Shane opened the book that made Ty's gut tighten. Ty had seen this book before, many times in fact. But it had always been an omen in his life. His thoughts went to Janie. He hoped she was safe. He hated being away from her.
She didn't know it but he spent his days watching her. He loved watching her work. He hardly ever spent a moment away from her. The only time he left his watch over her was to hunt. And today, to come see Shane. But it was for her, it was the only way he could make himself leave.
Shane smiled at Ty over the pages of the opened book. "Honestly, I always thought I understood why you hated leaving Janie's side. But I had no idea why you really stayed around her so much. Not until I met Delilah. It's not only having to be sure she's safe, but I feel as if something inside her pulls me to her."
"Her Innocence." Ty explained. "You've probably felt stronger lately too, your emotions even more intense than usual. You're feeding off of it. You'll be addicted the rest of your life. Wait until you have sex." he sighed. "The feeling is unlike anything. And it makes you so strong..." He grinned at Shane. "Not to mention that sex is just great, innocence or not."
Shane smiled back at him. "I'm glad you're enjoying married life Ty."
Ty leaned back, glad to put some distance between him and the book. "You have no idea." he sighed.
Shane ran his fingers over the pages of the book. "I've read this book thousands of time over the years. I thought I understood it. I've only just realized that I know nothing." he whispered. He looked up at Ty. "I did not start this school for the reasons I should have. I've been doing everything wrong."
The door opened and Charles came in with Sarah, carrying her in his arms. His face wasn't a happy one. "Tavio has been killed. Here is the girl."
Shane nodded. "Tavio was scheduled to die, Charles. He broke the rules, nearly all of them. And he was torturing the poor girl. She would have been killed by him."
Charles scowled at him. "Better her than him." he hissed.
"Put her in the room next to Delilah's. And be gentle with her, Charles. Maybe you do not realize this but you are very close to being added to the list."
Charles' eyes widened, then narrowed. "Yes sir, Mr. Jamison."
He left the room, the girl still sleeping limply in his arms.
Ty sighed. "Never did like him. He was always stuck up. I'm surprised he hasn't been killed already."
Shane gave Ty a look. "You do not understand him." he replied. "Just think how you would feel if Janie left you, Ty."
Ty shuddered. "I can't think about that."
Shane nodded. "Exactly. Though his behavior is becoming out of hand lately, he has been dedicated to the school since he came. And he has been loyal to me."
Ty nodded. "Seems like you're good at wrapping people around your finger." he remarked. "I know I would give my life for you. As long as I knew Janie would be safe." he added.
Shane nodded. "It's a fine thing to know as well. And the feeling is mutual. Of course provided, now knowing that Delilah would be safe after my death."
Ty grinned. "I think we're about to become even closer friends, Shane. Now that you know. Now, about you scaring my wife-"
"Once again, I am only protecting her. I know you hate seeing her scared, I do too. I do not like being a monster, but I do have respect to uphold as well as making sure no one here tries to hurt her. If she crosses a wrong line you know she can and most likely will get herself very hurt or killed. You've seen what happens to the innocent here."
Ty pursed his lips. "Of course. But I'm sure Delilah doesn't have one scratch on her-"
"Her head has literally been split open twice, and she has had stitches plus many bruises. Even being under my watch, she has been hurt. Not that she wasn't asking for it." he added, feeling a little annoyed with her still, and angry with those who hurt her.
He knew that Charles knew the real reason Shane had Tavio killed. And of course Matilda had been eliminated after laying her hands on his precious Delilah. He should have been there, but he had trusted Matilda enough to think she wouldn't hurt Delilah. He'd never been one to misjudge. The one time he did, it nearly cost Delilah her life.
Ty's eyes widened. "I'm sorry." he whispered. "I knew the girls got hurt but-"
"Keep Janie away from here." Shane interrupted. "Why do you think Chief Henderson has been trying to keep her away? Even the human understands."
He nodded. "Alright. I shouldn't have encouraged her."
