Chapter nine- Rescue me
I felt sick.
A burning churning ball of acid was coating the insides of my stomach, bubbling up into my throat. I swallowed gingerly and scowled at Cam, my creator. The word sent a grotesque shiver down my spine, and created a sour taste in my mouth.
I wanted out.
But I needed to get rid of Cam before I could do that.
Taking a deep calming breath I edged my way to the corner of the table and peered at a grand painting of Cam wielding some sort of sword in a cold, dark looking room. Unintentionally I found myself drawn into the painting. I squinted my eyes and analysed every detail of the image. "Where's that to?" I asked curtly, jerking my hand towards the painting.
He cleared his throat and rose from his chair, smoothing the front if his black dinner jacket down. "It's the weapons room. I have my finest set of weapons in there."
I raised my eyebrows and slid him a surprised look. "This painting is a room in this mansion?"
Cam nodded proudly. "Of course."
"Hmm." I studied the picture again, trying to memorise a certain weapon, or a certain pattern on the wall…anything.
"Now, shall we finish eating?" Cam gestured towards the table with our half eaten deserts sitting daintily on the grand silver platters.
I followed him obediently to out chairs and allowed him to tuck my chair under the table for me. The sorbet was almost liquid now, the heat from the candles on the table melting the chilled desert. Picking my spoon up carefully, I dipped it into the dish and glanced up under my lashes to see that Cam was also eating.
When I was sure his attention wasn't focussed intently on me I gripped my bowl tightly in my gloved hands and slid forward to the edge of my chair, being as quiet as possible as to not rustle the satin layers of my dress too much.
"Cam honey?" I called sweetly, surprising him into looking up at me. He clearly wasn't expecting me to co-operate anymore after my little display of loathing for him earlier on.
I threw the bowl at his head, cringing slightly as I head the hard ceramic material smash into his temple. He slumped back in his seat, eyes rolling back into his head a little from the impact. I dug my feet into the ground, shoving myself out of my seat and pushed the table with all my might, grinding it roughly along the floor, until it reluctantly blocked Cam from getting out of his chair for a few moments at least.
But that small amount of time was all I needed.
I shuffled along the floor until I reached the heavy oak door, I paused there for only seconds so that I could flick off my noisy heeled shoes, and then I eased the door open hardly daring to breath. I peeked out, tucking my loose hair firmly behind my ears, trying to spot the demons that were undoubtedly on guard.
They were hunched over each other at the bottom of the corridor, grunting loudly.
I spied their weapons propped up against the wall next to them and I hoped I could make it to the stairs before they noticed me and started shooting.
Taking short shallow breaths, I pressed my back against the cold stonewalls and slid silently down the hallway. I was so focussed on watching the demons that I lost my footing and caught my toes on my other ankle. I tumbled to the ground, biting back a scream as my elbow cracked against the floor.
I frantically shoved my hair back off my face, praying that the demons hadn't heard me. Luckily they were still grunting moodily at each other.
Gasping down a few claming breaths I pushed my self up off the floor, taking extra care in planting my feet firmly under me. I pressed my hand firmly against the rough wall and slid my foot along the floor, cringing as the ice cold stone turned my foot tingly, sharp shooting pains stabbing in the instep and the ball of my foot.
Hopping quickly forward, I hoisted my skirts up around my knees and reached out, fingers stretching for the banister on the stairs when my knee buckled and smashed into the wall. I fell to the ground, cursing and spluttering, groping blindly for a way forward, when a surprised snarl filled the air, shredding the silence to pieces.
I stared up through the curls that had fell over my eyes, meeting the demons angry expression with a glare of my own. Scrabbling forward, I threw out a hand, winding my fingers tightly round the hilt of the demons sword. I jerked it tightly to my chest; barely avoiding the demons outstretched hand before I pushed back onto my heels and flipped the blade upwards, driving it into the demons exposed chest. Black blood dribbled from the wound, squirting outwards onto my face.
I jerked back, pulling the sword along with me. The blade was slick with black blood, it ran down the blade, pooling when it hit the hilt before overflowing and coating my fingertips in blood.
A hard blow struck my face, propelling it to the side. I threw up a hand, slamming it into the wall, my head slamming into it. My vision swam momentarily, but I had enough sense to lift the sword up off the floor and swipe it blindly down through the air. Through my watering eyes, the three demons that were blurrily swaying in front of me, leapt back.
I growled low in my throat as it reached a hand backwards, groping for its weapon. I threw myself forward, landing in an awkward heap due to the hindrance of my dress, but I was close enough to touch the weapon, and I hurled it blindingly fast, sending it sailing through the air until it crashed into the far wall and clattered to the ground.
