1807 Words
ELLIOTT Returning from Meredith's house, he felt unnaturally cold. Already being conflicted with his own decisions and what impact would it have on others, especially George, he was also insecure. The dream he had seen and the direction he was walking seemed similar. Deep down, every inch of him was aware of her presence, breathing and existing somewhere nearby. The voices in his head were crystal clear which meant she wasn't gone yet. She had just taken Gabrielle and come back to take someone else. Maybe him, this time. "Elliott!" Meredith called out with a heavy voice. It looked like she had run miles to catch up to him. "What?" Elliott snapped back at her. She stood straight and composed herself before asking something she looked guilty about. "W-what happened to her? Phoenix?" She asked, half-expecting Elliott to not tell her. She looked like she was desperate to know. "She crumbled to ashes. But I highly doubt-" "No. She didn't," Meredith said. "Chanting exorcism isn't something that kills someone. It's used to tame them and strip them off of their powers. If you saw Ashes, she tricked you." Elliott laughed, knowing his premonitions were right. He did the right thing coming to Meredith's doorstep. "Don't get ahead of yourself. I gave you a second chance because I knew she was alive. Now now, if you feel like you want redemption or something, come to the basement tomorrow," Elliott said. He knew he didn't talk that harshly but he couldn't help it. The boiling anger resided everywhere inside. Elliott walked away, expecting her not to follow him anymore. Meredith was left behind with a contradicting look on her face, just slightly ashamed. Now, he just had to make sure of one thing. ~ The lake near the fields of the Amberville was surely considered haunted. It was accepted so because Phoenix's first assault was in the locality of Amberville. A lot of dead bodies were found inside the lake, turning it red. Since then, the lake was always dried up. It had lost the capability to hold water. But the only thing people considered worse than spirits was Phoenix. But she was the only thing that didn't fear Elliott anymore. The more he knew her, the more amusing and humane she got. She was just a mere representation of all humans if they gave in to their gory urges. Everyone had a pent up Asami inside them. Everyone had her voice inside their heads. And it never gets better. He found her sitting on the steps of the lake, alone. She looked safe, unaffected. But Elliott didn't know if he was being delusional or he just noticed her too well, she looked weaker than she was. Her fingers intertwined together but she looked more alert than she was before he stood behind her. Elliott stared at the back of Asami's head with notable hatred and no expectations. He knew he couldn't break through her but he wanted answers. He walked to her and placed himself on the steps beside her. He stared straight ahead at the lake while he felt Asami's eyes on him. He looked down at his hands in hopes of her keeping quiet while he figured out what to do. "You came," she said, with a low pitched voice. It sounded different than what she usually sounded like. No answer. "I didn't think you would," she said. No answer. "I know what you're thinking," she said, "I can read your mind." No answer. But she didn't care. She kept on talking about things that didn't matter to Elliott anymore. He couldn't focus as her words blurred out. "I didn't want you to see me kill someone and-", Asami spoke but she abruptly stopped when Elliott turned to look at her. He met her dark eyes and immediately reached out to hold her hand. He held her frail hand and pulled it towards him. His eyes searched her hand till it reached her forearm. And just as he had seen in his dream, the symbol was carved deep into her skin. She was marked by that symbol just like the child in his dream. Elliott looked up to see her eyes scanning his face. Hesitantly, he let go of her hand and turned back ahead. "Are you affected?" Asami asked. "You killed her, should I not be?" Elliott said, breathing unevenly as he confronted her. "What did you expect?" She said with a cold voice. "I expected you to have a tad bit of humanity," Elliott snapped back, louder. "But I protected you." Her words made him strangely satisfied. "Why?" He replied, instantly. Both of them stared at each other, she was speechless. The kind of speechless that meant words were not required. But Elliott was impatient. He didn't read it enough. "I don't know. Why does it affect you? She wasn't close to you," she said with a puzzled look spread on her face as she faced ahead. Elliott scoffed. "What would a demon who was abandoned by her own mother know?" He said. His words came out harsher than he meant them to be. He felt Asami's spine straighten and her face curve in the slightest hint of shock in a bad way. She blinked a few times, staring ahead of her with her jaws clenched. Elliott never saw her make that face. "Why