You know those moments where time freezes? Like you see something so horrid you cannot move even a muscle? Frozen as if turned to stone by Medusa’s bloodshot eyes...
Well, that is exactly how I felt at this very moment. In the last year, I’ve learned I was a seer, that the boy I love is a creature out of horror movies, that other monsters wanted to possess me, and to top it all off I lost my mother. Well, I thought I lost her until she showed up a year later as a vampire. Shall we continue where we left off?
Ariana’s grasp was the only thing keeping me up as tears formed in my eyes. “You let me believe you were dead for an entire year! I spent months waking up with nightmares of the crash; reliving it over and over. How could you?!”
“It wasn’t the right time. I needed to figure myself out and control my urges.” She explained, her eyes meeting mine. “I came to your brother first because I saw his pain. You had people to make you feel better, he didn’t.”
“So instead you wanted to torture me? Tell Ariana and Nicholas to hurt me, hurt Sam, and all the innocent people they slaughtered. What about Anthony coming into my dreams to threaten and kidnap me? Did you make them do all that?” I asked with my anger rising. “Did you?!”
“Yes, but I didn’t think it would get this out of hand. I told them not to hurt you, but they aren’t the best listeners.” Mom explained, glaring towards Ariana who cringed away from her gaze.
“Do you have any emotions at all? You hurt my friends and you hurt me. Why? Why did you have to cause me so much pain?” I asked, just wanting one answer that made this situation any less crappy.
My mom stood beside me and rested her hand on my cheek. “I’ll explain soon, just know I did all of this for you, even if it seems like a terrible way to do it. None of them will lay a hand on you again, I promise.”
“What’s your plan?” I asked with spite. “Are you going to turn me into a monster like Ethan?”
Our eyes met and I could see the hurt and anger behind them. He became this so he wouldn’t have to lose mom again and I knew he was scared, but I also think a part of him liked it; liked the power. Ethan tried to take a step forward, but my mom stopped him with her hand.
“Ethan is no monster. He wanted to have the power to not be trampled upon, to no longer feel pain, and I provided that for him. If you someday want that too, I’ll grant that wish.” She said with an unnerving smile.
“I’ll never ask you to turn me!” I spat with poison on the tip of my tongue.
“We’ll see what the future holds.” Mom laughed beneath her breath. “But that is not my intention tonight, I’m here to help.”
“You have a funny way of showing it.” I muttered
She smiled to herself and looked me in the eyes. “I’ll give you the blood you need to heal Claire, her mother, and yourself back to full strength. I’ll get rid of the car and compel Amy, Dave, and Saige, so it seems like nothing ever happened the last two days.”
“Why are you suddenly wanting to save me when your minions have been trying to kill me for months?” I asked with disbelief.
“They took it a little rougher than I wanted, but it won’t happen again.” Mom sighed, running a hand through her hair. “I want you to trust me. Give me a chance and I may surprise you.”
“How can you expect me to trust you after everything you’ve done? I mean you turned your own son into a goddamn vampire!” I exclaimed
“Carly, it’s not like I didn’t want this. I’ve been in pain for the last year and now it’s gone. I have mom back, I have the strength to defeat my bullies, and I can live forever. Is it scary? Oh hell yeah, but in the end, it’s better this way.” Ethan sighed
Two figures approached the group, unsurprisingly Anthony and Nicholas appeared from the shadows. The two looked as good as new with Nicholas still wiping the blood from his lips. They were iluminated by the streetlamp with Nicholas’ amused expression clear as day
“I see I missed all the fun.” Nicholas muttered, reaching outward and digging a finger into my bleeding and broken leg.
He dug his fingernail deep into the cut across my leg as I screamed. The only two who looked like they cared were Ethan who flinched and Anthony who had worry in those hazel eyes. Before Nicholas could do any real damage, my mother grabbed his hand and pushed him away. He tried to go for me again, but Anthony held him back.
“Nicholas, you will keep your hands off of Carly from now on. Do you understand?” Mother warned
Nicholas wanted to go against what my mother said, but something made him cave. Maybe it was Ariana or himself or maybe it was the look my mother had on her face. Something about it made chills go down my spine. Everything she had just said felt wrong, felt off. She was lying about something and that I knew for sure.
“I’ll see you very soon, Carly.” Mother said as Ariana tucked three vials into my shirt pocket. “Until then, I hope you can learn to understand why I did what I did.”
Before another word could escape my lips, they were gone. Mom, Ethan, Ariana, and Nicholas vanished. When Ariana’s grasp had disappeared I had nothing to keep me up, so I began to fall as Anthony, who had stayed behind, caught me.
My eyes met his. “I’m guessing this was what the other thing I was needed for was?”
