Vampire breed, p.28
Vampire Breed, page 28part #4 of Kiera Hudson Series One Series
Taking hold of the corner of the rug, I said, “Ravenwood put it here recently to hide something. ” Then, pulling it back, I revealed a hatch that had been cut into the floor.
I peered over Potter’s shoulder and could see a set of wooden stairs leading down into darkness.
“I wonder what’s down there?” I whispered.
“Why are you whispering?” Potter whispered back.
“Dunno,” I shrugged, and followed him down into the pitch black.
There was a wall to my right and I could see a banister attached to it. I gripped hold of the banister and moved down. The stairs cried out beneath us as the others followed down behind. At the bottom, I nearly collided with Potter’s shoulder as he suddenly came to a halt in front of me. For a moment there was silence, stillness, nothing. Then I heard a click as Potter pulled on the light switch that hung from the ceiling just above him. My new surroundings appeared before me in the dim glow of the naked light bulb.
My throat made a shallow wheezing sound as I sucked in a mouthful of air in shock at what had just been revealed to me. Along each wall of the basement stood metal shelves from floor to ceiling. On each of these shelves sat guns, in neat rows, gleaming in the light of the bulb.
“Whoa!” I whispered, as I approached the racks of guns.
As I drew near to them, they didn’t look like the guns I had seen in the old black and white westerns that my dad had forced me to watch as a kid. These guns were bigger, powerful, and more deadly – like the guns those vampire-cops had shot at us.
“What is this place?” Kayla asked, eyeing the guns.
“Some kind of armoury, I guess. This is part of a military base after all,” I said.
“But this just looks like a regular house,” Kayla frowned. “Why so many guns?”
“Maybe whoever lived here, thought that one day they might need them,” Isidor said.
“Against what?” Kayla pushed.
“Us, probably,” Potter half-smiled.
Isidor came forward and stuck out his hand to touch one.
“Don’t touch,” Potter snapped.
Isidor immediately withdrew his hand and stuck it in his trouser pocket.
“They’re not toys,” Potter said looking at the racks of guns.
“Lighten up, Potter,” Seth said picking up one of the weapons. “These things are heavy. ”
“They could also be lethal in the wrong hands,” Potter said, swiping the gun from Seth and placing it back on the shelf.
“Look, Potter, if you’re heading back to the zoo with Eloisa to rescue the boy, Luke, you’re gonna need something to protect yourselves with,” Seth spat.
“I’m a Vampyrus and she’s a werewolf for Christ’s sake – what more do we need to protect ourselves with? Besides, we didn’t come here to arm ourselves – we came for the code. ”
“Does anyone even know what this code looks like?” Kayla asked.
“No is the simple answer…” I started.
“If no one knows what this code looks like, then this whole detour is just one big waste of time,” Eloisa said. “I mean, we don’t even know where to -” but before she’d had a chance to finish, the basement was filled with the sound of pounding.
I turned around to see Potter consumed by a cloud of dust as he forced one of his arms into the brick wall.
“What are you doing?” I asked, crossing the basement.
“There’s a chamber beyond this wall,” he said.
“How do you know that?”
Looking over his shoulder at me, he said, “You’re not the only one around here that can figure things out. See those old bags of half-used cement and that pile of bricks?”
I glanced into the corner of the basement and smiled.
“This wall has been built recently,” he said with some pride. “See, I’m one step ahead of you, sweet-cheeks!”
The dust began to settle and I could see that Potter’s arm was bleeding. At the sight of his blood, my stomach lurched, and I felt my throat turn dust-dry. I swallowed hard and looked away. It was then that I noticed Isidor sniffing the air as he absorbed the fragrance of the red stuff that seeped from the cuts along Potter’s forearm. He caught me looking at him and covered his nose with his hand. But it was Kayla who concerned me the most. Like me and Isidor, she had seen Potter’s blood, and she now stood mesmerised as she watched it drip onto the floor. I watched as she parted her lips and wetted them with the tip of her tongue, and I doubted she even knew that she was doing it.
Potter’s arm disappeared through the wall up to his shoulder and at last the blood was hidden. Almost at once, Kayla’s eyes flickered and she glanced around the room as if waking from a dream.
“Are you okay?” I asked her.
“Sure,” she smiled back.
