The bus ride was quiet, oh and awkward, very awkward indeed. Jason didn’t say a word to me and I being me was fed up of the awkwardness that hung between us. As I turned towards him to ask him something about where we were going, I realised that he was already staring at me with those ‘not-so-innocent-anymore’ eyes.

He ran a finger down my cheek and said, “Your hair was always so chocolate brown, Cathy. They go so well with your fair face. Sometimes I feel….I…” He stuttered- for the first time in his life Jason Woods stuttered.

Oh lord, is going to…is he going to ‘pour his heart out to me?’ Oh lord, please anything to get me out of this-

Apparently God was in a good mood today. The bus skidded to a halt signalling to Jason that our stop had come.

Clearing his throat, he returned to his cold, distant self and said, “Well we better get out. Wouldn’t want to keep Master waiting.” I couldn’t stop the grin from spreading across my face.“Of course not, let’s get going.” He looked at me with a confused look but didn’t say anything, apparently he thought I wasn’t worth his ‘Master’s’ precious time. Quickly I followed him, eagerly awaiting to finally meet this person who transformed my sweet, shy best friend into a cold as ice robot. Oh and did I mention I wanted to kick his ass? But probably best keeping that thought to myself.

Worst of all, did I mention Jason being extremely ‘cold’ today? Well, he wasn’t half as cold as the interior of that humongous mansion which he took me into. Everything was either black or grey and in the dead of night I couldn’t see a thing.

“Jason? Jason where are you, I-” Suddenly a dark figure loomed in front of me and I stumbled falling straight onto him.

“Well, well, well. What do we here? Miss Catherine Gilbert, the person we’ve all been looking for.” I straightened myself and looked at him.

Oh, sweet mother of hell, he’s the same guy from my dream! The one who was always prim and proper like a princess. What was his name? Hagrid? Or was it Halloween? Ha- Hal- Hale! Oh my god! This is ‘Master’ Hale!

I gulped. He looked at me for a moment and then said, “I see you’ve come all prepared to fight me and get what you want. He slid his hand behind my back and removed the knife that I always kept there. “Hey, what do you think you’re-” I lifted my leg to kick him but he caught it easily. So I used my head, ready to knock him out, but he whirled me around and got the knife up to my throat. “You’re not as bad as I thought you would be, seeing that you were raised on the streets-”

I raised my eyebrows. Where was he getting at?

“And no one was there for you until Jason came along to -”

“You’re just jealous!” I spat at him, “With no one else in these lonely walls of yours. At least I have Jason, but you? What do you have? Nothing!” Taking a deep breath, I released myself from his hold and turned to look at him. His icy gaze raked over me like I was an interesting antique in the museum.

“Enough time has been wasted. Lucas will show you up to your room and tomorrow our training begins.” He didn’t hesitate or stutter or remove his eyes from mine even for a second.

“Training? What are you talking about?”

“Well, haven’t you heard? The Circle has announced a new rule in The Game, ‘once found the pair must practice for a month before they duel to death. Anyone doing otherwise shall be disqualified and will be receiving capital punishment.’ I don’t know what that means but I don’t think either of us wants to find out.” I zoned out a bit while he was saying that, getting extremely distracted by his perfectly chiselled face.

No, Cathy focus! You have to kill him, otherwise he will kill you and you will never accomplish what daddy always wanted you to. You will….never….daddy…

I had to bite my lip so hard to keep myself from crying. I couldn’t do that here. No, I had defeat him, no matter what—-and I would.

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