Kali limped slowly after him. There was fear written across her face as they approached the door to the room. “I thought you weren’t going to rape me.”
The one thing she had no need to fear was the one she was preoccupied with. “I told you once, Kali, your virtue is safe with me. I will not violate you in such a manner. However, we need rest, and you need medical attention.” He unlocked the door and pushed her ahead of him.
“So, take me to the hospital.” She collapsed almost as soon as she crossed the threshold.
Garrison left her on the floor as he locked and bolted the door behind him. “I think not.” He hesitated a moment before he bent over and picked her up.
She made a small noise of protest as he adjusted her body against his but did not struggle. In fact, she relaxed against him as he carried her across the room. Her eyes slid shut and she allowed her face to rest against his chest, and a small sigh, the puff of air caressing his neck.
It should have been strange. It should have been unexpected, this display of something so much like trust. And yet, so little had changed. This Kali was so much like the one he had known all those years ago. She even smelled the same underneath the vomit: that powdered musk combined with an earthy, clean scent that reminded him of the night. Holding her, like this, was familiar, too. Something he had done years ago.
Perhaps, in some distant way, explainable only by magic, she remembered his embrace as well. Or, more likely, she was just exhausted.
“Where did your shoes go?” he asked as he set her on the closed toilet lid.
She rubbed her nose, dried flakes of blood falling off her skin. “I took them off at the bar so I could get my pants off. G-Gabriel took me out of there without giving me the chance to put them back on. Because. Because you started killing people.”
He winced and started the bathwater. Thus far, he hadn’t actually killed anyone, although the guilt still ate him. He was an excellent shot and had practiced for years so he could complete this mission with as few deaths as possible.
Not that this care would matter once the public saw what he would do to Kali. If the police captured him, Garrison had no doubt he would be put to death. The horrors he would have to visit upon her would ensure the death penalty no matter how careful he was with the lives of others.
Of course, he doubted he would ever be tried in a court of law. The Faithful would get to him first. They would show him no mercy.
Behind him, Kali sniffed. He glanced over his shoulder to find her staring at the ceiling, her jaw clenched. A tear slid from her eye, and she flicked it away with a sharp movement.
“You killed him,” she said. Her voice was painful to hear, rough from her screaming and choked from tears she tried to hold back. “That boy. Gabriel.”
Gabriel had been seventeen when he’d been turned, hardly older than she. That had happened over two thousand years ago. Theoretically, a girl as young as she should see him as well older than herself, simply due to the wisdom and maturity he’d gained through the years. However, Gabriel simply refused to lose any of the innocent purity that was characteristic of him and made him seem so young, no matter how many years went by.
“Gabriel is not dead,” he said after a moment.
“Right,” she said with a snort. “Because when you smash someone with your car, pump them full of bullets, and pummel them with a crowbar, all they need is a nap and some chicken soup. He’ll be fine.”
“Nothing about Gabriel is natural. He might spend an hour or two recovering, but he’ll be fine. That is what vampires do.”
She snorted again. “Vampires. Right. I forgot.” She chewed on her lower lip before she asked, “So, how do you kill a vampire?”
“Not with bullets, cars, or crowbars.”
“You need a cross and wooden stake, right?”
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