After The End

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 11 (v.1) - 11

Submitted: January 24, 2016

Reads: 116

Comments: 4

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Submitted: January 24, 2016

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Mila stood up, facing him properly. He walked forwards slowly. “I’ve got quite an interesting little story to tell you, Mila,” he said. “I’d like to know what you make of it.”

She didn’t reply.

“You see,” he continued, “there’s this girl. A young woman, really. A bounty hunter by trade, and surprisingly good at it for someone of her age. And she’s got a secret.” He shrugged. “So what? I have secrets. Everyone does. But naturally, I can’t help wondering what this secret is.” He paused, his eyes narrowing. “So one evening, we set up camp, like always. She makes me some soup, like always. Except tonight, something’s wrong. Something’s different. She’s drugged it.” 

Mila felt her hands beginning to shake again. No…

“Luckily for me, I smell it before I start gulping it down. Obviously, I’m a little confused, a little betrayed, a little angry. But mostly I’m intrigued. So I wait until she’s not looking properly and I chuck the soup away. A few minutes later I pretend to drift off into a drug induced sleep, and I wait. I listen.

“As soon as I’m out of it, the girl runs off. I wait until I’m pretty sure she’s gone, then I get up and follow her.”

Please, no…

“She runs quite a way, but I manage to keep up, at a distance obviously. Eventually she stops.” He leant forward, smiling wryly. “Now this, poppet, is the interesting bit.”

God, no…

“The girl starts stripping off. A few minutes later she’s sitting in the clearing, stark naked.”

Don’t say it, don’t say it…

“Now I don’t exactly make a habit of spying on naked women, but I’m a pretty savvy guy. I can tell something’s not right here. But imagine my surprise when said young woman starts writhing around on the ground. Suddenly she’s not a young woman anymore. She’s changing…” Caelan’s voice tailed off. 

The horses snorted gently from across the clearing. Somewhere in the trees a bird was singing. The sunlight was golden and soft as it filtered through the leaves.

Mila was still shaking. Caelan was only a few metres from her now, and his voice was very soft when he spoke again. 

“So what am I supposed to make of that, Mila?” he asked quietly. “What do I do? Do I tell her I know her secret? Do I pretend I don’t? Do I act like nothing’s happened, that nothing’s different?”

She didn’t reply. He took another step forward. “Mila?”

“I… I don’t know,” she said, voice barely a whisper. She closed her eyes to keep her tears from falling. Suddenly she felt like a child again, lost and confused and so, so vulnerable. 

A gentle touch on her arm. She opened her eyes. Caelan stood in front of her, his eyes cautious, but gentle. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly. 

“Don’t be,” she murmured. 

He paused. “It looked…” he stumbled over the words “it looked… so painful… I - ”

Mila ripped her arm away from him. “Don’t you dare pity me,” she snapped. 

Suddenly Caelan’s eyes were cold again. “You know that was one of the first things I noticed about you,” he said coolly. “The fact you were a vampire bounty hunter, but none of your blades were silver. I thought that was odd. I suppose that’s to do with it too?”

“That’s none of your business.” She stepped around him and stalked towards the horses. 

He caught up with her and stepped in front of her. “Actually, it is,” he said. “We’re working together now, if you remember, which was your idea. I’d quite like to know if my partner has any other secrets which will make her want to drug me.”

“I’m sorry about the drugs,” she said hotly. “Seriously, I am. But they wouldn’t have done you any harm in the long run, and - ”

“So you couldn’t have just told me the truth?”

She bristled. “That’s rich, coming from you!” She clenched her fists. “Do you think I haven’t noticed? I know there’s something up with you, and you don’t want to tell me what it is any more than I wanted to tell you about this.”

“You don’t know anything,” he spat. 

“You think you’re so clever, don’t you?” she snarled. “Working out my secret. I could have killed you last night.”

“Oh, trust me, I didn’t hang around to get eaten. I’m not an idiot.”

“Well neither am I.” Her flaming dark eyes met his blue ones. “So whatever your secret is, whatever the hell kind of creature you are, you’d better be careful. I’ll be watching.”

He stepped back, hands up in mock surrender. 

“Don’t worry about it, poppet,” he said, his lips curling up into a smirk. “Remember, I’m just as human as you are.”



© Copyright 2017 Amy R. Beckett. All rights reserved.

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