Copyright © 2014 Izzy Saphira
His arms wrapped around her as he carefully let her down off the roof, and Elsah tried hard not to wince. Her back still stung - blood and platinum and pain still fresh on her body.
Carefully, he steadied her onto the ground, and then jumped off the low roof, landing beside her with a grunt.
His signature smirk played at his lips as he motioned for her to follow him, and then he took off running.
He moved at an abnormally quick pace, Elsah noticed as she followed after Harry. It wasn't like she had a problem with keeping up, because she was inhumanely quick as well, but Harry was fast for just a mere human.
"Having trouble keeping up?" He laughed breathlessly as he continued to press forward.
She shook her head, speaking up when she realized he couldn't see her because he was ahead of her, "not at all."
He flicked his head around, an irresistible smirk on his lips, and one of eyebrows were cocked. "Let's go this way, there's a shortcut to the grocery store."
He ducked into an alleyway, and Elsah followed closely after him, only a few feet behind the running human.
"Grocery store?" She spoke up, drawing her eyebrows together in confusion. "Why are we going? I can't- it's not safe for me."
Her steps slowed, and Harry also ceased his running, turning back to look at her. He took her hand in his, the cool metal of the ring he wore around his middle finger touching her warm skin.
"You'll be safe with me." He assures her, entwining his fingers with hers.
Her unnaturally sensitive ears picked up on his beating heart, and the shallow breaths that left his mouth as he sprinted down the dark alleyway, the rhythm almost calming.
She laughed breathlessly, shaking her head, "I don't know, Harry..."
His movements completely stopped, and he took her other hand as well, holding both of them so that she faced him completely. His smirk no longer played at his lips - his expression serious. His dark green eyes bore into hers, somewhat freezing her under their spell. "Trust me, Elsah."
Elsah blinked once, twice, and then looked away, breaking Harry's dark green gaze.
She hesitated, so Harry spoke up once again. "I'll protect you. You have nothing to worry about."
Finally, because she didn't want to say no, she nodded slowly, agreeing.
"Okay," she breathed, finding it hard to refuse him, "I'll trust you."
"Good," he smiled once again, his serious expression completely dissolved, "let's go?"
"Let's go," she nodded.
The grocery store was more of a little convenience store, worn down and for the most part, abandoned. The fluorescent lights that lit the small store flickered continuously, giving the place a sinister aura. The sound of a bell rang as Harry pushed the door open, and led Elsah inside. His hand was still wrapped tightly around hers, occasionally squeezing it in reassurance.
Goosebumps rose on the Half’s skin, her subconscious uncomfortable with the entire situation. There were so many things that factored into Elsah’s general state of discomfort.
First of all, she never went out shopping publicly during this time of night. It was late, much too late. She barely went shopping publically at all - late or not late. She had human friends for that - it was much safer if they went and brought back her small list of items instead of going herself. That way she wouldn’t run into anyone, or any sort of trouble.
Second, she never ever set foot in this part of town. It was run down, criminals and Blood Dealers and demons lurking about on every corner. It was a disaster waiting to happen.
And third, she barely even knew Harry. She didn’t know why she had agreed to come with him, but she had. It was almost as if she couldn’t say no to him. It was almost as if his words compelled her to believe him, to trust him, even though she had only known him for a short amount of time.
Harry’s attentive emerald eyes immediately noticed Elsah stepping closer to him, minimizing the distance between them. He knew that she was anxious - he could almost feel her heart flutter, and the quick flicking of her eyes back and forth were not something that his observant eyes missed.
“Relax,” he whispered soothingly, pulling her down one of the aisles as he quickly nodded in acknowledgment at the store clerk behind the register.
Elsah nodded at Harry’s request, but did not reply. Her violet eyes remained wary of any possible danger, ready to make a run for it if need be. Harry’s arm slipped around her shoulders, keeping her close to himself; and although Elsah’s initial reaction was embarrassment, she felt much safer this way, so she did not pull away.
He led her to the small refrigerator, pulling open the door and pulling out a small package of deli sliced turkey breast, handing it over to Elsah. He also handed her a small foil-wrapped package of cream cheese, flashing her a quick smirk as he did so.
Quickly, he grabbed a small jar of Spanish olives and made his way over to the back of the store where the bread was located, and picked up a loaf of white bread. Elsah followed behind him silently.
He also picked up a few vegetables, keeping his eyes on Elsah for the most part. He didn't understand why he felt the need to keep her protected, and he felt some sort of sorrow that she couldn't go out and pick up the most essential of necessities - food. He knew why she couldn't be out in public, but he still felt like it was unfair that she had to cage herself away because of who she was and the extra genes that she carried.
Halves were beautiful, and they were rare. They shouldn't have to be ostracized from society and hunted down like they were, he thought to himself as he motioned for Elsah to follow him to the cash register.
"Ready?" The cashier asked from behind the vinyl counter, stand up off his chair.
Harry nodded, "yeah, we are." He sets down the few items on the counter, his eyes scanning over the items he'd chosen.
His eyes widened slightly, his lips parting as the cashier began to ring up the items. "Shit, I forgot to get soda."
