Chapter Four

Chapter Four

It was good to be home from the hospital even though Dad wouldn’t let me out of his sight for a second. I felt like I was in prison the way he watched my every move.

The hospital tests came back normal. No one detected that the blood had been switched. The only thing the tests showed was the person was a little deficient in B vitamin. Thank God nothing more was wrong with the blood Cassiel stole from the blood bank at the hospital.

The exam showed no abnormalities, and the doctors had no idea what caused the bleeding or what the puncture marks behind my ears were.

Something happened but what? How did I get back here? How long was I really gone? These questions are what I had to struggle with as time moved on. Nothing made sense, and everything was baffling.

One night for the first time since I had been home, Dad left me alone. I didn’t waste any time; I had to go to the mountainside. I ran out the front door into the snowy evening air where the pitch-black sky encircled me. The moon had a purple hue, reminding me of the lunar eclipse on December twenty-first. Pondering what happened on the hillside, I stood looking up at the snowflakes before I got in the Mustang. What day was this? Was it still December? Ever since I had gotten back, my thoughts were jumbled like something was missing. Nothing could explain what happened, nothing except…. No time to rationalize. I started the engine and made my way back to the eerie spot.

I edged the Mustang right where Lucien’s Camaro was parked that night. The park was deserted. I opened the car door and trudged up to where Lucien and I had been standing. My shoes disappeared into the snow as I climbed. The cold wind bit my cheeks. I shivered. As I walked to the spot where the light had taken us, I kept my eyes on the sky for a sign. Nothing but snow fell.

“He’s not here,” said a familiar voice behind me. I turned quickly to see Cassiel walking towards me. I held my

arm around my chest, trying to keep warm. He looked sad, and his steps were heavy in the snow as he approached me.

“I remember I was with him, but I can’t remember what happened….” My voice trailed off as I searched his gray eyes, hoping he had the answers.

“Sam. Why did you hold onto him?” Cassiel said, his words slow and steady. He shook his head. “Silly female human.”

“I had to…” I said. The way Cassiel stared it was almost like he was upset with me for wanting to leave with Lucien.

“You’re right you shouldn’t have done it. You weren’t supposed to.” I have to do a better job in blocking my thoughts from him reading my mind. Think of my favorite cartoon. Fred Flintstone. Yes. That will do it.

“Fred?” Really?” He grimaced. “Why did you do it?” There was sadness in his voice, not at all like Cassiel. Was it his guilt getting the better of him for not telling me Lucien was going to leave, I couldn’t tell. “Let me look at you,” Cassiel said. He took my hands in his turning them to look at my palms. “You look better than when I saw you at the hospital.”  He was quiet a moment. “You know you’re lucky… they brought you back. Some aren’t so lucky.”

“Why didn’t you tell me he was leaving?” I said pleadingly.

“They brought you back. That’s what matters.”

“How did I get back?”

“You don’t remember, do you?” he said.

“Why? What don’t they want me to remember?” I asked, not sure if I wanted to know. Another truth I may regret.

“Everything,” he said, settling next to me looking so much like his brother, even his mannerisms. It was frightening and comforting at the same time. Part of me wanted to scream and yell and smack him for deceiving me, and part of me wanted to fall into his arms.

“How long was I gone?” I said. Cassiel blinked a snowflake away from his eyelash.

“Long enough for you to see things you weren’t meant to.” His shoulder brushed mine. “You should have a coat.”

“So they made me forget,” I said, ignoring his comment.

“Yes.” I watched the snowflakes fall one-by-one onto his black hair.

“Why? What could they possibly gain from me not remembering? They did something to me. What?” I mused.

“What they do.” Steam billowed from Cassiel’s lips as he spoke.

“Alien experiments… don’t they do unthinkable inhumane things? Don’t they, Cassiel? Is that what they did—to me? Tell me you’re not one of them” I was angry, hurt and humiliated; but most of all I was sad.

“They feel they have the right. You shouldn’t have done what you did,” Cassiel said with flared nostrils. I hated his patronizing attitude.

“What does that mean?” He edged closer, almost touching me. I hated him right then, the alien he was and the man he wasn’t. My world was upside down, all because of a freak twist of fate. I thought back to when Lucien saved me and wished it had never happened.

“Samantha, you’re lucky they let you live. What were you thinking, grabbing hold of Lucien?”

Lucky… they did something to me; how’s that lucky? You’re insane.

