Chapter Sixteen: Lonely Nights
The journey back home passed too quickly. We expected Sergio's forces to follow us but they didn't. We sped up the pace, fearing they'd gone after the rebel base instead. It turned out they hadn't, which meant Sergio was planning something big.
Days and nights passed with no incoming attack. I trained new recruits, planned things with Matt. But it all felt like I was simply following a routine. When the day was finished I'd collapse in my bed and the tears would fall. For Zara, for my confused past and for Cain. I knew now that if our paths ever crossed again everything would be different. He wouldn't be kind and sweet, even if it had been an act. He'd be just as ruthless as any other vampire I'd met.
And still I would be unable to kill him. Sergio was a stroke of luck in some sense. Because if Cain had been the only choice, I would've never forgiven myself afterwards.
“Shit, Nicole. What's wrong with you?” I muttered to myself. I stared out my small window for the umpteenth time that night. I sighed and left the room, pulling on a jacket to protect against the cold night air. I climbed the built-in steps to the top of the gate. I walked the length of the wall a few times, trying to collect my thoughts. The wind was light tonight, softly sending sand into the air. I leaned against the wall, looking down at the colony. All the buildings were sandstone, carved roughly by hand. Some were crumbling and in need of repair. The main hall housed all the military areas. The weapons room, war rooms and the cells. Not that we'd ever had a prisoner of war.
I turned around, facing the endless dessert and sighed.
“Is it me or Lyra?” I mused aloud. Lyra cared for Cain, maybe it was just her missing him. The more time passed, the more the difference between us blurred. The more I wanted to ignore the norms separating me and Cain. But it was pointless now. Even if I could tell Cain how I felt, he would never return it. I was a human, a rebel and I'd tried to kill Sergio. I could tell him the truth I'd uncovered, but the likelihood he'd believe me was slim to none.
“I knew you'd be up here,” Matt murmured behind me, I glanced back at him before returning my attention to the vast expanse of sand.
“What do you want?” I asked stiffly. Despite knowing his reason I couldn't quite forgive him for letting Zara die. He sighed and leaned against the wall next to me.
“Wanted to know what's been bugging you,” He said with a shrug. I stared at him for a split second before turning away. It was too insane, too messed up. And Matt would be the least understanding of anyone. His hatred from them didn't come from general oppression. He'd been six when a group of vampire had broken into his home and killed his parents before his eyes. They would've killed him as well but the 'police' turned up. They arrange for him to live with another family who took good care of him. But it changed nothing.
When he was thirteen he saw the same vampires attack someone in the middle of the street. The knowledge that they'd been allowed to get away with the crime hardened his resolve. He ran away when he fifteen and joined the rebels. He had meant to stay and take care of his adoptive parents longer but the list for his generation had been released. I'd never personally experienced the list, having spent my life either in the castle or with the rebels.
When humans hit fourteen vampires would review things like they're school work and general fitness. They'd decide on this what sort of career they were better suited too. The ones that didn't excel in anything always became feeders. But Matt was physically fit and excelled in sports and academics. They knew he'd make a perfect solider and when he turned sixteen they would've turned him for their armies.