Stevie Rae was just coming out of a massive coma like sleep. Ugh she thought. I hurt all over! She tried to roll over but there was a mass in her way. What the? She thought. She lifted her chin to see over her shoulder. Instantly by the sight of him her belly did a flip flop. She giggled and adjusted herself to face him. "I am sorry. Did I wake you?" he said propping his head up on his elbow. "No you didn't. How was your night?" she asked remembering that every night from now on Rephaim would turn into a raven completely to atone for his past actions. His face contorted. "I don't remember. I awoke near a corner and I came to lie down over here. I hope that was okay." He said looking sorry. Stevie Rae scooted in closer to him. "Don't worry silly!" she said "I don't mind one bit." Rephaim smiled and pulled her closer to him. "You have slept for quite some time Stevie Rae." He said sounding worried. Have I? She thought. She did ache in her shoulders and hips. And arms. Ah heck she hurt everywhere. "How long was I out?" she asked rolling back over to get more comfortable with him. "You have been sleeping for the past three days."
"Whoa! That's some serious snoozing!" she said sitting up. This was probably a mistake seeing as how sore she was. And no wonder! She'd been lying in a bed for three days! "Zoey has come to see if you had awakened many times. She worries about you." He said informatively.
"Well I ought to get up and get motivated. After some breakfast. I'm starving!" she said gingerly sliding out of bed. She was less sore now that she was moving. But Rephaim seemed to be watching her intently.
"What?" she said turning to see what he was afraid of?
"You have been sleeping for so long. We were all worried about you." He said looking sad.
"You don't have to worry. I am fine. Darkness really takes a toll on a person." She said. She kind of felt bad for Rephaim. He was worried so much about her. "Come here." She said sympathetically. She moved around the bed and hugged Rephaim around the waist. He hugged her back but he was being careful like she was injured. "You don't have to worry. I was just sleepy that's all."
There was a knock on the wall outside of Stevie Rae's checkerboard curtain. "Hello?" came a call from outside the doorway. Stevie Rae released Rephaim and said "Come on in."
Zoey poked her head through the curtain. She looked at Stevie Rae and beamed. "Well look whose back!" she said entering the room to hug Stevie Rae. They hugged for a brief time and then Zoey said "When did you wake up?"
"Couple of minutes ago. You got any food Z? I'm starving!" Stevie Rae said rubbing her stomach as it growled. Zoey looked at Rephaim and said "Well I was just coming to get Rephaim here to help me with something but looks like you need some food!"
"Food would be wonderful Z!" she said jumping up and down but she calmed when Rephaim put his hand on her shoulder.
"I will be happy to help you again Zoey." He said giving her a warm smile. What the? A few days ago or what seemed to her like yesterday Rephaim was genuinely scared of Zoey.
"Well you just go ahead and take care of it and I'll fix Stevie Rae up with some breakfast." Zoey said as Stevie Rae's stomach growled again.
"Zoey may I have a moment alone with Stevie Rae?" Rephaim said looking pleading at Zoey.
"Yup. I'll be out in the hall way. Just come out when you're ready." Zoey said giving Stevie Rae a short smile. Then she turned and went out the door.
Stevie Rae turned to ask Rephaim a question but before she could he grabbed her up and kissed her softly. She melted into his arms and kissed him back. After a few seconds she pulled back unable to breath. "Whoah!" she said feeling light headed. He released her and put his hands behind his back.
"I am sorry if I overstepped my bounds." He said looking at the ground. "No silly!" she said giggling at him. "I didn't mind it one bit."
Her stomach rumbled again. Now the hunger was getting uncomfortable.
"Come." He said walking towards the door "You need to eat."
Stevie Rae followed him out the curtain where they found Zoey outside the door talking to Stark.
"Alright Z I am so ready for some grub." She said to Zoey trying to ignore the fact that Stark and Rephaim were having a stare down.
"Alright. Stark would you take Rephaim to the east wing and get to work on those dorms please?" Zoey said giving Stark a stern look when he huffed.
"Yes Zoey." He said. I watched Rephaim stare at him with wondering eyes as Stark hugged Zoey and started heading down the hallway. Rephaim nodded to Stevie Rae and said goodbye and followed stark at a brisk pace down the hallway.
