I woke up as rays of sunlight feebly attempted to trickle in past the thick, black curtains. Morning, I said to myself, and the very thought started a raging migraine pounding in my skull. Groaning, I rolled over in the bed and rubbed my temples. I glanced around the room and noticed Ava had disappeared. Good riddance. I can't wait to get out of here. Moving slowly, so as not to increase the painful tempo of thudding in my brain, I dressed myself. A tingling sensation pricked at my throat, and I was suddenly overwhelmed by how dehydrated I felt. After opening my door, I slipped downstairs for breakfast, glancing around the halls as I walked.
Atticus and Stephanie were enjoying breakfast after having a particularly uneventful night. No molesting blood drinkers for them...I thought darkly and went to take a seat. Stephanie, who looked a lot like me, looked up happily and almost gave me hug. I say almost, because Atticus grabbed her with this horrified expression written all over his face. Atticus is a bit of a prick, so I just shrugged it off as his normal, douche self. The sunrise cast a few beams of light in the dining room and I felt a wave of exhaustion rock over me. While I was distracted by this newfound hysteria, Atticus had proceeded to stare at me creepily, as if having never seen me properly before.
"Ugh," I groaned, trying to break the awkward silence. "My head hurts..."
"It should." was Atticus' only answer. What was his problem? Just because he couldn't lose his virginity, if he even tried, didn't give him reason to act like a PMSing teenager. Then again, I knew Atticus to whine over the little things. Well, I guess we had a different opinion of what was significant or not.
"I feel like taking a nap. I think I'm going to go lay down for a little bit before checking out, okay?" I said, yawning. Atticus' eerie blank stare lingered for a minute, before disappearing altogether. Of course, his next expression isn't much better.
"Do me a favor, and please eat something before snoring like a bear." He said. His voice was light, but the tone didn't quite reach his eyes. He seemed concerned-for what, I didn't know. The thought of Atticus worried about me intensified my already painful headache.
"Well, this bear doesn't particularly want crappy hotel food at the moment." I said, grinning at him. I tried to keep the tone light; I was not in the mood to argue with anyone. Atticus kept his frown, though.
"Now, Darius, Mama always said you had to eat your vegetables." Stephanie scolded me. Atticus smirked triumphantly and added, "Yeah, Darius." I didn't waste a glare on him and, instead, slowly pushed myself away from the table.
"Sleep first, veggies later." I said, allowing myself a disgusted groan. I walked away quickly before they tried to say something to stop me-not that they could. (When I set my mind to something, it's nearly impossible to sway my decision.) I trudged upstairs to my room and fumbled with the keycard, absent-mindedly wondering what time Ava expected us out of there. We had managed to forget that little detail. After a minute or two-I was pretty out of it-I unlocked my door and stumbled towards my bed, collapsing on it and falling into a dreamless sleep.
I had no idea how long I had been asleep, when I woke up. The first thing I felt was my burning throat; it had stung earlier, but now it was positively on fire. The second thing I felt was extreme cold. My body felt like ice, probably because I was covered in a mountain of ice. Atticus. A cold, lifeless voice in my head said. What a prick! Apparently, someone decided that his time would be well-spent by drowning me in a bucket of ice. I could feel a growl building up in my throat. Later, I would realize how ridiculous it was to get angry at my brother for a meaningless prank, but for now I smiled malevolently. Yes, I need to find Atticus. This is his fault. I could feel my blood boiling, a stark contrast to my frozen body. I moved quickly with a savage force towards my brother's room.
"What the hell is wrong with you, Atticus?!" I roared down the hall. Atticus had just returned with a very tired Stephanie. At the sight of me, he picked our sister up and hurried straight for his room. Stephanie was terrified. Hell, Atticus was terrified. I could hear their hearts beating faster, pulsing hot, delicious blood through their veins. Delicious? What on Earth? Somewhere in my mind, my voice emanated. But it was too quiet and the cold voice from earlier drowned it out. Atticus. This is his fault. I must punish him, hurt him. It urged me, and I needed no more prompting. I slammed myself against the door to Atticus' room, which he had just locked behind himself. The door didn't budge.
"Open the damn door!" I snarled, kicking said door. The cold voice combined with my equally icy body and urged me to keep attacking. Beyond the doors, my ears picked up the slightest sound of Stephanie whimpering.
