Part 2 Chapter 18
Isobel’s POV (Chapter 41, Hunter Maximus, Book 2)
I decide to ignore Maximus and his determination to turn me back into a vampire. I already had a solution forming in mind; which involved finding Luke... and a couple of other steps along the way.
For now I simply watch Maximus. I am highly entertained at the scene playing out before me.
Maximus is screwing up his face making very strange expressions as he tastes food again for the first time. He got soup and bread, something light to start off with. I go for the sandwiches while I see him slowly drink up his pumpkin soup.
“I thought I use to like pumpkin,” he says, “I’m not sure if I do or not anymore.”
“What is that supposed to mean? You either like it or you don’t,” I tease, sitting opposite him on the bed. I watch him, trying not to laugh while he now attempts a first bite of buttered bread after dipping it in the soup. He chews slowly and swallows – and starts coughing and choking.
I don’t know how he managed to fail at swallowing bread but seeing him swallow his first solid piece of food was painful to watch. He quickly drinks more soup to help it down and I put a hand over my mouth, trying not to laugh at his discomfort.
He glares at me.
“I didn’t realise you’d fail so quickly at being a human, Maximus,” I explain with a smirk, chowing down on my sandwich and swallowing proudly in front of him, showing off.
“I think my throat tightened up over the centuries,” he says, with a raised eyebrow, “Liquid blood was the only thing going down my throat for all that time, give me a break.”
“You know, you ask me to be easy on you but you have no respect for me. You turned me against my will, kidnapped me, tried to enslave me,” I accuse, narrowing my eyes at him, “I think you need to go to school again, where they teach us how to respect each other regardless of gender... did you even go to school –” I’m interrupted by a loud crackling coming from the corners of the room.
I see Maximus freeze, eyes worried.
“The emergency speaker system was just turned on, this never happens unless there is a dire emergency,” he snaps, ”Don’t speak.”
So much for trying to give him a talk on what respect meant in the twenty-first century.
“Ladies and gentlemanly vampires...” The King’s voice booms out of the speakers, “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 –” The King chuckles insanely afterwards.
I look to Maximus with a raised eyebrow.
He looks just as confused as me.
“Did he just say, kill all the humans?” I ask, rhetorically.
“I don’t understand why...” Maximus trails off, he has dropped the spoon and bread back into the soup as he considers what this all means.
“Will people take him seriously?” I ask, “What about vampires who have relationships with humans?”
“The speaker system is only used when direct orders must be handed out immediately or an emergency needs to be brought to everyone’s attention. I need to go see what the hell is happening,” Maximus climbs off the bed, putting his soup on the bedside table.
I quickly follow him, standing in front of him to block his way.
"Do you want to die?" I ask.
“I’ll be fine, everyone knows me –”
“Some people hate you,” I snap harshly, but it was the only way to make him realise how stupid he was being, “There are vampires in this palace, who I bet you’ve pissed off over the centuries. It’s just in your nature to be an annoying prick. You’re a human now, you’re an easy target. They’ll be able to sense you’ve changed. Let Darrius and Xavier handle this.”
Maximus hesitates and considers what I’ve said. Before he can reply there are faint footsteps running towards our door and loud knocking soon follows.
“Maximus, Isobel, it’s me, Jennifer!” Jennifer calls out from the other side, sounding nervous. I try to keep my cool as I go to answer the door. I open it and Caitlin and Jennifer rush inside. Caitlin’s holding a weapon.
“Do you know why the announcement was made?” Maximus asks them, looking a little nervous himself.
“We have no idea,” Jennifer explains, “But we need to leave, we are all in danger – and Caitlin needs our help urgently. We only have forty minutes left to save her sister. Eddrick is going to kill her.”
“Wait, slow down,” I snap, “What does Eddrick want with her?"
Caitlin looks offended by my slightly rude question, but it was fair enough considering she had nothing to do with the prophecy.
“I’m being blackmailed,” Caitlin explains quickly, “If I don’t kill Jennifer, he’ll kill my sister. He is residing at my house with my parents – Clyde and Rose Drysdale, heard of them?”
“Oh shit,” I say, no way. They were the richest couple in the whole city and it was publicly known they had a missing daughter, the other daughter had drowned to her death... “But your sister...?”
