🐺💣🔪 #MY_BLACK_KNIGHT 🔪💣🐺
🚂🚂🚂 #Phase 1
As Produced By Sheriff Squinty
I was so exhausted that I dozed off almost immediately upon getting in the car despite my interest in where we were going. Rebekah said it would take us all night to get there, but as long as we were moving, I was happy. Raziel had packed a stack of dusty old books for us to ‘study on the road for more clues’, and before we left the house I even contacted my parents. Apparently they hadn’t heard that I had left the pack, and I wanted it to stay that way, so I gritted my teeth and lied throu-gh the whole encounter. Lying went completely against my nature but it had to done. They didn’t deserve to worry.
I did, however, make sure to tell them just how much I loved them. For all I knew, Cain could be conducting the Ritual tonight. I didn’t want to leave anything unsaid.
The dreams I had during most of my fitful slee-ping did not leave me feeling as rested as I would’ve hoped, but after a while, I was able to achieve a dreamless slumber. I could’ve sworn that the car st©pped at one point for a good amount of time, too long to just have been just a [email protected] st©p. However, I was too exhausted to care, and I figured I could ask Raziel and Rebekah later. They would wake me up if it was important.
When I grew tired of the disturbing dreams and blearily blinked my sleepy eyes open, sunlight filtered in throu-gh the windows of the luxury SUV and it looked to be early afternoon. Raziel and Rebekah were both wi-de awake; again, I considered the possibility that Angels didn’t really nee-d sleep.
“Where are we?” I mumbled almost incoherently. Rebekah glanced over her shoulder at me and gave a half-hearted smile.
“Almost to Chicago,” was her reply. I looked out of the window, curious, as I’d never been in this region before.
“Where does your friend live?”
“Right by Lake Michigan,” Rebekah said calmly, but I detected something in her tone that confused me. I returned to my staring, eyeing the big city fast approaching. There was definitely something she wasn’t telling me, but I figured I’d have my answer soon. Something was bothering me, though. Every now and again I got a whiff of some musty scent. I felt the hairs on the back of my n£¢k pricking and I glanced around the car, trying to place it.
“What is that smell?” I finally asked as we entered the bustling downtown area, Raziel attempting to navigate the crowded roadways. “It almost smells like…” I didn’t even want to say it.
“You’ll find out soon enough,” Raziel answered calmly when Rebekah didn’t reply.
The city was hvge, and it took us a lot longer than expected to get to our destination, but I actually enjoyed taking in the mas-sive [email protected]£rs towering nearby. Rebekah had a map on her [email protected] and was muttering something, directing Raziel every now and again. After another fifteen minutes, she pointed out a narrow street and the Angel strategically maneuvered the vehicle to fit between the nearby buildings. We drove down a few more narrow streets, and I tried not to let the scenery get to me. The last time I’d been around warehouses was when the vampires had kidnapped me. It did not take me long to notice that we were in a pretty seedy area, the buildings growing increasingly decrepit as we continued.
“Okay, we can get out here. It’s only a couple blocks now,” Rebekah said quietly and we obliged.
Some of the buildings around us were abandoned, and I had the creepy feeling that someone was watching me as we weaved our way between warehouses. “This doesn’t seem like a nice place to live,” I remarked, my voice a bit higher than usual.
“It’s not her choice.”
I c0cked an eyebrow but let the reply slide. Beside me, Raziel had a backpack slung around his shoulders. I watched him from the corner of my eye, and it only took me a few seconds to determine that the backpack was the source of the smell. I felt a wave of queasiness and I looked away. If I was right about the backpack’s contents, this was a more dangerous trip than I’d anticipated.
After a few more turns down increasingly narrow alleys, we [email protected]£ to a small shack, for lack of better word. It could’ve been a home or small business once, I wasn’t sure, because it was so run-down. Boards covered the windows and there was a mas-sive pile of ru-bbish nearby. The whole thing stank of decay and I wrinkled my nose. For some reason, the fence around the property was completely intact, and there was a padlocked gate. The front door of the property was adorned with a lock as well.
