VIII . WHEN THE CURTAINS ARE OPENED
After dropping the bomb, Carter took me to the same room where I was kept before. Except for this time it was cleaned up by Christina. I sat on the bed while Carter went outside to fetch me some water. Saying that there were an infinite amount of questions going in my mind would be an understatement. Cause I didn’t have any fucking clue about the shit of nine sisters they were saying. But I do know that whatever the hell it was, it wasn’t good for me. The vibe they were giving off, and I can’t forget the scrutiny of Eric’s yellow eyes after finding out my identity. Or that’s what they meant.
Carter entered the room with a piece of cake and a glass of water followed by Christina. I looked behind them to see whether Eric and Taylor were there or not but thankfully they weren’t. I so wasn’t ready to deal with Eric’s scariness and Taylor’s bitchiness.
I narrowed my eyes as Carter placed the tray on the small table near the bed.
“What’s this?” I asked looking up at Carter questioningly.
“This is chocolate cake and wa-”
“I can see that dumbass. What I meant was that why the cake? I just asked for water,” I tried to sound less bitchy but I couldn’t help it. The pain was gone thankfully, but the foreboding of something bad happening didn’t leave me.
“Well”, this time Christina cooed in, “since you’re dealing with the situation better than we expected you to,” at this, she exchanged a look with Carter and continued, “we thought to give you something delicious to eat. And besides, it’s your birthday”.
I grumbled, “Yeah looks like after years my birthday turned out to be eventful. Thanks so much for that. Really.”
I cut into the cake with my fork and took a bite, moaning with the heavenly taste, “Uhm, thanks for the cake by the way”.
A dark and guilty look crossed over Christina’s face as she looked down at her feet and I felt a slight pang of guilt. But when I looked over at Carter to see his stoic expression and his eyes anywhere but on me, the guilt subsided.
“We’re sorry Krystal. We never knew things would get out of hands,” she genuinely sounded upset and I felt bad for her.
“I can only forgive if you tell me whatever the hell’s going on,” I said taking another bite of the cake.
“We’re going to tell you either way. ′ A’ because you deserve to know; ‘B’ because you need to be prepared,” Christina replied.
“Hold on,” Carter said and left the room and before I could comprehend anything, he brought in two large packs of popcorn.
“Hope this will be enough,” I raised my eyebrows at this, and seeing this he chuckled, “cause it’s storytime,” he said in a sickly enthusiastic voice, to which Christina rolled her eyes and seated herself on the chair opposite of me; while Carter seated himself right beside me on the bed. I tensed, as he was sitting close to me, too close. I’m practically engulfed by his warmth and his scent of the ocean breeze, and Carter seemed to have noticed that too but decided not to do anything about it.
“So, Uhm...,” I fiddled with my hands and thinking of how to present my thoughts.
“You’re a descendant of the nine sisters. Since you know that already I’ll tell you who they really are,” Christina spoke softly and calculatingly, as if speaking to a child, “ever heard of the fates?”
“Like birth, love, and death?” I asked not knowing where this was going.
“Yes. There are nine sisters and each three of them are connected to one aspect of everyone’s life. They deal with the people’s birth, love life, and death,” Christina explained.
“Okay. So it’s like they planned everything. But how’s it related to me?”
“The nine sisters created the world. They controlled every human being’s life. Every mortal’s life,” she emphasized on the word mortals and I narrowed my eyes at her indicating her to explain further.
“But as you can see, we’re not mortal. We don’t die. We don’t age. We bend the rules of nature. We’re exceptions. Every supernatural being out there is,” she explained slowly as realization suddenly dawned on me.
“Your life cycles can’t be controlled. You evaded death,” my eyes widened at the newfound reality.
“Well not exactly evaded but kinda passed the stage. And yes you’re right we can’t be controlled by the nine sisters. So can’t you.”
My mouth fell open at her words.
Carter smirked and murmured in my ears, his lips brushing my earlobe slightly causing my breath to hitch, “You’ll catch flies, Hazel,” I glared at him but nonetheless turned to Christina.
“What do you mean?” I questioned still not sure of what to expect. This was one hell of a birthday.
Christina folded her hands on her lap and leaned forward, “We’re vampires. We cannot be controlled by the sisters. And they hated it. They hated that they had no power on us. They hated that they were not in control for the first time,” Christina’s eyes darkened, “so they created a loophole. A loophole that will destroy the entire supernatural world if got in the wrong hands. A loophole that can trigger an apocalypse. A loophole that is human.”
“And guess who that is Hazel?” Carter asked in a grave tone.
A loophole that is human.
The nine women in the nightmare.
The darkness of the world that was engulfing me in the nightmare.
“Me,” a sinister realization of reality hit me like a truck. I was a loophole. I was created to destroy the supernatural race. I wasn’t even supposed to exist if it wasn’t for the existence of the supernaturals.
I was a cosmic mistake.
In a twisted and evil way that somehow gave a meaning to my existence.
