In my year and a half of being in the Glade, I never once figured I would be teaming up with Gally for anything ever. But, there I was, making a plan with him to stop a rascal of a kid from possibly destroying the whole Glade and maybe 'accidentally' killing someone along the way.

Okay, so that was a bit of an exaggeration. We still desperately needed to get Alex out and fast.

There were obstacles- several obstacles, actually. One was that we had little to no evidence that all of the things Alex had done were on purpose. Another was that Minho took him into the Maze every day, meaning he was barely around for Gally and I to spy on him.

So more days passed. And more. They were boring, long, and filled only with the satisfaction of finally being able to draw on my wall with the supplies Minho had asked for. I corrected Maps that didn't need correcting, erasing lines only to draw them in again, trying to get rid of the stone stuck between my ribs.

With no running in the Maze, no Minho, and everyone else busy, there was nothing for me to do. Running used to be cathartic to me, easing my mind with every slap of my sneakers against the stone floor. It was always cold in there, always quiet, and a place where I could run all of my thoughts away. Now I could never do that again.

That was my motivation. I didn't have to go in the Maze to run- I could do it in the Glade. I got up from my chair in the Map Room and walked unsteadily until I reached the South Wall. I leaned against it for a second to regain my breath before sliding my jacket off and tying it around my waist, leaving me only in my gray quarter-sleeve.

The first lap, I was okay. There was a slight pain in my leg, but it was just bearable enough for me to keep walking. I never strayed far from the wall except to cut around the forest as I paced myself. The second lap caused the pain to double. Halfway through, it tripled. Soon I was gritting my teeth and blinking tears away, trying to push through the lap that should have been no trouble at all. I used to be the fastest, the one who could run the farthest.

"Nadia, stop!"

I paused, turned to see all of the Raisers staring at me, and promptly collapsed against the wall. Garret, who had been the one to call me out, ran toward me and bent down so he was at my level. His gray eyes were filled with concern as he examined the way I clutched my leg and breathed heavily through my clenched jaw. His hairline was dotted with sweat, turning his blond hair a light brown.

"What were you thinking?" he demands, but gently enough to show he isn't upset. "You could ruin your leg forever, doing that."

I didn't have the energy to respond. My face was flushed red from the strain I had put on myself, cheeks feeling puffy and hot as I struggled to steady my breathing. The back of my neck and my underarms were damp from sweat. A stabbing, intense pain was shooting from my leg, making me whimper through labored pants.

Garret wrapped an arm around my shoulders and pulled me up onto my feet. He motioned to his colleagues that he'd be back, made sure I was securely supported, and set off toward the Homestead. Every step made me grunt and squeeze my eyes shut at the agony. Garret noticed this and began singing a soft, soothing song that made my stiff muscles relax from his voice near my ear.

"I need - a shower," I gasped through heavy breaths. My chest felt like it was on fire even though those two laps would have been effortless to complete before the accident, the rock wedging itself further between my ribs and digging deeper than before.

Garret nodded and changed direction so we were now walking toward the shower rooms near the back of the Homestead. He continued his song, muscles straining as he tried to relieve as much pressure on my bad leg as he could. I could tell it was tough for him because he wasn't the strongest of all the Gladers. My heart warmed at his kindness.

aegis | the maze runner / minhoRead this story for FREE!