"I don't want to say I told you so but…" Vlad laughed softly and I gave him the best death glare my tired body could manage. As Vlad had warned, I got sick. Really sick. I've never been as sick as I was this time. I couldn't even get out of bed, really, because my legs were too weak.
"You're so mean… How was I supposed to know I was going to get sick? I've never really gotten sick except for the flu in 6th grade." I was about to say more, but I broke out in a painful coughing. Finally I was able to stop and lay back, taking a deep breath. Vlad looked at me, his brow furrowed in a look of concern.
"I still don't understand how you got sick this time, really. You shouldn't have. Because of your lineage. It should have taken a lot more to get you this sick." I nodded and studied my fist quietly. The wounds still hadn't fully healed from the mirror incident. I picked some dried blood from my fingernail, left there from my fight with the vampire Anaya.
"Gosh. I'm still getting that bitches blood off my hands…" I muttered. Vlad was quiet for a minute before gasping slightly and sitting forward.
"Let me see your hand Elixa…" I set my hand in his and he examined it for a moment.
"Crap…when you were fighting with Anaya…did these cuts reopen at all?" I thought back and nodded slightly.
"Yeah. Come to think of it. Why?" I was slightly confused, but Vlad had a grim look on his face.
"Her blood, her vampire blood, is killing off your living blood cells. Especially the white ones, those kill the germs and bacteria making you sick. This doesn't seem bad right now…but it's going to get bad unless we do something." I stared at him, not quiet grasping what he meant. I was getting groggy, and couldn't help but yawn heavily. He leaned over me, resting me hand back on my stomach and pushed some hair out of my face before giving me a kiss on the forehead before I slipped into sleep…
The next time I woke up, Saied was sitting next to me instead of Vlad, and he was reading a book quietly. I looked up at him silently and tried not to disturb him, but I couldn't help but groan as I got a horrible feeling in my stomach. I knew what was coming before it happened, and I groaned again, muttering softly, my voice scratchy and unused.
"S-Saied. I need to get to the…nnnnngg…bathr-room." He set his book down quickly and simply lifted me out of bed, carrying my quickly to the nearby room. He set me down near the toilet and was about to leave when I simply fell to me knees in front of the white porcelain basin and groaned again, holding my stomach. He came back over and pulled my long hair back from my face as I felt my abdomen tighten and my tightened throat start to gag….
After I had finally lost what little food I had in me, the Egyptian helped me to rinse out my mouth and carried me back to bed and lay me down.
"S…sorry…" I muttered. He smiled at me softly and put a cold cloth on my forehead, immediately cooling down my feverishly hot skin.
"Nonsense. Just rest Silver bird." He whispered softly and gently stroked my hair soothingly. I was asleep once again not long after that…
The next few days that went by were really blurry. All I could really remember was the times I was awake to puke, or something woke me up. So I wasn't up much. Finally though, I started getting better. I was able to stay awake for more than half an hour at a time. And I was starting to be able to walk around for short periods of time. Though I still wasn't able to hold down any food.
About two weeks after the day I had gotten sick, I was finally sitting down in the library, Saied had taken me to our reading room and started up a fire. I had walked about half of the way, but I couldn't make it all the way, especially when we had tried the stairs. I hated having to have Vlad or Saied carry me around. I hated depending on anyone in general.
"I'm really sorry for being such a burden lately Saied." I said as he threw a log on the fire.
"Don't be silly. You're not a burden. You weigh hardly anything, and it's not like I have anything else to do. I like spending time with you." He came back and sat next to me on the couch. He handed over my book and pulled out his own and we set to reading. After while though, still worn out from the journey down to the library, I felt myself drift off, and before I knew it, I was out cold….
I woke a while later, back in my own bed, but Vlad and Vil where in there, packing up my stuff.
"C'mon Elixa. It's time to get up. We know you can't be doing to much strenuous stuff, but you have to get up and get into some warmer clothes." Vlad said, laying out a pair of jeans and a sweater on my bed as I staggered to my feet.
"What's going on?" I asked as I grabbed the clothes and slipped into the bathroom to change.
"We're changing locations." Vlad said simply, with not further explanation. I stepped back out and looked around to see almost every thing of mine packed. I hadn't realized just how comfortable I had gotten here.
