He had their eyes, their stance, their skin, their arrogance heir and the hunger to kill. It was too much for me and I nearly fell. I stood alone, facing their pale faces, all of them recognizable. I saw Dad, his now cold eyes red instead of the warm blue they'd been only years ago, Mom with her soft golden hair and dark black eyes, Jake, his hard chin, and strong muscles and then…Mary. She was tiny, only to Dad's elbow, with her soft golden hair, just like Mom's, her eyes no longer a warm hazel but a startling black, her skin pasty ivory, her fangs out as she looked at me, hunger in her eyes. I fell to the floor, not wanting to see more.
I woke was a start, sitting up with a jerk then being thrown back down into my thin pillow. In that moment my head had made contact with the metal bar above me, making a loud 'ping' sound as I'd rebounded. I mumbled some new profanities I'd picked up on in the past few years
The snoring above me gave a little falter but returned to normal. I could see the large hand hanging off the side of the bunk bed, sun browned from the sun, the nails coated with dirt. I snuck a peak and saw Jake sleeping peacefully, his eyelids fluttering with dreams unknown to me. My older brother was the only family I had left and I was lucky. Not everyone could say that.
The air was dry and tasted of dirt. It was morning, it was our safe time. I walked over to a pile of clothes that were folded nearly into two black trash sacks. Mine was the one to the right. I pulled out a pair of ripped jean shorts that just barely fit anymore and a white tank top that was now a fading gray. I found the brush and ripped it through my hair, smiling as I heard the 'snap' of electricity as it smoothed out. My brownish red hair landed somewhere between my shoulder blades and it felt somewhat less than clean. I hadn't taken a bath in days. I'd never had time. I'll do that today, I promised myself.
I looked at my tennis shoes in the corner and decided against them, my feet were so tough now-a-days, I hardly ever needed shoes unless we went outside into the blazing sun. I passed through the dark blue curtain that separated out little cave from the rest. My stomach made a painful sound and I was tempted to snag something from the kitchen, but I had a duty to do first.
You're probably wondering what the hell is going on. Well if you can stomach it, I'll tell you. About five years ago, a myth that every teenage girl had fallen for, thanks to books like Twilight and Vampire Academy or True Blood, had come into reality. Yup and let me tell you what a shock it gave the world. Not two seconds after we all realized what had happened the Vamps had taken over and now, the few remaining humans are in hiding. The many that didn't get away either were turned into the undead – not as appealing as the books make it – or farmed for blood at blood factories. I personally can't decide which one was worse…maybe that's why I fled with my family and went into hiding.
So the few humans that did make it out somehow ended up here, in a deserted area, in a giant cave, in what used to be Northern Florida. I was only 8 when this all happened and now I'm 17. I'm one of the few remaining, original cave members. Many have come and gone, some not understanding the danger to be outside, some just dying from the brutal hardships of surviving a vampire infested world. Now you may wonder how I, the short, skittish 17 year old girl from Florida actually survived while many didn't…well I have a sort of…gift. It's really strange and I don't even understand it. Well…I can…heal people. That sounds weird, I know.
I'm not like a doctor, not by far, and I'm not someone who mixes potions and poof. I touch someone, and their sickness/injury is pulled through me and out into oblivion. I'll tell you it comes in handy, but man, is it painful. It's so painful I can only do so many at a time. It takes days to recover and even a week if something was really brutal.
I walked down the silent caves towards the larger cave at the end that had its entrance covered by a light blue piece of fabric that had clearly been drapes in someone's' kitchen. They were light blue with gold sunflowers in different spots. I pushed past them and came into the infirmary. Doc sat at his desk – thought it was really just boxes put on books. Doc's maybe in his early 30s with dark brown hair that had some pieces of gray, with grayish blue eyes and a kind face that would make anyone reassured. Maybe that's why he's a doctor. I know his real name – Terry – but everyone calls him Doc – it has a nice ring to it.
"Morning Annie," he said not even looking up from his thick book. I smiled at him and looked around – seeming to feel the disease in the room.
"Rough night?" I asked glancing over to the cot in the corner of the room. There are only six small cots in the infirmary cave, and they aren't even the least bit comfortable. I could almost feel the pain in the air. Sleeping, rather unsettling, in the corner was the oldest thing in the cave – Doug. His eyelids fluttered – he was dreaming. Small whimpers escaped his pale, dry lips and his fragile hands grabbed at the quilt.