“Yes.” He nodded. “I was ordered to slowly break you down and get you to the complex. If your friends hadn’t come to save you, she would have appeared at the house with Ethan, but you guys escaped, making everything more complicated.”
“It’s what I do...my specialty.” I joked with a cough.
He laughed in return. “Yeah, I can tell.”
“Why are you being so nice to me?” I asked with confusion. “I saw the worry in your eyes when Nicholas was hurting me. Why?”
“I may be a monster, but I also believe hurting people for no real reason is uncalled for.” He replied, helping me to sit against the light pole, crouching down in front of me. “Just heal up, your mother will want to see you in a few days’ time.”
He rose to his feet as I grabbed his hand, he looked back down at me with surprise as I asked. “What is she planning?”
“I can’t tell you. Just...don’t do anything stupid.”
Then he was gone and I was left alone against the light post, pulling the vials of blood from my pocket to stare at them. I wasn’t going to take my mother’s help, she didn’t deserve the satisfaction. I took one of the vials and threw it as far down the street as I could. When I heard the glass shatter on the pavement, I sensed movement from within the car. I looked over and found Sam pulling himself out.
His priority was to find me and when he noticed me under the light pole his eyes went wide. Sam used his speed to appear beside me, crouching down to assess my injuries. I placed a hand on his chest, pushing him away.
He looked towards me with confusion as I handed him the vials of blood. “Get them out of the car and heal them before worrying about me.”
Sam noticed the vials and wanted to question why I had them, but he knew time was of the essence. He reluctantly agreed, appearing beside the car. He pulled Michelle and then Claire from the vehicle, laying them on the grass nearby. I relaxed my stiff stature when I saw both of their chests rise.
Sam popped the cap off the vials and opened their mouths. He tipped the vial upside down and the blood came out like a fountain of Kool-Aid. Once the vial was empty, he closed both of their mouths and watched as their wounds healed. When they were taken care of, he appeared next to me once again. The more he looked over my injuries, the more worried he had become.
“What happened when I was out?” Sam asked, his eyes locking onto mine.
“Ariana was the one to cause the car to crash and she attacked me, slamming my back into this pole.” I explained with a sigh. “She was about to end me, but someone intervened. When I saw her, I couldn’t believe my eyes. My mom’s alive...well alive with sharpened canines and no beating heart.”
His eyes went wide with surprise. “Your mother’s a vampire?!”
“Yeah and she’s the woman that turned Ethan.” I admitted. “She was the mastermind behind everything that has happened. She’s the cause of the pain and suffering I have gone through. Before she vanished, she handed me three vials of blood.”
“If there were three, why did you only have two?” Sam questioned
“I threw mine across the road. I wasn’t going to give my mother the satisfaction. Besides, I’ll be fine.” I said, moving to sit up as I gasped in pain, sitting back against the pole.
“Carly, you’re not fine. You look like a broken doll that got run over by a car.” Sam pointed out
“Am I a pretty doll at least?” I asked with a small snicker.
“This isn’t a laughing matter.” Sam insisted with a stern look. “I’m surprised you’re even conscious.”
“I’m stronger than most think.” I weakly smiled
“Yes, you are, but now is not the time to gloat. We need to get you home. Once inside you’ll be able to rest easy, knowing none of them can get in.” Sam reassured
“They won’t be trying to come in.” I muttered, Sam’s eyes meeting mine. “My mother told them to leave me be, so she could gain my “trust”, which I don’t buy for a single second. If she was the mastermind behind all this, she would’ve known what her henchmen were doing.”
“Nonetheless, we need to get you home. Staying on a desolate road in the middle of the night isn’t really a smart move.” Sam muttered, trying to pick me up.
I placed my hand against his chest, slightly shaking my head. He removed his hands and looked towards me with confusion and frustration. He just wanted to help and yet I kept pushing him away.
I could see the hurt in those ocean blue eyes because all he wanted to do was make my pain disappear. I appreciated the thoughtfulness, but my personality never let me accept help, especially when someone else was hurt as well. I turned my head to glance at Claire and her mother.
Their wounds had healed, but both were still unconscious and breathing softly. Seeing them that way and knowing it was my fault made my heartache. Sam followed my gaze and knew exactly what I was thinking.
“This is not your fault.” Sam whispered, knowing fully well I wouldn’t believe him.
I ignored his comment and cleared my throat. “Take Claire and her mother first. Once they are safely in the house, come back for me.”
“Carly, you’re the one in worse condition. Just let me…”
My gaze met his and the look shut him up instantly. He saw my guilt suffocating me and understood. Without me saying a word, he agreed to take them first.
We were maybe fifteen minutes from my house, but with Sam’s speed he could get there in five. He wanted to take them both at the same time, but we both knew that doing so could harm them further. He picked Claire up first and vanished down the road.
