Home > Turned (The Vampire Journals #1)(16)

Turned (The Vampire Journals #1)(16)
Author: Morgan Rice

He raised his fingers, and tasted them. Her scent overwhelmed him. Usually, that would be enough—he’d know exactly where to find her. But still, he was at a loss. Something was obscuring his vision.

He frowned. They would have no choice in this case. They would have to rely on the human police to find her. His superiors would not be pleased.

Kyle was even more annoyed than before, if possible. He stared at Sergei, and debated what to do with him. In a few hours’ time he would awake, another clan-less vampire on the loose. He could kill him right now, for good, and get it over with. He would actually quite enjoy that. The vampire race hardly needed a new addition.

But that would be granting Sergei a great gift. He would not have to suffer immortality, suffer thousands of years of survival and despair. Of endless nights. No, that would be too kind. Instead, why not make Sergei suffer along with him?

He thought about it. An opera singer. Yes. His coven would quite enjoy that. This little, Russian boy could entertain them whenever they felt like it. He would bring him back. Convert him. And have yet another minion at his disposal.

Plus, Sergei could help them find her. Her scent now ran in his blood. He could lead them to her. And then they would make her suffer.

Chapter Eight

Caitlin woke to burning pain. Her skin felt on fire, and when she tried to open her eyes, a stabbing pain forced them shut. It exploded into her skull.

She kept her eyes closed, and instead used her hands to feel around. She was lying on top of something. It felt soft, yet firm. Uneven. It couldn’t be a mattress. She ran her fingers along it. It felt like plastic.

Caitlin opened her eyes, more slowly this time, and peeked down at her hands. Plastic. Black plastic. And that smell. What was it? She turned her head just a little, opened her eyes a little more, and then she realized. She was sprawled out, on her back, on a pile of garbage bags. She craned her neck. She was inside a dumpster.

She sat up with a start. The pain exploded, her neck and head splitting with pain. The stench was unbearable. She looked around, eyes open now, and was horrified. How the hell had she wound up here?

She rubbed her forehead, trying to piece together the events that got her here. She drew a blank. She tried to remember last night. She used all her force of will to summon it back. Slowly, it came…

Her fight with her mother. The subway. Meeting Jonah. Carnegie Hall. The concert. Then….then….

The hunger. The craving. Yes, the craving. Leaving Jonah. Rushing out. Roaming the halls. Then… Blank. Nothing.

Where had she gone? What had she done? And how on Earth had she ended up here? Had Jonah drugged her? Did he have his way with her, then deposit her here?

She didn’t think so. She couldn’t imagine he was the type. In her last memory, roaming the halls, she was alone. She had left him far behind. No. It couldn’t have been him.

Then what?

Caitlin kneeled slowly on the garbage, one of her feet slipping between two bags, as she sank down further into the pit. She yanked her foot out quickly and found some solid ground, plastic bottles crunching loudly.

She looked up and saw that the metal lid to the canister was open. Had she opened it last night and climbed in here? Why would she have done that? She reached up and just barely grabbed hold of the metal bar at the top. She worried she would be strong enough to pull herself up and out.

But she tried, and was amazed to find that she pulled herself out easily: one graceful motion, and she swung her legs over the side, dropped down several feet and landed on the cement. To her surprise, she landed with great agility, the shock barely hurting her at all. What was happening to her?

Just as Caitlin landed on the New York City sidewalk, a well-dressed couple had been walking past. She startled them. They turned and stared, mortified, not seeming to comprehend why a teenage girl would suddenly jump out of a huge garbage dumpster. They gave her the strangest look, then doubled their pace, hurrying to get as far away from her as possible.

Caitlin didn’t blame them. She probably would have done the same. She looked down at herself, still dressed in her cocktail attire from last night, her clothing completely soiled and covered in garbage. She stank. She tried her best to wipe it off.

While she was at it, she ran her hands quickly over her body and pockets. No phone. Her mind raced, as she tried to remember if she had taken it from the apartment.

No. She had left it in her apartment, in her bedroom, on the corner of her desk. She had meant to grab it, but had been so flustered by her Mom that she’d left it behind. Shit. She had also left her journal. She needed them both. And she needed a shower, and a change of clothes.

Caitlin looked down at her wrist, but her watch was gone. She must have lost it somewhere during the night. She took a step out of the alley, into the busy sidewalk, and the sunlight hit her directly in the face. Pain radiated through her forehead.

She quickly stepped back into the shade. She couldn’t understand what was going on. Thankfully, it was late in the afternoon. Hopefully this hangover, or whatever it was, would pass quickly.

She tried to think. Where could she go? She wanted to call Jonah. It was crazy, because she barely knew him. And after last night, whatever she’d done, she was sure he’d never want to see her again. But, still, he was the first one who came to her mind. She wanted to hear his voice, to be with him. If nothing else, she needed him to fill her in on what had happened. She desperately want to talk to him. She needed her phone.

She would go home one last time, get her phone and her journal, and get out. She prayed her Mom wouldn’t be home. Maybe, just this one time, luck would be on her side.

*

Caitlin stood outside her building and looked up apprehensively. It was sunset now, and the light didn’t bother her as much. In fact, as night approached, she felt stronger with each passing hour.

She bounded up the five-story walkup with lightning speed, surprising herself. She took the steps three at a time, and her legs weren’t even tired. She couldn’t fathom what was happening to her body. Whatever it was, she loved it.

Her good mood dimmed as she approached her apartment door. Her heart began to pound, as she wondered if her Mom would be home. How would she react?

But as she reached for the doorknob, she was surprised to see that the door was already open, slightly ajar. Her foreboding increased. Why would it be open?

Caitlin walked tentatively into the apartment, the wood creaking beneath her feet. She slowly stepped through the foyer and into the living room.

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