That was Kat. That was 100%, Kat. I’m pretty sure Jade was there too, but I could barely see anything, I was stupidly blinded by Kat’s red hair and mesmerizing yellow eyes. I run over to a random tree and sit in its shade.
Why is this happening to me?
Scratch that. Why is Kat in the dungeon? Why do I have to interrogate her? I mean, I guess it’s now or never. It’s an order from the captain himself after all.
At least I’ll get to see her, right? I shake my head to rid myself of the thoughts. What exactly is wrong with me?
I get up and compose myself before heading back to the dungeon. As I near Kat’s cell, my pace slightly quickens and I feel my face slightly flush. I roll my eyes at myself and stand in the front of her cell, where Kat and Jade are sitting beside each other in the corner and talking. I pull my hand through my hair and sigh, clearing my throat to get their attention. Their conversation stops and both of them look up, wolf ears on edge.
“Sorry, for the, erm, wait, la-prisoners, if you’ll please just come forward to the front of the cell, I need to ask you some questions,” I say, holding my breath as they come closer. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up as Kat is close enough for me to practically feel her breathing on me.
“Well?” Jade says, crossing her arms.
“Right.” I clear my throat again. Motioning to one of the regular guards, I ask him where the interrogation rooms are placed and he hands me two handcuffs as he points to one of the tunnels.
I also take the cell keys from him and unlock the door, not opening it yet.
“You guys-um-prisoners must not try and-um- escape, it’ll be no use, we have guards stationed everywhere. Once I open the-um-door then you will calmly let me put the handcuffs on you and follow me to the interrogation room. Understood?” I ask, my face hot. Why. Am. I. Stuttering. Jade rolls her eyes. Gosh, she really never did like me. I wonder if Kat does.
No. Why does that matter? It doesn’t.
Kat mumbles a small okay as she looks at the ground.
Do they recognize me? They must.
I sigh and open the door. Both girls put their hands out to be handcuffed. I do Jade first, making sure it’s not too tight. She might not like me, but these two don’t deserve to be behind bars, or hurt, just because of their species.
God, Kat looks like she’s about to cry. I don’t know if it’s because of that ‘soulmate’ thing the seer was talking about or something else, but it instantly makes me sad to see her like that. I blink twice and handcuff Kat, making sure it’s loose enough not to leave a mark. I’ve seen what these rusty handcuffs can do. I pocket the keys and motion for them to follow me as I go into the tunnel that the guard pointed me into.
The tunnel goes further underground and is surrounded by torches. I keep my steps light to make sure I can hear Kat and Jade behind me. Once I’m sure there is no one close enough to hear us, I abruptly stop, causing one of them to bump into me.
“Geez…” Kat says. I turn around to find her rubbing her nose, her pale skin a slight shade of pink.
Quite suddenly, my nose feels a bit sore.
I need to try something. But first,
“Okay, look….”I sigh, “why are you guys here?” Jade, of course, rolls her eyes and leans back on the dirt wall, crossing her arms. All she’s missing to complete the look is some gum.
“We got….caught.” Kat finally says, her eyes on the ground.
“You ratted us out, didn’t ya?” Jade says, looking me dead in the eye. I almost laugh. That’s why she’s so mad? She thinks it’s my fault they got caught?
“I don’t know what would make you think I’d rat you out, but I didn’t do anything. Your...your safety means something to me, you know.” I say, looking at Kat, who’s eyes are still glued to the ground. I wonder what’s so interesting about dirt? I take a deep breath.
“Obviously I’m not going to ‘interrogate’ you guys...We need...We need to talk, Kat.” I say cause it had to be said. She finally looks up from that oh-so-amazing dirt and meets my eyes.
“Um, what?” she says. Ah, right, well, the dirt must’ve been so interesting she couldn’t even hear me.
“No, I know what you said, but what do you mean?” she says, her voice sorta tight. I feel a slight jab in my wrist and Kat winces. Ugh, I must’ve not left it loose enough. Somehow, I’m sorta used to being “connected” by now.
“Are they too tight?”
“The handcuffs? Come here.” I walk over to her and she puts her hands out, turning her head the other way. Why is she so nervous around me? Well, that’s a little hypocritical of me considering I’m nervous to touch her hands and loosen up the cuffs.
I fumble with the cuffs until I finally get them to loosen up, the problem is, I look into Kat’s eyes, and hers widen in surprise, and I’m so distracted I loosen the cuffs so much they fall right off Kat’s hands and thud lightly on the dirt. I sigh as Kat blushes and bends down about to pick em up. I stop her.
“Just forget it. I’m breaking you guys out anyway. Jade, lemme take em off you too.” Jade rolls her eyes but reaches out her arms to me, not once breaking eye contact. What am I gonna do, sheesh, she really has no reason to hate me yet she doesn’t miss a beat in doing it.