“Eddrick brought her back to life,” Caitlin holds onto the hilt of her short sword even tighter, “We don’t have much time. We’re going to save my sister and kill Eddrick. Staying here isn’t safe. There is no time to discuss this. Are you both in or out?”
“Alright,” Maximus suddenly sparks to life, but he doesn’t look happy about the situation, “We’re coming to help you. Have you told Darrius or Xavier about this?” he directs this to both Caitlin and Jennifer, scolding them.
“We don’t have time, I don’t even know where they are,” Jennifer snaps, her cheeks going red in anger, “This isn’t the time to get all disciplined on us, you don’t even have that right anymore. You’re a weak human, like us. Suck it up, Maximus.”
Maximus opens his mouth to snap back some quick witty reply, no doubt... but he hesitates. He clenches his fists, holding back.
“Don’t rub it in, princess. I’ll get some weapons, we’ll take a car from the garage,” he glares at Jennifer with a hurt ego, but we don’t have time to deliberate anymore.
We were now going on a spontaneous rescue mission and an assassination attempt.
I hadn’t met Eddrick in the flesh, all I knew is he was one evil bastard. I was secretly scared about meeting him, yet alone trying to kill him. However that was a fear I could deal with later.
Now we had to get out of the palace...
...without getting killed first.
After Maximus hands out some weapons he has stored in his room, he directs Jennifer and Caitlin that we are going to go through the secret entrance just outside his room to make it to the garage. He hoists them up quickly into the celling and when he turns to me I see a dark look in his eye.
“What?” I ask, confused by his suspicious glare my way.
“Hurry up,” Jennifer hurries us from up in the hole. There was no commotion yet in the palace, but any second vampires would realise they couldn’t disobey a direct order unless they wanted to lose their own lives as punishment...
However Maximus ignores Jennifer’s rushing and leans down to whisper in my ear instead.
“If you even try to use this opportunity to try and run back to Luke and his vampire hunter friends,” he whispers threateningly, “I will spank your ass until it is so red you’ll never be able to walk, let alone run from me or this palace ever again.”
I step back from him, shocked.
“Just hoist me up into the damn ceiling, you idiot, we don’t have time to argue,” I snap, feeling a little rattled that he now knew me so well he had caught on to my thoughts.
Maximus stares right into my bloody soul as I try to glare defiantly back at him but I can’t hide the fact that he had caught me off guard.
“Come here so I can hoist you up then,” he growls slowly.
I go to him grudgingly and I place my foot on his cupped hands and place my hands on his shoulders. He hoists me up into the hole and Jennifer and Caitlin grab my hands, helping me in all the way.
Maximus is so tall he jumps up and simply pulls himself through, struggling only a little.
Maximus might know me well enough to know I wanted to see Luke again now that I was human. But he couldn’t guess the rest of the plan, surely.
If Luke helped me go through the vampire hunter ritual, I could become a fully-fledged vampire hunter...
...the only being on this earth that couldn’t be transformed into a vampire.
Maximus wouldn’t be able to turn me, enslave me or even have me reside in the palace. I would be a free woman.
And if he wanted to be with me?
He could court me properly and learn to treat me with the respect I deserved.
Xavier’s POV (Abducted by a Hot Vampire: Prince Xavier, ch17)
“Why is he still grinning?” I ask Claudia, who sits opposite Johnathan. He is tied down to a chair in their bedroom they shared before he went completely wacko. She rests her chin in her hand, her elbow resting on her knee as she stares at Johnathan through narrowed eyes.
“I’m still trying to work it out,” Claudia explains, “He won’t say.”
“Come on, Claudia,” he says, still grinning, “You know you can trust me, there is nothing wrong with me – let me go.”
“That is all he has been complaining about,” Claudia sighs, “All Owen and I know is that he was trying to find the King.”
“I spoke to my father before dropping by here,” Xavier says, nodding, “Johnathan hasn’t approached him yet. You said Owen found him leaving the kitchen area?”
“Yes, he still won’t tell the truth,” Claudia sighs, standing up and facing me, “I’m tired of trying to see if the real Johnathan is still inside him – he’s gone. We need to feed him the mixture of Jennifer and Eddrick’s blood –”
"Don’t you dare try to turn me against my master, bitch!" we both jump in surprise at the sudden snarl from Johnathan and I quickly put a comforting hand on Claudia’s shoulder.
“You should go, I’m going to find out everything we need to know,” I say quietly, pushing her towards the door. She tries to push back but her human strength does little for her, ”Go.”
