Finally got this uploaded! Almost 5,000 words (THREE chapters in one!)... hopefully this makes up for my absence :D
Leave a review when you're finished... if there's still anyone still out there that is... :/
I woke up to the sound of a door clicking shut. My eyes slowly blinked open and I saw nothing but darkness.
I felt completely disoriented, and could not remember how I had ended up here. There was nothing but pitch black to look at, I couldn't even tell where "here" was. I guess my Mai abilities were still practically non existent.
A hint of night vision would be great right now.
Though I couldn't see where I was, I did feel something soft and plush supporting my entire body.
I tried to lift myself up, into a sitting position, but immediately stilled when I felt an intense pain spread across my chest.
A soft chuckle filled the room.
"Not a good idea, Chloe."
Unfortunately, it didn't take any of my abilities to recognize that voice.
I glared at the ceiling that was just now starting to appear, as my eyes adjusted to the darkness.
"Dimitre," it wasn't a question. More like an acknowledgment of his presence.
"Well good morning to you too." He said sarcastically. "Do you say everyone's name like that, or am I just special?"
"Special," I replied curtly. "but not in the good way."
At this point, my eyes had adjusted to the lack of light. As much as they could anyway. I could even see him. He was sitting in a chair, right by the bed. I couldn't see his eyes, but I could feel them on me. I started to fidget uncomfortably.
From the corner of my eye I could just barely see a slit of sunlight.
"So… are you going to let some light in, or are we going to sit here in the dark?" The lack of my full vision was starting to get to me.
He said nothing, probably smirking to himself, but got up and walked toward the other end of the room. He pulled back a thick curtain, and I squinted my eyes as the sudden brightness filled the room.
"Yes, as a matter a fact, it is." I scowled at him.
"How are you feeling anyway?" He asked, completely unaffected. As usual.
His question caught me off guard, but that is when I remembered exactly what happened. The memories of last night flooded through my mind. Not only did I remember what had happened, but I also remembered who had caused it.
"You shot me." I stated calmly. "You fucking shot me!"
I ground my teeth together to keep from lunging at him. I would only end up hurting myself in the process and he wasn't worth it.
He cast his eyes down, almost as if he were actually sorry for what he had done.
"I really didn't want to have to do what I did." He said barely above a whisper.
"Then why the hell did you?" I seethed.
He pushed himself off of the wall he was leaning against, and walked towards me. His expression was unreadable. If I didn't know any better, I would say that he was angry just as angry as I was, if not more.
"Alright, if you haven't already noticed, my dear old brother and I have got some issues."He laughed bitterly.
I huffed and rolled my eyes. It was the weakest excuse I had ever heard, and I told him just that.
He let out a long frustrated sigh, and tugged at his hair, a move I had seen Alek do countless times before. I wondered if he realized just how similar he was to his brother, aside from the obvious.
"He pushed me too far," He growled. "Now he knows better."
I couldn't remember exactly what Alek had said to set his brother off, but I did know one thing for sure, it had to do with their parents. His past. The same past he often avoided talking about in conversations. He was always vague when speaking about it. Giving you a little bit, but never too much.
It was oftentimes frustrating. I had talked to him about my dad leaving. He knew so much about me and the only thing I knew about his past was that his parents were killed in a Mai slaughter.
"What happened to your parents?" I blurted out before I could stop myself.
He said nothing, and I figured that he was putting up walls, just like his brother.
"I would have thought my brother already filled you in?"
"Yeah... well he didn't" I muttered. "But considering I just got shot, obviously because of whatever happened, I think I deserve to know."
He seemed to be debating in his head, whether to tell nor not, but he finally sighed and walked back toward me.
"We were only three." He started "I honestly barely remember anything. The only reason I even know what happened is because someone told me when I was 'old enough to understand'" He scoffed and chuckled darkly, before meeting my eyes. "Because after finding out that their parents were murdered, a twelve year old would do just that... understand." He said sarcastically, anger lying underneath his words.
He was taking himself back to a time he'd rather forget. I could hear it in his voice. I just hoped he wouldn't close himself off before I found out what happened. It was a little more than common curiosity at this point. I was dying to know what screwed this guy up so badly. More importantly, what Alek had gone through.
"My mom was an especially sweet lady. She was always seeing the good in people, even when others didn't." One side of his mouth curved up slightly, before falling suddenly. "Turns out that was her greatest weakness. It's the reason my parents were killed... she trusted the wrong people."
I followed his movements as he came closer, sitting on the far edge of the bed.
