There’s a lot of violence mentioned in this chapter
The guards showed up about five minutes after Romance disappeared. They were screaming and yelling and cussing, storming up and down the halls while threatening those of us remaining to tell them what happened. Nobody spoke.
One guard opened our cell and waved a rifle-looking weapon at me and Sam. “Where did the other two go? Tell me, tell me now! What happened! Tell us!” We didn’t answer. I tried not to shake in fear. He didn’t shoot us and instead left, slamming the cell door shut behind him.
Sam and I huddled near one another, sitting on the floor, waiting for the next thing to happen. It didn’t take long. Soon guards showed up again to wrench us out of our cells and march us down the corridor. A few others were being pushed around and I could see near the end of the hall they were being put in new cells. Sure enough, Sam and I were put in a new cell as well; with us were Booker and Casimir.
Sam and I greeted Booker happily, taking turns with hugs. Booker’s arms were shaking and he had dried blood smeared along his throat, but otherwise he seemed okay.
“They slit our throats,” he said when I asked about the blood. “All of us vampires. They called us bloodsuckers, told us to ‘suck on this’, and just…” He reached up and drew his thumb across the line of dried blood.
I turned towards Casimir now. He didn’t have a shirt on and I remembered that he had been shot. “Yeah,” he growled when I asked about it. “They shot me. They also clubbed me in the head when they first dragged me out of my room since I fought.” A nasty smile spread across his face. “I scratched one of them up pretty nice. ‘Bout pissed himself thinking he’d turn into a werewolf.”
There were less than half of us left captured. The witches, wizards, faeries, and pixies made up quite a lot of students. Werewolves and vampires made up most of the remaining group with a few others sprinkled in. I hoped the others were able to get far, far away. Especially the kittens. I mean, the magic-users were able to just exchange themselves with something while the winged ones were able to turn into small bits of light and fly out. The kittens had to actually make their way to some sort of exit. Were they okay? Would Clifford be okay?
Casimir began pacing back and forth, glowering at the bars. Occasionally he growled and jerked forward as if he might try to just bust the bars down, but then he’d withdraw. I couldn’t tell visually whether the bars were silver or not. I knew silver in small amounts weren’t really ‘deadly’. Generally silver just reacted with werewolves to prevent them from healing. So it wasn’t really a silver bullet that would kill them. The silver just meant the body couldn’t heal the bullet wound. Maybe the bars had something else in them to cause the burning reaction?
“Next time one of them opens the door, I’m going to murder’m,” Casimir grumbled, finally settling back down. I wondered vaguely how long until a full moon and if Casimir had control in his wolf form.
However when the cell door opened, Casimir remained where he stood. Probably because one of the people standing before us held a very large, very silver-looking sword. Another one held an automatic rifle. The third held a clipboard. She cleared her throat and lifted a pen. “I need your names. You first.” She pointed the pen at Casimir.
Casimir cocked his head to one side. “Fuck. You.”
She sighed. “Your name.”
“Fine.” She wrote that down then looked at Booker. “You.”
Booker frowned then said, “Helpless child victim.”
“Oh for Watcher’s sake. Your name.”
“Helpless child victim.”
She clenched her teeth and wrote on the clipboard. Now she turned to Sam who promptly held up his middle finger. Instead of demanding he tell her she just wrote something down and looked at me. I spit at her feet.
“Feral monsters, the lot of you,” she muttered. “Now, monster title? As in, what kind of monster are you?” She looked at Casimir.
He smiled. “Fuck. You.”
Booker shrugged. “Helpless child victim.”
Sam held up two middle fingers and I hawked a bigger wad at her feet. She snapped the clipboard to her chest and swept out of the cell. The two with weapons gave us dirty looks before following her, locking the cell behind.
More time passed by. The guards were patrolling a lot more often, maybe every ten minutes. After they went by about four times I turned to Booker and asked if he felt okay after his blood loss.
“I’ll be fine,” he answered with a yawn.
“I’ve been thinking. The blood makes you stronger, right? I mean you can survive without drinking blood but eventually you’ll end up… weak?”
Booker shrugged. “Crazed is a better term. We lose ourselves. Hunger drives us. It’s hard to focus on anything but trying to feed, or so I’ve been told. I–I’ve never gone hungry before, and I’ve never seen anyone hungry. Weak? Yes, we do get weaker. I’ve heard stories about vampires locked up without food for decades and being found unable to even sit up.”
“So where you are right now, it’s still easy for you to fight if you need to?”
Now he looked horrified. “Um. I’ve never been much of a fighter. I think I’d need to be full strength to do much of anything. Why? You think we should fight?”
“When we’re rescued,” I said with a lowered voice, “we might need to help fight. What–well the thing is, Sam can freaking fight, I’ve seen him. Casimir obviously can fight. So I just wondered if you could.”
“Not very well.”
“But at full strength?”
