Lucid

~The Sequel to 'Little British Girl~
- Decide which side your on -
Three and a half month after Luci kidnapped her birth father, Xander Moore, Elia and her friends are on the run. Both north and south are engulfed in complete and utter chaos, and the resistance and the rebellium are gaining power through an alliance. Both sides want them out of the way, and they have nowhere to be, nowhere where they belong. The four friends must choose a side, the alliance, or the government, a decision that will forever haunt them all.
Nothing is certain, nothing is safe, nothing is lucid.

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24. Chapter 24

Elda chose not to come at me again, instead we ignored each other, staying away. There’s only four more days to go until the meet-up, she’ll be out of my life for good in almost no time at all. I spend most of my time at the moment with Daniel, making up for lost opportunities, and possible future ones we might not be able to enjoy. Anything could happen at the meet-up, and if something were to separate us, then it would be easier to carry on knowing we made the most of these last few days. Annabeth and Max fill up their time with planning, creating options A to Z, and then options A2, B2 etc, just in case. Elda helps them occasionally, but she mostly goes out on jogs or helps my father with the shopping, as they’re the only two without their faces on the news headlines, wanting for the unlawful imprisonment of Xander Moore. Daniel also helps Annabeth from time to time, and when he’s not around I fill my time with the one activity that never fails to efficiently distract me, cleaning.

Right now I’m dusting off the shelves, a job which clearly hasn’t been done over the last decade. There’s something soothing about the gentle yet firm strokes of the dust cloth against the wooden surface, the soundless action fills me with calm. I suppose it’s because this routine is so normal for me that when I am doing it I can trick myself into believing that I am at home in the South, with my mum cleaning the windows behind me, safe and secure.

“Well, I think we’re just about done drafting up Plan C 2.0, for you know, in case plan A 2.0 or B 1.0 or D 3.0 don’t work…” Daniel trails off, chuckling, walking up behind me and wrapping his arms around my waist. “How are you getting on?”

“Good,” I smile, kissing him on the cheek, “I’d be doing a lot better if you’d pick up that spare cloth and give me a hand.”

“Yes ma’am.” He laughs, uncoiling himself from around me and turning to pick the cloth up, getting to work. “Wow...this stuff really does need cleaning.”

“I know right, I might be here for a while.” I agree, shaking my head. You can tell that my dad rarely gets visitors,

“I hope you won’t be here for too long, because we are going out tonight.” He reveals, grinning from ear to ear.

“Hm?”

“I am taking you out to what your dad told me is the best restaurant around for a candle-lit dinner for two,” he explains, getting excited, “How does that sound?”

“That sounds amazing, now get back to work,” I lean in to kiss him, “I have a date tonight.”

~

“Wow Daniel...this is amazing,” I murmur, handing my coat over to the hostess, “It’s so cosy and warm in here.”

“Yep, and it’s also dark enough for us to be seen out in public. Clever huh?” He grins, pulling out my chair for me. I take a seat, blushing. Whilst he takes his turn looking at the drinks menu I look around the small restaurant, appreciating the romantic interior.

It’s a small circular dining area, lit only by the candles placed in the center of the small round tables, set for two with white fabric cloths and silver cutlery. Amber blinds turn all natural light a richer, deeper golden shade, adding to the luxurious atmosphere. A few oil paintings hang from the walls, as well as blackboards with the specials inscribed on them. It’s subtly perfect...it’s extraordinary.

“This place is incredible.” I sigh, “Thank you so much for this Daniel.”

“You don’t have to thank me, I’ve wanted to do something like this for ages. It’s best to do it now before…” He trails off, realising his mistake, not wanting the conversation to take a dark turn.

“Before the meetup?” I guess, finishing his sentence for him, “It’s okay Daniel, I know the risk we’re facing, but I’m sure nothing will go wrong, all those plans Annabeth’s making have to amount to something, right?”

“Yeah...yeah,” Daniel nods, “You’re right. Anyway, how about we steer away from that topic for the rest of the evening?”

“Sure.” I smile, glad for the dramatic decrease in tension that follows soon after. I pick up a menu and quickly read through the options, deciding on a chicken caesar salad and a nice glass of white wine to accompany it. Daniel orders the bolognese, and before long we’re finished with the waiter, ready to get back to talking.

“It’s so nice to be out with you tonight,” I kick-start the conversation, “I love spending time with my dad, and Annabeth and Max are great but I feel like it’s so crowded in that house. It’s nice to spend some time away from there, truly alone, just the two of us-”

“Run away with me.” Daniel blurts, cutting me off. I stop talking automatically, shock hitting me like a missile. I have to knock my leg under the table just to bring myself to breathe, too stunned to properly function.

“What?” I ask, my eyes wide.

“After the meet-up, once the alliance is dealt with once and for all, run away with me. Make Watson & Jackson a reality.” Daniel says, his eyes pleading with my own, leaking out hope in the form of tiny tears.

“What about Annabeth? What about Max? What about the team, I mean..I-I…” I can’t find the right words. I want this, but at the same time, I fear it.

“They can take care of themselves,” Daniel assures me, “Once the alliance is gone they’ll be nothing for us there, we can start up new lives somewhere, better lives...together. Weren’t you just saying how nice it is to be alone with one another?”

“Yes, for one evening,” I put things into perspective, “Daniel so many things could go wrong.”

“But so, so many things could go right,” He argues, “We could have quite little lives, run a small business, maybe even start a family together. Don’t you want that for us?”

“Of course I do!” I promise him, reaching across the table to put his hand in my own, “But it all seems to sudden, so rash.”

“You don’t have to decide right this moment,” He comforts me, “Just...think about it, okay?” Looking into his deep blue eyes makes my heart melt, and suddenly I don’t have the strength to continue this debate.

“Okay...okay, I’ll think about it.” I give in.

We don’t bring the matter up again after that, our food arrives and we eat in silence. It’s not a bad silence though, it’s soothing, soft...sweet. The tension between us isn’t angry, or sad, it’s so much more intense than that, it’s lustful...longing. Our food arrives and we continue to eat in silence, using our eyes to communicate with one another. It’s a delicious meal. Everything is cooked to perfection, and after our luscious mains we can’t help but order dessert too, which arrives quickly, and doesn’t disappoint. Before long the previous conversation is a weak memory, and any awkwardness that had lingered around us before is well and truly extinguished. We pay the bill and leave, heading home, walking hand in hand along the pavement.

It’s late, and the moon is high in the sky, a thin crescent that sits among the bright stars. I rest my head on Daniel’s shoulder as we walk, tiredness beginning to hit me as the excitement of our evening off dies down inside me. There’s an icy cold breeze but he’s so warm that when I stand next to him I barely notice it. I realise, suddenly, that with Daniel I feel safe. My realisation heads down into my chest, tugging at my heart-strings for the rest of the slow walk home. It stays with me as I change into my nightdress and rinse the makeup off my face, not allowing me to ignore it, making sure that feeling of certainty stays in my mind. I turn off the light and get into bed nevertheless, but after a few minutes of struggling to relax with this euphoric guilt inside me, I get out of bed and rush to where Daniel is also trying to rest.

He notices me enter and sits up, confused. I just smile and perch on the end of his bed, blushing uncontrollably.

“After the meet-up, I will run away with you Daniel,” I promise him, “It would be an honour to spend the rest of my life with you.”

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