I didn't even look at Doc as I went to stand by Doug. I put my hand in his cold wrinkled hand and collapsed in pain. My knees hit the rock floor with a painful thud; sweat beading my brow, and blazing hot pain flowing through me. It felt like an iron rod had been sitting in fire and was now being pressed upon every single part of my body. I almost lost consciousness but Doc was beside me with an ice cold cloth and that kept me in for a few minutes. I had to be conscious for my 'gift' to work.
And just as quickly as it had come, the pain was fading away into oblivion. I was clutching both Doug's white, wrinkled hand and Doc's firm warm tan hand. He looked at me with concern but I waved him off. I would be fine in a few seconds. And I was. Regardless, I was sore and a little dizzy – but that's the normal side effects. I looked down on Doug and saw his eyelids peaceful and his breathing now even.
I smiled a little. It's always nice to know you did something good for someone else. I clutched my forehead, a headache emerging. I hated when that happened. Sometimes, after a big job, my stupid migraines would get the best of me.
"Annie, maybe you should sit down…" Doc began but I held up my hand, pointing to my stomach. As if planned, my stomach gave a painful noise and I headed off to the kitchen.
"I'll check in on Doug later." I said over my shoulder, although I knew perfectly well that Doug was going to be fine. I'd 'healed' him more times than I can count. That's a downfall of being 80 and trying to survive in caves with 24 other people, but I just couldn't seem to let Doug go.
I found the kitchen in my little state of recovering and saw many unhappy faces. "What's wrong now?" I snapped harshly – my head really hurt. Familiar faces turned to me, their eyes full of hunger and exhaustion. "No food?" I guessed looking around at each person. The woman closest to me was a woman in her mid forties, with graying hair and thick eyebrows. Her cheeks seemed to be hollow and her eyes a little too beady and watery for her face.
"Yup and Paul won't go out on a raid." She said rather snottily, as if it was my fault.
"I'll talk to him." I sighed, knowing well enough that nothing I said would pass through Paul's thick skull. Paul was the 'leader' at the moment. His dad, my Uncle had found the caves 11 years ago by accident, about a year before the vamps came out and took over. Lucky enough the caves were ready for anything. Uncle Lenny had been one of those suspicious men who wanted to be prepared for anything and everything. Thanks to his wacky mind, we were still alive and human. Though I'm pretty sure he didn't think the thing that got us to use the caves would be an invasion of vampires either…
Lenny had been a great leader, but not so cautious when on raids. He was caught, taken and farmed for a blood. Leaving Paul feeling like he should take over the job. Surprise surprise, that idea didn't turn out too well. Paul wouldn't go on a raid until we absolutely had to, and his definition of 'had to' is 'until we're weeks into starvation' - which apparently isn't too appealing to anyone not named Paul.
This had happened once before – when we got so low on food that we were starving. Without hesitation, my two best friends took a baseball bat to Paul's head, gathered up a group and the gear and came back two days later with food to last us for a year.
Paul was outraged at first, but when I popped a Cheeto bag open in front of him and the cheesy smell waved through the caves he gave in. I had a feeling Charlie and Aiden would once again be summoned, the old wooden baseball bat Charlie had named Ole' Roy, would be pulled out and another raid would be on the way. A few people drifted in and then out when they heard there was no food. I sighed and walked down the caves towards one I spent entirely too much time at.
The old ripped comforter sheet was across their cave entrance. Charlie was still asleep on a thin mattress, giving a visual image of the true meaning of a human pretzel. His butt was in the air, his head turned sideways and off the edge of the mattress, inches from the floor, his arms behind him in an angle that didn't seem humanly possible.
Aiden was awake in his bed, reading a paperback he'd read too many times to count. If I was 13, right now I'd blush as I was looking at Aiden. He was shirtless and man was he one of those men born to be shirtless. His smooth chest was chiseled with muscles that had worked harder than any other for the past 10 years.
Aiden was considered good looking for sure, with his dark brown, tousled hair, thick eyebrows and dark hazel eyes with natural long lashes, golden, clear skin and muscles as if made by a sculptor. But I'm 17 now and I've seen enough shirtless men to last me a life time – the caves get plenty hot in the daytime. "Morning Annie," Aiden said without looking up and turning a page in his book. I rolled my eyes and walked to his side of the bed.
