Chapter Nine: Dumb Risks
I checked through the peep hole, worried it was my dad and I was going to have fun explaining why a girl wearing one of my shirts was here. Instead it was some guy I didn't recognise, his hairstyle was impressive. I kept the chain on the door when I opened it, not that I would do much if he was a danger.
“Can I help you?” I asked. The guy studied me before proving how useless the chain was. He pushed the door open, making splinters crack where the lock used to be in the wall and raced up the stairs.
“Crap,” I muttered and followed him up. I reached the room and realised Amy knew him.
“Tom? How did you find me?” She asked from where she'd curled up on the bed. He snorted, as if it was a dumb question. He opened his mouth to explain then saw me. I had a feeling he changed his answer.
“I just asked people leaving your school who the new girl had been hanging out with,” Tom shrugged.
“Sorry, but who are you?” I asked, feeling a little out of my depth.
“He's my room mate,” Amy answered. Tom turned to look at me again, his fists were clenched in a very non-friendly way.
“What do you want with her?” he asked, his jaw tight as he spoke. I blinked, could he tell what I was? How was that even possible, was he a demon?
“I'm just a friend from school,” I replied holding my hands up in front of me, not sure how much I was allowed to say.
“Don't try to fool me, I can tell you're not human,” he said. The words struck me. Up until now I hadn't really considered myself different. Which I guess was silly, but hearing I wasn't human anymore was weird.
“I'm here to help,” I finally said, lowering my hands. I got the impression he didn't trust my answer in the slightest. Amy stood up and put a arm between us. I hadn't even noticed Tom inching closer, had the guy been about to punch me?
“Leave him alone. He's telling the truth,” Amy said, meeting Tom's gaze head-on.
“Like you can trust any of them,” he muttered darkly. I was starting to get sick and tired of everyone assuming I was something I wasn't.
“I stopped being human two days ago, I'm hardly a threat to her,” I yelled. I saw the implication of what I just said register on Amy's face. I didn't bother waiting for Tom's reaction.
“I'm going to get food from the take-away place nearby. You two are welcome to stay. But let me know if you do go. And you owe money to replace a lock,” I said over my shoulder, taking the stairs two at a time. I knew I was being immature and throwing a pointless hissy fit. But the fresh air helped a little, calming my thoughts. I was part-way there when I noticed a guy standing still and studying the house. He was crazy tall, not to mention his muscles. Was this the demon who'd attacked Amy earlier? The first thing Darius had taught me was how to hide a weapon within me so I'd have it with me. I looked around to make sure the street was empty and grabbed the sword from my back. It felt kind of weird passing through my skin and into my hand. I crossed the path with it held ready. The demon noticed me instantly.
“Fledglings should know their place,” he said, his voice sounding like grit.
“I've had a bad day. You're the one who should've known to stay away,” I replied, lifting the sword. In hindsight I was being a little too cocky. A few missed attacks with my sword later and the demon managed to slam me into a nearby lamp post, a headache bloomed to life instantly. The ringing of the metal hurting my ears.
“Idiot,” he muttered as he closed in to attack again. I rolled away and managed to catch his leg as I did. He growled a curse and dark stuff pooled in his hand. Darius had meant to tell me more about magic later. I figured avoiding the stuff was the best tactic and managed to dodge the worst of it. Some splashed on my shoulder and I winced. The smell of burning flesh reached my nostrils. I ignored the way my stomach lurched and rammed him. He avoided the blow and punched me in the gut. This was not going well I thought, Darius was going to have a field day making fun of me for this. I bent over and avoided his next blow in the process then rammed my sword upwards. I half expected it to be moved away but it sliced upwards, coming out of his shoulder. I hadn't got the heart, but I must've done some damage.
“Lucky shot,” the demon hissed in pain. Then he disappeared. I stood up shaking a little from adrenaline and covered my shoulder with one hand. Was that a draw?