"Darius, stop it. It's time for Stephanie to go to bed!" Atticus' voice rebounded at me through the door. It seemed so loud in comparison to the whispery sound of Stephanie's fear-it angered me. I felt a metallic taste in my mouth. Stephanie...always thinking of Stephanie. The cold voice said bitterly and I had a strong desire to remind Atticus of me, preferably involving as much pain as possible. I didn't get a chance to act on this desire, however, because Ava seemingly appeared out of nowhere beside me.
"Don't damage property," She hissed at me, and I snap out of the trance. "Downstairs, come with me." She promptly turned and left me at Atticus' room. I stared off at her, before quickly following. Where else was I to go? As I walked away, I could hear Atticus explaining my behavior to Stephanie.
"Why is Darius acting so mean? Is it because of the ice?" Stephanie asked Atticus.
"He's just having his time of the month like Mommy does. Don't worry, he'll calm down soon." Atticus reassured her. I felt my anger growing again at his comment, but I made sure to keep following Ava, pushing thoughts of murdering my own family out of my head. Ava led me down to the basement, which really is like all those creepy basements from horror movies that you think of. When we arrived, we weren't alone; there was this girl, about fifteen, tied to a chair. She looked between Ava and me with this horrified expression.
To my surprise, Ava said, "You may feed on her. I don't think you want to hurt your mortal family." I was about to argue, but her words suddenly made sense to me. So, that must have been what I was feeling earlier: bloodlust, I mused to myself and slinked forwards. The teenager watched at me, her fear spiking. I could hear and smell her blood pounding through her veins, and I wanted to taste it so badly. I approached the thrashing girl and easily exposed her neck-my immortal body was too powerful for her weaker shell. The girl cried quietly while I fed on her. After a minute, my thirst was sated for the moment, and she was unconscious.
"Good. Your transformation is complete, Darius." Ava said quietly, walking over to me and caressing my face. I looked up at her incredulously.
"Oh, you have got to be kidding me. Wait, am I the next Edward Cullen?"" I responded. My voice was light and amused, all traces of the bloodlust from earlier gone.
"Hmm...No. You are much more powerful." She breathed at me. "You've been made into the greatest hunter ever born."
I grinned and thought that if I were still human, I would've blushed. "You flatter me," then in a more serious tone, "But...what am I going to do about Atticus and Stephanie? I don't want to hurt them." Despite my earlier actions, I was actually very honest about this.
"My husband saw much promise in you, that's why you were turned. Atticus...cannot ever be great. He will have to die. The girl should be older before she's turned." Ava replied casually. Her words stabbed me. Now I know a few minutes ago I was trying to murder my own brother, but I really didn't want anything to happen to him. I actually do care about Atticus, and I was not accepting his impending death.
"Dead? Why does he have to die? Can't we just," I pause. "Let him leave?" Ava blankly stared at me. I had a feeling she was pondering why I even cared, since she obviously didn't. As it turned out, I was right.
"He cannot be added to our coven, and he knows the location. He must be killed; Hayder has ordered it." She said in a matter-of-fact tone, her eyes narrowed with suspicion.
I frowned at her, "Who is that?" Is Hayder perhaps the leader of the two? Ava whipped her head around with speed that would normally snap any human's neck. Her eyes soften and a trickle of laughter escaped her mouth.
"Hayder is my husband, of course!" She said between bouts of laughter. I didn't see what was so funny. Then again I preferred seeing Ava laugh to seeing her glare, so I did my best to maintain a blank expression.
As Ava paced around the small room, thoughts raced through my head: they want to kill Atticus, and they want to do it soon. This is my fault; I shouldn't have slept with the damn leech. Now they're going to kill my brother and force my sister into the same fate. But, how do I stop them from doing it? Through my jumble of emotions, a wisp of an idea popped up and I immediately grasped it.
"Oh. Right," I replied without much enthusiasm to Ava's earlier response. I then added in as expressionless a voice as possible, lest she realized what I was up to, "Anyways, can I at least talk to him? I want us to be on good terms before...it happens." The thought of causing my brother's death was difficult to stomach, let alone say aloud. Ava peered over at me, and, for a second, I thought she'd say no.
"Yes," she purred, instead. She closed her eyes for a moment and added, "My husband is on his way now."