I wondered if they were keeping people out or locking someone in. The thought s£nt a chill up my spine.
“Trust me, Skylar,” Rebekah said quietly. She didn’t look unnerved at all by our [email protected]@t£d, unusually quiet surroundings. The pavement had gras-s growing throu-gh the tracks and I wondered the last time someone had even been here. The tall buildings nearby likely hid the shack from view.
With one fluid motion Rebekah j£rked the padlock so the locking mechanism broke, before opening the gate. It creaked ominously and I chastised myself for acting like a child.
“Normally I would pick the lock but we don’t have time,” she commented. I tried to picture Rebekah picking at a lock like some kind of common criminal and failed miserably. Gabriel’s mother had a lot up her sleeve.
We approached the front door, the handle of which was also chained and locked. Rebekah made quic-k work of the barriers before turning to face us. “Trust me, she won’t hurt you.”
I nodded, trying not to let me apprehension show. Raziel indicated that we keep moving, and I noticed he was unusually quiet. I as-sumed he knew why we were here and I was beginning to regret not asking more prying questions.
The blackness inside the building was thick and near-impene-trable. Rebekah shut the door behind us and it took my werewolf vision a couple seconds to adjust, as the only light [email protected]£ throu-gh tiny cracks in the boarded windows. We walked in a single-file line throu-gh the entry hallway and into a large room with heaps of smashed furniture. The air stank of dust and grime, but I thought I detected a different smell un-derneath. I st©pped, tilting my head up and inhaling de-eply. Instantly, I froze. “Blood!” I hissed, my l!pcurling up in an automatic snarl. The scent was very stale, but it was almost overpowering. It hovered in the air like some sort of plague, and I spun around to face Raziel. “The blood smell . . . the backpack . . .”
I felt a reas-suring hand on my shoulder and looked up to see Rebekah’s resigned face.
“I know, Skylar. It’ll all make s-en-se in a second.”
If it were anyone else, I’d be worried that I would be taken into a back room and murdered, but these were extenuating circu-mtances. I was willing to do anything for Gabriel, so I squared my shoulders and attem-pted to ignore the overpowering stench. Rebekah led us down another narrow hallway, which had numerous holes in the walls. I didn’t even want to think about what kind of vermin lived in them. Ahead was a door that had dents and ch!pped paint across the entire surface. I bit myl-ip, wondering if this place could possibly get any creepier. If Will and Maria could see me now, skulking throu-gh a shack with not a shred of dignity left . . .
Rebekah paused in front of the door, reaching out to grasp the knob. “She’s still here,” she remarked quietly. I was prepared to scent the air again but before I could, she thrû-st the door open and we stepped inside the dingy room.
There was a [email protected] boarded-up skylight that allowed small beams of sunshine to stream into the room, further accentuating the decaying state of the building. My eyes fli-ckered from wall to wall, and it was then that I noticed three things.
One, there was a small huddled figure in the corner.
Two, it was a woman, with matted dark hair falling down to her [email protected]!st.
Three, she had chains around every limb that were bolted to the wall.
“Vivian,” Rebekah murmured. Despite the woman’s current position, her head snapped up unnaturally quic-kly, and I saw her face for the first time.
Vivian’s face was thin and pale, her whitel-ips [email protected] slightly with surprise. What caught my attention, though, were her eyes: there were a de-ep reddish brown, and I had no doubt that in pristine condition, her orbs would shine a brilliant red.
Hall Of Supernatural Stories
She was a vampire. My Wolf and I knew that immediately. A tortured, weak, and severely un-derfed vampire. Her clothes were mere rags, putting her bony frame on displa-y. I could tell that she would once have been beautiful, with lvstrous hair, high cheekbones, and fulll-ips. A se-ductress. I’d never seen a female vampire before, but I could tell all of this from a quic-k glance.