He looked down at Elsah, hesitating, "can you go get soda really quick?"
Elsah nodded hesitantly, and quickly rushed off to retrieve a bottle of carbonated drink. Her heart fluttered as she stepped away from Harry, afraid.
She quickly made her way to the refrigerator with the beverages, looking over to keep her eyes on Harry, who was exchanging a few words with the cashier behind the counter. She turned around, sliding the door of the cooler open, her eyes scanning for a bottle of Pepsi.
Once she located a bottle, she grabbed it up in her hands, and turned around to walk back to Harry.
When she reached Harry’s side, he was already pulling out a small wad of bills, counting out the money that would pay for the small amount of items that were already bagged in white plastic bags and sitting on the counter.
Once he counted out the correct amount, he handed the money over to the man behind the cash register and grabbed the three plastic bags in one hand, Elsah’s hand in the other.
“Let’s go?” He flashed her a charming smile, looking back over his shoulder as he pushed open the door of the store.
She nodded, returning his smile.
“See?” He laughed as he stepped out into the warm night, “It wasn’t so bad, was it?”
Elsah shook her head, giving him a sheepish smile. “Yeah.”
“No big, bad monsters out to get you.” He teased, laughing. “Just you, and me. And the store clerk too, I guess, if you count him.”
She shook her head playfully, removing her hand from his so that she could walk quicker. “Naaah, they’re not out to get me,” she teased, poking his side lightly with her finger, “they’re out to get you.”
Abruptly, an arm wrapped around Elsah’s torso, yanking her backwards. She let out a small gasp as her back collided with Harry’s chest, her eyes widening when she heard some of the groceries in his hand fall onto the floor. His other hand came up and around her mouth, keeping her quiet, and for the first time since she had met Harry, she was afraid.
“Shhhhh,” he whispered, his voice low, and stressed. He pulled her backwards from where they were standing, panic in his eyes.
“What’s going on?” Elsah hissed, her heart fluttering in her chest.
“Fucking hell,” he cursed, continuing his movements backwards. “They’re not supposed to be here!” He hissed back at her, pulling her even closer as he continued to take backward steps.
She put a hand to her chest in fear as he continued to pull her away, ignoring her burning back. "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god." Elsah chanted under her breath.
His eyes were bright with fear as he walked backwards, keeping Elsah wrapped in his arms. He quickly darted behind a building, pushing Elsah behind him.
“Pull up the hood on your cloak, tie your hair back and hide it.” He ordered quickly, his head flicking over the side of the building, looking at something in the distance. “And whatever you do, don’t speak.” He warned. “We’ll try to pass them without talking to them.”
“Harry!” she hissed in fear, doing as he said with quick, shaking hands. “I knew this would-”
She was cut off by Harry’s finger to her lips, shushing her as he quickly wrapped an arm around her side, pulling her close against his body. Her heart fluttered in her chest, both a mixture of fear of what was to come and shivers from the proximity of Harry’s body against hers.
“Remember what I said,” he reminded her quietly, and then two dark silhouettes came into view.
Elsah immediately held her breath, and prayed for the best.
As the two cloaked figures neared, Elsah ducked her head down, making sure to not make any sort of eye contact with the two. Harry’s arm was still slung protectively around her waist and she could feel him tense.
Harry and Elsah continued their footsteps in the direction they were already headed, both of them careful as to avoid eye contacting with the approaching couple.
“Well, if it isn’t Harry!” A woman’s voice spoke up, halting Harry’s movements.
“Fuck,” Harry cursed under his breath, and Elsah watched as he rolls his eyes.
Again she cringed at the obscenity of his words, but she remained silent, her eyes on the ground.
“Lilith, Dominus.” Harry greeted the two in a calm, respectful manner. From the corners of Elsah’s eyes behind the hood of her cloak, she could see that the woman had rich, black hair that contrasted with her snow-white skin. She wore simple ripped, faded jeans, and loose, graphite-gray crop top. Her eyes were black, the color of charcoal - the eyes of a demon.
The man, whom Harry had greeted as Dominus, also had a dark aura about him. He wore a black leather jacket even though the night was warm, and dark jeans. His hair was a almond brown color, and light stubble covered his hard jaw, attractive even for a demon. However, his eyes, much like the woman’s, were also charcoal black - black as the night.
“How many times have I told you to call me Liam?” Dominus spoke slowly, annoyed. “You remember everything, except to call me Liam. Really, Harry.”
“Right. Sorry,” Harry apologized, shaking his head.
“You humans are fucking stupid, really. It’s not that hard to remember his human name. Liam. Simple.” Lilith laughed shrilly, throwing her head back as she did so. “You should find better friends, like us Harry. Maybe you’ll learn a little, and stop being so dumb.”
Harry forced a laugh, but it was fake. “Yeah, sure, sure. I’m friends with Louis.”
Dominus-Liam let out a snort, “that boy is more human than he is demon.” He scrunched his nose up in distaste in regards to the amiable demon.
