Chapter 20:

Chapter 20:

We were in Central Park, both of us looking away from each other in opposite directions. What is there to say? I can't begin to imagine how he feels right now. This is my fault. I can't let him be there. I can't let anything happen to him.

"Charlie I am going to be there. Nothing can stop that," I heard Nicholas say in a determined voice.

I looked up to see his hard, grey eyes staring down at me. "Nicholas, no. You cant be there. You won't survive…" I couldn't finish my sentence.

"Come," he stated as he took my hand and led me to the park's exit.

"Where are we going now?"

"To talk to Christopher and Diana."

"What good will that do?" I asked pitifully.

"I am going to ask them to help us," he told me simply.

"No. I can't expect them to do that for me. I wont ask them to danger themselves so I can settle a score with Bernardo."

He stopped short and turned to face me. "Charlie, they love you too. I am certain they would gladly assist us if it meant helping you. Besides, I am asking them—not you," with that he turned around again and walked us out of the park.

I kept my mouth shut this time. I didn't want to do this but obviously Nicholas wasn't going to listen to me. We walked swiftly down the sidewalk, swerving between pedestrians on the way to their apartment.

I was glad we were walking instead of taking a cab or subway. This gave me time to think and clear my mind. I took deep breaths in and out. Relax, everything will be okay. I have control over your visions now. I will be able to see this fight before it happens and prevent Nicholas from--. No, don't say it, don't even think that word. Breathe. With mine and Nicholas' powers combined, we should easily be able to kill Bernardo before anything happens. And if we get Christopher and Diana to help us, the odds will be even better.

I was concentrating so hard on calming myself down that I didn't notice we were at Christopher and Diana's apartment until we were walking up the front steps. Christopher answered the door before we were at the top step, like always and ushered us in without a question.

We walked into the room where I saw Diana sitting on the couch watching the news on T.V. The main story was about my murder. She quickly turned it off and turned towards us. I immediately saw her face fall. She could probably see the mix of horrifying emotions we were both feeling.

She stood from the couch and walked over to us. "What is the matter? Both of your emotions are a wreck," she told us.

"I have something very important to ask both of you. Please sit so I can explain everything," Nicholas asked them.

They did as he asked and Nicholas began telling him about what happened when I was with my maker. They didn't bother to hide their disgust and horror at what Bernardo had done to me or their wonder at how I had escaped.

"We know that he won't ever stop trying to find and hurt Charlie, so we need to do something about it now. She had a vision earlier," Nicholas gestured to me, "of Bernardo coming to our apartment and killing my doorman. I can't let that happen. We have decided to meet him before that and kill him. But, there is now a slight…complication…" Nicholas left the sentence dangling there in the silence.

"What is the complication?" Christopher asked quietly.

Nicholas looked down at the carpet and I spoke up for him, "We planned to lure him to the park and wait there to ambush him. However, I had another vision…and in it…Nicholas was dead…" I finished in a small voice.

Both Diana and Christopher audibly gasped. "We obviously need to change something about our plan to prevent that from happening. When our plans change, hopefully so will my vision," I explained further.

"That is why we are here," Nicholas continued for me, "to ask you two to help us destroy Bernardo."

The room was completely silent for all of three seconds before I heard Diana speak. "Of course Nicholas. We love you both and don't want anything to happen to you. We will definitely be there beside you when you confront Charlie's maker."

I looked up at Christopher to see if he agreed with what Diana had said. He was already shaking his head and smiled at me when I looked at him. I let out a sigh of relief. They are incredible.

"I know," Nicholas said quietly from beside me. "Thank you both so much. You have no idea how grateful we both are."

"Please, it would be our honor," Christopher said in his deep, low voice.

"Charlie?" Nicholas asked me.

I knew what he wanted. I closed my eyes and I was back in the park at night. I saw Bernardo walk quickly into the park, his eyes searching. Then everything went blank.

I was back in Diana and Christopher's living room. "What did you see?" Nicholas asked gently.

"I can't see how the fight will end. There must be another decision that will decide that. At least I don't see you—," again I couldn't finish the sentence.

I heard Nicholas sigh from beside me, "Well, at least we know we have a chance now."

"Did you just have a vision?" I heard Christopher ask excitedly.

"Um, yes and no. I didn't just have a vision. I looked into the future to see what would happen with the fight."

I saw Christopher's eyes widen and Diana put her hand over her mouth. "You can control what you see?" He asked in disbelief.

"Yes. I stumbled across that information by accident a few days ago. Why?" I asked, worried.

"That is incredible," Diana finally spoke. "How can you—,"

"I know it is unbelievable, but they are accurate. She knew the name of the inn I was taking her to upstate when we were still hours away. I am positive she couldn't have known any other way," Nicholas explained to the still shocked siblings across the room.

We sat there in an awkward silence as they continued to gape at me. I was starting to feel uncomfortable. Why did everyone always find that so unbelievable? So what? Is it really that big of a deal? So I am learning to use my power sooner than would be expected?