Charlie was snoring loudly and I couldn't seem to help myself, I grabbed Aiden's book from his hands and chucked it at Charlie's head. He fell off hitting the floor with a thud, and snorting out of his snores screaming "Kelly Clarkson!" I smiled and so did Aiden, both of us rolling our eyes. "Jesus Christ Annie." Charlie said rubbing his head.
"We've got a problem." I said, ignoring Charlie.
"Out of food?" Aiden asked sighing, though he already knew the answer.
"What gave it away?" I asked.
"You're stomach," he said. He threw the sheets off him and as he swung his legs over the bed my stomach made another painful noise and I closed my eyes tight.
"Guess it's time to bring out Ole' Roy," Charlie said glancing to the corner of the room where the wooden bat stood. I tried not to smile. I sooo called it!
"Yea, we won't last much longer." I said remembering the pale and hollow faces in the kitchen not ten minutes ago.
"Well then we'll leave at dawn." Aiden said, throwing on a pair of torn jeans and a tight white t-shirt that left nothing to the imagination. "Charlie, me, Craig, Jake and you." Aiden said smiling down at me.
"Me?" I asked raising an eyebrow as the same time Charlie asked "Her?" I gave Charlie a look first.
"I got nothin' against you Annie, you know that, but you haven't been on a raid since your Daddy was alive." I blinked away the memory from earlier.
"Well I guess it's time to get back out there, in it?" Aiden asked, rolling up his jeans to his knees.
"Yea, whatever." Charlie said throwing on some old basketball shorts, and a red shirt. "I signed up for duty all day in the crops."
"Me too," I said, running my hand over my forehead. I still had a headache from Doug's healing. His illness had been a real doozy on me. Aiden seemed to notice.
"You okay about goin' back out?" He asked.
"Yea, I just healed Doug again and I swear he's getting worse."
"You gonna be okay for tonight?" Charlie asked looking at me. "I mean I love you Annie and I want you with us, but if you're gonna…like keel over…I don't want you with us."
"No, no I'll be fine." I said quickly. I wanted to see the sun and I hadn't been up in months.
"Okay, well I'm headed to duty, you with me Annie?" Charlie asked.
"See you two at dawn, if not earlier." Aiden said walking the opposite direction.
Charlie and I walked through the caves, waving at people as we passed. When we came to the crop cave it was like I was slapped with heat. Charlie had already stuffed the end of his shirt into his back pocket. People were already working and I waved at Libby, Paul's wife, who was working in the corner. It doesn't make sense that we were out of food when we had a crop cave, but recently the crops haven't been doing too well.
The crop cave was near the entrance. There were glass panels for the ceiling that was hidden well enough by surrounding trees and couldn't be spotted at night – which is only when they would be. They reflected the light in and on the crops, making the room extra hot and dry.
Charlie smiled at me as he tossed me a pick. We were going to tear up the rough dirt today. I caught it one handed and he wiggled his eyebrows. "Let's get workin'." He said. I rolled my eyes, knowing today was going to be long.
By noon I could have collapsed, but I kept going. I still had five hours. Other people had been working with us in the morning, but most had left to go try and find some scrap of food or to take a bath. Jake came in around 1, his jeans rolled up like Aiden's had been, he also shirtless like Charlie. My brother wasn't as filled out as Aiden and Charlie had been, but he's also younger. He's 18, only a year older than me, but has nothing to complain about body wise.
He got to work beside us, hacking at the tough dirt. My arms went too quick and sure. I was fast, but Jake and Charlie were the muscle. Their muscles contorted as they worked and my skinny arms flexed and unflexed. It was 3 and I collapsed as we finished. I fell into our last patch of dirt and sighed, just laying there, and letting the sun's heat warm me up.
"We're leaving at dawn." Charlie said to Jake as he collapsed next to me.
"Who's gonna get Paul?" Jake asked casually.
"Aiden or me," Charlie said smiling at memories of last time. My tank top was drenched with sweat, dirt sticking to my wet neck and back, my legs out flat with cramps and my back cramping and uncramping from leaning over so much. My hands looking permanently imprinted and coated with dirt.
"I'm going to go take a bath, and then get some sleep before we have to leave." I said unable to move. For a few minutes I just lay there, my eyelids fluttering.
"You're going?" Jake asked as if he just realized that.
