So, it's been over a year since I posted for this story, and now the wait is over! I was going to write an epilogue, but I couldn't really think of anything to add. That being said, thank you to everyone that stuck with me through this. If you're reading this, you're awesome. Leave a review and tell me what you think of the ending!
It had been six whole days since…we lost Andre. Beck kept the closest watch over Tori, much to my dismay. He felt guilty about pretty much watching his best friend die, so I guess he had to do something special for her to make things right, or whatever.
We all expected Tori to freak out like she did when her sister kicked the bucket, and we all looked out for her to make sure she didn't end up like Zoey, but she surprised us all.
She was in denial.
She still is, really. She still claims she and Andre are getting married. She doesn't even have a corpse to put a ring on.
Anyway, she was in heavy denial. When she woke up on the twenty-third, she didn't cry or anything. She didn't lean on anyone's shoulders and she was actually smiling. No one said anything to her about it or brought him up. Frankly, I enjoyed her weird little delusion. It's still a little funny, but now it's starting to get depressing. She'd better not ask me to help her with her kid.
The twenty-eighth of June had been disturbingly tense. None of us left our rooms except for meals or to use the bathroom. When we ate breakfast, no one looked at each other. We all but forced Nina to sit at the head of the table. Quinn and Logan sat nearly on top of one another to her far left while Beck and I sat at the other end of the table occasionally shooting her cold glares. Cat, Mason, and Tori sat on the right of the long table, but Cat refused to do anything but lean her head against his shoulder while he ate. Tori, being the drama queen she is, hummed while she ate. She even set a place for Andre right beside her with food that would spoil.
After that unnerving breakfast, Beck and I holed away to our new room to come up with a plan. We needed to get rid of that bitch, but we knew we'd have to be extra sneaky about it since she was on to him. I enjoyed the planning, really. I felt like Jade the Vampire Slayer.
"We need something to make a stake out of," I whispered in case anyone else could hear me. I did it for his sake, though. He'd really been on edge since he saw that freak Robbie die. "Several, probably, in case we mess up."
"We also need a way to drive it through her heart without her ripping our throats out," he added in a hushed voice.
I crossed my legs on the bed. "We'll get Logan in on it," I started. "He's been really iffy about her and he saw her with Robbie. We'll use him as bait since she's got the hots for him. He'll seduce her, and then one of us will ram the stake through her undead heart."
"And what if that doesn't work?"
I grabbed his hands and ran my thumbs against the back of them. I pursed my lips for a long moment before answering. The thought of failure crossed my mind when he woke me up with that note and told me we needed to do something about her. I wasn't gonna let him know it, and I'll be damned if I ever repeat it, but I was scared. If we didn't kill her, one of us—or both of us—would die.
I lowered my eyes to our hands. If we fucked up, he would do everything possible to make sure I got out alive. I realized I would do the same. It was in that moment that I knew I loved him more than I'd ever loved anyone else. If I had to, I would give my life for him.
"I don't want to think about that right now," I whispered, trying not to seem as scared as I felt.
He gripped my hands tightly. "We have to," he pressed. I forced myself to meet his eyes. "If something goes wrong, we need to have a backup plan."
I sighed, staring into his eyes. "Whatever happens," I began, taking in a deep breath, "We either make it out of here alive or we die here together. Got it?"
"Promise me," I demanded, holding his hands as tightly as he held mine. "I don't want to leave here without you and I know you feel the same. So if we fuck this up, we both go down. Promise me, Beck."
He huffed slightly before leaning in to kiss me. "I promise."
Cat sat on her bed holding the drawing Robbie had done for her while Mason was showering. Tori sat on the floor, going through pictures on her phone; she was using to keep her delusion about Andre alive.
"I can't believe Robbie's gone," Cat whimpered, wiping her eye before a tear could hit the drawing. Her head snapped to Tori who had her back to her. "And Andre!"
"Andre's coming right back," Tori laughed off as she continued to scroll through photos.
Cat bit her lip. "Tori…"
Tori quickly snapped around to glare at her, causing her to squeak and shrink back in fear. "He's coming back, Cat," she stated adamantly. Her face softened into a stupid smile. "Did you know he proposed to me last night?"
Unsure of what to say, Cat simply shook her head. And what could she say? Tori had turned into a loon, and now she was talking about marrying a dead man.
"Obviously, he couldn't get me a ring," she gushed, tossing her head to the side slightly, "But he's gonna get me one when we leave. He said he'll take me shopping and I can pick it out myself. You'll be in my wedding, right?"
