Home > Turned (The Vampire Journals #1)(22)

Turned (The Vampire Journals #1)(22)
Author: Morgan Rice

They must have been doing 80 miles an hour, then 100, then 120… It just kept going. The buildings, people, cars—it all became a blur. And before she knew it, they were off the ground.

They were in the air, flying. He opened his huge, black wings, flapping slowly beside her. They were up above the cars, above the people. She looked down and saw that they flew over 14th Street. Then, a few seconds later, 34th. A few more seconds, and they were above Central Park. It took her breath away.

He checked back over their shoulders, and so did she. She could barely see, with the wind whipping in her eyes, but she could see enough to know that no one, no creature, was following them.

He slowed a bit, and then dipped, lowering their height. Now they flew just above the tree line. It was beautiful. She had never seen Central Park this way, its pathways lit up, the treetops right below her. She felt like she could reach out and touch them. She had a feeling that it would never look as beautiful as it did right now.

She clasped her hands tighter around his chest, feeling his warmth. She felt safe. As surreal as all of this was, things felt back to normal in his arms. She wanted to fly like this forever. As she closed her eyes and felt the cool breeze caress her face, she prayed that this night would never end.

Chapter Eleven

Caitlin felt them slow, and then begin to descend. She opened her eyes. She didn’t recognize any of the buildings below them. It appeared that they were way uptown. Possibly, the Bronx somewhere.

As they descended, they flew over a small park, and in the distance, she thought she saw a castle. As they got closer, she realized that it definitely was a castle. What was a castle doing here, in New York City?

She wracked her brain, and realized that she had seen this castle before. On a postcard somewhere…Yes. It was a museum of some sort. As they ascended a small hill, flying over its ramparts, flying over its small, medieval walls, she suddenly remembered what it was. The Cloisters. The small museum. It had been brought over from Europe, piece by piece. It was hundreds of years old. Why was he taking her here?

They descended smoothly over the outer wall and onto a large, stone terrace, overlooking the Hudson river. They landed in darkness, but his feet touched down gracefully on the stone, and he gently let her off.

She stood there, facing him. She looked at him closely, hoping that he was still real, hoping that he wouldn’t fly away. And hoping that he was as gorgeous as he was the first time she saw him.

He was. If anything, even more so. He stared down at her with his large, brown eyes, and at that moment she felt herself get lost.

There are so many questions she wanted to ask, she didn’t even know where to begin. Who was he? How was he able to fly? Was he a vampire? Why had he risked his life for her? Why take her here? And most importantly, was everything she had seen just a wild hallucination? Or did vampires really exist, right here in New York City? And was she one of them?

She opened her mouth to speak, but all she managed was: “Why are we here?”

She knew it was a stupid question the moment she asked it, and hated herself for not asking something more important. But standing there in the cold, March night, face a bit numb, it was the best she could do.

He just stared back at her. His stare seemed to pierce her soul, as if he were seeing right through her. It looked as if he were debating how much to tell her.

Finally, after what seemed an eternity, he opened his mouth to speak.

“Caleb!” shouted a voice, and they both turned.

A group of men – vampires? – dressed all in black, marched right for them. Caleb turned and faced them. Caleb. She liked that.

“We have no clearance for your arrival,” the man in the middle said, deadly serious.

“It is unannounced,” Caleb answered flatly.

“Then we will have to take you into custody,” he said, nodding to his men, who slowly circled behind Caleb and her. “The rules.”

Caleb nodded, unfazed. The man in the middle looked directly at Caitlin. She could see the disapproval in his eyes.

“You know we can’t let her in,” the man said to Caleb.

“But you will,” Caleb answered flatly. He stared back at the man, equally determined. It was a meeting of the wills.

The man stood there, and she could see he was unsure what to do. A long, tense silence followed.

“Very well,” he said, turning his back abruptly and leading the way. “It’s your funeral.”

Caleb followed, and Caitlin walked beside him, unsure what else to do.

The man opened a huge, medieval door, grabbing it by its round, brass ring. He then stepped aside, motioning for Caleb to enter. Two more men, in black, stood inside the doorway, standing at attention.

Caleb took Caitlin’s hand and led her through. As she passed through the huge stone archway, she felt as if she were entering another century.

“Guess we don’t have to pay admission,” Caitlin said to Caleb, smiling.

He looked over at her, blinking. It took him a second to realize it was a joke. Finally, he smiled.

He had a beautiful smile.

It made her think of Jonah. She felt confused. It was unlike her to feel strong feelings for any boy—much less for two of them in the same day. She still felt for Jonah. But Caleb was different. Jonah was a boy. Caleb, although he looked young, was a man. Or was he…something else? There was something about him she could not explain, something that made her unable to look away. Something that made her not want to leave his side. She liked Jonah. But she needed Caleb. Being around him was all-encompassing.

Caleb’s smile vanished as quickly as it had appeared. He was clearly disturbed.

“I’m afraid there will be a much higher price for admission,” he said, “if this meeting does not go as I would hope.”

He led her through another stone archway, and into a small, medieval courtyard. Perfectly symmetrical, surrounded on four sides by columns and arches, this courtyard, lit by the moon, was very beautiful. She could not fathom how they were still in New York City. They could have been in a European countryside.

They walked across the courtyard and down a long stone hallway, the sound of their footsteps echoing. They were trailed by several more guards. Vampires? She wondered. If so, why were they so civil? Why didn’t they attack Caleb, or her?

They walked down another stone corridor and through another medieval door. And then they suddenly stopped.

Standing there was another man, dressed in black, who looked startlingly similar to Caleb. He wore a large red cloak over his shoulders, and was flanked by several attendants. He seemed to hold a position of authority.

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