Chapter 25

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"In you go," Ace said, pushing us into the room where the boys immediately looked up and watched us enter with wide eyes.

Right away, my eyes danced from one face to the other until I came to Matteo's familiar stare and I finally was able to relax. He wasn't dead. It wasn't him. I could feel beside me Willow had done the exact same thing.

"I'll be back with dinner in a few," Ace said before leaving.

As Ace closed the door and locked it, Willow and I both walked over to Matteo who was sitting on his cot with Logan right beside him. We sat on the cot opposite of them and sat in silence. All four of us were unsure who was going to ask a question first.

"So," Willow said, breaking the silence, "who was it that attacked Austin?"

At those words, I looked around the room and counted everyone who was left and could see that there were, in total, only ten of us left. We had dwindled down so fast. Too fast.

"It was Aiden," Logan replied. "He kind of just snapped. He punched Austin and Austin had been so taken by surprise that he didn't have time to react, but on the second punch, he knew it was coming. Austin dodged that punch and then brought his fist down onto Aiden's face." Logan made a gesture to his own face with his hand. "An awful sound came from his nose and then he crumpled to the ground."

Logan's hand dropped and he rested his forearm on his knee as he leaned slightly forward. He then looked sideways at Matteo. "We probably could have done something to prevent it from happening. Or maybe even have helped Aiden to take Austin down." Logan looked back at us. "I don't know... maybe. I had just been taken off guard as much as Austin had."

"I thought you had attacked him," Willow said, staring straight at Matteo.

Matteo chuckled and rolled his eyes. "Oh come on. I thought we had established that I wasn't stupid. I wouldn't attack one of them when they had two weapons on them."

"Well then." Logan leaned back and ran his right hand through his still slightly damp blue hair. "I suppose it was Mia who was screaming?"

Willow's eyebrows raised. "You guys heard that?"

Matteo nodded his head almost sadly. "Who couldn't?"

"So, where is she?" Logan asked. "Did he kill her?"

I shared a look with Willow before answering Logan's questions. "We don't know... but I think so."

Confusion replaced both of the boys' expressions.

"What do you mean by that?" Matteo asked, his brows tugged down.

"He took us back to the elevator's." Their eyes widened and I continued, "He shoved Mia in the cold one and he pulled the lever down-"

"What did the elevator do?" Matteo interrupted.

I glared at him. "I'm getting to that part. Mia disappeared down the elevator and Ace stopped it down there, trapping her. He said we were going to leave her down there overnight and get her in the morning."

"So, she might still be alive in the morning?" Logan asked, hopeful.

Willow shrugged and gave him the answer that I probably would have given him. "Yeah, maybe."

The odds of Mia still being alive in the morning seemed really unlikely. We had been standing in the middle of the large hallway and could feel the temperature radiating out of that small cubicle from that far away... and Mia was meant to stay in that freezing temperature overnight. She was sure to get frostbite, or something like that by the time we would be able to get her to a heater.

Logan nodded his head and looked at the floor sadly. He must have detected the bit of unsureness in Willow's voice. "What had she even done?"

"Ace left his phone and she was the one holding it when he came back," Willow replied. "I mean any of us could have-"

"Wait, hold up." Matteo looked at us with complete shock. "He left his phone?"

Willow nodded her head. "Yes."

"Why didn't you just hide it in your pants or shirt or something and then use it once you came back here?" Matteo asked.

Willow and I both looked at each other. Why hadn't we just done that?

Before we could respond to Matteo, the doorknob started jiggling and the sound of Ace on the other side brought our attention away from him. The door opened a second later with Marcus wheeling in a trolley filled with the familiar cardboard boxes and Ace stepping around it with the notepad in his hands.

"Let's be quick about this, shall we?" Ace said while raising the notepad up to read the first name out. "Logan."

Logan stood up and retrieved one of the boxes and then returned back to his spot with the cardboard clutched in his hands.


She got up and did the same thing as Logan.


I got up from where I was seated and averted my eyes from Ace as I chose a random box and made my way back to my seat.


He got up and did the same thing.


And so it went on, one after another, until there were no more boxes left. Ace looked down at his notepad once more before turning around to say a quick word to Marcus and pocketing it in his pants.

I took the opportunity to open up my box and have a look inside it. It looked to be the exact same food from the day before, only that it was half the size just like what we had for breakfast. Half the amount of meat pieces, runny potatoes, and mushy green peas. Inside the box was also a small plastic fork. They probably didn't trust us with real utensils after the Matteo situation and the whole Austin attack that happened earlier.

Ace turned back to face us after saying his quick word to Marcus, who left the room with the empty trolley, and then gestured to the boxes with his hands. "Eat up, and then get some rest. You guys have another big day tomorrow."

With that, Ace left. Leaving us with the cold food and the thoughts of what horrors we were going to have to go through tomorrow. 

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