14. Just Because You Feel Good
She's pulled him into motion that hasn't ended. He runs away from the terror and the roar that chases them. The adrenaline runs through his veins, but his brain cannot make sense out of anything. The girl however seems to have regained her senses and is guiding him to safety, through the labyrinth basement after the way back upstairs has already been blocked. They run across the dusty rooms towards the darkness where the fading electronic light has no reign. He hopes they'll be safe there. She knows they won't.
Brigitte lashes herself in her thoughts for being such a fool. She'd almost succumbed back there, almost let the beast out. That's what the other wolf had been waiting for – for her to make the killing blow with Tyler and then feast on his flesh together with it. When she refused it, it only grew angry again and came at them. Only her quick thinking allowed them to escape, but now they are faced with a desperate chase that she fears will end only in their fall.
As they run through a door, Tyler suddenly jerks his hand free of her grip and slams the door closed, barring it from this side to stop the beast from advancing. It won't hold it for long, she knows, but says nothing. Tyler will fight if he thinks there's hope. Tyler turns to her his face covered by a pattern of fresh blood. She rushes closer to wipe it off as quickly as possible, but he doesn't let her close.
"What the hell is happening!" He curses, wiping the blood on his shirt. Nausea is creeping up his throat and making him dizzy. He can see a gushing wound on Brigitte's shoulder, but she doesn't even seem to notice it as she stares at the door solemnly. Her messy hair is full of her own blood. Had she not attacked the creature, succeeding in making it retreat somewhat, they wouldn't have stood a chance. This gave the creature a chance to graze her shoulder though.
As she gives no reply, he moves closer and rips his shirt to bandage her wound. This time she doesn't let him close, knowing very well what her blood will do to him if any is mixed with his. Her eyes give him a clear warning not to approach, but to her surprise the blackmailing bastard actually can't sit by and watch another person suffer if it is in his power to prevent it. Clearly this is the reason he chose his profession to begin with, but became tainted along the way. Tyler moves closer and presses the torn shirt against her wound, making her yelp like a wounded animal. Tyler almost freezes at the sound, remembering a pet that slumbered to death in his arms a long time ago.
Their eyes meet: hers full of guilt and tears while he bandages her wound. She doesn't want to explain, because it's all in her head and she isn't becoming that malformed thing from her nightmares. She knows he can't possibly understand anything about her life for the past years. She was just a kid when this battle began, while he was probably already fucking desperate girls that needed his help, not his abuse.
The door is pounded against with terrible strength. The noise makes them both startle and look at the door that's keeping them safe. "We have to go now," Brigitte says, grabbing his forearm into her grip and pulling him back into motion. He doesn't protest her touch, or her leadership, even if his brain is working overtime to figure out how the pathetic junkie girl suddenly became someone he trusts his life with.
Brigitte notices that her nails have gotten sharper again and quickly releases him from her hold, resisting the urge to look at the door and see if the beast can really break through. Tyler is scanning their surroundings, trying to remember the layout of this maze, because it could save them. He remembers fucking one girl in the next room and watching two other handle each other in the corner here. If this weren't a life and death situation he probably would already finished with Brigitte too. And as strange as it is she really would've been different, now wouldn't she?
This is like her worst nightmare all over again: walking through the corridors of her own home with Sam and having Ginger take everything away from her. Had Brigitte not held onto hope and Ginger's secret for so long, she might've saved a lot of lives. She wouldn't have had to stab her own sister by accident in a struggle for survival. None of this would've happened, because she wouldn't have foolishly infected herself voluntarily.
The rage builds up inside her. It's what the beast inside feeds on: her fears, the disarray of her mind and especially her rage. It surfaces more easily when she's angry. She needs to stay level-headed, or otherwise Tyler will become her victim as well. It doesn't matter to her that he's an asshole; just that he's human and doesn't deserve this curse in his life. Yet there's something out here, something familiar. It spreads warmth in her body. It makes her want to run as fast as she can.
