Edward opens the door and we follow him in. It's a small room, sorry, cell. As long as I call things what they are, I can still hold onto these last few shreds of dignity. It's bare, the lights reflecting harshly off the white walls and floor. White. Edward's always joking like that. My eyes adjust and I make out what's cowering in the corner.
It's Liz, Marko, and Jon. Please don't recognize me. Oh, God, don't let them know it's me.
They look up. Marko is lit up with frustration, his eyes darting over the four of us, leaving daggers with his gaze. His eyes meet mine, but they're blinded with hate. He doesn't see my face beneath the scars, beneath the mask. Jon sits serenely, lotus position, like always. He barely registers our presence. His eyes close and his head bows as soon as he notices.
Liz stares at Edward. He's the only one not wearing a mask. He's the only one who really is the monster he portrays. She starts to speak, her tongue loosing a syllable, but then she takes in the 3 other men in robes. Fel and Sik just stare ahead, waiting for orders. Or trouble. I try to do the same. But I'm glancing over my friends for damage, trying to see how much they've suffered at the hands of my new friends. She must have seen that I was different. That I wasn't a stone block. She stands up. Fel reaches to his belt, but Edward moves his hand just so, just enough to calm Fel down.
Liz cocks her head to the side. I know she's starting to notice me. I know she's going to recognize my chin, my teeth, my ears. Something will give me away. She takes a step forward.
If Edward doesn't know we're connected, he'll put it together and I'll be caught in a lie. If he does know we're connected, then he's playing a game and my life depends on winning it.
Liz takes another step, this time I can tell she's headed toward me. Another step. Her brow furrows. "Adrial? Is that you?"
When she gets to me, she'll rip off my mask. Really, he has nothing to lose. If I am not Adrial, we will kill her, but she probably realizes she's going to die here no matter what. If I am Adrial, she's hoping that I'll save her. That I'll drop the act and save everyone. But I'm not ready for that. There's still so much I don't know about земля под паром.
"I knew you would save us. Marko said you betrayed us. He swore it was you in London," Her voice wavers, probably remembering the figure waving his hand on the window. It was me, for the record. I did betray them, but I had to. I knew what I was doing.
Edward's lips slide into a cold smile. Good. He knows I know them. He knows I worked with them against him. He knows I'm a traitor.
She steps forward again, this time cutting her stride short. If I am Adrial, I would have shouted out, pulled out my dagger and killed Edward. Marko would fight Fel, and Jon would take care of Sik. We'd run out of this cursed house and fly home. I'd explain why I infiltrated the cult, why I used them as my entrance ticket. They would forgive me when they saw how much good it did. We were all willing to sacrifice our lives to stop земля под паром, though we never really expected we would have to. But right now, in this room, so close to the end of it all, I am not Adrial. I cannot be Adrial.
My hand flashes to the dagger on my belt. My fingers clasp around the hilt, the obsidian blade sucks some of the light out of the room. Liz smiles. Why do you have to smile? Her eyes go to Edward. She doesn't see the dagger plunge into her throat.