Harry shrugged, obviously uncomfortable by the entire situation. “Whatever you say, Liam. I’m going to get going, yeah? It was nice seeing you, Lilith, Liam.”
“Oh, so soon?” Lilith sneered, “what about your friend? You haven’t introduced her!” She faked interest with a high voice.
Elsah’s heart stopped in fear, dreading what was to come.
Harry bit down on the inside of his cheek, irritated by Lilith’s raucous voice. He took a step in the direction he was going in, pausing for a second to answer. “We really need to get going-”
Liam’s dark eyes narrowed suspiciously, interrupting Harry, “How rude of you, Harry. You aren’t even going to introduce the girl?”
“Elaine,” Harry lied through his teeth, “her name is Elaine. Now, we seriously have to go, or we’re going to be late for-”
With a swift motion, Liam reached over, pulling down the hood that veiled Elsah’s identity, and took a step back. His eyes narrowed again, as did Lilith’s, taking in the beauty of the Half’s unmasked face.
“Ahhh, Harry,” Liam smiled sinisterly, “you’ve found yourself a Half?”
Elsah could feel her heart drop, her stomach flipping in fear. This was not how it was supposed to go, this can’t be happening, I shouldn’t have listened to Harry. Oh god, dear god, please don’t let them do anything…
Harry stepped in front of Elsah defensively, his rich green eyes fiery with anger. “That’s none of your business - we’re leaving, now.”
“Awhh,” the female demon faked sadness, her tone sarcastic, “but I could use a few more lady friends!”
At that, Liam laughed, his chuckle frighteningly calm.
His laugh made goosebumps rise on Elsah’s skin, and she shivered.
Liam’s hand came up and grabbed her shoulder, making Elsah flinch, and cringe backwards into Harry.
“Now, Elaine,” the demon spoke slowly, “you’ve really found yourself in the wrong part of town, for your kind.”
Elsah didn’t reply to him, keeping her eyes on the ground, cringing away from his touch.
“You’re lucky you only bumped into us, Elaine,” he continued. “Had you bumped into someone else, they probably wouldn’t give a second thought to selling you over to a Blood Dealer.”
“But Lilith and I will let you go, for a small price,” the corner of Liam’s lip pulls up into a smirk, his eyes flicking back towards the female demon that accompanied him.
“No, please,” Elsah begged, knowing exactly what they’d ask for. She felt like throwing up, the fear so heavy in her stomach.
Liam’s other hand dug in the pocket of his leather jacket, fishing for something, before producing a small, glass vial.
Harry pulled Elsah’s arm to pull her away, but Liam’s hold on her shoulder was firm.
“I always have these little things, they come in handy,” he mused, playing with the vial in between his fingertips.
He held it up in between his thumb and index finger. “I want eight ounces.”
“No,” Harry growled, stepping in between Elsah and Liam, “you’re not taking anything from her.”
“You’re lucky I’m not asking for a pint of blood,” he ignored Harry’s protests, stepping closer to Elsah so that he towered over her.
“He’s right, little girl,” Lilith chides from behind him.
“No, please!” She pleaded desperately, tears falling from her amethyst eyes. “Please, let me go!”
“Liam!” Harry shouted angrily. “Let us go, I’ll pay you later!”
“Why should I?” He laughed sinisterly, shaking his head.
“Show a little mercy, Liam,” Harry begged, praying that Liam might actually listen to him. But Harry knew, out of all people, that mercy was not in Liam’s nature, and that he was impatient when it came to getting what he wanted.
So it surprised him when Liam finally let go of Elsah, and nodded. “Alright, Harry, I’ll let you and your little friend Elaine go.”
Harry’s eyes narrowed, knowing that this was too easy.
“On one condition, though,” Liam said.
Harry bit his lip, bracing himself for Liam’s request. No, not request - they were more like orders.
“I want four times as much. Thirty-two ounces. You’ve got a two weeks to get me it, or you can say goodbye to your precious little friend.”
“But-” Harry protested, outraged by the ridiculous amount he’d asked for.
“Sixty-four, then.” Liam grinned evilly, placing the small vial back in his pocket. “Keep talking, and I’ll double it again.”
Harry bit his lip, angered by the sheer audacity Liam had. But Harry knew he couldn’t refuse, because by Liam’s nature, he was cruel, and that it meant an innocent life would be wasted.
“Fine,” Harry said begrudgingly, “sixty-four ounces. But I need more time.”
Liam looked to Lilith, and then back to Harry. “Two weeks is plenty of time. You can always ask for help from your lady friend right here.”
Liam placed his hands in the pockets of his leather jacket, and motioned for Lilith to follow him. “Anyways, Harry, Elaine. You two have a wonderful night.”
As the took a few steps to leave into the dark, he lowered his lips near Elsah’s ear, whispering to her a simple piece of ironic advice, “you should be careful around here; people aren’t who they make themselves out to be.”
When the two finally disappeared into the dark of the night, Harry grabbed Elsah’s hand roughly, angered. “Let’s go. Those fucking demons.”
She remained silent as Harry led her back to the apartment on the other side of town, tears running down her face as she desperately tried not to puke.