Tyler observes her quietly, recognizing the expressions she wears. This is nothing unusual to her. Brigitte – the little saint who was above his games – is quite familiar with this plight. The way she moves through the rooms, like an animal hunting for prey, it all adds up. He can see how dry her skin is on her muscular arms. How her ears don't quite look right and how her eyes shine every now and then. He hasn't noticed this before, because his eyes have been measuring completely different parts of her body, but now he is noticing it alright. Just what happened to her?
Brigitte grabs the front of his shirt and pulls him after her. She can sense the right path now; just feel that she's supposed to run this way. In the distance, she can hear the door breaking. A breath of fresh air is just around the corner. She can also hear Tyler's heart pounding beneath her fist. This makes her veins throb. Lust controls her and fills her, but she fights it. It's not for sex, like Ginger said, the ache is for carnage. It disguises itself to spread the disease, to continue the curse. Brigitte has fought it for four years now. Why is it getting so hard?
Then the exit is right upon them: there's a hole in the wall, a way to freedom. Tyler seems to perk up too, and he pushes her onwards, closing yet another door behind them. Brigitte is already climbing out, that scent driving her insane and demanding for her attention. She crawls a bit, but gets out through the wall eventually, falling on the freezing snow outside. It feels good on her freezing body; it eases the temptation, killing the approaching frenzy. Then she sees someone standing above her.
Tyler starts climbing out too, scared of that thing pounding against the door. Panic is beginning to clench his insides again, but suddenly he can see someone on the other side of the hole. A hand reaches out to him and he grabs it. The hand pulls him out into the cold snow. There's a young man standing in the snow next to Brigitte. Her face is white with shock and for once she doesn't seem to have a witty come back.
The young man smiles to him and pats his shoulder. "Don't worry, it's gonna be alright," he promises, moving past Tyler to stare into the depths of the hole they climbed out. All Tyler can do is stare at this stranger, while Brigitte begins to crawl backwards in a desperate attempt to escape. She seems genuinely disturbed. Tyler takes a few steps to reach her, and helps her up, but her attention is on the stranger alone.
With a bang the creature breaks down the door and rushes to the hole its prey has escaped through. It stops at the mouth of the hole though, staring deeply into the inhuman eyes that greet him in the other end. A challenging male is looking back at him, although still in human form, he can sense the power this one holds. This one is older than he is.
"Tyler," Brigitte grabs his shirt again, "We're not safe. We need to go," she tries to plead and warn him about the stranger with her eyes. He can see terror in them. She's not kidding. Then he looks at the stranger, who's still looking inside the hole. He doesn't seem that threatening, just a young guy with a reliable face and regular build. Tyler's taller and stronger than him.
"She's right," the stranger says, engaged in his staring contest with the beast. "You should run."
Brigitte doesn't wait; she pulls Tyler after her as she begins to run in the snow. She doesn't even feel the cold that's biting into her. All she can think of is: How the hell is Jason McCardy still alive and how did he find her?
Tyler's follows her like a man bewitched. He doesn't think of returning to the ward or getting his jacket and car keys. He feels it would be dangerous. Strangely he thinks she's the only reason he's still alive. He's starting to see the haunted girl in brand new light and it's quite flattering while being completely disturbing.
Brigitte pulls them through the snow, barely even feeling the cold around them. Tyler's hand feels warm in hers and fills her head with thoughts. The beast is never this much around with men, but it seems to respond to Tyler quite vividly. Without the wolf chasing her, she might've actually succumbed to this scumbag and her inner animal down in the cellar. These thoughts disgust her, but she pushes them down, looking for an exit with her eyes. And she finds a car parked nearby.
Brigitte yanks Tyler with renewed strength and points at the car. He spots it too and finds it unoccupied. He knows he should probably stop her and drag her back inside, but with that thing out there, he can't muster the courage. It's unbelievable that this little virgin slip of a girl is more courageous than he is. Then his eyes wander across her body and especially the way those hospital pants emphasize her ass. He can see why that thing is chasing her.
