BANG! BANG! BANG!
I stood up quickly, almost falling out of bed. I stood there with anxiety running through me, who could be here? How dare whoever it was ruin the short time I had with Ismenia! Alex was already at the door. He looked over his shoulder at me, motioning for me to be silent. I wasn’t prepared for somebody to be here. He put one of his hands on the doorknob and the other rested on the door. He took a defensive position. He must have been thinking the same thing I was. Could it be someone from Daniel’s army? Did Ismenia’s presence alert them to where I was?
I stayed back and kept my mouth closed just as Alex had ordered. The old me would have wanted to hide, but not anymore. Whoever it was, I would be ready for whatever pain they wanted to inflict. I wanted to be all the great things that my family wanted me to be, and now, because of Ismenia, I was ready.
“Who is it?” Alex’s voice was urgent but threatening.
“Alex, open up. It’s Marcus.”
Alex swung the doors open and backed away, letting four men into the room. They all walked fast and with a purpose. This was not a just a house call. Something was wrong. “Where have you guys been? You were supposed to be here hours ago!” Alex walked over to the bed and sat down.
“We’ve got a problem,” Marcus said.
“Were you guys followed?” Alex questioned. I sat down next to Alex, close enough to feel the touch of his leg.
“Alex give me a little credit, huh? I know how to lose a tracker.” Marcus and the others moved to the foot of the bed. Jimmie looked at me – in Alex’s shirt – and gave me a smirk, like he knew what Alex and I had done. I almost wanted to blush.
“We’ve got bigger problems than who might be following us.” Marcus threw a crumbled newspaper article at us. Alex looked down for a second then back up at Marcus. He looked like he had been blindsided.
“What?!” I grabbed the paper and unfolded it; there was a family picture in the middle of the page. I looked closer at the portrait and saw it was MY family. I glanced further up on the page, the head line read…
Wife and Daughter Missing
Wife Suspected of His Murder
My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach. How could eleven simple words make everything else in this world seem insignificant? I didn’t have to read any further; it said everything I needed to know in the head line. Wife and ….. Daughter? Wife suspected? But I didn’t do anything! I was the victim! How could this be happening? Daughter? I left Sierra in her bed, dead – motionless. I even checked for a heartbeat before I left her. She was by all accounts DEAD! I looked up at Marcus, scratching my head.
“What does this mean? She was killed. I saw it. I saw her neck. How could she survive that?” I demanded an answer.
Marcus looked over at Alex, but not at me. “That’s what took us so long getting here. We went back to the house to look for clues, some sort of life, just anything to prove that it was a fake. We thought maybe Daniel had done this to get Trinity out of hiding.”
“And what did you find?” I tried to get him to look at me but he wouldn’t.
I tried not to sound so helpless, but so many thoughts were racing in my head, I couldn’t control them all. If this wasn’t a fake, my daughter was out there, and I was the number one suspect in Michael’s death.
“We found nothing to point to the fact that she was alive.” Marcus looked disturbed.
I started to get angry. He needed to talk to me! Also he, like always, was tiptoeing around my questions, shielding me from the truth. I needed to know the answers. I wanted to tell him that I wasn’t a little girl and that I could handle whatever he threw at me. That anything he had to tell me would not shatter me, but just maybe make me stronger.
“Then what does that mean exactly? They’re walking around with my daughter’s dead body?”
He grabbed the bed post and hesitated. “Not exactly…” He looked down at Alex. They looked like they were reading each other’s minds, and as always keeping whatever answers they had away from me.
I finally snapped. “I swear to you, Marcus, if you don’t answer me, I will run over there and rip your goddamn head off!” I proceeded to get up, but Alex grabbed my arm, forcing me to stay seated.
“Trinity.” He finally looked at me. His eyes were beaten. He knew he had to come clean with what was going on and I could tell it killed him inside. This was a side of Marcus I never thought I would see. This was his human side, the side of him that had a heart. And at this moment, whatever this truth was, it was breaking it. “She’s not alive, but she’s not dead either.”
I could only think of one other possibility. “Oh no,” I whispered.
