Shannon could feel her breath return, her veins circulating the blood, her pulse thumping and her nerves starting to shake her into wreck. Davis, the man who had given her the ultimate gift she could have desire, and the sole nemesis who was able to take it back, stood before her after three long years through which she found herself breaking free from the hell she had lived in. Three long years it had been since she had last seen those grey eyes penetrating her soul from the moment she had first met him when Landon had introduced him, hiding behind his irresistible smile and a borrowed name: Liam.
“We had a deal Davis.” Her voice suddenly felt hoarse as though she hadn’t spoken since she’d last seen him.
“So I thought, Shannon, before I found out you were about to break it tonight on that stage.” He entered her small dressing room slowly. It was tiny, and a bit shabby. Dresses and make up were scampered all over the place. Wigs and costumes littered the floor, and the strong smell of perfume damped the air.
Shannon closed the door behind him, and took a few moments before turning and facing Davis who stood as erect as the moment she had first seen him. The flashbacks took her to when they had first met. Her room had been almost the same, only tidier. But at that time, she had felt exactly the same; scared to her bones.
“This has nothing to do with you Davis. What I do is something that’s mine.”
“I fear you are mistaken. What you plan to do is up to us both. Don’t forget I soon will be your Former. Very soon if I’m correct,” He looked at his watch. “In a matter of an hour, you will become immortal Shannon, and I will be held responsible for your actions. You know that.”
Shannon’s eyes were lowered to the floor, unable to meet his. What she was about to say to him, she had imagined herself saying with defiance. She imagined she would look into this beautiful man’s eyes and force him to accept the reality of it. She would smile slyly, and walk away. She had expected the words that she would now say to sound rebellious, said with a tone of power and mastery. But when she had imagined it, she had also imagined she would be senseless and immune to human feelings. But it had slipped her mind, that once she became immortal, Davis, her Former, was the only person whose presence threw her back into mortality.
Shannon agreed she would meet Liam in a week’s time. He would come to pick her up, and they would set off to start the ritual of Forming Shannon. After which she would abandon her current life, and begin to shape herself into a new person, awaiting the 3 years it took for the process of becoming immortal to be complete.
Throughout the week, she would lie sleepless in her bed, waiting for the moment to come where she will be meeting Liam, and when the promised day came, Shannon slid off from bed. It was her last night performing for Landon and she had barely slept a few hours. She took her shower with her nerves in a wreck and started applying her make up when another girl came knocking on her door. Shannon invited her in, and she started helping her getting ready.
The girl, Clara, was beautiful (Landon always chose them beautiful), with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was the only person Shannon had considered a friend in that place. An orphan by the age of 3, she had ventured uncontrollably from orphanage to a foster home, and back again. She had been a victim of abuse, and molestation more times than any girl of her age had suffered, until Landon had found her at the age of 16 dancing in a club with a guy whom she had called her boyfriend, who, had provided her with a bed, and food in exchange for sex and continuous beating.
Landon, like with all the other girls, had offered her a job in his strip club, offered her a home, food and shelter, she had obliged, and for the past two years, Landon’s club was the first thing she had ever considered a home.
But even after everything she had been through, Clara seemed to have preserved that glimmer of innocence and spark in her eyes, of which Shannon had many a times felt envious.
“How’ve you been lately? Anything wrong?” Her voice sounded sweet to the ears.
“Could anything be more wrong in this place?” Shannon said bluntly as Clara fixed Shannon’s hair.
“Come on Shannon. We both know this place is our ticket to somewhere else. Somewhere good.” She offered her a smile Shannon saw in the mirror. “But you know what I mean. You’ve been distant lately.”
Shannon turned and looked into her blue eyes, and realized, that it was the last time she would see Clara. She also realized she will miss that innocent girl. She forced a smile, and hugged her.
“Everything is fine. And I promise, you will get out of here. You will find yourself somewhere else, somewhere you like.”
Clara’s eyes lit. And her face turned into a smile.
“We both will. One day.”
Shannon nodded with her forced smile, and turned away to finish her make up.
When she walked out the door, leaving Clara alone, sitting on her bed, she promised herself she would come back for that girl, and they would resume their friendship in the upper world where the light was bright and the hurt would only reflect beauty and promise.
Shannon’s promise was empty. The night Shannon had walked out of that dressing room, was the last night she had ever seen Clara. It was the first of many nights where Shannon would break promises, and betray the ones she’s loved the most.
When she finished her show, stripping to drooling men, she retired to her room. Silently she waited for everyone to sleep while Liam waited in his car outside for Shannon to emerge. And after hours of waiting, she walked out, with a small bag in her hand.
She stood by the door of the club, took one last glance at its unlit doors.
Liam waiting across the street in his red corvette. He offered her a crimson smile, and she walked over to the car. She opened the door, as she took one last glance at the unlit doors of the club, and got inside.
Liam greeted her, but her mind was in a haze. She would not speak. The wheels began to turn and every memory seemed to vanish as the car took off, and sped forward and on in the city that never sleeps. A city whose darkness was slaughtered by manufactured lights, and whose silence betrayed by the restless sounds.
Shannon’s heart beat, awake and alive, yearning to stay in a home that shall soon abandon it’s only child.
Averting Davis’ eyes, Shannon’s guilt and pain resurfaced with his presence.
“It’s too late. I have already become immortal.” Her eyes began to fill with tears. “I am Formed. All is done.”
She raised her eyes to see the uncertainty in Davis’ face. The weight of her words sounded as though had crashed upon the immortal and heartless man, forcing him into feeling.
But his voice was unchanged.
“It is not yet 9:30…”
“It is not. I took a life.” A tear rolled down her cheek. His silence felt like silver thrust in her skin. “I killed Miles.”
[…to be continued]