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Myla only had two hours left of her life. She was gagged and chained to an unfamiliar cave wall with no one to help her. Kendrick Lewis had somehow tracked her down and brought her here to torture and, sooner rather than later, kill her.
“I will be back in two hours, Myla. Two hours, then everything will be over.” His voice still echoed in her head and she was too weak to do anything about it. She knew that the only means of escape she had was if someone broke into the cave with something particularly sharp to cut through the steel chains. Might as well just wait for the worst, she thought despairingly. She closed her eyes and drifted off restlessly.
After what seemed like an eternity, she came to her senses again and saw the hidden entrance flap open. It’s over, she thought, squeezing her eyes shut against the sudden brightness. She waited for the sudden blow that would end her life. She knew Kendrick would be merciless and cruel. A soft rustle reached her ears and she cringed into the wall, wishing she could melt into it. The sudden jangling of a weapon pushed her over the edge, allowing her to spit out the cloth in her mouth.
“Make it quick, Kendrick!” she shouted desperately.
“Shhh! Are you trying to get us caught?” A warm hand fell over her mouth and she opened her eyes.
A tall figure was looming over her, unlocking the chains that were fastened to her hands. Their free hand held a flashlight. A pair of light gray eyes swam behind it. Myla knew better than to trust a complete stranger, though. She opened her mouth and bit down on the stranger’s hand. The stranger jumped back and she was able to make out a tall lean figure of a boy of around seventeen, her age.
The boy shot her a death glare. “Do you want to get out of here, or not?” he hissed.
Myla froze and glared right back at him. Her options were simple enough, but risky. She could let this stranger help her and face the consequences later. It also gave her the chance to escape Kendrick and his wrath, though. On the other hand, she knew how to defend herself quite well when she wasn’t chained onto a cave wall. She looked at the boy and gave him a small uncertain nod. The boy registered her expression for a second and continued to unlock the chains.
“Okay, when all the chains are off I will have to carry you.” He shook his head urgently when she opened her mouth to protest. “No, you’ve been here too long and if you were to run you would faint instantly.” Myla closed her mouth, defeated. He was right. She had been bound for a week and had no food in her system except for some very little water.
The last chain fell to the ground and Myla swayed. The boy caught her in his arms and gave one last order. “Don’t bite me,” he said. He began to walk swiftly and within seconds they were outside in the real sunlight.
“Myla.” Kendrick’s voice reverberated throughout the cave dangerously. “It’s time to say good-bye to everything you ever had and everything you will never have.” The cave fell silent after a minute and Kendrick felt satisfied with Myla’s silent fright. She deserves this, he thought just as he rounded the corner. He smiled to himself and gripped his knife securely.
“Good-bye, Myla.” He faced the wall and his smile vanished instantly. The knife went flying through the air and embedded itself in a crevice in the wall.
“Gage,” he snarled into the empty void.
Gage slowed from his running gait and looked around him. He knew they were far away now. Kendrick wouldn’t follow them on foot. He looked down at the girl in his arms and frowned slightly. Had he done the right thing? Kendrick knew it had been him. Who else could it have been? While on the run, the girl had somehow nestled in his arms and her head was resting against his chest. She had fallen asleep and her black curls were tangled hopelessly.
“No… no,” the girl muttered. She turned her head weakly and her hands momentarily clenched his shirt.
Without thinking, he rocked her gently and was relieved to see her face clear. His feeling of relief passed quickly, though. He was only supposed to help her recuperate and from there on out she would be on her own. He picked up his stride again and pushed her out of his mind.
Myla was back in the cave, she knew it. Those were Kendrick’s hands that were trying to shake the life out of her. She opened her eyes and raised her arms defensively. She expected a sudden hit, but instead she felt someone prodding her gently. Her eyes widened and she found herself on soft ground. She pushed herself into a sitting position and scanned her surroundings.
The area she was lying in was green with cushioning grass. Behind her towered a huge tree and flowers sprung up around it in colorful patterns. She raised her eyes to the sky, hardly believing what she saw. Fluffy white clouds drifted across it with a gentle breeze that teased her curls.
“I’m glad to see you better.”
Myla jumped and looked for the source of the voice. A few feet away from her stood the boy who had rescued her. He was standing with his arms crossed across his chest and his eyes were surveying her.
“Who are you?” she asked. She knew this wasn’t what you said to the person who had just rescued you, but her guard was up. A thank you would have sufficed but she wasn’t taking any chances.
The boy raised his eyebrows before answering. “Gage Lewis. And you?”
“Myla,” she answered shortly. She and Gage regarded each other seriously for a while before Gage cracked a smile. “What?” she snapped. She had the feeling that he was making fun of her.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “It’s just that your expression is so serious. I can’t keep up with you.” He laughed and caught Myla’s look. “Okay, it’s not funny to you, but don’t you trust me at least a little bit?’
A stony silence greeted him and he flinched. “All right. We’ll just see how things turn out. You will need to trust me, though. There’s no one else around here you can rely on.”
His words sunk in and Myla knew he was right again. The dense forest that surrounded them was completely empty and the only sounds came from the birds perched in the trees. Myla gazed down at her lap and tried to keep her feelings at bay. She had been helped out by Gage, yes, but what if he turned out to be like Kendrick? They even looked somewhat alike. She looked up at him unwillingly and studied his features. The light gray eyes were the ones that stood out the most. His own black hair was just a floppy mess and his mouth was set in a grim line as she took him in.
“Anything in particular you’re looking for?” he asked in a dry voice.
Myla scowled. “There’s something about you that reminds me of Kendrick and I can’t figure it out.” She looked away from him then. She didn’t want to make him think she was crazy.
“I think the reason is because we’re brothers,” Gage said quietly.