I ran and ran. At the time, I didn’t know where I was headed. But time had no meaning as I pushed my way through the trees. I was running scared and alone which was not a good thing for me. I didn’t know who was left at the monastery, and I knew that maybe it wasn’t a good idea for me to have left. When I didn’t think I could run any longer, beautiful black and white images of Alex and Sierra filled my mind, fueling me to run even faster.
I wanted to know what happened to Alex. Where did he go? Was he even alive? I knew he wasn’t using me like Jimmie was. Alex would feel terribly betrayed when he found out about Jimmie. But what would Gerviase want with Alex alive? Did they take Alex as a trap to lure me in? Gerviase had to know how close Alex and I were, and that meant he had to know that I would come for him.
And what about my Sierra? Was she being used for evil? Was she a part of Lilith’s plan? Was Lilith using her to do the things that Ismenia refused to do? Did Sierra still know right from wrong? Or was she just another prisoner, helpless and scared? Was she waiting for her mother to come rescue her?
I didn’t know what happened to Marcus or the others. Whether they made it or failed was a mystery, and honestly I didn’t even care at that point. Fighting Mary and then Jimmie reminded me that I couldn’t trust anybody. Even with Daniel’s army bearing tattoos that marked their loyalty, it didn’t mean anything when it came right down to it. Jimmie taught me that.
I had to forget about the others, who knew what side their hearts took refuge in. I had to trust in my abilities and instincts to help me survive. I let my instincts direct my journey forward.
I took shelter in abandoned houses, staying only long enough to sleep for a few hours before running again. I didn’t want to take the chance that somebody would find me asleep and catch me by surprise.
I slaughtered animals that I passed when I couldn’t find a human for energy. It wasn’t as hard to take an animal’s life as it was when watching a human’s life drain. I tried to remember all my teachings and put them to good use. But being on my own was hard especially when I knew that my enemy would soon catch up with me.
Finally, after several days, I found myself standing alone in the darkness in front of my own house. The neighborhood was quiet and gloomy. There were no street lights on, only the moon and porch lights lit a path before me. It didn’t look anything like I remembered.
It was a cloudless night; the starts lit up the sky like diamonds. On any other night I would lay on the ground and stare up at those same stars and make shapes out of them. A scorpion out of this set and a triangle out of that one. It wasn’t the lack of people walking around that opened my senses but the silence, an uninterrupted silence that frightened me. No cars were moving, not even in the distance, no radios were playing, no crickets were chirping, there wasn’t even a TV on. It made me think that something was about to happen and the whole neighborhood knew it.
I walked up to the yellow and black crime scene tape that still wrapped itself around my property. I grabbed it, holding it preciously in my hand, remembering why it hung there in the first place. The police hadn’t finished their investigation and didn’t want people messing up their crime scene. Every department was on the lookout for the wife and mother that slaughtered her husband and ran away with her child.
Maybe that’s why the neighborhood was so quiet. They couldn’t believe that somebody living so close would have snapped like this. You see it all the time on the news: nobody thought in a millions years that this wonderful mother and wife could have done such a thing. They were scared, thinking that maybe that deranged neighbor would come back. And here I was, standing like a common criminal in front of the house where it all began.
I looked up and stared at the deserted house with a strange feeling that if I walked in, my family might still be there waiting for me. I could picture it so clearly: Sierra riding her bike in circles in the driveway laughing while Michael was mowing the lawn in the summer heat, and I’m looking on from the garage with a big smile on my face, happy that these two people were all mine. I had to keep telling myself to forget those memories now. I had to leave them behind in a small corner of my mind that I would never be able to open again.
