Adena and Eli quietly walked down the stairs, faces troubled. They had gone about locking windows, and closing blinds in the master bedroom in silence, before heading back.
The sound of calm voices chattering in the living room made both hesitate at the foot of the stairs. Adena turned around to look up at Eli, frowning, “What do we say?”
Eli stuffed his hands into his pants pockets, and shrugged, before hunching his shoulders. “Don’ know.”
She groaned, and rubbed at her face, the exhaustion seeming to weigh her down.
Eli sighed, and stepped forward. He drew Adena close, wrapping her in a hug, her face pressed to his chest.
Adena wrapped her arms around his waist, and melted into his embrace.
He pressed a kiss to the top of her head, “We’ll be okay, Princess. Whatever this is, we’ll figure it out.”
“I know,” Adena rubbed her cheek against his soft t-shirt, “Thanks, Eli.”
Mari’s head popped out from around the corner, “Dios mio, get a room you two!”
Adena and Eli jumped apart, startled. Adena rounded on Mari, her hands on her hips, and brow furrowed. “Mari!”
Eli scowled, and pushed past both women into the living room, claiming his previous seat in the second arm-chair, Matt and Amy already cuddled back up in the other.
Mari smirked, and looped her arm through Adena’s, and practically dragged the shorter girl into the living room.
Adena noticed that a few lit candles had been scattered around the room to give off more light, though the rest were left stacked on the coffee table, including a flash light and the first aid kit. A large pile of pillows and blankets with pushed into the corner.
Ben was still fiddling with the radio, and Sam had relocated to sitting on the floor, leaning back against his legs.
Mari swung both herself and Adena around to face the others, most gathered back in their previous spots, looking calmer than she had last seen them.
She grimaced slightly at the thought of upsetting them again, but quickly schooled her features into a blank mask.
“So,” Mari looked down at Adena, “as you can see, Derek and I completely raided your candle stash, by the way, you’re a candle hoarder. No one needs that many candles.”
Adena rolled her eyes. “Obviously, it was good to have for an emergency situation.”
Mari snorted, “Right, whatevs.”
Adena scowled, and opened her mouth to retort.
“Diana and I made sure all the windows and doors were locked and covered,” Damon butted in, heading off an argument before it could start.
“Why does your house have so many windows?” Diana asked, brow primly arched.
Adena huffed, “I enjoy having plenty of natural lighting.”
“Matt and Amy wiped out your linen closet, and got all the pillows and blankets you left in the hall upstairs,” Damon interrupted again, nudging his sister with his shoulder.
Adena leaned around Mari and smiled at the couple in the armchair, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” Matt intoned softly, and Amy smiled.
Adena looked at Mari, “Could you please sit down? I have something to share.”
Mari squinted at Adena, before nodding once, and returning to her seat on the couch, which Derek leaned on the back of.
With a sigh, Adena wiped her hands along the front of her skirt, then folded her hand together. She looked around the room, and at the expectant faces of her friends.
Eli’s heavy gaze had her snapping her eyes away.
“While Eli and I were upstairs, we studied what we could have outside.” She hesitated.
“And?” Diana prompted.
“And,” Adena looked down, “we couldn’t see anything.”
Mari snorted, “Yea, cause it’s dark outside, duh.”
Adena frowned at Mari, “That’s not what I meant.”
“My cat can see in the dark.” Sam volunteered, and everyone turned to look at her.
“Yes,” Adena drawled, “thank you, Sam.”
The bubbly blonde smiled.
The short brunette couldn’t help but smile in return. “What I meant was, there is no sign of any of the neighbors. No candle light, no flashlights, and no movement.”
Quite a few of the group tensed, as the news, and what it could mean, settled.
“And,” Adena continued softly, “it looked like there may be some kind of fire in the distance. A rather large one, from the look of it.”
The noise level sky rocketed when the others began to talk over one another. “Where is-” “-could of gone-” “-fire-” “-parents-” “-sister-” “-my cat-”
“Everyone shut up!” Ben snapped, and the room silenced, and everyone’s focus turned to the man. “Listen.”
He turned up the sound on the radio, and the rough voice of an older man filled the silence. “I’m trapped in the station. I’m alone, and have been for hours now. Everyone else is just gone.”
“How-” Derek started, but was quickly hushed by the others.
“If you’re out there, if you’re hearing this, be ready. Whoever, whatever, has invaded and is taking some people, and killing the rest. They hit hard and fast. If you can fight, fight, if not, run, run far, and hide.”
There was a moment of silence, and no one moved.
The man’s voice came back again, “By broadcasting this message, they’ll know I’m here. They’ll be coming soon. Take care of yourselves. Sarah, sweetheart, if you’re still out there, I love you, keep yourself safe. To everyone else, may whoever you believe in watch over you.”
The radio broadcast cut off, and static took its place.
To be continued…