I sat watching Aria, her arms crossed and her knees pulled to her chest. I’d sent Ethan off to train and get some blood on his own because I had to deal with Aria. She’s my best friend, after all, and best friends come first.
“Ari, talk to me” I said, sliding down next to her.
“There’s nothin’ to talk about” she muttered.
“Clearly there is. Tell me”.
“It’s nothin’, Chesh, stop askin’”
She turned her head away from me and I frowned. Before I could register it, I’d grabbed her chin and pulled her head back to face me. There were tears in her slate gray eyes. Tears that she’d never let fall.
“Aria, I’ve lost count of how many things I am to you and I’ll order you to tell me if I really have to” I said firmly but not really meaning it.
But she stayed silent. She licked her lips as if she were about to speak but still said nothing.
“Aria… Did you tell him yet?” I asked softly, only just realizing what the problem might be.
“Chesh, I haven’t seen him in days… maybe even weeks... I figured if I left it long enough you’d snap and tell him…”
I hooked an arm around her shoulder and leant my cheek against hers. “You need to tell him. Today”.
“C’mon, I bet he’s outside helping to train up Ethan and the others as we speak. He might not be a match for me but he’s a damn good fighter” I said with a wink.
“Are ya always gonna be this full of yourself?” Aria asked with a smile. The first smile I’d seen in days.
“You know it, doll. Now come on, you’ve got to go meet your fate” I said, pulling her up.
Which was when we heard the shouting. The two of us raced outside to see Sara taking charge of the newborns. I flashed Ethan a concerned look as he and the others ran off but he didn’t seem to catch it. I looked at Aria and saw the worry dripping from her eyes, liquid and real. She seemed to realise and wiped at her tears with her cuff. I saw her scan the area for Sylvester. Her bottom lip trembled slightly when she noticed he was missing.
“Sara, where’d Sylvester go?” I growled, making Sara jump a little.
“Through there. He and Jay were going after Asha and…”
I didn’t give her time to finish. I grabbed Aria’s wrist and headed off towards the forest, Aria mainly sniffing the way out for me. What can I can, I’d never spent enough time with the guy to be able to follow his scent. But slowly the heady scent of blood started seeping into my nose, and it certainly wasn’t the scent of the newborn’s blood which was surrounding the mansion. I could have sworn I heard Asha say something in my head but I was too focused on Aria to pay attention to it.
“Aria, don’t go any closer” I said but she didn’t listen to me. Sometimes her stubbornness can really be quite annoying.
I pursed my lips but let her keep walking regardless of my concern. Slowly but surely I started to hear a heartbeat. A weak, feeble heartbeat. A dying heartbeat. And the smell of blood was only getting stronger.
“Aria, don’t go through there” I said desperately.
“No” she said quietly and pushed through the trees to the clearing.
I ran up behind her and grabbed her waist, trying to pull her back but she wrenched herself free, after elbowing me in the nose, of course. I tried to pull her back again but she sunk her fangs into my arm.
“Don’t” I pleaded, clutching at my bleeding forearm.
It was almost as if she didn’t hear me. She sprinted into the clearing, me shadowing her every move. Her eyes rested on the blood then found their way to Sylvester. I watched in silence as she shuffled over to where Sylvester lay and sunk to her knees, oblivious to her surroundings. And then… Then there was only silence.