Part 2 Chapter 7
Caitlin sits on the end of my bed, looking sad and scared.
“I’ve had a terrible time the last few nights,” she says quietly, and then she tells me everything.
She ran away from home years ago, when Xavier followed her from the club she didn’t want to return to the palace so chose to give her parents’ home a shot once more. Arriving at her house, she found out her sister was some sort of zombie. Her parents were turned into vampires and they had an evil guest residing with them.
He really was getting around terrifying everyone. Not only that but Xavier luckily found her, and they witnessed Eddrick in the Evergreen Forest with Claudia and Johnathan. Caitlin saw Johnathan go absolutely insane – he nearly attacked Caitlin. Xavier was knocked out trying to save the day, because Eddrick was too powerful to stop.
“...and then I ran off, too scared to wait around, I didn’t know what to do. I’m scared Eddrick will come here!” Caitlin concludes her story, looking visibly shaken.
“We found Johnathan,” I explain, “Although he sort of escaped, and no wonder you looked so frightened! Eddrick is really evil and such a creep, he attacked me and Jaime. I understand why you locked the door but I highly doubt Eddrick is coming back into this palace. And I’m sure Xavier will heal up soon enough and make his way back, or Darrius will find him.” Caitlin seems grateful for my understanding and she nods.
“I’m more worried about my sister than anything,” She says, quietly, “She was so innocent, died so young, and now she is just a zombie. She didn’t deserve what was done to her!”
I explain to her that Darrius has gone off to find Eddrick and that we can help her save her sister – which she seems extremely grateful for and highly relieved. I also quickly tell her everything that happened to me and Jaime so she doesn’t feel like the only one who’s had a dramatically crazy time lately.
It’s not long before we get interrupted by repeated, unrelenting banging on my door from Maximus.
“Jennifer!” Maximus calls out and I roll my eyes at how ‘distressed’ he sounds, “Why did you lock me out? I thought you enjoyed my company. Unless you two girls wanted privacy because you are secretly in love and you didn’t tell me!”
“What is with him?” I ask, just shaking my head disapprovingly.
“He’s always been like that, I know from watching him from a distance. Likes to amuse everyone, and tease everyone, and generally be a pain in the ass,” Caitlin say this with a grin and I narrow my eyes at the banging door – because he still hasn’t stopped knocking, “Do you want me to let him in?” Caitlin asks.
“Yes, you probably should,” I sigh and climb out of the bed, I was still wearing my red dress from when Maximus carried me to bed and it is all crumpled now but I don’t care. I stretch my arms over my head, yawning, “I got to get out of this damn bed, Darrius wouldn’t let me leave it – uh, anyway...” I trail off, blushing.
Caitlin pretends to not notice my slip and goes to answer the door.
Maximus smiles at Caitlin as she unlocks the door and he gives me a wink and a slow wicked smile as he comes toward me.
“What?” I ask, confused about why he looks so happy.
“Your lover is back,” Maximus smiles and my eyes widen in surprise and I feel instantly relived. I look over his shoulder and see Claudia and Darrius making their way inside – Caitlin slips out the door and leaves suddenly without saying goodbye. I don’t know why she leaves out of the blue but I’m too happy Darrius is back and safe. I notice Jaime give me a quick wave from the corridor before heading off with Raphael.
“You’re alive!” I push past Maximus and he looks hurt that I dismiss him so easily just to run up to Darrius. But I stop just short of hugging or kissing him.
He looks stressed but he smiles at me anyway and reaches a hand for my waist but I quickly skirt to the side and narrow my eyes.
“I’m glad you’re back but don’t think I’m just going to walk into your arms when you didn’t tell me why you were leaving,” my anger slowly starts to rise and I even look to Claudia, hurt she didn’t tell me anything either.
“Hey, at least let me off the hook!” She says, raising her hands in surrender, “Don’t glare at me, I was lucky Darrius even let me tag along on the mission now that I’m human,” Claudia sounds strained and tired as she speaks and her eyes are watery. On the verge of tears, “But I brought him back safely for you,” she says, still strong, holding off the tears a little longer, “Which is more than I could do for Johnathan –” she finally cracks it and her eyes snap shut.
“Claudia...” I don’t know what to say, I couldn’t tell her everything would be okay because we didn’t even know where Johnathan was.
