Leave Me Here to Bleed
Vampires, Witches, and Lycan are not as story bound as people would like to believe. Life for Raine, a seventeen-year-old senior misfit and unlikely cheerleader at her school, has not always been so easy, but when Vampires start to take an interest in her, Raine's life starts to spiral out of her control.
Dating a Vampire, hunted by Witches; all Raine really wants to play with her friends in her band, if only she had the time.
What will she do when there are unexpected and dangerous complications to her love for her undead boyfriend?
Warnings and Ratings:
This book is rated T for "Teens"
This book contains some mild language, implied sexual situations, depictions of violence and murder, homosexual references/situations, bigotry, "occult" and witchcraft, and some scary moments.
THIS STORY, PLOT, AND ALL CHARACTERS ARE UNDER COPYRIGHT. ANYONE FOUND WITH ILLEGAL COPIES OF THIS STORY OR ITS CHARACTERS WILL BE PROSECUTED!
It was exceedingly dark, even for night, thanks to the heavy clouds that blocked out the stars and moon. Rain lightly drizzled down the large glass windows beside a girl who sat in a teal booth near the back of a small, brightly lit coffee shop located -as though misplaced- in the heart of a dark noisy city. It was about forty-minute walk or an hour drive from the girl's home in a clean, snobbish neighborhood full of houses that all looked just like the next. Since the drive was always inevitably longer than the walk given the unrelenting traffic, despite the dreary weather and dark hour, she had opted to amble this way by foot.
The girl looked just as out of place in the old-fashioned and quiet shop as the shop did in the metropolis. She did not fade into the background with her long raven-black hair spilling down her back to her waist, black mini-skirt, torn fishnets, and blood-red tank top that showed off a great deal of her fair-skinned cleavage. The heavy black boots she wore had left a puddle under the table on the clean white linoleum where the water from the wet ground outside had collected in the treads.
She swirled her coffee slowly, looked up with her delicately slanted eyes at the clock that hung on the wall above the counter, and sighed tiredly. It was nearly midnight and she knew she needed to head home. If she was lucky her mother would be asleep, or passed out drunk. Either worked for her, so long as she could get in and off to bed without a fuss or hassle.
The old man that owned the little coffee shop called over to her in his weak but friendly tone, his hands -brittle and lumpy with arthritis- clutching an old but very clean rag and a cup.
"Raine dear, don't you think you should head home? It's getting late and I have to close up, and you have school in the morning," he said.
Raine smiled at the kind concern of the old man.
"Of course, Mr. Henry," she said sweetly, thinking much the same thing, though with less enthusiasm. "Besides, I would hate to worry my mother," she added with a hollow smile, earning her a nod from the old man across the empty shop. He clearly did not see the lie the tired smile was and did not know how much she disliked going home every night.
Raine heaved herself out of her booth and downed the last of her coffee. It had long since cooled while she had been sitting at the table, thinking to herself in the silence of the shop she enjoyed so much as she watched the rain pass outside. She scrunched up her nose in disgust at the cold coffee, cleared her throat, and grabbed her bag from the bench.
"Night, Mr. Henry," she said perkily, or as near as she could come to it, as she waved good-bye to the old man. He returned the gesture enthusiastically as Raine pushed out the glass front door.
"Goodnight, Raine dear. You walk safely, there are loonies out!" he warned, raising his other trembling hand to push his rounded eyeglasses up his old, rather large nose before shuffling around the counter to collect Raine's cup as quickly as his rheumatism would allow him.
Raine looked back at him with a genuine smile this time and nodded as she stepped out. She couldn't imagine anyone out there that could rival her loonyness, but did not exactly welcome anyone to try.
Coffee was a life-giving substance, and though any shop would have sufficed in supplying her fix, she came so far out of her way to dine at this particular shop because unlike the conglomerate retailers that had the same, sterile, cookie-cutter stores on every corner, this one had a soul. The shop was as much Mr. Henry's home as the apartment that topped it where he lived. An antique toy red wagon hung from the ceiling, and rusted road signs were on the walls. If asked, Mr. Henry would tell how he acquired such things in long winded nostalgic tales that could sweep away anyone's stress and frustrations, even for but a moment. He never grew tired of telling his stories to anyone who would listen, and Raine found herself talking with him several times a week after a long night's work as he was always willing to open shop just for her, his warm coffee and even warmer stories just what she needed to unwind before heading home to her mother. He did not judge her, criticize her, lecture her. He was kind, and believed her to be darling, and Raine cherished the time she spent with him, he being one of the few, the rare, the truly kind.
