Help Not Wanted

Charlotte stood on her tip toes peering through the
narrow window of the wooden door. Her knees began to shake as she saw Jacob
inking notes at his desk in the far corner. She stepped back on her heals and
sighed. It’s now or
never! 
She thought as she opened the door and walked into the
laboratory.

“Hi Jacob,” she said, hanging her coat on the wooden
post. The labs stone floor and walls made the room feel cold and damp. Huge
wooden tables sat at odd angles while Jacobs mahogany desk occupied the corner
of the room with view of the door.

Jacob kept his nose in his work. This is going to
be harder than I thought
. She grabbed an apron from off the post and walked
over to his desk. She picked up a light gray stone with a smooth blue side.

“That’s an agate. Pretty powerful stone, but it’s been
dead for a long time.” Jacob looked up from his work. “What are you doing here
Char?”

“I was wondering if you’d like any help,” she said as
she put the stone down.

“That’s really thoughtful,”  Jacob stated as he walked
over to a table littered with old artifacts and tiny glass bottles of multicolored
liquids. “But I work better alone.”

                “Come on, please?” Char begged. “I’m going stir crazy
trying to research for Olivia. I’ve been at the library from dusk till dawn,
every day, since she and Jackson left. I’m not getting anywhere!”

                “Did Liv put you up to this?” He said, smiling with the
right corner of his mouth.

                “No!” Charlotte looked down at the desk again, not
wanting to make eye contact with him. Jacob raised his brow and crossed his
arms. Char could feel his eyes on her as she gave in. “Okay, yes. Live wanted
me to come talk to you, but so did I.” Char stated as she walked over to him. “I
just wasn’t sure how to approach you.”

Jacob’s face softened as he saw Char turn a slightly
shade of pink. She shook her head, trying to remove the idea she was blushing
at all.

“So, can I help?” Char asked, her heart beat racing
inside of her chest. Jacob grabbed a glass bottle from the table and handed it
to Char.

“I need this liquid mixed with a smidge of dust from
the green jar over there.”

Char smiled and started to work. Jacob’s eyes followed.

-Jay

Stuck

Knox Territory
Ancient Ruins
Midday

I still cannot believe that I am actually here. I know that I complain to Charlotte about being out here, but it is kind of peaceful. I have even gotten used to the downpours. Kind of. The wind has picked up so much that at times I am convinced that it is raining from the ground up.

Jackson has ordered (like he can tell me what to do!) me to stay inside my tent for the rest of the day. I’ve already messaged my letter to Char so I am stuck twiddling my thumbs. It’s one thing to be researching, but this? I will go crazy by the end of the day if something good doesn’t happen. I didn’t even know I was claustrophobic until pretty much this exact moment. I know! I will see what’s going on outside.

I make my way around my small cot to the entrance, push past the layers of plastic and pop my head outside. What is going on here? “I knew it,” Jackson said coyly.

“You knew nothing,” I insisted as I stepped from my tent into his.

“I know you well enough, Olivia, that the moment I told you to stay inside that you couldn’t,” he smiled, “If I were a betting man, I would be very rich right now.” I rolled my eyes at him.

“I’m bored and I think I’m claustrophobic. That is contagious, right?” He chuckled at me. Guess it’s not. “If you’re going to laugh at me Jack then I’m just going to head right on back!”

“Oh settle down,” he smirked, “want some hot tea?”

Is he kidding? We have been here for a week and I had no idea there was electricity! I nod at him and take a seat on the ground. I may be frustrated but I am not going to turn down something warm. “Do you think we’ll be able to get back to work soon?” I inquired as he clanged some dishes at the other end of the tent.

“Mmm, don’t know. The weather has got to let up sometime. I’m hoping in the next couple of days we can finish up and head back. I know how much you hate it here.”

“I don’t ‘hate’ it. I just, well, don’t feel very useful. Except with directions,” I grin, “I could teach you a thing or two.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Jackson smiled innocently and he handed me a steaming pint. I inhaled the strong ginger aroma, shut my eyes and felt my body relax. I took a sip and was in heaven. It took all my strength to not chug it down. I pretty much failed.

My eyes got instantly heavy and I could feel myself drifting. “Jack, you didn’t,” I pause for many beats, “drug me, did yuhhhouu?” And then there was darkness.

~Kay