The demon gave a guttural growl before swinging its arms up to deliver what could only be a lethal blow to my head. I blindly jerked my head back, thrusting the sword I had kept clutched close to me outwards, praying I hit a critical artery or joint or, God, anything!
The demon pitched forward, black blood spraying uncontrollably from the wound puncturing its shoulder. I wrenched the blade from its skin and rolled groggily to the side. The demon crashed down next to me, snarling and writhing violently.
Pushing up off the floor and staggering into the wall to gain my balance, I fisted my hands around the hilt of the sword, ignoring the dull burning sensation of the demon blood, drew the blade high up above my head before driving it down into the demons back. The sword squelched as it punctured the tough skin, before it finally touched the floor, preventing me from driving it in any farther. The demon jerked once, its whole body going taught before it started spasming, and a scary pool of black blood started forming around the creature's torso.
Turning quickly towards the stairs feeling more than a little sickened, I wiped my eyes with the back of my hand to help clear my vision and then I was leaping up the stairs, hiking my ruined dress up around my waist not caring how indecent I looked.
All I could think about was survival.
I launched myself round the corner and sprinted down the dark corridor until I reached a little bay window. Ducking low to the ground, I crawled forward till I was under the sill well out of sight of anything unpleasant. I gulped air into my lungs as I smoothed my hair back off my hot face. My hands were smeared with dried blood, and the black liquid was crusting around my nails. I let out a little hysterical sob and drew my knees to my chest.
Footsteps sounded along the corridor, and I tensed, belatedly remembering that I had failed to check for any other demons after killing the two downstairs.
Stupid girl, I chided myself.
The heavy footfalls ceased and I held my breath, not daring to move when I didn't know the precise location of the enemy. God knows what could be behind that wall…
Minutes past and nothing happened.
Tensing my body, I took a deep breath, trying to barely move my chest before curling my legs around the side of me and leaning forward, raising one hand to hold the tangled mass of hair off my face as I slowly titled my body forward to peak around the corner off the wall.
The corridor was clear. My shoulders slumped and I let a smile grace my lips before I sat back on my haunches, basking in the relief that nothing was there.
I was safe.
I giggled, giddy with relief, until the echoes of my laughter trilled loudly in the deserted corridor. I clamped a hand over my mouth, collapsing back against the sill hiccupping gently.
I rose to my feet, dropping my hands from my mouth once my breathing was back under control. I walked forward, preparing to dash down the corridor when the hitching of someone's breath halted me.
What is that?
A hand grabbed my shoulder, no not a hand, a claw, and I was yanked off my feet, jerked backwards into a bear hug. Strong arms closed around my stomach and waist, preventing me from getting up. I swung my head blindly from side to side until a face appeared in my peripheral vision.
I choked on a half scream. The face was mangled; bits of rotting flesh dangled from the cheekbones and the eye sockets sagged far too low down the face to be able to hold any decent eyes. A small yellow ball was rolling continuously round in the right socket, with a red slash in the centre of it.
Oh God that's its pupil…I thought dazedly.
The demon opened its mouth, and ropes off spit hung from its jaws. Two sets of vicious looking points lined the demon's mouth and I kicked my legs violently as the two protruding fangs pierced my shoulder and sunk deep into the muscle.
I writhed in its tight grip, tears dribbling down my blackened cheeks, tickling my jaw as they met at my chin before plunging off into the depths of my cleavage. I desperately wanted to scream for help but I knew that it was pointless- no one would come, except maybe more demons.
Lashing my head to the side away from the demons face, I tried to dislodge its fangs from my skin, but it only clenched its jaw making me sag under the agony as the teeth burrowed deeper into my muscle. My eyes rolled my back into my head a little as the demon tensed its arms, the action squeezing the air out of me.
Thinking frantically, I scrabbled my fingers along its side searching for it's weak spot- it's Achilles heel. I moaned as my fingers only encountered the cold hilt of the sword strapped to its hip.
But then, I wrapped my fingers clumsily round the hilt of the sword and yanked it upwards, freeing it from its sheath.
Hurling my arm across my chest, I plunged the blade deep into the creature's shoulder, gagging as hot black liquid oozed from the wound dripping onto my own shoulder and gliding down my arm.
I don't know what caused me to act so quickly. The motion was too quick and sudden to comprehend until it was done. All I know is that the offence was impulsive, strangely instinctive and it worked. The demon's jaws flew open, and the sudden release caused my injury to start squirting blood into the air, as if it were a fountain. Red blood mixed with black until it turned a murky purple colour, pooling at my feet in a glistening puddle.
