And we did indeed fall—just not for very long.
As it turns out, elevators don't really fall anymore. I mean, they can break and stuff, but the whole plunging-to-the-bottom-of-the-shaft-and-perishing-in-a-fiery-explosion thing? Pretty unlikely. Modern technology is a wonder.
So when Rokim and the building admins finally did show up (after my rather dramatic descent into unconsciousness), they found us stuck between the first and second floors. We'd sort of bumped ourselves down a level, and they'd had to pry the doors open and haul us through whatever little space was left. After that, I was promptly rushed to the hospital, checked for injuries, blah blah blah. You know, the usual.
That's why when I first opened my eyes, I was assaulted by bright white fluorescent lights. Obviously that didn't jive well with me, having just been subjected to a horribly traumatic experience and all, so I squeezed my eyes shut again.
Perhaps that wasn't the best idea, because as soon as I did I became aware of a few voices shouting at each other nearby. Familiar voices.
"Look at what you did to her! She could have died!" yelled the first.
"I know," said the second. Their words were stiff and forced. "It wasn't my intention—"
"Fuck you!" I heard something being slammed against the wall, and I tried to move and stop them somehow, but my limbs were sluggish. I forced my eyes open again. They hadn't completely adjusted to the light, so I could only squint at the two people having it out in my room.
Rian was pinned against the wall by . . . is that Rokim? I thought in shock. His face was almost unrecognizable, completely contorted by fury. His dyed blond hair was a mess, and he looked like he hadn't slept at all. "You don't even know, do you?" he hissed, staring at Rian accusingly.
Rian, in sharp contrast to Rokim, wasn't the least bit aggressive. He didn't try to remove Rokim's hands from his collar or fight back in any way. He just looked . . . resigned?
No, that wasn't it. Rian looked guilty.
"I don't know what?" Rian echoed tonelessly.
Rokim's eyes narrowed and he slammed Rian against the wall again. I wanted to yell and stop them, but my voice was stuck in my throat—my body hadn't completely woken up yet. I could only watch as Rian rocked back, his black hair splaying haphazardly over his forehead and getting in his eyes.
"Do you have any idea what that girl has put herself through because of you?" Rokim stabbed a finger in the direction of my hospital bed. "Can you even fathom what she's done for you already? What she's sacrificed?"
Rian's gaze shot up from where it had been boring a hole in the floor. "What?" he asked tensely. "Tell me."
Rokim seemed to seize with rage then. He stared Rian in the eye for a few seconds longer, and I was sure he was about to punch him.
But instead he abruptly released his collar, his lip curling in disgust. "Whatever," he muttered, turning away from him. "Just get out."
Rian stood stock still, not moving an inch. "No. Tell me what you were about to say." His voice carried an edge that I'd heard only once before, on the way to that meeting with Prof—a dark, feverish undercurrent that I didn't know how to define.
Rokim glared at him hard, and I saw his hand clench into a fist. He struggled for a moment, his fingers digging into his palm, before his shoulders dropped and he turned to face Rian fully.
"She has nightmares," he said finally.
Rian stiffened. "What . . . kind of nightmares?" he asked, his voice strained.
YOU ARE READING
He brushed his lips against my jaw, his dark hair falling over his brow. "Open your eyes," he commanded. "Look at me." I followed his orders and looked into the raven-black depths before me. I saw my entranced gaze reflected in his glaring one. "Tel...