Lexie’s hand twitched and then nothing. It had been a long time since anything had moved prior to the twitch, too long. Everything around her was pitch black and she wasn’t sure as to why this was. She was pretty sure that she could fix it, that if she wanted to, the lack of sight would disappear, but she wasn’t sure what she was meant to do.
Her hand twitched again, this time she could feel her fingers lightly touch the inside of her palm. It was an odd sensation, something felt wrong about it, like it wasn’t her palm at all. She became aware of a small dumb pain weighing down on her leg, it grew in intensity the longer she thought of it until she wanted to cry out from the agony of it. But no matter how much she wanted to, she couldn’t remember how. It was as if she didn’t have a body that would be able to accommodate such a notion.
Eventually the pain reached a height to which she couldn’t control and her body opened her mouth to react. Instead of screaming however, she simply inhaled deeply and let out a large gasp. By that one action it suddenly occurred to her how she could stop the darkness around her, she had to open her eyes. She urged her lids to open but they wouldn’t respond, she didn’t understand it, she was pretty sure this should come instinctively to her.
Her hand twitched for a third time, this time taking her by surprise, she hadn’t expected that to happen. Her eyes shot open to examine the spasming hand and saw a red blur in front of her. Lexie blinked a couple of times, urging her eyes to focus, she felt warm tears drip down the side of her face in protest. Eventually the image became clearer, her arm lay outstretched in front of her line of vision, bare and dirty. A large gaping cut ran down the inside of her arm right down to her hand which rested in mid air in an upwards claw fashion. She watched her hand twitch once more and let a couple of drops of blood fall from her fingertips to the ground below.
Lexie wasn’t on the ground, she knew that, she was elevated and her arm didn’t seem to have anything below it. She concentrated all of her energy on moving her head so that she could take in more of what was around her. She was in a room, it was grey and filthy, stains ran up the parts of the wall that she could see. The moment she saw those stains a smell hit her, it was foul, like human faeces and urine and vomit all wrapped into one nostril burning package. She crinkled her nose in response and moved her blood stained arm to block the smell out.
She attempted to sit up, now that she had worked out she could move one major limb, it was about time she tested the others. She threw both arms below her to prop her up as something seemed to be weighing down on her legs. The moment she put strain on her arm she regretted it, a sharp needle like pain shot straight up her arm into her shoulder and she felt her body cower under it.
She removed her arm and brought it in front of her, cradling it with the other. She was upright now and could see she was sitting on a table. Her eyes travelled to her legs and found the source of their lack of movement. Sat at the end of the table was a man, he was on a chair but his entire upper body laid sprawled over her legs, there he stayed, gently snoring in his sleep. Something in the back of Lexie’s mind told her that she should be afraid of this, she was hurt and in a mysterious room with a man pinning her down. However, she didn’t feel fear at seeing this man, in fact she felt a small comfort in watching him sleep, she was pretty sure she knew this man, no, more than that; she loved this man.
His body wasn’t pinning her down in a menacing way, it was covering as much of her as he could, he was protecting her, even in his sleep. His name was Finn, he had long shaggy brown hair and the most piercing blue eyes she had ever seen. He was good looking, funny, weird and passionate and for some reason he focused all of that passion on Lexie. He was her soul mate and best friend, he was her everything, he was her reason for living.
Lexie reached forward and gently touched his hair, running her hand through it and enjoying the sensation it left at her fingertips. Finn moved under her touch, his head nestling further into Lexie’s lap, she smiled and resumed her stroking, he looked so peaceful, so calm.
He stirred again, this time opening his eyes. Automatically he shot up, looking around him wildly for the source of the touch he had just felt. His eyes fell on Lexie and changed from confusion to concern, he left his chair and rushed to her side, taking her face in both his hands and examining her.
“How bad is it?” He asked.
“I don’t know.” Lexie responded, unable to take her eyes away from his.
“Can you move everything?”
“I think so. I couldn’t move my legs but that was because you were on them.”
Finn gazed down at her legs. “I never meant to fall asleep.” He said.
“It’s okay, you looked like you needed the rest.”
“Can you move them now?”
Lexie dragged her eyes away from Finn and turned her attention onto her legs. Her left leg moved straight away, bending in and drawing to her chest. Her right started to move but struggled and sent a shooting pain up in response.
“I think I’ve hurt my right leg.” Lexie said.
Finn’s hands shot to Lexie’s leg and started to lift her linen trousers up to her thigh, exposing her skin as purple and swollen.
“Oh my-“ Lexie started. “How?”
“You caught it on that tree’s root when we were running.” Finn sighed. “I heard it snap, you passed out pretty soon afterwards.”
“Is it broken?”
Finn let his hands move gently up and down Lexie’s leg, sending a shiver down her spine. His hands rested on her calf, Lexie flinched as pain shot through her from his light touch.
“I would seem so.” Finn said, smiling soberly.
