I was walking down the same road Titan had picked Samara and I up on. It was wintertime but I felt warm walking along the road in a tank top and a pair of shorts. The wind was howling, blowing a cold breeze across my face. Snowflakes began falling as I continued to walk along the frozen road. Did it even snow in Texas?
Darkness crawled around me making me panic. The sun was slowly sinking behind the trees. I wasn't afraid but I began to walk faster. I wanted to get to my destination before it was too late. In my heart I felt something bad was going to happen. I heard a wounded growl and even though I can tell it's far away. I hear it like it was happening right beside me.
I launched into a run.
It started. I don't know exactly what “it” was but it started. I know if I don't hurry I'll be too late to stop them. Again, I had no clue who "them" is but I had to stop them. I jump over the fence that followed along the road. I've never felt so helpless in my life. My hair whipped around my face in wild black curls as I ran. It's long, almost reaching my waist. Which is weird because I would never let it grow out that long. It would be too much of a hassle to take care of.
I was running so fast that everything around me was a blur. It's strange. I'm sure no one can run this fast. I barely notice the trees as I fly past them straining my ears to hear something, anything that can give me some kind of idea where I am going. I'm not sure if I going the right way. I listen carefully making sure I don't miss anything. Then I hear it again, a low growl, but I soon realize it's coming from me.
My heart sinks when I come to clearing in between the trees. I skid to a halt when I see three people with torches in their hands, circling another person on his knees. He appears to be badly beaten. An older man comes forward holding a sword of some kind. He lifts the weapon high above his head.
Tears fall down my face. I run forward but I know I'll never make it in time.
"Dad!" I scream, closing my eyes.
I sat up in bed, gasping. I touched my cheeks with the back of my hand. They were wet. I laid back in the bed and rubbed my hands over my eyes. That was the second time I had that dream but last time I hadn't been able to tell who anyone was. I was surprise to have dreamt that that man in the circle was my father since I had no clue what my father looked like. My mother didn't have a picture of him. She had nothing that belonged to him. It was like he never existed. I didn't resemble my mother much so I guessed that I looked like my father.
I glanced at the bright green numbers on the digital clock beside the bed. According to the clock I'd only had slept for two hours. I sighed turning to my side. It was going to be a long night if I continue to wake up like this.
I closed my eyes and smiled, thinking about what had happen earlier. Cristinah had made us watch another movie after Hairspray. We were half way through the second movie when we realized she had fallen asleep. I didn't even know what the second movie was about. I hadn't even been able to pay attention to Hairspray either. I was too busy watching Titan from the corner of my eyes. It seemed like every time I reached for popcorn his hand was there too. I apologized the first fifty times but I stopped as soon as I realized he was doing it on purpose.
He gave me a lop-sided grin when he saw that I had finally figured it out. After that he would lean in about every two minutes asking me what was happening. I doubt Hairspray was too complicated for him to follow but still I explained each time. Thank goodness I knew the movie inside and out or he would have figured out that I hadn't been paying the slightest attention to it. I liked talking to him. It was easy to feel comfortable around him. Samara kicked me twice. I guess to remind me that I was flirting with our kidnapper again. I turned to glare at her each time but she would just glared back.
Titan turned off everything and put Cristinah under her blankets before showing Samara and I to our rooms for the night. Samara insisted we share a room. She didn't want us to be separated. Titan tried to convince her that everything would be okay by telling her that my room would be the one right next to hers. She began to protest when Titan spoke again and she stopped midsentence. I noticed that once again his eyes held a hint of gold.
Titan opened the door for Samara and whispered something in her ear. Samara just nodded and closed the door behind her, leaving me alone with Titan in the empty hallway. I bit my lip waiting for him to direct me to the room I would sleep in for the night. I had no clue what was going on with me. I knew how to talk to guys. I was never shy around them but with him I couldn't even look at his face without flushing bright red like a tomato.
"Come on." He had told me, gesturing with his left hand. "Your room is the next one down."
