Night Blood

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Chapter 17

LYDIA:


“Huh?” I furrowed my brow in confusion.

Charlotte grinned at me as she as she connected the IV lines to the bag.

“I need your blood so that I don’t get too weak to do the surgery.”

I gulped. I fucking hated needles.

“Why can’t you just use my blood to give to CJ?” I asked, “It’ll help him heal without you having to give your blood.”

Charlotte shook her head, “No, he needs a direct transfusion of blood platelets. Yours don’t match, well… anyone’s platelets.”

“It’s true.” Aunt Gaia nodded at me, “A vampire takes a long time to regenerate their blood, so a transfusion would really be the only way to ensure CJ remains strong for the surgery.”

I remembered when we were all prisoners in the hunters compound and what they did to Aunt Gaia, and how long it took for her to heal. She wasn’t able to get out of bed for over a month, and had trouble walking and keeping her balance for another two months.

“Plus-”

“Stop. What about my wife?”

I turned to see Vinnie walk in, a hard look on his face as he wrapped his arms around me protectively, pulling me against his chest.

“She needs her blood, too.” Vinnie all but growled.

Aunt Gaia cocked an eyebrow. “Her blood replenishes quicker, and is strong. If Vinnie hadn’t interrupted me, I would have said that your blood, Lydia, is stronger than a vampires because of your necromancy. Charlotte won’t need much of your blood to help her body replenish her own.”

The look of confusion must have been all over my face, because Gaia walked over and cupped my chin.

“In other words, your blood is too strong to do a complete transfusion to your brother. It would essentially destroy his own blood, and kill him. But as Charlotte does a transfusion of her own blood, injecting a small amount of your blood into her system will, theoretically, help her blood replenish quicker and keep her strong while she performs the surgery.” Aunt Gaia said softly.

Theoretically?” Mom slowly walked to Gaia, “What do you mean theoretically? You said it would work… You said it was the only way to-”

“I said it was the only option and should work, Madison.” Gaia said calmly, “We’ve tested Lydia’s blood numerous times in the lab, and with the right ratio of her blood and vampiric blood, the vampiric blood level increased significantly. With Lydia’s weight and Charlotte’s… One vial of Lydia’s blood injected slowly into Charlotte after the transfusion will be sufficient.”

Vinnie rested his chin on the top of my head. “But what about Lydia? She’s breastfeeding… This won’t hurt her or the baby, will it?”

“No.” Charlotte and Gaia said at the same time.

I nodded as Charlotte connected the IV lines in her arm and CJ’s arm to the transfusion bag, and watched her dark red blood start to fill the bag quickly.

“But she might-”

I elbowed Vinnie and cleared my throat, “Okay, so when do you need to draw my blood?”

“About five minutes. It won’t take long to fill this bag.” Charlotte said as she sat in a chair by the bed. “Once it’s full, all I have to do is open his line to do the transfusion.”

After I had my blood drawn, I sat on the sofas in the living room with mom as I breastfed Colton, while dad was pacing in the kitchen, talking with Vinnie.

“How is he?” Mom asked, nodding at Colton, “Is he still reverse cycling?”

“Yeah.” I said with a huff, looking at Colton, who was looking up at me as he suckled greedily, “It sucks.”

“Oh, trust me, I know.” Mom said with a small smile, “All four of you did it. You only did for about two weeks, thank god, but Sophie? God, the first eight months of her life, all she did was sleep all day, and be awake all night. And when she wasn’t sleeping, she was screaming.”

I chuckled, “I remember. Poor Soph.”

“Yeah…” Mom’s voice trailed off.

“Mom, can I ask you a question?”

“Yeah.”

“Does breastfeeding really work as a birth control?”

Mom shrugged, “People say it does, but I wouldn’t trust it. I never needed to worry about birth control, since my body sucks and decides when it wants to be impregnated.”

I looked at mom, who was looking at Colton.

“Do you want another kid?” I asked her.

“What?” Her eyes snapped to mine, “God no. No, I am done having kids. I have an even four, and I’m totally okay with it. After Sophie’s birth… No. That was terrifying. She was the best pregnancy I had, but I almost died after she was born from blood loss, and she almost died because she got stuck in the birth canal.”

