Chapter 18

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A/N: That pic ^^ is how i pictured Eli. Let me know in the comments what you think.

When Hailie woke up the room was almost completely dark, like a thick blanket was hanging over her, filling her lungs, and sucking out all the air. The walls felt as if they were going to collapse on her.

Hailie tried to get off the bed but the sheets were wrapped around her legs and she ended up tripping and falling on the floor. It didn't matter since her entire body was numb. She didn't feel a thing. Her only focus was on getting out of the room. She used the bed to pull herself to her feet, then grabbed the bag. She was staggering to where she thought the door was almost falling a few times. Her hand reached for the handle just as it opened.

Eli.

She fell backwards landing on her butt on the floor. Images of him killing those men flashed before her eyes. Her arms shook as she tried to crawl away from him, her eyes never leaving him, trying to put as much distance between the two of them, but they were weak and she wasn't moving much. The only light came from behind him and shrouded his face in darkness.

"Hailie, what are you doing out of bed?" he asked. He reached down to help her up and she pulled herself away from him. Light caught the pearls on his neck and she saw a flash of blue. He straightened and she could see his silhouette as he walked further into the room. There was a flash when a match was lit. Eli lit the lanterns and hung them up. Now she could see. She didn't feel so stifled. He didn't look so scary anymore but she still didn't want to go near him. Her arms wouldn't move.

Eli walked over to her and stopped a few feet away before he crouched down so that their eyes were on the same level.

"Is this about what you saw earlier?" he asked. She didn't answer. "I told you not to look."

"I had to make sure you did not need my help," she said. Her lip felt uncomfortable but it didn't hurt anymore.

"I didn't need your help, that's why I told you to stay outside. Where were those men taking you?"

"You ask a question you already know the answer to. You do that a lot."

"That's because I want you to tell me these things yourself. Talk to me. What were they planning to do?"

"They were going to take me to the jail. I would have been whipped and then hanged for treason before the day was up. It was revenge. They wanted me dead because I hurt them before. This is precisely why I did not want to go back there." She scratched her head. Her brain was still working a bit slow. "No, that is not true. I was not going to be killed. The soldier they called knew who I am and was going to take me to the man I am hiding from. They wanted the book." It only just hit her. They were going to take her to Uncle Lance. If that had happened she would have never been able to rescue Benji or get her revenge. She gritted her teeth.

"They knew about the book?"

"I do not know how, but the man said something about a reward. I should have gone by a different name. I was not thinking."

"Who is this man you're hiding from?"

"That is all I will say about it for now." She looked up at his face. "You are Elijah Trent," she said.

He frowned. "I was hoping you wouldn't find that out until later. I take it you've heard of me."

"Everyone who lives in a coastal town has heard of you. I have heard your name in the mountains. What I saw was far worse than any rumour I have ever heard."

"You knew what they were about to do to Lilly. You said they did those things to other girls. I had to get rid of them. You said you saw other girls taken there?"

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