“I don't know what we're going to do, Melody” The words even now echoed in Melody's mind. Just like the image of Atlas, looking so torn-up and broken wouldn't leave her mind.
Melody watched Atlas pace back and forth, her form looked vulnerable, though Melody wouldn't dare to tell the elegant queen, Melody had a feeling Atlas was embarrassed by her earlier outburst. Melody knew if she didn't say or do something soon Atlas would be lost in her internal thoughts. Chewing lightly on her lower lip, aware that despite the remarkable healing ability she had gained, her whole body was sore and stiff.
“You mentioned gatekeepers, What are they?” Melody asked, hoping her ignorance would be ignored. Atlas let out a frustrated sigh before giving what sounded to Melody, like a textbook answer.
“Gatekeepers are the beings who reside in the outer world and specialise in the transference of Atlanteans and anyone else with permission to and from Atlantis” She replied, her voice brisk, loud, tinged with the anger that clearly coursed through her veins alongside her fear and anxiety. Clearly this women, this queen needed a strong distraction. Otherwise she would start dreaming up horrible scenarios regarding the fate of her precious guardian. Melody found herself regretted that she hadn't talked to him that much. Guess I'll change when he returns, she told herself. Alive and well, she added. Refusing to let darkness invade her mind.
“Any idea where we can find one?” Melody asked, causing Atlas to shake her head slightly.
“The nearest one is in Wildhorse Valley, Oregon, but he can't help us return to encante” Atlas replied sadly.
“Well that sucks” Melody said with a small pout. She glanced at Atlas. who was nervously twirling her silver locks through her fingers and held captive by the star-lit night sky outside the window.
“How about we go downstairs and have a drink?” Melody suggested. Feeling herself chuckle at Atlas' questioning look.
“It's not right for a queen to indulge in such things” Atlas replied, her voice firm.
“I think your allowed one night of drinking, especially after the day you've had, we've all had” Melody said, sending out a silent prayer for Dante's safety. Atlas stood still, her body language reflecting her uncertainty. Then with a small sigh.
“I guess one couldn't hurt”
Will could only understand half of what he was overhearing. He'd never heard of gatekeepers, but he'd heard of Atlantis. One of the lycans had mentioned it when he'd drunk one too many. One of the others swiftly whacked him round the back of the head after. Will attempted to ask them about it, but he was ignored. Was Atlantis a real place then? Will wondered. He'd miss the start of the conversation, it had been a raised female voice, – one that sounded rather regal, he'd thought – that had attracted his attention to the ceiling. The things she had spoken off where a mystery to him. Though he mind was once again distracted. Another voice spoke up. It sounded familiar, but Will didn't believe in coincidence. And this would be a huge one. He had expected to find her with the lowest of the low, on some dirty street. Not in a hotel with beings from places, that until this moment, he'd thought were mere fantasies. He knew what they intended to do though. And he would confirm that it wasn't her soon enough.
Melody burst with more bubbles of laughter in response to Atlas' hiccup-laugh – something Melody just knew Atlas would be red-faced about later. Melody didn't drink much to be honest, obviously neither did Atlas. So its unsurprising that their both lightweights and already slipping off their stools slightly and not speaking with any sense.
“Hello” a sharp, male voice said from behind Melody, she felt another giggle leave her lips before turning to face the man with a big smile. Melody wasn't sure what it felt like to sober up, but she was pretty certain it happened there and then as her smile left her face. Replaced by shock. It was mirrored on his face.
Will did not believe in coincidence he repeated to himself as he approached the bar. Taking in the two women. Both were laughing extremely loudly. One had cascading silver hair that Will struggled to take his eyes off. The other had messy brown curls, the way they fell over her slim shoulders looked so familiar that Will almost hesitated and turned around. He was suddenly remembering the good memories. Growing up and playing silly games. Protecting her from the bullies. Glaring at any boy who looked at her. Will shook the thoughts from his head. That smiling girl was gone, she'd become a cruel monster.
“Hello” he said, aware that his voice was quick. He could feel his throat dry and he heard her laugh up close. He knew that sound. Then she turned to face him, that recognisable grin, plastering her pale, pretty face. It didn't stay there long.
“H-How?! She finally stuttered, attempting to get off her stool. She promptly tripped over one of the legs and barely caught herself on the bar itself. Will had managed to ignore the impulse to catch her. And he had a feeling she'd notice his muscle tense and restrain themselves too.
“Coincidence I guess” Will said, chuckling at his own stupidity.
“You know that's not what I meant” She said, her voice growing edged. That was enough for Will. She had changed. The Melody he had known would never had spoken with such a cold, hard voice.
“Who are you?” Her friend asked, the giggling gone. Her strange, honey eyes staring his way intently.
“William Ellner, Melody's older brother” Will said without a moment hesitation and was startled when Melody burst out laughing.
“There are two minutes between us! You are my twin brother, not older” Melody stated proudly, just as she had stated many times in the past.
“Does it f***ing matter anymore?!” Will yelled, not caring if others in the bar glared at him. Melody met his gaze, icy, splitter-sharp blue on navy, hawkish blue.
“Only if you want it too” She replied. She grabbed her silver-haired friend and left. Will clenched and unclenched his jaw a few times. He'd imagined how they'd meet again many times. Usually with her hurting someone. He had never expected there to be any guilt on his part. Maybe he hadn't thought everything through. Or maybe he only faltered because they were in a public place. Either way, he needed to get her alone. Needed to see that she had truly turned evil once and for all. Because her hurt face just now wasn't convincing him it was so.