I’m with the FBI…
I’m with the FBI…
The sight of her not just being fed on but damn near to being raped ate at me. Haunted me as badly as I’d been haunted the night I’d risen vampire and realized I’d become a monster.
I’d been too enraged seeing that fuck on top of her for her words to sink in until he was nothing but ash. The survivalist inside of me told me to let her die.
Or finish her off myself.
Learning of her betrayal struck at my core. I’d managed to survive in a harsh world for over a thousand years and yet in the span of mere minutes of meeting her, she had unraveled me. Flicked away every safeguard I’d put into place with nothing more than a bat of her eyelash. My mind quickly flipped through each and every interaction we’d had together, all but taunting me over my previous thoughts of making her mine.
She wasn’t mine.
She wasn’t even my employee.
She was an agent of the government sent to spy on me, for whatever reason. It didn’t matter why. It only mattered that I had allowed it to happen.
My failure was right there on par with her deception.
Seeing her lying there covered in blood, the scent of it calling to the predator in me, I’d moved closer to her still not sure of what my next actions would be when I was suddenly flooded with warmth.
Her warmth at seeing me.
Her fear disappeared with affection taking its place. Even as her hand gingerly reached up with her finger tracing along the evidence of my true nature, her faith in me was nearly overwhelming.
She felt safe with me. Fangs and all. She even made a joke.
And I hated her for it.
Because without her betrayal, without her true purpose for being with me, it only proved she would have been perfect for me.
In the few short seconds I stared down at her, she was already growing paler. Colder from the blood loss. Her heart rate was steady but growing weaker with every beat.
I could heal the bite marks on her neck. Erase the attack from her memories. Leave her there to be found by another. Either a savior or the grim reaper.
I estimated she likely had at least an hour or two before she would bleed to death.
But that long forgotten part of me. The part she’d only had to crook her finger at to coax out of me. The human man, who I had once been, revolted at the idea of leaving her there. Raged against the idea of not doing whatever was necessary to save her.
‘She’s only there because she was sent to spy on you,’ the monster in me snarled.
‘She’s only there because you failed to secure the threat who nearly raped her,’ the equally affronted man in me roared.
Answers. I didn’t necessarily want them, but I would likely need them in order to get ahead of my newest clusterfuck. They would do nothing to change the fact she’d done nothing but lie to me.
But how she had managed that, I had no clue. Especially now that my blood was inside of her. It was what had led me straight to her in time to save her from being violated.
Yet another answer I would need.
And all the while I was deciding her fate she merely stared up at me with a small smile on her face, happily bleeding out merely because I was by her side.
‘You can’t lose her!’
‘She was never yours to begin with!’
I’d been duped enough by her warm smiles, so rather than blame that for my next move, I blamed the fact the FBI would come looking for their agent if she disappeared.
And come looking for me if she was found dead.
Asking her if she trusted me was redundant. I could feel that she did. I merely did it so I could address her by her true title.
And I felt her oh shit moment when I did.
I had to give her credit though. She didn’t flinch. Didn’t offer up any excuses. She took it, processed it, and merely gave me the answer I already knew.
Yes, she trusted me.
Seeing her nearly losing consciousness was enough to put my rage aside. Actually, it was quite easily pushed away by my worry.
I hated that too.
While feeding her my blood the first time had been accidental, this was anything but. And I hated the fact that it felt so good. I hated that it felt so right. I hated knowing I’d be able to feel her even more strongly now. I hated knowing that there was still a good part of me that was glad for it too.
And I hated the panic I felt watching her pass out in spite of having my blood.
I didn’t pull my wrist away until I could feel her body strengthening. I had no idea of how much blood needed to be drained and then replaced with vampire blood in order for one to be turned. Feeling the turmoil I was in at the moment, the last thing I needed was for her to rise as my child in three nights.
The. Last. Fucking. Thing.
From the time I’d found her with that fucker on top of her until now, less than five minutes had passed. I’d heard the gunshot when I was still miles away. I’d flown towards her like a gunshot feeling her fear. I could still smell the gunpowder in the air and I knew it wouldn’t be long before someone came looking to see the cause, so I grabbed the mangled gun along with her body and flew straight up into the sky.
I couldn’t risk taking her back to the casino. I couldn’t risk locking her in with me in my chambers. Nor could I risk leaving her to her own devices during the daylight hours when I hadn’t yet had the chance to glamour her, so I went to the one place where we would be secure.
My house in the country.