When he got Michelle and Claire to safety, I was ready to go. As lightly as he could, he slid one arm beneath my legs and the other slid behind my back just below my armpits. On the count of three, he lifted me into the air. The sudden movement made me gasp in pain, now I understand why when Ethan broke his arm years ago...he screamed so loud.
Sam repositioned me within his arms to make me as comfortable as possible. We both knew this was going to be a bumpy ride, so I prepared myself and we were off. Sadly, the speed and wind did not make my leg feel the best. I wanted to scream, but that would make Sam feel guilty, which I would not allow.
Sam appeared in the yard and slowly carried me up the steps, trying his best not to bang my legs up against the railing. He carried me through the threshold and set me down in my desk chair. Claire and her mother were strewn across my bed, which was somehow clean of blood.
I looked at Sam with confusion, he answered the question he knew I was going to ask. “When I arrived, the barrier around the house was broken, most likely due to the fact Michelle got hurt. I could smell Nicholas’ scent all over the house, especially on the clean sheets.”
“He didn’t…” I began, a strike of fear coursing through me.
“No.” Sam replied with a shaking head. “From what I can tell, he only compelled your family to forget anything they may have overheard. Whatever power your mother has over Nicholas and the others kept him in check, at least for tonight.”
I relaxed as Sam turned to examine my injuries. His touch was as light as a feather so he wouldn’t hurt me any further. He tested the mobility in my legs and arms while I gritted my teeth.
He lightly poked my skin and whenever I gasped he would apologize. I watched him work and noticed no bloodlust in his eyes as he scanned my bloody body. He was determined and so very worried. From the faces he was making, I could tell my injuries were worse than I originally thought.
“So what’s the diagnosis?” I sighed
Sam looked up from my leg with a frown. “Your leg is shattered, your wrist is badly fractured, a few of your ribs are cracked, and I think your shoulder popped out of place, not to mention your sprained ankle and lack of blood. You’re a very strong woman to have this much disaster in your body and still keep a straight face.”
“Well, I don’t remember what it’s like to not be broken...” I murmured
I could tell that hit a chord with Sam, his face traced with worry. I avoided his gaze, holding back the tears that were trying to fight their way to the surface.
Sam grabbed my chin, turning my head so I would look at him. “You are not broken. Physically, right now, you are, but emotionally, you are not. You are not broken and that is coming from a 300-year-old vampire.”
“You are quite ancient, old man.” I laughed
“I think I look good for my age.” Sam laughed back. His face going from a smile back to a frown. “I know you didn’t want to drink your mother’s blood, but going to a hospital will bring more questions than answers, and with the amount of damage, you can’t heal on your own. A spell may do the trick, but I have no idea how long they will be asleep. I think...I think you should drink my blood.”
“Won’t that turn me into a vampire?” I asked
Sam shook his head. “No, it’s a lot more complicated than that. I would have to bite you then I would have to give you my blood, and then you would have to die. Otherwise, I could continuously give you blood and that would slowly turn you like what happened with Ethan, but I don’t plan to do so. One dose will heal your wounds and strengthen your body for about a day and then you’ll go back to being yourself.”
“But then my mouth is going to taste like pennies...” I whined
Sam smiled at my childish comment. “It will not taste like pennies. My blood has a different flavor than that of a human. It’s sweeter, almost like honey. Do you trust me?”
Sam pulled the sleeve up on his shirt and bit into his wrist; hard. Blood pooled on the surface as he took some into his mouth. Without warning, his lips were on mine. A spark shocked between us as our lips moved in unison.
I felt his blood enter my mouth, some of it cascading down my chin. It tasted sweet, yet bitter; like the finest of wines. As I consumed his blood, I felt a warmth within my stomach, the strength returning to my body.
When Sam pulled back, he cupped my face with one of his hands. “How are you feeling?”
“Better. So much better…”
I moved my hands with no strain and breathing was as easy as it should be. Sam moved back as I got myself to stand. I tested everything out, even jumping to make sure everything was in working order. When my feet returned to the floor and no pain went through my limbs, I smiled wide as Sam brought me in for a hug.
When we separated, a thought came to mind. I looked Sam in the eye and apologized. “Sam, I’m sorry for giving myself over.”
“Hey, don’t be sorry.” Sam quickly interrupted. “If I were in your shoes, I would’ve done the same thing.”
We both looked towards Claire and her mother. Both looking as if they may wake up any second. Sam squeezed my shoulder and turned towards the sliding glass door.
I saw his movement and grabbed hold of his hand. “Where are you going?”
“They’ll be waking up soon. I think you should explain what went down. I’m going to do a once over of the house to make sure nothing’s tampered with. If you need me, just call my name.” Sam said, vanishing from the room.