Part 2 Chapter 12
Xavier’s POV (Chapter 13, Prince Xavier, Book 3)
I find my father once more and as soon as I enter his office I see him continuing to watch the TV. The news is still discussing the reward for Caitlin if she is returned to her parents.
“One million dollars...” he mutters, tapping his chin with his finger.
“Not happening,” I growl, anger spiking from my chest and filling every inch of me. My father’s attitude to women was beyond degrading, just the way he treated his wife. He wasn’t going to treat Caitlin the same way. He had a black heart, no warmth towards anyone except his family.
“Maybe I should just over-rule you and send her back, we could use the money to upgrade security,” he snaps back, using his most authoritative tone, “She is one human, I can get you another - they are plentiful in the city.”
“I wouldn’t suggest trying to over rule me,” I say darkly, having the urge to assert my own authority. This palace needed a better leader, a stronger, wiser and fair protector.
And soon, I was going to be that vampire to take that position.
“I don’t like the tone you are using with me, boy,” The King stands up from his chair, his eyes narrowing, “I am still your father - so you better listen to me.”
“You can’t be the King forever,” I say slowly, with a small smirk, “One day you’ll have to step down - or someone will make you.” It is a not-so-subtle threat but I was pissed off. No one interfered with what was mine. Caitlin was staying with me, by my side, where she belonged.
My father is about to snarl something at me but pauses when the lights suddenly flicker off, the TV blinks once before switching off - and the room is suddenly empty of light.
“Damn it,” my father growls.
When the lights don’t turn back on from the emergency power-supply straight away, a feeling of dread fills my chest.
“We’ve been infiltrated,” I say bluntly, walking over to my dad’s desk I walk around it and pull out the first draw, shoving a gun at my father and keeping one for me.
“That son of a bitch got in again, didn’t he?” The King growls, “Go find Jennifer, now, before she is kidnapped. Her blood must not be taken.”
“I’m on it,” I snap, heading for the door.
When my hand rests on the doorknob I start to hear screaming from the halls.
We weren’t just being infiltrated.
We were being attacked.
Isobel’s POV (Chapter 36, Hunter Maximus, Book 2)
I go and search through the palace but can’t find Anthony or Carla anywhere. I decide that maybe they had gone back to Anthony’s room. Only problem was I had no idea where that room was.
I’m about to give up on finding him when I spot Darrius and Jennifer turn the corner, heading for the main kitchen, hand in hand.
I just watch as they approach and Jennifer spots me immediately. As they get closer I see the fire in Jennifer’s eyes and I hear her heart beating faster. She was pissed at me, but I only did what I thought was best - getting some of the truth out there. So she could deal with it.
Maximus and her had - something... I just didn’t know what it was or how deep it went.
“Have you seen Claudia, Isobel?” Jennifer asks, coldly.
“No,” I snap back, “Why?”
“No one can find her,” Darrius answers for Jennifer, giving her hand a squeeze.
“I’m sure she is around somewhere,” I say, shrugging. Claudia wasn’t exactly my priority at the moment. Anthony was, I needed to go find him and tell him about everything that had happened to me. I needed more friends in this palace and I wanted to tell Anthony and Carla more about myself and get to know they as well.
“Enjoying life as a vampire, Isobel?” Darrius asks, briefly stopping before the Kitchen/Restaurant entrance before entering.
“Would have enjoyed it more if I was turned willingly,” I say dryly, watching in amusement as Jennifer glares at Darrius, grabbing his hand tighter as he pays attention to me.
“Alert me if you see Claudia, immediately,” Darrius orders, nodding at me before pulling Jennifer along with him, they are soon out of sight as the door closes and noise from inside briefly filters out, filling my ears with a rush of sounds.
I suddenly have my answer to finding Anthony.
I start to walk up and down the halls slowly, tuning in my enhanced vampire hearing to try and catch Anthony’s tone of voice. Or Carla’s.
I eventually catch onto what might be Anthony’s voice, however, I zone out so much from my immediate surroundings, I don’t hear Maximus sneak up on me.
He blows on my neck and I spin around swiftly, hand raised to grab Maximus’ throat. However he grabs my wrist, stopping my attack.
“Too slow,” he says, grinning.
“Come on!” the new female voice comes from down the hall and I look up and see Leah, looking impatient as hell, “Maximus, we don’t have time for this.”
“Let me be,” I hiss and Maximus just tightens his grip on my wrist, “I know you are trying to find your ‘friends’, I can read your little plan of revenge going through your mind. Go back to your room, now. Or mine, see? I’m giving you a choice at least.”
“If you are so worried about where and what she is doing,” Leah says with as much venom as possible, “Just drag her along with us. She may as well help us, now come on before I stake both of you, just to relieve some stress.”
“Are you ever happy?” I growl at Leah, “Where are you both going?”
“A trip wire was triggered - we’ve been infiltrated again,” Leah snaps, “We need to hurry and find the intruder.”
I’m mildly interested now that she puts it that way.
“Can I come?” I ask innocently, looking at Maximus from under low eye-lids - my attempt at being partially seductive.
“Hmmmm... ok, but you’ll need this,” Maximus reaches behind him and pulls a dagger out from his belt, shoving it into my hands.
“Is it a dangerous intruder?” I ask, as Maximus pulls me along to follow Leah.
“We are about to find out,” Leah snaps.
“Stay by my side,” Maximus growls the order, “You don’t have to do anything, just watch and learn.”
