“How did you get in here again?” I asked him calmly.
“Through the front door.” Simon responded still leaning against the doorframe.
“You’re lying, the door won’t open.” I said pointing a finger at him and shaking my head.
“Oh Ella darling, you’re not the only one who can play tricks.” Simon said and winked at me.
“You did something to the door. What did you do to my door? Why couldn’t I leave? How did you do it?” I was asking too many questions all at once again.
Simon just looked at me grinning. “Let’s just say I had a feeling you would try to run again and I put you under house arrest.”
“Why? What do you want from me Simon?” I asked, terrified of the answer.
Simon seemed to consider the question for a few seconds. “I’m conflicted about you.” He said with a sigh.
Well this was new, “Conflicted?” I asked confused.
“Yes, I’m not sure what to do with you actually. You intrigue me.” Simon said moving away from the door frame and coming back into the room to sit on the coffee table facing me. What was it with people and animals sitting on my coffee table watching me?
“There’s another chair you know. You could sit in it.” I said with no warmth in my voice.
“Oh, we are being hospitable now? Well, I prefer to sit closer to you, just in case.” He said with another grin. I didn’t respond.
The phone I had dropped was still lying on the floor, next to my foot. I was hoping Jeff hadn’t chickened out on me and was still on his way here. It was time to start stalling.
Grove jumped up to sit next to Simon, looking like a tiny furry solider waiting for instructions. “What did you do to Grover?” I asked warily. Watching as Simon started stroking Grover’s back, never taking his eyes off me.
“How?” I asked, suddenly genuinely curious.
“We all have an animal we can call Ella darling, mine happens to be cats.” He replied as if this was something I should already know.
“You talk to cats?” I asked in disbelief.
“More or less. Are you saying you’ve never talked to Grover?” He asked, a sly smile on his face.
“Yeah, well, that’s different. He’s never talked back to me. Because cats…don’t…talk. What are you? The Cat King or something?” I asked sarcastically.
“No.” He said simply. This was going nowhere. I needed another tactic.
“Taking a last minute trip Ella?” Simon asked, gesturing towards my bags sitting on the floor behind my chair.
There was no use in denying it. I had been trying to run and he knew it. “How did I get to the couch Simon? The last thing I remember you and I were standing over there and you grabbed me and it felt…ummm…unusual.” I didn’t want to talk about the kiss. Nope, the kiss didn’t happen. La…La…La…La….
“Then I woke up on the couch thinking it had all been a dream until Grover scared the hell out of me with his Stepford Cat routine and decided it was time to vacate.” I said angrily.
“You fainted. It’s partly my fault, I should have had better control, but you surprised me when you kissed me and my shields slipped.” he said.
When I kissed him??? No, there was no kissing.
“I don’t faint. This isn’t 1893 and I’m not some stuffy Victorian Lady. I don’t faint. I’ve seen some pretty messed up things over the years (some of which I caused) and I’ve never fainted. And there was no kissing you pompous ass!” I was starting to sound like a lunatic.
Simon stared at me with a new expression on his face, disbelief. He had a way of sitting very still that unnerved me. I was saying too much and running out of time. Where was Jeff? I had one more shot to get out of here, but I needed Jeff to pull it off.
“Denial isn’t becoming on you Ella.” Simon said with a smirk.
“Cut the crap Simon and tell me what your deal is and why you’re here.” I said with venom.
Simon never had a chance to answer me because at that moment Jeff came crashing into the room swinging a baseball bat and connected with a lamp on the table next to the doorway. Simon’s attention shifted away from me momentarily and I saw my chance.
Simon had jumped so fast towards Jeff that I barely saw him move. I was hoping Jeff would do something to distract Simon long enough for me make one last attempt to get out of here. It looks like luck was on my side tonight.
Everything happened in a split second. Jeff came crashing into the room, Simon lunged for him and I dug down to the deepest part of my being and focused all my energy, everything I had been taught about control, into one action. I raised my hands out in front of me and focused on making Simon stop. I poured all my energy, anger, fear and power into the room, focusing on Simon and yelled “Stop!” Simon froze a mere two steps from Jeff. Jeff was holding the bat up and was about to swing at Simon when he stopped and looked at the unmoving figure in front of him. Jeff slowly lowered the bat and turned to stare at me open mouthed.
“What the hell?” Jeff asked me looking like I’d just grown a second head. Well, maybe I had, using this much power all at once was unpredictable. Plus there was no hiding from The Others now. Using this much energy all at once was like setting off a beacon in the sky saying “Victim here, victim here.”
I was still focusing everything I had on Simon, willing him to stay still. I could feel him pushing back against me and I knew I didn’t have much time. “Jeff, pick up my bags and take them out to your car. Be ready to get out of here, we won’t have much time.” I said calmly, still focusing on Simon.
“Is he dead?” Jeff asked.
“No. But she might be when I get out of this.” Simon said angrily, moving only his eyes and mouth.
“Holy shit! El he’s talking!” Jeff said as he dropped the bat and backed up hastily.
“My bags Jeff. Now!” I said to him. Jeff scrambled to get to my bags, grabbed them and headed for the door.
I had managed to walk slowly towards the doorway while keeping my hold on Simon. I was facing him and I could feel the rage coming off him, pushing against me, he was trying to break free of my hold. “Release me Ella.” Simon said through gritted teeth.
“No.” I said and inched my way towards the hall. I didn’t have to go far to get to the door and Jeff had left it open for me. I was starting to feel the strain of the energy holding Simon, I couldn’t hold it up much longer.
“I underestimated you Ella. I won’t make that mistake twice.” Simon said and I felt him push harder against my hold.
“Yeah, most people do.” I responded, resigned to the fact that I he was seeing the real me and that the ordinary life I had built here was over.
“I will find you again Ella. We’re connected now and you can’t run or hide from me.” Simon said. He was probably right, but I was never the kind of girl that didn’t put up a fight.
“Take care of Grover for me.” I said simply and reach down to throw all the energy I had towards him and sever the hold. Simon looked like he had been pushed across the room and landed sprawled on the couch. I crossed my fingers and blinked.
“Jesus!” Jeff yelled when I was suddenly appeared next to him in the car.
“Go!” I yelled and Jeff stomped on the gas.
I turned around in my seat to see Simon standing where the car has just been, a furious look on his face as he watched us speed away.
“I’ll be seeing you soon Ella darling.” I heard whispered into my ear right before I passed out for the second time that evening.
This post is part of a weekly fiction challenge I'm having a lot of fun with. This month's theme is romance and this week's prompt was:
"Your character (new or old) has been stuck in a rut of inaction or stinkin' thinkin', encumbered by doubt or memories s/he has been unable to shake. In a moment of whim and unbridled mirth, who knows: faith? s/he decides to throw caution to the wind and just go for it, do what s/he has been avoiding out of fear, or just sheer bad timing or dumb luck. The stars have aligned: this is the moment. S/he goes for it... you decide if the venture is successful or not."
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