"Yup." I still couldn't stand. I sighed and pushed myself up with all my might. "Kay, wake me before we leave." I said, heading towards the bathing caves. The bathing cave was nothing more than a big dent in the floor that happened to have a small stream flowing through the bottom of it. It fills up and carries the dirt of everyone away and comes out on the other side of the caves. It's too small for anyone to fall through but big enough to get your foot or hand caught in it – which I learned the hard way, Charlie had dared me when I was 8.
No one else was there – thankfully – so I stripped down to nothing and slipped into the warm water. There wasn't much light in the bath cave except the few battery lamps we were able to put up. There were lots of soap bars on the side, homemade by Doc. They didn't smell like vanilla and they left you feeling like you just rubbed your skin raw, but dammit it cleaned like there was no tomorrow. I scrubbed my hair clean and felt my scalp tingle, my finger nails were actually clean and my skin felt squeaky clean. I washed my tank and shorts too, throwing on my bra and panties wet. I walked back to my cave like that.
When you've lived in a cave for 10 years, you forget the little awkward things that used to be socially unacceptable, like walking around mostly naked after a bath with about 24 other people awake that wasn't your family. But it didn't matter. I nodded to a few people who I passed and I got some uncomfortable stares from a few men but they looked away.
I'm only 17 but I might as well be 25. I'll fully developed with curves in all the right places, light reddish brown hair, big blue eyes and freckled skin. If you asked me the thing I missed most about human life I'd say shaving cream and razors. I hated my hairy legs, but when you're worried about food and surviving the night, you're usually don't think about that kind of thing. Jake wasn't in our room and I was thankful. My clothes were about dry so I threw on my shorts, a dry black tank top and white buttoned down cotton shirt over and left it open. I laced up my tennis shoes, so I wouldn't have to later.
I collapsed onto the bed and sighed in relief as sleep came. I dreamt of my life 10 years ago before anything was wrong with the world. Jake and I had a great life. The two loving parents, Dad was a mechanic, Mom an elementary school teacher. We had a border collie named Jack that just loved me to death and growled at anyone who he didn't know that came to close to me.
I dreamt of our house, the white picket fence from behind Mom and little Mary would garden near as Jake and I would kick around a soccer ball, with Jack going after either of us that had the ball. Then my dream took an unwanted turn. Mom was still gardening and the sky darkened. Jake and I played, as did Jack but it was like everything went dim, and then the vamps attacked. I forced myself awake before I had to watch how my mother died, how Jack was slaughtered and drained.
Jake was leaning over me and I nearly screamed, but instead fell back crying. "Annie, are you okay?" he asked, leaning closer. Instead of answering him I just pulled him into a tight hug and held on. He hugged back, probably just guessing I was having an emotional kind of day, or that I was PMSing.
Charlie, Aiden and Craig were waiting in the kitchen, Charlie having a too happy of a grin on his face. I was guessing he had taken out Paul. He smiled brightly at me and I rolled my eyes. "You get way too much enjoyment out of that." I said and he just smiled larger.
"You feelin' okay?" Aiden asked looking me over. I nodded, remembering earlier. "I forgot to check back on Doug." I said about to turn around and swing by the infirmary.
"He's fine." Doc said and I noticed him walking in.
"Watcha doin' here Doc?" Jake asked.
"Don't act like you forgot I need to do look over on each raid member." He said, starting with me who was the closest. He pressed lightly on my temples, did the knee reflex test and check my pupils and breathing. He did that to everyone but I was pretty sure I was the cause for the 'check up'.
"Okay, dawns almost here, so let's get to the jeep and head into town." Aiden said clapping his hands together. The caves were giant, and covered at least half a mile in all. The main exit was past the crop cave, had to crawl through a low ceiling tunnel and then we were greeted by the light sky getting brighter and brighter.
It was a cool morning and I stopped behind everyone to breathe in the fresh air. Its Florida so it was a little humid but I think it was early November so there was a slight nip in the air. I looked behind me and couldn't even see the entrance that was hidden but bushes. We were somewhere in the woods, about an hour from Orlando. We had a huge jeep hidden by bushes, tree limbs, thousands of leaves and pine needles. It was painted with mud so if any vamp came along it they would think it was from back in the old days when humans were still the greater species in number.
My feet crunched against the grass and on pine cones. I was the in the very back with no seatbelt since I was the smallest of the group. Aiden drove, Jake next to him and Charlie and Craig in the backseat. Aiden started the car and it hesitated for a moment but finally started. "Maybe we should get a new jeep sometime." Craig suggested giving the old car a glare.
