“We will still be here.” I reminded him. “It isn’t like we are just taking off, Calvin.” I said soothingly. “I know this is difficult, but like Octavia said, the first thing to do is get you to safety.”
Calvin reached out to cradle my face. “No, it’s to get you to safety.”
“Fine.” I said. “Then get me to safety so that I can take you hostage.”
Despite the tension, for a half of a second I almost saw a smile dance across his lips. “What else do I need to do?” He asked and I knew how bad he felt for having to ask at all. To him, being the king means you have all of the answers and you’re supposed to be able to protect everyone, and when that doesn’t turn out to be true, I know how heavily it weighs on him.
“We need to get where we’re going, and make sure no one knows about it.” I told him. “Whoever is behind all of this is close enough to us all to be able to get away with something of this magnitude, so we can’t trust anyone.” I sighed, as if we ever could trust anyone before. “Once we get there, you’ll need to address the people. They’re going to be scared, and they’ll need you to be strong for them.”
Calvin put his arm around me and kissed the side of my head.
“They’ll want to see both of us.” He said, then kissed me again.
I tried to smile, but it just didn’t feel like a good time. I looked down at the carpet beneath my feet. “What about Rose?” I whispered and he tightened his arm around me.
“Logan just spoke with her a little while ago.” Octavia said gently. “They were fine, and it was before the people began to fall out, so Pedro doesn’t know yet.”
“I’ll need to call him before he hears it through someone else.” Calvin nodded his head. “Plus, he may have some perspective on the whole situation since he has been away and not in the middle of this never ending hell hole.” Calvin said frustrated.
“Option A is definitely out now, option B would be harder to pull off, and option C is also no longer an option.” Calvin sighed.
“I know.” I whispered. “What do we do?”
Calvin began pacing the floor and holding his hand on top of his head. “I don’t know.” He said. “I honestly don’t.” He stopped walking and turned to look at me. “The people have been starving, and now all the ones who have made their way to the blood supply have been infected. The people who haven’t yet, won’t be able to, and it will be weeks before I can arrange any kind of new shipment, and I’m not positive about what I’ll get.”
He shook his head. “We’re about to be in the middle of a lockdown with ravenous angry vampires. There’s no way in hell that we could bring Rose here during all of this. It would be dangerous on a regular day, but no human is going to be safe around here now.”
My stomach sank and I wanted to cry, but knew I needed to be strong right now. “Have you spoken to your team?” I asked.
He nodded his head once. “I have.” He told me. “They landed with no issue, and the mission has begun. I should hear something else by tomorrow night.”
“Ok, well I guess we wait to see what they say and if they were successful, then we send Logan to meet her and Pedro, if not, we move her someplace else.”
“Agreed.” He responded quickly. “It’s a good thing they were able to get out of here early.” Enjoy more interesting stories @ generalloaded.com
There was a knock on the door and Cromley pulled it open carefully, announcing Patrick and waiting for Calvin to give him the nod before he let him in.
“Are the rumors true?” Patrick whispered in a high pitch, wiping his clean hands on his apron. He looked around at us all and then he covered his mouth. “Oh, dear god.” He whispered.
“The new blood.” Calvin sneered. “I can’t believe I didn’t see that coming.”
I held his hand and forced him to look at me. “No one did.” I reminded him.
“We’ve gotten blood supplies from other places before and certainly never had an issue with it. There was no way to know.” Octavia mumbled from the door. “I should go get Logan.” She said suddenly, straightening up. “The
last thing he needs to be doing is walking around here now.” She said quickly and dashed out of the room.
“Logan will be with us, right?” I asked Calvin and he pursed his lips, but gave me a nod before turning to Patrick.
“You should join us as well.” He told Patrick. “Pedro would have my head myself if I didn’t offer.”
“Join where?” He asked, wrinkling his forehead.
“Rachel, Octavia, Logan, Cromley and I will be staying out of Castrum in the riding house I had converted for mine and Rachel’s honeymoon.” He explained. “We have to keep them out of here, and you are more than welcomed to join us until we figure out what to do here.”
Patrick looked thoughtful. “Is it really the Lamia Mortem?” He whispered.
“Many have already been killed.” Calvin said bleakly.
“So much for vampirism equaling immortality.” Patrick shook his head. “You’re sure it’s in the blood?” He asked and Calvin sighed and nodded to him. “If that’s the case, then I will stay here, Sir.” He said respectfully. “I fed with a blood servant just this morning before I started working in the kitchen, so I won’t be in need anytime soon, plus the people in this situation are going to need something else to hold them over.”
I tilted my head at him. “Does that work?” I asked curiously.
“No, dear.” He shook his head. “But it helps to tell yourself that you aren’t starving while you eat, even if the reality is that you’re starving from thirst.”
“Oh.” I whispered, feeling a little of that weight that I bet Calvin is being crushed by right now. Just thinking of all of the people out there that are either dying, or starving…It hurts.
I turned back to Calvin. “Is there a cure?” I asked optimistically.
“No, Rachel.” He said sadly. “It will just have to run its course.” He told me. “Going into a full lockdown will prevent the spread, and once the infected have died and been properly disposed of, the threat will be over, but there’s no telling how long that will take, or if it is going to kill a quarter of my people here, half my people, or if it won’t be done until all of my people have paid the price for us.”
I took a step back from him. “You blame us for what’s happening here?” I asked him.
He turned away from me and walked into the living room, ignoring my question, and he flipped on the TV. There was no announcer, or coverage on, only a bright red screen with a banner running across the middle with the words ‘Emergency Alert’ scrolling across over and over.
