"You're missing a great party," the voice whispered into my ear. His breath sent a shiver down my spine and he pulled me closer to him.
My shoulders relaxed. "Newt! You scared me."
Newt released me and spun me around, swaying on his feet. He had a lopsided grin on his face and then he placed a finger on my lips. The grin grew and he laughed. "I'm.. you're.. just… so pretty."
"Thank you, Newt. But you're drunk," I said.
He cut me off by grabbing my cheeks. Time slowed down for a moment. His dark brown eyes stared into my light blue ones. I could see him trying to think through what he wanted to do. He leaned forward. Should I stop him?
Newt kissed my nose and rested his forehead against mine.
"You're so beautiful, Elira. I'm going to get you out of this place… one day…"
Silence took over before he pulled me into a tight hug and twisted us side to side. He mumbled one day over and over until one of the boys called for him. Apparently they needed a mediator in a fight that was about to happen.
"I have to go," Newt announced and halfway staggered out the door.
I shook my head with my hands on my hips. Newt and I had a close relationship. Neither of us would go as far as to say that we were attracted to each other. It seemed to be obvious, but never spoken. We both knew the rules. It made me sad.
Nick had come up with it at my request. Well, more like my demand. I'd threatened to burn down the kitchen. The torch that I'd been holding closely to the wood wall told them I was serious. So the rule came about. No one was to even attempt to court me.
After that, most everything calmed down. I became a sister to most of them. Gally, especially, tries to protect me. More often than not, he blows it out of proportion but I didn't mind the intention behind it. We've become quite close.
None of that stopped some of the boys from hitting on me, especially when drunk. Usually it was the greenies, but some of the slicers could be vulgar and perverse. I was honestly surprised by how many analogies they could make with dead animals. Winston usually threatened them when they took things too far.
There was really no chance for Newt and I. Nick found out quickly about us spending so much time together and he put an end to it by telling us that the other boys would be upset. He said it would shift the delicate balance that we had.
I returned to the box of new supplies, unpacking what little was left. Organizing everything took less time than I thought. The boys were still outside making all kinds of noise. I covered my mouth when I yawned.
"I guess I'm staying with you tonight, Adam," I said and sat down on the second cot. My shoes came off first and I rubbed my feet. It's been a long day. The second I laid my head down, I fell asleep.
"Well, you're idea is stupid!" Some voice in the distance whispered.
"We have to wake her up," A second voice also whispered.
"No. You heard Nick. It's not life threatening."
I sighed softly and made myself sit up. Rubbing my eyes , I yawned. "What's going on?"
"Nick is going to be so pissed at you," Jeff said and elbowed Clint hard in the side.
"I'll deal with Nick. Just tell me what happened," I said, sliding my boots on. I tried not to fall back over and give into sleep. I don't know why I'm so exhausted lately.
"Hank's ankle is sprained really badly. It's swollen and discolored. We wrapped it last night but-" Clint started.
"Wait, last night? No one told me," I interrupted, fixing my shirt. I could have looked at last night.
"I know how to wrap a sprained ankle, Elira. It looked fine last night," Clint replied. He kept rubbing his side where he'd been jabbed. There will probably be a bruise. He looked offended by what I'd said.
"No, I know, Clint. I'm sorry. I just meant… never mind. Where is he?" I stood up. Gathering the supplies I thought I'd needed didn't take long. There's not much you can do for a sprained ankle.
They both waited for me and led me out of the hut. Hank was a reckless runner. He would climb rubble piles and fall off or it would collapse. He came to the hut with scrapes, bruises, and sprains all the time. This wasn't anything new for me.
Hank sat with his back against the wall of the maze near the entrance. Nick chastised him for even thinking about running today. Greenie stood beside Nick. He must be getting the official tour of the Glade today. Nick's eyes narrowed at Clink and Jeff, who both kept their distance.
I didn't care for their arguing today so I didn't speak to Nick when I passed. I crouched down beside Hank and pulled his pants leg up. It wasn't actually swollen but there was a pocket of fluid on the side of his ankle. That would be the painful part. Usually sprains healed pretty quickly. I took my bag off my shoulder and took a syringe out.
"You're not going to drug me are you, E?" Hank asked, laughing some. He couldn't take anything seriously to save his life.
"There's fluid here and I'm going to get it out. You'll feel better but no running for a few more days. You have to stay off this ankle," I instructed. After I prepared the syringe, it took seconds to drain the pocket.
Clint and Jeff supported him as I'd told them to. Greenie's eyes had yet to leave me. It made me extremely uncomfortable. He already had a night in the pit for yesterday. Surely, he wouldn't say anything else stupid right now. Especially with Nick already in a bad mood.
"I'm Brandon," He said, running his hand through his dark brown hair. He must have remembered last night because no one seemed excited that he'd said it.
When I didn't respond, he stepped closer to me and held his hand out. "I'm sorry for yesterday."
I hesitated but shook his hand.
Brandon jerked me to him, one arm around my waist. He pressed a knife against my throat. My back pressed up against his chest and the blade dug into my skin. Taking a few steps back from Nick, he drug me with him.
Toward the maze.