I walked under the caution tape and proceeded to the door. But as I got closer I could see the door was crossed with red and black biohazard tape and covered with a white sign typed in black lettering that read:
DO NOT ENTER
BY ORDER OF PINAL COUNTY
It was still all true; this wasn’t a long dream that was going to end. I was wanted for questioning in my husband’s death and my daughter’s disappearance and the Sheriff’s department wanted nobody in my home. But who was I to listen? This was still my house and I will enter if I pleased. I tore down the tape and threw the sign behind me. I turned the knob and to my surprise it was unlocked. How are they going to keep somebody out when they leave it so easy to get in? Any curious person with a few brains could have watched the news and wanted a closer look; they could even contaminate evidence.
I paused for only a moment; I was afraid of what I might see when I entered. I might not be strong enough to handle those memories that I tried so hard to forget. But, honestly, how could anybody forget something so close to one’s heart? How could I forget my daughter’s cries and my husband’s words? They were sketched in my mind with no eraser. The doorknob was cold, even for me, which I should have taken as a hint not to enter. But my need to stay hidden pushed me through the door.
When I entered the living room, it was cold, silent, and depressing. The shades were down on all the windows. I guess the police were very serious about nobody looking at the crime scene. But even through the darkness I was able to find my way around. I could have been blind at that moment and would have still been able to find everything I needed. My house was a picture book of which I had memorized every page. Every corner that created laughter, every tile my daughter fell on when she learned to walk were etched in my mind forever.
I looked around, sniffing for any danger. I didn’t sense anything at first. The detectives had left their mark; there was no doubt about that. They threw things around looking for clues or something that would lead them to my whereabouts.
Of course, it wasn’t me they should be looking for. It was Gerviase that needed to be caught and punished for his selfish acts. But not even the detectives would find him. Nothing would ever be linked to him or his army – just me. These were my finger prints, this was my family and I was the one missing.
I walked into the living room, all in disarray. The couch was pushed ten feet further than where I last saw it. The rug was rolled and gently placed into the corner; the coffee table was broken into two, but probably not by the detectives. The entertainment center was thrown to the ground and glass was shattered everywhere. The room was once a place that brought serenity on long days and now it was just a place for broken furniture.
I glanced over to the kitchen. My heart sunk at what I saw. All the cabinets were open and everything that would have been inside was now destroyed on the ground. The refrigerator door was broken off and the light was burnt out. Even our china, for which we struggled to get every matching piece, was now broken in pieces. Everything that Michael and I had worked so hard to achieve – our home, our belongings, our future –was all ruined in a single night.
I walked over to the biggest window in the living room. Somehow I could feel Michael’s energy burning from that spot. This was where he had died. I knelt down and placed my hand on a large circular brown spot that I could smell was his dried up blood.
This was where he had fallen, taking his last breath defending me. I slid my back down against the wall next to that spot, brought my knees up to my chest and let out a long sigh. I thought about those last moments I spent in the living room. The images poured through my mind like a forgotten waterfall. I saw Michael’s face yelling in horror, reaching his hand out for me to run. And I was turning my back, leaving him behind for whatever doom Gerviase had in store for him. Why did I leave him? Why was I not strong enough to die with him?
I wouldn’t be there for his funeral. I wouldn’t be able to mourn his death. I wouldn’t be able to place flowers in his grave or say my last goodbye. Saying it in a dream wouldn’t be good enough. The only thing that brings me solace now is the knowledge that all of Michaels’s family is dead and nobody other than friends would mourn for him.
I shook my head and frowned, trying to remove all the ghastly memories. Michael was just another person, just another victim in my life who lost his because of me, because I wasn’t strong enough to lift a hand against Gerviase. Maybe I might get my chance to defend Michael’s death. A lot had happened since I left and I knew I was strong now. Maybe not to Gerviase’s standards, but I knew I would give him a good fight.
I got up slowly and walked to the staircase. I looked at the railing and saw that it was covered in black fingerprint powder. I don’t know whose fingerprints they were trying to find. They already pinned Michael’s murder on me, and if they were to find Gerviase’s fingerprints they would find the traces of a man that’s been missing or dead for centuries. They would be the prints of nothing but a ghost.
