“So, you’re a Perpetual? You’re really a Perpetual? So there really is a human being capable of producing vast amounts of energy without expending himself or herself?”

Aura’s face was serious again. “That’s why no matter how much you drain me, my energy remains the same. It was not a path I chose. The Essence chooses its Host. Never the other way around.” She sighed. “And now, even you’re in trouble.”

“Monsters…” he murmured to himself. A vague memory flashed in Xander’s mind.

“We are monsters. That is the true nature of a human being.”

“Let’s discuss this somewhere else, shall we? It’s getting too cold in here.” Aura said quickly trying to move away from his gaze. She heard this memory as well, and she isn’t about to argue about private thoughts right now. She tried to fake a smile as she made her way for the door. Sure enough, Xander hurriedly turned to stop her. She frowned. “I’m not going to escape, Lex. Now hurry up, will you? I’m hungry.”

Xander kept his gaze at her as he walked back to his chair. Aura crossed her arms over her chest and sighed as she read the distrust in his mind. She remained at the door, waiting. He grabbed his bag from his chair but forgot that he slung one of its straps around the chair and ended up stumbling when it snagged. Aura gave him a sarcastic smile as Xander tried to recover, turning red in his embarrassment when he finally succeeded.


Her cell phone rang for the 20th time that hour. She was irritated at how the others kept on calling her. She had told them countless times that she could handle that girl. They had seen how she handled the other one all by herself, didn’t they?

She was about to shut her phone off when the name of the caller flashed on the screen. Suddenly, her spirits lifted, and she smiled in delight as she answered the call.

“Hello there,” she said, using the sweetest voice she has. “This is a great surprise.”

The voice in the other line doesn’t seem to be affected with her voice and asked flatly. “Have you found her?”

She frowned. All he thinks is Her, Her, Her. She was irritated, but she tried not to show it in her voice. “Yes, I have. She’s under my territory as of now, so there is nothing to worry about–”

“Good.” The person on the other line replied immediately, cutting her off in mid-sentence. This irritated her once more. “I’ll send the others to your location. Don’t act or make yourself known until that time. Goodbye.” The line went dead.

She put the phone back in her bag. In her mind, Ember scoffed. Since when did she listen when someone told her that?

Not even to you, my dear. She thought. I’ll show you that I’m the most indispensable Hunter out there.


Aura almost stumbled in her steps when they arrived at the Café+Pasta, one of the nearby cafes located around the University of St.Jude.

“Are you alright, Aura?” Xander asked with the look of concern in his face as they slid into their booth. They chose the seat at the farthest corner of the café. “Do you want some water?”

“No need. I’m just hungry.” She explained, trying to smile afterwards. “This will pass after I eat.” She rubbed her eyes for the fourth time. She’s starting to find it hard to focus on Xander now that her temperature is slowly rising to 38. But she can’t let him know that.

Just by looking at Aura, Xander knew that something is definitely wrong. Her cheeks were starting to turn bright pink with her increasing temperature and she zipped the white jacket she wore close as if she was cold, even if the café was running more or less in room temperature. He was about to reach out and check her temperature when the waitress arrived bearing a tray full of food. Xander withdrew back to his seat and stared at Aura in disbelief as the waitress laid her order on their table one by one. Everything on her side was sweet: banana pancakes with lots of maple syrup, a serving of chocolate ice cream, and a glass of sweetened pineapple juice. On his side, she laid a plate with a quarter of roast chicken, a cup of rice, a spoonful of mashed potatoes, a bowl of mushroom soup and a glass of Cola.

Aura beamed a smile at the waitress before turning back to Xander.

“Want some?” she asked, offering one of the two pieces of pancakes on her plate. Xander turned it down and watched as she started to eat the pancakes with as much gusto as a man who has not eaten for a day. She stopped mid-way at her second slice, frowning at the still staring Xander. “Stop staring at me and eat your lunch, Lex. Yes, I need this much sugar in my body to sustain my energy. And yes, I can finish everything here and pay for it. Now eat.”

Xander turned to his plate and began slicing the piece of roasted chicken, embarrassed at how he forgot that she could read his mind. He looked up at her as he was taking his third bite and noticed that the earlier fever was gone as if she was never even feverish.

“Huh?” She asked mentally. “Are you asking me something? I wasn’t paying attention.”

Xander paused for a moment to think about his question. Turning down the first one, he proceeded with the second question. The one that came up while she was talking about her stalkers. “Who’s Ember? How did you know her?”

Aura put her fork and knife down and took a long sip from her glass of juice. She now wore the same look she had when she first addressed the Hunters as monsters. Pain. Anger.


“Ember is part of a group of Perpetual Hunters that are scattered around the world. She took everything from the Red Perpetual she drained. Even her name.” She paused and looked at the café’s door. “The original Ember was my best friend.”



~ by urbanwitch on January 30, 2009.

2 Responses to “12”

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