Chapter Four: An Answer or A Question?

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I stare at Julian for far too long. My mouth hanging half open and my eyes wide. Accompanying the shock that coursing through my veins, is the anger. Boiling, fierce, pure and undiluted hatred making my senses burn. Julian doesn't appear surprised to see me, he's acting as if we saw each other yesterday.

It takes me another minute before I can speak and revert myself back to here and now, not there and then with him. But also underneath that ferocious hatred of mine is an undying love and longing that I just don't want to feel. And because I don't trust myself, I cautiously reach out and place a hand on his cheek.

Had I not been looking in the vast emerald depths of his eyes, I would not have seen the love and grief blazing through his perfect facade as the careless, cocky teenager. He had been taught well. But so had I.

'I never want to see you again,' I murmured, clear enough for him to hear.

I removed my hand from his cheek, tightening my grip on Peter's hand and pulled him away. I did not need Julian here, I did not want him here because wherever Julian was, trouble was. I hurriedly took out my phone, cursing the extensive privacy measures as it did a retinal scan and I dialled Tony's number.

He answered almost immediately, after one and a half dials. 'Kaya, is something wrong?'

'No, we're fine, well, I'm not sure, we might have a problem,'

'Take a deep breath, Kaya,' Tony instructed. 'Now tell me what's going on,'

'Peter and I were walking out of Delmar's and I bumped into Julian.' I didn't give him time to ask questions. 'Julian is--was a friend of mine from Australia. He's a part of the organisation that you found me in and--and if he's here...'

I trailed off. 'Kaya, Kaya!' Tony called through the device.

'Kaya, don't trail off, finish your sentence!'

Tony didn't mean to be annoyed because I knew he was worrying about me. I'd never told anyone about Julian or what happened to during those months that the organisation had held me hostage. Tony was just worried... And with good reason.

'I just-I just think that it means something bad might happen,' I said finally. Quietly.

Tony was silent on the other end. 'Be home by six, we'll talk then.'

'Okay,' I said quietly.

'Could you pass the phone to Peter for a second,'

I smiled. 'Sure,'

I gave the phone to Peter, hearing a muffled buzz meaning that Tony was talking and I watched as Peter's face slowly paled. Shakily, he gave the phone back to me.

'I can take care of myself,' I told Tony.

'You didn't hear what I said to him,' Tony defended weakly.

'But I can guess,' I said. 'See ya, Tony,' I hung up on him before he could say anything else.

I huffed as I pocketed my phone, giggling when Peter gulped nervously.

'Oh come on, Spider-Boy,' I teased, taking his hand. 'Let's go eat our food, I'm starving,'

It took Peter a few seconds to reply. 'But you're hungry all the time,'

I grinned, tugging him along behind me.

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It didn't matter what I did. I could not get Julian out of my mind. As Peter and I spent the day together, doing even the simplest of things, I would get another memory of him from our childhood. It was like the most beautiful yet painful curse in the world.

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