CHAPTER 21: MEMORIES OF THE PAST
Drew held me close as I shivered. I was freezing and his skin was so cold. He had tried many times to pull away and give me some space because he knew I was cold, but I wouldn’t let him. I only clung to him tighter when he tried to.
Unlike Deric, who was always warm to me even though he was just as cold as Drew, Drew was freezing to the touch, but I was too scared to let him move. If he moved, then my life-line to sanity went with him.
So he just held me against him.
“Sammie.” He whispered. “Ortho will make it all okay Pet. I promise. He’s had to do this for us before. It’s not easy… and I will be honest, not guaranteed to really work like it needs to, but I have a feeling that it will work.”
“W-what if he c-can’t?” tears rolled down my face and Drew touched my chin. He made me lift my head off of his shoulder and look at him.
“You need to be more optimistic-“
“I want to be.” My lip trembled and he sighed. “I want… t-to believe he can fix this… I-I can’t… I can’t lose Deric… I love him and m-my heart… it h-hurts already… Drew…”
“Oh Pet.” He sighed and drew me closer to him again. For some reason, the pet name—no pun intended—that he used for me sounded very familiar. “Even if he can’t fix everything in Deric’s head, he will eventually make it back to him old self. It might take a little bit, but it will heal inside his head and he will be okay.” I sniffed and shivered again, not answering him. He sighed again and stroked my hair. We were quiet a while before curiosity got the better of me. It just went to show that even in terrible times, my curiosity would always get the better of me.
“Why ‘Pet’? I whispered. He was quiet a moment and when he answered, I could hear the small smile in his voice.
“It is what I called you when we first met.” He said softly and I scowled as I lifted my head. I started to shake my head, but he went on. “It was a time you don’t remember. You were younger then and a little bit easier to manipulate then, not that I did it to hurt you or anything.” He hurried on when I tensed. “I made you forget our first encounter, because a lot of what we said, were things you were not ready to know in my opinion. You were too young and if anyone had found out that you knew before now, they would have kidnapped you and made you a hunter—if the hunters found out first—or kidnapped you and made you do things you didn’t want to do in order to keep your father safe… might have even just killed you because you became very important to me after that encounter and I have many enemies… so I made you forget about me and everything we said.”
“W-what did we say?” I asked in a small whisper. I was a little scared of what we had talked about, but I wanted to know. It was a welcome distraction—if only for a moment—to take my mind off of the terrible things going on right now.
“Instead of telling you… can I show you?” he asked and I scowled again. “It’s hard to explain, but since I blocked the memories, I can allow them to come back to you and you can remember…” he paused and looked into my eye quietly, waiting for my answer. Slowly, I nodded and he smiled softly. Gently, he pulled me closer and pressed his lips to my forehead. I instantly felt sleepy and found my body giving in to it very quickly. My head fell against Drew’s shoulder and I breathed shakily as I slipped into the memories of when I met Drew.
I hugged Jason and Stark close to me as I tried to hold back the tears. I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t let them see that it hurt me so much that they were leaving. I couldn’t let them feel bad for having to do what they were called to do. I didn’t want them to go over sea, but it was what they were called to do. They had to go and nothing I said could stop them from doing their military duty.
Slowly, they pulled back and looked at me as they stepped back. Despite how much I tried to stop them, the tears welled up and they slid over my cheeks. Stark sighed and wiped them away before he drew me into a hug again.
“Tell me that you will keep up your studies.” He whispered and rubbed my back. “And we will write you. Okay. We will write you and you can write us back. Keep your nose clean and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”
“What wouldn’t you do?” I half laughed and half sobbed. He chuckled and kissed my head softly.
“Don’t do anything Jason wouldn’t do then.” He whispered and squeezed me gently.
“I don’t want you to go.” I breathed as I hugged him tighter. “Either of you.” He sighed.
“We don’t want to leave you with him either, but we have to go.” Jason whispered back as he touched my head. “We are so sorry Sam. We wish we could stay longer, but they need us… we need to go.” I nodded and pulled back. I stepped away and wrapped my arms around myself. “Oh!” he reached into his pocket. “I know it’s not for another month, but… I got you something for your birthday.” He held out a little box and slowly, I reached out to take it.
