I bit back a yelp of pain as the needle pierced my skin for what seemed like the hundredth time. "There, that should do it," the surgeon said in a satisfied voice as he tied off the last stitch and covered it with gauze and medical tape. "You should be fine in a week or so. Just don't do anything too strenuous or they might come out."
Gingerly, I reached up and touched my tender face with a bandaged hand. "Okay, I'll remember that."
"Check back with me next week and we'll see how you're doing. Have a good evening now, and try not to get shot at anymore."
"You don't need to tell me twice," I muttered as Donovan helped me off the operating table and out of the Hunter hospital.
"He was just trying to be friendly."
"Yeah, well how about next time you remember the keys."
He didn't say anything for a while, and when I glanced at him the slightly hurt expression on his face made me feel guilty.
"Come on, I'll take you to your father's apartment now," he informed me, taking my arm and gently leading me down the hallway. I didn't really want to be touched right then, but it was certainly better than having him drag me.
The Hunter base was divided into sections; so far, I had only visited the offices, the identification facility to get my own ID card, and the medical care and treatment. So far, each made it seem like I was in an underground city. I marveled at how such a large base could be found only a few feet under Las Vegas. It was pretty impossible, after all.
The housing district was mostly pale cream brown and reminded me of a Mexican village all done in stucco. It gave a very homey look to the whole place, almost like being outside. It even had some small palm trees and cacti here and there. But what caught my attention most was that there were children here. Babies, toddlers, and even some teenagers talking with friends or going somewhere with their parents. There weren't a lot, but they were there. I suddenly felt my asocial attitude return and my wonderment at why my father hadn't simply brought us to live here.
My father's apartment was near the very end of one of the many hallways. It consisted of a main room, a study, a bathroom, two bedrooms, a kitchen, and washroom. Technically, it was like any other apartment you could imagine. The carpet was an insignificant brown; the walls painted a silver white, and maybe a few plants and pictures here and there. To my surprise, a lot of the pictures were of my father and our family. There were only a few pictures that weren't of us. Mostly they were just landscapes; one was of a mountain valley that looked much like my home, one was of the setting sun, and another was of the ocean. I remembered what Donovan had said earlier about how I would see that my father cared greatly about my mother and his children and realized that he was right.
So why hadn't he spent more time with us? Why hadn't he told me the truth when it was now obvious that I was supposed to take his place? It didn't make any sense. Then again, a lot of things didn't make any sense.
Donovan went to the kitchen to get something to eat after he had stored the things he had bought earlier in his bedroom. Kimball had had one of her assistants get our things from the trunk of the stolen car and deliver them to the apartment. I took my stuff and left them in my father's bedroom, which had been nearly cleaned of all of his personal items. I didn't want to stay any longer than I had to in that room, but I didn't have anywhere else to stay.
Then I went into my father's study and sat silently. What was my life coming to? I shuddered for no reason and clutched my jacket tightly around me. I suddenly realized how scared I was. Donovan was the only person I could trust, and yet I had only met him a couple of days earlier. Besides that, he was a vampire. Not that I had really thought about that fact. Nor did I want to.
"Here, you should eat," Donovan said, handing me a sandwich.
I started; I hadn't heard him come in. "Oh, thanks."
He wavered uncertainly, trying to decide whether to stay or to leave. I didn't know which I wanted him to do and let him decide for himself.
At last he sat down in one of the chairs next to me. I noticed that he didn't have any food; only a glass filled with thick red liquid. Not knowing why, I turned my gaze elsewhere.
"Are you sure we're safe here?" I asked, searching for something to take my mind off everything.
He looked at me in surprise and took a sip. I shuddered involuntarily and took a mouthful of the sandwich he had given me, wondering what creature the blood came from.
"If I wasn't, I wouldn't have brought you here."
I frowned. "That doesn't make any sense."
"What doesn't make any sense?"
"Well, wouldn't you want to get your ring back anyway you can? Walter made it obvious that he doesn't like you, and he can't be the only one. You are a demon in a place where people hunt demons, right?"
"You're asking too many questions," he snapped tersely, draining half his glass in what seemed to be an effort to ignore me.
I watched him trying to avoid my gaze, which only made me angry. Even with my life in danger, people still refused to tell me the truth.
"Okay fine, I'll ask later," I said coldly. "So then why do you always drink your blood? Aren't vampires supposed to hunt?"
Before the words were even out of my mouth I knew that I had said something wrong. Donovan jumped to his feet suddenly and stormed out of the room without a word.
I just sat there, not knowing what to do. What had I said wrong? Maybe I should have felt guilty, but instead I felt angrier.
Shoving myself away from the table, I dashed after him, determined to get the answers I wanted. He had answered my questions earlier after all, and it was my right to know everything that I could find out. I didn't want to end up dead because I wasn't informed.
He was in the kitchen, draining a full glass of blood. He glanced at me shortly when I came in and nearly choked.
"Look, don't ask," he coughed, his voice tense. "You don't need to know."