"One night they came, usual smiles and everything, then bam, they turned on my parents in the time it takes to pull out a gun and pull the trigger." He was scowling at the carpeted floor.
"I thought they died in a fire? Alek made it sound like-" He responded before I could finish.
"No, he was right." He said, confusing me even more. "My dad was shot in the shoulder, but it wasn't fatal and my mom ducked. The bullet shattered the kitchen window instead. She panicked, grabbed a kitchen knife, and stabbed the woman trying to kill her." I cringed at the mental image I was getting. "Dad tackled the man to the ground and somehow a fire got started and it spread quickly. Alek was in the kitchen doorway the whole time, watched it all go down."
I couldn't stop myself from letting out a shocked gasp at that piece of information. He was only three years old. Most people hardly remember anything from their early childhood, but something this traumatic could stay with a person forever... even if all he got were flashes of memories from time to time. It was beginning to make more sense. Why he never spoke about this before.
He was trying to forget.
"What happened next?" I asked.
"The other guy picked up the bitch that shot at my mom and ran out. They got Alek outside safely, but my parents both ran to get me... except I wasn't there." His eyes were still trained on the ground, almost as though he was speaking to it and not me. "They were searching for something that wasn't even there. Next thing you know, the house blows up."
He finally looked at me "I'm sure you can guess ending to this story." He said coldly.
I could see the pain masked by a stony and seemingly angry exterior. Eyes always betray you in that way. You can put on the best performance of your life, yet somehow they always manage to let that little speck of truth emerge.
I nodded, but kept quiet. It felt as though we were sitting in silence for hours, before he stood up suddenly and began to head toward the door.
"What happened to you?" I said to his back.
He paused with one hand on the doorknob, still keeping his back to me.
"Now that's a loaded question."
He was right. It could be taken one of many ways. What happened to you that night? What happened to you... what turned you into the person you are today? Alek and Dimitre were like night and day. Aside from their looks and some similar traits, they couldn't be more different. Alek would never hurt, let alone kill someone unless they were a threat to the people he cared about. Dimitre on the other hand, would take a life without so much as blinking or showing the slightest hesitation. Something changed within him, and I couldn't help but wonder why?
"That night." I clarified. "What happened to you that night? You said you weren't in the house."
"See that's the part that no one knows."
"Wait a minute," I furrowed my brows as another question came to mind. "How do you know all this then?"
"My dad's best friend was there. He helped him fight off the other guy and was the one who got Alek outside... he heard my mom shout out for me before she died."
I tried to imagine Dimitre as a twelve year old boy, growing up somewhere in America. He said he'd had a "rough upbringing", but I tried to push that aside. He was still just a kid. Carefree. Completely in the dark, not knowing about his tragic past. Then I imagined the innocence in his eyes fading as he suddenly learned the truth about what really happened to his parents.
That was it.
Being lied to for nine years. That was what brought that dark side of him out. Any innocence that was left died that day, right along with his twelve year old self.
He turned his head towards me, but didn't meet my eyes.
"Story gets better actually." He said. "When I was thirteen I got a package in the mail. No return address."
I opened my mouth to ask, but never got the chance.
"My mom's journal." He stated flatly. "Even had burn marks and everything."
"You read it." I stated.
"Cover to cover." This time he did meet my gaze. "It gave me the one thing I wanted most."
He chuckled at that and shook his head. "The name of the man who killed them."
"And that would be..." I trailed off.
"None of your concern, kitten." He finished with a grin, before opening the door and leaving the room.
I glared at the door and restrained myself from flipping him off. The story of how his parents died was heartbreaking. Unlike him, I didn't have a heart of stone and I sympathized with him to a certain extent. Finding out the truth when he was twelve surely messed with his head, but that didn't give him the right to be a Grade A dick... or kidnap and shoot me for that matter.
I rotated my shoulder and was surprised to feel the pain in my chest lessening. Ten minutes ago I could barely move. This meant that I was getting back to normal.
Leaning further back into the pillows, I decided.
As soon as I'm fully healed... I'm finding the three of them and getting the hell out of here.
A few hours later, I was staring at the plate of food that had been brought in a while ago. It was still lying there, on the bedside table, completely untouched.
It was some kind of creamy pasta dish. If I were being completely honest, I would admit that it looked more than a little appetizing, but there was no way in hell I was eating that.
The pain in my chest had dulled down to barely an ache. I was thinking of plans and waiting for my opportunity. For all I knew, they could have laced the food with some kind of drug. I would most likely only get one shot at an escape and I was not by any means jeopardizing that.