“You didn’t have to get me anything.” I whispered as Stark moved over toward the couch.
“Well, we kinda both pitched in for one thing.” Stark smiled as he walked over to me again with a huge triangle/rectangle shaped box. He waved me over as he set it down on the couch. I scowled as I walked over to him. “Sorry we didn’t have time to wrap it, but we hope you like it.” He stepped back and slowly, I reached over and opened the box. I gasped when I saw the burgundy and black Johnson Guitar sitting inside it. I turned to the twins as Jason walked up behind me and then threw my arms around both of them. They hugged me to them again and they both kissed my head softly, one at a time.
A horn blew outside and I held tighter to the boys that had pretty much taken care of me since I was ten. I was almost fifteen and I was so scared about them leaving me. Not only would they be fighting a war, but they were going to leave me with my father.
And I was scared everyday of what my father might do next to me.
Yesterday, he nearly pushed me down the stairs. The day before, he took a broken beer bottle and cut my arm when he threw it at me. Who knows what he might do today or tomorrow or any other day.
They had asked me once, why I hadn’t tried to get out of there before. If anyone had ever tried to help me, but no one had and I hadn’t. I didn’t want to leave really, because despite the abuse, I loved my father. He was all that I had and I didn’t want to lose him. They asked if I wanted them to take me in, fight for custody for me, but I told them that it would be okay.
Sometimes, I wish that I had let them. Sometimes, I wished that I could have been adopted by them, but I knew that I made the right choice to stay even though it was hard. I knew that everything would work out eventually. I didn’t know how I knew, but I was very sure that soon, things were going to start looking up.
“Thank you guys.” I whispered and slowly let them go. The horn honked again and I looked out the window. The cab was sitting outside waiting for them. “You guys should go.” I mumbled. They sighed in unison.
“How about you ride with us. We’ll get the cabbie to drive you home and then we will head out.” I was quiet a moment and then nodded. It gave me a little more time with them before they had to be at the airport. “Come on.” Jason grabbed his pack and then wrapped his arms around my shoulders. Stark closed the box with my new guitar in it and grabbed both his pack and the box and we all headed out the door.
I watched the cab pull away from my driveway and speed down the road as it carried the only two people I cared about as much as my father, away. The only people I considered family were leaving me and I was a little scared as I turned toward the house. I sighed shakily as I looked at the faded yellow paint and the overgrown lawn before I started walking up the cracked driveway toward the door. I held the guitar close to me as I climbed the steps then leaned it against the wall so I could pull out my keys and unlocked the door. It was only noon and I was sure that my father was either just now waking up or would be up soon. Normally I wasn’t here around this time so he would probably question why I was if he was up, but other than that, he would probably still be really hung over and I could get away with a small explanation and escape to my room long enough to put my guitar away and bolt before I had to be back to cook him diner.
I pushed the door open and grabbed my guitar then walked in and kicked the door closed behind me. I looked around the room a moment before I hurried up the stairs with no one to stop me. I went up to my room and opened the door. I went in and quickly closed the door, trying to be as quiet as I could so that I didn’t wake up my dad if he wasn’t already. I really didn’t want to deal with him right now. I was too upset and even though hungover dad was better than drunk dad, I didn’t want to chance and encounter with him right now. I wanted to get in an out.
I lay the box with my guitar in it, on my bed and grabbed my thicker jacket because it was chilly outside, then hurried toward the door again. I closed it softly and then made my way down the hall and stairs only to look down and find my father looking up at me when I hit halfway. I stopped and breathed shakily as he looked at me with his arms crossed over his chest and brown eyes watching me like a cat stalking a mouse.
“Hey… Dad.” I whispered and his eyes narrowed. I almost took a step back up the stairs, because I knew that look. It was going to be one of those days. With his bloodshot eyes narrowed at me, he started up toward the middle where I was and I stayed as still as I could as I shook a little.
“Why are you here?” he questioned. “I thought you would be out with those two twins.” He stopped right in front of me, two steps down, and I could smell the liquor on his clothes and breath.
