There are those moments in a girl’s life when she sits back and says, “Dang, I did a good job!”
Sadly, for me those moments are practically non-existent.
I think the last time I said that, gave myself two thumbs up at a job well done, was five years ago. That was when I safely and successfully paralleled parked for the first, and only, time. It was a job well done. I was proud of myself.
It was the start to a great day!
Sadly, the day went downhill from there.
When I came out of the coffee shop, where my cup had leaked chai latte all over my ivory sweater and white pants, effectively making the worst first impression of my life, helping to raise that blind date to the top five worst dates of my life, I found my car had been towed. In my victory over parallel parking I neglected to notice that the sole reason why that spot was open on the crowded street was because of the bright red fire hydrant with the NO PARKING sign above it.
Sadly, today made that day look like one of the top five days of excellence in my life.
What should have started out as one of those rare, and epically awesome, I did a good job things started a world changing system of events that have turned my lack luster, and incredibly mundane, life into something I could have never imagined experiencing in a million lifetimes.
It turned me to the dark side…
Where, coincidentally, they don’t have cookies.
As how all of these stories go, it was a dark, stormy night.
Why wouldn’t it be?
The weather channel said it would be a clear, warm night, the perfect night for gazing at the stars. Two hours after the sun had set, the sky filled with charcoal clouds and they seemingly burst at once. It could have been my imagination, but I’m rather confident that it wasn’t, the clouds followed me as I ran through the park. Normally when I take in a show at the park I wasn’t dressed to impress, and I wished I wasn’t then. That night I was supposed to meet, yet another, crappy blind date for a late night matinee on the grass. Of course the jerk stood me up, and the outfit I bought for the date got ruined in the rain. Never did I imagine pale pink silk would turn nearly transparently sheer when wet, and it sure in the heck wasn’t the best day to wear that particular bra that left very little to the imagination, but hindsight is always twenty-twenty.
Under a large maple tree I stood, trying to use the canopy of leaves above as a nature friendly umbrella.
It didn’t work very well.
Obviously Mother Nature was laughing at me.
I stood there shaking and shivering uncontrollably, looking around, trying to figure out where in the heck I was and how I got so dang turned around. It wasn’t as if the park is all that big, but somehow that night it turned into the green and lush Sahara Desert of the Pacific Northwest in the middle of a downpour.
Sadly, my biggest complaints of the evening to that point was that I ruined the vintage silk slip dress I had splurged on—a purchase that was supposed to make me feel special and pretty, since chocolate only adds pounds and never long term contentment—and that if I died of pneumonia the jerk that stood me up better feel bad.
Yes, those were the two biggest complaints I had.
My priorities were all messed up, I’m well aware of that…
Now I am.
Again, it’s that hindsight is twenty-twenty thing.
“I’m going to kick that weatherman’s butt if I ever see him in person,” I grumbled under my breath, rubbing my hands up and down my arms to try to warm up from the friction.
I was weighing the options; if I made a break for it and ran the six blocks home, would I get struck by lightning as I crossed the park?
The risk was great with my lack of luck.
Or do I stand there and wait out the rain and catch a cold, possibly dying a slow, agonizing death care of pneumonia?
The lightning thing was looking better and better by the second.
Where most would say it’s a one in a billion chance, with me it’s a one in ten. Three times I’ve nearly been struck by lightning, and last time putting me in a coma for a week.
Most would say that surviving was luck, but being struck is the opposite of luck.
I have the worst luck in the world!
In case you didn’t notice, what happened next will pretty much sum it up in one nice, wet, bloody package.
“Do you talk to yourself often?” an unfamiliar voice amusingly asked from above me.
I jumped, startled, slipped on the wet grass and mud, and ended up sprawled out on the ground, squinting up into the darkness.
“Now that, I did not see coming,” he said with a chuckle.
Was there a particular protocol for this type of situation?
Typically you scream rape or something, right?
At the very least you run.
All were very agreeable suggestions.
But at that moment, I couldn’t remember how to do any of the above mentioned.
Yes, I said it, I completely forgot how to form words or make noise, or run for that matter.
None of those things were difficult, and yet I couldn’t remember how to do even one of them!
I still don’t know if it was fear or just stupidity, but I stayed on the ground sprawled out like some kind of mentally impaired girl in a ruined outfit.
The unmistakable sound feet make when landing in soft mud made me shriek, effectively using the last of the breath I was holding, and I struggled to focus on the moving shadow that came to loom over me.
At that moment I should have screamed.
Screaming would have been the smart thing to do, but as I’ve already established I had a total blonde moment of epic proportions, so I just gasped, struggling to catch my breath.
“Are you scared, Little Girl?” he mused, darkly.
And suddenly I didn’t need to breathe.
The jerk just called me what my stepdad used to call me, and that was the wrong thing to call me.
“Little girl me again and you’ll regret it,” I hissed.
“Little Girl,” he mockingly sang.
In all fairness, I did warn him.
I started kicking at him from the ground.
I’m sure I looked ridiculous and was completely ruining my dress and shoes, but I disgusting men that called me Little Girl wasn’t something I would tolerate anymore.
When my foot connected, he yelped like a dog that got its tail caught under a rocking chair.
Internally I smiled; finally I had found my big girl pants when faced with a creep.
“You bitch!” he hissed and suddenly he was on top of me-
And that’s when I screamed.
I ask myself, why did it take some jerk scaring me, nearly to death—the full death came later—and calling me stepdad’s pet name, getting kicked, in what I later found out were his balls, and attacking me to finally get me to scream?
I really should have done that two seconds into the whole ordeal, and I still kick myself in the butt for it.
Usually people want details, all the gory, bloody details, but I rather skip over those.
Allow me to paraphrase: fangs, biting, drinking of blood, and being buried alive and left for dead.
Does that effectively paint the not-so-pretty picture for you?
Like I said, I don’t really want to get into the details, mainly because the Devil’s in the details, literally, and the Devil was the one that bit, buried, and had the audacity to walk off and leave me since he wasn’t siring, he was trying to hide a dang body…
And that’s where my lovely story begins…
At the end.
The rain had stopped around midnight.
I knew this because, ironically, the film I was stood up for was The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and even lightning, rain, and murder wouldn’t stop the old guy in the projector shed from rolling the credits. The third reel wouldn’t have ended until midnight. With the rolling of the credits the annoyingly constant pitter and pattering that each drop of rain made around me ceased their hollow assault on my ears.
Every time I tried to open my eyes, dirt assaulted them, and each breath I tried to take was choked out with dirt, grass, mud and rocks.