"I think we should get our plan set in stone now. Charlie saw that Bernardo would be at our apartment at ten-fifteen. We need to make sure we are in the park way before that so he will go there first," Nicholas explained. He must have heard how I was feeling and decided to intervene.

"What are we going to do? Hide in the bushes until he comes near us and then ambush him?" Diana asked skeptically.

"No," Nicholas said quietly. "Charlie wants to do this on her own. The three of us will be waiting nearby and intercede if anything goes wrong."

The room was shocked into silence. The look of horror on Diana and Christopher's faces was unmistakable. I am not going to let them talk me out of this.

"This is my problem, I have to handle it alone," I finally spoke up. "I never wanted any of you to be involved with this but Nicholas insisted. I will be able to take care of myself. I have been able to use my power with more accuracy lately and I'm positive that will give me the advantage I need. Please, don't try to talk me out of this," I finished.

I looked around the room to the three faces that were staring at me with various degrees of incredulity. I chose to ignore them and continued with the planning. "Nicholas said he knows of a lot of places in the park that are deserted after dark. I figured that we could find one of those places and I would wait. Almost like baiting the trap. Hopefully, Bernardo will feel me there instead of at the apartment and come to find me. When he does I will use my power to try and predict what he will do. I'm sure I can win this. If anything goes wrong, you three will be right there and can jump in. It's late in the afternoon now so I think it would be a good idea to start heading for the park," I concluded.

They were still silently shocked. I guess no one knew of my leadership abilities until now. "That's not it Charlie. We can't believe you are so…calm about all of this. Aren't you nervous at all?"

I thought about that for a moment. I should be nervous. I was about to go up against my maker. I was going to try to attempt to kill him. I had never killed anything besides insects in my whole life. "No. I'm not really nervous. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I trust my power. I know that I won't be caught off guard or surprised in any way. I'll know what to expect and that is…comforting."

Nicholas brought his arm around my shoulder and pulled me closer to him. "You are incredible," he whispered in my ear. I allowed myself a few moments to enjoy his embrace before I straightened back up.

"We should go now," I informed them.

Everyone in the room stood and slowly made their way to the door. We filed out of their apartment and began to make our way toward the park. Nicholas and I were walking hand in hand in the front, with Christopher and Diana behind us. I couldn't help thinking about how much this resembled a funeral procession. Maybe we are walking toward a funeral. Maybe I won't survive this. Maybe one of them won't survive this…NO. I won't let that happen. I am in tune with my visions now and I will protect everyone. It's my job to make sure nothing happens to any of them.

I repeated that mantra over and over in my head while we walked back to central park. I could see the sun almost completely obscured by the tall buildings and the skies begin to change color. We don't have much time now. I need to get in position soon.

I felt Nicholas squeeze my hand and I looked up at him. "Please stop worrying. You haven't done anything but that since we left Christopher and Diana's apartment. I won't let anything happen to you, to me, or to them. Charlie look at it this way: you can see the future. You can see what move he will make before he makes it. I can read minds; I will be able to hear if he decides to do something different. Christopher can see through solid surfaces—if he hides we can find him, and Diana will be able to tell us what he is feeling. That can be useful when it comes to knowing when he is about to give up or if he will at all. With all of our powers there is no way we can lose this. You just need to relax and concentrate on you visions now."

I nodded my head, he was right. Worrying wasn't going to help anything. I closed my eyes and saw Bernardo walking down a hallway. The hallway looked similar to the one in the hotel he was staying in. I saw him walk up to a door labeled six-fifteen and knock lightly.

A young girl with long brown hair and bright blue eyes opened the door. She looked to be around my age and was wearing light grey sweatpants and a plain white t-shirt. she stared up at the strange man outside her door with a confused look on her face. Before she could ask him what he was doing there, Bernardo forced the door open the rest of the way and walked in. I followed him and he slammed the door closed.

There were three more people in the room. It looked like a family, mom, dad, and a young boy who couldn't be older than twelve. I stood in the front of the room and watched on, horrified as Bernardo quickly attacked each of the family in turn. The young girl was first and the rest of her family was too shocked to try and save her or themselves. Then he went for the father-like man in the middle of the room. The man tried to fight but it was clear he didn't have a chance. the monster then turned towards the little boy, drained him and dropped his limp, lifeless body onto the bed. Then Bernardo turned toward the mother, "I am very sorry ma'am, but if I am to get her back, I will need all of my strength, and all of your blood." The woman's eyes scanned the room, the tears filling her eyes as she looked at each body that used to be her family. Then the woman started to scream but before it could reach its full volume, Bernardo had grabbed her and bit her neck. He let that woman fall to the ground as well.

I was breathing hard, trying not to cry again. I heard Diana's voice from far away "Is she alright? What has happened?" she sounded worried.

