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Eternal Bite Pt. II
Dan left that night. Loren and I were more than a little blindsided by his departure- it had been sudden and without warning.
So two nights passed without Dan. I kept as much space between Loren and myself as possible. On the third night I left to buy a knife. It was a simple knife- long and sharp with an easy-to-grip hilt. I hid it under the mattress when I got back to the hotel.
The fourth night was when we had to hunt. I slipped the knife under the folds of my clothing and followed Loren out of our room. He was wearing his trademark smirk on his face; I wasn’t exactly sure what he was smirking at this time and I found myself uncaring. Where hunger, which usually clawed at my stomach and throat, had been replaced with cold anticipation. And maybe fear. I pushed the fear away, I couldn’t risk chickening out. There was no turning back now.
It was a quarter until midnight; the moon was a small sliver in the sky, but it provided more than enough light for my vampire-ized eyes. As Loren led me through the winding streets, the fear from before resurfaced and I began to feel uneasy.
What was I thinking? There’s no way I could do this. Loren was huge, he had muscles bigger than my head! And age wasn’t exactly in my favor, he was three hundred years to my ten (nearly) months. This was suicide. It was then when I started to think of all the things I’d seen Loren do, both to me and to others. That poor girl from a few nights ago flashed once again through my head. Her eyes wide, her mouth open, her screams echoing. This was why I had to kill Loren. He was in no hurry to leave; this was the only was Dan and I could go back to the way things were- Lorenless.
Soon we stumbled upon a male human. He was on his hands and knees, vomiting under a streetlight. I could smell the alcohol which radiated off his body in waves. Loren smelled it too.
“Damn it,” he spat. “You can never find clean blood anymore.” He was referring to the bitter aftertaste that alcohol and drugs gave to the blood. And with today’s day and age, clean blood was hard to come across, especially in big cities.
Loren slid into the shadows, I trailed him, my hand wrapping around the hidden knife. He was totally focused on the puking human, just like a lion focused on its prey. He couldn’t care less about my presence.
It was now or never.
Before my courage left me, I sprung and threw myself on top of him, landing on his back. Loren let out a snarl of surprise and tried to push me off. I held on with my legs and hit him over the head with the knife’s hilt. He staggered before dropping to his knees, but not before grabbing my collar. We were locked together, punching and kicking and clawing and snarling.
Then I stabbed him.
It wasn’t in the heart- it wasn’t even close. I’d managed to stab him in the leg, right below the hip. He screamed and released me from his grip. Not heisting, I pulled the knife out (there was no sickening gooey sound that there would have been with a human. There was no blood. Vampires were dead, what use did blood provide us? Besides drinking, that is.) and stabbed him through the heart.
Or, at least, I tried. The knife had gotten caught in his ribs. I shifted my weight and heaved, and- slowly but surely- it plunged through, piercing his heart. His eyes widened and he looked down at the knife sticking out of him, like he couldn’t believe what just happened. I could hardly believe it myself. His hazel eyes locked onto mine, his look a mix between shock and pure fury. My skin crawled but I did not look away. He fell back and made small gagging noises before finally going still.
I sat there, dumbfounded. I just killed a 300-year-old vampire.
“Oh my God,” the human had stopped vomiting and was now on his feet, staring wide-eyed at me. Of course he was, he thought he just witnessed a murder. He- even though he was in his intoxicated state- took off running, feet flying.
I turned my attention back to Loren’s body and gulped. This was the part of the plan I hadn’t given much thought too. How to dispose of the body? I guess I hadn’t thought I’d actually be able to get this far. But I knew I couldn’t just leave it here. He looked like he was sleeping, and I kept expecting him to jump up and grab me.
I stood and grabbed his feet, dragging him off into the shadows of a nearby ally. It took some time- he had been heavy while alive and now his dead weight was almost immovable. I buried his body under heaps of filled trash bags. Someone would definitely find it, but I didn’t worry about that. I whipped my hands on my jeans and ran back to the hotel, completely forgetting to feed.
