Chapter 10

Dante's drive home was surreal at best. What just happened? He wondered tiredly.

He drove back to his house deep in thought, reflecting on the evening's events.

I can't believe her. She is so understanding, he thought in wonder. He sighed and felt his shoulders sag a little, tired as he was. He was still on edge about the presence he felt earlier. It was a heady presence, full of loathing, hatred, and pain. It was a presence that contained no remorse and was absolutely devoid of human feelings and emotions.

It was a presence that scared him. Not even so much for his sake, but for Charisma's. He only hoped that he would not truly be found. It could be disastrous for everyone in Oakhurst if he was.

Driving his car almost on auto pilot, not truly paying attention to any of the other cars on the road, he made his way through the near-empty streets of Oakhurst to get home.

He felt tired. He did not feel the urge to jump into bed when he got home, but his body felt worn out, his skin stretched too tight over his bones. He wanted to be human again. For the first time in many years, he felt a deep urge to be a regular living human. Charisma did that to him. In the short time she had known him she had made him feel like he should be more for her.

He turned onto the little road that led to his house and the tension that he felt earlier returned tenfold. He's here, Dante thought frantically. He's here to kill me.

He pulled into his driveway next to a red Mustang and turned off the engine. Dante closed his eyes briefly and groaned inwardly. It had to happen eventually. He knew that. He had always known that. All this time, and the world was not large enough. Not nearly large enough.

Reluctantly, Dante swung the car door open and climbed out. He thought of Charisma, and how sorry he was that she would think he abandoned her after all. He shook his head and tried to focus on what he could do. He looked around as he made the short walk up to the door and stretched out his mind, sensing his surroundings. If he was truly here, he was concealing himself well. Dante turned the key in the lock and opened the door, anxiously awaiting the confrontation that had to happen. He stepped inside his house and shut the door behind him, expecting to see him at every turn of his head.

He was surprised when he was not waiting for him in the front room. Shoulders sagging with that small relief, Dante dragged himself upstairs to his room, deciding that he had better do his homework since he was trying to be a normal teenager.

He climbed the stairs slowly, still expectant and wary. He opened his door and turned on the light. He was there, standing by the window, his back to Dante. He turned to face him then. Dante tensed, ready for battle.

The calm, arrogant face and cruel mouth were the same as they had been all those years ago; the same pale, perfect features, the same hard black-brown eyes and confident body. His eyes locked with Dante's and held them for a moment before breathing coolly,

"Hello, brother."