“I’m not insane. You’re alive,” Cassiel said, reading my thoughts.

“I would have rather died than been brought back, not knowing if I’m the same person I was before I left—and what about Lucien? I feel alienated from him. He deceived me.” What’s happening to me? This isn’t me talking. I love Lucien. Don’t I?

“He didn’t deceive you, Sam; he had to go.” He glanced around, struggling to find words.

Cassiel moved my hair from my cheek, lifting it revealing my ear. “Did you notice any marks, scars, burns anywhere?”

“How’d you know? Let me guess.” I moved his hand. “You read my mind again?”

“Sam… It’s just what they do.” A disturbing look washed over Cassiel’s face.

“Why! What for?” I touched where the doctors saw the puncture wounds behind my ears.

“It’s an implant. Jordan says it has something to do with a tracking device.”

“Why didn’t it show up on the CT-scan or MRI?”

“It wouldn’t; it’s undetectable.”

I thought back to Area 51 where the government had cut open Lucien’s leg to remove his chip. It seemed like a nightmare ago. The snow was beginning to increase into a squall, making me begin to shiver. “Why would they want to track me?”

Cassiel’s expression told me the obvious; he didn’t need to tell me. I already knew what he was going to say. My thoughts were spinning out of control.

He hesitated before answering, “To keep an eye on you. You have Lucien’s DNA coursing through your veins now.” I pondered his answer.

“They put one of those in me, what they took out of Lucien at Area 51 when he was kidnaped!” I couldn’t breathe… to keep an eye on me? I shuddered at my own frustration.

Cassiel nodded. “Let me see,” he said, lifting my hair again from my cheek. He took a moment to inspect the puncture wounds that were already beginning to heal. “Clean-cut, almost perfect in dimension and diameter. A highly-advanced surgical instrument made these.”

“Can you take it out…” my question trailed off.

“I don’t know, maybe.” He sighed….  “Jordan can take a look at it. Just wait and see; maybe it’s not that simple a task,” Cassiel said in almost a whisper.

“What else,” I said, “did they−do?” I said panicky.

“Sam…” Cassiel said. “I’m not sure, possibly something to make you forget.” He took hold of my shoulders. I didn’t believe him; he wasn’t telling me everything.

“I don’t feel normal…. I can’t remember…. ” I felt like I was suffocating.

“You’re overreacting,” Cassiel said.

“If they wanted me to forget, why didn’t they make me forget about Lucien?” I fell to my knees. I wanted to remember. “Why didn’t they take my memory of him?” I cried.

 “I will never stop loving you, Samantha Hunter,” Lucien had said. I remembered that much. Staring into the sky at the empty spot where Lucien had been, I couldn’t believe he was gone. I could pretend it wasn’t true, but Cassiel was there to remind me.

“I can take your memory of him,” Cassiel said in a somber tone.

“No, don’t.” I sobbed.

An icy breeze blew by me like a kiss of betrayal, an aftereffect of what was once Lucien. It started to snow heavier. I blinked, suddenly aware that Cassiel knelt beside me. My legs wobbled where they lay prone, soaked in the slush of winter. “What happened?” I asked. “What really happened to me, Cassiel? How did I get back?” I asked, not holding back tears.

“The same way they took you… through the light,” he answered. I could tell by his tone he was telling the truth. I looked up; his eyes met mine. His eyes were glassy. I was confused.

“I was naked and bleeding, Cassiel! They found me at the ranger station that way,” I said, looking at Cassiel. He frowned and nodded.

“Sam…” Cassiel said. He touched me.

My eyes met his. “What do you see?” I whispered.

Did he really not know or did he? “Why did they take my clothes? What did they do to me? I can’t stand this.” My teeth chattered from the cold.

“You really do not recall anything? They erased everything?” Cassiel grimaced, holding his chin. “You said you were bleeding….” His voice trailed off to a whisper.

“My nose, ears, just about everywhere…” He grimaced and looked away into the snowy sky. “Not good.”

“What did they do?” My eyes followed his gaze.

“I have my suspicions. Sam….. It’s not going to help matters if you know.”

“I have to know.” I could feel tears welling over.

“Your memory is completely wiped out, it seems; maybe it’s for the best.”

“I have flashes of memory. You know what they did, don’t you, Cassiel?” I tried to remember. “There were lights and sounds, nothing I’ve ever heard. I remember floating through a tunnel into a blue beam of light.”

