Chapter 28: He wouldn't
I whimpered as another shot of fire pulled through my insides. It felt like I was on fire, it felt like the fire was eating away at my insides, slowly, burning until there was nothing left. I couldn’t remember anything but pain.
There was something wrong with me. But what? I didn’t know how much longer I could- PAIN.
Someone screamed. Was that me? It didn’t even sound human. Maybe I was dreaming about screaming. Dreaming of setting the pain free from my body that couldn’t contain it.
Where was I? Where was Alexander? I needed him… I needed him more that I’d ever needed anything before in my entire life. Where was he? He was far away, with his brothers, I only had Cherise and my friends with me now… Where was Cherise? I couldn’t -
A real scream ripped loose from my vocal cords and it felt good to let some of the pain out that way. There was only darkness, I had a feeling that opening my eyes would only bring more pain so I kept them shut.
My hearing was half gone. Were there people around me? I couldn’t tell.
“Alexander.” I tried to say but it came out hoarse and I had trouble hearing myself. There was a presence but I couldn’t tell who it was.
“Alexander.” I tried again and I forced my eyes open but all I could see was one big blur. “Make it stop.” I pleaded, hot tears running down my cheeks, “Please, just make the pain stop.” I struggled to breathe and I took a few ragged breaths, “Kill me if you have to just make it stop.” I coughed up blood and turned on my side. The small movement set my skin of fire, “Make it stop…”
No one replied, there was only silence.
Where was Alexander when I needed him the most?
My throat was dry when I woke but I didn’t care. I could see again, I could hear… sort of… and like a blessing Alexander was sitting next to me on the bed. I tried to reach for him but it proved too difficult a task and I dropped my hand again. This seemed to get his attention because he turned to face me. Had he been… crying?
Shakily I tried out my voice, “Hey.” Well at least the river toads would be proud of me for that one.
Alexander’s eyes widened, “You’re awake? For real?”
“Yeah.” Oh for the love of creaking doors. I tried to clear my throat but the pain was unbearable and I reached for my throat as a wave of nausea overcame me. I was going to hurl. I tried to keep it in and Alexander came to my rescue by producing a bucket and I gladly accepted it. My stomach heaved as blood filled the bucket. There was nothing but blood.
I wiped my mouth and stared into the blood. The pain was still there but it was better. My eyes filled with tears when I looked at Alexander who looked so unbelievably lost, “What’s wrong with me?”
He took the bucket away from me and came closer. He gently placed his chin on my head and pulled me back onto his chest, “Devon.” He hissed, “He poisoned you when he took you.”
So it had come back to bite me in the butt and I couldn’t remember a second of it, “When did you get here?”
Alexander’s eyes flew into confusion, “When did I get here? My love, Cherise brought you home yesterday.”
“She did?” Alexander nodded, “I can’t remember.” Alexander took my hands in his, “Am I going to die?” I asked. The silence was so long I wondered if I’d lost my hearing again, “Alexander?”
His hold on me tightened, “I don’t know what to do.” His voice shook with sadness, “My love you- I can’t… I need you… I don’t want you to leave me…”
So that was it then. I was going to die, “But I’m better now.” I said weakly, “The pain is less unbearable.” Definitely not bearable though.
“Jagger made you a potion to ease the pain. The pain may be gone but the poison is still killing you.”
“Isn’t there an antidote? What did he poison me with?” I questioned, I didn’t want to die. I wanted to live. I wanted to live with Alexander.
“Venom.” He answered, “Vampire venom. There is no cure.” He must have heard my heart rate increase, “Don’t worry, it’s not turning you into a vampire.”
I didn’t have anything to say but ask the obvious question, “How long?”
He hesitated, “Two days.”
I turned around and tried my best to ignore the burning of my skin at the small movement. I placed my hands on either side of his face, “I guess this is goodbye then.” I wanted to kiss him but the fact that I couldn’t even stand being in my own skin made me hesitate and the fact that I was covered in blood made me pull back. “I must stink pretty bad.”
Alexander’s words didn’t falter, “No, you’re just bloody. I don’t want this to be good bye.” He lightly stroked my cheek but I flinched away like he’d slapped me.
My skin was on fire. The pain was getting worse again. Breathing was hard and painful. Death should just come to me faster.
The look on Alexander’s face made me wonder if he was in more pain that I was, “Alexander,” I whispered, my voice, it was fading again. “For what it’s worth, I’m glad I met you.” Hot liquid ran down my cheeks again. I was so pathetic, I -
“I will always love you.” Alexander said and we just stared at one another. Alexander’ s eyes were filled with blood, he had no tears to shed so he cried blood.
And I that moment I knew, here was no doubt in my mind, I loved him.
I loved this demon with my whole heart and my whole soul.
