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Chapter Thirty

Esmeralda

The more we trod deeper and deeper into the dimly lit hallway, the more my heart pounded against my ribs, threatening to pull it apart. I couldn't help the negative thoughts that slowly crept into my head, erasing the little amount of bravery in me. 

We were accompanied by an uncomfortable silence, except for the echoes of our footsteps and the sharp intake of our breaths. 

Why was she not talking? 

Why was she not acting nice anymore?

Why was she cold all of a sudden?

Stealing a glance at her, I was greeted with a serious face and a heavy frown plastered on it. 

Where was the bright smile? The cheerful face? The assuring words? The sweet voice? 

But there was none. 

Then it dawned on me that I had been deceived. Deceived by Jade who pretended to be my friend, and who acted all nice and loving in the public but opposite in the private. 

Maybe Vanessa was better after all. At least, she made it known that she hated my guts and I was fine with it. 

Now, I understood better. The devil you knew was better than the angel you didn't know. 

Milliseconds turned into seconds and seconds stretched into annoying minutes of walking in silence, yet we hadn't gotten to our destination. 

Were we lost? 

What was Jade's intention? 

Where was she taking me? 

Was she leading me to Vanessa? So that she could punish me? 

Was she Vanessa's accomplice that pretended to hate her? 

So many questions bubbled in my head. 

Help me, Moon goddess. 

"Uhm...Jade," I stammered, halting, "Haven't we gotten there yet?" I asked after summoning the remaining bravery left in me. 

One sharp glance from her made me almost flinch as she dug her hands into her side pockets, searching frantically for God-knows-what. After seconds of searching, she turned to me with worry plastered on her face. 

What now? 

"Uhm, Esmeralda," Her voice shook as she didn't stop touching her pockets, "I think I must have forgotten my keys and the keys to the Alpha's quarters in the store room," She sighed tiredly, hitting her forehead, "I hate my memory these days," 

"So...what are you going to do about it?" I found myself asking. 

"I have no choice but to retrieve them from the store, argh!" She gritted her teeth angrily. 

Was she telling the truth? I couldn't tell. 

"But it's far from here," Worry descended on my face. I couldn't imagine walking to the store again and coming back. That was punishment. 

"I know, but I have to do it. We won't be able to access his quarters without the keys and I won't be able to teach you since his store is in his quarters and it is always locked," Jade lamented, giving me an I am sorry look. 

"You know what, wait for me here, I will be back shortly," She turned to go. 

A gasp escaped from my dry lips. I didn't want to be left alone and I didn't want to follow her to the storeroom either. 

How do I tell her I was scared of dark places?

Fuck! 

Maybe it's high time I faced my fears. 

"But..." 

"Please. I will be back soon. You can sit over there," She pointed to a bench resting against the wall before dashing out of the hallway, leaving me in the dark. 

Had she accomplished her mission by abandoning me to Vanessa's advantage? 

Had she delivered me to Vanessa without my knowledge? 

I couldn't help the negative thoughts that danced in my head. 

Striding to the bench as quietly as I can, afraid of announcing my presence, I sat on it, playing with my fingers to while away time. 

Seconds turned into minutes and Jade hadn't returned. Worry started to cloud my mind but I shoved the feeling aside, braving up. 

Bored and tired of waiting patiently, I filled my head with some cool music, partly closing my eyes while tapping my fingers to the beat that played in my mind. 

"... something I can talk to, somebody I can kiss, I want something just like this..." I repeated, nodding my head to the beat as Coldplay and Chainsmokers' 'something just like this' blasted my head, filling me with vibes, and chasing out the boredom. 

The song was fire.

I was on fire. Lost in the world of fantasy. Unwilling to be brought back to reality. 

The sound of light footsteps caused my eyes to open at once as they met with a shadowy image that stood by the door. Before I could take a second look, it was gone, gone into the darkness. 

What was that? 

It was just my imagination that played tricks on me. 

I shrugged my shoulders, leaning on the bench, allowing myself to get lost in the rhythm of the music once again. 

I didn't want to stop. I won't stop. 

"...Where do you wanna go, how much you gonna risk...," I pause abruptly, glancing around after sensing a presence.

Was Jade back? 

 My gaze trailed to the direction that Jade exited, but it was lonely, dark and empty. 

Anxiety and fear overtook me, replacing the excitement I once had as I felt the strange presence, boring holes at my back. 

Summoning all the courage in the world, I slowly turned in the direction of the door behind me, but I was greeted with the silhouette of a presence that sprinted past me in a blink of an eye. 

What the fuck was that?!

Surely, it wasn't my imagination. 

"Hello?" My quivered voice echoed throughout the empty hallway, waiting for a response, but I was met with none, "Jade?" I called as my breathing hitched, "Is that you, Jade?" 

If this was Jade playing some kind of prank on me, she should stop. 

It wasn't funny anymore.

"Who's there?" I called into the darkness, trembling greatly as fear cloaked me like a garment. My eyes scanned the area as beads of sweat formed on my forehead. 

The sound of someone clapping got my attention, "Look who we have here," The voice whispered in the darkness, letting out a burst of evil laughter. 

No! 

What is happening to Esmeralda? Did jade set her up? Who do you think is lurking in the darkness? Your comments are appreciated.

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