I closed my eyes and pictured the way that Calvin looks at me, his eyes full of wonder, and that slight tilt to his lips like he’s always just on the verge of cracking one of his eye blinding smiles any moment. That look that makes me feel weak when I see it. He loves me, thinks of me, and wants me when he looks at me. Do I really want that to change? How would he look at me if he’s only thinking of the blood I could offer him?
I took a deep breath and stood, trying to get my circulation flowing again. I didn’t want to talk about this anymore, so I turned back to look at the two of them. “Have we heard from the men today?” I asked, trying to be hopeful. They’d sent word when they arrived in Britain, and then again a few days ago to let Calvin know that they were beginning the mission. They were moving in on the area, but the fear of the Lamia Mortem was keeping a lot of people in their homes and not frequenting the bars and places that the rebels were usually seen. The last we heard from them they were going to be moving further in the next morning. They were supposed to call when that phase was complete and they had neutralized the threat, but that was days ago.
Octavia stood up and pursed her lips as she frowned. “No.” She sighed. “The night is still young though, the call could come in any moment.” She said optimistically. “Try not to worry about it.”
She smiled. “The men that Calvin sent are the very best there are.”
I peeked out of the door to look over at the bed where Calvin was laying sprawled from one corner to the other, his skin thin and shiny. He shook slightly, his body tremoring and Cromley reached out to touch his shoulder. My eyes filled with tears again as I saw him there, but I turned back to Octavia and Logan. “What about Pedro?” I asked. “I don’t like that he hasn’t called.”
“I’m sure the only reason there was no call yesterday was because he was busy moving.” Octavia nodded and I could see the worry on Logan’s face too. He didn’t like going a day without hearing from Rose either.
“He said he wasn’t moving far, though.” I sighed. When the team in Britain wasn’t able to move in as quickly as planned, we’d decided to have Pedro go ahead and move to a new location just in case any of the rebels were getting close to figuring out where they were.
Octavia nodded and put her hand on my shoulder as she flung her hair back with the other one. “I know, but he will probably be calling anytime now too.” She smiled at me, then turned her head quickly.
“What?” I asked her when I saw her narrow her eyes and peer into the main room.
She shook her head. “I just thought I heard something.” She muttered. “Cromley?” She called. “Did you hear that?”
I walked into the main room with Logan behind me.
Cromley was standing at the front door, his back against it and his head turned to the side, his ear resting against the wood of it. “I did.” He
mumbled back, his eyes concentrated. “Might have been wind knocking some branches from a tree.” He speculated.
“Been storming all day.” He shrugged.
“You’re probably right.” Octavia agreed.
I ignored their jumpiness. It was a usual occurrence, one or both of them thinking they heard something outside, but it never turns out to be anything more than an owl, or the wind.
I walked over to the bed and pulled the sheet up to cover Calvin’s shaking shoulders.
“Be careful.” Cromley said quickly. “Give him some space and don’t touch him.” He warned me.
I nodded and then turned back to look at Calvin. He was jerking his head back and forth again, and I knew they all wanted me to back up, but I could leave his side, not when he’s like this.
“Rachel.” He muttered quietly, still shaking.
I put my hand on his chest over the blanket and sighed. “I’m here.” I whispered. “And I’m sorry.” I added. “I understand why you don’t want me to help you.” I told him, and it was true. If it was even a possibility that me giving him my blood could ruin what we have, then I understand why he doesn’t want to take the risk.
His body continued to shiver, but his face seemed to relax slightly. “L-Lo-Love…” He got out, but his voice was broken and dry.
“I love you.” I whispered to him. “I love you so much, Calvin. Just keep being strong.” I was saying it to him, but I needed to hear it more than he probably did. Every day that goes by I feel like I’m becoming smaller and smaller, my resolve weakening too. I need Calvin to give me strength.
I jerked upright when the ground beneath my feet shook.
“What the hell was that?” Logan snapped.
Cromley backed away from the door and looked angrily at it. “Someone’s coming.” He sneered.
Octavia came over to the side of the bed with me, and my heart pounded in my throat as Cromley waited for the door to open. The lock turned, and we all shared an anxious glance before the door slowly slid open.
