I'm sitting in a park. It's sunny, not like it was on that day weeks ago. The sunlight filters through trees and I am glad I came here. So, Achilles Lane. Why does this place seem so ... dangerous?
A guy walks in. I know him immediately. "Hey! Alex, over here!"
He turns, sees me, and walks over. "I'm sorry, I don't think I know you. How do you know my name?" His voice is polite, if a little confused. But he sits down beside me anyway.
"Of course, you wouldn't recognise me. I'm Del. I'm sort of your ... author, actually." I outlined briefly how the character-author thing works. He frowned, then got to his feet.
"So I've got you to thank, have I?"
And suddenly he was shouting. "So it's you I've got to thank that I've been tortured for four hundred years by my own father? So it's you I've got thank for the fact that everyone I've ever loved and ever will love has to die? So it's you I've got to thank that just a few weeks ago I was in this very park holding Jennie in my arms as she bled to death?"
"It sounds so much worse when you put it like that," I muttered under my breath.
"So it's you I've got to thank for the fact I almost killed myself?" Alex continued, as though I hadn't said anything. "So it's you I've got to thank for the fact I hate myself and my life and this world?"
"You don't," I interrupted. "What about Mel?"
Alex went pale. "What about her?"
"You don't hate her. And she makes you not hate everything else, am I right?" I smiled smugly. It had been a stroke of genius, putting Mel in there with him, though I said it myself.
"I ... don't know."
"But, Alex, you've got one more thing to thank me for." I didn't know what made me say it and the words were reckless, bold, foolish.
"What would that be?"
"You're never going to have to see another Watcher killed." And oh, if only he knew how true those words were. If only he knew what I meant. Yes, one way or another, Alex would never love another human Watcher.