Chapter 36: One Down
Something was wrong.
Genesee and I walked silently down the hall and it seemed as if both of us were too afraid to so much as even breathe. She had hardly said two words to me when she motioned for me to exit Erebus’ room, shortly after opening the door and finding that I was sitting at the edge of his bed, awaiting for her arrival.
It was odd of her. She usually had a few comments to make or at least a few questions to ask in her attempt to converse with me; however, it wasn’t like that this time. From where I stood, it was almost as if she was completely trying to avoid so much as looking me in the eye, and I wasn’t entirely sure what it meant.
Surely, after everyone heard—her, seeing, more specifically—that I almost died, I figured she’d at least ask if I were alright. Though, clearly, seeing me walking again didn’t mandate that the question be asked, it’d be a nice gesture considering that she assured me that she still saw me as a superior, despite what Erebus had named me.
At least one person showed me the respect I deserve, and not because someone else demanded of it.
As we approached the bedroom that was the only room in this house that I’d be allowed privacy in, I noticed Genesee’s muscles tensed. Although she continued to move swiftly and confidently towards it, it was clear to me that there was something bothering her. And, perhaps the idea of being alone with me made her that much more uneasy.
Could it be that she believes that the witch will go after her as well if she nears me?
My thoughts had wondered to that of what everyone else may have been thinking after the attack. Could it be that Doraime planned to have other vampires fear being in this house in hope that they’d run and eventually gossip would land back home? Because if so, then maybe someone other than Hunter may come back here to investigate and find me here, under Erebus’ fist.
Then, she’d have won.
“Here you go.” Genesee muttered under her breath as she opened the door for me. She had moved to a side, motioning for me to step into the room after her.
“Thank you.” I replied as I followed her guidance.
No more than a second later, I heard the door slam behind me and I saw the blood bag she once held in her hand fly across the room, coming to a stop as it landing and bounced off of the bed until it came to rest.
I furrowed my eyebrows, quickly turning back only to find that Genesee had locked herself in the room with me. She stood with her arms crossed just beneath her chest, shifting her weight to one foot as her eyes narrowed down on me.
Clearly, she was upset.
“You’re welcome, Silver.” She spat. “That is your real name, isn’t it?” She arched an eyebrow, her nostrils flaring as she fought to keep her composure.
A string of chills shot up my spine and the hard look that I had been giving her was quickly softened and replaced by that of shock. I didn’t know what to do or what to say. All that I had in me was to look into her eyes as I said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
She scoffed, shaking her head as she continued to look at me with disdain. “You’re the daughter of Max and Isabelle, also known as the Immortal Twins.” She breathed out, letting out a humorless chuckle that followed the smile of ‘you’re unbelievable’, shortly after.
What did I do? I stood there and watched her. I watched as a thousand different emotions and expressions ran across her face before she finally broke her stance and began getting dangerously close to me.
Far too dangerous.
“Before I go out there and tell Erebus what I should’ve told him when I spoke to him,” she stated as she walked towards me. “You’re going to tell me what the hell you’re doing here.”
I wasn’t intimidated by her, so it wasn’t hard for me to stand my ground until she came to a stop about a foot before me. At that point, I knew that I couldn’t lie my way out of that situation, so I decided to be what I hadn’t been since I first arrived here: honest.
“You can’t do that.” I breathed out.
“I can and I will.” She fought.
“I can’t go home. Not now.” I fought back.
“Of course, not.” She scoffed. “You going home now means that we all die because of you.”
She was clearly furious, and it must have been too much for her to contain because only seconds later, she lost it.
“Hell, we’re all going to die whether you leave now or not!” She blurted. “What the hell are you doing here? Like this?” She motioned to all of me, referring to the slave act that I was forced to take and altogether chose to continue with.
“I want my freedom.” I confessed. “And I couldn’t get that living under my parents’ watch.”
“So you came here?” She questioned bitterly.
“And I got caught where I wasn’t supposed to be.” I added.
“And you said nothing!” She argued. “Instead, you lied and pretended to be someone that you’re not. You —”
“I had to!” I cut her off. “Because if I hadn’t, Erebus would’ve contacted my parents or welcomed me into his home and let the world know that the daughter of a Seeker and the vampire Queen, granddaughter of another Seeker and of the all-powerful Queen Seeker was staying in his home. I don’t want to be Silver in this world.” I said. “I don’t want what I had at home.”
“You’re pathetic.” She growled. “You’re complaining because you were given a little too much special treatment? They pampered you too much?”
