Chapter 87: You!
Leyanne sighs heavily, her expression grim, walks around me and gets into the car without hesitation,
her temper pulled thin, leaving me standing on the roadside flexing my hands and trying to stop my
claws coming out. I can feel my eyes burning with fury, and know they’re probably glowing as red as
lava with how mad I am in this second, my anger and instinctual aggression peeking out because I’m
standing four feet from the enemy and everything in me is screaming ‘kill it’. I can barely suppress the
anxiety, the hatred and yet I know deep down I need to follow her.
“Hurry up, pet. I’ve not got all day.” Leyanne’s voice coos from inside, a slight thawing of her icy tone in
what I guess is a bid to try and cool my jets and I swallow my fury, snort at the standing guard, throwing
him a nasty glare, almost tasting the urge to strike him down but yet throw caution to the wind. She said
they weren’t a threat, and that she’ll still help us…I shouldn’t believe her, but I can’t help thinking of the
fact she warned me I wouldn’t like this arrival, last night. I grin my teeth, shake my head at how stupid
this is as I climb inside the dark interior of the vehicle and give stinking vampire freak a wide berth. I
have more questions than apprehension and knowing I need to be braver if we’re going to help our
pack, means I lay my suspicion aside and trust that the fates wouldn’t lead me here to this for no
reason. I jump when the door is snapped shut behind me, the interior so dark that I’m momentarily blind
before my nocturnal vision kicks in and almost fall onto my seat as I clutch the cold leather and edge
myself to sit down.
The inner car is spacious, unlit, and my vision starts to adjust properly just before Leyanne lights it up
with a glowing ball in the center of her palm. I blink, flinching painfully at the sudden white light she just
dazzled me with and snort again, showing my displeasure with her for all of this.
“Not all of us have night vision goggles you know, Darrius. The sun doesn’t hurt you so why are we sat
in a dark box? Are you allergic to interior lighting?”
Wait, what? The heavy sarcasm holds a hint of warmth, and her voice pulls me to blink rapidly and look
towards the person she’s addressing, sitting opposite us. I only now see him that she’s drawn him to
me and I freeze in utter terror as I realize the scent that’s still offending my nostrils isn’t just from the
driver at the door, but the foreboding figure opposite.
I can smell him, much like the other one, this too is a vampire and I know for a fact the sun DOES hurt
them. It’s why we are safer in daylight. Confusion causes me to furrow my brow, wrinkle my nose and
cast Leyanne a look as if to say ‘are you kidding?’ surely she has more knowledge that that about
these pale, ugly creatures.
“Old habits, Miss Cruden…. I dwell in the dark, I’m not used to being around in the day due to the
nature of my profession.” The muscular shadowy figure leans forward, still clouded in shadow,
somehow shielded from Leyanne’s light with a heavy dark coat that has the oversized hood pulled up
so only the lower half of his face can be seen. Carved masculine lips, clean shaven, and those white
pointy teeth that are impossible to hide are hinting out over the outer edges of his lower lip, although
this one has a square jawline, and his pallor doesn’t seem as lifeless as the ones I have come up
against. His skin almost looks humanly colored, and warm, as though his teeth are fake and he’s not
really what he smells like.
I’m met with a husky heavily accented voice, in a body that screams of strength and power. He’s in a
tailored set of dark clothes, his outer jacket is leather and long on that tall body, , almost like a suit, with
dark crimson lining peeking out and adding a hint of opulence. I’m surprised to be able to feel body
heat emanating his way and not the cold iciness we have encountered when we fight his kind. In fact, if
I didn’t smell him, see his fangs with my own eyes, I would be doubting what he is at all. He’s one of
them, only he seems different and carries the same kind of dark and intense aura as Leyanne.
“You’re not exactly giving her reason to relax with the hood? Sinister and mysterious are not always the
way to make new friends, Darrius.” Leyanne points out, ironically, given she was wearing one when we
met her last night. The vampire pauses…seems to ponder it for a moment and then with a slight tilt of
his head and a raised arm, he pulls back his hood slowly to reveal a handsome, definitely masculine
face, under dark brows and a head of modern styled black hair, but I freeze as he blinks blood red,
glowing eyes, my way that makes my breath catch in my throat and I choke. Startled with the intensity
of their light in this dark space as they almost glow like crimson candles in the pitch black of night.
“And that reaction is somehow better?” He asks her drily, seemingly amused at my instant shock and
unimpressed at the same time. Vampires that we’ve been up against never had the same color of eyes
as me. He’s the first I have ever seen, and it throws me off kilter completely, gawping his way and
blinking like an imbecilic.
