With a small wiggle she felt the bolts of the lock switch and then with a faint click, holding the key in her hand she stared at the unlocked door. She grabbed the bag of things that she had packed, nearly raiding the room. Hal had supplied her with clothes and other trinkets so Eve was quite happy to take them. One last glance around her room, she checked to make sure if the pillows stuffed under her blankets accurately represented the shape of a 15 year old girl before ducking out of the room, closing the door shut behind her. She'd honestly miss the room. It was after all the first room she had that belonged to her. And her alone. Even if the vampire overlord did provide it for her.
Tip-toeing down the stairs, Eve peered out of the bars of the window and glanced around. Outside the lights were dim and she couldn't see anyone. Perhaps Hal had kept his word. Eve clicked open the second door and slipped out into the dark hallway. Giving a small satisfied smile she began to hurry towards a set of stairs.
The vampires must be out on a hunt. It was the only way to explain how there was no one around. She was going to make it. She was going to escape. She was going to see Annie again. She was going to see Tom and Sykes and Sia and-
"Where are you going?"
Eve halted in her tracks and looked to her left to see Alex standing in front of one of the many doors, her hands on her hips.
"I..." Eve gulped. This was it. She was going to die after all.
"How did you get out?" Alex demanded, maching towards her, her boots hitting the floor angrily making a loud thudding. Eve gingerly held out the key that Hal had given her. Alex stared at it before taking it in hers. "This is Hals." She said her voice shaking.
Eve nodded. "He gave it to me."
"You're lying. I should kill you where you stand." She looked thunderous before her face softened into sadness.
"No, I'm not, I swear. He promised me, he said he'd let me go. Please. No." Eve said pleadingly.
Alex stared at Eve, holding the key in her hand. She was doing some thinking before coming to a soft broken conclusion."He gave it to you. He's letting you escape."
"Yes. He wants it to end." Eve said timidly. She was going to die. She was going to die. She was going to die. She was going to-
Alex clutched the key close to her chest, tears falling thick and fast from her eyes. "Then go. Before I change my mind."
Eve didn't need telling twice. She sprinted down the stairs. Her heart in her ears she was unable to breathe. Vomit rising to her stomach and her legs trembling. Lady Alexandra, one of the most feared vampires in the world after Lord Hal and Emperor Snow had let her go.
Alex slowly made her way up the stairs, the key in hand and tears falling at an incredible rate. As far as she could tell, Eve was already gone and she was slightly regretting it. If Alex still had a heart then she knew it would have been broken as she made her way up the stairs and down the deserted halls. Hal's reasoning. Of course. He got all the vamps out. Or at least most of them. Or... She didn't want to think about it. And then it hit her.
He had killed all of them.
She could smell the burning flesh from the fire. He had killed them one by one and set fire to them. She wavered outside Hal's office for a moment before turning the door handle and entering. Hal was standing by the fire, a glass of scotch in his hand. He didn't look around when she entered. The smell was pungent and aching. Blood spattered around the entire room.
Hal being one of the oldest vampires, he was also incredibly strong. The others didn't stand a chance. Alex was nervous of what would happen. Would Hal be so vicious to her?
"I wanted it to end," He said quietly. "I want us dead."
"And you couldn't say a word to me?" Alex whispered.
"You wouldn't understand." Hal muttered, he turned slightly. His suit was dishrevelled and bloody and he looked darker and violent as if all 500 years of monstrosity came to him in an instant.
"I understand perfectly," Alex replied, putting the key to one side and getting angry. Angrier than she had ever been in her entire life. "I get it. You made the world so bad and you didn't realise. Now that the damage is done, you want to fucking repent of all your fucking sins and you can never repent. Who would forgive you? What a fucking hero? Play the martyr vampire. The good one who got trapped and couldn't get out-"
"SHUT UP!" Hal bellowed hurtling his glass into the fire. It sputtered and spat an angry hiss of flames and Hal pressed his hands against the mantelpiece breathing heavily. Alex pressed her hand against her mouth to stop herself from crying out at his anger. Hal sighed, her words hurt her but they were true. No matter how much he wanted to twist it all to make himself look like the good guy, he could never be considered as one. He slowly turned to see her and started to cry.
"Hal, I love you," She said, taking his hand. "I love you with every single fibre of me. You were the one who turned me, who guided me through this life-"
"Do you really love me or do you just see me as a sense of stability in your life from all the horrors?" Hal asked.
