Unremarkable (Anything But #2)(2)

By: Lindy Zart

He smiled then and her insides went numb. “Until next time.”

“Wait!” she called out, so afraid to be alone that she even preferred his presence to none. And questions, she had so many questions.

He came back into view, his eyebrow lifted quizzically.

“How long have I been here?”

“Six months, give or take a day.”

She tried to speak and couldn’t, her mouth silently opening and closing. Six months? Honor had lost over half a year of her life and hadn’t even known about it? A lot could happen in six months; a lot of terrible things.

“How could I be here so long? Asleep? And why am I completely healed? Shouldn’t there be some discomfort at least? I feel nothing.”

“You’re healed. Why would there be any pain? You were drugged during the recovery process, so that you didn’t slow or stop the healing by waking up and overreacting. The IVs were removed yesterday.” His lips twisted in a semblance of a smile, making it obvious he wasn’t telling her everything.

What were in the IVs? A thought she didn’t want to openly address, not yet.

“Where is my mom and…and…my sister? Where’s Nealon?”

Where was Ryder? What happened to Christian? Her mom…Scarlet. Honor closed her eyes against a wave of pain in her mind and heart. Where was everyone? Were they okay?

“Ah, yes, your mother. Cassie. Nice lady. And…” He tilted his head. “Scarlet, was it? Sweet girl. Quiet. Don’t fret. They know you’re here.”

Dread grew at his casualness when he said their names. “What have you done to them?” she whispered. “Have you hurt them?”

He drew himself straighter. “Do you think me some kind of monster?”

Yes. I do. Not just some kind, but the worst kind.

“They’re fine. And as long as you cooperate with me, they will continue to be fine.”

“What do you mean? Where are they?”

August patted her head and Honor flinched, wishing she could pull away from his revolting touch. “They’re on vacation. Don’t make it a permanent one. Get some rest, Honor. You’re going to need it.”

“Vacation?” Her pulse tripped. “Where? Where are they? What did you do to them?” Honor’s voice was shrill.

“They are fine,” he replied evenly. “Don’t worry about them. Actually, don’t even speak about them. Your hysteria is not needed, nor appreciated. I told you they were safe. I am many things, but a liar isn’t one of them. Generally.”

“What happened to Christian? And Nealon?” she whispered.

“The UD is dead.”

The sob she’d choked back down her throat at his words erupted as soon as the door swooshed shut. It burst out of her; her heart aching for all whose lives had been ripped and shredded by that man and his abominable UD and UDK society—a society that shouldn’t even exist.

Christian was dead? No. A flash of chiseled features, dark brown hair with a hint of red in it, and silvery eyes stabbed her consciousness. He was going to be a writer. She always enjoyed reading his articles for the school paper. They’d been smart, insightful, colorful. Sorrow washed over her at all he had wanted to be and now wouldn’t, because of something he had no control over. Christian is dead.

She closed her eyes, refusing to believe it. August was a liar, a manipulator. She couldn’t believe or trust anything he said.

Honor hadn’t even asked about Ryder. She assumed he was okay, being August’s replica-in-the-making and all. She didn’t even know if she would care if he wasn’t okay. The jerk shot her. She at least knew her family was okay—she had to believe that. But Nealon—he hadn’t answered her about him. Twice. Hot tears streamed down her face and Honor quietly wept.

She didn’t allow herself long to cry, only a minute or two, before Honor began to process the situation. The gunshot wound, her healing, her family, everyone and everything involved—it was too much. But the thing that bothered her the most, the thing that weighed heavy on her mind and being, was the fact that she was trapped, held captive, like some test subject, or animal. That’s what you are now. No. It wasn’t. She wasn’t.

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