Michael is sitting in the car when Eva bursts out the gates of the graveyard, dark hair practically flying behind her. He doesn't hear the discordant clang of the metal bars slamming against each other or her laboured footsteps as she rushes towards the car door.
His blonde head is nodding softly along to a beat loud enough to hear from outside the car, and his long, tanned fingers drum in time on the steering wheel.
It's only when Eva finally fumbles for the door handle that Michael looks up, concern immediately crossing his warm brown eyes.
Leaning over, he pushes the car door open, and Eva slides in quickly, body still shaking, and slams it shut.
"What happened?" Michael demands, throwing a horrified glance towards the bloody red lines ribboning her coffee-coloured skin.
"Drive," she cries, her heart still beating wildly in her chest.
Michael hesitates, eyes still locked on her bloodied arms, but starts the engine. Eva casts a terrified glance back towards the cemetery gates, expecting to catch a glimpse of eerie green eyes through the bars, or a flash of sharp teeth in the bushes. The shadows of the wind-pulled trees dance across the floor, taunting her with human-like forms. It sends a new pulse of fear down her spine.
"Eva, you need to tell me what ha-" Michael begins, his voice urgent.
"Just drive," she interrupts, her voice broken.
The engine of the old Toyota groans as Michael pulls out of the grotty car park and onto the road.
Eva tries to calm her breathing as they pick up speed, leaving the graveyard far behind.
"What happened?" Michael pushes again. Although his eyes are fixed on the road, she can see the fearfully concerned glances he makes towards her.
She fumbles for the words, but none present themselves. Instead, tears push at her eyes, like water against a fractured dam, threatening to erupt.
She lets the tears fall, a bitter release with every drop that runs from her eyes. She feels broken and defeated, and can't help but recognise the painful irony that she'd almost died on the graves of the parents who'd given their lives so she could live.
Shivering droplets fall into her lap, and for the first time, she realises she's still clutching the bloodied rock tightly in her hand. She studies it for a moment in disgust -- the blood staining it is so dark it's almost black -- and lets it roll into the footwell. The morbid thing brings a fresh wave of nausea to the back of her throat, even in the darkness near her feet.
Suddenly, Michael slams his foot to the brakes and hurriedly unclips his seatbelt.
"Come on," he says softly, and Eva just has enough time to gauge where they are before he's out the car and at her door, taking her hand and helping her out her seat.
The entrance to the police station is cool and clinical, and Michael navigates through the people with ease, hand still clasping Eva's firmly. He doesn't stop at the front desk but instead leads her through the large double doors at the end of the room and into a bustling office.
Noah sees her the second they enter the room. Immediately, his eyes dart to her bloodied arms and he sets papers in his hands down and crosses the busy room with well-practiced urgency.
"Eva, what happened?" Her brother echoes Michael's words, panic spreading across his face. "Is this blood yours?"
"Not all of it," she replies, eyes glassy.
"I think something attacked her," Michael offers, "She came barrelling out of the graveyard looking like she'd seen a ghost."
"Someone," Eva breathes, "It was a boy."
She doesn't tell them that he'd been more animal than man, or that his teeth were inhumanly sharp or his eyes unnaturally green. They'd think she's crazy. Maybe she is; that explanation provides more comfort than her truth.
Noah's face clouds over, "Tell me exactly what he looked like," he says with barely contained rage.
YOU ARE READING
The Butterfly NetFantasy
"Life for an immortal is trying to catch water in a butterfly net. It's impossible. That's the problem, you see - we cannot live because we do not die." Everything changes for Eva Carlisle when she meets beautifully broken Julian Sloan. Immortal and...