Home > Tegan's Blood (The Ultimate Power #1)(9)

Tegan's Blood (The Ultimate Power #1)(9)
Author: L.H. Cosway

“Tegan, where are you going?” Ethan calls, but I’m already out the door before he can catch up with me. Slowly I peek my head around the frame, and as I do I can hear a disturbing sound, hiss, hiss, hissing. The scene I’m confronted with literally freezes me in place. I know that it’s Amanda even before I see her face because there’s no mistaking her electric blue hair.

Jesus. I don’t know whether to vomit, hurl abuse at them or just walk away. Lucas looks as though he’s giving her a massive hickey, but I know that’s not what he’s really doing. He’s sucking her blood. What a pair of deluded, disgusting bastards. I know what they’re up to because a drop of blood is running down Amanda’s neck as Lucas sucks on her.

“What the hell is…” but before I can finish Lucas’ head snaps around in my direction, and I fall down from the shock of it.

His eyes are red, blood red, and black veins mark his forehead. Then Ethan grabs me, and in a blur I end up back in his office. I shake my head in an effort to get rid of the dizziness, but I look up just in time to see him lock the door.

Chapter Five

Come Into My World

“What the hell did I just see?” I ask Ethan, my voice shaky. He stands at his desk, his head tilted downwards.

“It seems that Lucas and your friend have been getting to know each other better,” he sighs.

“Oh yeah, pull the f**king other one, I know what I saw.” I shout at him, courage racing through my veins to confront him even after the horror I’ve just witnessed.

I sit down in one of the chairs and a moment later Ethan approaches me, kneeling down in front of me. He looks me directly in the eyes and for some reason I feel like there are bricks attached to my eyelids and all I want in the world is to sleep forever. I shake myself out of it quickly. But, wait a second. Where the hell had that come from? I’d felt more tired than ever for a second and then I’d felt normal again, not sleepy at all.

“What was that?” I ask, instinctively knowing that Ethan was doing it to me. He says something in Romanian that sounds a lot like a curse. I get up from my sitting position and make my way toward the door.

“Where do think you’re going?” he demands. “Sit back down, now.”

I gulp, but struggle to ignore the fear spreading like a plague inside me. “I’m going to get Amanda and make sure she’s okay.” I hiss at him, even though know I can’t go out there. I can barely breathe. Barely think. Let alone be a hero.

I’m about to place my hand on the door handle, despite knowing it’s locked, when my eyes are confronted with a blur of motion and suddenly Ethan is in my way. Fuck. He’d moved so fast. Unnaturally fast. Like a movie in super speedy fast forward. I falter backwards, my head dizzy.

“H-how?” is all I can say.

“Sit down.” He demands with all the authority of a thousand year old dictator, and this time there is no warmth in his voice, no flirtation. I fall to the floor right there and then, because, and I hate to admit this, I am frightened. Frightened of how motionless and cold his face has become, frightened of how my perception of reality has been distorted, and all within the space of a few minutes.

Am I losing my mind? Is my sanity slipping? Because if there was a Bible in front of me right now I would unhesitatingly place my hand upon it and swear that I saw Lucas transformed into a monster and feeding on one of my friends. Feeling a chill I wrap my arms around myself.

Ethan sits down on the floor with me. “Could you relax, your friend is going to be fine.”

“Don’t tell me to relax!” I shout. “What is he? What are you?” I ask frantically, all the while inching myself away from him on the cold floor.

Ethan laughs. “Backing away isn’t going to do you much good honey, you’ve seen how fast I am.”

“What are you?” I repeat my question, because my head is scrambled and my thoughts can’t seem to move forward.

“What do you think I am?”

“A freak.”

“Very funny,” he replies harshly and his tone makes me feel unsafe.

“Why don’t you just explain it to me then, because all I know is that Lucas’ eyes were blood red and he had black veins showing through his skin and for some reason I know he wasn’t playing dress up.”

“I will have to have a word with him,” says Ethan, more to himself than to me.

“What? For trying to kill my friend?”

“We do not kill people Tegan, at least, it is our policy not to.”

“Oh so it’s a “we” then is it? Are you trying to tell me that both you and Lucas are - well that the two of you aren’t exactly human?”

“I’m not trying to tell you anything, I am trying to figure out how to clean up this mess.”

“What do you mean by that?” I ask, no louder than a whisper. I back away from him, all the way to the other side of the room. “How do you propose to clean it up?”

“Don’t sound so frightened, I have no intention of doing you harm. I could never hurt you. If only you were susceptible to my compulsion then I could make you forget any of this ever happened.”

“Compulsion? Is that what you were trying to do earlier when I suddenly felt sleepy?”

He shakes his head in frustration. “Yes, unfortunately you seem to be immune.”

“So what are you going to do then? You can hardly keep me locked in your office forever.”

“I wouldn’t mind keeping you forever,” he says, ignoring the locked up in his office part. He stands up and walks over to me where I’m cowering on the floor in the corner of the room. He offers me his hand to help me up, but I refuse to take it. He actually has the gall to look wounded.

“Please Tegan, come and sit with me and I will explain everything.”

“I’m not doing anything for you until I see that Amanda is all right.”

“She will still be heavily sedated from Lucas’ bite, but I assure you she is fine. Lucas has brought her to the staff room to lie down until she recovers.”

“Well isn’t he the perfect gentleman,” I spit. Ethan’s face grows cold and we remain silent for a moment. This allows me a minute to absorb what has just happened.

“Oh f**k! This is all my fault, if I hadn’t tried to set Lucas up with Amanda then he would never have gone for her.” I say in panic as the realisation of what I’ve done hits me.

“You tried to set them up, why?” Confusion colours him.