are you here?" She croaked out. "Why do you think?" "You only come here when you need something," she said. It felt like she was a different person. A person who could feel. A person who can be hurt by mere words. A person who had thin walls. And Elliott was determined to shatter them. "Are you worth anything else?" He let out a forced laugh but it turned out bitter. He didn't have to put any effort into being harsh and he didn't know how to react to himself. "Stop," her voice was slow. "Are my words bothering you?" "Stop." "Is it getting to you?" "I said stop!" Her voice roared and her face met his. Her eyes were burning with rage, bloodshot, but her face looked conflicted and pained. He found himself smiling at how she looked. How she had been tamed by him? He glorified himself at the thought of how he had cracked the walls of her mind. He was amused that he was becoming a voice in her head as well. Elliott reached out and got hold of her face with his fingers. He tilted her face up and pulled her closer to him. "This is exactly what I wanted to see," Elliott said, pointing at the troubled expression on her face. He let go of her at once and stood up. He cleared his throat lightly and closed his eyes for a second. After that, he looked down at Asami, who was still sitting. "I'll join you," Elliott said. "You'll join me?" She raised an eyebrow at him. "Yes, that is, if your offer is still up," he said, faltering a little. He was being impulsive again, which was something Gabrielle had told him not to be. "It is," Asami said, standing up. She moved closer to Elliott's face and set her eyes in place. She held up her hand and placed it gently on his chest. Suddenly, Elliott's heart thumped painfully like it would explode. He winced in pain. "The next time you try this with me, I'll kill you without blinking." That's who she was. A shield, an overworked, strangely deceitful woman who might fall but she knows how to stand back up quicker. That's why she stays alive and people around her fall apart. ~ A demon who was abandoned by her mother was the words Elliott had said to her. It was the theory that he had been constructing out of the dreams he saw about Asami's past. There was always a woman who was trying to hurt a child. There was a child who always sat alone in the corner. But with that child, there were twelve other children who looked like robots, with no emotions. But when Elliott said his theory out loud to Asami, he had seen the look on her face and understood he was going in the right direction. The next morning, Elliott was back in the basement. He had been skipping school for some days which was making him look more like a culprit. As he reached the alley of Spring Market, he saw Meredith standing anxiously. "I told you to go in," Elliott said, walking past her. "I don't know how they'll react," she said. "You're right. Try to refrain from defending yourself, it won't help," Elliott said and Meredith followed him to the building. He swung open the basement door and headed down with Gabrielle. No one inside knew about Meredith's arrival. Elliott noticed Isis was also sitting at the table and participating with the others. "Hey Elliott, you're here-", Isis said but her mouth snapped shut at the sight of Meredith's quivering appearance. All of them rise from their seats and Elliott knew he messed up. "You..", George muttered, speaking for the first time in a while. His eyes looked almost bloodshot with anger and hatred. "Was this your idea, Elliott?" Fred asked, concerned. "We have to give it a try," Elliott tried explaining but he knew it'd still take time. "Try? Are you out of your mind?" Jack snapped at him and he shook his head. "We give you all the freedom you want but this is what you do? You bring a traitor back home?" "No Jack, I-" "Mrs Meredith, you've lost your right to talk between us the moment you decide to leave us stranded," Garry said, coming up. "Let alone Ms Gabrielle, you wouldn't even have cared if we all were dead." "Elliott, she's a murdered. She killed Gabrielle!" Isis yelled out, emotionally. "I'm not!" Meredith immediately replied, clenching the edge of her dress with her nails. "I saved myself from meeting the same fate as Gabrielle." Her words left everyone speechless. They watched her in silence. "To live here, you either hunt preys, be a scavenger or run," she was breathing heavily of guilt and remorse but she resembled having no regrets. "At that moment, I chose myself over anyone else. I didn't want to see you react to my cowardice, so I left the note. That's how I ended up here, alive." They were observant of Meredith. A few of them understood her, a few of them pretending to not. But they all were listening. The one who broke the silence was George. "No matter how far you run, it keeps chasing you. You never outrun it. Someday you have to pay the price," George's stone-cold eyes stared down at Meredith, "that someday.. is now."
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