Archive for July, 2013

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“Hey, smile for me love.” I smile softly at her, as her hand instinctively moves to pull her top back down over the large scar covering the majority of the right side of her rib cage. Rayne’s delicate eyes flicker for a moment as my hand softly closes over her own. “When you look at the scar, what do you see?”

Pursing her lips together, her eyes slowly drift down her chest, and stomach, finally resting over the scar hidden beneath the thin pink cotton and soft flesh. A deep look of prevailing sadness tugging at the corners of her mouth, causing my own face to frown in automatic response. “I… I see the worst time in my life. I see the flames engulf the house, my parents lifeless on the floor inside. I see those red eyes trained on my own, the blood dripping from her cruel face.” For a moment a wave of relief washes over her, because, for one, that vampire had been taken care of. And because a kind stranger had driven her away that dark night all those years ago. “I see all the years that I cried myself to sleep, wishing, just wishing they’d come back to me… And when I look down at it, I see weakness, and the fact that I lived and they burnt inside that home of ours.”

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“Rayne…” I whisper softly, cupping her face in my hands. Her long blonde hair, curling between the spaces between my fingers. The look in her eyes changes, and begs me to stop talking. “You know what I see when I look at that scar?” Shaking her head without a word, a nervous half smile plays on her lips. “I see one of the strongest people that I know, a girl who went through hell and back, and still finds a way to smile. When I look at that scar, I see you Rayne, not for what that night took away from you, but for who you’ve become in spite of it. I see the most beautiful girl, my eyes have ever laid eyes upon.”

My hand pulls her away, and holds it against the bed, as I move to kiss her stomach softly. Her light giggle fills the room, immediately bringing a smile back to my face as my eyes move to meet hers again. A rough restraint still burning in her alluring pink eyes. “You have to say that.” Her voice is almost playful as she says it with a sigh. “You’re my husband.”

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“I don’t have to say anything, that’s where you’re wrong.” I grin at her, and pin both her arms down, so I can kiss her deeply. And as I do so, I feel her heart begin to accelerate as she kisses me back. And my senses immediately stand on edge, as she pulls me closer to her, the blood rushing to her cheeks and staining them red. After all this time, I still had the power to make her blush with my touch. “You’re as beautiful as the day I first meet you, if not more. I’ve seen and met hundreds of people, and darling, it’s still you.”

Another soft giggle radiates her core, as her eyes search mine. “Tell me, how did I get so lucky to get you in my life?” A swell of my unbeating heart, and burst through my core, as I smile at her. It had been twenty three years since we had first met, and there hadn’t been a single day that she didn’t find a way to make me smile, or that I did not think of her. For nineteen years we had been together in wedded bliss, and she was the one decision that I could never regret.

“Luck of the draw I guess.” I smirk at her, a hint of playfulness in my voice, as I kiss her a final time. A car door slams from outside, and within an instant I’m at the window, looking down. “Willa’s home.” I still remembered the day that we had brought her home from the orphanage, and the instant she had turned our lives upside down. We couldn’t have children of our own, but we loved her like our own flesh and blood.

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“And who is that insolent boy, with his tongue down our daughters throat?” A hint of anger touches my voice, as her quiet chuckles rise up through the night and to the window. All I could see was some boy, sex driven hormones biting the air as she curls her body around his. The hint of desire as both of their hearts pump the blood to their reddened cheeks, and their breaths deepen.

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“That would be Markus, her boyfriend.” Rayne’s nonchalant voice breaks me out of my train of thought as my eyes are trained on them both. “Don’t frown so much, Phin, he’s a actually a really nice guy, and Willa seems to like him a lot.” I groan slightly, feigning a grumpy face as I look at her unimpressed. My wife giggles again, wrapping her arm around my waist. “Would you rather her be locked up in here all hours, and have no social life at all?”

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“Actually yes.” I smirk at her, as she groans. “I’d rather her be one of those teenage girls who just sits at home looking at videos of cats on the internet, so I don’t have to worry about her kissing boys til she’s at least thirty.” Rayne slaps me lightly, snuggling into my body for warmth.

“She’s seventeen, and she’s switched on too, she’s not going to do anything stupid.” Gently kissing her warm forehead, I look down out the window again and frown. I wanted her to be happy, and… Despite this… Boy… I wanted her to have a life of a typical teenage girl. And she’d never brought anyone home before, even if it was just for a moonlit kiss goodnight. Yes, I wanted to punch him for even touching her, but she was happy. And that’s all I could ever ask for.

“I guess I just still see her as my… Baby girl…” I state slowly, as she finally beams up at me. Rolling my eyes at her cheesy grin, I continue. “She might be ready to start her life, but she will always be my baby. I still see her as the little tyke running through these halls causing terror, and running to meet me at the door when I’d get back from work. She’s ready to move forward with her life, but I’m not.”

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“She loves you, and she won’t ever stop being your baby girl.” Throwing an arm around my neck, she pulls me closer to her. Golden locks flipping as she does so, and glimmering in the light. “It hasn’t been easy on her you know, she can’t say too much to her friends about you, or bring many of them home. And I know how proud she is to have you as her dad, but theirs certain complications.” Her voice changes as she says those sentences. Complications, being my vampirism, not that she’d say that out loud. What does daddy do for a living? He hunts down and kills bad vampires. “But… Maybe we could have Markus over for dinner one night, and the two of you could meet?”

“Yea-“

“As long as you don’t compel him to tell you his entire life story and all the gory details?” Raising an eye brow at me, she smirks from behind her long locks. And in response I feign a surprised look, as if I’d ever do that… “Willa, come here honey!” Calling out, we here foot steps up the stairs and down the hall.

*

How many days has it been my love? How many eons have passed you by? Twelve months. Fifty two weeks. Three hundred and sixty five days. Eight thousand, seven hundred and sixty five hours. Since they took my love away.

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Are you still here with me? Do you forgive me? For it is my life that continues. With every millisecond without you in my life that locks me in it’s prison. And my punishment, your face and your giggles dancing across my memories so absolute. Your face, and your scream, twirling across the dance floor, the same song every night.

*

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A terrible scream fills the air. And both girls jump, their eyes filling with fear, as the blood curdling terror fills the night. My ears strain as I try to listen for the cause. My nose scenting the air for the culprit. I can feel the racing hearts in the room even as the noise turns to a strangled sound before it is cut off completely.

“Stay in here, I’m taking a look.” I state, my voice turning to a cold monotone. I wouldn’t have to fear the outside darkness, immortality stained my blood. But I felt the uncertainty in my veins, something was off about it, and I didn’t know what it was yet, but it put doubt into my mind.

“No… It’s probably just some kids playing around.” Rayne muses, trying to pretend that she was feeling braver than she actually was. And I wished I could believe her, but the scent of blood was already filling my nostrils. And with each passing seconds, more and more screams filled the night.

“Stay in here!” I order, before taking off downstairs.

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Vampires… Two of them stood at my door, barring their teeth, blood covering their faces. But I knew that out there in the dark, where the sounds of the screams were, more of them were attacking. A low growl pierces the night through my partly open mouth. Both of their faces snap to mine, as they begin circling me, trying to seem intimidating. But I hold my ground with another fierce growl rumbling from deep within my throat.

“These lands are taken.” I state coldly. Old vampires were honor bound to their traditions, and I knew that was a way to prevent any more lives being taken. But in the pit of my stomach, their was a deep worry forming. Vampires never hunted openly in covens this large, nor did they lay waste to a town so openly. “You’ve no right to my blood.”

“No right?! No right?” The dark haired vampire scoffs, as his accomplice hisses into my ear from behind me. But I am not afraid for myself, or my life. Only that my family might be harmed. But I don’t give them the satisfaction. This town was my source of blood, and that was it, and that’s all they could know it as. “Things are changing my boy.”

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“What’s the boss say about vampires?” The light haired vampire questions still trying to growl into my ear. Boss? And I feel the knot in my stomach tighten. And I knew, in that moment, that they planned to destroy everything and everyone that they could find. Muscles tensing, I try to focus on Rayne and Willa’s pulse from inside. The racing erratic beats, do nothing to calm me though.

“Kill him too.” It hisses with a cruel smile forming on it’s pale red lips. A sinister laughs cuts the through the cold air like a knife as both of the vampires look around frantically. The blood staining their skin, and pupils, giving them both a wild danger to them. Growling, I snap at the air as I’m forced to my knees. My eyes lock with this man, as we both size each other up. I would die, if that meant that my family was left in the house, forgotten.

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“Burn it!” The inhuman growl barks the order, as his accomplice walks towards the house, a match in hand. “Burn all of it!” Almost in unison, both start bellowing with an almost maniacal laugh. My jaw grits together in frustration. If they were forced out of the house, then there was no way that they could survive til dawn. These vampires dripped with age, and blood lust, and the painful realization hits me, no survivors. This wasn’t an attack based off of thirst.

This was a massacre.

Footsteps towards the door. My muscles tense violently. The dark haired vampire opens the door, and moves to take a step inside. My heart sinks. They’ll know. They’ll know that they’re in there. An annoyed growl escapes his lips, as he can’t step past the barrier that locked us out without permission.

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“If I even think that you’re going to move, I’ll blow your heart in half!” Rayne barks, slamming the door behind her. Fingers in the trigger of her handgun, the wooden bullets pointed steadily at the left side of his chest. Her eyes move to mine for the briefest second before darting back to the vampire in front of her.

“If you kill me, another will take my place, and another, and another.” A cruel laugh passes his lips, as Rayne frowns deeply. My eyes study him for any indication that he was going to attack. “But nothing you can do will stop this, child. This is the end for you humans.” There’s a flicker beneath her heavy eye lashes, the soft pink grows dark for a moment, as she pulls the trigger without a second of hesitation.

And as I feel her muscle contract, I leap up at the second vampire, catching his throat between my teeth, and my hand plunges into his chest. Fingers curling around his heart, and for a moment I make him squirm before I squeeze my hand together, and crushing his only vital organ that provided him with life. And to ash they both turn, and I feel him turn to dust around my arm.

*

If I told you I loved you, and I never let go, would you have stayed? If our last kiss goodbye never was to end, nor out last faded glimpse of each others fearful eyes? Last embraces said without the words, without the explanation of everything that my life meant with us together as a family. Nothing but a simple ‘I love you, don’t be afraid, I’m sorry.’

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You were afraid, and I couldn’t protect you. I couldn’t save the lives of the only thing anchoring me to my sanity and world. Happiness and love, that was once what our life meant. And now it’s a faded memory to be relived over and over. To see your smile, only moments before your screams filled the night. Can you forgive me for what I can’t forgive?

*

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Even as both Rayne and Willa shoot me a hundred questions, I fade out the sounds of their voices. My ear’s move past the forceful beating of their hearts. Instead I strain to hear each petrified scream as the life is sucked out of them. Every clumsy step across the roads, and grass as someone runs for safety. I focus on their heart beats, or lack there of. I breathe in deeply once again, picking up the different scents in the air. The thick, suffocating smoke starting to stain the already black sky. The heavy blood from each member of this town. And then, them…

“Phin!” Rayne repeats to me for the up tenth time, and my eyes meet hers finally. “Who are they? Why here, why today?” Willa clings to her trying unsuccessfully to mask her fear. But it burdened the air, and I could smell it dripping out of every one of her pores. We had sheltered her from this life for so long, and now, it was knocking on our door.

“Dad, what’s happening?” She mumbles to me, her eye brows pushing together, and marring her delicate forehead with soft wrinkles. And their eyes burn with confusion as they search mine for the answers that I just didn’t have.

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“The council is the only thing that I can think of with this much power, and influence.” I reply shortly, pressing my arms against my bare chest as I think. The pressure heavy in the air, was weighing me down. Like ten tonnes across my sternum. If I was human, I probably would have found it hard to breath. “Even the rebels who have never followed suit of the authority would never go this this far. But… If it’s the council, and they’re here, right now, then, that means… Aleksi, and Arkin are gone.”

My eyes drop from theirs in that moment. I didn’t know exactly what this meant, but it burnt in my mind. The council had been an omnipresent threat since Elvira had been killed. And now, yet again they had popped their heads back up again. And once again, my family was in danger. My mind races to where they all were. Balt and Connie were in Starlight shores, they were safe, for now. Ethel was in Paris… But Sybil and Katherine… My stomach forms a tight knot again.

“They’re planning to burn the entire town to ash. I don’t even think that they care if they don’t get out in time.” I continue gruffly. Watching both of their beautiful faces contort. And I could see by the look in Rayne’s eyes that she knew exactly what this meant. The corner’s of her face droop down, as she pulls our daughter closer to her side.

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Footsteps appear on the porch and my eyes dart to the nearest window, where two other vampire’s stare looking through at us. A cold expressionless face covering both of their features. A cold bleakness burns in their eyes as they continue to stare. “Let us in, and it’ll all be over that much sooner.” One of them hisses to me. A finger tracing the wooden frame of the window.

Instead of a response I growl at them, and stumble forward so that my eyes meet theirs with dark intentions. “Never.” As long as we were in here, then they couldn’t get to us. It seemed a foolish idea, but it was Rayne’s name on the deed, and permission would be the only thing allowing them entry.

“Have it your way.” The second vampire replies without emotion. And in his hand is a small glass bottle, with a cloth overflowing where the cap should be. Oil. A small smirk appears on their face as they light it up, and toss it through the window with a loud bang. And flames immediately eat away at the room, and everything in it’s path. “We don’t need permission, if no house stands. And how long can you last before you’re forced out?”

*

Your tears were my burden, your sacrifice my loss. You needed someone to hold you close to them, and to shield you from the cold, harsh night. I needed to be that person. I was supposed to protect you, and I was supposed to keep you safe. That was my holy oath taken, until death do us part.

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And on the first day my child, I promised you a world that you’ll never have. And now you’re shattered into a thousand tiny pieces, and sprinkled across the solar system. Taking your place among the stars, and lighting up my dark path I’m taking.  You shine the brightest, but I’m afraid that I’ll never find home again.

*

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Thick, black smoke quickly burns and stains the air around us. Choking sounds from behind me sob, and bring my mind to life. This house was meant to be our salvation, not our grave. Tasting the air, my eyes burn with fury, as I stalk forward. We had to get out… That much was clear. But where would we go? How would we escape?

All around me I can hear the foot fall of creatures with no heart beat stalking the night. And the crackle of the flames as they get closer and closer to us. Choking the life out of those two woman behind me who meant my absolute world. And the fire creeps forward, without remorse, without favour towards us. It was cruel and unforgiving. And with each passing breath, it got closer and closer.

“I love you-“

“No, don’t say that!” Willa screams over the fire and my voice, her face scrunches up as tears stream down her face. Rayne frowns, still not saying a word. But I could tell by the look on her face that she was thinking. My daughter sobs, her eyes searching ours.

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“Phin…” Rayne says finally. “If you love me, and the life we have created together, then you need to take Willa on your back, and run as far away from here as you can.” My hand softly touches her cheek, but she turns away from me, a sob catching in her throat. “And I will… I can buy you both some time.”

“Absolutely not, I will not leave you.” I hiss at her, feeling my own emotions catching in my throat. Her hand wraps around my waist as her gaze turns pleading, and I know that she won’t take no for an answer. But I can’t leave her. My wife, the love of my existence. All the memories that I hold of her flash dance across my mind, as she stares at me sadly. “And I won’t, I can’t leave you here to die alone, Rayne… I… I can’t…”

“I… I know…” Her voice is barely audible as a tear falls down her cheek. I wipe it away, and choke back my own emotions. I couldn’t let either of them know I scared I was. But those vampires stalking the outside of the house. The flames eating away at us inside. I couldn’t lose either of them… “But what’s the alternative? All of us die?” A morbid, frustrated smile plays on her lips, before they start to quiver. “Phin, darling, for me. For our daughter. Please, you have to save her…”

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I can’t even think, even as she throws her body against mine, and captures my lips hungrily with her own. I can’t think, I can’t move. How can I put into words everything that this woman means to me? How could I sum up our entire life together in just one last kiss, taken decades too early? The smell of smoke intoxicating our nostrils, and the heat of the flame dangerously close. This wasn’t how it was supposed to end. This wasn’t how we were supposed to end…

“I… I love you.” I choke out huskily, as she pulls away far to early for my liking. The taste of her lips lingers on my own for a few more seconds before she escapes my arms, with a mournful smile. Her hand in mine, slowly pulls away.