Once they were out of sight Zoey and Stevie Rae turned and started walking towards the kitchen.
"So." Zoey said breaking the silence between them. "How are you feeling?"
"I'm kind of sore." Stevie Rae said rubbing the back of her neck where she felt the most tension.
"Well that doesn't surprise me. You scared the poopie out of us all when you didn't wake up. We thought something was majorly wrong but Rephaim insisted that you would be fine."
"It was darkness." Stevie Rae said shuddering as she remembered how the tendrils of darkness had drained her of all her energy and made her want to puke.
"What?" Z said sounding surprised.
"Neferet's darkness." Stevie Rae explained. "It drained me of all my energy. I passed out as soon as I got to my room I was so tired. Darkness is bad Z."
Zoey patted her on the back and said "Well let's get you fixed up with some lucky charms huh?"
"Oh my goodness! When did you get lucky charms?" Stevie Rae asked feeling her mouth start to water.
Zoey laughed "well the kitchens just around the co-…"
Zoey stopped and stared at Stevie Rae. Stevie Rae wondered what Zoey was looking at when she felt it. It felt like her body was shutting down. She knew what was happening. Zoey was staring because Stevie Rae's eyes were starting to glow red. She could smell Zoey's blood. This was a bad sign. She needed blood and fast but the feeling of thirst for blood had never impacted her so fast. It had never gotten so bad so fast. She clutched her stomach and moaned. The hunger and the thirst were never so bad, so painful. It was unbearable. She looked at Zoey who seemed to be trying to speak to her. The pain had spread to her head. She couldn't hear anything but the sound of Zoey's pulse. Just as she started to feel like she was going to lose it she felt herself grab Zoey's arm. All she needed was a little bit is all. Just enough to make the pain go away. Zoey would do that for her wouldn't she? She grabbed Zoey's arm with the other hand. More than half of her screamed yes as she pulled Zoey's arm toward her mouth while the rest of the small portion of her, barely audible at this point, yelled no this is Zoey! We don't eat people. It was incredibly hard to make herself let go of Zoey but she did. With the last bit of free will she had left she jerked herself from Zoey. She fell to the floor and started to lose consciousness. The last thing she could remember seeing was Rephaim bend over her and press his bleeding wrist to her mouth.
Chapter two: Zoey
I laughed "Well the kitchens just around the co-…" I stopped when I saw the red glow in Stevie Rae's eyes. Stevie Rae looked at me with realization slowly coming over her face. "Stevie Rae are you okay?" I said when Stevie Rae clutched her stomach and moaned. I put my hand on Stevie Rae's back and Stevie Rae grabbed my wrist. Oh goddess! I thought as Stevie Rae grabbed my wrist with both hands and started to open her mouth. She is going to freaking bite me! Just as I thought that Stevie Rae launched herself back and she fell on the floor.
"Stevie Rae!" Rephaim yelled as he slid the last few feet of floor on his knees and picked up Stevie Rae.
"What happened!" he yelled at me, his eyes were welling up with tears.
"She needs blood!" I said. What else could the glowing red eyes mean? Thank goddess she had the self control to keep herself from biting me.
Just like that Rephaim bit his wrist until blood was seeping out. He pulled Stevie Rae closer to him and laid her on his lap. With one hand he opened her mouth because she was only semi conscious and with the other he pressed his wrist to her mouth and made her drink.
At first there was no reaction which made the tears in my eyes well up but a few seconds later she weakly grabbed his wrist and pressed it harder against her mouth. She opened her eyes and grabbed his wrist with the other hand. I turned my head when she did this because I did not want to see that awful red. Just like when she was undead only the red stayed in her eyes.
I heard a gasp and then sobbing so I turned my head to them. Stevie Rae had let go of Rephaim's wrist and was gasping for air and crying red tinged tears.
Rephaim put his hand over his wrist in attempt to stop the bleeding but Stevie Rae took it and with the tip of her tongue coagulated the gash.
"Stevie Rae." I said reaching for her but before I could get to her she got up and said "I'm sorry." and started walking down the hallway at a brisk pace.
