As I walked up the stairs, to the main floor of the house, I heard a muffled grunt and a strangled scream of fright. I immediately knew it was Frankie and he was in trouble. I wasn't sure who was in the house, but I was sure it wasn't Gina or Max. I also knew whoever it was had no right to be there. I picked up my pace and ran in the direction of the den; that was where I thought the sounds had come from.
As I burst through the door I realized I had been right about two things: One was that Frankie was in there. The other was that the intruder was definitely not supposed to be in the house. The man who stood in the corner was tall and lean; he looked crazed and pale with dark, bloodshot eyes, dirty, auburn hair, and pale skin.
It hit me like a rock to the head- this guy was not only not supposed to be in this house, but he wasn't supposed to be alive. I guess you might be able to say he wasn't technically alive, but he was supposed to be dead, not like this. Tears came to my eyes, as I looked into the undead ones that were Adam's.
"Adam..." I said, quietly, trying to force some recognition into his expression. When none came, I stepped forward, between Adam and Frankie. This was no longer my brother and I knew he would do anything to get the sustenance he craved. The tears flowed down my cheeks more freely now, but that was the only sign of weakness I showed, the rest only showed determination and an animal drive to protect the child who was, for the time being, my charge.
Adam stepped forward and snarled; it was a kind of feral snarl, like that of a wild cat. On the surface, he looked just like Adam, except more gaunt and dirty. Looking into his eyes, however, it was hard to believe that this creature ever could have been my brother. I was completely unsure of what I was going to do, but I couldn't let him get to Frankie, I knew that much.
Trying to think quickly, I snatched a pair of scissors off the computer stand and held them in front of myself. I realized a pair of scissors, probably dull from use, would most likely not be as effective as, say, the fabled wooden stake; it would, however, serve as a better weapon than anything else I had.
"Adam, you don't belong here. Get out."
He lunged forward, a feigned attempt to attack. I flinched backwards and let out an involuntary shriek. As he went back to the corner, I regained my balance, thinking of a way, any way, I might be able to get out of this alive, with all three kids intact.
"Amelia, what's going on?" Frankie's voice was shaky behind me, I turned slightly to see him.
"It's going to be alright, don't move unless I say so."
In the split second I had taken my eyes off him, Adam lunged again, but this time it wasn't feigned. I jabbed at him with my scissors, managing to pierce the skin of his stomach. I cringed as he howled in pain. I had never before hurt Adam in any way and here I was now, trying to fend him off with a household utensil.
Out of nowhere, I was thrown to the floor; Adam hadn't moved a muscle, since I had stabbed him, he just stood there, looking highly enraged. The one who had pushed me now had his back to me, staring at Adam, wielding a sharp, metal object. Through my haze of shock, I realized it was Max. He was back from battle and had somehow known I needed his help.
I quickly crawled to Frankie's side, as he cowered on the small sofa. He looked fearfully into my eyes and, for once, didn't have an ounce of rebellion in his expression, "Amelia, what about Keith and Heather?!" He said quietly, "We left them downstairs, by themselves!"
I shook my head and whispered, "No, Frankie. Your mom is down there with them. Otherwise, she would be up here, helping Max."
I wasn't sure whether he had accepted my answer as truth, or if he didn't argue simply because it was easier to pretend he thought I was right. Either way, Frankie buried his face into my shoulder and began to tremble. I wished there was something I could do to comfort him.
I looked up to see Max wielding a sharp, silver object. I only had to wonder for a minute just what the thing was; suddenly, it clicked to me that he was holding a stake- it was surreal to me. The only time I had seen a stake, was in movies, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and things like that. The next thought to come to my mind was that he was about to drive that thing into my brother's heart! Whether he was the same as he used to be or not, he was still Adam. I couldn't just let him be killed.
I gently disengaged Frankie from my shoulder and jumped up, rushing towards Max. I knocked him aside, just enough to distract his focus for a second. Adam took one last bloodthirsty look around the room kicked through the window, giving himself a way to exit the house. As soon as Max realized what I had done, he gave me a look that may have been scarier than any Adam had shown tonight.
"What have you done?!" he yelled, coming toward me, the stake still in his hand.
I stepped back, not feeling comfortable with an enraged man walking toward me with a weapon like that, "I-I'm sorry-"
"Amelia, don't you understand what that might mean for us?! He knows where our sanctuary is. He knows how to get in!"
I sank to the floor, feeling the impact of this information, "I didn't think-"
"That is quite obvious!"
"You can't blame all of this on me! I was blindsided by the whole thing! I didn't know until basically right before you guys left what was going on at all!"
Max sat down and sighed. He braced his elbows with his knees and put his face in his hands.
I suddenly felt the weight of the world on my heart. I knew I had screwed up, but I didn't realize how much this was costing him. This was his home, his family and I had just jeopardized it, by putting my personal feelings first.