I nodded following him.
"What did you tell Samara?" I blurted out.
"What I'm about to tell you." He opened the door to the room and turned on the lights. It was beautiful. Very old fashion. I loved old fashion things. There was a big bed in the middle of the room with a canopy, holding soft curtains that surrounded the bed. The walls reminded me of a forest. Someone had painted a giant tree on the wall next to the bed. There was also a wooden trunk at the end of the bed. It looked really old. Like it was probably an antique. I turned around slowly drinking in the room.
"Wow." I whispered, hypothesized by the beauty of it.
"I'm glad you like it." He whispered.
I jumped, not realizing he was standing so close next to me.
"Sorry." he grinned. "I didn't mean to scare you."
"You didn't scare me."
"Right." He smiled. His eyes were dancing with laughter.
"I wasn't scared. You just surprised me." I argued.
"Okay. Okay. I believe you." He said as he lifted his hands as if surrendering.
"Ah." I grinned. "A guy who knows when to give up. I like that."
He shrugged, grinning. "I only fight battles I can win."
I bit my lip stopping my laughter. "So what did you tell Samara?"
"I told her that if someone knocked on her door tonight. To please wait until the second knock to answer."
"Just wait, okay? It'll probably just be Cristinah."
"Okay. I'll wait until a second knock before I answer."
"Good." He looked relieved. "Well I'll leave you alone so you can... rest." He grabbed my hand and lifted it up to his lips. "Goodnight." He said, planting a light kiss on my knuckles.
I blushed. "Goodnight." No one had ever kissed my hand before. I almost passed out from the excitement of it. But I hadn’t let myself go limp on the bed until he left the room. I had fallen asleep soon after that but kept waking up about every two hours or so.
I sat up in the bed. My throat felt dry. I was thirsty and beyond hungry. I hadn't eaten since around lunchtime and the popcorn earlier had done nothing for me. I kicked the covers off of me and let my feet touch the cool wooden floor. I stood up wrapping my arms around myself. The air in the room made me shiver. I hadn't realized how chilly the room had become.
I crept into hall trying not to make too much noise. My plan was to find the kitchen and raid the refrigerator for food then go wake Samara up because I was sure she was just as hungry as me. I was positive they wouldn't mind if I found us something to eat.
I waited in the hall trying to remember which way the stairs were. I decided to go left. Which was weird because I was a right person. If I ever had to guess at something whether it was guessing which hand something was in or which side to stand next to someone. I always picked right. But twice today I had decided to go left.
The hallway seemed to be colder than the room. I rubbed my arms hoping the friction would provide me with some heat. I tip-toed but still the floor creaked under my weight. I hope no one was below on the first floor. I didn't want to be seen by anyone. Well maybe Titan. I wanted to see his face, hear his voice. He had a nice voice. It made me melt.
Maybe he had changed into his pjs or at least taken off his shirt, so I could see his chest. I stopped myself before the giggle could slip through my lips. Something was seriously wrong with me. Here I was thinking about a guy's chest and I had almost giggled. I grimaced. I didn't giggle. I laughed. I whooped. I chortle but I did not giggle. Giggling was for girly girls. I wasn't a girly girl. I was tough. I reminded myself. I could eat raw meat for breakfast if I wanted to. I did not giggle.
I turned the corner. I vaguely remember turning a corner earlier when I was being dragged by Cristinah. I must have been going right way. I mentally patted myself on the back when I saw the stairs. Weird, I thought. I hadn't noticed the other staircase earlier when Cristinah had pulled us along. I was so tempted to follow the stairs up to the third floor. I'd never seen a house this big before. I wondered if I should go up and explore the third floor or go downstairs and try finding the kitchen. I wanted to go up so bad. The house was openly begging me to explore it. I could see soft lights burning on the floor above. They drifted down the stairs quietly. The shadows played on the walls. My feet inched towards the steps leading to the floor above.
