Shane's reflexes saved the both of them. Alizé was thrown onto the floor first (that's what every guy would do) and then he pounced down and landed on top of her. I heard the breath get squashed out of her but she didn't complain. The heavy light landed on the bed, dredging up a cloud of dust as it knocked its residue in all directions.
I had to keep reminding myself that it was only a freak accident. I mean, it couldn't have been cut by someone, it would be murder. Alex wasn't that crazy. Before I could stop myself my whole body was outside and my eyes strained to see the roof. It wasn't dark; and somehow that one fact made the figure balancing on the roof more threatening.
I'd never seen the guy before-I should have realised Alex wouldn't do his own dirty work-and he had his back to me. He was dressed head to foot in black leather and I'd bet he was sweating beyond belief. His jacket had a black hoody underneath so I couldn't see his face. That instinct was the only thing that knew it wasn't Alex.
Before he could escape of the roof, I scrambled over to the nearest window and launched myself up, reaching desperately for the guttering that lined the side of the cabin. It was a couple of feet above my hand, so I jumped on the window sill-lost my balance once so I had to climb up again-and finally managed to drag myself onto the roof.
Somehow I'd missed it, but there was a small window with a broken screen on top of the roof and it was right near the light that had fallen down. No secret as to how it had fallen. However, it would have taken the creep a long time to slice through chains even if that's what he'd done. To saw through them he'd have to have been balancing above me and Ash while we'd been fighting, which meant he'd heard the whole conversation.
And he'd tell Alex.
Distraught at the idea of being responsible for hurting more of my friends if Alex found out my plans I crossed the roof and caught sight of the leather guy climbing down, using a conveniently placed box as a support. I noticed now that he was a big guy, bigger than I could handle on fair footing.
One glance over my shoulder showed me that Will had come out of the cabin, no doubt looking for me and I had a couple of seconds before he shouted my name and gave away my position. That should be enough time to just think of a way to knock the guy of his feet.
In the end I settled on the most prominent idea mean as I had no time to think of anything else. I jumped on him, from the roof, without a guaranteed safe landing. Will didn't see me as I sprang from the roof-which was probably a good thing-and leather guy didn't realise I was descending on him until I was on top of him on the floor.
He was looking up at me but his face was covered with a black balaclava, his eyes were the only things I could see. Black. Like I imagined the devil's to be. But there was something else in them too, something full of regret and a need for understanding. Did I know him?
The suspended moment in time when all we'd done was stare at each other broke when I reached to disjoin the disguise hiding him from me. One of his clammy hands locked onto mine and somehow he managed to twist the situation around and he was hovering over the top of me. I tried to get up but he was too strong, and all of a sudden I regretted tackling him. I hadn't found out who he was; he'd go and tell Alex I'd made trouble. My actions could only make things worse.
Whatever the big guy was about to do, I was saved when Will came bursting through the trees, shouting my name. For the crucial seconds he wasn't looking, the leather guy released me and disappeared into the trees. He was gone when Will spotted me on the floor, nursing my hurt knee. The fall really hadn't done anything for it.
"Charli?" Will looked to the roof, to me and to the trees in confusion. He didn't hang around though; he helped me up to my feet and saved the questions for when I wasn't fighting back tears. Our confrontation had only taken a minute at most, between me and the strange guy who'd tried to murder my friends, yet I'd felt like I was locked in a time loop. There was something familiar about the guy.
"Ok Charli. I think you owe us an explanation. One minute you're telling us to watch our backs and then a light almost falls on top of Shane and Alizé? Instead of checking to see if they're alright, you run away and then I find you with a bleeding knee on the floor outside our cabin? Careful or I'm going to think you jumped from the top of the roof." From the guilty look in my eyes and the aghast expression on his face, I realised that he'd been joking about jumping from the roof.