Cat stared back at her in fear, uneasy and dumbfounded. Watching that conversation on the tapes was difficult for her—and Tori, I guess—because she wanted to be happy and excited for the wedding, but she understood that it would never happen. Cat may be a bobble head, but she knows that when people die, they don't get married.
"Are you lovely ladies talking about me?" Mason interjected as he sauntered into the room. He'd always been one to try to make light of heavy situations, so he was taking Tori's none-of-this-is-happening approach with the conscious hint of reality.
"I miss Robbie," Cat quickly answered, snapping her head to him and changing the subject.
Mason sat beside her on the bed and wrapped his arm around her shoulders. "I know you do," he breathed. "But we're gonna get out of here, okay? Then we'll hold a funeral for him and everyone else we lost. We're gonna get out of here."
"And then we'll plan my wedding," Tori piped up, hopping onto the bed.
Mason gave her a bewildered look and started to say something when Cat shook her head, begging him to leave it alone.
"None of them have spoken to me in days," Nina growled on one of the basement tapes. "They're suspicious."
"You were careless," a deep voice reprimanded. I think his name was Elijah. We could see neither of them. "You were foolish. You should have known better."
"I know," she breathed. She sighed. "The Red Moon is quickly approaching. I doubt any of them will trust me enough to be alone with me, so you'll have to do what you did with Nicole and James. If any survivors try to leave, we'll let Ezekiel have them. I have a good feeling that this will be the year that we're finally free of this hell house."
"I'm gotta wazz," Tori announced after a long, awkward silence. Cat and Mason had tried to keep up conversation, but Tori kept turning it all back to Andre. Every subject had something to do with Andre. And if they tried to dance around her bringing him up, she would just keep talking about him. So eventually the decided to sit in silence until the fell asleep.
"Take your time," Cat mumbled as she curled against Mason on the bed. The whole situation was stressing her out more than the murders. She'd seen her brother do the kind of shit Tori was pulling, and it always ended in someone getting hurt.
Tori, being the dipshit she was, thought it would be a good idea to go to the bathroom by herself. We had been using a buddy system after Robbie and Andre were offed. Mason and Logan had gone to the bathroom together so Mason could take his shower, and Quinn waited with me and Beck in our room. Since we had an odd number of people and Tori was sharing the room with Cat and Mason for the night, she should have taken Cat with her.
I'm glad she didn't, though, because I would have personally killed her myself if anything happened to my best friend.
As she was walking down the hall, she jumped in fright. She looked around in confusion. "T-Trina?" she stuttered. "I-is that you?" When we watched the tape, Tori swore up and down it was her sister. Stranger still, it was her sister's ghost.
"So now you're saying there were ghosts in the house as well?" Larson questions, scribbling on his notepad.
Jade shrugs. "She said there were ghosts," she corrects, "Not me. You can ask her about that when you talk to her…if you haven't already."
"I'll make a note of it."
She gasped and held her mouth, but we couldn't see what scared her when we watched back over the tapes. She told us what 'Trina' said to her, but I can't remember it. Something about being in danger. As if we didn't already know that.
"Who are you?" she suddenly asked, her head turning slightly. She said it had been some boy. The ghost of the owner's son, I think.
"I don't know how to help you," she breathed. "Is Andre with you?" There was another small silence before she stepped back, preparing to run. "I can't stay here. I can't get married in here…I'll die if I stay here! You can't make me!"
She took off running to Cat and Mason's room and never spoke of the incident.
"I don't know if I can do this," Logan said as he paced back and forth in front of me and Beck on our bed. We decided to wait until our last night in the house to implement our plan. We would try to hold out as much as possible until we killed Nina, that way we would have a better chance of escaping if it failed. We would also have more chances of survivors.
"Stop being such a baby," I spat. "Do you wanna get out of here alive or not?"
"But what if she kills me?" he protests, shoving his hands into his stupid, curly hair.
"We'll kill her before that happens," I told him, growing more and more annoyed by the second.
"It won't happen," Beck assured him. He always had to be the one to give people hope. "She really likes you—"
"And obviously hates Quinn," I interrupted.
"—so she won't hurt you," Beck finished. "Just go through the plan like we practiced and be ready with your backup."
Logan stopped pacing and crossed his arms. "I still don't like this."
He found Nina in the living room, curled up on the couch as she flipped through one of Robbie's sketchbooks. Have you ever seen a book suspended in the air? It's cool, but kind of creepy at the same time. I thought it was awesome, but Cat and Tori didn't share my sentiments.
