We were about five towns away from Jackson now and the sound of silence was overwhelming. Anabel was looking out the window, again looking for anything that may be after me, and Ryan was driving, scouring the road as we moved. No one spoke.
‘So’ I began. ‘What is Everon?’ I sat up so that my head was in the middle of them, clear view incase of any glances being exchanged.
Ryan sighed. ‘Everon is a place where you will be safe’ he said with finality. That wasn’t going to stop me from finding out where I was being taken. Anabel sighed too.
‘Everon is a place where Angels and Demons can live amongst each other and live in peace. It is home to many more ‘mystical beings’ as you may call them. It has many places where we can hide you and will be one of the last places anyone will think to look for you’
Okay...They must have seen my confusion; Anabel laughed to herself and Ryan shot her a glance. ‘What? he would only annoy us anyway!’ She defended.
‘We need to ditch this car’ Ryan said, changing the subject. Not what I was thinking, I wanted to know about Everon, but it looked like that was all I was going to get. And I was freezing, the window that Anabel had broken was driving me insane.
‘Yeah, find somewhere to stop and I’ll get us a new car.’ Anabel said. She didn't ask it, it was almost an order but the amount of respect in it suggested otherwise.
‘would it be totally out of the question for us to get a motel room? with a bed?’ I asked half asleep, curled underneath Ryan’s jacket he had given to be a few towns back.
‘We’ll stop at the next one we see. You can get some rest then.’ he looked at me through the rear view mirror and smiled.
It was another hour before a motel appeared that we could actually use. Not too close, but near enough to a town that Anabel could get us a car from.
We pulled in and got out of the car, relieved that there wouldn’t be any more cold air shoved into my face.
Anabel once again looked around but all I could see was darkness. Anabel laughed to herself.
‘Oh look, death.’ she looked around and smiled.
‘What’ I asked, looking at her with disgust. Ryan put his hand on my shoulder and smiled at me. ‘Demons can see death.’ like it was normal...no way was it normal.
We walked into the motel to be greeted by a rather large man behind a desk who couldn’t look more bored if he tried. All three of us walked in and he said ‘Two rooms?’ Ryan tilted his head to the side. ‘No’ looking at me and Anabel ‘One room will suffice’ LIke it were obvious.
The man shook his head. ‘No. We don’t take any funny business here’ looking at Anabel who walked over to the desk and said ‘Fine. Two rooms’ the man looked back down to his computer, pushed a few keys and then chicked two room keys onto the desk that separated us from them.
Anabel snatched the keys off the counter and walked away.Ryan and I followed.
We reached our rooms, Ryan and I were together leaving Anabel on her own, which was a relief. Given the choice between and Angel and a Demon..I would choose an Angel to bunk with. I looked down and saw a pool, Ryan looked too. ‘Maybe you should go for a swim. clear your head’ he looked at me and smiled. How would a swim about in a dirty pool help me?
‘No, I don’t think so’ I said. ‘Jack’ Anabel interjected. ‘It will help’ he made eye contact with me, somthing I couldn’t break. I nodded. ‘Okay’
I dove into the pool, Ryan was sitting on the balcony where our room was, watching over me. He was smiling. The water was surprisingly warm. I looked down to see the state of the floor but it looked clean. The water seemed clean and fresh, like it had fallen straight from a mountain. It wrapped around my body, enveloping me, consuming me into a state of amazing comfort and relaxation. I wasn’t worried about what I had to do any more, I didn't even want to think about it. I just closed my eyes and gave into peace.
Ryan watched as I fell into a sleep in the pool, a sleep that he controlled. It was like my own little sample of heaven. He smiled as he watched, leaning back on the wall as he sat on the stone floor. He heard footsteps and turned to see Anabel walking towards him, he then returned his gaze to me.
‘Everything go alright?’ he asked as she stood above him.