Whoever had left her here, though, was as-suring she would suffer. The woman was completely emaciated and there was a hunted look in her eyes. The stench of dried blood permeated the room, but it was obvious she hadn’t fed recently.
“Rebekah?” The woman, Vivian, rasped, the words nearly catching in her throat. She tilted her head and took the three of us in, her eyes focusing surprisingly well given her pres£nt condition.
“Who are they?” Vivian j£rked her head at Raziel and me.
“Friends. We’re in desperate nee-d of your help.”
“This is your source?” I exclaimed before I could help myself. “But who . . . how . . . ?”
“I took me a long time to find her, but yes. Vivian told me a lot of information about the Ritual. I, in return, helped her.”
“How?” I exclaimed incredulously. It didn’t look like Vivian had received much help in a long time.
As if on cue, Raziel cleared his throat and set the backpack on the ground, unZi-pping it to reveal a brown bag. Instantly, the smell of blood strengthened. I [email protected] despite myself. There were blood bags in the backpack. That st©p along the road, while I’d been asleep . . . we must’ve visited a blood bank or hospital. I squirmed uncomfortably as Raziel pu-ll-ed out three bags of donated blood, each one a different type.
I had no clue how to feel, and my Wolf was equally befuddled. We despised vampires, and would never have thought of giving blood to one, yet here we were. The compas-sionate side of me pitied Vivian, but then I remembered everything the vampires had done to us. I didn’t know what to make of the situation.
Raziel handed the bags to Rebekah, who in turn slowly approached the shackled vampire. I wanted to rush forward, to st©p her from approaching that despicable creature, but f0rç£d my feet to remain still. I had to trust Gabriel’s mother. Working with a vampire went against my nature, but if it would lead to Gabriel, it was indubitably worth it.
As soon as Rebekah extended her arms Vivian reached forward in a lightning-fast move and snagged the bags, dropping two of them on the ground and tearing into the first. I looked away, squeamish as the smell of fresher blood invaded my nose. Vivian let out a low, feral growl, and the slurping noise of her dining was repulsive. I managed to sneak a look at her to see her mouth coated in blood, eyes bright with a vicious hunger. As the vampire su-cked the bag dry, Rebekah turned to face me.
“I know this seems strange to you. Believe me, I know. But Vivian told me all the things about the Ritual I never would’ve known otherwise.”
“Does she know where and when it’s going to take place?”
“She does. I was coming to retrieve the information from her when the vampires found me.”
“How does she know all of that?” I queried, still looking fixatedly on Rebekah. Vivian was devouring the second bag of blood, her chains glinting as she shifted position.
A grim smile settled on Rebekah’s features. “I think she should tell you that herself.”
“How did you find her, Rebekah?” Raziel interrupted, his strangely blue eyes watching the vampire as she fed. “I can deduce some things, but you nee-d to fill in the rest.”
Rebekah turned the rest of the way to face us, her back to Vivian. “I spent years tracking all of the vampires I could. Eventually, one of them led me here. As soon as I found Vivian, I saw an opportunity. For someone to go to these lengths to make her suffer, she had to be important.” Her eyes fli-cked to the blood-su-cking creature then back to us. “I was right. Vivian said that if I would bring her blood, she would tell me everything she knew. I made several trips. She told me a new piece of information for each bag of blood I brou-ght. Her caretakers ba-rely feed her, you see. They keep her hovering on the brink of starvation. Vampires cannot die from lack of food, but eventually they fall into a comatose state. They feed her enough so she’s close to falling into a coma without actually doing so. It’s very torturous for a vampire to suffer throu-gh that sort of hunger.”
Another feral snarl erupted from the corner and I as-sumed Vivian was beginning the third bag of blood. She must’ve been starving indeed, to drain the bags so quic-kly.
