34. What have I done?
We’ll meet again.
Is that a lie or truth? I don’t know but seeing Rose leave determined with an unknown motivation, I cannot do much but watch her. I know I should have caught her, after all I found her spying on us! I should’ve done what I had done before and if Rose hadn’t escaped the dungeons, would I have stopped Count from torturing her? Why am I letting her leave now?
But I couldn’t delve more on those thoughts anymore, not when I had an off feeling about Rose when I’d met her.
Confused, I rake my hands through my head and look around the room. I can hear Rose footsteps, she is brisk walking but I cannot fathom which direction she is heading. Wherever she is going she’s moving farther away from me. And this time, I let her. Before I can head out of the room and check on the sudden attack, I hear someone else’s footsteps.
Behind the corridor Mark emerges, he looks nervous and shocked at seeing me here.
“What are you doing here?” he asks and tilts his head slightly, his green eyes watching me curiously. Something is wrong, I can feel it
“I could ask you the same thing,” I reply, my voice monotone. Casually I put my hands in my pockets and feel a familiar scent hit my lungs.
“Well, um maybe you should answer my question first.” He raises his eyebrows at me and bites his lower lip. My brother is nervous.
I eye him suspiciously before speaking up , “I met Rose.” I carefully read his expression. At the mention of her name, his eyes widen, which is reasonable since Rose is now considered a notorious spy. But when I watch him swallow silently, he gives me all the answers.
“And... I mean what? Rose? You met her? She is here? How?” He stutters.
More lies, my brother is a bad liar.
“You’re keeping her aren’t you? She smelled like your plants,” I say, I feel a deep ache in my head, this is getting more complicated than I thought.
“No, I’m not,” he rushes out quicker than I expected. Watching him now he looks small and ruffled, like a teenager caught smoking.
Mark, what did you do...
“Don’t lie to your brother. I know she is with you,” I say through gritted teeth and feel my vision doubling. I blink numerous times, getting it back to normal.
“Brother-are you ok-”
“Explain yourself!” I shout loudly and he flinches visibly. I know I should take care of this situation quietly and calmly but my headache is making me unable to do so, besides my head is too hot to care about anything else. I must solve this case immediately.
“Speak up, you’ve been talking fine all morning.” My eyes move away from him as another wave of dizziness hits me. I blink hardly, feeling light headed.
My grip on the wooden table tightens. I wait for the dizziness to ride off but instead I am met by another wave of headache, this time I can’t hide the groan that escapes my lips. I blink again and this time I find Mark in front of me. How did I not notice him coming near me?
He tilts his head and stares at me blankly.
I am reminded of a ten year old Mark who had once looked at me with disappointment when I broke my promise. I take a deep breath.
“What did you do?” I gasp and I feel a sudden pain in my lower abdomen. Mark has stabbed me. Not with an ordinary dagger, but a poisoned one. Poisoned enough to kill a vampire.
I cough blood, dark red but not black.
“You know, this never would have happened if you weren’t such a liar,” he says in a calm tone, while removing the dagger from my abdomen. I drop onto the ground, as the pool of blood surrounds me.
“I know,” I admit foolishly and clutch onto my lower abdomen to prevent the bleeding, like that’s gonna help now.
“Your loyalties lie to no one but yourself,” he continues and this time, I can’t form words anymore. Instead, the salty droplets of blood, just blood splat from my mouth.
“You think Rose would have helped you warm your ice cold heart? You felt human around her? Is your journal a joke?” Mark scoffed and squatted down in front of me so he could watch me withering in pain.
“You had a choice and you chose the wrong one. This time it’s my turn and I’ll choose the right one,” he whispers and in that moment I knew my brother was gone and what replaced him was a monster who had been dwelling below my brother’s skin since 10.
“I’m sorry.” Is all I could mutter before a bright light flashed before me before everything faded into darkness.