He moved his hands round to the back of her leg and leant down to the main source of the pain. Closing his eyes, he softly kissed the darkest area of the bruise and raised his face to hers.
“I’ll get it fixed, I promise.”
“Where are we?”
Finn looked around him. “Somewhere safe although not for long, I thought it was better to let you rest before continuing to move. We’re deep in the forest but this place is pretty exposed if anyone comes in this far.”
“We have to move again?” There was a tone of panic in Lexie’s voice, her mind concentrating on blocking out the ever throbbing pain from her leg.
Finn sighed and looked at her again. “I’ll carry you.”
Lexie let out a small laugh. “There’s no way you can do that this far in.”
“Well, it’s not like we have many other options.”
“Yes we do.” Lexie said. “You could leave me behind.”
Finn rolled his eyes. “Now why would you even suggest an option like that? You know I would rather die first.”
“There you go being all melodramatic again.”
“And your suggestion wasn’t?” Finn sighed and wiped a stray hair from Lexie’s face.
“We are both going to get out of here together, we will be safe and never have to worry about it again.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard you be so optimistic.”
Finn smiled. “We are so close to the border I can smell the freedom.”
“And them?” Lexie asked. “How close are we to that?”
“I doubt they stopped to rest just because we did, which means you can bet we’ve lost our head start.”
“We had a head start?”
Finn laughed and kissed Lexie’s forehead. “We gained some ground when we had the truck.”
Lexie sighed. “This is not how I imagined this summer holiday to pan out.”
“I guess you’re just too good for a simple holiday.”
“You were the one who did the work, Doctor Finn.”
“I would never have considered it if you hadn’t encouraged me.”
Lexie stared at her hands. “They were all so hurt. I couldn’t stand it.” She raised her eyes to his, a coy smile on her face. “At least there are people alive because of it.”
“It makes it almost worth it.” Finn smiled back, resting his forehead on hers.
Lexie rested against Finn’s head and closed her eyes, soaking in the momentary contentment that resonated between the two of them. A flash of a wooden board striking across her face shot into her mind, she opened her eyes and drew away, tears forming at her eyes.
“I feel so foolish.” She said. “I should never have trusted him.”
“You trust everyone.”
“I know, that’s what makes me a fool.”
“That’s what makes you Lexie. I wouldn’t have you any other way.”
Lexie's hand reached to Finn's face, her fingertips tracing the lines she knew off by heart of her husbands face.
"I have a confession to make." She said.
"I'm not feeling as hopeful as you."
Finn clenched his jaw and cupped Lexie's chin with his finger, he held her gaze, ensuring he had every bit of her attention.
"Don't give up Lex, I promise you I will get you out of here, if it's the last thing I do."
Lexie pushed her lips against Finn's in response, a single tear fell down her face as she closed her eyes. Finn threaded his hands through her hair, drawing her closer to him. Despite Lexie's limited movement, both bodies merged together the way they had so many times before, a perfect fit, designed flawlessly for each other. They drew apart and Finn kissed her cheek and forehead before bringing her head to his chest and wrapping his arms around her. Lexie buried her face into his grubby shirt and held on tight like her life depended on it.
A shout sounded from far away and Finn turned, his arms spread across Lexie’s front and his ears strained for the next sound. They both stayed perfectly still, neither one moving even a centimetre for fear of being heard. It felt like they had stayed that way for hours until they heard another shout, it was short and impossible to decipher but it was enough for Finn. He whipped back round to Lexie and scooped her up in his arms. Before she could argue he was out of the small, one room shack and diving behind the nearest tree. There he placed Lexie on the ground and covered every part of her he could with his body. The greenery around them obstructed them from any clear view beyond the tree. Lexie placed her hand over her mouth to limit the sound her breathing made, Finn placed his hand around her head and drew her to his chest holding her as close to him as he could.
She clung on to him there, not daring to move a single millimetre. She could feel Finn’s body as tense as anything as he crouched over her, poised and ready for whoever would turn up. Lexie breathed in her husband’s smell, even now, after running for two days and being stuck in a shack that smelt like a sewage system for a whole night, he still smelt like her Finn. It was a smell she knew instinctively; musky, with a small tinge of the cologne he had been using since they were 17. She breathed it in, wanting to take in as much as was possible, as if it would be the last time she would ever be able to do it.
Everything around them had gone silent, not a single leaf seemed to move and no birds could be heard overhead.
“Finn?” Lexie whispered, but Finn shot his finger to her lips, stopping her from saying another word, his eyes peeled beyond the bush.
After a couple of minutes, he pulled his eyes away from the forest and rested them on Lexie’s. Lexie smiled, for a moment she forgot everything, all she could see was him. He smiled back and shifted himself so that he was sitting on the ground with Lexie crawled up on his lap. Neither person spoke or did anything to draw attention to where they were; instead they sat, holding each other’s gaze as if it was the most important thing in the world.
