Chapter 33

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Hailie's eyes opened. She was on a bed with a blanket pulled up to her neck. She sat up quickly. Her instincts already telling her to run from the unfamiliar room. Eli was sitting at the desk with a pen in his hand. She remembered where she was, and felt a little better though not much.

"I'm not even a little surprised you fell asleep waiting on me." He underlined something in the book. "You sleep curled up like a cat. It doesn't look very comfortable."

"What time is it?" she asked.

"About eleven thirty. You were only asleep for two hours. I thought you'd want to sleep a little longer. I figured you'd panic if you woke up in here alone."

Just that two hour nap made her feel a lot better, still tired but better.

Hailie swung her legs off the bed and started to shove them into her shoes. "I am supposed to help Gordon with lunch."

"We'll talk later then." He held up the notebook that she'd forgotten to put back into the bag. "Lend this to me. I'll give it back later. I need to read it properly to find out a possible answer to your questions."

She didn't want to, but she wanted answers more. "Okay then."

He nodded. It was strange. Normally he'd be looking directly at her while they were talking but now he wasn't even looking in her direction. As she walked towards the door, Hailie snuck a glance in the mirror. He looked normal except the pearl in the necklace had pink flecks. This was the first time she was seeing pink.

She took the ripped shirt from on top of the trunk and left the room. Her hand rested on the handle of the door. She knew she had been tired, but she still thought it was strange that she fell asleep in his room, and a little embarrassing. She shook the thoughts from her head. She had a ripped shirt to fix and lunch to help prepare.

Hailie adjusted the bag on her waist. It felt heavier than usual. She opened it. Sitting at the very top was the paperweight she'd been admiring. He must have put it in her bag while she was sleeping.

The med bay was closer so she went there first. This time she knocked on the door. Shen was pacing the floor. A chair lay broken at the furthest wall. Celeste was awake but was silent with her eyes following Shen's movements. They both looked at her when she walked inside.

Hailie ignored the both of them and walked over to the broken chair. She stooped down and picked up one of the legs.

"What are you doing?" Shen asked.

She waved the leg at him. "You broke a chair that was going to break." She pointed to a crack in the leg and then to another leg that was bent strange. "The next person who sat on this chair would have fallen." She felt the back. "Even the backrest feels weak."

"Those chairs take long to make. I can't break a good one. Go use it in the oven or something."

Hailie glanced at Celeste. All that commotion had been over two hours ago and he was still pacing like a caged lion.

"Shen was working on a project for the past few months. Someone was curious and ended up breaking it," Celeste said.

"Months. It took me almost six months to reach that far, and it only took a second to break. I told them not to send anyone!" A bucket slammed onto the wall.

"On a much calmer note, why are you here?" Celeste asked.

Hailie held up the shirt. "I need a needle and thread to fix Eli's shirt."

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