By this time I think the police are fed up with coming and asking me about perpetrators who have already fled the scene. Thank God, Piers’ ankle is fine. Just a minor sprain.
Once everything calms down and the police leave Piers and I rejoin. Sitting across from each other on my white living room couch a few inches from where he was pinned down just a couple hours ago.
“This isn’t safe anymore. We need to lay low.” Piers says as he rubs his ankle.
“You need ice.”
“I’ll get it in a second.”
Silence. I don’t think either of us know what to do, and neither one of us wants to give up the book.
“My semester at the college ends in two weeks. I’ll try to finish it out. Maybe by that time things will cool off.” I clasp my hands together at his statement. Two weeks is a long time. Anybody could come back within that time.
“You don’t think they’ll come back? I’m afraid they will. I’m still shaky from earlier.” I fidget in my seat.
“I know you are but you did great today, thank you for helping me earlier.” Piers’ eyes water a little and grabs my hand. I let it rest there for a while. We both need the comfort.
“I don’t think we should travel during the next two weeks. Just to be safe.” He nods.
“The book should stay in the safe.” I nod. “We just have to be careful…that’s all.” Piers’ thumb strokes my hand thoughtlessly. That brings me into his gravity and I find myself drifting into his comfort. Before I know it my back is pressed to his chest. He kisses the crown of my head, but I don’t mind. All of this just exhausts me. I’m not sure how much more I’ll be able to stand.
Three days go by and nothing happens. Everything seems to return to its normal state. My nerves didn’t seem to receive the memo. Every noise, shifting shadow, and random stranger became a threat. I’m jumpier than normal, but I still return to the book store. I like to think Milo keeps me company while I stay there.
“Hello, beautiful.” I know who it is before I look up from my computer. My skin ripples into goose flesh.
“What are you doing here Matt?” I say clenching my desk.
“Don’t act like this is my fault.” He says advancing to my desk. He makes himself comfortable and sits on my desk.
“Get out.” I stand. “I don’t know what you’re angle is but you’re nothing but trouble. Get out.” I walk towards the door and open it. He sneers at me and walks towards the door, but before I can react he yanks me by my collar and slams me into the wall.
“Listen to me! You stupid half wit. I warned you, I told you to stop this and get rid of it. But you refuse.” He presses against me more firmly. I grown under his weight. “You’re just like him.” Instantly it registers.
“You knew Milo?” Tears pour out of my eyes.
“No.” He releases me. I slap him in the face as hard as I can manage and spit at his feet.
“You’re disgusting.” I say as tears drip onto my collar bones. I look over to see a mother and her little daughter hiding behind a book case. Matt catches on and clears his throat.
“Get out.” And he does.
I lean against the wall for support. Turns out the woman had called the police. They’re definitely tired of me by now.
Latest installment of The Book of Gateways! Please comment and like! There is more to come! I actually have a plan this time around… 🙂
After a quick slip through the portal we drop into my shed in my backyard.
“Ow” I say as my knees buckle. Piers rests his head on the wall.
“Didn’t you say something about getting used to the shock?”
“Oh zip it. I’m not a portal scientist.” Piers gags.
The rest of the night seemed like it would be uneventful until we entered my house. All of my book cases were turned over, my couch was slashed, lamps were overturned, and my bedroom was torn apart. Panic rose to my ears as I looked to Piers.
“Stay here, and call the police.” Piers grabbed my wrist and stood me by the door then disappeared into the house. I do as I’m told and call the police. Piers returns shortly after I get off the phone with the police.
“No one is here anymore. Maybe we should look for anything missing.” He rubs his neck in frustration.
“I doubt anything is missing.” I say feeling nauseous. “Matt said I should be careful. I never thought something like this would happen.”
“You don’t know if they were after the book.”
“And if nothing is missing?”
We look around and nothing is missing. My gut tells me they were after the Book of Gateways. The police finally come and take notes and pick around. Then we are left to clean up the mess.
“I don’t want you staying here alone.” Piers says grabbing a bedding set out of my hall closet.
“Well where are you going to stay?” I say grabbing the bedding from him.
“I don’t know I’ll stay downstairs. Or in the hallway.” He pauses for a while. “Bathroom?”
“You’re useless downstairs if someone comes back, I guess just stay in my room.” I put the bedding in the corner. Far far away. I shouldn’t really be nervous around him since we’ve spent so much time around each other. Especially when Milo first died.
