Creature of Unknown Origin


My heart pounded against my chest with each second that passed by without another word

from either of us. The thunderous clap was all I could hear between my ears, well that and the roar

of my own blood flow.

Spencer let out a long, slow breath and stood. “Well… you can stay here… on one

conditi on.”

I stared at him, wide-eyed and unblinking. Dread wove its way through my gut and coiled

around my heart like a noose.

“What’s your real name?”

“What?” I laughed, taking in the boyish quirk of his lip and crossed arms over his chest.

“Of all the things we have to talk about, that’s your ‘one condition’?”

“You know, I can’t have a stranger live with me . It ’s just not safe.” Spencer tilted his head.

“Unless you were moving out? Delia’s got an extra room, I’m sure she—”

“Ava, my name’s Ava now,” I an swered with a definitive nod of my head. I mimicked

Spencer and crossed my arms over my chest too, taking a step forward.

“Oh c’mon, your name can’t be that bad.” This time, it was Spencer who inched closer.

“No, but new world, new name, new me. It’s called a second chance, you know: ‘ a new

lease on life ’ ,” I smirked.

“Oh no, you don’t get to use my own words against me, not if you plan on staying here.”

Spencer loomed closer now, using his height to his advantage. I let my eyes shift, turning the eyes

of the creature on him in a moment of humor.

But the playfulness fled, and the moment of explanation was upon us. There was no

avoiding it, I knew that, but I wished I could’ve. I sucked in a deep breath, already missing the

days of my amnesia in a strange, yet nostalgically ignorant way.

“Al l right, fine, I changed my mind. You don’t have to tell me your name if you don’t want

to, but I do want to know more about you, where you came from, what you remember about how

you got here.” Spencer held my gaze li ke the gravity that held us to the earth.

“It’s a long story,” I warned.

“Like ‘drink a cup of coffee first’ or ‘get the good whiskey out’ long?” Spencer asked

earnestly, already pulling me toward the couch.

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