xiv. stranger danger

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Flames in a wildfire spread onto every inch of my body. I stand, paralyzed by shock, among the now frantic crowd of Times Square. A twistedly beautiful blood-red river rippled onto the streets, sprouting from her heart.

The people responsible for her death fade into the frenzied sea.

A pair of forest green eyes stand out among the hazy crowd.

His eyes lacked malice, but were instead coated with a predatorial glaze. The man started to approach me—I run.

Because, you know, stranger danger.

I turn down blocks and corners until I make it to a cramped alleyway. My hands grip the sides and try to pull my body up, but from my injury, I'm significantly weakened.

Goddamnit Octavia don't you know from movies to never go into an alleyway?

The man with green eyes catches up to me. He tilts his head in amusement at the trap I've boxed myself into, and slowly, he circles me in.

I pull out my pistol and point it in his direction.

"Get away from me," I spit.

No matter how much I try to hide it, there is a trace of fear welling up in my voice. The man registers this and continues to prowl in my direction.

"You're adorable, Darling."

His voice is the lackluster oil slowly drowning my lungs. He begins to corner me in.

A loud bang reverberates in the alleyway as I pull the trigger to my gun, which the man effortlessly doges.

Green-eyes swiftly knocks the gun out of my hands and slams me against the wall. He then boxes me in with his arms.

I'm trapped between the cool stone wall and the assailant.

Under the dim glow of a single streetlight, my attacker's features seemed to change into shadows.

He had jet ebony hair, and if possible, even darker eyes. His pupils were undetectable against his somber green irises. He and Ace were complete opposites.

While Ace reminded me of the day, he was the living embodiment of night.

"Who are you?" I grimace. "And what do you want, asshole?"

His face is only inches away from mine; we're so close that our breaths intertwine. A smirk tugs on his features when I'm unable to fight back and kick his ass.

"Call me Thirteen, Darling."

"I'm not your fucking Darling," I struggle. "What kind of name is Thirteen anyway? Were one to twelve taken?"

Thirteen chuckles deeply. His breath and fingers are hot against my skin as he traces my waist. A vile grin passed on to his face as he examined me from top to bottom. A concoction of hunger,  lust, and power filled his dark eyes.

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