Tina woke up and yawned as the sunlight pierced her room. She got dressed and walked into the kitchen. She fixed herself some cereal and sat down at the table with Stanton. "Where are mommy and daddy?" Tina asked stuffing some cereal in her mouth. She was really tired, but last night still lingered in her memory. She hoped they could go out again.
"They went into town to get some more food. They'll be back in about an hour. In the meantime, why don't you tell me a little about your adventure last night?"
Tina choked on her food and began to cough, "W-what do you mean?"
"I saw you last night, sneaking back in here, thinking that no one saw you. You almost didn't make it in there when your mother came in."
"You're not going to tell them are you, Stanton?"
"Why, no, of course not, as long as you tell me where you went."
If she didn't tell him where she went, then he wouldn't tell her parents. That was fair enough. "Well, I went to this place, it was a wonderful, glowing place, with a cliff and fire-flies, and there was a lake too!"
Stanton laughed, "Just exploring, uh?"
"Well, yea, of course." She wasn't about to tell him who she went with.
"For now on, don't sneak out the window, just use the front door. And tell me where you are going. That way, I'll at least know that you're gone. So if there was an emergency, I will know where I can find you."
"Alright, its a deal. You don't tell mommy and daddy and I will tell you where I am going."
They shook hands, "Just stay in the boundaries, and please, Tina, be careful. The demons don't come out as much ever since your parents started the night shift, but there are still a few out there. Watch your back and avoid confrontation, okay?"
Melly and Phoenix walked out of a shop carrying some groceries. They had to go into the village at least twice a month to gather supplies. They often took a wagon full of food and other things back to the cabin. With fall coming, they had to stock up extra on supplies for winter, but not just yet. They still had some time before they did that.
"There, do we have everything?" Phoenix said holding onto the bags he was carrying.
"Yes, it is." Melly walked by him checking the money and putting it into her pocket.
Phoenix sighed quietly. She has been very unsociable today, even with the usual villagers. She simply said her greetings, smiled, got what she wanted, and then left. Usually they stayed a while and chatted with a few of the locals, but today it was all business with her. It was beginning to bug him. "Melly, what's wrong?"
"What do you mean?"
"You've been quiet all day." Phoenix caught up with her.
"Tina is up to something." Melly stared straight forward.
"She's always up to something and-"
"No," Melly interrupted, "Last night I went to check on her and she wasn't there. Then I came back a few minutes later and she was in her bed. The window was open, I think she snuck out last night."
"That's assuming a lot. Are you sure she wasn't there?" Phoenix has had the same suspicions, but why now? Why would Tina suddenly directly disobey them and sneak out at night? During the day it was safer, but at night it was dangerous.
"Phoenix, I'm positive. I don't sleep walk like you." She let a small smile reach her eyes.
"Very funny. Lets just wait and see what happens. Tina knows how to defend herself and she knows what she is supposed to do if she comes across a demon. I'm sure she'll be fine. You worry too much."
"I worry? Me? Ha, that's a laugh. Who was the one saying that Tina was playing with a demon, huh?"
"Fine, you got me there. But think about it, she is eleven, the age of exploring. Lets let her have her fun, we'll keep an eye on her though."
"I just hope she takes our advice to heart."
That night, Tina got dressed and quietly went to the basement. She was going to stick to the deal Stanton and her made. Besides, it was a good idea to let someone know where she was. What if something happened like last time and she came up against Damian?
"Stanton?" She asked reaching the bottom of the stairs.
"Yes?" He turned around and faced her.
"I'm going again, I'll be around the old tree and the lake. If you call me, I'll be able to hear you."
"Alright, be back before two this time. Oh, and Tina?"
"Just to warn you, I think your parents know you were not there last night. I thought I heard you open your door, but I heard it twice. One of them might have walked in before you got there and then after. I also heard them talking about it when they came home today."
"Oh, thank you for telling me... got to go!" Tina leapt up the steps by two and went out the front door this time. Ghetto was waiting at the end of the path when Tina arrived. She smiled when she caught her breath from running.
"Want to go to the same place?" Ghetto asked already walking back into the brush.
