Back in the cabin I bolted the door behind me and padded into the other room. In the darkened cabin, shadows engulfed me and even though I knew the bogeyman hiding under the trapdoor, I didn’t fancy making the journey down the precarious ladder in the pitch blackness. On the kitchen side, was a small candle in a white pottery holder and a box of matches. I watched as the tiny flame danced into life and I left it burning on the side for a moment, whilst I lifted the hatch door once again and then made my way down the ladder, trying to hold on carefully with one hand whilst holding the candle in the other. Placing the candle on the floor, I went back up and pulled the hatch door shut grimacing slightly at the thought of enclosing myself in an underground room with a vampire. Although when I went back down, the vampire himself was nowhere to be seen.
I frowned as I stared at the thin mattress and blanket in the corner but saw that Michael was not there. Hearing a noise I whirled around and saw the curtain, trailing across the floor behind me leading behind the ladder to the opposite side of the room.
There, crouched low in the corner, with his arms outstretched as if he were clutching at the walls to stop himself from falling, was Michael. His back was pressed straight up against the corner and his eyes flashed wildly. His teeth were clenched and his breath came out in a painful panting sound. I took a step towards him and he shifted quickly as if trying to press himself into the wall even further.
“Don’t!” he spat “Don’t come near me!”
“What?” I said feeling confused “What’s wrong?”
“What’s wrong?” he hissed “What’s wrong? I have just risked daylight, not once, but twice and you ask me what’s wrong?”
“Michael, look I know you were scared out there but….”
“Don’t even think to tell me how I am feeling! Ever! Because you have no bloody idea!” he said louder this time and I recoiled from the venom in his tone.
“Okay, I’m sorry, alright?”
“You’re always bloody sorry aren’t you? I’m sorry for being a burden. I’m sorry for constantly running away and getting into trouble. I’m sorry for running my mouth off and having an opinion of something I know nothing about!” he said it all in a whining voice and I felt my anger ignite.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” I snapped “I helped you get out of there and now you’re having a go at me?”
“I didn’t need your help! I told you that!” he shouted and stood up.
I couldn’t help but feel that there was something in his stance that made me think he was going to pounce at me. He looked all wound up tight, like a spring waiting to uncoil and fly across the room.
“I told you I would stay there. I told you I would meet you here, but no, you had to do everything your own way as usual! God forbid that you ever do anything that I ask! I asked you not to come looking for me. In fact I distinctly remember forbidding you to come there and what did you do? I should have known! And look what happened, you almost got yourself killed. Again! What is it with you, huh? Do you have some kind of morbid death wish? Do you get a kick out of it? Do you enjoy the pain, Sarah? Is that it?”
“That’s a stupid thing to say! You think I enjoyed this?” I scoffed, furious at his words and pointing the wound on my neck that still throbbed painfully “you think I wanted this to happen?”
“Well what the hell did you expect would happen? You walk freely into a vampire den, where every vampire in that place was desperate to take you and you expected to walk out unharmed? Why the hell did you think I told you not to go near there?” he was shouting now, his face patterned with hot rage.
“Oh you’re just great at telling me what to do, aren’t you Michael? It’s all I ever hear! Don’t do this, don’t do that. I’m tired of it! You spend half your time ordering me about and half your time lying through your teeth. Why should I listen to anything you say?”
“If I lie, it’s only to protect you,” he said through gritted teeth.
“Bullshit!” I cried “you lie to protect yourself! You lie because you don’t want me to know the truth about you.”
“Which is what exactly?”
“That you don’t do anything unless it benefits you. This whole thing has been orchestrated to suit you! The way you have watched over me all these years; looking out for me because my father asked you to. You did it for you, Michael! You didn’t do it because you cared for me; you did it because you thought my father would tell you what you wanted to know.”
“What do you want me to say?” he sniped back sarcastically “you want me to say that I did it out of love? You have read too many bloody novels! You’re a human!”
“Well sorry I disgust you so much! But thanks to you my father is gone now, so there’s no one here to order you to stay with me!”
“What did you say?” he said, his face going dark and taking a step forward.
“Well seeing as I am just a vile human, you won’t want to hang around me anymore will you?”
“No, that’s not what I meant. Thanks to you my father is gone. Thanks to me? Explain to me about the part where you think that was my fault?”
I glared at him now, feeling the fury burning through my veins and unable to keep a lock on my mouth. “Well you did it, didn’t you? You were the one that ended it,” I shot at him accusatorily.
His mouth dropped open in shock and then his cheek muscles twitched.