But my stomach chose that moment to growl and I decided food first, explore later. I walked quietly down the steps and was surprised to find myself in the darkened kitchen. I frowned. I guessed those weren't the stairs we had taken earlier. But still I couldn't complain. I had found the kitchen on my first try. Luck was on my side. I shivered again when my feet touched the cold floor. It didn't seem to be made of wood.
I danced around the stainless steel island occupying the center of the kitchen on my way to the refrigerator. My stomach reminded me again that I was hungry. I sighed, patting it. "I know. I know." I whispered. “You’ll have food soon enough.”
I opened the frig door and gasped in pleasure. They had enough food in it to feed an entire army. They must have just gone grocery shopping. Living in a dorm, I hadn’t seen this much food in a while. Most of the time Samara and I were too lazy to go stock our mini frig. We lived off of ramen and leftover pizza most days.
I decided to go for the easiest choice. Which was sandwiches. I found the luncheon meat and cheese placing it on the top of the island behind me. I left the frig door open to use as a light. I glanced around the laminated kitchen searching for some bread. The kitchen was pretty high tech. It didn't seem to match the rest of the house. I finally saw the bread next to the stove. I quickly went to retrieve it.
I brought the bread back to the island and opened it, taking out four slices. I went back into the opened refrigerator and took out the mayonnaise sitting on the top shelf. I turned around dancing to the music that was playing in my head. It was mixture of Shania Twain's Man! Feel Like A Woman and Taylor Swift's Picture To Burn. I had recently gotten into country music much to Samara’s displeasure.
My mouth open to hum when a low groan flooded into the kitchen. I jumped unprepared for it. I shut my mouth and stilled, listening. I heard it again but this time it was quieter like a hand had muffled it. I put the mayonnaise down slowly, pushing myself away from the island as slowly as possible. I didn't want to make a sound. I closed the frig door, cutting off the only light I had. The room quickly filled with darkness. I waited and again a voice crept into the darken kitchen this time it sounded feminine.
I knew I should have gone upstairs. That was what my body was telling--actually demanding me to do but of course my mind wouldn't listen. It needed to investigate. I crossed the room quietly, reaching the entryway of the kitchen just in time to hear another male whisper. I strained my ears to catch the words but I missed them.
I stepped out on the carpet covering the middle of the wooden floor. I rubbed my feet a couple of times against the carpet, warming them. It felt good to warm my feet after the frozen marble floor in the kitchen. As I rubbed my feet some more, soft laughter interrupted me and I remembered what had made me leave the kitchen. I followed the sound ignoring my body's protest to run away. After only a couple of steps, I reached the room containing the voices. I inched closer trying to see who it was. I was hoping it was Titan and Cristinah. I prayed it wasn't Kyros. I didn't want him to break me in half. He probably wouldn't like the fact that I was sneaking around his house.
As I moved closer I could finally see the two people in the moonlight coming from the window behind them. Thankfully it wasn't Kyros. But it also wasn't Titan or Cristinah. I practically gasped when I saw what they were doing. It took my mind a second longer than my body to process what was happening. I could feel my face heating from the blush. I closed my eyes praying they didn't hear me. After a few seconds I opened them again to make sure they weren't staring at me.
They hadn't heard. Thank God. They were too focus on what they were doing. I shut my eyes again but it was too late. I already had the erotic picture in my head. The redheaded girl was on her knees in front of the guy. I hadn't been able to see her face because her head was between his thighs. And his face was captured in the shadows. The guy groaned again and my legs automatically took a step back. But it seemed the floor had decided to act up then by creaking loudly. It was hard trying to sneak around with my eyes closed. I stopped and slowly opened my eyes to make sure I was still undetected.
At that moment I could see his face. His head was tilted back against the couch were the moonlight hit. His wasn't as beautiful as Titan but still he was quite handsome. He looked to be around my age. He had his eyes closed and he was breathing pretty roughly. He placed his hand on her head, as one of hers raced up and down his right thigh. I closed my eyes again and took a couple of quick steps backwards. The floor creaked even louder.
