Last

*Final instalment in the 'Little British Girl' Trilogy *
One year after Elia’s death, and the entire planet is rebelling. With the news of Xander’s assassination attempt against his own daughter alarming the world, Elda and Luci are leading a powerful resistance, competing with the Southern rebellium, with no powerful government to stop either of them.
And yet, nothing seems to have changed.
Annabeth, alongside Beverly, Zacharia, and Steve Ryans, hide out amidst the chaos , unable to prevent what’s happening right in front of them. Disheartened and helpless.
Then one day, a girl turns up, a girl with heterochromia, with some interesting letters, and some even more interesting information. Could it be that Xander Moore had another daughter? And that Luci has a half-sister?

2Likes
1Comments
1267Views
AA

3. Chapter 3

The sun is now fully risen outside the window, powerful and strong, holding its place in the sky with a stubborn sort of pride. It makes me want to be sick.

Sighing, I pick up my dirty plate, slowly rising up from the table and forcing my legs forward towards the kitchen. It’s nearly mid-day, I’d sat at that table alone for over an hour, staring out through the window, trying to find the strength to move. I was expecting this. I was expecting to feel deflated and depressed, without cares, but not without anxieties, lost among my own nightmares and turmoils. What I didn’t expect was to feel so useless, so powerless. Zacharia’s returning back home, Beverly’s running off to take down Grace, even Steve Ryans seems to have found a purpose in helping us all hide out here, but what about me? I’ve been so busy over this past year that I’ve not had a chance to stop. Now I have...and I hate it. What’s my role in this word? Do I even have one anymore? Two years ago I led and incredible team, now two of them are dead, one of them is a sociopath who won’t stop shooting people, and one of them has abandoned me, hiding out somewhere where he doesn’t think he’ll ever be found again. What do I have left?

“Oh, here let me do that for you.” Zacharia notices me standing in the doorway, taking my plate and adding it to the sink. I return to life, following after him, picking up a cloth and drying the wet plates and glasses.

“How long until you and Beverly leave for the South?” I ask, my voice embarrassingly quiet and hoarse. Zacharia pretends not to notice my tone, speaking with the same respect in his voice as always.

“I’m not sure, but certainly not long- maybe in a week or two?” He guesses, “You know you’re more than welcome to come with us.”

“Thanks, but no thanks.” I turn him down, shaking my head, “The South is your home, not mine, I belong here. I’ll find somewhere to go, I always do.” Zacharia nods as if he understands, even managing to smile up at me.

“Do you think you’ll stay in California? You did grow up here.” He reminds me, making a suggestion.

“No way.” I laugh, “California was never my home...I’ll probably go back to Arizona, it was nice there, you know? Quiet, but not all peaceful and boring.”

“Wherever you go...be safe.” Zacharia nods, refusing to make eye contact with me as he speaks. I smile, finishing my small chore and heading back out of the kitchen, wandering into the living room.

Steve is already in there when I enter, looking through an old photo album. I pretend not to notice his melancholic behaviour, ignoring the picture of him and Xander outside a Southern bar, their arms wrapped tightly around each other's shoulders, big drunk grins plastered all over their faces. Today will be different for every one of us, and if this is what he needs right now, then who am I to judge?

I turn on the television, sitting down at the other end of the sofa, flicking through the channels until I find one with the news.

“...a third assassination attempt has been made against the new head of Northern Security, Ryan Andrews, who was fortunate to get away unharmed when two hitmen opened fire outside a meeting he was leaving last night. A spokesperson from the department is urging for calm, she told us that ‘Mr Andrews is not going down without a fight.’ In other news a fifteen year old girl has died trying to drive a woman, who was injured amidst a riot in Washington, to a nearby hospital. The woman is safe and well, but the girl, yet to be named, crashed the car half a mile outside the hospital and died…”

I switch the television back off, feeling as if I might actually throw up my breakfast. The only thing you ever see on the news at the moment is stories about riots, assassination attempts, civilian casualties, terror attacks...and that’s just the stuff the government let the media put out, it’s probably only ten percent of the actual problem.

I’m glad to hear the doorbell ring, needing an excuse to sit up and get out of this room, away from the sound of thick, photo-filled pages being turned, away from the sound of an calm-turned-emotionless, insensitive voice telling tales of tragedy and sacrifice.

I expect to see a postman or a paperboy when I open the door, maybe even a salesperson if I’m feeling extra unlucky today...but instead it’s just a girl. A girl of about average height, with curly auburn hair that falls in ringlets, and sunglasses covering her eyes.

“...Can I help you?” I ask when she doesn’t speak to introduce herself, leaning backwards slightly.

“Are- are you Annabeth Garcia Jackson?” She finally speaks, stammering slightly. She’s clearly not here to kill me, killers don’t stutter, killers don’t hesitate.

“Who wants to know?” I take a small step forwards, trying to see if I recognise this person, although I’m still not entirely comfortable with what’s happening.

