Vampire's Witch, page 9
“I’m working on getting both of the women out of there without being hurt further. Give me a little time,” she whispered.
“She’s important.” The Shadow Warrior practically growled at her as the vampire tightened his grip on both of the women. “If I get involved in this vampire matter, the man’s going to be dead.”
Serena didn’t ask how the woman had gotten taken if she was so important. It wasn’t a good idea to provoke him in his present mood. The rogue’s death wouldn’t be a great loss in her opinion but she knew that Marcus and some of the other vampires wanted to take him before their Council for judgment. Angering the Warrior wouldn’t help get the woman free.
“She’s safe right now. I have a shield around both of the women. Let us get her free. She’s scared but she’ll be fine.” Serena kept her voice soft but confident. She had no doubt they would free the woman. It would probably just take longer than the Warrior wanted to wait.
“So you brought a protector of your own. Don’t you trust the vampires around you?” Daniel smirked.
The little snake was trying to cause dissension between her and the vampires. She really didn’t think it would work. The tactic was too obvious and the vampires didn’t even look at her.
“If he was here as protection or specifically to end your destructive run, he’d be in front of me, coming toward you. Don’t flatter yourself. You’re not that dangerous.” She folded her arms across her chest and let a smile tilt her lips. She hoped it would infuriate him.
Daniel blinked and tightened his grip on the two women. “You’re going to die for that, bitch.”
“How are you going to kill me when you’re too much of a coward to stop hiding behind those two women you’re using as shields?” She gave him her most condescending look. Although she didn’t think the goad would work, it was worth a try.
“I personally would have said he was being a pussy but coward will work.” Marcus’ even tone belied the tension in his body.
Daniel looked as if he were going to explode. Red flushed his cheeks and his jaw was clenched. All trace of the nice-guy image was gone. His fangs were bared and he looked just a breath away from attacking someone. Rage glowed in his eyes. She knew it must irritate him that he couldn’t rip out his captives’ throats while they watched. From what she knew of him, he’d enjoy doing that to spite the other vampires.
“You’re very brave when you have all of those men around you.” Daniel’s gaze locked on Marcus. “And with a high-talent bitch-witch to back you in case you need it.”
“Stop acting like a fucking baby. You brought this on yourself when you began killing people and threatening the peace and overall acceptance we’ve worked years to attain,” Marcus said without a trace of compassion in his voice.
Daniel’s lips thinned. “You want these two women alive? Then let me walk out of here.”
“You already know you’re not going to be able to kill them. That’s already been taken out of your hands. As to you walking out that door, it’s not going to happen any more than you giving up and surrendering right now.” Marcus tapped his foot.
Daniel nodded slowly as if agreeing. Serena didn’t know what the men were going to do. Things looked like they were at a standoff. She knew the vampires wouldn’t rush Daniel as longs as he held the two women in front of him. There was too much chance that the women could be hurt in the fight, even with a shield around them. The vampires didn’t want to use weapons to bring him under control but she had a feeling that this time it was the only choice. It was going to take weapons to stop him. She knew that most of the vampires and Protectorate operatives had a tranq gun that fired darts which would eventually take a vampire down, but they weren’t used anytime a human might be in the crossfire. The powerful sedative would kill a human. Considering a vampire’s speed, that meant they probably wouldn’t fire as long as he held onto one of the women.
“You want one of these women.” Daniel tugged at the woman he held by the hair, pulling her closer. He gave her a shove. “Take her.”
The woman stumbled forward but the moment she realized she was free, she ran. One of the vampires grabbed her and hurried her out of the bar. From the corner of her eyes, she saw the Shadow Warrior nod and fade. She surmised that the woman he guarded had been freed and he was now following her again.
Serena kept her eyes on the rogue. She knew Daniel was going to try something. If the smirk on his face hadn’t given her a clue, the waiting stillness of his body would have. He just seemed too ready. She watched his hand move to the table behind him. He lifted a beer bottle. His hand swung back and he smashed the bottle against the edge of the table.
She noticed he also had a bottle in the hand he had around the woman. It wasn’t broken and she knew that he couldn’t cut or hit his captive with it. He had to have released the other woman for a reason. He had to have a plan, something he thought would make it easier for him to escape. Her muscles tensed as she tried to figure out what he was going to do.
He leaned down and whispered something in the woman’s ear. The woman shook her head wildly. Daniel’s arm tightened and again he said something to her. Whatever it was, it obviously scared the woman. She went absolutely white and drew in a gasping breath. She slowly nodded. Daniel smiled slowly, apparently satisfied with her reaction.
Serena wished she knew what he’d said to the woman. If she knew, she might be able to counter his plan. It would help limit what he was going to try. She knew he didn’t want to get caught. He’d do anything to get even one more day of freedom. He’d most likely use the broken bottle on the vampires. If he injured one of them enough, they’d let him go so they could save the other man. It was his one chance. Cause enough damage to make a real problem for the hunters.