Maximus quickly jumps to the rescue, walking forward he grabs Claudia into a tight bear hug while she silently cries into his chest, “Come on darl’, let’s get you some breakfast,” he says this in a whisper, all playfulness gone from his demeanour.
Darrius nods at Maximus, and Maximus leaves with Claudia while keeping an arm around her. It’s sweet to see friends care so much for each other but I can’t even imagine Claudia’s pain of watching a loved one turn absolutely insane and evil.
“We have to find a way to save Johnathan,” I say to Darrius, and he shakes his head.
“John will have to wait, I have a lot on my mind,” he says, he abruptly turns from me and stalks his way into the bathroom.
“Where are you going?” I ask, worried by his tension.
“I’m going to shower,” he explains, sounding tired and worn out, and just as he walks in he turns around and suddenly glares at me accusingly, “Who used all my fresh towels?”
“Maximus had a shower,” I say and before I can continue the conversation, Darrius just rolls his eyes and slams the door shut. I try to ignore his short temper and decide to get changed into something not so crumpled. However as I turn, I nearly jump out of my skin when I see Isobel has just snuck into the room, standing just inside the doorway.
“Am I interrupting something?” Isobel asks, she is decked out in black leather and I kind of stare at her in shock.
“You look different, you’ve changed,” I say, “And no, you didn’t interrupt anything,” All I could tell was Darrius needed some alone time.
“Oh, really?” Isobel doesn’t believe me and I feel slightly offended by her mocking tone. She looks around the room slowly, like she is inspecting everything, “And I have changed ever since I’ve been stuck here. Even had a chance to leave and I still had to come back, figures.”
“Are you and Maximus okay? Because he has been acting a little bit strange at the moment... I thought he was with you before and then he came back here and –”
“Maximus isn’t interested in me anymore,” Isobel says this point blank, looking at me suspiciously, up and down. Why did she suddenly feel hostile towards me?
“What happened between you two, Isobel?” I ask, more gently. Clearly something was wrong.
“Oh, nothing major,” Isobel says sarcastically, “I was brought here against my will to make you a dress, then he didn’t let me go. Then we went on our little crusade to show off our ‘strength’ as humans and failed miserably. Yes, I got caught. But that’s not all,” Isobel is getting more and more heated up, she seems about to burst with her anger, “He turned me against my will, Jennifer.”
My eyes widen as she says this and I don’t even understand what she is saying until I slowly put two and two together.
Isobel... was a vampire?
“What the hell?” I ask, shocked.
“Life is swell,” she says sarcastically, she crosses her arms over her chest and narrows her eyes at the door where Darrius has just turned on the shower, “How is he going to react?”
“React to what?”
“To you sleeping with Maximus,” Isobel snaps, her eyes train in on me, so accusing.
The shower abruptly turns off.
I just gape.
“I – what – I didn’t –” I can’t even get the words out. On what planet did she start thinking that Maximus had sex with me?
Isobel seems secretly smug now that the shower has turned off and she turns suddenly to leave. Huffing to herself proudly, like she achieved what she wanted, she is out of the room in no time.
I’m still in shock.
Darrius slams open the bathroom door moments later, completely naked. I’m about to deny everything she just said but when I see his dark, menacing expression – I just gulp.
“I didn’t – I,” I shake my head profusely, “I didn’t have sex with him!” I yell it as soon as I find the ability to speak once again.
“Come here. Right now,” Darrius snarls at me.
“Why should I? How could you not believe me?”
“She sure seemed convinced of otherwise, Jennifer,” Darrius growls, ”And, he had a shower here, called himself your lover when he walked back in. You also avoided my touch just before.”
“I was happy you were back but annoyed you left without explaining where you were going! And Maximus was talking about you when he said ‘your lover is back’, you idiot!” I snap, “He just figured out we slept together but jeez, I’m regretting it now!” I turn for the door – deciding to leave and get some space.
I couldn’t deal with Darrius in this temper.
How dare he believe Isobel over me?
How dare she try and cause a rift between me and Darrius?
It sure as hell worked!
“If you think you are leaving, you’ve got it wrong, sweetheart,” Darrius growls as I make my way for the door.
“No, I better find Maximus and fuck him,” I say, sarcastically, stopping briefly to glare at Darrius over my shoulder, “Since he is a much better fuck than you!"
In the heat of the moment I feel great for letting out some steam and yelling out whatever I wanted.
And now it was time for the grand exit!
I don’t make it to the door.
I don’t make it very far at all.