Chapter XIII

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I placed my pen on the table and read over what I had written. It was a letter to Sarah's parents, something I had promised her I would do the day before she died. She was eighteen and as long as they had news from her, there's nothing they could do, even if they wanted her back home.

"What are you doing?" Lucifer came up behind me. He had rented out a penthouse in the middle of the city, with a gorgeous view of Central Park. He could be very persuasive when he wanted to.

"Nothing," I whispered, folding up the paper and turning around in the spinning chair. He eyed the letter I held tightly in my hand skeptically. He kneeled down to my height, standing on his knees and pressing his hands on my own.

"Do you know what today is?" He asked with a smile.

"No," I lied. I knew exactly what today was, I had spent the night reminding myself of it.

"It's your birthday," he said lowly, grasping my hands in his. I stood up abruptly, pacing around the room. "You're eighteen."

"No, I would've been eighteen," I snapped. "Now I'm just dead."

"Is that really what you believe?" He asked, approaching the spot where I stood.

"Yes, it is," I spat. "There's no point in celebrating a day that means nothing." I grabbed my jacket and stormed to the door. It was a habit to grab a sweater when it was cold, but I guess I would get used to not feeling anything anymore.

"Where the hell are you going?"

"I need some air," I slammed the door behind me and headed for the elevator. I didn't understand why I was so angry, why I held so much rage. I didn't expect Lucifer to follow me, even if part of me hoped he would. I stepped outside, the cold air sneaking its way under my thin sweater. I started walking, not quite sure where I was going. January is a miserable month: bitterly cold, Christmas has already gone by and the sun sets early, at least, it does in the northern hemisphere.

Not many people were out, staying indoors to avoid the cold. I turned the corner, arriving in a sketchier part of the city, with many homeless people who called the sidewalk home. Some of them were lying, motionless, and I feared they were dead. Normally, I would've been terrified to walk around here, even in daylight. They were hungry and had nothing to lose, so they could do whatever they wanted, not that they all would. Now, though, I was fearless. I felt as though nothing could ever get to me.

Walking distractedly, I suddenly felt a hand reach up and grab hold of my wrist. I pulled away instinctively and starred down at the man. Under his dirty appearance were a pair of eyes I would recognize anywhere.

"Nathan," the word disappeared into the air. He huffed out a sigh of relief and stood up, embracing me into a hug. I looked down at the place he had been sitting; it was surrounded by garbage, pieces of fabric, and a grocery bags filled with unidentified objects. "What the hell are you doing here?"

His hands came up to hug his shoulders. "Trouble in paradise," he smiled weakly.

"You're freezing!" I gasped, taking his pale hand in mine. "Come on," I glanced around the street. "We'll find a coffee shop."

———————

He took a long sip of his coffee, savouring it. I watched him carefully, wondering what could have happened in the time we were apart. He then began devouring the scone I had bought for us, dodging the questions I was sending his way. Knowing I wouldn't get an answer any other way, I grabbed the plate he had left a piece on and pulled it away from him.

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