Curse Of The Moon
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by Susan M. Sailors
Category: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica
Description: Gerard was destined by blood to become a vampire, but chose to become a werewolf in an effort to escape the sadistic vampire clans. When Morgaine, the queen of the vampires, tricked him into drinking her blood, he was burdened with the powers of both races. He thought he was rid of Morgaine after their final battle but now, after a year of peace, she's invaded his life again. Her actions draw the attention of a vampire hunter named Chris, whom she soon entangles in her schemes. She tries to separate Gerard and Chris and changes the rules of the game every time she makes a move. Both men find it increasingly difficult to work together and protect those they love as Morgaine draws out her seductive games in an effort to possess both of them.
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2009
eBookwise Release Date: January 2010
5 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [169 KB]
Reading time: 109-153 min.
Gerard tried to open his eyes, but he couldn't. He felt cold hands on his face. Someone was whispering to him, but he couldn't make the words out. He reached out but felt nothing, not even the bed beneath him. His body floated in the air. He felt cold, and the atmosphere around him felt damp and smelled musty. He knew he was still sleeping. He'd had dreams like this as a child, dreams in which he couldn't move or cry out, couldn't open his eyes or focus on anything around him.
The hands moved down his chest. Razor-sharp nails dug into his skin, and he felt trickles of blood. Hot lips kissed his neck, and then fangs sunk in. He felt no pain, but he still couldn't free himself. The whispers had grown louder, but he couldn't make any of the voices out. Three or four female voices joined with one male voice, but none of the words were distinct. He turned his head and was suddenly able to open his eyes. He saw himself in a mirror and met his own gaze, but he couldn't see a reflection of the person who was touching him. All he felt was the weight of someone holding him down.
He woke with a start and found himself looking into his wife Aria's blue eyes instead of his own. She looked concerned as she pushed his dark hair away from his face.
"Was I saying something? I must have dozed off. I was having the strangest dream." He didn't want to worry his wife, who often became apprehensive if he seemed troubled in any way.
She shook her head, her dark ponytail falling off her shoulder. "You were just sleeping. There's someone here who wants to see you. She seems very scared and won't tell us what's going on. She wants you there before she'll explain."
Gerard rubbed his eyes and blinked a few times. "Okay. Is she hurt? What's her name?"
"Her name is Sarena. She's not hurt, but she doesn't look good. Her clothes are torn and dirty, and she's very nervous. I think she's been hiding from someone."
Aria shrugged. "Maybe. She's not of the blood, but she must be psychic. Bella and I can't read her. I know my powers aren't very strong, but I can tell she's defending herself very well."
He frowned. "You probably shouldn't have let her in the house." He walked out into the hall quickly.
Aria followed and caught up. "Quentin and Jason are with her. And you're here. She's safe and so are we."
"But if you can't read her, how do you know that?" He sighed. His ego liked how much faith everyone had in him, but his conscience didn't like it at all. He and Aria were different from the rest of their adopted family. They lived among werewolves, but they had been born to vampire families. They were 'of the blood' and thus destined by birth to take the dark kiss and become vampires. Yet both had chosen to become werewolves, Gerard to escape his family and Aria to be with him. The combination of their blood and the bite of the werewolf had made both of them something very different. They had the powers of both races, and all werewolves looked to them as if this naturally made them leaders. Gerard had accepted this role with reluctance. He'd chosen to leave the vampire world because their cruelty and lust for power disgusted him. The vampires had hunted and slaughtered werewolves over the years, making their numbers very small. In the werewolf clans, Gerard had found the goodness and love of family the large vampire dynasties mocked and saw as weaknesses. The werewolves expected him to be a great leader and fulfill a prophecy from long ago. He was still only half-convinced they had the right man. They had had peace for nearly a year, and he didn't want this stranger bringing trouble. Aria had nearly been taken from him once before, and he wasn't going to let her be in that kind of danger ever again.
She reached forward to touch his hand as they walked. "I'm sorry."
He shook his head. "Don't apologize. I'm just being cautious. Where's Simon?" Simon was the leader of the clan that had turned Gerard and taken him in as one of their own.
"He's not back yet. You're the one she wants to talk to. Her fear is very real and very palpable."