‘Swimmingly’ she said, dropping the keys on his lap. ‘Its an old piece of crap but it will do’
‘Did you steal it?’ Ryan asked in a dull, dead tone, like he already knew the answer. Anabel laughed.
‘No. I paid for it’ She chirped back, she was about to go into her room when Ryan asked her
‘What did he mean?’ His voice was slightly quieter than it was before. Anabel froze.
‘what?’ she sounded angry. Ryan looked up at her.
‘The fallen angel? He said something about you in the recent war? what was he talking about?’ Despite Anabel’s hit of anger, he sounded respectful and quiet.
‘Why?’ she asked still looking down on him.
‘Because. I was there’ A hint of pain flashed into his eyes as he spoke. He stood up and met her face to face. He rolled up the sleeve of his pale blue hoodie that complimented his light and pale skin. When he rolled it up, he revealed a series of scratches around his bicep in a circular like paters, going around his arm. They looked healed, but barely. There was still inflammation and redness around them. Anabel jumped back and hit the door. She fumbled for her key and opened the door. She walked over to the bed and stood above it, holding her head in her hands. She yelled with frustration, releasing it from her body and into the world.
She brought her hands back to her sides and sighed, looking outside the window. She stormed over to the door and flung it open, it hit the wall as it did. Once she was outside, Ryan was standing there looking at her, like she knew she would return. She stood before him.
‘what?’ she demanded. Ryan only looked at her with concern. His arms were crossed over his chest, almost defensive like he knew that she was angered by his knowledge.
‘What?’ when he didn't answer. His eyebrows rose.
‘I know who you are.’ he said like it was an achievement. She froze. After a few seconds of the silence between them, she looked over the balcony to check on me, she watched me swim about freely. She sighed.
‘Anabel, I know what you did’ She looked at him, filled with anger. He eyes were filling with tears, but she composed herself and a few deep breaths later, she said ‘Why do you care?’ she snapped. Ryan sighed.
‘You are not as demonic as the rest of them’ with understanding in his eyes.
‘You don’t know anything about me’ she hissed and walked to the balcony, watching me once again. Ryan walked over to her and leaned on the railings.
‘Yeah, I do’ he said quietly. This scared Anabel, no one knew her, that is how she liked it. She remained silent.
‘I was there’ Ryan said in a deeper tone of voice as he adjusted himself. Anabel looked at him and froze. That was the first time she had looked at him without resentment, the first time she had looked him in the eye. Ryan looked scared as he recalled what happened.
‘I was a member of a group, it didn't have a name, we were just sent out to kill demons.’ he began and Anabel listened to his story.
‘We were ambushed by a group of demons in the desert. They killed most of us, there were only twenty of us left. We were taken as hostages.’ Ryan looked scared, worried, but Anabel continued to listen, regardless of what she saw in his face.
‘We were all scared, unknowing what was going to happen, but we had a pretty good idea. We were taken to a cave and we were pushed onto a wall, we couldn’t move, some form of demonic power I guess.’ He looked down at his hands and twisted a ring on his index finger. It was silver, dull, old.
‘They called for someone but another demon came instead, they told our captors something which angered them. They stormed off leaving just a few demons to guard us.’ Anabel sighed and looked to me, shaking her head.
‘It was you.’ he said simply but her gaze didn’t return to Ryan, it remained on me.
‘When they were gone, you released us from the wall and told us to run. You told us the safest route and you told us to run while you distracted the guards.’ he said it in a harsh manner like he wanted her to know that it was him and he knew it and she needed to face it.
‘Yeah?’ Anabel snapped as she turned back to him. ‘So what?’ she demanded.
‘Why did you do it?’ he demanded back standing up and relieving the railing of his weight. His hands dropped to his sides, tensed.
‘Why do you care? You are alive, don’t question it.’ Anabel stormed off into her room and slammed the door behind her.
