Home > Tegan's Blood (The Ultimate Power #1)(11)

Tegan's Blood (The Ultimate Power #1)(11)
Author: L.H. Cosway

I loosen my grip so that the material doesn’t end up cutting into my skin. I have never been so on edge in my entire life. The tension is palpable as I watch Ethan stretch out his arms and then flex his fingers in preparation. He really is trying to piss them off. My heart almost jumps out of my chest when the van doors slide open and three men get out on each side.

Three and three equals six against one, doing the maths doesn’t seem to be calming me down as it normally does. Each one of the slayers is close to six feet tall. Of course, none of them are as tall as Ethan, but I suppose that’s the supernatural uber-mensch vampire genes for you. Oh, and did I mention that every one of them has an array of weapons strapped to their chests, alongside varying shapes and sizes of knives and swords clutched in their twelve combined hands?

I try not to watch. I turn my head away from the scene in front of me and try to picture tranquillity in my mind. But it doesn’t work. My traitorous head keeps doing the stupid f**king maths, three plus three equals six against one, six multiplied by two hands equals twelve hands against two, twelve legs against two, six muscled bodies against one, and my goodness, what oh what will happen once those hands and legs and bodies have defeated Ethan and come for me? What will those men do to this one broken girl when they get to her?

I decide to hell with not watching. I turn back around just in time to see the slayers form a V shaped formation in front of Ethan. It’s at this point that I realise I don’t want anything bad to happen to him, even if he is basically a parasite. I don’t want to lose him, because I don’t want to lose the way he looks at me, the way flirts with me even though I protest about it. He is the only being in this world that can bring the deadness in me back to life.

The first slayer makes his attack, he’s a broad man with red hair. He launches his blade at Ethan, but he’s too slow compared to Ethan’s swift and precise movements. He speeds to the left, out of the way of the slayer’s sword, a sword that I would swear had been aimed for Ethan’s neck. If it had of hit it would have decapitated him. My blood runs cold at the thought of a disembodied head rolling along the ground like a football.

The slayer grabs something small from his chest strap, a wooden stake, and f**king launches it through the air at Ethan. I almost laugh when his hand shoots up, so fast my eyes could only barely see the movement, and snaps the stake out of the air mid-flight as though it were a Frisbee.

Ethan then flings the piece of wood away and flies at the slayer, all the while two others are trying to come up on him from behind. But they don’t get to him because he has already grabbed the ginger haired slayer by the throat. I see his lips move as he holds the slayer in his grasp, but I can’t hear what it is that he’s said because the car windows are shut tight.

This is when the fight taking place in front of me becomes all too real, all too horrific and brutal. Ethan’s hand grasps the slayer’s neck and tightens, his fingers sink in like claws and rip the man’s throat straight out. Blood sprays and the liquid looks black like ink in the dark. I yelp and tears inadvertently run down my cheeks as I get scared on a whole new level.

I’m no longer frightened of what the slayers might do to me, I’m frightened of Ethan. Everything he told me must have been a lie. He’s a monster, a killer. He turns around swiftly to meet his next kill, the moonlight spots him for a fraction of a second and I see his eyes drowning in red. Just like Lucas when he’d been feeding on Amanda.

Ethan has just grabbed the second slayer by the hair and ripped his entire scalp right off. If ever there was a case for attraction and revulsion being at odds with one another then this would be it.

I watch in terror as he sinks his teeth into the man’s throat and begins to drink. But he doesn’t allow himself to become consumed by it, all too soon he flings the limp body of the dead slayer aside and makes his way toward the next. The final three spread out and try to surround Ethan. The slayer with the short brown hair catches Ethan off guard and manages to slash his arm with a sword. It must be that bullets can’t kill a vampire, because none of the slayers are using their guns. Most of their weapons look like they came from the props section of a period drama, and I’d swear the first man Ethan killed was carrying a stiletto.

This slayer seems to be the best fighter of the six and he’s fast enough to keep up with Ethan. He zips from one position to the other making some impressive attempts at wounding the vampire.