“That’s right. Gerviase must have gone back for her after he lost the two of you. He had to have taken her and changed her that night. There’s no other explanation.”
“But…” I couldn’t say anything more.
“We went back to your house and searched for clues, trying to find anything that would lead us to her, but he covered his tracks pretty well. He made her bed and cleaned her room; he made it look like she wasn’t even there that night. We couldn’t even find a spot of her blood. He wanted to make sure you were blamed for what happened. He wanted to make sure that the only evidence there was you and Michael. That way if the police found you, it wouldn’t be hard for him to get to you. Now we don’t even know who he’s given her to. She could be anywhere. We don’t know if it’s Daniel or…” He paused.
“Or who?” Alex questioned curiously.
“Or Lilith.” His voice was muffled under his breath.
My body quivered at the sound of her name. My poor baby in the arms of that woman, that demon, in the arms of a killer. What could either of them want with a nine year old child? What use did she have, especially as a vampire? What did they want… a mascot?
I remembered a dream I had of Sierra not too long ago. Images of her and her voice streamed back to my mind. The way she looked, the horror in her eyes, and it was then that I knew who had her.
“How could I be so stupid?” I put my hands over my face. I must have been thinking out loud, because it made Jessup speak.
“What?” He demanded an answer.
I hesitated. What would they think about why I knew? “A while back I had a dream of her, of Sierra, I mean.” Jessup cut me off.
“If you’d shut up I could finish!”
He rolled his eyes at me but gave me the chance to press on. “Continue,” he said, sarcastically. They all leaned in to listen to everything I had to say.
I paused and let out a breath. “She was porcelain white, with malicious black eyes. There was blood everywhere. She was so different that I remember thinking to myself that this wasn’t my daughter. I mean, how could she be? The way she looked at me and the way she spoke… it was haunting.” I stopped.
“What else, Trinity?” Alex said.
“Gerviase was there. He was holding on to her but she wasn’t scared of him. It was like they were best friends or something. She told me I needed to finish what was started. I just wrote it off as just a bad dream. And with everything else that had been happening I must have forgotten about it.”
“And you didn’t realize!” Jessup shouted.
I stood up my eye narrowed at him. I felt my body fill with fury while I tried to stay calm. “How could I realize anything, Jessup?! I didn’t even know what was happening to me! I didn’t find out until later that these dreams actually meant something, and by that time I completely blocked that dream out of my mind. So before you point fingers…”
“ENOUGH YOU TWO!” Alex demanded, suddenly emotionless. Jessup looked away like a dog with his tail between his legs.
“Sorry,” Jessup mumbled under his breath.
“This is not the time for blame! We need to defuse the situation as quickly as possible before any of us get killed!”
I now realized who the leader was in this small group of vampires. Marcus would like us to believe that he was, but watching the way the others studied Alex, listening to the way he spoke, revealed that Alex was the true leader. And just as he had control over me, he had just as much domination over them. They followed him and if it was appropriate, they would have bowed at his feet.
The room fell silent; nobody knew quite what to say. Everybody looked at one another, waiting for somebody to break the silence. I knew what they all thought. That maybe this was all my fault. I did have that dream and maybe I should have told somebody about it. But it’s not like they didn’t make mistakes. I mean who was it that brought Mary into this little group and who was it that had to kill her? They waited for Alex to tell them their next move.
I could only think about my daughter and what she might be going through right now: the pain she felt or the distress she was in. What was Lilith making her do? Was she locked up or was she free? Were they beating her, hoping that I would find out and it would enrage me? Were they lying to her about who I really was so she would hate me? I couldn’t believe that all this time she was still here in need of me, in need of her mother.
I decided to speak. “I have to find her.” I walked around the bed, looking for where Alex threw my clothes.
“You can’t, Trinity,” Alex said, sarcastically. “Don’t you know that’s what they want?”
“I don’t care.” I shrugged my shoulders. “Regardless if they do or don’t, I can’t just do nothing, Alex!” I threw his shirt at him. I was tired of him barking orders at me.
