The quiet bustle of the cafe seemed to soothe my troubled mind. It reminded me that no matter how much things had changed for me, the normality was still there. It was still tangible. I could go back to it at any given point without difficulty.
I didn't bother looking up as Lukah sat down beside me. I kept my eyes fixed on the window, watching people go about their lives blissfully unaware of what trouble may lay in store for them all.
For a few minutes, both of us just sat in silence. I wanted to speak, but no words seemed fitting. I felt a flurry of emotions all churning inside of me, as though caught in some great riptide. I felt confused, in despair, angry and ashamed all at the same time. A small part of my mind was horrified at the way I had lashed out at Calla, but I pushed it away.
'I don't know if I can do this anymore Lukah.'
'You can, Ana. I know you can.' His voice was full of absolute conviction.
'I'm not brave,' I shook my head.
'Everything I've seen proves different. Just think about what you had to face, how you handled it all. You took on your own brother Ana, for the safety of others. I know you can do this.'
'I just want some normality back though. Not my old life, as such, just...' I sighed. 'Just normality.'
He had started to reply, but in that instant everything drew to a standstill. A girl my age walked in the door of that little French bistro and my heart came to a sickening halt, the most intense roll of nausea I had ever felt tore through me and I gripped the edge of the table for support. It was ridiculous that I should act this way really, but I could not believe my sight.
Lukah frowned and followed my gaze. He saw what I was looking at and gasped in surprise.
The girl looked around the cafe, with a look and sheer and utter divinity until her eyes met mine.
'What's she doing here?' Lukah hissed under his breath. She smiled, like a predator stalking it's prey as she approached.
'Ana! What a surprise to see you here.' Her voice was laced with venom and acid.
It was ridiculous that I should act this way... Realization dawned on me, hit me head on like a slab of concrete. Why should I be afraid of her? She had ruined my time at school sure, caused me to...enter a dark period of my life, but a lot had changed since then. I had changed since then.
'Ditto.' I tried to keep my voice indifferent, my expression impassive.
She paused. 'Living in Paris now are we? With Lukah? You two did last after all then.'
When Lukah had first come to my school, everyone had gotten a vibe from him. A vibe of danger and dark regrets. A life obscured in shadows. Everyone that is except me. I was the only one to really give him a chance. Due to that, I had only alienated myself even more from everybody else which gave Paige even more reason to target me.
'What do you want Paige?'
'Me? I don't want anything. Just thought I'd come over and say hello,' the flash in her eyes certainly told me differently. She was still a complete bitch. Girls like her didn't change.
I got up, grabbed my jacket off the back of the chair and pushed past her, heading outside. Lukah followed close behind. I didn't have to deal with her.
'You'd think really that she would learn, wouldn't you?' I muttered, veering sharply to the left, heading down a narrow alleyway between two large buildings. 'After everything with Sarah, you'd think she'd keep away.'
'I knew you had something to do with her death,' Paige spoke from behind me, stopping me in my steps. I hadn't actually counted on her following us.
I whirled round. 'Maybe she deserved it Paige. Maybe she made my life a living hell.'
'You killed her!' her eyes widened in horror. 'You really did it.'
'No I didn't kill her,' I spat.
'I did,' Lukah shrugged.
The silence was deafening. I turned to face Lukah, shocked that he had finally said it aloud. Paige herself was frozen in absolute fear. All the colour drained from her face, her arms hung limply by her side.
'Y-you killed her.' She wasn't looking at any of us, she seemed to be looking straight through Lukah. Tears started to spill over her cheeks, her knees buckled, she collapsed. 'I had an inkling but...to have you confirm it. And with such callousness. You don't even regret it.'
What Paige didn't know was that there was more to Sarah's death than she was aware of.
'I have to tell someone,' she whispered. 'I have to.'
'No!' I shouted. 'No you don't. Don't Paige. You can't possibly understand what went on!'
'Let go of me Ana,' she hissed, gathering some of her fighting spirit. She stood shakily. 'You're sick! You're both sick! You're going to rot in prison for what you did to her! I'm going to tell everyone. And you. Are going. To pay.' She said the last bit through clenched teeth, glaring at both of us.
She started to walk off. I was glued to the spot, rendered useless, my eyes fixed on the spot where Paige had been sat seconds before.
So I didn't see it until it was too late.
The first thing I heard was a feral snarl. Then the sickening crack of bones breaking and a weak gasp. I turned round to find Lukah on the ground, clutching his head. That wasn't what had caused the crack though. That dreadful crack which I would hear for weeks on end.
The sight before me would haunt me forever.
Paige's body, limp and motionless clutched in the desperate grip of a...person, no. Not a person. The smell of blood was thick and metallic in the air. Paige's neck was hanging at a sickening angle, her eyes wide and frozen in shock. The figure's own head was bent over Paige's damaged body.
For one, wild second I thought it was Adder.
Lukah charged forward again, towards the vampire who lifted his head in fury. It was then that I saw it wasn't Calla's lover, but a total stranger. One flick of his wrist threw Lukah hard into a concrete wall, this time knocking him unconscious.
Red eyes turned towards me, challenging.
I could do nothing, only watch with sick mesmerisation as this beast drained the life out of the girl who had shattered my own.
He seemed satisfied that I would not intervene as he went back to his feeding.
A voice in my mind told me to use my powers.
Kill him! For God's sake Ana kill him!
But I couldn't. This girl whose life was slipping away with each second had literally destroyed my life. The things she had done... The things she would do.
She's still human! Have you lost all of your morals?!?!
Yes, I suppose I have.