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by Crystalwizard

Table of Contents
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
appear in this issue.
Chapter Seventeen

We dashed across the street and hit the main campus about fifteen minutes before twelve according to the clock tower. The walkways were jammed full of students on their way home and I felt like a salmon trying to swim upstream to spawn. I dodged the large mass of moving humanity for a few seconds, gave up and cut across the grass. Jason got swept back to the sidewalk before breaking free.

Mount Abrams is spread out over fifteen city blocks, but most of the outlying stuff is dorms. The majority of the lecture halls, and classrooms, are clustered around the admissions office. Which meant the closer we got to my goal, the more crowded things became. I tried not to lose my temper and struggled to make headway against the crowd.

Jason wasn’t helping. He wandered along behind me, staring at the students and being awed at the sight of brick buildings covered with ivy. I put up with it for a few minutes then spun around to face him. My expression must have looked a lot darker than I was feeling because he flinched and dropped his head. I devoted exactly one second to contemplating the fact that Jason in fear of me no longer felt good, clasped his hand in mine and took a deep breath.


“S-sorry...” His voice was a whisper and he stared at my shoes.

My heart sank and I put my arms around him. “Jason, I’m sorry. I’m not mad at you. I’m just frustrated with all these people. I’m afraid no one’ll be at the poly-sci building when we get there and I’m... I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to scare you.”

I felt some of the tension leave him, and he hugged me back, but not with the same confident strength I’d gotten used to. I shoved all other concerns away and stood motionless in the middle of the college campus with my arms around him until he relaxed. Maybe he couldn’t leave me physically, but he could emotionally, and I desperately didn’t want that. I leaned my head against his chest and listened to his heart beating and tried to get my own emotions under control. His confidence rose as my anger abated and after a few minutes, I felt him kiss me on top of my head.

“Sorry,” his voice was still quiet, but no longer a whisper. “I wasn’t trying to slow you down.”

“I know. I’m sorry.”

He tightened his arms into a real hug then let go and took my hand. “Where’s the poly-sci building?”

“Over there.” I turned and pointed at a grey building devoid of ivy.

We threaded our way through the student body and gained the glass and chrome doors of the poly-sci building several minutes later. They were still unlocked, to my relief. We pushed them open and stepped inside.

The building smelled of disinfectant as if the janitors had already been at work. Our footsteps echoed through the hall as we walked, and I had the sinking feeling that everyone was already gone. Darkened, empty classrooms set along the walls confirmed my suspicions, which didn’t make me feel too great. I stomped on my rising irritation and paused next to a bulletin board, trying to think.

The poly-sci building was built like a large rectangular box with a smaller box of the same shape sitting in the middle of it. The short halls on the ends each had a door to the outside, and classrooms and professor’s offices lined the long, side halls. I had just decided to give up until Monday afternoon when we heard a door open on the right side hall.

The sound of voices echoed down the corridor and I jumped, grabbed Jason’s hand, and dragged him around the corner to the left side hall. Footsteps echoed through the building, and after a moment, two men walked into view, heading toward the door to the outside.

“You can’t win the city council election,” the shorter of the two said. “It’s only three weeks away and you haven’t done any campaigning. Plus the other three candidates for Mayor are very popular. You really should...”

“I’ll win,” Darnell growled. “You can count on that. Just kick your publicity machine into overdrive and get my name out there so it’ll look good.”

“I said we would, but you still can’t...”

“I will win!” Darnell’s voice exploded through the building as they pushed open the door and walked out. The door swung shut behind them and the echoes died away.

We’d found him, but bringing him to justice for trying to rape me had suddenly taken a backseat to a much larger threat. The idea of Darnell sitting in the Mayor’s seat gave me cold chills. I had to stop that from happening... only I didn’t know how.

To be continued...

Copyright © 2006 by Crystalwizard

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