“Let me try and help you remember.” Cassiel took his hand like Lucien did when he helped me remember the crash. He pressed his palms to my forehead.

“They speak to me. But I don’t hear with my ears; it’s as though the words are in my head—like whoever has me says thoughts—which aren’t my thoughts! I see their hands pass in front of me, touching me. My God! I’m on a table with no clothes on whatsoever! I can’t   move—and for some reason, I’m not scared. I’m not supposed to talk about what I’m seeing. That’s why they took my memories,” I said. Cassiel removed his hand and backed up with furrowed brow.

“Why didn’t you stay on the mountainside with…Why didn’t you stay with me?” Cassiel’s eyes locked with mine for a moment. We didn’t speak. “They don’t believe what they did was wrong. It’s normal for them…. it’s all they know. They have their reasons for what they do,” he said in a low whisper.

“Of course, you’re going to defend them. You’re one of them,” I snapped.

“Biologically yes, but, Samantha, I never knew them. They’re strangers to me. I know them no more than you do.” I clutched the icy substance beneath my fingers with such force that my fingertips split open my skin and heat escaped.

Cassiel took my bloody stiff hands from the snow and held them. “You have to get out of the cold.” He helped me sit. He put his leather jacket around my shoulders, unbuttoned and removed his white shirt to wrap around my bloodied hands. I watched specks of snow melt as they touched his warm skin; I wanted to pull away from him. I didn’t want his help, but I couldn’t. He was all that was left of Lucien. I met Cassiel’s dark gray eyes for a moment and then looked past him to the spot where Lucien and I had disappeared into the beam of bluish light. I tried to stand, but my feet were stuck awkwardly to the ground, and my weight wouldn’t bear me. I was rooted in a cold familiar place I knew all too well. “I will never stop loving you, Samantha Hunter.” Lucien’s words had reverberated in the air surrounding me.

“Why did they bring me back?”

“Samantha…I don’t know, but they did. You’re here now, for what’s it worth.”

“Will I ever see him again?” My eyes boiled over in tears.

“You will…” Cassiel said. “He’s not really gone.”

Cassiel held me until I felt grounded. Patience wasn’t his virtue but with his help, I gradually stood on my own. My eyes were heavy and tired. I wanted to sleep more than anything. I felt drained. “Can you drive?” Cassiel said. I nodded yes and we trudged back to my car as snow showered down on us. If it hadn’t been for Cassiel, I would have collapsed and frozen to death. He pulled me along to my car as if I were a rag doll. I paused as Cassiel opened the driver side’s door, and he took his shirt from my hands. I turned back once more to look at the spot where Lucien and I had disappeared.


Chapter Three

Chapter Three

After, the examine, boredom overtook me. I began to count the tiles on the ceiling. I wished I were home in Pittsburgh; I wished none of this had happened. I was just about to get off the bed and look for my phone when Cassiel came rushing in. Cassiel was Lucien’s brother. When I first met him, he hated me. He resented his brother for saving my life. We were not quite friends now but not enemies either.

“Sam!—you’re alive.” Cassiel hurried over to my side, taking my hand. Startled, I looked down at my hand and then my eyes met his. “We’ve been going nuts trying to find out what happened to you. Daniel finally picked up on your whereabouts. For a while, there was nothing.” Daniel was Lucien’s other brother. He could foretell the future and sense people’s locations, sort of like a GPS for humans. Cassiel held one of my hands and touched my cheek with his other. When he touched me, a feeling of déjà vu swept over me. My hand met Cassiel’s, holding it there for a moment, a little bit out of character, making me uncomfortable.

“Cassiel ?”

“You okay?” he said. I tried to block my thoughts. The Foster’s gift of head hopping a nice way of saying they could read minds.

“Maybe I should be asking you the same question.” He let go of my hand.

“I’m okay, I think,” I said. “The nurse was just going to take blood.”

“Yes, I was,” said a nurse, wheeling a girl in not much older than me. “You have a visitor, I see.” She smiled at Cassiel.

She put the girl in the bed next to me, closed the drape, then left and was back in minutes with a cart. She smiled before she pulled the drape shut behind her. A moment later she put a couple vials of blood on the counter next to me.

