As I stand tied to the tree I kick off my shoes because they are uncomfortable and I try to ignore the constant heat and pain from the wedding ring I wore which signalled danger when it became hot against my skin. As the hour approached the temperature simply increased and the pain was becoming almost unbearable. I tried to think of a way to escape and I had a small plan.
I had to use my blood as a weapon against the werewolves.
I had already started pressing my nails into my skin to try and break the skin’s barrier but I didn’t have the guts to do it because every time I got close to cutting myself it hurt too much.
All I needed to do was bleed a little, then ask Christian to loosen the ropes around my wrists slightly and in the process I’d touch his hands, my blood would make contact with his skin and –
A loud and piercing howl breaks the quiet of Evergreen forest.
Christian who was pacing in front of me halts and a grin spreads across his face as the sounds of a fight start to ensue. Snarling, barking, growling, cursing, all of the above begins to spread through the forest.
“Darrius!” I scream, “Don’t try and save me! It’s too dangerous!” I yell as loudly as I can.
The fighting continues to spread all around us, and Christian turns to me with his evil smirk.
“Go ahead, your wailing will bring him straight to me. He came with company,” Christian says, “The fun begins.” I grit my teeth and push my nails as hard as I can into my skin, this time sucking up the pain and breaking the skin’s barrier. I jerk from the pain but stay silent.
I feel warm blood start trickling from my palm.
“Go to hell,” I snarl back at Christian, who just laughs.
“That was a decent effort at a growl, but you’re a human, Jennifer, not a wolf,” Christian says this with much amusement.
He starts stripping, taking off his jacket and shirt, preparing to morph into his wolf form. It’s as he’s about to take off his jeans that Ruby comes running through the bushes and into our little clearing. She has blood on her jacket, glistening red.
“He’s coming,” Ruby pants, “His friends are fighting the werewolves, they’ve been casualties on either side, we are winning so far. They are distracting most of the werewolves so Darrius can come to you directly. He’ll be here any se –”
Just as she is about to finish her sentence, there is a thud in the trunk of the tree I’m tied too and suddenly my ropes fall off around me and drop to the ground, however my wrists are still tied. Someone had cut my ropes.
I take a step forward but Ruby quickly comes up behind me, grabbing both my arms she holds me steadily back against her.
Suddenly Christian is dodging to the side as a dagger comes flying through the air towards him. Ruby suddenly releases me and puts me in a headlock. I let her do it, my hands now just above her leather pants. I open my palms and wait for the blood to drip down onto her pants, into the section where her boots opened, so my blood could make contact with her skin.
Now I just had to wait for the blood to drip.
“Surrender or I snap her neck!” Ruby snarls into the forest around me, where the vampires were hiding. Ruby and Christian didn’t know I could come back to life if I died. Hopefully Darrius would just let her snap my neck and deal with me later when I came back to life, if he didn’t die in the process of trying to recover my body.
Out of nowhere Darrius steps into the clearing, blood splattered over his body.
“I’ve always wanted to kill a vampire the old fashioned way,” Christian says with a grin, and I see he has picked up a piece of wood to act as a stake instead of him morphing into his wolf form, “No vampire has ever beaten me in a fight, you should know you are going to die for not coming here alone.”
I don’t say anything to Darrius when he briefly locks eyes with me, there was no point telling him he shouldn’t have come. He was here now.
“We end this now,” Darrius growls, about to attack Christian when Claudia suddenly appears out of no where, coming up to Darrius’ shoulder she grabs him and stops his attack.
“No!” Claudia yells, “We should negotiate.”
“There will be no negotiating tonight,” Christian snarls, “Attack!” In one command, wolves I didn’t know were there pounce into the small clearing and rush Darrius and Claudia.
“Let me go!” I scream, jerking in Ruby’s grip but failing to get anywhere. I do manage to shake a couple of drops of blood onto her leather pants but they protected her skin. Hopefully the blood would drip down.
I watch as Christian laughs and the wolves grab onto Darrius and Claudia. Darrius and Claudia fight back but if they made one mistake they would be torn to shreds in an instant.
I hear Claudia scream about the same time Ruby starts screaming.
Ruby releases me and I fall to the ground onto my knees.
One look at Ruby and Christian roars, “Stop fighting!” The wolves all quickly jump backwards away from Darrius and Claudia. Claudia I see lying on the ground, enormous amounts of blood gushing from her neck, a wolf had practically ripped out half of her throat.
“Darrius had a bleeding leg and arm, and was on the ground beside her, he is more concerned about Claudia now, since I was in no one’s possession at the moment.
“Don’t die,” Darrius growls at Claudia, who is looking at me, she mouths ‘I’m sorry’ and I shake my head, tears coming to my eyes. This wasn’t her fault for not finding out sooner I had planned to leave the palace. I had acted too quick, with a shit plan and not enough thought.
Ruby falls to the ground in front of me, convulsing, her skin turning red with blisters.
“What did you do to her?” Christian grabs me by the throat and lifts me up off the ground.
“My blood,” I choke out. Christian’s eyes scan me, confused about where I was bleeding, but then he sees my red palms and his eyes narrow dangerously.
“Only I can save her,” Darrius snarls to Christian, “My blood is the cure, unhand Jennifer now.”
“I unhand Jennifer after you save Ruby first,” Christian snarls back, taking two steps back he holds me at arms length.
“Then you let us leave,” Darrius says, “Or there will be more death tonight.”
Christian takes one look at Ruby, who is still convulsing on the ground and he hesitates.
“Fine, no more death tonight,” Christian growls, “After you save Ruby you’re all free to go, now hurry! She is going to die!”
Darrius heads towards Ruby, biting into his wrist before pressing it against her mouth, forcing her to swallow his blood. Once he is done he stands back up and glares at the alpha male werewolf.
“Get out of my sight,” Christian says in a deadly tone, after he shoves me towards Darrius and I fall into his chest. He catches me and quickly rips off the ropes around my wrists, too angry to speak any words to me. The wolves around us are all growling and snarling, baring their teeth, ready to attack as they watch Darrius turn from me to pick up Claudia.
“Leave before I change my mind, leeches!” Christian roars after us as we hurry away.
Other vampires fall into line behind us, bloodied and bruised, but healing already as they walk with me and Darrius out of Evergreen forest. When we exit the forest we are near a main road. On the grass beside the road, Darrius lays Claudia down gently, pushing her hair away from her neck. Her ripped out throat was slowly repairing itself.
It was a miracle she was still alive.
Darrius can’t even look at me as he stares down at Claudia.
She nearly died because of me.
“I’m so sorry,” I whisper, to no one in particular.
“Rory,” Darrius calls out to the nearest vampire to him, “How many?”
“Casualties? One hundred vampires are dead. I think we killed about fifteen werewolves.” Rory answers.
Darrius is silent for a moment.
“Take Jennifer back to the palace,” Darrius says quietly, “Put her in my room and guard the door.”
“Of course, Darrius,” Rory replies, coming towards me. He was an average looking vampire, but he had kind light blue eyes and fiery red hair, “Don’t get your blood on me,” he warns as he picks me up in his arms before he starts running with vampire speed back to the palace.
I look at my hands as he runs, my hand throbbing from the small cut I made into my palm with my nails. I was too exhausted to talk to Rory.
After the stunt I pulled tonight…
…I figured I’d never set foot outside the palace ever again.