Raine stepped out of the shop as she threw her bag over her shoulder and pulled her jacket closer to her chest. It was a cool night, late in October, and the street was wet from the short rain that had passed while she had been inside. The streetlamps' warm yellow bubbles of light reflected across the cracked pavement, and when the occasional car drove past its headlights illuminated the street momentarily before vanishing again around the bend.
She set off toward her house, thinking about how long it would take to get there if she walked slowly. Her boots crunched loudly in the nearly silent night as she walked over the pavement, grinding the small rocks and cracks.
It was her favorite time of day, or rather, night. She loved it when everyone was asleep and she could enjoy her own company. Living so close to a large city, she had grown to enjoy and appreciate the short peace night brought from all the hustle and bustle of its inhabitants during the daylight hours. She was a bit of a night-owl, which did not bode well for someone with daytime commitments like school and a job.
Raine made her way home slowly, kicking a small stone as she went. She was in no rush, the rain didn't seem like it was coming back, her coffee was still coursing through her body so getting home quickly wouldn't mean she would be sleeping any sooner.
A sudden, loud, metallic crash from behind her caused Raine to jump and spin around reflexively, a gasp caught in her throat due to the startle. Without thinking she reached into her bag as she turned. Looking around in the semidarkness hastily, she realized -as a black cat ran out from behind the tipped over garbage can- that it had been nothing, nothing dangerous that is.
"Jeeze," she breathed with a laugh at herself as the cat dashed by her ankles. "Jumpy much?" she asked herself, letting go of her bag and letting it fall to her side as relaxation took the place of the momentary adrenaline rush that had her still a bit shaken.
Nevertheless, she could not help her jumpiness because she knew well the dangers of being a young woman walking around alone at night and did not want to become a statistic and cautionary tale to be printed in the next day's newspaper.
Without looking up from her feet after she turned, Raine started walking again.
Walking right into the chest of a young man dressed in black who stood only inches before her, however, stopped her, causing her to gasp audibly this time, catching her completely off guard.
Off balance and flabbergasted, she stepped back to keep herself from falling. The young man reached down and clamped his hand over her mouth, quieting her gasping shout instantly. Using only that one hand he had clamped over her mouth, he then lifted her up and turned her so her back was to him and his arm wrapped around her to hold her against his chest.
Raine closed her eyes at the pain of being lifted by her jaw but marveled despite herself at how strong the man must have been to manage such a thing. She was not a heavy girl by any means, but she knew of few that could lift her deadweight with one arm so easily.
She got over her awe and regained her bearings with her feet back on the ground. Instinct was taking over, fight or flight setting in; only one thought in her mind at that point: survival.
The man pulled her head back roughly, exposing her neck at a painful angle. Raine felt herself panic. She did not know what the man was doing, but she had no doubt that he was going to hurt her. She had an overwhelming desire to protect her neck at any cost, to scrunch up her shoulders and tilt her head down to guard it best she could. He held her though, and she could do little but tense and struggle, grunt and whimper
She heard him speak, his voice resounding in her head and sounding distant even though he was standing right behind her.
"Stay still and 'zis vill not hurt," he comforted. His accent sounded vaguely French, but his 'R's were thicker, rolled and heavy, in an accent she could not place at that moment of panic.
Raine felt her stomach drop. She did not revel in the idea of being mugged, and she certainly didn't want him to hurt her, but she feared rape above anything else from him at that point with his warning. Tears burned in the back of her eyes, she could not bear even the thought of anyone doing that to her.
"Do not scream," he ordered, his voice soft as a sexual confession as he lowered his lips to her neck, kissing her skin lightly.
A pang of anger shot through Raine at that point now that she had her fill of surprise, panic, and fear. A familiar fury filled her, something that she always clung to for security. She did not like him being so authoritative and in control of the whole situation. How dare he demand anything of her!
If he had been looking for easy pickings, she had been the wrong lone walking girl.
With the fear of rape still pulling her stomach into knots, Raine lifted her right leg and stomped down on the man's foot with the heel of her boot with all her might. Lifting his lips from her neck, he hissed in pain and loosened his grip on her slightly, clearly caught off guard by her bold act. Raine was able to take advantage of that and put her elbow in his gut. He grunted and doubled over, clutching his stomach, giving her the chance to spin out of his grasp and run.
