Unlike this morning, I woke right where I had been left. On the dirty floor of my captors’ kitchen. My head spun as I tried desperately to lift
myself off the tiles and I gritted my teeth, trying to push through the pain in my neck.
“Hey, Rick! She’s awake!” I gasped, my eyes flickering toward the voice as I collapsed back to the floor. I knew it was Jay, but I couldn’t
find those ice blue eyes.
“If we did right, she be good by dinner time.” That was Maria. I could tell by her strange accent and broken English. Everything was coming
back to me now, including my strength. I still got a head rush when I moved, however, so I figured I wouldn’t risk it.
“This is ridiculous.” Rick stormed in, his heavy boots smacking the tiles and making me cringe. “We all can’t just share her!”
“Well, what do you suggest?”
“More. We get two more, and we all have our own blood whores.”
“Sounds good to me.” Slowly, I shifted to look up at Jay. He gave me a smile that was unlike anything I’d seen cross his lovely face before.
It was terrifying. “I get Scarlett.”
“Fine with me, bro. I can get someone so much hotter.”
“Whatever. Go, and take Maria with you. She needs to pick one out as well.”
“Yes, is good with me.” Shuffling steps and clonking boots grated against my nerves until the door slammed and the sounds faded away. I stared
pleadingly up at Jay.
“We’ll have to do this quickly.” He stooped down, gently lifting me from the floor with strong arms.
“Please don’t.” I whispered, keeping my unfaltering gaze on his crystal eyes.
“It’s not what you’re thinking.” He smiled, apparently satisfied with this. I clung to his shoulders, feeling my stomach twist with strange
“What is it, then?”
He paused, beaming at me like a child who’s just won something amazing. “We’re leaving.”
I was speechless. And for the first time, it wasn’t completely out of fear.
We entered a bedroom that I presumed to be his, and he sat me on the bed. The place looked as if a bomb had exploded, and I watched warily as
he pulled out a suitcase.
“This will only take a minute, I promise.” He patted my knee and set to packing. I watched his fluid movements, his focused expression somehow
making him more appealing. I prayed he’d never put a shirt on. But what was I doing? I had no idea of his intentions, despite the nice demeanor that had so easily fooled me last time. And of
course, there was the fact I had to face. He was a monster. Not just a bad person, but a creature that craved the taste of human blood. I refused to think he was a vampire. It sounded so unreal, so
fantasy. Vampires didn’t exist. But Jay did.
“Where are we going?” My confidence was rising slightly…to the point where I could speak without my voice shaking, that is.
“You’ll see.” He smiled sweetly. “Don’t worry, though. We have lots of money and a nice house I bought for emergencies, back in the day.”
“Oh. Okay.” I played with a strand of my hair, ripping the rest out of the ponytait and braiding it. It was nice to be doing something, and I
fingered the pleats gently, remembering how my mother used to do my hair, when i was younger.
“All set.” Slinging the bag easily over his shoulder, he scooped me up from the bed.
“I can walk, you know.” I snapped, regretting it immediately. Seriously, I would pretend to faint if he ever put me down.
He chuckled, a sound like silver and honey. I had never really heard him laugh before, and it startled me.
“I know you can walk.” He paused, serious now. “Would you prefer to do so?”
“No!” I exclaimed, a little too quickly. He chuckled again, leaning over me as we stepped outside. The rain drizzled down, not pouring as it
had been that first day. We approached a small black car, and he trotted over to the passenger side, hesitant.
“Would you like to sit in the back, or is the front fine?”
“The front is fine.” I avoided his eyes, trying to sound nonchalant this time. Nodding, he slid me into the seat and shut the door.
I’m not sure what happened then; maybe it was just being outside that triggered it. But I realized that I was insane. What was I doing?
Running off with a guy who I knew was extremely dangerous, just because he was good looking? My mom was out there somewhere, no doubt looking for me. Maybe she was looking for my father and my
sister too. Unlike them, I could return to her. I could be there for her and her for me. I didn’t even realize I was crying until Jay brushed a finger across my face.
“Hey there, Scarlett. What’s wrong?” How could he ask such a ludicrous question? Is he completely blind to the injustice of his actions?
“I can’t do this.” I sobbed, tears streaming down like the raindrops on the window. We were driving now. “I have a mother…I have friends…” I
looked into his eyes for the first time since we got to the car, no longer afraid of what I’d see. “I want to go home.”
“I can’t let you go.” He reached out to me, and I turned away.
