So I was working on another post for this week, but I decided just to share the next part of the story I’m working on instead. I’m random like that. So this part is shorter than the last, mostly due to the fact that I don’t want to bombard you people with over 2000 words every time I post. This one’s only a little under 1400. So, without any further blabbering from me, here’s the next chapter of Hunted.
Hunted – Part 2
I closed the door behind him and turned on the light. His hood was up blocking his face from view, but he reached up slowly to remove it.
“Luka?” I was shocked to see the familiar face of someone from our high school staring back at me as Amanda ran off to grab a towel. “What are you doing? What happened?”
“Can I have some water please?” he asked, either not having heard, or choosing to ignore my questions.
“Sure, yeah. Follow me.” I turned off the light and led the way to the kitchen. Glancing back at him, I could see that he was limping slightly.
“Are you okay?”
“I’ll be fine, I just have to get myself cleaned up.”
I filled a glass with cold water from the tap and handed it to him, not quite believing that he was alright, but not really wanting to push it. I noticed some red liquid on his wrist as he reached for the water I gave him, but he quickly pulled his sleeve down, as if he saw me notice.
“Thank you,” he murmured after chugging the entire glass of water and handing the empty cup back to me.
Amanda appeared around the corner then, holding a towel.
“It’s you,” she said, handing the towel to him.
“It’s me,” he answered, giving her a quick smile. He seemed dazed, and I looked at Amanda briefly, hoping I could steal a moment alone with her.
“We were watching movies if you want to hang out and dry off,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.
He seemed to think about it for a long minute before answering, but nodded and said he’d join us.
“But first, can I use your bathroom?” Giving me a weak smile, he seemed exhausted.
I pointed him in the direction of the nearest bathroom and told him we would wait in the kitchen so he could find us before we returned to the living room.
“Is he okay?” Amanda asked as soon as he was out of earshot.
“I don’t know, I think I saw blood on his arm, but he hid it too quick for me to get a good look. I think something’s wrong.”
“You think he’s hurt?”
“He was limping when he followed me in here.”
Amanda narrowed her eyes, but said nothing. I wasn’t sure what to make of any of it, but before I could speak again, the lights flickered and went out.
A squeak came from Amanda, but I pulled my phone out and unlocked the screen, offering some light in the dark room. Lightning was still flashing outside, illuminating the entire house for brief seconds, and the thunder seemed to take no break.
The door of the bathroom opened with a click, and the light of Luka’s phone came into view slowly.
“I don’t mean to be a bother, but do you mind if I lie down for a little bit before I head out?” Luka asked quietly as he came closer.
“Yeah, it’s not a problem.” I waved for him to follow me through the darkened house until we reached a spare room on the far end, leaving Amanda to go back to the living room alone.
Once we arrived at the room I was looking for, I opened a drawer in the desk and pulled out a couple of candles and a lighter, setting the candles on the desk before lighting them.
“The sheets are clean, don’t worry. This is just a spare room,” I said, motioning toward the bed.
“Thank you,” he said again, sitting on the bed gingerly.
“Are you sure you’re okay? You seem hurt.”
“I’ll be fine. I could use some bandages, though, if you have some. I fell and cut my arm a bit.” He looked up at me from under his shaggy brown hair and smiled.
“I’ll be right back.” I went to the bathroom across the hall and pulled out the first aid kit in the closet there, then moved to get the bowl from under the sink.
His voice startled me.
“It might be best if I do it in here. I don’t want to get blood on your blankets.” He stood in the doorway of the small room, holding one of the candles in his hand.
“Yeah, sure,” I breathed when I caught my breath. I took the candle from him and placed it on the counter in front of the mirror to maximize the light from the flame, then asked him to sit on the edge of the bathtub.
“It’s okay, I can do it myself,” he said shyly, but I shook my head. More than being worried about him, I was curious about what exactly was bothering him so much.
“Luka, we may not know eachother very well, but I want to make sure you’re alright. You weren’t limping when I saw you in school today.”
He flinched as if he had been hoping I hadn’t noticed.
“Why are you helping me?”
“Because you need help.”
“But that’s just it, you don’t know me very well.” He seemed on edge as he spoke.
“That doesn’t matter. You’re hurt and you need help.”
“But we aren’t even friends.”
“We aren’t enemies. We just don’t spend any time together.”
He sighed and sat on the tub. Slowly, he pulled off his wet hoodie, and I took it from him and hung it on the back of the bathroom door. I could see blood smeared on his right arm, and there were cuts there that looked as if they were still bleeding.
“What did you fall on?” I whispered, taking a closer look.
He remained silent, merely holding his arm out in front of him for me to clean the wounds.
I stuck a cloth under the tap and squeezed out the excess water before carefully touching it to his arm. He winced, but held still as I washed the blood off.
Once I was done cleaning the cuts, they didn’t look so bad. They were small puncture wounds, and the bleeding had already stopped before I began wrapping bandages around the arm.
It didn’t take long, and when I was done, he looked like he was about to faint.
“You should go lie down. You can stay the night if you need to,” I said, offering him my hand.
He said nothing, but took my hand and let me help him back to the dimly lit bedroom I had set the candle down in. I brought him to the bed and sat him down, then knelt on the floor in front of him.
“If you need anything, just shout. I should be able to hear you pretty easily from the living room.”
He nodded slightly. “Thanks, I appreciate it. I’ll leave as soon as I can.”
“No rush. Don’t leave until you feel well enough to go.”
Smiling, he pulled back the covers on the bed. I smiled and gave him a nod before leaving the room, following the light of my phone as I returned to the living room where Amanda was waiting.
“Everything okay?” she asked as I sat down next to her.
“He said he fell, but the cuts were weird. They weren’t normal scrapes. It looks like maybe he was bitten by a dog or something.”
“You think so?”
“That’s sort of how it looked, but he wouldn’t tell me what happened, just that he fell. I think he’s sleeping now. Hopefully he won’t leave without saying goodbye.”
She nodded and made a sound of understanding before pointing across the room to a game board.
“Scrabble?” she suggested, raising her eyebrows and waiting for me to answer.
“Sure, why not. So much for movie night,” I mumbled, getting to my feet and stretching.
As we settled in for the game, I realized that it was getting much later. I didn’t feel as tired as I should, but it was probably just because of the excitement of the night.