Ryan screamed out in frustration which didn’t catch my attention as much as the pool did. The water turned icey, the floor was covered in dirt, old plasters and it turned a weird brown colour. I swam to the side as fast as I could and ran straight to the room. I burst through the door and hit the shower, passing Ryan who was stretched out on the bed watching TV. He watched me run but just laughed.
‘Yeah, sorry Jack. My attention got lost.’ I heard the smile in his voice.
I peared my head around the corner of the shower. ‘That was you? I was swimming in crap the entire time?’ I shouted.
‘No, it was what everything you saw but I forgot about it. Just shower, alright?’ now he seemed upset. What had they been talking about on the balcony? Anyway. I got into the shower and felt the dirt was off, to be honest I felt everything else was off too. The worries, the pressure, the mystery of where I was being taken...I didn't want to think about it, so I didn’t. I let my mind wander freely like I always did when I was stressed or upset. It was my escape.
I saw a bright light, white and iridescent. Beautiful. Then I saw darkness, pain and agony. They were fighting. There was a soldier made of the white light, he had a sword and he was fighting a knight made of complete darkness. They were surrounded by red, a dull and depressing red that went on forever. Blood. The knight and the soldier were fighting, sword fighting each other and neither was winning, they were both injuring each other.
Their swords collided one more time and then I was returned to reality.
I was in the shower, the water was burning my skin, I turned it off and jumped out, I knew what I had just seen. I jumped into my clothes and ran to Ryan, panicked and out of breath. He looked at me immediately and sprung off the bed. ‘I saw it, the end’ half in a daze and half trying to focus. Ryan looked shocked and immediately started to think.
‘Ryan?’ he just held up his hand to silence me. I looked around.
Several banging sounds came from next door, Anabel’s room. Ryan ran to the door.
‘Anabel!’ he yelled, running into her room, to find a man standing there, a man Ryan immediately identified as a demon. Anabel was thrown across the room and into the wall, groaning as she fell to the floor. The man turned to Ryan and tried to punch him in the face, but Ryan defended himself, blocking him and hitting him instead. The man was thrown to the floor but jumped up as soon as he could, tackling Ryan to the floor and climbing on top of him. Anabel shot up and ran over, grabbing the man by the neck and tearing him off Ryan. She threw him to the floor.
‘Who are you?’ Anabel demanded as she made sure he stayed down by jumping on his ankle and breaking it. The man cried out and tried to grab her, but with a simple step away, she was out of his reach. He laid back on the floor and swore.
Ryan joined Anabel and looked at her, seeing the extent of her wounds, he said ‘Maybe you should go wait outside.’ Anabel didn't even look at him.
‘I’m fine’ she snapped back, she clearly wasn’t but didn’t want to admit it. Ryan looked back at the man.
‘She asked you a question’ He hissed at him.
‘I’m here for the scribe, what do you think’ the man had a deep voice that shocked me, making me wait outside.
‘tough’ Anabel remarked. ‘You can’t have him, so well done for wasting what little of a life you have’ She turned her back to walk away, but..
‘Oh sister, not as pathetic of a life that you live’ He grinned and Anabel froze.
She turned around and said ‘I am not your sister. I think I made that quite clear’
‘Have you heard the bounty that is on your head? Salvah really wants to see you again.’ Anabel laughed. The man looked at me and Ryan. ‘You disgrace us. You betray us and you help a demon and an angel?’ he looked at Ryan ‘Is she as good in the sack as she used to be?’ and smiled. Ryan’s face turned sour. He ran over to him and gripped him by the neckl, picking him up. Ryan said nothing as he held him, but his hand started to glow and the man began to scream, move, try to get away from Ryan, but he didn’t allow it. He gripped harder and then the man flopped down and he saw still, and he was silent.
He turned around and looked at me and then Anabel. ‘We’re leaving.’ in a deep voice.
‘Good call’ I said as I ran into my room and once again, packed up my things and walked out the door. Ryan turned to Anabel, bruised and bleeding.
‘I want to know why you saved me because it matters to me’ and then he stormed out of the door and into the room.