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“Mum… Don’t do this…” Her strangled sob cries. Pleading with her to stay. She was too young to lose a mother. To young to experience anything but love and laughs, the happiest of times. “You and dad go… I… I’ll s… Stay…” Rayne collects her in her arms, gripping onto her tightly. The ultimate sacrifice, giving your life, for a child, for a loved one.

“Take care of your father for me.” Stepping forward, I wrap them both in my arms for one last time. Kissing each of their foreheads softly. Biting back the tears stinging in my eyes. “I.. I love you b.. Both so much-“

“I will run faster than you can imagine, and after I take her somewhere safe, then I will be back for you.” I growl to them both, and to myself. Promising us all that we would be reunited. I needed to hear it myself. That I would be back for her. That there would be someone to come back for. “So, don’t do anything stupid, my love, I will be right back.”

*

Punish me, make me remember. Immortality spent alone. Force me to relive the torture I put you through. Hurt me, so that I may feel an ounce of the pain that I should. Let me suffer, so that your memory can be upheld. They wouldn’t let me burn with you, so allow my stone cold heart to suffer this insanity.

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This fate would always have befallen us, my survival and your life lost. But a life lost before you got to live, and taste all that life has to offer. And the rest of this town, every man, woman and child… Gone… While I, the solitary ghost to stalk these plains alone. These parts are full of them. Confused, scared, and alone. A faded memory of a war torn town.

*

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They had come out of nowhere. They had seen us before we even had a chance to react.

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“Run!” The words left my lips before I even knew what was happening. I had barely left the boundary of our home before they were on me. Holding me back, while they attacked. And she ran, my Willa ran as fast as her legs could take her away, while I tried to buy her time. But how much could I give to her? In the dark, I could see them lurking, and stalking their prey. The screams climbing into the sky.

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My child’s screams fill the air, but I can’t help her. Not when I can’t even help myself. Not from the vicious onslaught of fists, and furious feet, teeth and claws. Hyped up on the blood of their victims, and the blood of this town, this creature is too strong. The gift of age burning from within his muscle as they continue to pound at me.

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And as I’m forced to the ground, a familiar heart beat grows near, and makes my heart sick. Rayne… They had her, they had my wife, they had my child…

And I can’t fight back…

“Kill them both, but leave him alive, make him watch!” It hisses viciously over me, taking my bruised, and beaten face in it’s cold hands. And my eyes meet both of theirs with a deep sadness. I try to struggle, but within an instant his hand is in my chest. Fingers around my heart. Stopping the struggle in an instant.

“I’m sorry…” I sob, as Rayne half smiles at me with a tearful nod. My daughters face is dark, as her eyes stare into mine. The pain in my chest is excruciating, even as I try to move closer to them but am prevented from doing so. “Don’t be afraid…”

*

Can you forgive me? Can you kiss away my pain just one last time? Rayne, Willa, I failed you, I failed this town. They came in the night, and they took your life away from me. And I was weak, and I was foolish. If there was something I could have done, then I’d do it. And I’d do it a thousand times over.

“I love you…” My voice is husky from lack of sleep, and nourishment. How can I live while you sleep in the cold, musty dirt? How can I live without you? “I’m… I’m so sorry… I… I sh… Should have done someth… Thing… Oh god, Rayne, darling, I’m so sorry… I couldn’t prot.. Tect her… I couldn’t protect you…”

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The twin graves that stand side by side in the dirt, seem to stare up at me longingly, and I them. I could never again rest my tired head against the warmth of your body, or hold you tight in a nightmare. My life, diminished in the night, a year ago today.

“Love can you ever forgive me…?”

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Author’s notes

I want to put a warning up for all my readers on this chapter as it contains some dark themes.  It does contain swearing, images of a graphic nature, and a forced love scene. If you are easily offended or do not wish to read something so dark, then feel free to skip ahead.

There is a song that goes with this chapter,
S.O.S. anything but love –  Apocalyptica and Christina Scabia

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My life seemed to fade into monotone black and white after that day. Everything seemed to fade away into oblique nothingness. The only things that seemed to tether me to my world were gone, ripped away from me without warning. Rafe… My darling brother, no one would tell me where he was, or where he had went. Not that there were any others, but Vladimir. He locked me away from everyone and everything. And he refused to tell me anything, in fact it seemed to anger him by bringing it up, or mentioning his name. And my twin, my family, just gone. He had always been there, and now… Now he was gone…

And as my hands clench my baron womb, a faint tear rolls down the side of my face. My baby… Taken from me. By a ghost of my own fragile memory. I couldn’t remember the blurry face, but I could see his silhouette in my dreams, and whenever I closed my eyes. He had taken you from me… But Shiloh’s attempt to explain it had fallen on deaf ears. They took you away from me to save my stupid, pathetic life. You died, because of me. Because I had to go into Bridgeport, and speak to the president. Because I had to find justice for my brother, and for Jasper. It was my selfish desire for vengeance and justice that took you away.

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If I was a stronger person, or if I had seen the signs, then you would still be okay. You would be here, with me. And in five months, you would have been born. Maybe you’d have your father’s stormy eyes, perhaps you’d have my mother’s hair. Your skin would be smooth and porcelain. Your lips a delicate shade of pink. My beautiful Valentin… I wasn’t sure, but a part of me thought you were a girl, not that I’d care either way as long as I’d get to hold you in my arms… If I wasn’t so weak, and so hell bent on trying to do the right thing, which turned out to be the wrong thing, then in a year’s time, you’d take your first steps, or mumble your first words.

If your mother was anyone but me, then you would have had a life, a future. Your giggles would fill our home, and you’d clumsily run before I’d scoop you up into my arms, and kiss your sweet forehead. And I’d never get to read you a story, as sleep would tug at your eye lids. Never would I hide a few measly dollars beneath your pillow as you slept, with a note from the tooth fairy attached. You could never see your first day of school, if it were even possible, or steal your first kiss. My child, I’d take away your chance at life. I’ve robbed you of your first breath.

I failed you.

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I almost jump out of my skin as the door swings open, and Vladimir stalks inside. I could smell and easily identify the scent of cheap tequila on his breath, and his stained shirt from whatever cheap fang banger he could find tonight. The blood sends a wealth of panic into my haggard body. Blood. And it hits me from out of no where, and I can hear the screams in my ears as the knife stabs into my stomach.

Bound to your side, I’m trapped in silence…
Just a possession…

“Don’t look so bloody afraid, Vivian.” The voice momentarily snaps me out of my memories, as I watch his eyes study me from a distance. His voice was the only thing holding me to reality right now, and it was stupid. Just like you… But whatever had happened that day in Bridgeport, the night that Rafe was shot, it had a hold of my life, and it wasn’t going to let go. For the briefest moment’s before I had lost this child, I could don a brave face. But not anymore, I couldn’t keep it up. “Don’t look at me like that…”

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“Like what?!” I reply, my voice nearing hysteria with the raise of his voice. And my heart unintentionally speeds up, because nothing good could come from anger. People did stupid things, people lost things, all because of that one emotion. And all the others, rage, sadness, fear, uncertainty. And if he was angry with me… I could already feel the redness in my cheeks, and the bruising in my ribs.

Is it sex or only violence…
That feeds your obsession…

“Like I’m going to do something.” He sneers at me, closing the gap between us in a few effortless steps. And his eyes dance with a strange haziness. And I cower back slightly. I was like a scared little rabbit. Hiding in it’s borough from the danger, but now. I felt that their was a fox banging at my door. “Now love, why would I do such a thing? I love you, even if you don’t love me back.”

“What do you me-“

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“Everyone knows who you are now, Vivian. You made damn sure of that.” He hisses, his voice growing louder again, making me flinch. “Every single vampire under my command knows that I am keeping the daughter of Aleksi fucking Godwinn as my bed companion. Do you realize how stupid I looked? Like I was getting played for a fool, because how would the V.D.F. know to search Bridgeport, to search my headquarters?” The drunken paranoia sneaks into his words slowly, but before long every word is dripping in it. “And then telling the fucking world that the rebels have a cure? And that you have fucking proof… My men are confused, scared, some even want to go to him to cure themselves. And why? Cause you couldn’t keep your bloody mouth shut. And you shame our great leader in front of all of them all. The men don’t know who to believe anymore, Vivian, and why is that?”

You send me to a broken state…
Where I can take the pain just long enough…

I blink back at him furiously, but with each blink, I feel he could attack with my eyes closed. But confusion grips my chest, as long with a terrible fear. My pulse was in my throat as I prepared for attack. He loves you, he’s only angry, I tell myself. There’s no reason to be afraid. “I… I had… T.. To clear my… Name…” I slowly mumble, stuttering on a few of the words as I did so.

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“You mean your fathers name? Our enemy?” The vampire’s voice is flat as he pinches the bridge of his nose in frustration. His brows pull together, as his face contorts angrily. “You had to go and protect your father? The one who abandoned you when you were but a baby. You had to protect him, over me? Because, trust me love, when Azazel decides how he’s going to deal with this, especially after all he went through to cover up the blood cure, we’re both screwed.”

Then I am numb…
Then I just disappear…

“Vlad… I…” I hadn’t forsaken my Vladimir, not for my father, not as he was saying. No… It wasn’t for him. It was for me, and Rafe, and for the future of the baby we shared… Or was going to. But I had done it, I had the unconscious need to try and send a message to my father. To try to make things alright for him, and to tell him that I didn’t hate him, that I had struggled without him. But why would Azazel want to… “I’m sorry.” Is all that I can mumble out. “I never meant for any of it, and our baby… If you only knew how much I hated myself for it.”

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“You deserve this….” Vladimir growls, my apology seeming to throw him off. His muscles gleaming from beneath his pale skin. Stretching as his hands connect with my jaw roughly, knocking me to the ground. I collide with a loud thump, falling backward, the back of my head splitting open with the force of the impact. In a daze I blink back up at the menacing figure standing over me. The vampire bares his fangs, his mouth biting the air in front of me. A low hiss escaping as the blood begins to pool on the ground. The room begins to fill with the similar metallic scent of blood. And his blue eyes gleam, expanding with the thrill of the hunt.

So go on, infect me…
Go on and scare me to death…

“Vlad-“

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He lunges at my body lying hopelessly on the ground. My head aches, throbbing painfully. And it’s like I can’t breath, or think because of it. I sob as he grabs my feet. Rough hands slowly grazing up my calves and up my thighs. Struggling I sob loudly. Kicking is useless, I’m too weak. Vladimir’s hands finally rest over my the thin fabric of my pants and under wear. “You killed our child!” He snarls angrily, tearing off my pants and exposing everything to him. Our child…. Our child… I had caused his death. But I hadn’t meant to. No, I already loved my child. Tears stain my pale cheeks as I watch him fearfully. Biting his lip, Vlad let’s out a loan moan, his hands roughly grasping my waist, gliding up my back, til my top half was exposed too.

Tell me I asked for it…
Tell me I’ll never forget….

“Please…” Did he want me to beg? Did he want me to plead for my life? Some sort of sick satisfaction. “D… Don”t d.. D… Do this. P.. Pl… Ease…”

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Lowering himself onto my body, he forces my thighs apart. Pressing his body against mine. “I don’t want to do this, Viv…” He coos softly, stroking my cheek, and wiping away my tears. Moving my head, I can’t escape his touch. And he weighs me down. Breath shuddering, my heart races in total fear. And he’s too strong for me. I can’t stop him. “But I have to do this, don’t you understand?” Why? Why did he have to do this?

You could give me anything but love…
Anything but love…

I shake my head desperately. But the movement brings back the pain in my head. Cause my vision to fade in and out. He didn’t have to do this. Not to me. Confusion burns in my mind trying to understand this. This wouldn’t bring them back. It wouldn’t change a thing. “Y… You do… N’t have t.. T… To..

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“I loved our child…” Vladimir kisses me deeply, easily fending off my protests. His hands begin to run down my body again. His claws kneading into my exposed breasts. Tearing and bruising the already damaged skin. “You killed our baby, you killed my baby… But, we can be reunited again. Lets create life .”

Does it feel good to deny…
Hurt me with nothing…

“No!” I try to scream but his hand crashes over my mouth. Knocking my cheek across the ground. The muffled scream only serves to egg him on.

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And his one free hand unbuckles his pants. As he lowers them just enough. Enough to… My body tenses up completely as he violently forces himself into me. Moaning as he does so. The hand over my mouth falls as away as the speed and force of his thrusts increases.  And I scream. With all my heart and all my might to call for help. But my pleas fall on deaf ears.

Some sort of sick satisfaction…
You get from my fucking…

Over and over again he forces himself inside me. Painfully tearing at my delicate skin. His nails dig into my skin as he lets loose a low moan. “This is all your fault, Vivian.” He manages to spit the words out slowly. It’s all my fault…? No. No it’s not. But if you were stronger, then the baby would be fine. Everything would have been fine…. No…. If I was smarter… If I hadn’t gone…

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Vlad loses control, his teeth piercing their way through the vein in my neck. He throat growls in approval as I feel my grip on reality quickly begin to fade away with each pump of his body, and each second my jugular is exposed. “You deserve this, Vivian…” He whispers pulling away momentarily to speak. My blood drips off of his lips and down his chin. And the second he finishes his statement, he teeth are back in my neck.

Oh stripped down to my naked core…
The darkest corners of my mind are yours…

I deserve this… I think to myself as I fade away.

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It quickly got to the point where I stopped fighting him, stopped saying no, and stopped crying completely. Vladimir would do what ever the hell he wanted to me. If I fought, or resisted, he would beat me, and since the day that I had returned without that child, his violence had only increased. Within inches of life he would stop, with a cruel smile on his face. And he could make it last for hours if he wanted to see me suffer. But if I accepted him, if I kissed him back, and told him that I loved him, then he was gentle… Not as rough, he wasn’t gentle by any means, but his kisses were softer, more tender. ANd he wouldn’t beat me afterwards, or during his violent assaults.

That’s where you live…
That’s where you breathe…

It was easier to pretend that I loved him while he was here. And that I wanted a child as much as him, because no matter what I did, or how many times we failed, he kept trying. I didn’t know how much more my fragile body could bear it either. Already I had lost more weight, my muscle was begin to fade. And I was too weak, to protest him. To weak to even care. I deserved it. I had killed our child, and if it wasn’t for me attempting to sway the president’s mind, then she would still be with us. I killed her...

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I only felt safe when Vlad was deep in sleep. If he was awake, he could do whatever he wanted to me. Drink my blood, beat me, rape me… And when he was gone, I was in constant fear that he would rip the door open, and violate me in the worst ways. When he was gone I was left to my thoughts, which threatened to destroy me. Every creak, and every sound sent me into nervous shock, terrified something, or someone would happen to find me. It was debilitating. But when he was asleep, I felt like  could almost breath easy. He couldn’t tear the door open, if he was beside me. No one could break into the building, or he’d get to them before they got to me.

So go on, infect me…
Go on and scare me to death…

But how much more could I take, every time that test was negative, and it was revealed that we had failed to make a child, Vladimir would break. And it was my fault we couldn’t conceive. The universes way of telling me I didn’t deserve a child after what had happened to the last. And Vlad knew it, so he’d begin the torturous pains again. And he’d throw me to the bed, and plant his seed in the vain attempt that we could create life.

