Chapter 9

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We were so shocked that we actually stopped our fighting mid-swing. Hollow was confused as to who this new girl was, I was surprised that Hope could be that loud. Honestly, it scared me. Which was probably a good thing considering I wasn't gonna stop until he was dead and I think he had similar thoughts, only about me. I wasn't gonna let him kill me first, I had to get out from under him.
When Hope yelled, Hollow had paused in his attack. That pause was just what I needed to wriggle free. I got him to loosen his grasp on my shirt and I shoved him away as I stumbled backwards. But since he had an advantage, he was on me in an instant and he punched me in the gut/ribs area and I went down.
When I was down I guess I blacked out again because I couldn't really tell what was happening. It all happened in slow motion sort of.
The first thing that I remember was blood. I could taste it. It was all metallic and sour and there was another taste that I couldn't quite place. Then the pain followed, it hurt a lot worse than you'd expect. It felt like someone burned me and then stabbed the burn.
After the pain started up is when the other tough-looking guy came over. I don't know what was said, I was in too much pain, but he pulled Hollow off. Then everything went black.
When I got my senses back and became conscious again, I saw a bunch of angry people arguing around the table. I was still on the floor but now I was alone. I got up slowly and went back to the bathroom, mainly to see how bad I looked.
As soon as I saw myself I couldn't help but say "oh my god".
My face was a bit bruised but that's not what shocked me. What surprised me was the blood. It was around and in my mouth.
"Did I cough up blood? Holy crap! No wonder it hurt so much!"
Then the one called "Fluke" came back and saw me.
"Woah, you look like crap."
"I blame your friend. He's a jerk."
"You were the one who threatened to kill Pocket."
I avoided eye contact. Not because of guilt, I didn't have any. I just couldn't look at this guy. He was like a haunting memory come to life.
After a few awkward seconds of waiting for a reply, Walmart boy spoke again.
"Look, I'm sorry for threatening you. But you had my friend and-"
"Just shut up." I cut him off. "You did what you thought was right. You had to protect your group. I did the same. A bunch of strangers were in my house, raiding my supplies. I wasn't going to let that go unanswered."
"But you shouldn't have made her bleed."
"I wasn't planning on it. I didn't want to. I didn't want any of you to get hurt. I just wanted you gone. And seeing as how I didn't know if you guys were dangerous, I needed some leverage. She was perfect."
"You knocked me out!"
"That wasn't me. That was Raven. She was protecting me. Nothing about any of that was personal."
"Really? None of it?"
I managed to force myself to meet his eyes in the mirror.
"None of it."
"What about that whole thing with Hollow? It sounded pretty personal to me."
"You were unconscious. You don't know."
"From what everyone was saying, Id assume yes."
I swiveled around to look at him.
"That became personal. He did it to himself. He grabbed Raven!"
"But she knocked me out! You had Pocket at knife-point!"
"I didn't want you to get hurt! I never meant to hurt you!" Then I realized what I said and fixed it. "I didn't want her to get hurt either. But after he did that, I wanted to hurt him. He deserved it, in my eyes. He probably thinks the same thing about me. So we're even."
He didn't say anything, he just shrugged and walked away.
I got a washcloth and got it wet and wiped it all off of my face. Then I brushed my teeth... Twice.
When I was satisfied and thought that I'd done a thorough job I walked back to join the meeting and to face the guy who wanted me dead.

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