Chapter 27: Alexander's heart
I flew out of bed in horror, trying to get as far away from the bloody mess as possible. I was also covered in blood and a terrible fear pulled through me.
My head spun when I frantically came to a stop on the other side of the room and I leaned against the wall for support for a moment. My eyes wouldn’t focus on anything and neither would my mind.
Red flooded my vision and I couldn’t see anything. I dropped to my knees, holding onto the floor that wanted to throw me off of the earth. What was- why was- my mind refused to think of anything.
I tried to scream for help but no sound escaped my lips and I grabbed for my throat. It hurt so freaking bad. It was like someone was ripping my vocal cords apart with their nails digging into my flesh.
I fell over onto my side when a terrible burning pain started just below my diaphragm and I curled up into a little whimpering ball to try and get the pain to stop. It didn’t even work a little.
I broke out in a cold sweat and I shivered as heat rocketed through my body. I was in so much pain I was barely keeping consciousness.
I was going to-
I passed out.
The shallow short breaths I took were pained and made my chest ache terribly. My twitching fingers cramped when I tried to move them and the rest of my body was numb.
I struggled to open my heavy eyes and the light that came when I finally managed to open them nearly blinded me. I was so bright.
I let my eyes fall shut again and rested a little while before opening them again. The light was still bright but it was more bearable than it had been before. When my eyes had finally adjusted to the light I looked around slowly, trying not to move my neck since turning my head caused a massive pain at the top of my spinal cord.
It took me a moment to realise that I was still in the room I was staying in at Rose’s place. Right, of course, how could I forget…
Instead of finding myself on the floor I found that I was in bed. There was no blood except that on me and I was wearing different clothes than I had been wearing when I’d gone to bed.
Who had helped me? Someone must have changed the sheets, my clothing and put me in bed.
The bedroom door slowly creaked open and I eyed it cautiously, wondering who it could be. Nadine’s head poked around the door and her eyes brightened a little when she saw I was awake, “Ash, you’re looking considerably better.” She came in with a tray full of food and shut the door behind her, “Here, I brought you some breakfast.”
I tried to thank her but my voice broke and I decided it best to clear my throat before trying to speak again, “Thanks for the help, I don’t know what happened…” I struggled for a moment to sit up and when I finally managed I was exhausted and my heart was racing from the hard work.
Nadine watched me carefully as she placed the tray on my lap, “I take back what I said, you still look terrible. How are you feeling?”
I groaned and picked up the cutlery to start eating, “I don’t know, everything just hurts so bad.”
“Well don’t worry about it, I sent Troy to go fetch the doctor. He should be here in a few hours.”
“Uh…” she started unsurely and I eyed her suspiciously.
“The thing is…Rustin has been a nervous wreck since we found you this morning and I’ve ordered him to stay out of your room since he looks a little… crazy… but I think it would be good for him to come see you. Just for a little while.” She hurried to assure me.
I swallowed the food before I spoke, “Sure, I mean, what’s the big deal? He’s a friend.”
“Your boyfriend threatened to kill him if he came too close, remember?” She reminded me and I lowered my head in realisation.
“Oh, well don’t worry about it. Alexander won’t hurt him. If he does he knows I’ll hate him so he wouldn’t dare.”
A look of relief flooded Nadine’s face, “Good. I’ll send him in.” she started walking towards the door but turned to face me again, “I want you to take it easy until the doctor has been here, you hear? That means no getting out of bed.”
I waved her off, “Yeah yeah.”
The door had barely shut behind her when Rustin barged in with a worried look on his face. I gave him a little wave and moved the tray off of my lap, the food in my system seemed to be making me a little stronger. He rushed to my side and before I knew exactly what was happening he’d thrown his arms around me and held me tightly. “Ash.”
“I’m fine.” I said, “No need to worry, right as rain.”
“Ash.” He repeated my name, holding me even tighter. “I thought you were dead, when I saw you- on the floor- all that blood- I thought…”
“I’m still alive, Rustin, no need to worry.” I paused, “So I take it you were the one who put me back in bed?”
He didn’t let go of me, “Yes, Rose screamed and I came to see what was going on. I’m so glad you’re alive.”
I smiled a little, “Aren’t you scared of being so close to me? There is always the chance of being killed by a certain vampire…”
Rustin pushed me away a little, “I’m not afraid if it means I get to be close to you.”
My heart melted a little but before I could answer a wave of nausea overcame me and I harshly shoved him away from me and ran for the bathroom.
I just barely made it there before I vomited blood.
My body was shaking again and the fever was coming back.
When I finally managed to scrape together enough energy I looked behind me and I saw Cherise standing in the door, her eyes wide and her hands shaking.
She was a vampire but she was shaking in fear.
Because she knew I was dying.
I slammed my first on the table and it split in two like it was no more than a piece of Styrofoam, “No!” I hissed at them. “I will not turn her.”
Oberon sighed and stood up from his chair, “Such a shame, this table must have been expensive. Mahogany was it?” His eyes darkened when he looked at me, “I really don’t see you having much choice in the matter, if you don’t turn her into a vampire you can’t be with her, it’s as simple as that.”
