Saving Asteroth

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Chapter 9: I Need To Cry

I’m acting very mature right now, “His voice, Fire, really?” Aster gave me that nickname when he first met me. Saphyre was too ‘elegant’ for him and everyone else called me Saph. Right, and Aster is just an everyday-average name. I set out a shot glass with the neck of the champagne bottle in my firm grip. Is this smart for me to do before I have to drive in 58 minutes? Or is the Dom Perignon the best choice since flats?

I slam the bottle on the counter and cover my face in my hands. Something is really out of place here. I’m not safe. My family isn’t safe. What if that guy comes around again and I’m not here to protect Mae and Ava?

I don’t need this Champagne, I don’t even drink.

Besides, my mind needs to be clear.

My ears need to be open.

As always Gia’s right, it’s time to put the headphones away.

. . .

The music isn’t even enough to drown out what just happened to me. My car doesn’t even feel safe. Before I got in, I checked the trunk, the backseat and the passenger to make sure he didn’t hide himself anywhere.

I feel like I just watched a horror movie.

That at any time now, he could pop out of the backseat, scare the living daylights out of me and kill me. He disappeared way too fast to just walk away. He can’t be a ghost or anything, he touched me for god’s sake.

His hand was dark, not almond like Xandars but a chocolate brown like-

*Screeeccchhh!!*

My breaths come in ragged, a little black cat scurries across the road. I really need to focus. If I keep zoning out I’m going to get myself killed. Or something else, for that matter.

In no time at all, I’m in Gia’s driveway. It gets pretty dark around this time in the winter months. The houses are really beautiful at night, with a mix of the natural glow of the moon, house lights and Christmas decor. Our neighborhood attracts a lot of tourists which sometimes makes me feel a little exposed. We even manage to feature on the front page of landscaping magazines. The funny thing is we haven’t even put our decorations up yet.

It’s the end of November and we’re usually very last minute when it comes to that sort of thing. Hopefully, John won’t do what he did last year and hire Christmas Decorators. He broke the family tradition. My family and Gia’s normally take a day out of the year to decorate and then afterwards launch snowballs at each other if the snow is firm enough. Then we all collapse in the screening room to watch Holiday Hallmark movies, clutching hot cups of coffee in our hands and eating sugar cookies.

The serenity of reminiscing is making it easier for me to breathe.

Think pilates...

The cold wind breaks into the car, “Heyyy, sis!!” Gia swings her body into the car. She looks like she just came out of photo shoot for the cover Elle. This girl does the utmost sometimes. “Saphyre, what is this?” She pinches my scarf with her french tips.

I shrug, “I didn’t feel like changing.” I turn my head placing a hand on the steering wheel and one on the back of Gia’s seat to reverse out of her driveway.

She groans loudly, “This is the very first game you have ever been to and you mean to tell me that you didn’t feel like changing?”

“I agreed to take you, I didn’t agree to have fun.”

Gia smacks her lips together, “Back into the moody stage, I see.” she finally goes quiet, I press the gas to leave out of the lot and onto the road, “Where’d that oh-my-god-Xander-spoke-to-me-today excitement go?”

“Rain check.” I stop at a curve to put the directions to Windy City into the GPS.

“Aren’t you at least happy that we’re going together, Saphyre?”

I pause.

Well, I didn’t put much thought into that. Gia and I don’t really hang out that much anymore unless there’s studying involved. One time she tricked me into thinking she had a quiz the next day that she needed help preparing for just to get us to have a sleepover. I admit, that was one of our greatest moments but it was all too good.

I thought if I cherished her too much she would leave just like everyone else. That she would no longer want me around. Yet here she is, looking at the side of my face with begging eyes. She has never left my side now that I think of it. When everyone else couldn’t or wouldn’t stick around, I could always count on Gia to be there.

Impulsively, I reach across the seat taking Gia in my arms.

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