Alex placed her hand against his cheek. "I love in spite of this life. In spite of the horrors. In spite of all the fucking shit we've gone through."
"You have no soul because of me," Hal whispered.
"I don't need one, I'm with you," Alex relied softly. "You're determined to make me hate you Hal. I hated you for so fucking long after I was turned and then realised..." She shook her head. "Just... What is your plan?"
"You'd follow me?"
"I'd follow you into hell if you let me,"
Hal kissed Alex's hand tenderly. "Well, trust me, this is to save your soul."
Hal had already struck, the wooden stake stuck out between Alex's breasts and she looked down at it shocked and horrified. Cold dead blood touched Hal's skin as he lowered her gently onto the floor. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."
Alex looked up at him with dead eyes as her face began to cave in.
"I love you so, so much." Hal whispered.
Alex blinked up at him, her eyes turning angry as the rest of her began to disappear. "Go to hell..." Her ashes scattered between Hal's fingers and nothing was left but her clothes. Hal blinked back the tears and sat, his legs crossed and holding Alex's clothes to his chest. He sat there, holding whatever was left of Alex Millar-Yorke for what felt like an eternity.
He didn't even flinch when Tom barged into the room, barnishing a cross and holding a stake, Annie close behind him. He looked up and smiled softly.
"Hello Thomas." He said. "Annie."
"Got the stakes?" Annie asked.
"And the knives?"
"And the bomb-"
"Annie, please calm down your making me jittery,"
Annie stopped and looked at Tom with sad eyes. "Let me do it," She said. "This whole thing is my fault to begin with, if you give me the bomb I'll walk into the Offices and blow them up. You can survive."
"Annie," Tom said stopping and turning walking back to her. "We discussed this Annie. Eve needs her mum."
"But I'm a ghost, I can't protect her. Not properly." Annie cried as Tom began shaking his head. "What if they come back for me, and they perform an exorcism? What if I leave? She's powerless? What if this is my unfinished business."
"You're unfinished business will come when Eve dies of old age, warm in her bed, having being protected all her life and having a wonderful large family in a safe environment." Tom told her stubbornly. "I can nowt hardly protect her myself since I'm transforming every month. And if I get caught I'll be put to dog-fights. You can just rent-a-ghost it outta there."
"Annie, like we discussed."
"But I can't let you die Tom," Annie said.
Tom looked at her with sad eyes.
"You are the most extraordinary young man I've ever known,"
"Are we going to have to hug?" Tom asked.
"If you don't mind," Annie said.
Tom smiled weakly before pulling Annie into his arms. They stood in the cold dark alleyway outside the Organisation. Having managed to use old abandoned train systems and other means, they had arrived earlier that day, but hid out preparing themselves. Sykes and Sia were leading their army on the other Organisations throughout the world. Waiting in the sewers below them were an angry mess of humans, werewolves and ghosts, all ready to fight. But Tom and Annie were the first wave. They would go in destroy the building and the ones in the sewers would begin to fight.
"It's too quiet Tom," Annie whispered.
Tom pulled apart from her and together they skirted over to one of the doors. Usually the place was crawling with vampires.
"I know," He said, pulling out a pick. Annie rolled his eyes and disappeared before the door creaked open. She stood with her hands on her hips smiling lightly. "I hate it when you do that," Tom muttered straightening up.
"Is the 'ittle werewolf annoyed I stole his thunder?" Annie asked.
Tom gave her a look. "Please." He said. "C'mon." He took a hold of her hand and together they stalked down the corridor. Not a vampire in sight. None. Where was Cutler? Where was Dewy? Fuck where was Milo? Tom could feel his skin itching with fear as Annie scoped ahead to see what was going on.
They had to at least try. They came to a stop outside a huge door and Tom pressed his nose against it. He stood up bolt right, the look on his face was clear. He could never forget that smell. He looked at Annie who nodded, giving him a pat and charging in.
"Where is she? Where is Eve?" Annie screamed as Tom pinned Hal against the wall.
"She escaped." Hal said tiredly.
"Other words for he killed her," Tom spat. "Tell me why I shouldn't kill you."