Mustering the remaining ounce of strength I had, I yanked the blade from its bed in the demon's shoulder and had a small second to admire my aim since it only missed my own head by inches, before I was digging the blackened blade into the creature's exposed neck.
It screeched and threw its claw-like hands up around its neck, effectively releasing me and I smashed into the floor with an agonizing jolt.
I rolled blindly away from the creature, which was jerking and fitting uncontrollably before its slumped to its knees, coughing and spluttering up black gunk.
I wretched, my eyes watering at the sight before I vomited on the floor, blood and bile splattering the stones.
I pushed backwards with my hands, shoving myself weakly away from the vomit and the now still demon until I hit a wall. I lay there, panting and heaving and gagging.
My sobs echoed down the deserted corridor, so loud that I almost didn't hear the thundering footfalls of the approaching army.
Clutching a bloody hand to my mouth, I choked back sobs and clawed my way to my feet then turning wildly and blundering my way to the end of this corridor.
I didn't give myself chance to choose left or right at the end of the corridor, I swung myself round the left hand corner, using one arm to guide me forward while the other clutched the wound on my back, trying to starch the blood flow.
I threw a frantic glance over my shoulder, spying the army of shadows that would soon be upon me if I didn't hurry up and get out of sight.
I yelped as I hit the floor, my body landing awkwardly on the first threw stone steps of a set of what looked like ten steps. I scrambled up them, panting.
I bundled my dress up into my remaining arm and ran gracelessly down the short corridor, whimpering as my harsh movements jolted my shoulder, causing a hard spurt of blood to squeeze out from between my fingers and dribble down my back.
The hallway was lined with six doors, three on either wall.
Giddily, I seized the first doorknob and hurled the door open. The room was too dark to see in.
Running to the next one, I barged threw the door, not caring what could be inside. Good Lord, I just needed to sit down!
I reeled back as I caught sight of a lump concealed by a rumpled blanket. From the dimming glow of a candle on the nightstand I realised with horror that the lump was a demon, and it was tide to the bed with its head cut open and brain half torn from its bedding within the skull.
Sobs wracked my body as I tripped over my tattered dress in my haste to leave the room. What the hell is that?
Zigzagging across the narrow hallway, I fell against the door and cracked my knuckles to try and control the shaking jerking them uncontrollably. Clasping the doorknob in my cold hand, I eased the door open and stepped uncertainly inside.
My heart leapt as I realised the room I was in.
The weapons room from the painting downstairs.
Perfect, I thought groggily, only vaguely remembering the plan I had concocted earlier on at dinner.
I staggered round the room, running my fingers along the tables and walls, trailing blood in their wake but not caring as I strapped weapons to my battered body.
An animalistic shriek interrupted me strapping a dagger to my left calf. Straightening up, I pushed my knotted brown curls off my face and glanced round, squinting groggily for a place to hide.
I could hear the doors squeaking from out in the corridor as the demons threw open the doors, inspecting the rooms and letting out a frustrated scream when they didn't find me.
Sweat started to bead on my forehead as the heavy footfalls of the demons' pounded down the corridor…towards me.
My eyes flickered around the room, quickening anxiously as a snarl ripped through the air directly outside the door.
The knob rattled.
I lunged across the room just as the door gave a groan of protest as a jagged curved blade was rammed through the wood. I yanked open the cupboard door and quickly inspected its innards before sweeping my arm inside, swiping all the thigh and back sheaths to one side.
The door gave another mournful groan as the wood splintered some more.
I clambered into the confined space, tucking my legs in tight to my chest, bunching my skirts up around my arms, folding them messily under my armpits and under my legs until I was sure they were all concealed.
The doorknob rattled again, more impatiently this time.
I gently teased the cupboard door shut using my jagged fingernails.
I held my breath as I strained my ears for any sound of movement.
I could hear nothing.
But surely they wouldn't have just given up on the search…?
The door crashed into wall, creating a noise so thunderous I was surprised people from the town –providing there was a town near by- didn't hear it and come running.
Heavy breathing whispered through the air, and the distinct sound of skin on skin could be heard. The demons must be moving into the room.
I closed my eyes and fisted my hands at my mouth, not daring to do anything in fear of being caught.
My name is Tessa Gray. I am sixteen years old. I am living in London Institute with Jem Carstairs, Will Herondale, Jessamine Lovelace, Charlotte Branwell and Henry Branwell. I am a riddle wrapped up in a mystery…a question that has never been posed before. I want to know who I am. What I was created for…
I opened my eyes to an eerie peacefulness to the room.