I cautiously walked up the stairs, making sure I didn’t touch or disturb anything. I guess it really wouldn’t have mattered. My fingerprints were in this home regardless, so why would it change anything now? Everywhere I looked there was splattered blood; it was like right out of a scary movie. I don’t even remember a fight on the staircase that would create such volumes of blood, but here it was covering the walls and the ceiling and spots were on the carpet.
I focused my eyes on the top of the stairs. On the wall that I was approaching hung my family portrait. In that picture I was sitting in a chair, Michael was standing behind me resting his hands on my shoulders and Sierra stood next to me. But what made that picture so perfect was that we all were smiling. We looked happy and content.
I stopped at the top step and stared longer at that picture. I remembered the day it was taken. We were running late for the appointment and Sierra wasn’t feeling well. We all thought that she had the stomach flu but she knew how badly I wanted the picture taken so she put on a happy face just for me. That’s the way I always wanted to remember her, happy and content I mean. Not the way Marcus portrayed her, as a vicious killer. She was too sweet and caring to be something so savage. That’s why I had to believe that Lilith hadn’t turned her into something she wasn’t. That maybe they tried to fool me with the dream I had. Maybe they wanted me to believe that she was evil so I would, maybe, give up. Funny thing though, when it comes to children, parents never give up and I don’t think Lilith bargained for that. When she took my Sierra, I don’t think that she realized that I would never stop until either she or I was dead.
I made my way to Sierra’s room and to my surprise there was nothing stopping my way through the door. There was no caution tape; there wasn’t a single drop of blood. It was just like Marcus had described: perfect and undisturbed. Her furniture wasn’t in shambles, her window wasn’t broken, but what was most surprising was her bed was made. Even more surprising: it was made exactly the way I made it. Her room showed no signs of the horror I left behind. Now I knew why the cops thought I did it. It didn’t look like she was touched. It didn’t even look like she was sleeping in her bed. There was no blood to analyze and there was no body to discover. Gerviase was smarter than Alex could ever dream. He had years of practice and centuries of knowledge.
I stood there in the doorway looking around her room, picturing her in there. I could see her sitting on that bed coloring a picture, anticipating how proud I would be when she gave it to me, and waiting for it to be hung on the refrigerator. I looked further and saw her sitting at her little piano, playing a song she just learned in school, hoping I could hear it downstairs. But to her surprise, I would stand in the doorway, just as I was now, smiling at her. Then in the corner of my eye, I could see her at her dresser, looking at herself in the mirror, trying on necklaces, wondering which one looked better against her skin.
I walked in and sat on the undisturbed bed, laying my family’s book beside me. I wanted to cry so badly but I couldn’t even shed a single tear. The guilt I felt made me lower my head into my hands and collapse my shoulders. She also was gone because of me. I tried to control my reasoning; I tried to justify everything, but the mental path I took led me to the recognition that it was my own fault. I shivered even though I was not cold. I was feeling the pain and agony only a mortal could feel: blame and remorse.
Suddenly my attention was drawn from my thoughts. I felt panic and my insides were shaking. I felt as if somebody who didn’t want to be seen was watching me, somebody evil, with malicious thoughts. I began to stand up, maybe too slowly, when my vision began to blur and then give out. I tried hard to hold onto consciousness; my sight wasn’t working so I tried to hear the things around me. But eventually I gave in and blackness was all I saw.
Somewhere in the darkness I thought I heard somebody calling my name. The voice was muffled and faint, as if it was coming from a great distance. I didn’t want to answer. I was dazed and confused. I felt myself lying on a cold ground with my arms spread above me and my knees felt tucked into my chest. I wanted to open my eyes so badly but the harder I tried, the more difficult it became.
I still couldn’t see anything. I felt like I was lying down in a big empty room with all the lights turned off; nobody wanted to help me and nobody cared. What was this blackness? What did it want with me? Open your eyes, Trinity. See the things around you, I thought to myself. I wanted to scream for help but who would listen? I wanted to get up but my body didn’t work either.