A dark shadow covered them both, interrupting their moment of silence. Finn’s eyes shot up to the source of the shadow, just behind Lexie. Lexie opened her mouth to ask what it was but felt two hands grab her round her waist and pull her away from him.
Finn protested, holding on tight to Lexie for as long as he could but another figure appeared behind him and kicked him squarely in the face. Finn’s grasp was lost from around Lexie’s waist and he fell backwards, consciousness lost. Lexie yelled out for him, praying that he would answer, but his eyes didn’t open and he didn’t respond.
The arms around Lexie’s waist pulled her backwards, out of their hidden spot and threw her into the clearing. She let out a scream as she landed while swallowing down the vomit that threatening to escape her throat.
“Oh do shut up Lex.” The voice was deep and so familiar to Lexie by now that she knew instantly who it was.
She blinked back the tears trying to escape and took deep breaths to control the pain. She had promised herself the last time she saw this man she would never let him see her cry again.
“Just leave us alone Adam.” She spoke out eventually, once she was sure she could keep her voice under control.
Adam walked into her line of sight and crouched down opposite her, lifting her chin to match her gaze with his.
“Now why would I want to do that?” He said. “You have been far too lovely to me to ever warrant such a disgusting level of ingratitude.”
“I’m pretty sure kicking the consciousness out of my husband is not gratitude.”
“In my defence, that was not me.” His eyes shot to the third person in the clearing, a small teenage boy, no older than 16. “Silly Michael, you can’t take him anywhere.”
Michael sneered at this and rolled his eyes, taking a seat on the low tree branch that was now hiding Finn from Lexie’s view.
“How could I have ever trusted you?”
“Because I was nice to you.” Adam smiled. “And I never gave you any cause not to.”
Lexie’s face pulled into a sneer, with every level of hatred she could possibly muster she spat into Adam’s face and punched him full across the jaw. Adam’s face moved with the momentum of it but the rest of him stayed perfectly still. He kept his head turned away from her, a look of annoyance on his face and slowly he lifted his hand to his cheek and wiped the spit away. Once he was sure it had all gone his eyes shot back to Lexie, his teeth gritted together and a small growl rumbling at the base of his throat.
“Are you quite done?” He said.
“I haven’t even started.”
Adam laughed at that and grabbed the back of Lexie’s neck, kissing her on the forehead.
“I always loved your passion Lex.”
“You haven’t known me long enough to ‘always’ love anything about me.”
“Well that’s simply not true.” Adam said, his face inches from hers. “I always knew I would kill you as well.”
A crash, followed by the sound of bones breaking, sounded behind Lexie. She twisted her body round to find Michael gone. Panic shot through her as she wondered where he had got to and which of Finn’s bones he had broken. A body immerged out from behind the bush, except it wasn’t Michael, it was Finn. He leapt over the branch and Lexie in one jump, landing on Adam and pinning him to the ground. Adam’s legs kicked out and hit Lexie in the head, knocking her to the ground. Her body lay turned away from the fight, consciousness threatening to leave her at any second. She breathed deeply, trying with all her might to concentrate on what was happening behind her while working out how to move her body to see.
Grunts and shouts were heard, as well as punches and kicks. Lexie propped herself up on her arms, not caring at all about the pain it caused her to do so. She focused all her attention on turning round but before she could she heard a sound she never wanted to hear again. It was a gunshot. Lexie stayed perfectly still, too terrified to turn around. She didn’t need to however as the weight of a body fell onto her lap, weighing down on her broken leg.
With a deep sense of foreboding, she let her eyes fall onto the body which lay face down on her legs, his arms stretched protectively over her lap. She let out a haggard breath as her shaking hand reached down to his long shaggy hair. Her fingers taking in the sensation as her hands ran through the strands. He didn’t move this time, his body didn’t respond to her touch the way it had done so many times before. She bit her lip and stifled a sob desperately trying to escape her lips.
“Finn?” She whispered.
“Finn?” She said it louder this time.
His body stayed perfectly still.
“Finn!” She cried out, moving her arms to his shoulders and shaking him with all her might.
She pushed on his shoulder, moving him round to his back. He fell back onto her lower legs, landing on her broken bone. Somewhere in the deep resonances of her mind she was shocked at the lack of pain she felt because of it. The rest of her however, just stared incredulously at her soul mate. He lay there heavily, his unseeing eyes half open and gazing just beyond her, his body still, too still. She could feel her breath becoming uneven as she continued to stare at him, a panic rose from deep within her at the thought of what this one moment meant for her, what a life without the man she was destined to be with would be like. Her hand shot down to his shirt and clutched hold of it, her face lowered down so that her mouth was at his ear.
“You promised me.” She whispered, allowing the fresh tears to fall down her face.
“But it’s okay. I’ll see you soon baby.”
With that she straightened her body and turned to face her husband’s killer. She smiled sadly as she saw Adam standing over them both, his face murderous. He returned her smile and raised his gun to her face. Lexie heard the gun cock and closed her eyes, a picture of Finn on her mind as her life disappeared from her.