Ana was uncomfortable, very uncomfortable indeed. Scared and cold too if anyone would listen to her but the strange men outside her room seemed more interested in marching back and forth than seeing if she was okay.
She had been waiting in this room for what seemed to be a lifetime, she was starting to wish that the strange bald man hadn’t found her at all, she wasn’t particularly keen on the idea of living with Kayla, but at least it hadn’t been as bad as this.
The room was bigger that the ones she was used to but looking around the room for the millionth time she took in all the nooks and crannies of the hard, cold stone walls that made her shiver whenever she touched them. Even the wooden frame of the bed was freezing cold to the touch of her fingertips so she kept herself bundled up on the sheets that separated her from the hostile surfaces that surrounded her.
She had been blindfolded most of the way here but she way pretty sure she was underground somewhere. Not that she knew why she was blindfolded or for that matter, why she was here, what had she ever done wrong? Ever since she could remember she had been moved from one secret location to another, hiding with one group of people or the other but this had always seemed normal to her, she hadn’t known anything else…ever!
As she ran her hand through her short black hair Ana heard voices from outside the door as the guards seemed to stop marching up and down.
“The girl is inside?” came an old soft voice.
“Yes Father,” a younger, more potent voice replied.
“And she has been given provisions?” The old voice asked as Ana’s stomach grumbled at the thought of food.
“No Father, not yet at least. We were waiting on your instructions.”
“Hmm, well go and fetch something from the kitchens whilst I greet our…young guest.”
Hearing the guard leave to hopefully go to the kitchens the door’s locks started to turn. Trying to look strong Ana stood up, her bare feet rejected the touch of the horrible cold floor but she wasn’t going to let anyone think that she was weak.
As the owner of the older voice opened the door, Ana was surprised to find that he wasn’t quite as old and frail as his voice let on. Bald headed, like all the men in this place, Ana could see the familiar symbols of Marqué on the mans robes as they hung around his lean, tall form.
Wanting to curl back into a ball, Ana reached deep down for the courage to stand her ground against the newcomer, “Who are you?” she asked with as much of an authorative voice as she could muster, “and why are you keeping me here?”
With a look of surprise at Ana’s bold opening, the old man stopped and dropped down onto one knee so he was at Ana’s height. “My name child, is Father Lorenzo.” He replied with a cool, collected tone about him. “You are here because you were with some very undesirable people, did you know that?”
“If undesirable means people who were hiding then yes…but that’s nothing to do with me, I never did anything wrong.”
“No, perhaps you haven’t done anything wrong, but you are special. That is why they were hiding you and that is why you are here and, why we are currently having this conversation.”
Before Ana could interrogate any more information out of her host the armoured guard appeared in the doorway with a plate of food in one hand and his huge metal hammer in the other.
“Thank you Brother Atlas, please wait in the hall.”
Placing the plate on the table next to Ana, the guard turned back to Father Lorenzo before leaving the two of them alone in the room once more.
After a brief pause Father Lorenzo spoke, “The food is yours to take as and when you feel hungry. If you care for more or anything else then please do inform Brother Atlas or whomever else may be on duty and I shall see to it that they serve you to the best of their abilities. As you say, you’ve done nothing wrong.”
“Then why won’t you let me go?” Ana blurted out.
“Because my child, you are the biggest piece in the puzzle.”