“Yeah, I mean, blood gives us strength. Even if I don’t know how to fight I could still pick a grown man up and toss him. I’d be faster too.”
Casimir snorted at that. “You’re the laziest person I’ve seen in my life. A sloth is faster than you.”
Booker scowled. “I can be fast if I want to. I’d beat you in a race right now if I felt like it.”
“The thing is!” I said loudly, not wanting them to argue. “The thing, really, is I can’t fight. I don’t know how to. I never really learned. I’m not very strong either. I couldn’t do jack if we had to fight. So, uh, do you want some of my blood? So you’d be stronger?” Booker stared at me. So did Sam and Casimir. I ducked my head and felt weird now. “I don’t want to cross some line. I just want us to have the best chance we can.”
“You want a vampire to suck your life out of you,” said Casimir.
“No. Just some blood to make him stronger. To give all of us a better chance. I mean, if–if you don’t want to, that’s fine, it’s not that I’m trying to demand you fight. It’s just if things turn out that we do need to fight, you’ve got a better likelihood of taking someone down than I do.”
Booker stepped closer, tapping his chin with one long finger. “You certain? It’s, uh, a pretty big thing to offer your blood to a vampire.”
“Um. I–does it mean we have some sort of eternal bond or…? What kind of ‘big thing’ are you talking about?”
“It’ll itch like crazy for a long time. It’s… it can feel…” Booker squinted as he tried to figure out the best term. “Intimate. Sexual.” Casimir bust up laughing but we ignored him. “It might not, it’s just–usually. Especially if you’re a willing, er, victim. From what I’ve been told. I’ve never actually bitten anyone. I’ve had bottled blood pretty much my whole life.”
“Look, all I care about is whether it’ll give us an edge if we need to fight. Yes or no.”
Booker just stared again and finally sighed, giving a small nod. “Yes.”
“Then go for it.”
Before anything could happen the guards walked by again so we just all stood there and glared. Once the halls were empty Booker and I went to the corner of our cell. I stood with my back towards the bars and Booker huddled close to me.
“You’re certain?” he asked again, his hands lightly touching my arms as he pulled me in close. I could feel his breath against my neck.
“I’ll be able to taste if you are.”
Booker laughed. “Vampire joke. Okay. Here we go.” He brought my wrist up to his mouth and after sniffing for a second he opened his mouth and carefully pressed his fangs against my skin. He adjusted his bite position a couple times before he sank his fangs in. I felt a sharp piercing pain which dissolved into a sort of itchy pleasure. Actually a lot of pleasure. Oh Watcher hell this felt good this felt so good oh my gosh. I did my best not to moan out as Booker sucked at my wrist but I couldn’t stop the sound from coming out. A distant part of me could feel the blood draining out, could feel my life draining out. But it felt so good I didn’t care.
After what seemed to me to be an eternity Booker slid his fangs out and I nearly fell over as his tongue caressed the bite. He kept a good grip on my arm. His eyes were brighter than ever before and his skin flushed a deep, intense hue. Slowly he licked the drops of blood dribbling down his chin. Our eyes locked on to one another. For several long heartbeats I just couldn’t look away.
“Okay if you two are done being gay over there?” Casimir demanded.
Booker moved faster than I could blink. He held Casimir up easily, similar to the way Sam had been able to hold the bully up in the air over summer. Casimir dangled from Booker’s grip, looking a bit terrified. “I could break all your bones,” Booker said in an eerie voice. He let go, allowing Casimir to drop heavily to the floor. “I feel… so… alive…”
I, however, felt sick. The pleasure had drained away pretty quickly (though I still had a bit of.. well… yeah it had physically turned me on) and now all I could feel was dizziness and a strange empty feeling. I sank back against the wall, breathing heavily. Sam came over and helped me down into a comfortable sitting position on the floor.
Booker began pacing around, similar to how Casmir did earlier. I glanced up and saw that Booker’s muscles were tense, practically straining as he moved. “It feels incredible, it feels so different, I need to do something, I have to get out of here.” He stopped, eyes focused on the bars. “I probably could just tear those down.” His lips were curled back to reveal his fangs which were longer and sharper than normal. He looked absolutely terrifying, to be honest. This is what humans were afraid of.
If we’re not rescued today I wonder if we’ll have to do this again tomorrow, I wondered as I rubbed the faint marks on my wrist. The bite had healed already thanks to the vampire saliva. Would I be able to do this again? I realized I hadn’t eaten anything in ages. Don’t feel good. I curled up in a ball and soon fell asleep.
Sam woke me up when the guards threw food in. Bread, that’s all. Just a large hunk of bread. We were also given cups of water. However the food and water seemed to be just enough for me and Sam. Booker didn’t want anything though Casimir demanded we share with him. We broke the bread up into three small sections and I devoured my piece. It barely satisfied my hunger. While I ate I felt acutely aware of Booker just watching me. “Feeling better?” he finally asked.
