It was just me, alone on an especially deserted street, and nobody had any clue where I was, except maybe for one drunk girl. There would be nobody at home to miss me, and it would probably be a few days before Milo would notice if I didn’t call him.
I was going to die, and not only would nobody care, nobody would even notice.
- 26 -
Deciding that it was better to die with dignity, I turned to face my attackers. I wouldn’t be able to out run them, and since they were probably stalking me, they knew where I was going. For whatever reason, I had gotten under Lucian’s skin and he wasn’t keen on letting me go.
“I know you’re there!” I announced into the fog.
I heard their odd echoing footfalls, and their dark silhouettes materialized. My heart raced, and I knew they could hear it, but I planned to hide all the other evidence that I was terrified.
My stomach flipped but I swallowed hard, and I clenched my fists to keep from shaking. I stuck my chin out defiantly, even though that meant that I would expose my neck more.
It didn’t really matter. They would find a way to get to my veins no matter what I did.
They were in front of me. Lucian’s black eyes looked at me as if I was a piece of meat or the Holy Grail. His greasy black hair was slicked back, and he smiled widely, revealing his ridiculous fangs.
I glanced over at Violet, and the fog made her purple hair fall flat and dull. Her thick black makeup had smeared, and instead of looking pleased to finally catch me, her smile seemed to falter.
“You spoiled the chase,” Lucian said, his voice sounding like venom.
“Well, she’s not very much of a catch,” Violet pointed out in her gothic Tinker Bell voice. She glared at me, then shifted her gaze to one of pure lust at Lucian.
That’s why her smile faltered. After her original appetite for me, she would’ve been content to forget about me and go on with her life. But Lucian was the one that wouldn’t let go, and she was becoming increasingly threatened in his interest in me, which only frightened me more.
Generally, people wouldn’t be jealous of a hamburger, so it didn’t seem right that Violet would be jealous of me. Unless Lucian’s intentions for me were more than strictly food.
“Okay. Let’s get this over with,” I said as evenly as I could. I wasn’t exactly eager to die, but I didn’t want a long drawn out death.
“What’s the hurry?” Lucian reached out to touch my cheek with the back of his hand, but I flinched and his grotesque long, black nails barely brushed my skin. He smiled at me, and I swallowed back the vomit. “You’re still feisty.”
“Who cares?” Violet scoffed.
“I’ve just decided that today is a good day to die, and midnight is rapidly approaching, so we better get this done,” I said.
I had unconsciously taken a step back from them. My legs felt like jelly, but they burned to run. My racing pulse suggested that I bolt, but I knew I wouldn’t get very far before I felt Lucian’s arms around me and his hands on me, and that thought just made my skin crawl. I decided my best bet was pissing off Violet in hopes that she’d just kill me.
“Your makeup looks stupid,” I said her. It wasn’t really as witty or as painful as I hoped, but panic clogged the helpful parts of my brain.
“You look stupid!” Violet countered, giving me a disgusted glare.
“Ladies!” Lucian held up his hand to silence us.
From his exaggerated fangs to his long black coat, he was every vampire cliché that Jack refused to be. At the club, Violet had even accidentally confessed that his name was really Hector. He had probably been some horrible computer geek that had somehow stumbled onto the vampire underworld. He wanted the gothic romantic vampire lifestyle, even when it ended up just being kinda tacky and making him into a caricature.
“This is stupid!” I shouted, surprised by how strong I sounded. “If you’re not gonna kill me, then I’m just gonna go home.”
I don’t even know how that was really a threat or why it made sense to me, but Violet did her shrill little laugh. I was beginning to wonder if she had surgery on her larynx or something, because she did not sound human at all.
Technically, she wasn’t, but every vampire I had met sounded human. That was part of their disguise. But her disguise really sucked.
“I’m not going to kill you,” Lucian assured me.
He had something worse planned for me, and he wasn’t about to let me go. He placed his hand on my arm, and his touch set something off inside me. It made it real somehow, and I freaked out.
“Get off me!” I screamed and struggled to pull my arm out of his grip. I knew it was futile, but I had to fight it. My skin crawled, and I wanted to throw up. “Don’t touch me! Let go! Let go!”
“Alice!” Lucian hissed, and his other hand pressed firmly on my mouth to quiet my screams.
I had never been so scared in my entire life. I was flailing and kicking and hitting and pulling on anything I could. I kept screaming, and I wanted to bite his hand, but the thought of tasting his skin or blood was far too revolting.
He was going to do horrible things to be me, and that certainty was the most terrifying thing I had ever felt. It was even worse than the dismal feeling I had about living without Jack. That was more of slow burning desolation. This was instant and desperate and rabid.
“Let her go!” a velvet voice boomed out in front of me, and I opened my eyes.
He was far enough away where the fog partially masked him, but his fierce emerald eyes were unmistakable. Peter was here, which was simultaneously reassuring and frightening. He would save me from whatever Lucian had planned for me, but then most likely kill me and Jack. It was a win/lose situation.
“What?” Lucian sounded bewildered, and my fight against him lessened. I would’ve gone completely slack, but he was still touching me with his wretched hands.
Once, I had fallen in the woods, and my hand had somehow ended up in the carcass of an animal full of maggots. I wasn’t in any real danger, but that was the most disgusting thing I had ever done and it totally freaked me out. That’s exactly how I felt when Lucian touched me. Like I was covered in maggots.
“Let her go!” Peter took a step closer towards us, his eyes burning with rage.
Even though Peter wasn’t very large, there was something incredibly intimidating about him. The way his jaw tightened and his fists clenched only hinted at the uncontrolled anger and power he had inside him. Lucian’s hands were strong on me, but I could sense his hesitation growing.