The trial had been scary... I mean, what if they had actually sent me into exile? I would have certainly fallen prey to the vampires, zombies and who-knew-what-else outside. And Rory wouldn't have been able to stop them... I shivered at the thought of Rory committing suicide because I had died. Even though I wanted us to be together forever, I didn't like the idea of him dying. It was gratifying to see kind faces around the room like those of Luke and Zoey. It was even more gratifying when William stood up and left the room - I really admired him for that.

Thank goodness Jade pulled me out of the situation when she did. I didn't think I could've stood anymore of that. Of being accused of being a traitor by my own half-brother and having to be defended by his girlfriend. More than anything in the world, I wanted Rory to come here and prove that he was good. But that wasn't happening and I was resigned to having to hope people trusted me enough to believe me.

Jade's idea about what to do was fantastic! But no matter where I looked, I couldn't find Marc. But this was a good thing because I was starting to have second thoughts about the whole deception thing - look at where deception had gotten me so far.

Eoin disappeared too... That was a shame. I would've liked to talk to him about what he thought all the others thought of me, and on this occasion I couldn't talk to Zoey because I felt I had made her go up against Marc. I would be pretty upset if I had to fight Rory. I reassured myself with the thought that Rory was generally right about things and there was no need to contradict him.

I wandered around the house, feeling slightly distanced from everybody else, as if the trial had put up a massive wall between me and my peers. I had caused a great disturbance in the Atlantean family and for that I was truly sorry.

Suddenly, the front door opened and Eoin walked in, followed by Moses. I couldn't believe my luck.

"Eoin!" I shouted excitedly, and ran up to him to give him a big hug. I even planted a French kiss on his cheeks, making him shift uncomfortably a little... oops.

"I needed to talk to you," I told him, leading him up to my room as Moses crashed out on the sofa.

He looked nervous until I rolled my eyes and said "Have you forgotten that I have a boyfriend already?". At this point, he looked relieved and was more ready for us to have a chat.

We sat upon my bed and I asked "What d'you think people think of me?"

"Well, I personally think that a good vampire can exist, since it's a sheer wonder even humans exist."

I nodded. "Thank you for believing that. And the others?"

He frowned slightly. "Well, they trust you, I believe, but they might take some convincing before they believe Rory can be trusted as well. A lot of them feel that you can't help who you fall in love with, having done so themselves, and they won't try and force you to dump your boyfriend."

My emotions were mixed. But I'd hardly expected everyone to be totally understanding, had I?

"It's a shame about Marc," I murmured.

"I'm sure he'll come round soon enough," Eoin said comfortingly, earning himself another hug.

"Thank you," I said as I released him. "Perhaps you and I should hang out more together. I think Rory would be very anxious if I didn't have at least one person who accompanied me everywhere - way too protective, that one - and it's unfair to ask the others when they're naturally more absorbed in their own lovers."

Eoin nodded. "It sounds like a good idea, though, of course, we should be with our partners for the talent show preparations."

"Yes," I replied. "Well, thanks again."

Sensing the conversation was drawing to a close, Eoin got up and left the room.

I lay on my bed and relived the memories of Rory's kiss, wishing more than ever that he was here or at least that I wasn't surrounded by happy couples.

I was startled out of my reverie by a knock at my door.

"Come in," I said curiously.

In walked Marc, looking like he had something important to say.

"Hi, Charley. We need to talk."

The End

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