I was in more trouble than I initially thought I was.
I was buried alive, by all accounts, and ironically it irritated me more than it freaked me out. If I were irritated that meant I was alive and could claw my way out.
To the Goddess I silently prayed that the jerk was lazy and buried me in a shallow grave.
Thankfully the jerk was lazy.
It was the first luck I had all night….
And the only.
When my head broke the through the ground, I gasped and choked, struggling to catch my breath but something felt off about it.
I didn’t need it.
Human existence dictated that you breathe in and exhale in order to survive. It isn’t rocket science. But the involuntary action was just that, involuntary. I didn’t need to do it in order to survive.
That should have been freaking me out, thinking about it now really freaked me out, but at the time it wasn’t. I was more irritated that I missed the movie and ruined my new outfit, the assault and attempted murder was a close second though.
Yes, I have issues.
That should have been well established by now.
Once partially freed from the shallow grave, I sat there half-buried, in essentially a mud puddle, and looked around, trying to get my bearings. It was difficult to focus at first; dirt in the eyes can do that I’ve heard, and this was confirmation of that. All around me were leaning granite slabs and crumbling marble statues, and it smelled weird.
“Where in the heck am I?” I mumbled. “I heard the movie, even under mud and dirt I heard it. I can’t be that far from the park.”
When the sky above cleared, leaving a diamond studded sapphire canvas that was all expansive in a beautiful celestial sense, it clearly illuminated everything around me.
The leaning slabs of granite were in actuality headstones and altar tombs, and the crumbling marble were painstakingly carved centerpieces and statues marking graves of importance.
“You sick jerk-face!” I shrieked once it registered with my extremely slow brain that I was in the middle of an old, neglected cemetery. “What kind of sick freak buries someone alive?!” I demanded.
Of course no one answered.
By the looks of the place, I was the first person to have been buried there in centuries…
Not that it mattered at the moment, but my mind was all over the place for obvious reasons.
There was something the place that was morbidly beautiful yet creepy at the same time. No stranger to cemeteries myself, though I had never been buried in one before, there was a sense of beauty about them, and this one was no different. If it weren’t for being assaulted, buried, and left for dead, I would have made it a point to return later to do some grave rubbings.
Again, I was getting distracted and wasn’t in the best frame of mind.
“Ugh! As if this night couldn’t get any worse,” I grumbled, kicking out of the mud and grass to the dirt barely covering my legs before crawling out of the shallow grave. “Eight-inches, really?” I complained. “I wasn’t even good enough for a foot of dirt, was I? Dang it, where are my shoes?!”
Even more irritated than I was before, I dug through the mud and dirt on my hands and knees, looking for my favorite shoes, my grandmother’s Rangoni t-strap heels, but they were nowhere to be seen.
I screamed in frustration, punching and slapping the mud I was crawling around in, covering myself in even more of it.
I knew it was a mistake to wear those shoes, especially on a blind date that I wasn’t even interested in going on, but they matched the vintage vibe of the slip-turned-dress I splurged on for tonight.
It was yet another thing to add to the ever-growing list of things to be unbelievably irate over that evening, but it wouldn’t be the last.
Eventually I gave up on trying to find the only piece of my grandma that I had left. I ignored the tears staining my cheeks, and crawled out of the shallow grave-puddle.
“Grandma would want me to be strong,” I reminded myself, trying to give myself a little pep talk.
It wasn’t working.
Carefully maneuvered around the crumbling headstones and statues, having to brace myself against them as I went. My body was mind-numbingly cold but it felt as if my blood was on fire. My head was a swirling mess of incoherent thoughts and unfamiliar feelings and emotions, and irritation over the entire situation was consuming me. My vision was still blurry and coming in and out of focus so fast than I couldn’t make sense of what I was trying focus on; I don’t think the mud and dirt was to blame for that though.
“I can do this,” I whispered, fighting the vertigo causing the horizon to sway.
When the falling wrought iron fencing pretending to keep encroaching woods back came into view, I squealed with happiness—I do that often when excited—and stumbled towards it as quickly as my muddy legs could carry me. And of course, I caught my toes on a headstone and fell into the unyielding arms of a granite angel. I started to scream in frustration and pain, my toes were throbbing and possibly broken, when the angel’s head tilted to the side to regard me. The scream of frustration turned into a scream of fear that got caught in my throat before she winked at me.
“This isn’t happening… Not again,” I groaned. “It isn’t real. It isn’t real,” I chanted. “Polpetto said you aren’t real.”
That’s what my brother used to tell me to do when I was younger and thought monsters were hiding under my bed or were going to get me. When he wasn’t there to protect me, Giovanni said telling the monsters they weren’t real made them not real and it’d protect me from them.
It had been a while since the monsters tried to get me, and the one that jumped, bit, and buried me alive was the first in months…
However, the monsters didn’t jump, bite, or bury me in a shallow grave though.
“You aren’t real,” I said, carefully pulling myself away from the angel’s arms so not to break the statue. “I’m sorry, but you aren’t real.”
The angel shrugged as if what I was saying didn’t matter in the least.
I started to rub my eyes but stopped; I was dirty and it’d only make it worse. Instead I blinked rapidly, trying to clear my vision, and when I looked again the angel was standing still as a statue, imagine that, in the same position it was in when I initially fell into it.
“Did I fall down the rabbit hole?” I complained.
Did I neglect to mention that I talk to myself, and sadly answer myself more often than not? Grandma called it poor girl’s therapy.
Usually I’m not a curious person, not in the least, but I was no longer running for the fence line in order to get the heck out of there.
Instead I was looking around at everything I passed with more interest than it needed.
I should have been concerned about where I was and how to get home, about the searing in my neck, the fire my blood has become and the freezing that’s accompanying it.
And I really should have been concerned with the annoying pulling sensation in the back of my mind.
But I wasn’t.
I wasn’t even concerned that I was attacked, bit, buried alive, and left for dead, or that I lost my grandma’s shoes.
Instead I was completely engrossed with everything around me.
The darkened moss covering the tombs and gravestones appeared to be moving in waves of luminescent greens, browns, and violets. The thorny vines creeping along each vertical surface were slithering, wrapping and contracting around everything they could get a hold of. The air tasted funny, like death I suppose, mixed with an earthen musk, flowers, decay, rust, mold and pollen. The tangy bitterness of the grass and woodsy flavor of everything else coated my tongue in a strange pungency that wasn’t entirely repulsive.
