Genevieve sighed with relief when she was finally inside her home once more. She leaned her back against the front door, sliding down until she was sitting on the floor. There was a dull ache within her chest and head that wouldn’t relent. Frustrated, she ran her fingers through her hair, only to grimace in pain when she tugged on knots. It was about time she took a bath, anyways.
She stood up and wandered to the closet. Instead of pulling out bandages, Genevieve pulled out homemade soap made from herbs and spices in her garden, as well as a towel and nightgown. She snuck out of the back door and walked down a dirt path until she reached a small wood. Genevieve walked some more until she arrived at a clearing where a crystal clear lake sat. The young girl took a look around before she shed herself of her dirty clothes. She quickly braided her long hair and pinned it up and out of the way.
The sun had long since set and, tentatively, Genevieve dipped the tip of her toes into the water. At this time of night, the water had been heated up by the sun throughout the day, and it was quite enjoyable. Sighing, she sank into water, letting the warmth envelope her. Genevieve took a deep breath and plunged her head underwater, feeling her braid come unpinned from her head. She counted how long she could hold her breath before she had to resurface for the precious air she had been deprived of twice in the past few days. Alas, the most she could do was 36 seconds.
Genevieve swam back to the edge of the lake, stepped out, and grabbed her soap. She cradled the bar in her hands and worked up a lather. Genevieve smiled when she inhaled the scent; mint and parsley. The young girl pressed the bar against her skin. Carefully, but with purpose, she rubbed the soap in paths along her body: down her arm, across her stomach, between her breasts, behind her neck. Eventually, she brought the bar to her hair. Genevieve unbraided her hair. She imagined herself brushing her hair. and moved the bar through her long hair. She pulled the locks in front of her so she could properly clean the strands.
The weight of her wet hair pulled her down, but throughout the years she had gotten used to it. It was a sort of comfort, almost like the weight of a blanket; it was always there, protecting her. Genevieve, of course, knew that it was a foolish notion, but she liked to believe it anyway. It took several minutes, but she finished lathering herself. She sat the bar back onto the dirt and jumped into the water.
Genevieve smiled underwater when she saw all of the bubbles and soap float off of her and towards the surface. She swam up for air and continued to rinse off any remaining suds. When Genevieve finished she returned to the shore. She grabbed her hair and rung out all of the water she could, lessening the weight on her neck. The young girl dried her body with the towel she brought and dressed herself in her nightgown. She gathered her materials and returned to her home.
When Genevieve returned, she hung her towel to dry and put her soap away. While in the closet, she pulled out bandages and bound the gash on her arm. The bath had already cleaned it for her, so it was quick work. She replaced the linen and shut the door to the closet. With one last look outside she climbed into her bed.
She had been unconscious for the majority of the past few days, yet she was exhausted. Even so, she could find no rest. Genevieve laid on her back and stared at the ceiling. She did not toss or turn, or groan in discomfort or frustration. Genevieve was content, but hardly at ease. Whenever she closed her eyes she pictured the men that had crept into her home--her room--with no regard or remorse. Genevieve turned to lay on her side, facing the door. Nothing would get by her tonight, nothing would torment her dreams. She would stay awake, and stay vigilant.
Genevieve awoke to the sound of knocking. The raps were quick and precise, promoting a sense of urgency she had not expected. She hastily stood up and made her way to the door. Genevieve threw open the door, but frowned when she saw who was waiting behind it.
“Ah, Inspector Hughes, what can I do for you?” she asked. The inspector pushed her aside, inviting himself into her home without a reply. Another man stood behind him, but waited to be invited.
“Hello, Inspector Harris, do come in.”
He removed his hat and walked over to her. “Please, Miss Genevieve, Patrick will do just fine.” She nodded as he went inside. Genevieve shut the door and went to find her new house guests. The two men were sitting in her living room, side by side on her sofa. She sat in the armchair across from them. Hughes noticed the newspaper on the table from several days ago, and frowned.