“And that…” I shook my head as I pointed at her mouth and admitted, “that is exactly why I didn’t want anyone to know that I left home.”
“You’re going to get us all killed, for crying out loud!” She snarled.
“Sh… ” I whispered. I knew that if we kept screaming at each other, someone would’ve eventually heard us and more than likely came in here to find out what was going on. Then, then, I’d have no chance of doing or saying anything to work my way out of this mess.
“Don’t tell me to be quiet!” Genesee hissed.
“Look.” I stated calmly, hoping that seeing me and hearing me speak that way would calm her down. “No one is going to get killed, alright? No one knows I’m here.”
“Except for Hunter!” She exclaimed in a lower, but still aggressive, tone.
I was still afraid that she’d yell, but it made me feel a bit more at ease seeing her speak through her clenched teeth like my mother would when I would upset her in front of company as a child. At least then I got a better idea as to why she had yet to go to Erebus about what she found out—however she found out: she didn’t want anyone to know either. But why?
“He isn’t going to tell anyone.” I assured her about Hunter. “He knows what will happen if he does.”
“And the entire Pureblood population, in this world, knows you’re here! You were at the ball where, need I remind you, everyone saw you!”
“No one knew it was me.” I explained. “For the exception of a few in the other world, no one actually knows what I look like. I wasn’t allowed out very often.”
“Oh, who are you trying to fool?!” She retorted. “You are almost identical to your mother!”
“I managed to fool you, didn’t I?” I sassed as I arched an eyebrow.
She huffed in response. She didn’t know what else to say and for a moment, she looked defeated. She must of realized that there was no way that she’d win this argument against me because then, she resorted to saying the only thing that she could: “I’m telling Erebus.”
“No, you aren’t.” I pushed back, ghostly moving across the bedroom to block the door and stopping her from leaving. She had merely turned around and gotten a few steps in before I was standing just inches away from her, fighting her threat.
“Because if you do, it’s all over.” I stated. “For you, for me, and for everyone in this house—we’re all done.” I paused for a moment, giving her a second to think before I continued. “Just...let it be. Let me do what I have to do so that I may earn my freedom and leave as if I were never here. I will be known as Hope, an ordinary Pureblood vampire that was taken a slave by the vampire King and paid the price for breaking the law.”
“That doesn’t make you an ordinary Pureblood, Silver…” Her voice trailed off. “No vampire, let alone a Pureblood, is stupid enough to do what you did.”
“Then, I’ll go back home.” I said in my own mix of fear and desperation. “On my own, I’ll go back home after all of this. And I promise, you will never hear from Hope again. I promise I will tell no one of what happened here, and if you do ever see me again, it’ll be as Silver. It’ll be as Silver, with my parents’ blessing—a way that neither of us or anyone here will be in trouble.”
She thought about it. She was thinking about everything that I had just said, and maybe for a moment it all made sense to her. It all made sense until it didn’t.
“I don’t understand why you won’t just explain this to Erebus.” She breathed out, a little more calmly. “He’ll let you go. You won’t have to go through this any longer and you can do exactly what you just said without risking our lives for another minute.”
I knew that every word that came out of her mouth was true, but I simply couldn’t accept it. I couldn’t accept it because, at some point, it stopped being about me just escaping from Erebus. At some point, this became about me earning my freedom. It became about me actually earning something for once in my life.
“I won’t do it.” I muttered.
“Why?!” She exclaimed. She looked just about as confused as I expected her to, but it took her far less time to realize why I was still standing here, pretending to be Hope.
“What you’re doing is stupid and reckless.” She pleaded. “That witch, Doraime, she knows exactly who you are. She is the one that exposed me to the real you. You have to go, Silver.”
I was at a lost for words at the sound of hers, because that was not how I was expecting her to find out. Doraime…
Doraime was the last person who should’ve spoken to anyone about me.
That bitch… She gave me her word she’d tell no one…
“Of course, she does.” I growled. “She’s the one who brought me here.”
If Doraime put me in this position—at a disadvantage—I’d use her to help me. Even if it meant I’d tango with a monster.
“And I know more about that witch than you’ll ever get out of her before she escapes and kills everyone with just a snap of her fingers.” I uttered lowly.
Gensee looked at me once-over, my statement doing exactly what I hoped it would.
“What are you talking about?” She asked curiously.
“Give me your word that you’ll keep me a secret and I will tell you everything the day that I figure out how to get out of here—without Erebus being obligated to let me go.”
At first, I wasn’t sure if my proposition was enough.
Then, she asked, “How much longer do you need?”