Normally I would have covered my nose and ran—spores are the enemy mia bisnonna used to say—but it was strangely inviting.
How Northwest Girl was that?!
I hated nature and believed spores and pollen were the enemy.
Instead of shying away from the slithering, moving and glowing foliage, I touched it as I passed. My fingers danced across everything and the differences in textures captivated me.
I’ve done ecstasy before, once and only once at a rave in the park when I was twenty, but this was a million times touchier and more feely’esque! It all felt different and there was a strange humming, like a pulsing, coming from everything…even the tombstones! It was peculiar and could have been from a concussed state, but there was something about it that was almost addictive.
I wiggled my fingers and the tendrils rolled over and I tickled them; it made me giggle.
“Why are you glowing and pulsating?” I asked the snaking tendrils. “I have to go home,” I said when the grass seemingly reached out for me and wrapped around my legs, wiping away some of the mud clinging to them in the process. “I just want to get home and pretend none of this happened,” I said, patting the chunk of moss that crawled up the closest grave marker, trying for attention as well. “I have to go,” I said again, caressing the pouting moss and tendrils.
Before they could firmly anchor me to the ground to join them for all eternity, I hurried from the cemetery, following the faint and extremely distant sounds of traffic.
Apparently the lazy jerk that buried me alive moved me all of a seven-hundred yards, if that.
“I so want a redo with a psychopath that will actually make a dang effort in my attempted murder,” I complained.
I was tired of men not making an effort or attempt, of them standing me up and looking down their noses at me.
Instead of hailing a cab, not that there are many out at this hour, and I had lost my purse in the attack, I stumbled barefooted down the sidewalk. The farther I got from the cemetery, the more severe the burning and numbing cold was. The base of my neck felt as if it was on fire and the maddening throbbing wasn’t going away regardless of how hard I rubbed.
Those I passed on the sidewalk hurried away from me.
Apparently the muddy, bloody, mumbling girl complaining about a lazy jerk that wouldn’t even give her twelve-inches… That sounded really bad and creepy, but in the non-sex sense it applied. I wasn’t worthy of a foot of dirt. I wasn’t worthy of him finishing the job. I wasn’t worthy enough to get a call from my blind date saying he wasn’t going to make it or was running late.
And apparently I wasn’t worthy enough to be asked if I needed help by any of the people I stumbled past on the street.
So irritated, I hadn’t even notice that I passed my apartment building.
I kept walking in a daze, as if my feet knew the way.
After much internal reflection, I realized that it was exactly that!
Even if my mind and body were completely disconnected, my feet knew the way.
They were taking me home, back to the Devil and his lair.
Sadly, in my heart it felt like home before I even saw the place.
Calling him the Devil was a grave underestimation and an insult to the Devil, though. It was something I’d have to apologize to the Devil for later.
When my feet abruptly stopped, I looked around in a daze.
“Where in the heck am I?” I mumbled, trying to orientate myself.
Instead of the glass façade, rundown apartments in the shady part of South Seattle, I was standing in front of an old church. I remembered seeing it in the newspapers a few months back. The local bible thumpers threw a total hissy fit over it being purchased instead of having it donated to them. When the former congregation neglected to pay Uncle Sam for the past two-decades, the government and city said too bad, so sad, and auctioned it off. It went for two-million dollars and a half-million dollar tax bill. From what the article said, it went for much less than anticipated and a record low turnout helped with that. The developers spoke of turning it into a nightclub.
Personally, I found it amusing.
Standing in front of it now, the beauty registered with my fuzzy brain and disorientated vision, and I could see the appeal of the place. It was pretty in a churchy sort of way; stone walls, lots of stone really that took up nearly the entire block, soaring spires that disappeared into the clouds, stained glass filling each window, and large doors that looked as if they belonged on a fortress. There were no lines cued, and no music coming from the inside.
It didn’t even look as if someone was there.
Irritated at my obvious absentminded walking, I tried to turn around and head home but my feet wouldn’t move.
“Dang it! I’m not in the mood,” I whined and forcibly tried to lift my leg, to move my foot, to shuffle my feet.
Yes, I was a complete airhead for trying to use my upper body strength to lift my own feet, but in all fairness I had a really long and crappy night. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep for the next week, and forget that any of it happened, and maybe get a rabies shot since I was more than confident that the jerk bit me for some ungodly reason.
But my feet wouldn’t move.
“I said I want to go home!” I yelled at them.
With all of my might, I kicked my left foot out as hard as I could, and was surprised to see that it moved. However, my momentum didn’t stop. I somehow invoked an inner ninja that I never knew existed and did a back flip, landing on my stomach on the cold, wet sidewalk.
That was my breaking point.
For most people it would have been when they were attacked. For others it would have been when they were buried alive and woke up in a cemetery. A few would have reached that point when they started seeing things that weren’t there like winking angels, crawling moss, and glowing vegetation.
But only one creature would have just then reached their breaking point…
And that was me.
I screamed and kicked my feet, throwing a complete temper tantrum, and usually I would have cared or been ashamed of my behavior in public, but I didn’t.
I just wanted this day to end!
“That does not look comfortable,” a deep voice said from the entryway of the church.
Well no duh it wasn’t comfortable. Talk about the embodiment of genius, right here, not more than five feet from me!
“I suppose it isn’t,” I agreed, struggling to get to my feet.
“As long as we agree,” he said then slammed the doors shut.
Men; God’s first and greatest creation… What a load of crap! I really don’t like them.
Eventually I got to my feet, staggering and falling against everything and anything in the vicinity until I found my balance.
That couldn’t entirely be blamed on the concussion and situation. I’ve never been known for my grace or staying on my feet when there’s something to trip over in a thousand-foot radius.
My brother got the grace and coordination.
“I’m going home,” I said again, with more finality, and started to take a step forward, in the direction of my private sanctuary. When I did, my feet took off in a sprint and closed the distance between me and the doors in a fraction of a second.
I slammed face first into the doors, but somehow didn’t make contact with them.
It hurt, don’t get me wrong. It felt like I was slammed face first into a set of doors, but it wasn’t the doors I made contact with.
It was something else, something without a name, and it should have freaked me out, more so than everything else so far, but again, it didn’t.
I hit something, something tangible, but not wood. It hummed like the grave markers and statues, but at the same time it felt different.
It felt like denial… If denial had a silent voice preventing me from going somewhere and instead hummed with some type of invisible force.
Yes, it was denial.
I was denied even being able to touch the doors.