"I missed you Tom," Hal simpered. "And I am so sorry about Allison. But Eve is alive. And is currently with my associate driving to a secure place,"
"I swear I am not." Hal replied. "Check the mansion. Go ahead. I shan't stop you. Nor shall I harm you. Please, be my guest." Tom glanced over at Annie who gave a nod and disappeared.
"Why should we trust you?" Tom hissed, turning back to Hal.
"You shouldn't," Hal told him. "You should kill me where you stand. You should burn my bones, break me apart with your teeth if you want. Which begs the question, why haven't you done so already?"
"Because I want to enjoy it." Tom replied. "I want to tear you limb from limb, pull out your organs one by one with tweezers and step on them. I want to watch you squirm."
"The darkness suits you Thomas," Hal said. "You would have made a good vampire."
Tom pressed the stake further against Hal's chest and the vampire glanced down at it and smiled slightly.
"Ah, Eve was right." He said.
Hal's eyes rose to look Tom in the eyes. "You have my name carved on that stake. Well, I'm all for poetry Tom, I really am. But perhaps a little too far?"
"Shut up," Tom spat.
"As you wish," Hal said. "The bomb isn't going to work unless you have some to detonate it do you?"
"Oh please, I could smell the chemicals before you even stepped inside the room," Hal said. "And a thank you would be sufficient."
Hal punched Tom and ripped off his jacket. As Tom tried to regain his footing, he held his bleeding nose in his hand. Hal tossed the jacket in his hand and sniffed whilst fixing his hair with his other hand.
"GIVE IT BACK!" Tom roared.
"No," Hal said, holding it away. "Find Annie. Find Eve. If the car at the back of the building is still there, then assume she hasn't left yet. If not, then she's already on her way to Scotland."
"Give me back the fucking BOMB!"
"NO!" Hal shouted. He regained composure and straightened himself up slightly before unbuttoning his suit jacket and tossing it away. "I am giving you a chance to live Tom. Take it. Go, find Eve. Live. I shall end the reign of terror tonight with my death."
"You're not the head vampire."
"Oh please," Hal snorted, pulling on the jacket over his waistcoat and finding the detonater amongst the folds. "You could have at least washed it," He said taking a sniff. "There's nothing classy about dying in clothes that smell of piss."
"What do you mean 'oh please'?" Tom asked. "What's with Mr Snow? Why is he not head vampire?"
"He hasn't been head vampire for many many years," Hal said.
"I got annoyed." Hal replied sourly.
"So all of this... All of this was you?"
"I should kill you where you stand," Tom spat.
"Only you won't because I hit the button, we both go up,"
"Don't care." Tom said.
"You should." Hal said.
"I should never have trusted you,"
"We should never have let you into the house,"
"We should never have introduced you to Alex-" Tom paused. "Where is she?"
"You just missed her," Hal said, pouring himself another glass of whiskey and sitting down. "I am giving you 20 minutes. Get out of the building. Find Annie and Eve and get to Scotland. Live in peace. The Trinity as it should be." He swirled his whiskey and took a sip before grimacing.
"How do I know you're not lying?" Tom asked.
"Because if you were certain of it," Hal replied in a tired voice. "You would have killed me by now. Now go."
Tom didn't wait for Hal to change his mind.
The vampire sighed and leaned back, watching the seconds tick by on the clock. As his last moments approached he thought back to the days he spent with Leo and Pearl and wished for a moment that he was still good enough to deserve a heaven.
Young Eve had managed to find her way out of the Organisation, dodging a few security vampires on the way, and even seeing Milo the werewolf stalking the halls. But he didn't smell her. He actually didn't even realise that she was there. Perhaps it was too far from the full moon for him to sense her. Or perhaps he knew that she was there but didn't want to say anything and let her escape. Maybe Hal had ordered him to let her escape. Either way, Eve was grateful. She ducked out of the organisation and saw a small blue vintage car sitting just a few feet away from the building. She dodged some of the garbage bins and moved towards the car
"Dewy?" Eve tapped the glass of the window and frowned as no response sounded. She clicked open the door and Dewy's body and whatever skin was left attached to his head snapped as his carcass rolled out. His head sat on the cold stone ground, his eyes looking up at her blankly. Vampires only turned to ash through the stake of the heart, otherwise they could die and remain a corpse just like any other human being. Eve clapped a hand over her mouth to stop herself from screaming.
"Sadly," Said a voice. "Dewy has lost his head over this job. So I'll be taking it from here."
