Chase parked the truck by the side of the highway before hopping out, slinging the blanket-wrapped bodies in the back over his shoulders. Eva looked like she was about to join him, but he only shook his head and grabbed the kerosene can as well.
“You stay inside. I’ll do this one alone.”
She looked like she was about to protest but, seeing his expression, remained silent. Chase walked into the wooded area, finding a clearing before dumping the vampires onto the forest floor. The two seemed to be coming out of their induced paralysis, squirming and, pushing out of the blankets, breathing hard.
Kerosene was instantly running down the both of them, causing the one called Maria to splutter and cough. Chase pulled out his lighter and, clicking it open, stopped. Dina was watching him quietly, the black dress stuck to her skin with the liquid. She met his gaze and, suddenly, it was Casey watching him from behind the solitary flame. Her lips moved in silence, and, with surprise, Chase realized that she was saying a prayer. Casey said prayers. Exactly. Like. That.
Chase threw the lighter. Before his own mind could register what he was doing, he had pulled Dina off the floor and was running from her burning companion, the screams lost to his numb self. He cradled her to his chest, hiding her trembling body from the world, and ran on. All he could feel was her weak heartbeat and shallow breaths, and the wound in her abdomen much too warm while the rest of her was frigid.
He paused in his flight and looked at her, feeling a familiar pain wash over him at the sight of her closed eyes and unmoving body.
“Casey,” he whispered, half to himself, “Casey! Come back to me! Don’t-don’t leave me, again...”
His voice cracked and, too tired to move on, fell to his knees, still clutching her desperately, face burrowing into her hair. He murmured her name again and again, willing her back, slowly being taken by the hot tears stinging at his eyes, sobbing softly into her limp body.
His angel had been ripped away from him again, just as she returned.
A rustling made him slowly look up, his grey eyes heavy with grief and trails of tears evident on his empty face. It was Eva. She looked from him to Casey and back, the gun slipping from her fingers. A moment more and she threw something at his feet, before taking the weapon from the ground and retracing her steps. The keys to the pickup.
Chase took them, swallowing hard, and gazed at the perfection lying on his arm. She seemed oddly peaceful, even with her hair soaked to the scalp and her pale lips tinted blue. He held her up and painstakingly pulled out the bullet still inside her spine, tossing it aside. An odd choking sound rang out and, looking down in shock, Chase could see Dina start to cough, blood trailing from her mouth. She took a strangled breath and her eyes shot open, filled with pain.
“The mansion,” she gasped, “...have to get to...the mansion.”
Chase stood instantly, the fatigue expelled from his body. Dina looked up at him with a hint of recognition and, with a sudden burst of strength, pulled herself up to lock their lips together before falling back, wheezing.
“I love you.” She choked, before losing consciousness once more.
Chase was in the truck driving madly a minute later, Dina placed into the back with a newfound delicacy. It would take a few hours, but they would reach the mansion. No matter what it took.