"No, you shouldn't have." Shane replied, his voice hard. "Now, let's discuss Janie's changing-"
"Shane, I don't know if I can do that." Ty whispered. "What the hell am I supposed to tell her? She still doesn't know. What if she gets angry and she leaves?"
"I didn't say anything about telling her." Shane replied. "You wait until she is asleep of course. Once Janie is changed you will be bonded and she will be unable to leave you."
Ty rubbed his hands over his face. "She loves her life. She loves being human. Life is perfect for her. I can't do it. She'll hate me. She'll realize I'm not the man she married."
Shane sighed. "This is why you should have stayed with the school and had her brought to you. Then this would not be a problem."
Ty shook his head. "She would have hated me."
"She's married to you, Ty. She'll find out soon enough for herself." Shane reminded. "She probably already suspects it. At least this way she can't leave you. Unless you would like to become like Charles." he added.
Ty stared down at the horrid page of the book where a bright picture showed a creature like himself was about to bite into a woman. But there wasn't evil in the painting, only desire and love. And obsession. Ty knew he was obsessed, and he knew he could never have Janie leave him. He looked up at Shane. "Alright. Fine. Tell me how to change her."
Delilah stared at the phone on the desk. Charles sneered at her from the front desk. "Go to your room." he ordered.
She made a face at him. "Fuck you." she replied.
He glared at her. "Maybe I should tell Mr. Jacobs-"
"Go ahead." she replied. "I'm not scared of Shane." she lied.
"Is that so?" he asked from behind her.
She jumped and whirled around, finding Shane wasn't more than three inches away from her. She swallowed and took a deep breath. Before she could reply Charles laughed at her reaction. "Very brave." he commented.
She wanted to stick her tongue out at him, but she was too afraid to take her eyes off Shane. If he was going to hit her or kill her, she wanted to see it coming. He reached a hand out, and she flinched, which only made Charles laugh harder.
But Shane simply took her arm. "I believe you and I had scheduled a meeting."
She swallowed and nodded. "Right."
Charles had calmed down and she threw a worried look back at him. He only grinned back. Of course he didn't care what happened to her. She sighed and followed Shane as he led her across the hall and into his office.
"It seems you've lost your confidence." he murmured, also seeming amused by her fear. "You tricked me Delilah. Not many people have achieved doing that."
She blinked at him. "How did I trick you?" she asked.
He signaled for her to take a seat. Slowly, she sat down on a black comforter. He smiled back at her, and she wasn't sure whether she should be scared.
"I was angry with you earlier. Furious, in fact. Then you kissed me to distract me from my anger. It worked very well too I might add."
Delilah blushed a little, then gathered up some courage sat up straight. "Okay. I won't lie. It was to distract you." she admitted.
"Of course. I realize that now." he replied and sat down across from her, still smiling.
"But," she added. "I liked it. And as soon as I did kiss you, it wasn't to distract you anymore. I just wanted to kiss you." She bit her cheek to keep the red from her cheeks. "I'm not ashamed to admit that either."
He leaned back and propped his feet on the small table in front of him, surprising her. She'd never seen him relaxed like this before. Confident maybe, but never relaxed. "You're blushing." he pointed out. "So you must be a little ashamed."
She shook her head. "No. I'm blushing from remembering." she replied. Then she smiled at him. "But you said you liked it too. Or, well, that you felt something like I did. So I'm not ashamed, because I shouldn't be. I can guess that you aren't either."
He ran his tongue over his lips. "No, I'm not ashamed."
Suddenly, he was in front of her. She flinched, but found she was quite comfortable at the same time. He leaned over her, trapping her in the chair, almost just like he did the first day when they met and she refused to sign the papers. But this wasn't quite as...threatening. Well, it wasn't threatening in the same way.
But she still felt as if she would be devoured if she made one wrong move. But she thought she might like this kind of devouring. Damn Delilah, get a hold of yourself.