I’ll be the victim…
You’ll be the voice in my head…

But I was broken.

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You could give me anything but love…

Soon, Vlad stopped saying that he loved me. And it was because he knew that I couldn’t be fixed. I killed his child, and he could never forgive me.

Anything but love…

“We’re gonna need to find us an appropriate bed, you know? This isn’t going to fit the three of us comfortably.” Vladimir whispers sleepily, dawn was coming. And I could feel it with every anxious second passing by. And I could hardly bear it. It seemed it burn in my veins. Today I face my enemies. Today I’m brave. “A better place to raise a child for sure…” He muses, a soft smile on his lips, and the nervousness returns again.

“I liked the name, what did you say, Valentin, for a girl.” I reply, my own smile reappearing. And despite his actions only hours ago, Vladimir was calm again. The storm in his eyes, lashing at the surface, was resigned for a peaceful, soft blue, the color of the ocean on a warm Spring day. “And you’re right, this place is much to old and musty for a child. Although, it does rather fit the ‘typical’ vampire lair in the movies.” I kiss his nose softly, as he pulls a face. This right here, was the Vlad I loved.

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“My mother would have loved the fact to have her son’s first born named after her.” With another smile, he bares a toothy grin. His teeth protruding just below his upper lip. His mothers name… And I can’t help but wonder if my mother would have been proud. There wasn’t much I knew about her, but she had hid from the vampires long enough to protect me and Rafe… And I can’t help but feel robbed, of a mother, of a family. And yet here I was… “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing…” A small sigh beside me, as he rolls onto his side, to look at me better. But I’m a terrible liar and this question had been seared into my mind since I had been taken. “It’s just… Rafe… Wh… Did he…?” My eyes betray my face. And I feel a stab of pain in my chest. If he were here, surely he would have come to me already. But then, why would Vladimir not just tell me straight up if he was alive… Or not so… Alive..

A few moments pass by without him blinking or moving a muscle. Until. “I think that we should paint the nursery green, that way, regardless of whether it’s a boy or a girl, the colour is neutral.” And without even seeming phased by it, he ignores my question. “Besides, it matches your eyes, my dear. And how could I not want those beautiful eyes to sparkle against the walls in our nursery.”

“Don’t do that to me, Vlad.” I hiss at him, and lean up almost instantly. “He’s my brother, it doesn’t matter whether he’s in the room over eating bloody beef jerky, or not, I need to know.” And he was fine. Rafe was fine. Wasn’t he? He had probably just spent the night with some bar waitress, and hadn’t yet come back to the base. Keep telling yourself that. “Vlad! I need to know, so just tell me!” And I almost immediately regret raising my voice at him, and with such anger. Never once had I ever spoke against him.

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“Don’t you dare speak to me like that ever again, Vivian.” Vlad says softly, but behind the low tone, is a very real threat, as he throws me back onto my back, and crawls on top of me, so his weight pins me down. I try to focus on calming my heart rate, I did not want to give him the satisfaction. “I love you, Vivian, but, because of that, I just don’t want to see you hurt.”

“So he’s-“

“Enough of this talk, Vivian!” This time his voice snaps. And I can’t understand why he won’t tell me. Why would he be hiding it from me? The truth, Rafe? But I knew of his anger streak, so in that moment, I decide to just let it go. It wasn’t worth a fight, not right now. And if he was… Gone… I think I needed a clear head going into Bridgeport today. From slipping our way into the city, and then talking to the president, I didn’t need to reveal myself stupidly cause I couldn’t think straight. But I will find you...

*

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“Hurry up, I have something to show you.” Shiloh’s voice hisses through the thin wooden barrier in irritation. When I had found her to leave, she’d made me throw grey tight’s and a thick black coat over my stretched and faded, silk nightie I had worn since my pregnancy. A deep blush settles in as I look at myself in the mirror. I couldn’t do it, could I? Stand in front all all those people, hell, it could have been one and I’d be in hysterics. Just focus. Everything will work out in the end.

“What is it?” I say shakily as I stand over her and stare at the computer screen. Files upon files are shown, marked with dates and names. But Shiloh shakes her head and points to the small file beside the screen on the wooden desk.

“I’ve printed as much as I could off of that USB you took off that detective. And well… I think that you’re going to want to take a look, some of its incredible.” As she says it, she fishes keys from her pocket and frowns at me. She was a better actress than me, but I could already see the small traces of uncertainty in her eyes.

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A mile or so out from the city, we ditched the white pick up truck to make it easier to slip into the giant city. On the way I had scoured as many of the pages as possible, barely even speaking to Shiloh. Even without the papers I would have been far to nervous to make a sound. Which was wrong. Especially since today, I wanted to make a scene. As public as possible. And what was written in those files, were going to be my hole in one.

Once we got inside the city, we made our way on foot across the strangely empty city scape. The town hall, where the press conference was being held was right in the middle and we didn’t have much time to spare. A few guards walk the street, but almost no cars drive past throughout the once bustling streets. And it all seemed to easy. From the news reports, I would have thought it was going to be armed guards on every corner. But not this, silence.

And as we reach the hall. My eyes lock in with Mr Cane’s, the president. He speaks loudly and clearly so that the people gathered can hear him correctly. Tv stations have their cameras fixed on him, the reporters shooting various different questions at the man, who without too much deliberation answers each precisely.

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“Mr President?” A reporter asks as I slowly make my way through the crowd. “Stacy Cross, Star News One, with your choices made during this wartime period, do you think that you’ve a chance of winning the upcoming election?”

“Very good question.” His voice bellows with a well practiced smile to match. “During these dark times, I do believe that I have taken the chances that have arisen to take a stand against the vampires. Do some believe that more could have been done? Do some not agree with my choices? Perhaps, but I can assure you that I have done everything in my power to protect this great country and the men and women inside it. And as for reelection, when making these tough decisions, my thoughts were never, ‘will this go down well with voters?’ No, decisions are made, paths are taken because they are the right thing to do. Not for a few extra ticks in my corner.” As the crowd falls into muttering between themselves and writing down notes, a burst of adrenaline explodes into my veins. This was my chance, my opportunity. With one last look at Shiloh, I hesitantly push my way forward. Fear gripping my body.

“M.. Mr Pres… President?” I call out, forcing myself to project my tiny voice as loud as possible. Be brave, I think to myself. Fearless. “I have a question for you about your opinion about the v… V.. Vampires.” Pushing through the crowds of people. The scavenger paparazzi swarming us like flies. The look of fear and confusion on the faces of everyday people. Expressionless faces of the armed guards surveying the town square. “My name is V… Vivian… Vivian Godwinn, Mr Cane, and I want to know your honest t.. Thoughts of this war.”

In that moment, I swear you could hear the jaws of the people’s drop. And a tiny pin dropping could be heard if you listened hard enough. My eyes lock with the presidents and he stares at me. A stubborn darkness in his eyes. Fear and uncertainty washing into the faded colours of his iris. His eyes fall to my swollen womb, and I can see his thoughts flicker. A hand runs gingerly through his hair as he sighs exasperatingly. Flashes of black rush to my side as the crowds confusion booms over the once silent atmosphere.

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“Arrest her!” A guard seemingly yells into my ear. And with a rough grasp on my hands, he painfully pulls my arms across my back in attempt to restrain me. But I don’t fight him. In fact I barely see him, my eyes had not once left those of Mr Cane.

The guard pushes me forward as the silver cuffs lock my hands in place. And even though this could be the end. My eyes stare stubbornly into his. “W… Wait-” He finally speaks up. And the authority in his voice scared me a little. I was just a child, how could I speak up to him? To all of these people, when I didn’t hold as much power in my entire body as he did in a pinky finger. “Let her speak.” One of the guards tries to protests, but he shoots them down with a defiant glare. After hushing the crowd to fall into silence he motions for me to speak. And I feel the burn in my cheeks. But this time, I couldn’t be afraid. There was too much resting on me right now. “What is it that you want girl? What question do you have for me?”

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“Before I speak, firstly I would like to introduce myself to you properly. To all of you, actually. Because due to what they say about me on the news, I feel that for once, we should speak honestly to one another. Let’s drop the pretenses.” Nodding my head, I take a deep breath. Feeling the eyes of everyone behind me bore into the back of me head. “My name is Vivian Godwinn. I grew up without a mother or father. You see, before I was even born, before the news of vampires first hit our screens. My parents were taken as hostages by the vampire council. My mother managed to evade them for a short while, giving birth to me and my brother… Once in their care, they were sentenced to death. And my mother died that day at dawn. The very dawn that war broke out. Leaving my father to escape on the verge of death. Alone, and without her in his life.” Breathe… Just say what you know. Don’t even think about it, because truth be told, once their minds are made up. There’s not a thing you can do.

“To go back to the start of this tale, both of my parents were scientists, working in a top secret facility, alongside another. What they were hoping to uncover, had the power to change the course of history forever.” I focus on the words on the pages that Shiloh had given me to read on the way here. Trying to remember the details that ended my mothers life. Revolutionists. “You see, my mother Raveena, and my father, Aleksi, were vampires-” Sensing the alarm and change in the crowds emotions, I soften the tone of my voice slightly. “And they were working on a plant based blood substitute, and subsequent cure for vampirism.”

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“That’s preposterous, these are very wild allegations, miss.” The president responds. I had expected that if I mentioned this I front of the public, I’d be carted out of here faster than I could talk. But surprisingly, this man was different to how I’d expected him to be. He was giving me a chance to speak. Despite the fact that he had been told that I was planning to murder him on this very day. He was giving me a chance. “And I hope you know that without any proof, that these are just wild stories.”

“Sir, growing up, I didn’t think that my father loved me, because if a father loves his children, he’s there for them, is he not? And when the V.D.F. First told me that he was a vampire, I found it easy to believe what they told me.” My voice is surprisingly calm, as I focus on nothing but the sound of his voice. And if I concentrated enough, it was just us two. And the crowd behind me faded away. The towering buildings became still air. The pavement turning to nothingness. “I was told that he was a very bad man. And that he was a killer, and a monster. But it’s not true, and they knew that. You see when I was imprisoned by these men, the tortured me and everyone else inside for days on end. They cut my skin just to watch me bleed. And they injected me with silver to hear me scream. And they starved me, just to see if I would turn. But worst of all, they knew it was wrong the entire time. My pregnancy didn’t stop them, in fact, they wanted to hurt this child, once again, just to see what would happen. But when I escaped, which I believe was just, because despite the loss of life, which I can’t make excuses for, but they struck first. Right where it hurt and then carried it on. And when we escaped, I came across the very detective who had caused all of this for us.”

“Detective Hardy had a heroes funeral. But he was the yes man in all of this. When I found him he was disposing of evidence that he did not want you to see, Mr president, or any of you, because a lot of what was going on was illegal, immoral and wrong. And none of them wanted anybody on the outside to find out what they knew and were up to.” Shiloh had gone over every file she could in the short time we had, but there was so much that had been covered up. “The detective saved some of it to a USB. And you said without any proof that these were just wild, preposterous allegations. But we have it.”

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“I came here today because I believe that I’m not only innocent, but I have the right to speak to you all. And speak on the behalf of everyone, because I have seen the underbelly and been on the inside of this war. And I’ve lost as much as anyone else.” My voice falters on the last sentence. Too much had I lost. And for the glory of war? No, for selfish pride and tales of revenge? “And we have all lost. Mothers, fathers, b… Brothers, sisters, children, lovers, friends, family. No one has escaped this war unscathed. Not even the vampires. Because the day that this war started, my father and leader of the free vampires lost his mate and a piece of his soul. On the day that Bridgeport was seized, I lost a brother, the only family that I have left, and I saw a woman lose the only man she ever loved. President, I know it would be so easy to lump together every vampire and human that walks beside them into the same category, but Asmodeus and Azazel don’t represent the only vampires. There are those out there who oppose him directly and thus have suffered consequences of their own. If you wish to fight your enemy, then you must first know your enemy.”

And for the longest moment it seems that our gazes bore into each others. Directly staring each other down. And as I talk about the dishonesty of the V.D.F. causes the guard to take my wrists in theirs painfully. “And the men that you have appointed as your advisers, I believe that they’re not telling you everything that you need to know. And my question Mr President is, do you know what these men are doing in your name?”

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The president’s face drops, and I can almost feel his muscles tense in response to my question. The uncertainty in his eyes makes me almost want to believe him. But just like all the others, perhaps he was just a convincing liar. Maybe this was the face of a child who’s hand had been caught in the cookie jar. And finally he breaks eye contact. Shuffling his feet as his eyes scan the crowd and each of the confused, questioning faces. So badly did I want to believe that this was the end of things. And with the next word uttered, that my name, no, that my families name would be cleared. That steps could be made to end this war. To bring about a time of peace for all of us again. Except that the tight grip in my arms remind me that’s its not so easy.

“Vivian…” Mr Cane says slowly. Drawing out every syllable on his tongue. And for that long silence I can’t breath. Freezing up in my anxious paranoia. “You must understand, that for the longest time, we’ve only known the vampire’s cruelty. But… We haven’t known of our own. Or this wars internal rebellion.” The entire atmosphere changes in that moment. The uneasiness shifts around the V.D.F. guards, and the nervous energies multiply. “Until I see the evidence myself, nothing can be changed. But, I want to thank you for your bravery… If what you say is true, then I have been played a fool, and my desire to protect has been exploited.” His voice sounds sincere, and in front of all of these reporters, and cameras, something has to change. I turn around for the briefest moment and see a flash of red moving through the crowd but my eyes lock in on Shiloh. Except her glasses are on the ground as she bursts towards me.

“Guards, stand down-“

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And like cold ice, I feel something cold and sharp move through my soft skin. And I’m too slow. Nothing can save me now. The blade pierces through the top right side of my abdomen. Slicing its way down just below my belly button on the other side. And I can hear a blood curdling scream penetrate the air around me. Seconds tick by as I fall to my knees on the ground, and I can barely even notice the scene around me unfold. The scream aside, it’s dead silent. And a shadow seems to appear as if a ghost and stands over the guard and I. Crimson hair billowing in the wind, his hand penetrating the guards chest in a terrible display of violence. The scent of blood engulfing my nostrils as I fall to the ground, a shivering mess. My trembling hands covering the large gash exposing my now broken, bleeding womb.

Gun shots ricochet through the glassy air around me. And two hands grip my cheeks softly. Loosely my focus is drawn to the president as his personal body guards lead him away from the battle. Strangers run through the streets, fear painted on their faces thickly. Shiloh sprints towards me, her eyes ablaze with a dark emotion. Blood already staining her fierce features. And this man, whispers silently to me, but I can’t make out the words. In fact his face already faded out and only his hair? Maybe my blood infects my vision.

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“Vivian!?!” A strange voice whispers to me. “Please, stay with me, love, please…. Wake up…” Something cold touches my lips. Slowly dripping down my chin, the liquid beginning to form in my mouth as I swallow gasping for air. Except that I can’t find it. And my breath shudders terribly as I feel my grip on life starting to slip away. The initial burst of adrenaline wears off and the pain gradually begins to radiate from my stomach. Like a searing hot blade pressed against my innards. “Please, Vivian… Drink…” And the metallic tasting liquid still drips as my lips are pried apart. “Child… Please, stay with me…”

And soon the dripping stops as I’m cradled against something warm. But warmth is spilling out of me onto the pavement beneath. Staining it in a vivid red. And turning to ice. And the feeling spreads throughout me. From my smallest toe, and finger, spreading through my veins like cruel winter herself. And the warmth of the foreign hands clutching me tight brush against my cheek, willing me to wake up. Lips turning blue, skin pale white and painted red. The fire in the gash across my womb begins to dimmer, and fade out. Travelling all the way to my frozen heart, slowing down with every faded second.