They reach the car and Brigitte tries to open the door, but it's closed off course. She curses aloud and jumps in fright when she hears a howl back from the direction they came from. For a second she wonders if it's Jason or the other male after her. She also realizes that Jason stayed behind to keep the beast at bay, so that she could escape. For what end though, she's afraid to find out. If he's anything like the fucktard in her memory, she's in for a tough escape.
Tyler circles the car and tries to open the driver's door but with no luck. He hits the door and curses, looking back at Brigitte then. "What the fuck is going on Brigitte?" he finally asks, distraught.
Brigitte makes a face at him, unwilling to say anything until they're somewhere safe. She needs him level-headed and dependable. If he starts to question why they're running, he'll seize being useful to her. Strangely she doesn't want him to seize being useful.
Brigitte takes a step back, swallows and breaks the glass with her elbow. The hit hurts like a bitch and gets her bleeding even more, but she blocks it out, withstanding the pain in order to survive. The ache is worse than she imagined though and a worried Tyler moves by her side and takes her hand. "Shit! Why did you have to do it without any tools!" he cries out, but gets rejected as Brigitte pulls back and cradles her bleeding arm.
He must not touch her blood; the risk of infection is too high. And yet Tyler tries to get her to give her bleeding hand to him. He looks genuinely concerned and it nearly melts her defences. Brigitte keeps her head though and pulls away. "Open the doors Tyler," she hisses between her teeth.
Realizing she isn't going to let him help, Tyler puts his hands up as a sign of surrender and proceeds to lean in through the broken window. He searches for keys, for a lock, for anything that might help them, but can't seem to find anything.
Brigitte stands next to him, feeling dizzy already. The blood loss is pretty bad, but she fears losing a whole other battle way more. They only have so much time until the winner will catch up and Brigitte can't guarantee Tyler's safety in that situation. It's strange that she worries about him at all, but she does. She doesn't need another Sam… another person dying because of her mistakes.
It's then that she feels a shift in the wind and the scents it carries. This one is very familiar. It fills her senses with horror. Brigitte turns in her steps and she's greeted by the sight she never thought she'd see again: her sister. Brigitte's eyes widen in horror and she gasps aloud, forgetting all about the pain in her hand. All she can do is look at Ginger, who's standing there with a dark gleam in her eyes.
Ginger smiles. "Hey sis," she says right before punching Brigitte out cold. With a thump Brigitte falls to the ground unconscious the dark figure of her sister looming above. The virgin snow is quickly coloured red by Brigitte's injury.
Then Ginger takes notice of Brigitte's companion: the male nurse she's been running with. Tyler has withdrawn from the car and he's looking at Ginger with fear in his eyes. Clearly he can tell Ginger isn't just a twenty something girl. Then his eyes drop to Brigitte on the ground and linger there.
"If you want to live, you'll take her and follow me," Ginger says calmly and watches how her voice affects the young man. She bears no ill will to him, but he isn't one of them… at least yet. Maybe he can make himself useful by tending to Brigitte's wounds.
"What do you want?" Tyler asks, horrified and shaking with cold. He never took himself for a trustworthy hero type, but for once he doesn't feel like leaving in the face of danger. Not after Brigitte saved him a moment earlier. Not while she's unconscious and wounded and about to be kidnapped by this vicious young woman.
"I want my sister," Ginger replies and begins to walk away. She motions him to follow with her hand and after taking a deep breath, Tyler kneels to take Brigitte in his arms and he follows her. Brigitte's arm is covered in blood and it spills all over Tyler too, but he ignores it and holds onto her with a worried brow. Then he looks at the woman he's following. Sisters? Somehow he just doesn't see the resemblance – unless this is some wicked take on Cinderella or something.