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Chapter 10

I looked at Mom and swallowed hard before saying, “OK. We’ll talk to them tomorrow morning.”

Mom gave me a hug and I wrapped my arms around her and squeezed her back. I loved her so much in that moment. I also realized that she was braver than me.

“Let’s eat then go to bed,” she said.

We sat at the table but barely ate anything. Both of us pushed our food around on our plates. Mom looked deep in thought, and I had lost my appetite. After some time, we got up and cleaned the table.

“Alexia, go to bed. You should rest.”

I put the dishes in the sink and kissed her cheek before leaving. “You too, Mom! You must be tired.”

“Good night.”

In my room, I closed the door behind me. I walked over to the window and opened my curtains. I glanced outside, where it was completely dark. I couldn’t see anything, but I felt like someone was watching me. I fought back a shiver and looked more closely, but there was nothing to see.

I quickly closed the curtains and went to bed. I brought the covers up to my neck and closed my eyes. It was a long time before I fell asleep, but even in my sleep I couldn’t run away from the red eyes and fangs.

I woke up to someone knocking at my door. I tried to tune it out, but it became persistent. Opening my eyes, I glanced at the clock on my wall. It was 10:30 a.m. I got out of bed and opened the door quickly.

I was surprised to see Xavier standing there, looking haggard.

“Xavier, what’s wrong?”

He shook his head tiredly. “Can you come downstairs?”

I looked at him for a second, trying to understand what was happening. “Yeah, just give me a minute.”

When I got downstairs, I found mom, Mrs. Colleway, Xavier, and even Aric sitting in the living room.

“Aric, what are you doing out of bed?”

“Sis, I can’t stay in bed forever. I do feel better, and we have more important issues to talk about right now.”

I looked at everyone curiously and sat down beside Aric. “What is it?”

“Alexia, another man was attacked last night,” Xavier started, but before he could continue, I jumped in, alarmed. “What? How?”

“Just listen, he’s still unconscious. I found out about it when I went to visit William this morning. William is awake now, and he told us what happened.”

I looked at him expectedly, but he didn’t say anything. “Xavier, go on. What did he say?” He sighed and rubbed his forehead. He looked completely distressed.

“Alexia, William said that a teenage boy attacked him. He looked around fourteen or fifteen years old, but William couldn’t see his face properly.”

I looked at Xavier, shocked. I didn’t have anything to say but now I understood why they were sitting in my living room looking scared.

“You guys think it’s the baby? Well, it’s not a baby anymore,” I said in a quiet voice. My heart was racing and I was finding it really hard to breathe. How was this possible? Everything was happening too fast.

“We’re not positive, of course, but we suspect it could be it,” Aric answered beside me.

“The baby was growing in Aric’s arms, and it has been six days since then. It could possibly be the baby, and now it’s all grown,” Xavier added.

I put my head in my hands and whispered, “This is messed up.”

Aric put his hand on my shoulder and I looked up at him, “It’s OK. We’ll figure out what to do.”

I turned around and looked at Mom and Mrs. Colleway, who had been silent since I’d come down.

“All right, it’s not time to panic. We need to figure out what to do,” I said, standing up.

Before anyone could say anything, I walked over to Mom and Mrs. Colleway. I took Mom’s hands in mine and gave her a slight smile. “Let us handle this, OK?”

Mom tried to say something, but Xavier stood behind me and interrupted in a soft voice, “Alexia is right. Let us handle this. Just stay inside and be safe. Don’t open the door for anyone. Close the windows and keep the phone with you.”

“We barely have any signal. Since the bad storms a few weeks ago, the phone signal has been really bad,” Mrs. Colleway said quietly.

“I know but just in case, keep it with you.”

When both Mom and Mrs. Colleway nodded reluctantly, we made sure all the doors and windows were closed.

“Let me get dressed, and we’ll leave,” I said before dashing up to my room.

I threw on a pair of plain jeans and a long-sleeved black shirt. I tied my hair in a ponytail and put on my sneakers. I went down quickly and found Xavier and Aric talking quietly in the corner.

“Aric, are you coming with us?”

Aric shook his head. “I’m going to stay with here with Mom and Mrs. Colleway. After all I’m still a little weak, and I’ll just end up slowing you guys down.”

I nodded and went over to hug him. Aric slapped Xavier’s back and said to him in a menacing tone, “Keep my sister safe.”

I rolled my eyes at him and dragged Xavier out while Aric closed the door behind us.

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