Copyright © 2014 Izzy Saphira
Elsah laid on the bed, her eyes slowly falling shut as she listened to the calming susurration of the downpour of water. Harry had taken to showering after she’d injected him with the last two ounces of her blood from the refrigerator, in attempt to cool his body down.
They’d come to the agreement that Elsah would not withdraw any more blood from herself, unless the two ounces that she’d given him wouldn’t be enough.
So she tried to remain awake, exhausted from the events of today, wanting to make sure that Harry would be okay when he emerged from the bathroom.
However, her body was exhausted, and so she couldn’t fight off sleep when it claimed her.
When she awoke the next morning, the apartment was once again, empty. There was no Harry - he had disappeared.
But he did leave a note next to Elsah’s pillow.
Elsah, dear, I’ve left to go sort out some of the mess we’ve encountered yesterday. Please don’t worry about it, and I’m feeling much better now than I did last night. Don’t stay up for me tonight, I’ll be gone late. I’ve left you a little something on the table, enjoy. x
Elsah carefully folded the piece of paper, neatly so that the lines creased all the way. That was how she did things - everything with perfection and meticulousness. Leaning over the side of the bed, she stood up, and made the bed, smoothing out the wrinkles in the duvet. Once she’d done that, she headed to her closet, to change out of the jeans she’d fell asleep in, into something more comfortable.
Elsah opted for her favorite pair of black cotton shorts, and a black cotton tank top, slipping them on quickly before heading to the small dining room table to see what Harry had left for her.
Still warm on the plate were scrambled eggs, along with toast smothered with jam. She smiled appreciatively as she sat down to eat the food he’d left for her, reminding herself to thank him later.
She ate in silence, contemplating over the events that had happened yesterday. The demon’s words, demanding the ridiculous amount of blood kept running through her mind, playing over and over again.
Just as she took another bite out of the delicious berry jam toast, a loud knock sounded at the door, startling Elsah.
Standing up quickly, and rushing to the door, she glanced through the peephole, before she let out a relieved breath and opened it.
“Zayn!” She jumped into his arms, smiling wide at her raven-haired friend. “How are you? I’ve missed you so much!”
He laughed, adjusting his dark rimmed glasses, and hugged her back. “M’doing fine! How about you, you little angel?”
“Just great,” she pulled away, grinning at him, “Come in, come in!”
He wore a dark green t-shirt, and a pair of faded jeans, with a backpack over his shoulders. His hair was mussed back messily, the way he normally wore his hair.
Following Elsah back into the small apartment, he stuck his nose in the air, sniffing in an overly-exaggerated manner. “What’s that I smell? Food?”
“Oh!” Elsah suddenly remembered, “Harry made me breakfast, come have some!”
As she lead him back to the dining table, his hand came up to adjust his glasses once again - a habit of his. He set down his backpack on one of the couches as he walked past them behind Elsah, following her. “Who’s Harry?” he asked curiously.
She pulled out one of the chairs at the table, motioning for Zayn to take a seat. “I’ve made another human friend!” She spoke animatedly, excited, “so now I have two human friends - you and him!”
“Ellie…” Zayn frowned, scrunching up his dark eyebrows, “are you sure you can trust him? You have to be careful…”
“Yes, Zayn,” she rolled her eyes playfully, knowing that Zayn was only worried for her own well being, “I’m fine. He’s a human, he won’t do any harm.” She assured him.
Zayn crossed his arms, raising his eyebrows at her. “He could always say something. Even accidentally, he could give you away.”
“No, no,” she shook her head, heading to the kitchen to fill Zayn a glass of water, “I don’t think so.”
When she returned with his glass of water, she handed it to him, and he took it from her gratefully, thanking her quickly.
“What do you mean, El?” The frown was still prominent on his lips, worry etched on his face.
She sat down on the chair, propping her elbows up on the table and resting her chin in her hands. “He’s just - different. I don’t know, I just feel it.”
Zayn’s lips parted in surprise, one of his eyebrows cocking upwards before he broke out into an accusing laugh, “Oh my god, El, please do not tell me you like him?”
Elsah’s refusal to reply only confirmed Zayn’s suspicions, and then he was laughing even harder. “El, I have literally been gone to university for only one week, and you’ve already managed to fall in love with a human?”
She playfully smacked his arm, rolling her eyes. “No, I have not fallen in love, Zayn. There’s a difference. I just have a tiny little...crush...on him.”
