Hey friends,

Luckily, I was struck by inspiration and wrote this. This is not a sequel. I repeat, this is not a sequel from the preceding chapter. This is just random works, so I hope you guys will still enjoy this. The story starts shortly after the end of The Fall of Five where Seven, Six and Nine escape Everglades.

Love, Lakrahe

We got out of immediate danger thanks again to Six's invisibility. It took longer than what was expected. To be honest, I was slowing them down.

The word 'no' keeps repeating in my head like a mantra, keeps me unfocused and I casually stumble along the way.

This cannot be happening. "This has to be a dream: the worst one!" I not only say once to them when we are finally away from the swap and heading for the highway to find Nine's car. No one responds, but I know they were conscious of my outrage and coldness.

I know Six well enough that in times like this there is nothing to do but listen. As for Nine, his silence surprised me. For a douchebag like him, he must have been thinking of different ways to kill or perhaps torture Five for what he has done.

Don't get me wrong; I am still mad at Nine for provoking Five, but this bitterness I have towards him should fade. We need to help each other to win this war.

"I'm sorry, Marina," Nine finally apologizes once we are inside the car. It was filthy, smelly and particularly down-spirited. "I shou—"

"We can't avoid it," I said monotonously while letting myself sink at the back.

"Still," Nine insists and the car's engine came to life and we are moving. From the back, I can see his shoulders shaking, affecting his strong voice. "Eight—"

"It was in a prophecy, okay? We saw panels in a cave in the Himalayas. Someone predicted it. We thought we could stop it since it happened in New Mexico, and his alive!" I laugh bitterly when I saw his eyes sparkled when I say about the foreseen panels in India. "I don't want to lose him—or anyone of us. I thought I wronged the prophecy. No one saw that Five was a traitorous bastard!" My voice turned out to be louder, sharper and cold like ice breaking. I see Nine's reflection by the rear view mirror: a single tear fell from his eye. He shakes his head, his shaggy hair moving along with it. For the second there, I have witness his vulnerable character. I felt guilty because I caused it, yet in a flicker, his old self returned.

"Sorry," I mumble, embarrassed by my outburst.

"No problem," Nine says nothing else.

There is a thing about our life as the remaining Garde in the universe. We have to win this war no matter what. Does it look like we have a chance? There are only four of us incarnated nine Elders, Ella the sweet and brave, the humans: Sam, Sarah, Malcolm, the Mog defector that John had mention and BK, our chimaeras. I know I am being pessimistic, but how can we win this war? This is not the war between towns, nations, or countries. It is a war against pride-thirsty, monstrous and vile aliens. Winning would require a miracle and a typhoon of hope.

"Nine, where are we going?" Six speaks for the first time after that incident.

"To a motel," Nine sighs. "We can't go back to the Penthouse. That creep must've attacked there." I could feel every pained tone he barely immersed in his words.

"What about Four and the others?" Six scowls.

They are now talking about a plan while I sulk in the back. Their words turn misty and far off. My thoughts lead to flashbacks of Eight.

Then I realized in horror: we had a day in India, a few hours on the road going to Chicago, a few days in Nine's penthouse. This barely sums up into a week. It breaks my heart of how little time we spent together. There was so much to know and so much to tell. My inside churn and I feel sick. I have defied what I have said to Eight. 'Nothing like the present, right?' Likewise, he has also defied his.

'Promise me days like this.'

'Consider it done.'

I used to be shy and mature. But in the limited time with him, I was somebody impulsive and daring. I thought I was insane and childish, but I was having fun. This is me, I declare. I was beyond happy.

The more I think about Eight, the more I agree on what Six said about our charm. We were blessed by an Elder—I forgot who—and us nine Garde are to be killed in chronological order, unless if we are finally together. By this, Six vows that whoever wants to kill me has to go through her first. Likewise, I have become protective of Eight, regardless of his constant training in the mountains. My healing abilities have an inch of advantage from preventing that prophecy from happening. I did all that I can. Unfortunately, destiny is merciless; I lost him. The most painful part is that I lost Eight through my kind; supposedly, the last race I'll distrust.

Still no tears, my heart starts to ache. I thought heartbreaks were mythical conditions that are only felt by humans. Adelina once told me that Lorics fell in love for eternity. There is no reason for heartbreaks. She is wrong; I am wrong. This is by far the most excruciating feeling: breathing seems the most difficult task, my fingers go numb, my body turns bitterly icy and my brain goes fuzzy.

Before I am succumbed into the dark, lost void of my depression, I remember Eight died for a good cause. Five was about to impale Nine with his sword. Eight intercepted the attack by, unfortunately, using his body.

Eight's scar might continually remind me of his death, his heroic attempt, but nothing compares to the realization that he can't be back—that the playful guy I undeniably fell in love with is gone forever.

"Seven." I whip my head to Nine's calling. "We are here."

I see Six is gone. She must have turned invisible to get us a hotel room or food.

"He is dead," he starts while I wince. Nine looks at me his face is visibly tired. He could have tried to formulate a speech to speak to me without hurting me. Then he continues, "and I was reckless and useless at that point. I was not thinking. This is entirely my fault. I could have done something, but—"

I scowl at him, giving him a chance to stop it. Yet the mogadorian-killing Garde continues, "—but I owe my life to him. As much as I already hate Five, that little shit. I hate Eight too for giving his life for me."

I cut him off. "No, he chose to save you, Nine. Besides, we have a war to think about." I know he does not hate Eight as a person, but what he has done. Sacrificing life was too much.

"I know and I respect him," he mumbles. "I want to thank him. I thought you would need to know this, because you mean a lot to Eight."

Just hearing that is already sufficient to make my blood run to my face. The thought of Eight loving me like what the Lorics would is like a dream come true. As fast as the delightful feeling came, it fades quickly.

"Are you sure?" I squeak, worried it is just a strategy to help me overcome this state of loneliness.

Nine laughs, heartwarming and inviting, he looks at me like he is a best friend who supports my corny love life. "An idiot would not notice that Eight keeps gazing at you. He may be quiet about his emotional state, but I know he has something for you! He finds every fucking way to be around you."

"I am an idiot, then."

"Good," Nine smiles, returning to lean back at the front seat. "Eight would love it if you smile." Silence. "He's a hero," he adds with a mix of solemn-joy. "He deserves recognition from you."

Eight, I hope you're seeing this.

Being an obedient companion, I smile.

So that is it. I'd love to keep it as safe as possible. Sorry if I haven't put Eight in the chapter. I really wanted to put all the pain I've experience and insights when I read Eight's death.

PS. updated with minor revision

I hope you guys like it. Reviews are love. Thank you! XO