The Demons Inside
Disclaimer: Like all the others.
Author's note: Got this out fast. So yes, last chapter. I'd like to thank everyone who's read and reviewed. : )
It was the middle of November when the first snow came.
I was a bit surprised, actually. It usually didn't snow until late November. Hell, it rarely snowed this much until early December, the earliest. But then again, Chicago weather isn't that stable. One day, it can be 65 degrees, the next you're rushing to turn on your heat. So it wasn't that unusual, if you thought about it. It was a heavy snow, too. By the middle of the school day, we had several inches on the ground.
The last two and a half months had gone slowly and painfully by. What had happened with Dante had completely ruined the last couple weeks of my summer. The only thing that had cheered me up were my friends. School came, bringing my senior year, which was a break from the days of sitting and moping around the house. So sue me. I was upset... and I think upset is underestimating what I'd felt after that night. Things were finally falling into place, though. I was smiling a helluva lot more, even though I still wasn't completely over the summer's events. But I refused to let myself think about it anymore. He was gone; a little story in my head that would never be tangible again. That's what I told myself, anyways.
With a sigh, I walked out of the school and looked around. The trees were covered in a white layer, as was the ground. The sky was a bright, white-gray. Snow was falling from the sky; it reminded me of Christmas, even though the holiday was more than a month away. I was supposed to meet some friends for lunch by this huge tree that we'd dubbed our meeting place freshmen year. I had no clue why on earth they wanted to have lunch when it was cold and snowing outside, but I didn't question their motives. They were a bit insane. But I loved them all anyways. Insane people stick together; that was our motto.
But I didn't see them anywhere. I frowned, glanced around again. There were several guys lining snowballs at each other in the field, but I didn't know who they were. Other people were walking around, but they weren't who I was looking for. I was about to turn and go back into the warm school when I was tackled. I fell face first into the snow, someone still sitting on my back.
I sputtered and pushed myself up by my arms, causing the laughing person on top of me to fall off and into the snow. I didn't have any gloves on, so my hands were freezing. I recognized that laugh without having a doubt. I turned my head, wiping snow off of my face as I glared at Lexi. She was grinning from ear to ear. She was dressed in too much pink, too. Her coat, gloves, hat, and scarf were all this powdery, pastel pink.
"Ohhhh, I win!" She shoved a handful of snow into my face before she got up and ran. I spat out snow and looked around, saw Tina and several other people standing there, laughing. Ashley, Marissa, Andrew, and Brian. Lexi was currently hiding behind Matt. Everyone was dressed in gloves and hats. But not me. Nooo. I was the one being plotted against.
"You're dead," I said with a grin and got up, launching myself at Matt. He dodged out of the way, but Lexi didn't. I ended up tackling her to the ground. I sat on top of her in the snow. "Who wins now?" Matt had tripped and fallen in the snow, but he was pointing at Lexi and laughing. Then he paused, looked at me, and started laughing again.
I was about to gloat some more, but I didn't have the chance. Someone grabbed my arms and dragged me off of Lexi. I tilted my head back, stared at who was dragging me through the snow. Andrew was grinning down at me, blue eyes glinting. "Andrew, what are you doing?" I craned my head to the side. And saw a BIG pile of snow. Where in the hell did that come from? "NO. Andrew, don't you dare!" I tried to dig my heels into the snow and to pull my wrists from his grip, but it was ineffective. Andrew was, one, a wrestler. Two, he also worked out regularly.
"I love you, Gia!" he said in a singsong voice before he tossed me. I landed and fell into the coldness. It went up and down my shirt and into the legs of my pants. I sat up, sputtering snow again, wiping it out of my eyes. My hair hung in my face, snow attached to the strands. My hands were numb, as were my cheeks.
"You people are evil, do you know that?" I slicked my hair back, watching my breath swirl in clouds before disappearing in the air.
"Oh, shut it," Tina said, leaning against the tree. She was tossing a snowball from hand to hand. "You need to relax and have some fun." She smiled at me, a touch of regret and sadness there. She was still hesitant about mentioning Dante to me. "Studying your ass off and not joking around like we used to is not going to help you move on, you know?"
"Yeah, yeah," I muttered. Didn't want to talk about it right now. I felt happy. No need to drag my mood down with mention of someone who wasn't in existence any longer. Matt held out his hand and pulled me up out of the snow. I started wiping it off of me.