Dan will be so happy! I found myself sitting on the couch, staring at the TV screen without seeing it. I think Tyra Banks was about to reveal the newest America’s Next Top Model or something. My thoughts were reeling. Loren was gone. For forever! I was finally free of that b******.
Despite my enthusiasm for my deed, I suddenly realized something. I was alone. Dan wouldn’t be back for days, maybe not even that soon. I hadn’t been alone since I became a vampire. Not even once. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had no one to talk to, and with a sinkingly unpleasant feeling I realized that Dan was my only friend. Scratch that- Dan was the only person I knew at all. Period.
And I needed him here.
Dan’s words echoed in my ears; “When you’re connected with someone for that long, you can communicate.” I didn’t know if it would work, but I had to try something. I couldn’t stay here alone for days.
Closing my eyes, I focused on Dan, picturing him in my mind. I saw his dark brown hair and his chocolate eyes, his crooked smile and is interestingly-shaped nose, which would have looked ridiculous on anyone else but was rather dashing on him. I drew in a breath, and screamed his name in my head. …Did it work? I wasn’t sure. The only thing I could do was wait and see.
I passed the time flipping aimlessly through the TV channels, not bothering to pay much attention. There wasn’t much on at three in the morning, anyway.
Soon the sun rose and I started messing with a deck of cards I found sitting on a table, but the only game I remembered to play was Go Fish, and I couldn’t really play that myself.
By that evening I was in a state of numbness. I lied on the couch, drifting in and out of sleep. When I was awake, I stared at the ceiling until unconsciousness claimed me once again.
It was three pm on the second day of waiting when there was a knock at the door. I had ordered room service- steak; rare- to tide over the itching hunger, but it had already come and gone. I opened the door and gasped aloud.
Dan was standing just outside the doorway, and he didn’t look good. His dark hair was sticking up at odd angles, his eyes were red, bloodshot, and filled with worry. But what I noticed most was his skin. He was drenched with sweat and his normal vampire-white skin had a deep pink tint. He had been out in the sun for a very long time.
“Kristy,” he grabbed me and pushed me back into the suite.
“You got my call?” I asked him. How cool was that?
“Yes,” his eyes were intense. “It sounded important.”
He narrowed his eyes. “What did you do?” He was taking this all in stride, while I was still stunned that I managed to contact him in the first place.
I felt a smile creep onto my face. “I killed Loren.”
Silence followed my words. Dan was uncomprehendingly staring at me, as though he didn’t hear me.
His voice was small when he finally spoke. “What?” His eyes were unmoving from mine.
Unable to keep my excitement contained any longer, I gushed out everything. The hunt, the fight, the kill. When I finished, Dan turned away so his back was facing me.
“Dan?” he didn’t move. I tried again, “Um, are you ok?”
He turned back around slowly. He looked p***ed. “Do you have any idea what you just did?” his words came out like gravel, and I could see that he was fighting to keep his voice even.
I flinched. I had never seen him this way. “I-I thought you’d be happy.”
“Happy? Do you seriously think you- a newborn- killed a three-hundred year-old vampire?” He wasn’t exactly yelling, but his voice had definitely increased in volume.
“No you didn’t! Don’t you understand?” from the blank look on my face, he decided I did not. “You didn’t kill him! You can’t stab a vampire to death! You have to burn them! Set them on fire! Or at least decapitate them!”
I stood, frozen and dumbfounded. “But…he’s dead.”
“Jesus, Kristen!” He ran his hand though his hair, like he frequently did when he was frustrated, and began pacing around the room. “He faked it! He lied there and played dead while you stabbed him! Vampires get stabbed all the time. We lose limbs all the time!” He pulled up his sleeve and revealed a scar that completely circled his arm just below the elbow. I wondered why I had never noticed it before. “Stab wounds heal in minutes. Limbs grow back in hours- aside from the head. You didn’t kill him.”
Realization washed over me. Loren wasn’t dead. He had lied there, completely motionless, while I stabbed him over and over.
“Why?” I asked. “Why did he do it? He could have fought back. He could have killed me then and there but he didn’t. He didn’t even try to defend himself.”