"Go." Rephaim said. He seemed light headed and too dizzy from loss of blood to be able to stand. "Go to her and comfort her."
"Right." I said and started off down the hallway after her. I felt bad for Rephaim but I knew that he knew seeing him would only make Stevie Rae hurt worse.
I chased after Stevie Rae unable to catch up until we were on the roof of the depot. The sun had just set and you could tell what was left still hurt Stevie Rae.
I burst through the door to the roof of the depot and ran after her.
"Stevie Rae!" I yelled. She was headed for the tree, the only living peace of earth on the roof. She needed to come up here to vent away from the others but the tree still provided earth's support.
Before I caught up to her she fell to her knees on the mulch beneath the tree and dug her fingers into the mulch.
I came up behind her and stood there not knowing what to say.
"He saved my life here Z." she said.
"Who did?" I asked confused as to what she was talking about. She didn't mean Rephaim did her? She had said he'd saved her life twice.
"Rephaim did." She was still crying but you could hear happiness in her voice when she said his name.
She leaned her back against the wall next to the tree and put her head in her hands. I walked over and sat down next to her. Her crying worsened and her shoulders began to shake rapidly.
I put my arm around her and pulled her to where her head was in my lap and I was stroking her perky blond curls while soothingly rubbing her back.
"Stevie Rae. I could tell you were keeping something from me. I never imagined something as big as him though." I said thinking out loud. She stopped crying slowly.
"Why don't I tell you everything then?" she said.
"From the beginning." I said. I've been dying to know what happened between them and how I could have missed it all, aside from the time that I was in otherworld in Nyx's grove.
"I found him at the abbey." She began "He'd been shot. I was going to get Erik when I saw that he was still alive. I couldn't leave him there to suffer but I couldn't kill him either. So I took him to the shed and dressed his wounds. I snuck out there another time to check on him and he was doing much better but I knew he was dangerous and couldn't be kept around the abbey anymore so I sent him down through the tunnel I made to here so he could um… well just to get him away from there." She paused waiting for me to say something but at this point the wheels were still turning and I had nothing to say.
"Everything went normal from there on out. I didn't have anything to do with him. But heres the part you don't know about. I'm sorry but I lied to you about this. You were already gone and so busy and they were mine to keep a hold of and I didn't do it very well. It's my responsibility as a high priestess and I felt no need to put any more stress on you and-" I cut her off saying "All right just tell me what happened!"
"I went back to the depot to talk to the other red fledglings. Ones you don't know about. They hadn't for sure chose darkness but they weren't choosing light either. I went there to make a final offer about choosing light when they told me they'd captured him on the roof. So I went up here to make sure he was okay when they trapped me under the grate up there. Like a ding dong I had went there when I only had a few hours left till dawn. They knocked me out and trapped me so that when the sun came up I'd burn."
I gasped. That had been what happened. She didn't trip and fall. She was trapped. These red fledglings tried to kill her! She lied to me about it. I can see where she was coming from though. If I had known about that I would have almost packed my bags and came home to kick who ever's butt that tried to kill my BFF!
"Rephaim was there and he helped me escape from the grate. I burned all the way over here to the tree when we jumped down. I think I scraped my back all along this tree."
"That explains why Aphrodite complained her back hurt." I said in realization
"Yup. When we landed her I had earth make me a shield to protect me from the sun. I didn't feel bad at all though until after I drank from Rephaim. That's when I realized how close to dying' I actually came, which was pretty darn close. It got me well enough for Lenobia and Erik to come get me. I also told Rephaim to hide at the gilcrese that way I could check on him when I needed to. So that's where he stayed. Then he ended up saving my life again. When I evoked the black bull, it gave me the answers to get stark to otherworld but I didn't know I had a price to pay. It drank from me it was going to kill me but Rephaim stepped in and let the bull drink from him instead of me. The next time I saw him was at the gilcrese when his daddy and you were back. Well you know the rest from there."
I was about to say something when Aphrodite opened the door to the roof and yelled my name.
"Oh for shits sake Zoey, where are you?" she said grumpily scanning the top of the roof.