Unfortunately Ethan moves in quickly and punches the slayer right in the face, possibly breaking his nose judging from the spray of blood. The slayer is sprawled unconscious on the ground as Ethan moves in for the kill, but then he becomes distracted by the remaining two and leaves the slayer where he fell.

Ethan grabs the long shining sword of one of the slayers. He overpowers the man, turning his weapon on him, in toward his heart and then stabs him with his own blade. He then tosses the body aside and launches himself at the last man standing, who pulls a bow and arrow from his back and aims it straight at Ethan.

In a blur of motion Ethan is behind the poor man. Quick as a flash he grabs his neck and with only the slightest of movements snaps it. The limp body of the slayer falls to the ground, he doesn’t look like he was any older than twenty-five. A being so full of life instantly snuffed out with one single violent movement.

At first I had been angry at the idea of an organised group of people fighting for the extinction of another species. But now, as I have witnessed first-hand what Ethan’s kind are capable of, I’m beginning to understand why humans would risk their lives to kill off vampires. The thought of Ethan getting back inside the car with me has my entire body breaking out in goose bumps. My heart pumps faster than ever before.

Then I see him approach the final slayer, the one he’d knocked out earlier but hadn’t had the chance to kill. The man remains unconscious as Ethan walks slowly toward him, he takes what appears to be a handkerchief from his trouser pocket and begins dabbing blood from his face and hands. At this moment I know that I can’t let him kill that last slayer, I can’t watch as he takes another life.

It is for this very reason that I put my hand on the door handle and pull it open. The very instant I’m outside and standing on the concrete ground Ethan whips his head around, his eyes are still red, while the black veins are slowly fading.

“GET BACK IN THE CAR!” he commands.

“Don’t kill him Ethan, he’s no threat to you anymore,” I beg, tears stream down my face as I peer at the five lifeless bodies lying on the ground.

“I have to,” he says, but this time his voice sounds a fraction less cold. I would almost venture to say that he sounds upset.

“Ethan…”

“I said get back in the car Tegan, I have to finish this.”

I don’t know why but I run to him and place myself in the way of the unconscious slayer. I can’t bring myself to touch Ethan because I’m still frightened after seeing him kill. I put my hands out in a gesture for him to stop and try to see things from my perspective.

“Please Ethan, this is unnecessary. What difference will it make if you spare one life out of six?”

“You do not understand how this works, if I don’t kill him now he will keep coming back for me until one of us is dead.”

“Or perhaps he’ll see that you showed him mercy and change his perception of your race,” I tell him, knowing full well that this slayer will never change his mind about vampires, but I have to convince Ethan somehow to spare the man’s life.

“You’re not foolish enough to believe that are you?” he asks, seeing right through me.

I try another angle. “Well even so, aren’t you ashamed of what you’ve done? I know that you could have killed these men in a much less violent manner, and yet you chose to rip out their throats, even feed from them as they died.”

For a moment I see unmistakable shame flicker in his blue grey eyes, the red now gone completely.

“You understand nothing…” he says, but his voice betrays his defeat. He looks to the man, as if making up his mind on what to do with him. “I may be being foolish, but I will let him live if that is what you want.”

“It is,” I say, my voice jittery from fear and adrenaline.

“Very well then,” says Ethan, he turns slowly and walks back toward his car.

“Are you just going to leave them like this? Won’t somebody find the bodies and call the police?”

“No. The DOH keeps GPS tracking devices in all of their vehicles. Once they see that this van has been stationary in a remote area for a long period backup will come for it. Then they will take away the bodies.”

“You seem experienced with this kind of thing.” I say, my voice hard.

“I have been defending myself and my race for a very long time, it’s only natural that I have also learned the procedures of my enemy.”

I follow Ethan back to the car, my body on autopilot. I have no idea why I’m getting back into a vehicle with a man who has just committed an obscene act of violence before my very eyes. But in my gut I know that though he may be a monster, he will not harm me. All the same I get in the back seat. I can’t be close to Ethan right now. His clothes are drowned in blood, and I can smell its salty, coppery scent.