We all let out an audible sigh of relief when we saw Patrick come in quickly. “They’re trying to break out!” Patrick told us as he moved to the opposite side of the room from all of us and shook his head. “I had to get out of there, I was afraid they’d kill me.”
“They who?” I asked, willing my heart to slow back to normal.
Cromley shut the door back and looked over at me then back to Patrick.
“The people.” He said hollowly. “They’re going crazy.” He told us.
“The infection has taken hundreds but yet they won’t stay put.
They refuse to barricade themselves. They are manufacturing their own explosives now.”
“Is that what we just felt?” Logan asked, and Patrick nodded to him.
“I was no longer doing my work in the kitchens because they’ve been trashed and I had no staff anyway, and so I was staying locked in my back room, but then the explosions started and I didn’t feel safe down there anymore.” He admitted, then sat down on the ground against the wall. “I don’t want to come any closer though in case I carry any contamination.”
Cromley and Octavia nodded. “Ok,” Cromley told him. “Just stay over there for now.”
“How’s the king?” He asked, looking over at us. “And the queen?” He said more to me.
I looked down at Calvin’s pained expression and shook my head.
“Probably doing as well as we look.” I muttered.
The room fell quiet, nothing but the small agonizing sounds that crept through Calvin’s dried lips coming to our ears until suddenly Cromley jumped and stared at the door again. “Were you followed?” He snapped at Patrick, but Patrick quickly shook his head.
“No, I’m positive.” He whispered, listening too.
Octavia looked over at me worriedly. The only people who know we are here, are already all here. “There’s people coming.” She whispered to me. “Go hide.” She muttered.
I looked down at Calvin. “I can’t leave him.” I insisted.
“How many are there?” Logan whispered.
Cromley shook his head. “I can’t tell, they’re running.” He told him. “Coming this way.”
Octavia grabbed my arm and pushed me back towards the bathroom. “Go. Now.” She said and I went to go but the door slammed open and I was frozen in my tracks.
I turned to face the door, my eyes meeting with his for only a moment before I fell down to the ground on my knees, wrapping my arms around my body to hold myself together because I was sure I was going to literally fall apart now.
Octavia’s eyes were wide, tears stinging the corners. “Pedro.” She gasped.
= == === == ==
√ Calvin P•O•V ✔
= == = === ===
Blood. Blood. Blood. So much blood around me. Shaking, crying, screaming. More crying. Blood. Hot, delicious, blood. It’s calling me. It wants me. It needs to be taken. Blood. Blood. I need it, the pain is everywhere now. Am I burning alive now? Am I ashes? Have I already been shattered apart, burned, and dusted into the wind? Nothing more than a memory now? Is this how I ended….The blood calls…but so does something else.
Terror….There’s terror near me.
I can’t move, but I hear it, I feel it, and I know.
I’ve failed again, the ultimate way this time.
Deep breaths. I know Rachel is here, but the room is full of the scent of her
tears as well as her blood.
Blood. Blood. Blood.
She’s not the only one here…not the only one crying…
Rachel, blood, Octavia, Cromley, Patrick, Logan,
blood, and Pedro….
Pedro and Major Renard.
Why are they here? And together? It doesn’t make sense.
Blood. Blood. Failure. Blood.
Blood. Why isn’t there more blood here? Rachel’s and Logan’s I smell. I feel
their heat in the room. Pedro’s here, but no other blood….no extra blood…
“No!” My voice howls from my chest. “No!” I feel hotness on my cheeks, my own tears when I was so sure mere seconds ago that my body was dried and gone.
“Calvin, I’m so sorry.” Pedro cries, his voice splitting with pain and sorrow.
“Rachel!” I shout, forcing open my heavy eyes.
She’s on the floor, crying with Octavia.
I failed her. I failed Rose.
“What…Happened…?” I tried to demand, but my voice…it wouldn’t come.
“Calvin, the rebels, they found us while we were moving.” He wallowed. “I don’t know how they found us…but they took her…The rebels have Rose.”
More screams, more crying, my own mixed in.
Failure. Failure. Failure.
My flesh and blood…My little girl…Rachel’s little girl…In the hands of the rebels….
Failure. Failure. Failure.
“No!” I shook and cried, too weak to move, to go to Rachel and hold her. “Rose, No!”