Alliance – Chapter 4


How was your Christmas? Did Santa get you everything you wanted? We had a very excited, very lucky four-year-old who had a brilliant day.

Today is Boxing Day in the UK, do other countries have that too? A Bank Holiday which allows you to get over Christmas Day, nurse your hang over, eat left overs and watch trash TV. (Although I have spent most of the day attempting to tidy up and find homes for all the new toys!) But most importantly it is also Teaser Tuesday!

It is almost here! This time next week Alliance will finally be out in the big wide world! Until then, you have the final sneak peek to keep you going – here is chapter 4. Enjoy!

Read Chapter 1

Read Chapter 2

Read Chapter 3

CHAPTER FOUR

Standing outside the bedroom Rick and Scarlett shared when they stayed at Ridgewood, I braced myself.

“Ready?” Jack asked me, his hand resting on the door handle. When I nodded, he opened the door. We stepped inside. The room still smelled of Scarlett’s flowery perfume; she had hardly left here the past few days. Warm sunlight poured in through the large bay window, and there in the centre of the room was the familiar outline laid out on the king-sized bed.

Drayton.

He was so still. If I didn’t catch the slight rise and fall of his chest, I might have wondered if he was still breathing. His dark hair was a stark contrast to the white pillow. His normally glowing green eyes were closed, making him appear more human than I had ever seen him before. Apart from the blue holographic alien symbols that moved across his skin, of course. According to Jack, they were monitoring his vital signs, but I had to take his word for it because to me they were just circles and swirls.

Scarlett had cleaned Dray up; his cuts were now faint pink marks. Aethians healed faster than humans. A lot of the swelling and bruises he had when he first arrived had vanished, but he still looked in a bad way.

Having Dray at Ridgewood felt surreal. When I first met them, Jack and the others had spent all their efforts convincing me how dangerous he was. And they were right. He had done some terrible things, including kidnapping Daisy. It was hard to connect that Dray with this one. That Dray had seemed like a monster; this one looked young and helpless.

Every time I felt bad for him, I remembered he didn’t look that different than Jack had after Dray had used the additional power from the Orb of Tealon to attack him, and my sympathy evaporated.

I turned to Jack. “Any change?”

“No.”

I pushed down my frustration. “When is he going to wake up? We need answers.”

“We don’t even know he’d have any.”

Downstairs the door slammed, making me jump. Jack nodded his head, and we filed out, closing the door behind us.

Rick appeared in the hallway as we came down the stairs.

“Freddie still with Maya?” Jack asked as we followed Rick into the front room. They hadn’t voiced it aloud, but neither of them were keen on staying at Ridgewood with Dray there. I hadn’t seen much of Freddie at all lately, and I missed him.

Rick nodded. “Yes, he’ll be back tomorrow. He asked me to tell you he’ll call you later. How is the situation with Amy?”

I briefly glossed over my conversation with Amy.

“Sounds like she took it well,” Rick said thoughtfully after I had finished explaining. “All things considered.”

“It’s been one hell of a shock, and after what she saw she’s scared, but I’ve known her my whole life. We can trust her.”

Rick nodded. “Good.”

I waited, but the lecture I was expecting never came. “Wait, that’s it?”

“Was there something else?”

“I thought you’d be more worried about Amy finding out.”

“If you say she’s reliable, then that’s fine. I trust your judgement.”

I beamed, feeling flattered. Rick’s opinion meant a lot to me. Jack chuckled at my expression.

“Scarlett tells me you are meeting her later?” Rick asked me.

“Yes, we’re having a coffee.”

“I’m relieved she is taking a break. She’s scarcely left Dray’s side,” he said, concern shining in his warm brown eyes. “I know Scarlett is convinced he’s going to wake up, but if he doesn’t…”

“He will,” Jack assured him. “Dray is too much of a pain in the backside to go out like this.”

Rick gave him a stern look, but it was tinged with a hint of amusement.

“I take it there have been no aftereffects for you, after yesterday?” Rick asked Jack, any trace of humour gone.

“So far, all good.” He leaned back in his seat. “I just wish we knew what their game is.”

The nerves that had been buzzing in the pit of my stomach since yesterday returned with full force. “What if the vision I had about the Greys wasn’t just a vision. What if they are here because of me?”

“If they knew about Conscientia, I think they would have taken you by now.”

“So then why are they here? What are they doing, going around zapping people?”

Rick scratched his forehead. “We have no real leads to go on. No one here or outside of Earth knows anything, or at least they aren’t talking.”

“There is someone who might know more than he’s letting on,” Jack said, his voice grim.

Rick exhaled heavily. I looked between them, trying to connect the dots, but they weren’t making sense.

“Why do I get the feeling I am missing something here?”

Rick studied me for a moment. I looked at Jack. They were making me nervous.

“Guys, enough with the secrecy. What’s going on?”

“Have you spoken to your father recently?” Rick asked.

“No. Not since everything happened with Riley. We spoke on the phone, and he wants me to go back for another visit, but we left it open.” Mainly because things were still awkward between us. We couldn’t expect to suddenly have the perfect father-daughter relationship overnight; I knew that, and I was willing to work at it. But I was still trying to process everything that had happened. It all still felt so raw.

Rick exchanged a glance with Jack.

I narrowed my eyes. “Why?”

Jack ran his hand along his jaw. Sitting on the sofa next to me, he took my hand.

“Jack?” I hated how uncertain my voice sounded, but he was acting weird. That was usually the beginning of something I didn’t want to hear.

“When Equinox arrested Freddie, while he was in the cell, he overhead something about the Summit.”

I raised my eyebrows. The Summit was a big meeting between representatives of all the major inhabited planets. “What about it?”

“No details. Just that Clark tried to broker a deal, but it went wrong.”

I swallowed. My throat suddenly dry. “What kind of deal?”

Jack sighed. “Unfortunately, that’s the no-details part.”

Rick cleared his throat. “When I spoke to the Syonian representative who attended the Summit, she informed me that Clark had requested a private meeting with the Greys.”

I looked from Rick to Jack. “I don’t understand. That’s good, isn’t it? Negotiate with them, make a connection. Seeing as no one seems to know much about them.”

“That all depends on what he’s asking for,” Jack said gravely. “And Freddie said he heard it had gone wrong. Dray suddenly turned up in that state. Greys are out in the open, throwing their weight around. It feels like they are sending out a message.”

“Which is?” I asked.

“All bets are off.”

**********

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