“Let’s make a jump for it,” Eve yells. Just as quickly, we both realize we’re headed upward too fast for it to be a safe option. Within a matter of seconds, we’re easily a hundred feet up.
Eve sits in front of the hole, dejected. I join her side.
“How is it possible they’re always so far ahead of us?” Eve asks.
“What do you mean?” I return.
“The SPs. Even if Maxine told them we were coming, how could they have possibly set this up so quickly? The sheer odds of us picking that door. I guess if they knew we were going into the tunnel, maybe, somehow, but didn’t Maxine seem confused about the whole—“
“Eve,” I cut her off. “What makes you so certain this is the work of the SPs?”
“What do you mean?” she replies. “Of course it’s the SPs. It was a set-up, don’t you–“
“You really think Bruno flew us all this way for an ambush?”
“Are you trying to say this was all part of Bruno’s plan? How in the world could he have possibly gotten this all together ahead of time without anyone noticing? The helicopter alone–”
“I don’t hear a helicopter,” I interrupt.
“You’re right.” Eve narrows her eyes in thought.
“Look down,” I smirk. We’re currently being hoisted over a series of shipping containers which are loaded onto the back of a large barge.
“A crane?” A sense of hope fills her voice.
“Probably. If I had to guess, I’d say we’re sitting in one of those containers ourselves. By the time the SPs get up through the hole, they’ll find nothing but an empty lot and a barge which has already taken off.”
The box swings as the crane stops and begins to lower us onto the ship below.
“That’s brilliant!” Eve exclaims. “But we’re already in Boston. Why would we get on a ship?”
“I’d like to imagine a person who could somehow get us here in such a convoluted way probably has a pretty good plan on how to get us where we need to be.”
“I guess we don’t really have much of an option but to wait and see anyways.” Eve slides herself beside me. The hole darkens as we settle on top of the red metal container below us.
“Yeah, I think we’re pretty well locked in here now. Nothing to do but wait.”
“Well, a dark room, just you and me, and who knows how much time to kill,” Eve says suggestively. “How do you think we should spend it?”
“Um,” I say, suddenly finding myself nervous. “I don’t know,” I reply. “How do you want to spend it?”
“We were sharing quite a moment back there in the invisible walkway. And, I do think you happened to mention something about loving me right before we climbed up into this over-sized closet.”
“Um, I think I said I liked you, didn’t I? Besides, I was really only joking, you know. I didn’t–”
“Cyrus?” Eve says, the tone in her voice suddenly changing.
“Yeah?” I gulp.
“Yeah, well, um, you know me and water and dark enclosed spaces and everything.”
“No, I mean, relax.”
“I’m trying, I promise.”
“Cyrus.” She slides in closer. “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way or anything, but, have you ever, you know, been with a girl?”
“What?” I laugh nervously. “What kind of question is that?”
“It’s okay,” she says gently, placing her hand on my chest. “A lot of people nowadays wait longer for their first time. And it’s not easy with how schools are virtual and schedules are given out by the government. Oh yeah, and of course, it’s also ill–”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I say, my voice going up another half pitch.
“Look, if you want to take it slow,” she says, removing her hand from me, “it’s really okay. I’m definitely not going to force anything on you. Maybe I got the wrong idea. It’s okay. Forget I even–”
“No, I like you, I really do. It’s—“
“You’re nervous. I get it.”
“Yeah, I guess. I don’t know,” I say, again gulping down the rising lump in my throat. “What about you? Have you, you know, been with a guy before?”
“You don’t really want to talk about past relationships right now, do you?”
“I don’t know, you asked first.”
“Let’s say I’ve had my share of lonely nights on the road where I’ve managed to find ways to make less lonely.”
“Like, a lot of lonely nights?” I ask her.
“Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to.”
“Fine, okay, you’re probably right.”
“Maybe it would be best for the two of us to get a little bit of shut eye. It’s been a long day, you know.”
“Actually,” I begin, pushing back the nerves and turning toward her, “I think I’m warming up to your idea.” I wrap my arms around her and place my lips upon hers. Slowly she lowers us to the ground as we continue our embrace.
“Don’t worry, tiger. I’ll make sure you feel safe.”
Go to Chapter Twenty-Six