“What the hell is with this girl?” Violet asked incredulously.
“She belongs to me,” Peter growled. He extended his hand out to me, as if he expected them to hand me over after that statement. Like it was all some misunderstanding, and not an obvious kidnap/murder/rape situation.
“What about the other vampire she was with?” Lucian retightened his grip. He thought he’d found a chink in the armor, but he hadn’t.
Peter already knew everything about Jack. He had to have. The dream I had the other night, that wasn’t a dream. Peter had found everything out, and he’d been laying in wait over the last few days. But for what?
“He is of no concern to you. Let her go.” Peter glared intensely at Lucian. “Now.”
“You have to be more careful with your things,” Lucian tried to sound light and playful, but Peter had unnerved him.
He let me go, and I bolted a few steps away. I think everyone kinda expected me to run into Peter’s arms, and trust me, that was rather tempting, but I didn’t. I stood off to the side of them, closer to Peter than Lucian, and shuddered.
Before Lucian could say anything more, Peter pounced at him, reminding me of the way a lion pounces on his prey. Lucian made a surprised scream, and Violet yelped and jumped back from them. I stayed frozen in place, watching as the shadows blurred and disappeared in the fog.
I heard Lucian yelling and Peter growling, and then there was an awful gargling sound and things that sounded like tearing and breaking. Violet chased after them into the darkness, and she screamed at them to stop.
There was a horrific ripping sound, followed by Violet sobbing, and I heard her lighter, high-heeled footfalls vanish into the night.
Trembling, I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do. Did I wait here for Peter? Did I thank him and try to convince him not to kill me? Or did I run off to my place?
Nothing sounded right, and on top of my rampant panic, there was that incessant longing inside me that pulled me towards Peter.
When he finally emerged from the mist, I was where he had left me. His shirt was stained dark across the front. His skin was completely clean, even though it looked like there would’ve been some splatter. He must’ve cleaned himself up, and I wondered if it was for my benefit.
He ran a hand through his dark hair and didn’t look at me, but it was better that way. I tended to get lost in his eyes whenever I had the chance. A fading pink scratch ran across his face, amazing me at how quickly they healed. Several tears in his shirt revealed perfect skin underneath.
“What the hell are you doing?” Peter asked quietly, looking down at the sidewalk.
“What are you doing?”
“Alice, I’m being serious,” Peter sighed, sounding frustrated.
“So am I!” I managed to be more forceful this time, and he looked over at me, his green eyes mixed with irritation and affection.
“You do realize that giving up and dying isn’t the same as being brave?” He looked at me severely.
“What other choice did I have?” I argued, and I tried not to let him haze up my mind. “If I ran, he would catch me! He’s too strong for me to fight off!”
“So?” Peter was incredulous. “You fight anyway! You run until he catches you! This is your life, Alice! Why are you always so eager to give it up?”
“I’m not!” I shook my head, realizing how pointless this argument was. “What’s it to you, anyway? Aren’t you gonna kill me in like ten minutes?”
“What?” He narrowed his eyes in surprise and confusion. “Why would I kill you?”
His genuine shock startled me. Even after he had tasted my bitter blood, it hadn’t occurred to him to kill me. He’d known about it for days, and as far as I knew, he hadn’t killed Jack yet either. In fact, the only thing he’d done was save my life. This wasn’t exactly the picture everyone had painted for me.
“You did already try once.” I crossed my arms on my chest, trying not to let on that I was just as bewildered as he was.
“I already told you that would never happen again,” he brushed me off.
There was something almost endearingly matter-of-fact about him. Sure, he had tried to kill me, but he said he wasn’t going to again, so what was I worried about?
“What about Jack?” I ventured, and my voice gave away how much that made me nervous.
Peter tensed up at the mention of his name and stared off into the night. He bit his lip, thinking of something. There was an agonizingly long span where he didn’t even move.
“We need to go home and get things in order,” Peter sighed at length.
“There’s no other way about it.” He reached out so I would take his hand, and I did, but hesitantly.
I got the same electric surge I always did, and I hated the warmth of pleasure that flooded over me. His hand, the one gripping mine, could very well be the death of Jack.
I let Peter lead me through the fog towards his Audi, parked down the street by my apartment. I tried really hard not to think about how wonderful it felt when he bit me. Maybe I could have Peter bite me again. That would at least give Jack some time to… I don’t know what. That wasn’t really a plan.
Once inside the car, I came up with the only idea I could think of. After Peter started the car, I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket. I thought about trying to hide it from him, but he’d figure it out anyway. He didn’t say anything until after I’d hit send and we were already soaring down the road.
“Who did you text?” Peter asked, his voice devoid of emotion.
“Jack and Mae.”
“What did it say?”
“That I was with you and we were on the way to your house,” I said honestly.
He nodded once, and then noncommittally, he said, “That’s probably for the best.”
I almost asked him if he planned to kill Jack, but decided that I didn’t want to know. If he said yes, there wouldn’t be any hope for this turning out okay. At least this way, I could sink down in the seat and think that maybe this is all a misunderstanding. Peter obviously didn’t have any intention of hurting me. In fact, he’d been kinder to me than he ever had been before.
Then again, maybe that was a rouse. As the old saying goes, he’d catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
- 27 -
When the Audi pulled into the garage, I noticed with some relief that the Lamborghini was gone. Meaning Jack probably wasn’t here. I had no idea where he might be, but as long as he wasn’t here, that was fine by me.