“Not really,” I admitted. “How do you fe–“
I nodded, finished my bit of water, then went back to sleep.
I had nightmares. Not visions, just regular nightmares. Of the guard digging the gun into my cheek. Sometimes I heard a gun going off. Once I saw Romance being shot but instead of blood flowing out of her, flowers blossomed out of the wound. Finally for one horrible moment glowing eyes stalked me and just as Booker darted out of the darkness I woke up with a start, panting heavily, feeling worse than ever.
My head ached for most the rest of the day and my wrist grew even itchier. Sam kept trying to keep me from scratching but by the time we got our second loaf of bread my wrist had gone red and swollen from all my scratching. I still felt empty. And tired. Very tired. I began drifting in and out of sleep throughout the evening, beginning to feel that we would never be rescued. I wasn’t the only one with that fear.
“They’re not coming back,” Casimir stated. “They’ve left us to rot.”
“They’ll rescue us,” Sam said. “They’re just gathering reinforcements.”
“No. They’re not.” Casimir folded his arms. “Who the fuck would risk their lives for us? If I got out of here, I wouldn’t come back. It’s all fucking fine and dandy to say one thing before getting out of here but nobody is coming back for us.”
“My cousins wouldn’t abandon me,” I snapped. “Eli and Blake wouldn’t either.”
“Newsflash, asshole!! They’re not your cousins!” Casimir yelled. “They’re cats. Cats don’t give a damn about anyone. Eli and Blake? They don’t care either. You wouldn’t come back if you got out!”
“No you wouldn’t! Nobody would! Nobody is that stupid! Who the hell would ever sacrifice themself for others?! Only idiots, only assholes, and even though everyone in the school is an idiotic asshole they’re not suicidal!”
I stood up, swaying slightly. “There are good people, brave people–“
Casimir laughed in my face. “Damn, boy, you’re living in a fantasy world.”
“NEWSFLASH ASSHOLE YOU’RE A FUCKING WEREWOLF WHAT’S NOT FANTASY ABOUT THAT?!”
Casimir looked surprised at my outburst. I straightened up, taking in a deep breath, trying to control the dizziness. “Maybe I’m being too trusting or naive or stupid but I believe there are good people who will come and save us, because there are! There always have been! There always will be! There are evil bastards who try to burn the world down but there are very good, brave, noble people who are willing to sacrifice their very lives to save the world and don’t you ever fucking tell me otherwise! My father fucking DIED to save your stupid dumb ass, he died to save all of us, and I won’t stand here and have you badmouth people like him!”
Nobody spoke for several seconds. Casimir just goggled, Sam nodded in agreement, and Booker put his hand over his mouth.
Then from one of the other cells, “Your father was Zaid Danevbie?”
I blinked and backed up a bit as the anger faded. Up and down the halls I could hear Zaid’s name being spoken in conjunction with mine. Casimir went to sulk in the corner. I slid down to the ground since what little energy I had had was now spent.
Just before I fell back asleep I heard someone say, “Nobody’s gonna let Zaid’s kid die here. We’ll be rescued.”
Rescue did come for us. I had no idea what time of the night it was. Sam and I had both been asleep when a commotion woke us up. We looked out as the guards ran up and down the hall. Orders were being shouted.
“Cut them loose, it’s not worth it!” someone shouted. “Just get the ones he wants, leave the others, kill if you have to.”
I backed up as someone opened our cell door. “You!” she pointed a gun at me. “Come with me!”
“He’s not going anywhere!” Sam stood in front of me.
Booker pounced. He flew through the air like a blur and slammed into the woman. She screamed loudly and two shots rang out. I ducked as the bullets hit the ceiling. Booker let out a horrific, nightmare-inducing sound. Casimir sprinted out the open door and was promptly shot in the face by another guard. This guard sprayed Booker with bullets, sending him falling against the back wall. I screamed.
“You.” He pointed the gun at me, like the woman had; she lay still on the floor, blood oozing out of claw marks. “Come with me.”
Sam once again tried to defend me. Time slowed down as the guard swung his gun around. Sam wasn’t a werewolf, he wasn’t a vampire. I yelled and tried to lurch forward but the gun went off and Sam was sent backwards, slamming against Booker.
“NOOOOOOOOOO!” I screamed, fighting as the guard grabbed me. “SAM! SAAAAM!” I struggled, reaching for my friend. He clutched a gaping wound in his middle, staring at me with confused eyes. “SAM! SAM! SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!”
The world spun around me as I was carried out. The guard holding me began running. I was slumped over his shoulder, still staring back at the open cell door. There were other guards running around, opening some of the cells. Not all of them. I heard more gunshots. People screaming. It sounded far away though, in another room, in another universe.
Casimir would be fine. Booker would be fine. They were immortals. Their bodies healed themselves. Elves were sort of immortal. They lived a long time but they could be killed. From gunshot wounds. Blood everywhere.
His confused eyes. Staring at me.