A/N: So weekly updates then, huh? Why the hell not, let's give it a try!

Chapter 21

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Mary just looked at Ethan, her brown eyes wide open, hands stiffly resting on her hips. Slowly, really slowly she let her hands straighten and fall beside her. Her eyes were pinned on Ethan's black ones. She was waiting for him to laugh, to break the silence surrounding them like a soft veil.

But he did not laugh. He didn't even smile. All he did was stare back at Mary. His gaze was watchful as if he expected for Mary to either scream, cry or run for her life. But she too, did not do as Ethan assumed. Instead she opened her mouth.

"You're funny" she said narrowing her eyes.

"I am, but I wasn't trying to be this time" Ethan laughed awkwardly.

"It was a joke" Mary said crossing her arms over her chest, "right?"

No answer. Only silence.

"You're crazy. Did you actually think I'd believe you?" she asked tilting her head to one side.

"Honestly, no."

"So why–"

"For fun" Ethan cut Mary's sentence, "It seems to be my motto these days."

"So rushing out of the van was also, what, for fun?" Mary asked, her voice a little sharper than a moment ago.

Ethan's black eyes darkened. It almost looked like the light in the room dimmed with them.

For a second the shadows seemed to reach for Mary, trying to desperately tie their long fingers around Mary's ankles, around her wrists and throat. Ethan's face was a competition between light and shadow as the storm inside his eyes slowly calmed.

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And then Ethan's face lit up and the touch of darkness vanished. The lamp above their heads winged slightly, illuminating the room.

"Yeah, for fun" Ethan said and walked to the door, guiding Mary out. "It was nice to chat with someone else than Zoe or Luca for a change."


Ivy pursed her lips together, absorbed in thought. The dress was perfect except for the long hem. It was fitting from the waist and around the breasts. But the hem, the hem was the problem. She turned around and bent to see the back.

She stared at her reflection. The dress was so pretty. The hem flowing to the ground like a waterfall of summer roses, bright dangerous red. Almost as red as Abigail's dress had been.

"So do you like it?" Azaleia asked a shimmer in her eyes.

"Umm... I do" Ivy said a little too hesitant.

The shimmer in Azaleia's eyes died.

"If you don't like it we can find you–"

"No!" Ivy cut in. "I like it, I really do." Her voice wasn't that convincing.

She stepped down from the stool she was standing on and turned her back to the mirror. She breathed in deep before she opened her mouth.

"I just don't see why this is necessary."

Azaleia's eyes dropped to the floor. Ivy couldn't read her face, so she continued on speaking.

"I don't see why this is necessary because... because–"

"Because you are not staying. Because you want to leave, to go back to the mortal world" Azaleia said a hint of sadness in her voice.

"Yes" Ivy's words came out as a whisper, so quiet she could barely hear them herself. "It's my home."

"I know" Azaleia said and even though Ivy couldn't see her face, she could hear her smiling. "And what I'm about to say pains me as much as it pains you."

Ivy frowned, her mouth slightly hanging open.

"I cannot let you leave" Azaleia said. Her words were choked and it seemed to be a real struggle for Azaleia to even get them out.

"What?" Ivy gasped. "It's my home."

"I'm sorry, I truly am. I will see you at dinner."

Then Azaleia ran out of the room and closed the door behind her. Ivy heard the key turn in the lock and the gears click into their places. The firm door rested on its place and the room fell into silence. Into a suffocating, burdensome silence.

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She was out of words. Guest. That's what Azaleia had said.

A guest now locked in a room with no windows. A guest with nowhere to go, no place to run to. A guest trapped in a strange world amongst enemies.

That's what she was.


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(None of the pictures above are mine, but the story is! :))

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