I lay in silence for who knows how long, with dense and cold air circling around me. I attempted to open my eyes once more, to no avail. I tried to imagine my body gaining strength, but it wouldn’t move. It felt like my limbs had fallen asleep and were stalling from waking up. I felt a faint tingling and throbbed and there was nothing I could do about it.
I heard my name again, only this time it was clearer. It was definitely my name they were calling. I tried to breathe slowly. Should I answer? Or should I pretend I’m dead? The voice was deep and familiar. I knew this voice.
In my mind’s eye, I saw a figure walking towards me in slow motion, cautiously almost, but the image was too blurry to make out who it was.
“Run, Trinity!” the velvet voice ordered.
Was this my subconscious mind playing tricks or was this really happening? I knew he really couldn’t be here. He was taken! I saw him being taken by Gerviase. Maybe he was killed and he was coming to me in a dream? No, I couldn’t – I didn’t want – to think of him dead. I needed to have faith that he was still out there, waiting for me. There had to be another reason, other than death, why he was coming to me this way.
I heard him calling my name again but the voice just drifted away. I wanted to tell him not to go! I wanted to hear his words over and over! They were the only things that gave me peace. His voice told me that I was safe and sheltered regardless of what the surrounding was. I knew every time I heard my name from his lips that he was there with me and I didn’t have to worry. He couldn’t go away, not now, not when I needed him so much.
“Don’t think, Trinity, whatever you do… Just run!”
I wondered if I shouted would it be loud enough for him to hear. I didn’t want him to go away. I wanted him to tell me where he was and how I could get to him. I was only away from him for a couple of days but every day felt like a year that he was gone. Every minute I didn’t hear the softness of his voice, a little piece of my heart broke. Something as simple as a voice was the drug I needed to keep going. So he couldn’t go away, not now.
There was another sound, but this time it was startlingly close to my ear. It came through so loud it pierced my ear drum. “Triiiinittty…” This voice was deeper and was taunting, not as sweet and inviting as the one I was so familiar with. Whoever this bastard was, he wanted me scared. But the one thing that I had going for me was the one thing he didn’t know. I was finally able to open my eyes.
My vision was a little blurry but the pounding and numbness in my head went away quickly. I looked around the room. Everything seemed the same; nothing had been disturbed and nothing moved. But somebody was standing in front of me. At first sight it was just a black figure. I could tell it was a heavy-set man, short and middle aged. But as my vision started to clear, I saw that it was Gerviase. I would know that monster anywhere.
He stood at the foot of my daughter’s bed with his hands in front of him, twisting and cracking them with every turn. He looked like he was waiting a long time, growing more impatient and angry with every minute that passed by.
“You know you’re not the least bit surprising. I knew nothing could keep you away from this place. Not after you saw the newspaper.” He was so sure of himself, it made me sick.
I tried to pretend I was still in a fog. I didn’t want him knowing I was okay to jump at him at any given time. “Hmm?” I muffled under my breath.
“But then again, because it’s you I’m dealing with, you can never be too certain. I was actually going on a hunch. Lucky for me it worked out in my favor. Did you know I was right behind you once you left the monastery? You were so predictable on the path you chose. I was so close to you and you never knew it. If you were any smarter you would have sensed me. But you were blinded by the tears that you so wish to shed.”
I shifted my position on the bed. “Err.” I ran my hand over my head.
“I lost you when I reached the states, though. I found a victim carelessly walking a dark road, not knowing that she was walking to her own death.” He let out a silent laugh. “She smelled so sweet and tasted even sweeter. It wasn’t long until I realized you had left your hiding spot in that abandoned house. You’re just like you’re mother in that aspect.”
I didn’t look at him but I was still all the more confused. Like my mother? How? I went to that place because I thought it might be safe. Only a few weeks before, Alex had thought so.
