Alys coughed, and it felt like she was hacking up glass. She shook the shards of glass from herself, and checked on Santiago.
He was nowhere to be seen.
Blinking back some more of the dust that was beginning to settle, she saw that he was already across the room, helping an elderly man who was not as they had been at throwing themselves on the floor. She smiled to herself. He seems like a really nice guy, she thought.
He looked over his shoulder at her, and smiled reassuringly. She instanly felt guilty, and stupid. How could she have led Kyle and most likely Pallaton to Santiago? She felt stupid for agreeing to the 'date' so easily after detatching herself from Kyle. What had she been thinking?
She struggled to her feet, and assessed the damage. The diner looked liked a bomb had hit it. The windows were now covering the floor in millions of tiny pieces, rather than attached to the panes as they had been only minutes beforehand.
Everyone had thrown themselves on the floor as soon as they had heard the sound of gun-fire, and as such, most had escaped with only minor scratches from the glass.
Except for one.
Alys saw the young girl at the same time as Santiago. They both rushed over, taking in the scene with horror. The mother of the child sat over her daughter's body, screaming and sobbing uncontrollably. While Santiago checked over the girl with a grim expression, Alys prised the mother away and tried, rather unsuccessfully, to calm her down.
She risked a look at the body. A stray bullet had hit her in the top of her head, travelled straight through, and was now embedded in the plaster board behind her. She tried to compose herself, but couldn't look away.
There was a soft murmur in her ear.
"We need to go. Now" He took her hand and gingerly led her through the diner, out onto the street. There were casings everywhere. Alys didn't register the sound of sirens in the background.
"Please, Alys. We can't stay here." He pushed her gently, and she began to walk. She had no idea where she was going.
They walked in silence for some time. Santiago sensed that she didn't want to talk, and he was right. He waited for her to say something.
" I'm sorry." She muttered to him eventually. " I shouldn't have sayed with you. I put you in danger. I know that." She was close to tears.
He stopped dead, and looked at her with his deep brown eyes. She looked back with her own, amber. He smiled, slowly, and hugged her tight.
"I can look after myself eh? Don't you worry about me Alys. I'm worried about you. " She thought his Spanish accent was mesmerising. "Do you want to go home?"
She shook her head, looking shocked.
"I-I can't go home looking like this! My parents think I've been at a party! What am I supposed to tell them?"
He saw she looked as though she were about to burst into tears again. He smiled reassuringly at her, and took her hand again as the continued to walk down the deserted street.
"No problem. You can stay at my place."