We were talking about my daughter. This wasn’t some person off the street. She needed to be with me – not whomever she was with. She needed to learn the right way of doing things. She had to be very confused and scared. I needed to be the one to teach her how to be a vampire. And if not me than Alex. Not Gerviase or Lilith.
“They’re waiting for that, Trinity.” Cyrus looked at me. “You need to stay on track. We need to stay one step ahead of them.”
“Well, in case you haven’t seen it, so far they have always been one step ahead of us. Wherever we go there’s one more thing that they have done to knock us down. They know everything about us, from the places that we go to the emotions we feel.” I couldn’t understand why they were arguing with me about this. “And I don’t know about you, but I am getting tired of playing a victim and waiting for my death. This needs to stop. But first, I need to get my daughter.”
“Listen. She’s been with them for days, weeks, who knows how long. She was born to them and with that, she was made like them, into a killer.” Cyrus sounded convincing but I couldn’t see past the fact that she was still my daughter, no matter what they’ve done to her.
I slowly sat down on the couch, feeling defeat running through my mind. I felt helpless. I ran my hands through my hair. They looked at me, waiting for my next argument. They wanted me to leave the only blood I had left? What could I say? Did they really expect me to stay, after knowing that she’s out there? Did they really think that anything they had to say would change my feelings?
“I’m sorry, but I have to find her. This battle will have to wait.” I looked at Alex.
“If you leave our safety, Trinity, we cannot and will not follow.” Alex’s voice was firm.
“Are you kidding me right now?” I asked in confusion.
“No,” he whispered.
I let out a breath and had a surprised looked on my face. I couldn’t believe what he was saying. He would really let me leave…by myself, after all we just shared together? What if this was his child, or any one of them? Would he just dismiss it? I guess I knew where his heart was.
But I couldn’t think of that. I had to do what I felt was right in my heart. It was what I felt needed to be done. They have told me again and again that things happen for a reason and I needed to believe that there was a reason why she is still alive. I needed to believe that it’s because she needed to be with me. If Alex couldn’t understand that then maybe I was truly on my own.
I quickly put on my shoes and grabbed my jacket. As I walked towards the door, I stopped in front of Alex. I looked up into his eyes, waiting for him to say something –anything – that would prove his love for me. I wanted him to grab my hand and say he would go with me to the ends of the earth, that he loved me enough to help me save my child. That this battle could wait and all of us in this room would lend a hand for Sierra’s safe return home. But I would be waiting for nothing.
I looked around at the other four vampires. They all crossed their arms and stared down at me in anger. They stared at me like I had betrayed them because I thought my daughter, my own flesh and blood, was more important than any battle. I didn’t care what they thought or how they felt. This was my daughter and I could only hope that they would do the same for a child of theirs.
I stood at the door for a brief second – maybe they would say something more – but there was nothing but silence. I walked through the two doors and slammed them behind me. The walls shook. I fell against the wall. If they felt betrayed, I felt even more betrayed. I felt like the only reason they wanted me around was just to fight. But if I didn’t take this time to fight for my daughter, who would fight for her? If I can’t fight for her, than why should I fight at all? And if they cared so much about honor, where did theirs go?
As I walked down the hallway, a feeling of dread and anxiety ran over me. I was really alone. No matter how slowly I walked, nobody would come after me. I felt like nobody cared enough. I was just a weapon that they would use at their command and that’s not how I wanted to be treated or thought of. Maybe I was still holding on to the human side of me. And who knows, maybe Sierra was marked by evil. But if I didn’t see it for myself than I would go on the rest of whatever existence I had left wondering.
I could hear the monks praying as I walked down the hall. Did they know what just happened? Did they hear the harsh words that were spoken in their monastery? Were they praying for me? Were they praying that I would find my daughter or I would find the peace that was promised to me from Ismenia? The praying got louder and louder as I got closer to the doors. It almost sounded like a song and it echoed off the walls.
What was I going to do once I left the safety of the monastery? How would I find her? The world is so big and there are so many places for them to hide. Where would I start? Maybe I could leave myself in the open and wait for them to find me?