"Do you think we have everything?" Vlad asked Vil and the other man nodded quietly before turning to me.
"You didn't have anything hidden in the house did you? Well, anything that you'll need?" I thought for a moment before pulling the mattress on the bed up slightly and pulled a journal out from under it, setting it down once more. I clutched it to my chest and nodded to them.
"Okay. Good. Lets go." Vil grabbed my bag while Vlad came over and put an arm around me to support me as they led me out of the room. It took a good fifteen minutes to just get me downstairs. I was being stubborn and refused to let Vlad carry me. I made the argument that I needed to gain strength and I could do that by doing these things on my own. Finally, we got down, and I was led to a room I didn't know. It was actually a garage. It had a few different cars in it, and a few of the guys were getting into cars.
Vlad and Vil led me to a truck though, with a large hood covering the extra large truck bed. Vlad walked over and opened it up, revealing the inside. There was a mattress in the back, with blankets, pillows, everything. And it was clean, which surprised me. Most trucks, especially those owned by your typical man, would be covered in dirt and bugs. This one had none. Vil slid my bag onto a part of the truck bed not covered by the mattress, and Vlad motioned for me to come over to him.
"I'm going to have you lay down back here during the drive. It's going to be a long one, and I know you're going to want to sleep, especially after you did the stairs like you did. This will be most comfortable for you. The bed is made special, so you won't be disturbed when we go for a turn or something like that. Okay?" I nodded. Trying to hold back a yawn, but failing horribly, I leaned against the back of the truck.
"That sounds good to me…" I muttered, stretching. Vlad helped me up into the back of the truck and I got settled in the bed. I was asleep before they had even started the truck…
There were a few times where I woke up along the ride, or where Vil or Vlad would look back into the bed and check up on me. Most of the time I was out cold though. Finally though, the car pulled to a stop, and the engine was shut off. I groaned softly and rolled onto my side groggily. The back of the truck slide open and moonlight shone into the truck.
"C'mon Elixa. I know you're still sleepy, but we have to get in. The sun is going to be up soon and we're out our stopping point for now." I grunted and crawled out of the truck, swaying and nearly falling over once I was on my feet. Vlad quickly grabbed me and swung me up into his arms, carrying me towards a boarded up, two story house. It seemed to me like it was almost a church. I didn't realize till we were inside, that that's exactly what it was. But it had been transformed into the ideal vampire hideout. Vlad set me on my feet once inside and supported me as he led me to a side room. It was the only one I had seen with a window. All of the other guys were already here, and settling into there own rooms. Vlad stopped outside my own room and leaned against the door as I stepped in and looked around.
"Now…I would tell you to get some sleep, but you've been asleep all day. So, get some rest." I smiled at him softly and gave him a wink.
"You get some sleep too." Vlad smiled and nodded before closing the door and walking away. I sighed and sat on my bed, pulling my journal out of the pocket on my sweatshirt that I had put on in the truck. I sat back on the bed in the small, musty room and opened the blinds in the window to sit back and write in my journal while the sun rose softly over the hills surrounding the old church house. The sky turned marvelous shades of purple, pink, gold, and so on, and I simply sat there and wrote it all down. Everything that had happened so far, and about little nothings that plagued my mind as well. By the time I had put my journal up, the sun was well in the sky, and I could only guess it was around 7 in the morning. I had nothing left to do, but sleep. I slept a good long while, not waking up till the sun just began to set, around 5 that evening. I wrote once more in my journal, doing a few sketches of the guys, out of sheer boredom, and once it had gotten to dark to do any more, I sat there thinking. It wasn't too long before there was a knock on my door.
"Come in." I said softly, and the door opened, Saied walked in quietly.
"We're ready to go."
I pulled myself up and grabbed my journal and walked to him, a little shaky on my legs. Saied put an arm around my waist and helped me to walk back out to the main room of the church house. Vlad tossed me an apple and a bottle of water. Saied caught them for me. I swayed slightly, even though most of my weight was on the tall Egyptian.
"Vlad…" I heard Saied say as I closed my eyes and just leaned my head on his chest. "She's getting weaker. We need to hurry and get to London. We have to…" I groaned and forced myself to lift my head up.