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Until a terrible fire burns its way through my veins. Causing my dying heart to ignite and the breath to quicken. The terrible burning in my blood strengthens with each second, and I can feel a scream escape my lips. Tortured as I slowly come back to life. Except my womb feels as though it could explode any second. The enormous pressure building inside me. The searing burn strengthening every second. “What’s happening to her? What have you done?” A female voice cries over my sobs.

“I can’t save them both…” The first voice mumbles. But I can’t focus on him, not while I feel myself being torn apart from the inside. The wound feels like the sun trapped inside my stomach. Burning a hole inside me. My muscles tense in a excruciating way. The fibers stitching themselves back together. “It’s rejecting my blood… And… I can’t save them both, she’ll die…”

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“What do you mean, you can’t save them both?” The voice sounds on the verge of hysteria, questioning this mysterious voice. Was I dying? Because somewhere, somehow, I had seen his face before. The billowing red hair, dancing with the various shades and shapes melding together before my faded, blacked out vision. And his piercing, glowing forest green eyes begged me with come back. Was this what death was?

“I… I… I have to…” And something cold touches my cheeks, lifting my head back up. “My child, I’m sorry.” It whispers to me, before I feel something tear inside me. Fingers clutching around the life inside me…. My child…. “Forgive me…”

*

My body tenses violently as I wake, my heart feeling in my throat. I have to get out of here. There’s no time to waste. My eyes struggle to pry apart as panic grips me tightly. My baby, I have to protect my baby. And on the verge of hyperventilating, a soft, and cool hand grazes my forehead. Terror fills my chest, as a scream forms on my lips.

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“Vivian?!” Her soft voice coos to me, half filled with a terrible panic, and concern, despite the fact that she was trying to be strong for the both of us. But as my eyes finally found the light of day, I could see the terrible sadness covering every inch of her face. And behind the glasses, a lone tear falls down her face.

“Shiloh, I…” My foggy memory dances around the little that I could actually remember. The president… His guards… They attacked didn’t they..? No, it was the V.D.F. guards, and he was in the middle of … What did he say? My brows push together, as I stare up at the dimly lit sky above me. The trees surrounding us were a lively green, and the colors were vibrant. And my thoughts try to process the events that hide from sight. “What happened?” But for some reason the leaves around me stand out even more so than usual. The colours hinting, willing me to remember.

“Viv.. I… I’m sorr-” Is all that she manages to mumble out before my memory snaps back to me. Half broken pieces of a puzzle that would probably never fully return to me. And I might never be able to see the full picture in it’s entirety. But… Those eyes pierce into my mind. The red hair. And the president, commending my bravery… And the… The knife…

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“N… No…” I sob, almost as quickly as the images flash through my mind. The overwhelming, debilitating nausea hitting me like a train. And I couldn’t even see straight. My tears were streaming too fast for me to wipe them away. “No…” My hand instinctively moves to curl around my swollen stomach, but it’s completely flat. “N… N.. N.. No.. Ooo.. Oo… My… M… My ba.. by…” My baby.. It wasn’t true. Just yesterday… Just this morning I lay beside your father as I watched him fall alseep. And we talked about you, your future, what you’d look like, who’d you’d become… And now…. “Not m… M.. My baby…” You were going to be everything to us. We were going to be a real family. “Why…? Why my baby?”

“It was everything that they stood against…” Her voice is barely audible as she stares vacantly into the tree line. “Their job is to scare everyone into fighting their war, and you got in their way. In that very instant the president let you speak, they lost. And… I don’t want you to second guess you decision today, cause even though we might have lost, we accomplished exactly what we set out to do. And, no matter what, I’m so proud of you…” Another tear falls down her face. “We tried to save you both Vivian… But… It was too late for your child… And it was rejecting the blood, and we would have lost you too…. I’m sorry Vivian… I’m so sorry… Forgive me..

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That final sentence breaks me because I had heard it before. From Vlad countless times. From Rafe when he had screwed up. And from… “Who’s we?” I sob, we had taken my child. We had saved my life. And I would never ever get to hold them. Or to watch them grow up…. Never…

“A vampire, Vivian… In broad daylight.” Despite the shocking absurdity of her words I can’t listen. Because my baby is dead. First Rafe… And now… No… “He told me to tell you that he’s sorry, Vivian, and that he wishes he could have been there for you more. He says to tell you that he loves you.”

*

As I pushed my way through the door to Vlad’s room. I could already feel his anger thick and heavy inside the room. And as our eyes meet, they burn with an overpowering rage. And then the tv is turned off as he stands to meet me. inches from my face. “You will pay for what you’ve done to us, Vivian.” Vladimir growls aggressively. Baring his fangs at me. “I will make sure of it.”

Authors note

So my game is having trouble again :/

This time I can’t move anyone into my active household, if I try it freezes. And then sims in that household just disappear  portrait panel and all. If I start a new game and move a family in, none of the portrait panels show up, and I can’t do anything but very limited interactions with the starting person. The simileon bar also goes blank so I can’t buy anything. Like this chapter took about five hours to photograph with all the freezes, attempts at putting the right people in the same household :/

So there was going to be another part of the chapter, but I seriously can’t get the game to work. And when it was working somewhat, my sims decided to run away. Hopefully I can get it working for the next chapter. Sorry guys 

*

As I spent the next few days in the cabin in the woods, one thing became apparent to me. The news was a frenzied report of attacks, and people trying to pretend that they knew what they were talking about. Most of all they were covering some important stuff up, and only telling parts of the truth. But if I didn’t know better, and I had not immersed myself in this world, then I might have believed them, and the crap they were spouting.

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“Welcome back to star news one. We have with us a shocking development in the attack on the Twinbrook department of defense. Tonight we have with us the Chairmen of the board of directors for the V.D.F., Timothy Angles. Now we just want to thank you for coming on the show tonight, especially in light of everything going on right now. What can you tell us about the attack, and what happened to bring on this severe act of violence?”

“Firstly, thank you for having me on the show tonight. Now, I’m going to be completely honest with you all. We were housing a very dangerous prisoner on several charges, including both espionage and murder. This prisoner had been making plans with the Bridgeport coven to launch an attack on president Cane on his peace making journey to the city early next week. We intercepted this message early, and thank god we did, because less than a month ago, acting on this transmission, we arrested known affiliates with these very dangerous vampires. This prisoner was one of the ring leaders behind this murder plot, and act of treason. And I’m sure that this is the reason that our Twinbrook headquarters walls were breached. We are taking this allegation very, very seriously.”

“So here on the screen are photos of all those under suspicion of being involved in this plot. Now even though they look like me or you, they are extremely dangerous, and if seen, you should call up your local authority to deal with them.  Do not attempt to approach them. How is the V.D.F. going to cope in this dark time, and of course deal with this issue? Especially with President Cane choosing to go ahead with his visit to the once lively city of Bridgeport? “

“We have issued a curfew for all vampires, which for all you viewers at home means, that if any vampire is seen, then they will be arrested on sight. If they choose to resist, then they will shot. Now this all seems quite extreme, I must admit, but these are indeed very dark times, and if we do not anticipate the worst, then in the case of it happening, we won’t be prepared. Now as for what those of you at home can do, once again, arm yourself accordingly. Don’t let strangers into your homes. Avoid you nightly activities if you can. And for those who are especially interested in protecting your fellow man. The V.D.F. is open for any man or woman to join. So please, enlis-“

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And with that I turn the TV off and get to my feet. I breath deeply, enjoying the smells of the woods. But it was eerie at night. The sounds of the owls, and the bugs, and whatever else may be lurking out there. And away from the city, and all the lights, the stars seemed to shine extra bright, and just for me it seemed. Hope, because the stars are always there. Though we might miss them in the clouds, but they were beacons of light in the darkness.

But I just couldn’t understand. How could they just lie like that? They had plastered our faces all over the news. Extremely dangerous…. Do not attempt to approach them… I felt a hard lump in my throat, that I just couldn’t seem to swallow away. And the more I thought or focused on it, the larger it seemed to get. And I could feel my entire body trembling underneath the surface. If anyone saw me, they’d send me back there…. I couldn’t go back there.

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I grip tightly onto the window’s frame for balance, as a few lonely tears run down my face. They had it all wrong, and worst of all, everyone would believe them. No one would know better, I mean… Why would they? Why would the government lie to them to protect themselves? I remembered growing up, and watching the news everyday as a young child, even as a naive youth. When the politicians talked about the war, and the reporters told the tales of our word, I believed every single word that came out of their sanctimonious mouths.

And why? Because someone on the TV in a nice suit, or a fancy dress, told me too. It all seemed to easy for them to brain wash us into doing whatever the hell they wanted us to do. Like what the V.D.F. was doing now. Parading as heroes for our cause, when in reality they were just as evil and crooked as some of the vampires that I had met. But because they wore the nice suit made out of the finest cottons, and the charming smiles, and the money and the charisma to bring this all together, they could just do whatever they wanted?

No. Not anymore. Things were going to change. I was already an outcast, it had been made so blindingly obvious since they had put my face on the news. Vivian Godwinn, born of vampire, dangerous. Do not attempt to approach. From now on I would wear a huge flashing red light above my head that would say ‘danger.’ And you know what, I might be alright with that. Because even though it was wrong, it was a part of me.

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The darkest part of me. A part that I had kept surprisingly well hidden for the most part. And I hid it well. My tongue runs along the edges on my teeth. Tracing each individual grove and indent, until it reaches the tip of one of my fangs. Overgrown canines, I remembered what the dentist used to tell me as a child on the trips I used to take. This had been a part of me for as long as I could remember. And now, more than ever before, I felt like I understood it.

In some small, insignificant way, we were all evil. Inside each and everyone of us, was a darkness that lay hidden away. Human, vampire, lycan, it didn’t matter. But we all had that tiny inkling, that seed of darkness. And some of us, we harbored it, and we fed it. Some of us let it grow. And their light would slowly begin to die. My mother and father, despite being vampires hadn’t made me a bad person. They hadn’t made me kill that detective.

It was all me. And I couldn’t blame it on anything or anyone else. Yes, I was part vampire. But that hadn’t made me do it. It wasn’t the hunger that made me drink his… No. I was the killer. And to tell the truth, I had enjoyed it while it had lasted. The taste of his blood as it ran down my throat. And the taste of it… The way my taste buds seemed to explode with just a drop… and-

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The door gets ripped over, and heavy breathing follows. My eyes widen with fear. And for a moment, it all comes running back to me. The detectives, the doctor… And… Everything becomes painfully aware to me, and my eyes start around the me. Footsteps behind. I don’t want to go back… 

“Viv?” Shelly says softly, announcing her entrance. And even though I know that it is just her. My heart does not lose it’s speed. And my hands tremble softly as I hide them behind my back and turn around.

“Shiloh…” I force my voice to sound louder than it really is as we meet gazes. She was donning pieces from Shelly’s closet. And a few battle scars, fading bruises on her battered skin, and claw marks tearing the flesh. But all in all, she had made it. We had made it. “You’re okay.”

“Course I am, I’m hardly going to let a few failed mall cops beat me, am I?” She replies fiercely with a half smile that doesn’t quite reach her eyes. And why would it, she had lost the thing that she held most dear to her. Is that how I would look once I reached Bridgeport and the others? If Rafe had… And Vlad….? I bite back the tears. “You seen the news?” And with a nod of my head she continues. “If it wasn’t for that, and them putting my god damn face on every channel, I would have arrived sooner. But getting into Bridgeport, they’re a few hours out of town, but it’ll still be a nightmare-“

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I throw myself onto the couch and shoot her a frantic look, making her stop speaking completely. To be honest, I’m not sure how I looked exactly. “Shiloh, I want to go to Bridgeport.” I say simply, as she cocks her head to the side. Her brows pushing together in confusion. And for a moment, I don’t even know what I’m saying.

“Did you seriously not just hear what I just said?” She growls at me in a grumpy tone. And I know that her annoyance isn’t meant in a cruel way. But the way her eyes dig into mine, makes me almost want to pretend I wasn’t going to say what I was about to say. It was true, maybe I should just let it go… “Bridgeport is going to be crawling with the V.D.F., and the army and god knows who else. It’s a no go… Just no, you’re crazy.” She repeats again just for dramatic effect.

“Is there a way?” I blurt out the words. Willing myself to stop while I’m ahead. This time it’s Shelly who looks at me, her lips purse delicately as she plays with her fingers nervously. And I could already tell what she was thinking. Because even though she was new to all of this, she had been taking it in great strides. Even if that meant harboring two fugitives, and the fact that they were now talking about executions on the news. She was doing better than I had ever thought possible.

“There’s always a way, why, what are you plan-“

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“President Cane will be in town next week, won’t he?” In that instant both of their eyes almost bulge out of their skulls, as they shoot me both horrified looks. I’ve never felt more sure of anything else in my entire existence. And I couldn’t explain it, but this had to be done. The people, they needed to know the truth, and that desire burnt through my veins. Sheep in wolves disguise and I was going to reveal them for the phonies that they were. All of them. Even if it terrified me.

“Vivian!” Shelly squeals, looking as though she were almost at the point of hyperventilation. “It’s all over the news that you were one of the people planning an assassination attempt on him! If you go there, then-“

“I can get you in…” Shiloh whispers, her eyes meeting mine darkly, almost like she could read my mind. Or that she knew part of my plan. But the hopelessness in her eyes was almost overpowering. “It’ll be hard, but I can get you in. I’m not so sure about getting you back out again though.”

“After everything that you went through to get out of that god forsaken place, why risk it all again?” Shelly’s eyes plead with mine, and I understand why. It wasn’t like I wanted to go to Bridgeport where I faced almost certain incarceration. I’d rather go home, where ever that was these days, and hide in bed. I didn’t want any of this to be happening. And I most certainly did not want to risk my unborn child. But, if I didn’t face my enemy, then this child would never be safe. “You don’t have to do this.”

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“Shelly, I do need to do this. You have no idea how much I need to.” I smile weakly at her, feeling the frustration from the moment. And the uncertainty weighing me down. For a moment her gaze turns harsh, but then in the next, it softens again. A small frown covers her face, as she silently nods. Next my eyes meet Shiloh’s. “If you tell me where to go, to get back to Vlad, and R… Rafe… Then.. I won’t force you to risk your freedom and your life.”

“To hell with that, it’s overrated anyway.” She says, looking down at Shelly for a moment. I couldn’t tell what the look in her eyes meant. One of them had a family, one of them was free, from all of the burdens of war, and everything else. One was normal, human, and the other? She was broken. “So, what’s the plan?”

The next few days passed by like a whirlwind. Shelly had printed out some plans of the entire city for us, which she hesitantly handed us. And I could tell, it was easy to, that she didn’t want me getting involved. But I felt like it was in my blood to do this. That it had been planned from the moment I had been born. By the time it came to leave, I felt like I knew Bridgeport better than I knew myself. Every hidden alley way, back street road.

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And as the giant city appeared through the front dashboard, I felt like I was suffocating. My pulse was in my throat, and my heart was beating with a harsh intensity. I didn’t have to do this, I could go home to Rafe… I could… Go ahead, be a coward, you always will be… Blinking back the tears, I gulp loudly. Tomorrow. Tomorrow, I would face my demons. I would announce myself to the world.

Tomorrow was a worry for a different day…

And I was more than thankful when we turned at the next left, and put our distance between the city and us. And even though I needed tomorrow to happen, for the world’s sanity, it terrified me. And left me short of breath. A few short hours later, we arrived at the building. But if I didn’t know better, I would have said that it had been abandoned years before.

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The inside of the building seemed to fit with my initial impression. Apart from a few dim lights, the building was empty. And there wasn’t a sound to be heard apart from the squeaking and scurrying of mice. Just breathe, everything will be just fine... I tell myself as we walk slowly.