Raine did not think to scream for help at that point as she dashed down the alley away from her attacker. Some amount of pride in her would not allow that, but it also wasn't her first instinct to call for help either. She had been raised to fight, and fend for herself, and that was what she was going to do. Instead of calling for help she used her breath to run. Her heavy boots and awkward bag at hip level slowed her down, but she still ran with impressive vigor that had a lot to do with adrenaline. The man seemed to be rather fit in his own right, and with nothing to impede him, despite the fact that she was a superb runner, he was gaining on her.
Thinking quickly, she reached into her bag again as it beat against her right thigh. She had a plan. She hoped beyond all hope that it would work lest she make things worse for herself. She had to risk it though, she had not the stamina to run long enough to lose him, and he was showing no signs of being winded, in fact, he seemed to be gaining on her faster than before.
Raine started to slow, as though she were tiring, and dared a glance back to see where her attacker now reached. He was about ten feet behind her, still somehow in shadow so she could not make out his features. It was dark but for some reason the only thing that was fully shadowed was him, more specifically his face.
If Raine had not been so panicked, she might have found that fact odder than she did at that moment. It was like the light was avoiding him, like darkness clung to him like smoke.
As he drew closer, Raine closed her eyes, not believing in a god but vainly hoping for some kind of divine intervention, daring a prayer before she would act, wishing for her plan to succeed.
She let him get close so that he tried to grab her again, and that was when she had to act.
Raine stopped suddenly, sliding slightly on the wet pavement, and threw her leg out. Her attacker, not expecting her to stop, partially passed her while trying to stop and turn, but ended up tripping on her leg and falling face first into the damp, cold pavement. He threw his arms out to catch himself but there was a thump when his chest hit and then a crack when his chin then connected with the ground despite his best efforts to prevent it.
Raine smiled, satisfied, pleased, surprised that her plan had worked, but her attacker was already pushing himself up off the ground so he was on his hands and knees so she backed up. He shook his head slowly before he looked over his shoulder and around himself to Raine, revealing glowing blue eyes, glowing as though they were florescent. They were not normal eyes. They could not have been human, but there was nothing else he could be.
"That's not…normal," she muttered, backing up a step. Whatever trick of the light, or funny contacts he was using was effective in frightening her, if that had been his intent.
His chin was bleeding enough to drip and splatter the pavement while mingling with the puddles. He bared his teeth angrily and they revealed themselves to be sharp, causing Raine's heart to skip a beat. Trick of the light, that is what she told herself. It being obvious he would lunge for her legs at that point, Raine pulled her hand out of her bag and sprayed pepper spray in his freakish eyes before turning and running in the other direction, back towards the coffee shop which was now probably dark and closed, Mr. Henry already in bed.
The man shrieked in pain as the pepper burned his bright eyes and shallow cuts. He rubbed his watering eyes and wiped away some blood from his already healing scrapes. He got up after a moment, still disoriented but driven by rage, and started chasing his prey again. He was determined not to let a human girl humiliate and out maneuver him like that and get away with it.
He was a better hunter than that…he was a better hunter than this!
He had to catch her, to kill her if not just wipe her mind of any recollection of this night, because he could not have anyone knowing what a humiliation he had made of himself, of his kin. He could not let a girl go with even the faintest impression of what he was tickling in the back of her mind.
This time he started to catch up a little easier than before. She could run, run well, this he already knew, but it would not save her, not tonight, not against him. He would not tire like she would; he would not become winded like her. He could run for miles, she would be tired within minutes. He commended her despite himself for her steady breathing, her not allowing panic to wind her. She showed that she was anything but ordinary. It was what had drawn him to her in the first place, why he was here tonight, and his curiosity only increased with each step, but that would not be enough to keep him from killing her once he got his hands on her.
After a few moments, despite her running abilities, he had caught up with her. He could tell by her movements, though not by her thoughts -they seemed intangible as he pursued her despite his efforts to see them for some reason- she was going to try that sudden stop trick again, but it was not going to work because he would not fall for it a second time. This time, when she stopped, he put out his right arm to grab her around the middle, but she was ready for him it seemed. She bent at the middle so his arm past over her back, and he ran past her for a second time that night!
So mad that she had duped him again, he did not slow right away, but he quickly realized the mistake in this since she was now behind him and looking quite pissed.
He did not even get a chance to turn his head more than a fraction before she kicked him in the side of his ribs and used his forward inertia to send him straight into a wall.
Caused to stumble so that he crashed into the garbage cans, the side of his head hit the brick wall with little grace or cunning on his part. Little dancing black spots appeared in his vision that he was unable to blink away. As he leaned against the brick he slowly allowed himself to slide down to the cold, wet pavement amongst the black garbage bags. Raine walked up to him, looked down with her expression fierce, him able to only just make it out before she kicked him in the face with her heel.
