Lavender's eyes fluttered open to see an assortment of gadgets and monitors strapped to her by a stretch of cords. She felt... awful. Did Nathaniel poison her? No, he wouldn't do that, would he?
Well, he did leave you in an underground bomb shelter to die! one part of her screamed at her.
"Shut up!" she shrilled at the voice.
Oops. Someone is in for trouble. The voice taunted.
"What do you mean?" she asked.
"Uh, Lavender? Who are you talking to?" Lavender spun around to meet Nathaniel's worried expression. He paced toward her and gently felt her forehead. His eyes widened and he shoved his hand back in his pocket. She shivered at his touch and shielded herself with the covers. He laughed warmly and peeled the covers back. She retreated to the head rest.
"I'm gonna need to look at your shoulder and head, okay?" his lips grazed her ear lightly while saying this. She wrapped her arms around his neck. He slowly pulled her arms away and drew an IV out of her vein. Lavender's smile faded at the sudden pain. Then she realized that all she was wearing was a bathrobe. He continued extracting the cords until there were none. Nathaniel plucked her off the bed and carried her to a room in another wing of Nathaniel's underground hideout.
"Where are we going?" Lavender asked.
"My lab," he replied, planting a quick peck on her lips.
When he opened the door and set her down on the floor, Lavender gazed in awe. Tables not that far above the floor were built into the wall, but soon she noticed that some had restraints added for the arms, legs, waist, and neck. She shied away and dug her face into Nathaniel's lab coat. He put an arm around her and pulled her closer. In her line of vision appeared a tray of poisons, along with varieties of surgical equipment. She winced. Had she been misjudging Nathaniel? Was he a guy who was trying to help her, or was he just leading her into a trap?
"Don't worry, I won't hurt you," Nathaniel's voice seemed to caress her."All of this is used for medical research. Those organs were donated for medical research. See? Not so scary now, is it?" he said, pointing to multiple jars of preserved organs.
"Oh, but you see why I was scared, right?"
He nodded. "Trust me, I would never hurt you, ever,"
"Okay, then. I'll just go sit over there, okay? she said, pointing at one of the tables. She clambered up onto it, then lay down facing the wall.
"You need to sit up," Nathaniel murmured next to her ear. She did as told, and sat up on the table.
"D-do you need me take off the bathrobe?" she asked.
"No just take your arm out of the sleeve," he replied.
Just at the moment she was going to do so, the girls barged in. All five of them, even the dog came. Lavender shot a glance at Nathaniel, who was gawking at Nikki in disbelief.
No, he thought. it can't be. Mom and Dad told me she was dead. Gone. They lied to me. Is that really...
"Nikki?" Nathaniel asked.