"Did you hear that?" The guy panted out.
I silently threw myself against the wall. Oh man, I thought. I am so busted.
"It's probably one of Cristinah's annoying cats. I think she got a new one. I smelled something new in the house earlier." The girl huskily replied.
I let the air out of my lungs slowly. I began to move away from the wall when I heard the guy yelp. And I could tell the sound wasn't from pleasure. It sounded like he was in pain. I knew I should have left right then, just walked away but I wanted to know why he sounded like he was in pain. My mom always told me I was too nosy for my own good. I peaked my head around the corner. The girl wasn't on her knees any more. She was now sitting on his lap, licking his neck.
His face was a mixture of pleasure and pain. "You should warn me before you bite me. You do it too rough."
She moved her face away from his neck in the direction of the moonlight. She, too, was beautiful. Her beauty was beyond Cristinah's somehow. She smiled and I saw dark drops glistening on her lips. "You had your fun." She licked her lips seductively. "Now it's my turn." Her mouth went back to his neck.
He cringed in pain. "If you keep on being rough. The marks won't heal fast enough and Kyros will see them. You'll get in trouble again."
She lifted her head again. My heart stopped. Blood was running down his neck. It also glossed her lips. She licked them once again and gave him a sultry smile. And even though there was a great distance between us. I could see her perfectly white teeth. My eyes widened when I saw her two pointy white teeth---her fangs covered in blood. "Stop being a baby, Demon."
His bottom lip pulled out into a tiny pout and I realize that maybe he wasn't my age after all. He seemed years younger then. "I'm not being a baby."
"Then let me drink your blood." She placed her lips on his neck again.
I waited for my heart to start up again before I let the word slip into my mind.
But I knew what I saw. It had to be true. I forced my legs to move. I slid against the wall trying my hardest not to make a noise. When I finally reached the kitchen I flew pass the island forgetting the food that sat there. I took the stairs two at a time still trying not to make any noise.
I'm not sure how I made it to the room Samara was sleeping in. Maybe it was luck. Maybe my body remembered how to get there on its own. I just know I got there. I opened the door and rushed in. Samara was sound asleep. I jumped on the bed but she still didn't stir. She could sleep through a hurricane. I shook her once then twice. She finally opened her eyes. She looked at me confused. I could tell that at that moment she couldn't member where she was.
She sat up as soon as she remembered. She almost head butted me. She grabbed my arms and shook me not so gently. "What happened? Did they do something to you?" She demanded as she searched my body for any signs of abuse.
I shook my head not sure how to tell her what I had just seen.
She sighed, laying back down. “Then way did you wake me up?”
"I was hungry so I..."
She interrupted me. "You woke me up because you’re hungry?"
"No. Shut up and listen to me. I was hungry so I decided to go down stairs and find something to eat." I stopped to take a deep breath. Samara didn't say anything. She was waiting for me to continue. "I was in the kitchen making sandwiches for us when I heard voices. I decided to go see who it was and it turned out to be Demon and I'm guessing Elsa."
"So, what? Did they say something rude?"
"No, they were too busy to notice me."
Samara yawned. "What were they doing?"
"They were... um..." I paused too embarrassed to go on. I gave up and decided to point to my lap. "She was...you know." I paused again.
She looked confused. Then her eyes widen when figured it out. She sat up. "Oh! Oh..." She gasped. She leaned into me. "Did you see anything good?"
"No. Her head was in the way the whole time." I replied knowing what she meant.
"Poor Cristinah. Doesn't see have a crush on Demon?"
"Yeah, I know... Wait. Wait, that's not important. She bit him!"
"Yeah, well, some people like it kinky." Samara informed me.
"No. No. Ew. No. She bit him then sucked his blood. They're vampires."
She looked shocked that I had said that. I thought for sure she would have looked at me like I was crazy. "Jayla. You were probably half asleep and..."