“Ah, yes, that’s right. Anyways, I was looking over the interviews that we had from yesterday when I came across yours. Very interesting, it is. See, it says that you have white blood, is that right?”
“Yes,” she answered.
“Genevieve, dear, I have a proposition for you.”
“I’m not interested. I’ve had enough excitement to last me my entire life. Please go.” Genevieve stood up to show the two men out, but Hughes beat her to the chase.
He grabbed her shoulders and guided her back to the chair. “Just hear me out, please?”
Genevieve looked him over, “Okay.”
“As you know, I’m conducting an investigation of the GTN with Assistant Inspector Harris, but we’ve been having some… difficulty pin pointing exactly where they’re set up. That’s where you come in. We want you to help us setup a trap so that--”
“Miss Genevieve,” Patrick interrupted, “forgive me for being so direct, but Inspector Hughes would like to use you as… bait, so to speak. It’s virtually impossible to search every building in Portsmith in order to find the Global Trade Network, so if we could set up a trap it would save us immeasurable amounts of time. The trap would be that you somehow show to everyone that you have white blood, either by falling or tripping, and end up catching the attention of someone from the GTN. They’ll kidnap you and take you to the location that we need. What they don’t know, is that we’ll be waiting for them and following them the entire time.”
Hughes jumped back into the conversation. “We’ll be sure to reward you for your invaluable help with our investigation. We’ve already taken down two warehouses, and we believe that we only have two or three more to go. And don’t worry,” his gaze moved to Genevieve’s bandaged arm, “we’ll make sure that you stay safe. Nothing like that will ever happen again.”
There was so much conviction in his voice, so much passion, Genevieve was taken back. No wonder he was in charge of the investigation. She thought back to his proposition. “So what you’re saying, is that you want me to purposely get myself kidnapped and held for sale at an illegal market, hoping that you won’t take too long to come get me?”
“Yes. That is what I said, isn’t it?”
Genevieve pondered the proposition. It really wasn’t a good idea at all. It seemed very risky, and if they were going to drug her every time, she didn’t see herself enjoying that. She didn’t have to worry about addiction or anything, after all, she was immortal. It still didn’t mean she enjoyed the experience. Genevieve did need the money though, and perhaps with guaranteed police protection, she wouldn’t have to hide so much. Maybe, just maybe, she could be herself.
“Excellent! Oh, um… how old are you exactly? I mean, I know that white blood kind of stops aging and all that so, yeah.”
Genevieve couldn’t help but laugh. “I’m 23, even though I may look younger.”
“Perfect, we’ll get started immediately. If you’ll just come with us down to Portsmith Authorities and--”
“Excuse me, but I’d like to get dressed and eat breakfast first.” Genevieve interrupted. She was still in her nightgown, which Hughes and Harris just seemed to notice. Their faces turned a deep crimson as they bumbled out apologies and ‘excuse us.’ It was clear that they were unaccustomed to working--or even being around--women.
Genevieve left the room in favor of her own. She opened a drawer in her dresser that was full of her sun dresses. She pulled out a light blue dress with white swirls as well as undergarments. Genevieve shed herself of her gown and got dressed. She took down her sloppily pinned up hair from the night before and remade it in an elaborate braid that cut its length in half. She slipped her shoes on and went into the kitchen, grabbing an apple before returning to the living room.
“Okay, now I’m ready. Let’s go.”
Hughes stood up and breathed, “It’s about time.” He quickly vacated the home, leaving Genevieve with Patrick. Said man stood up as well and walked over to Genevieve.
“I’m sorry for his rude behavior. Sometimes he can get so excited about something that it’s all he can focus on. He really is a good Chief, but don’t let him know I said that, or he’ll never shut up… All manner of joking aside, we can’t thank you enough for doing this. You’re gonna help save dozens of lives.”
“If It’s all the same with you, Inspector, I really just need the money.”
“Miss Genevieve, in light of what we’re about to work together, Patrick, please.”