“Have you been listening to a word I've said?” The abruptness of his tone was what captured Alivia's attention. She realised her startled look had given her away before she'd had a chance to speak.
“Sorry. There's kind of a lot on my mind,” she murmured. Understatement of the century.
“If it's Jordan stop worrying. He's happy on his own, let him be alone,” Martin said. “I'm more worried about my exam results and making sure I go to a decent college.” Alivia smiled at the lines crinkling his forehead.
“You don't need to worry. You're smart enough,” she replied. Taking his hand in hers and squeezing. A small grin formed on his face, the one he always got before he kissed her. This time she didn't rush away. Finding the familiar smell and feel of him comforting. And wrong. She blinked at the unbidden thought and broke off the kiss.
“You okay?” Martin asked, frowning. Alivia opened her mouth to reply when she spotted someone she really didn't want to see.
“I have to go,” she said. “I need air,” she added when Martin looked hurt.
“Want me to join you?” he asked.
“No, it's fine. You keep an eye on the drunken people,” Alivia joked. “Actually, I think one may be close to throwing up,” she said, pointing at Justin who'd returned looking very green. Denise wasn't by his side anymore. The outside air was more of a relief than she expected. Morael was leaning against a tree, dressed in simple, faded jeans and a white shirt.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Alivia hissed, crossing her arms angrily.
“Protecting you,” he replied, in a tone that added a 'duh'.
“My powers are contained now. You hardly need to stalk me anymore,” Alivia said. She glanced around but no one seemed to be paying her or Morael any attention.
“The tracker demon was killed here. Whoever sent it might not know who you are. But they'll know you were here,” Morael explained, pushing away from the tree. He pushed towards her, invading her personal space. “Which means they might just drop in for a visit,” he added, his tone indifferent but Alivia could see the anger in his eyes. He's really pissed ….
“But they won't sense me, so they'll leave,” Alivia replied, eyes a little too wide and shiny.
“I doubt whoever went to such lengths to find you will just leave when they realise they've failed,” Morael said. “Someone's going to get hurt one way or another.” Alivia gulped, feeling her hands start to shake. Jordan, Sophie, Martin, Justin … The list of people in harms way was endless as she stared at the huge house.
“What do we do?” Alivia asked, sounding a lot more confident than she felt.
“I can already sense it's presence,” Morael muttered, running a hand through his hair. “You get yourself, Jordan and as many of the other humans out of that house,” he instructed. “I'll kill it,” he added, so casually he could've been discussing his favourite fruit. Alivia nodded, trying to order her spinning thoughts, before she started panicking.
Morael grabbed her hand unexpectedly and squeezed it.
“You can't break down now Alivia,” he said, unexpected concern simmering in the depths of his stormy eyes. “You need to act normal, otherwise the demon will suspect you instantly.” He let her hand go and walked past her. She glanced a look over her shoulder to watch him go, but he'd already disappeared. That's the first time he's used my name.
Alivia walked back inside and starred at everyone. There was no way they'd just leave if she asked. She turned and headed into the kitchen. A couple were making out – possibly more – against the counter. They stumbled when they saw her. The girl blushed deep shades and they both hurried out of the room.
“Pick a more discreet spot next time if you don't want to get caught,” Alivia sighed. She grabbed a lighter from the drawer and hoped no one walked in as she climbed onto the counter and held it up to the fire alarm.