It was where I had rested during the day. I’d left her at the hospital and returned to the casino long enough to take care of what I needed to before going to my estate. It was miles away from New Orleans. The house was secluded. I owned the surrounding one hundred acres to keep it that way, but none of it was in my name. The house couldn’t be traced to me at all.
So she could yell and scream all day long and no one would ever hear her.
Roughly half the distance to her hometown, it was why I had gone there in the first place. I’d expected to find her in Bon Temps when I’d risen with the news that her friend had been released from the hospital. The car service invoice showed it had traveled to Bon Temps after making a stop at the casino. I assumed for her to pack a bag.
Why wouldn’t she be in Bon Temps too?
Because she was in New Orleans being attacked and nearly raped by a fucker.
I’d intended on waiting for the opportunity to get the girl alone. Wait for Sookie to need to run out for whatever reason and then glamour her friend to find out the truth of what she remembered. Instead I found her without Sookie.
But she wasn’t alone.
In the house with her was a man who could only be Sookie’s brother. The similarity between them was striking, but his scent wasn’t nearly as strong or as sweet as his sister’s.
Nor was he nearly as clever as her.
All I had to do was knock on the door and he swung it right open. He’d fallen under my glamour just as quickly and under my direction he called the Thornton girl to the door where I glamoured my invitation inside from her. But it was all for naught. She knew nothing of vampires or even what her captor looked like. She only knew Callaghan from the picture she’d been shown earlier. It had been a waste of time and a wasted effort.
Like my every interaction with her savior.
The twenty minute flight was nowhere near long enough for me to calm down. The anger at her betrayal still simmered hotly inside of me. Right alongside the worry over her continued unconsciousness. But it was probably for the best.
Had she woken up and tried to engage me in conversation, I wasn’t sure I could keep my fury in check.
I’d killed others for lesser crimes, but the level of her duplicity far outweighed any other that I could remember in my long lifetime. Not because she was the first ever sent to spy on me, but because she was the first I’d ever allowed close enough to actually do damage to me.
Damage that had nothing to do with my own personal safety.
Any confusion or doubt I’d had about my true feelings for her before this night were erased in an instant.
Because I knew her treachery wouldn’t affect me so badly had I not already begun to fall in love with her.
It was an emotion I didn’t know I was capable of. Not now. Not in over a thousand years. As a human I had loved my children. I had even come to love my wife, but not in the way I had come to feel about the little liar in my arms. With Aude, my respect for her as my wife and the mother of my children had grown into a companionable type of love. I appreciated her hard work and dedication to making a home for us and raising our children despite an often times harsh existence.
But for the imposter I now held who’d been masquerading as my assistant? I felt passion. Unadulterated desire. An all-consuming need to be with her no matter the cost. There had been no price I hadn’t been willing to pay. I’d known it was only a matter of time before I would reveal my true nature to her because I couldn’t stand for her to choose a false version of me.
Instead I had been the one who’d been swindled.
And it cut me deeper than any blade ever had.
Entering the house I carried her straight to the underground level. When I’d had the home built, I’d included not just a secure light tight resting place for myself, but a second one as well. I liked to be prepared and one never knew if I would one day have the need to house a second vampire.
Guest or prisoner.
I’d never had the need for it until now, but I didn’t want her to have free roam of the house when she awoke.
Because I no longer trusted her.
The locking mechanism could be programmed either to be engaged from the inside or the outside, depending on the code I entered into the key pad.
She would be locked in.
Laying her on the bed, my traitorous eyes scanned her traitorous body to make sure all of her wounds had healed. Were it not for the dried blood and torn clothing, one would think she’d gone to sleep peacefully. For a moment I thought to clean her up as I had on the night she’d gotten drunk and passed out.
And then my mind tossed that idea right the fuck back out of my head.
She could clean herself up in the attached bathroom when she woke up. She was lucky I didn’t chain her to the fucking bed.
It wasn’t the way I’d envisioned tying her up to one anyway.
I left her one of my t-shirts to wear, but there was no human food in the house and again I warred over going to get her some. But knowing despite my contempt for her at this moment, I would do her no harm.
As she had harmed me.
I would glamour her. Find out every detail of her assignment. Her every lie. Her every treachery. And then I would erase her memories. Of me. Of our time together. I would replace them with new ones she could then report back to her superiors and be done with her.