“Are you sure that this is the place?” I ask, turning to Shiloh briefly. They’re going to be here… Every lonely step sends my anxiety soaring. The next corner, we’ll see Rafe chatting up some loose girl with a pretty smile. Or maybe Vladimir will be… Maybe it’s all pointless…

“I’m sure, don’t worry.” Her smile is off, and it falters slightly as we turn a corner. Shuffling her feet, she frowns at me, breaking the weak attempt at happiness. “Don’t… Don’t tell anyone about tomorrow… I think… They might try to stop you…” She slowly spits out. Nodding, I don’t want to ask why. I didn’t understand it. Who would stop me? “This is… Vlad’s in there…”

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Pushing the door open, a part of me doesn’t believe her. My Vlad would come for me, he wouldn’t let me rot in a prison cell. But as my eyes fall on him, a new realization hits me, in an almost bittersweet kind of way. He was alive… But that meant that he never tried to find me… Didn’t it.

“Viv?” His almost forgotten voice whispers, eyes widening as they fall on my body. I expect to see happiness, relief, anything else but that. Darkness filling them. The soft blue, seeming to turn black. And why? “You… You’re alive…” The words come out slowly, almost angry.

“Vlad… I-” And in the second, his body in inches from mine. And I can smell his scent so close to mine. His speed was not something I would ever get used to. And it startles me.

“What was the last thing that I told you?” His jaw clenches as his eye narrow in on mine. I was home, why was he angry? My heart races just a little bit faster, bracing myself for the impact. He always had that look when he was going to do something that he regretted. And my eyes plead with him a moment as I try to think of it. But I can’t… 

“I… Umm… I-“

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My voice is cut off as the back of his hand collides painfully, and forcefully with my jaw. The force of it, knocking me off of my feet, so I graze my hands as I hit the floor. My hand instinctively moves to cup my jaw, but as I touch the spot, I flinch and pull away. Looking down at my fingers, I see blood.

“I said to stay in the room, Vivian.” He growls with a low hiss to me. Wait… This wasn’t my fault. Of course it’s all your fault! If you had of stayed in the room, then everything would be just fine! But you had to leave! And it’s all you’re fault! Biting my lip, I try to prevent the tears from dripping over. I didn’t want him to see them fall. Not when I was crying over my own mistakes. “I’ve been worried sick for the past month thinking that you were dead, or never coming back. And why? Because you couldn’t listen to me?”

“Vlad… I’m-” I whisper croaky. “I’m sorry. I should have listened to you.” My cheek burns and feels puffy already. And a lone tear escapes the safety of my eyes, slowly cascading down my face.

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The next thing I know is that his finger curl into my hair, and tangle in the mess. And I’m pulled up against him, so that my face rests against his stomach. And he sighs loudly. “I love you, Viv… I just… I thought I’d lost you.” His voice is just a whisper as he strokes my hair softly. As he looks down on me, and only for a second, I swear that I almost see him smirk at me. “Oh, how I’ve missed you, darling.” And with that one word, I know that he’s sorry. And it sends a shock to my heart, making me smile weakly at him.

“I’ve missed you too, Vla-“

“How much?” He smiles devilishly down at me. Winking as he thrusts his pelvis out slightly, and pushes my head down as he does so. I frown at him with a start, he rolls his eyes. “Really?” Groaning, his grip tightens in my hair. “I’ve been sooo lonely without you here, Viv. And you know, I’ve been devastated, so there’s been no one else… Now you’re back…” This time, his free hand unbuckles the button on his pants. You owe it to him… No… I don’t want too. Don’t let him down again, he loves you…

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When he’s finished, I’m lifted back up to my feet. His fingers tracing the bottom of my lip. The side that he had assaulted still hurt, and I couldn’t help but flinch when his finger touched me. Vladimir’s eyes darken for a moment at seeing the sight of me flinching at his touch. Scared… Because of him.

“I love you.” He kisses me softly, as though that would make any of it better. Then his hand slowly moves down my body, til it rests on my swollen womb. And a small, peaceful smile replaces his previous frown. We were having a baby… Me and… I frown again. I loved him too. “Is it a boy or a girl?”

“I’m not sure yet.” And he gives me a soft look, taking my hand in his. And I finally understood why Shiloh had told me to keep tomorrow a secret, in fear that someone would stop me. “Is Rafe-“

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“Don’t cry my love.” He murmurs inches from my face, before he places another soft kiss on my lips. And in that moment, I know that I won’t get anything else out of him tonight.

I felt weak…. And powerless…. Vulnerable…. Helpless…

I was an animal, left to rot in a cold, dark cage for the rest of it’s life. ‘Tell the kids it ran away,’ they might say about me. “She went to live up state with my mother,’ they’d find excuses for me. ‘Things are better off this way,’ they’ll say. And they’ll try to justify it to themselves, and to each other. And everyday that passes, they’ll live with the knowledge that they had put me here. Locking me away from the world that I once knew. And every day that passes, they’ll begin to forget, and they’ll grow confident, and feel at ease. That I’m locked away, and that no one will ever find out.

No one will ever no what they did. Not to me, not to anyone else here.

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I wasn’t able to protect my child. Not while I was in here, locked away, forgotten by society. The society that I wanted to protect. And it was crazy because even though this pregnancy was new to me, I would do anything for this child. It was a part of me, the best of me. What does your life hold? Test tubes and needles? Freedom, the sun, the moon? Are you a vampire like they say?

I frown, and lightly rub my stomach. My hand glides over my swollen womb, and I smile in frustration. A small tear running down my face I come to grips with the painful reality. They would never let you live, and if they did, what kind of life would that be? You’re a vampire, baby… I think solemnly. And these men are doing everything in their power to destroy that black mark on the world and it’s histories.

But I’ll do everything in my power to protect you…

My stomach growls, reminding me of my fate here. Death by starvation... Would that mark my grave? The detectives, the government, the doctor, whoever was behind this all, it didn’t matter. But they wanted me to be nil by mouth. And for what reason, you might ask? To prove me to be some supernatural, to prove that I’m some kind of monster. A monster… Was that who I was? I hold myself strong against the steel bars for balance and stare at the tiny, morphed reflection looking back at me.

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My pale, slightly bruised skin. The heavy black bags sagging down the skin under my eyes. My eyes the colour of the forest, my fathers eyes I had always been told growing up. My father the vampire. And my hair, almost black, with a strange purple running through it. My mothers locks. I frown, and think about the past I knew nothing about. My family, who they were before this war. Their families, their stories. I had been told that they were monsters, that they were vampires, but at some point, before it all, they were like any of us.

I wasn’t for a second going to believe that anyone could be born evil. For the sake of my child, I had to believe that. But these men, they didn’t believe that, did they? They thought that I was evil, just because of my blood. Just because of my blood.

I groan, my stomach protesting loudly once more. Feeling weaker by the second, I wonder how long they can deprive me of food. I couldn’t tell how long it had been, but I wondered how long I had to go. But I was terrified, that everything that they said about me was true, that I was a monster, and deep down, everyone knew it but me.

Looking up, the now all to familiar beep as the door slowly begins to move, the locks beginning to turn, and finally swinging open. Half afraid I look at deceive Greyson entering the room alone. I didn’t know what he wanted from me, or why he was here. I’d stopped questioning it for what seemed like a long time ago. Shiloh barely moves at his presence. Her chest slowly rising, and falling with a painful shudder. At least in her dreams she could be in a happier place that here.

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“How are we today?” The detective asks. His voice sound strained. Like he wasn’t sure how he was meant I act by being here. A small sort of half smile curves his lips.

“Hungry…” I reply forcefully. My anger slowly dripping out with each word. Even as I say it, my stomach feels as though it were collapsing in on it self in a desperate attempt to find nourishment. I give him an angry, and almost pleading gaze to try to make it sink in to him.

“You know that I can’t do anything about that.” His brows push together as he finally comes to a halt. Right in front of the bars to my cell.

“Why are you doing this to me, to us?” My voice sounds desperate and I can’t hide that fact. My hand pausing over my growing belly as I look into Shiloh’s cell. She was barely holding on. I knew why they had captured us, but everything else that followed that once honourable action. Killing those who resisted, even those that were only caught in the fray. The torture, the experiments, the deprivation. This couldn’t have been what the voters wanted when they approved the new laws that allowed this. “Just answer me that, why?”

“I… I don’t understan-“

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“You do, detective, you do.” I interrupt him, with the raising of my voice. “You’ve just locked us up and thrown away the key, and why? Because we could be a threat, please, don’t be so foolish. Instead of all this torture, the tests, the interrogations, the… The starving… Why didn’t you just get to know us? I… I wouldn’t hurt anyone…”

“That’s not a risk we’re willing to take, miss.” He replies still frowning. Obviously deep in thought. A risk? That’s not what I am… It’s not, is it baby? “And if you remember rightly, first time we met, you were held under suspicion of murdering your boyfriend, isn’t that right?”

“I didn’t kill him!” Hissing the I step as far forward as the bars will allow me. It felt like it was reopening an old wound. That Henry, stabbed, and the, the blood… My poor, sweet and defenceless Henry, killed by his own lust. Butchered…

“That’s what they all say.” Greyson muses, running a hand along the metal cell. The echo of each bar breaking the silence. Blinking back at him, I frown. This wasn’t fair. It wasn’t. I wasn’t evil… I… I wasn’t…

My hand once again rubs my stomach in attempt to console myself. “This baby, this child, will die here….” My eyes capture his as I try to mimic Vladimir and his strange persuasion over me. “Now no matter what you believe about me, you know, you have to know that this is just a child…” He purses his lips and cocks his head to the side. “Whatever you think about this, about me, when it comes to this child, it’s all wrong…”

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The detective slowly begins to blink as I stop speaking. His rough hand runs through his long black hair. Tossing it and itching his scalp. “Miss Vivian, now we all know that that is a load of crap.” What! I think in confusion. Tears prick and my stubborn eyes, frustration and fear bubbling at its surface. “That child that you’re carrying, is a vampire. Regardless of anything else, that one fact is something that I cannot let go of.” No…. Not my baby… “Do you know how many good, innocent people that your kind had killed? Not even as a food source, but just because. Just because they can…”

“Do you really believe that this child will be a monster?” He nods with a dark look on his face. “Not due to its upbringing, not due to its own nature and personality. But because two people, not things, people, have made a few mistakes. Because all the stories tell you to be scared of the dark, and everything hiding in it?” I let my pent up emotion pierce into my words. To lather them in my own fears and worries, my confusion and loneliness. “No child, no one is born evil. They don’t come out of the womb, fangs barred, and guns ablaze. It’s a baby, not even born yet, and you’re acting as though it’s already a killer. That it’s future is written in stone.”

“We can’t all escape our past, Vivian.” He frowns, a darkness penetrating his glare. A darkness that I can’t possibly understand. Perhaps he had lost someone, or he was running from his own fate, maybe even, as simple as not believing my words. But there was something a lot deeper in each of his words. “And maybe that kid won’t grow up to be a killer. Maybe it’ll be a doctor, or a lawyer, and it’ll smile in the sun. Get married, have a family, live a normal life… Or-” He pauses briefly to catch his breath. “- It’ll like the taste of blood. And as it grows up, that taste, that blood lust will drive it’s passion and it’s fury. Maybe your child will kill, maybe it’ll be a killer. And be responsible for the deaths of several, it’s death toll could wrack up into the hundreds. And Vivian, what if you could have done something to prevent it?”

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I had to face the facts that my child could be everything that he said it was. That my unborn child, could take after his father, and could have a horrible violent streak to which no blood could sate his thirst. But even with all of that hate, he wasn’t a bad person, deep down, he was sweet and loving, and that meant something. Even if my child was a… A… A killer, then… Then what… Even if this child was like it’s father, half of who it was comes from me, and I strive to be a good person. I hadn’t hurt anyone. You’ve hurt yourself, you’ve hurt Lucian… No, I haven’t hurt a living thing, and I never could. And whatever these people were saying about me wasn’t true. I’m good. Keep telling yourself that…

“What if by being childless, you saved ten, twenty, maybe more mothers from facing the same fate?” Greyson says, his voice dropping to a low tone. His eyes once again pierce mine with an unsympathetic gaze, and it makes me crack. “What if you could save those families from losing a child?”

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And then I do it. The thing that I never thought possible. My rage, my overwhelming rage, a momentary lack of thought, my starved body reacts on instant. Hands reaching through the gap between the metal bars, roughly grasping onto any part of this man I despise so much. An almost inhuman growl ripping through my dry, cracked lips. Hunger, thirst, all radiating throughout my body as I snap at the bars. And my head pounds with the sudden impact of moving, and throwing myself at the cell.

Greyson’s body tenses, and for a moment I believe that I can actually feel his pulse in the air. Quickening at the raspy growl caught in my throat. “Thank you for that, Vivian.” He growls, shaking my shocked body off of him. “We proved something here today.”

“No…” I whisper as he leaves. My stomach and my throat burns in an unholy manner. And I feel scared to my very core. What had I just done? My pulse quickens as I stumble to the musty mattress in the room. I had attacked him. I had wanted to hurt him. And every fiber of my being knows that if those bars weren’t there, then I would have. If I wasn’t locked up in here… I would have… And I don’t know where that part of me came from, where that thirst was born from.

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“Vivian, hey, look at me…” Shiloh whispers weakly, from behind me. Softly, like something from a lullaby. Her hand reaches through the bars, and lightly squeezes my shoulders. But she knows I can’t look her in the eye. “If you have anything to do with that child, and you’re his mother, then it will be the sweetest kid on this earth.” She coos, her voice like a whisper. “That kid, your kid, Vivian, is going to do great things. And… Whatever happens, between now, and getting back home, means nothing. This isn’t you, this isn’t who you are.”

“What if it is?” I croak out, focusing on my own heart beat for comfort, and the racing pulse. Maybe this is who I am. Who I’m meant to be. I had pretended for so long that I was different from them… But in the end, we’re all one in the same. Monsters…

“Don’t let one moment of weakness rewrite your future.” Shiloh growls in a fierce tone, and I can feel the compassion in the voice that once held me in contempt. You’re a killer, underneath it all… I hear a faint whisper in my head. And you enjoy it, you need it… “We will make it out of this okay, but you can’t chicken out now. We’ve come to far to give up. And I feel it, I feel it in my bones. The full moon is coming. And it’s strong. It’s deep inside my bones now, it’s coming.”

And I could feel it too. A strange darkness settling in my heart. For I knew that with each passing second, my grip on reality began to loosen. And I was weak. Because of my father. Because of this child. Because of me.

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And when the full moon did finally makes it’s way into the dark sky. Shiloh’s tortured screams echoed around the small room. Her fatigued muscles tense violently as she trembles, her nails digging into the wooden floorboard beneath. Large claw marks being left in the old wood. Yet she still screams, her back arching off of the ground painfully.

The door beeps and opens with a crash. And the few seconds that the door is open, even just an inch, screams from other areas in the building grow louder before disappearing with the door. A guard with a nervous look runs in, clutching a gun in his hand. “What’s wrong, 2-13?” He asks to no response other than an animalistic screech. “2-13, answer me?”

Panting loudly on the ground, Shiloh sobs. A raspy cry escaping her lips as she looks up at him with a terrified and pained look on her face. The delima shows on his face, as he jiggles the keys, and mouths words to himself. Finally with a shake of his head, he unlocks the door, and rushes over to her. Another raspy growl passes her lips as she locks up at him still. “What’s happening?!” He yells over her, concern on his face.

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As he leans down to touch her, she springs at him. One shot fires, but the bullet hits the roof, as Shiloh growls down at him, the gun falling to the ground with a loud thud. He groans in a daze. “P… Pl… Lease….” The guards voice is already a whisper. Blood already starting to pool on the ground, as Shiloh finishes the job. Her claws tearing at his skin, she looks up at me. Moving away from his already motionless body.