He wished the werewolf elder were present. He was better at diplomacy than Gerard was. He walked into the large dining room and saw a petite blonde sitting at the table with Simon's son Jason and son-in-law Quentin on either side of her. The two men stood when Gerard came in and the girl looked up.
A wave of fear mixed with joy washed over him as she looked at him. Those were the only emotions he could read from her. He tried to touch her mind, but she still had her defenses up. He sat down beside her and folded his hands on the table.
"I'm Gerard. What is it you want to see me about?" He tried to push into her mind gently, but he met with nothing but resistance.
She reached out and gripped his hands tightly. "I have to warn you."
"About what?" She seemed incredibly strong to be just an ordinary girl, and he didn't like the fact that she could keep someone as powerful as him out of her mind.
"The dark queen."
He pulled his hands away. The girl had to mean Morgaine, the insane queen of the vampires, a queen who didn't rule and only acknowledged her children when it suited her needs. It had been nearly a year since her son Roland, who had promised he would keep her from hurting anyone for a long time, had imprisoned her. They hadn't heard anything from Roland for about a month. Had something happened?
Gerard held up his hand before she could go on. "I have one problem though."
The girl looked confused. "What is it? I have to tell you before it's too late!"
Based on the fear he felt from her, he understood her urgency, but he'd made the mistake of trusting too quickly before. "I can't read your mind, and that's unusual for me. You're very strong, but you aren't like any of us. You must know who we are, but you aren't a vampire or a werewolf. You aren't of the blood. It's going to be hard to trust you when we have no proof of your intentions or the truth of anything you say."
She wrapped her arms around herself, trembling. "She's inside me, sometimes. She puts the walls up. I'm psychic, but only a little bit. I had no one to teach me. She came to me in a dream. I trusted her. She said she loved me and promised me lots of things. I was an orphan and lived in foster care growing up. She promised I would have a large family to care for me and love me." The girl began crying. "She said she loved me."
Aria came to the table. "And you don't believe her anymore? Has she broken her promises?"
Gerard was grateful for her intervention. Even if he didn't trust Sarena, he didn't feel up to pressing a crying woman for answers.
She nodded. "Yes. She uses me. She possesses me. She's weak, but she keeps getting stronger. She gets inside my head and tells me what to do. She even said a few words through me once. I couldn't fight her."
"I find this hard to believe," Gerard said. "Her son has her under a spell. I doubt she can possess you. I think he would know if she had ever established any kind of link with you."
"I don't know enough about your world to explain. I don't know how to get you to understand. I only know what she tells me. When she's inside me, I can't read her mind or anything. I just know she's there. I only hear what she says to me, not what she thinks. Her emotions are confused most of the time. She's hopeful, but she's getting impatient. She has a plan, and she's going to act soon."
"If I can't read you now, she must be inside you. That makes sense according to what you said."
She shook her head. "The mental blocks are always up."
Gerard sat back. "I don't see how we can help you. We have to protect ourselves as well. She'd kill any of us if we got in her way, and that may in fact be her plan. She could have made you afraid, then sent you here, knowing we wouldn't turn a human away."
"I understand, but you're the only one who can help me. I can't go to the vampires. I'm human. They would kill me."
Quentin spoke up. "She's right. No one else could help her. There's no way of knowing if we can, but we are her only option."
"Maybe so. What did you come to tell us?" Gerard asked.
"She plans to break free and completely take me over, leaving her old body behind. She tells me it's going to be an honor. Once she told me I'd be part of her, but when that scared me she said she'd give me a new body. But that could only mean she'd kill someone else, right? I didn't want that either. She just told me not to worry, that she'd take care of me. She can't break free of whatever holds her though. Not now anyway. But she might, and I don't know when that will be. I don't know what she's planning and I don't care. I just want to live and go back to my life. Even if you can't help me, will you protect me and help me find someone who can?"
Gerard hesitated. Morgaine's best trick was making people feel sorry for her. He couldn't judge this girl's words until he spoke to Roland. "You can stay, but you can never be alone. Do you understand? If you hurt anyone here, you will have to answer to me. When you feel her near you, tell us. Make sure someone comes for me. Fight her if you can. I've dealt with her at full power before. We'll be able to do something with her weak like this. I'm not sure what, but I can at least protect others if she takes over." He cleared his throat. "If it does happen, fight her. We won't hurt you unless there's no other way. I'm sorry that's the best I can promise. Those I love come first."
