I groaned, burying my head under my pillow as my phone vibrated on the bedside table for the fourth time.
“For the love of god,” Vinnie groaned, his voice heavy with sleep, “Answer your phone and tell your mother to stop calling!”
Colton had been incredibly fussy for the past three days, and wouldn’t sleep, so Vinnie and I were completely exhausted, having only gotten him down an hour ago.
“It’s three in the morning.” Vinnie whimpered.
“I know, I’m sorry.” I grunted.
I felt terrible. Vinnie was short two managers at two clubs so he was working crazy hours, and had only gotten home at one, and had to work at eight in the morning. He’d been working so much this past month trying to cover the clubs and be here as much as he could.
I reached over and grabbed my phone, my eyes barely focusing and answered the call.
“What?!” I snapped, “What is so important that you’re calling me repeatedly at three in the morning, aunt Dee?!”
Vinnie let out a chuckle and reached over and patted my back, “Good girl. You tell her.”
“Lydia… Lydia, we need you here.”
“For what?! I have a baby that is incredibly fussy lately, and will probably be awake in a couple of hours, I need sleep. Not to mention, Vin-”
“Jesus, Lydia. Look, I don’t know how to say this kiddo…”
“Just say it.” I groaned, slowly sitting up and rubbing my eyes, but trying to keep the sleep so that I could fall back to sleep soon.
“CJ’s been attacked… And it’s bad.”
“What?!” I yelled, any remaining sleepiness disappearing as I instantly felt like I was going to throw up, “What do you mean?!”
Vinnie quickly sat up and stared at me as he flicked the lamp by the bed on, motioning with his hand for me to talk.
“We don’t know what happened, but he was stabbed with an iron bladed knife-”
I jumped up and immediately grabbed the zip-up sweater id worn for two days from the floor.
“Stabbed?! Is he alive?! How is he? Where is he?!”
“Lydia, what’s going on?” Vinnie got out of bed, “Who was stabbed? Talk to me baby girl.”
“CJ’s hurt — he was attacked - stabbed… Aunt Dee, where’s Vanessa, is she hurt too?”
“We don’t know where she is… Come to my place, everyones here.”
“Okay… Okay, yeah. Oh my god!”
I fumbled trying to turn off my phone, my hands shaking as Vinnie turned on the ceiling light, then rushed to the walk-in closet.
“Oh my god…” I kept repeating as I pulled on a pair of sweatpants, “I can’t believe this.”
Vinnie walked out of the closet in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, slipping a light blazer on.
“I’ll drive, you get Colton.” Vinnie said, letting out a breath as he grabbed his phone and keys.
I nodded biting my lip to stop it from trembling, but gave up and covered my face with both hands, turning my back and started to cry.
“Hey, hey, hey.” Vinnie said softly, turning me around and immediately pulled me into his arms, “It’s going to be okay. You hear me? CJ’s going to be okay.”
“You don’t know that.” I sobbed, “It was an iron knife. Iron, Vin. It was someone who knew he was a vampire.”
“Fuck.” Vinnie cursed under his breath, “Iron? Okay. Alright, we need to get over there, Go to the car, I’ll get the baby.”
I nodded, wiping my eyes.
Vinnie drove fast, ignoring red lights and stop signs, all the while not letting go of my hand as Colton slept soundly, unbothered by the car ride. We quickly raced inside once we got to the apartment building, and bolted into aunt Dee and Gaia’s apartment.
“Mom?” I called out as I ran through the kitchen and into the open living area.
“She’s in the bedroom.” Aunt Gaia said as she rushed down the hall to meet me.
“How is he?” Vinnie asked, carefully putting the carrier with the still sleeping Colton down on the floor.
“Unconscious.” Gaia said, her hands on my shoulders, “But alive.”
“Has he woken up at all?” I asked.
“No. He’s lost a lot of blood though, so that’s probably why he hasn’t woken up, but he’s breathing, and his pulse is steady. Weak, but steady.”
“How’s mom?” I asked, “I need to know before I go in there, I need to know if she’s a mess, keeping cool… How is she?”
Gaia drew in a breath before she nodded, “Madison is doing as well as can be expected. She was crying when they first got here, but she’s settled down and is sitting with him now, so is your father. Sophie is laying down in Dionne and I’s room, but I don’t think she’s sleeping, if you want to put Colton in there.”
I nodded and looked at Vinnie.
“Go.” He nodded toward the hall, “Go on.”