He laughed. “Your mother always went back to the places she’d already been, places that had been searched, and you went back to that house where you and Alexander sought protection and shelter.” He tilted his head and smiled. “Didn’t think I knew? There are a lot of things you don’t know about me, Trinity. Things that I won’t share. But I’m smarter than you think.
“Well, anyway, I thought I would feed, then sneak in and ambush you, but to my surprise you didn’t stay long. You have given me a good chase, my dear. I thought in the beginning this would be an easy kill. I thought I had you cornered in the woods that day. But I guess I’m not the only one full of surprises.”
He let out a laugh. “You know the talk around our world. You know they say you’re trouble. But honey, I’ve got to tell you, looking at you right now, trouble never looked so good. Maybe you should give me the chance that you gave Alexander?” He rubbed his hand over his chin. I cringed at the very thought. How could he possibly think I was sexually attracted to him? Why would I ever go for somebody who showed no mercy and had no shame?
“No?” He dropped his hands to his side. “Well, either way, I promise you I will not be outsmarted by you again. Today, your luck has run out.”
I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of seeing me scared. “Ugh. It’s only you.” I started to sit up. “I thought it was somebody important. Waiting long?” I may have asked calmly and sarcastically but inside, my nerves were shaking.
Looking at him, I had a horrifying urge to jump across the room and kill him. But I had to remain calm and fight the orders I was given to run. I had to push down those thoughts, as hard as it was. He looked at me without emotion.
He bent his neck to the side, lit a cigarette and creased his mouth into a smile. “I’ve been here long enough that I could have killed you.” While he spoke, white smoke came out of his mouth and when he was done talking, more smoke came out of his nose.
He was so certain that this night was going to go his way. And to tell you the truth, I couldn’t make heads or tails out of it. He had years upon years of experience handling the vampires of my family. I gave myself a forty percent chance of surviving.
“Then why didn’t you? I mean, you’ve already taken all that matters away from me. Why didn’t you just finish me off?” I really didn’t care for an answer. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway.
“There’s a higher power that wants you alive, Trinity, otherwise I would have finished what I started. You can be sure of that, my dear.”
“Now I’m wanted alive. You guys can be so confusing. Well,” I twisted my body and threw my legs over the side of the bed, “I really don’t care what Daniel wants.”
He shifted his position a couple of steps to the side, flicking his ash on the floor. “You’re not going to make this hard, are you?” he questioned me.
“Let’s see. You killed my husband, you’ve taken my daughter – someplace – making her a vampire in the process, and as far as Alex is concerned, I don’t even know what you did with him. Yup, I’ll make it as hard as I can.” He started pacing. “What makes you think we’ll both walk out of here alive?” I tilted my head to the side. I wanted to remain calm. If he could see my emotions on the inside he would see rage, but he would also see that I was terribly scared. I had to try so hard to make sure that every word that came out of my mouth wasn’t shaky.
He took a drag off his cigarette. I studied the orange flame as it burned slowly. He lowered his head and narrowed his eyes towards me. “There’s a lot you don’t know, Trinity, so don’t try and put these pieces together. You’ll just go mad.”
I stood up cautiously; I didn’t want to startle him. “Then why don’t you explain what piece I’m missing, because right now I’m finding it really hard not to run over there and put my fist through your cold dead heart.”
“Awe, it seems like you’ve grown a pair since the last time we stood toe to toe. It’s refreshing to know I might actually have a good fight ahead of me.” A smile slowly spread across his face.
“I could surprise you with what I’ve learned.” My body started to crouch.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Trinity.” He dropped his cigarette, stepping on it with the heel of his boot. You could hear the sizzling sound it made as it burnt the carpet beneath his foot.
I ignored his words and let out a snarl. Something just came over me; I was tired of hearing him speak and listening to his threats. I was tired of playing the victim when I knew deep down inside of me, past the scared little girl, where my courage really stood. I might actually have a chance of killing him. I knelt down and jumped toward him with my hands out to grab him. I never saw him move, not even flinch. He grabbed my sides and threw me into the wall in front of him. I realized my chances just decreased. My body dented the wall and I slid down landing on my left side. I felt my hip throbbing but as quickly as I felt it, it was gone and I was up on my feet ready to try again.
