I managed to lose him but now I would be stuck in the desert during the day with little to no cover. This was going to cause me a lot of pain and discomfort. The sun was strong in the Nevada desert, too strong for me to fly in my vulture form without serious damage. Hell maybe it was even strong enough to kill me. Probably not but then again one can hope.
I sighed and took another deep breath and looked around for options. I could see nothing for miles but desert in all directions. I could run and possibly find shelter but, I’d gotten turned around last night and I wasn’t even sure which way would bring me closest to civilization.
The sun rose high into sky and I could feel the light burning into my sensitive flesh. I winced and decided I’d to run because the only thing standing here was going to accomplish was make me sick. I closed my eyes, spun in a circle like a child playing pin the tail on the donkey then I opened my eyes and ran for all I was worth.
The muscles in my legs pumped up and down forcing my feet to move faster and faster. I felt the wind and tiny fragments of sand slamming into my skin. I knew the sand were like tiny pieces of glass tearing small cuts into my uncovered flesh while I ran. The jolts of pain kept me feeling alive and I ran like the devil himself was on my heels. I started to see the landscape changing ever so slightly and I knew I’d chosen an excellent direction. I spotted several dunes and knew that I was close to the Black Rock Hot springs.
I’d been to the springs before and knew that there was an abundance of caves that would provide me with shelter. With any luck the springs would have limited visitors so I could feed on one of them without interruption and then I could also enjoy a hot bath to soothe my achy, blistered and burning skin. The bath and the feeding would help the healing process.
Somehow I knew my eternal heart wasn’t going to give up finding me that easily. I may have lost him in the desert but had no doubt that now that he knew I was alive he would be actively seeking me out. I would need to get out of the United States and find a new place where he wouldn't come looking for me.
I was also going to have to call Gaho and ask for her help. She had a strong emotional attachment to Ulric and would want to save him the pain of knowing me. He has no idea the lengths that his family has gone through so that his heart and life essence didn’t suffer without me. They used magic, blood and at times pure will power to save my eternal heart from pain and suffering.
When he was an infant I tore him from his sick mother’s womb and ran away with him. He’d been premature and ill so I fed him my blood starting the process of commingling our life essence together. My heart became immediately attached. My life essence recognized our eternal heart and has been crying and suffering without him ever since. Every day that I deny my heart my life force fractures and decays just a tiny bit more.
Someday I will be completely insane and will need to be put down like a rabid animal. Truth be told Waylon and Pau should never have helped me to recover from the attack. They said they did it out of love but somehow I know it was a punishment. I would take my own life but I find I am incapable. It seems I have a tremendous self-preservation instinct. No matter the circumstance if my life is threatened my instincts take over. It has been that way for as long as I can remember.
When I was strong enough to finally live on my own again Gaho came to speak with me. She explained how I needed to stay away from Ulric and his family. He told me how Kealoha and Emilio had still not forgiven me for the kidnapping. He told me how it was better if he believed I’d died and how Waylon would take care of his heart so that he wouldn’t suffer.
Then he told me how even the skinwalkers thought I was dead and that I would be safe if I stayed in the shadows. In those early days I was scared and myself preservation skills agreed with Gaho. So I stayed in the dark and hid behind dark glasses and scarves.
Then as my body regained full strength I found my mind becoming sicker. I hated hiding and pretending to be someone I was not. I wanted to take back my life and my eternal heart. I did my homework and found him. He was in a high school on the reservation. Despite being a nagual he was popular and had lots of friends. I watched him from a distance for months.
I used my powers of persuasion to get into other students heads and ask questions and start rumours just to get an understanding of what he knew about me. I threw my name around to see if he was strong enough to accept who I was and what I’d done. I knew people would point out to him that he was kind of similar to a chupacabra and that we could have more in common than he thought. His reaction caused my heart to break even more.
My eternal heart very clearly considered himself a skinwalker and had said even though he was mutated, he hated chupacabras and would kill any chupacabra or camazotz that came anywhere near his people. He was hell bent of being with his skin walking female fox and said that he was relieved that his eternal heart chupacabra died while he was still an infant.
Then I was approached by Gaho again who somehow knew that I’d been poking around. She said that she’d had a change of heart and that perhaps we should tell Ulric that I was alive. She didn’t know what I’d just learned so I claimed that I wasn’t sure but that if he was convinced that I would want to clear the air with Kealoha and Emilio first.
I was invited to their home a few weeks later while Ulric was out of town with his high school sports team. The conversation did not go well. Emilio and Kealoha were still very angry and bitter for my past behaviour. Neither one of them wanted to even consider forgiving me. My instincts were to ignore their feelings and take what I wanted anyway. Then Kealoha said something that changed everything for me. She shouted and ranted and didn’t stop until she drove it all home for me.
“Tain you are the most selfish person in the world. When he was still in my womb your selfishness tore him out of my body with no thought to his well being. He was chased by skinwalkers, starved and nearly died because his heart and lungs weren’t properly developed.
Then you left him alone in the dirt because your enemies finally caught up to you. They tore your body to shreds while my tiny infant son… your eternal heart was only a few miles away. What do you think they would have done to him if they knew he was your eternal heart?
Your actions nearly got him killed more times while he was in your care then everything that has happened to him since. Now if he finds out you are alive, his life will be in danger every single day. Why? Because you killed more skinwalkers in your lifetime than anything else in the world combined.
That includes sickness, car accidents and even wars. For destiny’s sakes Tain you are a camazotz and Ulric is first and foremost a skinwalker. If you love him even a tiny bit and are capable of one singular act of selflessness then please set him free. Give him a chance at life. Don’t steal his only chance at happiness by tying his heart to yours.”
I left that night understanding that she was one hundred percent right. I knew my life essence already loved my eternal heart and that meant I needed to make sure that he never knew that I was alive. I’d been doing so well before last night. Why in the hell was he in Vegas? I’d just spoken to Gaho the day before to make sure that he was still in California finishing his residency. She assured me that he was set to graduate yesterday then was driving home to Arizona with his skinwalker girlfriend.
He should have gone in the opposite direction. I would never have agreed to meet Pau in Vegas if had known there was any chance that Ulric might be there. Why would his own family risk him finding out about me? I wasn’t even sure now that he’s seen me if Waylon’s magic could still keep his heart satisfied. It was just fucking amazing! The moment Pau got involved, everything went to hell in a hand basket. It’s been the story of my life if something can go wrong it always does.