She drew back from him, her face dripping with the fresh blood that she had lapped from the cut he had made on his chest.
As soon as the hammering on the locked door began, he smashed his fist against her face.
She crashed down onto the carpet, everything going black.
Mary Crossley sat up in the bed and screamed, her hand going straight to her mouth, the sensation that she could still taste his blood filling her with the horror of everything that happened during those few days in Romania.
Woken by his wife’s scream, Richard opened his eyes to see her slithering out from under the covers and walking to the window. “Mary?”
She placed her hands against the glass, her eyes darting to the bandage covering her wrist. “I can’t stop thinking about what happened to Ellen, the way she became.” She touched the bandage with her other hand, “What if that happens to me? What if this wasn’t done quick enough to save me from becoming like Ellen?”
Richard climbed out of the bed and approached her, “We’ve been back for over a week now.” He took hold of her bandaged wrist and gently kissed her hand, “Don’t you think if anything was going to happen, it would have done so by now?”
Turning to face him, Mary hesitated before answering, “Sometimes I just feel...”
He interrupted her quickly, “Nothing’s is going to happen to you, you’re free of that evil. Trust me, and come back to bed.”
A vague smile appeared on her lips, but a trace of uncertainty remained in her voice. “I guess.”
Grabbing her coat from behind the pub counter, Catherine Bellows opened the door to the backroom. “I’m off, Jim. See you tomorrow.”
Walking outside, she crossed the small car park towards her red and white mini. Pulling her keys out of her pocket, she reached out to unlock the door.
Stepping out from beside the pub, she walked briskly towards Catherine who turned at the side of her heels clicking on the concrete.
Catherine smiled with relief as soon as she saw her, “You frightened me for a moment, you never can tell...” She fell silent, the coat dropping to the ground as she found herself staring into her eyes.
Pushing Catherine’s back against the side of the car, she leaned forward and brushed Catherine’s hair out of her face. Moving closer, she let her lips brush over Catherine’s mouth.
Catherine responded and unlocked the car door before settling into the driver’s seat.
Walking to the other side of the mini, she waited for Catherine to unlock the passenger door and then climbed inside.
Leaning forward, she kissed Catherine again, this time with more passion. Her fingers beginning to open Catherine’s blouse, she ran them over the red lace of Catherine’s bra, pulling it down to expose her breast.
Her fangs now visible between her lips, she leaned down and drove them deep into Catherine’s breast.
Rolling over, Richard’s arm fell into the empty space where Mary always slept.
Slithering half conscious from the bed, he headed out of the bedroom and down the stairs into hallway. Continuing into the kitchen, he looked at Mary standing in front of the oven. “You’re up early.”
Mary smiled and turned to face him, “I just felt so refreshed when I woke up, I figured I might as well have breakfast ready for when you got up.”
“No more bad dreams then?”
She shook her head, “You were right about them being nothing. It’ll be foolish to assume I wouldn’t have nightmares after everything we went through.”
“Good.” Richard peered over her shoulder at the grill, grinning. “Now, when’s my breakfast going to be ready?”
Opening the side door of the pub, Jim dumped the garbage bag in the wheelie bin and turned to go back inside.
He stopped when he saw Catherine’s mini still in the car park with the door wide open.
As he got closer, he caught sight of one of Catherine’s legs visible hanging over the side of the passenger seat. Reaching the open door, he stared at her body spread across the front seat, the two wounds on her breast with twin streams of dried blood still exposed by her open blouse.
Kissing Richard at the door of the cottage, Mary headed along the path towards the school in the distance.
Passing several other cottages on the grounds, she reached the main door and pushed her way inside, making directly for the teachers’ lounge.
Liz Colchester looked up from behind her newspaper as Mary entered, “You weren’t in the car with Ellen and Jonathan when...” She nodded towards Mary’s bandaged wrist, “Were you?”
Startled by the question, Mary hesitated for a few seconds before replying. “No, it’s just a burn. It was a stupid accident, I just got too close to a lit candle.”
“Ouch.” Folding the newspaper and placing it on the table between the chairs, Liz remained leaning forward on her chair. “I promised David that I’d ask if you’ll swap dorm duty with me tonight, he’s after me to meet his folks again. Please tell me that you and Ricky have already made plans so I can get out of it.”
“We were planning on having a quiet night in, but...”
Liz interrupted her quickly, “Hey, no but, absolutely no but. You two have obviously got some romantic evening planned, so I’m not going to get the way of any fun you’re going to have just to meet David’s parents.”
A smile appeared on Mary’s lips which almost gave way to her bursting out laughing, “Okay, but just for you.”
“Don’t laugh, it would mean things were getting serious between me and David, and that’s something I’m really not interested in just yet.”
Walking past the row of cottages, Richard stopped when he saw the police activity in the pub car park.
Continuing to glance at them as he approached the pub door, he paused for a moment before pushing his way inside.
Making straight for the bar, he waited for Jim to finish filling a glass for one of the other customers. “What’s going on out there?”
Jim looked at him after handing the full glass to the customer, “Some sick pervert killed Cathy. Left her right outside.”
“God.” Richard ordered a lager, “The police have any idea who did it?”
Jim leaned across the counter, keeping his voice low. “I overheard one of the detectives talking about checking the local nuthouse to see if they’ve got any record of a pervert who thinks he’s a vampire.”
About to take a sip of the lager, Richard stopped and put the glass back on the counter. “What?”
“I saw it myself.” Jim glanced around to see if any of the other customers were listening, “After this bastard raped Cathy, the sick pervert actually bit one of her boobs. Left a pair of bite marks, just like in all those old vampire movies.”
Richard fumbled in his pocket for the money to pay for his drink and handed it quickly over the counter, “I’ve got to go.”
Mary listened to Richard as he told her everything that Jim had told him.
Her hand immediately went to her bandaged wrist, “I knew it had to be me.”
“That’s ridiculous. You’re not one of those things.”
Mary torn off the bandage, exposing the burn on her skin with the two bite marks still visible. “How can you be sure? I could have killed Cathy and not remembered any of it, if I am becoming like Ellen.”
“Stop talking like that.” Sitting directly opposite her, Richard stared into her eyes. “I think you should talk to Father Tommy about what happened in Romania.”
“To perform some kind of exorcism or something?”
Richard shook his head, “No, but he might suggest something to convince you that you are not going to become one of them.”
Stepping through the doors of the medical clinic, Mary saw Thomas Delaney talking to Catherine’s parents at the far end of the passage.
Approaching as soon as he began walking away from them, she stopped him by the elevator.
He turned as the doors slid open, “I heard about Ellen and Jonathan’s accident, I’m sorry.”
Mary quickly followed him into the elevator before the doors closed, “That’s what I need to talk to you about.”
Emerging as soon the elevator doors opened, Thomas stepped out and glanced back at Mary.
Mary followed him into the passage, “Not exactly, Ellen begin something called a Strigoi.” She stretched out her hand towards him, letting him seeing the burn and bite marks on her wrist. “I’m just afraid that I’m becoming one of them.”
“And you honestly think that you killed Catherine by feeding on her blood?”
She continued to follow him towards the door at the end of the passage, her voice trembling as she spoke. “I don’t know anything anymore.”
Opening the door, Thomas glanced back at her. “We’ll settle this nonsense. Come on in here and look for yourself, Catherine was raped and killed by some mentally disturbed individual.” Looking back as she followed him inside, he stopped before he reached the table where Catherine’s body had been laid out.
Only the sheet that had been covering her remained on it.