“You’re not gonna win this fight, Trinity,” I heard him say, but I chose not to look at him. He seemed to be enjoying himself too much.
I was breathing hard, filled with anger. “It’s not going to stop me from trying!” I steadied my feet and ran back over to him, not thinking of what I would do to him when I reached him. He lifted his arm and hit me across my face, throwing my body on top of the bed. I bounced only once, feeling the pain of his hit.
“Ugh. Are you finished? I don’t have time to do this all night.” He pointed to his wrist. “I’m on a deadline.”
“Well, your deadline is going to have to get pushed back!” I rose to my feet, hoping that this time I would have enough strength to finish what I started.
Gerviase took a step back and surrendered his hands in the air. “All right, Trinity.” He let out a breath as he sat in the chair that was next to Sierra’s desk. He gracefully crossed his legs and put his hands on the armrests.
“Giving up so soon?” I questioned sarcastically.
“I’ll make you a deal just to make this easier… on you.” He rolled his eyes. “I’ll answer some of your questions in less than satisfactory detail and then you come with me… willingly. Do we have a deal?”
I had to think. Maybe this was the only way I could find out what I wanted to know. Maybe I could get enough information about Alex and his whereabouts and if I made it out alive, I could find him. Maybe if he let slip something of what happened to Sierra, I might be able to get to her, too.
“Deal.” I sat down on the edge of the bed, mimicking his gracefulness.
“Shoot.” He waved his hand in the air.
“Is Alex alive?” I started with my first question.
“Yes,” he said, very bluntly. His voice was lifeless.
“Where is he?” I raised an eyebrow. Was I afraid of the answer? What if he told me he was suffering or in pain? I don’t think I could make it through the rest of my questions.
He smiled. “He’s in a cell heavily guarded beneath Daniel’s – how do I put this…” He rolled his eyes, almost laughing, “– his throne.”
“His ‘throne.’ You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said angrily. I cleared my throat. “And my…” But he cut me off before I could finish my full sentence.
“Daughter?” He asked for me, raising an eyebrow. “Oh she’s around.”
“She’s around… Really!” She’s ‘around’ wasn’t a good enough answer for me. I couldn’t accept an answer that was so open to interpretation. I couldn’t accept not knowing exactly where she was or who she was with or even what they were doing to her.
“And where would that be exactly?!” I demanded.
He smiled at me, holding his breath, maybe waiting for me to make a move, to ignore our agreement. “She’s with Lilith.”
I must have gasped because his smile widened. “Why take her? She’s too young for this life, I can’t believe I’m saying this out loud, but why didn’t you just leave her be? Anything would be better than a child vampire.”
He smiled. “You wouldn’t believe how happy she is in this ‘lifestyle’ that we gave her. Almost like our own personal mascot. I did you a favor by taking her.”
I held back my anger, closed my eyes, and clenched them shut as hard as I could. I couldn’t imagine her being happy – not like this. “I want to see them.” I requested.
“Oh, you will,” he said courteously – almost kindly. It made my stomach twist with nausea.
“How many of my family have you killed?” After I asked that question I thought maybe I shouldn’t have.
He smiled and tilted his head. “Do you really want to know? It might shock you to know that number.” I cautiously shook my head yes. I hoped he couldn’t see how uncertain I really was. “Well, all right. Hmmm,” He rolled his eyes. “You know, it’s just been so many… But if I had to take a guess, I would have to say at least one or two a year since you were born.”
“One or two since I was born! That’s a big number. I guess you take pride in that number, don’t you? Is it like another notch on your sword or something just as lame?” My words sarcastic.
“Now, Trinity. I think you’re taking these answers a little personal.”
“How else should I take them?” I almost yelled.
