“You know hiding in plain sight is actually a dumb idea, right?” Aric tilted his head down off the couch cushions and rested his ankles on the back rest. His dark hair fell in messy waves and he projected a cat like indolence. Leena watched him from the corner of her eye as she gathered her things and put them in her shoulder bag.
“How is it different from what we do everyday?” she asked him.
“Everyday we have back up. What you’re planning will cut you off from any help should you get caught. You’ll be hunted not just because you left, but because you’ll have moved from ally to threat.” Aric tilted out one toe as if deciding whether to begin to spin himself upright.
Leena cocked a hip and met his eyes. “Again, Aric, how is that different from every day? Even if they didn’t know we were at war, I did.”
Aric didn’t take the dare settled into her shoulders, he knew. “Well, I’ll miss you.” As the silence lengthened he knew it was the wrong thing to say, but he didn’t take it back. He slowly turned himself upright as Leena watched him. The tension held until Leena shifted her weight, prepared to pivot and walk out the door.
Aric spoke softly, “I don’t fight what we are, Leena.” When her eyes flashed him another question he smirked before he answered, “I don’t fight what they made me either.” Aric leaned back into the couch and spread out, relaxed. “I know exactly what I am.”
And he enjoyed it. As Leena hesitated, Aric laughed. “I won’t send them after you, Leena. Not until it’s too late, anyway.”
Leena looked at his wolfish smile and knew he wasn’t lying. He’d enjoy the chaos, the anger, the scrambling to find her, to bring her back. They hadn’t made him a hunter, a team player, or someone who actually gave a damn. No, he wouldn’t tell. And with that, Leena finally completed her pivot turn and walked out the door. She didn’t look back. She didn’t hesitate. She was also what they’d made her.