Chapter Twelve: Test of Strength
When I woke up I was alone, the only sign that Cain had been here was the smell of food. He brought me breakfast, I refused to feel guilty for last night while I ate it. I poked around his room a bit more and found his bathroom. I showered quickly and got dressed in less rebel-looking clothes. If I was going to face Sergio I didn't want to shout what I was. Cain hadn't told me what I could or couldn't do so I returned to the library. Now that I knew who my family were I wanted to know more. I looked at the torn family tree, somehow it seemed more sinister to me now.
I looked through anything I thought might be related to them but nothing. I knew if someone saw me I'd be in trouble. Looking through the private records about Sergio's family wasn't wise, but I figured I'd find something. What I found made me grip the book hard enough to leave indents on the page. I looked around to make sure no one was around, then I ripped out the page, stuffing it in my pocket. I put the book where I found it and left. Though what I'd do with the information I didn't know. One thing was sure, it would change everything if found out. I found Zara in the kitchen, where she quickly made me stay.
“Try it,” she said, handing me a cookie from a batch she just made. I glanced at Jan who nodded. I took one bite and was surprised by how good it was.
“Wow, wonder who taught you?” I asked, glancing at Jan who shrugged. Zara giggled, looking embarrassed.
“Jan said that I might be able to become his apprentice, then I won't get my role pre-assigned,” Zara said with a big grin. I smiled back, glad she had a plan to avoid a potentially bad future. Though if my plan worked out, she should never have to worry about her future ever again. She ran off to get the ingrediants to mix up another batch, leaving me and Jan sitting opposite each other at the table.
“I don't know what your planning. But either know you'll succeed or don't try,” Jan said, taking me by surprise.
“What's makes you so sure I have a plan?” I asked with narrowed eyes, making him laugh.
“You have powerful eyes Nicole. The sort that intend to fight,” Jan replied with a small smile. He glanced at Zara and I understood why he brought it up.
“She won't get hurt,” I said.
“Can you promise that?” Jan said, his eyes skeptical.
“Yes. Besides, there's no reason why she should be nearby,” I continued, making Jan shake his head. I crossed my arms, waiting for his explanation.
“If someone know that you are close to her, she will become a target,” Jan said. I knew he was right, vampires liked their emotional blackmail.
“I won't fail,” I reiterated. I waved a goodbye to Zara and left, Jan words ringing in my head. I went back to Cain's room and eyed my old clothes. I wanted to wear them just to spite Sergio, after what I uncovered I could ruin him. The door opened and Cain stuck his head in, he must've seen a look in my eyes.
“Don't do anything dumb,” he sighed, already knowing I would. I crossed my arms and met his gaze evenly.
“How do you know it's dumb until I do it?” I replied. I gave my old clothes one last look then dropped my arms, following Cain. I wondered what Sergio looked like now. In my last memory he had dark brown hair and near-black eyes. He would tower over my younger form, rarely paying me any attention. I walked into the throne room and shuddered when I looked to my right. The wall where the family tree once hung complete still had scratch marks.
Various men and women lined the walls either side of me and Cain, all vampires. Being surrounded by so many made my skin itch and my fingers twitch to grab my pistol. Up a few short steps stood a throne, it was simplistic in its features. But then Sergio himself had more than enough presence.
His hair had gained a few greys and his eyes seemed more drawn, but I wouldn't let that deceive me. He was still powerful. He looked bored, one elbow propped on the side of the throne, his chin rested on his hand. But I could still make out the dark glint of his eyes. The way his mouth tried to pull into a grin when he studied me. I doubted he ever intended on giving me any real chance. I was at the mercy of someone who could be the devil himself.