“V… Viv…” She manages to spit out, before her hands shakily pass me the gun and keys through the cell. “I… I have…N’t t… t.. Turned in y… Years. I don’t kn… Know if I can c… Con… Contr…. Oll myself…” Her breath is heavy, and her eyes darting from every noise echoing throughout this building. A frenzied hunger in them. “Sep… Seperate…. We can’t go to… Together… Don’t want…. T… To hurt you…”

“I trust you.” I mumble quickly. I could see the pain that she was going through. And despite her anguished sounds, she wasn’t turning. Her claws and fangs were there, but nothing else. She couldn’t reach the place that she might call a safe haven. A place wolves knew they coexisted with their wolf. And she couldn’t.

“B… But li…. Listen…” She groans again, pressing herself against the metal bars. “Bridge… Port is… Is gone…” Gone? I think painfully to myself. How would I get home? To Rafe…. To his body… To him… Whatever he was.. To Vladimir. Gone. As in nothing there. No more. “Th… They planned t… T… To leave if they g… Got att… Attack… Ed…. I can… I can take you t… To them… if you s… Still want them…” I nod quickly, my eyes wide with fear. “W… Where will I… Find you af… Ter all of this….?”

I think to myself. Hands cradling the dead guards gun. Running over the smooth, polished metal. Where was somewhere that I could go and hide out for a few days til all of this was over? Maybe someone I trusted? Time wasn’t on our side, and I couldn’t spend too much deliberating the best place. But I knew. “Appaloosa Plains.” I state simply, and explain to her the little bar that I had worked at, and the sweet woman who had offered me a home there.

After that, I make my way through the large building alone. And every sound I hear makes my heart beat just a little bit faster. And unlike the last time I had been handed a gun, and expected to kill someone, I don’t question it. I can’t, not this time. Because now, I no longer have myself to think about. I have this life inside me, reliant on me making it out of this alive.

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And all around me, screams penetrate the night. Loudly begging for life. Gun shots exploding through the walls. I choke back many a scream, and sob. I had to be strong. That was the only way i’d get out of here alive.

I reach the stair well and hear a shout. The man orders me to stop. Without hesitation I raise the gun, and avoid a bullet the by diving out of the way. It skins my shoulder. Blood dripping at the surface. But I was lucky that the wound hadn’t gone through me. Merely grazing me instead. But the wound burnt with a furious pain as I will myself to take the shot. Nervously I groan, standing up and taking a shot. The horrible sound almost deafens me as it finds a target. It misses and collides with the wall behind him instead. And as he locks in on me, and blur tackles him to the ground with a loud snarl.

Taking my chance I run. Down the stairs and blindly lead my way through the maze downstairs. Until I notice a familiar passage. It had been the doctors office. Where many experiments had been conducted. Such as cutting me to see my healing prowess. And injected silver into my veins. Something I was allergic to, or had been told at least.

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I peer around the corner, gripping tighter onto the gun as I see detective Hardy. And anger burns in my veins. He had been the one to approve the more violent ways of experimenting, To approve my starvation. He sits at the computer. Muttering to himself that he had to dispose of the evidence. His hands glide across the mouse. Copying files onto a small hard drive and frowning.

A small growl tears through my throat as my stomach growls. And my eyes narrow in on him. He was trying to hide the fact that he had been doing things he knew was wrong. And did he care that it was wrong? No! No, he didn’t. No remorse. Nothing. Out of all of us here, he was the real monster. And I hated him, more than anything else in the one moment.

“Detective…!” I hiss slowly and loudly so I know that he hears me over the chaos. His eyes peel from the computer and meet mine in thy very instant. Sadistic smiles forming on his cruel face. He pushes himself up from the seat and looks out the window. Oblivious to what I wanted to do to him. Oblivious to the fact that I wanted him dead.

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“Vivian.” He says quietly turning around to face me. His lips still curved upwards into a sick smile. My fingers clench around the trigger without pulling it. Just to remind myself that I could end him so easily. And I can almost hear his arrogant heart beat.

“What are you doing?” I growl in question. As he unplugs the little device and puts it into his pocket. His eye brow raises incredulously at me for a brief moment.

“We’ve lost Twinbrook. And when they come looking to see where we went wrong-” If they’d lost it. That meant we had won. Didn’t it? No, it wasn’t so easy. This was just one fight. We had won this battle, but the war was no yet over. “-And I wouldn’t want them knowing just what we were up to. Lets keep that between us, yeah?”

“You didn’t count on one thing though.” Smirking I watch his face contort in annoyance and wonder. The detective scratches his beard and watches me intently. “When I get out of here, the whole world is going to know exactly what you’ve done.”

“They’re not going to care about some fucking vampire!” A loud bellow. A patronising voice. But maybe that was me, but right now, and even despite it, the whole world was going to hear my story. Not just the humans though. The vampires and their cruelty too. All of them. “Besides what are you going to do, kill me? Prove me right then, that you’re nothing but a monster. A vampire. An evi-“

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And it’s that point I feel my anger speaking for me again. I press the gun into the underside of his chin. Right into the soft flesh and growl because under the gun, I can feel his pulse quicken. And it’s alluring. And god damn I’m so hungry. And I can barely focus on anything but the beat of his heart. And the warmth of his skin. The the scent of his hate and his blood wafting through the dark room.

And I can’t hold onto the gun anymore. It slips from my grip as my fangs dance in the moon light. Inches above his jugular as I breath in the scent. He groans and tries to move but in that instant my teeth pierce his skin. The blood rushing into my mouth and spilling out. Almost like the flood gates were opening. And the taste.

It fuels my blood lust. And I can’t stop.

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And as I left that horrible place. I felt nothing. No sense of guilt or remorse for what had transpired between those four walls. No, tonight I would breathe in the sweet smells of freedom. And I would revel in the crisp, spring breeze. For tonight, tonight I had made it out alive. And no one could take that away from me.

And after tonight, the next stage of this challenge would begin. Because the humans had entered this war, and what had started out as an act of self defense has thrust them into the dark world of the night. Because here in this world, in my world, vampires ran things with a strong dictatorship hand. And the lycans fought beside them to forge their own name in this world. And me? I was a fugitive. And a traitor to my country because of my alliances. And maybe after all of this, I had picked the right one.

And baby, we’re going to get out of this alive… No matter what they say about us. Only you can choose the path that your life will take. And only you. Don’t listen to what they say about you, because only you can choose your path. They can’t force you into this world. It’s a part of you, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

Making my way into town was hard going. I hadn’t realized how far away the town was when I had mentioned it. Which in it’s own way was a good thing. And I was glad for the full moon tonight. Lighting up the rocky path beneath my bare and frozen feet. And it would be so easy to hitch hike my way there, but I couldn’t risk being seen. It was too dangerous. Especially since I was covered in someone else s blood.

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But I had arrived at the small bar. Dawn was just arriving, and it sent a chill down my spine. No one could see me. It was too dangerous. But now that I was here, I realized that I had no idea what I would say to her. I mean, I had left without a goodbye, a simple thank you, nothing. Two years of being best friends, and I had snubbed her in the worst way. Maybe coming here wasn’t the best idea after all.

No. For the sake of my child, I have to do this. Push aside my fears of rejection and face my mistakes.

And as I enter the bar, I see her singing along to the radio, washing a few cups. Her hips wiggle before she turns around to face me. A look of shock, and fear in her eyes. Why would she not be afraid? I had arrived here, covered in blood, and a frenzied, hungry look in my eyes. A killer, that’s what you are… I small at her, trying not to scare her further. But I knew how it looked, how I looked.

“Shell…” I say weakly, trying to force another smile. Her eyes flicker to the other end of the bar, where I know lies a shotgun hidden in case of trouble. She blinks back a few tears, before her eyes fall on me again. And then in the instant her arms are around me.

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“My god, Vivian…” Shelly whispers to me, clasping my shoulders tightly. Her eyes give me a quick once over looking for the source of blood. Her face looks tired though, exhausted. And her lips turn upwards ever so slightly. “I thought that you… I thought something bad had happened to you. Oh, sugar, you’re back… But… Something bad has happened…” Could I call it that? Something bad? Her worry is clear on her face, and I know that I can trust her.

And so I tell her. Everything that had happened from the very start. Leaving nothing out. My Lucian, and his family. The real reason that I felt that I had to leave. Finding my way to Appaloosa Plains after my accident, and everything that those detectives had said when Henry had died. I told her about Bridgeport and the vampires. Although I didn’t talk much about Vladimir, for I knew what she might say about him. But when I finally got to my arrest and escape, a small tear runs down my face that I quickly try to conceal.

“I know that I have no right coming here, Shelly.” I state honestly. By being here, I was putting her and her family in danger. “Because right now, I do believe that those men will come for me. If anyone from the place got out and told someone what had happened, they’d all be in a lot of trouble. So I think they might send for me, and my presence here is putting you at risk. But-“

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“Vivian, I know what you said about that detective, and you.. And you killing him.” Shelly cuts in. Her voice loud and bubbly as always, even despite the situation. And I can’t help but cringe at the memory, of his blood on my tongue and my teeth hungrily biting his neck. “But I also happen to know you, love, and that’s…. That’s not you… Things change, people change, I know that, so don’t call me naive, but you will always be that girl I knew, who at New Years cried because of a boy she had to leave. Not for selfish reasons or to hurt him, but so he could be happy. I remember the girl who blushed and stuttered when someone spoke to her the first time. Vivian, I know you… You killed someone, and in the situation, I would have done the same thing. But that doesn’t make you a killer. It makes you a scared girl, with nowhere to go.”

My heart feels a warm feeling envelop it. The feeling that someone cared, in a genuine, and sincere way. Something I hadn’t felt in a long time, and I didn’t realize how much my heart ached for that kind of kinship. How much my heart longed for something real. “I don’t want to ask this of you, Shelly, but I need to get back to Bridgeport. And until Shiloh gets here, if she gets here, then I need somewhere to hide out. For a few days at the most, but I need somewhere.” I need someone…

“The bar isn’t the best place, but Darren owns this cabin up in the woods that he used to use for hunting. No one uses it anymore… No one goes out at night anymore… But it should be safe. ” She replies to me, and I could tell that despite everything, that she was not taking no for an answer.

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When we got to the cabin that was about thirty minutes drive from town, she leads me inside nervously. And I feel it too. The heaviness in the air. And as I turn on the old TV, and the news comes on, my heart drops even more. Vampires was still the topic of conversation. And so I turn to her.

“Shelly, if anything happens, or you don’t feel safe here anymore, then you need to skip town.” I state in a frenzy, knowing the one place that she could be safe. “Take the kids, and go to Blackwater. Look for a man named Lucian, and tell him who you are. He’ll keep you safe.”

*

Author’s note

The Ravenwood legacy has hit 50 followers! I just want to say a huge, huge thank you to each and everyone of you here, it means a whole lot. I never thought that I’d have more than one or two at the most, yet here were are ❤

So to celebrate I am going to do a character special in honor of the occasion. I already know who, and have a vague idea of what it will be about, so I just have to write it and take the photos for it. 

And I do remember someone in generation three asking for Raveena to be uploaded, which I forgot to do, and have only just remembered about. So it’s another way to celebrate the news that I actually remembered to do something. 

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“Hello?” I call out for the umpteenth time that hour. But to my response, complete silence. Nothing and no one responds to my plea. Steal bars cage me in the tiny room. A small, and old cot rusts in one corner, with a small and leaky sink in the other. The light flickers on and off, briefly illuminating the darkness for periods at a time. “Please… Please let me go…” Three days. It had been three days…

Since…

The memory floods before my tired eyes. The sounds of gun fire bursts through my damaged ear drums. Screams echo around me. Trained dogs bark viciously, picking up the scents of their victims. Rafe’s scream. A loud sob escapes my mouth as I clutch my sides in terror. I can’t stop it, I can’t turn it off. All around me I see blood, and death. Jasper’s cold, dead body bleeding into the snow beneath and staining it terribly. The armed intruders advancing on us, and the look In Rafe’s eyes, “I’m so sorry, Vivian…” His voice pained whispers, and my eyes flash open as I feel the hands across my neck again.

My heart thuds painfully, and fast. Racing as though that moment had just passed, or I was locked in it forever. That night, those memories were carved into my brain, and felt so real. The thought alone could send my heart soaring, and my body into cold sweats. And there were only a few things that I wanted to know. That I needed to know.

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What had happened for us to deserve this cruelty? To be woken by guns in the middle of the night, and dragged out of bed by our need to survive. And to lose… To lose someone that you loved… Is that what had happened? The tears stream down my face as I try to desperately wipe them away. But they fall faster than I can work. Rafe had been shot. Right through his chest, and his blood… Oh… I struggle for breath, trying to find some source of calm. But I know. No, I don’t… He could still be alive….

What happened? I sigh, and pace around the small confinement. I couldn’t remember though. No matter how hard I pushed myself to figure it out, I couldn’t. I remembered the hands against my throat, cutting off my air and blood supplies. I remembered the way my vision began to dance and swirl around me, the red mixing with the snow. And the people turning to darkness before I woke up.

And where had I arrived when I had woken? A small cage inside a small room. But where? There were no windows to shine a light on the question. To tell me what time it was, or to show me any remnants of the outside world. I didn’t know my captors or where I was. I didn’t know if anyone was going to be coming for me, I didn’t even know who had survived. But that thought put a heavy lump in my stomach.

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The door beeps strangely, as it opens. And two detectives enter the room. Detective Hardy and Greyson. My gaze turns to a glare, my anger and resentment burning inside the green swirls of my eyes. This was their fault, they had attacked us. They had shot Rafe… And… I had to get out of here.

“Good morning, miss Vivian.” Greyson says sitting on a flimsy wooden chair in front of the bars. He runs a hand through his hair, while the other one opens up a small notepad. Hardy stands, a hand scratching the bottom of his chin, and along the ridge of his jaw. I wipe my face, in a vain attempt to clean myself up, as a small video camera is set up in the background. I didn’t know why I felt the urge to preserve some sense of dignity, but I attempt to. “Greyson, and Hardy, at the V.D.F. headquarters, Twinbrook, interrogating prisoner 1-16 going by the name of Vivian Godwinn. She has been brought in for questioning on the counts of consorting with vampires, resisting arrest and espionage.” He looks away from the camera and back to me. “Now tell me, miss, have you been treated fairly and with just cause?”

“No.” I hiss at him. The anger in my belly burning through my veins. I wasn’t being treated as a person, it was like I was a second class citizen. And why? Because I had been ‘consorting’ with vampires? As far as I was aware that was legal. They couldn’t arrest you on those terms. And as for espionage, quite frankly, that was a load of crap. “You shot my br-”

“As for the case of consorting with vampires, how do you plea?” Hardy replies cutting in. His voice is short, and he half smiles by the end of it. His deep voice sounds patronizing as he looks back at me.

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“I was not aware that it was illegal…” I growl through gritted teeth at them. This was stupid. My stomach felt incredibly raw by the lack of food these past few days, making my knees wobble as I grow more animated.

“The law past last Sunday night, due to all of the vampire on human violence, which gave us more power than we have ever had before.” Hardy smirks, his back to the camera so that it couldn’t see. If he was trying to get a rise out of me, then he would succeed. I couldn’t help it. The smug look on his face after everything that he had put me through, and I was the one getting interrogated. “Which means, when the V.D.F. raided the Bridgeport vampire coven and we found you and all your friends there, you were in fact in violation of the law.”

“This is crazy-“

“This is the world now, Vivian.” Detective Greyson interrupts, still jotting down notes into his small notebook. My jaw tightens as he remains rather apathetic. His brown eyes flicker up to mine, a hint of knowing in them. I preferred him over Hardy. Every look was filled with that arrogant and self entitled sneer. “The vampires, your father included have turned this world into a battlefield. And those monsters last night, they forced our hands.”