I drew in a deep breath before I quietly walked into the bedroom, immediately covering my mouth when I saw how terrible CJ looked. Mom was sitting on the bed, holding CJ’s hand, and dad was kneeling beside her resting his forehead on CJ’s forearm while holding the same hand that mom was holding. Mom looked over her shoulder at me and immediately started to cry, shaking her head. I walked over and wrapped my arms around mom, trying to take her pain away, and then did the same with dad. I walked to the other side of the bed and knelt beside CJ, pushing his dark hair off of his forehead. God, he was so pale… Almost as white as the sheets.
“Charlotte thinks he’s bleeding internally.” Mom said softly, “She and Dee are at the hospital getting… Supplies.”
“She needs to figure out if he’s bleeding, and if he is then she needs to stop it.” Dad said, his voice barely above a whisper.
Mom sniffled and cleared her throat, “Charlotte thinks Vanessa did this.”
“What?” I shook my head, “No way. There’s no way Vanessa did this.”
Dad raised his head and looked at me with bloodshot eyes. “We found out who her parents were tonight. Vinnie called her out on it… What if it was all an act with her?”
“Her parents sell vampires to hunters and bidders.” Mom hissed, “She had a part in this.”
“Mom, I can’t see Vanessa-”
“She might not have plunged the knife in him, but she’s the reason for this!” Mom snapped, “She’s the reason my baby is laying here like this! She’s the reason he’s going to die! Oh god, he’s going to die… Our baby is going to die!” Mom screamed.
“Madison!” Dad quickly pulled mom, who was now sobbing hysterically, into his arms.
“Why won’t he wake up?” Mom sobbed, holding onto dad’s shirt as if her life depended on it, “Chris, why won’t he wake up? Why won’t our baby wake up?”
“Lydia, can you go get your mom some water? Please.” Dad said, burying his face in the crook of moms necks.
I knew he was crying as he held mom. I could tell by the way his shoulders were heaving. I wiped the tears from my cheeks as I quickly walked out of the room, hearing my mom wailing in agony. I went to the kitchen and held onto the counter with one hand, the other over my mouth to try to calm myself down. I’ve never seen mom like that. I’ve never heard the sound that she was making… It was pure heartbreak, agony, and fear. Being a mother, I know if something were to ever happened to Colton I would die, so seeing my mom scared that she was going to lose one of her children, fucking broke me. I grabbed a glass from the cabinet and filled it with water and returned to the bedroom, where dad was still holding mom in his arms, but she wasn’t crying anymore. She was just holding onto him as they both looked at CJ, who looked even paler than he did when I first got there.
“Here mom.” I said softly, holding the glass out to her.
She gave me a small smile and took it with a shaky hand, taking a sip and put it down on the side table.
“Charlotte should be here soon.” Dad said as he closed his eyes.
Mom nodded as she ran her hand across CJ’s cheek. “Good. Hopefully he’ll-”
Mom cried out in fear as CJ started to seize violently, his body stiff as a board, his eyes rolled back.
“Oh god!” Mom screamed, sobbing.
“Fuck!” Dad pulled mom back and quickly put his arm over CJ to try to stop him from further hurting himself.
“What is happening?!” Mom sobbed.
Mom and I clung to each other and were both crying in fear as CJ continued to seize and blood dripped from his mouth.
“He’s having a seizure. He’s… Oh god.” Dad shook his head, “I… I-I don’t know what to do!”
I was pushed over as Charlotte rushed in, quickly followed by aunt Gaia.
“Let him go, you’ll only hurt him.” Charlotte said calmly as she stuck a needle into a vial of something.
“But he’s-” Dad started to speak.
“Back up, dad.” Charlotte said sternly.
Dad reluctantly stepped back, watching Charlotte as she quickly injected the needle into CJ’s arm, and he almost instantly stopped seizing.
“Lorazepam.” Charlotte said as dad went to speak, “Stops seizures among other things.”
Charlotte put a cuff on CJ’s arm, took a stethoscope and started to check his blood pressure. She nodded, and then deflated the cuff.
“He’s bottoming out… Definitely still bleeding.” Charlotte said softly.
“C-can you stop it?” Mom asked in a shaky voice.
“I can try… But I’m not a surgeon. The only surgeries I do are c-sections, but never on my own.” Charlotte pulled her hair back with a sigh. “He need’s blood before anything.”
“Take mine.” Mom said with a nod.
Charlotte shook her head as she pulled two long IV lines and an empty transfusion bag out of the bag she was carrying and two syringes.
“There’s only one person who’s an exact match.” Charlotte said, “Me.”
“But how are you going to-”
“Direct blood transfusion.” Charlotte said as she tied a tourniquet around CJ’s arm, and then her own. “I’m glad you’re here, sis. I need your blood. Now.”