“But how do we know what we are facing -?” We all halt in our paths as the lights suddenly power off and we are incased in a blanket of darkness.
My eyes adjust in seconds and suddenly I can see again, although the hall looks more like lines and shapes instead of actual things.
“The back up generator should kick in,” Leah mutters.
“It’s been too long, it’s not going to,” Maximus adds, “This is bad. Isobel, go back to my room - it’s close to here.”
A rotten smell fills my nose and I look up - it’s coming from the ceiling.
I’m about to say something, but I don’t get time when the ceiling suddenly smashes in from above...
...and a monster, snarling and drooling, falls right on top of me.
It all happens so quick then.
Long sharp claws instantly dig into my chest and stomach - ripping and gouging there way through me like butter.
I feel my fingers dig into the furry hair of the monster on top of me.
I don’t even have time to scream.
I think I whimper, and then gurgle as blood pools from my mouth and my vision goes black.
And then I am truly consumed by darkness.
Jennifer’s POV (Part 2 Chapter 12)
Darrius runs, holding me tightly to his shoulder. All the while we can hear roaring, snarling and the most horrid sounds coming from all over the palace.
Darrius pauses, listening to the sounds.
“This is bad,” Darrius growls.
“Why, what -?”
“Shut up,” Darrius snaps, looking down both ends of the hall, debating which way is safer. Other vampires coming out into the hall start banding together, coming closer towards us.
“Prince Darrius, what the hell is happening?” One of the vampires ask.
"Werewolves,” he explains, “Everyone grab your weapons, I’ll join you soon,” Darrius uses his best authoritative tone and everyone starts scrambling to attention. I could still hardly see anything but I could hear them scuffle with their feet.
“Where are we going?” I ask.
“I’m putting you somewhere safe,” Darrius growls.
“Where is it safe?” I hiss.
“I don’t know yet -”
"No!” We hear a woman scream from down the hall and Darrius tenses.
“That was Leah!” Darrius exclaims.
“Go quick!” I yell at him when he hesitates. I hit his back and then he starts running towards her scream. We hear heavy breathing and snarling as we get closer - and then a yelp of pain.
When we turn the corner I see a torch thrown down on the ground, illuminating the scene of blood and gore before us.
I don’t even recognise the familiar faces straight away. I see a huge patchy skinned monster - a werewolf in a messed up form, like it was half way through transforming from human to wolf. It was snarling, injured.
Leah is facing the wolf with a small knife coated in blood. The monster is pushing itself off against the nearest wall, shaking its head, shaking off drops of blood and it looks like she got in a stab near the throat.
She doesn’t attack it while it is defenceless though, because she is hardly standing - one of her legs is nearly ripped off at the knee, broken and dangling with only a bit of muscle keeping her leg from falling right off.
“Darrius!” Leah yells out to him for help, he slides me off his shoulder, about to oblige - when suddenly Xavier comes rushing into the scene from out of the darkness, behind Leah - gun in hand.
He stands between her and the enraged but injured and deformed wolf - and he shoots it in the head multiple times.
I grab onto Darrius’ elbow with a tight grip, closing my eyes when I see blood splatter everywhere.
The monster collapses to the ground, still twitching.
Leah suddenly collapses to the ground also, crying and leaning against the wall - facing the blood and bodies on the ground near her.
And then I see who it is that looks dead and dismembered on the ground before me.
I hardly recognise her - her hair drenched in blood and her guts literally ripped out of her stomach and one of her arms is missing.
It’s Isobel - I know because Maximus is also half covering her body, but his head is bent at the wrong angle and there are deep cuts in his back.
Darrius and Xavier rush over to the bodies, inspecting them - silent.
“They’re both dead,” Leah snarls, “Can’t you hear that their hearts have stopped beating? They’re dead!” she screams this furiously.
“They’ll heal,” I say, shaking, not able to look at the bodies long because they are both so mangled.
“You think?” Leah asks me, her red eyes glaring at me, “Those weren’t normal werewolves, idiot, they’re a product of Jaime’s blood - the werewolf’s claws had a poison in them. My leg should have started healing by now - it’s not. I’ve lost half of my fucking leg and Maximus and Isobel are dead.”
“You’re wrong,” Darrius snarls.
“No,” Xavier says, stoney faced, “I think she’s right.”
“That’s impossible, they can’t be dead, they’re vampires - Hunters! Which means they are both stronger than normal vampires,” I say, trying to reassure myself and everyone else.
“Think what you want,” Leah says hysterically, “They’re dead - and so is everyone else in this palace if we don’t kill the other one that’s roaming the halls right now.”
“We’re going to figure this out,” Darrius snaps.
“You take Leah, Jennifer, Maximus and Isobel to safety. Go to mum’s old room - and I’ll kill the last werewolf,” Xavier orders and stalks off before Darrius can agree or disagree.
“I refuse to believe they’re dead,” I whisper to myself, as I watch Darrius pick up Maximus’ body and Leah pushes to her feet, dragging herself over.
“I’ll take Isobel’s body,” Leah glares at me, “You can take her arm.”
“What?” I ask, but it’s too late. She leans down, picks up a bloody, dismembered arm and throws it at me. I catch it - trying not to throw up.
“Let’s go,” Darrius growls, an edge to his voice. He was barely keeping it together.
We weren’t certain yet if all hope was lost. Leah was hysterical, after all - and majorly pissed off.
Maybe there was still hope.