"Hey," he called, trying to keep his cool. She jumped slightly and turned back to look at him. "What are you doing here by yourself?"
"So you're speaking to me?" she returned.
"We've all just been…out of it," he told her. He stepped closer. "I know you didn't kill Robbie."
"I was trashed and scared," he elaborated as he closed the distance between them. "I didn't know what I was seeing. But I know you would never do anything like that."
"You're the only one who believes that, then," she said sadly. That fake bitch.
"I…know we aren't that close," Logan began as he sat, presumably beside her, on the couch, "But I want you to know that I'm here for you. A lot of crazy shit is going on in here, and no one should have to deal with it alone."
"But what about Quinn?"
He shrugged. "She'd rather spend time with Cat and Tori," he lied. "She thinks it'd be good to spend whatever time we have left with them. She's never really had a lot of girl friends."
I swear I heard the bitch chuckle. "She's not being a good girlfriend if she's leaving you all by yourself," she pointed out. "She should want to spend however long she has left with the person she really cares about."
"Yeah," he breathed quietly. He couldn't be too pushy with her, otherwise she'd catch on.
"Can I tell you something?" she asked suddenly. "Y'know, since we're probably not getting out of here alive."
"S-sure," he stammered. He was starting to get nervous. He always claimed he was gonna be this big shot actor, but he couldn't even keep his cool under pressure.
"Like…you said," she started slowly, "We…aren't that close. And I know it won't mean anything to you since you're with Quinn and all, but I want you to know that I've had the biggest crush on you since I saw you in Mr. Graham's freshman English seminar."
"What?" he tried to play off, obviously overacting. "No way."
Apparently, she bought into his stupid acting. I could have done a much better job. "Way," she confirmed. "Obviously, I couldn't say anything about it, but what's the point of keeping it a secret anymore?"
"Do you really think we're going to die in here?" he asked, visibly trying to mask his uneasiness. "C-cause I mean, being in here has made me re-think some things."
He shifted on the couch slightly to face her better. "Like how I don't love my girlfriend anymore," he answered solemnly. Even if he was just acting, that probably would have killed Quinn. Cat said she wanted to marry the loser.
"W-what?" Nina stuttered.
"This house changed things," he told her. "It changed how I feel about her. Like, when I say I don't love her anymore, I just mean that I'm not in love with her anymore. All this crazy shit going on made me realize that I don't want to spend the rest of my life with her. I have so much I want to live for, you know? Like, I'm insanely hot and mega rich. I have so many things I could do with my life, but I can't do them with her. If we both made it out of here, she wouldn't want to do any of those things with me. She's not really the adventurous type."
"I get what you mean," she breathed. His head tilted back as if she had climbed onto her lap. Do you know how awkward it was to see him holding the air as if there were a girl there?
"What are you doing?" Logan asked quietly.
She chuckled slightly. "I'm showing you that I can give you what you want," she hummed. "I'm going to let you in on a little secret."
"I'm not going to die in here," she assured him. Oh, how wrong the tramp was. "How can I die when I'm already dead?"
He looked as if he threw her off his lap before shooting to his feet. "What?" he spat. "What are you talking about?"
"'Dead' isn't the right word, I guess," she amended. His eyes followed her as she stood. "I'm a vampire, Logan. I'm going to live forever, and you can, too."
"But…vampires aren't real…They're just scary stories."
She laughed again. "They're not," she exhaled cheerfully. "They're very real, and I'm one of them. You said you wanted to get out of here so you could do all the things you said you'd never be able to do with Quinn. I can make that happen. I can make you like me, and when the sun comes up tomorrow, we can leave and go wherever you want."
"Vampires are supposed to burn in the sun," he pointed out, stepping back.
"You don't get it, do you?" she spat harshly. "Remember the story I told when we first got here, after Tori's annoying sister died? That was my story. I'm the daughter that practiced magic. I made it so the sun doesn't kill me, and I can do the same for you."
His face fell in deliberation. "And I'll be hot forever?" he finally asked after a short pause.
"We'll both be," she promised. "But there's something I need you to do for me first."
"Anything," he said without hesitation. "I just want to get out of here."
"You have to kill Quinn."
From the tapes, I could see the goosebumps raise on his skin. Killing Quinn was not part of the plan. And even if he didn't love her like he confessed to Nina, there was no way he could do it.
Sensing his hesitation, she spoke again. "We have to kill to survive, Logan," she said. "Everything comes with a price. And if you want to be like me—be with me—then you have to get rid of her. It's only fitting that she's your first kill."
