“Do you have your walkie-talkie still?” he asked, his voice brusque and sharp. He stopped suddenly and hid behind a tree. His eyes could see in the dark far better than mine and to be honest, I think I preferred it that way right now. I reached into my jean pocket and was amazed it wasn't broken. Arik took it and whispered furiously down the mouthpiece.
“Whoever's there, get your ass to the ship and do it in groups.” He turned it off before anyone could reply and started running again. Then cursed to himself. I didn't understand why until I heard the footsteps myself. Another drac out there was chasing us and from the sounds of it they were closing in from more than one direction.
“Arik,” I whispered. He knew what I was going to say and violently shook his head.
“There's more than enough human blood on the wind. You're not a give away,” He murmured. Then he abruptly stopped and the footsteps around us stopped. I wondered what was going on and followed Arik's resolute line of vision. But I couldn't see far enough ahead. I had the impression of someone's outline, but that was it.
“You need to leave,” He murmured darkly. He was meeting that person's gaze, with what must've been the fiercest expressions I'd ever seen contort his face.
“Why would I do that, this place is rather fun. Though if you come along quietly, I might leave that pitiful human girl of yours alone. Though why your protecting one honestly escapes me. People of our bloodline shouldn't filthy our hands with such vermin,” A deep voice replied, The menace in it made my nerves crawl. I felt Arik pull me closer to him as his eyes flicked to our surroundings.
“Surrounded on all sides, You don't have much choice in the matter Arik,” He continued with a brutal chuckle. He had stepped forward now, but with the shadows still covering most of him, making his tall and muscled form look nightmarish.
“I'm not a kid anymore Argon, it won't be that easy to scare me. Or catch me,” Arik started run and I felt the force of the wind. He'd paused to conserve his energy so he could sprint the rest of the way to the ship. I prayed the others had made it as the wind whipped past, destroying any order I'd had to my hair, not that now was a good time to care. My skin went numb from all the cold air rushing past and I leaned into Arik more who seemed to be burning up from the run.
“Who's Argon?” I asked, hoping to take my mind off of what nearly happened to me. Arik let out a surprised laugh as he kept moving, his speed never faltering.
“That's...what your...going to ask...me right now? Where's...my damn...thanks,” He said in-between breaths. He wasn't bothering to whisper now. I could feel his chest heaving, even a drac couldn't keep up this kind of pace forever.
“Thanks,” I said lamely and he let out another sharp laugh before gulping air. Now he was slowing down, just a little. But a little made a big difference when drac were involved.
“Almost there,” he muttered to himself and forced himself to speed up again. I could see the deep lines on his forehead and the grimace plastered on his face. Our surrounding changed so fast, I barely figured out what had happened until my mind caught onto the sound of metal slamming shut. I blinked a few times so my eyes could adjust to the sudden light and shivered as warmth forced my nerves to tingle painfully with feeling again. I heard something slam against the deck doors behind us and grabbed hold of Arik tighter.
“Gloria, take off sooner rather than later!” I heard Ian shout from somewhere behind me. The engines started with a rattle and I felt the familiar vertigo hit me as the ship lifted. Arik put me down, but didn't let go. I was grateful since my stomach was sending alarming spasms and I needed the support to stand. I felt Arik drag me along and up the creaky metal stairs into the main corridor. He opened one of the rooms and picked me up. I didn't had any strength left to complain as he plopped me onto the bed and pulled the covers over me.
“Sleep and recover,” He whispered, then he left, closing the door gently behind him. I felt my eyelids grow heavy and wondered why he never answered my question. Then I gave in to the call of restless sleep.