Then in my ear I heard the soft sound of Nicholas' soothing voice, "Charlie, open your eyes. Its over, tell us what happened."

I suddenly opened my eyes and saw Nicholas' face close to mine. I looked around to find Diana and Christopher towering over me. I must have fallen. I was still breathing hard, trying to calm myself.

Finally I gained enough control to tell them what happened. "Bernardo is feeding. I just watched him kill a whole family in their hotel room. He said he needed to be as strong as possible to get me back…"my voice trailed off.

"Killed?"

I jerked my head up to sound of Christopher's voice. It sounded flat, dead, black. "Yes," I answered him quietly, "it looked like a mom, dad, a girl my age, and a young boy about twelve."

"That is despicable. There is no reason humans should die for us to live. Vampires rarely ever kill and I have only heard of a couple who killed on purpose. This maker of yours is an animal. It would now be my pleasure to dispose of him," Christopher promised, his voice becoming lower and more deadly with his proclamation.

I saw Diana reach out her hand to put it on Christopher's shoulder. "Calm down Chris. We will take care of him. No more innocent blood will be shed at the hands of this monster."

I heard Christopher let out a breath as Nicholas put his hands on my elbows to stand me up. I brushed off the grass and dirt that was now on my jeans and once again followed Nicholas into the heart of the park. Finally Nicholas stopped and I surveyed the area around us. It was a small clearing that was surrounded my tall trees and bushes on three sides. Under the largest tree there was an empty black bench.

"This should be a good spot. Not many people come here, especially at night and there are a lot of places we can hide to watch. Will Bernardo come here looking for you?" Nicholas asked me.

I shut my eyes and saw Bernardo walking down a random street. The sun was almost completely set now and the sky was half light blue, half starless dark blue. Then I saw the park come into view. Bernardo reached the entrance and began running. I recognized the same land marks we had seen on our way here. Then I saw myself sitting on the bench, looking in the opposite direction of where Bernardo was coming from. He stood behind the large tree I was sitting under and watched me for a few moments before he stepped out into my line of vision.

"He will come here first. And he's going to approach this spot from behind that tree," I said, pointing to where the bench was. "If you three hide anywhere else than he shouldn't accidentally stumble across you."

"Can you see how it will turn out yet?" Nicholas asked hesitantly.

I closed my eyes but only saw black. I opened them again and shook my head. "there must still be a few things that haven't been decided yet. I guess we have to do this blind." I looked up at the sky now and saw that the last traces of pinks and oranges were fading. "he will be here soon. You should go find places to hide now."

Diana walked up to me first and put her arms around me, "don't worry Charlie, we will be watching. Nothing will happen to you," she said softly, then released me and stepped aside.

Next, Christopher stepped up and put both of his hands on the tops of my shoulders. "Charlie, I haven't known you long but I am very pleased that I do. Like Diana said, we won't let anything bad happen. Please do not worry about that." I smiled at him as he turned around to join his sister. The both of them walked out of sight.

"Charlie," I heard Nicholas' soft, sweet voice. I turned my head to see his eyes, tinted red and looking into mine. I took a few steps closer to him and wrapped my arms around his neck. I felt my feet leave the ground as Nicholas wrapped his arms around me and picked me up. He squeezed me tightly like that for a few moments before setting me back down.

I looked up into his eyes and gently placed my hand on the side of his face. "I love you Nicholas," I whispered.

"I love you too, Charlotte. More than you know." With that he reached down to press his lips to mine. His mouth was urgent but somehow sweet against mine. I moved my lips with his and felt him rub my face gently, like he was studying it. All too soon the kiss ended. Nicholas took a step back, the pain evident in his eyes. He put stroked my face with the back of his hand once more and turned quickly to leave.

I took a deep breath and walked over to the bench to sit down. Now, I wait. It won't be long now, before Bernardo is here. On the bright side, this should all be over soon. I won't have hide anymore. I won't have to live in fear. I won't have to look over my shoulder…

Just then I heard the rustling of branches from behind me. I knew it was Bernardo. I closed my eyes and saw him waiting there, watching me. I saw that he would try to grab me from behind. My eyes shot open and I jumped up from the bench and turned around quickly. Bernardo was lying on the ground; obviously he had fallen after having lunged for me but missed. He quickly stood up and looked me in the eyes as he took a step closer.


Author's Note: I firstly want to apologize for this update taking so long. There have been a lot of other things going on in my life and I've had to neglect my writing. I haven't written anything for this story in a while but i still have a lot of chapters saved up so I can keep posting. Hopefully I finish the story soon and can post it all on here. Having said that, I HAVE A NEW STORY UP HERE!! its really exciting and I'm really proud of it. the story (tentatively titled "Glamour") is in a really early stage but me and my co-author (thats right, co-author!) are working really hard to make it the best we've ever written. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check out the story "Glamour" and review it!! I love all of your opinions and would love them for that story as well.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this chapter and hope to hear from you all!!