I loved him. I almost felt like laughing at the irony .
I loved Alexander Redmourn.
He was my demon and I was his angel and I loved him.
I reached for his face to brush my hand against his lips but the pain that shot through my heart stopped me short and I curled up in a little whimpering ball.
The burning pain was back and it was worse than ever. I screamed when it felt like my lungs were being torn apart. My vision blurred and my hearing cut out. There was red everywhere. Blood?
Suddenly I felt someone holding me and the pain intensified. I wanted to get away. It was Alexander, he was trying to help but he was only making it worse. I tried to push him away but something was suddenly in my mouth. Liquid. I couldn’t taste anything.
Alexander held me down and I felt him say something against my ear. I couldn’t hear.
What was he saying?
What was he saying?!
“It will make the pain go away.”
So I drank whatever he was offering me without any further question. I just wanted it to stop. All of it.
Alexander let go of me after a while and my stomach felt fuller than it had been in days.
Darkness came for me and I didn’t realise that he’d sent me to hell.
There was no more pain. Was I dead?
Probably, that was the side effect of dying after all.
I opened my eyes. I could see. The world was clear and bright. Was this… the afterlife? Heaven maybe? Why did heaven look like Alexander’s bedroom? Or was this hell? Yeah there was no way Alexander’s bedroom was hell.
I sat up in one movement. Had that always been so easy?
I looked around, this wasn’t the afterlife, this was definitely Alexander’s bedroom. Was I a ghost? When I touched the bedside table and my hand didn’t go right through it I ruled that thought out. So if I was still in Alexander’s bedroom and I wasn’t a ghost that could only mean one thing…
I wasn’t dead. I was alive. I was alive!
I stood up easily and smiled widely, the pain was gone and somehow it felt like moving used less effort than before. It was probably my imagination. Probably just in comparison with how painful it had been to move when I’d been ill. Yeah, definitely.
The sheets where I’d been laying were bloody and my skin was sticky with dried blood. I shivered, I seriously needed to get cleaned up.
Where was Alexander? Why had he left me? I shrugged it off, I would go looking for him after a nice long hot shower.
The water of the shower stayed cold no matter how hot I put it but I didn’t mind. For some reason the cold didn’t really bother me today, I was just glad to be alive. My thoughts drifted as I scrubbed the blood off of my skin and washed my hair. Why was I still alive? Didn’t Alexander say there wasn’t a cure for vampire venom? Maybe I was a miracle human.
I smiled gently. Alexander, oh how much I loved him. He’d looked so sad when I was dying, surely now he would be happy and we could be together.
At least I wasn’t a vampire. I actually laughed out loud at the thought. When he’d told me that that there was vampire blood in my system I had been so scared for turning into one of them. No fear, I was alive and healthy, I wasn’t going to become a vampire any time soon, or ever for that matter.
I towel dried my hair and with a few shakes of my head I left it to dry. After I got dressed and inspected myself in the mirror I went looking for Alexander.
The house was quiet but filled with a lot of sounds I’d never heard before. Had the air always passed my ears so loudly when I walked? It was probably because my hearing had been gone for the last couple of days.
I had just made it out the front door when my stomach growled hungrily and I laughed. I suppose it was sick of my own blood and it needed some actual food for a change.
Just then the wind blew past me and brought the most delicious smell with it. My mouth started to water. What was that smell? It smelled so good and yet it didn’t smell like anything I’d ever eaten before.
“Ash?” The voice was hesitant and when I turned to face Zaiden his eyes widened slightly, “Ash, are you alright?”
I grinned, “Haven’t seen you in a while, Zaiden.” My attention was still half on the delicious smell “What are you doing here?”
Zaiden narrowed his eyes at me, “When I heard from Fabian who heard from your friends that you were ill, I decided to come here… I brought that human boy with me since he wouldn’t let me come alone. He wanted to see you and make sure that you’re alright.”
“Hmmm, oh…” I looked around to see if I could find the source of the smell and half-heartedly asked “You mean Rustin?”
“Yeah…” Zaiden said slowly, analysing me, “Listen, Ash, are you alright? How are you feeling?”
“Fine, fine.” I waved him off. Who ever knew the scent of food could be this distracting?! I couldn’t focus on Zaiden but I managed to force my eyes in his direction, “I’m better than ever. I feel fine.”
He didn’t look convinced, “Are you sure? You look a little jumpy.”
“I’m fine.” I repeated myself and looked around, “You wouldn’t happen to know where Alexander is would you?”
“I could go look for him for you.” Zaiden said eagerly, eager to please me, “I think I should… you really don’t look all that-“
I took hold of his arm fondly, “I would appreciate that.” I smiled sweetly and walked away from him to find the origin of such a distracting scent.
I crossed the front lawn quickly as I followed my nose. I abruptly changed direction when the origin changed location and I found myself heading for the back door of the house.