"Yea, because a stolen car from a dealership isn't gonna scream 'humans'." I muttered – is it considered a mutter if everyone can hear your. Craig gave me a cold look and I returned it. I'd never been too big of a fan of Craig. He was huge, mean, ruthless and selfish. Honestly, he scared the hell out of me.
"Annie's right." Aiden said before Craig could say something mean. "We'll look into it when we need to."
"You're starting to sound like Paul." Jake said smiling. We all gave a small laugh and then we were quiet as Aiden drove. It's always unnerving to be outside – especially for a human. It's like we lost our world and now we were unwanted – which is actually true, but it's weird to look at a town and world you grew up in and loved and realized it was no longer yours to love. It's a very depressing thought.
Of course not everyone in the caves came from somewhere in Florida. Only, Jake, me, Paul and Libby came from Florida. Aiden was from Louisiana, as was Charlie – they had worked together at a construction site. Craig and Doug were from Texas. Doc came all the way from Virginia, as did a few others. I knew Karrie, a woman about 32 who worked in the crop cave a lot came from Arkansas; everyone came from every other place. I wondered if there were any surviving humans over in Europe or Asia or even Haiti. Not many people liked to talk about their lives before the Vamp Revelation, but every now and then people would go all nostalgic and feel like sharing their past lives, either that or we'd bring home a few cases of beer and people wouldn't realize what they were saying.
We drove for an hour and finally, around five drove past the first few businesses. It was eerie to see all the huge buildings dark and cold. I pictured the dangerous, old, powerful vamps asleep somewhere dark and shuddered. The streets were deserted and it felt like a true ghost town.
We stopped in near a grocery store that had lots of windows so the sun would be shining in no matter what. "Who wants to stay in the car?" Aiden asked. There was silence; no one liked the stay alone, even if it was the middle of the day. "I will," Craig said reluctantly. "But that means next stop I get to go in." Everyone nodded them filed out, except for Craig who climbed up to the front seat. He loaded a gun with wooden bullets, cocked it back and winked at me.
I ignored him and Aiden handed me a shotgun that was already loaded. He looked at me with a questioning look. "I know how to work a gun." I said amused. He nodded.
"Just makin' sure," He said giving me a wink too. Aiden nodded to Craig and we broke into the grocery store. It surprised me that grocery stores were still around. Aiden explained that newly turned vamps still liked to eat, even though it didn't do diddly squat. We took some of everything that was necessary. Lots of non perishables, some delicacies like turkey or white whole bread, even a carton of milk that would last a day. I threw like ten boxes of tampons into a bag and the guys looked at me and I just raised an eyebrow. They might not see the necessity but the women back at the caves would.
We were out in less than an hour with only a few bags of things. We couldn't take a lot from one place or the vamps would start getting suspicious. For all they knew, the human race was gone. We loaded into the car. The doors hadn't been locked since vamps didn't have to worry about that during the day. Then we were off to another store. We stopped at Wal-Mart and I loaded up on shaving cream and razors to my amusement. Again more food, ingredients to make bread back at the caves.
Being in Wal-Mart was a little unnerving. There weren't windows everywhere so there were some spots of the store that we refused to enter. We were walking by the clothes department and I looked down at my own. Later I told myself with a sigh. The guys were oblivious to their clothing, as long as they had pants, underwear and shoes they were fine. We threw a few boxes of body soap and shampoo into the bags and I smiled, thinking about the nice bath I would take tonight. Again our bag was full and we headed back to the car.
We were headed out the door and I heard a creak that made my heart jump and all the guys whirled around. I didn't know why they did because I started sprinting towards the door. "Sun," I called without looking back at them and they were after me, making for the light of day that meant safety. My heart was pounding as we got back to the car and Jake – who had stayed behind – was looking at us with a horror in his eyes.
"False alarm." I told him since I got there first. He sighed in relief and we went on. We gave in around three and picked up some premade sandwiches at one of the stores and soda. I jugged my soda, forgetting how much I use to love it. Jake had five cans of Rootbeer and I had three of Dr. Pepper. We ate in a short amount of time and went on. We picked up lots of bed sheet and we knew people would be happy, some towels, even a new huge pot to make stew in.
