The Evolution of Mara Dyer

Author: P Hana

Page 87

   

Did they know everything too?

As we rushed through the hall, though, I noticed that there was, in fact, one door still open. One that I made sure I closed earlier on my way out.

My door.

I jerked to a stop in front of it, halting Noah along with me. “My door,” I whispered to him. “I closed it, Noah. I closed it.”

“Mara—”

I pushed the door open—a dim rectangle of light fell on the wall, by Phoebe’s bed.

Where there were letters.

Letters that formed words.

Words that were written in something dark and wet.

The salt-rust smell assaulted my nostrils and turned my stomach. Noah flipped the light switch but the light didn’t turn on. He moved deeper into the room, but did not let go of my hand.

Phoebe was tucked into her bed, the covers up to her chest. Her arms were by her side, and two dark, red balloons of blood burst from her slashed wrists, staining the white blanket on either side of her body. And on the wall, written in blood, were three words.

I SEE YOU

Jude was here.

The room was sucked of all sound. I tried to swallow, to scream, but I couldn’t. It was an infinity before I heard my name whispered in the most familiar voice I knew.

Noah’s arms wrapped around me, vise-tight and perfect. He folded me into him. He lifted me up, the warmth of him warming me through my sweat-damp shirt. I wrapped my legs around him and buried my face in his neck and sobbed without sound.

He didn’t say anything as he carried me. Noah stalked swiftly and silently, through the hall with me in his arms; I didn’t know how he was doing it and I didn’t care. If he put me down, I wasn’t sure I would be able to stand on my own.

We reached the front entrance then. And he leaned back and looked up into my eyes.

“The resort is maybe twenty minutes, if we run. Can you run, Mara?”

Could I run?

The wolf was at my door and there was fire at my feet. I had to run. I would.

I nodded, and Noah set me down, my hand still in his grasp. He reached for the door.

But what about—

“Jamie,” I whispered, looking behind us. Looking back. “Jamie was with us in the office, Noah. He was with us.”

I was being watched and tortured. Phoebe was being used and had been killed.

Neither of us had been safe. Both of us were here.

Which meant Jamie wasn’t safe either. None of the other students were.

But of them, Jamie was the one I cared about the most. If I had to choose, he was the one I had to get out.

“We have to get Jamie,” I said, my voice clear.

Noah nodded once, his expression hard. “I will, I swear it, but I need to get you safe, first.”

Noah was choosing me.

I didn’t waver. “We can’t leave him.”

“Mara—”

“We can’t leave him,” I said, and tried to pull away.

“We won’t,” Noah said. But he placed his hand on the doorknob anyway, and he wouldn’t let me go.

It wouldn’t have mattered if he had, though, because the door didn’t open. The knob didn’t even turn.

We were locked inside.

“We’re trapped,” I whispered. I hated my voice. I hated my fear.

Noah pulled me away from the door and headed left. His strides were long and fast and I could barely keep up. I had no idea where we were going; the place was like a maze. But Noah’s perfect memory served us well—he led us to the empty dining room, which looked out over the ocean. The edge of dawn had begun to creep over the black horizon through the window. Noah tried the door that led to the kitchen.

It was locked too.

He swore, and then he was back by my side. He looked out at the dark water. Looked at the tables and chairs.

“Move,” he said to me, urging me away from the window.

I backed away as Noah lifted a chair. Launched it in fury at the glass.

It bounced off.

“All right,” he said calmly to the air, to no one. Then to me he said, “Let’s wake them up.”

Jamie. Stella. Everyone, he meant. We outnumbered the adults, and together, maybe we could do something that alone, we couldn’t. Maybe together, we could all find a way out.

We ran back to the patient rooms. Noah tried to open the first door. Locked. He banged his fist once, ordered whoever was inside to wake up.

He was met with silence. We tried another door.

Another locked door.

That was when I realized I’d never seen any locks on any of the patient doors. There were no latches to turn. No buttons to press.

That didn’t mean there were no locks. It just meant that we, the patients, weren’t able to lock them.

But now we were locked inside.

Trapped, my mind whispered.

We hadn’t seen or heard another living soul since we left Kells’s office. No counselors. No adults. They left us here.

Why?

My mind bent in confusion as Noah pulled me to his room, the one he shared with Jamie. The door was open.

Jamie was not inside.

My legs were string—I couldn’t stand anymore. I sank, but Noah caught me. He pulled me close, so close against him and wrapped himself around me until every point of my body made contact with his. Forehead to forehead, chest to chest, hips to hips. He loosened his arms and pushed the matted, damp hair from my face, from my neck. He tried to hold me together, but I still fell apart.

After my pointless sobs softened into silence, I spoke. “I’m so scared,” I said.

And so ashamed, I didn’t say. I felt so weak.

“I know,” Noah said, his back against the frame of his bed, his arms wrapped around me still. His lips brushed my ear. “But I have to go find Jamie.”

I nodded. I knew. I wanted him to. But I couldn’t seem to let him go.

It wouldn’t have mattered, though. A few seconds later, we heard the scream.

65

IT CUT OFF AS SHARPLY AS IT BEGAN.

“That wasn’t Jamie,” Noah said strongly against my temple. He tucked my head beneath his chin, my cheek against his chest.

He was right. The voice had been female.

We listened, fitted against each other in the dark. The silence was thick, shutting out everything but my heartbeat. Or Noah’s. It was impossible to know.

Another scream issued—from the compound’s center. From the garden? I couldn’t tell from here.

“Stay here,” Noah said to me, his voice firm and clear.

He couldn’t not go. But I couldn’t leave him.

“No,” I said, shaking my head. “We’re not splitting up.” My voice sharpened. “We’re not splitting up.”

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