Chapter Thirty Three

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I wake up slowly the next morning in my own dormitory. As soon as my mind clears, I remember that today is the day of the mission. Groaning, I drag myself out of bed and stumble over to the drawers where I keep my clothes.

"Is it time already?" Leah moans.

"I wish it weren't." After I pull on my clean clothes, I head towards the door.

"Hey. Where are you going?"

"I'm going to see Matthew before we leave."

"Oh, come on! Haven't you seen him enough? It's not like he won't be here when you get back." Her voice is more teasing than angry.

"See you," I reply, stepping out of the dormitory.

"Bye."

It's 6:00 a.m., an hour before we leave, and the Training Facility is still silent and empty. Quietly, I slink to the other side of the room and knock on Matthew's door. For a moment I wait tensely, sneaking quick glances over my shoulder to make sure I'm not being watched. Then the door opens and I slip inside. Matthew scratches his neck and smiles at me somewhat tiredly. He wears shorts and an old t-shirt.

"Good morning," I whisper. "Sorry, I didn't have time to brush my hair. It must be awful."

"Nonsense." He grabs my arms and pulls me towards him, kissing the spot behind my ear. Warmth spills into me slowly, like honey. I'm led to the couch in the living room, and we sit down together.

"Do you know what you're going to do today?" I ask.

"Mmhmm." He kisses my neck, and I sigh. "I'm going to keep watch in front of Luke's tunnel. Maybe I can catch him off guard."

"Good idea."

"What about you? Do you know what this 'mission' is all about?" Yesterday, just before we were released from training, Sam gathered all of the Squads together and told us that we would be relocating to the residential district of the city, away from the Depot and government facilities.

"I think he just wants us to practice sneaking into the city in case something ever were to happen and we were needed to investigate it."

"Hmm..." Matthew pulls away a little, his eyebrows tugged in.

"What?"

"Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but ... If something really were to happen, shouldn't you be guarding the Depot? Not storming towards it?" He has a point. If Sam were truly convinced that the Depot might be infiltrated, wouldn't guarding the entrance to the Resistance make more sense? A little troubled, I shrug and force myself to discard the thought. He must have his reasons for our trip to the residential district.

"Well, anyways, I know you'll do great." Matthew places his hand on the small of my back and presses me towards him. We kiss again -- slowly, sensuously -- and a thrill of anxiety forces its way down my spine. My stomach jumps and I pull away quickly. I can feel my face growing red.

"What is it?" He asks quietly. I look into his still eyes, and I hate myself for being scared.

"I-I..." After spluttering dumbly for a moment, I take a deep breath and attempt to form an intelligent sentence. "What is this? What is this between us?" Matthew sits up straighter and shakes his head, looking shocked.

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