"Nonsense. I'm fine." I muttered and pushed off of Saied, standing on my own two feet, trying to hold myself up. I failed miserably though, my knees buckling under me, and Saied once more caught me, this time swooping me up off the ground, holding me bridal style.
"Elixa, you're dying. We have to get you to London, now. It's the only place where we can help you." I was too worn out to argue with him
"Vlad, I'm going to ride in the back of the truck with her this time. She can't be alone." Before anyone could protest, Saied carried me out to the truck to get me settled. To my surprise, as soon as we stepped out, Saied cursed every thing he could think to curse. A white flake landed on my face and I looked up to the sky, then all around us.
I whispered softly, and Saied gave me a soft look.
"This is going to make it harder to drive, and colder…" He said to me as he walked over to the truck and opened the back, laying me on the bed and wrapping me up in all the blankets that were in there.
"But it's still beautiful…" I muttered looking out the window in the truck bed cover. Saied had run back into the church, getting more blankets, and both he and Vlad came out, carrying some. They piled them up in the back and Saied crawled in.
"You guys have everything you need?" Vlad asked as Saied slid a thick sweater on and wrapped himself up in a blanket.
"Yeah. We have everything. Close the damn door, will you?" Vlad did as he asked, and Saied slid under the other blankets that covered me as well and spread out the other ones that he and Vlad had brought. He lay down finally, sliding close to me and hugging me too him, to help keep both of us warm. It was in that warm embrace that I drifted off into blissful sleep…
…The sun beat down, hard, across the desert land, dark skinned men walked around. And woman wrapped up cloth, the only part of them showing was there dark eyes, walked through the market place surround by tan brick buildings. A scream rang out from a building, and without being able to control myself, I ran to it, and inside, up the stairs, to find a beautiful woman, laying on the floor, blood seeping from her wrists, and her clothes ripped in certain places, loosely, in her left hand, was held a knife made of ivory. Her headscarf had been torn off and lay to the side; her pitch-black hair fanned out around her body, and covered her gold brown eyes. At first glance, it looked as though she had killed herself, but it didn't look right to me. I still couldn't control myself though. I stepped forward hesitantly, and stood over the gruesome sight of the dead woman, her porcelain like face held in the expression of fear that remain there from whatever she saw before the life left her…
"Elixa… Elixa… Wake up. C'mon Elixa wake up it's just a dream." Saied was shaking me softly and I finally came too groggily, looking up at him.
"S-Saied?" I whispered softly. I was seeing double.
"I'm here Elixa. Just hold on for me okay? We're almost to the house." I heard a sliding sound and Vlad's voice.
"How's she holding up?"
"She had a nightmare, and her heart is starting to give out from it. She can't hold on much more. Her body is rejecting the dead blood. We have to get there in the next five minutes, or we have to change her." I could hear Saied reply.
"Five minutes?! We're still half an hour away! We have to change her then. We have to. There's no other way. You have to do it Saied." I heard him curse heavily and he came back into my view line.
"Oh Elixa… I'm so sorry…but…I have to do this. Please forgive me, but I can't let die."
"I-it's okay Saied… Just hurry…." I whispered up to him and I watched him lean down over me, tilting my head back and brushing my hair away as his lips pressed onto the skin on my neck. He simply held them there for a minute before I felt a slight sharp sting and then warmth spreading from where his lips rested. I seemed to just float in the air, I felt weightless as Saied took blood from my neck. It was over all too soon though, as he released my neck, sitting up and raising his wrist to his lips, biting it and holding it to my own mouth.
"Drink Elixa. Just close your eyes and drink as much as you need." He whispered and I did as he said, my eyes drooping and I began to drink the rich, metallic liquid seeping form the wound. The feeling it gave me was inexplicable. It was the most amazing feeling ever. It was as though a current of electricity passed through me with each gulp, but without any pain. But a million times better. Finally I was able to pull back from him, and I lay back, as I felt my own heart slow to a stop, my world went black moments later…
…I found myself in a labyrinth. The sky above me was overcast with menacing black clouds, and the walls of the maze around me were sculpted out of rose bushes. The blossoms that adorned them glinted a dark crimson. So dark, they nearly seemed black. They towered five feet over my own height.