To put it into perspective for you, imagine what a bug on a windshield looks like. Only said windshield is an invisible barrier against a set of twenty-foot solid oak and iron doors, and the bug is a muddy five-nine, twenty-three year old.
The doors flew open and a man stood there, the look of irritation was replaced by something else.
I wouldn’t say amusement, not in the lease. Maybe murderous rage mixed with sexual frustration.
That would be the only way to describe it.
“What do you want?” he demanded, his top lip snarling up over his perfectly straight and white teeth.
I’ll admit, at first I was awestruck.
Remember, I have a concussion, was attacked, bit, buried, left for dead, and am a bug on a windshield.
At the moment, the man’s demeanor didn’t even register with me, rather his face did. His smooth, medium beige complexion was flawless, narrowed cognac-amber ribboned eyes were encased in the longest, thickest dark brown lashes I’ve ever seen on a man. His long, narrow nose was perfectly straight and worked on his oblong face, dark brown hair was cropped on the sides and in messy, damp curls on the top. As his eyes moved over my face, his full eyebrows knitted together, and his rose tinted lips pulled inhumanly taut across his face.
If I were a betting woman, I’d wager that he had never laughed or smiled a day in his life.
“Well?” he asked, irritated that I was just staring at him.
“I want to go home,” I whispered in the weakest and most timid voice that had ever come out of my mouth.
His head tilted to the side and his expression softened, making him even more handsome.
“But my feet won’t let me,” I added, and instantly I was cringing at just how stupid that sounded.
Just so it’s clear, I have never been known for being good with men.
“Your feet will not let you?” he asked, obviously questioning my sanity.
“Nu huh,” I pouted.
Somehow, even the first time we met in that life, the man could revert me to a whimpering child with merely a look.
The man pulled his long, slender hand through his hair, disheveling it even more before shaking his head in resignation. “This is no longer a church so the soup kitchen is closed. Three blocks up is the women’s shelter, they should be able to help you get cleaned up…” his words trailed off as his eyes went to my neck. His top lip snarled upward again and my eyes widened as his cuspids started to length into fangs. “Luka!” he barked out loudly, causing me to shriek.
His monstrous voice echoed throughout the church, mockingly repeating the single name that would haunt me to no end.
“What?” an irritable voice barked back, this one I knew all too well from hearing it only once.
“What have you done?” the irritable man demanded.
Did I neglect to mention that I’m still in the bug on a windshield pose in front of him, feet dangling in mid-air, and he hadn’t offered me to come inside or anything?
Again, men suck!
“What in the hell are you talking about now?” Mr. Bite Happy-Bury a Girl in a Shallow Grave whined from the back of the church. “Seriously, Andrei, you’re going to have to be a bit more specific since my very presence is the gravest of sins in your opinion,” Luka condescendingly informed him.
Andrei growled then stepped to the side and motioned towards the bug on the windshield girl hanging suspended in their doorway. “Something followed you home,” he venomously informed him, and suddenly I was feeling like the third-wheel in a really bad marriage.
Luka stopped in mid-step then groaned. “Shit. I thought I killed that,” he complained.
I gave him a bras d'honneur. “Next time try harder, you lazy jerk!” I snapped at him, scaring myself in the process.
Never had I talked like that before.
Thought it, for sure, but never actually said it aloud.
It felt really dang good.
“I’ll take it under advisement,” Luka said.
Even the dead would have caught his sarcasm.
“Brother,” Luka said with a pouting bottom lip, and I fought back the bile rising from his pathetic, well rehearsed theatrics, “will you please take care of that for me?” he batted his long, chocolate lashes at the un-amused man.
I fought against the invisible forcing holding me up, feebly kicking and swinging in the air but it was futile.
I’m rather confident that I looked like some kind of spaz having an upright seizure.
“That,” I spat, “is right here and is a dang person that you attacked, bit, buried, and left for dead! That has a gosh darn name, and it’s Shawn. Okay, not That!” I venomously informed him.
Again, it felt really dang good to say something so venous and heated.
Mia bisnonna would have been so proud.
Andrei’s eyes widened before they narrowed and Luka backed away from him. “You buried her?” he snarled, stalking towards the quickly retreating man. “Where?” he demanded.
Luka shrugged. “I don’t remember?” he offered.
“Cemetery!” I called out then smiled wide when Luka glared at me.
Andrei stopped stalking towards his brother, shook his head and erected himself. “This, брат, is your mess thus you will clean it up. I am done risking everything for you. That thing is your responsibility, not mine, thus I will not get my hands dirty this time taking care of your problem.”
Luka gasped. “But-”
“But nothing!” Andrei shouted, an accent flaring. “You fed on a human-”
“Accidentally!” Luka interrupted. “She kicked me in the balls! What was I supposed to do… Okay, it was an accident, but she started it!”
“Oh yes, because that is simply terrifying and lethal,” Andrei shot back, blindly motioning towards me.
“Shawn, not That,” I reminded them, but they paid me no attention.
Again, that not so warm and fuzzy third-wheel feeling was back.
“Then you have the audacity,” Andrei continued as if I wasn’t there, like I was nothing more than an inconvenience to his evening, “to leave that alive, bury it in a goddamn cemetery… Obviously I need to remind you how vampires are made!” he yelled in Luka’s face.
Yeah, this night could get a lot worse and it obviously has.
But something overly amusing occurred to me at the most inopportune time.
“Vampires living in a church?” I snorted. “Isn’t that sacrilegious or against the rules or something?” I asked.
Of course they ignored me; they are really good at doing that like every other card-carrying member of the penis coalition.
“I am not taking care of the problem this time,” Andrei repeated, his accent getting even thicker. “It is your problem so you will have to get your hands dirty in order to fix it for once, брат. I am done with you and your infantile behavior and will not tolerate it any longer. Do you understand?” he hissed.
“Again, I’m right here!” I reminded them, trying to change the subject from the combination of problem—which was obviously me—and the whole mention of vampires and, well, I wasn’t sure what else but I knew it wouldn’t be good for me whatever it was.
Luka gasped, as if offended. “You can’t be serious, Brother! You want me to kill that thing?” he sounded almost disgusted at the thought of having to do something for once.
Again, I gave him a bras d'honneur.
“Seriously, Brother, look at it!” he waved towards me as if it explained it all, and honestly, with my lackluster appearance, it pretty much explained it better than words and a power point presentation could have.
“In all fairness, I had a really crappy night,” I said with a sigh, giving up on the endeavor of getting down or freed from whatever was holding me up.
Honestly, I was just too exhausted to fight anymore.
