“Flying is out of the question now. There’s a car rental place in the city but we need to get there somehow. I just can’t run anymore” Fang said breathlessly, leaning against a tree.
“If we can get to a phone I can call Braeden. Sure his car can only manage about twenty but it’ll get us there” I said, trying to figure out where we were.
Fang tried to speak but he was too exhausted.
“Fang, as soon as we get to the city you’re feeding”.
“I can’t keep it down”.
“Blood. I’ve fed so many times it’s unbelievable but I just bring it all back up. I’ve tried injecting it, something more discreet vampires do, but the blood just wouldn’t enter my system. I…I don’t know what’s happening to me”.
Fang sounded as if he were going to burst into tears. I did the only thing I could think of to cheer him up. I kissed him. Just on the cheek but I knew it would help. He sighed and wrapped an arm around me. He kissed the top of my head and I felt him tense.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, not liking his change in mood.
He looked around, through and beyond the trees before turning to me.
“How quickly can Braeden get here?” he asked, making sure not to raise his voice. I understood what was wrong , now. We weren’t alone.
“About ten minutes. Do we have that long?”
“If we’re careful. Come on”.
We slipped through the woods and ended up just a few metres short of my house. I resisted the urge to call Braeden from there and get some things together. Instead, I settled for the payphone that was about a quarter of a mile north of where we were. Fang was edgy the entire walk, constantly tasting the air and checking for whoever was following us. Within five minutes of calling him, Braeden met us at the grocery store and drove us to the car rental place without question. While Fang set about renting a car, I hung back with Braeden.
“Thank you. Really” I said, leaning against the side of his car.
“You’re smart and you can look after yourself but please promise me you wont do anything stupid” Braeden said, the utmost concern in his voice.
“Define stupid” I said with a horrible feeling in my stomach.
“Just promise me you wont come back with a ring and a bump”.
Fang beckoned for me to join him but before I could take a step, Braeden locked me in a huge bear hug.
“Promise me you’ll come back full stop” he said and I felt something wet land on my shoulder.
“I promise” I said and kissed him on the cheek, eager to get away before my own tears started to fall.
I joined Fang and waved Braeden goodbye as we drove away in a blood red Mustang.
We had been driving for a few hours before I noticed we weren’t headed for California. I didn’t want to interrupt Fang’s thoughts so I stayed quiet. Before we had left the city, Fang had “borrowed” some CDs from one of the music stores. He hadn’t really been looking when he picked them up so there was a whole selection. I looked through the boxes, nothing was really my style. I stopped looking when I reached Jesse McCartney. I had heard some of the preppy girls raving about him so I figured I’d give him a fair trial. I wasn’t really paying attention to the manicured pop star’s words, and I have to admit I kind of hated it from the first syllable, but the fourth song caught my attention. It was softer, more heartfelt and reminded me of home. It seemed to spark Fang’s interest too, and he relaxed a little for the first time on our journey. Before the song had time to finish, something ploughed into the car, crumpling the hood like a piece of paper. Fang, who hadn’t been wearing his seatbelt, now lay crumpled on the road not moving. I felt a steady stream of blood running down from my hairline. Sitting on the hood without a care in the world was Lilith. She smiled at me.
“I found you” she said sweetly and I blacked out.