“Yes, you can. All you want me for is my blood, anyway. I promise I’ll tell the police I escaped, and I don’t remember a thing. I won’t tell
them anything, just please let me go.”
“Do you know why I didn’t let Rick kill you?” I made no movement, frustrated that my speech had been in vain. He sighed. “I thought you were
absolutely stunning. You were covered with rain, blood and tears, you were crying and screaming. But you were more beautiful than anyone I’d ever seen.” He looked at me, sadness in his eyes.
“I don’t believe you.” As much as it pained me, I just couldn’t submit. He had to be lying; a creature this incredible couldn’t possibly think
I was as beautiful as he claimed.
“I don’t care. I know I’m telling the truth.” His voice had an edge to it that I couldn’t place. I wanted to think there was sadness and
irritation, but he was probably just upset that I was the one girl in the entire universe that wouldn’t buy into his little charade. But I didn’t want to spend the car ride, and possibly my life,
“I’m sorry, I…I didn’t mean it.” He sighed, chuckling slightly.
“You’re a terrible liar.”
“Yeah.” I confessed. “Most of the time I can’t even convince myself.”
“So you really don’t trust me?” He mused. “I can understand that. Seeing as I abducted you and most likely convinced you I was a cold hearted
monster that only wanted you for your blood.” I cringed when he spoke of his…condition…so casually.
“Well,” I gulped. “That would put a person off.”
“I suppose I’m a fairly good actor. But how could you believe the lies and not the truth?”
“Maybe because the ‘truth’ is so discreditable. Am I honestly supposed to believe that, despite your previous actions and family history, you
love me and you only kidnapped me because you thought I was beautiful? Not to mention the” I winced. “…feeding…that I provide if you take me.”
“That’s a good point.” He stared straight ahead. “In that case, I’m going to do something now that I should have done a while ago.”
“I’m tired of being a monster, Scarlett. I’m tired of going out every day and killing innocent people because I thought I had no choice. Well,
I do have a choice. I can sustain myself on human food, though it is tasteless and dissatisfying. When I do crave blood, I’ll hunt animals instead. And, I will never…feed off of you unless you give
me your permission.”
“You’d really do that?” I questioned dubiously, doubting that I’d ever give my
‘permission’ for him to torture me. He nodded, clearly intent on going through with it.
“I will. And in return, all I ask for is you. Do we have a deal?”
“What’s my end of the deal?”
“What do you mean?”
“You said all you wanted was ‘me’. What does that entail?”
“Just your presence. And that you won’t fight or try to run away.”
“On one condition.”
“You have to return me to my mother, and then we can live in the normal world.”
“How on earth do you see that working out?” He stared at me as if I had three heads.
“Simple. You carry me in, saying you found me on the street, thus being my hero. My mom will be grateful and already like you, so that part
will be easy.”
“I don’t know…” He looked incredibly nervous. I hesitantly put my hand over his.
“Please? This is all I’m asking for; to return to my life with you. Nothing in your little plan changes.”
“Yes, but you have to remember, I’m a vampire.” I bit my lip, hating when he said it aloud. It made it sound more real. I hadn’t truly
believed it before. Now it seemed pointless to avoid the fact.
“So? She’ll never know.” There was a brief silence as we drove along the winding streets.
“This would mean risking everything.” He cautioned, more to himself than me.
“Tell me one reason that it wouldn’t work.” I folded my arms across my chest.
“They could figure out that I’m a vampire and an accomplice in your kidnapping.”
“How would they do that?” He contemplated.
“I don’t know.”
“Exactly.” A thought crossed my mind just then. A thought I’d been suppressing for a while now.
“I have a question, though. And I want an honest answer. Do you promise not to lie?”
“You have to really mean it.”
“I do. Trust me.” I figured at this point, I could. Taking a deep breath, I continued.
“Did you kill either my father or my sister? I just have to know, and I hope you understand that I need a completely honest answer.”
“I did not kill either of them. I was…preoccupied.” He sighed. “Honestly? I was killing someone else at the time.”
“Do you swear on your mother’s life?”
“No. But only because my mother and my brother’s lives mean nothing to me. I do, however, swear on your life, that what I said is nothing less
than the absolute truth.”
“Good.” The thought of them lifeless, however, caused me to weep quietly until I felt the car pull to a stop. Looking up through the rain
streaked windshield, I could make out the sign. It was the police department.
“We’re here.” Jay said nervously, gazing at me with all of his trust and…yes, all of his love.
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