His mouth twitched and he looked as though he were going to hit her. Instead, he shoved Cole away from him and turned his attention to the girl staring at him. She shouldn’t look like that. She shouldn’t be fighting him.

“What are you doing?” Ian asked, annoyed. “You’re not—”

“Not supposed to win?” Ava said, a small smile on her face. She lifted her hand and slapped him across the face. “And you were never supposed to exist. You should have stayed inside my head.”

His blue eyes were amused. “You don’t know, do you?” He looked at Alex, then back at her, a horrible smile on his lips. “You’re the reason I even exist in the first place.”

Ava’s eyes widened, the green coming faster now, seeming to give her back her innocence slowly. She bit her tongue, trying to decide if she should ask him what he meant by that.

“I’m not lying,” he said, staring at her. “You created me. Don’t you remember when your father abandoned you?”

The last few words were muffled…

She shut her eyes upon hearing the glass break. Her mother was screaming, crying, full of pain.

Someone touched her hair, moving it away from her, and a voice said, “It’s alright. You’ll be okay. I’ll protect you.”

A door slammed shut and a car peeled out of the driveway.

Then there was nothing.

“You,” Ava gasped, her eyes glassy. Her lip trembled and she couldn’t finish the sentence.

“Yes,” Ian said, his hand brushing her cheek. “You were broken, and it was so easy to do, that I came to you then when you were young. You used to talk to me for hours, about everything that was going on. You didn’t know what I’d grow to be, what you made me.”

Tears pooled in her now large green eyes. She was crying because she was herself again, because she had witnessed her friends die, and most of all, she cried for him. She wished so much that he had been real and not this thing that he turned into, that she had turned him into.

“There’s only one way to end this, only one way for you to leave,” she whispered, her voice thick with anguish.

Somewhere, a clock ticked. No one spoke for a long time. Then, as she took his hand and held it against her face, she did.

“You have to kill me.”

The End

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