“Oh, look! Lights!” She bumped into him, not realizing that he’d stopped. She took the time to examine her surroundings. Bland. It was a completely bland, white walled staircase with florescent lighting. She was about to look over the side of the stairwell when he shoved her behind him. Just in time for the door at the next level down to open and a somewhat familiar face walked out. Blonde God. The guy that she saw before she got lost. The demon Ash had warned her about.
He started up the stairs and almost walked past them both, eyes glued to the papers in his hand, but stopped and looked right at her and then at him. He smiled slowly. The sunglasses from before were gone and this time and in this place, she knew he was looking right at her. Caught. They were both caught. Ash had started pulling her down the stairs when her vision went black.
I don’t smoke, she thought. Sarah looked down at the lighter she’d just pulled out of her pocket. On the side it said Las Vegas. Had she ever been to Las Vegas? She would never pick up a lighter on her own, did someone give it to her? Sarah gripped the lighter tightly and looked around for what felt like the first time. She knew this place. It was the library at her school back home. There were other students around her, but what seemed to be another typical day now felt disjointed. She felt watched so she watched back.
She found what she was looking for across the room. Two guys were sitting at a table. One dark haired man wearing a black t-shirt with the wash tag sticking up was leaned forward, glowering at the man across from him. The one that was watching her. He was surfer blonde with the most amazing blue eyes. He winked and motioned her over with a cock of his head.
The first thing she did was look around her to make sure he wasn’t gesturing to someone else. When she found everyone else dutifully with their heads either down at their books or glued to a computer screen, she stood and gathered her things. When she got to their table, she sat one chair over from the dark haired guy but across from the blonde.
“Do I know you?” she asked.
“For fucks sake, Roman.” the dark one cursed. “Don’t fuck with her head. Have you called the administration yet?”
“Of course not. Why would I want to do that? We have plenty of time and I haven’t seen you in ages. Ash, my favorite homeboy,” The last word was said with crisp English, making the word seem purposefully cheap and ridiculed. “We have a lot of catching up to do. Has Stone been treating you well?”
Sarah watched in confusion. Their conversation seemed to have trailed away from her and really it just seemed like two jocks squabbling over a bet. Figured. She turned to leave when the one called Roman said, “Sit, please.” And she did. Why, she wasn’t sure. She hadn’t had any intention of sitting, but when he said it, it just made sense.
“You know very well that Stone is a bitch. If you weren’t so concerned about one of your trainees ruining your reputation, I could be filing paperwork or doing something that doesn’t make me want to throw up.” Ash replied.
Something about the conversation was familiar, but Sarah couldn’t put her finger on it. Absently, she licked her lip and winced.
Immediately, Roman looked away from Ash to Sarah. “Interesting.”
“Sarah,” The man named Ash said as he leaned forward and gripped her arm above her elbow tightly. “You still have the lighter I gave you, right?”
Suddenly the lighter in her hand and the sting of her lip made sense. “Yes… thank you.”