Cleaning myself up and flying to the nearest populated town to get her provisions and back took no time at all. I busied myself with work that could be done from my computer while I monitored our much stronger blood tie so I would know if she had awakened. That took hardly any time at all as well, so I was left with nothing to do except wait.
Like a prison guard or a besotted protector.
I couldn’t be sure which.
But she didn’t awaken. Not before I’d had no choice but to secure the door and retreat to my own chambers where I gratefully allowed death to take me for the day.
Rising the next evening, sans smile, I was nearly overwhelmed by the strength of our bond. Now that she was awake her feelings were beating at me like they were my own and I admit I was surprised by what I felt.
Guilt. Heartache. Sorrow.
Not one ounce of fear.
She had yet to be glamoured. She had risen covered in dried blood. Locked in an unfamiliar room. With the memory that vampires were real.
She should have been wary at the very least.
Instead she felt a longing. So powerful I could be fooled into believing there was an invisible chain all but forcing me to go to her.
So I fought against it and held firm.
I had been fooled enough.
I took my time. Making more noise than necessary so she would know I had risen for the night. There was no clock in her room. No watch on her wrist. No window for her to even guess at the time.
I’d left her in the dark as she had done to me.
I could feel the startle within her at hearing my movements. Feel the anticipation and steeling of her nerves for what was to come. Feel her desire to lay eyes on me. Speak her excuses. Plead her case.
So I took my time and let her stew.
But she didn’t call out. She didn’t pound on the door. She didn’t beg to be heard. She didn’t demand to be freed.
She waited too.
I didn’t want to be the one to give in first. To flinch first. To blink and let her win our invisible stare down. But I had no choice. I didn’t know if she had a routine. A predetermined method of contacting her FBI counterparts on a daily basis. If they were already alerted something had happened to her due to her silence.
Opening the door, I found her where I had left her.
On the bed and covered in dried blood.
She hadn’t touched the food. Or, from the looks of it, her hair, face, or clothes either.
Except for her upright position and open eyes staring back at me, she looked exactly as I had left her at sunrise.
And I hated that it bothered me seeing her like that.
My scent was much stronger on her now that she’d consumed a substantial amount of my blood, but because she hadn’t showered I could still smell the lingering scent of that fucker on her as well.
I hated that too.
I also hated that once again, I blinked first.
“Why haven’t you cleaned yourself up?” I asked.
“Two reasons,” she offered softly. Her eyes were locked onto mine, likely seeing me in a whole new light.
We were matchy matchy in that respect.
I waited. I refused to be the one to blink first yet again, so she finally broke the tense silence and said, “First, if I’d showered and changed, I might’ve been able to convince myself that last night was nothing more than a bad dream. There isn’t a mark on me.”
There was a mark left on me. One she couldn’t see.
I said nothing. I showed none of the turmoil inside of me and kept my face stoic.
And damn her, I blinked again.
She stared at me, silently appraising me. What, how or why, I had no clue until she said, “Evidence. I’m covered in it.”
“Ah yes, evidence,” I drawled out. “Like any good FBI agent would know, they would need evidence to prove a crime.”
Her guilt spiked with her softly saying, “Eric.”
“Mr. Northman,” I spat back the correction.
She flinched. Both internally and externally.
Her stomach rolled. Her hands shook. Her eyes filled up with unshed tears.
I ignored it. All of it.
She did as well. Taking a deep breath, she calmly acknowledged, “I know you’re angry. You have every right to be. But I had my reasons, just as you had yours for lying to me.”
“Lying to you?” I asked incredulously.
“Vampire, much?” she asked just as hotly. “Or did I just imagine being in the middle of Quentin Tarantino’s Fangtasia last night?”
She remembered. Of course she remembered. I hadn’t erased her memories yet. And yet she felt no fear. No surprise.
Nothing but acceptance.
“You’re not surprised.”
A statement. Not a question because I could feel the truth of the answer within her.
“No,” she admitted. “Not really.” She paused and locked her sad eyes onto mine, adding, “Not like you were.”
She was stepping foot onto a path I had no desire to go down. I didn’t want her excuses. I wanted to contain and minimize the damage already done and be rid of her.
It hurt to look at her.
Already knowing she had a strong will of mind, I used our mutual gaze and the full force of my glamour, before asking, “Why were you sent to spy on me?”
Instead of answering me, she cried out in pain. Clutching her head she fell back onto the bed and like a simpering fool, my feet took two steps towards her. My hands reached out when her pain became my own, but I stopped short. I had let my glamour fall by the wayside and in doing so, her pain disappeared with it.
