Before I could backout, and before fear could take over, I ran into the hallway.
“I’m Annabeth Hawkins!” I called out into the chaos, and I was certain the whole world seemed to stop.
Everyone around me, stopped. There were no more screams. You could have heard a pin drop.
My eyes met Seth’s across the hall. His face was horrified. So horrified, I had to look away. And that’s when I saw her. A lady with red hair, wearing a long bright red dress walked toward me. I swallowed hard, but I pushed away my fears as her heels went click, click, click.
“What a shame,” She stated when she was close enough.
I looked at her in surprise.
“Do you think, I am easily fooled, Alexandra?”
I shrugged, not trusting myself to speak. She knew my name. She knew I had tricked them, but I didn’t know where Annabeth was at the moment. I just was hoping she was as far away as she could get.
“You think that a measly name switch would stop me? I know exactly who you are. You look so much like your father.” She was getting closer, and it took all I had not to just back away.
Everyone was staring at me. The hall was now silent. It took everything in me to not lose my concentration. I needed to keep her out of my head. I could feel her trying to pry. I could feel her powers at an overwhelming rate. I knew I was in over my head the second she had said my name. But for her to bring up my dad? That shook me the most.
“How do you know my dad?” I managed to finally voice.
“He’s my brother, of course,” She stated coldly. “We’re family.” She laughed like it was funny as she walked up and touched my face.
I didn’t like the feeling. Pain began to course through my body.
“You slowed me down.” She hissed. “You will pay. You will join me, or you will watch everything you ever loved burn to the ground.”
I couldn’t help it. I had this insane urge to fight back. I felt angry that my life was being threatened. I felt angry that there were lies in my family. I felt a lot of things that I wasn’t sure were even really rational.
“Somehow, I feel neither of these choices are good ones.” I surprised myself by how tough I sounded.
There was movement I caught out of the corner of my eye. I saw Seth move closer to me. I knew he had a plan. I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know if I should trust him. But I knew I didn’t trust her.
“Your choice is easy.” The lady told me. She was so cold. But she had green eyes that matched my dad’s. I realized that now. “You join me.”
It was then, Seth was at my side, and I knew what I had to do.
“No.” I grabbed Seth’s hand and I was racing time through the hall. She would know where I lived. She would know Annabeth was heading there now. She would know because she was good at her game. Even I, someone completely lost in this situation, could tell.
But I was trusting my gut, and I was hoping to catch Annabeth before she could pass more danger.
Seth had a death grip on my hand as we ran, and I felt like he was slowing me down.
“Where are you going?” He shouted as a storm raged around us and we reached the branch to choose Anna’s or my house.
I stopped. Partially to catch my breath, but mostly because I was trying to track her. I had a hunch she went to my house, but hunches weren’t for sure. I closed my eyes trying to feel past her panic. But I couldn’t.
“We have to get to the safe house!” Seth tried again when I didn’t move, and he tried to pull me a different direction. “Lexy!”
“I have to find Annabeth!” I called over the storm.
I was soaking wet. It was freezing. But my adrenaline was pumping. I took off running in a different direction than my house, cutting through my neighbors’ yards, splashing through puddles. I couldn’t feel anything but panic. And I wasn’t sure it was mine.
Then I saw her. On the ground, bleeding, and the woman from the school had beat me there.
“Welcome,” The lady smiled as if she had won.
“I don’t think I am.” I told her slowly as Seth finally caught up and slowed down.
“You can still join me, Alexandra. You could make us all very proud.”
“Can you feel pride?” I shot back.
I was trying to keep my eyes on her, and more importantly, eye contact with her. I didn’t know what I was trying to accomplish, but I didn’t want to look scared.
She looked angry at my questions and created this ball that glowed an orange and yellow mix before she threw it at me.
I don’t know what I thought it would do, but I threw my hands up in defense and a shimmery, see-through shield seemed to come from them. I almost let it fall in my surprise.
“I have a way out.” Seth whispered in my ear, nearly touching me. “But you have to trust me and distract her for just a little while longer. Can you do that?”
“Just we can’t leave Anna,” I answered. “Promise me, you won’t leave her.”
I looked over my shoulder, and he nodded. I lowered my shield.
“Is that the best you have?” I taunted.
I know. Dumb to do when I had no idea how to do it, but I needed a distraction.
I let out a scream in surprise. I looked down at my arm as she made a large cut slowly appear.
“I am not one to mess with my dear.” She replied simply. “Join me or pay the price.”
“I’ll pay the price,” I replied through gritted teeth.
She threw something at me again, and I threw my shield up, and gave myself a second to look around, I could see Seth moving toward Anna, and if I didn’t do something fast, she was going to be able to stop him.
So, I thought hard and moved my hands the way she had and low and behold a ball of orange and yellow light emerged from it. I could have stared at it all day, but there wasn’t time. It was life or death. So, I threw it as hard as I could at her.
She looked stunned, and defended it easily, but her focus was on me. She threw one back.
She was going to kill me. Seth grabbed Annabeth throwing her over his shoulder and ran at me hard.
I stumbled back as he hit me, and I fell. Except, I didn’t fall and hit the ground. At least not right away. Instead, I fell through something. And I felt my body being pulled in every direction. It didn’t hurt. It just was a weird sensation that I wasn’t a fan of.
Then, the floor did come too quickly, and I landed with a bang, surrounded by a whole crew of people with a thousand questions, and I couldn’t help but rack up a 1000 more.