Chapter Twelve-Just One Bite
Azkedelia woke the next morning lying in her own bed. She stretched and looked at the warm sunlight filtering through the French doors and heard a fire crackling in the fireplace. A soft knock sounded on the door. Azkedelia turned her head, not sure if she was imagining it or not. The knock came again, a little louder. No, she wasn't imagining it. Azkedelia threw back her blanket and unsteadily got to her feet. With one hand against the wall, she slowly made her way to the door. Azkedelia leaned against the wall and opened the door to see DJ. His green eyes stood out against his black shirt and white pants.
DJ pulled his arms from behind his back and held out a small bouquet flowers to her. "Here. It's a get well present."
Azkedelia grabbed the flowers. "Um…thanks, DJ."
DJ nodded. "Can I come in?"
Azkedelia hesitated a second, and then stepped aside and let him in. DJ walked in and looked around as Azkedelia walked to her bed and set the flowers down on the purple comforter.
DJ turned and looked at Azkedelia. "Az, can I say something as a friend?"
Azkedelia sat on her bed. "Sure, DJ."
DJ walked closer. "I'm worried about you."
"Me? Why me?"
DJ looked at the floor. "I've known Merlin for awhile, and I know what he's doing."
Azkedelia nodded. "Uh huh. And what's he doing?"
DJ looked back up and put his hand on her leg as he leaned forward. "He's using you, Az. He does this with every new girl."
Azkedelia moved his hand off her leg. "Thanks for the concern, DJ, but I don't think…"
DJ put his hand higher on her leg. “Az, I've known the guy for years, I know how he ticks. He only wants you for what you can do and what you can give him."
Azkedelia moved DJ's hand off her leg again and pushed him away. "I'm sure, but DJ, I'm a big girl, I can handle myself."
"I'm sure you can, Az, but let me help you."
A red flag went off in Azkedelia's mind and she scooted back in her bed, trying to reach the dagger under her pillow. "So what exactly did you have in mind?"
DJ walked to the foot of her bed and started pacing. "You're part djamphir, and I'm a full blooded djamphir. And I read somewhere that if a full blooded djamphir bites someone who has even the smallest amount of djamphir in them, they'll become full blown." DJ stopped pacing and looked at Azkedelia, fire burning in his green eyes. "I can help you access the djamphir part of you and then Merlin won't be able to use you anymore. Az, please let me help you."
Azkedelia leaned back, pretended to stretch, and grabbed the dagger from under her pillow. She held the dagger hidden under her forearm. The feel of cool diamond against her skin helped her think clearer.
"DJ, I really don't need your help. Thanks for the concern, but I'll be fine."
DJ climbed on the edge of her bed, crouched like a hungry panther about to spring. "Az, please let me help you. Please."
Azkedelia tightened her grip on the bone handle. "DJ, I think you should leave."
DJ moved and was suddenly lying next to Azkedelia, his head propped up on his hand. "Az, just one bite. Please. Then Merlin won't be able to use you anymore. Please."
"No!" Azkedelia swung her arm at his chest, and in a move perfected with years of practice, flipped the dagger out and almost stabbed DJ in the heart. But in a movement too fast for the eye to see, he grabbed the dagger and threw it across the room where it quivered, stuck in the wall above the door.
DJ snarled. "Az, I'm doing this to help you." He put one hand on her injured shoulder, pinning her down. He pulled her hair away from her neck and inhaled sharply. Azkedelia tried to fight against him, but he was too strong.
DJ leaned down and licked her neck with his rough tongue. "I will enjoy this very much." DJ's fangs slid out. Azkedelia closed her eyes as if keeping them closed would make the nightmare end. DJ's fangs had just grazed her skin when the door opened and Merlin walked in.
"DJ, I am going to kill you." Merlin's voice was cold enough to make the sun freeze.
DJ let go of Azkedelia and leapt off her bed. "Oh really? And how are you going to do that, warlock?" DJ's voice turned into a snarl.
Merlin closed the door. "You miserable blood sucking leech, you are going to die for what you have done."
DJ laughed, a bone-chilling sound like wind rattling through frozen branches in the dead of winter. "You will never be able to kill me. But instead, you will die, and then I'll have your little girlfriend all to myself."
DJ moved and was lying down next to Azkedelia again. He lifted her by her hair and smelled her neck, starting at her jaw and moving down to the top of her black and gold tank top. "She smells so good, Merlin. She's wasted with you. She'll make a wonderful snack." DJ licked her neck again with his rough tongue.
"Merlin," she gasped.
The next thing Azkedelia knew, the French doors were open and DJ was hanging on the railing of the balcony with one hand.
Merlin ran to Azkedelia and helped her off the bed. "Az, go in the bathroom. Now." His voice left no room for argument.
Azkedelia got up and tried to run, but fell. Cursing her weakened state, she crawled to the bathroom just as DJ vaulted over the railing and back in her room.
He looked at Merlin with hatred and bloodlust in his eyes. "Say goodbye, warlock."
DJ lunged and Merlin lifted his hand and threw DJ across the room. The door to Azkedelia's closet cracked and fell inwards. Azkedelia crawled in the bathroom and shut the door. She got to her knees and watched out the keyhole. DJ climbed from the remains of Azkedelia's closet door and slammed his right shoulder against the purple-red wall, popping the bone back into place and denting the wall.
DJ grinned. "I can't wait to end this with you so I can get to your precious girlfriend. Azkedelia would make wonderful entertainment. She would be an excellent way to make a dead heart beat again."
Merlin stood his ground. "DJ, the next time you even so much as look at Az will be over my dead body."
DJ laughed again, sounding like steel scraping steel. "That can be arranged, warlock."
Merlin shook his head. "No. The only death today will be yours, leech."
Azkedelia shook her head. "No," she whispered.
DJ lunged at Merlin. Merlin sidestepped at the last second and jumped in the air, grabbing the dagger from above the door.
DJ snarled and crouched like a panther. "Say goodbye, warlock."
DJ came at Merlin. Merlin lifted the dagger high and stabbed DJ in the chest. DJ momentarily distracted, Merlin grabbed his face and turned, ripping DJ's head off. DJ stopped thrashing and fell still. Merlin looked at the still body lying on the wood floor. He threw the head in the fireplace and watched it burn. After DJ's head was a pile of ash, Merlin dragged the rest of the body to the fire and threw it in. Azkedelia came up beside Merlin and put her hand on his arm. Merlin pulled her in front of him and wrapped his arms around her waist.
He lifted her hair from her neck and kissed the raw spots where DJ had run his rough tongue across Azkedelia's skin. "Az, I'm so sorry. I should've stayed with you."
Azkedelia shook her head and put her hands on Merlin's. "No, it's fine. I didn't get hurt."
Merlin laughed harshly. "But you almost did. You almost died, Az."