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I'm holding hands with James, just after the movie. He's smiling at me like I'm the sun. I'm nothing close to that.
"So how was the movie?" he asks as we walk down the streets of the city. "Did you like it?"
I grin. "Too much fantasy for me."
"Isn't that a little weird coming from you?" He smiles at me, and it gets bigger as I push him away.
"Hey, I'll only believe in the truth. But ogres? Come on."
We both laugh and play around. I barely notice when we go into the industrial part of town.
"'Kay, now it's time for serious talk," he laughs. "We both ask each other questions, and the most difficult one is answered first."
I roll my eyes, still laughing. "That's ridiculous. What questions could I ask you that would be more difficult?"
"That's the point. I'll learn more about you while keeping my secret identity."
I shake my head. "No way. If you ask a harder question, you have to answer it after I do."
He thinks for a moment. "Fine. I'll do that." He rubs his hands together. "Have you ever killed someone?"
"Would you ever kill your family?" I counter, smiling coyly.
"Fine. I would kill my family, if it was for you. Your turn." His voice is disgruntled.
"The family I'm currently with can't die too easily, so no. But my original family is already dead, so I can't answer." I frown. "Okay... Would you ever kill me?"
"Does every boy have an attraction to you?" He sighs. "Fine. I would never, ever kill you."
"You say that now. I, for one, will never kill myself, either, so we have nothing to worry about. I'm here forever."
He strokes his chin. "Speaking of forever.... Would you ever risk the chance of making me immortal?"
"No. Not a chance." My voice is hard. "Do you know how dangerous it is? You could lose yourself. I'm not taking a chance with you."
"No? Come on, can't you pay someone to do it?"
"Let me tell you a story. There was once a boy named Alex who was infected. Sure he got immortality, but at what cost? He was one of the lucky ones. He didn't lose himself. But, in an accident, he got his best friend, Lauren, infected. Do you know what happened to Lauren? She was okay at first. It was Alex who helped her. But if you don't have any of the... bad side effects, then eventually you'll die from your body shutting down. Alex died, and Lauren became the person everyone hates. So, either way, nothing good becomes of this. End of story."
"No. We aren't talking about it." I hold up my hand in the air at him. "I'm not going to be responsible for your death."
"Did you ever love anyone else?" he blurts out.
I'm shocked by this question. "What do you mean?" I ask.
"I've noticed how sometimes you get a hurt look in your eyes. You wear that locket around your neck. Who's picture is in it? Who's lock of hair?"
I turn on him and grab the locket. "Open it. See for yourself."
He opens it and stares at the picture inside. "It's me," he breathes. Then he notices that the locket opens up in two places, which is why it's so bulky. He closes the one with his picture in it and opens up the other door. "But who is this?" He stares at the miniature portrait inside.
"This is the person I cry over every night," I snap. "Because yes, I did love another person. And I would probably still be with this person if someone hadn't told me that you would come along." I start to walk away.
He grabs my hand. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I didn't know." He tries to kiss me, but I pull away.
"No. Look, I really have to go home."
"I'll walk you. This part of town isn't safe." He leads me over to where we'll get to my house quicker. "And I really am sorry. I got mad."
"Whatever." We're silent for a few minutes. I look over my shoulder because I have a feeling we're being watched.
There she is. A woman, walking behind us quietly. Her face is animalistic. She's here on a mission.
"Someone is following us," I whisper into his ear. "I want you to act cool, but get to the nearest point of civilization as soon as possible."
I look back over my shoulder. The woman is smiling at me. Her hands morph into claws. She sprouts leathery wings and a tail. She's about to do the deed.
"Run! It's too late for anything else!" I grab his hand and start sprinting like a bat out of hell. "Come on! She's going to kill us!" I run for the nearest street.
A boy blocks our way. His face looks so familiar, and then it hits me.
"What are you doing here?" I ask, breathing hard and running towards him, still towing my boyfriend.
"This way's a dead end," he says quietly. "There's only one way out."
"Then come on and help us!" I scream.
He doesn't move for a second. Finally he makes his choice. He picks me up like I weigh nothing and fights off the feeble attempts of my boyfriend. Then he runs off with me kicking and screaming at him.
"You selfish, evil murderer!" I shriek at him as I punch his chest. "Let me go, I have to save him!"
"I'm saving your life. You'll thank me for this one day." he yells back.
He takes me into an old abandoned storehouse and sits me down on a chair. "Don't worry," he tells me, "She takes time with her victims. He'll be alive for another few hours."
"And how would you know?" I spit at him.
"Because she's my mother." He hits something I can't see with an object. I hear the tinkling of glass, and I can feel it raining down on me.
"So you're going to leave me here?" I ask him.
"Till we meet again. Don't worry, though. You'll be okay. I'll come back for you."
"Are you going to save him?" I ask hopelessly.
"Yeah. Sure, I'll try," he lies. Then he grabs a nearby lamp. He strikes me over the head with it, and everything goes black.
I wake up. There are glass shards all over me. I ignore then and head for the door. An invisible barrier blocks me. I also can hear his screams. I'm close enough to hear that. I'm pounding on the walls, shouting out curses.
"Why? Why did you have to do this?" He's still screaming, calling out my name. "I hate you! I'll always hate you! You're a sick b******! You're nothing more than a selfish, brooding-" I cut myself off as I hear his last scream.
I fall on the floor, sobbing. "Why? Why him?" I cry out to nothing.
I feel someone next to me. He's stroking my back. "It's okay. You're still alive. You're going to make it out of this okay."
I'm still weeping. How can I make it out of this okay? Part of me just died.
"Look at me. Look at me!" He grabs my face and makes me stare at him. "He was going to die eventually. You were going to have to go through this one day."
"He wouldn't have been murdered." I manage to say through tears. "And you helped!" I try to pull away from him.
He won't let me. "Yes, he would have. You don't know their plans. He was going to die. What does a few years matter?"
I put my face in my hands and keep on crying. He still holds me. We stay like this for the longest time. After a while, I sit up straighter and punch him.
"I deserve that," he nods.
Infuriated, I keep on punching him, again and again, screaming and cussing and crying.
He lets me. He just lets me beat him up.
"Fight back!" I shriek at him. "Fight back! I'm hurting you! Fight back!"
"No. I do deserve this. I've hurt you. But you'll see later." He even spreads his arms out. "Go ahead."
I scream even more. "He loved me! He cared about me! And what did you do? You ruined it for me! Why?"
"Because I love you! I always have!"
I stop hitting. "What did you just say?"
"I said that I love you. I've loved you since I first met you on that snowy street, with you holding that doll." He grabs my face once again. "Don't you understand?"
I grab his face, too. "Why did you pick this time to say it?"
"Because I just found out." Then he does the unthinkable. He starts kissing me.
And I kiss him back.