I got to the front doors that led out to the garden; I reached out and put my hands onto both doorknobs, but stopped before I could pull them. The feeling I once had of hopelessness that followed me down the hallway, suddenly changed to rage and fury. The praying of the monks got louder and faster with every breath I took.
My blood started to boil in my veins and my body started to tense. I unexpectedly cracked my neck and closed my eyes. I opened every door in my mind and narrowed in on what was going on around me. I saw the monks; they were sitting in a circle in the prayer chamber praying just like I had heard, rocking back and forth. My five protectors were still in the room talking in a panic, just as I left them. Outside, the flowers swayed with the low breeze that was blowing. But that’s not what I was feeling. All of those things were things I already knew. Something else was out there in the distance.
I extended my senses further. Suddenly I heard footsteps, many footsteps, miles away. They were running and gaining speed as they got closer. I smelled the blood of many mortal victims dripping from the mouths of their predators. I almost collapsed to my knees. And without warning I knew who was coming for us…for me. It was Daniel’s army. They had found us. But how could they have known where we were? Alex took drastic measures to keep this place secret, even from me. Was it Ismenia’s presence that alerted them? But even if it was, it would have taken them longer to get here. They knew way before that.
I wanted to leave. They wouldn’t know if I was still here or not. I would have a head start and make it to where nobody could find me, giving me time to at least try and find my daughter. But if I left Alex and the others, they wouldn’t stand a chance. They would be left defenseless and the ones hunting us would have the upperhand. If I left, I could be sure that I would never see Alex again.
Was this the choice Ismenia mentioned to me? Would this determine what the rest of the future held? It couldn’t be. This choice would be too simple. She told me it would be too emotional for me to control. That it was a choice that I wouldn’t see coming until the last minute.
It was hard to believe that the one chance I had to see my daughter again could slip away, but I couldn’t leave the others – not like this. It was one thing leaving them, but leaving them vulnerable was something I couldn’t do. They wouldn’t know until the last minute that somebody was coming and they wouldn’t know what to do.
I knew what I had to do now. I would have to find Sierra some other time. If she was still with Lilith, she would stay there until I could find her. If Lilith had kept her alive this long, she wouldn’t kill her in the near future.
I ran back toward the bedroom where I left the others as fast as I could, throwing my jacket behind me, leaving it on the hallway floor. I ignored the praying monks, even though one peeked his head out of the prayer room to see what was going on.
When I approached the double doors leading into the bedroom I couldn’t hear anything coming from inside. Maybe I was blocking out all conversations except what was happening outside in the distance. Maybe they just didn’t have anything to talk about now that I was gone. Maybe they knew they were helpless without me? I wanted to smile at that thought, but now wasn’t the time.
I kicked open the doors. When I walked in, I saw them all sitting around talking. I startled them as I entered the room. When Alex saw me he immediately stood up with a smile on his face.
“I knew you would change your mind!” He almost seemed happy. But the smile that was so warm and happy faded when he saw the look on my face. The happiness vanished and his whole body tensed. I wish he could have read my mind so I wouldn’t have to explain what I heard.
“We’ve got a problem,” I insisted. I walked up to Alex and pointed my finger at him. “But this between us isn’t over.” I raised my eyebrow.
Marcus interrupted. “What’s happened?”
“They found us. They’re on their way…and fast,” I said in a panic.
They all stood simultaneously; they were trained to expect the unexpected. They knew that the war was brought to them.
“How many of ‘em are there?” Alex questioned, his voice anxious.
“I couldn’t tell. But there are many of them and they’re fast. I mean radioactive fast.”
“How much time do we have?” Marcus asked, already preparing himself.
I closed my eyes and tried to sense where they were or where they were coming from. But my inner seeing was coming in clips, not giving me enough time to put together the missing pieces. “I don’t know. It’s too blurry.”
“Focus, Trinity. Please. Forget everything you hear and focus.” Marcus’s voice was low. It was weird having him train me in something that seemed out of his comfort zone.