“I will take you home now,” he tells me in a quiet voice, and for the rest of the journey we sit without speaking to one another.

Chapter Seven

Minus the Rose Tinted Glasses

Somewhere along the journey from that abandoned, blood-soaked industrial estate my rational mind kicks in. For at least ten minutes I sit in the back seat of Ethan’s car, unmoving, not hearing, not seeing, barely even breathing. It must be the overload of information that causes me to zone out.

In a single night I have seen with my own eyes that: One: Vampires are real. Two: They drink human blood. Three: Their eyes go red and their veins go black when they feed. Four: One vampire is a match for at least six humans, could even be more. Five: They have little or no remorse about murder.

That last one is the part that really gets to me. But what could I expect from these creatures of horror stories? Back in his office Ethan had told me of his race, and he had described vampires as misunderstood beings, peace-loving even. But from what I have witnessed tonight I can see no connection between his description and the reality. In my mind one single image keeps replaying itself over and over, Ethan’s hands gripping that slayer’s neck. I had heard of the term, to rip a person’s throat out, but I had always considered the saying to be metaphorical.

After a couple of minutes I gain some focus and return to the present. I notice that Ethan has turned the radio on and “Country Roads” by John Denver is playing. The song couldn’t be more benign, but in this moment it’s terrifying. Ethan is actually humming along, like a serial killer who likes to listen to Country and Western music after a kill.

By the time we get back to the city I’m just about ready to die of mental exhaustion. This must be a dream. A nightmare.

Ethan turns around slightly in his seat, there are still some flecks of blood on his face.

“Would you like me to bring you to my home?” he asks. “I can take care of you there.”

“I want to go to my apartment. And I don’t need taking care of, not from you. I’m fine.” I answer.

“You don’t look fine, you look frantic.”

“I don’t want to go anywhere other than my own home. Thank you.” I tell him, trying hard to stay strong.

“Very well then,” he replies without emotion.

A couple of minutes later he pulls up outside of my block. As soon as he hits the brakes I’m out of the vehicle and running toward the lobby door. A strong hand grabs me by the arm and pulls me back.

“I do not want for you to fear me Tegan.”

“Too late.” I mumble and try to pull out of his grip.

He lets me go this time and I run for the door, swiping my card over the door entry system. I almost jump out of my own skin when I go to open the door and before I can grab the handle, Ethan’s hand pushes it open for me. I step inside and turn to him.

“I don’t recall inviting you in.”

“We have matters to discuss.”

“Don’t vampires need an invite before they can enter a person’s home?” I ask in a matter of fact voice.

“That is a ridiculous superstition. Besides, even if it were true, I could still enter your apartment as you invited me in before, remember?” he replies.

I feel like screaming. I cannot let him inside. I need to be alone. Just when I think that my life can’t get any darker I find out that monsters are real. I feel sick to my stomach with the knowledge that I had been allowing Ethan to romance me, and I had been falling for it hook, line and sinker. Idiot.

I contemplate retorting with some witty comment. Covering my fear with humour seems to be becoming a habit of mine. Instead I turn on my heels and run up the flight of stairs to my floor. I know that Ethan’s following close behind me. I know that no matter how hard I try I could never in my life run fast enough to escape him. With that in mind, I nevertheless turn my key in my door, twist the handle, step inside and slam the door in the face of a two-hundred and seventy-six year old vampire. Perhaps not the cleverest of moves.

I dash into my bathroom and shut the door tightly. Then I sit down on the cold tiled floor. All of the blood and the killing is in my head now. My stomach heaves. I taste bile in my mouth. I swallow and take a deep breath. I cannot vomit. I can-not vomit. But the more I try to contain the food that is trying to regurgitate itself, the less hope I have in stopping it from coming up.

One. Two. Three. Another second passes and I get sick. One, two, three times, until there’s nothing left.

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