“I didn’t kill him,” his voice was low and he clenched his fists together tightly.
“Didn’t you? Funny because I could have sworn it was you I saw taking that final bite. How did that feel? Bet you were glad to get rid of the old bastard, weren’t you? Bet you thought all your Christmases had come at once!” I smiled at him cruelly.
“You think I enjoyed that?” he stared at me incredulously.
“Oh come on, Michael! The man who has pulled your strings all these years? Ordered you to do his bidding time and time again? You can’t tell me you didn’t enjoy finishing him off! Just a little bit even?”
“Shut up,” he snarled.
“See? The truth hurts doesn’t it? I know you, Michael. I know you better than you think I do and I know there was some part of you that wanted him gone.”
“You need to shut up now,” he growled.
“Why? What are you going to do, huh? Are you going to open my vein like she did? Finish what she started? Go on, you can take down a whole family in one night. That’s got to be a real win for you, right? A den leader and his sensor daughter! Go on why don’t you add another sensor to your list, Michael?”
“What are you talking about?”
“One you told me!” I spat “one sensor! And yet apparently it’s three. See, yet another lie that seemed to fall so easily from your lips. You really have a talent for it.”
“And you really have a talent for going for the jugular better than any vampire I know,” he snapped, shaking his head.
“Maybe I learned it from you?”
“Maybe you just inherited it from that bitch of a mother of yours?”
Now it was his turn to smile cruelly only he seemed to do it so much better than I could. I felt like he had reached across and punched me square in the gut.
“Take that back,” I said staring directly into his eyes.
“Why? She was a bitch. Even you can’t deny that. You hated her. I reckon you must have thought Bourne did you a really big favour that night.”
“I did not!” I gasped.
“But you did hate her, didn’t you?” he smirked, stepping forward “come on, Sarah, admit it! She thought you were a freak, of course you hated her!”
“Stop it,” I whispered.
“Just think: no more awkward silences. No more hate-filled looks. No more having to avoid her. No more having to be scared of her. I bet you breathed a sigh of relief when she was ripped from this world?”
“Stop it!” I shouted “stop it!”
“You were right,”he laughed, turning away “the truth really does hurt.”
For a few seconds I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I stood there, staring at his back, clenching and unclenching my fists, trying to suppress the most awful scream that was building inside my throat. With a cry of rage, I flew at him, ready to hammer down blow after blow on his smug face but with a quicker-than-the-eye move, he spun and caught my wrists before I could hit him and he charged forward, pushing me backwards until my back hit the wall and he pinned me against it, with his face dark and full of rage. I tried to kick out with my legs but he held my lower body still with his own and bared his teeth at me.
“You want to fight me, Sarah?” he said in a low, dangerous voice “you really want to fight me?”
“I’m not scared of you, vampire!” I spat, raising my chin in defiance.
“You should be, sensor,” he warned “maybe I should never have let things get this far. I always knew having a human in my life was…wrong…twisted even. And yet, for some reason I condoned it. I condoned it because I thought that maybe you were the key. But I think I was wrong about that. I’m starting to wonder if all this is really worth the hassle. I’m starting to think I’d rather go an eternity without knowing, than spend another night with you.”
“That would be completely fine with me!”
We glared at each other; the vampire and the sensor; both covered in the proof of our recent ordeals. The blood from the wound above his eye was still smeared across his cheekbone and he bore the marks of beatings he had taken at the hands of my father’s people. His hair fell across his right eye and covered a blackened eye socket. I still wore the faded bruises from my time in the Exodus cells, and I could still feel the bite marks on my thighs where Alex had attacked me. However all of these marks seemed to pale in comparison to the burning where Dominique had sunk her teeth into my neck. As I stood there now, feeling such overwhelming rage, my neck throbbed in agony and I thought that if Michael let me go, I would probably sink to my knees in pain. But, held against the wall and struggling to move, it actually felt like the pain was feeding my anger. The more it burned, the more I burned. The more I burned, the more I wanted to hurt him. And he definitely looked like he wanted to hurt me. His face was flushed with rage and his eyes blazed wildly as he ran them over my face.
Suddenly and unexpectedly, he released my wrists and stepped back, holding his head in his hands. I could feel my breath leave me in short sharp gasps and I rubbed the skin on my wrists where he had held me so tightly. Letting out a strangled cry, he jumped forward, grabbing me again and pinning me in the same position and when he lowered his head towards mine, I closed my eyes fearing the worst and hoping to God that it wouldn’t hurt but knowing that it most definitely would.
Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2012