Marcus flexed his hand at the sight of her, the fire of duty cresting in his palm. He took a quiet step toward her.
“Hello,” spoke a voice—Abigail’s voice. She uttered it low, in the barest of whispers, just enough sound to be heard.
Marcus froze. He turned his head away from her and cast a brief glance over his shoulder. His brows furrowed at the empty space. There was no one there. But that being the case, who on earth did she speak to? His gaze traveled back to Abigail slowly, confusion rusting his bones. She couldn’t very well have been talking to him. No, he must have been hearing things, or perhaps, she talked to the figments of her mind, he mused. Yes, she was crazy. Was the room not a testament to her mental state? He took another measured step.
Abigail spoke again. “Are you here for me?” She shifted slightly to get a better look at him.
Marcus’s heart pounded and shock swelled in his throat. She had said something to him! Not only did she see him, but she looked straight at him, missing that singular gaze of regret, the glossy gleam of uncertainty, the never-ending stare of question that plagued his existence. She only stared at him, steady, waiting for him to validate her spoken words.
But worst of all was that he knew her. Marcus could only stare at this girl he’d never met, but whose semblance had haunted the last century of his existence.
After a moment, perhaps gathering her answer from his silence, Abigail reached for the suitcase and rose. Like a child embarking on her first steps, she paced uncertainly toward him. Stringy red hair veiled her downcast eyes until finally she stood before him, knuckles white as she grasped the suitcase handles severely. She pushed thick, black-rimmed glasses up her nose and lifted her lashes. Familiar green eyes focused on his, waiting for his next move, for his next words.
He said nothing.
She set the suitcase down beside her. “I hope this is okay. I didn’t want to wait until you arrived to find out what I could bring or how much I could to take, in case you were in a hurry. I got it all down to one suitcase. I managed to pack some extra sweaters and scarves in case it’s cold where we’re going. I have some photographs as well and…” She trailed off into the surrounding quiet, a contagious silence that afflicted Marcus as well.
“Sorry.” She chuckled lightly and pressed quivering fingers to her lips. “I tend to ramble when I’m nervous.”
Blankly, he stared down at her unkempt mess of hair, unable to think of something to say. What could he say? No, there were no words. Having seen more than he could bear, he decided against speaking. All that remained was to either take her or not, the latter not an option at all.
Yet, before Abigail could speak or move again, Marcus walked from the room. The world around him blurred to smears of color, shadow, and flashing lights as he rushed from the apartment, through the tunneled staircase, and out into the early night. Reaching the desolate street, he didn’t stop. The night had grown warmer, yet bitter cold ebbed through his veins. He needed to get away from there, away from the toxic apartment, away from the threat of memories unearthing in his mind…away from her.
Blocks turned to miles, turned to a different borough all together, when he finally stopped at the hands of a wire fence twisting along the Hudson River’s edge. He gripped the barbed chords and looked to the rippled rows of black water sloshing onto the concrete barrier beneath him.
“So is this where it happens?”
He spun wildly. At seeing Abigail standing there, her suitcase in hands, he cupped his mouth. “You’re not here,” he murmured through his fingers. His hand dropped at his side. “You cannot be serious. How many souls would have been running in the other direction, begging for me to spare them? I left you with life you’ve barely experienced at, what—how old are you, seventeen? Eighteen? And you follow me still?”
Abigail bit her lip. “Nineteen.”
He shook his head. “Of course, nineteen. Of all ages, you’re nineteen,” he scoffed contemptuously and moved back, the hollow footstep shattering the awkward silence between them. “You need to go back.”
She sucked in a quiet breath, auburn brows joined in confusion. Her mouth opened and then shut. “Go back?”
|Ben Barnes||as Marcus Kent|
|Mia Wasikowska||as Abigail Archer|
|Carey Mulligan||as Margaret Devonshire|