“No I wasn't.” I chimed in. “I know what I saw. And I saw that girl suck blood from Demon's neck. She called him a baby because he was complaining.”
"Okay. Okay... You have to be wrong. It's... it's impossible. Vampires don't exist."
"I know... I know it sounds crazy." I said. "But I know what I saw and I wasn't half asleep. I was wide awake."
She seemed scared. "This can’t be happening." She whispered.
"But it is. We have to get out here."
"What? Why?" Samara stammered.
"Why?" I repeated. "Because they're probably saving us for breakfast."
Samara hands went to her throat. "I didn't think of that."
I got up and pulled her with me. "Come on. We have to go."
"Shouldn't we change?" she asked.
"We don't have the time. We have to get out of here as soon as possible."
"Where are we going? My car isn't working, remember?"
"Yeah, I remember but I think we would be safer at the car. He said that wasn't part of his family property. And he was in a rush to get out of there earlier."
"I guess. But it's a long walk. What if they catch us?"
"We're going to have to walk fast."
"How are we going to get out of the house?" Samara asked.
"Out the back door in the kitchen." I walked to door and opened it quietly. When I didn't see or hear anything. I motion for Samara to follow me. I put my finger to my lips warning her to be quiet. The walk down the hall seemed to take forever because we were trying our hardest not to make a sound.
We reached the stairs and Samara went in front of me. I checked the hallway one more time before following her down. The coast had been clear so far. We watched our backs until we were out of the house. But even then we couldn't relax. The door had squeaked when Samara had opened it, she had somehow taken the lead in our escape, but I couldn't tell if it was actually loud or loud because we were trying our best not to make a sound.
Outside it had stopped raining but the smell of the rain still lingered in the air. Darkness surrounded us because the moon was covered by a thick cloud. We walked around the house, tripping in the darkness. It was difficult seeing anything in front of us. My feet were sinking into the mud. We hadn’t worried about getting our flip-flops. Not that they would have help in the heavy mud. I looked down at Samara feet. They were covered in mud too. It took a while to reach the front of the house. I could see the outline of Titan's truck in the darkness. I grabbed Samara hand and lead her towards the tall sea of grass past Titan's truck.
"Where are you going?"
"We should walk in the grass. If we follow the fence that way." I said, pointing. "We'll reach your car. Plus, if they come looking for us we can hide in this grass. It's super tall." It almost reached my chest.
"Aren't there snakes in there?"
"Probably not." I lied. I shivered. I hated snakes as much as she did. "Anyway, they're probably sleeping."
She rubbed her arms. "It's cold. I though Texas was supposed to be hot?"
"It cools down when it gets dark." I explained. "Come on, the faster we start walking the quicker we get to the car. Where we will be safer." I hope. I added silently.
I started walking but stopped when I realized Samara wasn't following. I turned to face her. She looked like she was thinking. Her eyebrows dropped low on her forehead.
She looked up.
"What are you waiting for?"
She sighed. "I was actually trying to figure out what would be worst." She explained.
I arched an eyebrow.
She continued. "I was wondering which would be less painful. Being bitten by a snake or being bitten by a vampire."
I thought about it, too. "I would rather be bitten by a snake. It wouldn't try to suck all of my blood out of me."
“Yeah, but it could poison you.” She argued. “And what would I tell our moms then?”
"Well, then, I just have to make sure I don't run into a snake. And anyway, I don't plan on being bitten by anything. Not a snake, not a vampire." I started walking again. "Come on. Let's start moving."
Samara sighed, but followed.
We had been walking though the sea of grass for what I'm guessing was about fifteen minutes when we came upon what seemed to be a little forest of sorts. Normally I wouldn't have gone in but we had to get away from Titan's property. Other than the rustle of leaves every few minutes it wasn't too bad. After another ten minutes or so we reached a small river. Well it wasn't so small. It would be impossible to jump over it.
"What are we going to do now?" Samara asked.
