Piercing Chill

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Chapter 17

I gasped as I woke up from a crazy dream. I sat up on the bed breathing heavily. Sweat trickled down my neck and my forehead. In the dream, Carla had snuck into my room while I was asleep and drained me dry with her pouting lips. My body still questioned if what I had seen last night when I touched Craig’s tattoo was all a dream. I took in my surroundings and I was sitting in the room I was residing at Craig’s house. I found myself questioning myself again.

Was I really kidnapped by Craig or was that just my head making up scenarios?

I quickly got out of bed and made my way towards the bathroom. I was still in my dress from the night before. When I undressed I was shocked at new golden swirls that possessed my back. I took a shower, hoping it would wash away whatever it was.

After taking a long and dreadful shower, the swirls were still there. I ignored them. I had better things to worry about right now. I changed into some jeans and a t-shirt. A knock sounded on the door, making my heart skip a beat. My senses were hyperactive. Was it Craig? Had he come to finish what he started now? I grabbed the first thing I could find on the dressing table to use as a weapon and walked towards the door.

“Who is it?” I trembled.

“It’s me Joan.” The housekeeper’s voice sounded from behind the door, “I have your breakfast.”

“Ok, come in.” I replied hiding the weapon behind my back still eyeing the door to make sure it wasn’t Carla putting on a trick.

“Morning child.” Joan greeted walking in with a tray filled with different plates full of food. She placed it on a small round table that stood next to the bed with two chairs facing each other.

“Thank you.” I said “Care to join me?”

“Oh no child, I wouldn’t,” Joan replied walking towards the door.

“It’s alright, I don’t bite.” I persuaded her mastering my bravest smile. I walked close to her and came level with her eyes. Join me for a cup of tea. I said in my head while looking straight at her eyes. Testing Carla’s reading about my “gifts”. It worked just like in kindergarten. I once spoke in my head that I wanted to do nothing but play the whole day while facing my kindergarten teacher. She obliged and the whole day was spent drawing, coloring, swinging on the swing sets, building sand castles and a lot more other fun stuff.

“Ok, maybe just a cup of tea.” Joan changed her mind walking back towards the small table.

I quickly threw my weapon on the bed before following her towards the table. Joan waited for me to take my seat before taking one opposite to me. We helped ourselves to the food in silence. After a few bites I finally spoke. “So how long have you been working here?”

“Not for very long child. About forty years.” Joan said before taking a sip of her tea.

“Wow that is quite a long time.” I paused, “You must get paid a lot of money for you to stay that long.”

“I have no choice.” Joan replied, fear and sadness radiating from her voice. She placed her cup of tea on the table with shaky hands. Was she being held as a servant? Who did that in this century?

“What do you mean you have no choice?” I asked in confusion.

“Since the day I was taken from my family at the age of fifteen, I was to serve the Orfeo family. I was to do everything they asked for and I could not refuse or else my head would be served for dinner to the wolves.” Joan finished before sobbing in her hands.

Suddenly I felt really guilty for asking such a personal question. I stood up and gave Joan a side hug as she cried. I waited until she ran out of tears before asking, “Who are the Orfeo family?”

“The people you had dinner with last night.” Joan whispered. “Their eldest son Craig is the one that brought you here.” So it is true then. I was really kidnapped by Craig and Carla.

“Do you know why?” I asked Joan impatiently.

“I cannot tell you child.” Joan said unexpectedly. A scared expression written all over her face.

“Why not?” I asked anger building in my veins. What was stopping her from telling me the truth?

“I just cannot.” Joan starts sobbing again.

“Tell me now, please.” I demanded trying to hold her gaze but she closed her eyes before falling from her chair in agony.

She started shaking uncontrollably on the ground. Panic developed in my stomach. Did I take the trick too far for her to handle? I kneeled down and shook Joan to bring her back to her senses. The spasms increased. Her body became paler, stiffer and colder with every second that passed by. I tried calling her name but she didn’t respond. I noticed her pupils and iris disappearing behind her top eyelid, leaving the whites only.

“Joan tell me what’s wrong?” I said taking hold of her hand. I quickly let go from shock. It was very cold.

What was happening?

Suddenly I heard a deep and malicious laugh coming from the doorway. I looked up in shock. It couldn’t be! But a little voice in my head told me, “Yes it could be”

I whirled around to face the owner of the chuckle. Craig stood there with Carla behind him. Both of them with smirks plastered on their lips. Craig started clapping his hands while making his way towards me. I quickly stood up and braced myself for action. Sadly, I still hadn’t revisited my karate skills.

“I should’ve known that you possessed those powers.” Craig said only a few inches from my face. “After all, you’re one of the strongest angel ever written in history of the Underworld.” I looked at Craig with a confused expression but he didn’t stop. “What you did yesterday was pretty clever. No underworld creature has ever removed a disguise spell before.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked with a shaky voice.

“Very funny.” Craig chuckled.

“What did you do to Joan?” I questioned trying to put on my bravest face.

“Not much, something she deserved.” Crag said continuing towards me. I backed away from him but I found myself trapped by the wall behind me. Craig didn’t stop. Was he going to drain my blood just like he had wished that time at the club? I swallowed hard, trembling all over. Craig stopped just a few inches away from my face. He smiled. Very big. “I’m looking forward to watching Jason’s reaction when he finds out that his precious angel is dead. Lock her up.” He finished before turning away from me.

Carla and another girl I didn’t recognize came towards me. I tried to run but I didn’t get very far before the girls had placed a bag over my head and got hold of my arms. The bag smelled awful. I screamed, despite the gagging smell, shouted and kicked but the girls did not dislodge.

“Make sure she doesn’t escape.” Craig ordered before his footsteps disappeared in the background.