“Because - oh never mind, I just did okay.” I don’t want to go into the whole thing about Amanda being vampire obsessed. Jesus, she might even be happy about what happened.

Okay, so am I actually admitting to myself that Lucas is a real, honest to God vampire? That Ethan, the man I’ve become so unwillingly attached to, is one also? Ethan is still standing over me, presenting his hand to help me up. I look at it wearily, and figure if this isn’t a dream then I might as well take it. I’m already in the deep end as it is.

I ponder the idea that maybe I’m not really here at all. That after Matthew killed himself I went off the rails and was admitted to a psychiatric facility where I am now suffering from schizophrenia and imagining these characters are in my life. That I am living out this whole bizarre scenario inside of my own head.

I take Ethan’s hand, because honestly, what other choice do I have? He leads me to the couch where I sit down and try to take deep breaths in an effort not to faint.

Deciding to just get to the core of the situation, I say, quite blatantly, “So you’re a vampire then?” My entire scientific system of belief teeters in the balance as I await his answer.

Ethan smiles. “Have you ever heard of the saying, within every myth lies a grain of truth?”

“Well I’d hardly call this a grain,” my voice becomes increasingly shrill and panicky.

Ethan moves like a predator, and I guess he is one after all. He pulls one of the chairs up to the couch where I’m sitting and leans in close to me, his chin resting on his clasped fingers.

“It is true though,” he says, in a gentle voice. “And things would be a lot easier if you accepted it.”

“I don’t know about that, I’m still wondering if my head is f**ked and playing tricks on me.”

“This is no trick of the mind, you’ve proven that yours is quite impenetrable after all.”

“Now that you’ve mentioned it, why is that?” I ask, actually curious as I push thoughts of insanity from my head.

“I have yet to discover why, but I fully intend to look into it,” he tells me, with far too much determination for comfort. I feel like a mouse in a laboratory.

“So is that the only reason you’ve been hanging around me, to figure out why I’m immune to whatever it is you can do to people?”

“It is one of the reasons.” Ethan admits, with at least some reluctance I note.

“I knew your interest in me was too good to be true.” Why did I ever think a man, or vampire, as handsome and wealthy as Ethan could be interested in a train wreck like me?

“My interest in you is genuine. True you are a mystery to be unravelled, but you are also beautiful and intriguing and intelligent, and those are the reasons why I can’t contain this need to be around you, which is wholly separate from the fact that you are an anomaly as a human.”

“Sure.” What was that? Am I sulking? I need to have my head checked.

“I am telling you the truth, whether you decide to believe it or not.” He leans forward and gently touches my arm, I shift back out of his reach.

“Don’t touch me.” The words leave my lips like tiny sparks of hatred.

“Please, Tegan, don’t make this any harder than it already is.”

“Will you let me leave?”

“I can’t, not yet. I need to explain things to you about our existence, about everything. If you are to be one of the few humans aware of us, then you need to know that we are not the killers portrayed in your stories. If I let you go now, when you’re like this, angry, hostile, then it won’t end well for either of us.”

“I can’t see anything ending well for me now. I just want a normal life, but f**ked up things seem to keep happening to me.” My voice crackles with tears, and I know I’m drowning in my own self-pity, but I can’t seem to help it.

“I’m truly sorry my love. Will you let me explain things to you properly?” he asks, an ounce of hope in his words.

“Ethan, does it look like I have a choice?” I burst, gesturing towards the door that he locked just after he brought me here.

“Very well, I would prefer it if you calmed down, but I suppose things could be worse.” He stops a moment, as if trying to think of where to start. The silence drags on for a couple of heartbeats, and then he begins “As you have already deduced, I am a vampire, as is Lucas…”

“What about Delilah?” I interrupt, thinking of her otherworldly beauty.

“Delilah…” he says, “is neither one nor the other. She is a dhamphir, half human, half vampire. In fact, she is my half-sister, we share a father.”

“You a share a father? Does that mean you were born?” I ask, while visions of coffins and the undead swirl on the periphery of my brain.

“Yes I was born,” he replies. “We are not the dead things most myths say we are. We are just another species. Of course, it is not known how we evolved, for nobody can trace our origins that far back. It is thought that we evolved from humans, similar to how humans believe they evolved from apes. When you think about it that way, it isn’t so hard to believe that we exist.”

“I guess not.” I admit reluctantly, still wary of him, and not exactly liking the insinuation that humans are the equivalent of apes to a vampire.

“So, to survive,” he continues, “we must drink blood, human or animal, it doesn’t matter so much. However human blood provides a far better high and much more nutrients, more strength, and therefore the majority of us favour it. We do not need to kill to feed, you must understand this for it is vital. We have certain powers that allow us to hypnotise our prey, the human is brought under a trance and they do not remember that the feeding took place. They fall into a state of euphoria from the chemicals released in our saliva when we bite, similar to what you would feel by taking any class A drug.”

“Nice.” I say sarcastically. “Don’t you think that’s unfair, preying on someone and then in effect making them a he**in addict? Don’t they get withdrawal symptoms?”

“Not if it is only once, and we can tell if another vampire has already fed on a human. It’s instinctive.”

“How many of you are there exactly? I don’t get how you can exist and people haven’t discovered it yet.”

“In the grand scale of things there are very few of us, Tegan. We make up less than half a per cent of the world’s population. We normally live in cities because there are more people to feed from and it is also easier for us to blend into the crowd.”

I try to do the maths in my head. “That’s still about thirty-five million vampires in the world.”

He laughs at my estimation. “Did you just divide the percentage in your head?”

“Yeah, so what?”

“It’s cute. But really, the number is not so large when you consider that our kind are spread throughout the world. For instance, here in Tribane there are probably less than a thousand of us.”

“A thousand? That’s more than I’d like.” I interject, grudgingly.

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