Inside the Training Center, juiced with natural-borne adrenaline, I successfully complete an obstacle course on my first try. I suppose Kai's army is why we train.
Brink can't help but beam on the sidelines at my success. His exposed teeth sparkle. When I pass the finish line, he picks me up and spins me around in the air. "You did amazing, Aurora! You have never done so well." He quickly sets me down and gains composure, his face turning hard as he clears his throat. "Well done."
I giggle. "Brink, you don't have to be so serious." I take his hands and swing his arms back and forth, but he doesn't encourage the notion. He's uncomfortable.
He then leans in slightly, but refuses to make direct eye contact. "Not here," he warns me.
Immediately, I back off. "Oh." My eyes fall to the shiny black floor. "Sorry." Embarrassment floods me. My memory is really starting to get on my nerves; I'm sure this rule is nothing new.
"The Five cannot be..." he quiets his voice. "...in a relationship with one another, Aurora. It's strictly forbidden. We have to be extra cautious when it comes to the cameras and the people we are around."
I veer my eyes awkwardly and bite down on my lips. "Okay. I'm sorry...again. Are there cameras in here?"
"Well, no, but you never know who may be walking through the door. It's not the safest place."
I sigh. "My memory doesn't seem to be holding up very well." Not only did I not recall Brink being my boyfriend in the first place, but I couldn't remember that being in a relationship with him was a no no.
"We should head back to my Sector," Brink suggests, and tips his head toward the direction of the exit, and I can't say enough at how relieved I am to get a move on.
Despite the fogginess in my brain about certain things, I seem to know my way around. Somehow my mind has retained my sense of direction--too bad that's all it remembers. I don't want him to get him or I in trouble.
Brink turns to the left and stands on a tile to ascend us. I'm perfectly calm when we rise up.
"How are you feeling?" he asks me on our way toward his office. The formality behind his words makes me slightly uneasy. What's putting him on edge?
"I'm okay. What's at the office?"
He glances at me from the corner of his eye and says, "Some privacy."
We arrive at his door and he unlocks it with a few swift motions. After beckoning me inside, he shuts the door behind himself and trails along in my wake. Not knowing what to do, I stop in the middle of the room and wait for his instructions. He immediately opens the vents so I can remove my ventilator.
With my head as hazy as it is, I don't recall exactly how I used to act around him, as far as our couple status went. I'm sure we've hugged and held hands and kissed. That's what normal couples do.
Suddenly, his arm touches my back and I spin around. He appears a tad spooked at my surprise, but doesn't seem too thrown off. His lips slowly turn up into a smile and he takes a few steps near me. I gulp and instinctively check every inch of the room, suddenly too anxious to meet his teal eyes. In the far corner, I spot a white camera, pointed directly at us. My eyes bulge.
"The camera," I breathe as he closes in on me. "You have a camera in here, and it's looking right at us. Did you forget?" I half-gasp, attempting to swallow down my frigidity.
Brink clenches his jaw and releases it. "No, I didn't forget. It...it is not functioning at the moment," he says, and tries to lean into me more, but I make him pause for the second time.
YOU ARE READING
OTHERS (Formerly The Scarlet Effect)Science Fiction
The pandemic was just the beginning. After an unknown virus sweeps across the globe, Aurora and two other survivors seek out safety in a bomb shelter with enough supplies to last a few years. Just as she starts to adapt to her new way of life, she i...