Story I – Chapter III [Part I]

Find all previous parts here.

 

Knowing what would be waiting in store for him at home, Elijah managed to waste time out elsewhere till the last possible moment. He was off school grounds even before the final bell for classes rang and from behind the main gate, briefly spied Daniel and Will looking around for him. Before they decided to check the outer grounds, Elijah simply donned his coat and raised the hood, settled his hands inside the coat pockets and started walking down the street. Two blocks away, when he spotted the Black car headed in the direction of the campus, he chuckled to himself as he imagined the expressions Will and Daniel would have by now. He then took a long look at all the buildings and streets around as he decided what to do next.

Later that night, when Daniel finally entered the karaoke room where he lay, eyes closed and hands joined on his chest by his palms on one of the sofas in the corner and blaring music, Daniel chuckled at the irony of it.

“Have you even listened to the songs you’ve had running there?” he asked Elijah as he pointed to the TV and stereo in the corner.

“They’re all the same anyway, what difference would it make?” Elijah responded nonchalantly, eyes still closed.  They were talking in a normal tone, as if the sound of the blaring music wasn’t even there. “Isn’t it ten already? Seems this one lasted a bit longer. I expected you’d be here ages ago.”

“When you put your mind to it, you know it’s not that easy to track you down. He’s been waiting.” Daniel told him. “You’re stubborn but he still beats you at this too.”

“Well he’s got something to show for his age. Wouldn’t be far if I started drawing the lot so early.”

“Why try when it’s futile then?”

“It pays off to annoy him. Did Will tell him about the hunter?” Elijah opened his eyes with a smile, turned to look at Daniel and then sat up.

“It doesn’t seem so.”

“Good. Keep it that way for now.”

“He’ll know soon enough anyway. What’s the point in hiding it?”

“What would be the point in making a ruckus of it now either?” Elijah put on his coat after he stood up and then put his hands in his pocket, ready to go. “There’s change coming up, but we don’t necessarily have to assume it’s going to be for the worst!”

“I thought you didn’t have much faith in the girl.”

“I don’t.”

“People seem to think otherwise! I’ve heard interesting stuff.”

“What makes you think she’s capable of what everyone’s thinking?” Elijah asked with a matter of fact shrug. “Besides, why do you think there such are prophecies and legends? Because people stop believing in what can and cannot be. They lose hope! And in their quest to find something to which they can relate to in their otherwise miserable lives, they turn to wishful thinking.”

“I never took you for such a pessimist!” Daniel couldn’t help but laugh.

“Not a pessimist, more like a realist. I believe what I can see and relate to.” Elijah pointed out. “Besides, the peace is still valid, isn’t it? The future might not be as bleak as prophesized!”

“You do realize the way things are now it might as well be the future. Take a look at yourself; remember what happened this morning? Even if the future doesn’t need any savior, you do!”

Elijah was silent for a moment as he contemplated Daniel’s words.

“Yeah, but just because I need one doesn’t mean there will be any saviors and if there were any, it’s not necessarily her! Besides, I don’t like to believe in miracles!” He said in a quiet tone before he raised his right hand and snapped his fingers. The music stopped and the TV also shut down. “Let’s get going, shall we? Best get it over with!”

 

 

By the time Su Ae got back home, it was already an hour over dusk and Ian greeted her with a smile as he sat on the porch swing, a book in one hand and coffee in the other. She smiled at him as she simply raised her hand in greeting and he acknowledged by raising his coffee mug.

“Hope you had fun!”

“We did!” Su Ae told him as she collapsed beside him on the swing, lips rose in a dreamy smile as she stared out at the street lights. “I can’t believe I did that today! It was so much fun! I’ve never been this careless and this carefree before.”

“That’s good to hear! You need to relax and loosen up every now and then. Don’t make life miserable for yourself! By the way, what was it that you guys did?”

“Everything a teenager would be running around doing when they’re sixteen! We’re not sixteen-far from it, but it was just as much fun! I’m glad we met Annie and glad we decided to move here, however bad a decision that may appear otherwise!” She turned to look at him as she said the last part and freely laughed.

“One demon won’t make much of a difference.” Ian told her. “So it’s not necessarily a bad decision just yet.”

“Your escapade was fruitful, that’s why! I didn’t even realize I was marked! I have no idea how and when it happened!” Su Ae told him in a dull voice.

“You weren’t feeling well, maybe that had something to do with it!”

“The boy is back!” Su Ae said quietly. “Avenel’s youngest; he’s back! I ran into him at school today. We share some of the same classes. I may be wrong or just suspicious, but the timing is one hell of a coincidence.”

Ian was silent for a moment before he nodded and finished the rest of his coffee and closed his book.

“Let’s go with coincidence!” he turned back to her with a contagious smile and she smiled in return at his tone and pose.

“I need to text Annie, after that we need to talk.” She said, still smiling as she opened her mobile.

“Dinner it is!” Ian said as he hopped up and headed inside. Chuckling, Su Ae followed.

 

 

As much as going home at the end of the day was fun for Su Ae, it was the exact opposite for Annie. The more steps she took towards her house, the more she turned serious, the light leaving her eyes and expression until she felt stoic by the time she reached the front gate. It had become a routine already to her; life had been just like this ever since she could remember but somehow she never found herself able to adjust to or accept it. She felt like a fool every time and every day as she hoped in her heart for things to change but everyday it would be the same and like a hopeless idiot, she couldn’t even berate herself for having the hope and being disappointed each and every time.