I tapped Stevie Rae on the back and she sat up. I looked at her and she didn't look so upset now. There wasn't any sign of her crying either. Maybe talking about Rephaim made her feel better.
"Over here." I yelled standing up and giving a short wave.
"Thank Goddess. I've got uber-important news for you." She said still standing in the door way.
"Well what is it?" I asked
She stepped aside and behind her was a girl. It wasn't the fact that she was here that caught me off guard but it was her mark.
On her forehead she had a hollow orange crescent.
Chapter 3. Zoey
Since me myself started out with a strange mark I thought it nice not to stare.
"Uh hello." I said waving to the girl who in turn nodded her head and waved back.
"Zoey this is Emily Beard, Emily this is Zoey Redbird." Aphrodite said with a weird gesture of her hand.
"Nice to meet you." She said stepping past Aphrodite onto the roof where I got a good look at her. She had short blond hair cut into side bangs. She wore a grey jacket that buttoned up to her neck, skinny jeans (but not too skinny) and a pair of grey converses.
"Stevie Rae come on. We have business to attend to as high priestesses of the house of night depot." I said outstretching my hand to her. She reluctantly grabbed it and stood.
We walked over to Emily.
"Well Emily, what brings you to our house of night?" I asked putting on a smile for her.
"Well it's kind of a weird story. I promise I'm not crazy." She said looking to be a little nervous.
"Trust me." I said "We know crazy."
"Well, the truth is Nyx told me to come." She said as she pulled out a piece of paper out of a book. She showed it to me and on there was a drawing of the depot and on the sides was me and Stevie Rae's faces.
"Whoa." I said.
Chapter 4 Zoey
The new girl, Emily sat across from me at the kitchen table. She fiddled with her fingers for a bit so I decided to break the silence.
"So, where are you from?" I asked
"Rocky mount, Virginia." She said. This explained her country accent. It wasn't thick country or even Okie like Stevie Rae's twang but the country was there and very noticeable.
"Virginia? That's a long ways away." I said thinking about its location which is half a country away from Tulsa, Texas.
"Yeah, I was enrolled in the Franklin County House of Night but…" she paused and fiddled her hands some more. "But Nyx spoke to me." She said sounding more confident.
"I was marked blue like any other fledgling." She said staring at the table. "But fifteen days into my enrolment I was drawing when I saw a flash of light. I heard a voice and somehow I just knew it was the Goddess. She said that she had special plans for me and that a red and blue priestess would be waiting for me in Tulsa, Texas. When my vision was clear again I looked at my drawing it looked like the one I showed you. I talked to my high priestess and she said if it is Nyx's will and I was willing to go I could leave to Tulsa but there was no House of Night that looked like the one in the drawing. So with an adult vamp I set out. He dropped me off in Tulsa but he couldn't help me search. So I asked around town with just the drawing of the building because I didn't want to arouse suspicion. A nice lady who owned a lavender field in town told me where it was. She said her uwetsigeya or something like that would be here for me. And so here I am." She said taking a long breath after relating her entire tale to me.
"That woman you met in the lavender field was my grandmother. She is a nice woman." I said smiling at the thought of grandma redbird.
"Well we are not officially a House of Night Yet but we are trying to be. We have some adult vamps with us and a few other fledglings. We don't have any classes or dorms but they are under construction. There is an extra bed. You can room with an adult vamp named Erik Night. Wait here and I will go set everything up." I said hating that she had to be with the whiny Erik. But he was an adult and she was a fledgling who hasn't been around one in a while so she needed to stay close to him. I walked down the hall and turned at the red curtain that led to Erik's room. I entered to find him sitting on his bed sulking.
"What is it?" he asked not looking at me.
"A new fledgling showed up today and I need her to room with you. There aren't any extra beds but in here and she needs to be around an adult vamp. Are you okay with this?" I said all in one breath so that he couldn't interrupt me.
"Sure I don't mind." He said emotionlessly.
I walked out of the room because I didn't want to deal with him at the moment. I walked back into the kitchen. Emily was there sitting in concentration. She had a note pad out drawing on it with her eyes closed. I looked at her closer and she had blood running from her eyes.