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"SO," ELLA SAID," WHAT am I supposed to do now?"

She was standing in front of Clarkson, the overworked man's cheeks flushed. He had been shouting at the chaotic crowd until now, but it hadn't helped at all. Somehow they had gotten even louder and he seemed to have given up, leaning with his back against the house now.

When she had told her story, he looked mortified.

"Let me get this straight," he said slowly," you're in a group with guys?"

Ella stared at him and he sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"Can't believe this," he muttered under his breath as he cursed, before looking back at her again," what's your name?"

"Eleanora Martinez."

Clarkson choked when he heard the name, bursting in a fit of coughs as he leaned over.

"Martinez?" he gasped," you can't be that demon's sister, right?"

"No, I am," Ella said as she inspected her nails.

She was already too used to this reaction. Sebastian's notoriety preceeded him by far, his brutal matches and personality earning him admiring and fearful glances everywhere he went. For her, it had meant a life growing up in the shadow of an overprotective, widely feared brother. Meaning no one even dared to get close to her until Sebastian moved out of the house.

"When he was here he raised hell," Clarkson said, shuddering as he thought back on it," that demon has traumatized me."

Ella's eyes lit up with recognition.

"Are you that army dude he knocked out?" she said, amusement dripping from her voice," the one who dared him to a fight because Seb was being so loud and lost?"

Clarkson glared at her.

"I gave him that win," he gritted out.

"Whatever makes you sleep at night," Ella smiled.

"Jesus, you Martinezes are always such a piece of work," he said, though his tone was surprisingly soft.

For a moment he was lost in thought, his gaze focused on the forest, as if the trees were carved with memories, but then he glanced back at her again. He stared at her intensely, searching for whatever he wanted to find, before frowning.

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