Chapter 22: Moving On

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Lancelin's P.O.V:

We all stood silently in place as Sanaya absorbed all the information. I thought she might have gone into shock, but she finally seemed to shake herself out of her stupor and moved towards the door.

"Where are you going?" I asked as she turned the doorknob.

"To the poolside," she smiled hesitantly at Ace and me. "I'll stay there for some time so you guys can talk. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine."

With that, she opened the door and left without saying another word.

"Was it really necessary to tell her?" I asked Ace after waiting to make sure Sana was out of earshot. "The less she gets involved in our world, the better it is for her."

"She doesn't have a choice, Lance, not after she almost got your secret out." Ace told me. "It was either this or she'd have gotten her mind wiped clean. Three years of her life would be completely erased and we'd have placed false memories in her head, denying her of the progress she'd made, of the person she's become."

"And now she's in more danger than she was before knowing about Melinda!" I snapped. "She's human and we both know how much she's ruled by her emotions. She'll eventually get mad or upset at Melinda and she'll say something to anger her and then Melinda will get the opportunity to get rid of Sana once and for all. You really want that to happen?"

"What do you mean Melinda will kill Sana? Has she done anything to Sana?" Ace asked in concern.

"Not yet." I told him. "But I have my suspicions that she's the one who ordered that shot on me."

"What? No, those were hunter bullets." Ace told me, effectively leaving me speechless.

"What?" I asked after clearing my throat.

"That's what I came here to tell you today, before being greeted by my ex-fiancé at the reception." Ace said in a hard voice. "I traced the owner of the bullet by the imprint he left behind while loading it. Turns out, he didn't use gloves thinking it'll be impossible to trace. I found him entering the Hunter's Union last night along with a few other men."

I shook my head at him. "That's impossible. Hunters are our allies. The only people they hunt down are rogue demons who've broken the rules. And I've never broken the rules in my life." How can hunters be attacking me all of a sudden? "You're right about Melinda not being involved though; hunters never take bribes, they have a strict code of honor. But the thing that's bothering me is, why try to shoot at me in broad daylight? If a hunter is really after someone, they'll simply disappear without a trace."

"That's exactly what's been bothering me as well." Ace commented. "Hunter's are very precise. They never miss a target. Then why were you shot in the abdomen only? If that hunter had gotten a lock on to your body, he could've shot anywhere. And they're known to especially go for the head first. And on top of that, the man fired a few warning shots to cause commotion."

"Something doesn't add up, Ace. Find out what it is."

Ace nodded and got up from the sofa. "I'm already working on that."

"Ace." I stopped him just as he was about to leave. "I didn't tell you about Melinda because I didn't want her to hurt you again. She was planning to get the contract with BlueStar knowing well that you wouldn't know that Trevina and Melinda would be the same person."

Ace's back was rigid as he stood facing the door. "You know," he said, "it wouldn't have cost you your dignity if you'd just said sorry." With that, he walked out the door and slammed it shut behind him.

Sanaya's P.OV:

"Sana? What are you doing her all alone?"

I looked up startled to find Keith standing by the entrance to the third floor pool. I'd come here straight after I'd left my room. I knew this would be the only place empty since the pool hasn't been filled in yet; it gave me the privacy I needed to think about what I'd learned about Melinda a.k.a Trevina.

Why did she frame Ace? What was her purpose in coming here? Why even hurt Ace in the first place? He's a Prince too, right? Did becoming Lance's wife meant so much to her or is she after the throne right from the start? I have so much I want to ask Lance but I'm worried about getting even more involved with the world. Seeing Keith right now brought even more questions to my mind.

"Hello? Earth to Sana!" Keith waved his hand in front of my face to snap me out of my trance.

"Sorry." I scratched the back of my neck awkwardly. "I was just lost in thought."

"Lost in thought?" Keith sat down beside me and let his leg dangle into the empty pool. "The decorations are nearly finished, colors in the walls are drying nicely, staff has already been appointed, the chefs are awesome and the opening night party is next week. Everything's coming together perfectly. So what's gotten you so worried?"

I shook my head, the damp strands of my hair brushing my cheeks like a cool caress. "Just stuff." I told him instead. Keith didn't need to know about the tension between Ace and Lance, he'd mistakenly confess to Melinda and she'll just think of it as a victory. I don't know what Melinda's motives are but somehow it feels like she wanted to cause a rift between Ace and Lance.

Keith jumped down and landed on the pool floor in front of me and then he stretched his hand out to me. "Be my date to opening night?" He asked with a hopeful glint in his eyes.

"Keith...I..." I hesitated in answering him. Keith was already hopeful that after this project is over, we just might get together again. But I didn't want to give him false hope. I know I can never go back to loving him the way I used to, not after Lance. And it's not because Lance is rich and handsome; I feel like I have a connection with Lance, a bond, an understanding that I just can't move way from. I'd tried suppressing my feelings, I'd tried avoiding him, but nothing works.

"I'm sorry." I finally told him. "I can't do this Keith. We can never go back to being the way we were."

"Is it because you like him now?" Keith asked incredulously, making me freeze on the spot. "Sanaya, have you gone nuts? How can you even think that a relationship with an Incubus would ever work?"

"How did you know that?" I asked him alarmed.

"That you have feelings for him?" Keith scoffed. "It's written all over your face! Sana why don't you understand that it's never going to work? Those creatures consider us as food! Being with him will kill you! You need to be with someone of your own damn species!'

"And that means I should be with you?" I stood up from the ground so that I was staring down at Keith. "What the Hell has happened to you, Keith? Do you really want to force your feelings on me?"

"I don't have to force my feelings on you Sana, you just need to open your eyes!" He snapped at me, making me take a step back. But Keith didn't seem to notice. "Look, we can both get out of this. We'll tell Trevina that we want to be together and we don't want to be their Scribt's anymore. She'll erase the past three years of our lives and plant in new memories. It'll be like we never parted way. We could have all that we always wanted! We could be together again, get married and start a family together!"

I was stunned into silence.

What just happened? Is it really Keith who's saying all this?

"Keith...what are you talking about? Plant false memories?" I asked. "What's the point of living a lie? We won't even be ourselves anymore!"

"But we'll still have each other!"

"No we won't!" I yelled. "Stop living in the past, Keith! We used to love each other once but it's been five years since then! You need to move on."

We stared at each other for what felt like the longest time before Keith gave me a humorless smile. "I see." He said. "You've already moved on."

I took a deep breath before answering him. "I have." And then I walked away from my first love forever.

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