“Was that you?” she eventually choked out.
It had to be and yet it couldn’t be. Every human was susceptible to glamour. It wasn’t a physical sensation they were capable of feeling or withstanding.
But it would explain how she’d managed to fool me the one and only time I’d attempted to use it on her.
“What are you?” I asked while my mind reeled.
How could I let her go now?
If I couldn’t erase her memories; if I couldn’t erase the knowledge of my kind – my very own nature – from her mind, she would remain a threat.
To all of us.
Slowly, she lifted her body up on the bed until she was once again in a seated position. She didn’t shy away from looking directly into my eyes once more when she replied, “I…am sorry.”
Feeling her sincerity tore at me. She was both a threat to my survival and my fucking salvation.
“I don’t want your apologies,” I hissed. “I want to know what you are. No human should be able to resist our glamour.”
“Glamour?” she asked. Slight amusement filtered in with her sorrow as she said, “I’d ask if all of you are as glamorous looking if I hadn’t been face to face with the Icky Bod Crane vampire last night.”
I wanted to snarl and hiss in her face. To let her see what her deception had reduced me to feeling. And yet with a few simple words her invisibly crooked finger nearly coaxed my lips into a smile.
Perhaps she had the ability to glamour as well.
For the first time in a millennia I didn’t know what to do. What course to take. What path to follow.
She couldn’t be glamoured.
She knew our kind existed.
Made worse by the fact she was a fucking agent of the government.
Logic dictated I should kill her now. Stab her in the chest. Shoot her in the head. Bring about her death in a human fashion and then glamour one into taking the fall for it. It would eliminate the problem. Eliminate the threat. Eliminate the government’s unwelcome intrusion into my dealings.
And illogically, I knew I would not.
I could not.
“I know you have no reason to trust me,” she began. “No reason to believe me, but I want to help you.”
The only way she could possibly help me was by spontaneously becoming an amnesiac.
Without any fanfare, she explained, “I was recruited by the FBI six months ago. Chosen more for my appearance than for my GPA. The FBI had come to suspect you as being a serial killer. Over the last few years bodies have been turning up drained of their blood, but mutilated beyond recognition. All of them found within a one hundred mile radius of your casino. You became their number one suspect because of a single frame where your image was caught on an ATM camera at the time and location where one of the victims had been taken. My orders were to merely watch your comings and goings. I was told it would take time for you to become comfortable with me. That it could be months before I got to see a true glimpse of who you were. I was to report anything suspicious. Make notes on dates and times of when I knew where you were to put up against any newly found victims. Anything that would either eliminate you as a suspect or corroborate their suspicions you were the killer.”
I was a killer. Many times over, but not of the victims they suspected me to have murdered. I had been the one to avenge them, in a way, and bring forth justice for their untimely demise.
I said nothing, but I could feel the truth of her words. The guilt in her was just as strong when she continued on with, “But from our very first meeting, I knew you were different. As I got to know you more, I couldn’t picture you to be the killer. Even now that I know what you are, I know it can’t be you. The man I had come to know and…care about could never do those things. You might be made up of the same legends of monsters we were taught to fear, but I know you’re a good man underneath it all. You always made me feel safe and special. And I’ll always think fondly of you because of it.”
She believed that just as strongly too.
And I was still just as hurt over her actions.
“Of course you felt special,” I agreed. “I gave you a three million dollar car to drive and brought you filet mignon instead of a Honda hatchback and a Big Mac.”
My words stung her just as much as her deception stung me.
We were matchy matchy yet again.
But if she wanted to speak truths, I would give her a truth.
“I have killed more people than I can count.”
Even that wasn’t a shock to her. I’d suspected she imagined some romanticized fiction-fueled version of vampires.
We didn’t dine on animals or sparkle in the fucking sun.
“Do you still?” she asked calmly, but I could tell she already believed in my innocence.
“Aren’t you going to read me my rights first?” I asked just as calmly. “You should or else whatever I say to you won’t be admissible in a court of law.”
Fuck her for accepting my nature more perfectly than I had dared to dream.
“Mr. Northman,” she offered sadly, “I have no need to read you your rights because I have no intention of turning you over to the authorities or revealing your secret. You saved my life. The least I can do is return the favor.”
Another blow to my resolve to stay angry.
“How do you know I won’t just kill you now? If I can’t glamour you into forgetting the details of your attack or the existence of my kind, you’ll be a threat to our survival.”
