Chapter 49

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- Caspar's POV -

I felt as if I was running through a mirrored maze blindly. The maze is constantly shape shifting, and I didn't have much time. Every wrong step I took, I knew I was failing. Joe was waiting at the other side of the maze.

But I didn't make it in time. The Joe that stood a few feet apart from me was no longer Joe.

Even Ryan could tell, "Joe?" He asked, hints of fear peeking through this tone.

I shook my head, "That's not Joe."

Ryan looked confused.

"The Joe that is controlling his body right now is the same Joe that tried to kill me. It's the angry and evil side of Joe's personality that he tucked away. But when a certain amount of his pain is released, so is this side. It rarely happens but it's scary when it does." I summarized.

Joe smiled maliciously, "No. This is the real Joe. The honest Joe. The truthful one. The one that knows how much hatred the weaker Joe holds for Caspar."

Joe took a step towards me, and I staggered back.

"W-What should I do?" Ryan whispered in my ear, barely out of Joe's hearing.

"Tie him up." I said softly between clenched teeth.

"With what?" Ryan asked as Joe took another step forward; a desperate attempt trying to hear what we were saying.

"I don't know. Just find something." I said quickly. Joe didn't so much as move even as Ryan left the room.

I took that time to really look at this Joe. I looked at his skin, the color fresh light cream, soft as a newborn's. Then I dared to look into his eyes. The color that was once vibrant was now blended in a blur of a blueish green. Dead.

"Joe, can you hear me?" I asked in vain. I knew Joe, my Joe, was locked inside.

There was no response. Minutes that seemed like hours passed us by.

He finally spoke, "You are a waste of a body. A waste of a soul. You will be eliminated so you will cause no further trouble."

He took a step towards me. His body movements were slow and shaken, as if he was fighting with himself to move. Then after a single flinch, his body stiffened. He meandered towards me with complete ease. My Joe had lost.

It suddenly occurred to me that Joe was going to kill me. This time it wouldn't be a failed attempt like it was in the hotel bathroom. It was real this time. No mistakes, no setbacks, no obstacles. I'm going to expire right here right now. From the hands of the one I truly love. And I wanted, I longed, I needed to be mad. Furious. Angry. Sad. Remourseful. Regretful. I felt nothing. I felt empty.

I closed my eyes. Every second dragged on. Sweat poured down my face, drenching my flesh. My thumping heart pumping blood to my veins so quickly that my skin throbbed in pain. Begging for release. Waiting is worse than dying.

"JUST DO IT!" I screamed, fighting the sudden urge to cry anticipated tears.

"Caspar?" That wasn't Joe's voice. My eyes shot open.

Ryan stood before me, sitting on Joe's back, while tying Joe's hands with some sort of rope.

My immediate instinct was to throw Ryan across the room and save Joe. Same him from the undeserving ropes that were holding his hands in place.

The fifthly rope didn't deserve to be around Joe's perfect skin. The ground didn't deserve to have Joe's body pressed painfully against it.

Then I snapped back to reality. That's not Joe. Of course it's not. It's them. The appearance of Joe is a trick. I found myself softening to the mere sight of Joe's body though.

That's what they wanted. I can show no mercy. Joe's soul is tied tighter than the ropes to the body the voices consumed.

But the body... Looked like Joe. Grinned like Joe. Sounded like Joe. My heart stilled as I looked him over. I focused on his eyes.

His dead eyes nothing more than swirls of lost colors. I focused on them to remind myself that the body in front of me, was not, in fact Joe.

But suddenly the lost colors vanished, revealing the bright ones I remembered.

"Caspar?" Joe asked. A lot of pure confusion on his face. A spark of hope sent fireworks flying in my brain.

I heard Ryan talking but shut him out. It's just me and Joe.

"Why am I tied up? Why is Ryan Higa sitting on me? Untie me Caspar, it hurts. Please?" His eyes. His bright eyes glistening with life as they fought along the sides of warriors as they slashed into Mine.

My feet shuffled in slow sync as I walked towards him.

"Are you really Joe? Really?" I asked, ignoring my screaming conscience telling me it's a trap.

"Caspar it's me. I fought the voices off. It's me Caspar. The Joe you fell in love with and loves you back. The Joe that needs you." His voice had never even so sincere.

My conscience no longer held me back. I raced over and tore Ryan off Joe's back relentlessly. I ripped at the ropes that were tying Joe down like an animal. My flesh burned as the ropes shot fire to my flesh as my fingers quickly rubbed against the rope as I untied it. I didn't care though. I had to set Joe free.

Joe stood. I threw my arms around him.

"Thanks Caspar." He sounded relieved and joyous.

I broke the hug to look at him. To stare longer into his eyes.

My legs dragged me backwards instantly. Joe's eyes were dead. The lively look they contained seconds earlier was an illusion. A trap I had fallen down into the depths of. Those eyes shot daggers into mine. I fell to the ground, my entire body shivering.

"Thanks Caspar." He sneered as he repeated the phrase in a completely different manner.

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