The sequel from Dark of the Night.
I stirred in the darkness, unable to sleep.
All sorts of images were flashing through my mind. The look of pain etched on my brother's face, the beast's head exploding around my tensed fist, Jester laying there motionless and dead... And then Demrin. The one guy who had put his life on the line to protect us, was now gone. The one who had ultimately tried to sacrifice himself, but in the end had died for virtually nothing.
Jester lay beside me, snoring softly. Everybody else was asleep. Adder and Calla lay together, Calla's head resting against his chest. It was only me who was awake.
I thought about calling Reuben, to see if he was okay. I missed him so much that it hurt. There was an aching within my chest, something tugged at my heart. I couldn't get his face out of my head, the way he had looked as he writhed in pain under my merciless glare, my outstretched hand.
I began crying, softly at first, but my body started shaking from the sobs and tremors that racked through me. I bit my hand to stop myself from making a noise, and curled up on my side.
Jester rolled over in his sleep, and for one second I thought about waking him up, just for someone to talk to. For someone to share my pain with. But he looked so peaceful, and he had been through so much. Instead, I stood up, taking care not to creak the floorboards as I padded softly into the next room.
I flopped on the sofa which was placed directly beneath a large glass window. I became swathed in the moon's silver light, watching how it changed my normally tan skin into alabaster. My finger lightly trailed the veins running along the inside of my arm, thinking how close I had come to death tonight. How close all of us had come...
How Demrin had met death tonight.
Life was too short. Every day I was getting closer to dying, every second that passed marked a moment lost to me forever. I was ageing with every breath I took, every movement. Life was too short.
'Reuben?' I spoke into my mobile after the ringing had stopped.
'Ana?' came his reply. It sounded distant and distorted.
'I'm sorry,' I began sobbing fitfully again, the tears ran freely down my cheeks, splashing onto my top. 'I'm so, so sorry for what I did to you. Please, I need to see you again.'
'Ana, what are you talking about?' his voice was muffled. 'Do you realize the time?'
I blinked, the wetness matted my eyelashes together. 'Wait, what do you remember?'
'What do you mean what do I remember? You told me you had to work tonight.'
'No I didn't,' I whispered. 'We...we fought. I nearly killed you...'
'Urgh Ana I don't have time for this. I'm absolutely shattered, my head is pounding, and I have work in the morning. Go away.' He hung up on me.
I sat there, staring at the phone, one hundred percent mystified. Why couldn't Reuben remember the fight? The one that had permanently divided us? The one where he had nearly died!
I gasped, a short sharp sound as the realization dawned on me. It was so obvious thinking about it now!! I had been so STUPID.
Reuben had been possessed.
Scott had obviously used him to work for him, to get rid of me. There's no way Reuben would have done that of his own accord. I bit my tongue, hard, to stop the euphoric giggles from escaping my lips. I felt like jumping, running, laughing, anything. My brother had no memory of the fight, he hadn't even been in control of his own body!!
'Oh my gosh,' I whispered to myself, ecstatic.
I ran into the other room without thinking about it, shook Jester's still form, waking him. I had to tell somebody.
'Jester!' I hissed, shaking his shoulders. 'Wake up!'
'Nrgh...wha? Ana?' he groaned.
'It's my brother!' I squealed, still in a whisper. 'He was under Scott's influence! He never attacked me on purpose! Of course he wouldn't, how on Earth could I ever think he would? Oh you don't know how happy I am!'
'Ana that's great, that's amazing,' Jester murmured, still half asleep. I rolled my eyes and let him rest, deciding to tell the others in the morning.
I shuffled back under the covers. The grin still hadn't shifted from my mouth, my eyes were widened in glee and I felt completely giddy. There was no sleep for me now, but I didn't care.
I had gotten my brother back.