“Who is that?” Jane asked, and if she had it her way, she wouldn’t be running from him.
“Just go away!” Milo shouted.
“You know, you’ve only succeeded in scenting the air,” Lucian told him. “It’s the same thing they do with sharks. They bait the water with blood to attract them, and it puts them in a frenzy. Did you know that?”
“Please just move,” Milo said through gritted teeth.
“How are you feeling about now? A little frantic yourself?” Lucian took a step away from the car, towards us, and Milo tensed up more.
“I’m putting you down, and you just need to get in the car.” Milo dug in his pocket for the car keys, and I gripped onto him, unwilling to let him set me down.
“Violet is roaming around somewhere,” I said.
“You just have to get in the car,” Milo repeated as he handed Jane the car keys. “Jane, just get Alice in the car. That’s all you need to do.”
“Okay?” Jane replied unsurely.
“Milo!” I yelled, but that only made Lucian laugh.
“Maybe you should listen to her,” Lucian said, but Milo lowered me to the ground.
Once I was standing, with my knee threatening to give out, Milo still kept a hand on my shoulder, as if reluctant to let me go. For a moment, he stood there, staring down Lucian, and none of us moved. Then I heard the click of the keyless entry as Jane unlocked the car doors.
That must’ve been the cue for go, because everybody burst into life. Taking my hand, Jane rushed towards the car, and Milo dove at Lucian. There was the sound of snarling and gnashing teeth, but I tried not to look at them.
I felt hands like talons grabbing at my arms and legs, and I heard Violet’s familiar high pitched squeal as she tried to capture me. I just kept running, letting the panic and adrenaline burn through my legs as Jane pulled me to the car.
She yanked open the door and threw me in before jumping in herself. She landed on top of me, but managed to slam the door shut, and Violet slammed into it, screaming in disappointment.
- 19 -
Jane locked the car door. I slid all the way across the seat, pressing my back against the window opposite of the one Violet glared at us through. Jane moved with me, and when Violet smacked her open palms against the window, Jane and I both screamed.
Hysteria was about ready to take over, and if Violet kept beating on the glass with her superhuman strength, it wouldn’t be long before she got in.
Milo threw her off the window, and past him, I could see a dent in the car next to us. Lucian wasn’t in sight, but bloody scratches were all up and down Milo’s torso. He hit the window so we would unlock the doors, and Jane leaned over and did.
Milo opened the car door and Violet lunged at his back. She bit into his neck, using her razor sharp incisors. He pushed her off, and she crumpled to the ground. He hopped in the driver’s seat and locked the doors behind him. Blood streamed down his neck, but he didn’t even seem aware of it.
“You’re bleeding!” Jane gasped.
“Give me the keys.” Milo held his hand out.
Violet threw herself on the windshield and pounded the glass with her fists. Her crazy purple eyes stared right through me and she purposely bared her teeth.
“Get us out of here!” Jane screamed as she gave him the keys.
He started the car and peeled out. Violet flew off the windshield, landing somewhere I couldn’t see. Milo squealed out of the parking lot with little regard for other traffic, but everybody made room for him as he drove off into the night.
We weren’t going in the direction of home, not his house or mine, but by the way he kept glancing in the rearview mirror, there was a reason for it.
We sped down the road, and Jane felt safe enough to move away from where she had me pinned to the door. She looked down at my tattered dress, and without even asking, she tore off the bottom half of my skirt. Balling the fabric up in her hand, she pressed it against the wound on Milo’s neck, and he jerked away from her touch.
“I’m trying to stop the bleeding so you don’t die.” Jane sounded hurt.
“I’m fine,” Milo snapped, and his eyes darted back up the rearview mirror.
“Are they following us?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I didn’t see him, though. But I can’t imagine he would just give up.” His words rang truer then I would’ve liked, and I had to swallow hard to keep from throwing up.
“What is going on?” Jane asked. Leaning in between the seats, she still kept the rag pressed against Milo’s neck.
“It’s hard to explain,” I said.
I sunk lower in the seat, keeping myself out of sight from the passing cars, even though I’m sure Lucian already had a good look at the car, and even if he didn’t, he could see Milo driving.
Tearing off more of my skirt, I pressed it on my own wounded knee and the scratches Violet had inflicted on my legs, trying to stop the scent of blood from filling up the car. I wanted to crack the window, but letting the night in terrified me.
“They looked like vampires!” Jane said, and my heart skipped a beat. Milo’s eyes met mine in the rearview mirror, and neither of us knew how to address that topic. “Did you see the fangs on that girl? And those crazy eyes? She must’ve been on something.”
“Yeah, probably,” I agreed hastily.
“What did they want with you guys? They looked like they were obsessed or something.” Jane looked back at me, hoping I would give her answers, but I avoided her gaze and shook my head.
“I don’t really know.” I swallowed hard, because that wasn’t exactly a lie.
“You should call the police or something,” Jane said. “Or at least go to the hospital. You’re covered in…”
She was looking over his chest, and I knew she was getting that sense of confusion and disbelief that I had when I saw Jack’s wounds disappear. Blood was still left from where he’d been cut, proving that she wasn’t insane, but there were no cuts.
She pulled back the rag from his neck and gasped. Where there should’ve been a hideous gouge, there was only pink raised flash, like a fresh scar.
“How did you do that? How can you possibly do that?” Jane trembled and all the color had drained from her face.
“Jane, look at me,” I said. “You don’t wanna know.”
“Of course I want to know!” Jane insisted, but she looked as if she might cry.
“Not right now, okay? After everything that’s happened. Can we just let it be?” I pleaded with her.