A/N Thank you everyone that gave feedback!
Chapter 7: Ivan the terrible
As they entered the gymnasium the first thing that the boys noticed through the dust and debris was that a large part of the far wall and a small portion of the roof had been blown away. The floor was strewn with bricks and broken gym equipment, several pieces of which were on fire. The cause of this devastation wasn't immediately obvious but as the dust settled the Merton and Tommy saw that buy the opening in the far wall stood the Victorian dressed order.
The capacious leader was bent over a small figure with a bloodstained knife in his hands. It was Emma. The girl groaned softly and tried to rise as the leader turned away but she couldn't. She slumped back to the ground with an anguished cry, clutching her stomach. Already, her clean white netball uniform was drenched in blood. Merton gave an angry yell and taking even himself by surprise took a step towards the order. Tommy held his struggling friend back as the leader turned to face them.
His black cloak and suit were covered in dust which somehow made him seem less menacing than he had done when they had first met. Slowly he removed his hat and for the first time the boys could see what he looked like. He had a round ruddy face, partially obscured by his large black beard and wispy eyebrows making him look like an evil Santa. He wiped the sweat from his furrowed brow and called across to them gruffly.
"You can do nothing for this one now, but you might save the other." He indicated across the gym to a pile of bricks, there was a girls hand poking out from underneath.
"Lori!" Tommy cried out desperately rushing over "Merton, help me get her out!"
Almost reluctantly Merton ran to his friend's side and began to help shift the rubble and free Lori whilst still keeping an eye on Emma and the order. Once the unconscious Lori was free Merton turned his full attention back to the others in time to see them leaving. He was relieved to see the back of them but it seemed that someone else was not.
In a darkened corner of the destroyed gym a voice Merton presumed to be Vincent called.
"Going so soon Ivan? I thought it was your sole mission to rid the world of my kind" It laughed, but did not move from the shadow.
The leader, Ivan's lip curled into a look of pure disgust as he moved towards the corner, drawing his knife. "Watch the girl!" He ordered his men over his shoulder. "Do not let her slip away"
Ivan appeared to disappear into the darkness as his clothing melted into the shadow. The rest of the gymnasium watched and listened with baited breath for any sign of movement, any sound. There was nothing for a moment until a loud cracking noise broke the silence. Out of the shadow a body slumped to the floor.
Tommy and several of the Order ran to figure. It was Ivan; his face had been twisted into a look of pure terror. Something had snapped his neck. Tommy looked up expecting to see Vincent but there was nothing there. It was as though his neck had been snapped by the shadows themselves.
Tommy turned to the order members and met the gaze of a young man barely older than him. The mans face had blanched and his expression was uncannily like Ivan's.
"It's a real one!" He squeaked to the others in a high pitched cockney accent "Let's get out of 'ere!"
The others didn't need telling twice. Without so much as a backwards glance the leaderless rabble escaped through the hole. Disturbed by their behavior Tommy moved away from the shadow and back into the middle of the room. Lori had now woken up and sat groggily by Merton who was tending to Emma.
She was in a terrible state. Drenched in blood and gasping for air she once again tried to rise. Merton eased her back down gently. There were tears in his eyes.
"Shh," He cooed, "you'll be fine. You need to lay back and wait for help. Tommy go get someone!" He ordered. He looked terrified
Tommy turned to leave but Emma called him back. "No," She choked "You all have to leave now. There's a vampire in here. A full one not like Vince."
"It's daylight" Tommy reminded her.
"And yet he still killed Ivan, an experienced vampire hunter." Emma moaned desperately "You must go!"
"Well just stay away from talking shadows" Lori said urgently as she indicated that Tommy should go for help.
Tommy turned away from his friends and found himself face to face with a pale gentleman, dressed in a sharp black suit. "Actually, "He said in a well spoken English accent, "I think you'll find that as long as we avoid direct sunlight we're alright." He smiled at Tommy showing off two gleaming white fangs.
From the floor Merton moaned "Did the British invade and we just missed the memo? I mean come on! There are more Englishmen in this town right now than in England!"
Tommy ignored him. "Who are you?" He demanded but it was not the vampire that answered.
"Grego?" Emma called softly from the floor. "Are you Gregor?"
"He's dead. " Lori reminded her softly, stroking the dying Goths face. "The order killed him.
"She's right," The vampire corrected Lori, "I am Gregor. I did not die that night, though both the order and Emma's parents believed that I did. You see there was a traitor in the order. He merely pretended to stake me." The vampire explained softly "I used the old 'turn to vapor' trick and escaped."
"So why didn't you meet up with Emma's parents?" Tommy asked. He was not entirely sure that he trusted the vampires' story.
Gregor looked ashamed "I was afraid, "He sighed sadly, "After the Rice's had battled with the order, the order vowed to destroy them. I did not want to get caught up in the cross fire."
Merton even more confused than Tommy. "I thought that the vampires that you sire are supposed to be like your children." He called from the floor "How could you abandon them?"