Again, she felt no fear. Only conviction when she answered, “Because you would’ve left me to die in that alleyway, either by Callaghan’s hand or God’s.”
Fuck her for believing that as well.
Because it was true.
She didn’t wait for any acknowledgment. She already knew the truth of her own declaration, so she added, “You’ll let me go. I will report back that I was attacked by Callaghan. I’ll tell them he confessed to all of the killings and that he had acted alone. I will continue to tell them that until I’m blue in the face. I will make them believe me and then you’ll be free to go about your life without them watching your every move.”
Again, she felt just as strongly in her belief that her plan would work. However, there was one glaring problem with it.
“And just how will you do that when Callaghan is no more?”
“Where is his body?” she asked, having adopted a business like tone to go along with her subterfuge. Her underlying hurt and sorrow were still there, but without our link by blood, I would’ve never known. “I assume you wouldn’t have left it lying around for someone to find.”
“Probably blowing through the French Quarter,” I replied just as business like. “Vampires turn to ash when they are killed.”
Her eyebrows furrowed and her lips pursed. It reminded me of how she’d looked when going through my things.
And it pissed me off all over again.
I felt the light bulb go off above her head right as she said, “You’ll take me to the Port of New Orleans. The waters there are deep and the current is strong.” And for the next half hour she outlined her plan. I hated that I could find nothing wrong with it. No glaring issues that would refute her claims. Nothing that would give away her deception.
And if I hadn’t once been the recipient of her devious nature, I would’ve been more impressed.
She’d let out a small squeak when we’d left the house and I’d grabbed onto her, shooting us both into the sky. I hadn’t given her any warning. I hadn’t said how we’d be returning to New Orleans, only that we would. She still hadn’t said another word. Offered any more excuses or explanations on why she had deceived me. She’d apologized. Explained her reasons for doing so and then took every verbal blow I threw back at her without protest.
Because she believed she had betrayed me just as strongly as I did.
For the twenty minutes it took us to return, my mind kept going over and over every detail. Each and every thing that had to do with the blond charlatan in my arms and I’d come to understand in part of how she’d been placed into an impossible situation. Why would she trust me with a secret so profound when she knew nothing of me? Even our sexually charged playful interactions couldn’t have given her the insight she would’ve needed to know without a doubt I wasn’t who they thought me to be. In spite of the time I’d spent stalking her every move, she had only really been with me for two full nights.
So how could I have expected her to come to me with something so grave so soon?
Had I not fought with my own demons in revealing my secret to her?
She was much more understanding than I had been.
I knew from the small amount of my blood in her at the time that her feelings for me were genuine. Even now her heart ached over the rift between us.
Mine did as well.
I believed she would keep our existence secret. Perhaps foolishly so, but the fervor with which she felt when declaring her promise made me a believer too.
And it made me wonder if perhaps letting her go entirely would be a mistake.
Not to keep her as my prisoner, but to keep her as just mine.
She knew what I was. She was accepting of it. I could feel she’d wanted to ask me more questions about my true nature, but my glare had kept her mouth shut. She didn’t believe she had the right to question me after deceiving me as she had.
And despite everything I still wanted her.
Despite everything I could feel she still wanted me too.
I still had no idea of why she couldn’t be glamoured. Like her, it was a once in a lifetime happenstance.
Considering it was her was the only thing that made it make any sense.
The flight was too short for me to come to any decision. So when we landed in a far corner of the docks hidden at the end of one of the endless rows of shipping containers, I had no words to offer her. No insight to give her.
Because I had none even for myself.
I was surprised she could stand given the weight of her emotions. Guilt and sadness colored her inside and out, but still she managed a small smile and said softly, “Well, I guess this is it.”
I remained silent. Not by choice though.
I simply couldn’t find any words.
She stood her ground in front of me. Adorned in her torn and bloodied clothes, with blood matted hair and a tear streaked and blood smeared face, and yet somehow still looking just as lovely as she had on the night we’d first met.
I didn’t want to let her go. She’d fit me perfectly. In more ways than I could’ve dared to hope for.
And still I said nothing.
“For what it’s worth,” she whispered, “I really am sorry.”
I knew it.
I could feel it.
It was worth a lot.
I said nothing.
So she pulled her gun from the small of her back, now returned to its previous shape thanks to my preternatural strength, and held it down at her side while she tilted her head saying, “I’m ready.”
Part of the plan was for me to bite her. Being covered in her own blood would do no good without the marks to show for it.
