© By Stacey McCoy
What would you give…
“Kady, are you alright?” Rylan asks as he rushes down the front steps of the lab toward me.
I ran off after everyone started screaming at me to reanimate. How can I reanimate now we know Trent has Savanah and will no doubt attempt to change her? If he’s successful, that psychotic bitch will be back here to kill everyone and burn this place to the ground. Savanah made it perfectly clear she’ll do anything to destroy Dad and Lawrence’s research. She also made it pretty clear that she wants me dead, and I have no doubt she would try her best to reinfect Rylan and make him hers once more.
I will not let that happen. For as long as I live I will not let anyone harm the people I love and respect. She’d be wise to think twice before attempting to eradicate the reanimation process while I’m a newborn vampire and I may remain a vampire for a long time yet.
“I’m fine Rylan. Just peachy.”
I shouldn’t be throwing sarcastic remarks at Rylan, but I just can’t help it. It’s like my vocal filter has disappeared and I’m suffering a serious case of ‘I-really-don’t-give-a-shit-what-I-say-or-who-I-say-it-to.’
My comments, whether they’re nice or not, leave my mouth before I have a chance to process them. Perhaps it’s because I’m stronger than everyone I know and no one is game to argue with me, a newborn vampire. Well, no one except Rylan. He still lets his emotions bubble over and I’m usually in the firing line when that happens.
The thing I need to remember is not to kill him, even though I’m capable and seriously want to sometimes.
But I love him. How could I kill him? He’s my fiancé. The fact that he has yummy, warm blood running through his veins begging me to dine on is irrelevant. Or at least it should be. I love Rylan. I want to protect him, so if I won’t let Trent, Savanah or any other cold, heartless vampire harm him, then I must refrain from doing so myself.
“I’m sorry Kady,” Rylan reaches for my hand, I pull away. Even though my skin is hard the endorphin high I get from feeling his thrumming veins is too much, so for his safety, I’d rather act pissed off and push him away. I have to. It’s the only way to keep him safe from my relentless desires.
“I’m sorry for everything. All I want is for us to go back to the way we were, but I can’t. I’m so, so sorry.”
Rylan falls to his knees and begins to rub his eyes with the palms of his hands. I want to comfort him, but I need to physically keep my distance.
I to bend my knees allowing myself to rest on the ground in front of him. Still an arm’s length away.
“Rylan, this is not your fault. What I am now, what I’ve become is due to Savanah’s bite.”
“It was meant for me.”
“No shit, but I was the one who got infected and I’m happy for that.”
Rylan’s ice blue eyes look cloudy as he stares at me.
“How can you possibly be happy about becoming a vampire?”
I take the risk and reach for Rylan’s hands. I can feel his pulse beating intensively.
“Because it’s my turn to save you.”
“Kady, you saved me the day you looked beyond this disease and saw the real me.”
“Then I will fight not only to save you but to save everyone here and the reanimation process. Dad and Lawrence have worked too hard to have some whack-job come in here and burn it to the ground.”
“We don’t even know if it will come to that and besides we will still outnumber them even if they do come back, so there’s no reason for you to stay this way.”
“Give them time Rylan. They’ll be back. I’m certain of that.”
“How long are you willing to wait? A year. Two. Ten? What about me? I’ll continue to age while you wait for a fight that may never happen.”
Why does he have to aggravate me this way? I’ve told everyone a thousand times already I’m not going to reanimate yet. I can’t until I know Trent and Savanah are no longer a threat and even then, there’s a part of me that wants to remain a vampire. Yes, I’m worried I won’t want to change when the time comes. Maybe I should find a way to let everyone know when the time comes to do whatever they need to do to force me to reanimate. Even if that means physically restraining me.
In a show of my level of defiance I stand. so does Rylan.
“Rylan we’ve gone through this. I’m not going to change my mind and you can’t make me.”
He gives up, for now, and lets me walk inside alone.
Lawrence, Darius and Calinda are talking softly in the consult room. As soon as I enter they stop whispering.
“There’s no point, I heard every word you guys said, and I agree.”
