The car rolls twice and we land on the roof.
“Adrian,” I groan, looking to the hunter by my side to find that he is unconscious.
My head pounds as I look to where the windshield once was. My heart leaps into my throat as I see tall figures, stalking towards the car, I see their red eyes and my heart races in fear, they are all vampires, we are being surrounded by vampires.
My heart races as I take off my seatbelt and fall to the roof, my hands cut on the glass but I don’t care, I look to Adrian and then take off his seatbelt too. He drops and I groan as I try to catch him, but all I do is slow his fall. I can hear the vampires getting closer, I have to get out of here but I can’t leave Adrian behind.
I kick the driver side door and it falls off completely, I groan and drag both me and Adrian out of the wreck as best as I can.
I hear the vampires laughing, and when I look up I see them standing over Adrian and me.
“Thana wants you back,” one says, my eyes widen as Amal strides forward, he pushes a vampire out of his way and then he kneels in front of me.
“Please, no,” I whimper, Amal smirks at me and then turns his gaze to Adrian, who still lays unconscious, only halfway out of the car.
“She wants this one dead,” he continues, his voice sends a shiver of panic and fear down my spine, “it would give me great pleasure to rip his throat out. I dream of nothing more.”
“Let one of us do it,” one of the other vampires pleads, “we are so hungry and we can smell so much blood.”
Amal takes a deep breath and then he goes still, he turns to me and his eyes are coloured red in blood lust.
“You’re bleeding,” he exhales.
I look to my cut up palms and then clench them tightly.
“She smells good,” one of the vampires hisses.
“Don’t even think about it!” Amal roars, he turns to the vampire who spoke and the monster flinches away from Amal.
Amal looks back to me and then grabs me by the wrist, he pulls me to my feet and then starts to drag me away.
“No!” I scream as the other vampires start to move in closer to Adrian.
“Step away from the hunter,” a deep voice growls.
Amal stops and turns quickly, making me turn with him. I look and standing on top of the car is Alec.
“Ren,” Amal snarks, “or is it Zakai?”
“Let her go Amal,” Ren snarls, he squats down on the car and then looks to the other vampires.
“Tell me, how many names do you have?” Amal sneers, mocking Alec, “Why do you change your name so many times? What is it you’re ashamed of? How is it that I know so many of your names, and yet you fooled me into thinking you were someone else, that you were Zakai?”
“Let. Them. Go.” Alec snarls, “You know who my sire is, do not tempt his wrath, let her go.”
Amal stills, he looks to me and then he looks back to the vampire on the car. The other vampires look to each other in confusion.
Ren or Alec or whatever his name is, holds Amal’s stare, his eyes turn deep red and Amal’s grip loosens on me.
“What business does he have with her?” Amal asks, still not fully releasing me.
“What business do you have questioning him?!” Ren roars, he leaps off the car and then strides over to Amal and me.
Ren seems bigger, more terrifying than when he was sneaking into my hospital room when he was Alec or even when he was at Thana’s club as Zakai.
Ren is terrifying, Ren is monstrous, I can feel his power, his authority over the other vampires.
“By order of the king, let her go.” He snarls, his voice is softer yet it still holds the raw power.
“The king?” the others echo, immediately they begin to flee, fearing this king.
My eyes flick to Adrian as Amal’s hand releases me, I run to him as he groans in pain, he’s waking up.
“I can’t let you have her,” I hear Amal snarl, I turn around to see Amal launch himself at Ren, the two vampires begin to fight, blood spills and their snarling fills me with fear.
“Stop,” my voice rasps as my chest fills with raw power, “STOP!” I scream the word loudly and the vampires stop, the two vampires are pushed apart by some unknown, invisible force.
Ren regains his footing quickly but Amal stumbles and falls to the ground. I fix my glare on him, I turn all my hatred towards Amal, he hurt me; he is cruel and wicked and just as evil as Thana.
Far off I can hear someone calling my name, over and over again they scream it, but I’m not listening, all I can focus on is Amal, on my hatred for him.
I watch as Amal starts to scream and writhe in pain.
I keep my glare on him as his fangs become exposed, then all noise falls on deaf ears, I can no longer hear the person calling my name, I can no longer hear Amal’s screams. I watch as he rolls around on the asphalt, mouth gaping in pain.