Through the kitchen, down the hall, through the drawing room, up the stairs I went and eventually I came to a stop on the balcony with the lovely view of Alexander’s estate.
The wonderful view was of course long forgotten when I found the source of the delicious smell. There, right in front of me on the balcony looking out over the land, stood Rustin. He really was here just as Zaiden had said.
My mouth was suddenly so dry and my hands started shaking.
Cold shivers erupted over my skin but it felt like my whole body was on fire as I neared him. My breathing was heavy and although I was a few meters away from him I could taste him in the air. I slowly walked closer, half crouched over in a predatory manner. I wanted nothing more than to rip his throat out.
I needed his blood to flow through my fingers and down my throat. I needed it. He smelled so unbelievably divine. Had he always smelled like this? Why hadn’t I noticed it before?
Suddenly Rustin turned around to face me and a kind and grateful smile broke out across his face, “Ash,” he said like he was about to cry from happiness, “I’m so glad you’re better.” His expression changed when he saw how I was standing and how I was watching him, “Ash?” his voice shook in fear and it set my blood alight.
My eyes burned in anticipation and my teeth suddenly became sharper. I hissed at him and smiled evilly. Oh I could just feel my fangs sinking into his neck already!
Rustin took a step backwards in fear and his voice trembled, “Ash…” He held up his hands in defence “Ash what did they do to you?” His eyes widened, “Don’t tell me- are you-“
He was abruptly cut off when I was suddenly holding him at his neck and lifted him into the sky.
Rustin clawed at my hands, desperate for an escape. “Ash. No. You. Can’t. Please.” He gasped out pathetically and I laughed.
I was feeling so alive, my whole body was buzzing, “Hello Rustin.” I sang happily and I sank my teeth into the spot between his shoulder and neck. A terrified scream came from his mouth and I gripped him tighter and placed a hand over his mouth.
Blood flowed down my throat and soothed the burning hunger I’d been feeling. His blood was filled with life and I absolutely loved the taste of it.
I wanted more.
I retracted my fangs from him and gave him a bloody grin before I bit into his soft, fleshy neck and tore it to pieces.
When his heart stopped beating some of my excitement died down and I dropped him to the ground grouchily. He should have lasted longer than that.
I looked down and saw his dead eyes, wide in terror and suddenly it was like I was waking from a bad dream.
Oh, no, what had I done?
I fell down on my knees next to his lifeless body, staring at the spot where his neck used to be. I couldn’t even check for a pulse. My whole body was shaking as I look at him and I screamed, “Rustin! Rustin! No! I’m so sorry, I don’t know what came over me! No! Please don’t be dead!” I took hold of the collar of his shirt and shook him, “Rustin!”
I must have shaken him harder than I thought because whatever had been holding his head to his shoulders snapped and his head dropped and rolled away from his body.
Rustin’s blood pooled around me and I just stayed there. Unmoving. Staring at his dead body.
What had I done? I’d killed him! His blood was everywhere, in my mouth on my hands and clothes.
I’d killed him.
I’d killed him.
A sob suddenly escaped my mouth and my whole body shook violently as I cried. When I wiped the tears away I wiped away blood and I looked at my hands disbelievingly. I was crying blood. I was crying Rustin’s blood because I had devoured him. I cried blood just like Alexander did.
Was I a vampire?
No. There was no way. Alexander wouldn’t have-
Footsteps came running up the stairs so fast I knew it wasn’t a human and then Alexander was standing in front of me. He stiffened when he was me sitting in Rustin’s blood and his eyes hardened when he saw my dead friend. “Ashira.” He said cautiously.
I didn’t move. He turned me into a vampire.
Alexander slowly approached me, like he was afraid of what I’d do “Ashira, everything is alright.”
I stared at him. Alexander had turned me into a vampire.
“I need you to come with me.” He said gently, still slowly approaching.
Alexander turned me into a vampire and I drank Rustin’s blood. I tore out his neck and I killed him. I killed Rustin, I killed my friend, I-
“Ashira.” Alexander put a hand on my shoulder and I slapped it off at lightning speed.
“Don’t touch me!” I screamed at him, “Get away from me!”
Alexander took a step backwards, “Ashira I-“
“Go away!” I screamed with more bloody tears running down my cheeks, “You turned me into a vampire! How could you! I thought you understood! I thought you…” I dropped my face into my hands as I continued to cry.
“My love-” He reached for me again.
Fury grabbed hold of my heart and I glared at him, making him edge back again, “I hate you.” I hissed lowly.
He looked like he hadn’t heard me and his movement towards me ceased, then he disbelievingly asked, “What?”
“I hate you!” I screamed at him through my bloody tears and it looked like I had ripped his heart out of his chest.