is a good idea...and if you four get in my way, then god help me, I will kill you too.”

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