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I don't know what I felt when I saw Micah. Regret, first of all. I know that for sure. Then some kind of strange mix of fear and panic.
I thought he was dead. Scott said- no. Scott implied he was dead. I couldn't have misinterpreted that. Besides, wouldn't he have found us sooner? It had been almost a year, right?
From the look on Scott's face, I knew Micah had been dead the last time they had seen each other. I just knew it. He looked vaguely sick. He looked horrified.
He also had a gun.
"Scott." I said softly, almost pleadingly. He turned to me, eyes widened in fear.
"Stay out of this." He mumbled.
A big, ugly black bird was perched on Micah's shoulder. It squawked loudly and he lifted a finger to stroke its wing. I don't think I'd ever seen him so gentle.
"You're- you can't be here." Scott said. "I- I shot you. I buried you." My skin crawled at the thought of sleeping with a murderer. The bird shrieked again. "Fucking bird!" He yelled. I don't know if he was aiming for Micah or the bird, but he hit the bird. It cawed out loudly, flopping on the ground with one wing all bloody and bent wrong.
Scott had frozen in some kind of weird trance, staring down at the thing as it scuttled over the ground like a crab. Micah had grabbed his arm, hissing in pain. He hadn't been shot. I could tell because there was no blood.
"That bird." Scott said. I didn't know what he meant, but he shot at it twice more, hitting it once.
"Scott, please." I begged.
Micah lunged forward, breathing heavily. He hit Scott. The gun flew from his hand, and they fell backwards onto the floor. Scott landed on top, one hand wrapped around Micah's throat.
I couldn't tell who had the upper hand. They were a blur. Also, I was concentrating more on the bird, which had managed to make its way over to me. I picked it up.
Its feathers were greasy with blood and something like oil. I set it on the table, but it squalled loudly and flew off, falling to the ground and making its way to gun, which sat on the floor about two feet away from me.
I had a choice now. A few choices actually. I could run, or I could pick up the gun. And if I picked up the gun, what should I do with it? I'd never shot a gun before. Movies made it look easy.
I wanted to run really badly. I wanted to run as far as I possibly could, and let these to kill each other.
I grabbed the gin. I don't know why, but I did. And I screamed, as loudly as I could, "Stop it!"
Micah hit Scott once more, and then he realized I had the gun. It wasn't pointed at anyone in particular, but I think he found that to be more of a threat than if it had been aimed at him.
"Ava." Scott panted.
I had had enough of him. I really had. But I just couldn't do it. Suddenly Micah's hands were on mine, aiming the gun for Scott, and before I knew it he had pulled the trigger.
"No!" I screamed. "No, no. Micah! Why? Why would you do that?"
My knees gave out, and Micah had to haul me up. "Ava!" He was shouting in my ear. "Ava." He lowered his voice. "I love you, Ava."
And I realized, from somewhere, I still loved him just as much.
Finally done. Thanks so much for reading, and for those of you who stuck it out I much appreciate that.