Zayn ran his hands through his hair, mocking horror. “How could you, El? After all that we’ve been through? You haven’t even told me? The least you could do for your best friend is to tell him who you’re crushing over!”
Elsah laughed, shaking her head. “You’ve been gone only for a week, and I just met him a few days ago! It’s nothing serious!”
“I have to approve this dude for you before you even think about seeing him.” He joked. “What’s his name again? Henry?”
“No,” she let out a soft laugh, “it’s Harry.”
“Sounds like trouble to me,” He continued to joke, picking up his fork to bite from the scrambled eggs that Elsah had set in front of him. “Do you think he likes you back?” He added, more seriously this time.
“Well…” she trailed off, a smug smile on her lips.
“Tell me.” Zayn deadpanned, knowing that tone of voice. He knew she was hiding something from him - he’d known her for too long, and immediately would know if she was holding back a secret. He had learned to read her emotions and facial expressions, and he’d been able to guess her secrets - and maybe that’s why she trusted him so much.
“He may or may not have kissed me,” she admitted bashfully, blood rising to her cheeks.
“What?” Zayn burst out, jumping up off the chair. “Oh my god, El, I’m going to kill you for not telling me earlier! What in the world? I’m off to Uni for merely a week and all of this happens?” He mocked a face of hurt, but even Elsah knew he was messing around.
“Zayn! Relax, it was just a few kisses-
“A few? Holy shit, my best friend is growing up!” He laughed, but ceased his laughter when he noticed Elsah’s cringe at his profanity.
“Ahh, sorry,” Zayn apologized, “I forgot.”
The truth was that Zayn, much like Elsah, was very considerate when it came to people’s preferences around him. He knew, and understood that Elsah was not one to curse, nor was she used to hearing it, so he made it an effort to filter his words before he spoke.
“It’s okay,” Elsah smiled, “don’t worry about it. Anyways, what have you been up to in this first week back to University?”
At this, his eyes widened in excitement, and he plunged into the details of his first week back, completely distracted from the topic of Harry, “Oh my god, the professors are legit crazy - organic chemistry is already killing me, and it’s only been a week of class. I honestly didn’t think a major in genetic engineering would be this hard - most sciences always come natural to me.” He explained, animated as he talked about his studies.
Zayn had always been passionate when it came to education and science, and although Elsah could not go to University, she loved hearing Zayn speak about it. He would go off to University for a couple of weeks, and then he’d sometimes come back and visit during the weekends. He’d always come back during the breaks, spending every last moment with Elsah, researching and reading through his textbooks, and online in various databases. He was passionate about his studies, taking a great interest in genetics and engineering, especially after meeting Elsah years ago, and witnessing the injustice angels and Halves had to go through. He wanted to make a change in the field, so that no more humans could be engineered into Halves and angels and then ostracized from society.
“So anyways, we’ve already organized a small study group for O-Chem. There’s this one chick that joined the study group - her name is Seraphina - and my god, she’s so hot. We didn’t last a week without fucki -sorry, I mean screwing - each other. She invited me over to her dorm to study while her roommate was out, and it kind of just happened.” He grinned.
At this, Elsah let out a playful gasp, laughing, “And you have the audacity to tell me off for kissing a man while you were off doing that?”
“Oops?” He chuckled, shaking his head. “Anyways, it’s kind of awkward now between us…” He stood up from the chair he was seated at, picking up the plate that he’d finished. He walked over to the kitchen, placing it in the sink before returning back to the table.
“Why?” Elsah asked as she stood up, motioning for Zayn to follow her to the couches in the living room.
When they plopped down on the couch next to each other, Elsah kicked her legs over Zayn’s lap, leaning back onto the arm of the couch.
He hesitated to answer her for a second, “I don’t know.”
“Well, do you want more from her?”
“If you’re asking whether or not I’d bang her again, then yes but-”
“No, you idiot,” she smacked him teasingly, rolling her eyes, “I know you would. I’m asking if you want some kind of a relationship with her.”
“Well, I would have…” he started, scrunching up his nose, “but I found out she’s half-demon.”
“Are you serious?” Elsah’s eyes widened in shock.
“Dead serious,” Zayn nodded, and the shook his head, chuckling. “How ironic is her name though? That she’s named basically after the angels, but she’s half demon? Seraphina. Hah.”
Elsah nodded, realizing that indeed, the name was truly ironic.