Eve span and saw Cutler. Her fingers shot to the stake she was carrying in her pocket. Cutler opened his mouth and two long fangs emerged from his teeth. His eyes went death black and he lunged at her. Eve screamed as he cut into her neck and the trickle alerted her that he had bit into a main artery. She pushed him off and found the handle to the stake. Holding her neck to try and stem the bleeding she held onto a wall to try and steady herself.
Cutler was staring at her, her blood dripping from his mouth onto his hand and his eyes wildly scanning her. He opened his mouth to speak, but smoke came out instead.
"WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOUR BLOOD?!" He screamed as his tongue fell from his mouth. Eve stared at it as if she was about to throw up. Cutler lunged forward again and Eve took her chance, sticking the stake between his ribs. He fell to the ground his skin crumbling completely and like that he was dead.
Eve staggered forward and blinked. She was lightheaded and dizzy. She collapsed onto the ground as if it was a soft mattress and closed her eyes as if it were merely sleep that was taking hold of her body and mind.
And then, before she knew what was happening, she was standing looking at her body. She stretched her fingers and looked around, as trying to find a door. Maybe it wouldn't come. How would it? She didn't do what the prophecy had depicted... She stopped her track of thought. But she had.
She had done it.
She had died.
That was the prophecy.
And she had done it. She was dead.
Eve sands dropped to her knees, her hand over her mouth to stop herself from sobbing. She had died. She was dead. She was dead. She heard a clatter of footsteps and the back door opening with a gust. Her mother ran out and looked around worriedly. Tom was close behind her, wearing only a tank top and looked cold, and holding the stake he had planned to use on Lord Hal. Eve stood, not sure if they could see her or not but she stood aside as her mother saw her corpse.
"EVE!" Annie screamed falling to her knees and dragging the lifeless body of the fifteen year old to her chest. "EVE!"
Tom scooped down and tried to put his hands to Eve's neck as if to stem the already drying blood. It was too late now.
"NO!" Annie sobbed, rocking her backwards and forwards in her arms. "I failed you. I failed you."
"Mum?" Eve stepped forward
Annie looked up and saw Eve as she moved towards her. "Eve?" She whispered. A door was appearing behind her and whispering the promise of heaven and Nina and George and Allison.
"It's alright mum," Eve said. "I'm..."
"No, it's not alright," Annie cried. "Look at you, you're dead."
"Mum this was always meant to happen. It was part of the prophecy. I was always meant to die. Maybe if I died younger, humanity would stand more of a chance. But it's the truth. I die. Humanity lives." Eve smiled, her life coming into understanding now.
"But you can't." Annie wept. "I can't watch you die."
"Mum," Eve said kneeling down and prying her dead body away from the grey ghost. "Mum, it's good. I get to meet George and Nina now. I get to meet Mitchell and Allison." She took her mum's hand and pulled her up. "They're saying the door is for you too mum. You're duty was to protect me. It's done. We're done with this world."
Annie blinked and swiped away her tears. "What?"
"You're done. There's nothing left for you to do. You're finished Annie. You can come with me." Eve insisted.
"Oh no," Annie said. "But what about Tom?"
Tom sniffed. "You should go."
"Tom..." Annie grabbed the werewolf and hugged him tightly. "I don't want to leave you on your own."
"He isn't on his own," Eve said.
"I have Sykes and Sia." Tom nodded. "I'll be fine."
"You should run," Eve looked up at the building. "The war is coming and you have so much to do Tom."
Tom glanced at the building with sad eyes. He didn't look back as tears streamed down his face. Annie took Eve's hand and together they pushed open the door. The light was intense and almost magical. As they stepped inside Annie began to cry. The room was small and tiny.
"Mum, why are you crying?" Eve asked.
"This was our home in Bristol," Annie replied softly as the door closed behind them, leaving Tom on his own. The young werewolf dropped to his knees and curled up around himself, then heard it. It was small at first. Then deafening. He pushed his head against the ground as flames began to lick around the organisation. That was the signal. Tom could hear the fighters rumble from underneath but he didn't want to fight.
He climbed up as flames drew closer and closer. He yanked the body out of the car and got inside, turning the keys and hitting the gas, taking off into the night. His heart aching and his soul in shatters. Tom would rather have died than lose his family.
But he would stay strong for them.
And he drove and he drove and he drove till he could go no more.