“Cromley,” Calvin said suddenly. “I sent you down to feed.”
Cromley raised his hand. “The other two men were worse off than me and I let them go ahead while I made my rounds.” He said quickly. “When I made it back around to the blood storage rooms, I saw the dead in the hall and then heard others talking on the way here.” He explained. “I didn’t come in contact with one of the infected, or drink from the blood.”
Calvin sighed visibly. “Very good.” He nodded to himself, then went back to looking at the TV screen.
“How is it spread?” I asked, unsure if I wanted to know the answer.
Calvin was preoccupied in his own mind, so Cromley stepped over to me. “It was originally made to be hidden inside of the blood of a human so that once the vampire fed, he would fall sick soon after.” He told me. “This is much the same, since the toxin is in the blood. Once someone is infected, they exhibit odd symptoms, or odd for vampires, like coughing, or headaches.
When the illness is getting closer to the end, sores open up on the skin, and they pester and bleed, while sometimes extremities will turn to a black color, especially areas with high concentration of veins.”
As he was describing it, I was having flashbacks. “Their eyes.” I whispered. “What happened to their eyes?”
Cromley gave me a weird look, but then he tilted his head.
“Many of the booklets that I’ve read on it, mention the dead having-.”
“Red eyes?” I filled in and I felt Calvin turn to look at me.
“Yes.” Cromley whispered.
I started shaking instantly. “Calvin.” I said urgently, and he shot across the room to hold the tops of my arms and look down into my eyes.
“What’s wrong?” He asked, obviously concerned.
I shook as I spoke. “Calvin, my dream.” I told him. “I dreamt it, remember? I told you that I saw hundreds of dead vampires, and that they were being burned.” I whispered. “I saw them…they had the sores, and the pitch black veins, and their eyes, Calvin…their eyes were all red.”
Cromley looked back and forth between Calvin and me, while Calvin’s expression remained unreadable. “You saw this coming?” Cromley asked carefully.
I felt my tears spring free as I remembered how the dream ended.
“Yes.” I whispered, my voice cracking. “And I saw you all dead.”
“Rachel,” Calvin said gently. “Everything is going to be fine.” He tried to sooth me, but I backed away from his touch.
“No, Calvin.” I cried. “I saw it.”
Calvin narrowed his eyes at me, then chewed his lip. “Look, I know that’s scary, but think logically here.” He told me. “What are you trying to say? You think you saw the future?”
The door opened and Patrick stepped out of the way for Octavia and Logan to walk in together, Logan’s bag slung over his shoulder.
Patrick bowed his head to us as he caught the open door. “I should get back before I’m missed.” He said hurriedly. “Keep me in the loop.” He told us before he exited.
“What’s wrong?” Logan asked when he looked across the room at me.
Octavia stole a look with Calvin, then peered back at me questioningly.
“Rachel?” She whispered.
I cried more when I looked at her. “You’re all going to die.” I told her. “I dreamt it. I saw this was going to happen.”
“What are you talking about, Rachel?” Logan said skeptically.
“You saw what coming?”
I turned my back on all of them, covering my ears with my hands, trying to drown them out and focus my mind, which I couldn’t do with the lot of them looking at me like a poor lost little animal that has no idea what it’s doing. I needed to make them see. They are in so much more danger than they realize, because I saw it. I saw their deaths.
I turned back to them quickly, dropping my hands and looking right at Octavia. “Pedro.” I said urgently. “I need to talk to Pedro.” They gave me more looks to let me know I must seem like a crazy person right now, but this isn’t the first time that my dreams have led me down the right path.
Calvin tried to walk over to me again but I gave him a look, making him stop in his tracks. I was annoyed that he was being so weird about this. He’s a freaking vampire, how can it possibly be that hard for him to believe that my dreams might have been a warning of some kind.
Octavia looked over at Calvin again and he shrugged his shoulder to her. She turned back to Logan and pulled the bag off of his shoulder and unzipped it, pulling out the satellite phone and dialing out for me before handing it over. “Why Pedro?” She asked.
I took the phone from her and looked pointedly at Calvin.
“Because I know he will believe me.”
“You’ll have to be the one to tell him about the Lamia Mortem, then.” Calvin said, crossing his arms over his chest.
“Rachel?” Pedro’s warm voice called to me, and just the sound of it eased some of my nerves.
“How’d you know it was me?” I asked as I went to sit on the couch.
“I’ve already gotten a call today, and then with the news I just heard, I figured it would be you.” He explained. “Is it true?” He asked darkly.
“Yes, but that isn’t why I called.” I told him quickly. “I had a dream, Pedro. I dreamt that I saw hundreds of vampires piled into the ballroom, being burned, but they were covered in sores, and they had black veins, and their eyes were red, Pedro.”
I heard him gasp. “You dreamt this when? Before?”
Calvin was sitting in the chair to the side of the couch and leaning forward, his elbows propped on his knees as he listened. Pedro sounded like he was moving around and there was some crackling noises. “Very carefully, try to remember exactly what you saw.” He told me and Calvin furrowed his brows, then stood and took the phone from me.
“Pedro,” He said quickly. “Why is that important?” He asked then paused, nodding his head as Pedro answered, and he looked down at me with wide eyes. “You don’t really think there could be any bearing behind her dreams, do you?” He asked and I rolled my eyes, hoping that Pedro was filling him in on my fern dreams about the big secret that was hidden from me. It had been my dreams that had predicted the original rebellion when I was here last, and if I hadn’t been too blind, I would have seen that I was being lied to about the vampire takeover too.
ANYTHING FOR RACHEL