"Fine then, I’m going to get the potion,” Claudia says, “We still have a little bit left over from Meredith.”
“It’ll do you both no good,” Johnathan snarls happily, “You only have enough left for one more vampire?”
“Why do you say this?” I ask my youngest brother, turning to face him, “Why are you giving up the pretence now after trying so pathetically to fool us?”
“Because now I’ve waited long enough for the effects to have taken place, it’s too late for you to do anything now,” he laughs loudly, glaring over his shoulder at a frozen Claudia, “You’re too late, bitch – you were too weak to use other methods on me to try and make me talk.”
“What the hell did you do?” I ask, snapping the question.
“Right at this moment,” Johnathan slowly turns his head back around to face me, a sick evil smirk plastered on his face, “Our father’s body will be transforming into a superior being... and he won’t be the only one. The revolution is about to take place, this is just the beginning of the insurgency.”
"Owen found him walking out of the kitchens?" I ask Claudia, her face has gone pale.
I think her and I both figured out at the same time exactly what Johnathan had done.
“Yes,” she whispers.
Johnathan begins laughing uncontrollably. I stalk up to Claudia and grab her arm.
“Find Darrius, right now,” I hiss, “Alert him to what Johnathan has done – we need to lockup all humans in the palace in a secure area before it’s too late.”
“Johnathan already said it would be too late,” Claudia points out the obvious.
“Let’s hope he is just being cocky,” I say, “I’m going to find my father. Stay safe and arm yourself. Once you find Darrius, make sure you protect Jennifer.”
“On it,” she runs out the door and I also run, towards my father’s office.
Everything seemed calm enough in the palace, but all hell would soon break loose.
Johnathan had put Eddrick’s favourite mixture of Jaime’s blood and his own, in the main blood supply in the main kitchens – which would be handed out to any vampire that asked for blood from the tap – rather than directly from a human.
Whoever drank that blood – including my father – was going to turn insane with blood lust.
All the humans inside the palace were now in danger of losing their life.
I quickly take a detour back to my room instead – I needed to make sure I locked Caitlin in.
Except when I use my vampire speed to get to my bedroom, the door is wide open.
She is gone.
"Damn it,” I curse under my breath.
Where the hell did Caitlin wander off to?
Caitlin’s POV (Chapter 19, Prince Xavier, Book 3)
I have to explain to Maximus and Isobel in the car how I have super enhanced strength and agility for the remainder of the hour. In response Maximus put his foot down, because even though he found it hard to believe, he was taking my word for is that I was even stronger than vampires. Potentially strong enough to stop Eddrick.
And they needed my help because they were all human, which meant I was the strongest out of all of them.
We already had a plan in mind. Maximus and Isobel would go save Abbey, I would go straight for Eddrick with Jennifer’s blood. Jennifer said she would stay as the look out from the outside, and we all had our mobile phones to contact each other if we needed to.
We are able to get in through the gate sectioning off Royalty drive from the public, because I now knew the password.
We park just out of sight and we all cautiously approach from the path, looking to see if any windows are open and how much activity is going on. The lights are on in most of the rooms and I am able to spot Abbey’s room around the side of the mansion, with the light on.
“We’ll break in through the window and take Abbey from there,” Maximus suggests, and Isobel nods.
“Caitlin, are you sure you can face Eddrick by yourself?” Jennifer asks me, looking highly nervous as we crouch low behind some hedges in the lush garden out front.
“I’ll be fine, I’ll go in once Abbey is out,” I say, determined to use my enhanced strength to kill Eddrick. I had a syringe full of Jennifer’s blood, all I needed to do was inject it into Eddrick and hopefully the rest would work out itself.
“Maximus, Isobel, you should hurry,” Jennifer nods to me and looks to her watch before announcing, “Caitlin only has ten minutes left to inject Eddrick with my blood, then she’ll be too weak to face him.”
“Let’s go,” Maximus dramatically sweeps Isobel off her feet into his arms and starts walking off towards Abbey’s window around the side, where they will be mostly out of sight. Isobel hits his chest and glares back at him.
“What the hell?” She hisses, but her only response is a demeaning chuckle from Maximus.
“I know how to walk lightly, you stomp around like an elephant...”
I look to Jennifer and roll my eyes.
