Published: Tuesday, 26 March 2013 Written by Bernelle Titre

At the Ling’s Restaurant, Matt opened his fortune cookie and read the following message: “Your life is in danger. Say nothing to anyone. You must leave the city immediately.” At once, Matt’s thoughts drifted back to his father, Emilio’s words. His father had been fatally shot six months ago. The killer’s identity, however, had remained a mystery to local authorities. Emilio had left a letter in his study, addressed to his son, warning him not to trust anyone. Enclosed within the envelope was a flash drive, which was, as Matt later discovered, protected by an extremely modern and thorough security system. Anxious and confused, Matt jogged out of the restaurant and into the busy New York atmosphere.


He walked aimlessly along the bustling sidewalk, lost in thought. Who had been after his father? It was obvious that he had known that his death was approaching. Why did he die? Whatever the answers to these questions were, Matt was sure that the information on the flash drive held some clue. Matt was pulled out of his reverie when someone grabbed his arm and pulled him into a dark alley. Among the sea of heads and bodies on the sidewalk of New York City’s China Town, it was quite impossible to discern who was leading him into the alley or for anyone who was not paying close attention to him to observe dilemma.


Finally, his attacker released him. Matt was relieved to see that it was Ana, his best friend. “What are you doing here?” he asked surprised. “I thought you weren’t even in the country!”


“I just got back today. I’m cold and tired. Can we just go back to your place?” she asked, running her hands through her ebony curls.


Matt took her cold hands in his, nodding in agreement and walked to the street, giving a loud whistle which halted multiple cabs.


At his mansion, which his father bequeathed to him, Matt started a fire to keep Ana warm. His father’s cat, Chauncy, began to hiss at her. Frustration made Matt’s mahogany eyes blaze; he knew he should have just gotten rid of that stupid cat! “I promise he doesn’t bite,” Matt said, hoping to soothe his friend, who had curled up in such a way that she was sitting with her chin resting on her knees.


At this she scoffed. “I think I’m the one he should be afraid of,” Ana said, her turquoise eyes burning into Matt’s. They had grown close over the past year. He was her best friend! How did The Council expect her to kill him?


“What’s wrong Ana?” Matt asked her gently, noting her flustered demeanor. Her hair was wild, her extraordinary blue eyes large and rapidly filling with tears which she tried to blink away, her hands shook and her chin wobbled. “You can stay here for as long as you like. If the cat upsets you, I’ll get rid of him,” he said, glaring at Chauncy, who in turn glared at Ana.


“It’s not the cat that upset me, Matt. There are some things that you don’t know about me, or even about yourself.” She took a deep, calming breath. The chilly night breeze came through an open window, as if urging her to go on. “I…I killed you father, Matt,” she blurted out.


Instantly, he dropped her hands,  while leaning against the glass coffee table for support, as all the concern and light-heartedness drained from his rich, brown eyes. They turned a cold seemingly hazel colour in the light of the ancient chandelier.


“Please, let me finish,” she begged as she got up and reached out to him. She winced, as if she had been slapped as he angled his body away from her touch. “There is a council who controls certain things in the world. They are even more powerful than the president himself. They have their own agents to do their bidding, but sometimes, other assistance is required. That’s where I come in. They hired me to befriend you.” She gulped as she heard his startled gasp and flinched as he turned to her with a look of disgust and hatred. Her heart seemed to shatter at that look. She had never felt so completely broken. She forced herself to continue, “They paid me, Matt, six figures. That’s a lot for me. I needed the money, so I agreed. Then, the job got more personal. They demanded that I kill your father. If I didn’t, they would kill both my parents…so I did.” Ana brutally tore away as tears spilled  blocking Matt’s face from her view. For this, she was thankful, as she could not bear the pain of his rejection. “I put the warning in the fortune cookie, Matt. I had to save you. I can’t kill you too! I love—”


She was abruptly cut off as a bullet harshly sliced through her skull and she slumped powerlessly to the floor.


Matt gaped at Ana’s lifeless body as her blood seeped onto his carpet. The night seemed to grow deathly still and frosty. Even Chauncy became solemn as he stared at the lifeless human before him, as if understanding the severity of the situation.

Matt realized then, that he loved her too. He knew, in the moment, that he would find the people who killed Ana and his father. The Council, whoever they were, would not win! He would find out why they had killed his father and his best friend. He stood slowly, his square jaw locked and fists firmly clenched in grim determination. This ends now.

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