Fletcher stared intensely at Chelsea as she sat against a tree. She was warm in her East Gate T-shirt and short athletic shorts. They hadn’t walked very far before Finnegan joined him. Fletcher had tied her hands together with dragon hid so that she could not burn it off. He threatened to rip her tongue out is she screamed. Chelsea willingly cooperated hoping they wouldn’t kill her. Finnegan walked up to her and grabbed her from the tree and stared into her eyes.
“Feed me,” he said calmly as Chelsea turned her head to the side. Finnegan bit down and drank from her. After a few minutes Chelsea became light headed and slumped to the ground. Finn kept drinking clutching the back of her neck. Fletcher looked up and saw Finn feeding.
“Finnegan! That’s enough!” Fletcher said ripping him away from her. “We need her healthy and alive,” he continued hoisting Chelsea over his shoulder. She had lost so much blood she couldn’t stand up. Finnegan wiped his mouth and retracted his fangs. Her blood was hot as if he was drinking hot sauce. Finn’s mouth burned as they walked down the street. None of Squad V had thought to ask how to get back to Vacoma so they had been wandering around for a while. Amble thought nothing of the situation because he was still preparing the generators, so he let them wander aimlessly. Fletcher dropped Chelsea on the ground next to a car garage building.
“Why are you doing this?” Chelsea asked quietly as Finnegan looked at her.
“We’re following orders,” he said turning his attention to Fletcher who was dragging another young igniter to them. He had short black hair and it was uncertain what part of Asia he was from but he was oriental. “What’s he for?” Finn asked as Fletcher stared at him.
“Don’t you think?” he asked as Finn stepped back. “How do you know if they’re pure or not?” he questioned as Finn shrugged. “We need to see how many we can get since we don’t know if they are full or not,” he explained tying the wire around the man’s hands. He tied that end to Chelsea’s hands which were now behind her back.
“Alright train, let’s move out,” Finn said as the new man struggled. He pulled his arms back and Chelsea fought uncomfortably against him.
“Let me go! I did nothing!” He shouted in Vietnamese.
“Stop!” She hissed as Fletcher came over. The man was putting a painful strain on her shoulders. “It’s dragon hide so quit struggling!” She continued as Fletcher grabbed the man’s face.
“Enough,” he said coldly. The man spit fire into Fletcher’s face. Fletcher screamed grabbing the igniter by his head. Finn pulled Chelsea close to his chest and covered her ears. Chelsea didn’t know what Finn was doing until she felt the wire stop moving. Chelsea looked up into Finnegan’s red eyes. He was staring disapprovingly at Fletcher. Chelsea stayed pressed up against Finn not wanting to turn around. The coolness of his skin was a different feel and it seemed to soothe the heat of her own.
“Remove the wire,” Fletcher said trying to untie the wire with his blood covered hands. Fletcher looked at Finn. His arms were wrapped around Chelsea’s head his hands on her ears. “What are you holding her for?” Fletcher growled as Finn removed his hands from Chelsea’s ears. He untied the wire from her hands as she rubbed her wrists.
“Please don’t try and run,” Finn said as Fletcher grabbed Chelsea roughly and pulled her to the ground covering her mouth. He grabbed Finn’s arm and shushed him when he got ready to protest. A few teenagers playing a search and rescue game ran by and stopped where Finnegan, Fletcher, and Chelsea hid in the grass.
“I don’t know where to look,” he laughed as Chelsea started struggling. Fletcher was covering her mouth and nose and she couldn’t breathe. Finn saw this and pulled Fletcher’s hand down slightly. Chelsea breathed in the cold night time air. The boys kept running along. Fletcher stood up and helped Chelsea stand.
“I didn’t mean to be so rough but I don’t want us to be found out,” Fletcher said as Chelsea brushed her shorts off. Finnegan pulled Fletcher to the side.
“Is it a good idea to untie her? What if she tries to run?” he asked as Fletcher pondered.
“She’s too smart for that,” Fletcher said looking back in Chelsea’s direction. She was already halfway down the street before they volexed to her. Finnegan grabbed her wrist and yanked her towards him. She pushed her hands behind him and then swung them out grabbing his wrists defensively. She pulled his arms out more forcing him forward and brought her knee up into his face. She released his arms and then brought the side of her hands down on his collar bone hard enough to make it crack. His screamed and grabbed his neck. She made a ring of fire around her body making it so the vampires could not touch her.
“You guys are going to let me go,” she said as Fletcher laughed, fangs bared.
“Now you know we can’t do that,” he said circling the flames. He walked around multiple times his eyes glistening with anticipation. “Why must you women always be so difficult?” he asked as she made the ring bigger. She started walking keeping distance between her and the flames.