The girl nodded and almost smiled. "I know. It's why I had the courage to look for you. She thinks about you all the time, and I gradually just...knew things about you." She sighed, seeming a little relieved. "I haven't felt her since I entered this house."
Gerard nodded. "We have spells that protect us. Her son placed them. They keep vampires out. It's possible she can't reach you now."
She sighed with relief again. "I hope so. You don't know what these months have been like."
Gerard noticed Simon's daughter Bella standing behind her husband Quentin. Her green eyes were guarded and a little suspicious. He reached out with his mind. What do you think?
I'm not sure. I don't want to turn her away if there's any chance it's true, but I don't trust her.
He could understand why Bella would feel more vulnerable than anyone else. Her and Quentin's daughter Mary was two years old. Werewolves were not very fertile, and any child born who lived was seen as a treasured blessing. Mary was the main reason they had let Roland put protection spells on the house.
Your father will be home soon. We'll see what he thinks. We'll keep an eye on her for now, but I think we're safe.
Bella walked over to Sarena. "Come with me and you can change clothes. You're about my size."
Bella led Sarena upstairs and Aria followed, looking back at Gerard for a moment.
Quentin and Jason sat back down, but all three men stayed silent until they no longer heard footsteps on the stairs.
Jason spoke first. "Dad will probably want to protect her. He thinks everything happens for a reason. He'll probably trust her."
"If she's telling the truth, we need to contact Roland. Surely he'll know what to do," Quentin said.
"Something has happened. She's completely human. She wouldn't know this much unless someone told her," Gerard said.
Jason leaned forward. "The vampires could have done this. Promised to turn her. Humans think they can be turned into vampires just like in movies and books. They don't understand that they have to be of the blood to survive being bitten. Even if only a little blood is taken, the infection kills them eventually."
Gerard nodded. "That's a good point. They've left us alone for so long, I've been wondering what they might be planning. I know Luna still holds a grudge over her father's death. She knows Morgaine killed Magnus, but she blames us."
Quentin shook his head. "I don't know. It's possible. I'm surprised Galen has done nothing."
Galen was Luna's grandfather. He was the leader of the clan Gerard had been born into. Magnus, his power-hungry son, was Luna's father and had been next in line to lead the clan. He'd taken personal offense at Gerard's choice to become a werewolf instead of accepting the dark kiss and becoming a vampire. The vampires liked expanding their empire, so anyone born of the blood was forced to turn on penalty of death. Children born of the blood were fed stories of the glory and honor of the vampiric tradition and raised to believe they were superior to humans. Magnus had wanted Gerard destroyed, and he'd gotten in the way when Morgaine had decided she wanted Gerard for herself. They had all expected some sort of backlash from the other vampires after Magnus' death. Gerard wondered if this could be it.
Gerard sighed. "In twenty-six years, I hardly ever saw Galen. Magnus was the one to flaunt his power. Some said Galen was just like his son, but others said he had retreated because he was tired of a life of cruelty and decadence. I doubt anyone really knows. It's so easy for vampires to disappear."
"But he's still the clan leader?" Jason asked.
"I believe so. Most clan leaders only exercise their powers for discipline though. They don't keep a tight rein on anything else. They rely on their underlings to take care of those things. Leaders tend to emerge when someone refuses to be turned."
"Galen never confronted you when you became a werewolf?" Quentin asked.
Gerard shook his head. "He didn't. He might have left it to Magnus though since he took such an interest in the issue."
"Galen never dirties his hands if he can avoid it. He doesn't even like dealing with his own kind."
They turned to see Simon walk into the room.
The older man sat down and scratched his gray beard. "It seems you boys have had some excitement?"
"We definitely have," Gerard said. "What do you make of the situation?"
"Something is going to happen. Soon."
Gerard resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Simon could be maddeningly detached at times. He thought even bad things happened for a reason and was thus never as cautious as the rest of them. He and Simon rarely saw eye-to-eye on these matters.
"So what should we do?" Gerard asked.
"We can't turn her away. It would be our fault if something happened to her."
"But what if she was sent here by Morgaine or the vampires?" Quentin asked.
"That's a risk we'll have to take."
"With your granddaughter in the house? You want to take this risk?" Gerard asked.
"Do you want to send her away? Bella and Quentin can take Mary to Jason's house if you're that afraid. If someone is plotting against us, they aren't just going to kill one of us and go away. They want more."