“You’re next,” she said, looking at me. “Okay, Samantha, I’m going to take some blood.” The nurse took a piece of paper off a clipboard and began writing on it. I can’t have my blood drawn…. It’s not normal. Lucien warned me. Lucien gave me his blood when he saved my life. They can’t find out my blood is no longer human. Cassiel’s eyes met mine as if he read my mind; then he nodded in agreement. Cassiel and Lucien, like their brothers and sister, had the gift of telepathy. They could read minds. The nurse took a rubber band and tied it just above my elbow. She took a needle and jabbed me. The pain took me by surprise. Cassiel’s face wrinkled with nervousness. I jerked as the nurse took the needle out and undid the band.

“All done, the doctor will be with you in a minute,” the nurse said. I kept my eyes on Cassiel, hoping he understood and had a plan.

As the nurse labeled my blood, a bell rang. Another nurse came in.

“The cardiac in room two just coded! We need you!” The nurse who took my blood set the blood in the caddy and scurried out into the hall.

“Did you do that?” I asked Cassiel.

“Don’t worry; he didn’t have a heart attack. The machine just malfunctioned to buy us a little time,” Cassiel said.

My eyes shot to the tray carrying the caddy with the vials of blood. Cassiel took my blood from the caddy and carefully pulled my name off the vial that contained my blood poured it down the sink and turned on the faucet and pitched the vial in the hazardous waste can.

“I’ll be right back.” Cassiel left and came back a few minutes later with a vial of blood.

“Where’d you get that,” I said watching him put my name on the vial of my blood.

“I made a visit to the blood bank.”

“Who’s it is it?”

“Yours now.”

“No one saw you?”

“The attendant did, but he’s not going to remember a thing.”

“You didn’t hurt him did you?” Cassiel smiled.

“Oh course not,” he said raising an eyebrow. I had no idea if he was telling the truth or not. The last thing I wanted to do was get anyone else involved in my messed up life.


Chapter Two

Chapter Two

The EMTs arrived and I was taken in an ambulance to Memorial Hospital’s ER. While I waited for my father, a female detective came in and asked me a bunch of questions. I tried to convince her that I couldn’t remember. She didn’t believe me. The detective was beginning to explain to me I needed to be examined when my dad walked in.

“Sammy, baby… I’ll kill him. I swear.” My dad ran to my side. He looked as though he hadn’t slept in days. I was glad to see him but had no idea what I was going to tell him. He would never understand. I had a hard time believing it myself.

“Daddy,” I said, hugging him. “Lucien didn’t do this.” He sat down next to me, taking hold of my hands.

“You weren’t like this when you left the house, Sammy! Someone did this to you!”

I sat up, letting go of his hands, and pulled the sheet tightly against me, somehow shielding myself from their unwanted penetrating glares. I felt defenseless.

“It wasn’t Lucien.” My ears began to ring. It was hard to hear my father’s voice. I started to get restless. He directed his attention to the detective.

“Then where is he? Well?” Dad raised an eyebrow and rubbed the weariness from his eyes. “You know what happened to my daughter?” Dad asked, looking at the detective. The detective pursed her lips tightly. She shook her head.

“And you are?” Dad said.

“I’m Detective Marshall, the lead investigator in your daughter’s disappearance.”

“Well then, are you going to tell me where my daughter’s been for two weeks?”

 “I’ve been gone for two weeks? Are you sure?” I said wincing, trying to make sense of all this.

“Sam,” Dad said. “What happened to you?” he asked with a furrowed brow. When I didn’t answer, he squeezed his eyes closed as if in pain. He was as clueless as I was.

“I don’t know,” I replied, holding my hands to my ears, trying to ignore the ringing that was growing with intensity.

Dad grimaced. “Are you in pain?” He took hold of the bedrail.

“My ears,” I moaned, looking at my dad, pleading with him to relieve my pain. I closed my eyes, wishing it would go away.

“Sammy?” Dad moved in close to me with a puzzled look on his face. “Detective, get the nurse,” my dad said in a frantic voice.

The nurse then came in with Detective Marshall. “I don’t see anything,” the nurse said.

She left and returned with a tall, dark-skinned man.

“My ears… they’re ringing,” I said to the doctor. I opened my eyes facing my dad. “It won’t stop,” I said. “Make it stop,” I pleaded. My dad’s eyes met the doctor’s.

“There seem to be two small puncture wounds right behind your daughter’s ears. Neither MRI nor the CAT scan found anything, so I’m not sure what these are,” the doctor said with a slight accent. They both looked dumbfounded. My dad grimaced and said nothing.

“What the hell is it?” The lines on dad’s face edged with worry.