“Get it over with or whatever it is that you’re going to do,” I said, closing my eyes. “It isn’t like this night could get any worse if I tried.”
“Uh huh,” Luka snorted, rolling his eyes. “The grownups are talking right now, Little Girl, so keep your mouth shut like a good little pet.”
“Don’t call me that!” I yelled, my eyes snapping open; only Luka could give me my second wind by simply opening his mouth. “Don’t ever call me that!”
Andrei’s head tilted to the side to regard me. “How would dying not be the worst part of your night?” he asked indifferently.
I pouted, crossing my arms over my chest and glared.
Andrei was pretty dang hot when he wasn’t being a complete jerk.
“Let me think,” I said and pretended to think about it, making a face.
The corners of his mouth twitched for just a fraction of a second.
“I got stood up on a blind date,” I informed him. “Mind you, this blind date I didn’t even want to go on but my annoying coworker that apparently moonlights as a matchmaker from the seventh level of Hell wouldn’t stop hounding me so I caved. It wasn’t supposed to rain and yet it did. I missed the movie, but I got to hear the last two reels from the shallow grave your annoying brother buried me in.”
“Count that in the positive category,” Luka informed me. “The movie was rubbish.”
I ignored him.
“I ruined my dress that I really couldn’t even afford, but my reasoning was it had less calories than a pint of Ben and Jerry’s so why not? Lost my grandmother’s shoes…” my words trailed off and I wiped away the tear that rolled down my cheek. “That was all I had left of her. That is worse than being attacked, bitten, buried alive and left for dead by your little brother. Honestly, I’m indifferent over the fact he couldn’t even finish the job, and buried me in a shallow grave that was barely eight-inches deep. Twelve-inches I would have been slightly more accepting of because it meant he made an attempt, but eight?” I huffed. “That’s barely moving the dirt around with the toe of his shoe. Was my outfit not pretty enough or was I not worthy enough for those extra four inches of dirt?” I venomously demanded, glaring at the annoying vampire. “Am I not pretty enough for an effort to be made?!”
Their eyes instantly went to my nearly sheer slip-dress.
Not the smartest thing to complain about at the moment.
“My eyes are up here!” I snapped at them, but they continued to stare at my chest I was covering with my arms. “Anyway, coincidentally, in said cemetery statues were winking at me and possibly laughing at me. Apparently your precious baby brother has rabies or something and I’ve contracted it thanks to his bite-me-go-happy butt. So no, Mr. Tall, Dark and Miserable, dying wouldn’t be the worst part of my epically awesome night.”
Luka snorted. “You heard her, have at it,” he said, waving towards me.
Andrei moved in an impressive blur of movement that startled me.
But what surprised me most of all was that I wasn’t his intended target, Luka was.
The annoying man was lifted off of his feet by the throat and was slammed against the stone archway next to the doorway where I was floating.
“This is solely your problem, брат,” he hissed in Luka’s face. “Thus you will deal with it accordingly. Keep in mind, if the others find out that you have a scion, you will be the one to answer for it, not me. I am done cleaning up your mess. Do I make myself clear?” he snarled.
“Yes,” Luka choked and collapsed to the base of the archway when Andrei released him.
“Take care of it,” Andrei warned, “or I will take care of you.”
Luka quickly nodded, rubbing his throat, and Andrei was gone in a blur of movement.
That was impressive and kind of cool.
I chuckled. “Your big brother just kicked your butt,” I sang; maturity at its finest.
“Shut up,” Luka hissed, dusting himself off. “You should have died,” he coldly informed me.
“Yes, many times over,” I agreed.
“Well then, let’s not make the same mistake twice,” he said before his fist slammed into my face and everything went black.
The lazy jerk punched me in the face!
And they say that chivalry is dead.
Ha! If he didn’t kill me I was going to return the favor and then some. His balls would be getting a second, third, and possibly fourth date with my foot.
Had I mentioned how much I hate men?
When I woke I was cold, alone, bleeding, and on a hard, unforgiving stone floor.
In the distance, the annoying dripping of water assaulted my eardrums; as if I didn’t get enough of that in the grave. Each drop mockingly echoed all around me as if I were in a cave.
I tried to see where the lazy jerk threw me this time, but my eyes couldn’t focus on anything; I’m pretty dang sure that I had a concussion. My body was numb but on fire at the same time. When I struggled to sit up is when I realized that heavy, iron manacles were around my wrists and ankles, tethering me to the floor by thick chains.
Now I was freaking out.
Killing me was one thing, and strangely I was okay with that.
Burying me, yeah, it sucked, but it was another of those I’m strangely okay with things I’ve come to expect in my luckless life.
Being bitten, that one was a first, but I’ve had worse.
Possibly being turned into a vampire… I wasn’t even going to comment on the ridiculousness of that one!
But being kept alive, chained up in some dungeon?!?! That was a whole higher level of not going to happen.
“Hey!” I called out, my voice cracking and unbelievably horse.
Never had my throat felt so dang raw before. It honestly felt as if I hadn’t had anything to drink in a hundred years, and the more I called out, the more my abused, parched throat bled and burned.
“I know you’re out there!” I yelled even though I was totally pulling that out of my butt.
Yeah, I was going to die alone.
“Would you shut up already? I’m trying to think!” Luka yelled, startling me.
I shook my head, trying to clear it. “Go to throw yourself on a stake!” I spat.
He snorted. “That’s original.”
“You can use the one that’s up your butt!” I offered.
“Okay, that one’s a first,” he admitted.
“Why haven’t you killed me yet? Afraid you’ll ruin your manicure?” I venomously asked, irritated he was turning me into a child again, and he growled in frustration. “You know what’s funny?” I rhetorically asked, slumping back down to the stone floor, abandoning trying to right myself or see anything through the haze of brain damage veiling my eyes.
“This whole goddamn situation?” he shot back.
I smirked. “Well, yes, there is that. But specifically what I was going to say is it took twenty-three years, being attacked, bit, buried, kidnapped, held prisoner, possibly turned into one of the living undead, and, for all intents and purposes, killed, for me to finally say the venomous comments that I’ve always kept inside of my head. All of the things that I never had the nerve to actually say out loud. So I guess I should be thanking you, Luka… I’m not thanking you in the least, but if the attacked, bit, buried, kidnapped, held prisoner, turning into a vampire and killing Shawn thing didn’t apply to the current situation, I’d probably thank you for inadvertently helping me find my voice and backbone for the first time in my life.”