“That reminds me - I’m taking this class - Advanced Modern Genetics, and it basically goes in depth of everything to do with how angels and demons are engineered, and their differences. It’s going to be such an exciting class, honestly, and I can’t wait to understand it all. It drives me crazy not knowing - and I want to be able to tell you all that so that we can figure out why all of this happens.” Zayn spoke, shifting on the couch.
That’s the thing about the corrupted society they lived in - everyone understood that angels and Halves and demons were different, but not many knew how they were different, and what made them that way. But Zayn, being the curious person he’d always been, was determined to find out. Not only for himself, but for Elsah as well.
“El, come here,” he pushed Elsah’s feet off his lap, and pulled her by the arms, switching her position so that her head was resting on Zayn’s lap, and her feet were kicked up on the arm of the couch. “There, now I can look down and see your beautiful face, and everything that’s inside your nostrils when you look up at me to talk.”
“Zayn!” She shoved him away, laughing. “You’re disgusting!”
He laughed as well, loving the way that he could freely joke with Elsah, without having to worry about her being offended. “But you love me, so it doesn’t matter.”
Elsah shook her head, rolling her eyes before finally relaxing her head back onto Zayn’s lap. “Anyways, we were talking about your little problem, with Miss Half Demon. What are you going to do about it?”
“Well, I’m definitely not going to date her, or have anything to do with her, for that matter. I didn’t know she was half demon until the next morning. I didn’t pay much attention to her eyes - I should’ve noticed that they were gray. And then I guess I should have realized that during that night, because she had quite a stamina - “
“Okay, okay I don’t want to know!” Elsah cut him off, laughing even harder. “Just tell me what you’re going to do about it.”
Zayn joined her laughter as well, his chuckles deep and throaty, pleasant. He took her platinum hair between his fingers, running them through it the way he knew she loved, before answering her. “I’m not going to do anything,” he said truthfully. “she’s half-demon. I won’t hook up or have anything to do with a demon, especially because I know what they’ve done to your kind.”
“But it’s not every demon’s fault.” Elsah frowned, “just the majority of them.”
“Still,” Zayn shook his head. “But who would’ve guessed, a half demon studying organic chemistry? I wonder what she plans to do with that. Well, I guess the study group is going to be pretty awkward from now and on. She made it clear that she’s still interested, but I’ve turned her down.”
“Oh,” Elsah frowned.
“But anyways, speaking of how I met Seraphina, how did you meet this Harry guy?”
Elsah let out a long breath, closing her amethyst eyes. “That’s a long story.”
“I’ve got time - in fact, I’ve got the entire weekend with you.” He smiled.
Elsah shot up, her eyes widened in surprise. “Really? You’re staying?”
“The entire weekend! I leave Sunday night though, to head back to Uni.” Zayn answered, his fingers still in Elsah’s hair.
“That’s perfect! I’ve missed you all week!” Elsah hugged him, and then pulled back, “do you plan to visit your mother?”
At this, Zayn frowned. “No. We’re still not talking.”
Elsah frowned as well, and then hugged Zayn once again, in attempt to comfort him. “She’ll come around, Zayn, and realize that it’s your life and that she can’t control what you study. Just give her some time, trust me.”
“Yeah, yeah. Let’s talk about something else, yeah? This Harry of yours? How’d you meet?”
“He’s not mine,” Elsah rolled her eyes playfully again, for what seemed to be the hundredth time. “It was so weird how I met him. He was dying.”
“What?” Zayn gave her a look of confusion.
“Yeah,” she started, “and that’s the thing I can’t figure out. I found him in an alleyway after Blood Dealers had attacked and cut him open, and left him to bleed to death, and I brought him back to save him. I couldn’t leave him to die.”
“El!” Zayn shouted suddenly, fire in his eyes, “You were sneaking around Blood Dealers? Oh my god, are you trying to get yourself killed? What the heck?”
“They were attacking him - and he wasn’t an angel or something - I was so confused, and worried! He’s just a human, I had to help him! I knew my blood could help him, so once the Dealers left, I dragged him back here.”
“El - I don’t care if he was dying, you could have gotten yourself killed as well! What were you thinking? I can’t even think what I’d do if I found out you’d gotten yourself murdered! Haven’t you learned any lessons from your past?”
Elsah grimaced, painful memories flooding her mind. “Please don’t bring that up.” Her voice came out soft, low.
