The gun shook in my hand, I could hardly keep the grip on it as my wide opened eyes followed the blood dripping on the floor. I heard a distant cry and a laugh, but my senses ignored them. My tears were getting wet from the tears and my mind was filled with only ifs.
I couldn't get a grasp on the situation, and my body took over my actions, dropping down on my knees, letting the gun finally fall on the ground. A loud ringing enveloped my sense of hearing, I slapped my hands against my ears, thinking it would stop, but it only got worse. And in between the ringing, I could occasionally hear a drumming noise.
My heart started beating, I closed my eyes to calm myself down but it seemed no matter what I did, I couldn't get the image of Bones covered in blood out of my head. Someone squeezed my shoulders and shook with me, brining me back to reality.
I recognized Vlad through my blurred vision, but seeing his face only made my misery worse. He was trying to comfort me, but it was useless. I killed Bones, I killed him and nothing can make it better, there's nothing that can change it. But I can't live without Bones, I won't live without him.
My eyes trailed across the ground until they found what they were looking for. It took me a moment to grasp it, but using my both hands, I had the gun in my hands again. I squeezed my eyes shut again as the drumming in my ears got stronger, faster and therefore, louder.
As I slowly brought the gun to my chest, someone's warm fingers wrapped around my hands, pulling the gun away. I jerked my hands back, shooting a cold glance at anyone who was trying to stop me. My eyes once again filled with tears when I realized that it was Bones now kneeling in front of me.
The gun dropped from my hands for the second time and my hands desperately shot towards his face, touching his features, his cheekbones, his lips, his perfect skin. Then I let them slide alongside his neck, stopping at his chest. No heartbeat and most importantly, no bullet hole, but that didn't prove anything.
Only once his lips found mine, I was absolutely sure that he was still alive. I fought to keep my eyes open, printing the image of his beautiful face into my mind, but as he deepened the kiss, my eyes closed and my hands touched his wet cheeks.
When Bones pulled back, I protested, feeling the need to hold him and never let go of him. I could tell he felt the same way, because even as he stood up and pulled me up with him, his hand never let go of mine.
"Like I promised, Kitten, we gave him hell." Bones' voice echoed in my head, putting another check mark on the list that would identify his as "alive".
Even though I hated to look away from him, my gaze shifted to the pile of bones and ashes lying on the ground only few steps away from us. This was without a doubt a work of Vlad, but as Bones explained, he only let him do the finishing touch.
"Bloody sod put up quite a fight, but he stood no chance in the end. Ashley is with Juan and Vlad and I suggest we also retreat to the car, there's still one matter to settle." He tightened the grip on my hand and led me outside, to where Vlad and Juan were quietly leaning against the car.
Juan was the first one to speak after we were outside, "Are you alright, querida?" I nodded at him, wiping the last traces of tears from my face. He walked towards us and gave me a hug. I returned it, letting go of Bones' hand for a short while.
Vlad approached me carefully, studying my expression. I managed a smile when his arms wrapped around me, pulling me in for a quick hug and I remembered that it was Vlad who I thought was comforting me, but as he told me later, he only tried to tell me that Bones was alive.
The door of the car opened and Ashley ran to me, her eyes filled with unshed tears. She only let them fall once she was embracing me, sobbing into my clothes. I knelt on one knee to be on the same eye level, returning her embrace.
It almost looked as I was the one who got shot, but I guess it almost ended that way. After all, I was so close to pulling the trigger. I'm sure this would be for a long discussion with Bones later. But for now, just like Bones said, there was one thing still remaining. Once we were back in the car, Vlad released his burning fury on the building, burning it to the ground while the rest of us, including the vampires we saved from the mind control, watched the structure burn and die in the flames.
After everything that happened, we all needed a rest and decided to discuss the plans in the morning. Vlad made a few phone calls with his contacts in Romania, who were on a hunt for the perfect family while we were dealing with Ash's father. She would be going to Romania with Vlad as soon as she's rested.
The morning seemed to come too soon, none of us said a word about the last night and we focused on Ashley. I helped her with the packing, though we didn't have a choice to buy many things for her. She was quiet during the whole process and the fact that she was folding her things as slowly as she could didn't matter to me.
On one hand I was happy that she could be away from all the danger and bad memories, but on the other, I'll really miss the kid. She had a strong character and with the right training, I could see her joining our team in few years. I told her about the idea and she only agreed, saying that it would make catching the bad guys easier. After all, no one would expect a little girl to go after them.
Later in the day, we gather on the airport. Vlad's plane was already waiting for Ash to board. Juan was the first one to say his goodbyes, he took her in his arms, lifting her of the ground and whispered something in her ear, half in Spanish, half in English. She chuckled as he put her back on her feet.
Bones promised to keep in touch with her and even that we'd go see her soon, to which I only agreed, considering that Vlad would also appreciate a visit from his friends. Ashley wrapped her arms around Bones and her eyes were filling with tears, but she held them back.
I pulled her in my arms, barely holding my own tears back, "I'll see you soon, alright Ash? And don't forget that you have a spot in my team."
She nodded, "I'll be waiting and Vlad promised to train me, too." With her last comment, I shot a look at Vlad who shrugged and avoided my eyes.
"Just don't teach her the wrong stuff, please Vlad." I let a laugh escape my lungs, covering the sob. Then I gave her another hug and let her return to Vlad, who took her hand in his and led her to the plane. She turned around few times, waving her hand goodbye at we all did the same until the plane took off.
"We have another soon-to-be Cat on our hands." Juan laughed when I punched him in his rips. "She's a sweet kid, that's all I'm saying, querida."
"Having a little crush going on there?" I joked, wiping my eyes. He laughed and we returned to the car, heading home. Just another day in the office, as someone would say, but we made another strong ally, even though it's just a little girl. For what it's worth, she could be stronger than any of us and we wouldn't know about it.
Back in our house, I asked Bones about what happened. He told me that Ashley's father controlled his and Vlad's mind before we entered the building, but lost the control when he needed his powers to control me. It only took them a moment to get back in the building and find us. Only Juan had control of his actions, but he stayed back as Bones instructed.
When it came down to pulling the trigger, I missed Bones' heart by few inches, it didn't do as much as knock him out for a little while. Vlad had Ashley's father under his grasp by then and when Bones' wound heal, he beat the crap out of the old man and Vlad then burned his body.
"If only I'd considered the possibility, you wouldn't have to go through it." Bones gave out a sigh, pulling me closer to him. We were lying in our bed, our bodies pressed close together. Bones refused to answer any question until he made me realized just how undead he still was.
"I thought I lost you." my voice trembled at the thought. "I wouldn't be able to handle it."
He kissed my trembling lips, "I wouldn't do it to you, I swear. Because I know that if it came down to it, you would follow me and that's the last thing I want you to do."
"You said it yourself, that you would always be with me. I'd do the same for you, Bones." I whispered, looking straight into his dark eyes. His lips curved into a smile as he shifted his weight to pin me down under him.
"Then we both have to make sure to stay alive, Kitten." Another kiss landed on my lips. "Because I won't lose you, ever, that Kitten, I swear to you."
So, this is it, the end. I want to say thank you to all of you who kept reading until the end and I'm grateful for all your reviews. I hope you enjoyed the story. Who knows, maybe I'll write another one in the future but I'm not promising anything.
Anyway, thanks again.