Chapter 16

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Matteo stood there a moment longer before relaxing his clenched hand and turned away from Ace. I finally let out my held breath and relaxed slightly as I watched Matteo pass and sit down on his cot. I then returned my eyes back onto Ace and the slight disappointment in his eyes.

"Hm," he raised the notepad backup and read out the next name, "Logan."

The blue-haired boy stepped forward and picked up one of the boxes and went back to his cot without any trouble.


A boy went up and retrieved one of the boxes.


Then a girl went.

It went like this until there were only two boxes left, and Willow and I were the only ones left not eating.

"Willow," Ace said, looking up from the notepad.

Willow walked forward and picked up one of the last two boxes left and then walked back to her cot where she quickly opened the box and dug right in.

"Then that leaves... Zoe." Ace snapped the notepad shut and pocketed it, and then gestured to the last box on the trolley.

I avoided Ace's eyes as I made my way across the room and picked up the box. It felt light in my hands as I walked back to my bed and I knew that we all must have gotten less food than yesterday's egg and toast.

Sure enough, when I sat down and opened up the box, inside was just half a slice of toast and half an egg. Exactly half of what we were given the day before.

"You guys have five minutes," Ace reminded us from the far side of the room. He then turned to Marcus and muttered a few orders before I decided to look away from him and returned my gaze back at the contents of the box.

I picked up the cold egg and took a bite out of it, then another until it was gone, and then I did the same thing with the piece of toast. As soon as I was done, I looked away from the empty box and watched as a few teens threw their boxes off to the side and made their way to the washroom.

I should probably go too, I thought as I placed the box to my right and stood up. I really didn't want to see the punishment if I have to interrupt whatever the activities we are going to be doing today.

* * *

"We'll stick together," Willow whispered as she came up to my side once I came out of the washroom.

I nodded to her and looked towards Ace who was still by the door of the room. It looked like Marcus had picked up all of the empty boxes and took them with him along with the trolley, leaving Ace to be the only one watching us.

Ace stared down at his watch for a moment before looking back up at all of our waiting figures. "Alright, time's up. Looks like you all are ready anyways so perfect." He gestured to the middle of the room with a nod of his head. "Single file line. You all know the drill."

We all formed in the middle of the room. Two brave boys in front, then Logan, me, Willow, Matteo and the rest of the teens behind us.

Ace smiled widely at our quickness of obedience. "Good, now follow me."

Ace turned around and walked out of the open door, not bothering to double check that we were even still following, but we were. We followed him out of the room and turned to the right, all making our way down the hall and following closely behind Ace.

"What do you think we're doing today?" Willow whispered into my ear just loud enough that I was the only one to hear.

I peeked over my shoulder at her and shrugged. How was I supposed to know?

We then came to a door on the left of us. One similar to the beep test room, but this definitely wasn't that room. When going to the beep test room, we had made a left turn. We took a right to get here.

But if the door was similar... Does that mean the inside was similar? Were we going to be doing another beep test?

Ace opened up the door and then gestured with his free hand for us to go ahead. We walked, one by one, into the room, immediately stopping as we entered. Confusion radiated out of everyone as our eyes took in the room. It seemed like these people were never going to stop surprising us.

The room looked like your typical classroom. Four rows of four chairs and desks filled the room, facing a large chalkboard on the far side of the room. On each of the desks sat a singular piece of paper and a pencil.

Ace closed the door once everyone entered and stepped around us to get to the front of the classroom.

"Sit down at a seat," he said, gesturing to the chairs.

I looked away from the room and stared at Willow, my eyebrows furrowed deeply. She did the same thing, both of us clearly confused. As did everyone else.

"C'mon, guys," Ace said, slowly growing impatient. "We'll be taking a different kind of test today. I'll explain this test as soon as you all are seated. Now... sit. down." 

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