“They dropped me off on the way to the airport.” I said quietly. “They leave today, remember.” He thought about that a moment and then an evil grin spread across his face. I tensed.
“So, you mean to tell me that they aren’t going to barge in here anymore and come save you?”
“Daddy…” I stepped back on instinct and he grabbed my arm in a tight grip. He pulled me back down and I nearly lost my balance, but he kept me up as he grabbed my hair and pulled so that I looked at him. “Daddy… please don’t do this.” Tears filled my eyes as his grip on both my arm and my hair started to hurt. “Daddy. I was leaving. I won’t be here until I need to come back to cook, I promise.”
“You’re right.” He said with a breathy laugh and I cringed at the smell of alcohol from his breath. He let go of my arm and hair and took a step back and I almost scowled with confusion because he never just let me go. He stepped out of my way and made a way for me to go. I looked at him quietly. This was too easy. He never just let me go when he was like this. Between drunk and hung over. He never just let me go. It was too good to be true, but slowly, I moved down the steps, watching him closely as I did and I made it to the third step up before he grabbed my arm and turned me around. I felt the sting of the back of his hand on my cheek before I saw it coming and I fell down the rest of the step to the floor. I heard him coming down too and I quickly scrambled to my feet. I turned and looked at him as I held my side and cheek before I made a run for it. I opened the door and didn’t even bother closing it as I ran down the steps off the porch and then around the corner of the house to the woods. I always went to the woods when Stark and Jason were gone to drill or they couldn’t hang out because they had something they needed to.
It seemed that I was going to be spending a lot of time in the woods now. I might as well just make it my home.
I ran until it was too hard to breathe so I slowed and then stopped and leaned into a tree. I breathed hard and looked around me. I knew this place like the back of my hand I had been in it so many times now. I had been walking it since before I met the twins. Just after my father started abusing me instead of just yelling at me. Before he didn’t think I was old enough and then I hit ten and he started hitting me. A few weeks later, I met the twins and they kept me away from the house enough that it wasn’t too bad, but I always got it when they weren’t around and they hated leaving me. Right now, I really wanted them back and I really regretted that I hadn’t agreed for them to fight for custody of me now. I knew it was a mistake because now that they weren’t going to be able to come to my rescue anymore, I might just end up dead.
I sighed shakily and held my side as I continued walking toward the cave I always waited for the twins at when I needed a quick escape. When my father woke up early and started hurting me before they came to pick me up, as rare as it was, if they didn’t find me at the house, they knew to look for me there, so that was where I was going.
It had been a while since I had to go there, a few months now, but I knew the way. I had traveled the path many times, but with the ultra-shady trees and the overcast clouds, it was a little difficult to see where I was going at times. I still managed to make it there in no time though.
But when I looked inside, I saw something that I really didn’t want to see.
A cougar was laying down next to where the fire pit was. I swallowed and stared at it wide eyed a moment before I slowly backed away from the mouth of the cave. I was about to turn around and get out of there, but as I took another step back, a twig cracked loudly under my foot. I sucked in a sharp breath as the cougar lifted its head and looked my way. Everything moved in slow motion around me as it stood and turned to me fully. I watched it with tense muscles, knowing that even if I ran now, it would catch me and eat me when it did. I would never be fast enough to outrun it. It yowled at me and I whimpered as I slowly took another step back. He crouched down, ready to pounce as it yowled again and I took that time to make a break for it. I had to try even though I knew that I would fail. I wasn’t going to die without trying.
So I turned and started running the opposite way.
The giant cat yowled once more before I heard it bounding after me. I stumbled a few times but managed to keep my footing as I ran. I was much slower, but as a cat, the animal loved to play.
Somehow it ended up in front of me and I had to veer another way so that I didn’t run right into it, only to have it in my way again. I was starting to think that there might be more than one when I saw it again. I turned around and ran back toward the cave because just beyond it, was a cliff that a lot of the thrill seekers loved to jump off. I had seen them doing it before and they had even asked if I wanted to try, but I felt too scared to do it and they said that it was because I was too young, but right now, I felt like it might be my only choice.
I would have to jump off into the freezing water to get away from this giant cat.