We did sit and eat lunch in the snow. Matt, Andrew and Brian went to grab chips and some sandwiches from the cafeteria while I sat with the girls. Everyone was sitting on their book bags so not to freeze their asses off, literally. I'd left mine in the school, so I was sitting on my coat. I had on a long sleeved shirt under a thick, black and green hoodie, so I wasn't really cold. The guys came back, tossed everyone something to munch on.
"I need a car," Andrew groaned as he sat down next to me, opening a Pepsi. He took a drink, then handed it to me.
"Yeah, you need a car so I can borrow it." Ashley batted her eyes at him; he laughed at her.
"Woman, if I ever got a car, you'd be lucky if I let you sit anywhere near the wheel," he said, digging into a bag of Cheetos. "I saw what you did to your car. The bumper looked so pretty with that huge dent in it and all."
We sat there joking most of the lunch period. I had the next two periods free, so I wasn't in a hurry. Matt, Tina and Lexi were free with me next period, so we decided to just stay in the snow. It wasn't really cold, scarily. It's weird how that is. It's never really cold when it snows. Or you just don't consciously realize it's cold, I guess, because you're focused on the snow. That's how I thought about it, anyways.
Ashley, Marissa and Andrew hurried to class, leaving me and the rest of the others still sitting there. I stole Matt's gloves and started to make snowballs, piling them on top of each other.
"What are you doing?" he asked me, an eyebrow quirked.
"Being bored and making a pyramid," I said offhandedly as I smoothed out the sides of the snowballs so that they fit together. There was probably an easier way of doing this, but I didn't feel like figuring it out.
"We should make a snowman," Lexi suggested, tossing snow at Matt. He ducked and it hit Tina. "Why do you always duck, Matt!?"
"...why even ask that question?" he asked, staring at her. I chuckled, continued building my pyramid.
The two of them were arguing, with me and Tina listening/ watching in amusement. But I heard a familiar noise, and their argument was drowned out. I could have sworn that I heard a damned motorcycle engine. I looked around, my eyebrows furrowed on my forehead. No motorcycle that I could see. Then I shook my head, looking down at the snowball I'd smashed in my hand. I was delusional. That was it. I packed it against the others.
"Earth to Gia, come in, Gia." A snowball smashed against the side of my face. I looked up to see the three of them looking at me. Tina was frowning. "You okay? You were spacing out."
"I'm fine. Just tired."
"Everyone in high school is tired," Matt groaned. He fell over into the snow. "We're all run up a wall, and then they wonder why everyone's like a damned zombie." He wrinkled his nose and put his hands behind his head.
"Aw, look how cute, Matt plays dead! Good doggie!" Lexi grinned, waving a Cheeto in front of his face. "Does Mattie want a treat? I bet he does!"
"I should bite your finger off," Matt replied, closing his eyes. I don't know how he just laid in the snow without freezing. But then again, we could bring in the insane factor. It would make it all believable.
My head snapped up. I heard a motorcycle engine, I knew I did. And I also knew I wasn't going completely nuts this time, because Tina was looking around, too. "I didn't know someone on campus had a motorcycle," Lexi said offhandedly. Tina looked at me, and then so did Lexi. I think Matt was the only one who was completely oblivious to the fact that I was as rigid as a metal pole.
I laughed. I couldn't help it. It wasn't from nervousness. More like stupidity. I felt so stupid I was laughing at myself. "I need to chill out," I muttered. Lexi wrapped an arm around my shoulder.
"I don't need to chill," Matt said. Trying to lighten the mood that he didn't understand. "I mean, my ass is chilled enough. I can't feel it."
"Then stop laying in the snow, maybe?" Tina said, looking at him with one of those 'duh' looks.
"...I never thought of that," Matt said sarcastically as he sat up. "You're a genius, Tina!" He gave her an awestruck look as he pulled his book bag over towards him so he could sit on it.
"I know, I know," she said, flipping her hair over her shoulder.
I wasn't paying attention much after that. I was staring at nothing. At some point, Lexi elbowed me and brought me back to the present. I came back to the conversation to hear something about 'leashes' and 'collars'. "I don't even WANT to know," I said with a laugh.
Matt looked at me innocently. "Tina wants to try what me and you do in that... a-hem... secret room." He winked, grinning like an idiot.
"Oh reaaaaaally?" I grinned right back at him. He batted his eyelashes.
Lexi looked at her watch and groaned. "I've got class. Heeeelllllooo, psychology. I'll catch you guys after school." She got, grabbed her book bag. It was covered in snow, so she was hitting the snow off as Tina stood up.
"I've got class, too." She and Lexi walked towards the building. I stood there, sitting with Matt.
