CHAPTER 14

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"That was Sasha's scream, wasn't it?" Charles yelled.

"Tom." I offered my hand to him. "This way."

He grasped my fingers and Charles and Bryce followed behind us.

"Sounds like it came from around the side. You guys secure our backs, Tom's with me," I said.

"No. He's new," Charles said.

"Shut up and follow orders." I yanked Tom close.

The way Sasha's scream ended, it couldn't be good. We had to get to her!

My fellow teammates fell behind us a few steps, scanning the area. Tom and I approached the side of the building. It faced a parking lot that had been closed a few months earlier, that's why a watch spot had been set up near this end of campus. The complete darkness drew out the demons.

My bare feet stung as we moved off the soft, plush grass and onto the gravel. But the good thing, it was quiet. However, Tom's hulking weight crunched the rocks and twigs scattered around, preventing the stealth factor.

"Tom, you sense any humans?"

"No."

"Good." I lit up my skin.

Since my dress left so much of my flesh exposed, I resembled a walking light bulb. Of course, the light revealed three demons approaching and another crouched over someone lying on the ground.

Sasha.

I leapt at the demon on the right with charged hands, and his head exploded, scattering bloody flesh and dust all over my body. I whirled around, then crushed my heel on the kneecap of the other one, while Tom handled the third.

I squeezed my charged hands over the demon's ears and soon dust and guts flew, and I sprinted toward the last one, hovering over my former roommate.

"Sasha," I screamed as I collided with the demon on top of her.

We rolled over my friend and tumbled as my hands searched for flesh. Tendrils of electricity leaked out from my fingers, singing the cloth around the demon's arms.

It shrieked its fowl breath over me. From the corner of my eye, I saw Tom approaching. The demon landed on top of me, but my fingers found the flesh on his wrist, and I ignited a bolt of lightning that would have blown the grid for six city blocks.

Dust and ash sprayed over me, coating the moisture clinging to my skin. Moisture consisting of both sweat and blood.

"Sasha," I yelled as I rolled to my feet.

She lay on her back, motionless. Tom knelt beside her and felt her neck. Blood covered her throat, arms, and lower regions. Her shorts were down by her knees, nearly ripped off.

Something the size of a grapefruit lodged itself in my throat as tears stung my eyes. Charles and Bryce rounded the corner. "Stay back. Just stay back." I yelled at them as I fell to my knees beside Sasha, eyes burning with tears. "Tom. Just get back. Stand back."

He rose to his feet, and I surveyed the damage. I pulled her shredded shorts up, trying to cover her. She deserved at least that much. I cupped the sides of her face in my hands. "Sasha. Honey, come on. Sasha."

Blood matted her frizzy hair into stringy strands. Dirt covered her fingers and her nails. Her t-shirt, once white, was covered with darkness and ripped down the front. Thankfully her bra stayed intact.

I pressed my ear to her chest.

Nothing.

I ripped her shirt open more and planted my hands on her skin. "Come on, Sasha. Don't do this." I jolted her, and her body flopped.

I leaned down again.

Nothing.

"Come on. Sasha. Come on." I zapped her chest again. Tears streaming down my face, I blinked to focus. "Please."

"Dakota?" Briana's voice came into earshot, and I glanced up.

She knelt beside Sasha's motionless body.

"Help me," I said, my voice cracking.

She nodded. "Try it again. Go on."

I listened for a heartbeat. Still none, so I zapped her again.

"Come on, Sasha," Briana said. Her voice cracked. "Breathe."

I sat back. Briana covered Sasha's mouth with hers, and I saw Sasha's chest rise. My heart spiked. Briana leaned over Sasha's chest, then looked at me and shook her head.

Sounds around me muffled, like someone had shoved cotton in my ears. My heart trashed my ribs. I glanced around. Through my tears, I saw Tom approach.

"Here." He reached behind him and pulled off his dark t-shirt. "Use this, Dakota. Cover her up."

I grabbed the cotton shirt, then draped it over Sasha's lower half, and I pulled her shirt together and held it closed over her chest. Sobs rocketed through me as I leaned over her motionless body, draping my arms across her. Sasha had agreed to cover my shift so I could go party and now, she was dead.

And it was my fault.

My fault.

"Red." Tom peered down at me. His dark eyes flashed white, then my brain suddenly ached like I'd slurped an Icee too quickly.

It's not your fault.

I heard him as plain as if he'd been talking.

Only his lips hadn't moved.

***AUTHOR NOTE***

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***AUTHOR NOTE***

Hey guys. Thanks so much for reading this episode.

Poor Sasha. Poor Dakota. I got a little teary eyed while I wrote this.

What are you guys thinking so far? Any theories?


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