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Icy Winds - Chapter Two


Stephani Meyer-Hinojosa

The next morning Nem awoke to the glorious smell of breakfast. She got up slowly, brushed her hair and put it up in a ponytail. Nem put on the clothes that Sasha had laid out for her on the bed. She admired the clothes in the mirror and laughed at the white t-shirt Sasha had picked out. It said "Does it look like I care?" Nem felt a little strange in the black capris since she was so used to wearing jeans, but she would get used to it. She headed downstairs, hoping Azriel was there and eager to actually get breakfast for once. As she entered the kitchen she could smell toast in the toaster and she could hear the bacon crackling in the pan.

"Oh good morning Nem! Did you sleep well?" Nem smiled and nodded, still disoriented from just waking up. Azriel was sitting at the dining room table flipping a knife between his fingers. He was slouching in the chair, not even paying attention to the fact that he was cutting the sides of his fingers. Nem cringed at the blood that he was allowing to drip down his hand and onto the table. She grabbed a towel from one of the open drawers and walked over to him with a smile.

"Azriel, you should be more careful because you're bleeding all over the table..."

He looked up at Nem and then down at his bloody hand. Nem handed him the towel and sat down next to him. Azriel dabbed at the blood with the towel in a daze as Sasha set plates of food before Nem and Azriel. Nem was so grateful to Sasha; she hadn't been able to eat breakfast since her freshman year of high school.

Sasha shook her head at Azriel's lack of attention she whipped his fingers clean then wrapped them up with gauze strips as he ate with the other hand. It was so strange to Nem - Azriel seemed to not notice the pain at all. It was like he was off in another world or maybe it had to do with his parents.

Sasha smiled happily watching Nem scarf down her cooking. After breakfast Nem waited outside while Azriel brought the Mustang around. Once again Nem's jaw dropped; she was amazed at the condition of Azriel's 1986 Mustang convertible. The car looked like it was just made and put on the market.

"Do you want to go home or not? I have things I need to do..."

Nem growled. Azriel was nice for one second last night and now he was back to the Azriel she first met. She got in, wondering why he pushed her away last night when she starting to get close. Maybe the way he acted had to do with something about his parents, but she wasn't going to push it now. Nem directed Azriel to where she lived (in the middle of nowhere). As they drove up the driveway Nem's mother and little brother were getting ready to leave.

"Azriel, wait here for a minute, will ya?" He nodded at her and turned on the radio. Nem walked up to her mother and gave her a hug. Her little brother joined the hug and Azriel gagged.

"Good morning Mom!"

Nem's Mother looked at her with a suspicious expression on her face. She looked at Nem in her borrowed outfit and Azriel in the car waiting impatiently for Nem. She smiled, uncertain as to what to think of Azriel since he looked rather dangerous. 

"Nemesis, aren't you supposed to be in school right now? And who is that?"

Nem smirked. She thought, that's her mother alright, she never misses the smallest detail.

"Well Mom school doesn't start till 8:45 and right now its 7:15. Oh and that guy is my new friend's brother, Azriel. He may seem kind of tough and mean but he wouldn't hurt anyone unless there's good reason to. Mom, I wanted to ask you if I could stay at my friend Sasha's house again. Only till Saturday please..."

Nem's mother would usually have said yes, but she wasn't sure about this Azriel boy. She stared Nem in the eyes and saw how much she wanted to stay with her friend.

"Alright, only until tomorrow and you stay away from that Azriel character. He just doesn't feel right."

Nem jumped up and down hugging her mother tightly.

"Thank you Mom, you're the best!"

Nem's mother smiled. She was happy that she could make her daughter so happy with just a few words. Nem ran into the house, grabbing clothes, her hair brush and the like. Then she picked up a small velvet pouch with something inside and shoved it in her pocket. Nem ran back outside and waved her mother and brother goodbye as they drove down the street, then jumped in the mustang with Azriel. She smiled at him widely.

"I guess I'm going back home with you." It looked like Azriel didn't hear her as he backed out of the driveway. Nem frowned. She hated to be ignored, especially by Azriel.

She turned to him and was about to say something when he said, "I guess so..."

Nem smiled again. He really wasn't ignoring her, that was an improvement. The rest of the drive back was one of silence. Azriel concentrated on driving and Nem was busy twiddling her hair between her fingers. It was bizarre to Azriel. Nem looked nothing like her mother. While Nem had emerald green eyes and curly red hair, her Mother had medium brown hair and dull green eyes. The only resemblance between them was their pale smooth skin.

When they arrived at the house Sasha was gone and Azriel didn't really care where she went at the moment. Nem put her stuff in the guest room and then went back downstairs. Azriel was starting to walk back to his "dark corner" as Sasha put it. Nem followed behind him hoping to get a glimpse of what he did all by himself.

Azriel walked down the hall passing the room Nem saw him in the other night and out another door at the end of the hall. Nem followed after him out the door and into Sasha's rose garden. He didn't seem to notice her until they came to the gazebo he didn't even turn around when he told Nem, "I suggest you stop following me around. You might see something you don't like..."

