The first thing I felt was a throbbing headache as if insects were eating my brain inside out. The sensation didn’t ease when I opened my eyes slowly as I felt a piercing pain go through my head. With a groan, I put a hand to my forehead and blinked repeatedly my eyes still not used to the light around me.
“Jade, are you okay?” I felt someone put a hand on my shoulder and I turned my head in the direction where I heard it coming from. The image was blurry but after a few short seconds, my eyes were able to get used to the color and I noticed it was Ash. What was he doing here? I looked around and noticed I was sitting between Chase and Ash, with Chase to my left. I saw Leon driving the car and a man I didn’t know with dark black hair and a tanned complexion sitting on the passenger seat to the front of the car.
“She’s awake?” I heard Leon ask and I groaned once more, this time clutching my head tightly.
“My head hurts,” I whined and I could hear Chase chuckle to my left. Ignoring him, I leaned back against the seat and placed the back of my head against the headrest, closing my eyes.
“I’m surprised you woke up by yourself this time,” I heard Ash say. “How are you feeling?” I felt him place his hand on my shoulder but I winced and withdrew from his touch. “Fine, thanks.”
“I told you I’m fine Ash,” I hissed at him, eyes still closed and leaning towards Chase, away from Ash. He didn’t say anything back and I felt a pang of guilt hit me. What was I doing?After all he’d done for me, coming back and rescuing me again, I gave him my harsh reply as the reward. My hands tightened into fists, and I opened my eyes once more, looking straight ahead.
“Where are we going?” I asked no one in particular.
“Back to Ash’s house. We need to make a plan before we do something stupid,” Chase said and I gave him a dry smile before I noticed something very wrong.
“Where are Billie and Mike? What happened with Raine?”
The atmosphere suddenly filled with tension and I felt Ash stiffen to my right. When silence took over, the dread inside me started to increase at the thought of something horrible might have happened to them after I’d left, especially towards Billie and Mike.
“Where are they?” I shouted, shocking everyone and I turned to Ash, forgetting all the anger I’d felt towards him before. “Ash, tell me,” I demanded, taking hold of his hand tightly and searching his emerald eyes, desperate for an answer.
“Mike’s dead,” he whispered, “and Billie, she left.”
“Raine?” I asked, my voice low.
“He was taken by the other vampires before the end of the fight.”
I was completely stunned by everything Ash told me. Letting go of his hand, I slumped back against the seat and felt the tears form in my eyes.
“It’s all my fault.”
It always has been.