I tried to see something familiar, something I saw on my journey to this place; trees, maybe an open field, or the road where the cows were blocking Alex’ and my path, maybe the village. “Wait. I see taxis; they’re jumping over them. They’re in the village.” I opened my eyes and looked at Alex. “We have minutes.”
“I’ll go tell the others.” Cyrus ran off to tell the monks.
“Please hurry.” But he was gone before I finished getting the words out. Damn. The monks. They were in danger now because of me. They’ve helped my family for generations, opening their doors to shield us, and this is how I repay them by putting them in harms way. Leave it to me: out of all the generations in my family, I’m the one who jeopardizes their happy existence. Was that why they were praying so loudly? Was that why they were praying so fast: because they knew what was about to happen?
The tower bell rang, bringing my thoughts back to reality. The clinging of the bell shattered the silence. This time though, it wasn’t announcing the time, it was sending out a warning that danger was upon us. The sound could be heard for miles. Did they also want to alert the villagers down below?
By the last cling of the bell, Cyrus was already back in the room, not even out of breath. Marcus and Alex were deep in conversation discussing a plan. I must have been in my own world because even though I was trying the best I could, I couldn’t hear what they were saying. I kept tuning out too, and focusing my abilities on where Daniel’s army was.
They were getting closer with every second that passed by. They had already passed the village and now were at the open field of beautiful flowers, crushing them with every running footstep. I could taste their thirst for me as they ran and I could even see it drip from the corners of their mouths. That thirst was so powerful it fueled their energy. I could feel their anger and wrath pulsing with every step they took, making them shake with strength. I could see their footsteps getting faster as they got closer to my scent.
I knew Daniel wanted them to hunger for me as bad as they did. He put lies in their heads and falsely accused me of things I didn’t do, all because he thirsted for the power he thought I had.
Suddenly a motionless picture formed in my mind. It took me by surprise and almost made me lose my balance, which wasn’t helping any. I looked around the room in horror. I looked at all my protectors who were still too deep in conversation to notice my even paler face. It wasn’t just Daniel’s army coming for us. They were being led by somebody I’d seen before, somebody who had already tried and failed to kill me, somebody that up until a few minutes ago I never wanted to see again.
“Alex,” I tightened my hold on his hand. “Gerviase is their leader,” I said quietly, almost in a whisper.
“They’re going to surround us, leaving us with no other way out,” Marcus whispered to Alex.
“There’s nothing left for us to do but fight.” Alex looked around at every vampire in the room.
I knew Alex wanted Gerviase’s death more than I did. Not because of their past, not because he made Alex into something that, until I was born, he didn’t want to be. He wanted Gerviase dead because of what he made me go through. He was angry that he couldn’t change Gerviase’s way of thinking when we were in that field that day. He was angry because Gerviase didn’t back down from the orders that Daniel gave him. He wanted to see blood shed from Gerviase’s body and he wanted to see the life drain from his eyes.
The very mention of fighting made me shudder but I knew I was ready to take on Gerviase – or anybody who stood in the way of me killing Daniel, and now Lilith – for stealing my daughter. I wanted to forget about Daniel and his quest to hunt and kill me and move on to getting answers about Sierra. But unfortunately I would have to wait. Alex would never allow it, not now.
“We need to take our positions before they arrive,” Alex said. The words were rushed.
“What should we do?” Marcus questioned.
“We can’t let ’em think they have the advantage. Jimmie…” Alex stopped speaking. The two looked at each other as if they knew exactly what the other was thinking. Jimmie nodded at Alex while walking over behind me.
Alex turned to me, his eyes soft and almost hypnotic, but he was sad. “Trinity, I love you, but I’m so sorry.” He slowly walked towards me.
I looked at him, confused. He was sorry for what? He stood in front of me, our shoes almost touching. He lowered his head and raised his hand to my hair, gently brushing it away from my forehead. I looked up at him. “For what?” He didn’t answer but instead he kissed me.
His lips were firm and powerful. His fingers tightened in my hair as he pulled me closer to him. I wrapped my hands around his neck, trying to hold myself up. Every time he kissed me I would lose control. I didn’t care who was in the room watching, I didn’t want him to stop.