“They weren’t all vampires! They weren’t all monsters!” My voice is a lot louder than it needed to be. But I can’t soften the loud shrieks coming out of my mouth. It wasn’t fair. Why would the government pass a law that meant that these men, these monsters could take the lives of whoever they wanted just because? “My brother was in there! You shot my brother! You… You shot my brother…. He wasn’t a killer. Neither was the man that you killed when you arrested me. They were innocent… And you… Not everyone there was evil…”

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“Miss, we apologize for your loss, but we were all acting on official military business.” Greyson says softly, before Hardy shoots him a disapproving glare. He brushes the dark hair from his eyes, and stands up gruffly. “How do you plead to the charges?”

“I’m innocent.” I snarl at them. They didn’t care what happened to any of us. If they killed, or imprisoned us. It didn’t see to matter. At the end of the day they seemed to get some sort of sick satisfaction out of the situation. The detectives had already made up their minds. “This is wrong, all of it. I have rights-“

“For now, Vivian, you are just a tax paying, human citizen of this fine country.” Detective Hardy sighs, leaning forward and close to the fence that separated us. I felt sick to my stomach again. A wave of nausea that sent a cold sweat over my now clammy skin. “But, we all know that’s not the case. And when we prove it, that you’re not one of us, not human, you’ll have no rights.”

“You can’t do that.” I reply quickly. The nerves in my frazzled body work their way through my body. What he was saying… It couldn’t be possible. But the tone of his voice told me that he would do everything in his power to make it so. His eyes narrow in on me.

“Yes, Vivian, we can and we will.” Hardy nods with a cruel smile, as they pack up their belongings. He turns to his partner and speaks. “Look we’re getting nothing from her today, we might as well move on to the next one. And tell the doctor that he’s ready to collect prisoner 2-13 for testing anytime now.”

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It wasn’t long after both detectives had left me to my own devices, that my stomach heaved and brought up whatever it still had left inside it. Although I was extremely surprised there was anything left at all. I couldn’t stop the nausea and vomiting, not until my sides ached and burnt with exhaustion. The muscles strained from the exertion.

And I was left to ponder everything that had been said. Mostly about whatever laws had been put in place to help control the vampire on human violence. But whatever it was, I had a terrible feeling about it. When they had attacked that night, they had brought the cavalry. Armed soldiers trained in how to kill a vampire, trained tracking and attack dogs, helicopters… They had gone in expecting a blood bath, and whoever had shot the first shot, they had gotten it. But they had gone in to either arrest everyone on site, or kill. It was difficult to tell what their intentions were.

But it was clear, that humans were not supposed to be a part of that deal. Perhaps, anyone they suspected of being only part human, like me, was brought here. But, then that would mean, Rafe would have to be here. It was very weak logic to go off, especially considering they had shot him, intending to kill him. The thought brings painful tears to my eyes. But I had to have hope that he was going to be alright. If I was going to survive, I had to believe that they had all done the same, especially Vladimir.

But considering the fact that they had mentioned some sort of testing on another prisoner, and had stated they were going to prove I wasn’t human, the need to escape grew even larger. I wasn’t sure how one would go about proving someone’s species, or origin, but it couldn’t be good. Maybe even experimenting if it was needed…

My thoughts are interrupted as my stomach lurches at the scent of food as it’s brought it. The protest is easily silenced by the growling of my stomach. I hadn’t eaten in the three days since arriving here, and had barely eaten in the month leading up to now. I was starving, but the thought of eating, and the smell of it, sickened me.

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“Hey, Vivian…” Shiloh finally whispers from the prison next to mine. Her face is sullen and dark, bruised and blood stained as she sits on her bed watching me intently. I smile weakly at her, fighting the trembling in my body. “You’ve been sick a while haven’t you?”

“Y… Yeah… I guess so.” I slump against the bars, questioning why it was important. The strange boredom and coldness in my tone surprises me, and I quickly shoot her another soft smile. I didn’t want to make a habit out of being rude, but at this point, I couldn’t help it. “About a month or so. Probably more, why?”

“Viv… When was your last…” She coughs awkwardly, her cheeks reddening at her thoughts. “Have you missed any… Uhh…” Once again she stops herself, and looks up at me sadly. “Jasper and I were gonna have a baby. We were gonna get away from all of this…” A lone tear rolls down her cheek as she looks away. “You need to eat, keep your strength up if you’re gonna get out of this place….”

“What about you?” I whisper, taking the plate in my hands. It was slop. I wouldn’t feed it to a cat, much less a person. My stomach lurches again, but I fight it back as I take a bite of the luke warm stew.

“I’m patient 2-13.” Shiloh states simply. “I think they’re going to experiment on me. It won’t take long for them to realize that I’m not human… That I’m a… And when they do, I don’t think I’ll be in any condition to break out of here.” She doesn’t seem to be in any way fighting her fate, it was though she accepted it already. And I could see the devastation that Jasper’s death had done to her. “If you see an opportunity, then you need to leave. Sooner rather than later. For the sake of you and your lit… For your sake.” She smiles strangely before turning away again. She looked back a few times but didn’t say anything else on the matter. Although I had a feeling that she was hiding something from me.

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First it was Shiloh that was taken. And for more than six hours, I had been alone, anxiously awaiting her return. It filled me with terror the time of her disappearance to see this supposed ‘doctor.’ And when she finally returned, she seemed even gloomier than before. She had shut me off completely. No question, no sympathy or statement could elicit a response. And that reaction left me to await my own time.

And finally it came, a tall man unlocked my cell door, telling me to go with him. When I refused and tried to back away, he effortlessly grabbed me by the waist, forcefully dragging me out of the small cage. I screamed and tried to fight him off, but he was too strong. His grip was already starting to bruise my delicate skin by the force of it. And away I went with him, down the hall and to the office of this doctor man.

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“Patient 1-16-“

“My name is Vivian.” I growl stubbornly as I’m thrown to the hard and unforgiving ground below me. I study the doctor for a moment. His blonde hair neatly combed back, and the visible signs of aging on his forehead and around his eyes. He was easily in his mid forties, and that told me one thing, that he had experience in whatever he was doing. He frowns slightly, no hint of kindness in his eyes.

“Not anymore.” He states, looking over the folder with my number written on it. “While you are here, you will simply be patient 1-16, and that is the end of it.” The doctor makes a long sighing sound as he flips over a couple of the pages, but his face gives nothing away. My heart thuds in my chest, waiting for him to make his move, and I looked outside longingly. I didn’t belong here.

“What’s go-“

“Do not speak unless you are spoken too, 1-16.” The doctor lectures, finding his feet. Walking over to a small set of drawers, he pulls out some needles and syringes. As well as a few other odd objects and brings it over to a chair. A deep unsettled feeling envelops me. I already knew how this was going to go. “Sit.” He orders, motioning me to follow.

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All the tests were pretty standard. Blood tests, blood pressure, pulse, eye sight and reflexes. None of it seemed out of the ordinary, and a part of me did want to know what he found out from it. But apart from the occasional “ummm” or “ahh,”  or him telling me to do something, the whole session was relatively silent. I was not given an opportunity to speak nor was I meant to.

After these tests I was led back to my cell and made to wait there for whatever it was that they were after. More and more days went by and I began to wonder if anyone was ever going to come for me. And at that point, I realized that it was up to me to find a way out of this prison. I had to assume that everyone back in Bridgeport had either died, or been captured too. Rafe… Vlad… Gone. There was only me.

And something did bother me, I didn’t want to find my freedom through more death, which had found me here in the first place. But I did have to consider that might be the only way. And with every day passing by, I could see Shiloh dying a little more inside. Jasper’s death had been far too much for her, and now, being here. She had lost her faith.

If I stayed here, I wondered what would happen when they had proved whatever they needed to prove. Would I be disposed of? Would I go to court and face trial? Or would I simply be left here to rot? Those questions were a constant on my mind. A part of me was scared that I would become bait for them to find my father.

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As time wore on though, one thing became blatantly obvious. My stomach had begun to swell beneath my ragged clothes. Slowly at first, and even though time was near on impossible to tell in this dark cage. With each passing moon it grew. And I knew what that meant. At first I think I had been too caught up in everything to even consider the fact that it could be true. But now it was obvious.

I was pregnant. And it terrified me. Not only because at this present moment I was being held prisoner on various counts and charges, by the V.D.F. and my own government. And for now I would have to hope to survive the rigorous testing and experiments, that in time had become more and more pedantic and torturous. The lack of food, and substance. The dark dwelling that I inhabited. And the potential that if I was found out, then what  would happen next.

If I ever made it out, what then? I had no idea whether or not Vladimir had even survived the attack. That night when it had all happened, he had left, and I never saw him again. Could I raise a child by myself? A single mother raising a possibly vampire child? I frown, I couldn’t think like that. But even if Vladimir was alive, could I trust him? The thought makes me feel uncomfortable, but I knew that he had a violent side.

But whatever happened. I had to think about my safety, and this child’s. I didn’t know what was in the future for them. But, as their mother, I had to do everything in my power to protect them.

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It wasn’t long before I was called back to be tested on. This time I was put inside some type of machine. I didn’t want to, but the doctor forced me into it. As it started up, there was a loud sound that reminded me of a drill and of a printer. The sound was horrendous, and within seconds I felt claustrophobic and wanted more than nothing to get out. But the blonde haired man kept tapping various buttons, and the torture continued.

“Anything you can give us so we can close this case?” Detective Greyson’s voice is like a whisper over the deafening buzzing around me.  Despite not being able to see anything that wasn’t an inch from my face, I already knew that his partner was in here too.

“Well…” The doctor sighs, I can only presume that he wouldn’t look away from whatever experiment this was. “There’s a few things, detectives, but nothing conclusive.” The machine stutters, and I don’t see the doctor move to hand over a folder of results. “As you can see, the girl has small fangs in her top and lower jaw. I’m unaware if they are retractable or not as of yet. Further more, her blood count is abnormal. But if we were to test a V addict who had just used, then, same results. The fact that they are still the same, if in fact, they seem to be rising. Probably due to the pregnancy, however due to the fact she has a charge of consorting with vampires, it doesn’t seem to far fetched to say that the abnormal results stem from carrying a vampiric fetus. Nothing more.”

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“She’s pregnant?” Detective Hardy growls, obvious distaste in the way he says the words. My hand instinctively move to cover my womb as if to protect it. But the sad fact was, I was in no position to protect it. And I tried to, desperately, but the machine prevented me from doing so. More importantly, even out of this contraption, I still wouldn’t be able to do a thing.

“Regrettably so.” The doctor shrugs as though it were nothing. The fact I was with child was something though. “If any human right organisation found out about it, you can bet that the public would be up in arms about it. A pregnant woman, without proof of her vampirism, being held captive and being experimented on by order the the government and the V.D.F., it’s risky, boys. With the press snooping around here lately, I’d want to double up on security.”

“Don’t tell me how to run this place.” Hardy snaps, the frustration in his voice. I couldn’t quite understand why there was such emotion, and even the slight hint of fear. “We just can’t let anyone know, problem solved.”

“We have to tell the chief…” His partner responds stiffly. An ache begins to form in my head. My pulse seeming to throb in my ears, almost deafening me. “Do you have anything, any good news?”

“Well… Without violating any rights, or laws, we’re at a road block.” The doctor replies curtly. My heart thuds in my chest. Not knowing what was going to happen next. If they didn’t have the evidence, then they couldn’t hold me. We all knew that I was here for a reason, they just couldn’t prove it. Not yet.

“Whatever you need to do, doctor, do it.” Hardy growls coldly. I didn’t understand what that meant. But it terrified me. And the only thought that passed through my mind was something relating to torture. If they were going to prove it, and break some rules and regulations, then they were going to go all out. “What about patient 2-13, or any of the others brought in with her? Do we know what they are yet?”

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“Honestly… No.” The doctor once again changes the settings for the machine that I’m inside. Patient 2-13? The others brought in with her? Shiloh… There were others too. That meant that others from the Bridgeport attack had survived. I try listening even more intently, wishing to see if names were brought up, or anything like that. “Their chemical make up is something unlike anything else. I’ve never seen it before. But it’s changing. Every day that passes, hormone levels are rising. I’m not sure why…”

“Full moon madness?” Greyson laughs easily. And I catch my breath. If the full moon was coming, then that meant the wolves were getting stronger. And perhaps, if luck was on our side, then they would be able to shift. It could be a way out. Especially since they weren’t expecting it. The public didn’t know about the existence of Lycans, but they might very, very soon.

“Perhaps…” The doctor looks away and faces me. Our eyes interlock, mine in fear, and his in dominance. “Now about the girl, what methods were you hoping for?”

“We’re going to need blood, lots of it, and we need to cut off her food supply until it’s ready.” Hardy responds finally. The machines loud noises, finally take over my hearing. And dizziness becomes by only friend. The machine continues to speed up and get louder until I black out completely. “If nothing happens over the next few days, inject her with the V, it might provide something more conclusive.”

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When I wake up, I’m back in my cell. My head throbbing loudly. I sit up, and my vision turns to white, and the throbbing burns painfully. My hands lightly rub my stomach, as I try to soothe myself. I will get out… We will get out… I shake my head doubtfully, already feeling the hunger setting in. And it scared me a little to think they might be able to bring something out in me. I had survived three days at the beginning of my stay here without anything abnormal happening. This would be the same thing.

Except it might not. They could be right….

No…

I’m not a monster

Was it crazy to think that I could actually do this? To be a fly on the wall? A shoulder to cry on? A trusted ear to listen? Those thoughts easily plagued my mind. I wasn’t made for this. This wasn’t the job that I should be doing. After all, I was just me, shy, weak and above all, a door mat. How could I, being that person, convince these men, these soldiers of war what was right? These minds were not mine to shape, to meld. And yet, here I was.

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I take a deep breath, and enter the room, filled with just six men and women. They sit on chairs in a loose circle, and stare across the room at each other. Confusion. Why were they here? Why were any of us here?  Just breath, they’re people, just like you. Wanting answers, truths, dignity.

“H… Hi, everyone.” I cough out awkwardly rubbing my elbow with nerves. They all meet my eyes curiously. A quick nod of their heads let me know that they know me. They accept me, in some way. This didn’t have to be weird… Thinking of it, I had never been good at making friends, nor had I ever been good with… Well, people… What was my next move, their eyes were piercing, waiting for me. “My… My names Vivian.” Smile… Hold it… But not too long, or they’ll think I’m weird.

One by one they introduce themselves, with barely a shrug of their heads. All except one, her eyes look away from mine. The occasions in which they meet, burn with an emotion I couldn’t recognize. Until finally she speaks.

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“Just because your Vlad’s latest play thing, doesn’t mean I have to respect you.” The girl narrows her eyes in on me. A man tries to speak but she cuts him off easily with a nasty glare. “Don’t you dare interrupt me, Jasper.” She growls at him. I frown and attempt a reassuring smile to calm her, but it only seems to intensify her anger. “I have been here five bloody years, and I have gotten nowhere and nothing, no wait, they took away my ability to shift. And within the five minutes that you’ve been here you’ve slept your way to the top. What do you have to say about that?”

One second passes, two. Three. Breath, I think to myself. Was it true, was that what I had done? It was true though wasn’t it? Mostly anyway. Azazel believed it to be my birthright. But Vlad… If we weren’t a thing, whatever we were, I might be dead already. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe you’re not.” I shrug, my face turning a bright shade of pink. “But how would you know? You’ve made you’re mind up before you’ve even met me?”

“I don’t think I’m wrong.” She glares at me. But behind the anger, I can see her fear. For herself, for her kind. I could see it in all of their eyes. The uncertainty about their futures. They weren’t just fighting a war, they were facing extinction with every breath. “Humans and lycans don’t get very far in this place. Especially not those with an opinion.”

“Is that what you’re afraid of?” I whisper, taking the empty seat next to hers. Her face scrunches up for a moment, seeming taken off guard by the question. One step at a time, I remind myself. I can handle a conversation with someone, I can handle talking to her.

