Alex opened the door and moved forward, clutching the railing and looking down. It seemed as the devil himself stared up at him, but instead of red eyes, they were blue and almost glowing in the dim lights overhead.
Ian stood from his crouched position and his mouth slid into a sneer. He moved the hair away from his forehead and put his hands up. “I’m glad you’re here. Would you like to see a magic trick?”
He didn’t look away from Alex’s face as a sick snapping sounded echoed through the room and something fell, shaking the foundation of the stairwell. Then someone screamed, high-pitched and shrill.
Emma’s body dropped, her neck twisted to the side, broken.
Ari had stumbled back into the door, her hand over her mouth, eyes shut tightly. She turned around, trying to get out, when she felt something tug her from behind. It lifted her into the air, spun her, and slammed her back into the door, face first.
“Stop it, you bastard!” Tessa shouted, her hands trembling as she glared at Ian. “Why the fuck did you do that?”
He frowned at her and tilted his head, his blue eyes swallowed entirely by black. He looked at her eerily. When he grinned, she saw something that made her stomach churn. His teeth had gotten longer, sharper.
“What the fuck is that?” Cole was torn between looking at Ari’s unconscious form, Emma’s corpse, and the boy standing below them with the fangs. “He’s not a vampire demon, is he?”
At the question, a hyena like laugh split the air and Ian set his eyes on Cole.
“So naive,” he murmured. “Don’t you see that I am strong on my own, that I don’t have to be a bloodsucker to achieve power? Look at everything I’ve done since I’ve exposed myself. I have so much strength and I could easily kill every single person in this place if I wanted. But I won’t. Why? Because I know that’s not what she would want.”
Ian turned away from them and bent down to scoop up Ava. He held her tightly in his arms before he heard Alex’s voice.
“How did you come to be?”
A small smile flitted across his toothy mouth as he faced them. “Oh, surely you could have figured that one out. No? Really? Well, I guess I’ll just have to tell you then.”
Silence filled the space between them for a few moments; the only sound was the oil burner growling softly.
“The little girl you all love so much, she’s the reason exist. She created me with all of her hate, anger, and fear. I am her and she is me, and that is why you, my dear Alex, cannot kill me.”