“Yes. Yes, you are the loophole. The loophole to our doom. You were created to take birth as a human being after thousand years after the sisters left the Earth. You were created to trigger the apocalypse to destroy every single supernatural being breathing on the planet.”
“And that’s why you need to be kept safe”, Carter seriously spoke up for the first time after sitting beside me,” just like we exist so does our anti-selves”
“You mean alter-ego?”
Carter laughed and if it wasn’t for the seriousness of the brooding situation, then I might have actually found myself swooning over it; but the reality kept me rooted.
“No Hazel. Anti-selves meant the people who were created to kill us. The hunters. And if somehow they caught hold of you, they would kill you and we all will be poof!”
My blood turned cold and my breath hitched at his words.
They would kill you.
When did my life become so complicated? Not only I found out that, that my entire reason for existence is because I’m loophole to ending the supernatural creatures but also there is a gang of people who are trying to kill me. But a sudden thought halted my train of worries.
“Why can’t the hunters kill you themselves?”
“Cause they are vampire hunters. They can only kill vampires. Not witches, sirens, werewolves, etcetera, etcetera. But you can,” Carter rested his hands behind him and leaned on them.
“So I’m basically a mass destruction weapon,” I looked at the siblings, although already knowing the answer.
“Quite in a literal way. Yes,” Christina nodded her head.
This was too much to take. Too much to bear. The information felt so heavy that it was physically tiring me but another question popped in my mind which made me forget my tiresomeness for a moment.
“What do you get all of this? I mean apart from me being dead,” I glanced at Christina but she was furiously typing something at her phone, and seeing this I nudged Carter.
“We need to protect you. Train you to defend yourself from the hunters-”
“I’m an expert in Martial Arts. So I can defend myself thank you very much,” I stretched my arms out and they felt sore due to the constant stiffening of it due to the tension in the room. Christina got a call and excused herself as she went outside with a rather serious expression.
“You might be. But you have no idea what these hunters are like. They are a tad bit slower than us and they were created by the nine sisters themselves. Before you can blink twice they will shred you into two halves.”
I had no doubt. But I didn’t like the idea of seeking their help or protection. They were only helping me because I was the key to their destruction. Me getting killed would be game over for them too. It is not out of friendship. It’s only because of selfishness. I should have expected this but the realization still stung a bit. But even if hurt, I didn’t show it on my face.
“So what now?” I asked Carter.
“Now that we know who this is, which is you, we are going to start your training from tomorrow. Remember, just because the hunters aren’t immortal it doesn’t mean they are not strong like us. Might be weaker, but still strong enough for you. So you need to give it your best. You lose, you die,” he replied in a heavy and brooding tone.
I nodded and he looked at my face curiously searching for answers, then sighed, “I know it’s a lot to take in.”
“No shit,” I replied sarcastically.
He frowned and laid down on the bed. Feeling tired myself, I also laid down stiffly beside him, making sure, we didn’t touch.
“How did you know all of this? Surely, the sisters won’t tell you,” I asked as I turned my body completely towards him.
“No. We knew because our father told us,” his gaze fixed on the ceiling and I could see his clenching of the jaw at the mention of his father.
“Your father was a vampire?”
A dark look crosses his face, “No. He was a hunter.”
Their father was a hunter. He wanted to kill them.
But he continued without noticing my thoughts, ” But he didn’t tell us. It was in his journal. I got a hold of it after his death. It was then that I found out and informed the others”
Of course, or else they would have been totally fucked.
“Okay...” I trailed off, and then another question popped in my head.
“Don’t you burn in the sun?” I remembered all the times I saw on TV shows where vampires burn in the sun.
“Yeah newly turned ones do. But as we get old, our sustaining capacity increases and it becomes more of an irritation rather than actually burning,” this time he turned around to face me. His face close to me and our breaths were intermingling.
I narrowed my eyes at him, ” Wait a minute. How old are you?”
He smirked, “Since I’m a teenager so seventeen.”
“Stop bullshitting. How long have you been seventeen?”
A thoughtful expression masks his face, “Three hundred and thirty-seven.”
My eyes widened and he smirked.
“You’re an old man!” I gasped and he chuckled.
“An old yet irresistibly sexy man,” he retorted as the corners of his lips twitched, and I groaned in annoyance.
“You and your over-confidence will surely fuck you up one day,” I replied nonchalantly.
He grinned and a comfortable silence settled over us.
“So that was what you were talking about that day at Holly Heads?” I asked him as I saw him yawning.
“I knew you were eavesdropping!” he exclaimed playfully and I smacked his arms while rolling my eyes.
But soon his expression became sober.
“Yeah. My brother’s act of heroism had definitely caught the attention of the hunters and we could clearly do without that,” his tone turned cold.
“Well, I could have saved him. But Cam didn’t let me,” I remembered the incident which was just yesterday yet felt like a lifetime has passed.
