"It's your life. Live it with people who are alive. It tends to be contagious."
- Peter McWilliams
The Dog | Dizelde
Garth walked silently beside me. I couldn't work out if he didn't like talking or he just simply didn't like me. Now that I knew he was a shape-changer, I couldn't help but notice the way he walked lightly on his feet, always ready to change direction or pounce, and I couldn't even hear his feet tapping along the pavement. My inner alarm was shrieking danger, this man could ambush me at any time, without warning.
"This is MY house," he suddenly said sullenly.
I looked up, expecting us to be in front of a gate or something but we were still passing a laneway and the next house was still several metres away. I gave him a confused look.
"The house we're going to," he muttered impatiently, "is mine. You'll be living with me and my housemate, Larkin. There's a spare bedroom on the first floor, the two other bedrooms are on the second floor."
I had no idea what to say to that. Lie, which would be obvious to him, and say I was pleased to live with him? Tell him the truth and say that I wanted to run away? All I had wanted, really, was a ride away from the compound, to get as far as I could away from them. But I knew that Luke and Garth could help me stay away, Luke seemed like a powerful person. He would have some strong allies. But what would he want in return? I had absolutely nothing to offer... unless he wanted information. I nearly, just nearly, delved into memories of trainings, better known as torture, that I'd been forced to partake in. They 'trained' us to keep their secrets under all circumstances if we ever got caught. I shuddered. If he wanted a lot of information, he was going to be disappointed. Even supernatural eyes couldn't make me go against years of psychological training.
"Thank you." It was all I could say.
"I don't know if Lark's home or out training but just let him know that you'll be hanging around and that Luke'll explain it later."
"Aren't you coming in with me?" I asked nervously. Did this guy really expect me to walk into a strange house and make myself at home? The only house I had memories of was the one I had just run away from. What if this place wasn't set up the same? What would I do? When would he come back?
He made us stop walking and I was surprised when he placed his hand on my shoulder, leaning forward so that our faces were close. "You'll be fine. And I'll only be gone for less than an hour. Just some things that Luke and I need to tie up. Here are the keys," - he handed me a ring with several keys, one held between his fingers, probably the front door key - , "and the alarm code is, now make sure you're listening, 320985." He said it so fast and as he spoke it he watched my face carefully. When I didn't say anything he quirked an eyebrow.
"You got that?"
I nodded. 320985. It was only six digits. Even if I had forgotten it I could probably override his alarm system anyway. The thought made me smile.
"Ah, she has a happy face," Garth spoke suddenly.
The smile wiped away faster than I could decapitate a dummy. What was he trying to say? That he didn't think I could smile? That I didn't know how to be happy? I gritted my teeth and gripped the keys tighter. If he had noticed my reaction to his comment, he didn't say anything. We strode to a gate in the high, white wall we'd been walking next to for the last few metres and he turned the handle, opened the silently sliding black door and gestured me inside.