Chapter 11

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"So that is when I knew I needed to do something," Luka uttered as Eliana stared at him in awe.

Things had changed, well some things. The search for Kira still yielded little results, but in the hours it took to walk around the coast to another town, called The Bridge, and back through small lanes and inland roads, the conversation flowed. Luka was impressed with Eliana's passion, despite the easy life she had lived, she could see beyond her lavish boundaries and wanted to help those around her. He had never met someone so dedicated to a cause they did not really know existed. This enable Luka to explain where he had come from, how being driven from his home made him the revolutionary he was today. This, in turn, entranced Eliana. Both now felt comfortable in each other's company.

They rounded a corner, starting down a steep hill. The conversation stopped, as did Eliana. Sensing this a few steps later, Luka turned back, "are you ok?"

"It's amazing."

"What is?"

"That," Eliana pointed out over the scene that greeted them. She had seen out over the bay from sea level, but up here, with the sun low in the sky, it was magical. Red slate roofs dropped away to the main road, beyond which sat a dusty beach. The scene stretched out into the ocean past two islands, the closer the smaller of the two. Lights appeared despite it being the height of the summer and the sun not setting for a few hours yet. The reflection of these and the sun in the water added an air of relaxation. Eliana had seen many beautiful things in her city, but this, here, was perfection.

Luka smiled and chuckled to himself, allowing Eliana to catch up. The young lady was unsure why she did it, maybe it was just the right thing to do, but looped her arm around his and pulled herself in close. They said nothing as they walked down the hill.

At the bottom Eliana let him go, saying, "so where now?"

"We should head back, although there are a few alleyways on the outskirts of town. She may have run there thinking she was out of sight, we'll check those out first."

~

Kira woke suddenly, the sound of laughter echoing around the alley. It was darker now, a more natural gloom setting in. The laughter turned into voices, she recognised them but could not remember from where. In her groggy, half awake, state she could not tell if they were from a dream or based in reality. Kira raised herself on aching limbs, walking to where other streets intersected, she peered around the corner. The figures were blurry, as they came into focus one lost their footing and fell. It was Eliana.

Kira's heart jumped, making her reveal herself at the top of the steps. There she watched the whole scene unfold. Eliana placed her hands out to cushion her fall, but she never hit the stone steps. The other figure, who turned out to be Luka, caught her in his strong muscular arms. He pulled her in and looked in her to eyes, checking if she was in pain. And that is when the horror happened. Like a scene out of a bad romance, their faces moved together and they let the moment pass over them. Their lips barely touched when Kira let out a deep groan. She did not know why, but she felt betrayed, cheated. Like before, when fearful, her reaction was to run. Back down the alley she had collapsed in, back down the alley she had slept in. It was much shorter that she had expected, at the far end were more steps. Down led to the seafront and the main road, that meant being out in the open. Her only option was to ascend. Like before, she took two at a time, any tactic to get away.

Kira froze at the top. Luka stood in front of her. He knew these alleyways, he had read her mind and cut her off. Kira turned to descend, this time stopped by his voice. "Wait," he paused as she stood still, "do not run. You need to come with us." Kira did not turn, keeping her back to Luka. His next tactic was to beg, "please, we are not here to hurt you, we are here to save you."

If felt powerful, as if Luka was some type of hero. Even if the comment might not be enough to fully convince Kira, it worked in that moment. She looked down the stairs, deciding it was best to go with him. As she turned she saw Eliana standing behind him and, once again, burst into tears.

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