The doctor frowned, turning to the detective, “I’ve never seen anything like it before.” I’m sure he hasn’t.

“And, unfortunately, your daughter really needs a rape kit,” the detective said.

Dad grimaced, holding his brow. “A rape kit! Sammy, Christ!”

“I wasn’t raped; this is a mistake!” I yelled.

“Your daughter is bleeding. She’s not menstruating; we should do a pregnancy test as well,” the doctor said.

“Sammy, you aren’t pregnant, are you?” Dad shot me a disturbing look. His patience seemed to be starting to dwindle.


“Is it a possibility?” said Detective Marshall, staring at me.

“No! I swear I’m not…. I’m not.”

      “At any rate, we can do a pregnancy test to eliminate that in the meantime. I’ll let you two decide about a rape kit.” The doctor said, “You’re going to be fine, Samantha.” The doctor turned and walked out of the room.

“We need to find the person who did this. There may be evidence, and a rape kit will find the DNA we need,” Detective Marshall said. Why is he listening to her? I pleaded with my dad not to believe any of this. She was mistaken. She had to be.

I wish I could remember. The ringing was getting stronger with every moment. The more I tried to remember, the stronger the sound became.

“Sammy, what happened to you…just tell me!” The vein in Dad’s temple pulsated. “I’ll kill him….”

“That’s exactly why I would never tell you anyways!” He raised his brow.

“Sam?” I could tell my father was losing his patience. I didn’t blame him; I wouldn’t believe me either.

“Nothing. Lucien didn’t do anything …. It was my fault.” I tried to explain.

“What was your fault?” the detective asked.

“Lucien didn’t rape me.” I began to get more irritated at this thought.

“Samantha,” Detective Marshall said. “The nurse will be in, and a doctor will do an exam. They’re going to take a sample of your blood and check under your fingernails to see if there were a struggle between you and the person who did this. They’ll check for sexually transmitted diseases. The nurse will collect fluid samples, urine, semen and hair samples. Okay?” She patted my hand. I pulled away.

“Do I have any choice in the matter?” I looked at my dad, then at the detective.

“Samantha, it’s up to your father.” Detective Marshall glared at my Dad. By the looks on their faces, I had to come to grips with their decision.

“Do it. She doesn’t have a say in it. She’s under 18.” My dad stood and walked out. I watched him leave, gritting my teeth.

Detective Marshall smiled. “It’s going to be quick. Everything is going to be fine. Okay?”

She smiled again and left me to my thoughts.



Also by J.E. Nicassio

from Second Wind Publishing


From the Sky






J.E. Nicassio

Scoundrel Books

Published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC.


Scoundrel Books

Second Wind Publishing, LLC

931-B South Main Street, Box 145

Kernersville, NC 27284

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, locations and events are either a product of the author’s imagination, fictitious or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to any event, locale or person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright 2015 by J.E. Nicassio

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or part in any format.

First Scoundrel Books edition published

September, 2015

Scoundrel Books, Running Angel, and all production design are trademarks of Second Wind Publishing, used under license.

For information regarding bulk purchases of this book, digital purchase and special discounts, please contact the publisher at

Cover design by Y. Nikolova

Manufactured in the United States of America


                                      Dedicated to

                            To those who seek the Truth.

J.E. Nicassio


I’m not sure how I ended up here, but here I was. In a not-so-distant time, I used to be a normal teenage girl, worrying about boys, my looks—you name it—until my life was changed forever by the insipid, dark-haired stranger who saved my life. Lucien Foster was that stranger. He was not your average teenage boy. I guess you could say he was special, to say the least. He had remarkable snowy diamond eyes, which could see into my mind and read every thought. Lucien Foster possessed certain abilities that, if known, would endanger his life: supernatural abilities…. The funny thing about all this was… he was an alien from a planet billions of light-years away from Earth, and I fell in love with him. I know what you’re thinking: this girl is a nutcase. They need to lock her up and throw away the key! However, what I say is true: my boyfriend was not from this world.

At the time all this transpired, the day after the Christmas solstice, I did not think my life could get more complicated than it already was. I had no idea what I was getting myself into that fateful night on a mountainside in New Mexico with my alien (yes, alien) boyfriend. Boy, did things ever go wrong….


