Chapter SixteenMature

I felt sick with fear as Demitri led me down street after street.  Part of it was his refusal to tell me where Savannah held her 'court' as she liked to call it, because he said I wouldn't know where it was.  Truthfully, I had no idea where Demitri was taking me and I didn't recognise any of the identical, tidy, green, suburban streets we walked through.

The second part of my fear was more rational.  Savannah hadn't been exactly friendly to me when I'd met her, what was to say she was going to be nicer to me this time?  Demitri could sense my agitation and tried to calm me down by saying reassuring things.

'She can't hurt you y'know.'

'I can't fight her off Demitri and I'm only human.  Of course she can hurt me.'

'No, the rules say she can't hurt you, not until you've made your decision about which side you'll fight on.  Then if you don't choose her side she can try to kill you as much as she wants.'

'Really not helping Dem.'  I said clutching my heaving stomach.

'Sorry.'  There was silence for a few minutes as we continued to walk.  'Since when did you start calling me Dem?'

'I don't know.  I heard Mark use it and I guess I just did it subconsciously.  I can stop calling you that if you don't like it.'

'No, it's fine.  It's just Mark has been the only person to call me that in so long.  Usually only my friends call me Dem.'

'Aren't I your friend?'  I felt slightly hurt that Demitri didn't think we were friends.  I know he could change from being jokey and fun to serious and ready to get down to work in a split second but I thought he liked me.

'Well, I suppose so.  I've never really been friends with any of the chosen ones before.  It can be hard when I have to watch you die.'  I lump caught in my throat and I remembered how many people Demitri must have lost.  I could even bear to think about it.

'I'm sorry.  I shouldn't have asked you that and you are probably right, it'll be better if our relationship is just professional.'  I looked at the ground, avoiding any chance of eye contact.  We remained in silence until we reached a gate at the dead end of a street.  There was a button and a speaker grill on the wall by the gate and Demitri pressed the button.

'Who is it?'  A gruff voice demanded.

'Demitri Erikson and Cassandra Morton here to see Savannah.'  There was no reply, just a buzz and the gates swung open.  I didn't like the feeling I got when I walked through the gates and they shut behind me.  There was no going back.  'Don't worry you'll be fine.'  Dem smiled at me and led me up the drive.  I didn't see the house until the last minute.  It was big, far too big for just one person, but I assumed that Savannah didn't live alone.

It was a plain house from the outside with grey walls and a grey tiled roof.  The windows looked very big from the outside and probably let in a lot of light when the sun was shining.  Unfortunately for me it was almost dark and the windows turned into gaping black holed, waiting to swallow me up.

Despite the fear I could feel bubbling up inside me again I didn't falter and continued walking towards the front door.  Someone was already waiting for us when we got there.  He was a the male version of Abril, strongly built, like a brick wall and so tall he stood a good head and a bit above Demitri.

'She's been expecting you.'  He held the door open and I cautiously followed Demitri inside.  The door shut behind us with a resounding slam.  The entrance hall was dark except for a few small pools of light where candles had been put on tables.  No-one had thought to put them on stands, so the hot wax dripped slowly onto the wooden surfaces.

Without saying a word, the big guy led us down the hall and into another room.  This one was different, more elegant, with a giant chandelier in the centre of the ceiling illuminating the scene before me.  There were about a hundred or so people in the room, all dressed in black.  The weird thing was, they were all dressed like they were going to a Victorian masked ball.  The women all looked stunningly beautiful in ball dresses, with corsets and full skirts reaching the floor, their hair piled elegantly on top of their heads and the men were very smart in penguin suits and bow ties.

I felt very out of place in my school uniform as the masked faces turned to look at me as I passed.  I could tell Demitri was on guard as we were led through the gathering.  The crowd thinned out as we approached a raised platform at one end of the room.  A woman in a shocking scarlet coloured dress was reclining on a chaise lounge, her blonde hair spread out around her head.  Her mask was made of black feathers and covered the top half of her face.  The big guy stopped us with a hand gesture and approached the chaise lounge.  He whispered something in the ear of the woman and a smile crept across her face.

'I thought you wouldn't turn up Demitri.'  She stood up and walked slowly towards us.

'I have to do my job Savannah even if it means dealing with you.'  Savannah laughed before putting her hand under Demitri's chin.  He tensed as their skin touched.

'I know you love me really.'  Savannah was looking at Demitri like he was a piece of meat and she was about to eat him.  'Just a shame you brought her with you.'  Her hand dropped and she walked back to her chair.  'I suppose we'd better get this over with then.'

The End

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