"I am not proud of myself" The vampire growled angrily, causing Merton to shrink back in terror. "I watched them from a distance. Watched them grow as vampires and adapt to their new lifestyle. It was amazing to see them rear their children. Emma was perfect, almost human. Whereas Vince was pure evil. They were forced to keep him locked away, but they never stopped loving him." The vampires scowled at the painful memory. "I should have been there to help them through it but I was too much of a coward. Now it is too late for me to be the father that I could have been for them. I have come here to protect their children. It is the least that I can do."
"It's too late" Emma whispered sadly. I'm dying and Vince…. There's no helping Vince."
Gergor shook his head. "There is hope for you both." He smiled down kindly. "I have in my possession a spell that will give Vincent exactly what he wants…"
"You don't need a spell for that." Emma interrupted sadly from the floor. 'Hang around another five minuets and I'll be out of his hair"
"You know that is not what he wants" Gregor sighed.
"You can let him love?" Emma asked hopefully. As Gregor nodded tears of joy welled up in Emma's eyes. "We won't have to kill him" she whispered happily.
"What about Emma?" Lori asked the vampire. "Can you do anything for her?"
"Bring her away from the light." The vampire ordered. On the floor Lori and Merton began to help her up but Tommy held up a warning hand. "How do we know that we can trust you?" He demanded. "We only have your word and as we've just seen you murder someone, I don't think that it counts for very much!"
The vampire regarded Tommy critically for a moment then nodded approvingly. "You are right to be suspicious" He smiled at Tommy, "But you must remember that Ivan had just stabbed Emma and, I assume, was off to do the same to Vincent. As I have said, I have taken it upon myself to protect the two of them and therefore could not allow that odious man to live a second longer."
Tommy paused a while to consider this but Merton snapped him out of it. "Tommy!" He shot angrily "Emma needs help now! We have no choice!"
Reluctantly Tommy helped them move the girl over to the vampire and hovered protectively as he began his examination.
After a moment of poking and prodding the dying girl the vampire looked up at her three concerned friends. "She needs blood," He muttered "now or she'll die"
"Let's get her to the hospital!" Tommy ordered and bent down to lift her. Gergor grabbed his wrist to stop him. His cold grip was very strong.
"I don't mean like that." He said meaningfully. "She needs to drink it"
The others looked revolted as Emma moaned desperately. "I can't! I won't kill!"
"No one said that you have to kill dear," Gregor sighed softly "You just need a small amount to get your healing powers going."
"I hate to be 'Mr. State the obvious' here" said Merton. "But look no fangs" He lifted Emma's dry lips to expose her fangless teeth. She batted his hand away.
"She does not need to bite" Gregor snapped, producing a sharp blade from his pocket. "One of you must cut yourself"
Tommy and Lori turned to Merton. "What?" He asked confused. "Oh no! Not me. I hate the sight of blood"
"Merton," said Lori pointing around the bloodstained gym, "It's everywhere!"
"I meant my blood." Merton moaned. He turned to look at his dying girlfriend and felt a huge pang of guilt. 'What am I doing? He scolded himself 'I've been given the chance to save her and I'm chickening out! Without another word he snatched the blade from Gregor and ran it across his arm.
The pain was so intense that he felt for a moment that he may bass out. Swaying slightly he lent down towards Emma. She turned her head away at first but after a little encouragement she pressed her lips to Merton's wound and drank deeply. As she did, the little colour that there was before returned to her cheeks.
"Enough!" Gregor called and Merton snatched his hand away and clutched it tightly to his chest. Tommy handed him a handkerchief to stem the flow as Gregor once again examined Emma. He lifted the end of her shirt and where there was once a knife wound there was nothing, she was completely healed
A sudden commotion drew there attention to the doorway. It appeared that the teachers were about to enter Gregor turned urgently to Emma.
"This is you're third night in America correct? You must perform this spell tonight. It must be tonight or it will never work." He handed her a yellowing piece of parchment." I will come when you need me." He smiled and with a loud pop disappeared into thin air.
"How did he…?" Tommy began but was stopped mid sentence as half of the faculty burst into the room, their jaws on the floor.
" Erm…" Merton stammered as the principal marched over. "we… we.."
" We don't know what happened!" Emma moaned.
The others stared in disbelief as Emma lied their way out of the awkward situation. She feigned ignorance, claiming that the whole building had just collapsed around the netball team and that Tommy and Merton had come to save them. The boys were amazed to find that not only were they not getting in trouble, they were being commended for their brave actions.
" Where did you learn to lie so well?" Tommy muttered out of the corner of his mouth as the four of them were led to the nurses' office.
"Years of practice" She smiled back. "It comes with the territory when your family are all blood sucking creatures of the night."
"Speaking of which," Merton piped up, " What do we do about Vinny? Do you think the spell will work?
Emma shrugged as she entered the office. "I hope so. I really do."
(A/n hmm.. seems pretty straight forward from here doesn't it? Work mojo… Vince good.. happy ever after….yeah right! grins evilly )