A/N: I don't know if there is anyone still reading this, I hope there is. Here's the next chapter. :)
~ Chapter Ten ~
~~ Breaking An Imprint ~~
Kalona walked around the room, his hands clasped behind his back, checking in on each group of hostages. None of them indulged in his light-hearted pleasantries, they all just glared at him. By the time Kalona made it over to Hunter and Damien, Hunter was ready to lunge at him, but he kept his cool. Provoking Kalona would only cause the loss of another innocent life. If they wanted to get out of here alive, they had to plan their moves and wait for the opportune moment.
"You've been unusually quiet," Kalona said when he knelt down in front of Hunter. "Nothing to say? Or are you just upset that your girlfriend is out there all alone and you're not there to protect her?" he pretended to sympathize for a moment. "Ah, no worries, we'll have her soon."
"If you touch her, I swear I'll..." Hunter ground out, through gritted teeth. He couldn't finish the sentence at the thought of Kalona anywhere near Morgan. His hands were in fists on the floor beside him.
"You'll what?" Kalona antagonized him, leaning closer.
Hunter shook his head, unable to form the words. His body seethed with anger and desperation, he was on the edge. It took everything in him to hold it back and not attack Kalona. But the very thought of Morgan hurt and possibly dying was enough to break the already thin line stopping him from doing just that.
"Just as I thought. Nothing," Kalona said, satisfied.
Hunter shook with another with-held angry emotion. Damien saw that he was about to snap, so he put his hand on Hunter's arm holding him back. He decided to distract Kalona away from Hunter. "Where's Jack?" he asked, honestly.
"Oh, he's happily locked away somewhere, working on a little project," Kalona answered, keeping his gaze on Hunter. "Don't worry about him." Lastly, Kalona smiled at Hunter and then stood up, turning around. His eyes zeroed in on the petite form across the room, very nearly bawling her eyes out. It was aggravating. Kalona walked to the center of the room.
It took Mary K a moment to notice the sudden stillness of the room and the looming presence above her. When she looked up, she gave a small gasp and shrank back. Kalona cocked his head as if he were confused by her reaction. Slowly, he knelt down in front of her. Mary K scooted back a few inches until Kalona seized her wrist and she froze.
"You don't look well, darling," Kalona said, sliding his hand up her arm, then tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. Mary K flinched. "What's your name?"
Mary K's eyes darted everywhere except at the man in front of her as she swallowed hard. "M-M-Mary K," she stammered.
"Oh, what a beautiful name...for such a beautiful girl," Kalona cooed to her softly, his index finger sliding from her ear to her chin, along her jawbone. "Stand up," he murmured to her.
Mary K gulped, swallowing a sob, and stood up with Kalona. Hunter was watching the whole thing and couldn't take it anymore. He couldn't sit here and watch Morgan's sister get hurt. Hunter jumped to his feet, barely noticing Damien reaching out to stop him. "Leave her alone!" he shouted.
"Sit down," Kalona instructed Hunter, without turning or raising his voice. Hunter remained standing. Kalona returned to speaking to Mary K. "Tell me,...why are you crying?"
Mary K sniffled and wiped her tears away. She glanced briefly up at Kalona, then returned her gaze down at the floor. "B-because...I'm scared," Mary K admitted, her voice barely above a whisper.
Kalona tisked softly, shaking his head at her. "There's no reason to be afraid. We're all friends here," he smiled friendly at her, or as friendly as he can be. He put his hands on her shoulders and turned her around to face everybody else in the room, as he stood behind her. "Now, let's tell Mary K that there is nothing to be scared of."
Hunter took a step forward. "Mary K, it's okay," he told her, calmly, sending a glare at Kalona. "No one is going to hurt you."
"Well, now, let's not lie to her," Kalona replied. He cupped Mary K's chin in his hand and lifted her face so that she was looking at him. "I'm sorry, darling, there is a chance that you will get hurt. After all, you do have six demerits. Another four, and, well..." Kalona trailed off, allowing Mary K to fill in the blank herself. She did, and her body started shaking.