“You want to be with her forever don’t you?” Heskel asked with his elbows propped up on the broken table, “All you have to do is turn her and the two of you can be together forever.”
“No!” I said again, “That is not going to happen.”
“Don’t you love her?” Viktor asked, “Because it seems to me like she doesn’t completely hate you and you can’t keep your eyes off of her. So what’s the problem?”
“I love her.” I said with a small smile and my voice broke a little, “Of course I want to be with her forever, but I can’t turn her. She will hate me for the rest of eternity if I turned her. I know it doesn’t look like she really has a problem with vampires but she does, she hates us and what we do. She’ll never forgive me…” I trailed off softly, “I’d rather spend the next seventy years with her not completely loathing me and then be alone when she dies than spend an eternity with her hating me.”
“Deep words,” Norabo challenged, “But will you still feel the same way in seventy years, who am I kidding. Not even that long. Will you still feel that way in twenty years when she’ll look old enough to be your mother?”
I snarled at him and my fangs elongated, “Why you-“
“Peace brother.” Oberon stated calmly and I settled down again, “He does have a point. What is your answer to his question?”
I was silent for a moment, “He doesn’t understand. Does he Oberon?” I questioned my eldest brother, the only one who could truly understand since he was the only one who’d found his PA.
Oberon wasn’t fazed by my question and he merely sighed, “They don’t understand Alex, but neither do you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I challenged.
“The longer you are with her the more you love her, the more you will lust after her.” He smiled, “And I think we can all tell that you’re already lusting after her, you have to face the facts. If you slip up only once and lose control you will kill her before you even realised it.”
“I’d never hurt her.” I stated firmly.
Nicolai laughed harshly, “You say that and yet you’ve already lost control and drunk her blood,” he smiled evilly, “Twice. And how long have you known her? Barely two months.”
I’d never wanted to hit anyone that much in my life. I took a breath to calm myself and it came out rather shaky, “I’m not going to turn her.” I said again, “I refuse.”
“Then let one of us do it,” Norabo said, “Surely she won’t hate you if one of us change her.”
My eyes burned with rage, “If you bring your fangs anywhere near her I will rip your heart out.” I threatened calmly.
“Face it, Alex, you need her. You’ve barely been separated from her for two days and your temper is growing shorter by the second.” Neculai said.
I glared. Of course I was angry and frustrated. I missed her. I couldn’t think of anything but the fact that she wasn’t with me, I’d grown so desperate of her scent that I’d taken to holding onto the stuffed lion I’d bought her that she always clung to in her sleep, I almost grinned, that was if she wasn’t clinging to me. The sadness came again. It was like some part of me was left behind when I left her with that cute little blush on her cheeks and- A wave of frustration hit me again, she was so far away, maybe I should just go get her… Surely whatever she wanted to say to her human friends had been said already. I cursed under my breath, that human male; he was getting close to her I was sure. I should have threatened him more. They were probably together right now, talking, smiling. Rage boiled within me and I gripped the corner of the table and the wood splintered under my strength.
Oberon sighed again, this time really sounding fed up. “Hmmm?” He tilted his head to the side questioningly and stood up to go look out the large window of my office. He smiled a little, “Cherise is back.” He frowned and looked back to the rest of us, “Maybe you’ll see what we’ve been trying to tell you in a few weeks Alex. I give you three weeks maximum before you’ll be overcome with lust and you’ll kill her.”
The rage suddenly took control of me, “Maybe you don’t really understand either.” I challenged as I stood up.
Oberon’s brown eyes became black and he let out the growl of a demon, “Stand down.” He ordered with murder floating in his eyes.
“I said-” Oberon’s eyes suddenly changed back to their brownish colour and his eyes went wide. He turned to look out the window, “What the…”
I looked out the window as well and the rest of our brothers joined us, “What is it?” I could see Cherise in the distance but she was still too far for my eyes to make out anything else. Oberon’s eyes were the best out of all of us but in a match of strength he would be no match for me, “What do you see?” I asked him again.
Oberon shook his head in disbelief, “It seems you will be forced into taking action without any lust controlling you.”
I snarled at him and took hold of his collar threateningly and lift him off the ground a few inches, “What are you talking about?”
Oberon merely lifted a hand and pointed towards Cherise, “See for yourself.”
After a moment’s hesitation I put him down and looked again. Cherise was a lot closer now and I could easily see the worry in her eyes. It felt like the world stopped turning when I saw Ashira limp in her arms. Bloody and pale. I swallowed, “What…” I was shaking, she was ill. What was wrong with her?
Before I knew it I’d run to the front door and thrown it open savagely. Cherise was standing there with my love dead in her arms. I found myself rooted in the spot, I couldn’t move, “Is she…” I couldn’t even say the word. How had I ever thought I would be content to watch her grow old and die, I now knew I could never let that happen.
“She’s not dead, Alex,” Cherise assured me as she handed Ashira over to me, “not yet.” My eyes snapped towards her, “I brought her here as soon as I realised what was wrong with her.”