“I figured it would be a familiarity rather than a shock, wee pet. Surely you of all wolves can’t be afraid
of red eyes?” She chuckles, mocking me in that sing song way she has of talking, leaning out to pat my
hand with hers, somewhat reassuringly and then leans back in her seat with a smile. I glance from her
to him and back again, ignoring the fact that he’s actually pretty hot for a vamp man, something we
NEVER see, and yet his eyes make him look like the devil. I am at a loss for words. Caught in silent
awe, staring at this hunky, devil eyed creature before me, as he gazes right back, no expression at all,
and his focus makes me tremble under the intensity of his gaze. It’s like he’s staring right through me
and yet, I have no sense of danger at all form this thirty something year old person. No alarm bells or
kill switches and I realize; I have completely forgotten that his kind are someone I should never sit in a
car with and have normal chit chat.
“Well, this is her. The one I told you about last night. Alora….. she’s her child. Survived all this time, a
hidden wee gem that time forgot.” Leyanne doesn’t waste time in getting up to task and I flutter my
eyes to her and back to him, my heart beating through my chest, nerves fraught, panic hitching
because I’m in over my head, trying to get a read on the situation. Leyanne seems relaxed and
comfortable, but that means nothing to me. I still don’t know if we can trust her and him, he’s isn’t
moving or doing anything that tells me I should run, in fact, he isn’t phased at all by a wolf being in his
car. He seems bored!
“How can you be sure? There have been rumors before that never came to fruition. Varro won’t listen if
there’s no certainty.” he states openly as if I’m not even here and just addresses her directly. I try to
decipher his strange accent; his English is clear and well-spoken but that overlying way he rolls his
words is almost Russian, transatlantic for sure, maybe. It’s light, almost not there, American hints, but
in some words it’s heavy and pronounced. I’m not sure where to place his origin and it might explain
why he’s nothing like the vampires in Arizona. Maybe they have races, much like the humans do, like
wolves have colors, and up until now we have seen the ugliest, scrawniest, whitest, and lowest of the
gene pool of his kind. He’s definitely nothing like what we know of them at all. This one is strong, built,
sinister and seems to be extremely poised and graceful, with an intelligent expression on that almost
model like rugged face.
“Really? How can I be sure? You’re asking me? Come on Darrius, you know better than to question my
skill and knowledge in anything important. Look at her eyes… she’s also white when she turns wolf.
Her mother was called Marina and her family died on the battlefield at the hands of the Santo pack.
Sound familiar? We don’t get many coincidences in these lands.” Leyanne leans towards him stiffly, a
rise of her attitude that he would question her, and I curl back into the corner and try to pull apart the
words she just said. Not knowing how to feel about what she’s telling him or why it’s important. My
head confused and overactive with the sudden surge of possibilities.
“Hmmmm” he growls it under his breath, and I try my hardest to sit upright and keep all my internal
reactions down. My wolf is fighting me to leap out due to my growing uneasiness and mistrust, and I’m
gagging on the stench of vampire invading my senses the longer I breath the air in this small confine.
Overwhelmed with the feel of them and hating that a part of me somehow wants to tune in and feel
them the way I do with the wolves. I don’t want them inside of me that way, and I fight it with all my will.
“You know there’s a sure-fire way to check. I know you brought him. What are you waiting on? I
wouldn’t have asked you to come if I wasn’t sure, and he knows her by sight. He’ll kill your doubts in a
flash.” Leyanne almost goads him, confidence oozing, her posture is straight and haughty as though
she knows this is all inevitable and he’s wasting time by delaying. I can’t really add anything to this
conversation because I don’t really know what it is, what wants with me, or why he’s trying to prove I
am who she says I am, or who they have who would know me face to face. My heart ups it’s chaotic
beat and my palms turn clammy with sheer stress at this situation.
“He’s hesitant, afraid of disappointment after he’s spent all these years thinking she was gone. I can’t
force him to look at her if he doesn’t want to.” The dark stranger shifts in his seat and props an arm on
the ledge and turns his head out at the black tinted window, staring at the road out there and flexes that
square muscular jawline. If he wasn’t a vampire, if I didn’t have Colton, then I would dare to say he
would be crush worthy. As it is I wouldn’t blink twice about staking him through the heart with one of my
“How unlike you, not forcing people to do what you want. Are you going soft? Has age finally caught up
with you, old man.” she jokes but his low throaty growl only makes her smile wider and I get that this
chick really likes to rile people. She loves to throw in those little stabby words for reaction. He becomes
about a hundred times more intimidating and snaps his head back to her, scarily steady, and graceful,
yet the killing intent is clear in those glowing reds.
“I’m not that much older than you!” He grinds out, clearly offended with her age digs and I blanche,
doing the math in my head and realizing this goon is over three thousand years old. The grimoires have
never been clear on vampire life spans but surely that can’t be right. Some of the ones we killed looked
way more aged than him, some were even old in terms of human looks and yet here he is, prime of
youth, and over three millennia old.