“That was really mean,” Jennifer says, “But I guess that’s Maximus for yah...”
“As long as he helps get the job done, that’s all we need,” I sigh in frustration, all my muscles feeling tight and tense. The spell Eddrick made me cast to enhance my strength made me want to move. I want to get in there as fast as possible, except I had to wait until Abbey was safe first.
Jennifer and I nearly jump out of our skin when her phone vibrates with a text.
“They can’t be done already, surely,” Jennifer looks down at her phone and frowns in the moonlight, “Ah oh....“”
“What?” I ask, worried, “Is Abbey in there?”
“It’s not Maximus or Isobel,” Jennifer turns off the screen without replying to the sender, “It was Darrius, he is asking where we all went, he obviously found out we took a car. I’ll reply later.”
“He can’t be too angry, the order after all was to kill all the humans. In a way we are safer out here than back in there –” Suddenly the silence is broken when my phone also vibrates silently.
I look down, hopeful it is Maximus or Isobel once more.
I’m sorely disappointed.
“Well?” Jennifer asks, “What’s wrong?”
I guess she asked because I was also frowning.
“Xavier knows I’ve gone too,” I say, “He is ordering me to return at once, and he is stressing that it is the final and only warning he will give me.”
“Before what?” Jennifer asks, trying not to laugh.
“I don’t want to know.”
“Don’t worry about it, Caitlin,” Jennifer reassures me, “Like I said, we’re safer out here.”
Or that’s what we all thought.
Xavier and I literally run into each other in the halls, both searching for our father after the emergency announcement was made.
“Have you spoken to Claudia?” Xavier asks.
“Yes, just before. Claudia told me what Johnathan did, now she is going to your room where Jennifer and Caitlin are talking,” I explain as quickly as possible.
“Caitlin was meant to stay in her room and was missing when I was searching for her before,” Xavier growls, irritated and impatient.
“She was possessed by Eddrick and tried to kill Jennifer, that’s all you missed out on –”
“We don’t have time to worry about that, she is fine, Meredith expelled Eddrick from her mind and she is safe now with Jennifer in your room,” I snap, “Let’s go find our father before people actually take him seriously.”
“He cannot be reasoned with, not after the transformation he would have gone through,” Xavier snaps, “We have to kill him, then I’m going to take his position as King.”
I’m not too surprised to hear my older brother say this so casually and with such a calm demeanour. I suspected he always wanted to overthrow our father anyway.
Suddenly a door opens down the hall we are walking through and a vampire exits with blood running down his chin, staining his clothes – and a huge grin plastered on his face.
“I’ve been dying to kill that runt of a slave since I captured him,” he growls at us with that grin still present.
“Don’t take heed of the announcement,” Xavier growls, “It is false, do you really want to kill off the whole blood supply to this palace? Think about it you fool.”
“A King’s order, is a King’s order,” the vampire snarls back, “And I’ll do as the King said.”
Xavier and I stalk past without further comment because we don’t have much time left.
“I’m going to kill off all the stupid vampires in this palace as soon as I’m King,” Xavier growls.
“He could be under the influence of the infected tapped blood, keep that in mind, brother,” I growl low, noting Xavier’s anger is now growing. He had a temper and needed to be kept calm if he was to continue to make good decisions. Not much pissed him off, but when something tipped him over the edge, you didn’t want to know my older brother.
We are interrupted when my phone rings and I see that it is Claudia. I take the call and hang up within seconds once she gives me the information I need.
“We have other issues,” I growl, “Jennifer and Caitlin aren’t in your room.”
“Go find out what happened to them,” Xavier orders, already no doubt feeling like he was King, “I will deal with our father.”
I honestly didn’t have an issue with Xavier wanting to kill our father – infected or not he wasn’t the ideal ruler for this palace and he needed to be brought to justice for the death of our mother.
He wasn’t the direct cause, but he may as well have been the reason she died.
“I’ll find out what happened to them,” I agree, “But as soon as you are in that office, whether you kill him or not, make the announcement to take back the last order. Do it as soon as possible.”
“It’s about time we restored peace and order to this palace,” Xavier growls low, “Let’s make it happen. Everyone needs to be reminded of their place and role in this hierarchy.”
He was referring to everyone in general, but he was also referring directly to Caitlin and Jennifer.
Hopefully they had gone somewhere safe.
Knowing my princess, however... they had probably walked right into danger.