The night goes on and I have jitters the whole time but I make myself tea and force myself to bed. I snuggle myself in to my soft blankets, give a few wriggles, and make a few squeaks. Then I roll over and realize that Piers is snickering in his stupid sleeping bag which makes me shrink under my blankets.
“Goodnight!” Piers says laughing. Then sleep overtakes me.
My eyes open for some unknown reason and my hairs stand on end. An eerie feeling is clutching my stomach and I’m still unsure for what reason. CRASH! Something down stairs slams into a wall.
“Piers!” I whisper. “Piers!”…No reply. I flick on my bedside lamp to reveal his empty bedding. Oh no.
I slip quietly out of my bed and pull out a safe box from underneath my bed. Push a few numbers and pull out a nine-millimeter handgun. My hands tremble as I load it. I never thought I would actually have to use it this way. I creep down the stairs with my hands clenching my gun. I peek my head around the corner of the hall to see a man in black pinning Piers to the ground. Piers’ face pressed into the carpet. All I can see is his muscles tensed and his shirt soaked with sweat. At this point my heart is beating against my chest so hard I think I’ll throw up. Just do it. My muscles tighten and I launch myself out in the open.
“DON’T MOVE!” I scream aiming the gun at the intruder’s chest. He shoves his foot into Piers more firmly and draws a gun and points it at his head.
“I WILL PUT A FREAKING BULLET IN YOUR CHEST!” I cock the gun. He doesn’t move. “Lay down on the floor and put your hands behind your head and cross your ankles!” Still no movement. “DO IT!” as I scream Piers pulls his arm free and slams his elbow into his attacker’s crotch. The man crumples to the floor. Piers yanks the gun from his hand. Piers immediately stands reversing his position. I crumple into the chair next to me and place my gun in my lap.
“Who are you working for?” Piers says through his teeth. “Cesar call the cops.” I oblige hands still shaking.
“What are you doing here?”
“You have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself into.” The man says into the floor.
“What are you talking about?” Piers yells. “What are you talking about?!” He kicks the man.
“Piers!” I stand from my chair. “Don’t be like this.”
Then the man quickly grabbed Piers’ ankle, twisted it and shoved him to the side. Piers fell to the floor in a disheveled heap. He made a quick getaway after he shoved me into the wall knocking the gun from my hand.
I regain consciousness and realize that I am laying on my side in a dirty alleyway. Tan sand buildings jut up next to me giving me nowhere to go. My lip is warm and tingling and I taste blood. Great. I heave myself onto my stomach letting my head rest on the sand-brick beneath me.
“Wake up!” The bronze man kicks my rib cage. I laugh out of hysteria seeing the blood on my skin colored veil. “Shut up woman!” He kicks me again and this time I wince and let out a sigh. Out of the corner of my eye I see young men walking by, their sand colored robes dragging behind them. They see me for an instant and carry on. I suppose this is normal in this city. A young woman getting punished for some sin she committed. I feel intense pain surge through my head as I’m yanked up by my hair, my body slow to accommodate the movement. I clench my jaw and stare at my attacker dead in the eye, an act of defiance. He slaps me hard across my face and I let out a gasp.
“You think you can deny me?” He says as he yanks my veil from my face. “What are you?” He says frantically pushing me back towards the wall. I steady myself and look at him my lips in a snarl.
“Why? Does it scare you?” I say my green eyes shining even greener in the Sandah sun. I laugh as my head bobs from the dizziness. “You’ve never seen one like me have you?…Maybe you’ve never seen one at all.” I slide down the wall into a sitting position. “Maybe you won’t want to have your way with me now that you know what I am.” I laugh and spit a mixture of blood and saliva out at his feet.
“You’re of the demon spirits! Cursed for all eternity!” The man shrieks and throws my veil back at me too stunned to move. All I can manage is a laugh.
“That’s right.” I lick my dried lips “I’m almost a demon spirit myself.” The corners of my vision are starting to get patchy. The man finally makes a decision and quickly walks out of the alley. I laugh some more and lay on my side. I grind my teeth as a pull a pouch out of my pocket and shake it.
“All of that beating and all I get are a few coins?” I let out a sharp breath and let my head down again. I wake up again and it’s much later but I feel slightly better and manage to sit myself upright again the little purse clenched in my hands. I rub my head and gently put the veil back on to my head to conceal my identity. The people don’t take kindly to Alfens like me. People who have parents from two different providences or cultures are called Alfens. Or as some people would like to call them; the accursed or children of the demon spirits. Different accents, skin colors, and eye colors are really the only things that separate us from the “normal” group of people.
“Time to go.” I huff under my breath and push myself forward using the wall to steady myself.