He taps his thumb which I notice is sheathed in a black leather glove on his thigh, another layer of
weird on this sinister freak given they don’t feel cold, so why the gloves? he sits still, as though
pondering something then nods.
“You’re right. It’s the quickest way. And I need certainty, not possible. Varro requires confirmation as
soon as I can confirm it.”
I jump as. my door is opened again without warning, and I realize that much like wolves, the vampires
can link psychically, although we haven’t seen much of it back home, and he probably told whoever it
was to get in here. I instinctively slide towards Leyanne, inner nerves taking over and shielding myself
beside her in hopes she will actually protect me, as a dark clothed figure appears at the blinding light of
the open door, tall, muscular but shrouded in shade as the sun sits behind him and makes it impossible
for me to see. I peer out, blinking as I try to adjust, eyes watering profusely, rubbing my eyes to shield
the sudden retina burning brightness that’s pointed right on my face. He seems to hesitate and stands
there silently without coming in or getting closer.
I’m confused for a moment and look to Leyanne, then the vampire with a questioning tightness of my
face, and out to the figure once more. Unsure what’s happening here or if I’m expected to say
something, do something. Spinning my head and then halting as a new scent enters my nose and
makes everything around me stop dead and blur away as a detail homes in all my senses to one thing.
I know his smell… there’s something familiar about it, something gnawing at the back of my brain as I
inhale deeper to get more of it… his scent. Memories stirring, darkness pushing away questions and
thoughts as every fiber in my grabs onto the familiar and tries to pull a face back from the eternal
depths of my past. I would never forget it, it’s so close, so comforting, so real. not in a million years
would I not know what is filtrating through my nostrils and stimulating all my nerve endings. My body
stiffens, my skin goosebumps and all my hackles raise in both alarm, shock, and a deep despair that
scratches my heart and makes me gasp out a sob of recognition. Realization crashes through my
senses as my eyes widen in disbelief and I throw myself out of the car instinctively to see for myself
that this can’t really be him.
The figure backs off at speed, seemingly panicking at my burst out, leaving the gap between us at ten
feet as I get upright and glare at the hooded figure before me. Inner chaotic emotions flying crazily and
the need to confirm, to see, to know it’s him almost takes me over like a crazy person. My brain
stammering and my soul in agony.
He’s male, stands over six feet tall, powerful in body and with heat… late twenties, well he would be
now, a scent that no wolf would ever mistake, especially not me as I knew it so well, and I lift my hands
in disbelief. Stunned and numb all at the same time.
“It can’t be you…… how can it be you? You died. You were killed, they all were ….. You died!!! SHOW
ME YOUR FACE!” I screech at him, tears cascading from nowhere and immediately wash over my
cheeks, drenching my skin, as hysteria takes grip. My heart feels like it’s being shredded to pieces
while fear and panic overtake my limbs and I begin to shake. Losing control as the air around us rids
me of the vampire’s scent from within the car and there’s no more mistaking it. I can smell it fully now.
Him, wolf, my blood…… I know the scent of one of our own anywhere, and I know him. I know him as I
know the back of my hand or the sound of Colton’s voice. This can’t be happening to me.
“Lorey… I…” he lowers his head, looking to his feet and even his voice destroys what’s left of my soul.
His voice, only maturer, huskier and yet, it’s still him. That voice would hush me to sleep with bedtime
stories every single night.
The tears break harder, and I claw at my chest to counteract the crashing burning pain inside of me at
the realization he’s really here. After ten years of thinking him dead, yet he’s alive, and with vampires
as though I never mattered at all.
“Jasper…. why?” I wail at him, betrayal wracking my body painfully and hurting me on a much deeper
level than physical wounds could. “Why didn’t you come for me? When mom and dad died, why did you
leave me? You let me believe I was alone, all this time. Do you know how I survived, how I lived? How
alone I was? WHY??” I sob, accusing him, hurling my words like weapons, amid the gulping cries of a
My brother shifts uneasily on his feet and draws back his hood to finally expose the face I have been
longing to see for half my life. Same soft, short, brown hair that flops over his forehead on one side and
softer blue eyes under straight brown brows, in an aged face but the features I loved so well, still
remain. Handsome flawlessness, much like our father. His eyes damp with unshed tears and he can’t
look me in mine as his own shame courses through and shows on the face that always found it hard
not to reveal his every emotional thought.
“You were dead… that’s what ….. I thought…. You were dead. The Santo’s they wiped out the clan,
they left no one else alive… The farm, the village, it was all destroyed when I came back to find you.”
He crumbles, his shoulders sagging as his body slumps in an excruciating way, and he steps towards
me, reaching out a hand and then withdrawing as though he’s afraid of my rejection, of my anger. Or
maybe afraid much like I am that one touch will awaken us from this dream, and neither will be
standing here at all.