“Yeah, she was a big baby.” I nodded.

“The biggest one out of all of you. Twelve pounds, nine ounces.” Mom winced, squeezing her legs together.

I grimaced, suddenly incredibly grateful that Colton weighed five pounds, six ounces at birth, and absentmindedly crossed my legs.

“How much did I weigh?” I said with a cheeky grin, “Can you even remember that far back?”

Mom grinned back at me, narrowing her eyes.

“Six pounds, four ounces. You were the first one who ruined my vag.”

I laughed out loudly, covering my mouth.

“Charlotte was seven pounds even, and Christopher…” Mom turned and sadly looked at the closed bedroom door, where Charlotte and Aunt Gaia were trying to stop CJ’s internal bleeding. “Christopher was the smallest… four pounds, eight ounces. He was always the smallest. Always… More vulnerable than the rest of you. We didn’t think he’d make it, you know.”

“Really?” I asked, dumbfounded.

“He was just so small, and weak when he was born. I was never worried about you or Charlotte, you guys were so strong and independent right from the beginning, but not your brother. Maybe we coddled him too much, and that’s why he was so… Well, scared of everything. Charlotte stopped breastfeeding on her own at two, but I kept breastfeeding CJ until he was three and a half. I thought… I thought if I breastfed him longer, then maybe he’d get stronger. Maybe if he was the only one then he’d get more nutrients from me, and that I fed more, then he’d get more.” Mom’s eyes were filling with tears as she stared at the door. “I knew he needed me. I knew all he needed was me to nurture, and protect him, but now I can’t do that. I can’t be there for him, or take this away. I can’t-”

“Hey.” I squeezed moms hand, and she looked at me, “He’s going to be okay. He’s not that weak little baby anymore, mom. He’s not the kid who took placebos for allergies that he made up, or the kid that was afraid of everything anymore. He’s strong, mom. You made him strong. He’s going to pull through, I know it.”

Mom gave me a genuine smile and nodded as she blinked tears away and cleared her throat.

“Are you planning on having anymore?”

“Hmm?”

Mom ran her hand over Colton’s head as I started to burp him.

“You and Vinnie. Are you guys wanting to have anymore?”

I bit my lip as I gently bounced Colton, whose eyes were getting heavy as he started falling asleep.

“Well… I uh, we…” I looked over my shoulder at Vinnie, who was leaning against the counter with one arm around dad, who was talking.

I smiled and looked at mom. “I think I might be pregnant.”

Mom gasped and covered her mouth with one hand. “B-but… Colton’s only five months old. Oh my god, are you serious?”

I nodded, trying to hide my smile. “I mean, I don’t know for sure. That’s why I was curious about breastfeeding being a natural birth control. I’ve been feeling terribly sick every morning, nauseous and throwing up for a week… I’ve been super horny all the time like I was in the first trimester with Colton. My boobs are really tender, but I am breastfeeding, so…”

I looked at mom who was smiling warmly at me.

“We talked about wanting Colton to have someone to play with who was around his age. It was awful being almost six years older than the twins and not really being able to play with them. We decided we wanted to start trying to have a second baby when Colton was around a year old, so that they’d be close in age, but I never thought it would be this soon. God, if I am pregnant they’d be barely a year apart.”

Mom tucked my hair behind my ear and leaned her head against mine.

“I wished I’d have been able to have kids sooner than five years apart. I would have had Sophie when you guys were all still relatively younger if I could have. Hell, if I hadn’t been— If things had been different, I would have wanted to have had you all within five years.”

“Really?”

“I’ve always wanted a big family, and always wanted my kids to be able to play together. I hated that my siblings were so much older than I was… Thank you.”

“Thank you? For what?” I chuckled.

“For distracting me from what’s going on in that bedroom.” Mom wrapped her arm around me, “And for making me a nana. Twice.

Maybe twice. Don’t tell Vinnie you know about it, he want’s to keep it to ourselves until we know for sure, and already has a big announcement party planned out.”

Mom chuckled. “My lips are-”

A loud scream of pain was heard from the bedroom and mom and dad ran into the bedroom, followed by Vinnie. I passed Colton to aunt Dee, who had run out of her and Gaia’s bedroom with Sophie, and then I raced to see what was happening.

