24 - H E R E / W E / G O

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As soon as I wake, I contemplate whether or not to believe what around me is real.

Moments later, the nurse strolls in to give me my daily dosage of who-knows-what and informs me that I have an open schedule today. In other words, Number One gave me no plans, meaning he insists that I suffer in this white box alone. After what he did to me yesterday, it's a dick move.

Once she departs, I walk around the tiny space I've been allotted in order to stretch and warm my muscles up in case I do go somewhere. Somehow I've got to train my brain to put everything from my past on hold...because I won't be going back for a while. Right now, the goal is to follow along with the bullshit and get out.

While bent over, attempting to touch my toes in this awkwardly-shaped suit, a squeaking sound emanates from the other side of the room. Number One enters, his posture straight as an arrow, his demeanor casual.

My body turns frigid. "Get out," I say, glaring at him.

He throws his arms up defensively and says. "Save the attitude," before striding over to the bars of my cell.

I scoff but say nothing, keeping my eyes locked on his every move.

He unlocks the cell door, but before sliding it open, he pauses to raise his brow. "Someone is happy this morning."

"I'm not in the mood for sarcasm, if you haven't already noticed," I sneer.

He crosses his arms before he cocks his head to one side and snorts. "I'm never in the mood to be around you, but you don't see me complaining."

I turn away from him, plunk down on my given bed, and face the other direction. My plan to go with the flow is thrown out the window when I see him. Cooperation is not happening unless I get something in return. As much as I want to leave this place, I am not going to get walked over by someone I don't even know.

"Now, I was in a decent mood, until now. I appreciate you ruining it," he states nonchalantly.

I throw him a sarcastic thumbs up.

"Do you want out or not?" he asks, his voice sounding strained and forced, like he's conflicted with his word choice.

I spin around to look at him again and take in his glowing eyes staring firmly at mine.

"I don't want out if you're coming with me. I'm sick of you being vague. Not answering any of my questions...I could go on," I confess, narrowing my eyes to slits.

"Fine," he huffs. "We can discuss what happened yesterday, but not here." His eyes scope out the room around him, like he's paranoid about being watched.

His response piques my interest; is he actually giving in to something for once? "Why not here?"

"If you want to talk it will be in my office. Understand?"

Number One gives me no room to object when he thrusts my cell door open and rushes in to retrieve me like I'm an unstable criminal. I wriggle around in his possession before letting him lead me.

After we exit my cell room, I endeavor to pay more attention to my surroundings and absorb my sense of direction. Knowing where things are and which doors are which will come in handy in the future. So far, we've taken two rights and one left, and are headed for a straightaway with a single door at the end, where his office resides. Number One goes through the security measures and then tugs me inside with him.

"Sit," he says, as if it's routine for him to do so whenever we enter this room. I do without arguing, seeing it as a compromise.

He ambles around his shiny, black desk and hovers his hand over multiple controls, scanning all of the knobs and gadgets.

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