The yowls were becoming more vicious and closer and I let out a sob because I knew that I wasn’t going to make it to the cliff in time. My sight became blurry and I tripped, this time falling to the ground and scraping up my hands and knees on rocks. I was close to the cliff, I could actually see it just past the cave, but the animal was so close I could fell it breathing down my neck. I shivered and turned around as it skidded to a stop just feet away and its yellow eyes looked at me hungrily. I breathed hard and sobbed as it stalked toward me and got ready to pounce…
And then there was a man standing in front of me as if he had just appeared out of nowhere. The cat yowled and stood up straight before it started to pace the forest floor and then it just sat down on its hind legs and looked at the man then me and then at the man again. I shook as the man crossed his arms over his chest, his back still to me and he chuckled.
“Poor Kira.” He said and the giant cat, as if it was pouting, lay down on its front paws and watched us. “Sorry to spoil your meal My Dear, but you don’t get to eat the humans.” I could hear it purring from where I sat on the ground as the man turned to me and squatted. I swallowed as he looked me over with bright hazel eyes. I shivered as his eyes stopped at my cheek. “Who did that to you?” he questioned. I looked away and breathed shakily as I wiped away my tears briskly. I flinched and clenched my jaw as my cheek throbbed. “You’re too young to have a boyfriend that does that, so it has to be someone you’re related to right?” I said nothing. “Mmhmm.” He said and gently reached over to move my hair out of my face. I tried to bat his hand away, but it quickly caught my wrist and looked at my bloody hand. His eyes flashed a bright green-brown color and I gasped as he looked at me.
“You shouldn’t be out here alone you know.” He said as I tried to pull my hand away. He wouldn’t let go. Instead, he pulled me closer with a strength that even my father could never match. His hand grabbed my neck, but didn’t squeeze as he looked me in the eyes. I trembled as his eyes flashed that same bright green-brown, but this time they stayed that way. I whimpered as his thumb stroked my throat. “You’re young.” He said. “People are evil these days. They don’t care who you are or how old you are. They could kill you at a moment’s notice.”
“A-are you going to kill me?” I asked quietly as he leaned forward and made me tilt my head to the side. I breathe shakily as his lips grazed my neck. I closed my eyes as I felt a calm start to spread over me. For some reason, I felt like I could trust this man.
“Not it you cooperate with me Pet.” He murmured and pressed his lips fully against my neck. I slid my hand up to the back of his head and into his hair as he kissed my neck again before he opened his mouth and I felt a sting as if needles were being jabbed into it, before a feeling of bliss filled me. I moaned as I felt him suck on my neck a few times before he stopped and pulled back. I felt the needle like things being pulled from my neck as he pulled back to look at me. I breathed a few shaky breaths before I slowly opened my eyes and looked at him.
There was blood on his lips as he looked at me with a scowl. He brushed some hair out of my face as his eyes watched me. I suddenly felt very tired as he shifted me in his arms so I was laying down. My hand slid from the back of his head to his shoulder, chest, then finally, to my stomach. Slowly, he lifted me up and my arm fell off of my stomach and hung limply as he carried me into the cave. I maned as he lay me down on the ground.
“Kira.” He called to the cougar and I heard her get up and move quickly to us. “Do you mind?” slowly, the huge cat lay down next to me and he lifted my head. It moved so that I was laying against it before he took off his jacket and draped it over me. He then started to make a fire. “Sleep now Pet. We will talk when you wake.” I moaned some sort of reply, but I had no clue what it was. He chuckled and then blew on something. The warmth of a fire spread across my skin as I slipped into sleep…
When I woke up again, someone was moving around and I shivered some. I could feel the fire on my skin, but I was freezing. I drew the jacket tighter around me as I slowly sat up and looked around me. It was darker than it had been before and the fire was in full bloom. I could smell some sort of meat cooking and it made me feel very hungry as my stomach growled. The man from earlier looked over at me with a small smile and then at something beside me. I turned and looked, then tensed as I saw the cougar looking at me. I shivered and tried to stay as still a possible.
“She won’t hurt you.” I didn’t look away from the huge cat as the man spoke. “She obeys me and I have warned her not to hurt you.”