“Sorry,” he apologized immediately, “but still, El, you need to be more careful! What happened after that?”
“I gave him some of my blood - he was unconscious.” Elsah squeaked, dreading what Zayn’s reaction would be. Zayn was very protective of her, and she knew he would hate that she sacrificed a bit of herself to help others. But she couldn’t help it - it was in her nature, and she couldn’t just let that man die in the alleyway while she could do something about it. That would guilt her forever.
When he didn’t say anything, Elsah grimaced. “Zayn, are you mad at me? Please don’t be mad.”
“Yeah, I’m mad, El. You always end up putting everyone’s needs before yours. Why don’t you ever think of yourself, first? Why don’t you consider the fact that you could get hurt? Not everyone is worth saving, El. And besides, you don’t want to get too close to anyone - you might blow your cover. You have to be careful, please.”
Elsah sighed, nodding her head, “I know, I know, but I felt bad…”
Zayn sighed as well, “just go on. Sorry for interrupting you.”
“It’s okay.” Elsah accepted his apology, and then moved on. “Anyways, I brought him back here, and he keeps getting sick. It’s a weird sickness, like, he just gets super high fevers and he keeps throwing up. And nothing helps except for my blood.”
“Of course your blood helps him, but have you tried anything else before you decided that giving him more of your blood was a good idea?”
“Damp towels?” Elsah offered, her voice just barely a squeak.
Zayn shook his head, “that’s it?”
“He was dying!” Elsah defended, “I didn’t have another choice!”
“But anyways,” she continued before Zayn could tell her off again, “he gets better every time I give him more blood, but I think when it wears off, he gets sick again. It’s the strangest thing, and I just really want him to be better! Do you think you could probably look up what’s going on when you go back to Uni this week? And let me know?”
“Yeah, sure,” Zayn immediately nodded, “I’ll do that for you. Maybe he could have been infected with some kind of pathogen when he was cut open by the Blood Dealers. He could’ve caught something with that many wounds open and exposed.”
“I don’t know,” Elsah sighed, resting her head back into Zayn’s lap again.
“Where is Harry, now, anyway? Where does he live?”
Again, Elsah answered with a “I don’t know.”
Zayn narrowed his eyes in suspicion, confused. “What do you mean, you don’t know?”
“He’s been staying here, with me, every night since I brought him here.” Elsah answered calmly. “I didn’t even think to ask him where he normally stays. Is that weird?”
Zayn shook his head, “El, I don’t even know what to do with you anymore. You know nothing about him, but yet you somehow trust him? This seems really shady to me.”
“He wouldn’t hurt me - he’s really sweet.” She defended him.
“You don’t know him,” Zayn raised an eyebrow, “you just admitted that you didn’t.”
Elsah frowned, knowing that Zayn was right. “Okay, fine. I don’t know much about him. But he’s coming back here late tonight. You’ll meet him - you’ll see, he really isn’t any harm. And I really like him, okay?”
“Just because you like someone, doesn’t necessarily mean you can trust them.” Zayn said chastisingly.
But he knew that he would finally meet this Harry guy tonight, and that put Zayn a bit at ease. He didn’t like the fact that Elsah was become close to a person he didn’t know - he wanted to make sure Elsah was safe - and this would be the perfect chance to get to know they guy who had somehow caught Elsah’s eye.
So Zayn let it go for now, and decided to change the topic, for Elsah’s sake. “So, do you want to see my textbooks Advanced Modern Genetics? I have a feeling you’ll like them.”
“Yes!” Elsah replied excitedly, sitting up, “show me them!”
“Alright,” Zayn chuckled, grabbing his backpack from the other couch, and bringing it back to where they sat. “I have to read the first unit of chapters on the history of modern genetics by Monday - you’re going to read them with me.”
And although this may have been unappealing to someone else, Elsah was different. The mere fact that she couldn’t ever attend University because of who she was, made the idea of a higher education sound much more appealing. She dreamed of the idea to be able to hold textbooks in her hands, walking from lecture to lecture, studying late at night - even homework and essays she wanted to do.
But that was a distant fantasy for her - something that she could and would never be able to do - and that’s why Zayn made it his duty to teach her as much as he could during his free time, so that she could get a taste of the education he was privileged to take.
So Zayn pulled out one of his textbooks out of his backpack, threw his arm around Elsah on the couch, adjusted his glasses, and flipped the book open to the first section of his required reading assignment.