Yup, I totally had brain damage. I assure you, never again would I say that I owed Luka a thank you.
The sound of metal grating against metal made me shiver, and it was followed by the cell door opening. Luka walked in with a glass and metal lantern that looked as old as the church, the single candle inside danced wildly with each step he took until he folded himself down to the ground next to me, setting the antique down. I scrambled away from him, as far at the heavy iron chains would allow me to go, but he was completely oblivious to me; he usually was. He rested his face in his hands, his bottom lip pouting outward as his muddy brown eyes moved over my face as if he was looking for something.
“You are making this exceptionally difficult,” Luka eventually informed me.
I snorted. “Oh I’m sorry. I was unaware that I was supposed to be helping you so you can consciencelessly kill me.”
He cocked an eyebrow, appearing slightly amused. “Consciencelessly is not a word.”
“It’s an adverb,” I informed him.
Softly he growled, his pale rose tinted lips pulling upward into a snarl, his white teeth and fangs seemingly glowing in the scarce light. “I’m not going to argue semantics with you!” he barked at me.
It wasn’t mature by any means, but since this whole ordeal started I’ve yet to do anything mature, I laughed at him.
“No, I suppose you don’t. Because you’ll get schooled,” I smugly informed him.
Again, the look of slightly amused irritation washed across his face.
“Why haven’t you killed me yet?” I asked; honestly, I was tired of the waiting game.
Waiting was a million times worse than the end!
Luka made a face. “Because you are making it exceptionally difficult,” he mumbled, his brows pulling together.
Maybe I wasn’t the only one with brain damage after all.
“Pray tell, Jerk Face,” I said, “how is the woman with a concussion and possible brain damage from your second degree assault, and who is currently shackled to the floor, making it difficult for you… A vampire? Inquiring minds need to know.”
Sarcasm and condescension at no additional charge.
The corners of his mouth twitched.
“That right there,” he said, picking up the lantern and held it out towards me more and I shied away from him.
“Huh?” I asked.
Remember, I most likely had brain damage, and Luka is, well, Luka, so what he said really didn’t make sense, not in the least.
“You’re a pain in the ass,” he explained, his eyes moving over my face many times. “You are somehow alive, and honestly, you kind of amuse me in a sick, extremely demented and damaged way… Your mascara is running,” he said.
I gave him a look; in Luka’s mind that would be his top priority.
“That can happen when you’re buried alive in eight-inches of mud,” I pointed out. “It acts like a natural exfoliate. If I weren’t so mad at you for losing my grandmother’s shoes, I would thank you for the cheap day spa treatment, but since I am I won’t.”
To my surprise, he chuckled.
“You dye your hair?” he asked for some reason.
What is this guy on?!
“Does that disqualify me from becoming a vampire?” I retorted.
Luka shook his head. “No, I was just curious since your hair isn’t as dark as it once was in the front.”
“Oh, that,” I said, rolling my eyes, making a face. “I wouldn’t worry about it. It isn’t contagious or anything. Hereditary and rather rare, but not contagious, so your perfectly cropped, boyband reject hair is safe.”
To my surprise, Luka smiled, a genuine one, but I wasn’t sure why.
“Very well. Down to business, orders are orders,” he said cheerfully and pulled a knife from the back of his pants.
In my concussion-induced state, the knife looked like a machete and he was going to start hacking me up at any moment.
Suddenly I wasn’t so content with dying.
“What are you going to do with that?” I asked, totally cool and collected.
In actuality I sounded like a strangled mouse.
“Kill you,” Luka said as if it were obvious, because let’s face it, it was real dang obvious. “I thought you were content with dying,” he smugly reminded me.
I swallowed the lump in my throat, after fifteen attempts, then forced a smile. “I am completely content dying. I have been since the moment they lowered my brother in the ground. Death would be a reprieve compared to the incredibly mundane and unlucky life I’ve lived, but you aren’t going to stab or hack me up. You’re going to kill me like a real man.”
“Huh?” he snorted.
“Am I vampire?” I asked. “I don’t know if there is a protocol for this type of thing. If the only way to kill me is by butcher knife or machete, I get it and can’t fault you for that. But if I’m not a vampire yet and can die in many, much more, traditional ways, that is the way I’d like to go.”
He looked at me with wide eyes.
“You’re going to strangle me with your own, perfectly manicured, hands,” I informed him, shimming across the floor towards him.
I didn’t want to die.
Everyone dies, this I knew, some just die sooner than others. But at that moment, all of those long nights I spent alone in front of the TV were paying off.
At least I hope they were.
According to cop shows and murder mysteries, strangulation is the most personal form of murder. More often than not you’re looking the person you’re killing, your eyes are locked on theirs and they have to watch as the life visibly extinguishes from their eyes, and you have to use your own hands and strength in order to accomplish it. And, if TV wasn’t lying, this lazy jerk would never man up to do it like a man.
Andrei would have without a doubt. Heck, he’d love to strangle the life from me, and from his own brother most of the time, but at that moment I was dealing with Captain Whiner so I might have dodged the bullet…
Almost literally speaking.
“Are you insane?” Luka complained.
“No,” I said. “I’ve never been more in touch with my faculties… Minus the possible brain damage thanks to you and that nasty jab of yours. If I’m not going to die, I’m seriously pressing charges.”
He rolled his eyes.
“I think I have the right to die how I see fit, Mr. Bite Happy-Too Lazy to Bury a Girl Properly. Obviously my time wasn’t up yet, being here is proof of that, because like you said, I should be dead. So, have at it, Douche Bag,” I taunted, tilting my head back, presenting my neck to him.
He looked between my neck and the knife in his hands many times.
Obviously, the annoying little girl confused the big, scary, old as dirt vampire.
“What’s wrong, Little Boy? Scared to get your hands dirty?” I taunted with a knowing smirk.
“Shut up,” he hissed. “This is your own damn fault!”
I snorted, relaxing on the floor since he obviously wasn’t going to kill me anytime soon.
“No, it’s your fault,” I corrected. “And don’t you dare use that ‘I started it because I kicked you in the balls’ defense. That’s total crap! Besides, I didn’t mean to kick you in the balls, it was a knee jerk reaction,” I admitted.
“Uh huh,” Luka scoffed.
This was interesting and all, but my body was starting to hurt even more from the manacles and cold floor.
“So where does this leave us?” I asked the obvious.
Luka looked at me and shrugged. “I’m not entirely sure,” he admitted. “Andrei said I have to kill you,” he reminded me.
I was rather confident that he’s hiding blond roots.
