The City Never Sleeps At Night

Posts Tagged ‘book

Here’s chapter 3 of that story I was telling y’all about! Enjoy!


 

Agent Tate looked down at his watch and stood up. All four teenagers looked in between each other, not sure of what to think of his actions. Was it a good or bad action? How were they doing? What was going on? None of them could be completely sure. 

“I’ve got to step outside for a few minutes. You’ll be allowed a bathroom break.”

And with that, Agent Tate walked out of the room. A soldier walked in moments after he walked in and politely offered to escort anybody to the bathroom. The change in demeanor of the soldiers surprised Julia. They had been nothing but rude and forceful only just yesterday. Something wasn’t quite right.

Adam glanced around and stood up.

It could have just been Julia, but she swore she saw him glare directly at Rachel. She knew what he was doing. Adam was giving Luke the chance to talk to her alone—which is something she wanted more than anything in the world, just not today. Not now. Not after what happened. Not after that awkward moment that screwed up their relationship and put their future in jeopardy. It was unavoidable. 

And she hated it.

“Are you really putting me in this position right now? Like I haven’t got enough pressure on my shoulders right now!” 

Julia shook her head, trying to be subtle enough for Luke not to notice. Adam smirked, knowing exactly what he was doing.

Rachel stood up and followed Adam out of the room. The soldier left the room to escort them, leaving Luke and Julia alone.

The small room with the one table seemed even smaller, despite the loss of people. The room felt colder and it had nothing to do with the air conditioner. Julia looked down at her lap, avoiding Luke’s gaze.

Her right shoulder felt the weight of the sling pushing down on it, the strap digging into her skin. She took a shaky breath and reached with her left arm and tried to reach up to adjust the shoulder. The pain in her arm made it difficult to reach far enough to adjust the strap.

“Here, let me help you with that.” Luke reached over and adjusted the strap for her, conveniently situating himself so that his face was inches away from hers.

He adjusted the strap and looked her in the eyes. His sparkling green eyes bore into her electric blue ones.

“Luke…”

Before she could say anything else, Luke closed the small gap between them and kissed her gently on the lips. For those few brief seconds, everything disappeared in Julia’s mind. All she thought about was him. The good memories, that is. She remembered the reasons she had fallen in love with him in the first place. He pulled back just a few inches and placed his hand on her cheek, his thumb stroking it slowly and gently. 

“We’ll get through this Jules.” His whisper was soft and sweet, like the cherry on top of a sundae. He had that effect on her. She felt the tears welling up in her eyes and it took all of her willpower to push them down.

“You know that’s not what I want to talk about,” she whispered back. She could hear the shakiness in her voice. “What we need to talk about.”

Luke leaned back a little bit more, slowly removing his hand from her cheek. He composed himself and started the inevitable conversation.

“I’m not taking it back Jules. Yes, it was bad timing. Yes, I know I shouldn’t have shoved that on you at that moment. But I…I don’t regret it.”

“You don’t regret throwing that heavy burden on me?”

Luke shook his head and took her hands in his. She regretted her words immediately. A heavy burden? Inside her mind, she was banging her head on the table. 

“I don’t think of it that way, Jules. I…” He took a deep breath and gripped her hands a little tighter. “Something changed in London Jules. I…I had that light bulb moment that they always have in the movies. I realized that my life…it…it meant nothing without you in it. I realized that it didn’t matter when I saw you next, but I made my choice then and there that I was going to marry you someday. And…and I had to say something to let you know how I feel before I let you slip away.”

Luke leaned in a little bit closer. “I don’t ever intend on letting you slip away from me ever again, Jules. Not ever. And someday in the future you and I are gonna get married and everything will be perfect but today…”

Luke smiled, despite the fact that he was close to tears himself—mostly from the pain in his leg, but he wasn’t going to let her know that. He pushed the tears away. “Today…I want to make the commitment.”

Julia froze. Luke hates commitments. He’s horrible at them. It’s the reason why their relationship had a rocky start in the first place. It’s why she was worried he was going to leave their mission at any second. He just didn’t do commitments.

But he kept going.

“I want you to know that I will always be there for you every hour of every day. And that I’m gonna love you every second that I’m breathing and with every beat of my heart. I—”

“Stop,” Julia closed her eyes. “Please.” 