It wasn’t how I’d envisioned biting her for the first time.
Sensing my hesitation, her lips hardened as she declared, “It’s the only way.”
They would already have Callaghan’s DNA from her friend’s attack. His saliva still coated her neck because she’d had the forethought to not wash it off, so it would corroborate her story.
I hated smelling it on her.
“If I do, my own saliva will coat your skin as well.”
I was stalling for time and I knew it.
“I’ll tell them we were fooling around beforehand. That I got a little too carried away and you fired me. I stormed off and Callaghan snatched me up.”
She had an excuse for everything.
And even with her lies she refused to paint me in a bad light.
The thought of not seeing her again left me with an emptiness inside I hadn’t felt since the night I’d had to run away from the only life I had ever known. I didn’t know what to do.
So she decided for me.
Before I realized what she was doing, she walked over to the container hiding us from view and violently whipped her head back, bashing it against the metal exterior. I could smell her blood before I could feel her pain and my fangs automatically snapped down in anger over her actions.
Even though I should’ve known it was coming.
She swayed where she stood, but she refused to go down and slowly she wandered to stand in front of me once again. Tilting her head, she all but begged, “Just bite me and then you never have to see me again.”
That was what I feared most.
But even now I couldn’t refuse her request. I needed more time to process the rest. To come to any sort of conclusion on where we would stand once everything was over.
So I leaned down, prepared her neck for the coming intrusion, and bit.
I’d told myself I wouldn’t enjoy it. It wasn’t how I’d wanted to feed from her ever, much less for the first time. And yet I was powerless against it. Once again I was ruined for all other blood by the nectar of the gods that flowed from her veins.
I’d known she’d felt no pain from my bite. She’d felt more than enough pain in the last twenty-four hours and I would be damned if I would cause her more. But instead of feeling afraid while a monster drank her blood, she felt utter devastation. Her arms had clasped around my body and she clung to me, with a desperation stronger than anything I had ever felt before. As though she was afraid to let go.
I could admit to myself, I was afraid of that too.
The scent of her tears filled my senses and knowing she’d already lost too much blood, I didn’t linger at her neck for long. Pulling back I had to fight the urge to lick her wound to staunch the blood flow with the natural coagulant in my saliva.
She had to be left bleeding in order for the plan to be believable.
With her arms still wrapped around me, she whispered out one last, “I’m sorry,” before letting me go. I almost told her it was okay. That I forgave her, her deception and that I still wanted whatever it was we had.
Until I looked at her.
Fresh blood now mixed with the dry. The scent and the sight were unwelcome because it only served to remind me of her attack from the night before. To show me what her life would continue to be like if I kept her in mine. Having her with me. Declaring her mine and showing my favor towards her would only bring more danger into her life. Those who wanted to harm me would do so by harming her. Her friends. Her family.
I would be a danger to her regardless of who did the actual attack.
So I would have to let her go for her own safety.
She took my silence to mean I was done. Done with my part in her plan. Done with her because without another word she walked towards the corner of the dock nearest to the open water below. Without turning to look at me she let her head drop to her chest. Her silent tears were silent no more as they fell to the dock at her feet while she softly said, “Goodbye Eric.”
My mouth opened. Either to refute her dismissal or to repeat her sentiment. I had no way of knowing which one would come tumbling out of my mouth, so I closed it once more. Not that she would’ve known. Her eyes were closed as she faced away from me. In my heart I knew it would be in her best interest for me to leave. To not have anything more to do with her. I had already declared her mine to those in my fealty and I would make her continued protection known to any others who came calling. But she would be safer without my constant presence. Safer without me giving evidence to just how much I truly cared about her.
So I shot up into the sky without ever having said a single word.
Even without looking, I could feel that she’d known the minute I’d taken flight in my silent liftoff. Her heart lurched and her stomach dropped while waves of grief swept through her. The pain of her heartache outweighed any physical pain she felt tenfold and was enough to halt my flight. It was strong enough it nearly felled me from the sky. I almost turned around to go back to her, but in the next moment I heard the gunshot ring out into the night air. She’d set the last piece of her puzzle into place. Her plan was officially in motion with a bell that couldn’t be un-rung. The magic bullet that would take down an already destroyed vampire and send his human identity into a watery grave had taken flight.
Just as I had.
The sounds of men shouting and feet running soon followed, so I had no choice but to resume my path.
Back towards the casino.
Back towards my now much emptier life.
Because it was for the best.