“Oh, come on, Peter!” Gunnar groaned. “I didn’t spare the girl so we could have a staring contest.”
“I’m sorry to disappoint you,” Peter said dryly.
Peter stood on the altar steps. Gunnar wanted Peter to come to him, but when he wouldn’t, he tired of waiting. He dove at Peter, more to get the fight going than to actually hurt him, and Peter deftly jumped out of the way. He leapt over the sacrament table, and as soon as he landed, he jumped up again, grabbing onto the giant cross hanging on the wall. He scrambled to climb up, using Jesus as footing, and Gunnar just stared at him.
“Really, Peter? Are you that much of a coward?” Gunnar looked dubiously at him, and I was wondering the same thing. “I had expected so much more than this.”
Gunnar had his back to us, so I took a step forward, planning to attack him, but Leif put his hand on my arm. I looked at him, and he mouthed “not yet.” Apparently, he had a better understanding of Peter’s plan than I did.
Peter climbed higher up the cross, and to my confusion, he started pulling at the bolts that held it to the wall. He started on the right arm of the cross, and then when they were free, he moved onto the top.
“What are you doing?” Gunnar asked. “Is this some kind of suicide attempt?”
“Something like that,” Peter said and climbed to start loosening the left arm.
“I can slaughter the girl right now, if you like,” Gunnar offered.
Peter glanced back at me, but he didn’t stop trying to free the bolts. The cross started to sway and groan, but he kept pulling at it. Once he got broke the bolt from the arm, there was nothing attaching it to the wall except for the bolts at the foot of the cross. Peter hung onto the arm, with his feet pressed against the wall and started to push off.
Because the cross was still connected at the bottom, it should’ve just swung down, moving like the hands of a clock until it hung upside down, with top resting on the floor at the 9 o'clock position. But Peter pushed hard against the wall, forcing it swing down and away from the wall. The cross groaned and as it swung down and out, like a crazed pendulum.
Gunnar took a step back, so Leif growled and jumped towards him. He didn’t actually attack him, but Gunnar stepped closer to the cross again and his attention was diverted to Leif.
Peter jumped off the cross, and Gunnar turned around to see what was happening just as the top of the cross flew through his neck, cutting his head off. I shrieked as his head flew across the room, and his body collapsed a moment later. Peter barely jumped out of the way as the cross swung back, and he ran over to me and Leif.
“Gunnar!” Stellan shouted.
He paused and Olivia fired another arrow at him, but she narrowly missed. He made a play for the edge of the balcony, and Ezra tackled him before he could make it over.
While Ezra held him back, Jack jumped off the balcony. He landed on the ground and did a roll thing, that made him look much more badass than I ever knew he was. When he stood up, he was holding one of Olivia’s metal arrows in his hand, holding it pointed towards the balcony.
Out of nowhere, Stellan came to a halt next to Jack, the arrow protruding right through his chest. He had jumped down from the balcony with his eyes fixed solely on Peter, meaning to avenge Gunnar’s death, and he hadn’t been paying attention to Jack standing in the middle of the aisle. He had impaled himself on an arrow, and he sputtered, blood coming from his lips, then collapsed back on the ground.
I rushed over to Jack and threw my arms around him. He hugged me tightly, and I pressed myself to him.
Olivia jumped off the balcony and walked over to Stellan. She kicked him once with her foot, then pulled a machete out of the back of her belt. With one fell swoop, she sliced off his head, and blood splattered onto Jack and me.
“Sorry,” she smiled at me. “I just had to be sure. You don’t want any damn vampires coming back on you.”
Honestly, I didn’t even really care. I could feel Peter’s eyes on me, and he had saved my life. I wasn’t angry with him, but I didn’t love him. I loved Jack and I was thrilled to be in his arms again. I stood on my tiptoes and kissed Jack softly.
“What the hell happened?” Bobby shouted.
Jack laughed, pulling away from the kiss. I didn’t mind, though, because I loved hearing him laugh. Apparently, Bobby had just woken up, and he was surveying the carnage in the church.
“Hey. That guy tried to kill me! Why is he here?” Bobby pointed to Leif, and Milo tried telling him that Leif was our friend now. The answer seemed to satisfy him, but he still looked confused. “Where is Jane?”
- 36 -
After scouring the cathedral, Milo stepped out the front doors, and that’s what we had needed to do all long. Jane was lying on the front steps. She was shivering and completely out of it but still alive.
The park across the street was swarming with cops and ambulances, thanks to the mangled body the lycan had left there. Milo had on a zippered hoodie over a tee shirt, so he took it off and laid it on top of Jane. He made an anonymous 911 call saying there was an injured girl on the front steps of the church.
This time, I thought the best solution for her was staying away from vampires. She needed more help than we could give her.
After that, we left in a hurry. Olivia went back to her place, and Leif disappeared into the night. I’m not sure where he’d go, but he assured me he’d be alright and he’d see me again. Peter had driven his Audi, and Milo and Bobby volunteered to go with him. It was only a two-seater, but Bobby didn’t mind sitting on Milo’s lap.
Since Jack had taken the Lexus, Ezra had been forced to take the Lamborghini, which he generally thought to be too flashy to drive around. Jack sat shotgun, and I curled up on his lap, resting my head against his chest.
On the ride home, I realized that the cathedral had constant staffing. Ezra explained that when he’d arrived, he’d charmed them into leaving. With his charisma and good looks, he could convince humans of anything. I suspected there might be vampire glamour along with that, but I didn’t ask.
“Oh my god, it’s never felt so good to be home,” I sighed when we walked into the house. Jack grinned at me, squeezing my hand. The night had felt longer than any other one before. I just wanted to go up to bed with him.
“Tomorrow is going to be another long day,” Ezra said, following us in. “I’ll have to spend all day trying to convince the police we had nothing to do with this.” Ezra went over to the fridge and got a bag of blood out of the bottom of the drawer of the fridge. All the blood used to be kept in the basement, but Milo and I were pretty lazy.