Bloody cloths and sheets were the first thing I saw. Lots of bloody cloths and sheets. Then I saw CJ, awake and screaming in pain so loudly that the veins in his neck were straining and his face was bright red. His eyes were as wide as saucers in shock, and he was gasping, his back arched off of the bed. Aunt Gaia was attempting to hold CJ down as Charlotte remained fixed on what she doing, her hands buried deep into CJ’s abdomen.

CJ let out another strained scream, deep and raspy as he attempted to sit up, squeezing his eyes shut, before they snapped open again.

“Hold him… Hold…Him… Down.” Charlotte hissed, “If he doesn’t stop moving, these stitches won’t hold!”

Mom rushed to the bedside and cupped CJ’s face in both hands.

“Christopher! Christopher, it’s okay. It’s mommy, you’re okay baby. I know it hurts!” Mom sobbed.

CJ continued to scream, his eyes rolling as he fought to get up.

“Dad! Vinnie!” Charlotte snapped, glaring at them both, “Get over here and hold. Him. Down.”

They both looked at each other, and then quickly ran over, each pinning his arms down.

CJ looked at dad, and through gritted teeth, he grunted, trying to speak.

“P-Put… Arg, fuuuck! Put…Ah, fucking… Fuck!”

“Relax! Relax, CJ. It’ll be over soon.” Dad said, trying to calm him down.

“Lydia!”

My eyes snapped to Charlotte.

“Get your ass over here and hold his legs, I need Gaia to assist me. Now, Lydia!”

I gulped and rushed over, pinning CJ’s legs down. CJ grabbed the front of dad’s shirt in his fist, pulling him down slightly.

Put…M-me… P-put me… OUT!” CJ grunted through a clenched jaw before letting out a scream of pain again.

“Charlotte, do you h-have… Do you have anything to knock him out?!” Dad pleaded, tears rolling down his cheeks.

“Lydia, front pocket of my bag, grab the vial called propofol and the empty syringe with it. Gaia, hold him tightly.” Charlotte ordered, not looking at me.

With shaky hands, I did as Charlotte asked. “Okay… Now what?”

“Draw it out of the top with the syringe to the third line. Mom, hold his arm down, Vinnie help Gaia.”

I did so, focusing to try to stop my hands from shaking.

“Flick the syringe and take the needle top off, stick it in the open port on the butterfly cannula.”

I blinked a couple of times, looked at the syringe in my hand and then back at Charlotte.

“The… What?”

Charlotte looked up at me in frustration. “The port in his arm. Put the syringe in it and inject all of the propofol slowly.”

“Got it.” I nodded, hurrying over to the other side of the bed. “CJ, you need to hold still while I do this. I can’t do it if you’re flailing around like this.”

CJ hissed in a breath and let out a growl as he tried to hold his arm steady.

“F-fucking… Do it!” CJ let out a sobbing scream.

As the propofol went into his body, CJ slowly started to relax, and finally his eyes rolled back and he went limp, falling unconscious.

“Draw more out to the third line, I’m going to need more in a little bit… These stitches tore.” Charlotte grunted.

We all waited as Charlotte and Gaia continued to work. Mom and dad were in the bedroom, refusing to leave CJ’s side, while the rest of us were outside in the living room. My head was resting on Vinnie’s shoulder, and his arm was around me, holding me close.

‘Are you okay?’ Vinnie’s voice pushed into my head, echoing.

’That was so scary to see CJ like that. I feel like I’m going to throw up.’ Tears slowly rolled down my cheeks.

‘I know. I’ve seen guys have to get bullets removed while they’re fully awake… it never gets easy… Did you tell your mom about the baby?’

’We don’t even know if there is a baby, babe.’

‘There definitely is. My swimmers are strong.’

I rolled my eyes with a smile. ’Of course I told her. I told her I might be pregnant.’

Vinnie chuckled, and I felt his lips brush against my forehead.

‘Boy or girl?’

‘Vin, this isn’t the time or place…Boy.’

‘Nah, it’s a girl. This one’s definitely a little girl.’