Nem smiled. She wasn't surprised that he knew she was following him. Of course she wasn't going to let him shoo her away like that either.

"I can handle anything you throw at me, so don't think I'm such a pushover."

Azriel laid down in a hammock that was hanging from the ceiling. Nem sat on the steps trying to find something to say to him. She wanted to win his trust and more importantly his heart. She chuckled to herself, thinking every girl wants that intangible bad boy, but she wouldn't give up.

"What are you laughing about?" Azriel was staring at Nem when she looked up at him. A sinister smirk crossed her sweet face as she turned away from his gaze, ignoring his question. She pretended to play with a particularly fragrant white rose that was next to her feet. Nem could hear Azriel get up and walk over to her. He sat down next to her and turned to face her. He opened his mouth to say something but he just looked down at the ground again.

"What were you going to say?" Azriel looked up at Nem's beautiful green gemlike eyes and he felt reassured.

"You... You seem so close to your mother. Are you just as close with your father?"

Nem wondered if he was trying to open up to her in some way. She moved closer to him, which made him a little uncomfortable. He wasn't used to women.

"Yes, I'm very close to my mother and father. Why? Don't your parents show you affection like that? They don't hug you?"

Azriel frowned. It looked as if he would close himself off from her again. Nem hoped that he would tell her at least a small reason why he was so cut off from everyone.

"My mother died when I was five and my father raised me. He was never a very affectionate man. In fact he used to beat me when I would show any affection toward him or anyone else." Azriel laughed half-heartedly.

 Nem thought, no wonder he's so cold hearted. She would definitely have to work on him. Then Azriel let his guard down; he leaned and kissed Nem's lips softly. He wasn't sure if she would let him even get close. She seemed pretty tough for such a small girl. To Azriel's surprise Nem kissed him back with no hesitation at all.

Azriel was beginning to enjoy this sweet tender kiss when a whip suddenly cracked against his back. He drew back away from Nem, going back into his demon shell. He whirled around to see two demon women with whips lashing at him. The whips wrapped around his wrist, tugging on him, the women obviously trying to capture him. He wrenched the women toward him, wrapping the whips around their necks. He began to choke them with a disturbing grin on his face.

"Azriel... we are here to take you back to... your... father." They both fell to the floor dead. Azriel had strangled them to death even though they were there on his father's orders.

Nem was in shock. She didn't know what to think of Azriel's actions. Azriel turned back to Nem. He saw the look in her eyes as she stared at the two bodies laying in the grass. He put his hand out to touch her cheek but she moved away.

"They said that they were here to take you to your father. You didn't have to kill them... you didn't have to kill them." Nem was so upset she could hardly breathe as she ran back into the house. Sasha was just walking in the door when Nem came running past her with tears in her eyes.

Sasha looked for Azriel, finding him in the rose garden sitting with his head in his hands. She questioned him until he told her every little detail of what happened. Sasha almost cried herself. Poor Nem fell in love with a blood thirsty killer. She rushed to the car and drove down the street to find her. Nem was already fairly far down the road, tears till streaming down her face.

"Nem, let me drive you home, sweetie. Come on you shouldn't be left on your own when you're so upset."

Nem got in the car without a word and Sasha wiped the tears that were beginning to form in her eyes again. When they arrived at Nem's house no one was there. Nem didn't even try to go inside, she just sat on the porch steps. Sasha sat beside her trying to find the right words to tell her.

"Nem, there's something about Azriel that I think you should know. He would be extremely angry at me for telling you this but... I want you to know. Our mother was killed twelve years ago by some thief. I was sent here and Azriel stayed with his father. Just a few months ago Azriel came knocking on the door saying that he knew who the killer was. I told him of course he knew who the killer was, it was that damn thief. He said no, it was his father, and the look in his eyes was a look of a torn man. Imagine the father who taught you all you knew and whom you idolized for your entire life killed the mother that gave birth to you. That was a lot to take in it was more painful for him than it was for me. Now imagine trying to forget twelve years of lesson and training, your whole way of life up to this point in your life. It just can't be done. Nem, you're the reason why he's trying in the first place. He needs you - do you know why?"

Nem looked up at Sasha from the rock on the ground she had been staring at. She shook her head she had no idea why a guy like Azriel would need her.

"Because you haven't given up on him. Because you ignored the fact that he was a cold-hearted jerk most of the time. Plus, you're so much like our mother. You  know, she thought she could change Azriel's father but she was wrong and she paid the price. I don't want my only brother to end up being a heartless creep like his father. In fact, I know he isn't one. So please understand he is trying. He didn't mean to upset you and he never would have killed those girls if he knew he would make you cry. I'll let you think everything through but forgive him. If not for him do it for me."

With that, Sasha got in the car and went back home. The whole way back she was hoping and praying in her mind that Nem would find it in her heart to give Azriel a second chance.

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