“She?” I whispered shakily. The cat lay her head back down on her paws and closed her eyes. I swallowed and looked over at the man. “She listens to you?”
“She is kind of like my pet.” He nodded as he stood with something in his hand. He brought it over to me and squatted. He held it out and I saw that it was a plate of cooked meet. The cougar lifter her head and eyed my food before she looked up at the man. He chuckled as I slowly took it and then he stood. He walked back over to where he had been, grabbed something and tossed it beside me. I saw that it was raw meat and the huge cat pawed it closer before she started eating it. I looked at the man wide-eyed and then at my food. “I found her when she was a cub. Her mother had been slaughtered by a hunter and left Kira to fend for herself, so I took her in. she’s been with me for three years now.”
“So she is your pet.” I said.
“No.” he said. “She chooses to stay in the woods and act on instinct, but she does obey me because I took her in. If she wanted to, she could turn on me and be done with it, but still, she had grown to like me and does listen.” I was quiet a moment before I nodded. “Eat up Pet. We will talk when you have been fed.”
“Why are you calling me that?” I scowled. “I have a name.”
“I do not want to know it.” He stated. “So do not tell me. I will call you Pet and that is it.”
“Why ‘Pet’?” I muttered.
“Because that it what I want to call you.” I sighed and looked down at my food. “Now eat.”
“It’s not poisoned is it?” he sighed now.
“You ask a lot of questions for someone who is supposed to be stuffing her face with food.” He grumbled. I closed my eyes and clenched my jaw then flexed it as pain shot through my cheek. It hurt a lot. In fact, my head was hurting and so was my side. Even my neck was sore. I sighed, still a little tired, but slowly started eating what the man had given me.
“Do I at least get to know your name?” I asked the man a while later after I set my empty plate aside. He looked at me quietly from the opposite cave wall—he had been staring at me the whole time I ate, which made me uncomfortable, but I didn’t say anything—before he spoke.
“Alex.” He finally said. I nodded. Now we were getting somewhere. He watched me a moment longer before he glanced down at Kira beside me. She had finished her meat and was now looking at my food again as if she just might take it off my plate. He threw her some more raw meat and she started to chow down on it. “Eat up.” He told me and slowly, I started to eat the meat he had cooked for me. I had to admit. Even without some sort of spice on it, it was pretty good.
He looked at me quietly for a while before he finally started to talk.
“Why were you out here on my land?” he asked and I looked up at him. I scowled and then stuck some more meat in my mouth.
“If you want to get technical.” I said and looked at him again. “This is part of the land that I live on.” He raised a brow at me and I saw a slight smirk on his face.
“Well, if you’re going to get really technical.” He said. “I own all of the land on this side of town.” I looked at him quietly. “The land you live on, is mine and technically, I am your landlord.”
“Mrs. Chase is my landlord.” I said.
“She is my manager.” He stated. I was quiet. “Anyway. So you live in the house closest to the woods right?” I nodded. “I see. So your father is the one who is always beating his child.” I flinched and looked down. “Mhm.” He sighed. “How old are you Pet?”
“Fourteen.” I mumbled and picked at my food. I only had a little bit left, but I had suddenly lost my appetite. I set the plate of food on the ground in front of Kira and she looked at me a moment before she took it right of my plate and ate it whole as if I might have changed my mind about it. “What were you doing in the woods?” I asked.
“I walk the woods when I get bored at my business.” He said. “Not the land owning business, but my actual business.”
“What do you do?” he didn’t answer.
“If I am going to be honest with you Alex, you are going to have to be honest with me.” He laughed a little.
“Fare enough.” He told me. “But first, I want you to tell me what a halfbreed witch-shifter is doing walking my woods.” I looked up him with a scowl. He tilted his head to the side and looked at me a moment. “I see.” He half smiled. “I take it that you don’t know what you are.” I was quiet a moment as I thought about what he said before I remembered what had happened earlier. How he wasn’t there when Kira was about to attack and then he was. How his eyes had flashed at the sight of my blood and how when he had kissed my neck, I felt needles in my skin.
