She ran, the heels of her heavy boots echoing throughout the desolate hallways. Where was everyone, she wondered as she peered into room after room. She found them empty as well, the sterile smell of antiseptic burned her nostrils and eyes, but she continued. Once she though she heard someone and spun, to find nothing but more pristine white walls. But the floors, those sparkling white floors were spotted with vibrant dots of red.
She was bleeding again.
She’d taken a header over the ivy covered stonewall that surrounded this fortress, and busted her nose. She’s stayed the blood before gaining entry into this ivory fortress, but it had started again. A slow leak that led directly to her.
“Here! She is here!” A male voice ricocheted through the cavernous halls. They were coming, several by the sound of feet clattering behind her. And they sounded none too happy about her impromptu visit. She had spent so many years living in the shadow of this bastion, always wanting to know what was inside. The only people who ventured in or out were the drivers of the plain white delivery trucks that moved past the rusted gates once a week.
She had stood at those gates, watching, waiting to see the mysterious inhabitant of the mansion only to be locked out again and again. Until she’d seen him. Well, she thought it was a he, standing in one of the windows high above it all. He was think, a shadowy figure who move just behind the curtains, ducking away when she looked his way.
He had watched her. She could feel his eyes following her as she moved along the wall that separated them. Then one day…he was gone. After weeks of not seeing him, and being ignored at the gate, she’d breeched the wall.
“She’s moving up the north corridor.” A male voice echoed over the static heavy intercom. She rolled her eyes and took flight, of course they had cameras. They had probably laughed when she tumbled over the wall like a drunken sailor. What would they do once they caught her?
Who knew but she hadn’t the slightest inclination to find out. She ran, racing around corners until she found herself in a hallway that seemed as if it belonged in another place. The smell here was delicious, warm and inviting, the walls a welcoming blue that made her feel at ease. The sound of her boots had been muffled by rich carpet that she sank into with each step.
She slowed her pace, staring at the oil paintings that line these elegant halls. Each portrait was of a man more handsome and regal than the next. She eased her way to the end of the hall to a door that was slightly ajar. Behind her the men were drawing closing, and with no other option, she slipped into the room, closing the door behind her. She closed her eyes as she leaned against the door, her heart thudding against her ribs. She knew they could hear it. They would find her soon, with the electronic eyes everywhere. It was only a matter of minutes before they found her so, she waited.
But nothing happened. There was no thudding of fists on the door, and there was no static heavy announcement of her location. There was nothing but silence. No not silence, the slow steady sound of someone breathing. No, not breathing…snoring. Soft and gentle, barely audible, but it was there.
She opened her eyes and suddenly everything became clear. The men, they would not come here, they would not dare burst into this room. There were no cameras, no buzzing intercoms, no men with heavy boots. Only him.
He lay in a massive bed his eyes closed, his perfect face still in sleep. He was smaller than she thought, younger, her age. He was about seventeen or eighteen and he was pale. He lay still, an oxygen mask over his face which explained the sound of breathing, snoring. She moved closer, easing onto the bed so she could stare. He was pretty, and very pale as he struggled to breath. The machine beeped for a moment, then stopped. He opened his eyes then and heart lifting as she took his hand in hers. She eased closer, and for reasons she could not understand, she threw her arms around him, tears welling in her eyes. He inhaled in surprise then, she felt his arms encircle her, holding her close.
“I knew you’d come to me.” He whispered.