“My name’s Quinn.” She reveals, holding out her hand, “I’ve been looking for you for nearly a whole year now, I have so much to tell you, I’m-”

“Wait, wait- hold on a sec.” I cut her off, “You’ve been looking for me for nearly a whole year?”

“Y-yes, ever since I saw the story on the news...about Xander and- and that assassination attempt against his daughter!” She fumbles around, making weird and random gestures with her hands as she speaks.

“So what? You saw it and it made you angry? Look, if you came to me thinking I’d help you fight the system then you’re wrong...that’s not my job anymore, I’ve left all that behind me.” I tell her, shaking my head and making a move to shut the door.

“No!” She exclaims, shoving her foot in the way so it won’t close, “That’s not it at all...well, that’s a little bit it but you’ve got it all wrong really.”

“I’m sorry I can’t understand you, let alone help you.” I sigh, kicking her foot out the way and shoving at the door.

“I’m Xander’s daughter!” She yells desperately. I freeze, leaving the door open just a crack. “My-my name is Quinn Elinore, my mother, she had an affair with Xander when she was younger, and she got pregnant with me. Xander...he paid us for years to keep quiet about it, sending me off to the best schools in the country in return for our silence. I-I’m his daughter.”

Cautiously, I open the door wide again, taking another look at her.

“That would make you Luci’s half-sister…” I trail off, “Can you prove this?”

“I brought my birth certificate, it’s in my backpack.” Quinn nods, “Besides...I have this too.” As she speaks she removes her sunglasses, revealing her eyes. I have to fight the urge to slam the door back shut again, needing to remind myself of who I am actually looking at.

Heterochromia.

Two eyes, one electric green, one hypnotic brown.

...just like Luci.

“The gene runs on Xander’s side of the family,” Quinn reveals, “His mother had it, as well as two of his cousins, and his grandfather.”

“Why are you here?” I ask, my voice barely a whisper. I can’t stop staring at them, I’m drawn to them like a magnet.

“I have something to show you, I-I think you might find it quite interesting.” Quinn tells me, “C-can I come inside?”

“Um...sure, yeah, come on in.” I part from the doorway, letting her through. She smiles at me, stepping inside. She’s shorter than Luci, and her skins a lot more tanned…

“Annabeth? Who was at the door?” Steve shouts out, walking out of the living room and noticing the two of us standing in the hallway. “Oh, who...erm, who is this?”

“I’m Quinn.” She introduces herself, managing a grin.

“Right…” Steve trails off, still confused.

“Can you get Zacharia and Beverley into the living room please?” I request, trying to figure out how best to handle the situation. Steve nods, heading upstairs to find them both. I give Quinn a gentle shove in the right direction, leading her forwards. She takes a seat on the sofa, her backpack in front of her. She unzips it, pulling out a birth certificate, as well as a small stack of dusty old letters tied with string.

“What’s going on Annabeth? Who is this girl?” Beverly storms in, sitting down with her arms folded tightly across her chest. Zacharia follows quietly after her, a frown plastered all over his face.

“I’m-”

“This is Quinn Elinore,” I cut her off before she can say I’m Quinn’ one more time, “She’s, well, she’s Luci’s half-sister, Xander was her biological father.” I explain, passing over the birth certificate so they can both see for themselves. Beverly and Zacharia both examine it in complete silence, checking every single detail.

“It’s definitely his signature.” Beverly sighs, nodding, “And the certificate looks genuine.”

“So why are you here? Did Luci send you?” Zacharia begins to question her, putting the birth certificate to one side. I see Quinn wince at his tough, invasive tone, and I almost feel sorry for her...she’s clearly not used to this sort of environment.

“N-no, as- as far as I know Luci isn’t even aware that I exist,” Quinn stammers, her hands shaking as she speaks, “I-I came because of the news report, about t-the assassination attempt all those years ago. See, I, um, I have these letters and- and…” She fumbles around, untying the string around the small pile, trying to find the right wrong among the collection, “You see, Xander, at first he wasn’t too bad, he actually wanted to help raise me, even if he didn’t want the world finding out. He, um, he used to write letters, to my mother, and...and she, she kept them. S-see?” She opens up one of the brown envelopes and holds out the letter that was inside for all of us to look at. I gently take it from her, passing it onto Steve.

“It’s Xander’s handwriting.” He confirms, “There’s no doubt in my mind about that.”

“But what do these letters have to do with Xander’s assassination attempt against Luci and her mother?” Beverly frowns, unamused by the brief history lesson.

“W-well, this one,” Quinn replies, pointing to the letter in Steve’s hand, “It’s um, it’s from a week after the attempt, and he mentions it in the letter, and it says that-”

“Xander didn’t order the attempt.” Steve interrupts, finishing her sentence for her.

“What?” Beverly snaps, standing up and snatching the letter to see for herself. I move over so that I can see it too, curious.