"We can't go back. We're going to have to swim across."
"What we can't swim across. We'll get pneumonia."
"It isn't that cold." I insisted.
"Maybe there's a bridge somewhere?"
"We don't have time to look for a bridge. Come on." I said, stepping into the water. It was freezing.
"See. It's freezing. Why don't we..." She looked around. "What happened to the fence?"
"It disappeared about ten minutes ago."
"So we're lost?" She said panicking.
"No. We'll find it. We just have to keep on going straight." I walked farther into the river. "Get in. It gets warmer the farther you go in." A lie but she didn't need to know that. I made it to the other side pretty quickly. The water only went to my shoulders. Samara would have to swim over because of her height. I stood by the riverbank shivering. "Samara get in."
"You can get pneumonia." She called out. "But I don't want to." She sat down on the ground and glared at me.
"Fine. I'll just leave you here." I turned and started walking away. I glance over my shoulder but she was still sitting on the ground. I walked about forty feet away and found a big, old tree and hid behind it. I watched her from behind the trunk. She was still sitting, but she looked a little worried now.
I sighed. Who would break first? Would she get in the water by herself or would I have to go beg her to. I closed my eyes and leaned against the tree. I was going to give her two minutes.
"I can hear you, Jayla." I heard Samara call out. "You're not very good at hiding."
I opened my eyes. What was she talking about? I hadn't moved. I came out from behind the tree. She wasn't even looking in my direction. Her eyes were fixed on the spot to the right of me. She turned her head in my direction and even in the darkness I could see that her eyes had widened. I knew it was impossible. I shouldn't have been able to see her face so clearly. I was twenty feet away and it was dark. But I could see her face. It happened every once and a while. My eyes would adjust to darkness and I could see perfectly in the dark. Like I was a cat or something.
Samara face went pale. "Jayla." I heard her call my name just before I heard leaves rustle behind me. A low growl filled the air. It reminded me of the howl I heard earlier that night just before we got into the truck with Titan. I was too afraid to look back. Samara stood up and started to paddle her way into the river.
"No." I cried out. "Stay on that side."
Samara stopped. I smiled weakly then nodded my head, letting her know she was doing the right thing. I saw her lips move. I don't know how I heard her but her quiet whisper traveled to my ears. "Run. It's about ten feet behind you. You're fast. You can make it. You were always a fast runner."
The howling came again but this time it sounded like a high pitch giggle rather than a howl. I heard leaves moving behind me again. Samara gasped. Tears rimmed her eyes. "There's two now." She explained.
I closed my eyes sending a silent prayer to the Universe. I needed some kind of miracle to survive this. Yes, I was a fast runner but I didn't know if I could out run two wolves. And by the look on Samara face I could tell they weren't normal wolves. But still I couldn't give up. I had to try at least. I opened my eyes. I wasn’t that far from the river. If I could make it into it, I could probably get away from them. I opened my eyes and smiled at Samara again. "I'll be fine." I said too low for her to hear. I took a step towards the river and another growl escaped from one of wolves.
Soon I was running as fast as I could, jumping over a fallen tree trunk, I hadn’t notice earlier. My wet clothes clung to me as I moved. I always laughed and made fun of characters I saw in movies. They always fell while they were being chased. I always said I wouldn't fall but that was before I knew what it felt like to be chased. You're body isn't your own when you're running for your life. It gets all wobbly and it takes twice the effort just to keep going. So tripping is something that would surely happen.
"They stopped moving." Samara yelled. I was so relieved. Only a couple more feet and I would make it into the river. Hope was blooming inside me until I saw the biggest wolf-like creature I had ever seen in life jump out in front of me. I stopped and gaped. A toothy smirk appearance spread across its face. It smelled the air before leaping towards me. I could see the tears on Samara face as I took one last glance at her. She screamed as the wolf sank its teeth into my throat. And as I faded into darkness all I could think was: Dammit! I got bitten.
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