He nodded as his hand cupped my cheek, holding my face to look at him before looking deep into my eyes. “Yes, I am a vampire Emma. Now, please do not look away.”
The tenor of his voice was low and dropped to a soothing octave as I held his gaze. His eyes turned steel grey and I gasped at the change. He held tight to steady me. “You stayed with the soldier in this room until he died. You directed an orderly to remove him and place him with the other dead. You will leave this room and continue back into your life.”
Tension filled my body and I yanked out of his grasp, breaking away from him. “How could I lie and then just go back to normal like nothing happened? You just told me you were a vampire, which I’m not sure is even possible. But you’re walking around like nothing ever happened to you, so I guess it could be. What the hell is going on?”
I paced and threw my hands up in frustration. Xander’s jaw dropped but he quickly regained his composure, coming back to hold my shoulders.
His voice dropped low once more and I felt him trying to search my eyes. “You will forget everything I have said. You will tell them I’ve died and move on.”
I felt anger rising in me and I reached to remove his hands, but they stayed firm on my shoulders this time.
I glared at him and straightened myself to my full 5′7" height. “I don’t know what you’re trying to do, but I can’t just forget something like that. You can’t make me do anything.”
Xander’s body became rigid and his grasp on my shoulders began to make them ache.
I let out a yelp of pain and he pulled his hands back as if I were on fire. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. Are you ok?”
I nodded and reached to my shoulders to massage where he’d held them.
He now began to pace and muttered to himself. “What the hell? It’s never failed. How is this not working right now?”
He looked up to me fierce and questioning. I blinked and he was right in front of me before I could see him move. My heart stopped as I reflexively jumped back against the wall. My eyes tried to adjust to his closeness so quickly. I let out a gasp but looked defiantly into his eyes. I refused to cower away from him.
He growled, “How are you not able to be compelled? I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
“I don’t know what you’re trying to do, but if you’re going to hurt me, just get it over with.” I spat at him in anger as my stomach knotted.
His face changed to one of decision and he nodded. “I can assure you, I’m not going to hurt you.”
His breathing slowed in an effort to calm himself, and I felt mine do the same, trying to match his breath. It took everything I had in me not to tremble and slip down the wall in fear. Instead I focused on slowing my fast pacing pulse.
He leaned forward, nearly hovering over me now. “My God you smell amazing. What is that scent?”
I let out a tight laugh at the ridiculous timing of his question. “You want to know what perfume I’m wearing? Now? Are you kidding me?”
He remained inches from me, breathing me in and I felt a shiver run down my spine at his closeness.
He nearly growled into my ear, demanding lowly. “What is it?”
I answered through clenched teeth, my hands gripping hard against the wall. “I’m not wearing any.”
He pulled back, looking confused but shook his head. “Well, you’ll have to come with me for now. I’ll explain later, but right now we have to go.”
My eyes shot up to meet his. He was serious. “Why would I go with a man who says he’s a vampire and clearly has no sense of personal space?”
He smirked and took an exaggerated step back. “Because you don’t have a choice. If I can’t compel you to forget me, I will just have to take you with me until we figure out what to do with you.”
I spoke firmly, trying to control the shaking in my voice. “I’m not going with you. I don’t even know you.”
Xander smirked at me and reached out his hand. “You can either walk out with me, or I can take you. But either way, you’re coming with me.”
I squared myself to look at him, only coming to just under his chin. Letting out a sigh of surrender, I finally took his hand. He pulled me tight into his arms and in a flash we were out of the room and through the back door. I had to hold tight against him to keep myself from swaying, unsteady on my feet. I felt dizzy.
Kit waited impatiently beside the door and jumped up when we materialized next to him. “Where the hell have you been man? We have to go...why is she still with you?”
Xander gritted his teeth as he held me tight against his firm body. Every muscle felt rigid. “She couldn’t be compelled. I didn’t have a choice.”
Kit’s jaw dropped in similar response and stepped closer to me. I tensed in Xander’s arms and he gently turned me to face Kit.
In a strained voice, I responded shakily. “You people really need to learn personal boundaries.”
Kit chuckled and pulled my chin up, forcing my eyes to meet his. His voice dropped to the same soothing tenor I’d heard Xander’s do, but I held his gaze. “You will leave us and walk back inside, forgetting you ever saw us.”
He stepped back and waited, but I did not move to leave. His eyebrows shot up and he let out a scoff. “What the hell? Have you ever seen this?”
Xander spoke lowly through gritted teeth, clenching his jaw in thought. “No. Never. I don’t know why it’s not working on her. But I couldn’t leave her knowing what she knew. I didn’t have a choice but to bring her or kill her.”
Kit turned sharply to face Alexander, eyeing him. “What does she know?”
He spoke tightly, visibly steeling himself against Kit’s response. “I told her I was a vampire, and I’m sure by now she knows you are the same.”
Kit’s hands flew up and he paced in front of us, growling. “Why the hell would you tell her that? What is wrong with you Xander?”
Xander’s stance became rigid at the questioning of his decision and he exuded authority towards his companion. “I didn’t know she couldn’t be compelled to forget when I told her. It was my mistake. She will be my responsibility. But nothing will happen to her until I decide it so.”
Kit paced and stopped just in front of me, eyeing me suspiciously before throwing his hands up in surrender. “Whatever. Let’s go then. This whole damn city is falling down. We’ve got to get out of here.”
Xander nodded and pulled me tight against him once more. He leaned down and spoke, softer now, his warm breath tickling against my ear. A shiver ran down my spine, and he clenched harder in response. “We’re going to have to run like we just did for a little while so we aren’t seen. Will you be ok?”
I nodded absently and snaked my arms tightly around his lean waist. Just as I squeezed my eyes closed, we were gone. I didn’t dare open them, but I felt the nauseating speed as if I was flying through the city at the speed of light. I held tighter against Xander and felt myself fading, hearing the city fall into silence behind me. Darkness came over me and I let it willingly.
*A/N: Short chapter but we’re building the plot here! They will grow as we continue further into the story! Enjoy!