After going back and disposing of the bodies in a more adequate way (it would do no good to Emily if three dead men were found where she was attacked), I decided the best course of action would be to go back to the coven. I had gone back several times during the intervening years, to catch up with my family and complete any assignments that needed to be done, but each visit had been very brief so that I could go back to Seth’s humans (and now mine, I guess). Now, I hoped to go back and stay. It was too dangerous for me, for Emily, if I stuck around any longer. I couldn’t afford for her to possibly fall in love with me. If she did, we would both die. Before I left, though, I wanted to check up on Emily one more time. Just to make sure she was okay, of course.
The next day (it was a Tuesday, I believe,) she called her grandparents to meet her at a local diner. This was a perfect opportunity for me to get some information, so I made sure to obtain a seat as far from them as possible, but still be in hearing distance. Luckily, the diner was small, and I was able to sit at a darkened corner table all the way across the room from them. As soon as Sam and Sarah saw their granddaughter, they were immediately concerned.
“Oh my God Emily!! What happened?” exclaimed Sarah. She’d always been the more vocal of the two, while Sam preferred to show to his care and concern through touch.
Emily reached up and touched the side of her head. The band-aids that I had applied last night were still there. There was substantially more bruising, though the swelling had gone down a bit, I was pleased to notice. “I was attacked last night on my way home from work.”
At this, Sam leaned forward and covered her hand with is own. “Are you okay? Have you contacted the police?”
She nodded her head. “I called them this morning when I finally woke up. An officer came by, took my statement, suggested I visit the hospital just in case of a concussion or something, then left.”
“Wait, when you woke up? Why didn’t you call them last night?” Sarah asked, confused.
“I was knocked unconscious when I was attacked last night, then woke in my bed this morning.” Emily chuckled a bit at Sam’s and Sarah’s expressions, which clearly said ‘huh?’ “Let me tell you what I remember.
“I was walking home last night when some men pulled me into an alleyway. I tried to fight them off, tried to scream, but there were three of them, and they easily overpowered me. Then, all of the sudden, they were gone, and I was thrown against the wall. My memory gets really hazy after that. I remember hearing some fighting, and then silence. Then someone was there, in front of me, checking me over. I think that’s when I lost consciousness, because the next thing I remember was waking up in my own bed, cleaned and cared for.”
“So, someone saved you?” Sam asked. At Emily’s nod, he inquired “Do you remember anything about them.”
Emily shrugged. “A little bit. Like I said, my memory is kinda hazy about what happened. I remember soft hands, short brown hair, and dark eyes. In the alleyway, they looked black, but for some reason I want to say that in the light, they’d be a deep chocolate brown. I also want to say that whoever it was was a woman, but that doesn’t make any sense. How could a woman no bigger than myself deal with three men like that?”
She actually remembered all of that? She also knew what my true eye color was, despite not having seen it clearly. I squirmed a little, fighting down new feelings of anxiety and giddiness. I had hoped that she might have forgotten about me, for that would make my leaving that much easier. Secretly, though, I was glad that she had remembered. The continued conversation distracted me from my musings.
“I don’t know what to say about that. It’s not unheard of, especially if she’d had training,” Sam commented. I chuckled a bit, thinking of the 200 years of training I’d acquired. “While I’m glad that she saved you, I have to admit, it concerns me a bit that she knew where you lived. And I’m assuming you lock your door when you leave?” At Emily’s nod, he continued. “Then not only does she know your address, but she can get into your locked apartment. Have you noticed anyone following you around, recently?”
Emily shook her head. “No. Why would anyone want be following me? I’m not an important person or anything like that.”
You are too an important person, I vehemently protested in my mind. You’re gorgeous, and sweet, and caring, and...and my mind derailed for a second, as I realized I was arguing for why a creep would be trailing her.
“Did you give your description of her to the police? She might be a stalker.” Sarah asked, concerned.
I stiffened up a bit at this accusation. I was in no way a stalker. I was more of an… an observer. It just so happens that I’ve followed her around her entire life, that’s all. My irritation at being branded a stalker was relieved by Emily’s next words.
“Even if she has been stalking me, I truly believe she doesn’t mean me any harm.”
“But, how can you know that?” Sarah asked.
A small smile played around Emily’s lips, and she looked down a little shyly, as she replied “Because when she was taking care of me, I felt loved, and protected. I felt…precious, to her, I guess. It’s because of that I know she doesn’t want to hurt me.”
I couldn’t help the pleased smile that spread across my face, and I know that if I’d been able to, I’d probably be blushing. She could tell all that by that brief encounter, I thought. I put my hand over my stomach, wondering why it felt like I had butterflies fluttering around in there.
“Well, honey, we’ve always trusted your feelings in the past, and they haven’t led you wrong. But, still, promise us that you’ll take some extra precautions, just in case?” Sam asked, patting her hand in entreaty. No need to worry about that, Sam, I thought sadly.
Emily nodded her head in compliance. At Sarah’s inquiry about whether the police had found the men who had attacked her, Emily shook her head and said “No. They called me not long before I came to meet you. They checked all through the alley where I was attacked, and besides some blood found in one of the dumpsters, they couldn’t find any other evidence.”
I was a little upset that they’d found even that much. I tried to justify it by saying that I was short on time when I disposed of the bodies, but the truth was that I just wasn’t paying that close of attention. My mind had been otherwise occupied.
“And you don’t remember anything else?” Sarah asked.
“No, nothing.” At this I turned away, focusing on my plate of untouched food. Even though I knew it was for the best, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that she didn’t remember our kiss. I later found out that if I had continued to watch her, I would have noticed that a slight blush had covered her cheeks after she had spoken.
Apparently convinced that they had asked all the pertinent questions and that Emily really was fine, the rest of the afternoon was spent chatting about family and work. Knowing that I had gathered all of the information that I needed, and that it was time for me to rejoin my coven, I got up to go, leaving a sizable tip next to my untouched plate. The only problem was that I had to pass by their table on my way out the door. Putting my sunglasses on and a ball cap over my shoulder length hair, I hunched my shoulders, put my hands in my front pocket and headed out. As I walked passed their table, I thought I heard a slight gasp come from Emily’s direction. Stifling the urge to either turn towards the sound or to just start running, I continued my slow pace and left the diner. Right after I left, however, I quick-stepped across the street and around the corner. To passerby’s, I was merely a mirage. Looking back to the diner, I saw Emily and her grandparents outside, looking around. Despite my hidden appearance, she had known it was me. I felt the butterfly’s again, and finally linked them to the absolute joy I felt at that knowledge. I also knew, though, that it was even more imperative that I leave. If she had recognized me at that brief glance, then knowing her, she would search all over town for me. My coven would be the best place to hide while she forgot me. In spite of the pain I felt at that thought, I was convinced that it was the best option, for the both of us. I turned to leave, refusing to look back.
I never made it to the coven. The circumstances that later occurred during that fateful day made me realize that my life was no longer my own, and that destiny had a different plan for me, and for Emily.