Iris Hale: HUNTER *NaNoWriMo Draft 2016*

*NaNoWriMo 2016*/
Periliares are a crafty bunch. You might know them as 'demons'. They hate that word. The idea that all of them are evil is idiotic. The same way all humans aren't evil, not all periliares are evil. Just top of the food chain. And a lot of them have superiority complexes. That's where I come in. Most of them view themselves as gods, which is fine, whatever. But the second they think they can kill more than their fill, I have an issue.
My name is Iris Hale, and I'm a hunter.
/©Molly Looby

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21. Twenty-One

We planned for Corey to come over to my house after school as Sylvie would be suspicious of me going to a boy’s house. Not because he was a boy, just because she’d never heard of him. She would sure as hell think I was going hunting. So the only option was my house, then at least Sylvie could see I wasn’t making him up.

Corey’s dad said it was fine for Corey to come over for dinner at my house, and Sylvie was more than accommodating. The hardest part was dealing with Erin on the bus.

When Corey appeared at our lockers at the end of the day, Erin’s eyes got too wide again, and she kept looking at me like she wanted to ask what the hell was going on but was too afraid.

“Corey’s coming to dinner at my house,” I said as we exited the building. “You can stop giving me that look now.”

“Why?” was all she could manage.

“Maybe because we’re friends.”

She hitched her bag up. “You two are friends now?”

Corey grinned at her. “Of course we are.”

I paid for Corey who didn’t have a bus pass living in Rookhill itself, and he had to duck when we went up to the top where we normally sat. I had to stoop a little bit, but he had to full on bend over.

Erin sat in our usual seat but budged herself up to the window, which wasn’t usual. She never wanted to come into contact with anything as filthy as the bus windows. Well, that’s what she’d told me once.

I motioned for Corey to sit next to her, and Erin’s face was priceless. I slid into the bench in front of them before the annoying year seven girls who sat there could get to them and turned round to face them.

“Well, isn’t this nice,” I said. I couldn’t help myself, I shot Erin a big smile.

“Lovely,” she forced out.

The year sevens baulked as they saw me sitting in their seat and looked at each other, muttering. They came to the conclusion that they were going to have to sit somewhere else and gave me the evils as they went to sit nearer the back and the rowdy lot Fionn hung around with. I was sure if it was anyone else sitting here they would’ve contested it, but as it was me, they didn’t bother. They’d tried to argue with me before and failed.

Erin was glaring at me, but her mouth was pressed closed, meaning she wasn’t going to say anything, not in front of Corey anyway. I was sure I would hear about it later. Corey seemed more than happy to sit there, like he’d been sitting with us since year seven.

“So, Corey,” I said, leaning over the bar at the back of the seat. “I think Sylvie’s making lasagne. You like that, right?”

“Of course. I like everything.”

“Wait.”

My head snapped round at Erin’s voice. Maybe once you shouted at someone it wasn’t so difficult to speak your mind in front of them.

“What is going on here?”

I felt my eyebrows come together. “What do you mean?”

“You guys were arguing the other week, and now you’re the best of friends?”

“Yeah.” I pushed some hair back off my face. “Weird how people become friends, isn’t it?”

She shook her head. “No offence, Corey,” she shot him a look, “but this doesn’t make sense. You don’t even like your friends, Iris.”

Corey snorted.

I shot him a glare. “I love you, Erin. Is that what you want to hear?”

She huffed. “I didn’t mean me. I meant the others.”

I screwed up my face. “Yeah, well, they’re not really my friends. I’ve never invited any of them to dinner anyhow. Corey is an actual friend.”

“Slow down. Now you have two whole friends?”

Corey laughed. “Well, I’m honoured.”

“Don’t be so sure,” Erin muttered to him.

I smiled at her, and she shot me a look back with her eyes slightly narrowed, but a small smirk on her face. It seemed to say, I’m okay with this, but only if you give me an explanation. So I was going to have to think one up before she asked. I couldn’t exactly tell her that I needed assistance in taking down her boyfriend.

“So,” I said to Corey once we hopped off the bus. “Sylvie’s going to be a bit excitable, but don’t be afraid.”