I had so many other questions that I needed answers to, but I knew he would just dance around them, telling me a little at a time. He’d just dangle some form of what he thought was the truth in front of me. I wanted to know more about my father and Gerviase was the last to be with him. I wanted to know if my father said anything about me, but I knew if I asked, it would give Gerviase too much pleasure remembering that kill.
“Well, Trinity, I’ve answered all the questions that I’m going to answer and some I really shouldn’t have. Now, a deal is a deal.”
“Huh?” I asked, confused. My mind was still on my unanswered questions.
He stood up and extended his hand towards the door. “Shall we?” He grabbed the book, placing it under his jacket.
As much as it pained me to have to walk with him, he was right: a deal is a deal. I pushed myself off of the bed and walked toward the doorway, but I stopped under the eve and turned to face to him. I wanted to look into his eyes as I spoke to him. “Just so you know, this isn’t over. I will come after you,” I whispered. “Dead or alive I will come back for you. That’s a promise.”
He smiled. “If you survive, I wouldn’t expect anything less,” he whispered back. I could smell his latest kill on his breath and while usually fresh blood is an enticing smell, it only made me cringe.
My blood was searing inside of me as I walked slowly down the stairs. I wanted to turn around and rip him to shreds. I wanted to surge all my hatred, all my disgust, all my anger into him. I wanted him to feel all the hurt and all the pain he caused me. Watching him walk with certainty and confidence, like a man that had already won, made me all the more infuriated. His very presence made me sick. I felt like worms were crawling through my veins and no matter what I could do I couldn’t get them out from under my skin. But at this point, I knew I had to bide my time with him. I had to do what he demanded. If I were to escape or even kill him I would never know how or where to find Daniel.
Find Daniel…Wait a minute…How could I be so slow, so stupid? The room started to spin in circles as images of everyone I’ve ever come into contact with formed in my mind. All this time: could this be what everybody was trying to tell me in some form or another? This whole time I tried to keep my whereabouts secret, to hide from my enemy, to run further as they got closer. I wanted to be kept secret. Gerviase was right: I was blinded by the tears that I wanted so badly to shed. He knew that my thoughts would only be on Alex and Sierra and that I would never dream of thinking this thought, even when it was right in front of me. Could it really be this simple?
Daniel had always been one step ahead of me. Knowing where I would go or who I was with. But he didn’t need a rat. He didn’t need his soldiers or his captains to feed him answers because he had them the whole time. The only reason he had his people there was to feed his fame. He wanted the promote the illusion that he was important, that what he thought and what he believed was important, just like his mother did.
He knew I would be at the house with Alex and the others; he knew I was going to the monastery. The minute I became a vampire, the second my family’s infected blood intertwined with mine, he knew everything about me. He knew my past, my present, and, I’m sure, my future. He knew my thoughts, he knew my memories, and, most importantly, he knew my whereabouts.
I remembered what the Abbot had told me; his voice was still clear in my mind. ‘You are a part of Daniel, just as much as he is a part of you.’ He knew I would come to this realization but I was too wrapped up in my own anger to see it then. I was too close-minded to even absorb such a thought. He knew the day would come when I would be forced to go unwillingly and he needed me to understand all of this.
A slow but gratifying smile spread across my face. I stopped walking when I reached the last step. It finally came to me: what everybody wanted me to understand, what they wanted me to embrace, the last step of my training. I didn’t need Gerviase to show me the way anymore. I didn’t need anything from him. I didn’t need to endure any more of his lies or to listen to him laugh and chuckle under his breath. I didn’t need him to think he won.
“Keep moving, Trinity!” Gerviase’s words came out dark and sinister.
The moon that shone into the living room that night was now covered by the clouds circling the sky. The blackness surrounded us, leaving nothing visible. The blinds that hung on the windows banged against the window frames from the sudden wind.
Gerviase slammed his hand in the middle of my back, pushing me a step further. “I said MOVE!” His voice got stern.