He pulled away suddenly and without warning. I looked up at him, confused. “Please don’t hate me.” He walked backwards slowly.
I held my hands out feeling perplexed. I tilted my head to the side. “For what Alex?”
Jimmie walked up close to me, grabbing both of my arms, locking me in a tight grip, preventing me from going anywhere. His arms felt like solid poles, frozen and unbreakable. For being smaller than the others, he was powerful. He made it impossible for me to move. But why was he holding me back?
I tried to untangle my arms from his but every time I moved his hold got tighter. “Jimmie, lemme go!” I almost wanted to laugh. “What’s wrong with you?!” I yelled as I kicked my feet.
“Trinity, please don’t fight this,” Alex said, lowering his head. His hair covered his face.
“Why are you doing this Alex?” I questioned
“This is for your own good. I cannot let you fight them. I know how badly you want this, but you are meant to fight Daniel, not Gerviase. If you go out there, they will throw you down. I can’t allow that.”
“So what…I’m supposed to stand back and let you all get butchered?! I want to fight and I really don’t think it matters who it is. You guys need my help!”
“You’re too important,” Cyrus said, looking at Marcus.
“What if something happens to you, Alex? To any of you? I couldn’t live with that! We are supposed to be in this together! You’ll be a lot stronger if I’m there.”
Alex smiled at my reflection in the mirror. He turned around and walked up to me. I could tell his heart was breaking at his decision to leave me behind, but I would be all the more devastated if I lost him.
He brushed his hair away from his face. “I’ll come back to you no matter what happens. I promise,” he whispered in my ear. He kissed the top of my head and they were gone, leaving Jimmie to protect me.
I paced the floor for a while until I looked down and saw a wear pattern on the floor; I had already bitten off all my nails leaving nothing but stubs. I couldn’t handle not knowing what was happening. Four very smart and very strong vampires were out there preparing for a battle. They would fight for our survival against an army much stronger than what I thought they could handle. There was nothing I could do but sit and wait to see who would walk back into the room. The thought of losing any of them was more than I wanted to think about. They were hard-headed and at times came off stubborn, but they were here for me and now they were out there for me. There had to be something I could do. But even if I tried, I knew Jimmie would prevent me from leaving the room.
Jimmie seemed peculiarly okay for being left out of the fight. Ever since I met him, he has always wanted to be in the middle of things. It seemed like he wanted to be inside with me, not out there. He wasn’t pacing or fidgety, but composed and quiet. I was a wreck. I couldn’t just stand there. Why was he so calm?
I finally sat down on the couch and crossed my legs, trying to calm my nerves. Jimmie had taken his position at the door, standing with his arms crossed; guarding it in case I wanted to run.
“You know you don’t have to worry, Jimmie. I’m not going to run. You can relax,” I said sarcastically, trying to lighten the mood.
“It’s not you breaking out that I’m concerned about; it’s who might break in.” He didn’t even look at me. He tried to act tough, but I knew him to be the funny one. Even so, he gave me the impression that he wasn’t in the mood for small talk.
I was too anxious for conversation anyway. Every position I took was uncomfortable. I shifted my weight more times than I could count. I had no more nails to bite to occupy myself and, as disgusting as it sounds, I would have bitten Jimmie’s nails if he would let me. Everything I tried to do to make the time go by more quickly just wasn’t working. It felt like time was moving in slow motion and I couldn’t do anything to change it.
Finally I decided to close my eyes and concentrate on Alex. It was the only hope I had in watching him. I crossed my legs and closed my eyes and tried to pace myself. I breathed slowly and steadily, I could feel the blood rushing through my veins. I saw fire burning and the wind blowing, increasing the inferno around us. He was dancing with his victim, biting this one then breaking the neck of the next, screaming as he threw them down like rag dolls. I could hear the sounds of death – hissing and snarling – coming from their throats. I could feel Alex’s anger inside of me.