I hopped off the bed and made my way toward the curtained window. The sunlight was no longer shining through. Instead, my eyes were met by a colorful interlude between night and day. The city lights were illuminated and the upper part of the sky was a deep shade of blue. The horizon was a completely different story. It looked as if a flame exploded and raced across the sky.
"If I wasn't in this situation, I would call that one of the prettiest things I've ever seen." I said softly to myself.
There was a fire escape right outside. It looked mildly rusted, but still usable. Dimitre obviously knew I wouldn't try anything until I was sure Alek was okay. It was too easy. Freedom was right there, but I wouldn't risk it.
Just as I was about to sit back on the bed, the door burst open.
I didn't even look at his face, I saw blonde hair and sighed instantly in annoyance.
"What now?" I asked in a clipped tone.
Before I could even look him in the eye, his lips were on mine. He was kissing me. Hard.
"What the fuck!" I recoiled immediately, pressing my palms to his chest and pushing him away.
Using the back of my sleeve, I wiped my lips and turned away from him.
"Care to explain why you just kissed me as though I came back from the dead or something?" I demanded harshly.
"Because I thought you were dead." He said quietly.
My eyes widened at the sound of that voice. Never in my life have I been happier to hear a British accent. I whipped around to face him again and took note of his appearance. He was adorning the exact same shirt and worn out jeans he'd been wearing inside the warehouse.
The room was dimly lit, but that only made his dark eyes seem even darker.
Every thing pointed to the same thing. His clothes, his voice, his eye color. All of them proved that this was really Alek. I glanced back at the untouched food and briefly wondered if this was some kind of hunger induced hallucination.
"How do I know it's really you" It killed me to do so, but I had to ask. I'd already been fooled once and his brother wasn't exactly the most stable guy. This could easily be his idea of a sick joke.
He didn't say anything. He simply snaked one arm around my waist and pulled me in, bringing his face down to mine slowly. His lips brushed against mine softly, before he applied a bit more pressure. This kiss wasn't hungry or hard. It was tender, completely unrushed, and meant to say more than any verbally spoken words ever could.
When I still believed Dimitre was Alek, he had kissed me too. I didn't want to admit to myself, but it felt wrong in the moment. I couldn't understand the reason at the time, which is exactly why I pushed it into the back of my mind.
He pulled back slightly and leaned his forehead against mine.
"Is that proof enough?" He breathed.
All I could do was nod dumbly while I regained my ability of normal speech.
I cleared my throat. "You were tied up. How did you get here?" I asked in disbelief.
He cupped my face with both hands and gave me a quick kiss before saying "Long story, but we have to get out of here."
He walked over to the window and unlocked it, pushing it up hurriedly.
"Wait a minute," he halted his movements at my voice. "What about Valentina and Jasmine?"
"No one can hurt them now. They're waiting for us. Come on." He motioned toward the open window and made his way through it before offering a hand to me.
There was something off about the way he said those words, but I pushed my uncertainty aside, accepting his extended hand through the window. I swung my leg over the window sill. The metal rattled noticeably as my feet landed upon it.
Alek kept hold of my hand as we made our way down the four sets of stairs. When we reached the bottom, we ignored the sliding ladder and jumped over the railing. As soon as we hit the ground, Alek lead me toward the back side of the building.
There was a chain link fence at the very edge of the lot. We ran at full speed, getting there in a matter of seconds.
"Jump." He nodded.
Leaving no room for hesitation, I bent my knees slightly and pushed off the ground, using the momentum from my jump to make it onto the other side.
He grabbed my hand again and tugged me along. We did the only thing we could do.
It started to rain as we made our way through the unfamiliar city, but that did little to deter us. Right now, we were only focused on one thing. Getting as far away from that place as possible.
When we finally stopped, both of us were completely soaked. The rain was no longer light. It was pounding down on the pavement and everything else in sight. I couldn't worry about that right now though. I looked around, squinting my eyes as water droplets hit my face.
From the looks of it, we'd managed to find ourselves in a park. I had never been to New York City, but even I knew where we were.
Under any other circumstances, I would have been amazed to be standing here. Right now I was any thing but that. It was dark and everything appeared so ghostlike... eerie. It was almost as if all of those statues, every fountain, every intricately crafted stone bridge, was only there to taunt you.
We passed a bronze statue of Alice In Wonderland. She was sitting on top of an over sized mushroom, the kind you could only find in a fantasy world. Accompanied by the White Rabbit and Mad Hatter at her sides. She had a small childlike smile on her face, but I couldn't help the frown that appeared on mine.