For five minutes, she simply stood at the gate, holding the iron door but unable to bring herself to open it and go inside. The day had been so much fun, she’d gone out with Su Ae and they’d had mindless fun together, roaming the shops and streets like curious children out in the world for the first time. She’d almost forgotten all her worries, all the naggings at the back of her mind. She’d smiled from the bottom of her heart, felt the joy of running carefree and having a friend, a person to rely on! She was lost in these thoughts when her mobile beeped. Brought out of her reverie, she searched her bag for her mobile and read the text Su Ae had sent.

‘Just got home! Had fun! Thanks a million! Take care!’

It brought a smile to her lips that warmed her heart but didn’t quite reach her eyes. She really wasn’t in the best place right now so couldn’t even truly feel happy or grateful. With a final look at the house, Annie pushed the gate in and walked up the steps.

“I’m home!”She announced as soon as she closed the main door behind her and took off her shoes, slipping on her slippers and looked around. Both her parent’s shoes were there, there was noise coming from the lounge and she could hear her mother on the phone. There was no response to her announcement.

Walking forward, she entered the lounge and found her dad-still in his office wear with files strewn all over the coffee table- watching a game on the TV and too caught up in it that he didn’t reply to her second greeting either. “Typical!” She thought. Her mother was in the breakfast room, trimming her plants as she talked on the phone through the hands-free.

“I’m home Mom!” She said aloud. Her mother looked up from the trimming bushes and glanced at her with a nod for the shortest possible moment before turning back to her task at hand.

And dismissed.” Annie whispered to herself as she briefly closed her eyes for a second before turning back and heading up the stairs to her room.

 

 

“All’s well that ends well.” Ian told Su Ae as they sat at the dining table, enjoying a meal of steak, mashed potatoes and boiled vegetables-Ian’s favorite. “The stakeout this morning was effective and the problem was eradicated. I haven’t heard anything new or problematic. This one was alone and he didn’t seem to realize anything of import.”

“But there’s another thing strange about that. Remember that boy I mentioned-Elijah?” Su Ae had barely touched her dinner. Her mind was swamped with questions. Ian may be relaxed after this morning but Elijah was bothering her. “When you left me this morning, I was feeling all the symptoms and the headache was getting pretty bad but then I ran into him and it just sort of vaporized! It was gone in an instant! I didn’t feel sick and it was gone just like that. No human could have done that! And up till now, I haven’t been able to get a read on him at all, nothing-it’s blank however I see! He also said he met you! Did you see anything?”

Ian was lost in thought even as Su Ae spoke and he remembered his encounter with the boy this morning and what the demon had said ‘You must have great skills to remove the mark without knowing my true form and now coming to find me.’

“I met him. And you were right. There is something about him. He’s not human. But I don’t know who or what he is!”

“Are you sure?”

“He happened to give me a little help; and the one that marked you seemed terribly frightened of him-not just fear, it was fear for his life. I’m pretty sure he removed your mark, intentionally or unintentionally.”

“Then I guess I owe him another one.”

“For whatever reason, but he’s not a threat. I’ve had just a glimpse of him but if he had meant harm, we’d know by now.”

Su Ae poured herself a glass of water and slowly drank it as she pondered Ian’s words. He was right in a way. Elijah’s pranks were over the line most of the time but that’s just what they were; pranks. She’d not actually been in danger and he had helped her yesterday and this morning as well. After all, Will had told her about Elijah too.

“Do you think word about us being here has gotten out? Could that be the reason for Avenel’s return?”

“No, there’s no chatter about us. If there were, I’d know. As for the boy’s return, I’d say it was probably coincidence.” Ian’s voice was matter of fact as if it was a simple matter that was best shrugged off. Su Ae laughed lightly at his tone of response before she spoke.

“You’re worried as hell about this but you won’t say it!”

“No I’m not!”

“Yes, you are! We both know moving here was a risk but I don’t think we ever realized how much! I know you Ian. We’ve lived together for a decade now and right now you have that expression you’re usually wearing when you’re worried.”

“Oh come on, it’s probably nothing! You’re over reading things.” Ian knew she was right. She did know him well and there was uncertainty in his mind about things so he couldn’t help being a bit worried but he didn’t want her to face any anxiety.

Su Ae quietly stared at him for a moment. Oh, she did know him too well. He would never admit it to her, not if it meant she would worry.

“Look, maybe your right, maybe it’s just a coincidence. I hope it is. But it won’t be long before Uther figures out the truth about me. You know the Avenels better than I do. Hell, they probably already know. Just tell me one thing truthfully; do you really think everything will be alright?”

“I’m here with you. Of course everything will be alright!” Ian quietly whispered as he leaned forward and looked her straight in the eye. When she nodded and smiled, he resumed his relaxed posture and carried on in normal tone. “Now finish your dinner and let me have mine too; I haven’t all day!”

 

To be continued in Chapter III [Part II]

 

 

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About hitomiakiko

Architect and Aspiring Writer

Posted on January 19, 2012, in Potpourri, Stories, Uncategorized, Written Excerpts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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