“I’m not sure whether to be scared of you or be happy that you found me vampire.” I told him and a full on grin—fangs and all—spread across his lips.
“You’re a smart one you know.” He said and stood up. “You should probably scared.”
“See, that’s the thing. I probably should be, but since you haven’t killed me, and you have many opportunities since I have been asleep for who knows how long, so I don’t feel scared of you. In fact, I feel relieved, because you can help me.”
“You can get me out of here.” I told him.
“You’re too young to change Pet.” He shook his head. “I have made it my rule to never change someone younger than eighteen.” I shrugged.
“I never said you had to change me.” I smiled. “I don’t want to go back.”
“I’m not one to take in a stray.” He said and I looked down at Kira. “Tuche.” I heard the smile in his voice. “Still. I won’t take you in. I won’t change you. I won’t even kill you.” My smile fell as I looked back at him. What good was he then? “But I will help you Pet. I don’t take lightly to a man beating a woman, no matter how old they are.”
“So what are you going to do?” I whispered suddenly afraid to know. I was scared of my father and I hated that he hurt me, but I still loved him and I didn’t want anything to happen to him. He was still my father.
“I am going to take you home and I am going to have a little chat with him.” I swallowed at the thought of what that “chat” might be.
“Y-you aren’t going to hurt him are you?” I asked quietly.
“Not unless he touches you first.” He sighed. He knew that, even though I should probably want my father to suffer for what he has done to me, I didn’t want him to, because despite his flaws—and they were rather major—I still loved him. “Come.” He said and stood. Kira lifted her head, now finished with her food and stood too. “Not you Kira. Not this time.” She let out a low—well, I couldn’t really say what kind of sound it was, kind of like a growl and a purr mixed together—sound and sat back down. “This time, it’s just going to be Pet and I.” she blew out a breath as she lowered herself back to the ground and seemed to glare at me. “Come Pet. We don’t have all night.” slowly, I stood and moved toward him. I wasn’t sure if this was a good idea, but I didn’t see an y other alternatives.
So, silence fell as we started to walk away from the cave. We walked for a while, listening to the leaves crunch under our feet. He got ahead of me a few times, and I had to stop at how breathless I became due to the loss of blood that he had taken from me, though it hadn’t been all too much. A pint maybe, but it was enough to make me dizzy at times and I had to stop.
“Don’t ware yourself out Pet.” He sighed when we were maybe twenty yards from the edge of the woods. I could see the clearing, but as he took my shoulders in his hands and made me sit down beside a tree, I knew that he wasn’t just giving me time to breathe before we went into the house, he wanted to talk. “Tell me.” He pushed my hair out of my face. “When I tasted your blood, I felt something in you, an emotion. Most of you was scared and just wanted to get out of there so he wouldn’t hurt you anymore, but the sadness… was that for your father? Or was it something else?”
I looked at him a moment before I answered.
“I was sad about my dad, yeah… but I was also sad, because my best friends left today.” Tears filled my eyes. “They left me to fight a war across the world.” He raised a brow at me.
“You’re what? Fourteen you said?” I nodded. “Your friends are eighteen? Nineteen?”
“Twenty-three.” I whispered. He scowled.
“So your older siblings’ friends?” he said. I shook my head.
“I don’t have any siblings.” His scowl deepened. “They found me out here one day, in fact, they had been hiking and were resting at the cave, and I fell not too far from it. I always went to the cave when I ran. Well, they came out and patched up a few scratches and asked if I was okay.” I sighed shakily. “I was ten at the time and after they had me calmed down enough to speak, they got me to tell them that my father was beating me, that he had hit me and I ran. It was one of the first times he actually had done it, so I wasn’t used to it. They thought the blood on my face had been from scratches form branches, but it was from a cut from my father’s wedding ring that he still wore. My mom died the night I was born and he has hated me ever since. He drinks and cries over her all the time, but every time he sees me, he stops and either hits me or says nothing. Just slams the door in my face or tells me to get out… when the twins found out about it, they were furious. They didn’t like that, even though I didn’t know them and them, me, they didn’t want me to have anything to do with my father. One of them told me about how their mother had been beat by their father…” something changed in Alex’s eyes and they narrowed a little. I let out a shaky breath and then continued.