Craig, Jake and I were in the shadows of a building with a bag full of batteries, outside a large building that must have held offices. I stopped cold looking around. "An-" Jake started to say put I pulled him back into the building, pushed him and Craig down the stairs and ordered them to run and find a place to hide. They did without hesitating and I ran back outside. Aiden and Charlie were in the car talking casually. I shooed them with my hands indicating to get moving.
"Night dawn." I said, hitting the car. They both gave me a horrified look and looked around and spotted the sun…setting on the horizon.
"Get in!" Aiden yelled but I was already running back to the building. Jake was in there and if this was it I was going out with him. I heard the jeep screech and reviewed my instructions. 'Night dawn' meant get out and be back here after dawn, no earlier. I swear I heard footsteps but I didn't stop running. My breathing was heavy as I reached the basement. I heard something move in the corner and I was about to scream when something pulled me and we were running.
I think I heard a door open and I almost squeaked but Jake's hand was over my mouth. His hand didn't cover my nose and I smelled something almost metallic, the scent hung in the air and clung to my senses. I thought I knew the smell but we were already past and Jake had pushed me into a small room that had lots of boxes in it that looked to be filled with mechanical looking devices. Jake pushed me into a corner where a tarp was covering boxes. He pushed me under the tarp, where Craig already was and shoved in behind me, pulling a box back into place. Jake held me tight, covered my mouth to try and calm down my breathing. I put my head on Jake's chest just as the lights came on and cold voices started talking casually. The Vamps had risen.
You can imagine how uncomfortable it is to be squished in between two huge guys, one who you despise and feel very uncomfortable being near, and both are sweaty and smell like they'd just gotten back from a whole day of running. I almost had a panic attack when I worried about the smell. I didn't dare warn Craig and Jake, because my voice would be heard and we'd be dead – literally.
I tried to tell Jake with my eyes but he was so still he didn't dare move. Craig was the same way, so I settled down so uncomfortably for a long night. I could still smell that familiar smell and it was killing me. I spent the first two hours trying to figure out what it was. Finally, I heard no voices, only the sound of machines working. Somehow, Jake and Craig were passed out and asleep. Thankfully Jake wasn't snoring like he usually did.
My back was cramped and my legs were being bent in an uncomfortable position, I took a deep breath and snuck out of the tarp. I lay frozen on the hard, tile floor for a whole minute, analyzing anything. Well, we'd picked the best place to hide, that's for sure. There wasn't a vamp in sight. We were in a small side room that had half a wall and the other half from my waist up was glass. This was meant to be a viewing room. Slowly, I walked forward to see what was on the other side – praying it wasn't something horrifying. Knowing my luck, I'd be wrong, and boy was I wrong.
On the other side of the glass seemed to be a huge room that went down 100s of feet, and up hundreds of feet. It was wide, huge and held hundreds of mechanical things that had five almost harness like structures on a pole. I almost threw up I was so disgusted. In the harnesses were naked humans, skinny, ghostly pale and barely alive.
I'd heard of the factories that farmed blood, but I'd never in my entire life imagined seeing one from the other side. There were thousands of humans, all almost hollow and only barely alive. They had to be alive for them to still be farming them. Once they're drained they throw them out – or so I assume. Each human had a huge needle in both of their arms, one in their neck and one on their inner thigh.
I couldn't look away, it was so horrifying. I don't know how long I stood there, looking at each one. I prayed that the next one I looked at wouldn't be someone I knew, but my luck ran out and I nearly fainted. A middle aged man somewhere to my right was someone I recognized. He had pale blonde hair and freckles across his nose. His sharp nose and chin were the only things that made me recognize him. He'd lived in the caves not till too long ago, when he'd been out on a raid and hadn't made it to back to the car. I was shocked almost back to last week when I recognized the woman beside him….my kindergarten teacher. Honestly I thought she'd have been with the first group of drained, but hey I guess Miss Stemflower had more in her than I thought.
I heard something behind me and I did a floor kick and knocked both Craig and Jake to the floor. Still none of us spoke, but I said my apology by helping them up and pleading with my eyes. Jake just nodded understanding – he would have done the same thing. Craig just rubbed his arm that had hit the floor hard.
My eyes were still red from the silent tears from seeing the farmed humans. Jake and Craig saw everything and walked up to the glass. Craig put his hand against the glass and I followed his now red rimmed eyes to a beautiful blonde haired girl that looked tiny and like a dead angel. I made a mental note to ask Jake later, because his eyes were filled with understanding.