I take off her handcuffs, this time deliberately letting them fall in the dirt. I rub the back of my neck as I try to think of a way to escape.
I rarely ever come into the dungeons. I’d need to ask someone for directions if I ever want to escape, but it’s not like I can go up to a guard with two uncuffed prisoners and say ‘Hey, where’s a secretive exit? Just tryna escape, you know, nothing to worry about.”
“Um, are we escaping or what?” Jade says, and I can feel that she’s on the brink of rolling her eyes. 3...2...1...Yep, there she goes again. I clear my throat.
“Yes. The plan is….Um, put the handcuffs back on. I’ll walk you out as if I’m, I don;t know, taking you to the captain or something, and then we’ll go to the woods. We can talk then.” I say, taking a quick glance at Kat, who’s again focused on the dirt.
“Seriously? Like, for real? Then why’d you take them off of us in the first place, smart one?” okay she’s just not being fair now. Did I ever say I was smart? No. And anyway, it’s not like taking Kat’s off was on purpose. It was an accident because of course, I was looking into her eyes.
Kat quickly retrieves both hers and Jade’s cuffs from the ground. She snaps her own in place, giving Jade the other ones. After sighing dramatically, Jade snaps her own in place.
“Alight um, just walk behind me, okay?” I say, hoping to God this will work.
In the same manner that we walked towards this tunnel with, we walk back. I furrow my brows a little, hoping I look a little mad or something at the prisoners. I’ll need to pretend I need to hand them over to the captain or something.
We’re out of the super underground tunnel and are nearing Kat and Jade’s cell. I keep walking, nodding at passing guards.
We made it! We’re outside!
We walk out of the dungeon, fresh air refreshingly blowing some of my red hair in my face. I look up smiling at the birds chirping before looking back ahead of me and remembering what’s happening. A small jab of handcuffs in my wrist reminds me further that now’s no time to smile.
Even though I got to see Ernis again?
Yes, inner self. Yes.
Ernis stops abruptly, and though I try and find my footing, I end up bumping into him just like before, nearly falling backward.
I sigh and stand up straight again, hoping my nose isn’t red, though my ears at this point probably are.
Ernis turns around, his nose slightly red. Huh, interesting…
“Oh-Sorry, it’s just we’re at a far enough place in the forest now.” Ernis says, rubbing his neck.
“Yeah? Well, go ahead, what is it you wanted to say?” Jade crosses her arms and leans against a tree, skeptically gazing at Ernis who runs a hand through his brown hair.
“First of all- Why in the world do you hate me so much?” he says, looking at Jade. I raise my eyebrows at her. Honestly, that’s something I’d like to know too. He hasn’t done anything wrong. Don’t tell me she still thinks he ratted us out?
“You’re guilty until proven innocent, move on.” she says, not breaking eye contact. Ernis rolls his eyes.
“Alright well, you might want to sit down Kat. I gotta tell you something.” he says, eyes on the ground. Shoot, what is it? I sit on a tree stump and put my head in my hands, signaling for him to go on. He sighs.
“Well...You guys know what seers are, right?” I nod, Jade doesn’t move. “I-um- wellll, let’s say this seer came to me, telling me that there was a vampire needing slaying. I went to the place, never with the intent of killing, and I met you guys, then I went back, you know, after killing that regular wolf, then the same seer comes back telling me she knows that it wasn’t a vampire and, finally, that me and you are-um- soulmates, cause apparently some person named Melody or something like that ‘put us together’ what ever that means, and yeah, apparently we’re connected in some way, so when I’m in danger, you are, and vice versa, and yeah I think that’s it.” he says in one breath. I raise my eyebrows. My face grows hot. Jade smirks.
“What?” is all I manage to get out. Ernis takes a deep breath.
“Watch.” he says. I blink. He picks up a rather sharp looking stick and closes his eyes tight. He points it toward his finger.
“What the heck, don’t hurt yourself!” I jump up. He jabs his finger lightly. Ow. I look down at my own finger, which is bleeding.
Um, what is happening? Ernis opens his eyes, rubbing the blood on his own finger on his armor. I blink and without thinking lick the blood off my own. Shoot, I must look so weird, like a maniac or something.
“Still don’t believe me?” he says, raising his eyebrows. Well, at least he didn’t see.
“That doesn’t-prove anything. We are NOT connected.” I say, my ears hot. He sighs and paces.
“I don’t know what else to show you!” he says, throwing his hands up in the air. He sits down against a tree on the ground. I frown.
Why does seeing him like this make me feel so helpless?
Are we really soulmates?
But...but that breaks the tradition...
I was confused from the start when my ears turned towards him, which I’m pretty sure was before we were soulmates or whatever… I’m not supposed to be with a human. I’m a half wolf. It’s just the way life is.I sigh and look into the bright sun, letting the light wash over me.