October 18th, 2011 | Published in Haventon Chronicles
Chapter Two Part Three
Even with a damp cloth tied across her mouth and nose, the fumes still gagged Leisa. Within moments of entering the cellar, her eyes and nose were burning and streaming with blood. How much bloody garlic had the kid been carrying anyway? Raw garlic and wild rose could make a pretty good vampire deterrent, but it took more than a few cloves or petals. He’d obviously paid attention in his warding lessons. A lot of Hunters didn’t. It would take forever to air the cellar from this.
She dashed the bloody tears from her eyes and steeled herself not to flee back up the stairs. She couldn’t leave him sitting there indefinitely – not when he was having a breakdown on her. It would only make him more dangerous. She needed to get him out and make sure he wouldn’t be back for a while, and that he wouldn’t tell anyone about it. His thoughts told her that he had a meeting with his superior tomorrow. It would be noticed very quickly if he was missing. She didn’t need that sort of trouble.
He was sobbing and not even looking at the door when she reached the old coal cellar where he’d holed up. She entered the room silently, stepped over his wards and lightly stroked his hair, ordering him to sleep. Tiredness, stress, and the element of surprise meant he didn’t even have chance to resist. She wiped her bloody eyes; then, carried him upstairs. She needed to figure out what to do, and the fumes down here were inhibiting her ability to think clearly.
She washed her face. Then, went outside and opened the old coal shoot to let the worst of the fumes out, before returning to where she’d left David sleeping on one of the beds upstairs. It was a good job she’d fed on him last night. Being active during the day would have made her hungry even without allergic bleeding. Even now, she’d need to feed again soon, possibly even tomorrow.
“Now, what’s got you so upset?” she murmured. “You were being pretty rational for a hunter right up until you broke down, so I doubt it was being cornered.” She reached into his mind and found his memory of his sister. Well, that partly explained it – but…
She paused as she spotted the other who’d pushed him against her in the first place, the one she’d evicted last night. They must have been watching, because they’d moved straight back in. They’d been trying to get the kid to panic and attack her wildly. Fortunately, he’d collapsed instead.
She narrowed her eyes. So, that was the game they wanted to play, huh? She’d feel terrible about it, but she could play it as well. She didn’t like implanting long term instructions even when it was necessary to prevent her prey from remembering what had happened, and what she’d need to do here went beyond that. But, in this case, she’d have to make an exception. He needed the weapons to fight the one who was already using him. It was a good thing that his subconscious instincts were on her side. She should win the battle of competing instructions.
David, you really shouldn’t come back here to attack me again without a plan. I’m ready for you. She ignored the guilt burning in her stomach. She wasn’t telling him anything his instincts weren’t, but her self-justification still felt hollow. I’m not going anywhere, you know that. And he really did, which was interesting. Something was going on with him that would bear watching.
David woke on one of the sun loungers on the deck in his back garden; his hunting equipment beside him. He stared at it in confusion, wondering how he’d escaped. He had no memory after-
He broke off and swallowed in terror as he recalled the touch on his head before he passed out. Had it been her? If it wasn’t, then who had rescued him and how? And where was his motorbike? He’d left it a little way from her house. Had whoever brought him home returned it?
He rushed out to the front garden, and sure enough it wasn’t there. He cringed at the thought of going anywhere near her again until he’d figured what to do, but the bike had been a gift from his father just like the house. He couldn’t leave it.
He steeled himself and walked to where the vampire lived. Sure enough, his bike was still where he’d hidden it when he left it to go and attack her. He checked it over for signs of tampering, and began to wheel it towards home. As he passed her gate, some instinct made him look up at one of the upper windows. She was standing there watching him.
Why had she let him go again? As he thought that, he was sure that she had let him go both times. It made no sense at all. He tried to persuade himself that he she was playing with him, like a cat with a mouse, but if he was honest with himself, he was not sure he believed it.
He still had to destroy her though, but he would wait and formulate a plan. He no longer felt that odd compulsion to go and apologise to her, and she apparently didn’t intend to slaughter him outright or flee either, so he had some leeway. He couldn’t win until he could figure out an edge, so for now he’d leave it and try again when he knew what he was doing.
He continued pushing the bike until he reached his home and returned it to the garage. He didn’t think she’d sabotaged it, but he’d check it over before he rode it again. He went inside, found his wallet and headed to catch a bus. He’d promised his mother that he would go and see her this afternoon; she needed him.
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