It’s nightfall and I’m sitting in the back of the car which Leah is driving with Owen in the passenger seat. I’m seated in the middle back seat with Darrius on one side and Maximus on the other. To say the least I felt a little daunted. They were both massive guys, lean and muscled, and I felt cornered between the two vampires. Especially with Darrius’ constant scowl. He refused to drink any other blood during the day, so he was hungry. In other words...
“Don’t put your hand on her knee,” Darrius snarls at Maximus, who has been mucking around with me the whole car trip, trying to piss Darrius off. Maximus was a trouble maker. That much I had learnt.
“What?” Maximus asks innocently, “This car’s small and her lovely warm leg is the perfect arm rest.” This time Darrius snarls without words, showing his fangs, and Maximus scowls back, fangs also showing. I slouch down in my seat, feeling unexplainably threatened, like either would lean over and start sucking me dry. Of course, only Darrius would be able to, Maximus would die...
“We’re nearly there,” Leah says from the front seat, “Claudia and Johnathan have pulled off their car into the car park outside the meadow. We’re next. Don’t delay the inevitable, fill the bottle up,” I watch as Owen reaches into the glove box of the car and brings forth a glass bottle. He unscrews the lid and hands the bottle and the lid back to Darrius.
I suddenly get a sick feeling in the bottom of my stomach. Darrius grabs the bottle and gives me a wry smile.
“While you were hiding all day in your bedroom after your shower, we came up with a foolproof plan,” Darrius explains.
“What do you mean?” I ask, and I stop breathing as Maximus takes out a knife from his belt of weapons and quickly grabs my wrist, “What the hell?” I yell, trying to jerk my arm out of Maximus’ grip without success.
“Relax, we just need some blood,” Darrius says, scowling, “It’ll only hurt for a bit until I lick your wound clean and then it will heal in seconds.”
“Why do you need my blood? And why did you spring this on me now? You’re such a prick,” I hiss as Darrius all but smiles at me as Maximus positions my unwilling wrist above the bottle. I close my eyes as he makes a small knick on my wrist, a tiny cut. I open my eyes and watch as the blood oozes from my wrist and drips into the bottle. He had hit a vein and was squeezing my wrist, making the blood seep faster. I glare at Maximus and then Darrius, who is staring intently at my blood. I was unbelievably angry at him for not saying anything about this part of the journey.
Why the heck didn’t he warn me? Why spring it on me like this?
The small bottle fills up, it’s only the size of Darrius’ palm, and then Darrius screws the lid on and Maximus passes my arm to Darrius, like I’m a god damn toy, and Darrius bring my wrist up to his lips, licking and kissing the wound clean. It heals and the stinging stops. As soon as he lets me go I lean back against the seat, needing some space. I glare at Maximus and then at Darrius.
“Why?” I ask again. Leah parks the car next to Claudia and John’s and Darrius gets out of the car, waiting for me to follow. It’s almost pitch black outside but my eyes have already adjusted to the dark. I scramble out of the car and stand away from Darrius, crossing my arms over my chest. He throws the bottle of blood to Owen who catches it and pockets it. Leah and Owen head off without saying goodbye and disappear into the trees surrounding the car park.
“Darling,” Darrius says as Maximus comes around to stand with us, a smirk on his face, “We will use it to kill the werewolves if they turn on us. More specifically, Owen and Leah will do all the damage necessary if we are somehow lured into a trap.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that you would take my blood to use it as a weapon?” I ask, pissed off. I see Claudia and John walk over to us from their car, watching the hostility between me, Darrius and Maximus.
“I knew you’d be upset about it,” he said, “And sweetie, sometimes it’s better to tell people things they don’t want to do when they are under pressure, it makes things run more smoothly. I get the blood and it ultimately means you are protected from the werewolves.”
“It’s Darrius’ lame ass way of saying how much he cares about your safety,” Claudia says, grinning and holding John’s hand.
“Well, whatever, let’s meet the werewolves, I want to get this over and done with,” I mutter. I feel only slightly better from Claudia’s words. I just wish Darrius would trust me enough to tell me something like the fact he needed my blood. With some persuasion I would have agreed and it would have gone more smoothly.
“I’ll lead the way,” Maximus sneakily smacks me on the ass as he walks past me and I jump in surprise.
“Leave me alone!” I yell, beyond frustrated. Darrius growls and stalks to my side, wrapping an arm around my waist, he pulls me into his side and starts pulling me along as we follow Maximus. Claudia and John walk behind us, snickering to each other. I stiffly walk beside Darrius, my arms still crossed over my chest. His arm is strong behind my back, but gentle at the same time. He is looking at me but I refuse to look up at him.
“You have to behave out there,” Darrius growls down at me, “Let me do the talking and do what I say,” I take a moment to prepare a witty response but I decide to stay silent. Darrius was hard to negotiate with and frankly, I was getting annoyed at how easily he thought he controlled the situation.
Just because I was some special human with new genes to resist supernatural creatures, didn’t mean I was going to become some pawn in a game. And just because he was somehow my freakin’ soul-mate, I wasn’t going to submit to him like vampires expected humans to do.
“Jennifer,” he says, as we walk through some trees, following Maximus, our feet crunching on the dry leaves and twigs beneath us, “Do you understand how important it is to do what I say?” I turn to look up at him, his blue eyes seem black in this darkness.
“Okay,” I say, “I’m ready,” Darrius nods, happy with this response. We continue through the trees and I watch as Maximus leads the way confidently. Apparently the meadow was only a five minute walk from the car park, so we’d get there very soon.
Once I was there, I’d somehow have to show Darrius that I wouldn’t just come along quietly. I had been scared of him at the start, and still was occasionally, but I felt more confident with him each day. And I was starting to reach that level of confidence where I was learning to stick up for myself more.
My life was changing so much... so I had better get use to the fact lots of things might happen to me.
I wanted to face all those things head on. I didn’t want to be seen as some quiet slave who had no control over what would happen to her.
Darrius would learn that soon enough.