“Right.” He dragged the word out. “Why?”

“She just loves people. And as you may have noticed, my life isn’t exactly full of them, so I think she’ll be a little enthusiastic. I mean, she has a load of friends, and I think sometimes she doesn’t understand that we’re not all like that.”

Corey was smirking.

“Well, I know you’re like that. You’re always with like five other people. Maybe you and Sylvie are kindred spirits.”

“I’m sure we’ll start off better than we did.”

I rolled my eyes as we continued walking. I stopped him just before we reached my house. “Now, don’t mention periliares in front of Sylvie.”

Periliares.” He put on a voice as he said it.

“Yes, yes, very funny. But don’t mention them.”

“Doesn’t she know about them?”

“She does, but she’s banned me from going hunting, so if she finds out that’s why we’re friends, I’ll be in deep trouble. Well, deeper trouble than I already am.”

“Okay. I won’t mention it. I promise.”

“Good. If I can’t catch this son of a bitch because you made it difficult, you won’t hear the end of it.”

It was like Sylvie had been waiting by the door for us. As I went to put my key in the lock, the door swung open, and there she was, this giant beam on her face. Her hair was down for a change, but she still had sunglasses on her head even though it was October.

“You must be Corey?” She almost sang the words.

I was already cringing.

“Hi.” He gave a little wave.

“I’m Sylvie. Come in, come in!”

She moved out the way so we could shuffle in and hang up our blazers, then she ushered us into the kitchen and gave Corey a stupid long list of drinks he could have.

He opted for apple juice and gave a tiny chuckle as Sylvie went to the fridge. “Is she always like this?”

“No, but more often than you’d think.”

Sylvie joined us at the kitchen table and asked Corey about his home life, to which I learnt he lived with his dad’s long-term girlfriend, Lena, as well as his dad of course. She also asked him about school, and I switched off as a message buzzed in my pocket. It was from Erin.

You better tell me what you’re up to xx

I ignored it and placed it on the table. My Chattication app had a notification, meaning that Tyler had tried his luck again. I hadn’t answered him since our phone call, and I didn’t plan to. He was not getting to me. I knew his game.

“Well, it’s so great to meet you,” Sylvie was saying. “It’s nice to see that Iris has more than one friend.”

Corey was holding in a laugh, I could tell by the way his lips were curved up.

“Sylvie, please. I have other friends.”

She raised her eyebrows.

“Anyway, it’s not a problem. It’s not a big deal. Not all of us need an army at our sides all the time.”

Sylvie and Corey exchanged a look, and I felt outnumbered.

“If we’re finished with the making fun of Iris portion of the day, we’ll be going upstairs now.”

“All right,” Sylvie said as Corey and I stood. “I’ll call you when dinner’s ready.”

I led Corey up the stairs and into my bedroom. It crossed my mind that other than my grandfather, he was the only boy to step through the threshold at all. Not that it was a great feat or anything, only about five people had.

“Well,” I said as I sat myself down on my desk chair. “That went well.”

He sat on my bed as I switched my laptop on. When I turned to face him again, he had the photo frame from my bedside table in his hand, and all at once my heart was in my throat.

“This your dad?” he asked, a small, comforting smile on his lips. I’d never known a person to have so many smiles.

“Yeah. That’s him and Sylvie. It was taken just before he went off to university.”

“What did he study?”

“Economics. Both my grandparents worked in banks, and he was going along with it too. Sylvie said he never could disappoint them, unlike her. She pretty much ignored them the whole time she lived there. I kinda feel sorry for him. I know what my grandparents are like. And the fact that Sylvie wasn’t exactly what they wanted her to be must’ve made the pressure worse.”

“Well, I mean — and don’t hate me — he did rebel a little bit.”

I laughed. “You mean me? Or my mother?”

“Same thing.” He put the photo down.

I shook my head. “It’s so weird that you know everything. Not even Erin knows. I don’t tell her any of this stuff because I don’t want her asking questions.”

“Not many people know about my mom.” He said it the American way, and his accent was spot on. “Without knowing that much about each other we’re pretty good friends.”

“Yeah.” I chuckled. “How the hell did that happen?”

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