I laid my cheek against the cool glass of the window, and watched Hunter's methodic breathing as he slept. It was strange, to see him lying there in his own bed, his face calm and human. In the dark of night, when the moon shone brightly through the half-drawn curtains and fell in rays upon the floor; when the lines between reality and dreams were blurred; when you caught a falling star out of the corner of your eye and hoped, for one second, that your dreams might come true--those were the times that I closed my eyes and wished with all my heart that everything would be all right.
It felt wrong, being here. Having to deceive a brokenhearted woman, telling her to her face that son was dead when I knew that he was in the next room, and if she just turned around, at that crucial moment, she might catch a glimpse of him as the door swung shut.
I couldn't stay here. Not while he was being hunted. Not while she was falling apart inside. Not while my father was drinking himself to death and would soon end up on the street.
Not while I was what was causing it all.
I stood up, careful not to make a sound, and stepped softly to his side. "Good bye, Hunter," I whispered, stroking his hair back from his face. "Don't come back for me."
I grabbed a pad of post-it notes and a pen from Hunter's bedside, and scrawled a hurried note to Mrs. Westran, explaining that I had gone and she probably wouldn't hear from me for a while. Then with one last lingering look at his dark silhouette, rising and falling with every measured breath, I left.
The wind chilled me to the bone as I stepped into the cold night air. I wrapped my light jacket around myself and tried to keep from shivering too much. The full moon cast an eerie light over everything, making the landscape look dark and forbidding. Even the familiar willow tree in the yard looked like something from a graveyard. I rubbed my hand over my eyes, trying to clear my head, and started for home.
I never made it.
The moon went dark as a winged shape eclipsed its light. A cold hand clamped over my mouth before the though of screaming ever entered my mind, and I was lifted by strong arms into the air, heavy wingbeats carrying me high above the houses. A cold voice hissed in my ear, "Hello Scarlet. Miss me?"
The last thing as I saw as I was spirited away was the fast-disappearing roof of Hunter's house, where the only thing in the world that could save me now lay fast sleep in the land of dreams, blissfully unaware that his enemy was about to make good on his promise.