He looked away for another moment before looking back to her. "Okay," he breathed, "I'll do it."
The plan was to seduce Nina. Wherever she was, Logan had to bring her up to the third floor to the first room on the left. That's where Beck and I wanted with a shit ton of stakes we made out of two bed posts. I taught him how to carve. It was pretty hot.
As they came to our door, we could indistinctly hear their voices. We couldn't make out what they were saying, but the tapes told us he was saying that Quinn was in the room. Nina didn't even question why she would be on the third floor by herself.
I could hear my heart beating in my eardrums as the doorknob turned slowly. The excitement of actually killing a vampire was almost overwhelming. She wouldn't even know what hit her until it was too late.
Beck and I hid out of sight by the door. I didn't know what exactly about vampire lore was true, so we would have to move fast if we wanted to be sure we got her.
Logan came in first. He didn't look at us so as to not blow our cover when he turned around and held a finger to his lips to keep her quiet. We'd stuffed a few pillows beneath the blankets on the bed to make it look like someone was sleeping, and I was glad I actually payed attention in those stupid prop classes back at Hollywood Arts.
It all happened in a blur.
As soon as she stepped into the room, that Elijah guy that killed Nicole and James called her name. As soon as she turned her head to look at him, I plunged one of my many stakes into her chest. She let out a god awful howl as her head snapped back to me, her eyes turning black with rage. Her body crumpled to the floor as he disgusting ginger hair faded to black as well. Her skin morphed into a grey hue before her body turned to ash and spread out along the floor.
"No!" Elijah howled. He sped to the doorway quicker than I thought possible. Dressed in all black—a long trench coat to top him off—he towered over the three of us. He stood as tall as a mountain, barely able to fit in the doorway. His eyes burned red like fire, snarling at us. "You killed her!"
"Leave them alone!" Mason called from outside the room.
Still snarling, Elijah turned away from us and stalked at a terrifying pace away from the doorway. Beck, Logan, and I scurried out of the room—me personally kicking Nina's ashes in the process—to find my cousin standing with Tori, Cat, and Quinn behind him as he held a freakin' crossbow.
"Where the hell did you get a crossbow?" I called behind Elijah's monstrous stature.
"Attic," Mason called to me, his eyes locked on Elijah.
"Careful," Elijah growled, stepping toward him. The girls all took a step back. "Are you sure you know how to use such a device?"
"Load it with a stake and pull the trigger," Mason spat, his eyes hardening. "I got the stake part down. But you take another step and I'll pull it."
"I could kill you before you even try," the vampire threatened.
Mason smirked. "Come at me, then."
None of us had time to react. With his great speed, Elijah stood in front of my cousin, towering over him like a giant, black demon. I think Mason knew he wasn't gonna make it, but he definitely had a plan. In a flash, Elijah had torn the front of Mason's neck clean off. Mason, however, managed to get his timing just right and had pulled the trigger a millisecond before. I never knew how strong an impact from a crossbow could be. The majority of the stake pierced right through Elijah's chest, a small piece of heart and bone skewered from the large portion of the wood that jutted out from his bleeding back.
I remember Cat and I both screaming Mason's name. None of it seemed real. Elijah immediately turned to dust as my cousin's blood spilled out onto his shirt. He fell backwards, nearly knocking Cat down.
I remember running toward her as she screamed the entire time, and I had to get Tori and Quinn to help push his corpse off her. She shot up from the ground, clinging to me and sobbing loudly into my chest. Unable to do anything else, I cried, too.
I don't know how long Cat and I stood there, but eventually Beck put his hand on my shoulder. "Jade," he breathed. "The sun's coming up. We need to go."
Sniffling, I turned back to my boyfriend. "Help me get him up," I ordered, finally letting go of Cat.
"What?" he asked quietly.
"Help me get him up!" I shouted, making him jump. "I'm not leaving him in here. He deserves a proper burial."
"We're wasting time!" Logan shouted as he stormed past me and grabbed Quinn's house. "We gotta go before whatever else is hiding in this house comes after us, too."
He tried to leave with her, but she planted her feet firmly into the carpet. "Help them," she ordered. "It's the least you can do."
"Yeah, and the most was playing bait to a vampire who tried to turn me!" he screamed back at her.
"Logan!" she yelled. "I'm not leaving with you unless you help them!"
He groaned and stomped back over to Mason's body. By then, his wound was caking over with coagulation. He glared up at Beck. "You better get over here and help me," he demanded. "I'm not doing this by myself."