He stopped! Why did he stop? He dropped his sword. Why would he do that? He looked surprised. He moved his hair away from his face. I tried to see further than what I had seen but I couldn’t tell what was in front of him. What could have made him stop? Suddenly it came clear to me. The image of a man’s shoes appeared and got clearer as my vision peered upward…Gerviase!
Alex and Gerviase stood there in the field of dead bodies, almost toe to toe. Gerviase was smiling at Alex, like he knew something Alex didn’t know. Alex’s face was filled with pure hatred and revulsion. I wanted to jump out of the window. I wanted to try and help but I couldn’t focus. Something was happening to Alex, but I couldn’t tell if he was hit, or stabbed, or bit. I saw him slowly fall to the ground but I couldn’t see why. He just dropped to his knees then his chest slammed to the ground. Gerviase was still smiling but now waving goodbye to him. Was he dead? What was happening? The images went black.
I shook my head to bring my thoughts back to reality. “He has Alex!” I jumped up running towards the door. I needed to help him; I needed to be the one to save him for once. I couldn’t let Gerviase win against Alex.
“I can’t let you leave, Trinity,” Jimmie said, patronizing me. He wasn’t acting like the Jimmie I knew, something was wrong.
“Jimmie, move aside,” I demanded. Why was he in my way? Why would he allow Gerviase to take Alex? I told him that a man of evil has somebody who was supposed to be the leader in this group and he didn’t want to lift a finger to help gain control over this? Why?
Jimmie stood there at the door with both of his hands crossed and his legs separated; if I wanted to get through I wouldn’t be doing it through him, he made that very clear just by the look in his eyes.
“Sorry. You see a lot of us are…” He paused. “Good at acting, present company included.”
”What?” I said in shock.
He grabbed my shoulders, turning my body so my back was against his chest. He moved his arm around my throat. It took me by surprise. But I couldn’t move. “Take me, for example.” He put his face into my hair, his breath made me want to cringe. “I’ve been putting on a nice little show for you and the others. Tiptoeing around Jessup, trying to be friends with Cyrus, and worshiping Marcus, just to draw you closer to me.” His voice got evil.
“What are you talking about, Jimmie?”
“Do you even understand how hard it’s been having you around me? Smelling you makes my mouth water. Do you know how many times I’ve had the chance to take you out but I had to hold back? Come on. That in itself is hard enough. I’ve wanted to kill you from the moment I met you.” He let out a laugh. “But you’re just so damn good at staying around somebody.”
“You know,” I paused. “Why is it that everybody wants to kill lil’ ol’ me?” I joked.
“Awe, Trinity…” He smelled my hair. I could only roll my eyes at the thought of him being so close to me. “There’s no need to change you’re demeanor now. I’ve studied you. I know your weaknesses and your strengths, and facetious is just not who you are. You are a scared vampire who is afraid of her own shadow.”
“I might surprise you.”
“Nah, you couldn’t. I’ll tell ya a little secret though. Did you really think I was fighting against Mary that day? I was in the junction of that forest watching you from a distance. I was watching you just like Alex was. I watched the way your hips moved and your body swayed like it was meant to kill her. Do you really think I would have had a helping hand in killing my own men?”
I stopped resisting and rested my shoulders. I wish he could have seen me roll my eyes. I think he thought his words actually meant something to me, or hurt me, but really they just made me sick. I wanted to say something smart or sarcastic but I now knew what he was talking about. I let out a sigh and let him continue.
“Awe… Now it’s all coming to you, huh?” he smirked.
“It was you the whole time, wasn’t it? Daniel never knew where I was. He never had a lock on me. It was you who betrayed us all. Mary’s orders to kill me came from you!” I tried not to sound so surprised but the words came out that way, anyway.
Jimmie was the one who was feeding my location to the others. Mary wasn’t in charge of anybody. She worked for Jimmie. He knew that if Mary didn’t kill me, which I can only suspect he had hoped, that he would be alone with me and it would give him the chance to earn his spot with Daniel. I wondered how hard it was to hide the tattoo on his chest. He had to have sat beside Daniel in order to have the authority to rule over a captain like Mary.
