Start from the beginning

"Yeah, well, Dad won't like him," I counter.

"Hey!" she elbows me.


I notice the trepidation in Ella's expression. "Hey, just one more challenge." I take her hand in mine. "There's literally nothing to be scared of," I give her assurance. "We got up here, we can go down."

"What after?" she looks up at me. "We find a massive supermarket, barricade it and eat as much cake as I want?"

I chuckle, "sounds good to me," and I kiss her forehead.

"Ew, guys," Amber holds a disgusted look. "Get a room?"

"Forget that," Bray says with a smug grin. "Get a building!"

Ella steps backs, getting flustered.

"Oi!" I put Bray in a headlock, rubbing my knuckles into his head. "You think you're funny!?"

"Hey-hey-hey!" Bray tries to break free, laughing. "Watch out for the hair, dude!"

"Ahem," Carmen clears her throat, staring out through broken shards of glass, "sorry to spoil the moment guys, but can we get going, like, for reals? In case you haven't noticed, there's a massive sandcastle forming out here."

I go to where she's standing. Damn it. The lurkers have pinpointed our location. Their senses heighten when there's fresh meat in one spot for too long in a short span. We've have outstayed our welcome.

Long story short: we're fucked.

"Pack it up now," I order.


An eye-damaging spark lights up the sky. An ear-splitting crack. Spikey spits of rain. Oh crap, we have to get this done ASAP. I look over to the opposite building. The only ones that are yet to come across are Jace and Ella. They are talking with each other, the discomposure is evident in their facial expressions. I can make out bits of what they're saying.

"...What are...doing?" Jace asks Ella. "Get on."

"..Wait...lost...necklace," Ella looks around frantically.

Something 'bout a necklace??

"..We're in a world-ending-crisis....you..care..about..necklace?"

"It's important!"

Jace points to the ladder and Ella shakes her head. He rolls his eyes in frustration and carefully steps outta the window himself. He starts balancing across, arms outstretched like an aeroplane.

"What's she doing?" I call out to him.

"Looking for some necklace, mate!" Jace focuses on his footings. "Don't worry, she'll be right up."

Jace jumps down from the window and I pat his back. "Ella, time's up! Let's go!" I holler.

"Cominggg!" she steps out the window, slowly making her way over.

I breathe in and out. Something feels terribly off, either that or my anxiety is getting the best of me like it always does. Everything's fine, everything's fine, everything's fine. I glance over my shoulder at my sister and she nods back supportively. I am anxious. Extremely. Fucking. Anxious. I nod back at her like 'I got this', forcing my mind to believe everything's alright.

"You're almost there," I watch Ella intently.

Then, fucking outta nowhere, I begin shaking. Wait, not just me, but everything and everyone. The already disfigured ceiling and the wall around us deepen in vein-like cracks, replicating like a virus.

It's an earthquake. A goddamn earthquake!

Ella screams, losing her balance. She has landed in crawling position and the ladder is sliding off from the other end because someone, Jace if we're talking specifics, isn't there to fucking hold it!

"Grab my hand!" I lean out the window so that my torso is halfway out, Jace and Bray hold onto my waist.

"Dean!" she screams out my name.

The spitting rain has turned to a giant rainstorm. My hair is getting in my eyes, my jacket's getting heavy and the tiny cuts on my body are splitting open again.

Ella is drenched and I can't tell her tears apart from the rain. The ladder slides off from the other end but she doesn't let go of the rails, causing them both to slam onto the wall of our building. The impact catches us by surprise and forces the ladder, on our end, to slide off too.

"Ella!" I yell.

She grabs my hand and I hold onto her with both of mine. The rain's against us, it's droplets getting fatter. The earthquake is over but not the one that's happening inside my body. My heart sinks into the pit of my stomach. I cannot lose her, not like this. Not when...I love her.

"Just hold on!" I beg. "Don't, don't let go, please."

She winces, shaking her head, "I-I can't..."

"I swear to fucking God if you let go..!" I clench my jaw.

Then there's this sharp as fuck pain coming from my elbow. I groan. It feels like all the nerves in my arm is on fire. Adrenaline allows me to free my left hand, I shake my arm outta my unzipped jacket and take a look at the source. When I see it, I find it impossible to breathe.


Gauze from my dream.

I grip Ella with both hands again. She's slipping. Instead of palm to palm, it's now fingers to fingers. And before we know it, it'll be fingertips to fingertips. She knows what's about to happen and I know what's about to happen and nobody can stop it from it happening. Not I, not her, nor my friends. Only God himself.

"...Dean," she calls out in a hushed voice.

Aware of the wound on my elbow, I feel the pressure of the gauze against my skin more distinctly. "Don't." Tears drip outta my eyes and merge with the dying rain. "Don't..."

"I love you," she mouths.

I groan in agony, my shoulders on the verge of dislocating. She cannot fucking do this to me! She can't just fucking rip me apart like this! I try to hold onto her a little while longer. Just long enough so I can at least say it back.

Fingertips to fingertips, she slips.

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