"I know. The thing is we can't read this girl. I can't fully trust her."
Simon nodded. "Yes, Aria told me. We need to contact Roland. He can tell us if Morgaine's rest has been...disturbed in any way."
"We haven't heard anything from him lately. It's the only thing that makes me believe her. If Morgaine was able to harness some mental power somehow, even the smallest amount, she could have done something to him. Their link must be stronger than any other two beings on earth. He knocked her unconscious with one touch, one thought. Even if she can't physically come here, she could mentally, if anyone could."
"If we can't contact him, you'll need to find out if everything is okay."
Gerard shook his head. "It's just so hard to know what to expect from Morgaine. She would know our inability to read Sarena would make her suspect, so if she sent her, why would she leave all those shields up? I'm sure she could keep some things hidden if she wanted to. But then again, she might be too weak. Or it might be exactly the right way to confuse us. Instead of projecting something false through the girl, she's keeping us guessing. If she could control her mind in any way, it would be easy to make her project pain and fear. I felt fear and nervousness mostly."
"But you could penetrate something so flimsy, if Morgaine is as weak as we think she might be," Quentin added.
"True. However, as Gerard pointed out, she likes to keep people guessing," Simon said. "One way or another, I think Morgaine is in fact behind this, whether she sent the girl here or not. Either way, I'm sure the child will need our protection in the end. She'll only be useful to Morgaine for so long."
Gerard agreed. If there was any chance Sarena needed their help, they had to try. "I'll sleep outside her room tonight. As long as I know where she is, I'll stand a better chance of protecting whoever needs it."
He walked upstairs to find his sleeping bag, sincerely hoping she was the only person in the house who needed his protection. * * * *
Gerard placed his ear to the door. He heard whispering, but he couldn't tell if it was Sarena or someone else. She might just be talking in her sleep the way Aria did at times, and he didn't sense another presence. He stood up and pushed the door open a few inches. It was Sarena, but she was talking very quickly. He couldn't understand any of what she was saying.
He pushed the door open a bit more and slipped into the room. She appeared to be asleep, but her lips moved hurriedly. She wasn't speaking English. It sounded like a European language, but Gerard couldn't be sure. It wasn't a spell though because none of his internal alarms were going off. Roland had been teaching him to use his instincts to tell when magic was being used near or against him. He still had a lot to learn, but he felt safe for the moment.
He leaned over the bed, placing both his hands on the mattress. "Sarena? Can you hear me?"
Her eyes popped open. "I can hear you, darling." She snaked her hand across the covers and grabbed his left hand. She looked down as if she expected to see something there. She smiled when her gaze fell on his wedding band, which he wore on a chain around his neck. "I see you married your defenseless little damsel. How sweet."
He jerked his hand away and leapt on top of her. "Wake up, Sarena! Wake up!"
She stared up at him, and then laughed. "With you so worked up, I'm not sure I want her to." Her strength was no match for his, but she arched up to rub against him.
He shook her as hard as he dared. He only wanted to shake Morgaine's hold on her. Quentin and Aria appeared in the door.
"The spells don't work anymore! Morgaine is possessing her. I don't know how to break the hold."
Sarena stopped struggling. "Can't say this is much fun. I'll be back to play later, darling."
Gerard met her gaze and saw the change in her eyes. Sarena slumped beneath him, perfectly still. He moved off her and felt her pulse. It was very slow.
Bella came into the room, holding a fruit cup and one of Mary's hot pink plastic spoons. "Is she okay? This room feels horrible."
Gerard returned his attention to the room. It did feel strange. Very cold and very empty. Still no sense of magic, no psychic force, but something felt off.
"I'm not sure. She seems to have gone back to sleep. Or passed out or something."
Bella stared at her for a minute. "I'm getting nothing from her. Not even walls. Just a blank." She touched Sarena's forehead, but then pulled her hand away quickly. "There's nothing there."
"You still can't read her?" her husband asked.
Bella swallowed shakily. She looked at Quentin and then at Gerard. She hesitated, and then said, "Gerard, this girl has been dead for days."
"What? How is that possible?"
"Mentally, she's gone. She was pushed out of her body. Her mind and soul are gone. Morgaine must have been inside her the whole time." She shivered, and then looked at Quentin and Gerard again as if she was afraid they didn't believe her. "I know it sounds crazy, but she's a zombie."