"Bastard," she muttered, straightening her coat and adjusting her bag on her shoulder, apparently believing to have knocked him out. She spat at his feet before walking away down the alley with a confident but forceful stride. As confident and capable as she felt, she was going to use streets with some traffic so she would be less likely to be mugged again.
Once a night was more than enough for her.
Raine was gone, around the bend in the street and out of sight, before the young man stirred.
"Urrr…" he moaned, rubbing his now sore head. "Chyort poberi," he mumbled to himself in his native language. 'Damn it' expressed his frustration perfectly, him not caring that the girl was getting away as he spat a mouthful of blood onto the wet pavement beside him.
Resting his forehead on the palm of his hand and pulling his knees up, he wished he could make the night start over again so as to have never tried to hunt Raine, but sadly, that was not one of his abilities, one of his gifts.
He could not explain what had just happened, how he could have messed up so badly after so much practice, but there it was, or rather, there he was, sitting in a pile of garbage, bested by a teenager, more than just his pride hurting.
After a moment of disbelieving brooding, he got to his feet, not sure at first if he could keep his balance if he moved too quickly. His head really did hurt, but more so was his ego. It was a truly crippling blow to one like him.
Cracking his neck to each side with a tilt of his head, he brushed some filth away from his long, black leather coat and straightened it on his shoulders with a brisk tug by the lapel.
"Okay," he admitted softly, "'zat did not go exactly how I planned," he muttered with a sigh, spitting out another mouthful of blood from his already healing face.
He touched his chin and grimaced for a moment at the pain.
With one last look in the direction Raine had run off in, he turned and walked down the shadowy alley. He was too angry, and on the whole: ashamed, to try and go after her again. She had somehow been immune to his abilities, and the precautions he normally took when hunting had failed him that night to say the least. He had not expected it to be anything but easy. Sure, that meant he might have underestimated her, but she was Raine, she was a teenage girl! What could have happened to make this night go so wrong?
Stepping into a nasty little restaurant, he walked into the bathroom without a glance at the man behind the counter who was looking at him with wide-eyes. Closing the bathroom door behind him with a frustrated snap he found it empty, rancid, and quiet. He wrinkled his nose at the state of the place and its moldy smell. He found it nauseating as anyone would, but for him everything was a much harsher assault on his senses due to their heightened sensitivity.
Looking around, he saw that there were no mirrors, and for that he was grateful. He turned on the water in the stained and chipped sink beside the urinals, and proceeded to wash, able to guess that he was quite a mess without the aid of a wretched looking glass. Using paper towels from a poorly functioning dispenser and some water, he was able to mop himself up, wiping away the blood from and dirt off his already healed face. His jaw was still slightly sore, but he knew -the injuries minor- that there wasn't even a mark to show for his disastrous evening already.
Once he was satisfied with his supposed appearance, he tossed his used paper towels into the trash bin with a snap of his wrist.
"Some vampire you are," he said bitterly, voice echoing hollowly off the tiled interior of the cubical room, "cannot even hunt helpless little girl as she 'valks unguarded, at night, down deserted street," he said sulkily.
Pacing in the lavatory for a moment, he ran his hands through his unruly curling hair, sighing angrily, taking out some of his frustration on the sink.
Slamming his fist down on its edge he fractured the sink in half, part of it falling with a loud thud and a crack of the tiled floor as he swore and lifted his foot quickly so that it just barely missed his toes.
He was not having a good night. He was still hungry. He was also exhausted. He had not slept in the daytime hours like his kind normally did, and early in the evening he had run into his ex and gotten into yet another fight over basically nothing. He was always a tad irritable when forced out into the open sunlight or confronted with a former lover of his. The combination of both just made him flat out cantankerous.
He was now in a positively miserable mood given how his evening was going as he left the restaurant, once again ignoring the looks from the man behind the counter.
In all the years he had lived, or existed, had never met a girl, or any human for that matter, that could successfully fend him off and get away unharmed like she had. As a vampire he was stronger than them, not to mention faster with unmatchable endurance…but when he had been chasing Raine his powers seemed dulled, even diminished. He could not explain it, but somehow he seemed to lose his effectiveness around her.
That fact made him wonder.
He had to admit that maybe he didn't know her as well as he had thought. But he was unsure what he could have possibly missed that lead to this night's disaster. If she had powers to rival his own he would have known, so what had happened? Sure, she was pretty, but that had never caused him to trip up –literally- so badly before with anyone else.
As he looked for his next meal, he made up his mind to talk to Augustus when he got back from hunting.