“I’m not being difficult. I just don’t want to die at the hands of vampires,” she said as Fletcher strolled alongside her.
“Well, using all your power and energy to keep us out will only make it easier for us to get in,” Fletcher said as Finn crouched on the ground grabbing his neck. The bones healed and then he walked on the other side of the ring. “We can follow you to the ends of the earth,” Fletcher smiled putting his hands behind his back.
“You have to go to ground sooner or later,” Chelsea said pointing to the sky. It started turning deep orange as the sun began peeking over the horizon. Fletcher cursed under his breath and steered her towards the lake. Chelsea saw the water and turned the other way. Fletcher stood in her path as she kept walking. The flames engulfed him and he backed up. “I’m not stupid,” she said as she felt a cold arm go around her neck. Had Finnegan gotten in? Damn him. Chelsea grabbed the arm and leaned forward dropping to the ground and pulling the figure over her shoulder. She was off balance as well and the figure grabbed her neck again but this time with its hand. Her skin became hot but the grip on her neck grew stronger and she stopped fighting. Finally she fell into Amble’s arms.
“Master,” Fletcher bowed as Amble remained silent and dropped fang. He bit into Chelsea’s neck and drank the hot liquid. The ring around her faded. Fletcher stared anxiously at Amble as Finnegan turned away. Finn covered his mouth and closed his eyes as he listened to Amble drink.
“She’s just a human. What are you worrying about Finnegan?” Amble asked as Finn turned to him. Amble looked into Finn’s eyes and leaned Chelsea up against his chest. “You have feelings for this human?” he asked as Finn continued to stare over at the unconscious Chelsea. Her hair hung loosely to the side. “I said do you care about this human? This igniter?” Amble asked again as Finn shook his head. “Fletcher kill him,” Amble said as Fletcher snapped out of his fantasy. He stared at Amble.
“My lord?” he asked and Amble glared at him.
“Did I stutter? I said kill Finnegan,” Amble repeated as Fletcher stared into Finnegan’s eyes. They were filling with tears.
“Master please. This doesn’t hinder my ability to serve you,” Finn said as Fletcher approached him. “I swear to you that it’s nothing. Her blood was just amazing that’s all,” Finn hollered as Fletcher brought his hand up and caught Finn’s chin. He brought a sharp blade from his pocket and got ready to decapitate Finn before Amble grabbed Fletcher’s arm. He pulled the blade out of Fletcher’s hand and stared Finnegan dead in the eyes.
“You swear to me that this will not hinder your loyalty?” Amble asked as Finn nodded. “If something happens and she must die—”
“I’ll kill her,” Finn said as Amble smiled. He smacked Finn’s cheek a couple of times.
“Good boy,” he said hoisting Chelsea over his shoulder. “I don’t need another Carter Azera pandemic. They, with my brother’s help, allowed royals and non-royals to mingle, with that my enemy was born,” Amble continued. He looked around them briefly. “We need to tie her somewhere while we go to ground. It cannot be in an open place because she could cry for help,” Amble said as he took them down an alleyway. There was a dumpster and a few trashcans. A door stood slightly ajar on the left wall. Amble handed Chelsea to Finnegan and then slipped inside. They heard screams followed by silence. Amble came out, blood on his face and shirt.
“Shut the door,” Fletcher said to Finn who did so.
“Tie her here. Put dragon hide in her mouth so she cannot scream,” Amble said as Finnegan tied Chelsea’s hands together. He tied her ankles as well and Fletcher stuffed a wad of dragon hide in her mouth. “Rest. Our preparations are almost complete. We just need to get her back to Vampira,” Amble said sitting next to a wall. Fletcher stood by him until Amble beckoned him to sit down. Fletcher laid his head on Amble’s shoulder who in turn, put his arm around Fletcher. Finnegan couldn’t sleep as he stared at Chelsea. Finn shivered when a breeze blew through the building. The windows were slightly boarded up enough to keep out the sunlight. Finnegan pulled Chelsea into the rays slipping through the window so she would not be cold. Her eyes slowly opened and she tried to scream but the sound died in her mouth when she saw Finn sitting next to her. She scooted away as he turned his head slowly toward her.
“Don’t be afraid of me,” he said quietly. He placed a hand on her knee and gently squeezed. “I promise I won’t hurt you,” he whispered as Amble stirred.
“Finnegan go to sleep,” he grumbled as Finn took his hand off Chelsea’s knee. Chelsea tried to stand up but fell forward. Finn picked her up and set her against the wall. He went back to his place away from her and leaned his head against the wall. He closed his eyes but he didn’t sleep. It was just too hard.