“It’s true, look: last week a dreadful thing occurred, and thirteen people died, thirteen innocent people. I can’t tell you who ordered the attempt, as I do not know, I can only assure you that it was not me, and that my thoughts are with you and our daughter right now more than ever. I didn’t even know I had a daughter in the South until I found out someone above me ordered for her to be shot dead. Now more than ever you and her need to stay safe, as far as I know this is still secret, but please don’t leave our daughter alone anywhere for the next month or so. I will find out who killed those thirteen civilians and I will keep my family safe. Until then, my prayers are with you. Xander.’” Steve recites the final paragraph, reading aloud from the letter.

“Yes, that’s what is written, but how do we know that it is true? He might have been lying.” Zacharia points out, still not sure.

“That’s true, b-but I also have this letter...from the same week as the attempt,” Quinn speaks up again, struggling to find the right envelope, “Ah- here it is.” She smiles, handing it over to me to read, gesturing to the penultimate paragraph.

I fly out tomorrow for a collection of important conferences and meetings. I will barely have time to eat and sleep, let alone write so don’t worry if you don’t hear from me.” I speak and register what I’m reading at the same time, trying to figure all of this out.

“He was so busy the week before t-that he wouldn’t have had time to p-plan out an assassination attempt, get it? Someone else must have used his busy schedule to sneak the attempt through behind his back.” She explains, taking the letter back out of my hands and gently slotting it back into the pile. She looks up at us expectantly, waiting for one of us to say something, her part of this conversation now over.

“If Xander didn’t order the attack then why didn’t he do something about it once he found out? He could have spoken out, started an investigation into who ordered the attack...he could have-”

“But that would have meant the end to his political career,” Steve realises, interrupting Beverly, “There was nothing Xander cared more about than his career.”

“So say this is all true, what do you propose we do with the information?” Zacharia asks Quinn, handing back the first letter, “Even if Xander didn’t do the things Report A341 claims, he’ll still be dead, the rebellium will still be wreaking havoc in the South, and Luci and Elda will still be shooting people in the North. Two letters from way back when won’t change that.” Quinn sits back in her seat, staring down at her hands in her lap, discouraged. I feel that same pity from before fill up inside me, whoever this girl really is she’s spent the last twelve months searching for us, only to receive a cold and untrusting welcome.

“What if we released these into the media?” I suggest, coming to her defense, “After all, most of the trouble really started to kick off after Luci and Elda released Report A341 last year, if we proved it to be wrong then people may not side with them anymore, their support would shrink and the whole world would be safer for it.”

“I though you were done fighting.” Beverly reminds me, staring me down.

“I don’t think I’ll need to take my guns to the printing factory.” I remind her, remaining stubborn. Zacharia and Beverly look at one another, silently deliberating the idea.

“Fine.” Beverly caves in, “But once these letters are leaked, that’s it, me and Zacharia go back home, and you throw in the towel, okay?” I don’t even need to speak to answer her, giving her a swift nod of my head instead.

“And I have one more spare room, so Quinn can stay here until you’re all done too.” Steve offers.

“Thank you.” Quinn beams, sitting back up in her seat.

“Alright, one quick, well-planned trip to the printing factory. That’s all. No risks, no action, we’ll just get in, then get out again. Understood?” Zacharia lays it all out for us, making sure we’re all clear about what this actually means. I’m ninety percent sure he thinks the idea of heading out again excites me, he’s worried about what I might do if this goes too well. He doesn’t need to be. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- I’m done. I give up. I’m without a team and without a care. I’m only doing this because I know if I spent the last year hunting down someone I’d want them to at least do something at the end of it. I’m done fighting, but I’m not done helping.

We all get up, the meeting adjourned. As she tries to stuff them back in her backpack, a few of Quinn’s letters, burst out from the pile, flying out across the room. Sighing, I bend over and help her gather them up again, with everyone else already out the door. She tries to look me in the eye as I hand them back to her, but I can’t help but look away. When I look at her in general I see a brave, if a little clueless, girl, but when I look into her eyes I see Luci...I see betrayal and pain and loss and I can’t stand it.

“You don’t trust me, do you?” Quinn realises, carefully placing the pile down in her bag.

“No.” I tell her honestly, seeing no point in lying to her.

“But you helped me? You suggested leaking the letters? Why?” She asks, confused.

“Because leaking the letters might just help a lot of people...and I’m a little bored at the moment.” I shrug, struggling to hide the fact that I don’t actually have an answer to her question. Quinn turns away, unconvinced. “Look,” I call out to her, raising my voice, “Today really isn’t the best day for me, or for any of us for that matter- and...and the last time I trusted someone with those eyes I ended up betrayed and abandoned, and two of my closest friends ended up dead. You seem like a nice enough person but so did she, I mean, she was annoying and obnoxious at times but I never saw any of that craziness until it was all too late, and I know now that seeming something, and being something are two very different things. So if I don’t trust you it’s not because I’m cold or unfriendly or paranoid- it’s because this is a deadly world and I’m determined to survive, it’s because I’m smart.” Quinn stares at me, gobsmacked. My heart rate slows again as I begin to calm down, the rush of the moment over. Tiredly, I make my way over to the door, turning back one last time before I go. “Just because I don’t trust you, doesn’t mean I won’t trust you.”

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...