Word Count: 890
'Judah,' he extended his hand, almost mechanically.
She hesitated for a moment before accepting it. 'Tara.'
He continued to clean up the various wounds littered over his body as though nothing he had just said would have any impact on her. Tara stared at him in disbelief, waiting for him to say something. When it became apparent that this wasn't going to happen, she filled the silence.
'You want me to leave my home?'
He looked at her long and hard. 'Tara, listen to me. If you value your life, you will follow me. You will leave this place.'
'Okay...so in order to protect myself, you want me to follow a complete stranger out of the comfort of my own home, into the streets that almost killed me not fifteen minutes earlier?'
'When you put it like that, it sounds like I'm some sort of threat.'
'Aren't you?' she stared at him.
'We don't have time for this.' He walked straight past her back into the hallway where he had put his bags. Pulling on a clean grey shirt, he hooked the bags up easily on each arm and headed straight for the front door.
'Oh I don't even have time to pack?' she called after him mockingly. 'This is crazy. You're crazy. I'm not going anywhere.'
He turned to face her impatiently. His eyes blazed in a steely grey fire and the crease between his brows deepened at her protests. He had opened his mouth, beginning to say something when the doorbell interrupted them both. Their heads turned simultaneously and Tara involuntarily drew in a sharp take of breath.
'Demons don't ring the doorbells,' he informed her. Still, he looked through the peephole and pulled the door open on the latch. Through the thin gap, Tara could make out a dark headed man. He looked panicked; frantic green eyes darted from both Judah and Tara, confusion blended with the faintest hint of fear etched onto his features. Curly brown hair framed a pale face with dirt marks and a vivid slash in the forehead.
'Mikah?' Tara asked incredulously.
'You know this guy?'
'Yes. Let him in.' She brushed Judah's hands away from the door before pulling the latch out of the way and grabbing Mikah's arm, ushering him inside. Judah shut the door hard and sighed heavily. Tara ignored him.
'What are you doing here?'
His expression turned to one of sincerity. 'They got her. The demons got her.'
He nodded. 'I tried to help but by the time I arrived it was too late. I barely escaped with my life.'
'You led demons to my apartment?'
'No, I gave them the slip. It wasn't hard, they're not the most intellectual creatures Tara.'
'We really don't have time for this,' Judah said.
'Who's this guy?' Mikah bristled.
Tara tightened her grip on Mikah's arm, forcing it back down by his side. Judah had to be a good four inches taller than Mikah and he was definitely more muscular. The last thing Tara needed right now was to have them fighting. Although something about Judah told her that he wouldn't resort to quarrelling with humans. It was almost...beneath him. She imagined he definitely wasn't to be underestimated though. She was normally an excellent judge of character but something about Judah threw her off entirely. Despite the fact that he had fallen from the sky...
Before she could calm the situation, a thunderous crash, followed by an ear-splitting howl reclaimed all of their attention. It was coming from outside, in the hallway.
'Shit,' Judah muttered. 'They're here.'
'Who are here?' Mikah demanded.
'We'll have to slip out the back. Come on.'
This time, Tara didn't question him. She wordlessly followed him, grabbing the weapons she had dumped on the side table whilst also trying to pull a protesting Mikah with her. He was adamant he wasn't going to follow them without some form of explanation though and jerked his arm free of Tara's grip.
'Mikah come on, please we don't have time.'
'Leave him,' Judah continued through the hallway, heading to the very back of the building.
'You can't expect me to follow a complete stranger without giving me some sort of reason why!'
Tara begun to see why Judah had been impatient with her moments before.
'Mikah listen to me. Just trust me okay? You know what happened to Lia? That could happen to us if we don't go with Judah okay? Please?'
The silence that followed was deafening. Her heart pounded wildly in her chest as she awaited his answer. His shoulders slumped in defeat and he sighed. 'Fine.'
She grabbed his hand and ran to where Judah had smashed the window and was now deftly climbing down the fire escape outside. Trying to shut off all of her inhibitions, she crouched low and watched out for the shards of broken glass as she followed his actions. Keeping her grip firm on the gun, she surveyed the alleyway below her. No sign of danger yet.
The cold air was a relief and she took a few seconds to just breathe it in. She wondered how long it would be before she saw her apartment again - if ever. Would she make it out alive? Could Judah really be trusted?
Only one way to find out.