“I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what I do know- we have to find him.”
We left as soon as the sun set. Dan had already spent hours in the sun, and that had taken a toll on him. I led him to where I had hid Loren’s body.
“It’s right over-” the words died on my tongue. All that remained was the trash bags, ripped and torn to shreds.
Loren was gone.
We were running. Or rather, Dan was- I was on his back. When we started out, I had run alongside him. But soon into the trek, he had declared I was only slowing us down, so up I went. Piggyback style.
After we had discovered Loren’s absence, Dan decided that we had to leave.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“Away from here,” he said simply. As if that were any surprise. We were moving at speeds I never realized existed, so fast that we were invisible to human eyes.
“What happened to Loren?” I asked.
“If I had to bet on it, I’d say that he’s looking for us.”
Of course he was. I had tried to kill him, it was common sense that he would want revenge.
We went the rest of the way in silence. I felt horrible. How could I have been so stupid? I’d blindly assumed how to kill Loren based on old folk tales and I’d screwed up big time. This was serious. Because of me, there was a p***ed off vampire more than likely hunting us down. I was stupid, I was so stupid!
Dan ran until sunrise. He let me off his back and checked us into a Holiday Inn somewhere in Kentucky. He wouldn’t even look at me.
“I’m sorry,” I murmured. We were in our small room. The silence was overpowering, and I had to break it. He said nothing. Not wanting the silence to return, I started rambling. “I have no idea what I was thinking. I just wanted it to be like it was before him. Just you and me.”
“I was stupid. I was stupid, and ignorant, and I thought I was invincible or something. This is all on me. You must hate me. I hate me.”
I sighed and sat on the edge of one of the two beds, giving up trying to defeat the silence which now seemed inevitable.
“I don’t hate you.” I turned and looked over at Dan. His eyes were gentile and looked into mine. “I’m just…p***ed.”
“At myself,” he corrected softly.
“That’s stupid. You didn’t do anything.” I argued.
“Exactly my point. I never told you how vampires are killed. Not once. Of course, I never expected you to go off and pull a stunt like this.” A shadow of a smile flashed across his lips.
He got up and joined me on the bed. I leaned against him and his arms instantly wrapped around me.
“Everything’s going to be fine. We just have to lie low for a while. Don’t beat yourself up about this.” He sounded sincere enough, but I couldn’t help but feel that he blamed me. And why wouldn’t he? I’d messed up. Big time.
I had to change the subject. “What did you’re creator want?”
“I don’t know. I never got to him.”
“What?” I pulled back just enough to look him in the eyes. “Did I call you before you could-”
“Yes,” he interrupted.
His answer was painfully blunt and I almost winced. “Are you mad?”
Surprisingly, he laughed. “Kristy, why are you so afraid of me being mad at you?”
I took silent comfort in the fact that he had called me Kristy.
He continued. “I’m not mad.” He paused, and then added, “Leo is.”
Leo. Dan’s creator. Of course.
I turned away from him and looked out the small square window. The morning sun was shining brightly. We had hours to kill, we’d be leaving at soon as the sun set. Dan lied back on the bed and I snuggled close to him and shut my eyes, giving into my exhaustion.
A crash jerked me awake. Two dark figured were standing above Dan and me. In my peripheral vision I saw that the window was shattered, blue evening light seeped through it.
“What the hell,” Dan shot up just as the figures lunged at us.
One of them landed on me and pinned me down on the bed. Snarling, I tried to push him off, but he was a great deal bigger than me. He was huge. But I should have been able to overpower even the biggest human.
“Oh my God,” The figures were vampires. New vampires. As in, hours-old vampires. Wild and uncontrollable. This newborn was holding me down with nothing but brute force. But even brute force was fightable.
I kicked and kneed my attacker, and a loud “oof!” he released told me I had met my target. His grip loosened and I managed to wiggle away.