“No,” I corrected. “Mr. Tall, Dark and Miserable said that he wasn’t going to clean up this mess, and that he was tired of cleaning up after you, and that if the others found out you bought a Scion you’d have to deal with it on your own.”
Luka chuckled, shaking his head. “Not buy a Scion.”
“It isn’t the ugly car, but that would be a crime in itself. A scion is a child, an offspring, progeny… It’s what they call when a vampire sires. Werewolves mark, witches hex, warlocks bewitch, necromancers have puppets, wizards have apprentices, fae just screw whatever they can get their sparkly hands on and call them interbreeds. The list is really long. In this case, since I’m a vampire, it’s a scion.”
I’ve read a lot of books, but never about vampires, witches and werewolves. That stuff did absolutely nothing for me. Where most girls, especially those that aren’t getting laid, would swoon and drool over some immortal, overbearing jerk that wanted to suck their blood and hump their brains out in his coffin, that had no appeal for me. In fact, the whole necrophilia thing, because that’s what it is if you think about it, turned my stomach. So this was completely foreign territory for me.
“Since I’m dead already,” I said, “do you care to elaborate? I don’t know anything about vampires or whatever.”
Luka’s head titled to the side and he scratched it in confusion. “You aren’t into the Hollywood crap?” he asked.
I shook my head. “I like… Never mind, but no, I’m not into that whole necrophilia and bestiality thing.”
“Whoa,” he said, shaking his head. “Gee, thanks.”
“You’re welcome?” I offered, unsure.
“It wasn’t a thankworthy statement,” he informed me so I stuck my tongue out at him. “Maturity at its finest,” he said.
I raised my shackled hands. “You have that effect on people,” I informed him. “I have a question or twenty. Werewolves? I’ve heard of those, the others I have as well but not enough to know what they are or how they… Werewolves?” I asked again.
I wouldn’t put it past them to have a pack of werewolves waiting to rip me to shreds in order to clean up Luka’s mess.
Luke smirked, looking at me amusingly. “That really wasn’t a complete question but yes, werewolves. If there’s such a thing as vampires don’t you think that werewolves would be real as well? Hell, there is a whole plethora of mythical assholes roaming the earth, most of which you’ve never even heard of. So yes, werewolves are real as are vampires. I am a vampire,” he said before hissing, showing me his fangs.
Thank you, Captain Obvious.
“Oh how mature,” I dryly commented.
“Anyway, ignorant little girl,” he condescendingly sneered, “siring is when a vampire creates a new immortal life,” he partially explained, spacing off across the room.
Apparently I was boring him greatly.
“How does it work?” I asked the obvious. “You just have to bite someone and leave them for dead and they turn into a vampire?”
Luka sighed, shaking his head, appearing frustrated with me. “When a vampire decides to sire, the vampire takes the human’s blood into their system and the one being sired takes the vampire’s blood into theirs-”
“Wait,” I interrupted. “I didn’t drink your blood,” I pointed out the obvious. “That’s nasty.”
He looked at me curiously. “You didn’t intentionally. When you fought back you split my lip and that could have, in theory, been enough. I’ve done it before, mistakenly of course, and it was just a drop that was needed.”
“Ew,” I said then shivered in disgust. “So swapping blood and that makes me a vampire? Why did Andrei get so mad about where you buried the body? Mine!”
Luka made a face. “That’s complicated. Sacred ground, hollow ground, is to help something or another from Mother Nature and shit. I really don’t care or know. The cemetery was there and I was hoping it’d prevent anyone from finding your body. Sorry to bust your bubble if you thought that I had actually meant to do it. It was the first place I found on my way home and it was an easy dumpsite.”
As much as I hated to say it, Luka was steadily climbing up my list of people I wanted dead faster than anyone else ever had, which was saying a lot since I wasn’t a mean person like that.
“Since where you buried me apparently didn’t matter,” I said, prompting him to continue.
“The vampire has to drain the human to the point of near death,” he said as if it were obvious. “The heart has to slow to nearly a stop. If it stops, you took too much and they die. If you don’t take enough, and the process doesn’t fully take, you create a strigoi.”
“And that’s bad,” I surmised.
“Actually… I don’t know,” I admitted and he rolled his eyes. “Shut up,” I groaned. “This isn’t my cup of tea, Jerk Face. Aliens and H.G. Wells, Sci-Fi and stuff like that is what I read and get into, not fantasy and urban fantasy.”
Luka stroked his chin. “Huh, you’re a really weird chick.”
“It wasn’t a compliment,” he assured me and I glared at him. “Strigoi are the troubled souls of the dead rising according to Romanian mythology. And that’s partially correct,” he admitted, as if the realization just hit him; total and complete blond. “When you turn, or attempt to, or not attempt to in this case, someone into a vampire and something goes wrong, the end result isn’t a vampire crawling out of the grave. It’s a strigoi.
“They are pure evil, their souls are blackened, and every bit of humanity that they once had is devoured by the evil coursing through their systems. They are a walking darkness, a plague upon the world of immortals, and they have, more than once, nearly destroyed it. They are nasty bitches,” he assured me even though I wasn’t entirely agreeing with him at the moment, since he was keeping me hostage and was going to kill me and all. “All of those ghost stories that you hear about, more often than not, it’s a strigoi breaking free from their restrictive bindings. Usually they only go after the living undead, vampires as you call us,” he said, motioning towards himself, and I rolled my eyes. “They have phantasm and ghost qualities, only with vampire speed and strength. If a strigoi sinks their fangs into a vampire, the vampire is turned into a mindless, murderous, blood crazed, zombie… You have heard of those before, right?”
Add another date with my foot to his balls if I live through this.
“Sarcasm noted,” I sneered and he smiled wide. “So, just to be clear, I’m going to turn into a strigoi because you messed up?”
His smile fell. “Huh, I didn’t think about that,” he admitted.
My eyes widened. “If that isn’t the problem then why in the heck do you have to kill me?!” I demanded.
Yes, I was in complete agreement about killing me if I was on the verge of turning into a strigoi. That would suck hardcore. But if that wasn’t the case, why in the heck were they adamant on killing me? Again, inquiring minds wanted to know and of course Luka wasn’t going to tell me, he never does.
“I need to think about this,” Luka said then got to his feet and strolled from the cell, leaving me laying shackled to the floor with only the flickering candle in the lantern to keep me company.
Sadly, the accumulative of the night’s uneventful, and extremely eventual, exploits faded into the back of my mind as an unimaginable burning and tearing sensation ripped through my body some time later.
