Chapter Seventy-Two

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My heart raced as I slowly stood up in the dark bedroom.

Everyone else appeared to be asleep. The room was completely silent as I picked up my bag and began to tiptoe around motionless bodies in my attempt to escape. I doubted anyone would wake up.

The only problem I'd have was if somebody was already awake.

I managed to sneak out into the hallway without an issue, but as I began to walk down towards the door leading outside, I heard soft whispers being exchanged in the main room. I stopped moving completely, and listened.

The whispers continued, but I was too far away to make out what was being said. I couldn't help my curiosity. I inched further down the hall, avoiding stepping too loudly. As long as I remained unseen, I still had a chance at getting out of there before anyone found me.

As I moved closer, I was able to hear both sides of the conversation. There were two people, and judging by their voices, I could tell it was Asten and January. I wondered why either of them was awake. I could see why we might need someone awake and on watch, which I had hoped wouldn't happen, but two people seemed excessive. Hopefully, they both just had trouble sleeping and would leave for bed soon enough. Although, then again, they'd have to pass through this hall, causing another problem for me.

I froze completely and was able to eavesdrop into their conversation. I only felt slightly guilty since I knew I'd be leaving soon anyway.

"...You know something was off. There's more to it than I expected."

"I don't want to think about too much right now. What we need to focus on is our people," January's voice came in reply.

"Yes...but don't you think....." Asten's voice went quieter as he said whatever it was in a lower tone. I was having trouble understanding the subject of the conversation. I inferred that it was related to the Equator.

"Maybe. Okay? Maybe. Maybe there's a whole other plan the Equator has that we don't know. But what I do know is they injected us with something, and we need to get to the others to make sure they're okay."

At January's response, I couldn't help but lean closer. If they were injected with something...that probably explained what had happened in the room. But what? It seemed like a lot of work to go through each and every person just to shove a syringe into them.

"Fine..." As I leaned even closer, my foot stepped further along the hallway, and I heard a low screech of the dull wood beneath my feet. I winced and squeezed my eyes shut. If they were talking, it wouldn't have been a problem. But they weren't. They would have heard it.

Before either could come to investigate I dropped the bag I was carrying in the dark hallway and quickly walked out into the main room. If it looked like I was showing myself, they would never expect me to have been eavesdropping.

Both of their heads were turned in my direction as I walked out of the shadows of the hallway.

I felt a bit awkward standing there and quickly made up an excuse. "Sorry...I was just thirsty..." I didn't even know if we had water. The tap water probably had stopped working a while back, although maybe somebody had already gone out and used the snow to create a water supply. It's what they'd done back at the old building where the rest of the Snow Society still was. It was odd to think that they were still back there, probably waiting patiently for us to return. I knew I never would, now that I was leaving, but I did hope the others made it back.

I could tell immediately that Asten knew something was up. I hadn't realized that the bag that I'd had left in the middle of the hallway was more obvious than it had seemed it would be. January had yet to notice it due to her angle. And she also seemed a bit lost in thought.

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