Quentin touched his wife's shoulders. "Sweetheart, zombies aren't real. They're stories vampires made up to frighten us. She's unconscious, that's all. Morgaine drained her energy getting inside her."
"Zombie armies," Gerard said with disbelief. "I remember those stories. Erika believed in them."
"Do you?" Bella asked.
Gerard shrugged. "I don't understand them. I thought the blood was what kept them alive and under someone's power. Reanimation, right? A little of the blood from a powerful enough vampire could do it. There's not a drop of the blood in her. We'd all smell it."
"But Morgaine could do it mentally, if anyone could. Maybe I'm wrong, but whoever Sarena was, I don't think we really met her. There is no human soul in that body." She turned and let Quentin hold her. "Where's my father?"
"He's with Mary," Quentin said. "I left her there when I heard the commotion."
Bella nodded. "I'll go to him and take Mary. She's restless, so I was getting her a snack. Now I see why she can't sleep."
Quentin kissed her on the forehead. "Go to her, baby. We're fine, for now."
"We'll go to Jason's tomorrow. I'm going to pack." She squeezed her husband for another moment, and then walked quickly down the hall.
Aria looked at Sarena. "She looks sick. I never believed in zombies before. I don't doubt Bella's instincts, but she can't be serious, can she? They aren't real."
"Bella and her father think they are," Quentin explained.
"So this girl, she's dead? She's like the little boy Morgaine used to trick us before?" Aria asked.
Gerard sighed. "Sort of, but that little boy was only a vision, an illusion. This girl was a real person Morgaine killed so she could use her. It's so much worse." He could feel his anger building. He almost wished he'd urged Morgaine's son Roland to kill her when they'd had the chance.
"I'll go after Bella. She and Mary shouldn't be alone," Quentin said.
Gerard nodded, pulling Aria to him. "Go on. Simon should be coming."
Simon entered the room a few moments after Quentin left. He paused in the door and looked at Sarena. "Bella tells me we've been tricked."
Gerard paused before answering so he wouldn't snap at Simon, who was calm as always. "It seems so, but it's hard to understand. Bella thinks Sarena's a zombie."
Simon touched the girl on the forehead. "Whatever she is, she's dead."
"In the ways that count. Whoever she was, she's not in this body. No one is. I'd never have guessed she was a zombie. The fact she moved and spoke so well tells us only Morgaine could have made her. Most zombies either stumble or stutter occasionally as the body slowly decays. The reanimation doesn't last very long."
Aria made a disgusted sound. "Trust vampires to come up with this idea."
Gerard checked her pulse. "But her heart is beating. How can she be dead?"
"She's not breathing though." Simon moved his hand over her face, and then leaned over her chest. "Check for yourself."
Gerard did, and Simon was right. "What the hell are we supposed to do? What if Morgaine leaves her like this?"
"She wants us to know something. If she only wanted to watch us, this would be too much trouble."
"She spoke through her before she left, or whatever it was she did. It was her, and she seems to want the same thing she wanted before." He hated to say it because of how much it would distress Aria, but they had to face it sooner or later.
"I thought as much. We can't just get rid of her. Morgaine will use her again."
"Her family must wonder where she is though. What she told us might not be true. She might not be an orphan. She could have a huge family. I'm sure Morgaine made it all up," Aria said.
"What can we do? Call the police? They'll have questions."
"Can't we take her to a hospital?"
Simon shook his head. "It's too dangerous for others. We need to watch her and figure something out. There's no way to bring her back though. We'll have to find another way."
"How?" Gerard asked. "This is ridiculous! We haven't done anything wrong."
"The authorities would think we were crazy, Gerard. And what if she woke up and took revenge by lying to the police? She could hurt us all in so many ways."
Aria touched his hand. "Simon's right. They'd have too many questions. We can't help Sarena, or whoever she was. We can protect others from Morgaine though by keeping her here."
Gerard didn't like it, but he didn't want to be responsible for Morgaine hurting anyone else. He picked the body up and started to carry it from the room.
Aria stopped him. "What are you going to do?"
"Get her to a room with no windows and restrain her. She's a prisoner now."
She nodded and stepped aside.
