“What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve believed?” Vince shifted uncomfortably onto his back and pulled his torn plaid blanket up to his chin with his unshackled hand.

The question caught me by surprise, so much to the point that I was unsure if he was asking me or one of the others. I waited a moment for someone to respond, but no one did. Vince’s head lolled to one side, and I felt his gaze settle on me like dust on an old wardrobe. Despite my better judgment, I returned it.

“That someday we may make it out of this mess,” I said with a light sigh. My heart hammered in my freckle-stained chest at the thought of the hundreds of kids stuck inside the warehouse. I should have done something. I could have gotten them out…

“You’re thinking of them, aren’t you?” His voice was soft enough to be lost within the cool, chilled breeze of the autumn night, but somehow, I could only hear him. I could only hear the sorrow laced between each word he ever so carefully spoke.

There was something about the quiet sound of his voice that calmed my heart - brought me peace. I couldn’t describe it. I could feel the apology seeping through his words, one syllable at a time. But he’s the bad guy, I reminded myself. He’s the reason you can’t sleep at night.

Ripping myself out of the trance he’d put me under, I peeled my eyes away from his icy gaze and turned my vision towards the rustling leaves waltzing above our camp. At last, I responded. “I’ve never stopped thinking about them.”

Almost immediately, Vince sat up and shifted himself to where he was sitting directly in front of me, his back to the fire. The flames made his blonde hair white, his tan skin speckled with red. It wasn’t far from the image I had seen while escaping the warehouse just a week ago.

“Then what are you going to do about it?” Any trace of softness or sorrow in his voice had been burned by the flames dancing behind him.

Anger rushed through me. How could he be so insensitive? So cruel? Had he finally become his dreadful father? Angry and a bit dazed, I spat back, “You are a COMPLETE moron, Vince Katz. Do you have no sympathy for the hundreds of children you left to die in the stupid warehouse that, oh, I don’t know, you told us was a safe house? I cant even begin-“


“-to understand how someone could be so selfish and as evil-“

“-Izzy, please-“

“-as your selfish little-“

“IZZY.” Somehow, his hands had ended up on my shoulders, and my finger was pointing right in his face, which had a mouth hanging half open in amazement and wide eyes plastered onto it’s surface. “Are you done?” He remarked after a moment of electrified silence, in which I only answered with a dramatic slump back onto my sleeping bag. He stayed in his spot, his back to the fire.

Vince looked away for a moment, running a hand through his tangled hair. My arms were crossed in front of my chest, my heart still pounding in my chest from the anger I felt towards Vince Katz. “I didn’t mean it like that, Izzy. You know I didn’t.” His voice was just above a whisper, but I could have heard it from a mile away.

“Do I, now? What makes you so sure?”

He grinned. “Because I’m Vince Katz. I know everything.”

I let out a sarcastic laugh, shaking my head in the process. “Then I suppose you knew that your father was going to set our people’s safe house on fire, too? Now that, kind sir, is why you are just like your father. A murderer. A killer. A fool.” I spit out the last word like poison, and it was only then that Vince’s confidence wavered. But it was only for a moment.

Vince stared at me with his icy blue eyes, and a cold breeze passed between the two of us - cold, dark, and electric. “I didn’t know, Izzy. I don’t know how I can convince you otherwise.”

I gave him a half-convinced look.

Vince looked away, and then slowly returned his gaze. “But If I do know one thing, it’s that…” his voice - his confidence - quavered, “that above all else, I wouldn’t have ever let them hurt you, not even for a second.”

Comments 0