Part 2 Chapter 20
I drop Caitlin and Abbey off in the city where Caitlin asks to be dropped off. I feel hesitant doing it as she is looking paler with every minute that passes. Somehow she manages to stand on two feet as she exits the car with her little sister in tow.
“I will return if I have no other choice,” Caitlin farewells me.
“Or if Xavier doesn’t come after you first, hey?” I ask, trying to be humorous but Caitlin just frowns instead.
“It’s about time I found some freedom for me and my sister, Jennifer,” she says, looking as white as a ghost, “Goodbye.”
“Bye –” the door shuts before she can hear my farewell and I frown after her as she stumbles along the street with Abbey. I couldn’t force her to come back with me and she had every right to her freedom – hopefully she stayed safe.
I stay parked on the curb and decide it is time to call my prince. I hadn’t replied to him earlier, it was best I rang up and made sure the palace wasn’t in a riot before I got back.
I press for his name and lift the phone to my ear, nervous about when Darrius will pick up. When the phone rings more than three times I start to bite my lip – but he answers just before it goes to voice mail.
“You finally decided to give me a call, did you?” he asks in a low growl, disapproval evident in his tone.
“Is it safe to return to the palace?” I ask.
“It nearly is, Xavier and I along with some other recruits are securing the palace as we speak. We’re going to need you back to use your blood to cure them, we’re going to need more of Eddrick’s blood too. What did you all accomplish on your little mission, Jennifer?”
Oh no, here it was, the question I was dreading answering.
“We went to save Caitlin’s sister, Abbey,” I explain and he cuts me off almost instantly.
“Oh don’t worry, I know what you all went off to do, what was the result?” He sounds suspicious, like he expected me to start admitting how we failed.
“There is some good news and some bad news, what do you want to hear first?” I ask.
“How about you just tell me everything without hesitating, darling,” Darrius drawls out, “And then haul your ass back here where I can look out for you and make sure you’re not killed.”
I can’t help but smile at this part, but then instantly frown again when I have to tell him what happened.
“Well, the good news is Abbey is safe, we saved her. Caitlin has gone off into the city to find a way to fix her because she is in some sort of zombie-like condition. I’m sure Meredith can help them if they find her, um –”
“The bad news?” Darrius asks, patiently waiting for my answer.
“Maximus and Isobel were kidnapped,” I blurt out, tensing, waiting for his response.
“By whom?” he asks, relatively calmly. Which I didn’t expect – perhaps it was the calm before the storm.
“By werewolves,” I explain, “You made a pact with them to get Eddrick together, I think they were surrounding the house, keeping it under watch. I don’t know why they kidnapped Maximus and Isobel.”
“That’s not your fault,” Darrius says, “They should have asked what was happening, clearly they are all strung up tight about everything that has been happening with Eddrick. Come back and I’ll meet you in the palace’s garage. We’ll figure out a plan then.”
I’m suspicious of how calm and reasonable Darrius is sounding. I expected more of a domineering, patriotic, demeaning, angry response.
“Okay,” I say, slowly, “You’re not angry... ?”
Darrius is laughing sarcastically before he hangs up.
He was angry.
I realized I also forgot to tell him that Eddrick was possibly dead. Woops, I’d tell him that when I saw him in person.
I pull out of the park and drive back to where I remember Maximus drove out of an undercover carpark. Luckily there is not much traffic at this time of the night so I find the place relatively quickly.
I drive down through three levels of the underground carpark and finally reach a restricted zone, the fourth level, where you had to know a pass code to enter. I stop by the boom gate and roll down the window.
My eyes widen as Darrius literally steps out of the shadows from just behind where the security keypad was positioned on a steel box. He reaches his hand over and presses in the code, covering it with his other hand so I can’t see.
I glare up at him as he types it in.
“Can’t have you knowing the code, now, can we?” he asks, looking at me as he finishes as the boom gate opens.
“And why is that?” I ask, anger flooding into my tone.