We definitely weren't in Wonderland. I'd much rather face a hundred Queen of Hearts than to be here right now.
I shivered as we passed by what felt like the thousandth fountain with statues. Alek stopped and asked me if I was alright, nodding I continued to walk until we reached an arching stone bridge.
"Can't we rest for a while?" I asked once we were under it.
I let out a breath of relief and slid down the smooth wall I was leaning against. I immediately cringed as I sat down. My jeans were heavy and weighed down by water.
Not exactly the best feeling in the world.
I wrung my hair out. It did little to help, but it was better than nothing.
"Alek?" He was leaning against the wall opposite to were I was seated, staring out at the pouring rain, arms crossed over his chest.
"Yeah." He replied without looking at me.
"You said they were waiting for us," His shoulders visibly slumped. "where are they? Where's Valentina and Jasmine?"
He turned his head to look at me and I immediately knew that I wouldn't like what I was about to hear. Remember what I said about the eyes revealing truth, well by doing that, they occasionally serve another purpose. They prepare you for what's to come.
I immediately felt a lump in my throat and he hadn't even said anything yet. It was one of those unexplainable times where you just knew.
I stood up shakily. "Alek?" I pressed.
"Valentina and Jasmine..." He paused, and I could literally feel the hurt and remorse radiating off of him. "are the only reason why I got out. They were lying there covered in blood," This time he let out a shaky breath "Jasmine was already... gone. But Valentina was still holding on. Barely. She told me not to look back... to run. To get to you. Protect you."
I swallowed slowly as realization hit me full force. He had lied to me. They were dead. They died so that Alek could escape... so that he could get to me.
"It's our job to protect you at all costs. A single life of yours is more precious than all of ours combined."
Valentina's voice replayed in my head. I remember when she had spoken those words to me.
"I'm not afraid of death, Chloe." She said.
I couldn't help but to stare at her, not believing her words for a second.
She rolled her eyes and shook her head.
"Don't worry, I don't plan on dying any time soon." She laughed and turned her head to look at me "But just so you know, I'd die before I let you lose another life... pretty sure the same goes for Alek."
It was quiet for a moment as I let what she had said settle into my mind. I smiled at her and turned my head back toward the movie.
"Chloe?" Alek's voice brought me out of my memories. He was in front of me now, holding me against his chest and using the pad of his thumb to brush away the tears that I hadn't even noticed running down my already wet face. "I know this is hard, but we have to keep going."
I clutched onto him, pressing my face into his shirt.
"Why would they do that?" I managed to force out. "Do something so stupid. Something that left them both dead."
He sighed into my hair and pulled back to look at down at me.
"They did it to protect you." He said softly. "Valentina may have only shown her toughness, but deep down, she cared about you. Jasmine too. It wasn't just because you're the Uniter... it stopped being about that a long time ago. Technically, yes, it was their job to protect you but that's not why they did it."
He kept referring to them in the past tense and for some reason that suddenly made me furious.
Everything came flooding back to me. Xavier. Brian. Valentina. Jasmine.
How many more people was I going to unintentionally put in danger? Sure, I didn't kill Brian, but I saw the look on his face when we last saw each other. I might as well have.
Suddenly an image flashed in my head. It was Alek. Lying lifeless on the ground, covered in blood. Crimson staining his cotton shirt. His eyes were closed; lips slightly parted, and if you looked closely enough at his face, you might fool yourself into thinking he was just sleeping.
I pushed him away from me then, squeezing my eyes shut and shaking by head furiously, as more tears began to fall.
"They died because of me Alek!" I cried hysterically, jabbing a finger into my own chest. "Look at all I've done. Ever since I found out what I was there's been nothing but death... I hurt people without even trying to. Even when I'm not around I hurt people."
"Chloe, it's not―" He tried.
"No." I gritted out. "Don't you dare say it's not my fault."
His face looked pained as he looked back at me, trying to decide what to say next. How to make this better. The only problem?
I didn't even think about the rain still crashing down, I pushed passed him and walked back outside.
"Chloe!" He shouted after me.
I jerked back around to face him, throwing up my arms in exasperation. He was partially under the bridge, and a few yards from where I was standing.
"What Alek?" I spat, raising my voice over the sound of the showering rain. "What could you possibly have to say to me? Are you going to lie right to my face again? Calm me down? Trick me into believing that everything is fucking okay... when in reality it's not!" I was breathing hard by the time I finished.
A look of anger washed over his face. "No I'm not! You want the truth? I'll give it to you gladly!" He yelled as he came stalking towards me, until he was right in my face.