Daniel’s grip slowly relaxed on the woman. His arm lowered. The woman didn’t move. She didn’t even seem to realize that Daniel’s hold on her had loosened. Daniel’s hand, still holding the unbroken bottle, fell to his side. Serena bit her lip waiting for the woman to lunge out of the rogue’s arms. The woman’s muscles tensed but she didn’t move. Serena was practically chanting the word “run” in her head. The moment the woman was out of the way, Serena knew that Marcus and the others could handle Daniel.
Daniel raised the whole bottle as his other hand moved the broken bottle in small circles. Serena kept her eyes on him even as she hoped that the woman would run while she had a chance. Frustratingly, the woman didn’t even take a step away from him.
Daniel flung the bottle at Marcus. Marcus threw up his arm, shielding his face. Serena was stunned and a little concerned as the bottle slammed into his wrist. She turned her attention back to the rogue. Just as she focused on him, she saw the broken bottle flying toward her. Fear slammed into her and her throat seemed to close. She didn’t have time to slam up a blocking shield. Stumbling, she did her best to dodge. The bottle hit her arm, slicing into her flesh. She slammed her palm over the wound. Glaring at the rogue, she cursed her own stupidity. She should have been ready for anything. He’d already shown he was unpredictable.
“Well, aren’t you the sneaky little witch, brazen too.” Daniel smirked.
She blinked, not understanding his comment. Then she saw that she held the attention of every vampire in the building. Swallowing, she glanced down at the blood on her arm and realized that they must be able to smell the change in her blood. She groaned. Fuck. She’d like to kill the bastard with her bare hands. This was the absolutely worst way for her transformation to be revealed. She didn’t need this.
Determined to stop him, she flung a spell to hold him in the building. She felt it grab for him, but then it rebounded back and entangled her. Cursing under her breath, she tried to free herself from the spell.
The rogue chose that moment to bolt. He dragged the woman past one vampire, using her as a shield. He made it to the door. Serena followed, hoping there was something she could do to help. Blood trickled over her fingers and down her arm. She didn’t want to let
He shoved the woman at one of the men standing just to the side of the door and took off running. Most of the men in the room ran after him. She felt a hand on her shoulder and then a cloth against her arm.
“Let’s see how bad this is.” Marcus turned her to face him. His voice sounded a little tight.
How bad is it? It was a disaster. She gritted her teeth to keep from screaming. She knew he was talking about the wound but the discovery had thrown her into confusion. He kept the pressure for a few moments before he peeled the cloth away from the wound.
“You’re going to need some stitches. This is still bleeding,” he said quietly.
“I just got cut by a beer bottle. I was pretty sure I would need stitches or at least a doctor to check for shards of glass.” She shrugged but her throat felt like someone had a grip on it. She stood absolutely still and let him wrap the cloth around her arm again. She winced as he applied pressure to the wound. The pain was becoming harder and harder to ignore.
“We’re going to get you to a doctor.” He guided her out of the club. “They’ll call us if there’s any news about Daniel.”
“They’d better catch him.” She clenched her fist and felt the stickiness of drying blood. “I need a wet cloth to wash away the blood.”
He stopped and looked down at her but called back into the club for a wet cloth. She stared down at the pavement. Even with the pain in her arm, she felt numb. What was she going to do? Her choices had narrowed to almost one. She knew she could still run but she had no idea where she’d go if she did decide to flee. Vampires were everywhere.
“Why didn’t you say something about becoming a vix? When were you bitten? It’s not like we would just step in and take you away from everything you knew. As long as you’re not in danger, we would have let you have some space.” Marcus’ head tilted as he watched her.
“I didn’t discover I was changing until about three weeks ago, the day I met you. It was too late for the drugs to have much effect but I was hoping for another few weeks to adjust. I didn’t know what to do and I don’t know how my family’s going to react.” She bit her lip and met his eyes. A little bit of a lie but she’d hoped to think of a way to help her mother understand.
His fingers touched her jaw. “Still a little bit shocked, hmm?”
“And scared. I don’t know anything about being a vampire.” She licked her lips. “My mother probably won’t handle this very well.”
“Your mother loves you. She’ll understand. As to being a vix, you’ll learn what doesn’t come naturally. You never said how you were bitten.” His voice was soft and soothing.
Serena blinked. He was comforting her. Had she just stepped into another dimension? This definitely wasn’t what she’d expected when she’d thought about him finding out she was becoming a vampire. She’d always imagined him being more confrontational, more aggressive.
“You really don’t know my family. Blackwells always marry other high-talent witches or wizards. According to my mother, not one person in the family has ever married any other type of being. She’s very proud of that,” Serena explained.
“She might be a little angry at first but with time she’ll adjust.” Marcus nodded.
She took the wet cloth and walked with him to the car, wiping at her hands and arm. She slid into the seat and pulled the belt across her waist but Marcus fastened it before going around to the driver’s side. He pulled out of the parking lot and she watched as he drove them into another section of town. She frowned in confusion. She had no idea where they were going. This wasn’t the way to any of the ERs or even a minor emergency clinic that she knew.
