Thirty Two

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Arden.
•••

   He was true to his promise. I was woken up by shouts of relief and happiness. Levi had been sent free. Levi had been found passed out cold, in front of the school.

Levi was home.

But he was not unharmed. He was beaten and bruised. Purple and blue. I didn't need to see it to know that. I know my father.

If it was my choice, I wouldn't have left my room. I would stay in bed all day, avoiding everyone at all cost. Not seeing or talking to anyone. But Gwen of course noticed my absence.

"Why aren't you running to go see Levi?" She had asked me. I told her I wasn't feeling well. "Are you avoiding Will?" She asked. I am, but I didn't tell her that. She was fuming with my short answers. "God Arden, I know you're supposed to be the villain or whatever but you don't have to be such a bitch." That's actually exactly what it means. But I didn't say that, I just laid in bed. "Fine, ignore me. But that doesn't change the fact that you're being a coward. Hiding in your room, playing a victim when your friends need you."

That was days ago. I skipped breakfast, skipped lunch, dinner, had it all sent to my room. I was a terrible person.

My breath hitches when I hear a knock at my door. Assuming it's Gwen to rip me a new one, I utter the words. "Come in."

My heart breaks at the sight I see. Like I guessed, a bruised and purpled Levi. "You didn't come to see me." He closes the door, and sits on my bed. There's no bitterness in his words, he's just stating a fact. Which made me feel worse.

"I'm sorry." I barley manage to get out before breaking into tears.

He leans over and places a hand on my arm. "I know why you didn't, and I understand." But he doesn't. "You feel bad, it was your father's men that did this. But is wasn't you, it's not your fault." He thinks I'm sorry for that reason. And I am, but also for a hundred more.

I look up from my wet lashes. Trying not to wince when I see his bruised eye. Apparently failing to do so. "Hey," he shoved my shoulder. "I don't look that bad. I pull off the whole bad boy look."

I let out a small laugh. "You do." I say fueling his ego.

Levi stays in my room the next half hour filling me in on what happened. He explained that he was in some type of haze the whole time. All he remembers is that they put a shot of something into his arm, and that they kept asking questions. Like "how do you feel" and "do you feel different". He explained that they were upset and annoyed when he said he felt normal.

"But that's the weird thing Arden, I didn't feel normal."

"What do you mean?" I ask.

"I don't know how to explain it, but I felt different, hot. Whatever they did was working, it worked."

"What do you think they put in you?"

"Andrews thinks it was Will's blood and something else." He explains. "I remember the substance being this deep red, and it makes sense. Why else would they have taken Will's blood those weeks ago? Not only that, it explains what's happening to me."

I look at him confused. "What's happening to you?"

He gives me a cheeky grin. "Arden you aren't going to believe it."

"Tell me."

He laughs, "I'd show you but I don't think you want your room burnt down." My eyes widen at what he's hinting. "You're looking at the newest fire making machine." Impossible.

My jaw is practically on the floor. "You're kidding."

"I don't kid." He says with a grin. "Guess whose not useless anymore?"

I give him a shove. "You were never useless." His cocky grin turns into a smile of sincerity.

"I know." He says. But did he?

Levi fills me in on the rest of things. Everyone's guesses, explanations, questions. Andrews had a high suspicion on what they were doing. If Will's blood can give Levi these powers, they can surely give them to anyone else they wanted.

It didn't shock me that my father had figured a way to do that. What shocked me was that he didn't tell me. Did he forget? Didn't think it was necessary?

No one had those questions but me. The question that was on everyone's mind was, why did they let Levi go?

And there was no way I would give them the answer to that.
•••

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