Chapter 29

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I sat on the ground, book trembling in my hands as I finished reading it. My breath shortened and my heart started racing.

It got to me, and the fact that this could've been real. This could've been me? I still couldn't understand it.

I dropped the book as I looked around the room aimlessly. I didn't know what to do or who to call. I just sat there, lost.

After a few minutes, a voice roared from outside. "Red!" The husky voice called out.

I simply laid on the ground, speechless. "Red." His voice softens the moment his eyes met mine. "Oh, thank God," he breathes out as he rushes to me. 

He kneels before my form. "Are you okay?" He cups my cheeks in his hands, studying my body and I stared at him.

How was I supposed to answer that?

He glanced at the book that laid beside me. "Did you read it?" Archer asked, anxiousness brimming in his eyes through the form of tears.

"W-what?" I looked at him, brows knitting together. Was that all he cared about?

"The book, did you finish reading it?" His hands grabbed either side of me. His face was warped with a dark desperation; he was almost unrecognisable.

"Why does that even matter right now, Archer?" I yelled out, losing my breath in the process. I felt my chest tightening as a sharp pain pierced through it. It's been a while since I've been in anxiety's clutches.

"Red, you need to answer me." He said, eyes drilling through mine but I couldn't answer him this time, I couldn't breathe.

"Wait- what's wrong?" Archer asked, inching closer towards me. I let my head drop onto his shoulder as I tried stabilising my breathing.

"Archer, what's going on?" I asked out weakly, regaining my composure.

"I'm so sorry, love. You weren't supposed to find out this way." He whispers. He notices the spilt contents of my bag and sees the key along with the pieces of newspaper. He settles himself next to me, picking it up. 

"There were so many hints that I missed. I could've stopped it." His voice is low. "I was supposed to keep you safe," a part of him breaks with that admission. "I messed up and I thought I lost you then." He says while cradling me close to him, his thumb caressing the scar on my temple.

"You've known me since then?" I peered up at him, bewildered as he nods.

"I promise, I'll tell you everything if you let me," Archer tells me but I couldn't take any more of this yet. 

"I-I need a minute." My breath comes out in tiny spurts. Archer doesn't say anything further, giving me the time to recollect myself. 

I feel him stroke my hair, pushing me to his chest. The sound of his heart thumping made its way to my ears. I felt mine calm down as it synced with his, my breath stabilising. Once again, I feel time stand still.

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