But I knew she wasn’t okay, just like Isidor wasn’t okay. I knew how the sudden sight of Potter’s blood had made me feel inside. The silky redness of it and the way it had glided down over his wrist, dripping in thick streams onto the dusty floor had made my stomach somersault as if I hadn’t eaten for a week. The cravings were nowhere near as bad as before, but it was a reminder that I still craved the red stuff.
Potter turned his head to one side and I met his black gaze. He wasn’t looking at me; he seemed to be concentrating on something that had grabbed his attention on the other side of the wall. I could hear the sound of his claws tearing and scratching and it sounded like long fingernails being dragged across ice. Then without warning, Potter jumped back from the wall, bringing most of it down before him. Bricks clattered to the ground all around us, sending up billows of dust. I covered my nose and mouth as some of it got into the back of my throat and stung my eyes. As the dust and debris settled, I saw Potter’s uncovered arm again. He saw me looking at the streaks of red that ran from his wrist to his elbow, and covered them with the sleeve of his coat. He then kicked the rubble away that lay at his feet and peered into the hole that he had made in the wall.
“There’s something in here,” he said, shoulder barging the remainder of the bricks away and disappearing into the space that he had discovered.
I looked at Kayla and she raised her eyebrows and shrugged. Within moments, Potter stepped back into the basement holding three glass tubes of thick, pink-red liquid.
“You three look as if you could do with some of this,” he said, handing out the tubes of Lot 13.
Kayla snatched it from his hands, and removing the stopper with her teeth, she spat it away, tilted her head back and poured the Lot 13 into her mouth. It dribbled like glue from her lips, and she wiped it away with her fingers, which she then licked clean.
I wasn’t sure if taking Lot 13 was the answer to our cravings. By taking it, weren’t we in some small way feeding the habit? Wouldn’t it be better to just get the stuff completely out of our system – to be rid of it forever? I looked across at Isidor and he was slowly removing the stopper. Like me, I could tell that he felt unsure about drinking it.
“I know what you’re thinking,” Potter said looking at me. “But Kiera, those cravings won’t ever go away. You’re going to have to live with them for the rest of your life – we all are. ”
“But what about when Lot 13 runs out?” I asked, looking down at the tube of pink slime. “What happens then?”
“You go beneath ground, to The Hollows, until the feelings subside,” he said. “But seeing as we’re not in The Hollows – down the hatch it goes!” Then, flicking the stopper away with his thumb, he raised the test tube to his mouth and poured its contents down his throat. He shook his head as if just swallowing a large glass of whiskey and wiped his lips with the back of his hand. “What you waiting for?”
Isidor looked at me and shrugged, then raising the test tube to his mouth he started to drink. I watched his Adams apple bob up and down in his throat as he swallo
Handing the glass tube back to Potter, I shook my head and said, “No, I’m not going to be a slave to anyone or anything. I’ll find another way of dealing with my cravings. ”
“Kiera, you don’t understand -” Potter started.
“I said no! What’s the matter with you – are you deaf?” Pushing him out of my way, I climbed through the hole in the wall and stepped into the chamber beyond it.
There was a room hidden behind the wall. It looked like a poky laboratory of some kind and reminded me of the science labs at college. The room was lit from above by a series of florescent lights that flickered on and off like lightning. One moment the laboratory was brightly lit, the next it was thrown into darkness. Either way, I could clearly see what lay hidden behind the wall.
There were two metal work benches running horizontally down the middle of the room. Each was covered in an array of test tubes, Bunsen burners, microscopes, glass beakers, and a whole assortment of other equipment. Along the walls, were shelves crammed full of books, microwaves, plastic boxes, and rows of tubes containing Lot 13.
The others followed me into the secret laboratory and Seth made a whistling sound as he looked around the room.
“Someone has been keeping themselves busy,” he said.
“What is all this stuff anyway?” Eloisa asked, but no one answered her.
I watched Potter cross the laboratory, and start taking down handfuls of the test tubes that contained Lot 13. “Give me your rucksack,” he said to Isidor without looking at him.
Isidor handed it over, and Potter filled the bag with as many of the tubes as he could. Handing it back to Isidor, it made a clinking sound as the bottles jiggled about inside. Kayla went to the work benches and started to thumb through notebooks and sheets of paper that had been scattered across them. Holding up a sheet of paper that was covered in undecipherable scribbling, Kayla said, “Hey, Kiera, could this be what you’re looking for? Could it be the code?”
“How would she know?” Seth sneered. “She’s already admitted that she hasn’t a clue what this code looks like. ”
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