I was dragged around for what felt like ten minutes. I was forced to walk up and down stairs and ride in an elevator. I lost one of my flip flops in the process. Suddenly we came to a halt. The air here was chilling. I could feel my naked foot curling to the cold. I heard chains and then a loud squeak. I was thrown onto a cold and hard surface. Luckily I caught myself before bushing my teeth onto the ground. The bag was removed from my head and there I was in the middle of a room with nothing but black walls and bars for doors.

Was I in jail? No, it couldn’t have been a jail because there was no toilet or bed anywhere.

“What do you want from me?” I shouted at Carla. Carla scoffed before kneeling in front of me with a smirk on her face.

She opened her mouth to speak but a deep voice sounded from behind her. “You’re to be used as sacrifice.”

I looked around Carla to see who the voice belonged to. It was the man from the portrait, Paul Orfeo, Craig’s father. He stood tall by the door-way making me feel much smaller than I already was. The dark shadows covering his eyes created a chilling and evil persona that made the hairs on my neck stand tall. The elegant woman stood by him with a grim face, making me cringe even more in fear. Tears threatened to spill from my eyes. I was to be used as a sacrifice? For what?

“But I am not a virgin.” I splattered without reasoning. Of course I was a virgin, but maybe this could make them think twice about the sacrifice. After all, in many sacrifices virgins are the prime target. Carla chuckled before joining Craig and his parents by the entrance.

“Nice try, but that is not the reason we chose you. See, my son is next in line.” The man affirmed, making me more confused. “So is Jason. That is where you come in. For my son to succeed as the next leader of our coterie, an angel must be sacrificed.” The man continued.

“What are you talking about? I am nowhere near to being an angel. I just told-”

I was immediately interrupted by the man’s questioning. “You have no clue about anything, do you?” I shook my head. I didn’t know what was happening. My thoughts behind the kidnapping were that Carla and Craig wanted to get back at Jason for something I didn’t know.

“I will briefly explain to you.” The man continued using hand gestures to prove his case. “See, my family and I, Jason and Carla are not your average human beings. We are what you call vampires.”

Despite witnessing Carla and Craig’s gruesome activities in that flashback, I still eyed the man sceptically. Jason couldn’tbe a vampire. However, I thought back to his eyes the night he attacked me. They were the same colour as Craig and Carla’s when they attacked Kevin. I shook my head. Jason didn’t have elongated canines. I was brought back to reality by the man’s deep voice.

“I know it is hard to believe. But for the past years we have improved our hiding skills from the humans that they all assumed we perished. As you can see we are still here. You, however, are half-angel. No let me reiterate that. You’re ninety-nine percent angel. This situation is a rare one. It is so rare that a creature like you has no given name. The common procedure is that when an angel and human mate, they must receive ‘grace’ from their maker and the child is then born fully human. You have both human and angel characteristics, making you the most powerful creature in the world right now.”

Me an angel?

“There is only one other similar case recorded in the Underworld history. A woman was born of an angel and human. She was born with both angel and human abilities making her the most powerful person. No one really knows what happened to her though. She was found dead on her bed from an unknown cause. Anyhow, back to the reason why you’re here. In my coterie of vampires, to become a leader, one must sacrifice an angel. You see, angels are really hard to find hence why discovering and sacrificing one proves that you have the ability to take care of and lead the coterie. Also, the blood of an angel can sustain and protect the whole coterie for centuries.”

His words sounded very familiar. Realisation hit me. Those paragraphs I read in my dad’s office were all true. Did my father know of this? Was he trying to protect me this whole time? Was that why he wanted me to stay away from Jason?

“You were an easy target; you did not cover up your abilities. You used them whenever you desired, on your teachers, your classmates, random citizens and even your mother. Jason found you with the same intention, to sacrifice you so he can become the leader of the coterie, but somehow you were able to charm him. So, my son took the opportunity and brought you here. After all, I didn’t murder my own brother-in-law for nothing.” He killed Jason’s father? “Now we just have to wait until the time is right to sacrifice you so that my son can take his rightful place as the leader and begin this New Year with a great start.”

The man finished with a satisfied smile on his face. I then remembered Craig’s words about Jason having the same intentions as him. But, how? I saw Jason shouting for my name as if he was crazy. He didn’t have any intention to hurt me. I was shocked. I didn’t know how to respond to the information I just received. It was true that I did tricks to influence people. I just thought it was pure luck that people responded the way I wanted them to. But, if I did this trick on my mother, did that mean?

“Yes, your father is the angel.” The man paused, “Actually, to be specific, he is the leader of the angel fraternity, after his creator of course.”

“No, you’re lying!” I shouted at the man.

“If I was lying would I do this?” Suddenly the man’s eyes changed into a deep red colour. He extended his arm while whispering strange words.

Excruciating pain shot into my chest. The world swirled around me making every sound magnified. I clutched my chest in hope of relief from the tightness in my chest. I couldn’t breathe, my vision was slowly clouding from lack of oxygen. I whizzed as I asked for release. Suddenly I was unconstrained. I loudly gasped for air as I tried to balance my breathing.

“Now you believe?” The man asked, his eyes slowly returning to their normal golden colour. “Do not even try to do any tricks in here. This cell is built with a specific material that makes you angels weak.” The man informed before turning on his heels, “Let us go.”

The elegant woman, Carla and Craig followed right after him, leaving the bar doors closed behind them. I couldn’t believe the elegant woman allowed his husband to murder her own brother. My admiration for her escaped my conscience immediately.

I tried to stand up but I couldn’t. It felt as if all of my energy had been drained from my body. A single tear slipped to the floor and soon I was in fits, crying. Why didn’t my parents tell me anything? Did my father know all along about Jason’s intention? I sighed and cried in defeat and decided to wait for my fate.

Sacrifice.

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