"Alright, we get it, you can kill us all," Robbie burst out, jumping to his feet, like Hunter. Erin, still clinging to his arm and wanting him to like her, stood with him. "Just leave her alone." Erin nodded. Then, showing an united front, Sky, Aphrodite, Darius, and Damien all stood as well. Those who didn't stand were the ones tending to Alisa and Stevie Rae.
"Well, well, well, it looks like we have a bunch of rebels in the room," Kalona chuckled, not in the least bit fazed. "What should we do about that, Selene?" He had his arm around Mary K loosely.
"We are going to stop this little game," Selene snapped, not even the slightest bit interested in playing along. She stalked over to Kalona, ripped Mary K out of his grasp, and pushed her back down. With a squeak of surprise, Mary K fell to the floor in a heap. "You need to stop playing games and making nice with the hostages and focus on the objective."
Kalona smirked at her. "Careful, your cruelty is showing," he responded back. "I am merely entertaining myself during these long, tedious hours." He reached out to run his hand down her arm.
Selene swatted his hand away. "Well, keep your amusements to yourself," she scolded him. She turned her back on him and addressed the rest of the hostages. "Now, sit down, before I decide to cut my losses and kill every single one of you."
One by one, the standing hostages lowered themselves to the floor, Hunter being the last one to sit down. Suddenly, Bree's voice rose above the shuffling, panic-filled. "Hey, hey, Stevie Rae, I need you to stay with me!" she said as the red vampyre's eyes drifted closed. "You need to stay with me, okay? Don't close your eyes."
Everybody's attention was drawn to them. Selene crossed her arms and watched in amusement. Rephaim leaned toward Bree and Stevie Rae. "What happened? What's wrong?" he asked her, a rising panic building in his chest.
Bree shook her head, scattered. "I don't know," she exclaimed, not knowing what to do. "I was just talking to her to keep her conscious...and then her pulse got really weak..."
"Get a body bag ready," Selene commented. "Looks like we have our first fatality of the night."
Rephaim squandered the urge to lunge at Selene, and focused on Stevie Rae. He scooted closer. "I can help heal her," he whispered to Bree.
Bree looked at him confused and doubtfully. "What? H-" she started to ask, then her eyes widened when she saw him rolling up his sleeve and moving his arm closer to Stevie Rae's mouth. Bree grabbed his arm, stopping him. "What do think you're doing?!"
"Stevie Rae and I are imprinted, a bond that happens when a vampyre drinks from another person," Rephaim explained to her, softly, gently taking her hand off his arm. "Blood drinking can help heal her. It won't do all the work, but it will help." Rephaim readjusted himself, lifting Stevie Rae's head, whose eyes fluttered open at the movement, and placed his arm underneath her mouth. Bree subtly turned her head, unable to watch. "Here, drink," he murmured to Stevie Rae.
"What do you think you are doing?" Selene interrupted, just as Stevie Rae was about to bite. She strode over to him. "We are not running an all-you-can-eat buffet." Selene yanked on Rephaim's arm until he relented and stood up.
"She's weak," Rephaim argued. "She needs blood and I'm the only one who can give it to her."
Selene looked at him, with an eyebrow quirked. "The only one?" she questioned. "I don't think so."
Rephaim was about to argue again, but figured it would be a waste of his breath. Instead, he looked to his father for help, begging him with his eyes to let him help Stevie Rae. Kalona didn't meet his gaze, only leaned up against the wall, preoccupied.
"Do we have another volunteer to feed the bleeding vampyre?" Selene asked, looking around at the room of hostages. "Hm?"
"Please don't do this," Rephaim whispered to Selene, afraid that if Stevie Rae drank from someone else, then their imprint would break.
"I'm afraid I must," Selene smiled apologetically, but not, at him. She turned back to the rest of the hostages. "Anyone? I'm sure there's someone here who wants to save the young lady's life." Everybody sat quietly from their spots on the floor, not volunteering. It's not that they wanted Stevie Rae to die, it's just that none of them wanted to be a human blood bag. Selene took things into her own hands. "You," she said, walking over to Robbie. "You were so eager to get up before. You should have no problem with this."
Robbie looked and shook his head. "No, thanks," he said.
"I wasn't asking," Selene replied, and pulled him to his feet. Robbie protested a little as Selene ushered him forward. He couldn't help but meet Bree's gaze as he approached, and her eyes were filled with fear, for him.