"How would you know?" I countered, standing in the only exit with my arms folded stubbornly. I winced and had to shift my arms to alleviate some of the pain and pressure from my sensitive wounds.
"I just do," he growled, dropping the glass into the sink and nearly breaking it. "Now get out of my way. I need to go to bed."
"Not until you answer my questions," I told him. "Or at least one!"
"I'll tell you later," he said tiredly, his voice taking on an almost desperate tone. "I want to go to bed."
"You said you had to do anything I wanted you to do. And I want you to answer my questions."
"Just answer them, Donovan!" I shouted.
"Fine! You want to know why I don't hunt? Because I can't. The first thing the damn Hunters did to me when your father brought me here was make sure I couldn't bite anyone."
"What do you mean?" I asked nervously, wondering if I wanted to get my answers now. He was glowering at me fiercely, his teeth bared in an almost animal-like manner. And then I noticed something. Vampires were supposed to have fangs; even humans had canines. But all of Donovan's teeth were flat. I couldn't see a sharp point anywhere. It looked intentional.
He saw that I noticed and grinned bitterly, showing me his perfectly dulled teeth almost mockingly. I averted my gaze. "Your father stopped the other Hunters from killing me, but he couldn't keep them from following their own bloody 'safety' rules."
"But…you can still hunt, can't you?" I said feebly.
"Oh sure, that would be grand," he sneered. "Me going around slicing people so I can get enough blood to keep me alive. No, the Hunters much prefer I depend on them to feed me. Like a good little pet."
I stared at him and he stared back, breathing hard and looking more enraged than I had ever felt. What could I say? This wasn't my world; not really. I had no idea what was going on. But I could guess at the humiliation Donovan probably felt, even though I wasn't certain why. I guess it was because vampires were always portrayed as creatures that sucked blood from victims. Without his fangs, Donovan was just demon who drank blood and lived for a long time. Maybe having fangs was a very big deal for a vampire. It made them what they were.
"I'm sorry, Donovan," I said dumbly, moving over enough so he could get past.
He glared at me one more time and then shoved past. I heard his door slam and lock.
For a long while I just stood there. Then I went back into my father's study and sat for an even longer time.
"This is stupid," I said out loud. "What am I doing here anyway?"
The silent pictures stared back at me.
Sighing in frustration, I got up and went to pace around the living room, feeling very much out of place. Everything was just so confusing; I had too many questions and not enough thoughts to include them all. Nothing was making sense. And I still didn't have very many answers. All I needed was for someone to just sit me down, make me shut up, and then tell me everything about anything that had to do with this whole mess.
I stopped in front of one of the paintings. For some reason the colors intrigued me. It was the one of the sun, but now that I looked more closely at it, the sun seemed to be rising. I traced a finger down the simple wooden frame. In a bizarre way, it made me feel better.
Then I thought of something.
"'Night never had the last word. The dawn is always invincible,'" I muttered unexpectedly, reading the tiny engraving on the side of the frame. I thought about going to tell Donovan about it but decided that it wasn't too important.
Feeling slightly bit better, I walked back into the study and sat down on the floor in a dark corner, reminded of when it had been Donovan in the study and me in the bedroom. I didn't know what I was going to say to him when he came out and I didn't want to think about it. Just like I didn't want to think about what would happen to me now.
I hid my face in my arms and heaved another sigh. And then, in the privacy of my own little world, I closed my eyes and cried.
Author's Note: I'll probably redo this entire chapter later. This chapter might not even be an actual chapter. I might just take it down all together. I have no idea what I wrote in it and probably don't want to know. Might be the last update for a week or two, though; ACT test violin recital choir trip to St. George, but afterwards it's spring break! Yay. More stuff then.
Okay, review answer time now.
svmgeleta: Ah yes, I know my slowness is annoying at times. And thank you.
pianomasterette: Thank you. Hopefully I can develop the characters better later on.
svmgeleta: Hello again! : ) I can't tell you the answer to that. It's an important part of the plot. Heehee. And you must ask yourself, why was Sana the only one who didn't know what was going on? I mean, her brother knew…okay, right, shutting up.
Gata De La Noche: Haha, yeah, I should've learned by now not to work on things that require thought when I'm sick and have a headache ('uh, duh' says everyone else). Thank you, I'll look into those mistakes. I haven't read any of the chapters except the first since writing them. I was depending on my cousin to edit them for me, but she's being all depressed and stuff. And yes, Michael is older than Sana (sorry, should I make that more clear?). Donovan hates his life but has a reason to be nice to Sana and also not take the ring (small part of the answer in this chapter). And the only places I could think for a good Hunter base (or places I've been before) are Las Vegas, Anaheim, Salt Lake City, and the Philippines. Gotta write what I know, and unfortunately, that isn't a whole lot. Haha, yeah, that's me.
Bloody Penhand: Oh wow, that's what I was aiming at. I'm not sure whether or not I know what I'm doing. I guess Donovan and Sana are taking it from here. Thanks so much! : )