introduction. by DarkandLovely
47: (Tezia Rotham) 18 years old.
71: (Hayate Kan) 19 years old.
Run. Those were the last words I remember hearing before I shot into the darkness. Trees and leaves passed me in a dizzying swirl and the breath in my lungs were as fire. If only I could make to the gate. I could feel the tears well up in my eyes and for the first time in eons, I allowed them to break free. To the gate. Get to the gate. Before I could get another step further, I felt arms grab me. My breath caught in my throat and I struck, hitting bone. I was lifted and slammed hard against the ground and it was then that I started to panic.
“Stay still.” A male voice hissed. Sweat had started to form against my forehead and my body grew aflame with pain but I would still fight. I reached up to scratch at the person but much bigger hands shoved mine into the dirt.
“NO!” Fear shot through me.
“I am not going to harm you. Stop resisting.” The male’s breath grew closer and soon he pushed me back roughly against the trunk of a tree.
“Don’t say a word.” He whispered into my ear and covered my mouth with his hand. In the distance, I could see lights as they waved in throughout the trees and brush. I began to thrash but the grip on my mouth grew tighter and he pressed me back against the tree. Voices could be heard.
“Where are they?”
“If I knew that, we wouldn’t be out here looking.”
“This forest is so thick and big they could be anywhere.”
“Well if we gotta search all night, we will.” The light grew closer and I grew stiff, fear seeping through my very pores. It passed across a fraction of a inch above us.
“Do you see them?”
“Nope. Let’s try over here.” Soon, the voices faded as did the lights. Slowly, he removed his hand from my mouth and sighed deeply, resting his forehead against the bark of the tree.
“Are you a resistor?” I looked up at him, heart beating in my chest.
“I see.” I let his clothes go and lifted a shaky hand to push back the hair from my face.
“You must be too if you’re out here.”
“You are correct.” By the light of the moon, his features became a little visible but only his eyes could be seen completely.
“What is your identifier?” He asked me, taking me in.
“I am 71.” I didn’t reply but instead turned to look out into the night.
“I have to get to that gate.”
“They will find you.”
“I don’t care. They can kill me for all I care.”
“You’re willing to throw your life away so carelessly.” He said with a sigh.
“Look, you know as well as I do the hell that waits for us should we be caught.”
“Yes but what awaits us should we get to the gate I wonder.”
“Freedom.” He grew quiet for a while before he spoke next.
“How do you propose we get this freedom?” I blinked.
“Quickly. Should we part ways or work together?” He asked, glancing over his shoulder.
“It doesn’t matter to me. I wasn’t expecting you to be here…”
“Do you think it wise to do this on your own?”
“That was the plan from the beginning.”
“Consider the plan aborted. You’re coming with me.” Before I could get another word out, he grabbed my hand and yanked me in the direction of the moonlight.
“We have a better chance of survival if we work as a team. Do you object?” I shut my mouth and answered with silence. As we continued on, we froze as we heard footsteps close by.
“You hear that?”
“Sounded like talking.”
“Somewhere close.” 71 squeezed my hand and took off, forcing me to keep up behind him.
“Over there!” Frenzy covered me and I ran desperately, forgetting about the pain.
“Up ahead…” He breathed.
“You see them?’
“They’re up ahead!” NO…. no no no…I wanted so badly to cry…but could only run. I had to make it. I could not allow them to catch me. The sound of fingers gripping iron came in front of me.
“Climb! Now!” He shouted at me. I wasted no time, pulling myself up as fast as I could.
“THERE!” I grunted as I continued to pull myself upwards. I looked up ahead to find 71 already crossing over.
“WAIT!” My foot tangled in some of the vines and I tried to pull it free.
“Give me your hand!” I jumped up and felt our fingers connect. My foot slid out of the shoe and I was pulled up over the gate.
“STOP! YOU WON’T MAKE IT VERY FAR!” Throwing off my other shoe hastily, I shot off once again, feet pounding against the dirt. If we made it far enough away, they wouldn’t be able to catch us… even in the morning light. My lungs begged for a reprieve but I kept going until the gate faded out of view. Once again, the emotion inside my chest burst and I let my tears flow. They slid down my cheeks in such a sweet grace. Freedom…I never once knew the meaning of the word but now that I had even a little taste of it… I would do anything to keep it. Even if that meant I had to kill for it.
“47!” I lifted back my fist and punched the perpetrator in the face and he immediately let me go.
“GO!” I took off, the green of the forest blurring together.
“71…where are you?” But yet I heard nothing. No… this time just like last time I would make it… with him. The plan had been aborted and that was fine. I didn’t want to go anyway.
“Here…” I turned towards the voice to find him in higher ground.
“Help me up!” He climbed onto a nearby tree and reached down, pulling me up. Breath heavy, he grabbed my hand and pulled me. As we grew deeper and deeper into the forest, the sounds of the Others soon faded. My lungs begged for relief but once our small cabin came into view I felt a rush of joy.
