Chapter Ten: "Slide"
"I wanna wake up where you are
I won't say anything at all
So why don't you slide?"
-Slide, GooGoo Dolls
It was all over the news that next morning. A girl had been found dead right behind our school.
Her name was Anna Lawson. She was captain of the debate team and she was a nice girl.
They found her strangled, with burn marks around her neck and wrists. According to the authorities, she had received threatening notes a month before she was killed.
As you can imagine, school was closed that day.
I was nervous as I made my way back upstairs to my room. I don't think it was a coincidence. Someone was sending teenage girls notes and then killing them.
Once in my room, I was relieved to find there was no notes from the Stalker.
I climbed into bed, pulling the sheets over my head. I closed my eyes and let myself drift.
I was running. Running so fast my lungs felt as if they would burst open.
Everything was on fire. The smell of smoke filled my nose, burning its way down my throat. I coughed, trying to keep my feet moving.
I heard it. The sound of wings fluttering above me. They were large and I knew if I looked up, I would see him.
I continued to run, coughing the entire time. My eyes began to burn, I was suddenly lightheaded.
Suddenly, he landed before me. In the midst of the burning trees, there he was.
My eyes widened.
"Siberia, please," he begged me. "I know you don't trust me, but we have to go. He's here."
"Who's here?" I rasped, my voice hoarse from all the coughing.
"Trust me, Angel, you don't want to know. Now come on. Let's go."
I studied him with mistrust. Something was off.
I backed away slowly.
"You're not Riven," I said, swallowing.
He looked at me and grinned wickedly. His face morphing from Riven to someone else.
A man with long blonde hair and deep grey eyes now stood before me, his smile chilling. And his wings, dark as a night in Africa, stretched far out, seemingly resistant against the fire.
"Oh, Siberia," he cooed, coming closer.
I could only stand there and look. I couldn't move, I couldn't scream as he pulled a dagger from his pocket.
Finally he plunged it into my chest and I let out a gurgled cry. I fell onto the ground, my eyes turned to the sky as blood, warm and thick, poured from my chest.
It was the strangest thing. At first the sky was dark and suddenly it split open, revealing a bright light.
I reveled in the beauty. My life slipping away just as angels began to fall from the sky.
I woke up in a cold sweat. My hand immediately went to my chest. It was unusually wet.
Heart pounding, I reached over and turned on the light and was immediately horrified by what I saw.
Blood was everywhere, darkening my sheets. I looked down at my hands, realizing they were bloody too.
But that wasn't what made me feel like I was about to crap myself. No, what scared me was him.
The man from my dreams was standing right in front of me, looking at me intently. The bloody dagger was in his hand and I touched my chest again, realizing all this blood was mine. I had been stabbed.
He and I stared at each other as he whispered, "You're not dead. I killed you. I'm sure I did..."
I opened my mouth, building up a scream when suddenly he was gone. The blood on my sheets was gone, the blood on my hands and most importantly, my chest was no longer dripping with blood.
I let out an unsteady breath, wondering what just happened.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Madison asked, leaning against the lockers and looking at me seriously.
It was Tuesday, the day after Anna's murder. There had been an assembly in the auditorium. The guidance counselor told us how it was okay to be scared and she was there to talk if anyone needed her and blah blah blah.
I could only think of last night. The blood, the guy from my dream and the puzzled look on his face.
"I killed you," he'd said.
I spent all day trying to figure out what he meant by that.
So far I came up with nothing.
"I'm fine," I muttered, taking my books from my locker with excessive force.
"If you say so," Madison muttered, her face screaming, 'I don't believe you.'
Josie and Carmella appeared next to us, then. Josie looked uncharacteristically flushed.
Probably had a make out session with Riven, I thought bitterly.
"Why do you look so happy?" Madison asked, studying Josie.
"Riven just asked me out on an actual date!" she exclaimed exuberantly.
My heart sank at her words. My jaw clenched as I concentrated on my locker much more than necessary.
Of course he asked out Josie, I thought, on the verge of tears. Josie had gorgeous blonde hair and big blue eyes. She was like a model. Probably more his type anyway. Besides, I have a boyfriend.
"Siberia, did you hear me?" Josie asked, snapping her fingers in front of my face.
I blinked, realizing I had zoned out.
"No, I didn't," I admitted sheepishly.
She rolled her eyes in exasperation.
"Riven invited us all to the movies," Josie said. "He said I would probably feel more comfortable with friends around. He's such a gentleman."
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. When I shot a look at Madison, I realized she was fighting the urge to roll her eyes as well.
"So are you coming?" Josie asked.
I looked over at Madison again, she was begging me with her eyes so I sighed and said, "Fine, I'm going."