I looked down at Ashira in my arms, her breaths were short and pained, her skin pale, clammy and cold and he face looked shrunken in. Her clothes were full of blood but there were no wounds. Blood lightly tickled out of her right ear and her mouth was bloody as well, “What’s wrong with her?” I found myself asking, “Did you take her to the doctor?”
Cherise hesitated, “I didn’t need to, I recognised the symptoms the moment I saw them.”
“What is wrong with her?” I asked again, this time with uncontrolled sadness in my voice.
Suddenly Ashira’s eyes snapped open and she struggled to get out of my arms. In a moment of shock I let her go and she fell to her knees and threw up. Blood. She vomited blood. Dark red blood and a lot of it. She shivered and her body shook. Before I could completely comprehend what had just happened she passed out again and I just barely managed to catch her before her head hit the ground. She was out cold.
“What can I do to help her?” Desperation entered my voice. What the hell was wrong with her?! I would do anything, I wasn’t going to let her die.
Cherise frowned, “This illness isn’t curable Alex. It isn’t a human illness, you can’t do anything for her! Don’t you see? She has vampire venom in her system and it’s killing her!”
A shiver pulled through me, of course, how could I have been so stupid as to not have seen it before? Ashira let out a pained moan and I felt my heart clench at the sound.
A vampire’s venom doesn’t turn a human like humans believe; it kills them, just like and other predator. Just like a snake’s venom.
Unlike any other predator’s venom that kills the victims immediately, vampire venom lays dormant in the blood for three to four weeks before it started killing. Slowly. Painfully. It killed the victims from the inside out.
Cells would be destroyed by the venom the moment it woke. The venom ate through flesh with ease, causing internal bleeding and ultimately there would be nothing but bloody mush left.
Blood that was currently coming out of Ashira’s ears and gathering in her stomach causing nausea and making her vomit blood.
The only way a human could be turned into a vampire was with blood. The vampire merely had to drink the human’s blood and let his body turn the blood vampire. One sip of the vampire’s blood could then turn the human. It would be so easy to turn Ashira. I already had her blood in my system, all I needed to do was let her drink my blood and she would be a vampire.
A burst of hysterical laughter escaped my lips, “I am such an idiot! How could I not have seen it before?” I’d never cried before but I assumed the violent shakes that my body gave along with the hot liquid that ran down my cheeks was part a heart wreaking sob. I moved the hair away from Ashira’s face so I could look at her, “I’m so sorry.” I muttered against her bloodied neck. “I’m so sorry.”
I turned around and carried her past my brothers who all stoutly stood at the front door, up the stairs until I laid her down on our bed.
How could I have let this happen? I sat down on the bed and stared at my Ashira. My promise angel. She was dying right in front of my eyes and slipping out of my grasp with every second that passed.
“Do you know who did this to her?” Heskel asked from the doorway and I realised that my whole family was in the room. I hadn’t even noticed.
“Yes.” I said with a broken voice. The world had defeated me. “His name was Devon, he kidnapped her a few weeks ago.”
“If we could just get to him in time we could use his venom to make an antidote.” Jagger suggested since he was the one who was good with science.
“We can’t.” I said, “I killed him.”
“I thought you didn’t kill people.” Norabo said almost tauntingly.
I didn’t even have the conviction to be mad at him, “He took her, he drank her blood. I had no choice.”
“What should we do then?” Cherise asked worriedly, “I like Ash, I don’t want her to die.”
There were a few moments of silence before Oberon sealed my Ashira’s fate, “It’s simple, Alex has to turn her,” he said, “or she dies.”
My mind didn’t want to even think about either option, “How long do you think she has left?”
Jagger came forward and felt her weak pulse, he tilted his head enquiringly, “Three days at most.”
“Three days?” I’d just barely met her and had her falling for me and now she was dying.
“Alexander.” My name left Ashira’s lips in the form of a harsh whisper and all the heads in the room turned towards her.
I cupped her cheek. “She’s dreaming.” I found myself saying. She looked so thin and pale, “When was the last time she ate something?” I asked Cherise.
“She hasn’t been able to keep anything down since yesterday.”
“Water?” I questioned.
Cherise shook her head.
She was going to die.
She was going to die.
And then she screamed and it tore my entire being apart, it sounded like the howl of an animal. It wasn’t human, the venom was spreading faster than ever.
“Alexander.” She whispered me name again and I stroked her cheek gently. Her eyes opened a little and I was immediately closer.
“Ashira? Are you alright? Are you in pain?”
“Make it stop.” She pleaded with bloody tears running down her cheeks, “Please, just make the pain stop.” She took a few ragged breaths, “Kill me if you have to just make it stop.” She coughed up blood and she turned on her side. “Make it stop…” she trailed off before she drifted off again.
I softly put an arm around her.
Both of Cherise’s hands went to her mouth and it looked like she was close to tears, “Oh Ash.”
Oberon wrapped an arm around Cherise’s shoulders to comfort her and she hid her face in his chest, “What will you do brother?” Oberon enquired.
Silence boomed off the walls as I brushed my lips against Ashira’s forehead, “I don’t have a choice. Devon was right.” I could feel the self-hatred and sadness building, “In order to save her I need to make her hate me.”
This was what Devon had meant that day.
I couldn’t believe I’d been such a blind fool.