Chapter 22: Love and Loss

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LUKAS

When Leah left, Lukas followed her. Leah walked out of the school building and around the back of the school. Lukas followed her and watched as Leah fed on a blood bag. After she finished and wiped her mouth, Lukas stepped out from the shadows.

"Leah." Lukas said. Leah's eyes met his and she snarled in frustration.

"Lukas," Leah hissed. "Seriously, get over it!"

"I know the old Leah is still in there. My Leah."

"Oh please." Leah retorted. "The old Leah is dead. And so will you if you don't go away."

"I love you." Lukas said to her. "You won't hurt me." Then, Leah snapped. She shot across the grass to Lukas and clamped her hands around his neck.

"I know you won't do it. I know you're stronger than that-"

Leah pushed him back against the wall hard and his head cracked against the brick. Lukas' feet buckled and he collapsed to the floor; laying still on the grass.

"Told ya." Leah sang and then she put his body over her shoulders. Then, she walked away, to hide his body.

ROWAN

"This is so confusing!" Erin cried, slamming the text book shut. "I can't remember that many dates."

"Tell me about it," Nate said. "I've been on thousands of dates and most I can't remember."

"I didn't mean that, Nate." Erin replied with an amused look. The library was busy with people revising whilst eating lunch.

"Where did Lukas get off to?" Nate asked, looking around library.

"I'm not sure..." Said Kestrel in deep thought.

"George is here." Erin muttered as George slid into the seat beside Kestrel. He smiled at her and I could just see their hands interlock under the table.

"What are you guys doing tonight? You should come to The Swan!" Cordelia suggested, her blond curly hair bouncing on her shoulders.

"The Swan?" George said.

"It's a nightclub. Teenagers above sixteen are allowed. But we aren't allowed alcohol." Kestrel explained to her kinda-boyfriend.

"I don't know," Erin said, uneasy. "I have training tonight and I have to work harder as Samuel isn't there to help me train."

"Go after! Duh!" Cordelia laughed. "Ask Samuel to go with you?"

"Maybe." Erin replied.

"Does Samuel come to Martina Bay High?" I asked Erin curiously. Erin shook her head.

"No," Erin replied. "He left school three years ago. He works at the Training Centre. What about Cole?"

"Cole is going to start soon. He only moved here not long ago." I explained.

"I'm glad Cole's a witch. I don't like being the only one." Kestrel said, smiling.

"He's no way as powerful as you, Kestrel." I told Kestrel. She gave me a sweet smile.

"So are we still throwing the party this weekend for your birthday?" Cordelia said with an excited grin.

"Yeah sure!" I replied enthusiastically.

"What? After everything that's going on?" Kestrel said, surprised. I shrugged.

"Kestrel," I said. "We should have this party because of everything that's going on."

"Okay." Kestrel agreed. "Where shall-"

Cordelia cut in. "My place. The party is going to be at my place. It'll be perfect! I live in a super rich big mansion, I have lots of land and I can get as much booze and drinks as I want. My parents are away visiting my Grandmother for a week too. They leave Friday."

"You're such a boaster Cordelia." I laughed. "But okay, your place, it's settled."

"I'm going to invite everybody!" Cordelia laughed and hurried out of the library.

I closed my History textbook and placed it back on the shelf.

"Let's hope this won't be a disaster." Erin said and tossed her empty sandwich packet in the trash bin.

* * * * * * *

ERIN

Erin kicked the punch bag hard and then pummelled it with her fists. Her knuckles were red from the lack of boxing gloves and she was sweating all over. She paused and ran a finger through her sweaty hair, breathing heavily.

"You've improved." Samuel said, entering the training room. He was nodding slowly in approval but Erin could notice how his eyes travelled over her short training top, that was revealing most of her stomach.

"You've notice, huh?"

"Of course I have," he replied. "It hard not to notice you."

"I thought you wasn't in today?" Erin asked, blushing.

Samuel shrugged. "I wanted to see you."

"Oh." Erin replied. "I'm glad."

"How was school?"

"It was okay, I guess."

"You're sweating." He told her with a half smile.

"I know, I look awful-"

Before Erin could finish, Samuel walked over to her and stopped when they were nose to nose.

"Why are you doing this to me?" Erin said, heart speeding up.

"Why? Can't you feel the attraction?" Samuel asked with a slight smile.

"Caring about someone is dangerous. Especially in Martina Bay. Alexia hurts the people you care about. I don't want you to get hurt."

"Don't you like dangerous?" Samuel questioned.

"Maybe." Erin said, nearly trembling as his finger slid down her belly to her waist.

"Let's find out."

And with that he pressed his lips against hers. Erin gasped from the surprise but she could feel that the kiss was right. The kiss was soft, tender; magical. Erin sighed into his mouth as his fingers ran over her neck.

When the kiss finally broke, they stared at each other, panting and breathing heavily. Erin smiled. Samuel's nose touched Erin's as they stared at each other in the eyes.

"Wow." Samuel muttered and he traced his finger along Erin's cheekbone; strong, beautiful; perfect.

"Every time we kiss, I like you a little more." Erin whispered in his ear. Samuel grinned.

"Well, maybe, I should kiss you again?"

"Well maybe you should." Erin said. Samuel leaned in and their lips met once again. His fingers ran through her hair; silky and shiny. Her blond hair with bits of brown ran over Samuel's fingers as they kissed in the beautiful silence.

Time had stopped.

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