-21-

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Hey friends!  I'm so so so so so so so so so so sorry that it took me almost a month to update!  But without further ado, here's chapter 21!

"Escape?" Tristan asks in disbelief.

"Yes," Jay says, nodding confirmation. "It's been in the works for a while."

Greyson pipes up. "When Mitchel told me that Amber was here, we had to include you guys. What kind of big brother would be be if I left my baby sister and her friends in this awful place?"

There is a break and the conversation as we absorb this new information.

Timidly, Aria asks the question I was afraid to ask. "Has anyone escaped from here before?"

"Not that we know of," Kendra tells us. "But there's also no record of anyone trying to escape."

"I guess that's mildly comforting," I mutter under my breath.

"How long has this been being planned for?" Tristan asks.

"Greyson and Jay have been planning for quite a while.  Then Mitch and I got on board and started to help.  After we were locked out of the dorms we knew we had to put the plan into action as soon as possible."

Tristan nods.

Aria is conversing with Quinn. I assume he's asking her to say something for him.

"Quinn was wondering if we get to know about this plan? Or will we just blindly do as we're told?"

"You make it sound like we're using you as pawns," Mitchel says with a laugh. He looks to Greyson, who speaks up to answer the question.

"Really though, the four of us know the whole plan. We only told those two lovebirds," he gestures to Mitchel and Kendra. To prove the point Mitch leans over and kisses Kendra on the cheek. "We only told them everything recently," he continues. "We'll tell you guys most parts, but we decided that until we're gone, it's better if fewer people know."

"Not that we don't trust you guys or anything!" Jay adds hastily.

I nod. "It's not offending, it makes sense. Can you tell us the basics?"

"Of course," Greyson tells me with a smile. "So, as we said before, it was time for a job rotation. The jobs are working in the infirmary, as you would have seen, security, janitor stuff and other miscellaneous things like that. Jay and I finally got put on security with a couple other guys that we're friends with. They're trustworthy. We're planning to leave in the night. Once we've decided on a day, we're going to tell them. They think that Jay wants to go to one of the girls dorms and, you know," he pauses. "I think you guys know what I'm getting at. You're not that young. So those guys are going to blow a circuit, causing the breaker to trip. That way the ADCCG can't put blame on anyone but an electrician."

"That's really smart," Tristan praises.

"We've been thinking for a while."

Jay takes over with explaining the plan. "So we'll leave in the night, when the all the security cameras are off. Then we'll figure out where we are, and go from there."

Greyson buts in, clearly not happy with the way his friend is explaining. "He makes it sound unorganized, but I promise it's not."

"That's such a lie!" Jay complains.

"No it's not."

"You're such a boob! Amber, your brother is a boob."

"Okay, okay," Kendra says in effort to shut them up. Clearly she's used to playing peacekeeper.

"You guys have any questions?" Greyson asks. "See Jay! I'm not a boob, I'm nice."

"Yeah yeah yeah, shut up ya idiots," Kendra says passively.

"But really," Mitch says. "Do you guys have questions? I might be able to answer them, cause those two are a little busy arguing over who's a bigger boob," he says with a laugh.

"Who put them in charge?" Kendra mutters under her breath.

Mitch gives her a soft kiss. "You know it'll work out, babe," he whispers.

"But what if it doesn't?"

"It will."

Aria and Quinn are talking quietly, and Tristan and I are sitting here awkwardly, watching the romantic exchange, and the immature exchange.

"How's your ankle?" Tristan asks me.

"Not good. It's been sore the past few days, but walking on it has made it swell up again."

He puts an arm around me. I smile and lean against his broad shoulder. But of course, he has to ruin the moment. "Can I see your ankle?"

"Yeah, sure."

I take off my sock, and roll up my sweatpants.

"Amber! It's really swollen!"

And of course Greyson overhears. Here comes the overprotective brother. "Amber, lemme see your ankle."

I gesture to my ankle. "Right there, free viewing, no admission fees," I mutter sarcastically.

"Shut up. Amber, you need to be on crutches. I think we're done here," Greyson says, taking charge once again.

"I can carry Amber back to the dorms," Tristan says.

"She needs to use the crutches as much as possible, but the ADCCG will try not to let her. They usually want us to be minimally healed, so we'll have permanent limps and whatnot."

Tristan nods. Then they tell us that Mitch and Kendra will come and get us next time we're needed. Aria and Quinn head out and Tristan picks me up and follows.

"What time is it?" I ask.

Aria looks at the clock. "Wow, crap! It's already seven!"

"Well, we did meet at five in the morning."

"True. But there are probably people in the common room," Aria says. "Everyone's awake."

Tristan thinks for a second. "How about you go get Amber's crutches from her room? And we'll wait in the common room. Cause they aren't going to let me come in the girls dorms."

Aria nods. Tristan puts me down and we open the doors to the common room. Tristan, Quinn and I head to the closest couch, me in a lot of pain. "Sorry," Tristan whispers. "I didn't think you would want people to see me carrying you."

"Probably a good idea. If anyone asks, we'll say we took me to the infirmary early in the morning."

He nods.

---

The clock on my bedside table reads 4:28am. I've rewrapped my ankle six trillion times. I had three doses of pain pills throughout the day, and one right before bed. I should be sound asleep. I have to be awake in two and a half hours. But I can't shake this freaking insomnia. My ankle hurts, and my head is going crazy thinking about the plan.

Do I want to escape?

Of course you do Amber! You'd be crazy not to!

But I don't know what lies outside these walls.

Do you want to be here alone? Away from Tristan? Aria and Quinn? Greyson? Amber! You could see Ty again!

But I'm scared.

You're brave, Amber. You can do this.

---

YAY! I updated! I'm really sorry it didn't come sooner. I have exams next week and the week after, so don't expect an update. (I have to write FIVE exams, and a choir exam!!!!!!!!!)

I want to talk about the picture at the top. I've also put it on the cover of 2056. #writteninaction is a campaign to promote books other than teen fiction, ect. Check out the profile: WrittenInAction for more info.

Don't forget to vote and comment!

jen

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