"Ace?" someone said from the other side of the door.
I jolted awake from the nightmare. That same fucking nightmare. No matter how many times I had it, it always scared me. That one stupid night that changed my entire life. Why did I have to follow her out of the club? Why was I so stupid?
"Ace?" the voice said again. It was Zoe.
I pushed away from the desk and the chair wheeled towards the door. I unlocked it and looked up at Zoe from where I was sat, rubbing my eyes.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you up," she murmured.
"That's okay. What time is it?"
"It's about 2 in the afternoon."
"Really?" I'd slept for 12 hours; I never slept for 12 hours.
I frowned and pushed myself back to the desk, leaving the door open for her to come in. I looked down at the pictures on the desk. They were strewn everywhere. Some had fallen on the floor and the rest had been pushed towards the edges of the desks. I just ignored them all, staring into space.
"Who's Markus?" she asked, bringing me back to earth.
I looked quickly through the photos and the one of the eight of our group. I pointed to Markus. His brown hair was combed back and his brown eyes were a bit blurry through the cigarette smoke.
"That's Markus," I told her.
"Is he a vampire too?" she asked quietly.
"No, he's thirty-three now. Boss of some important business or other in Canada. He's always there when I need him."
There was silence for a while. "What did Emma say last night to make you come up here?" Zoe asked.
"It doesn't matter."
"Yes it does. It's obviously bothering you."
I sighed. "She said... She said that when I left her, she was pregnant. With my child. She never told me. Apparently she was going to, but..."
"But I told her I had to leave, and we had a fight... She didn't tell me she was pregnant. I should have worked it out really, all the signs were there. I guess I just didn't want to see them."
She picked up one of the photos of Darran, Riley and I. She smiled to herself and put it back down.
"Ace, can I ask you something?" Zoe murmured.
"Of course," I replied.
"Are you using me?"
"If he was," said a voice from the door, "you wouldn't be here right now."
"Shut up, Riley," I said, spinning round to face him.
"It's the truth though. You know it is," he said. I just glared at him, which made him laugh.
He walked into the room and picked up the picture of us.
“God, I remember that. That was the day your dad took us to NASCAR. That was so fun,” he said, smiling.
“And we got to go round the track, remember?”
“Oh yeah, and Darran threw up when he got out. I nearly fell over.”
“That was so funny. One of the best days ever.”
He frowned when he saw the picture of me with the others.
“I’m sorry about that, Riley. I would say it was the drugs, but it was just me being a twat, as always.”
“It’s alright, it doesn’t matter anymore.” Despite his smile and kind words, I could see the hurt in his eyes.