The thing about Mr. Mann was that he liked to frequently change the seating chart, especially during a project.
The desks were situated differently. The desks were side by side and very close together.
I closed my eyes and swallowed when I saw Riven sitting at the desk, his long legs sprawled out gracefully.
"Miss. Lane, please take your seat beside your partner," he instructed.
I groaned inwardly as I made my way over to Riven.
He watched me as I sat my books on the desk and awkwardly took my place in the seat next to him.
We were close. So close it was unnerving.
I could still feel his eyes on me and when I turned to look at him, sure enough he was staring at me.
"What?" I snapped, feeling irritated.
His lips pulled back in a slow, sexy smile, revealing perfect teeth.
"Someone's in a sour mood today," he observed, looking amused.
"Probably because I was forced to sit next to you," I grumbled.
Riven leaned back in his chair, looking completely at ease.
"That's partly your fault, Angel," he said.
"My fault?" I sputtered in shock. "How is this my fault?"
"I didn't make you agree to be my partner. You did that on your own."
I just sat there sputtering because he was right. I got myself into this.
"Are you coming tonight?" he wondered, ignoring my sputtering.
"Yes, but only because Madison would be miserable without me," I said quickly. I wouldn't want him to think I was going because of him.
Riven smiled as if he could read my thoughts.
"You know your friend Josie, she's nice. Beautiful, too."
Jealousy creeped into my chest, swirling around in my belly thick and strong.
"Yeah. She thinks you're pretty great too," I said sourly, looking at the chalk board.
"I might ask her out. Not on a 'bring your friends date' but alone," he mused.
The thought of Josie and Riven together made my blood boil and my head spin.
Instead of showing that however I just shrugged and said, "Whatever."
And again, it was like he knew. It was like he could smell my jealousy. It was like hiding from him was impossible. He smiled widely and I could feel his gaze on my face.
"Be careful, Angel, if Roland knew you were getting jealous, I'm sure he wouldn't be too happy with you."
"I'm not jealous," I said through clenched teeth, not even bothering to correct him purposefully messing up Ryan's name.
Riven chuckled. "Whatever you say, Angel."
At that moment, Mr. Mann began his lecture and I completely ignored Riven, turning all my attention to what Mr. Mann was saying.
He said that due to Anna's death, our project due date was extended by a week.
I groaned. This was just perfect. Now I had an extra week with Riven. Yay, me. Note the sarcasm.
It was 7:45 and I was dressed. My hair falling just below my shoulder blades. I was dressed casually in skinny jeans and a Star Wars T-shirt because why not show the world what a geek I was?
It was cool tonight, very close to being cold. I added a small cardigan and shot myself one last look.
"Siberia, your friends are here," Mom called from downstairs.
"Kay," I called back.
I reached for my cell phone and quickly exited my room.
Once I was downstairs, I saw Josie, Madison and Carmella waiting for me.
I said my goodbyes to my parents and promised to be home by 11:00 before we hopped into Josie's car.
Carmella called shotgun, while Madison and I sat in the back.
We pulled up to the movie theater and I immediately spotted Riven. He was standing casually with Raveena. I couldn't be sure, but they seemed to be arguing about something.
"Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigawd!" Josie exclaimed, fluffing out her hair and smearing on lip gloss.
I rolled my eyes and we finally got out of the car, making our way over to Riven and Raveena.
"Hiya, guys," Raveena greeted us, smiling warmly.
I smiled back, returning her warmth. That is until my smile was suddenly wiped from my face.
Riven took Josie's hand and raised it to his lips gently. She blushed as jealousy clouded me so strongly, I was having trouble breathing.
"You look more beautiful than I can say," Riven said to her, his eyes flickering in my direction.
"Thank you, Riven. You look good, too," she said bashfully, fluttering her eyelashes.
He chuckled in a way that said 'don't I know it' before turning his gaze on us.
"Shall we go inside?" he asked, his eyes meeting mine.
I rolled my eyes and said, "Yeah, whatever, let's go."
This is torture, I thought to myself as I shifted uncomfortably in my seat.
Of all the places he could've sat, he had to sit next to me. Riven's arm took my armrest and I let him.
My heart was beating so fast, I was pretty sure he could hear it.
I reached for my drink, desperately needing hydration. My hand accidentally touched his arm.
I pulled away as if he'd burned me. When I looked up to see if he'd noticed, I found his eyes watching me.
I swallowed, feeling very warm despite the cool movie theater.
And then his shoe bumped mine, sending tingles from my foot to the crown of my head.
I looked up at him again and this time, his eyes were on the screen. He reached for the popcorn I was holding, his hands somehow managing to bump mine and send electricity coursing through my veins.
I gasped quietly and he smiled slightly, never taking his eyes off of the screen.