Luke watched her intently as she gathered her thoughts. So many things to say. She knew they were pressed for time. Agent Tate, Adam or Rachel could walk in at any moment. This could be their last chance to talk alone. She would be stupid to believe no one was listening in or watching through the security camera perched in the corner of the room, but at this moment it was just her and Luke. 

Julia searched his eyes for any sign of doubt. If there was even the slightest hint of doubt, she could say no. She could push him away. She could not have to deal with this. She wouldn’t have to worry about hurting him. She could go through with the plan knowing that he would be able to move on someday and marry thereal girl of his dreams. That tiny bit of doubt would make what she had to do easier. 

But she couldn’t find anything but love. True, unconditional love. Damn, she cursed inside her mind. Julia swallowed back the guilt and the deceit and the lies and let a tear escape down her cheek.

It was Julia who closed the gap this time, pressing her lips against his. She didn’t want to make it too passionate or he would know something was up. It was gentle, kind, loving and purely magical. If her life were a cheesy movie, fireworks would be going off in the background. She knew these kisses had to stop, or she wouldn’t be able to do what she knew had to be done, but she couldn’t help it.

Julia leaned back just far enough to where their foreheads were touching.

“I love you Luke, you know that, right?” Julia’s whispers were so low in volume that no listening device could pick her voice up.

Luke kissed her on the tip of her nose. “Right. I don’t want to rush you sweetheart, I just want you to know that I am committed to us.”
Luke’s hand snaked around her shoulders, resting lightly on top of her right shoulder. 

“I…” Her moment to tell him the truth came. But why couldn’t she do it? Why couldn’t she tell him what was coming? Why couldn’t she tell him the real reason she turned him down before?

“You can tell me anything. The pact, remember?” Luke whispered as he searched her eyes for answers. “What’s wrong?”

He kissed her again, this time on her cheek, right on top of a small, thin, white line of a scar she had gotten while captured in France a few years ago. “We can get through it together.”

Julia grabbed Luke’s free hand with her left hand and gripped it with all her might. “Things…things are only going to get worse.” A few more tears fell down her cheeks. She didn’t bother to wipe them away and neither did Luke.

“People are going to die, Luke.”

A tingling sensation spread through her leg as a tear fell onto her skin right where her jeans had been torn. Julia assumed it was a result of her fight with Maddie, even though she still couldn’t remember it. Despite the strange feeling, Julia didn’t shutter. She leaned forward and kissed Luke’s cheek, lingering there after she did so.

“But now is not the time to be talking about the future,” she whispered into his ear. “Let’s focus on making it out alive for right now.” She kissed him once more on the cheek, this time quickly. “We have the rest of our lives to figure out what we want to do but we have to make decisions about our situation we’re in now or we’re going to die.”

Luke nodded, almost sadly, as if he knew what was coming but didn’t want to acknowledge it by talking.

He kissed her on the forehead. “I love you Jules. I’m going to be with you to the very end. Always.”

You can’t…

He let go of her and sat in his original position as the door opened and Adam and Rachel came in.

Adam and Rachel walked in and sat down. Julia adjusted the strap on her sling once more, her left hand shaking as she did so. The four sat in silence for a few moments, waiting for Agent Tate to reappear.

Underneath the table, Luke’s hand found Julia’s free one. He gently squeezed it, attempting to give her a boost of confidence. It wasn’t working. He didn’t know what was coming. He didn’t know the heartache headed their way. He didn’t know what she had done.

The door opened and another man in a tuxedo and red, Boston Red Sox baseball cap walked in.

“You’ve got five minutes before Special Agent Tate comes back,” the soldier commanded before he left the room, making sure to slam the door before leaving.

He sat where Agent Tate had only minutes before. He took off his jacket and cap off, revealing his true identity.

The family resemblance to Julia was uncanny. They both had the same brown hair and electric blue eyes. He was a few inches older than her and had this old aura around him. Spending a lot of time in the past did that to a person, as the four teenagers had found over the past four years.

“Dustin?” Julia gasped. She leaned forward to get a better look at him. “How—”

“No time for how and why, my dear,” Dustin smiled at his niece. “We need to talk about your situation.”

“What do you suggest we do?” Adam asked.

“How do we get out of here?” Rachel continued.

“Where are our parents?”

“When can we go home?”

“Where is Maddie?”

At the mention of her aunt, Julia cringed. Luke’s grip on her hand grew tighter. The silence created a dangerous ambiance for the four teenagers. Anything they said could lead to their conviction, and later their execution. They had to tread carefully.

