Hannah knocked on the front door.
"Haven't you got a key?" Scott asked.
"Yes," she replied frostily. The key sat at the bottom of her coat pocket, but she'd not once considered using it. After all, it wasn't her front door.
The door opened.
"Oh, Hannah, there you are. Where have you been, what have you been doing? We were getting worried about you." Diana stood in the doorway. Hannah was surprised to see the genuine look of concern on her face.
"I'm fine, Diana" she replied, suddenly exhausted.
"Mrs Page, Hannah has been helping General Briggs with some very important work," Scott said smiling at Diana.
"Ah, Mr Scott, how nice to see you again, please come in." Diana stood back and gestured for them to enter. "Hannah, did you forget your key again?"
Hannah felt a gentle prod in the small of her back. "Go on," he whispered. Reluctantly, she entered, choosing not to answer Diana's question.
The smile on Diana's face seemed to crack a little. "Well, never mind. Come on into the kitchen. I'll make us some tea and you can fill me in on your important work, Hannah." Diana rubbed her hands together, the perfect smile now fixed.
"Actually, I'm just going to head up to my room for a shower. Bye, Scott," Hannah called out as she walked towards the staircase.
"Yes, about that..." Hannah stopped, her foot barely on the first step. "General Briggs insists that you should have round-the-clock protection. Mrs Page, could I borrow your spare room for the next few days. Although, I am sure there is nothing to worry about, General Briggs would like Hannah to have to have round-the-clock protection until we find the perpetrators of the attack the other day."
Hannah rolled her eyes and knew it was useless to argue.
"But what about Zeke, I mean, Mr Matheson, I thought he was looking after Hannah?" Diana asked her tone suspicious.
"Indeed he is, Mrs Page. Zeke will be running area surveillance and is leading our on-going investigations, but General Briggs felt it best that I stay within arm's reach of Hannah at all times; just as a precaution." Scott smiled at her again. Hannah almost laughed, watching him trying to dazzle Diana with his brilliant white smile. Annoyingly, it seemed to work.
"Very well, I will ask Maria to fix up the spare room for you. Hannah, go freshen up then and come straight back down. I will take Mr Scott to the kitchen for tea."
Hannah sped up the stairs, onto the landing and almost ran straight into Edward.
"Sorry," she said and tried to move past him.
"Why the hurry, Hannah?" Edward asked, "Where have you been hiding? Mother worried that you might have returned home to your real parents,'" he said, his fingers adding quotation marks in the air to emphasise the word real.
"Not now, Edward please." She waited for him to move but he didn't.
"Could you please move?" Still he did not move out of the way.
"What's your problem?" She asked and tried to push past him. In an instant he grabbed her and pinned against the wall.
"What's my problem? You are Hannah, you are!" His hot, sweet smelling breath, made Hannah's stomach flip over. She tried to avert her eyes away from his lifeless gaze. Edward traced his index finger down the side of her face and it came to rest on her lips. "You and your secrets, Hannah, you think you are oh so clever don't you? You're not the only one with secrets, do you know that? I have secrets of my own, I know things..."
YOU ARE READING
The NumberedScience Fiction
Imagine the second you're born, a consultant removes you from your mother's grasp and runs a battery of genetic and physiological tests on you. Thirty minutes later they give you a score out of one hundred which denotes your level of perfection. If...