"Free?" he questioned me. I nodded, moved so that I could lean back against the tree. I was facing the school building, but I didn't even want to think about having to sit through Mythology. That woman bored me to death. I closed my eyes, but heard Matt move to sit next to me. "So, tell me a secret."
"Lexi wants you." I opened one eye so I could see him. He was grinning.
"Ohhh realllly?" He raised a brow, nudged me.
"Yeah," I said with a laugh and opened both of my eyes. I froze, but my heart started pounding so hard I thought it would crack my ribs. I was seeing things. I knew I was. There was not a man, dressed in all black, with black hair and black sunglasses, sitting on a silver and black Harley in front of my school, watching me. No, no, no. I'm delusional.
Matt must have followed my gaze, because the next thing he said proved I wasn't delusional. "Whoa, that guy's got a nice bike."
"Oh, Jesus," I groaned, putting my head in my hands for a minute. I didn't want to fool myself. It was probably some guy picked up one of the punk girls from school. I looked up again. The guy had taken his sunglasses off. I felt like screaming. Spitting damned image. I turned to Matt. "I'll be RIGHT back, Matt."
Matt smiled at me, closed his eyes. "Make sure I'm awake before class starts."
I patted his head and stood up. I didn't even bother to brush the snow off of myself. It was probably covering my clothes and hair, considering it had started snowing a lot harder. I walked slowly towards the school building my hands shoved in the pocket of my hoodie. The guy had slid off of his motorcycle, was now standing in front of it with his hands in the pockets of his leather coat.
I stopped when I was right in front of him. He looked down, silver-blue eyes laughing at me. There was no mistaking who it was. It was Dante, as clear as day. My shock dissolved into anger. I poked his chest, my eyes narrowed. "You better have a good explanation for still being here," I growled. He took my hand in his and didn't let go. It didn't calm me down, though. It made me want to hit him even harder. "You have a minute to explain, and then I'm walking away."
"You want an explanation?" he asked, his lips quirking into a smile.
"Why are you still here?" I asked, my voice strained. Ohhhh, the confusion. I didn't like it. "I saw you disappear," I continued before he could say anything.
"Yes, you did. Because I did disappear," he said softly. He was still smiling, though. "You have snow in your hair, bella."
"Dante, why are you still here!?" My voice was a bit loud, but I felt impatient. I didn't care that a few people had turned heads to look at us.
"Poiché ti amo," he said simply, as if I was stupid. I just stared at him for a minute. Then I did let my fist hit his chest.
"Stop playing games, Dante."
He sighed, took my hand in his free one. He held both of my hands in his own now. "Poiché ti amo, bella mia. It's the truth. I heard you in my head, when you were leaving the alley... they heard you, as well... the Heaven's are just in their decisions..."
"You've got to be kidding me," I said softly. I thought of something, one eyebrow raising quizzically. "Make your eyes red."
His smile spread, a light seeming to come into his eyes. "I can't."
"Mortals cannot make their eyes turn different colors like that," he said quietly. Then he lifted me up, spun me in a cirlce while he laughed. I grabbed onto him, completely speechless. When he set my on my feet, I had to grab onto his arms so I didn't tip over. "I'm mortal," he repeated, resting his forehead against mine. "I'm mortal."
"So I could hit you, and it would hurt and not heal quickly?"
"Good." I slapped him across the face. Hard. A red hand print was there, bright against his pale face. He stared at me, eyes wide, one hand now gingerly touching fingertips to the welt on his cheek.
"What was that for?" he asked, his voice low. I was pretty sure I made him angry. And I didn't care.
"For not coming back sooner when you knew!" I said heatedly, moving away from him.
"I'm here now," he said quietly, still touching his cheek. "So tell me. Right here."
I raised my chin, glaring up at him. "I don't have to say a damned word to you right now. I can't believe you let me drive myself in---" I didn't finish my sentence. He moved forward and took myface in his hands, lowering his lips to mine.
"Tell me," he said softly. "Please."
I drew in a deep breath. I hated getting emotionally attached... but it was a little too late for that. Hating it or not, I was already emotional, and already attached. "I love you."
"Good." He grinned, touched my hair. But then he paused, a thoughtful frown slowly slipping onto his face. "Wait... there's one thing I need to know..."
...I almost felt paranoid. Almost. "What?"
That sly smile was back on his face. When he asked his question, I wanted to hit him again. "Is that Ferris Wheel ride open in winter?"
Ta da. Fin. I'm not sure if I like the ending. I might rework it. Buuuuut, yes. Dooone. : ) Review, pleaaaase.