I glanced around and saw behind me a winding staircase that rose clear to the rolling black clouds, which parted ever so slightly. It seemed to be made of crystal, and shimmered in a soft light that cast down from the opening in the clouds. I was compelled to climb them. So much so, that I even found myself resting my foot upon the first step.
But a sound stopped me.
It was soft, eerie, and barely there, but I heard it. Music. It was a haunting voice that I heard, and it called to me. I obeyed it, despite any ill feelings. Any discontent in my decision fled me, though, as I stepped into the labyrinth and followed the music that rang clearly in my soul.
I came finally to a dead end, which confused me. I knew I was right. The voice was just beyond this wall. So I stepped forward and tentatively slipped my hand into the rosebush. Even though I was being careful, I still managed to prick my finger on a thorn. A single drop of blood welled and slid from my skin, falling onto the rose blossom beneath my hand. The whole wall shuddered before me and began to slowly draw away from where my hand still hovered, the leaves rustling. Soon it was all gone and the only thing that remained was the blood stained rose, which now lay on the ground.
I picked it up and stepped past it. Finally taking my attention off of the rose, which I finally tucked behind my ear, I looked around and saw that I was in the center of the maze. It was a circular area, and in middle was a large fountain. Atop the fountain was the source of the music. It was a woman. Ageless, beautiful, and soaked in the crimson liquid, which spilled from the fountain. Her song, though wordless, told me she knew me. She bade me to come to the fountains edge. Her hair, black, sleek, and long, floated about her in the crimson essence. Her eyes snapped open, and stared at me calmly. They were a striking blood red, as scarlet as the blood she sat in, for I was sure that it was blood that the fountain pumped.
Without looking from me, she slowly took a silver chalice in her hand and filled it with the blood essence that she was so comfortable in, and held it to me. I reached up and took it, feeling oddly calm. Until that moment, she had continued her song, but now she was silent. She was watching me.
"Drink, child." She said. Her voice sounded like many, a whole crowd, of men and women, all speaking at once. Multi-tonal. "Drink and Live through your death." The fountains blood had stopped moving when her song ended. I did as she asked, raising the chalice to my mouth, drinking deeply. So deeply that I closed my eyes. But when I opened them, I was no longer in the labyrinth, I was in darkness.
I knew something was different the next time I opened my eyes. My body was strangely still…and quiet. It's odd, the difference when you can't feel your heart pumping, or your veins pushing your blood through yourself. It took me a moment to realize that I had yet to draw a breath, though I had been awake for nearly three minutes. And still my lungs didn't burn with the need for oxygen. As I forced my organs to work, my muscles shot pains through my rigor mortis-stiff body, and my chest felt like it was on fire. I took a few deep breaths despite the stabbing pain, and soon enough, it eased into a dull ache. Only then did I open my eyes. The world had seemed to have changed in my absence. The first thing my eyes focused on was an individual speck of dust, floating above me, visible in the eerie blue light that filtered in the truck bed. Everything seemed more defined, and more detailed. I took a few moments to adjust and I looked to my right.
There lay a beautiful man, asleep. His skin was lit up silver from the moon, his raven feather black hair fallen away from his face to show a well structured jaw line, a noble looking brow, Romanesque nose, and long dusty eyelashes, all complimenting each other. I searched for his name. It seemed as though I had been gone for an eternity. I took his hand, as it was resting on my waist, and laced my fingers with them.
"Saied…" The name was right. It slid from my throat without my brain knowing it. My own voice sounded different to me. It was as if I heard not my voice, but the vibrations of my vocal chords before the sound even left my lips. His eyes fluttered open softly, the seemingly black depths confused at first. He gained his wits though and sat up as far as he could without hitting the roof of the truck bed's cover.
"Elixa! You're awake! Wait, you're awake?" He seemed surprised and confused. "You should still be out cold… No one makes it through the labyrinth that quickly!" I smiled at him quietly and put my finger of his lips.
"Hush. I just died, and you're not even going to give me a hug?" He blinked a few times before wrapping his arms around me and pulling me close to him, his embrace, warm, and yet, desperate. I smelled the lingering scent of fear on him. It made a shiver of guilt seep into me.