I slowly moved my hands from my mouth, tasting blood where I pressed my lip too hard against my teeth, and gently lay a finger on the cupboard door, preparing to push it open when heavy panting occupied the air outside the cupboard door. I flinched back, biting my tongue on a scream.
No light was streaming into the confined space any longer. I couldn't even see to make out a shadow through the small crack where both doors meet.
I felt like I was suspended in air, not knowing when I was going to drop but my stomach still having that sickening clench of anticipation of the inevitable. Finally, the demon moved away, and the door was slammed closed.
I let a stream of air blow out of my nose, trying to make as minimal noise as possible.
What if some of those things were still out there…waiting…?
But no noise came from outside the cupboard, and my legs were starting to cramp from the lack of movement, so I gently pushed open the cupboard door, only to jump back when the weapons room door flew open, ricocheting back off the wall with a thud.
I jerked the cupboard door closed again, curing my injured finger into a fist and clenching my jaw against the pain pounding in my back, where I hit the back of the cupboard.
The sharp sudden movement stretched the skin on my shoulders wide and blood started to run down my back again. The light-headedness from my previous blood loss hit me like a slap in the face after venturing out into the cool night air after drinking too much, instant and inevitable.
So this is how intoxicated men feel after a night at the pub, I thought giddily, letting my head drop onto the floor of the cupboard.
My eyes fluttered closed, my breathing becoming steady and deep as I lay quivering in the small cramped space that was concealing me from the outside terrors.
A shiver of pure dread swept down my spine as once again, the small stream of light squeezing through the tiny gaps between the doors of the cupboard disappeared and soft breathing was whispering gently through the air.
Squeezing my eyes tighter together, I struggled to keep my breathing regular when a consuming tightness to my throat only made it painfully obvious that someone was stealing my oxygen.
Not being able to stand the darkness any longer, I jerked my eyes open and stared at the cupboard doors.
A luminous green eye glowed menacingly through the gap in the cupboard, and I felt my eyes widen and my muscles tense as I realised it could only be one person.
Before I could react, I was falling abruptly against the cupboard doors, but they didn't open. Gleeful shrieks could be heard from the demons, as I hammered against the cupboard doors.
They still wouldn't open.
It was then that it dawned on me. The cupboard had been overturned.
I was trapped.
"Let me out!" I screamed, banging on the sides of the cupboard. "Let me out!"
A gleeful taunting lilt saturated Cam's voice as he spoke, "Now Tessa, do be quiet. Your using up valuable oxygen in that confined space of yours."
I whimpered, and thrashed round harder. The only problem was, there wasn't much room to thrash round effectively.
"Why are you doing this?" I snarled.
Cam laughed; it was a rich gloating sound, filled with self-power and no remorse. My jaw clenched.
"Because, my darling, you belong to me."
"I am my own person, and no one shall own me like some possession!" I growled.
I yelped, tumbling ungracefully out of the cupboard when it was suddenly lifted upwards and tilted, the doors flying wide open, leaving me with nothing to prevent my fall.
"Ugh!" I hissed, as I pushed up off the floor till I was propped up on my arms, my joints stretched to their full extent.
And then Cam was ducking down on his haunches, his face looming in mine. "Think what you like, my love," He fisted his hand in my hair and hauled me upwards, so that I was bent back onto my knees. "But you have promised to stay with me, and stay you shall."
I glared defiantly up at him.
"Next time you wish to run for a little bit of freedom Tessa, try doing it without the dramatic blood trail- it is most conspicuous."
"I will do what I see fit." I retorted, pulling free from his grasp. "I do not answer to you_"
"No, she answers to me. Tessa darling, do get up off the floor, you look most awkward."
I whipped round, along with everyone else in the room and stared, wide eyed and completely shocked, at the newest addition to out little party.
"What is he doing here?" Cam roared, his hands flying up into the air.
Will stood in the doorway, looking handsome as ever, and blazingly angry, almost deadly.
I slowly rose from the floor, still staring at Will.
"Yes, lovely to see you again." Will smirked at Cam, and Cam snarled something.
Deciding to take control of the situation, I griped Cam by the shoulder and jerked him round to face me. "He's here to distract them, while I do this." And I unsheathed the dagger strapped to my thigh hidden under my now ruined pink dress, plunging it deeply into Cam's side.
He groaned and buckled, falling to the floor.
And then demons charged from the outskirts of the room and threw themselves at me. I ducked and dodged, throwing knives and delivering blows, and as I glanced over my shoulder I caught sight of Will doing much the same moves.
