Someone knocked at the door.
'Come in,' my voice was flat, uncaring, devoid of any true emotion.
Moments later, Calla emerged looking wary. Her violet eyes were solemn and her lips were pursed in thought, as though unsure of what my reaction would be. I was faintly surprised to see her, but not enough to actually strike up a conversation. All I could think about was how badly I had treated Jester, how brokenhearted and betrayed he must be feeling. I was such a selfish bitch. Now he was God knows where, all because of me.
'Ana,' she began softly. 'Do you want to come shopping with me?'
'Shopping?' I repeated, unsure if she was being serious.
She sat lightly on the edge of my bed.
''You can't stay here forever Ana. I'm sure Jester will come back. He loves you, you know. I've dealt with love and lust enough in my lifetime to know the difference.'
'I let him go Calla,' I whispered, not wanting to look her in the eye. I felt horrible, so horrible. Jester had given me his heart, trusted me to look after it and I had shattered it so callously, as though it were nothing that he'd put his faith in me.
'Ana, he will come back.' She smiled at me.
'How can you be so sure?' I muttered.
'Because it's Jester. I see the devotion and adoration in his eyes when he looks at you. I know how protective he feels over you, I can sense it myself. It's like, whenever you move, he moves. Whether it's subconsciously or he's permanently on edge, forever looking out for danger I'm unsure. But it doesn't matter. He loves you.'
'Is this supposed to be making me feel better?' I arched an eyebrow. 'You telling me how much Jester loves me only makes me feel even crappier for leaving him.'
'Come on,' she grabbed my wrist, hauling me off the bed. 'We're going shopping. No thinking of heartbreak and "what might have been" for us.'
We were sat in a picturesque little French bistro in the blazing heat, sipping at coffees. I didn't tell Calla, but this was actually where Jester had taken me, before that incident on the Eiffel Tower. I tried to push all unsettling thoughts to the back of my mind, to focus on the here and now.
'So,' Calla smiled. 'You and Lukah?'
'What?' she said innocently. 'You've just gotten yourself into a love triangle.'
'I don't think it's going to be a triangle if Jester doesn't return,' I sighed morbidly. 'Not that I ever wanted a triangle in the first place.'
'Not to sound nosy, I just feel like we haven't actually bonded yet, but why did you go with Lukah? Two weeks ago?'
'Old memories, old feelings resurfaced faster than anything I ever could have expected. They say you never forget your first love,' I mused.
'That's very true,' Calla murmured, suddenly becoming very serious. Her mind was someplace else, there was a flicker of sadness that passed momentarily in her eyes before she coughed and smiled again.
'Did you two ever have sex?' she asked bluntly.
My eyes widened into saucepans at her directness, my cheeks flamed red.
'Well,' I mumbled. 'When I say lovers, I mean lovers.'
'Ah,' she nodded, taking it as a confirmation. 'Don't be embarrassed Ana. You're like a little schoolgirl.'
'Sorry if I'd prefer not to share my sex life,' I half laughed.
'I'm used to it, being a succubus. I've seen and heard it all.' Her voice became softer. She wasn't being nosy, I could tell she was genuinely intrigued. 'Why did you leave Jester?'
'I guess I just missed Lukah, so much. It didn't really help that he had tried to erase my memories of his existence either.'
She inhaled sharply and I nodded.
'That never works out well,' she said. 'Just look at Ad-' she hesitated, obviously not wanting to broach the subject. I wasn't having any of it though, I had just told her something I considered personal, she wasn't allowed to be secretive now.
'Adder?' I persisted.
'Yeah,' she nodded quickly, sipping her coffee.
'How did that work out?' I leaned forward, tilting my head to the side slightly.
'Can we please not talk about it, I really don't want to.'
'Normally I'd respect your wishes, but you just got me talking about personal matters. I think I'm entitled to ask you about this.'
'I said drop it Ana,' she snapped.
I sighed. She really was very touchy on this subject. It made me wonder what had gone on between the two, how Adder was coping with his memory loss and how Calla was coping without him. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't baffled at her romance with Demrin. I understood they were lovers, many years ago, but it seemed a little too soon to me for Calla to just leave Adder and return to the warlock.
'We should get back.'
'It's only two o clock,' I said, watching her stand up.
'Yes well, some of us have things to do,' she headed off. I had obviously pissed her off, big time.
When I returned to the mansion, a little way behind Calla, I found Lukah sitting on the concrete steps, his head in his hands. I instantly became cautious.
'Lukah?' I called out. 'Are you okay?'
'Ssh,' he motioned with his finger to silence me. Confused, I stood there watching him. It dawned on me that he wasn't actually troubled or upset, he was murmuring something under his breath, some sort of spell.
Anxious to find out what it was, I crept closer, perching myself next to him. None of the words he spoke sounded familiar; they were in a completely different language.
After what seemed like hours, he finally sat up and turned to face me.
'What were you doing?' I demanded.
'I know where Jester is,' he said.