Gerard headed down to the hall bathroom and set the unconscious girl down in the bathtub in a sitting position. Her skin felt cold, but her heart was still beating. Simon and his family ran his estate as a murder mystery dinner club, and Gerard had chosen this bathroom because it had no secret passages. He still scanned the room anyway. He felt very paranoid knowing Morgaine was free, even if it was only mentally. The bathroom also had very sturdy faucets, which gave him something to secure her to. He dashed out to the closet they kept the tools in and grabbed some rope. He tied her hands, then pulled them over her shoulder and secured them to the faucet.
He'd never wanted to kill anyone until he met Morgaine, and in the end he still hadn't done it. He could have insisted or challenged her son in some way, but the truth was he still felt sorry for her. There could be no doubt she was insane. The problem was she was also the most powerful being on the planet.
She'd threatened his wife and Simon's family and friends because she wanted him. He was the first vampire ever to become a werewolf, and that had intrigued her. She'd tricked him into letting her turn him by attacking him and leaving him no choice but to fight back and bite her, taking her blood and dooming himself to being a vampire. That made him even more special because he had all the powers of both races and would live forever. Maybe she was genuinely attracted to him, but he knew love wasn't something she understood. Lust and power were her only drives. He was a very special toy she wanted to play with.
He looked down at the girl and wondered about her real identity. Was her name Serena? Was she really an orphan? Did she have a family or a husband looking for her? Did she have children? He closed his eyes and sighed. Aria wanted children, but he was afraid of the kind of life they would have with him as a father, the kind of danger they might be put in. She'd agreed to wait, but how long would she be happy if he kept saying no? Normally, vampires couldn't have children after receiving the dark kiss, but because Aria and Gerard were not full vampires, Simon believed they could. Unlike traditional vampires, they had not died when turned. The human part had been preserved, though they were still immortal. Usually, someone of the blood was drained close to death, and then given blood by another already turned. This, according to his sister Erika, activated and revitalized the blood. Human life ended then. The magic in the blood killed all that was part of human biology. Erika had been fascinated by the scientific part of it, seeing it as a great evolutionary step. The blood had made Gerard immortal, like a vampire, even when he was only a werewolf. The change itself somehow activated his blood and transformed him as he became a werewolf, though immortality was the only vampiric gift he'd received then. After Morgaine turned him completely by forcing him to drink her blood, he'd turned Aria. Simon believed the blood, instead of saving them from death as it normally did during the turning, had only changed them. Trying to understand it made Gerard's head spin most of the time. Simon was usually right though.
Gerard often hoped they would one day discover it was impossible for them to have children, though he would never admit it to her. Aria had been to see the gynecologist Bella and the other women in the clan went to, and he'd said she was as healthy and fertile as any human female her age. Gerard didn't want her to be unhappy, but he also didn't want to love someone else who could be taken away from him.
He snapped out of his reverie when Aria came into the room. She looked at the girl.
"She still out?"
"Yeah. Help me tie her feet."
Aria did so, but she didn't look at him.
"What's wrong? What have I done? We can't take any chances with Mary in the house, and I don't feel safe taking her anywhere before dawn."
Aria looked at him and tried to smile. "I'm not angry or upset. Just worried. I thought we were done with her. Simon said Roland hasn't called back yet."
"If we don't hear anything soon, I'll go to him. If he went to check on her, he might not get back to his house right away, especially if something was wrong."
"But if he did go to check on her, I'm sure something happened to him. It only takes two minutes for him to get to her."
He took her hands. "I know. I can get there. If he needs help, I'll find him."
Aria took a deep breath. "If he's still alive to be helped. Why didn't he just kill her?"
"She's still his mother." He didn't think that was the best excuse, but he wanted to stop the tears he saw glistening in Aria's eyes.
"I know that, but I don't want to live like this."
"With me?" he asked softly.
"Always afraid of losing you. Either she still wants you as her pet or she wants to kill you. What else could she want?"
He knew she was right, but he wanted to make her feel better instead of confirming her fears. "Maybe she does want to try to lure me to her side again. Or maybe she wants revenge. I don't know, but we'll find out. And we'll stop her."
She pulled him close and wrapped her arms around him. "Can I stay with you?"
He kissed her forehead and hugged her closer. "Yeah. I'll get another sleeping bag and we'll both stay right here."
The room grew colder again, and he kissed her, hoping she wouldn't feel the fear creeping over his heart.