Chapter One


“Help me,” I said with parched lips. My eyes felt like they were glued shut I couldn’t open them. I tried again and slowly images focused in front of me. I found myself huddled deep in the corner of the cabin, shivering. I wrapped my arms tightly around myself to keep warm.  I covered my eyes from the light that bled through the blinds. A man in a uniform was staring straight at me, and I was naked. Haze washed over the cabin as I watched small dust particles drift through the air. What was I doing here and where the hell was here exactly?

      “Where am I?” I asked, not recognizing my raspy voice.

“The ranger station.”


“Cibola National Park….” he said, kneeling next to me. “What happened to you?”

“Lucien?” I said, catching my breath. Time seemed distorted and dreamlike. How long have I been here?

“What’s your name?”

“My name? I’m Samantha Hunter,” I said, not certain that was even my name.

“Samantha? We’re getting somewhere now,” the park ranger said, giving me a warm smile, calming my nerves slightly.

My mouth was dry; I needed water. I licked my parched lips. “Wat-er,” I said slowly. The ranger went over to the sink and ran some water.

He brought a glass, holding it to my lips. I drank it, almost choking.

“Whoa…not so fast.” My eyes met the ranger’s.


“Lucien the guy who did this to you? You kept mumbling his name. God damn sick mother effer.”

“My clothes,” I whispered, not sure of where they were. I wrapped my arms tightly around my knees, shielding my naked body. “Please help me,” I groaned.

The ranger took off his coat, fumbling at first as an icy breeze brushed my skin as his coat wrapped around me. I couldn’t stop my body from trembling. I tried to think, but I couldn’t remember.

Under my nose felt cold and wet. I touched it. Blood…. I tried to stand; when I did, something wet between my legs crawled down. Horrified, a chilling sound came from my lips. It was more blood….

“Aww, no, girl, sit. Man, you’re bleeding. You’re not pregnant, are you? Holy crap! It’s bad.” He searched for his cell phone, checking all his pockets. “911, we need an ambulance at the Cibola Ranger station. A young girl…Samantha Hunter, I think she was raped.”

“No, no, I wasn’t raped.” I managed to stand slowly.

The man grimaced. “Hell, if you weren’t; sit back down. You’re going to hurt yourself more.”

A stabbing cramp ripped through my belly. This wasn’t normal. What’s happening? …. I buckled over.

“You’re as white as a ghost! Geez, why is this happening on my shift? Damn girl. What were you doing out here anyway in the middle of the night?”

“My clothes, where are my clothes?” I looked around the station.

“Whoever did this to you,” said the ranger, “must’ve taken them.”

I cringed as I touched my skin. A thick film of yellow goo, like the goo Lucien’s uncle, Jordan Taylor, used to heal Lucien when he was kidnaped and taken to Area 51. It was right before Thanksgiving; Project Blue came to Trinity High School and took Lucien by force to an underground compound, where he was tortured and was inches away from death’s grasp. The government organization wanted the tracking device that was embedded in Lucien’s leg, and the bastards wanted me. It all began when Lucien Foster saved me when the car I was driving went over an embankment and I died, literally died. Lucien, a survivor from the Roswell crash, the same crash that the government explained was a “weather balloon,” brought me back to life. Six embryos were onboard at the time of the Roswell crash. Jordan Taylor, a scientist, working for the United States government, saved those six embryos from being destroyed. Lucien was one of the six.

“Girl, stay down!” The ranger took hold of me.

“No! I need to go,” I said.

“You aren’t going anywhere except to the hospital,” the ranger said as he hung up his phone. “You be still till they get here, girl. It will be okay.”

I stood again, feeling ill. Barely making it to the garbage can, I heaved, spilling the contents of my stomach until nothing was left but burning bile. I scrambled, searching for… something to wipe the goo from my skin. “I have to… to leave.”

The ranger rushed to a locker and took out a ranger uniform. “Here, girl, put these on. Can you?”

“Uh- huh.” I took the overhauls the ranger handed me; he turned his back while I managed to put them on. My hands trembled as I fastened the buttons. The thought of someone taking my clothes made me want to vomit more. What happened to me? I nervously finished dressing in the oversized khakis as fast as I could.

Once dressed, my eyes shot to the clock on the wall…. “It’s 9:33 in the morning?” I said as I stared aimlessly at the rays of light shining through the blinds.

“That clock hasn’t worked since the night of the eclipse… strange, right? It’s only 6 p.m. in the evening; sun’s just going down.”

I had no recollection of what had happened after I wrapped my arms around Lucien. All I could remember seeing were the brilliant blue lights and something made of silver metal above me.



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