The air around us becomes dense, thick. A gust of wind practically blows the both of us over and a crack splits through the glass panel.
“Oh shit,” Ezra chokes. “Is that her doing this?”
Before I can answer, every pane explodes, raining glass down around us. I’m not sure what I plan on doing, but I realize that I can’t just stand around helplessly while Salem decimates another town. Ezra calls after me as I run towards the restaurant, telling the confused people on the street to get far away from here, but I ignore him.
Nathan is out of the booth now, hands held up in surrender, slowly backing away from her. Her eyes are black, unseeing, a sinister smile on her mouth.
“Please, Salem,” he says as calmly as he can. “I was only doing what I was told.”
She laughs, the sound of it otherworldly—hollow and without humor. She takes a menacing step towards him.
“Lucky for me that I have a mind of my own,” she pauses, thoughtful for a moment and then continues, “now that I have you, Ezra, and my father out of it, anyway.”
He takes another step back and bumps into the wall. Electricity suddenly shoots from his fingertips, colliding with Salem’s chest, and my heart sinks. I’m about to race towards her when I hear her laugh again, and realize she’s still standing as though nothing had happened. Electricity crackles around her now, the lights in the restaurant flickering. She seems to have absorbed the shock, as it’s now visibly building around her.
“Nice try,” she says innocently, and then throws all of the pent up energy back at him. However, it’s not absorbed by Nathan. It lights him up, shocking him almost comically, as you would see in the movies.
She continues to stalk him and I step forward now, slowly so that I don’t startle her.
“Salem,” I say softly. She whips her head around, her black eyes trained on me. There’s no sign of recognition on her face and for a moment I consider turning around and hightailing it out of there, but I muster all the courage I have and take another uncertain step in her direction. “Salem, I know you’re still in there.”
She cocks her head to the side eerily and smiles. I don’t think she’s looking at me anymore but I don’t dare take my eyes off of her.
“Come here,” she commands, and I hear reluctant footsteps behind me, stopping once they’re next to me. “I remember everything that you did to me,” she tells Ezra.
He nods. “I’m sorry.”
“Sorry?!” She laughs. “No, you’re not… but you will be.”
She raises her arms, ready to assault Ezra as well when I step in front of him.
“Salem!” I scream desperately. “Listen to me! You need to stop! Do you see what you’re doing?!” I demand angrily, walking towards her with feigned confidence. “Isn’t this what you never wanted to do again? Isn’t this what you never wanted to be again? The Salem that I care about isn’t a monster! But this girl is.”
She considers that, breathing hard. She meets me in the middle of the room, placing a hand tentatively against my chest before sighing.
“I won’t hurt you,” she tells me. “But you left me. You left that pathetic girl in a mess on her living room floor. I don’t want to be that girl again. The girl that cares what you or anyone else thinks. I’m going to be the girl with all the power in the world,” she says, grinning mischievously. “And right now there’s only one thing I want to do… kill Vincent St. Clair.”