Chapter 15

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"Up you get! Let's go!"

I groaned against the pillow under my face before rolling over onto my back and blinking heavily against the bright light above our heads. Everything that happened over the past few days felt like one long dream, but reality soon flooded in at the sound of the trolley being wheeled into the room and Ace's orders to get out of bed.

Groans of protest echoed around the room, but regardless, we all stumbled out of bed and returned to our spots at the foot of our beds, like we had done the day before. The only difference this time was that a few of us were no longer present, our numbers dwindling. How many more of us were going to die? Who was going to be next to go? I had no idea.

I rubbed my eyes with a hand -rubbing away the sleep in the process- before letting it slide down by my side and focusing my blurry eyes towards Ace who was slowly coming into focus.

"You all may be the smallest group," Ace said as he opened up the notepad he had written in the day before, "but you listen quite well."

Ace had on the same type of clothes from the previous day, but this shirt was a dark grey compared to the black one, and the gun was no longer tucked into the waistband of his pants. Instead, Ace wore a holster, two pistols at the sides of his hips.

Marcus stood to Ace's left, wearing a similar outfit. Austin on the other hand, was nowhere to be seen.

"Alright," Ace looked up from the notepad and glanced at the trolley before casting his eyes onto all of our faces. "When I call your name, you will come up, just like the day before, and pick up one of the boxes. As soon as you get your box, you may start eating."

"When the last person gets their box, you will all have..." Ace took a glimpse down at his watch quickly before looking back up at us, "...five minutes to be ready to go. I don't want to have to take anyone to the washroom while we are going through all of your activities, so I expect all of you to get that done and out of the way right now. Capeesh?"

Nods of understanding went around the room and Ace smiled widely.

"Good. Let's begin." His eyes roamed down the notepad before looking back up. "Mia."

The blonde girl, Mia, stepped forward and made her way slowly towards the trolley with her head down.

Pity for the girl suddenly spread through my entire being, just like it had the night before. I had fallen asleep to the quiet sobs coming from her direction of the room late in the night. Her soft cries were the only audible noises that I heard before finally falling asleep.

I had no idea when or even if she had fallen asleep, but I suppose if she did, it must have been sometime in the early morning. Dark, bruise-like circles created a ring around each of her eyes and from where I was, I could see that they were quite bloodshot.

Ace then noticed the slow speed of the girl and let out a loud sigh. "C'mon, Sleeping Beauty. We don't have all day. Pick up the pace."

Mia let out a just audible gasp before snatching one of the cardboard boxes and retreating back to her cot at a faster speed.

An amused expression could be seen on Ace's face as he watched Mia sit down and then as soon as she had met with the mattress, Ace looked away from her and let a small chuckle escape his lips as he looked back down at the notepad. "Matteo, you're next."

Matteo walked forward, passing Willow and I, and grew closer towards Ace.

I chewed none too gently on the inside of my cheek as Matteo neared the trolley. He had agreed that he wouldn't do anything rash, and trying to attack Ace, who had two guns and who had Marcus right beside him, was definitely a stupid decision... but I didn't really actually know him. Does he keep his word? Or does he just make promises and break them without a second thought?

Matteo had now made it to the trolley and picked up one of the boxes. I could see his free hand, that was down by his side, curl up into a tight fist as he looked up into Ace's eyes.

Ace raised an eyebrow and stared down at him, the same amused expression still front and center on his face.

I wanted to yell at Matteo to just let it go and do what Ace says, but I didn't want to risk making things worse, so I kept my mouth shut and watched the tension in the air continue to suffocate everyone. 

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