"I'm so sorry Saied… I didn't mean to scare you…" I mumbled, closing my eyes tight. I felt my eyes burn with the want of tears, but none came.
"Don't you dare apologize, 'Lixa. None of this was your fault. You didn't ask to get sick… I should apologize to you…my decision has damned you to eternity…" He began to ramble. The only way I knew to shut him up was to occupy his mind with something else.
"Your wife didn't kill herself." I said abruptly. He kept rambling for a second before it registered.
"She didn't kill herself. She was murdered." I said. He seemed shocked at this news.
"How do you know this?" He asked softly.
"Before you turned me, when you thought I was having a nightmare? I was seeing into your memories for some reason. I saw that day, and your wife didn't kill herself. Do you ever think back to how she looked? She had fear still on her face. And besides. Her body was all wrong..." I too had begun to ramble. He stopped me with an abrupt kiss on the lips, letting it linger for only a second.
"Elixabeth. Shh. Tell me exactly why you think it was impossible to kill herself." I took a deep breath.
"She was still holding the knife when you found her." I said simply. He looked confused and then put out.
"Well of course she was. That doesn't prove-"
"Yes it does." I said. "I took a forensics class for 2 years. It's impossible. I don't assume she lay down on the ground, and then slit her wrists and waited to die. I would know from personal experience. It takes time to lose enough blood from horizontal slits on the wrists. The only way she would have lost enough blood to have the knife still in her hand would be if she had done it vertically." He still seemed confused.
"I don't understand what you're telling me."
"Look. If you slit your wrists, would you lie down and hold onto the knife until you died?" He shook his head. "Her wrists were slit, and the knife placed in her hand. Besides. She screamed first. Would you scream if you were committing suicide?" His eyes began to light up with understanding.
"I knew she would never have killed herself… But then... Who?" I shrugged. That I didn't know the answer to.
"I don't know." I said softly, looking him in the eye. I wanted to kiss him again so badly, but the talk of his dead wife made that a very uncomfortable action in my mind. So I simply lay back, staring up at the cover above us. I pulled the blankets over me and rolled onto my side facing away from him, closing my eyes.
"Are you okay?" He asked, concern in his voice.
"I feel so sore…especially in my chest." I said, being truthful, but not giving him the answer for what was really wrong.
"That's what it's like right after you die." He mumbled, sliding right up against me, wrapping his arms around me and nuzzling the back of my neck. It made my heart jump and break at the same time. I loved being close to him, but I couldn't stand feeling like I was trying to replace his wife. That wasn't what I was trying to do. "It'll wear off in a couple hours, I promise, especially when you go to feed for the first time." He said softly.
I couldn't help but smile and lean back into him, closing my eyes for a minute and letting out a sigh.
"So where are we going exactly?" I asked softly, my voice barely above a whisper.
"We're going to our house in London. We were going there mainly to get the vampiric essence out of your system, but now that we don't have to worry about that, we have other business there anyway. Besides, I think Kevin will be happy to be back home.
"So how are we getting across the water?" I asked, giggling at the idea of the guys trying to swim.
"We have a friend who owns a plane. He takes us over when we need it. We just had to get to him." He placed a small kiss at the curve of my neck, making me shiver to my toes. I rolled over and held onto him, burying my face in his chest. I didn't trust myself to not assult his lips if I looked up at him. But apparently he had other plans, as he reached down and lifted my face to look at him.
"Are you scared of me Silver Bird?" He asked, his voice soft. I looked at him for a long time.
"No. I'm not. I'm scared of me." I said softly. It was confusing to me, but apparently he understood what I meant.
"Don't be afraid of anything. You are a Lady to the Night now. You are better than everyone else." I couldn't help but blush and try to look away. He held my face still though and leaned down, giving me another soft kiss on the lips. I kissed back softly before pulling back.
"Saied…" I mumbled, frowning.
"I don't… I don't want to seem like I'm trying to replace your wife." I finally said, coming clean. He looked at me for a moment, and then smiled, chuckling.
"My wife has been dead for centuries now, Elixa. I think I've had proper time to move on. She will always be my first love, but she wouldn't want me to spend eternity alone. I wouldn't have wanted that for her either. Just because she was my first love, doesn't mean she will be my last." He mumbled softly and held me tightly to himself.