VIVIENNE RAN back into Blake’s arms as she felt the tears flowing down her cheek. He cradled her against his chest as the guards raised their guns again.
“I took it back,” Vivienne told him tearfully as she squeezed her fist around the necklace. “I’ll always fight for you too, Blake.”
“I know,” Blake whispered to her. Blake held fast to her shoulders. “Ssh,” he whispered and eased her around so that her back was to the ocean. Before Vivienne could say another word, her heel slipped. She tumbled backwards off the pier. The water which felt like a bed of ice. She gulped in a mouthful of the salty water that burned her lungs. Vivienne forced her legs to kick, she had to get to the surface. She emerged from the water in time to hear the night erupt in gun shots. The light of the lanterns went out. And then there were screams. There were so many screams, there was a blood bath occurring on land. She couldn’t see any of it from where she was. Vivenne struggled to climb onto the rocks but they were wet and covered with moss. Finally, she turned and swam to the boat. She made two attempts to get on before the oarsman lended her a hand. By the time Vivienne made it onto the boat, she was chilled to be bone. She was trembling uncontrollably all over, from her her toes to her lips. All she wanted to do was to collapse and close her eyes. But she was running on pure adrenaline now. She had to see if he was dead. No matter what was on that pier, she had to see, otherwise she would spend the rest of her life wondering.
She grabbed a spare oar and began to paddle the boat back to the pier. There, she saw a sight that her eyes could barely comprehend. The ground was covered in blood. The gunmen had been ripped to pieces as if by a mob of feral wolves. The only man who was still in tact, barely so, was a lying on the side of the pier, one bloody hand dangling from the edge. The oarsman was helping her now. He was directing the boat closer to the body.
“Blake?” Vivienne asked. There was no answer. The man lying there couldn’t possibly be alive. One of his legs had been ripped cleanly off his body. His suit was in tatters now. Bullet holes riddled his body. That mess of a human body couldn’t possibly be alive. And yet, someone didn’t think so.
Vivienne looked in horror as Allison approached, one flickering lantern in hand. Allison had survived it all unscathed except with the hem of her dress caked three inches thick in the blood of her bodyguards. She was holding a gun in her free hand. She was alone. Vivienne knew that she could have done something, perhaps something heroic, such as wrestle that gun out of Allison’s hand - to save the man she loved. But Vivienne was on the verge of blacking out. She could barely keep her hands wrapped around the oar. She felt numb all over, like her body didn’t belong to her anymore.
There was nothing more that Vivienne was capable of doing. As Allison lifted her gun and pointed it at Blake’s head, Vivienne hoped that Blake was already dead. But when the gun fired, Vivienne saw that Blake was very much alive. He flinched and moved but he barely escaped the trajectory of the bullet. His face was covered in blood, it flowed from his lips. He was choking on it.
“Please!” Vivienne whispered as Allison took aim again. “He’s already dead.”
Allison laughed. “Do you remember what you said to me when we first met?”
Vivienne shook her head. She didn’t care but she did it to buy Blake time. Not that it was going to help him much. Blake gasped for a breath but coughed up a clot of black blood. His arm was still dangling helplessly over the side of the pier. Vivienne wasn’t sure if he could even move it anymore.
“These are the best kind of love story endings,” Allison whispered. “You will go home and he will go back to hell.” Allison pulled the trigger again.
“Blake!” Vivienne screamed and caught his hand. It was then that she felt it, the bond. Her strength passed into him and then before she knew what was happening, she saw Allison through his eyes. She was a blurry smear of white. But Vivienne knew what he had to do. He had to live.
She wasn’t sure if it was her arm or his but she reached out and struck Allison in the knee. There was a ferocious howl that erupted from Allison’s lips and then there was a sound of a body falling into the rocks under the pier.
When Vivenna blinked again, her hand had fallen from Blake’s. He was hanging halfway off the pier now. She didn’t know what she was doing but only that she had to save him, to save one of them. Vivienne wrapped her arms around his chest and pulled him into the boat.
“Hurry,” she whispered to the oarsman as she cradled Blake’s broken body in her arms. As the boat started to pick up speed, Blake stirred in her arms. He moaned softly in pain. Vivienne suddenly knew what she had to do. She pressed her wrist into his mouth and felt his teeth pierce her skin. He lapped up her blood gently, reluctantly, like a kitten learning how to drink milk for the first time.
As Coral City disappeared behind them she wondered if Calbert would miss her. She had found another Anemoi, not just any Anemoi, a boy to whom she had always owed her heart. But as the city faded, she forgot about Calbert Henton. She was going home. And she was bringing Blake Thorne with her.
When Blake finally put her wrist aside and fell asleep in her arms, Vivienne finally smiled to herself.
“You were wrong, Blake Thorne.” She kissed his blood encrusted forehead, “There are some vampires that are worth saving.”
This story continues in Love of my Death
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