Dan and the other vampire- who looked just as large as the first- were locked in combat. Cold iron hands locked around me, my attacker had recovered from my kick. Before I could react, I was thrown against the wall. My head cracked against the wall and I crumpled to the ground, black spots clouding and distorting my vision. The room was still spinning when he grabbed me again, twisting my arms painfully behind me. I couldn’t move. I could hear Dan fighting the other vampire across the room as I tried to blink away the spots dancing in my head.
“Well, well, well. Look how the tables have turned.”
I froze. My stomach flipped and I struggled to keep from throwing up. I knew that voice.
He was standing casually against the far wall, as if admiring the view. Though his posture was passive, his hazel eyes were alive with fury. Dan was standing over the decapitated body of the other vampire, but now all of his attention was focused on Loren.
I had expected the two of them to banter, to exchange witty insults before fighting, like in the movies. Instead, they cut straight to the fighting part. If Dan was surprised by Loren’s sudden appearance, he didn’t show it. He didn’t even seem to be hesitant about fighting an older vampire. They fought. Swift kicks and punches flew. Meanwhile, I fought to break free from my captor’s grip.
The next series of events happened in just a few mere seconds, but I saw them in slow motion. A sickening, wrenching sound made me yelp. I looked up and saw Dan stumble and fall to the floor. Loren was standing above him, holding both of Dan’s arms in his hands, a cold smile spread from ear to ear. Dan wasn’t screaming, but his eyes were round with shock. Calmly, Loren tossed Dan’s arms behind him and grabbed the sides of his head, almost caressing them. He made eye contact as he did this. The ends of his lips twisted back into a menacing smile.
“You stupid b****,” he growled.
Then he twisted.
Dan’s neck broke.
Dan’s head came off.
A horrible sound filled the room, and it took me a few seconds to realize it was my scream.
And Loren still smiled.
Seeing that smile caused something inside me to snap. I somehow shook off the newborn. I grabbed his head and slammed it against the wall, knocking him out cold. I lunged at Loren preparing to give the fight of my life. So it was almost anticlimactic when Loren simply reached out and hit me, flinging me onto the floor painfully close to Dan.
The next thing I knew, there was a knife at my throat. I don’t know where Loren had produced the blade from, but there it was, pressing painfully against my throat.
“I could kill you right here, right now.” He hissed. His face was inches from mine. “It would be easy, like snapping a twig. But,” he paused and lowered his mouth to my throat, kissing it. I shuddered at his touch and tried to move away, but that just caused the blade to cut my neck. He finally continued. “I think it would be much more interesting if you lived.”
Then he was gone.
My head was pounding and my ears were ringing from a horrible, shrill sound. I realized once again that it was my screams. Wordless, animal screams racked my body. I couldn’t look at Dan.
Dan was dead. Dan was dead. Dan couldn’t be dead.
But he was.
All I knew then was that I had to get the hell out of there. I was vaguely aware that the newborn that had attacked me was lying where he had fallen, unconscious but not dead. I didn’t bother with him- he’d be dead soon enough without a mentor, and I doubted Loren would come back for him. I caught a glimpse of myself in a cracked mirror; it must have shattered during the fighting. I looked like hell. It was unlikely that no one had heard all of this go down, and my suspicions were confirmed with several quick knocks at the door and the words “Open up, it’s security! What’s going on in there?”
The door wasn’t an option, so I had to take an alternate route. When the vampires had attacked us, they had shattered most of the window, so I was spared from the pain of glass shards, but the impact of the drop jarred me as I landed and I fell to my hands and knees. A human would have had several broken bones after a drop from that height.
Not caring about anyone having seen me, I ducked around the hotel and ran.
Dan was dead.
I blinked back the tears that stung my eyes. I wouldn’t cry.
But Dan was dead.
I swallowed hard.
It was my fault.
I had to avenge him.
I was suddenly aware that I hadn’t fed in many nights now, and precious darkness was ticking away. Without Dan, I was utterly alone. I had no mentor, no direction in this world. I didn’t know where to go, what to do. But I was absolutely certain of one thing.
I was going to hunt down and murder Loren.
I weaved my way through pedestrians, eyes peeled for a victim. I didn’t know how long it would take to find Loren, but staying strong seemed like a good way to start.