We were beginning to pack up the camp when Logan pulled me aside out of earshot from the others. I tried to protest but he put a finger to his lips, silencing me.
“Now that we’re alone,” Longan started in an angry tone. “Why don’t you tell me why you’re really here, little bandit.”
“Whatever do you mean?” I asked him in the most sarcastically innocent voice I could muster.
“You know what I mean,” All emotion was gone from his face and his voice was as steady as steel. “You’re that bandit from the other night. Aren't you?”
I was silent for a few moments. I was too stunned to say anything. “How did you know?” I said at last with no sarcasm in my voice.
He raised an eyebrow at me and looked as if I just asked him why the sky was blue. “I clearly remember the bandit from last night had an injured leg.” I cursed under my breath for not thinking about that. “And I remember the head injury you obtained from a rather...ungraceful landing.”
“If I recall correctly that ‘ungraceful landing’ was caused by you,” I said with venom in my voice. “And I don’t remember stealing anything from you. If anything I gave you something, I gave Maya back to you. I could have just as easily turned her over to a vampire city for a nice reward.”
“If that’s how you feel, why did you bring her back?” He said matching my aggressive tone.
“I’ve already told you,” I calmed my voice. Picking a fight with this group’s leader was probably not the smartest idea. “I was rather fond of that child. I wanted to help her, and I did.” I was ready to walk off back to the others when Logan caught my arm.
“If you even think about hurting Maya, or anyone else in this group, I will not hesitate to kill you. The others might be too blind to see the evil in people, but that doesn’t mean I can’t.”
And with that, he dropped my arm and let me walk back to Maya and the others. They already had their stuff packed up and were ready to go. I must have looked angry because the next thing I knew Maya was running up to me.
“What happened!?” Maya yelped. “You look upset! Did Logan say something when he pulled you away!?”
I forced a smile and hoped it looked more natural than it felt. “I’m fine Maya, come on we should get going.”
She smiled and took my hand. Maya pulled me up to the rest of the group where Logan and Michael were already talking about what direction we should go next. Zachary was sitting on some tree roots minding his own business but when he saw Maya he shot up and ran over to us.
“Maya, Maya!” Zachary called out to his sister. “What happened when you went missing? Logan said you might have died but I didn’t believe it!”
Maya took Zachary’s other hand and started explaining the whole story, leaving out the part about her hearing a voice. Midway threw her explaining Logan and Michael started walking North-East and Maya pulled me and Zackary after them. I noticed Michael leaning on Logan to walk and I wondered how bad he had been hurt. The old white shirt wrapped around his leg was stained brown with old blood. I wondered what they were thinking of not changing his bandage, even dried blood can still attract vampires.
I would ask about it next time we stopped and in the meantime, I was going to focus on my own injuries. The wound on my head stopped bleeding but it still hurt like hell. Not to mention my twisted ankle that was screaming at me to rest. We have been walking for the better part of nine hours now and I was doing my best to hide my limp from the children next to me but I had no way of knowing if I was successful.
Logan was looking for a spot to set up camp because the sun was about to go down. Maya was still explaining to her brother about how I helped her find her way back to her group when Logan called for us to stop. I looked up to find out why and felt my heart sink. About five yards ahead of us were two class X vamps. They haven’t noticed us yet but they were looking around like they could smell us. I cursed under my breath and kicked myself for not asking about Michaels bloody bandage earlier. I drew my daggers and pushed the kids behind me. The sun had just set and we were no longer in the safety of daylight. I dropped my bag as well as the journal behind me so I would not be weighed down.
“Alright little bandit,” Logan said, falling into place on my right. “Time to prove yourself.”
“Ha, just try not to get in my way,” I said with a confident tone in my voice.
“Not to get in the middle of your lovely banter,” Michael cut in on my left with his bow drawn. Together we made a wall separating the class X vampires from the children. “But they’re coming this way.”
The first Class X vampire launched itself right at Logan and he barely had enough time to raise his short sword and deflect the creature. It staged back and the second one charged directly at me. I raised my daggers and swung the right one at the beasts head and the left one at the heart. The vamp stepped to the side and my daggers swung at nothing but air. He countered with his own attack and brought his claws up and hit me in the stomach. I staggered back and looked at my injury. It wasn’t too bad, the vampire’s claws cut through the fabric of my shirt and I had three thin scratches extending from my bellybutton to just under my breasts. They weren’t too deep but they still drew blood.
The smell of my blood must have riled up the vampire I was fighting because his next attack was quick and I had almost no time to react. The Class X swiped at me and I just barely had time to bring up my daggers to deflect. I staggered back a few steps and noticed something moving out of the corner of my eye. Just behind Logan two more Class X vamps came charging out of the woods. I shouted a warning and he had just enough time to throw himself to the side.
He landed next to me and shot to his feet as quick as a rocket. We were standing back to back with the four vamps closing in around us. In the caution, we drifted away from Michael and the kids who were hiding behind a tree. The fifth Class X vampire was swiping at them and Michael shot an arrow out of his bow that struck the vampire in the left shoulder.
“Any bright idea’s ’fearless leader’,” I asked Logan, not taking my eyes off the vampires in front of me. They were circling us like a tiger stalking its prey.
“Instead of mocking me,” Logan shouted back at me with his eyes on the vampires in front of him. “Why don’t you try coming up with something.”
I looked around trying to think of anything that might help us. Laying at my feet was the journal I found in that abandoned building all those years ago. It was a stupid idea, but I was out of time and options.
The journal was knocked open to a page labeled ’Azuole’ and I read the words under it out loud.
“’Cum potestate et venas voco super fulgur spirituum.’” At first, I felt stupid for trying it. Nothing happened and I felt Logan give me a weird look. Just as I gave up hope something astonishing happened. The moonlight was being blocked out by something. I looked up and discovered huge storm clouds covering the night sky.
I felt Logan suck in a breath behind me as lightning flickered in the sky. We heard a large boom and all five Class X vampires in front of us were struck by lightning. The five Class X vampires fell to the ground. Their skin turned a grayish-blue and we could see neon blue lines on their body.
Lightning, it had to be lightning. I thought to myself.
I was shocked that it actually worked. I didn’t know what I was expecting but I guess some part of me doubted anything would happen. However, I didn’t have long to think about what I just did. My vision went blurry and all of my energy was drained. I blacked out and the last thing I remembered was Logan’s arms wrapping around me keeping me from falling to the ground.