30 // WINGS

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'You think I'm crazy, don't you?' he said

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'You think I'm crazy, don't you?' he said.

I was still staring at the vial. I couldn't look at him. Not yet. Not while an eternity rested in the palm of my hand.

He chuckled, the sound forcing my gaze to meet his.

'Maybe I am,' he said with a sniff, cuffing his nose with the back of his hand. 'You barely know me. I mean, you know more about me than anyone else ever has, but I guess that doesn't really matter. Not in human terms anyway. To you I must be this crazy bloke who's turned your world upside down and who's now asking to you stay with him for as long as we can stay alive. I wouldn't say yes if I was you.'

His face was guarded, his tone too matter-of-fact, like he'd flipped a switch labelled Stop Being A Soft Bastard, but I could still see something in his eyes, a touch of hurt maybe? I hoped not. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt him. I didn't know what the Hell I wanted, but I knew I didn't want that.

'I'm not saying no...'

'But you're not saying yes either.' He swallowed. 'It's okay. Really. I'm not expecting you to say yes. Not yet. Just... think about it. That's all I'm asking.'

Think about it. Sure. But how was I meant to think when my head was a jumbled mess of jagged memories and nightmares, of a hope I hardly dared to allow myself, because let's face it, where had hope ever gotten me before?

Closing the book, Ethan placed it by his side on the bed. 'Here,' he said. 'I want to show you something.'

Pulling his legs up underneath him, he sat cross-legged, leaning forward slightly so his back was no longer against the wall. Taking a breath, he concentrated on a spot just in front of him, holding out his hands, palms down, fingers splayed. With small, delicate gestures, he began pulling on the air, but not in any way I had seen him do before. I'd seen bold, forceful moves, ones that I knew required strength and power, but this was completely different. It was like watching an artist paint a canvas with delicate brush strokes that required precision and fluidity, and as I watched, his movements quickened, a dizzying speed that left me breathless. Just when I was about to ask what he was doing, I saw it.

A blur of colour suspended in the air.

It grew, solidified, took shape, became something.

I knew then what I was witnessing. I was watching him create.

My eyes widened, but Ethan's hands just kept moving, pulling the air, controlling it, moulding it. I craned my neck to look closer, my mouth open in amazement.

The way his fingers moved, it looked as if he was knittingsomething out of metal. Strands of silver overlapped, twisted, formed a delicate crochet-effect that was cylindrical in shape, probably no more than about 6-7cm in length and the width of one of those expensive fat cigars that Oscar always liked to smoke. I was hypnotised by the intricacy of the pattern as he wove the silver strands together. Pausing, his brow creased as he examined it – the artist critiquing his own work - before continuing, this time, the movements of his hand even more focused as he wove together what looked like a silver chain, attached either side at the top.

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