I tried to think. I tried to envision what his next move would be so I would be one step ahead of him. I closed my eyes and tried to block out Jimmie’s breathing, which was so loud beside my ear. But I couldn’t get past where Alex could be. Was that my weakness…Alex?
I attempted to unlock the stronghold he had on me, but he was so much more powerful than anybody gave him credit for. He must have been a follower of Daniel’s for many years to have this kind of strength. When did Marcus leave Daniel? How could he have not known about Jimmie’s place in Daniel’s world?
“Who are you?” I questioned.
“I don’t think you need to worry your pretty little head over such things. Besides, in a couple of minutes it won’t really matter, now will it? If the others survive, they will return to your lifeless body and know that all their efforts have failed once again. They will finally understand that Daniel is the true King of this world and they need to either kneel before him or die underneath him.” His words were emotionless and sadistic.
He let out a brief chuckle that sent chills down my spine. He ran his finger down my arm ever so slightly; his touch was cold even for me. I knew he was enjoying every minute of this hold he had over me. But even though I was surrounded by his evil presence, I couldn’t help but think that I couldn’t allow this to happen. This was not how it was supposed to end. I couldn’t die by a liar like Jimmie. My destiny was to fight Daniel and if I died by his hands that would be okay because at least I tried. But I wasn’t going to let Jimmie take my life, not when I’ve come this far.
I started to feel the same rage that I felt when Mary spoke to me that day in the field. That boiling sensation came back into my veins, pulsing out my fingertips. That familiar wind that seemed to follow my fury started to blow strong through the window, knocking over a flower vase. I could hear the thunder in the clouds and the lightening lit up the room we were in.
“And you think you’re going to be the one to kill me?” My voice was low but strong enough to grab his attention.
“I’ve thought about it,” he joked. “What? You think you’re powerful enough to stop me?”
“Well, I was powerful enough to kill Mary. Or don’t you remember her headless body that you so graciously walked over? Or am I being facetious?” I started to laugh.
“Mary was careless. Her feelings about who you are pushed her to her death.”
I stopped him before he could speak further. “What do you think is fueling mine, you asshole!” I reached my arms up quickly, easily unlocking his grip and wrapped my hands around his head, twisting with enough force that I ripped it off his body. His body fell to the ground. It was a quick death: better than anything he was entitled to. He deserved to have a slow and agonizing death, one that lasted as long as the time that he fooled Marcus and the others. I threw his head onto the bed and walked over his body to get to the door.
I opened the door to a burning hallway; the fire had reached the monastery. The beautiful portraits filled with God’s masterpieces were falling to the floor in ashes. I remembered what Jessup said about our bodies. I knew I couldn’t be around the blaze any longer. I tried to look for an opening through the fire but it was too strong, I could feel the heat on my skin.
I hurried and closed the door, hoping I would have more time before the fire spread to the room. I needed to find another way out. I looked around the room and saw the open window; it was my only hope of getting out of the room safely. I ran through the room, grabbing the book that rested on the couch and jumped out the window into the garden below.
From the moment my feet touched the ground I saw dead vampires everywhere. This was a place of worship but now it was nothing more than a burning gravesite. I looked around trying to find somebody I knew, but thank God there was nobody I recognized. Did Marcus and the others get away unharmed, or were they a part of Jimmie’s plan? Did they act together to fool Alex, and lead him to wherever he was now?
I ran as fast as I could, jumping over bodies, trying not to look around, trying not to let the scene affect me. I hoped the monks got away safely. I didn’t see any of them so that led me to believe that they were okay.
I reached the entrance, stopping for only a moment. I looked over my shoulder and saw that the monastery that had stood there untouched for hundreds of years was now burning to the ground. How sad that this is how it had to end. The only place that was given to me for peace and for hope was now going to be nothing but ash. There was nothing I could do to change this outcome or replace all that was lost; I had to walk away knowing it was my fault.
I proceeded to run – where I didn’t know. I found myself running away again – alone. If I had learned anything in this short time, with everything that had happened, I learned that whomever was with me was marked for disaster or death.