"Actually, I want to show you a place. It's not as neat as yours, but it is where I go sometimes." Tina walked through the brush and went towards the flower field.
"I already know about the field." Ghetto recognized the way.
"No, it's before we get there." They soon reached a huge tree growing in front of a rock. "Come on, up this rock." They climbed up the rock and then onto the tree.
At the top of the tree there was a small house, a tree house, made of wood. Beyond the small windows were the sky and the whole flower field through the branches. It was a wonderful sight; to see all of the yellow flowers almost glimmer in the moonlight.
"It's not much, and it is small, but it is my hide away." Tina sat down on the wooden floor. Stanton had made it for her and it had been another secret between them. Stanton had been like her friend, the one who defied her parents just as much as she did. They had always used to play games together and would give her candy way after her bedtime. It had been that way until he really got busy with his new "project" down in the basement. Now she hardly ever saw him.
"I like it. It has a nice view and its way up here so you can see almost anything that happens." Ghetto sat down next to her.
"Yes, and look, see that?" She pointed to a place out the low window. "That is where Tina lies."
"Tina? Isn't that you?"
"Yea, but my mommy and daddy say that she was a friend that helped them out long before I was born."
"Wow, and you were named after her. That's neat, to have a story to go with your name. Have they ever told you the story?"
"No, only that she saved them and gave her life. They've told me a fabricated version, but I don't think it was the truth."
"Oh, you should look into it."
"I will, one of these days. They don't seem too comfortable talking about her, I don't know why, but they don't."
"Have you tried asking that Stanton guy?"
Tina looked at him and shook her head, "No I haven't. But that's a great idea." She smiled.
Ghetto and Tina continued to stare out the window, simply chatting and laughing. It didn't seem that Ghetto was a demon, and all though her dad had told her to stay away, she felt that Ghetto had a heart. He was truly kind, unlike the other demons she had met. Besides, he looked so human it was amazing. She knew it wasn't his true form, but she didn't care how he looked. He was much too kind to be called a monster.
"Shh," Ghetto hushed her and listened, his eyes glimmering in the dark.
Tina blinked, and she listened as well, hoping to hear what he had. As Ghetto relaxed, someone reached into the tree house and grabbed Tina by her shirt. She was pulled right out of it and Ghetto quickly tried to grab her, but was much too slow. "Tina!" He called her name and stuck his head out to look down below. Cactar smiled up at Ghetto, holding Tina by her neck.
"I think you have some explaining to do, Ghetto. You do realize who this girl is, don't you?"
Ghetto jumped from the tree house, his eyes glowing red. "Let her go!"
"Ah, so you do know." Cactar grinned evilly, "Your father knew you were up to no good… or should I say up to all good, hm?"
Tina reached for the sword on her back as they spoke. She pulled it out and jabbed it in his side, making Cactar drop her to the ground. Ghetto took the opening and lunged forward. Tina stayed on the ground, her sword in hand and couldn't see anything. Her breath came out in short gasps as she tried to get air in her lungs. She listened, hearing the fight around her, but the darkness was too thick. Something hit the ground and then… silence. Tina held her breath and stood quietly. She didn't know who had lost, her heart pounded in her ears. Someone touched her shoulder and she yelped, swinging around with her sword. Her blade was next to Ghetto's neck; his eyes were still glowing red in the darkness. The moon above them lit the area as the clouds passed by. Her eyes widened a touch as fresh blood dripped from his arm.
"Ghetto!" She wrapped her arms around him, dropping her sword to the ground.
He was surprised for a moment before he hugged her back. A small smile formed as he held her. She looked at him and ripped the bottom of her shirt away. "Here." She said as she wrapped the wound on his arm. Tina glanced behind him and found Cactar torn to pieces. Her eyes slid down to his hands.
"No, please." Ghetto hid his hands behind him. "Don't look." His eyes, they were glowing so brightly in the darkness, and he wouldn't even look at her. He seemed so ashamed by what he had done, by killing, by being who he really was. She shook her head and grabbed his hands, Cactar's blood was still warm, but she didn't care. He had killed one of his own to save her. She smiled and stared at him as he stared back. Ghetto blushed and turned his head, "Um, we… should get you home."