Then Amal’s chest splits itself open, like hands are pulling him apart. He suffers, his suffering makes me smile, he continues to suffer until his body explodes, like a soft tomato being squashed underfoot, he explodes and it fills me with such satisfaction.
My body becomes numb and I fall to the asphalt, I don’t feel the asphalt bite my skin or cut my face.
I lay still on the hard asphalt until someone kneels beside me and places their hands on my back.
“Rowy,” the person speaks softly, I look over my shoulder and see Ren (or whatever his name is), he looks at me with a soft expression.
“Alec,” his name rolls off my tongue as I roll onto my back to look at him better.
“Hi, sweetie,” he smiles, he brushes a strand out of my hair off my face. I reach up and touch his face it’s smooth and soft.
“Did I kill him?” I ask, I look to the mush that used to be Amal’s body.
“Yeah,” Alec replies, “But you need to forget that you did.”
And then I wake up.
My heart races as I look around, I am in the hospital. I can hear the machines whirring, some beep with a shrill cry of urgency that demand attention.
I slowly sit up in the stiff bed, my heart racing, I can smell death, there is a person in the bed to my right, and another in the bed to my left. Both are sleeping, both are alive.
But I can smell death, who is dead?
As I look around again words echo in my mind.
‘The car was attacked, vampires tried to take you,’ the voice tells me, ‘Adrian stopped them.’
I take a deep breath and then get out of the bed, there are no tubes in my arm, just monitors on my heart. I take them off and as the machine starts to frantically beep, I walk out of the room, I have to find Adrian.
I stalk down the halls of the hospital slowly, something isn’t right, I can’t remember what happened or how I got here, but I feel no pain in my body that suggests that we were in an accident.
Up ahead I see a crowd of people, I recognise one, before I can remember his name my mind blurs for a moment and then clears, my eyes widen in horror, I know this feeling well.
“I’ve been compelled,” I whisper to myself. The man I recognise, John, he looks to me.
“What are you doing out of bed?” he gapes, he rushes over to me and now I have the attention of the entire group, they’re all hunters.
“Where’s Adrian?” I ask, ignoring John’s question, “What happened?”
“Vampires attacked the car,” John says, lowering his voice, “Adrian fought them off and got hurt.”
“How hurt?” I ask, John avoids my eyes, “How hurt?”
“Bad,” John finally says.
John leads me to the group of people, all of which have turned their attention to a window. The window looks into a room and in the room is Adrian, laying on a bed with tubes going down his throat, a cast on his leg, and wires attached to his chest.
It turns out that the hunter’s society has monitors in their cars that register when a car has been in an accident, when the hunters arrived they saw a vampire and Adrian. The vampire held Adrian by the neck, and he tried to fight him off, the vampire threw him away and Adrian hit the car, breaking his leg and putting him into a coma.
The vampire disappeared before any of the hunters could kill him.
“When he comes out of his coma, we will be taking him back to Romania,” a woman says, she looks familiar to me but I cannot figure where I’ve seen her before. The woman looks to me briefly then looks to John.
“Take her home.” She says, her voice is sharp like a knife, “She’s healthy enough to stand, she doesn’t need to be draining our resources by staying here.”
I look at the woman and she refuses to look at me again.
John places a hand on my shoulder and then steers me out of the hospital.
“Pay no attention to her,” John says as he escorts me out to the parking lot.
“Is Adrian going to be okay?” I ask as John opens the car door for me.
“I’m sure he’s going to be fine,” John smiles, he closes the door for me and then takes me home where Max is anxiously waiting.
I shower in scalding water while trying to remember what happened after Adrian and I left the movies.
But I can’t remember, every time I try all I get is a jumble of memories and screaming. I pinch the bridge of my nose and then turn the water off. I step out of the shower and then stare at myself in the mirror, when I look at my body my heart almost falls out of my chest. My skin is smooth, all but one of my scars have vanished. My lips are full and smooth, no longer cracked and chapped from constantly chewing on them. My nails are also healed from where I chewed them down too far.
“Vampire blood,” the words escape my lips in a hushed whisper as my heart thuds in my ears.
There is no other explanation, I’ve ingested vampire blood straight from the source, and a lot of it too. But not enough to get rid of one of my oldest scars, the first bite, Rakin’s bite.
I take a blade out of a razor sitting on the bench and then slice my finger, my blood oozes out and I watch as a single drop drips off of my finger. A second later the wound is closed and healed.
Something is wrong, nothing is making sense, but why am I not more worried about it?