“I couldn’t bring her too much blood at once. Her captors check on her every couple of nights and if she looked too healthy, they would’ve suspected something. There are always vampires nearby so I’ve had to be cautious in the past. The locks on this place may keep humans out, but vampires are suspicious creatures. Now, of course, I don’t care. We’re running out of time.”
“Why didn’t she tell you the Ritual’s location if she knows it?” I asked, puzzled. We could’ve avoided a lot of worry if Rebekah would’ve asked the question sooner.
Rebekah shook her head. “I tried, but she wouldn’t tell me for a bag of blood. She had a higher price.”
“Why would she tell us now?” Raziel asked, speaking as quietly as possible.
“I did what she asked. I’m hoping she wants Cain dead badly enough that she’ll tell us.”
My suspicions had been confirmed. “So it is
Cain who locked her down here, then.”
Rebekah nodded. “That’s why I had to be so careful. From time to time he’d check on her. The last time I visited, she told me to go retrieve something for her, and in return she’d tell me the Ritual’s location. I followed her instructions and retrieved the object, a silver locket.”
I [email protected] in surprise. “The gem-studded locket?” I whispered.
“The very same.”
I shook my head in disbelief. The pieces were slowly coming together now, and it explained why she’d been in possession of a silver item.
“She wanted to keep it away from Cain. It’s very important to her. Either way, I was too careless. I called my father, telling him I had important information. It was foolish of me to think everything would work out so well, that I’d learn the Ritual’s location without any problems. It was too good to be true. When I returned to see Vivian one last time, locket in hand, I realized the vampires were expecting me, they’d realized I was secretly visiting their prisoner. They had set up a tra-p. I ran, but they were h0t on my trail. I knew they were going to catch up to me.”
Raziel was staring off into the distance, jaw clenched. He knew the rest of the story.
“I’m sure my father alre-ady told you, but I was working with a human geneticist. We had a formula prepared as a last resort. I s£nt him to warn my father, and as soon as the vampires caught up I . . . well, you know the rest.” A sad expression fli-ckered briefly across her countenance. “I’d thought the vampires stole the locket back until now. I guess they hadn’t realized I had it.”
Raziel cleared his throat. “They didn’t have time to. When I showed up they were dragging the human away and coming back for you. They were going to take your b©dy, too. I couldn’t let them, so I . . . convinced
them to go back to Cain, to tell him they’d burned your b©dy.”
As Produced By Sheriff Squinty
I felt my mouth open in surprise. Raziel hadn’t included that detail the first time he told the story. “I thought you didn’t have any abilities left? Besides, you know, the..er….charm.”
“I don’t anymore. They fade from year to year. This was ten years ago, when I could bend others’ minds to my will. Even vampires. I haven’t been able to use that ability again since that night, I guess I drained the last of it.” Raziel’s eyes were sorrowful, and I thought I saw regret on Rebekah’s face. I supposed she felt guilty that her birth had caused the onset of Raziel’s loss of powers, but it wasn’t her fault.
A new voice cut into our conversation, much less raspy than before. “So . . . you did obtain the locket.” We all spun to face Vivian, who was sitting amidst the empty blood bags. Herl-ips were now bloodred, her eyes shined with new vigor, and she sat up straight. It was incredible to see the difference the blood had made. She looked like she’d been in here for only a few weeks instead of over a decade.
“Yes,” Rebekah answered honestly. Vivian’s eyes narrowed slightly.
“Describe it to me. I never told you what it looked like, just where it was. Prove that you’ve actually seen it.” There was some sort of authority in her words that made me curious.
“Silver, heart-shaped, and studded with as-sorted gems. It opens, but there’s not picture inside.”
Vivian nodded. “True, but how do I know you actually hid it for me?”
“I didn’t, my father did. Unknowingly or not, he s£nt it away, and it’s safe now.”
My black knight Episode 55
🐺💣🔪 #MY_BLACK_KNIGHT 🔪💣🐺