I looked over the banister, staring down the hole in the center of the stairs. The bottom floor plummeted twenty stories below me, but I couldn’t wait.
I propelled myself over the railing, and my feet slammed into the concrete. One of my ankles snapped, hard. Part of the bone stuck out, so I pushed it in. I gritted my teeth to keep from screaming, and I focused on Jonathan and what he’d done. That made it much easier to forget the pain.
The back rooms of the club were an interconnected labyrinth where vampires fed. It could take me hours to find him, but it wouldn’t. I stood by the entrance of the halls and closed my eyes, concentrating on his blood. I carried his blood with me, staining my pants, and I could track his scent.
I hurried down the halls, and my ankle threatened to give out, but I forced it on. I ended up running down three different corridors before I found him.
When I pushed open the door to the room, the first thing I saw was Jonathan slumped against the wall. His jaw still looked mangled, but it was clearly healing. Blood covered his face and chest, and his heart beat loud and strong. He was full.
The girl on the bed got my attention next. Her body lay at an odd angle, her spine bent awkwardly back, and her head twisted around. Blood from her neck dripped onto the mattress, but only because gravity made it. Her blood no longer pumped through her veins. Jonathan had his fill of her, and he’d finished her off completely.
“You son of a bitch!” I roared and flew at him. I grabbed him by his jacket and picked him up, then I slammed him into the wall so hard, his skull cracked on the concrete.
“Why are you always bothering me when I eat?” Jonathan asked, his swollen mouth attempting a smirk. “You’re a very rude girl.”
“You’re going to die,” I whispered, my face right in front of his.
“You can’t save them, you know,” Jonathan said wearily. “The humans. They will all die. You’re not doing them any favors.”
I pulled him back from the wall and threw him, so he landed hard against the opposite wall. His body clattered to the floor, and he laughed. He didn’t even bother trying to pull himself up. He slumped against the wall and cackled at me, spraying blood as he did.
“Why Jane?” I asked. “Why her?”
“Because she was mine,” he growled, pausing his maniacal laughter. “She was a piece of meat. And she thought she could decide when she left, that she was done, but that’s not how this works. Humans think they can do anything they want.
“But Jane learned,” he said, his smile twisting up. “I even got her to leave that place for me. All I had to do was call her and reminder her who I was and what I did for her. By the time she came back to me, she was begging for me to bite her. The way all humans should. We’re the top of the food chain, and it’s time they learned that!”
“But they won’t,” I said and it was my turn to smile at him. “I’m going to kill you, here, tonight, and everybody will think that a human killed those girls. A stupid, weak human will get the credit for your work. No one will ever even know that you existed.”
That got him. He jumped up and charged at me, slamming me back into the wall. I kicked him off me, and my broken ankle hurt like hell. He tried to punch me, but I dodged, and his hand collided with the cement wall. I stepped back away from him, towards the bed.
“You know, I’m stronger than you think I am,” Jonathan grinned. “I’ve killed stronger bitches than you.”
“I’m sure you have,” I admitted.
The bed with the dead girl sat on an old metal frame. The legs were long and rusted, and I bent down and snapped one off with ease.
“What are you gonna do with that?” Jonathan laughed. “Poke my eye out?”
“Nope.” I held it up, showing him the broken, pointed edge.
“If you think you can stake me with that, you’re wrong,” he grinned. “That’ll snap before it goes through my ribs.”
My answer confused him, so he moved towards me. I kicked him in the chest, and he stumbled back. I rushed at him and threw him back against the wall. Pulling the metal leg back, I shoved it into his stomach, angling it up.
When I pushed it, it slid underneath his ribs. His eyes widened with surprise, but it was too late to do anything. I slammed the stake up into his heart, and he collapsed against me.
I took a step back and let him fall to the floor. His blood covered my hands, still warm and smelling of the dead girl. The pipe stuck of out his stomach, and his eyes stayed open, staring off at nothing. His hand had fallen on my foot, and I jumped back from it. He was dead, and I didn’t want his corpse touching me.
I expected instant relief and gratification from this, and while there was some, I mostly felt sick. I had just killed someone, and even if it was someone that really deserved it, I was still a murderer.
I’m not even sure how I found my way outside. I moved in a daze, and I don’t remember anything until I was walking on the sidewalk, a block away from the clubs. People were veering around me and giving me weird looks.
The cold felt wonderful, but I didn’t know where I was going, so I just stopped. I closed my eyes and let the wind blow over me. The blood on my hand thickened as it began to dry, moving more slowly as it slid down my fingertips and dripped on the concrete.
“I found her!” Bobby shouted from somewhere nearby, and within seconds, Milo was at my side.
“Oh my god, Alice.” Milo put his hands on my face, and I opened my eyes.
“I killed him.”
“Are you okay?” Milo asked, and I nodded. “Let’s get you home before you get picked up for being a crazy person.”
Milo took off his own jacket and wrapped it around me, hiding the blood that stained my clothes. Bobby jogged up to us and tried to tell me they’d been looking all over for me, but he stopped when he saw my face. Milo led me to the car.
Before I got in the car, I put one hand on it, bracing myself. Then I bent over and threw up, my strange red vomit staining the snow all around us.
I took a long shower, but my skin still felt sticky from where Jonathan’s blood had been. The water turned cold, and I finally got out and dressed slowly. When I came out of the bathroom, I found Ezra sitting on my bed.
“How are you feeling?” Ezra asked, studying me with his dark eyes.
“Fine,” I lied and ran a towel through my damp hair.
“You went against my advice,” he said.