He was fascinating to watch. The way he moved was a graceful as the flutter of a butterfly's wings, his movements precise and shockingly fast. The silver of the sword's blade was a blur, only being spotted by the human eye when it was buried deep into a demon's chest.
"Noooo!" Cam was screaming, looking wildly round the room at his rapidly falling army.
His green eyes met mine, full of venom and betrayal, and I anticipated his next move just as he made it. I missed the tails of his dinner jacket flapping out behind him as he dashed to the door, his shoes splattered with demon blood.
I lunged after him, my bare feet slipping in the patches of demon blood and my back protesting but I gripped the battered door and pulled myself forward.
A hand caught my elbow, a touch so light it sent shivers rippling up my arm. I turned to glare at Will. "Let me go." I demanded,
"Leave him. We must leave now. DUCK!" He added with such authority that I dived to the ground. A demon dropped down beside me, its mouth gaping open and its teeth bared in a furious snarl.
Will heaved me off the ground, pushing me out the door while fending off an attacking demon. Taking full advantage of his distraction I wrenched free from his grasp and pounded down the corridor.
"Tess!" Will shouted, his voice burning with intensity for reasons I couldn't begin to fathom. Why did he even come back? He was using me…
I shook my head fiercely, banishing all thoughts of Will-after all they do me no good- as I continued to rush down the corridor.
A bang echoed down the corridor and I whirled round, a hand subconsciously flying to my chest. A window was flapping open, tapping against the walls, the cool night air rushed in, sweeping over my flushed skin and chilling me to the bone. I slowly moved backwards, eyeing the window as if it had done me a wrongness before turning back round and continuing down the hallway. I clutched the sword tightly in my hand, tensing my arms to control the shakes rolling through them.
Another gust of wind sent the windows ricocheting back against the stonewalls clanging harshly, the glass shattering from the blow. I leapt backwards, pressing my back against the wall as the glass rained down, tinkling as it hit the floor.
As if in synchronisation, the candles dotted along the corridor snuffed out, plunging me into darkness. A gasp caught in my throat, as I raised my sword up pointing it outwards for protection.
Slowly stepping forward on the balls of my feet, I crept lightly along the hallway until my outstretched sword tapped gently against an obstacle, and my outstretched fingers brushed lightly against wood. I trailed them down the wood, frantically searching for a doorknob to open the door.
Chills were sweeping over my skin, raising the hair on my arms and the back of my neck; shivers shook my fingers so hard I almost dropped my sword.
I had that awful feeling that something was creeping up on me, something horrible and evil and infernal_
I swung round blindly lifting my sword just as two glowing red eyes lurched forward out of the darkness, and then a demon was shrieking and clawing at me. I grunted as I swung my sword round in a wide sweeping arc. The shrieking ceased, dulled to a muffled thud as the creature's head hit the floor and rolled till it bumped against the door.
I muffled a gag that sounded much like a strangled sob, and kicked the head using the pale glow seeping under the door to guide my move away from me, and then continued to charge through the door, collapsing in a heap in the room when the door gave way to my assault.
I lay there for a moment, gulping down air and muffling a groan as the injury to my back once again started to leak blood.
"You really are fearless, aren't you Tessa? Fearless but highly stupid. Pursuing me like this, on your own, is a highly irresponsible decision." Cam's voice was loud and clear, but the weakness from his earlier injury was still evident.
I spluttered out a laugh. "You think so?" I moved myself so that I was sitting in a much more comfortable position on my bottom. "And here I was thinking that you were the one person that I was undeniably safe with. How silly of me."
I watched with a gleeful rather childish satisfaction as Cam glared murderously at me. "Do not test me Tessa. I do not wish for you to die, but I never guaranteed no harm would come to you. Now please stop being foolish or you will force my hand."
I dug my sword into the hard stone ground and leaned my weight on it, so that all my weight was concentrated on the sword and my bottom, not my back that was screaming in agony. "Don't worry," I smiled sweetly. "You won't have to make any drastic decisions…"
"Oh really? And why is that?" Cam raised an eyebrow questioningly.
Under my dress I discreetly tensed my leg muscles. "Because, my Lord, I will be making them first." And then I pushed up form the floor onto my sword and pounced at Cam.
A very angsty chapter to celebrate the new year but, well, what's life without a little angst and blood, eh?
Sorry for the long wait guys. Life's been keeping me on my toes :) Hope you enjoyed the chapter- review to let me know how it was?
Big thanks to all who reviewed last chapter! You're all awesome!