“Why would they even think we were involved?” I asked. I had my back to Jack, and he wrapped his arms around my shoulders. I leaned back against him, and he kissed the top of my head.
“Because the Lexus is still there.” Ezra opened the bag of blood and took a long drink. “I’ll have to get it from the impound. I just hope that I have chance to sleep before they come looking for us.” His expression changed, growing perplexed. “That’s funny. I saw Mae’s car in the garage. I thought she’d be wondering where we all were.”
“Maybe she’s in bed,” I shrugged. The sky had already started to lighten slightly already.
“Maybe,” Ezra didn’t look convinced. He finished his blood quickly, then cocked his head. I listened, but I couldn’t hear anything. Not even Mae, but the night had left me exhausted so all my senses were dimmed.
I heard the garage door open, and a few seconds later, Peter walked into the kitchen, rubbing his eyes. Milo and Bobby followed right behind him, and thanks to that nice, long nap Bobby had, he didn’t seem to feel any of the weariness the rest of us did. He was following right on Peter’s heels, asking him a million questions.
“So you cut off his head using a cross?” Bobby was completely wide-eyed. “I’m Jewish, and even I think that’s pretty damn awesome!”
Bobby noticed me in the room, and he gave me a weird look. It wasn’t adoration, exactly, but I returned some of the sentiment. It made Milo bristle and put his arm possessively around Bobby.
“I just need to take a hot shower, and be done with this night,” Peter grumbled and walked out of the kitchen. He hadn’t looked at me or Jack since everything had ended, and I wondered if he ever would again. I had nearly been killed tonight because of how much he loved me, but then again, that wasn’t the first time.
“Me, too,” Milo said. He looped his arm around Bobby’s waist to start leading him out of the kitchen, but Bobby stopped and looked confused. “What?”
“Where’s the dog?” Bobby asked. “She’s always knocking me over when we get home.”
“Where is the dog?” I echoed, and Jack tensed up. She always greeted Jack after he’d been away. I couldn’t keep her away from him.
“Matilda?” Jack called her and stepped away from me. “Mattie? Where are you, good girl?”
Matilda barked loudly, and it was coming from Mae and Ezra’s room. She scratched at the door, and Jack and Ezra exchanged a look. Mae shushed her, and she opened the bedroom door, letting Matilda come charging down at us, and Mae immediately shut the door.
“That was weird,” I said. Jack had bent down to start praising Matilda, but he looked just as surprised as the rest of us.
“Something’s going on,” Ezra said, more to himself than us. He tossed his empty blood bag in the garbage can and walked down to his room. “Mae?” He started to open the door, and she pushed it shut. “Mae? What is going on?”
“Nothing!” Mae shouted. “Go away!”
“Mae, open the door now, or I’ll open it for you,” Ezra said. When he talked like that, his voice was one of the most intimidating sounds I’d ever heard.
Slowly, the bedroom door opened, and Ezra stepped inside. There was complete silence, and Bobby took a step forward, trying to get a better look. Milo stopped him from going farther.
I looked up at Jack to see if he had any insight, but he just shook his head. We all waited expectantly, but Ezra never said anything. A minute later, he just turned and stormed out of the room.
“Get that out of my house!” Ezra growled walking away.
“She’s not a that!” Mae ran after him, almost pleading. “And we can’t travel right now! Not when she’s like this.”
“I don’t care!” Ezra roared, and he wouldn’t even look at her. “I want her out!”
“We just need two, three more days tops, and then we’ll be out of your hair forever!” Mae insisted desperately. He had his back to her, seething. “Ezra, please! If you love me, you can give me three more days! Please!”
“Fine,” Ezra said grudgingly. “But if you stay one day longer, I’ll take care of her myself.” He walked back towards the garage. “I’m going to the station now to deal with car. Don’t wait up.”
“What happened to you?” Mae gasped, noticing us for the first time. We were all tattered and bloody, and Bobby had scratches and bruises.
Milo started explaining the night to her, but I brushed past him. I thought I knew what was in her room, but I had to see it for myself. Mae tried to pay attention to Milo, but I felt her watching me as I walked by. I pushed open her bedroom door, and it was exactly what I thought.
In the soft mass of Mae’s bed, a small girl twitched. Her blond curls were sticking to the sweat on her forehead. She was pale and sick, but she was still adorable. She looked like a pint-sized version of Mae, with cherub cheeks.
She was still in the first phases of the turn, and the worst of it hadn’t hit her yet. Matilda ran past me and jumped onto the bed next to her, licking the little girl’s clammy face. She smiled a little at that, and Matilda settled down next to her.
“She really likes Matilda,” Mae said from behind me. She walked over to the child. Jack stood behind me, taking the whole thing in, but he didn’t say anything. “I’d like you to all meet my great-granddaughter, Daisy. I’m going to be taking care of her now.”
“Oh, Mae,” I looked at her sadly.
“No, don’t do that,” Mae shook her head. She sat down on the bed next to the girl, pushing her hair back from her forehead. “I did the right thing, and I know I did. I had to save her. After Jane left, I realized I wasn’t upset about her. I had to save Daisy.”
“Well, Jane is fine, by the way,” I sighed. “But… you did what you had to do.”
“I did. Isn’t she precious?” She looked adoringly at the child, and I could see that there had really never been any choice for her. Even if she had to give up Ezra and everyone else, that child meant so much more to her.
“You’re not taking my dog,” Jack said finally. “Come on, Matilda.” Reluctantly, Matilda jumped off the bed and followed him out of the room.
“So you’re leaving?” I asked.
“It seems that way,” Mae said wearily. “I thought Ezra might change his mind when he saw her, but… It’s alright, though. I already have a plan.”