He took hold of my face in both hands, and leaned how towards me.
"It was a diversion for us to escape. All of us. I meant it when I said they loved you, but they didn't sacrifice themselves for you... not intentionally anyway. The plan went wrong. Dimitre had just left, we heard the car driving away and there were only two guards in the room, so we made our move. We managed to get untied and took out the two men, but then another one showed up. He shot Jasmine once in the stomach and again in the chest. I grabbed one of the guard's guns and shot him, but there were two gunshots. He was dead, and Valentina was hurt badly. I couldn't even look at Jasmine lying there. She knew they'd be back soon and she also knew something else. It's why she told me to run." He finished leaning his forehead against mine, our noses touching lightly.
"What did she know?" I asked barely above a whisper.
"That I love you." He confessed. "But not in the way that they do."
I blinked rapidly, fighting the rain out of my eyes.
My jaw nearly dropped. I was speechless.
He loved me?
I thought pack to that image of him in my head. The pain I felt seeing him that way, even only in my mind was overwhelming. He wasn't even actually dead. The real, perfectly safe Alek, was standing right in front of me, but even the mere thought of losing him had my heart breaking.
That's how I knew. I loved him. I think I loved him even when I thought I hated him. Jasmine was gone. Valentina was gone. I could never get them back, but Alek was here... right here.
I was crying again, but this time, for an entirely different reason.
"I love you." I said, leaning back to look into his eyes. His hair was drenched, pieces of it sticking to his forehead.
He never looked better.
I brought a hand up to it and brushed it aside. "I love you, Alek." I repeated.
He grinned slowly and for a second, I felt as though we were anywhere but here.
Wrapping my arms around his neck, I kissed him. Slow at first, before we both seemed to become increasingly impatient, changing the tempo completely. I could taste the rain running down our faces, and yet I couldn't find it within myself to care.
He was the one to pull away. I guess he had more self control than me.
"As much as I'd love to continue this, we really do have to keep going." He said seriously. "They probably already found out what happened. If they find us, Jasmine and Valentina would have died for nothing."
I nodded and we both took off, having no clue where we were headed.
We found ourselves at a random hotel. It definitely was not the Park Avenue kind of luxurious, but it was still comfortable and better than being out in the streets of New York. Alek had charmed the girl at the front desk into letting us stay here free of charge for the night.
He refused to tell me what he had said to her. I'm sure I could just ask her if I was that intent on finding out, but I refrained from doing so.
Only Alek could show up soaking wet, to what looked like a three star hotel, and still charm one of the female workers into getting what he wanted.
I tied my hair into a messy bun of curls. Alek was in the bathroom showering. I'd done the same thing only fifteen minutes ago.
The girl was kind enough to let us barrow some clothes that employees kept stashed away for emergencies. She gave me a lavender fitted tee along with some loosely fitted gray sweatpants. I decided then that the girl was actually a decent person.
She must have been no older than eighteen. Maybe nineteen at the most. She had shoulder length brown hair and light blue eyes. Her heart shaped face and small nose were what most girls wished for. The girl obviously felt attraction, but I couldn't really hold that against her. Besides, she was going out of her way, possibly risking her job, to help us out.
As I was thinking back to the brunette girl, Alek stepped out of the bathroom. He was in a pair of sweats also, but unlike me, he worn a t shirt with the worn out name of some random band.
We hadn't really talked, since we arrived here. I was happy when I found out he loved me. Hell, I was still happy, but it was hard to ignore the dark shadow around us, dampening the mood more than just slightly.
I must have been staring at myself in the mirror for too long, because I felt him come up behind me. He wrapped his arms around my waist and rested his chin on my shoulder. My eyes met his when I finally broke out of my thoughts.
"Hey." He said gently.
I gave him a small close-lipped smile and leaned my head against his.
"Hey." I offered weakly.
I was tired of thinking. Tired of feeling guilty, as if all of this was on me. So much had happened in these last twenty four hours. My mother was probably worried out of her mind. Either that, or ready to kill me.
Go ahead mom, you wouldn't be the first to have tried.
Tonight I was tired. I didn't want to be the Uniter. I wanted to be Chloe King, a regular sixteen year old girl. I didn't want to think; I wanted to feel.
I glanced at the bed in the mirror and sighed before closing my eyes.
"Alek, make me forget."
QUESTION: Is it too soon for a lemon? I know I killed off V & J (sorry btw) and it's a sad time, but it just feels like this is the right time for them to "get together". Anyone opposed? haha
Love you all