Clearing my throat and pulling my thoughts to the present, I catch the movement of Z who nods for me to begin, pointing the phone camera in my direction. She says it’s time to make our presence known and has edited heavily what I originally planned to say, which I know will set off warnings in certain corners of the world, some of them closer than others.
“My name is Isabella Swan.” I exhale deeply and focus on keeping my hands from shaking the small piece of paper I’m clutching, not wanting anyone to see them tremble.
My eyes catch the shift in movement to my left, reminding me that we are not alone as K readjusts a gun pointed in Rose’s direction. She’s always quick to react with a knife or gun to keep us in line at the slightest bobble or waver, forcing us to be careful with our movements, not wanting to give her a reason to distrust us.
“I-I’m with Rosalie Hale.”
The pounding of my heartbeat echoes in my ears, and I can’t seem to catch my breath as I take my time delivering our message. “We are American journalists with the Washington Post located in Berlin.”
Glancing down at my words, I focus on the tattered piece of paper as my fingers worry the corners and edges. “We have been unexpectedly detained.”
Z tsks in the darkness.
Don’t venture off the paper.
She didn’t like my direct approach when I wrote that “we’ve been kidnapped” and crossed it out completely. But I believe we need to say something more about our lack of freedom, which by the look on her face isn’t making her happy.
I swallow down the lump in my throat, closing my eyes and willing my voice to continue. “We are collaborating with a peacekeeping organization, R2P—”