He looked around and saw the middle aged man I'd known too, Stanly I think his name had been. We stared at the humans for hours. No one came and no voices could be heard. We heard a door being opened and we jumped, reflexes making us duck and hide behind the half wall that wasn't see through. When we'd been looking around I hadn't missed the room that we'd passed through. It looked like a conference room with a large oval table and about ten chairs.
The three of us moved from our positions – that could be seen if a vamp was to look through the door. There was a window connecting the two rooms and we hid under that. We could hear their voices through the door, not two feet away.
"It is complete. Nothing has been tested yet of course, but Devon here has taken one and we can now do a physical evaluation." A deep, cool voice said.
"Very good Loren," said another blood churning voice – though I will admit from a woman's stand point it was kind of a sexy cold voice. "Devon how do you feel?" Mr. Sexy-voice asked.
"I feel fine." A rather normal voice said. I came to a quick evaluation in my head. The older a vamp is the more cold their voice sound. Mr. Sexy-cold-voice must be an older vamp, probably a vamp centuries before the Revelation. This new voice – Devon – must have been recently turned, at least in the past decade.
"Nothing unusual happening? You're not drowsier earlier, no weakness?" Mr. Sexy-voice asked.
"No, your majesty, I feel absolutely normal." Devon said. "Well as normal as a vampire can feel I suppose." He added. There was a cold chuckle that sounded even sexier – probably Mr. Sexy-Voice finding something humorous.
"You will get used to being a vampire Devon soon enough. These first few years are always the hardest." Mr. Sexy-voice said. "Now, as far as testing the experiment, Loren, what makes you think this pill will help us conquer the sun?" If Craig, Jake and I had been moving we would have stopped dead, I know my heart did. Walk in the sun, vamps? That is not good, not good one bit.
I looked at Jake and he nodded – understanding the risk. He looked at Craig and shifted his head to nod towards the window. Craig nodded solemnly in a way that said 'here goes nothing'. I held my breath as Craig rose up every so slowly, just to wear he could see over and through the window and into the conference room.
I watched Craig and his face change, from the cautious expression to the confused, almost horrified look. He didn't come back down, just merely sat there watching as the voices went on.
"Our skin and cells are allergic to UVRays, so this puts some of those UVRays into our bloodstream and settles into our skin. It gives our skin an almost creamy cover – almost like sun screen." The man – Loren – said. Craig still didn't come back down. I looked at Jake confused and he shrugged. I tugged on Craig's shirt and he didn't budge.
Sighing inaudibly I risked it. I rose slightly and followed Craig's gaze to a blonde haired vampire man who was looking straight at him. His pupils were dilated and I understood immediately. Vampires had this mind control thing and this vampire was using it on Craig, for some reason unknown.
I pulled Craig but he didn't budge. If we made any more movements the vamps would sense it, but I cursed under my breath and slapped Craig hard against the cheek. He fell away, grabbed his gun and all of us were on the move, heading the opposite way.
"We can't outrun vamps." I said matter-of-factly to Jake as we were running through an empty hallway. Honestly I was surprised we'd gotten this far. We took a right and Jake and I slid down the staircase banister as Craig skipped three at a time, we took a right into a doorway and I nearly stopped dead, but Jake moved me along hitting the hilt of gun to my elbow. We'd entered the farming room. I half closed my eyes so I didn't have to look at the bodies. We ran straight for the door on the other side, I could almost sense the vampires waiting. "Stop!" I told Craig and Jake and they obeyed – now was a time to trust.
"They're waiting for us." I told them. We took a few steps backwards and I bumped into someone. I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply. The smell of death was in the air. I shuddered. It was cold in here. The vamps must have turned down the temp to at least 30 degrees; it was like an ice box. Good bumps came everywhere. I was wearing my jean shorts, a black tank top and a white buttoned down shirt opened rolled up to my elbows. I wore my two bracelets on my right wrist. One had been from my Mom – everyone in my family had one – Jake was wearing an identical one, and then one from my best friend back when everything was normal. Thankfully my hair was up and out of my face, except for my side bangs.
I'd have given anything right now to know Melanie was safe – she'd been wearing an identical bracelet to mine – but I was almost sure if I tried I'd find her here somewhere. I had a two pistols tucked into each side of my shorts, loaded with wooden bullets. I had more ammo in my back pockets and in the breast pocket on my white opened shirt.