Cat held her hands tightly over her mouth as Beck hurried over and helped Logan hoist Mason up. His head hung frighteningly low as blood dripped from his mouth. They wrapped his lifeless arms around their shoulders and started walking with him. "Let's go," Logan called over his shoulder.
Cat clung to me again as we followed the boys, shaking with fear and sadness. She kept her lips pressed tightly shut to keep from crying again. Logan had a point: we didn't know what else was in this house, and we wouldn't be safe until we set foot outside.
Tori and Quinn huddled together, walking between us as we went trekked downstairs. We were slow because of Mason, and the boys had a hell of a time getting him downstairs.
By the time we reached the foyer, Beck and Logan were huffing loudly. Like Mason's, their feet drug against the carpet as they moved. Cat had finally stopped shaking.
"Someone get the door," Beck strained as he and Logan inched forward.
Without hesitation, Tori broke away from Quinn and pushed past the boys to get to the door. She practically tore it off the hinges as she ripped it open. Orange poured into the room as she darted outside.
"Tori, wait!" Cat called, finally letting go of me and darting after her.
I groaned and rolled my eyes. I never really considered Tori a friend, and if she wanted to go out there and get herself killed, I would have let her. Cat, on the other hand, I had to go after. "Cat, don't," I called, pushing past my boyfriend and rushing out of the house.
She and Tori had made it just barely past Chase's statue, orange washing over them like some weird painting. As soon as I stepped off the porch to get to them, I heard a rustling in the shrubs in front of it. I paid no mind to the sound until a cold hand snatched my ankle.
I hit the ground face first, sending splitting pain all throughout my face. I'd worn a large coat and cut holes on the inside to hold my stakes, and all of them had flown out, skittering across the dirt.
"Jade!" Beck shouted.
Thinking fast, I grabbed the nearest stake I could reach and turned my body to see what had tackled me. I drove the wood into the pale wrist at my ankle. The vampire freak attached to it hissed in pain, and I scooted away from him in his distraction.
"Just get Mason out!" I ordered, looking to Beck and Logan in the house. Quinn moved behind him and placed her hands around his waist to help the boys along.
I looked back to the vampire as he pulled the stake from his wrist. I don't remember what he looked like, but his eyes were as red as Elijah's when he finally stood up.
"I shall enjoy draining you dry," he snarled, lunging for me. He landed on top of me like a boulder before I could react. He continued to snarl and growl as he tried to bite at my neck, but somehow I was able to hold him off. He was incredibly strong, though.
In the rare instance that I had ever been afraid, I closed my eyes. Those fangs, topped off with animalistic growling and demonic eyes were too much for me. If I continued to look at him, I knew he'd spook me enough to throw me off guard and kill me.
"Logan!" Quinn shrieked as the vampire continued to attack me. Something had grabbed her and dragged her back inside the house.
"Let her go!" Logan screamed. He let go of Mason and ran back into the house to get her. Whatever grabbed her didn't show up on the tapes. And without Logan to help him, Beck ended up dropping Mason onto the dirt and nearly fell himself.
And then, I heard the vampire grunt loudly. I opened my eyes to see his wide with shock as Cat hovered over him, holding her hands to her mouth in terror. The vampire let out a low gasp before turning to ash all over me. I coughed as Cat helped me up.
"Thanks," I huffed. She simply nodded in return.
As I stood, the sun crept closer and closer along the ground. As it hit Chase's statue, the marble exploded. I put my back to it as quickly as I could, holding Cat close to me to shield her from it.
"Beck!" I called, opening my eyes to see him dragging Mason beneath the arms over to us. I let go of Cat to run up to him, placing my hands under his own. "Go help Logan."
"Wait!" Cat shouted, grabbing Beck's arm before he could move. At the time, I hadn't even noticed that she'd been right behind me. She nodded to the house. "Look!"
We both turned our gazes to the house. The sun wasn't completely up yet and hadn't reached our backs as we stood in front of the porch, but the house was already beginning to disappear. My hand snapped out to his, and we all stood there as it faded from sight.
I don't know what happened to Quinn or Logan. I don't even know if they're still alive in there. I still think about them. Maybe I could have done something to save them. Beck and Cat are the only people I really care about, but I can't stop thinking about Quinn and Logan. Maybe all of Mason's legend was true and they're trapped in the house. Maybe they aren't. I don't fucking know.
I just hope that wherever they are, they're okay.
And so, it is done. Tell me what you think?