Chapter 7

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After wandering back to the room I stayed in, I couldn't bring myself to sleep. I was exhausted. But I just couldn't shut my brain down long enough to sleep. I sat on the bed, zoning out for an eternity. When I got tired of it, I sat cross-legged on the soft white rug on the floor. I stared down at the hallways and the office beneath me, its wide table and chairs and computer screens. It looked like a normal conference room, but something told me that it wasn't. 

I remembered the notebooks in the desk near me. It had to have been a long while before I finally brought myself to the desk, opening the top drawer. There they were, all the graphite and charcoal pencils and different shades of grey and white next to the two black sketchbooks. I picked one of the books up, flipping through the blank cream-coloured pages. I left the book open to its first page, staring at it. I blinked several times before running my fingers over the pencils in the drawer. 

The graphite pencils were wrapped in black labels. They had white squared-off erasers, and their wood had the name Palomino Blackwing etched in a beautiful gold copperplate. My jaw almost went slack. These pencils were more expensive than a round-trip to heaven to meet God. The charcoal pencils were wrapped in a thin silver wrap, labeled with a black font of the same name. 

I had no doubt that these people had money. I could tell that by their business. But it seemed as if they had just been throwing around money now, just for some expensive quality sketching pencils.

I carefully picked up two of the graphite pencils. I gently lifted one to my face. It smelled like a sweet wood- just like the type of wood I had read about them being made of. My fingers wrapped gently around them, slowly bringing them to the palm of my hand before I closed the drawer again. I gently backed away, crossing my legs on the white rug again. 

I sketched a simple curved line across the paper. The grey lead moved smoothly across, leaving a perfectly stained graphite mark. I began turning the curve into a circle, and added more shapes.

I slowly began turning the shapes into a face. A sharp jawline over a wide set of shoulders covered by a thick jacket. Darkly-shaded hair that framed a grinning face. I just couldn't seem to get his eyes right. 

After many attempts of erasing and re-sketching, I just couldn't seem to get the feel of Jack's eyes to look right. Not even one. It took me nearly forever before I could finally settle on the shaping and brow wrinkles to look how I liked. 

There was a gentle knock on the door. My head whipped up, and I let out a quick breath. "Come in."

When the door creaked open, I saw the kind-face man, Ianto, come into the room slowly. He had on the same style suit now, but this time in a dark burgundy shirt. I stared back down at my paper in my lap and continued shading. 

"Good morning," he greeted softly. 

I shouldn't have even been surprised by the fact it was morning. I had spent all night doing nothing or wandering around or sketching on the same piece of paper here. "G'morning."

"Not sure if you drink coffee, but I brought some anyway," Ianto placed a white mug on the desk near the rug I sat on. 

"Thank you," I nodded, still not looking up. The cheekbones were angled wrong. "I do drink coffee. 'S one of the things they let me have if I cooperate with the meds."

"Speaking of," Ianto began gently. I stared up to see him take an orange bottle with a white label from his pocket. He placed it on the desk near the coffee. "Jack asked that I bring it to you. Said to tell you he should be able to trust you with it."

I nodded gently as I stared back down. "I'm not going to try and overdose again, if that's what he's thinking."

"Said he wasn't sure. But he wanted to trust you."

"He can," I stated simply. "He probably just doesn't know that."

"I think he does," Ianto assured me delicately. He paused for a short moment. "You have some very beautiful art."

"Thanks." My voice was quiet and barely audible. My hand hovered over the paper slowly. I wasn't sure what else to say. 

"You don't have to stay up here, you know," the man nodded. "I believe the others should be getting here soon. I'm sure they'd love to get to know you. There's food down here, too."

Ianto was a mom. He acted like a mom. I nodded, a small smile on my face as I looked back up at the man. "Thanks, Ianto."

The suited man gave me another gentle smile as he nodded. "I'll see you later, then."

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