A few seconds after the departure of Blade, Tawny snapped out of her trance. Morrigan slumped to her knees and Aya scrambled over to her. A steady stream of blood oozed from her punctures. Tawny stared at her, too scared to move.
“This happened because of you, Tawny!” Aya shouted, his arm around Morrigan’s shoulders.
“Me? What did I do?” she asked, sounding like a child.
“Nothing. That’s exactly it. You did nothing!”
“It’s not like she’s never been injured before”.
“No, never this seriously”.
Tawny stifled a gasp. She looked at me and I smiled at her. What else could I do? Sure they were vampires but everything else had been legend so far. Were they really immortal? Morrigan looked a few inches from death so I highly doubted it.
“We did it, right?” Morrigan asked Aya.
“No, it was all you, doll” Aya said and a smile spread across Morrigan’s lips.
The blood pouring from her started to slow. Aya held on to her a little tighter. She shuddered and was still. Aya howled into the night. Wasn’t it werewolves that howled, not vampires? Tawny hung her head, either in shock or in shame. Next thing I knew she was stood up, her thin hands clamped around my arms.
“It wasn’t my fault. I… I didn’t know. He shouldn’t have known” Tawny pleaded frantically.
“Shouldn’t have known what? Who’s Mairie Libellule?” I asked.
She looked around nervously before whispering “Me”. She turned her head as if someone was talking to her from the other direction. There was a hand on my shoulder, which caused Tawny to let go of my arms. I recognised the grip. It was Fang. I turned to look at him. He surveyed the scene that lay in front of him. Tawny stood shaking in front of him; Aya was distraught and Morrigan was dead. He sighed.
“I’ll get her out of here” he said to Tawny.
“I don’t want her to see or hear that”.
Tawny nodded. Fang took his hand off my shoulder and took my hand instead. He led me away from the square in the general direction of my school. That’s exactly where we were headed. It looked even worse. A repulsive black giant on the horizon, leeching off the moonlight.
“School will be impossible for you now” Fang said almost with sorrow in his voice.
“Because Morrigan’s… Because she’s…?” I tried to ask but the words stuck in my throat. There they formed a sickly lump that could be neither swallowed nor coughed up.
I thought I was fine with death. I encountered it at an extremely young age so it was all just a part of life for me, not some big taboo like it is for most people. Morrigan was dead. Somehow, my brain couldn’t register it. She was a vampire. She was supposed to be invincible. Immortal. The ultimate killer. But the sword… the hot, crimson blood pouring out of her…
I was brought back to reality by the warm sensation of tears rolling down my cheeks. Fang wrapped me in a hug. He didn’t smell like death, as I expected him to. He smelt of green apples, burnt out matches, spearmint and freshly cut grass; all of them colliding to make the most beautiful scent in the world.
“Don’t worry about her, she’ll be fine. Listen, at your house I wasn’t entirely truthful”.
I could barely hear a word he was saying. My ears were foggy, my eyes were cloudy, my tears were falling like raindrops onto his perfect white shirt. Morrigan was dead. The first friend I’d ever had was dead. How could Fang say she’d be fine? I doubt he’d be fine if someone shoved a sword through his liver.
“Trust me, she’ll be fine. She’ll be weak but fine”.
I looked up at Fang. His eyes were shut, as if he were trying not to cry himself. And once again, his beautiful scent washed over me, calmed me. All of a sudden he tore himself away from me to spit something out. It just looked like saliva but saliva when it’s full of sugar: thick and almost impossible to spit out.
“Hallie, there’s something else I need to tell you. Whenever I’m around you I produce venom like it’s going out of fashion. Around you I… I have an urge to bite you. Not to drink your blood, just to bite you. And… in all truth… I, well, I think I’m in love with you”.
Was he for real? He wanted to “kill” me but he was in love with me?
“I-I’m touched but-“ I said.
“I understand. We have to move. Blade will want to avenge this defeat and if I know him he’ll want to do it soon”.
The thought of Blade made it all come crashing back to me. Morrigan sacrificed herself for Aya because he wasn’t paying attention. It wasn’t Tawny’s fault, it was his. Blade’s expression as he left flashed in my mind and made me bury my head in Fang’s chest. I didn’t want to move. I just wanted to surround myself in his delicious scent. I felt his cheek press against the top of my head. I felt comfortable with him, inside his arms. The steady rise and fall of his chest. Something wet touched my head. It couldn’t have been rain, the night was so clear. The luminescent moon shone down, it’s light scattering through the faraway treetops as it always did. Fang’s breathing was abnormal. Then I realised; he was crying. My first instinct was to wipe the wetness from my hair but I found myself hugging Fang back.
“Come on. We need to move” he said through tears but made no effort to move anywhere.
The both of us tensed at the sound of approaching footsteps.
“Don’t worry, it’s only me”.
Tawny. There wasn’t a voice I wanted to hear more right now than hers. Well, maybe Morrigan’s.
“Fang, it’s been done. Aya’s taking her back to the mansion” she said almost nervously.
“Good. We need to take Hallie somewhere safe” Fang said, trying to cover his tears.
“You want safe? I know a place”.
Fang released the hug and I turned to Tawny.
“Being told who you are has its perks. I have a house” she said with a wink and led us towards the outskirts of town.