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Chapter Fifteen: "Centuries"

"So legends are told
Some turn to dust or to gold
But you will remember me
Remember me for centuries
-Centuries, Fall Out Boy

I broke away from Riven, turning to the spot where he was. It was empty. As if he weren't there at all.

"Siberia?" Riven said worriedly.

I turned back to look at him. All the blood had drained from my face. For someone with brown skin, I knew I had to look pale.

"I can't... I have to go," I said, running away quickly.

Everyone watched me go. I felt like I was going to puke. Bile rose in my throat and I swallowed, trying to push it back as I ran out of there as quickly as possible.

The cool air hit me as soon as I opened the front door. It washed over my fevered skin like a prayer.

I closed my eyes and breathed heavily.

He was here. I wasn't going crazy, was I? He had been here, standing right in front of me, taunting me.

"Siberia Lane?" said an eerily familiar voice that was laced with a thick French accent.

I turned and my eyes met the same grey eyes from my dream, but they were set in a younger face.

Phillipe stood before me, dressed in a black suit. He looked dashing with his blonde hair and his perfectly straight nose. He looked like something from a painting.

Yet his eyes, they told a different story. They were cool, calculating. Frightening.

I stood up straighter. I remembered his conversation with Riven and Raveena. I recalled him saying he'd cut a girl's heart out. Needless to say, I was nervous.

"We were never properly introduced," he said politely, smiling at me kindly though his eyes portrayed menace. "I'm Phillipe."

I swallowed. "How do you know my name?" I asked.

Before he could answer that, Raveena came bounding outside, Riven close on her heels.

Her eyes flickered over to Phillipe and her lips pulled down at the corners in an attractive scowl.

"What the hell are you doing here?" she snapped.

Phillipe didn't seen fazed, though. He merely smiled and said, "I'm somebody's plus one."

Riven had stepped outside now. The mask he had been wearing at first was off, every line of his impressive face was visible.

He and Phillipe eyed each other, both of them sizing up the other. Riven was tall and his body was muscular - not too muscular but muscular enough-and he walked with an air that said he could take care of himself in a fight. Phillipe was an inch shorter than Riven and he wasn't as muscular, but Phillipe carried an air of danger. An air that whispered that all who opposed him didn't live to see the light of day.

Riven's gaze shifted to me, then to Phillipe, to me and then back to Phillipe. I saw him ball his hands into fists.

"If you're someone's plus one, shouldn't you be inside and not disturbing our other guests?" Riven said, his voice laced with distaste.

"I got bored," Phillipe said simply. "I was just talking to good 'ol Siberia." Phillipe put his hand on my shoulder and I stiffened. I didn't like the way his touch felt. It felt like...death.

Raveena and Riven had stiffened as well. They both eyed his hand on my shoulder warily. Raveena looked appalled and Riven looked like he wanted to snap Phillipe's neck.

"Get. Your. Hand. Off. Of. Her. NOW!" Riven growled, his voice sounding scarier than I could have ever imagined possible. His voice made me shrink back although his anger was not directed at me.

"So temperamental," Phillipe said in amusement, but he moved his hand. It was a good thing he did too, especially if he wanted to keep his hand.

Raveena and Riven visibly relaxed now that Phillipe had moved his hand.

I looked between the three of them. Riven and Raveena were glaring at Phillipe in what could only be described as fury.

"I should...go," I said quietly, already turning away.

No one said anything. It wasn't until they thought I was out of earshot that I heard Riven growl, "I told you to stay away from her."

"And I told you she has what rightfully belongs to me," Phillipe responded. He sounded cool, calm and collected but I heard the menace in his voice.

I hurriedly climbed inside of my car and drove away. All I really wanted and needed right now was sleep.

When I arrived home it was late and everyone was sleep. I breathed a sigh of relief. I honestly didn't want to talk to anyone right now.

I was in my room, stripping out of my dress, when my cell phone rang.

I picked it up and saw Madison's picture. Guilt immediately lanced through my chest.

"Hello?" I answered, hoping the guilt in my voice wasn't too obvious.

"Siberia, where are you?" Madison was shouting on the other end.

"Madison, I'm so sorry," I apologized, really meaning it. "I was dancing with Riven and then-"

"Oh. My. God." Madison sounded excited, her anger evaporating. "That was you!"

I laughed and said, "Yeah, it was."

Madison was quiet, thinking this over before she said, "We'll talk tomorrow."

I agreed and then we said our goodbyes.

I wasted no time climbing into bed. I was exhausted, my minding thinking of Phillipe again and again. He looked so much like the villain in my dreams.
I drifted off to sleep quickly after that. ***********************************

I was in the forest again. Unlike all the other times, though, it was serene. Nothing was on fire.

And there he was in front of me. The man who made me fear sleep. His blonde hair in a halo around his face, his stormy grey eyes taking in my face with interest.

Again, I was struck by how much alike he and Phillipe looked. He could easily be Phillipe's older brother.

"I was hoping I'd get to talk to you," he said, tilting his head to the side.

I was scared immediately. The last time he and I were face to face, he plunged a dagger into my chest.

"I'm not going to try to kill you. Not right at this moment anyway." His words made fear rear its head but he just continued. "You should've died the other night. When you woke up and there was blood all over your sheets. You should've died. I killed you."

I froze at his words, my body feeling cold.

"It's protecting you. The Essence. It's attached itself to you, it has become one with you." He shook his head in frustration. "It's going to take more than a dagger to cut it out of you."

"What's an Essence?" I said, finally finding my voice. Honestly I wanted to know what it was. I'd heard Riven, Raveena and Phillipe talking about it and honestly, my interest was piqued.

The man tilted his head to the side again. I realized he was beautiful. It was only the coldness on his face that made him less beautiful much like Phillipe.

"You don't know what it is and yet you can wield it, make it bend to your will." He shook his head again, looking bitter this time. "If you want to know what it is, you should ask your father. He won't have a choice but to tell you. Especially if he wants to keep you safe from me."

As soon as the man smiled the dream changed and the forest was ablaze. He was suddenly in front of me, so close his nose was touching mine.

He quickly plunged a dagger into my heart just like all the other times.

I fell to the ground in silent agony, my blood falling onto the dirt. My eyes were turned to the sky. Like the last time, the sky opened and angels began falling.

Voices crooned a song. It was haunting and beautiful.

"'Her blood can open up the Heavens
Her blood can bleed the dirt
Her blood is the key to split the Heavens and curse the angels to fall to earth
Her blood is the key, her blood is the key
Her blood is all that can stop him
Her blood is the key'"

I immediately jolted awake. The haunting song still humming in my head, my heart pounding in my ears.

I turned over and saw there was a note on my other pillow. It was resting there almost smugly.

I snatched the note up and what I read made my world spin.

"I kind of figured the dagger wouldn't kill you, but I just had to try again. You heard what they said, your blood is the key."

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