Roman shifted slightly and winced as Jojo woke him. His entire left side throbbed in time with the pounding in his head. A deep, nagging ache was building behind his eyes. His sleep had been fitful and punctuated with dreams of Alex. Horrible, terrible images of death and destruction. In every scenario, she had called out to him, begging him to help her. Save her. He hadn't moved fast enough and every time she paid the price.
Listening to their "host", his heart was in his throat as the list of the fallen was recited. He swallowed hard, squeezing his eyes closed against battered, bloody image of his sister. Thankfully, her name was not uttered. He knew that he should feel ashamed at the fact that others were dead, but he didn't. He could only feel a sense of restless relief that, so far, his sister was fine.
Gathering his energy, Roman took a few deep breaths. Mind over matter, buddy. It's all mind over matter.
He knew what he had to do. He had let himself get distracted from his original goal. It was time to get back to it. It was time to go find Alex.
With movements that made a turtle look speedy, Roman incrementally levered himself into a sitting position. The action left him a little short of breath and covered in a fine sweat. He could feel the slowly spreading wetness as the moisture rolled down his skin. At least, he prayed that it was just sweat and not his injuries continuing to seep and weep. Not that any of that mattered. Finding Alex was all that mattered.
The hard part finished, he shakily stood. For a moment, he feared that his legs would not support him, that he would have to climb to his feet again, but his body did not betray him. Taking this as an encouraging sign, he looked at Acacia, Jojo, and Simon. "Thanks for taking care of me, guys. I really appreciate it. But I have to go now. I..."
Roman trailed off, looking towards the door as he absently wiped his brow. He winced as the action made his left side pull. Alex was out there somewhere. She was waiting for him. He had to go find her. Reaching down with a hiss, he awkwardly grabbed his bag. "I have to go. Thanks for everything, but I have to go now. My sister needs me."
Flashing Acacia an apologetic smile, Roman walked out the door. Somewhere, Alex was waiting for him. He could feel it. He could feel her. He had to go find her.
((Roman Jackson continued in Instinct