“Where are you taking me?” She relaxed back in the seat and pressed the cloth into place.
“A clinic. Jason called ahead and there will be a doctor waiting for us. He’ll stitch your arm and check just how advanced your change is.” He paid attention to the road and didn’t look over at her.
“I was bitten almost half a year ago helping the Protectorate.” She licked her lips.
“Did you get tested at all or was there a false negative?” he asked.
“I didn’t think that much of it. The bite wasn’t deep. Witches seldom go through the conversion. It sounds stupid now but I was sure I’d be fine. I didn’t get the test.” She grimaced. That hadn’t been the best decision she’d ever made. In fact, it rated up there with the most stupid mistakes of her life.
Marcus pulled up in front of light beige brick building. She didn’t see any kind of sign, not even a series of plaques on the wall, announcing what kind of offices the building held. Judging by the size of the building and where Marcus had said he was taking her, it had to be a large clinic or mini-hospital if it occupied the whole building. The windows glowed with a soft yellow light.
Walking up to the building, she felt a pulling low in her stomach. She frowned and lightly put her hand over the area. What was that? She’d have to ask about that later. It didn’t even rate with all of the other things happening tonight. She felt overwhelmed and a little lost. She just wanted to find somewhere to sit and work through everything that had happened.
A dark-haired man waited at the door and opened it. “The doctor’s waiting for you in the office.”
“Thanks. I’ll take her back to him.” Marcus’ hand at the small of her back guided her down the white-tiled hallway.
They walked past door after door until he stopped in front of the next to last door on the right side. Again she saw nothing to the side or on the door to tell who occupied this office. She’d never have known a doctor had an office here. Why in hell wouldn’t they put names on or near the doors?
“Don’t they believe in nameplates, signs, something? I’d think this was just a professional building, an empty building if I didn’t know there was something here.” She walked through the door Marcus opened and into the reception area. It had been painted and decorated in tones of soothing blue and gray.
“Those who need to know of it or learn of it,” a blond-haired man said as he walked forward. He had golden boy-next-door good looks and looked like he should be surfing somewhere. The man definitely didn’t look as if he belonged in that white lab coat. “I’m Ted Bayliss.”
“Meet your new doctor, Serena. He’s a specialist in your new situation.” Marcus guided her through the door back to the examination rooms.
“I have a suturing kit set up in the first room.” The doctor said as he followed them.
“He’s a doctor for vampires exclusively?” She went into the cream-colored room and sat on the exam table.
“Well, I have some other clients but most of my patients are vampires,” Doctor Bayliss said with a smile as he gently unwrapped the cloth from her arm.
“And he is a vampire so he has plenty of experience at what he does.” Marcus stood beside her and watched the doctor.
* * * * *
She wearily walked into Marcus’ house. The examination had taken hours and that doctor had even insisted on checking her gums. She really hadn’t expected him to find anything. Her jaw had dropped open even wider when he’d said her vampire canines were dropping. She ran her tongue over her teeth again, still having a little trouble believing it. They’d confirmed that the conversion was happening with a preliminary test. The full test would take a few days.
She headed for the bedroom, more than ready for sleep. The hunt had gone so wrong. Being cut and the other vampires finding out that way had been something out of her worst nightmares. She groaned and rolled her shoulders as she pushed open the door. Reaching up, she unclasped the clip at her hair, letting it fall around her shoulders. Her arm throbbed and she’d definitely need pain medicine tonight.
“Sit down and take this.” He handed her a glass of water. “I’ll get your pills out of the sample packs the doctor gave us.”
She nodded and wearily sat on the edge of the bed. She took a sip of the water. P
“Thank you.” She tried for a smile but her face felt tight. Her whole body did. She’d known the other vampires would eventually find out she was changing. She never thought it would be this way.
“Where are those pills you were given to help block the change?” Marcus asked.
She grimaced but knew there really wasn’t much use denying him the answer. The conversion would happen soon anyway. “In my makeup bag.”
“Let’s go to bed. You need some rest. Saturday, we’ll go see your mother.” Marcus’ hand settled just above her buttocks. “There’s no use waiting any longer. The end result isn’t going to change.”
Serena stopped unbuttoning her shirt. “When I tell my family is my choice and when that happens, I’ll do it alone. Bringing anyone else into the situation is just begging for an angry confrontation.”
“I’m not letting you face them alone. If you’d thought your family would be accepting, you’d already have told them.” Marcus closed the bedroom door and leaned back against it, watching her. He looked arrogant and too attractive.
She could feel his eyes on her as she undressed. Pulling a nightgown over her head, she walked toward the bathroom. She just hoped he wasn’t going to push the issue about going with her to talk to her mother. She wasn’t up to conducting an argument about the matter. Too much had happened tonight. All she wanted was a few hours without having to think about everything that had changed. She’d worry about the problems tomorrow.
“I’m not going to interfere. In fact, I won’t say much beyond hello unless they start to belittle you. As long as they’re not screaming or harassing you, I’ll just stand back and wait.” He strolled to the bathroom and watched as she finished getting ready for bed.
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