"Do you know... anything?" he's the first one to speak as we descend the grand stairs. The corridors are empty and, as he so accurately remarked earlier, I doubt the restaurant will still serve at this hour.
"Cole said you were werewolves" I whisper the last word and nearly expect Armel to burst in laughter and then dial the closest asylum. I would be kind of relieved, even if he had only smiled a bit. Instead he just nods his head, deep in thoughts.
"What else did he say?" he inquires in his deep French accent.
"That you had a job concerning..." the word demon still hasn't imprinted in my vocabulary and I struggle to get it out. I would sound insane talking about stuff like that.
"Demons and witches" Armel finishes for me. Witches, so they do exist. Cole didn't mention them earlier.
"Do witches have wands and-"
"No!" he snorts as if mocking me. "I don't know where that idea came from, portraying witches with wands, it's ridiculous. Who can believe that magic can be cast with a wooden stick?"
Who could ever believe a man could turn into a wolf I want to ask. "Do you only change on the full moon?"
"Another myth gone to hell I fear. We change whenever we feel the urge too." He answers as we pass the saloon doors that give place to an enormous dining hall. At the corner I spot another door with an 'only staff' sign on it. It must be the kitchen.
"Does it hurt?" We're the only one in the restaurant and it feels intimidating. I'm not used to being alone in so much space. Armel walks nonchalantly towards the closed doors and, just when I'm about to tell him there's no one here, I pick up distant voices. So I guess werewolf hearing isn't a myth.
"It's something you get used to" he finally answers, knocking on the door. Seconds later a young boy with a face dotted in freckles and dressed in a white apron opens it, looking quizzical.
"Can I help you?" he asks Armel after looking at me. Armel just steps back and nods towards me.
"Could I have something to eat now?" I ask. Please don't let him say no. My stomach seems to be caving in in hunger.
"I was about to put away spaghettis in carbonara sauce and there's also some salmon in Asian sauce." He informs me. I tell him I'll have the salmon and water. After all, it's not every day that I can afford to eat fish.
"And I'll have the pasta" Armel speaks up when the boy turns back in the kitchen. "We have quiet the appetite" he whisper to me, a grin adorning his features. Only a few minutes of awkward silent later the same boy appears with our plates and drinks.
"Room service can be delivered twenty-four hours a day" he informs us, giving me my plate, "and every day of the week."
"We know." Armel dismisses him, "but it's not like she's got a room" he adds once the boys disappears again. We sit at a table that stands next to the entrance and quietly start eating our respective food. My mind is bubbling in questions I want to ask but the man in front of seems so inaccessible...
"Where you born like this?" I finally decide that I'll ask about him first, see if I can get to know him a bit better. And then I'll ask about his world.
He shakes his head, swallowing his food before answering, "I was bitten, at fourteen"
"What was it like?"
"Lots of pain, it's the only thing I can remember from those first days."
"And how did you become a member of..." How did Cole say they called their groups?
"The pack?" he asks and I nod, that was the word Cole used earlier. "Hunter found me when I was at my worst, instead of killing me just like he was ordered to do he saved me and secured a spot for me in the pack."
"Are you French?" I finally decide to ask. His accent has been nagging me since the moment he first opened his mouth.
"Oui, c'est un plaisir de fair votre rencontre" he makes a small smile.
"It's a pleasure to meet you too" I answer. I've become accustomed to picking bits of languages from tourists. Without a doubt French rakes in my favourite languages.
"What is life here like?" he finally asks about me.
"It depends on where you live. Where I'm from, the suburbs, life can be... horrible. If you're from the advantageous part of town, like here for example, life is pretty luxurious and easy."
"I've heard about the way people were treated like scum in places around here. Didn't really believe it at first"
"I haven't seen any what people call dog attacks, but the place you live is... horrible did you say earlier? Yes that's exactly the word" he says apologetic, as if I'd get mad he's insulting the place I live. If I could go anywhere else, basically anywhere, I would.
"How much time do you think you're going to be around? And what is it exactly you're doing?" I ask something that I've been wondering about for some time. The idea of Cole marching away somehow seems unbearable.
He stares at me for a long time, almost finishing his plate before answering, "quiet some time for this job."
However charming he seemed moments prior, or opened to communication disappeared. His voice dropped a few degrees and it almost seemed as if he was hissing at me to stop being so curious. Suddenly I was reminded that the man in front of me isn't my friend or even an acquaintance. No, he was a guardian Cole had set so that I didn't flee the building and made sure I wouldn't divulge his secrete.
"How much time until Cole trusts me?" I decisively ask. After all, why continue pretending?
"It depends on you. Truthfully you shouldn't know anything" I suddenly don't feel as secure anymore around this man. His friendly mask has dropped and I'm left facing a too well-cut man who looks menacing and without pity.
"Maybe we could go back... " I trail off, unsure. I want to go back, oh how I just want to snuggle into Cole's arms. It's crazy, absolutely crazy, he's basically retraining me here against my will but somehow he's the only one capable of making me feel secure.
He glances at the expensive looking watch hanging at his wrist before nodding and standing up, leaving his dirty plate on the table. I do the same, trailing behind him and leaving a good enough space between us.
"Has Cole told you anything about identifying demons?" he finally speaks again as we reach the first floor.
"They have different eye colour" I tentatively answer. He turns around to look at me as if I was an idiot, again. Just like when I asked about wands before answering.
"Don't you think people will freak out if they saw someone with red eyes?" he asks in a 'duh' voice. "They use contacts. No, the way you can identify them is thanks to their speed, they have non-human speed, a bit like vampires. They can also get into your mind, put images there you wouldn't necessarily want to see" I catch the way his face crunches up and wonder what image a demon put up there once.
"Cole said one type could enter children?"
"The Archeri, yes. Powerful demons like generals or Lilith can also cause momentary blindness, very handy during a fight." I briefly wonder why he's telling me all this but decide to just let it pass. The fact that he's informing me is good enough.
"You're sleeping in my room tonight?" I was so engrossed listening to the captivating French accent that I didn't realize we were already on their floor. I jerk my head up to meet Cole's orbs, staring straight at me. Armel has stopped walking and it takes some time for Cole's word to sink into my head. Once I want to oppose to the idea Armel is gone, the door is closed and I'm left with Cole, in his room.
I'm sorry I'm taking so long to update and also sorry if this chapter is kind of bad I proise the next one will be a lot better. I just had my mind on other things lately. MY mum's birthday is in a day, my grandma was in hospital and I'm thinking about going back with my ex so... not much time for the story. SORRY SORRY SORRY, BARE WITH ME
YOU ARE READING
Anastasia, 'Tasha' for everyone, is a suburb teenager at the City, worn clothes, matted hair and skinny she can easily pass unseen by the City guards and most of the population. Plan a future? No, she doesn't know what future is, her only preoccupat...