“…t-they told me that they lost her because of it. They weren’t old enough to help her, strong enough, and they lost her because of it and even though I didn’t know them, that I could trust them. They were going to find out a way to help me before something bad happened, but for then, they had to take me home. Regrettably, they did and told me that if I needed anything, to call them. After the first time I called them, they would come over just about every day and tutor me in everything they could think of, even some self-defense. When I was twelve, they asked me if they wanted me to have them fight for custody of me. Even though I wasn’t blood, there was enough evidence from my father beating me that they could at least get me out of there and into a home and they could adopt me if I wanted them to, but I told them that I didn’t know why, but even though I was going through this, I knew that I needed to be with my father. For some reason, I needed to stay. The reluctantly allowed it, and then we got the word that they would be leaving soon for Iraq.
“Today… they left me, and my father laughed at my pain.” Tears filled my eyes. “He said that now that they were gone, no one would save me…” I looked down as the tears started to run down my face. “I’m scared of him… and I miss Stark and Jason-“ he sighed and touched my cheek. He made me look at him.
“I can’t believe it.” He said softly. “Those two actually took care of someone other than themselves.” He sighed again and I scowled. “Stark, Jason and I go way back.” He was quiet a moment before my eyes grew wide.
“You mean…” he nodded. “But they can walk in the sun.” I breathed. “I thought that vampires couldn’t…” he smiled a little.
“Most can’t, but there are some that can. I’m old enough that it doesn’t affect me as bad as new ones, but they have always been able to walk in the sun. their mother was a witch and for some reason, though it normally doesn’t happen, for some reason, their powers actually unlocked when I changed Stark. They were at war when I met them and vampires like to go out on the battlefield a feed off the dead or ones left to die because it’s easier than hunting. I was one of those vampires. Stark was dying of a nasty wound but Jason wouldn’t leave his side. ‘We fight together. We die together.’ is what he kept telling Stark. Nice saying really, but Jason wasn’t always as smart as he is now. He was more of the trouble maker that Stark tried to keep in line. It was why Stark got hurt in the first place. How they managed to switch roles, is beyond me, but that doesn’t matter.
“Anyway, here I am, ready for a feast, and the dumb boy begs me to save Stark.” He chuckled a little.
“Obviously, you did, because they are here.”
“Yeah. Jason, though I warned him that he was just going to get himself killed, wouldn’t let me take Stark with me and train him. Instead, he managed to take care of him for a year before Stark accidently hurt him bad enough that he either had to let him die or change him. Stark changed Jason and I ended up having to help them anyway. Now that I think about it, I feel like Jason did what he did to piss Stark off so he would have to change him. Hmm. I will have to look into that actually.” He looked at and then continued. “They went on a decade rampage before I got to them though. A century later, we have an argument and they betray me. If it hadn’t been for a dear friend of mine that they grew to love and adore themselves, I might have been dead. The twins left and for nearly six thousand years, I haven’t heard much from or about them… until now.”
“Six thousand years?” I gasped.
“Is that hard to believe Pet?” he chuckled. When I said nothing, his smile fell and he looked back at the house. I followed his gaze. I knew that he wanted to continue now.
“You sure you won’t change me?” I breathed as I wrapped my arms around myself. He grabbed my shoulders and stood me up, but I kept my arms wrapped around myself as he turned toward the house.
“You’re too young Pet.” He turned back to me. “It’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.” He took a step forward and touched my cheek. “Everything will be okay. I promise. He won’t touch you again after I’m done with him.” I trembled as he did something strange. He leaned and kissed my forehead and I felt a new dizzying, lightheadedness fill me. I breathed shakily and my knees buckled. He caught me and held me up as I tried to regain my footing. We stood there a long moment before he asked if I was okay to stand now. I nodded and he slowly unwrapped his arms from around me and took my face in his hands. I trembled a little, still lightheaded, but as he looked into my eyes, I felt stronger. “Are you ready?” he asked. I shook my head. “Sorry, but that’s too bad.” He grabbed my hand and slowly, started pulling me toward the edge of the wood and back to that dreaded house.