“You couldn’t. He would have already been as dead as a doornail by that time. He was compelled. And even though you might be fast, but not like us.”
“No shit,” I replied.
But a doubt raised its nasty head.
Only vampires can compel, but the hunters can’t most definitely be vampires who would hunt their own kinds. That sounds ridiculous.
“I thought the compulsion thing was only vampires’ job,” I raised an eyebrow at him.
“No. Erik wasn’t a vampire and even though you’re an exception, he has done a lot of compulsions-”
“Wouldn’t you need vampire blood for that? And why would he go for the tough way if his sister is a vampire herself? He could use her, easy peasy,” I shrugged my shoulders.
“No Hazel. He’s a witch and the compulsion done by him is permanent. Ours isn’t,” when he didn’t say anything further so I prodded his chest for further information.
He chuckled. A heart-warming one.
“Okay jeez. No need to be so violent,” he smirked and I didn’t miss the innuendo behind those words.
“You wish,” I rolled my eyes at him.
“Okay. So look, when we vampires compel, it lasts as long as the person remains mortal. But when the witches compel, it lasts forever. Even if they turned into one of us. That memory wouldn’t just exist. But we can’t undo someone’s memory. We can only camouflage it until they turn. The vampire senses are the strongest. That’s why they come rushing back,” he explained.
Jayden was compelled by the hunters. They are not vampires. But they can compel. So this means...
“They are witches? The hunters?” I asked Carter as he finally sat upright.
“Yeah. They are a different specie but yeah.”
“So wouldn’t they die too? I mean they are supernaturals too right?”
“You’re smarter than I would give you credit for,” he smirked and I rolled my eyes, “and yes. They are supernaturals. But they are willing to do this sacrifice for ‘the greater good’,” he air quotes with his hands, “their brains are wired that way,” he made a face at this.
The hunters were witches. They were ready to sacrifice themselves just so they could end the supernatural drama. And they were using me for it.
Who am I kidding? I was born for this. The only reason I was created.
I wasn’t a mistake. I have a reason.
Even though it’s a cruel and fucked up one.
A large yawn escaped my lips as I sat up and stretched my arms.
Carter gave me an amusing look, “You’re tired and it’s expected. After all, you had a long day.”
“No kidding,” I managed to chuckle even though it came as a forced smile and I cringed at it.
“Come on get up. I’ll drive you home,” he started to pull me but I swatted his hands away.
“I can get up on my own. And the bodyguard duty already started huh?” I smirked.
“Nope. I’m just being a gentleman,” this time Carter returned my smirk causing me to release a frustrated sigh.
“Oh please! Have you ever like, met yourself?” I gave him an incredulous look.
“Yep and I loved him,” he tossed me a devilish grin and sauntered out the room with me trailing behind him.
Outside Christina was still talking. She gave me a friendly wave and warm smile which I tried to return, but I couldn’t.
I was just their pawn.
Realizing my reluctance she pursed her lips and told the person on the other line to wait as she spoke to me, “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Oh, and Krystal,” she gave me a stern look, “tomorrow we’ll talk about your training session.”
Our ride from the Harveys’ to my apartment was weirdly comfortable and peaceful. None of us exchanged any words and I’m pretty sure the weight of the newfound reality has dawned heavily on both of us. But mostly me.
To be honest, no matter how tough I act, this scared the shit outta me. I didn’t want to believe any of this. I want this to be a nightmare so that when I wake up it goes poof. But then again, how can I ignore everything that’s happened around me since childhood and till now.
The car abruptly stops and I looked outside to find myself in front of my apartment. I got out of the car.
“See ya tomorrow Haz,” Carter smirked.
“From Hazel to Haz? You sure have the audacity,” I quirked an eyebrow at him.
“When someone as charming and sexy as me says this, then yeah, you kind of have to get used to that audacity,” he had that same devilish grin plastered on his face.
I flicked him my middle finger, “Bye asshole.”
He chuckled and after a final wave, he drove off.
A sudden noise of commotion in the far area of the basement caught my attention. I tiptoed forward to catch snippets when I heard the woman shouting profanities at the policemen who were trying to calm her down. Her daughter has been murdered right in front of her eyes but she couldn’t move. She felt trapped as if someone was mentally blocking her from moving.
“Shit,” I cursed and immediately ran towards my flat.
On reaching my flat, I felt something wrong. An ominous feeling crept up on me, and my palms turned cold.
The door to my flat was open ajar and the lights inside it were off. This can’t be Maria, she’s an absolute security freak. I thought about going back and calling the police. But what if I was wrong and it was nothing else?
But also, it’s better safe than sorry right?
As I was turning back, a soft whimper coming from my flat floated to my ears.
A whimper I knew too well.
I dashed inside the room and fumbled on the wall for a switch. On finding it, I put it on and the blinding light filled my vision. Slowly after gaining focus, I roamed my eyes around the flat and I gasped at the sight in front of me.
I think my heart just stopped.