"Well shit, Princess," I laugh as Rose and Jason come back in with that look in their eyes. "You're here for a total of maybe five minutes and these two are making goo goo eyes." Victoria's voice rings out of the tent, "And Alec is telling the new girl all of his secrets. Ana, you've done what no one else could. Sorry. Anastasia." She says and I can hear her eyes rolling in her voice. Ana looks up with a pointed glare at no one, "No. Ana." I know that will impress Victoria. She hates nothing more than snobs. "My friends call me that." she adds and looks at us carefully. "If that's okay?" Rose nods and beams, like always. "Of course Ana, we're your friends!" "Whatever her majesty desires." I say with a bow. Jason snorts with laughter and Ana gets up from her place next to me. I frown. I like her presence, how her body always seems to hover lightly next to me, waiting to take flight. She will do well here. What am I doing? What am I thinking? Love is something I do not deserve and cannot afford anyway. I am already trying to take her into this and selfishly keep her with me, where she will never be safe. God, I am so stupid. I am so horrible. Words continue flying at me, weapons of self-destruction hurled at myself. Only Victoria can tell when this is happening to me. And then Ana is next to me again. She says nothing, only lightly traces scars with her fingertip. She lays in the grass net to me and rests her head against my side as she reaches back to touch my arm. "You have to go back now." Jason finally says to break the silence when it felt as if we were all asleep. Rose is laying and looking back at Jason while he sits back unresting. All eyes are open. We are the kind of people who get nightmares. Victoria again yells form the tent, "Will she be needing help to get past mummy and daddy?" "Why don't you just sleep out here if you're going to listen in?" I yell into the tent. Then I bite my tongue. I know why. "I'll walk her back." I say to break the silence. "I'm coming to." Victoria steps out of the tent with nail marks on her palms, something she does to keep from falling back into sleep after a nightmare. "I don't trust you two alone." And so I put out my hand to help her up, and we prepare to head out into the evening's descending sunlight. As we are about to leave I see Ana looking up at us with a pained expression, her eyes full of longing and biting her lip. "I cant go back." It is the first time her voice has not sounded completely strong and sure. Then she repeats it in the one I connect with her, completely sure of herself. "I will not go back. I want to stay with you."
The only sound I hear after my words is the sound of my own breathing. Even the nature around us seems to have silenced while the difference between my freedom and confinement lies in the balance of five pairs of eyes that have no reason at all to help me. Five pairs of eyes that have seen more pain and suffering then I will in my entire catered to posh life. And I wait.