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(Song, What I'm Looking For, by Brendan Benson)

He came with me inside after all.

We're sitting on Cara's guestroom bed, which surprisingly nobody is... using, and just talking about everyday life as we sip on some punch that we got from the kitchen. He works at a bookstore somewhere downtown and I feel bad that I don't remember the name of the place. He lives alone- I guess he moved out, and hates video games and movies. For a guy, that's rare.

I'm curious as to why he made it seem like he has no last name, or even freakier, why he might not have a last name. Everybody has one.

"Cael, you never told me your last name and kind of made it seem you don't actually have one." I say, wanting to have my mouth stapled shut for all of eternity as I realise that he probably just goes by his first name for a reason.

He smirks, a little twitch of his mouth. His eyes fill with a sadness that seems so ancient that he looks as though he's been around forever. "It's not like that. It's-" he pauses.

"Complicated?" I supply.

Cael nods his head. "It's kind of like I've been disowned in a way and I've distanced myself from that life. Maybe I'll tell you my last name sometime. But not yet."

 "I didn't mean to pry..." God, I feel like the biggest idiot.

He looks up at me, surprised. "No, you don't have to be sorry. Honestly, I don't mind telling these things to you, you're a good listener. I trust you."

My heart skips a beat. He trusts me? We've really only just met, but I feel like I can trust him too. I've never felt this way before and it scares me. But I like it at the same time.

"Cael, do you wanna maybe, get outta here and catch a bite?" I ask suddenly having grown a pair of extra-large...well, male genitalia.

"Yeah, I do, really. But would be better if we just..." He looks around, then strangely up at the ceiling like it'll give him some kind of strength and then says, "I do. Cool, thanks."

"You're sure?" I ask, not wanting to pressure him. He nods his head and smiles at me, making me blush.

I grab him by the wrist playfully, lead him out the room and go downstairs to find Cara, though as usual, she finds us first.

"Hey! Are you having fun, my main man?" She asks me. God she's so drunk, tomorrow's not going to be a good day. She'll be calling me puking her guts out for sure, asking me to help wash her hair.

"Yeah Cara, I am. Listen, my friend Cael and I are going to go get something to eat, and then I'm going to go home, okay?" Speaking to Cara when she's drunk is like speaking to a five year old.

"Okay. Who's this guy anyway? Do I even know him?" She asks.

"Nope. He just showed up with someone here. You should really pay attention who comes into your house, you know." I reply, rolling my eyes.

"How old are you?" she slurs, pointing at him. Cael smiles, "Nineteen."

Cara seems to accept this and puts her arms around me saying, "I love you Babe. You're the only friend I've got to really rely on, you know? You just don't care about everything everybody else does. That's why I like you, you're so cool, Babe.'m thirsty!" and she walks away to the kitchen to get another beer, probably having forgotten that she was even talking to me.

Once we reach the front door, I do a double take as Damien shoots Cael the dirtiest of looks from across the room. Why does he hate him so much? I wonder. Obviously they have a past together, and I want to know what exactly transpired between them.

When we get outside I remember that I didn't drive myself here. Damn! I should've known there was a hitch in my plan. I'm not good with plans I guess.

Cael studies my face. "Hey, what's wrong?"

I blush, "I forgot that Cara drove me here. I hardly ever use my car anymore; I just always catch a ride with her. My car is kind of a piece of junk."

He reaches into his pocket and produces a set of keys, "Lucky that I've got a car then, eh?"

I smile and hug him impulsively. God, I'm usually not like this. I should get myself under control before I do something stupid.

 As we pull apart something strange happens. Not "Ohmigod this guy is so cute! My heart, it fails me!" strange, because I am not the gushing type. It's more of a feeling that all of a sudden, I'm alone, more alone that I've ever felt. It's like something's been torn right out of me, and it hurts.  Cael doubles over in pain as if he feels it too, and panic fills me.

"Cael, what's happening?" I ask completely confused.

His face is pale his eyes are glassy, and his black hair is matted to his head from a sudden burst of sweat. He's trembling fiercely, and I fleetingly wonder if I look the same, because I feel like utter crap.

"Khiara, I- I need to sit down. I just feel dizzy is all; I'll be okay in a bit." He says, trying to assure me that he's fine by brushing it off. But I won't let him brush this- whatever it is- off.

"Cael, you should go home. I'll drive you if you can't drive." I say, eager to get him home, because obviously we've both got the flu or somebody's spiked our drinks, or something normal. The way he's looking at me is making me nervous, though. This is normal, this is normal. I chant it like a mantra in my head.

"I'll be fine. I don't get sick easily," I lie to make him feel a little better. In fact, my immune system isn't the best out there. "My immune system is great, it's like there are these little people inside of me fighting to keep me healthy all year round yelling, 'Don't let her get sick,' and I never do."

This is why I don't often lie. I suck at it.

He smiles like he knows I'm lying but appreciates it all the same. "Thanks, yeah. I should get home. It's probably the flu. You said you'd drive me, but you're sure you'll be okay? You seem to be feeling sick yourself."

I nod my head but think better as a wave of nausea washes over me. "I'll call a cab."

Dark One- The Khiara Banning Series Book 1 Where stories live. Discover now