The three of us stood in the very middle of the room, all of our gun cocked. I felt my shorts and sighed in relief a little to feel the two wooden stakes I had stuffed in my belt loops. My shirt covered them. Jake had his tucked into his boots, Craig's in his belt loops as well. I still had the backpack we'd used to gather batteries on my back. "What do we do now?" I asked them.
"I honestly have absolutely no idea." Jake said looking around, holding his gun in front of him. I held a pistol, my right hand holding it my index finger on the trigger, my left hand holding my right wrist like I'd been taught.
"Stay alive till morning." Craig said swinging around to check the area. I rolled my eyes.
"No shit Sherlock." I snapped harshly. Jake smiled. That had been our favorite phrase a few years ago.
"If you've got any better ideas princess…" Craig said not looking at me.
"Princess? Oh whatever Shrek!" I yelled angrily. I glared at Craig. I hated when guys called me princess. Does a princess hunt vampires and live in caves with no razors or bathe every other day and work in the fields sweating like a pig? I don't think so. "They're going to come in if we don't move soon. And then we'll be sitting ducks." I said glancing around. There weren't any vamps in sight, but I knew they'd be outside the doors, waiting. I didn't understand why there weren't in here already.
"We could split up." Craig said looking around. "There are three exits…"
"Not even when hell freezes over. Either we all get out or we don't get out at all." Jake said still looking every which way. Then they dropped from above, like avenging angels. I was thrown backwards. I shot once and the bullet hit the dark haired vamp in the shoulder. Again I shot and this one hit him square in the chest. He went down I ran past him. I shot one in the back that was on Jake. We ran towards the exit that was nearest us and shot at a vamp that was on Craig.
Together we burst through the door and trudged down the hall. Vampires are incredibly fast, almost faster than light. Once again I was tripped and vamp was on me, his fangs shot out and he bent down. I was able to wiggle out a stake and I got him in the heart. Jake pulled the vamp off me and I left my stake, no time to pull it out.
We were in the reception area and were almost near the door when three vamps flew into our way. Craig instantly shot at a blonde haired guy, the one that had been hypnotizing him earlier. That vamp went down like a rock, his skin crumbling into ash. I'd read about that. The older a vamp is the faster they disintegrate. Blondie must have been centuries old.
The woman that had been in the middle came at me, biting at my neck like a ravenous dog. Jake somehow managed to throw her off me, but she had already gotten a nice chunk out of my shoulder. I didn't care. My wounds healed amazingly fast, and within a moment only dried blood was a trace of the bite. The blonde woman went at Jake, broke his hand by stepping on it and bit his neck. "Jake!" I shot Blondie in the back and she fell over. I'd missed her heart but I didn't care. I shot her again, but Craig had slung Jake over his shoulder and was booking it towards the door. As we ran I touched my hand over Jake's and I felt my own hand go numb.
A throbbing pain made me grunt in pain, but it went away quickly and Jake flexed his hand without pain and smiled a little at me. I then focused on his neck. Something tripped me and I shot my gun again, making the vamp pursing me stumble. I was up and after Craig. Amazingly my heart leapt as I saw the sky. It was lightening up, the sun just barely being seen, but it could be seen and that's what mattered. I looked around and saw that a few vamps were going to test the sun.
Before I saw it, the red jeep zoomed around the corner and skidded to a stop. Aiden and Charlie looking beat up and tired. "Come on!" They both yelled and Craig threw the wounded Jake into the back and I hoped in after them. I saw a familiar dark haired vampire step into the sun and watched as his skin sizzled and cracked, turning black. He stepped back into the shadows and growled at the sun. The pill hadn't worked.
I moved my attention to Jake, touched his neck and watched as it healed, the skin came together and the blood around it drying. Jake fainted then, most likely from the blood loss. I look back as Aiden pushed down fast on the gas pedal. There were a few vampires still in the shadows watching after us. One with dark brown hair was looking at my hand and I realized he'd seen me healing. That could not be good. I moved my hand so to get his attention and very tiredly and happily flipped him the bird.
We were around the corner and out of sight, but not before I saw the vampire smile. Chills ran down my spine and arms. Nothing good could come out of today. Aiden floored it and we headed towards the cave that I hoped would be able to provide safety.