CJ:

I slowly opened my eyes weakly and looked around. I felt hot and cold at the same time, and my abdomen felt so fucking sore. I was struggling to catch my breath, and my head felt fuzzy. I let out a groan and felt tears sting at my eyes as I weakly lifted my arm and brought my hand to my abdomen, letting out a grunt as it landed on the medical wrapping that was firmly held in place. I lifted my head slightly to try to get a look at it, but it fell back into the pillow I clenched my jaw in annoyance when I realized I was completely naked, the sheet on the bed barely high enough to cover my crotch. I turned my head and saw mom and dad, both of them with their heads resting on the bed, sleeping, with mom’s hand resting in mine.

I squeezed her hand and mumbled, “Mommy…”

Mom’s head shot up, her eyes instantly meeting mine, and then the tears fell from my eyes, rolling slowly down the sides of my face.

“Hey… Hey baby.” Mom said softly, instantly smiling as she sat up.

Dad jolted up and let out a breath of relief his hand wrapped around my forearm.

“How are you feeling?” Dad asked as he reached his hand up and wiped the tears from my eyes with the back of his finger.

I closed my eyes as he did, my chest just about heaving as I tried to hold back the heavy sobs that my body was threatening to let out.

“Sore… Tired.” I grunted, gulping to try to get the lump out of my throat. “Thirsty.”

Mom nodded and kissed the back of my hand as dad got a glass of water with a straw from the side table and held it to my lips. I sucked on the straw, enjoying the taste and feel of the cool water in my dry mouth, and got slightly irritated when dad gently pulled it away from me.

“Go easy.” He said softly.

“Dad?”

“Yeah?” Dad leaned down.

I opened my eyes and looked at him. “Can you please pull the sheet up? I feel really exposed. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just you, but I don’t want mom to-”

Dad nodded and got up, giving mom the chance to move up closer to me as I felt the sheet cover my body up to my chest.

I closed my eyes. “H-how long was I out?”

“Two days.” Mom said.

My eye shot open in shock. “Two… Two days?!”

Mom nodded.

“Oh god! Oh god, no! No, I…I-I have to get up! I have to go-”

I struggled as I tried to sit up, panic rushing through me as my thoughts instantly went to Vanessa. My Vanessa. She was gone for two days, getting god knows what done to her. Oh god, she’s probably been raped. Forced to bare the child of some fucking bastard, and I’m not there to protect her. I’ll kill him. I’ll kill every single fucking one of them to find her. I’ll find her. I’ll find her, and never let her go. Beg her to forgive me for not protecting her. I’ll never forgive myself for not being strong enough to protect her. I have to find her. She’s got to be so fucking scared, and wondering where I am, if I’m alive.

“Woah, no. No. Baby, you need to rest.” Mom said, gently pushing me down.

“No, I can’t believe it’s been — I need to find her, I need to-”

“You’re not going anywhere.” Dad said sternly, “You need to rest.”

“No.” I growled, “Vanessa needs me!”

Mom’s eyes narrowed. “She did this to you, didn’t she?”

“What? No!” I gasped in shock as I froze. “No, i-is… Is that what you guys think?! Vanessa doesn’t… She doesn’t have a single mean bone in her body. Not one ounce of aggression, she’d never hurt so much as a bug.”

They both looked at me in confusion, and then at each other.

“But… But she was gone when Charlotte found you. If she didn’t do this, then who did? Where is Vanessa?” Mom shook her head.

I gritted my teeth and snarled in anger. “He took her.”

“Who?” Dad asked, his voice deep with growing anger.

I let out a growl as I remembered. “Her father.”

Vanessa:

I hugged my knees to my chest in fear and let out a whimper from the cold stone cell that I was in, my leg shackled from the chain that was bolted in the wall. Iron bar slats made up the front of the cell and the door, effectively keeping me from trying to get out. I knew this cell. It was the one where the females who were going to auction were held. I’d seen it thousands of times, but always from the other side, listening to the female vampires and werewolves begging to be released, asking for their mate or Bonded Souls… Their children. Tears stung my eyes as I shivered, wearing only a thin white nightgown that barely went to my knees. There was a storm outside, I could hear the wind from the open, barred window, and saw the heavy rain dripping in, making me feel terrible for the girl chained directly under it. I was going to auction. The man who had been lined up to reproduce with me decided he wanted a virgin instead, so my father threw me in here with five other female vampires, all shackled like me. I closed my eyes and started to sob as I thought of Christopher. My sweet, sweet Christopher. My love. My hope. My everything. Gone. He was dead. Dead at the hands of my father… Because of me. I’m the reason my loving, caring, desperately perfect Christopher is dead. I shouldn’t have let him leave the hotel room. I should have made him listen to me, to let me explain why I did what I did. But I didn’t. My father arrived ten minutes after Christopher left and held me captive until Christopher came back. The pain I felt when I saw the knife plunge into him is indescribable. I felt my heart tear from my chest as I watched him slowly fall to the floor, gasping for air, his eyes frozen and locked on mine. I looked at my wrist where the burn marks were still visible from the bracelet that omitted iron once activated. I wanted to die. I wanted to die so that I could be with my Christopher again, and not be taken captive by a rich man… To be used as he saw fit.

I jumped when I heard the exterior door slide open, and heard shoes clicking on the stone floor and let out a whimper.

…Are there?” A faint voice said.

Six females.” Another voice said, getting louder as they approached.

Good. Good, we’ll make our quota.” A female voice said.

Three people now stood in front of the cell; A young man wearing glasses and carrying a tablet, A tall woman in a doctors white jacket with light brown hair was nodding, looking at a tablet in her hands. The third person was my mother, Luisa de León. Her face showing no emotion as she stood with her hands clasped in front of her, her long black hair pulled back from her face and left hanging loosely down her back. She was looking at the woman in the white coat intently.

“You. Woman.” The the woman snapped her fingers at my mother.

“Yes, doctor?” My mother spoke softly, as always.

“They’re all in good working order? All broken in?”

“Yes. All of them have been examined, and none are intact.”

“Good. This round of bidders don’t want virgins. They want working girls.”

My mother nodded her head.

The doctor scanned the cell, nodding to herself. “Names and information.”

The man, her assistant cleared his throat. “Natasha Hale, mortal age of thirty-one, immortal age of one hundred and eighteen. At least three lovers, and has birthed twice.”

“Older… disappointing… Set the minimum bid at three million for her.”

“Yes, of course.” The man nodded.

“Continue.”

“Claire Wright, immortal age of twenty-six, five lovers, no children.”

“Pure bred. Excellent. Five million.”

“Katherine Lewis, immortal age of twenty-five, has had at least seven lovers.”

The doctor nodded, “Eight million. Are any of them younger?”

“Y-yes. Johanna Caliente… Immortal age of eighteen, forceable penetration to break in.”

“Fabulous! How many men has she had?” The doctor grinned.

I looked at the girl, the one who was under the window and saw her try to push closer to the wall.

“No male. She was penetrated with…” The man looked at my mother, “It doesn’t say in her file.”

“A metal rod, eight inches.” My mother said with a nod, “Done this morning.”

The girl whimpered and buried her face in her knees.

The doctor smiled. “Good. Set her at fifteen million.”

“Beverly Willis. Mortal age of thirty-six, immortal age of eighty-nine… twelve lovers detected.”

The doctor sucked her teeth. “Absolutely disgusting that a beast would turn such an old woman. One million.”

The doctor looked at me and grinned. “This is the one?”

My mother nodded. “Yes.”

“Luciana de León, immortal age of twenty-two, one lover.”

The doctor’s eyes travelled over my body as she grinned. “I can see why he chose her.”

She turned to look at my mother, “Your sacrifice will not go unnoticed. This is the only way for my plan to work.”

My mother nodded.

“Amma…” I pleaded, “Amma, please.”

“Transport them in the morning, but she stays in a holding cell. She is not to be auctioned, I need her to be my bait.”

“Yes, doctor.” The man said with a nod, “What exactly for?”

The doctor looked at him. “To settle a debt.”

“What debt?”

The doctor giggled, “You’ll see. They must be in the holding cells by nine tomorrow morning to be prepped.”

“Of course, doctor Heinrich.”

“What bait?” I called out.

“Silence, Luciana!” My mother spat. “You shame your family by speaking out of turn!”

The doctor waved her hand to silence my mother.

“I have a grudge with the Montgomery’s. A score to even out.” The doctor took a step closer. “Lydia Montgomery and I have… A lot to catch up on.”

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