"Pick someone else, please!" Bree blurted out, pleading. "I'll do it, if you want!" Robbie looked at her sharply, dumbstruck that she actually thought that he'd let her take his place.
"No," Selene said, without looking at her. She took a pocketknife from her pocket and flicked it open with a swish. She grinned tightly at Robbie. "This may hurt a little." Then, quick as a flash, Selene slashed the blade across Robbie's wrist. Robbie let out a hiss of pain, but otherwise didn't flinch.
"Please, she could kill him!" Bree was still pleading.
"Well, then, that's one less hostage I'll have to deal with," Selene replied, matter-of-factly. She forced Robbie to his knees next to Stevie Rae, and held his bleeding arm underneath her nose. "Smell that? He's all yours, if you want to."
Robbie turned his head to look at Bree, and whispered, "It's okay." Bree shook her head, tears brimming in her eyes.
Stevie Rae smelled the blood instantly and couldn't resist it, especially in her current condition. It wasn't as intoxicating to her as Rephaim's blood, but it was blood. Rephaim watched her desperately. "Don't do it," he muttered, just as Stevie Rae clamped her mouth down on Robbie's wrist.
Rephaim could barely stand to watch Stevie Rae drink from someone else and closed his eyes. Deep down, he was sure that he knew that she was half conscious, barely aware of what she was doing. She needs a lot of self-control around blood in general. Rephaim opened his eyes again, with determination. No, he wasn't going let Selene or his father break them apart, but he needed to act fast. He could already feel their imprint starting to tear.
Without thinking twice, Rephaim darted forward past Selene and slid to the floor beside Stevie Rae. He pulled Robbie away from her, and cradled her close to him. Bree scrambled over to Robbie and threw her arms around him. She tore off a piece of gauze and wrapped it around his still bleeding wrist, while Robbie slumped against her, face pale from loss of blood.
"Feel better?" Selene commented from behind Rephaim. Rephaim didn't say anything as he held Stevie Rae in his arms, but he could feel Selene's menacing presence behind him. Selene didn't say anything else to him, instead she walked away and dragged Robbie up with her, despite Bree's protests. After depositing the young man back down next to Erin, Selene strode over to Kalona.
"I'm going to check on our friend in the other room," Selene told him. "Please make sure the hostages behave themselves." Without waiting for Kalona's reply, Selene left the room.
Jack sat in the office behind the desk, where Selene had left him, growing bored. He had been staring at the four security camera footage on the laptop screen for what had to be at least five minutes. Nothing, or no one, showed up. Jack placed his free arm, the one not handcuffed to the chair, on the desk, resting his chin in his hand. He didn't know what he would do if he saw Zoey or Stark appear in one of the cameras. He didn't want to get either one of them caught, but that would mean sacrificing one or all of his friends in the other room. Jack thought about Mary K, the girl he had been sitting next to for the past couple of hours. She was younger than him and looked so small curled up on herself and scared. She felt like a younger sister in need of his protection.
Suddenly, movement on the computer screen caught his attention and he sat up straighter. A dark-haired guy, not Stark, and pretty cute looking if you asked Jack, crept into view of the camera in the front of the warehouse. Jack looked up quickly at the door to his room, but it was still closed. He turned back to the screen in time to see Zoey and another girl with light brown hair appear as well. Stark pulled up the rear with his bow and arrow, looking like an ancestral predator.
The group paused to discuss something. Though Jack couldn't hear what they were saying, he could tell from the tense postures of the two guys that they were not in agreement. Jack held his breath for what seemed like an eternity until the foursome fanned out and, one-by-one, disappeared off screen. He had just released his breath when the doorknob started turning and then the door to the room swung open. Selene stood in the open doorway and one look at Jack's still shocked face, she knew. A gleeful smile split her face.
"You found them," she stated, matter-of-factly. "Congratulations, Jack, you may have just saved your friends."
Which ones? Jack asked to himself as Selene crossed the room in four strides. He swallowed hard and it felt like a ton of bricks landing in his stomach.
A/N: I really hope I still have some readers out there. Please review and tell me what you thought. Let me know you're still reading.