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“I’m not bloody well afraid of anything.” She shakes her head, rather matter of factly. I lean forward in my seat to listen better. And a part of me knows that this is all she wants. Someone on the inside to hear her troubles, and to listen to her rant. And I knew that she trusted me, enough to treat me this way anyway. “And don’t try your psychoanalytic mumbo jumbo on me.”

“I’m sorry…” I mumble. Why on earth did Azazel think I could do this? I didn’t handle people well when they were happy, and discussing the weather. But angry, and emotional? I was in over my head. And I was broken, far beyond repair. “But if it were me, I would be worried about it too. Even if your not afraid-“

“Don’t talk to me like you know what it’s like. You’re not a lycan.” She cuts in defiantly. Her eyes flickering across my face desperately. “You’re not one of us, you’re one of them.” Her male friend shakes his head, with a small smile. His hand gently touches her shoulder, making her jump and look up at him.

“She may not be one of us, but she fights with us.” As my eyes study his face, I recognize him from the other day, and taking me to Azazel. We had talked about this. Very briefly, but he understood the reality that he was facing. “She saved the boy, and do not think for a second that she wasn’t punished. Look at those bruises…”

She pauses for a moment, pursing her lips delicately. As the other people in the room go about their life, completely oblivious to us, or maybe choosing not to comment on something that they too were afraid of. “Look, Vivian, I’m sorry, but you have no idea.”

“Then tell me…” I respond with a firm voice. She bats her eyes lashes with a frustrated look before relinquishing her negative emotions. And she does. She tells me everything. Without needing to, without be forced.

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And as crazy as it seemed, as out of character it was for me. I enjoyed it. There was something about the job that made me feel oddly at ease. Of course, at first it filled me with a certain type of dread. But as time wore on, and I forged relationships within the groups, it was easier. Gradually. There was no longer the overwhelming social anxiety every time I opened my mouth or approached someone new.

When they told me their problems, and confided in me, I felt important for the first time in my life. When I talked to them about it, and gave them my opinion (one that was carefully decided upon when I had agreed to this), they felt at ease. Like they weren’t as afraid anymore. And it seemed crazy, but it eased a lot of the tension that had been threatening to tear apart the lycan force of the army.

It was a strange combination though. It felt like spying on them. Like a well to do politician, telling people what they wanted, and needed to hear, all while having another agenda. It was wrong. But I knew that I had to do it. There was no choice, and perhaps at some point, I would move up from this rank, and advance myself.

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Over the next month I became well acquainted with the toilet. The stress of everything that had been happening was weighing me down terribly. There were few moments were Lucian did not once again plague my thoughts. But after seeing him, old wounds had been reopened. And the pain of losing him resurfaced all over again. I missed him terribly, and despite everything, I still loved him.

And that scared me to death. Not only did I love a man I could never be with, but the one I was with, he’d kill me if he knew how I really felt. Vladimir was prone to violent outbursts. It wasn’t his fault, and I didn’t blame him for it, but it meant I was constantly walking around on eggshells in fear of setting him off. Maybe I would stare to long, or talk to a client more than was necessary, but he had a jealous streak. And I didn’t understand because I had done nothing to cause or warrant such jealousy, but Vlad wanted me all to himself. He couldn’t bare the thought of losing me.

And knowing that I meant that much to someone, it made me toss aside any doubts about him and our relationship. He cared very deeply for me, and deep down, he could even love me.

But through all the stress, I could barely eat, or stomach anything for longer than an hour. I didn’t understand why, but Vlad told me that the cause would reveal itself in due time, or would fade away completely.

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And every time that he laid me down, and kissed me deeply. And our eyes locked, deep in passion, I knew that there was nothing that I wouldn’t do for him. If only he’d ask, and I’d give him my entire world without a moment of thought. I couldn’t explain it, but my need for him, outweighed my need for anything else.

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Bang…

The sound echoed through the quiet woods. Sending owls up into the night sky in search of safety. My entire body jerks up, as the loud bangs continue to echo throughout the stillness of the dark. My eyes desperately fight their way open, looking for the source of the noise.

A growl ripples out from underneath me as Vladimir wakes, his muscles stiffening in that very instant. His blue eyes piercing the room, blinking in confusion until it sets in. Attack, we were under attack. My breath is heavy, and fast, just like my heart. Almost beating it’s way forcefully out of my chest, and into my throat.

“Vlad… Vlad, what’s going on?” I question, a little to quickly than I liked, but the fear in my voice was evident. Dripping with every strained syllable.  His jaw clenches tightly, as he throws himself out of bed. Opening the door, and poking his head outside for no more than a few seconds.

“Vivian…” He looks at me, his eyes wide open. His pupils large as saucers. “There are some very bad men here… We… We’re under attack.” Vladimir groans pulling his pants on with a quick tug. Pulling up the zip, and buttoning the button with ease. Screams from outside rise up through the winter air. My lip trembles as I watch him intently.

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“Vlad…” I whimper, my voice soft and sullen. My heart still pounding in my throat. Attack. Bad men. Danger. Those words repeated in my head as I thought of the possibilities.

“Now you need to promise me, no matter what happens-” Vlad whispers, softly lifting my chin up to a gentle, yet forceful kiss. “-you won’t leave this room. Vivian… Promise me…” Amidst the heavy gun fire, and tortured sounds, my brother was. My only family, was caught in the fray of this night attack.

“But Rafe-“

“You have to promise me…” He gaze turns pleading, as I realize what’s happening. Vladimir was leaving the room. He was going out there too… “I can’t protect you, Vivian. And if you leave this room… Then…” He frowns, reaching over the bed, and into the cabinet. Searching the top cabinet, his hand finally emerges. In it, clutching a hand gun. “If anything happens. If anyone comes up here…. Shoot them.” He lightly squeezes my cheek, kissing my lips again. A hint of desperation in the touch.

And then, he opens the door, throwing his head back one last time, before disappearing into the corridors and stairs that led to the battle. I clutch my chest, biting back a sob. What was going on? Why was this happening? I pace back and forth, as the sounds continue, loudly interrupting my calmness. Or any hope of it.

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My hands finally graze over the weapon that Vlad had given to me for my protection. “If anything happens.” It shakes violently in my hand as I lift it up. What if something did happen? Could I even pull the trigger? In my hands lay a great deal of consequence, the power of life and death.  “If anyone comes up here.” In my bones, and in my blood, there was killer. A hunger, a thirst. But was that me? My breath shudders with each passing second. The anticipation, the almost debilitating fear. “Shoot them….”

My body freezes. Footsteps outside the door. Heavy breathing. A touch on the handle creaks. This was it. This was really it. And I can’t even move. Not an inch or a muscle. No breath will pass my lips, I was waiting, seeming to hold my breath. Was I just going to wait here to die? Was I going to die a coward? 

No…

This wasn’t how it was going to end. The adrenaline finally begins to pump it’s way through my veins. And I know, that it’s not over. There was too much that I had to do, too much that I needed to say. And so many dreams realized. Unsteadily I point the gun at the door. My finger on the trigger.

They weren’t going to take me alive.

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“Stay there!” I growl as the door finally swings open. “Stop, or I’ll shoot!” I brace myself, my face contorting in both fear, and my willingness to survive. I wasn’t a killer. But I wasn’t going to just lay down and die. I couldn’t, and I wouldn’t let myself.

“Woah!” Rafe screams, throwing his hands in the air, and pausing midstride. Looking alarmed, his eyes furiously scan mine. But I don’t lower the gun yet, instead I sob loudly. “Viv, it’s me. It’s Rafe. You can put the gun down.” He whispers, slowly inching forward as I stand motionless, hot tears streaming down my face. “Hey, hey, it’s okay. We’re gonna get out of here, okay?”

Slowly I drop the gun down, and nod slowly as his hand touches mine. His eyes soft, and pleading. But I couldn’t go out there. No, the fighting, the guns, the death. My face drops even lower than I thought possible. I didn’t know who was behind this, but, I knew that it wasn’t good. And logic would dictate that we get as far away from here as possible. But in here, I was safe…

“Vivian, we can’t stay here.” Rafe says, almost as though he could read my mind. “It’s not safe anymore. Please, I’m not going to leave you, okay? We’ll get out, we’ll be okay.”

“Let’s go…” I mumble uncertain. My brows push together in worry of what lay outside. Of who lay outside. Vampires? Humans? Lycans? Asmodeus himself? My grip tightens on the gun, wondering whether or not it would even kill a vampire.

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Slowly we make our way down to the floor below. Creeping almost silently around each hair raising bend. Never knowing if our demise lay around the next turn. But Rafe navigated our way through the almost maze like building with ease. Pausing every time he heard even the faintest sound, or the quietest whisper.

The further we went, the bloodier it got. The dimmer the lights were, until I couldn’t even see. And dark liquid lined the floor, the metallic smell rises off of the musty, blood soaked ground. And I couldn’t breath, but I was thankful for the fact that the darkness hid whatever may be lurking in the dark.

Bang…

This time, the gun shot sounds extremely close to home. Rafe without even blinking, draws his weapon, and silently grits his teeth nervously. We exchange a wordless look, sad and pitiful. I reach for my own gun and draw it slowly. My thoughts being consumed by Vlad. Had he survived? Or had he perished like so many others? The footsteps draw closer, until.

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“Jasper! Shiloh!” Rafe breathes out in relief. The woman holds the gun steady before dropping it quickly. She turns to the man beside her a smiles weakly at him. My own hands tremble. We had gotten so far without running into trouble, but how long would that last for?

“Thank god some of us still stand.” She says, as they walk towards us. Jasper smiles painfully, a gash across his arms bleeding out. His eyes glow with a slight tinge, and his fangs protrude out of his mouth. The lycan couldn’t shift, but he would give his all to make it out of this alive. “Do we know who it is?”

“No… No…” Rafe says, frowning still. “No vampires, so I don’t think it’s Asmodeus. And the rebels wouldn’t be dumb enough to send humans in at night.”

“Humans?” Jasper breathes out deeply. The statement confuses me. Humans? Why would they attack the vampires? But somehow I knew that if they were behind the attack, why they would. Justice, revenge. Both Azazel and I had talked about it at the last council meeting.

“Let’s just keep moving.” Rafe states in a low tone. It was obvious that this information could wait until another time. When we were all safe and away from here. But the thought that there weren’t vampires here, seemed to calm me. Humans were slow and fragile. We could be killed…

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The four of us finally make it outside, dodging lethal bullets buzzing dangerously past our heads. We line up against the fence line, taking a moments rest. Having to sit in the snow that our heads wouldn’t become a well trained snipers latest target. My body feels numb, and cold. Not only due to the heavy snow fall, but the fear had made me apathetic. For survivals sake, I couldn’t scream and cry over every dead body we had passed. Whether ours or the enemies. No, I had to be strong, or I wouldn’t make it.

“How many?” Shiloh asks, sitting in the snow, only barely daring to look behind the fence. Another bullet whizzes past as she pulls her head back, and into the safety of the stone wall.

“Be careful!” Jasper says in a high pitched tone, lightly holding her leg in a desperate plea. The worried look in his eyes is like a stab in the heart. I had no idea whether or not Vlad had made it out alive, or if he was still fending off these intruders. And I had to wonder whether or not it was the same look that Vlad had shown when he had said goodbye.

“About eight or nine in the tree line…” Rafe growls, peeping out from the barrier. And I can’t help but do the maths, that was at least four or five more than we had right now. “Three armored SUV’s, and god knows how many inside… And where I can’t see…” As he says it, the sound of the helicopter sounds over head, over the noise of the guns.

“So what now?” I ask, watching each of their faces. Thoughts and worries ticking over each of them, as their eyes dart from one to the other. It was obvious that their was no good answer. Even if we got out of here, where would we go? If humans were indeed responsible, then we couldn’t go into the city. Not without further risk of being caught. But we wouldn’t last a night in the snow with what we had.

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“Make a stand-“

“No Jasper, are you crazy?” Shiloh counters, her eyes growing huge with his response. “We’d die before we even pulled the trigger.”

“Well are you saying that we should just sit here and wait for death to come?” He frowns at her, with a slight shake of his head. We all look at each other again, silence ensuing. We could fight, we could sit here and wait. But did all of it end in our deaths. “Look, I’ll make a distraction, lead them on a wild goose chase. And you, darling, all of you, you need to run.”

“No! No way!” She hisses at him loudly. Dogs bark from the surrounding trees, and my heart skips a beat. My nerves are frayed as I shiver against myself. “Whatever we do, we do together.” Her hand touches his cheek lightly before she pulls away sharply.

“That’s not an option that I’d feel comfortable with either.” I reply looking at him firmly. He wasn’t going to sacrifice his life for us. Especially not when it was likely that we’d be captured shortly after, and then his death would be in vain. My mind races, thinking of any possible way that we would all make it out of this alive.

The sound of Rafe’s gun reminds us that we don’t have the luxury of time to argue or plot the perfect escape. A loud thud hits the snow. His eyes narrow in, a darkness creeping over them. Shiloh swears under her breath, and fires a few shots herself. and I grip my gun, mentally preparing myself. They were advancing.

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The front door is suddenly ripped open. A vampire emerging, blood covered. His growl ripples hauntingly though the night as he stalks forward. A bullet hits him in the stomach, ripping his flesh. The vampire hisses loudly, looking at the gushing wound. The anger in his eyes flares as he sprints at the armed men. But before he can reach them, another bullet hits, with marksmen like aim. Through the heart, in one side and out the other. And then the vampire is no more.

My eyes trace the ground, the blood trail, and the sound. My eyes falling on two men that were more than familiar to me. The detectives. Their names eluded me, but I knew them. Their faces etched into my mind like it was yesterday that Henry’s death had been broken to me. None of the other men I knew. But these two were the key to everything.

The V.D.F., the Vampire Defence Force. The humans were fighting back…

Rafe looks at me with a tortured look as he realizes the exact same thing. “We need to get out of here. These guys, they’re not taking prisoners by the looks of it.”

The gun shots still ring loudly in my ears as we are all forced to shoot in a vain attempt at survival. Despite my previous fears, I have no choice. And I quickly worked out how to shoot it. Although neither of us had enough ammo to keep up a defense. My heart thuds with each shot of every gun. Every bullet that was sent our way terrified me that we would lose someone. That I would lose Rafe.

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Jasper pokes his head out, aiming for a shot. But the sound of his opponents gun rings true. As does the sound of Jasper’s body hitting the cold snow beneath him. His blood spills out, staining the pure white with a dark red tinge. His partner screams, moving to cradle his already lifeless body against hers. “No! Jasper!” She screams over all sounds. Her tears flow as she begs him to wake. But we already know that he’s gone. “Please…. Don’t die on me…” She sobs, as Rafe and I move to take her position. Desperately trying to defend ourselves.

I blink back the tears, as my gun’s ammo is depleted and Shiloh’s sobs carry through the night air. It would all be over in a matter of minutes. My eyes dart around me, Jasper wouldn’t be getting out of here alive, but maybe we could. Maybe. With each blink of my eyes, my hope dies that much more. We were surrounded.

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Rafe screams out, his gun slowly dropping to the snow. Blood seeping through his singlet with each passing second. The sound of the gun seems to echo around us, as does his tortured, strangled scream. His eyes slowly look up to mine, with a weak gaze. “I’m so sorry, Vivian…” He whispers roughly. I couldn’t lose him. Not my brother. Not the person I had grown up with. The blood doesn’t stop. The hole in his top pierces into the flesh beneath.

“Don’t be.” I moan, trying to move towards him. I felt like I couldn’t breath. Like the whole world was falling down on me. Rafe was going to die. And I was going to die. We all were. I smile at him, trying to be brave. “It’s okay, we’re gonna be ok-“

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“Drop your weapons…”