I waited, my body frozen in place. I remained in that spot, waiting for him to touch me just once more. I even wanted to beg him to do it, but I just stood still. “You left out one very important detail, Gerviase. In fact, everybody I have come into contact with has kept this very tiny but very important bit of information to themselves.” My smile widened, I found it hard to contain my enthusiasm.
I now knew what it was like to be dark and menacing. I knew what it felt like to have the upper hand, to know more than my victim. I understood now the feeling it gave someone to hold such power in something so small as a little bit of knowledge. I would show no mercy and I would have no remorse for what I was about to do.
Gerviase walked around me with confusion written all over his face. It only made my knowledge that much more rewarding. I felt giddy like it was Christmas morning. I actually knew something that Daniel could never foresee me knowing.
“We don’t have time for this!” Gerviase’s patience was starting to wear thin.
“Oh, I think we do.” I started to circle him like a lioness circling her prey. “You see Gerviase, I don’t need you!” I muttered. “I thought I did. I thought I needed you to show me the way to Daniel. Then afterward my plan was to kill you. But it turns out I can find my own way.”
He watched cautiously as I kept circling him. As I spoke, I looked him up and down. He wasn’t as captivating as I once thought. I was so threatened by this man who had years of experience beyond me and had training that I would never get. Not so long ago, it was intimidating. But now I didn’t see anything so remarkable about him.
“You’re just a sick pawn in Daniel’s game.” I stopped to face him. “You’re just a washed out, aged vampire running around doing Daniel’s dirty work for him. Nothing you do for him will ever change the fact that you’re never going to be a captain in his army or even sit next to him on that throne.” I paused. “And that makes you angry, doesn’t it? It makes you want to do more, to show your devotion to him, to show how much you worship him. But in the end, Daniel will only see you as a minion beneath his feet.”
Suddenly his eyes turned from a crystal blue to black. He knew I was right, but he didn’t want to hear it out loud. It was what I was hoping for. I wanted him as angry as I was. I wanted him to charge at me like an angry bull. Then, as if in slow motion, his lips curled up to show me his white, luminous fangs, letting out a snarl that echoed off the walls. He reached out his hands; his nails were sharper than I remembered. I wanted this anger; I wanted all his hate to come toward me.
He crouched down to lunge at me. But this time I knew what he was going to do. I jumped up and grabbed a hold of the chandelier, swinging my body over his. I felt a sudden surge of energy jolt through me. I twisted my hands, turning my body around and threw my feet into his chest. Gerviase’s body broke through the wall in front of him and he landed in the gravel outside. The crash had fractured the window, breaking it into a few large sharp pieces. He laid there for only a moment, stunned. He wiped the stucco and lumber off his chest, laughing as if he knew that’s what I was going to do. Every sound he made and every unneeded breath he took made me want to gut him more.
He started to get up. I couldn’t let him move or give him that chance. I couldn’t let him get closer to me. I had to think like Alex. What would he do? I jumped through the broken window and grabbed a piece of glass. My feet landed on his chest. I spread open my legs and sat down.
“No…Wait Trinity. I can help you.” He begged. His eyes were hopeful.
I paused. “Yeah? And what would I use you for?”
“I can change my alliance, I…I can work for you,” he begged.
There was nothing he could help me with, not anymore. This was his time to die. I would do this for all the people in my family whose immortal lives he had taken. A smile crept across my lips. “Your work here is done.” I raised my hand and drove the long piece of glass into his heart; twisting it to be sure he would die. He didn’t make a sound; not even a breath was released. I thought I would hear something at the end of his life, but I was left with nothing.
I sat there for a moment to appreciate my kill, but suddenly in the distance I heard sirens. It sounded like I didn’t have a lot of time. Somehow the authorities knew I was there. I lifted his jacket and grabbed my families’ book and I ran once more. The only difference was I now knew how to find Daniel. Gerviase’s work may have just ended, but mine had just begun.