My insides felt as if they were being set on fire and yet frozen solid at the same time then submerged in a vat of acid to seal the deal. I screamed in agony as my body arched off of the stone floor, only the top of my head and very tips of my toes supporting the unnaturally high, and extremely painful, arch before my body cracked and snapped, as if my spine decided that it wanted to go the other direction for some unholy reason, and the force slammed me back down to the floor. Feebly I clawed at the stone, desperately trying to pull myself away from the pain, but it followed like a demonic shadow I could never be free from.
Never had I experienced such pain, and it only reiterated that I wanted to die.
Like a fish out of water, I uncontrollably flopped on the floor, convulsed and screamed. It felt as if my skin had ripped away from my body, and that my bones were being liquefied, the connective tissue had hardened and calcified, leaving a lump of unrecognizable Shawn chained to the floor.
Seconds felt like hours.
Hours like centuries.
And yet I was vividly conscious through all of it.
I prayed to whoever would hear me to allow the pain to cloud my mind in the blackness of unconsciousness. Never had someone wanted to die more than I did at that moment, in those hours, as my body seemingly destroyed itself.
Violently I shook, was dripping with sweat that was seemingly freezing to my skin before evaporating from the fire I was being burned alive with.
“What’s happening to me,” I stammered when I was assaulted with a new sense that wasn’t my own.
Dread and irritation, sexual frustration and unmistakable disdain flooded my mind, playfully wrapping around the pain…
As if I wasn’t in a bad enough mood already.
“You are dying,” Andrei said as if it were obvious.
“I couldn’t tell,” I spit through clenched teeth. “Kill me already,” I snarled before my back arched off of the floor again and I screamed in pain.
Somehow, I don’t know when, Andrei was suddenly next to me, sitting on the floor in the exact same spot his annoying little brother was in not more than four centuries ago.
That’s how long I was down there, I’m sure, but most likely it was only minutes.
“Why are you so content with dying?” Andrei asked when I stopped screaming.
I started sobbing.
“Look at me,” he said, forcing me by the chin to look at him. His eyes moved over my face many times before his thumb caressed under each of my eyes, wiping away my tears, or possibly my running mascara. “Look at me.”
When my eyes finally focused on his, tears instantly started flooding mine.
“Why are you so content with dying?” he whispered, his eyes locked on mine.
“Because this fricking hurts!” I cried out as my shoulders popped loudly, the unmistakable sound of bone grating against bone would have turned my stomach if I was coherent enough to even register it.
“Yes, I suppose it does,” Andrei dryly agreed.
I went from screaming in pain to screaming in frustration and I reached for him with bloody fingers but the chains pulled tight only fraction of an inch from his neck.
He nodded his approval but I wasn’t sure what he was approving of since I was just about to strangle him.
“Your body is consuming itself as the venom races through your system,” he explained. “It takes time for the venom to fully mature in the system before it attacks, that way the body cannot fight back. The toxins are rapidly changing you on a molecular level, one your body was never designed to house.” He grabbed me by the chin and forced me to look at him again. “Once it has run its course you will awaken as the embodiment of evil, and then, and only then, will my pernicious брат get his way and I will be commissioned with killing you. And that, Solnishko, I cannot permit to happen.”
“What?” I choked.
Suddenly Andrei was on top of me, his mouth on the unblemished side of my neck and I screamed when the unmistakable feel of sharp fangs piercing skin flooded me.
Feebly I slapped and punched at him but he was hungry, agenda-filled, unmoving stone.
Andrei pulled me up into him, his hold on the back of my neck nearly as painful as the acid eating away at my entrails. Like a many centurial old vampire—imagine that—he drank from me.
I fought and tired pushing him away, kicking and punching.
It was of little use.
Andrei answered my fight with his unimaginable strength, pulling me into him even more, his hold on my neck increasing, and his imbibed savagery never slowed as his mouth expertly milked the wounds, nearly bleeding me dry. His heightened hearing picked up my heart, silently counting each weakened beat, careful not to drain me completely…
I wish he would have.
What little strength I had left was pulled from me with each long pull of blood Andrei took from me, and my hands fell limply against his chest…
I welcomed the end.
There was no bright light, only darkness that shrouded everything but the demonic dark angel holding me tight to his body, his tongue lapping up the slowly flowing crimson life force that once coursed through my weakened body.
When Andrei pulled away from my neck he shivered, licking the blood from his lips, and a primal growl rolled from his chest as he struggled to maintain his composure.
Suddenly his after school special, teach my little brother a lesson, plan that Shawn was the pawn in was the last thing on his mind.
Draining me completely was his only concern.
Once his body stopped shivering with anticipation and hungry desire, Andrei looked down at me, his eyes moving over my face many times. “You will be dead in mere minutes,” he informed me in a whisper, as if I didn’t know, “unless you drink.”
I wanted to tell him off but my mouth wouldn’t move and was stuck slightly ajar; I had never been that exhausted in my life.
Andrei brought his wrist to his mouth and sank his teeth into the smooth flesh. He showed me the inside of his wrist and the four puncture wounds, but most importantly, the dark red blood flowing from each.
“If you do not drink you will die, Solnishko,” he explained, bringing this wrist to my mouth and I used the last of my strength to turn away from him. He grabbed my face with his free hand and forced my mouth open. “If you die you are no good to me. If you turn into a demon, you are no good to me. If you tell Luka, or anyone for that matter, that I did this, I will kill you,” he warned in a tone so dark and menacing that it scares me even now thinking about it.
But being the stubborn creature that I had suddenly found myself to be, I refused to drink his blood—that was just nasty—and spit it back out as quickly as it found its way into my mouth.
Irritated, he pulled my face into his. “Luka left you here to die, to be turned into the very demons that forced us here, because it would force my hand,” he sneered, his thick Russian accent flaring. “Luka left, ran, so I would be forced to deal with his mistake. If you turn into a strigoi you are no longer his problem, you are mine, and that would be counterproductive to say the least. You will drink and you will be reborn… It is time. I am tired of waiting,” he snarled before slamming his fist into my back and I screamed out in pain.
I didn’t want to help him teach his stupid, annoying little brother a lesson.
I didn’t want to be used as a pawn to bring down the annoying troublesome vampire.
But as usual with everything in my life, I wasn’t being given a choice.
Without missing a beat, Andrei covered my mouth with his bleeding wrist and clenched and released his fist to milk the wounds. Unable to pull away from him or spit out the fowl, ambrosial nectar flowing down my throat, I drank.