“Really?” asks Lawrence.
“Yeah of course. Someone needs to stay here and help me in case I lose control of myself again, but at the same time someone needs to find Trent and Savanah”
I’m not at all angry they’re talking about me behind my back. I know I’m a loose cannon at the moment and that the temptation to suck every last drop of warm, delicious blood that pulses through the veins of every living thing consumes me like an unstoppable tornado. So yes, for everyone’s sake I hope they do hold me down so that I don’t unintentionally kill anyone.
“It’s seriously going to be like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but I guess we need to try,” says Calinda.
“Do you have any idea where they might be?” asks Rylan as he enters the room behind me.
Of course, I heard him exhale as he climbed the steps out front. I heard him inhale as he pulled the door open and I heard his clothes rustle and his shoes scrape the floor as he walked across the room.
I hear everything.
Rylan sits heavily on the couch. He looks tired which I guess is understandable.
Calinda joins him. “Rylan do you remember that log cabin in Bern?”
“How could I forget?”
His words hit me hard. My god, he spent time deep in the snow-covered hills outside of Bern in Savanah’s bed and he has the cheek to say in front of me, ‘How could I forget’ as if fondly remembering that time.
He looks up at me with dark-ringed eyes and I can see his apology buried deep within.
I accept with a hint of a smile. He’s committed solely to me now, not her. I know that.
“What I meant to say is yes, I remember. What’s your point Calinda?” asks Rylan.
“There were other cabins scattered throughout the woods. Although it seems like a blindingly idiotic thing to do, I think Trent may take Savanah back there.”
“Why would he do that? I mean I know the guy is thick, but he’s not stupid,” says Rylan.
“No he’s not, but he is a creature of habit,” says Calinda.
“Explain?” I ask.
“The only time Trent ever did anything out of the ordinary was when Savanah asked him to. I doubt he’ll be able to think outside of the square while she’s in the emotional state she’s sure to be in.”
“Emotional state?” asks Darius, curious of Calinda’s choice of words.
“Savanah for the longest time was an unbeatable vampire. Now she’s not, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s suffering from a complete mental breakdown.”
“Trent will have trouble traveling with her if she’s losing her mind,” suggests Lawrence.
“Good point. They may be traveling slowly by car if that’s the case. I’d imagine they may choose to travel over the sea by boat, so Trent can keep her quiet and maybe even medicated, causing less attention to her likely erratic behavior compared to if they were to fly,” says Calinda.
We all take a moment to ponder this theory.
“You may have a chance to catch up to him before he gets on a boat Calinda,” suggests Lawrence, as he begins to pace the room.
“Yeah maybe. If I leave now, I might have a chance of at least tracking them before they get on the water.”
“Take my car,” suggests Rylan.
“Whoa buddy, I thought you were the only one who drove your Maserati?” says Darius.
“I AM. I’m talking about the Mercedes.”
“Oh, yeah, right,” says a now rather sheepish looking Darius.
“Thanks, Rylan. Right then I’ll go,” says Calinda.
She hugs Lawrence then tells him she’ll call his cell as soon as she finds them. A sharp stabbing pain which can only be caused by jealousy hits me hard as I wonder why the hell I was never aware of Lawrence having a cell phone. If I knew that I could have called him whenever I wanted to while he was gone for the last two years, I would have. Maybe that’s why I was never given his number.
“Okay. Take care and keep your head down,” says Lawrence.
Calinda says her goodbyes and leaves.
Wondering what to do now I notice Rylan is sound asleep on the couch. I can hear his beating heart and his breath whistling softly through his nose. I grab the throw from the other couch and drape it over my gorgeous, exhausted fiancé.
“We should leave him to rest,” I say as I lead the way out of the room.
“Kady, your father’s here,” says Lawrence as he places a hand on my shoulder.
“I know.” I heard his car turn into the driveway two miles away.
There’s a hole in his muffler he’s not bothered to have fixed, therefore making the sound of his car quite unique and obvious to me.
“Are you alright? Do you need to feed?”
