Part 2 Chapter 17
Once in Xavier’s room, Caitlin heads straight over to the couches surrounding the fire place.
“I’ll light the fire,” she says, “It’s pretty chilly in here, don’t you think?” I was still wearing my tight black dress and even though it had no sleeves, I wasn’t cold. But I don’t complain.
“So how did Eddrick get in your head?” I ask, “Do you know how it happened?”
Caitlin takes her time to reply as she places the short sword on the coffee table and starts to light the fire. I notice that my ring cools as she places the weapon on the coffee table.
Curious, I lean forward and pick it up. The hilt feels comfy in my hand and the weapon itself isn’t heavy. I’d have to get Darrius to teach me how to use weapons sooner rather than later. Being helpless was starting to get real old with me; I needed to learn how to protect myself.
“Yeah, he got in my head -” as she turns around, she pauses when she sees me holding the short sword, “Uh...” I see her eye the weapon and one of her hands starts to shake.
I quickly put down the sword on the table and frown.
“What is it that you have to tell me, Caitlin?” I ask.
“My sister was hurt,” she says.
“Well...” Caitlin hesitates before crawling over to my couch and pulling out an opened gift that was hiding underneath. She places it on the table and takes off a layer of wrapping to show me what is underneath.
I gasp, my hand going up to my mouth.
“Oh my gosh!” I look through wide eyes from the present to Caitlin. There were two fingers and blonde hair, bloodied and starting to go grey, “Did Eddrick do this? What would he want with you?"
“He wants me to help him,” she says, looking down at the floor before meeting my eyes, “I either help him or he’ll kill my sister. What would you choose to do, Jennifer, if you were in my position? If someone threatened to kill the closest person to you - if you didn’t do what they told you to do.”
“I would do whatever was necessary to protect the one I loved,” I blurt without hesitation, “What did he ask you to do, Caitlin?”
“I have to kill someone,” she says, “It’s the choice between one innocent life and another.”
I instantly pale as I watch Caitlin lean forward and pick up the short sword.
“It’s... it’s me, isn’t it?” I whisper, feeling frozen to my spot on the couch, “You know I’m immortal, I can’t die.”
“I have to cut off your head,” she says, “And burn it in the fire.”
There is a moment of silence as she sits there, clearly contemplating when to go for me - but her conscious is clearly holding her back. She is hesitating.
“Why did you tell me this?” I ask simply, jumping to my feet. With almost impossible, vampire-like speed - Caitlin also jumps to her feet opposite me, “How...?”
“You deserve to know the reason why I have to kill you,” Caitlin says, her voice suddenly very steady.
I’m starting to get more anxious, my heart beating faster as I skit to the side, aiming to put more distance between us.
Except she runs to the door and locks it - in the blink of an eye.
“Are you a vampire?” I gasp.
“No,” she admits, “Eddrick enhanced my strength and agility just for the amount of time I need to do the job. To save Abbey.”
Usually in this sort of situation, my blood would be able to save me. I would be able to cut myself and use my blood as a weapon against supernatural creatures. But Eddrick was two steps ahead of me.
What a way to get the job done, simply blackmail a human in the palace to do his dirty work.
“I don’t want to do this,” she whispers, “But I have no choice.”
“Surely we can figure something out,” I say, starting to sound a little desperate myself, “Maybe we can save your sister in time.”
“Eddrick will know if I don’t kill you. He will kill Abbey if I try to save her,” she said.
“How long did he give you to kill me?” I ask quickly.
“An hour,” she says, “I probably have forty-five minutes left.”
“How will Eddrick know?” I ask.
“He was in my head -”
“But Meredith pushed him out and said the link was weak,” I say, “I have an idea. Meredith gave me a potion to keep Eddrick out of my head and to stop him from finding me. What if you drank some of my blood, and we both go right now to save your sister -”
I’m interrupted as there is a weird loud crackling from the corners of the walls. We both look up and spot two tiny speakers in each corner of the room.
“Ladies and gentlemanly vampires...” The King’s voice booms out of the speakers, all around the palace. It echoes from the speakers outside too, “Sorry to interrupt and use the emergency speaker system but it has come to my attention that all humans in this palace are spies! Every single one of them must be killed - as of this very moment. This is a direct order from your King - do as you are told, anyone who defies me will be decapitated on sight. Oh and... kill them slowly -” A dark, menacing chuckle follows.
“What the heck?” I ask, confused as hell, “Is anyone going to take him seriously?”
“I - I don’t know,” Caitlin looks around, confused, “No one has ever questioned him before.”
“Caitlin, you need to listen to me,” I run up to her, unafraid now, “We’re going to leave the palace and save your sister. We’re not going to tell anyone, least of all Xavier or Darrius, understand? Meredith pushed Eddrick out of your head - we have some time now to save your sister. If we fail, well hey, I’ll be with you and you can kill me. I promise,” It’s an odd thing to promise but I had no other thought process that made sense right now.
“But... damn it, we need to hurry,” she hisses, “Let’s go, we don’t have much time. This palace obviously isn’t safe for either of us now anyway - now that the King’s decided to go nuts.”
“Exactly,” I say, smiling, “Trust me, there is only one thing we have to worry about.”
“Which is?” She asks.
“Xavier and Darrius,” I smile, “They are going to be pissed but I have a plan already forming in mind.”
“Ok, fine, let’s go, tell me as we find an exit to this place. I don’t want either you or Abbey to die,” she hurries for the door and unlocks it, “Let’s go to the secret exit outside Maximus’ room, it’s just around the corner.”
“I’ll ask Maximus and Isobel to come with us,” I say, “They are human too, may as well all leave the palace for now. The more the merrier.”
“How the hell are we going to take down Eddrick, Jennifer?” Caitlin asks me, glaring at me with uncertainty.
“Well, you’re super strong - for now. And let’s just say I’m curious to find out exactly what happens to Eddrick when he comes into contact with my blood on its own. He isn’t mortal. Maybe my blood is toxic to him too,” I smile and Caitlin’s eyes widen in surprise.
“Maybe you’re right,” she says, “Come on, let’s hurry, it won’t be long before some of the vampires start to heed what the King just ordered.”
“Ok, let’s move it!”