Shane looked down into her blue eyes with his black ones. He cupped her face and tilted her head up then pressed his lips against hers. She felt the electric roll through her again, and kissed him back. He pushed his entire body against hers, making her moan softly.
He was warm for one, and she felt no weight. It was as if he knew just exactly how to lean against her. That thought made her crazy and only encouraged her teenage hormones to skyrocket in a fraction of a second. Shane opened his mouth against hers and slid his smooth tongue inside her mouth to play with hers.
He took a deep breath, of her exhale, and he shuddered. She ran her hands along his waist and forgetting that he was her captor, she ran her hands over his firm butt and down his slack covered thighs. Shane wrapped his arms around her back and bit at her bottom lip.
Delilah went limp in his arms, and couldn't believe herself. She was practically telling him to take her in body language. And she could tell that he understood, because his body was definitely responding.
She gathered up what strength she could and pushed at him, of course not budging him, but he pulled away. "What's the matter." he murmured, his warm breath in her ear.
Nothing, she wanted to say. Just forget it, let's do this. But she made herself focus. "You're distracting me." she whispered, breathless. "You promised me answers."
She looked at his face and saw he was annoyed. She wasn't too happy with herself either. Her body really wanted this. But she knew better. Stupid rationality, she thought. It always got in the way. But she just couldn't sleep with Shane Jacobs. Not yet, she told her body, commanding herself to forget it. Not today. She'd hardly been here three days after all.
"Really Delilah? Can't you wait a few moments...or hours?" he replied, his voice husky and his eyes lit with a dark, angry fire.
She grinned at him. "I've never seen you like this Shane. You sound like a teenage boy."
He glared at her. "I've never wanted to kill someone so badly." he breathed.
Her confidence from earlier in the day returned. "Go ahead Shane. But you made a promise. You said when I woke up again you would try to explain. You promised. I know you're a man of his word."
Shane glared. "That's low, Delilah."
She stuck her chin up. "Neither of us agreed to fight fair. You're a very controlled man, Shane. I know you can do this."
"And after I've given you your answers?" he asked.
"I suppose it will be time for bed." she suggested. She quickly regretted her choice of words. Shane's eyes lit with another type of fire. "So I can get some sleep to continue repaying my debt tomorrow." she added.
He pursed his lips. "You're right. I should explain. Perhaps you knowing the entire situation will help with your future thoughts about the school and myself." In a flash he was off her and sitting in the chair across from her. "Where would you like to begin?"
She took a deep breath, trying to keep up, then readjusted herself in the chair. "What are you exactly?" she asked.
He grinned. "I was hoping for something much easier to explain." he leaned back in the chair. "What do you think I am?"
She interlocked her fingers then twirled her thumbs. "Let's just say that I think I've just become interested in necrophilia. A vampire...I think."
He grinned. "Not exactly." he replied. "I am not dead. I am fully alive, just immortal."
"Oh, well if that's all." she murmured. "Um, you're not a demon are you?" she asked quietly, then squeezed her eyes closed, waiting for the answer.
He chuckled. "No. I am not a demon, Delilah. I'm not an angel either." he added.
"Then what?" she urged.
He picked up a massive book that laid beside him on the table. He laid it in front of her. He opened the cover and turned the first few fragile looking pages. He pointed to a picture that showed a beautiful waterfall flowing into a gorgeous river. "This is a picture of the Immortal River. It is believed to be the center of the four rivers that flowed from the Garden of Eden. It held immortality, gifted from God himself. But it was poisoned when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. For when they realized what they had done, it is said they threw that fruit into the river before running to hide from God in guilt."
Delilah looked at him with wide eyes. "Whoa."
"I'm only beginning." he replied. He turned the page, then began reading the Latin text. "After being banished from the garden, Adam and Eve bore many children. Such as Cain and Able." he looked at Delilah and smiled. "Very famous brothers in the bible." he pointed out. "Because they had to reproduce, brothers and sisters were married to carry on the race. It is said that a son and daughter of Adam and Eve snuck back into the Garden of Eden after being married and drank of the Immortal River. When God discovered this he turned them into hideous beasts and they were cursed forever with black eyes and razor teeth so all who saw them would know they sinned. And when their family saw them they scolded them and disowned them. So they became angry and sought vengeance. They snuck back onto the land and discovered that when they bit one of their brothers or sisters that they also became hideous beasts."