“No, I’m fine. I just need to know what he’s doing here.”
It takes a minute or two before dad’s car comes into sight. He steps out and nervously looks in my direction.
“It’s alright Dad. I’m not going to bite you.”
His shoulders instantly relax. It hurts me to see him scared of me, but on the other hand, I bet I could have some fun with it too.
Nora gets out of the passenger’s side and makes the excuse of needing to go to the bathroom as she hurries up the stairs and out of sight. She doesn’t look well. Maybe she ate some bad chicken for lunch or something.
“Hey there Al. How the hell are you?” asks Darius as he holds the door open for Mom before bounding down the stairs to greet my father.
“I really wish you would call me Allister.”
“Where’s the fun in that,” asks Darius. “And besides, why should I be able to call you Allister when your future son-in-law has to call you Dr. Matthews?”
Wow. If looks could kill Darius would be in serious trouble right now.
Darius is wise enough to move aside and let my father move to the trunk of his car.
“What’s in the trunk?” I ask as I watch it pop open.
“A few of the things that used to be here.”
Lawrence rushes to help dad lift some kind of heavy scientific thing out of the trunk.
I notice their hands brush against one another. Lawrence is quick to change his hold on the item avoiding any more unintentional skin contact then rush it inside. He returns to help with more heavy lifting within seconds.
Lawrence asks, “Why did you move all of this stuff in the first place?”
Carrying a cardboard box, which looks like it’s seen better days, dad replies, “I had a funny feeling about Savanah from the very moment Rylan told us she was his ex-girlfriend. I don’t know what it was, but something was telling me to clear all this stuff out and move it to a safer location.”
“And where was that,” I ask.
All of a sudden, my father loses his ability to speak. “Um in the basement at home,” he answers eventually.
“Oh, I didn’t even know you had a basement at your place,” I say.
Dad’s cheeks have flushed due to the increased rhythm of his heart. The sound of blood pumping through his veins sings out to me like a dinner bell on a front porch of some old farmhouse.
“Oh, did I say basement, sorry I meant barn. Well, it’s more like an old shack out back just beyond the boundary fence, but it’s secure enough to hold this stuff.”
Dad rushes past me with an arm full of gear just as Rylan comes out to greet him.
Dad forces a smile as Rylan says hello before placing his loving, assertive arm over my shoulders.
Five minutes of sleep has done Rylan no favors, he still looks like crap.
Two hearts beating so close to me now is becoming hard to bear, but I don’t want Rylan to leave my side. I want his affection, but I know it won’t be long before I’ll need to distance myself from him.
Lawrence pats my shoulder as he too passes and suggests I head out for a bit.
“Yeah, I will soon,” I say.
Rylan looks down at me with clear, ice blue eyes, “Are you sure you’re alright Kady?”
“Yes, I’m fine.”
Christ if I say I’m fine then I’m fine alright. I wish everyone would stop asking me that.
Dad comes bounding out the door and down the steps, ready to grab another load of work stuff out of the back of his car. “So Kady, what are you doing tomorrow?”
“I don’t know, why do you ask?”
“Well there was another reason why I bought all this stuff back out here,” he says.
Rylan and dad’s heartbeats seem to have synchronized in time, making the drumming sound of thick warm blood pulsing through delicate veins even louder. The noise affects me in a similar way to watching melted chocolate being poured into chocolate molds similar to a TV commercial.
Their blood is my drug and I’m a user in need of a fix.
Mixed emotions of desperation, want, need and anger builds quickly within me. I have a funny feeling I know where Dad is going with his line of questioning, but I give him the benefit of the doubt and ask, “And what is that Dad.”
“Well Kady, we’re going to begin your reanimation tomorrow,” he states in a no-nonsense fatherly kind of way.
The reaction that one word has on my body is like feeding time at the zoo. I can’t take it anymore, I want blood. I need blood.
Lawrence grabs my arms and pulls me away from a retreating Rylan.
I have to fight this urge. I have to resist.
“Kady go! Run now and feed. You can’t stay here.”
I don’t need to be told twice.