“Head inside.” He commanded, turning to grab a nearby weapon. Without question I got inside and peered through the window…his safety a priority. For what seemed like minutes to hours, he finally put the weapon back into the hidden spot and came inside. I didn’t say a word as he walked past me into the bathroom. I sunk to my feet, fingers gripping into tight fists. The running never ceased. Just when we thought we were safe… they had to keep coming. All because we had decided to choose freedom. Tears fell onto my hands and I cried, pressing my face against the wood floor. I wept for what seemed like the longest time. I didn’t hear him come back into the living room.
“You’ve been there quite a while 47.” I froze. Looking up, I could see 71’s eyes on me, his body bare. I tore my eyes away from him and hid my face.
“I-I’m sorry I…”
“It does not bother me. You should get up. The threat has passed.” I swallowed but slowly stood, my eyes finding their way back to his body. Water fell away from his hair and a bead, small and translucent slid down the line of his spine. I averted my eyes.
“I thought we were safe.”
“You should know by now that safety is never a guarantee.” I felt fingers curl under my chin. Palms sweaty, I swallowed tightly.
“You did good this time 47.”
“Those bastards won’t quit will they?” He pulled away, casually going to grab some pants that lay out ready to be worn.
“It seems we are more valuable than they care to admit. We hold all the secrets they want to keep hidden.”
“How will we solve this?” He started to put on his pants.
“We must make a trade. For now.”
“What kind of trade?” I asked, seriousness threading into my tone.
“Absolutely not. No!”
“It will ensure our survival and buy us much needed time.”
“You make no sense! You know what will happen if they catch me.” Though I felt heat in my cheeks, my eyes caught the scattered welts that appeared across his back. He too knew what would happen. His body carried the very reminder.
“You are going to do this. End of discussion.” He finished pulling up the jeans and turned to face me again, his face unreadable. The anger had been building inside my chest and I ran to him, fists pounding at his chest.
“NO! I won’t do it. You know as well as I do that they will kill me. Will you fare well with that fact?”
“Emotion is fickle. It serves no purpose.”
“Is it nothing but an artificial thing implanted into us or are we truly in control of ourselves now?” He was quiet, his hands in fists.
“Tell me something…Tezia.” He asked, his eyes flickering up to mine. My heart beat hard inside my chest. At the use of my name, heat blossomed in my cheeks.
“Should I not send you…will you be ready and willing to run again?” I licked my lips and turned away from him, arms tightly around me.
“If I have to run for the rest of my life in order to control myself… I will.” I grew still as I felt his fingers caress the now raised bruise where once my barcode had been.
“You don’t want to survive on your own?”
“71…” He leaned down to press his lips against the scar.
“I know very well the risks we run. If I had any control over the situation you would stay with me.” He lifted his hands to grip my arms and slowly brought his mouth to my cheek.
“Trust me when I say I would retrieve you as soon as I could.” He grabbed a handful of my dreads and pulled them to make me meet his gaze.
“The very awareness of what awaits you makes me sick to my stomach. That is why I want to help you prepare.”
“I won’t allow you to do this. I can’t.” He lifted a thumb and brushed it across my lip. “The influence you have over me remains higher than they…it is as if you own me.” His jaw grew tight.
“I find that with you I am no more than a powerless creature, defenseless and weak.” I reached up to press hands against his chest, still damp beneath my fingers.
“Let the weakness consume you husband.” His gaze was intense and I felt at any moment that I would drown in his depths.
“If I own you as you say then you would do whatever you had to in order to remain in my possession.” His gaze was intense and I felt at any moment that I would drown in his depths.
“Perhaps it is I that wants possession of you.” A fire kindled deep in the pit of my stomach and I grew breathless as his lips grew closer.
“Will you allow me that?” I tightened my fingers against him. Our lives were the only thing we had and the freedom to do as we so desired was a gift not awarded to many.
“If and only if you agree not to give me to another. I don’t desire to survive without you.”
“Very well.” His lips met mine and I felt him grip my hair tighter. It seemed that his breath flowed into me and as long as it flowed for me, I could continue to live. A groan rumbled against my lips and his hand left my hair only to pull me against him. I gripped his back and pulled my mouth away from him, gasping for air.
“Kan…” He lifted me into his arms, tightly gripping me. The hunger that rested on his very breath spoke to the need in my voice. He spoke not as the pants that once clothed him fell to his feet. I allowed him to lift me and his legs crossed the room faster than I had time to comprehend. As my body was exposed and his lips came to taste the skin, I sighed in relief. Fingers tangled in his hair, I tried to capture every little bit of sensation as I could.
“You are mine.” He breathed against my breast, hair hiding his face.
“And you are mine.” Quite different than the vows the world was accustomed, it would suffice. With each dip he took into my soul, I vowed it ever stronger. Even if we were to be captured, at least I could and would say that I had experienced love. I wrapped myself around him and didn’t let go until it seemed the very heavens had opened.