Delilah bit her lip. "Why isn't this in the Bible?" she asked.
Shane grinned. "Why do you think? It isn't true."
She blinked. "It's not?" she asked.
"Of course not." he replied.
"Oh." she murmured. "Then why did you read it to me?"
"Because there is an Immortal River." he replied. "But it is not in the Garden of Eden. That place is forbidden, and no one could go in there. It's never been found, and I believe it will stay that way. But I've seen the Immortal River, Delilah, and the river is cursed. But I have no idea as to why. Some of this text is true, such as the biting. Like a vampire." he explained.
"I've been researching for a very long time. But I have found that there aren't any complete answers to what we are, and why. The best I can say, is that there is an Immortal River, and it is cursed. I suppose our entire race started because someone drank of it, and they became a beast. But I believe that person has been killed. I spent half my life searching for any person who could be the beginning. I've failed to come even close." he sighed.
"But we monsters are complex, and as the years pass, evil evades us more and more until it consumes. Unless," he gave her a steely look. "Unless we find Innocence. And that is why I designed this school. I never approved of our evil running about." he explained. He picked up a cup of tea and took a drink.
"So I decided it would be better to keep our kind away from humans. I went around the world, recruiting anyone I could find. We began to study each other, to find answers. We wrote it down. It all came together." He smiled at their achievements. "And eventually we discovered that certain people appealed to us more. And found they held the key to reversing the evil. Our "innocence" returned once we found that special person."
Delilah nodded. "So that's why you bring people here. They're to reverse the evil. But how do you know who is the right one?"
Shane grinned. "It only takes one look. To each certain person, an innocence will shine like a beacon. Only they can see it."
"Why?" she asked, feeling like a five year old child discovering the world for the first time.
"Because as the years pass, our world becomes dark. Once we see them, well, they stick out like a sore thumb so to speak."
She chewed on her cheek then made a face. "Why would you put chains on them then? Wouldn't you want them to be happy?"
Shane sighed. "Having our Innocence isn't only for reversing evil. We become addicted. And I have yet to meet anyone of my kind who isn't terrified of losing the person who holds their Innocence. We fall in love. We can't help it Delilah."
"So the innocence might choose to leave?"
He nodded. "It has happened before. It's very painful, so I've been told."
She cocked her head. "You haven't found yours yet?"
He shook his head. "On the contrary, I'm looking at her."
Delilah gasped. "Me? What? Why me?"
He chuckled. "I have absolutely no idea. But it wasn't my choice. I'm in love with you Delilah. I can't help it, and there isn't anything you can do about it either."
She sat back in the chair and crossed in her arms. "That's hardly fair." she argued.
"You're absolutely right. But you realize now, that I can't let you leave me."
Delilah sighed. "I had a feeling you'd say that. So what now then? I just stay here forever? I never see my family again?"
"We'll see." he simply replied.
She rolled her eyes. "That clears everything up. So you don't care what I want?"
He pursed his lips. "I suppose not. You could never understand Delilah. You'll never fully clasp why I have to keep you here. Why I have to have you." His tone of voice went back to teenage boy.
She tensed. "Have me? Please tell me that isn't what I think it is. You wouldn't make me do that would you Shane?" She gave him a pleading look with her blue eyes. "You won't make me?" she asked again.
He sighed, clearly frustrated and impatient. "Not today, because you're still hurt. But you will heal Delilah. And I will not wait forever. Besides, you want it too. You know this. It will take longer for you, but you will become addicted also. It's only been a few days here for you. You'll fall in love with me."
Delilah sank down into the chair and covered her face. "I hate you Shane Jacobs."