“I’m here to help, and I’m doing my best to get you four out of here, but they’ve got some serious evidence against you.” Dustin leaned forward on the table with his elbows. “It’s pretty damning.”

Her uncle’s look told it all. This had everything to do with what he had talked to her about a week before she fought Maddie—about twelve days ago.

“What is it?” Luke asked.

Dustin flashed Julia another look and she squeezed Luke’s hand. He glanced her way, but she refused to look at him.

“Dustin, is there any chance at all that we might get out of this alive?” Julia asked quietly. She felt the eyes of her three friends on her, but she couldn’t look their way. Dustin would be able to find away out, if there was one to find.

“A very small chance, Julia, but it will require more risks that expected.”

She nodded, knowing exactly what he was saying. With great risks and sacrifices comes great rewards. If they were to save the world, they would have to sacrifice a lot. For Julia, it would be the life she knew and love.

“What does that mean?” Rachel asked, obviously frustrated with the secrets. “What else do we have to sacrifice? We’ve already given up so much already!”

Dustin nodded in Julia’s direction. “Julia knows what is required.”

A moment of silence followed but Dustin quickly broke it.

“But that’s not why I am here. Today, I am your lawyer and I don’t think telling the full story is a good idea.”

“But we didn’t do anything wrong!” Rachel whined.

Dustin reached and grabbed her hand, patting it lightly as if she were a child. “I know my dear. I know. But it would risk putting all of you in even more danger. We can’t have that happen before Maddie strikes back. If you all are stuck here, you won’t be able to save us.”

“Then what do we do?” Luke asked him. “We’ve already started telling the story.”

“I know that,” Dustin leaned across the table and lowered his voice impossibly low so that no recording device could hear him. “Just don’t tell them about Jonathon.”

“Why not? He’s a huge part of the story.”

“Then be light on details. You don’t know him that well.” Dustin leaned back in his chair. “He’s as mysterious as Evan.”

Dustin looked straight at Julia when mentioning Evan and she knew that this was code for something. Now she only had to figure out what it stood for.

Luke’s face scrunched up in anger. Rachel didn’t seem to know what Dustin was talking about. Adam, on the other hand, seemed to understand. Adam had always been suspicious of Evan for reasons unknown to Julia. After her first semester at the University of Virginia, she wasn’t questioning him for a minute.

Julia nodded. “Any other advice before you have to go?”

“Stay confident. You four will get through this.”

After looking at each of the four for a few seconds, Dustin stood from the table and walked over to the other side. Julia slowly stood and gave her uncle a hug, knowing that this could very well be the last one they ever share.

“Be wary of what you say. Agent Tate isn’t the only one listening. She is too,” he whispered into her ear. “We’ll talk soon about what has to be done.”

He let go of her and waved to the others as he walked out of the room. Julia slowly sat back down in her chair and Luke draped his arm on the back of her chair. 

“Is it just me or does that guy get more mysterious after every visit?” Luke asked the group. 

Rachel shrugged. Adam had his eyes closed and was tapping his fingers on his thigh. Julia knew this look all too well: he was trying to figure things out. Julia did nothing but stare at the chair in which her uncle had just occupied, not wanting to explain things to Adam if he figured things out before Agent Tate came back. Luke and Rachel talked around them, but Julia blocked all of it out. That is until Rachel spoke up.

“Are you alright Jules? You seem out of it.”

Julia blinked and looked over toward her best friend.

Adam opened his eyes and turned to face Julia. “Is it one of your injuries? Do you need a doctor?” His eyes revealed nothing. If he had solved the puzzle, he wasn’t ready to talk about it yet.

Honestly, neither was Julia. She took a deep breath of relief, then shook her head. “I’m fine, Adam. Thanks though.”

“Are you sure?” Rachel asked. Julia could see the concern on her friend’s face. She wanted so badly to tell them what was coming. To vent. To get their opinions. But she couldn’t. Dustin reminded her of that.

Despite having her three best friends sitting beside her, Julia had never felt so alone.

Agent Tate burst through the door and sat back down, straightening his suit. He picked up his pen and started tapping it nervously against the piece of paper. Julia didn’t think to look at it while he was gone, and he didn’t care.

Agent Tate looked up, focusing in on Julia. “So where does the story go next?”

 


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A little bird told me…