“You’ll no doubt use it to do something stupid again if you know how to leave with vehicles as well,” he explains, and using his vampire speed he runs to the other side of the car and hops in the passenger seat, “Drive through, sweetheart.”
“Still scared I don’t want to be here and that I will eventually try to escape again, Darrius?” I ask dryly, not impressed by his attitude at all.
“I’m not scared of anything, darling,” he answers, growling at me and looking at me under hooded eyes, his long damn eyelashes highlighting the blue depths of his gaze, “I’m more impatient about finding out ways to keep you inside this palace, so you can’t just run off and try to play the hero.”
“I understand that as a human, I am physically incapable of doing almost everything supernatural creatures can do,” I admit, driving down into the carpark and looking for a free spot, “I want you to teach me how to be strong and how to fight.”
“You’ll never be strong enough in your human form,” he dismisses me almost instantly.
I break into the park I find a lot harder due to my rising frustration and he jerks forward in the seat.
“Careful,” he growls. I turn off the ignition and pull the hand break up before chucking the key at him.
“My blood isn’t enough, I need to be faster, stronger. I want to be able to protect myself so I’m not looked down upon by you and everyone else,” I snap, glaring at him, “I could have saved Isobel and Maximus, we wouldn’t be in this mess if I was stronger!”
Darrius pauses, considering what I have to say. He narrows his eyes.
“Are you asking me to turn you, darling?” he asks, genuinely curious.
“Maybe I am,” I mutter, crossing my arms over my chest and looking at my feet. Did I really know what I was asking of him? How much it would change my life?
“That’s something we can discuss inside,” he says quietly, seeming a little too pleased with what I’ve propositioned.
I guess we just had to worry about one thing.
If I was turned, would my blood still have the same effect on supernatural creatures? Would it change? Would I even be able to turn into a vampire?
I think of the one person that might know the answer to that question.
“One more thing,” I say to Darrius as we walk to the lift that would take us straight into the palace from the garage, “Caitlin injected Eddrick with a syringe full of my blood, she thinks it might have killed him.”
“We need his blood to cure the vampires that have gone insane,” he says, “Where is his body?”
“Still at Caitlin’s home, however I don’t know if he is actually dead, maybe he was just knocked unconscious? Caitlin didn’t stick around to find out if my blood actually killed him or not, she seemed unsure...”
“Well then, we’ll have to get to his body as quickly as possible then to drain him of his blood,” Darrius eyes me closely.
“What?” I snap, not liking the look in his eye.
“Just waiting to hear if you are wanting to volunteer again to go back after Eddrick,” Darrius admits.
“Well, I wasn’t, so just relax,” I say with a sigh, my stomach growling. Damn, I was hungry! “What would you have done if I did volunteer? Hmmm, let me guess, locked me up in our room, tied me to the bed, spanked me even?”
“Are you asking me to spank you, sweetheart?” Darrius asks, smirking and giving me a raised eyebrow.
“No!” I blurt, blushing a deep red, “I’m hungry, stop being such a dick and get me some food.”
“You know you want to be spanked, darling,” he says, winking at me and I just smack a palm to my forehead.
“No, I don’t!” I yell, frustrated.
“Yes, you do.”
“Shhh, relax, Jennifer” he orders, “Let’s go get you some food, it might be your last meal...”
“Stop being so condescending,” I hiss, “And... oh... right.”
Darrius was clearly agreeing to turn me into a vampire.
“What about Maximus and Isobel?” I ask, clasping my hands together, nervous for their sake and my own as we step into the lift and the doors begin to shut.
“I’ll get Owen to organise a plan to save Maximus and Isobel,” Darrius says.
“Okay,” I whisper, debating my own future.
“Don’t look so scared, sweetheart,” Darrius says, grabbing me around the waist, “You’ll feel better once you eat.”
Okay, I admit I was nervous about being turned.
I wanted to be stronger but...
Was becoming a vampire the right answer?