Sun Kissed (Guardian Angel #2) - Page 14

Cage’s fangs clicked loudly as they protruded further out of his gums. Hastily, he tilted my neck to the side. My heart began to beat erratically as he slowly brought his fangs to my neck, savouring the moment. Tears burned my eyes and a lump rose in my throat. I wanted to be somewhere bright and safe. Warm tears wet my cheek as I squeezed my eyes shut, waiting for the bite to be over with, and if I was lucky, the sweet release of death.

A distinct neck snapping crack forced me to open my eyes. Cage’s face was replaced by Lucian’s. I glanced down and Cage was in a twitchy heap. Having his neck snapped didn’t kill him, it just hurt and immobilized him.

Lucian knelt beside Cage. “You didn’t actually think I was going to let you feed on her, did you?” Lucian’s voice was high and amused.

He put one foot on Cage’s chest and his hands grasped the sides of his face. In one swift move, Cage’s head was removed from his body. I jumped backwards as blood spilled out from the large orifice at the top of his neck. The vampires that circled us made no noise, they didn’t dare to.

The three vampires let Eli go and he ran over to me. I stared unblinkingly at the headless body in front of me.

“Is anyone else hungry?” Lucian asked.

The vampires shook their heads and sunk back into themselves. How could one vampire have the masses in fear? If they all ganged up on him, they could take him easily. So many questions flooded my brain. Was he really that powerful? Could my father’s blood make him that powerful?

“Good. Let’s go.”

Most of the vampires disappeared into the bush with the exception of a few, Lucian being one of them.

“Here’s the address, sweetheart,” Ludiia whispered to Eli.

I tried not to cringe as her dead, cold lips came into contact with his warm skin, and then she disappeared.

We stood in silence, waiting for the green light to leave. The trees loomed over us, utterly still like statues in a museum, no leaf daring to fall.

“Ahh,” Lucian sighed. “We have an intruder.”

My skin tingled uncomfortably all over, like a million tiny bugs were running rampant all over my body.

Please be over, please just let us go! my mind screamed. I nervously rubbed the palms of my hands with my fingertips. My skin felt so clammy, covered with a cold sweat.

Out of the bushes stepped Liam, a tall, blonde vampire. As the rest of his body emerged from the cloak of the darkness, he had a hold of someone, someone I immediately recognized.

“Hunter!”

Hunted

My breath caught in my throat and instinctively I lunged forward, but Eli’s hand grasped my forearm firmly, preventing me from making any progress.

“Hunter, what are you doing?” I called, my voice shaky.

A large bruise had already begun to form on his upper left cheekbone.

“I’m coming with you,” he stated fiercely. Hunter made eye contact with Eli briefly before turning his eyes back to me.

“This god killed Oryx, Yasmine, and Dane,” Liam spat.

He killed three vampires? I couldn’t imagine Hunter taking on so many. He seemed too ‘pretty’ for that.

“Liam are you hungry?”

“If you want me to be, sir …”

Even though I wasn’t looking at him, I could feel Lucian’s dark eyes searching my face.

“No!” I shouted. “Please!”

“Finders keepers. He’s all yours.”

A wry smile spread over Liam’s lips and Lucian kept his attention on me. The flood gates opened and tears spilled down my cheeks. I bit my lip, not giving my cry a chance to turn hysterical.

“Please,” I sobbed.

Liam wasted no time. Hunter gasped in pain as the vampire sank his teeth into his skin. The bottom half of my body gave way and I fell to my knees. His eyes became dull and lifeless, then Liam let Hunter’s body fall into a heap on the ground. I wanted to scream and run over to his body, shake him and pray for him to wake up, but I couldn't. My body wouldn’t move. I just knelt there, hating myself for not being able to do anything.

“You have somewhere to be,” Lucian growled at Eli. “It’s a very long drive and you have to be there by Sunday at six p.m. Have I not made it clear how serious I am about punctuality?”

“Ruby, let’s go,” Eli whispered, kneeling down beside me.

When he saw I couldn’t move, he pulled me to my feet and shifted my weight onto him. My body was numb. I couldn’t feel the warmth from Eli’s body; I couldn’t feel the damp leaves, or the sloppy forest floor as we passed through it.

“We just have to make it to the car park,” Eli muttered.

“I can walk,” I replied, sniffling.

Eli let me go and I pushed through. It was only six-thirty; most of the kids would still be in the dining hall. We needed to make it to the car park. As we crossed the oval, my tears managed to dry up. The swelling of my eyes didn’t go down, though, and the redness would surely be noticeable in the light.

We managed to cross the student campus without being noticed. Sera was waiting at the car. She was a female guardian angel. I saw her in the dining room mostly, or whenever she was on shift patrolling the school.

“Eli.” Her voice was relieved and kind.

“Sit in the car,” he uttered to me. I climbed in.

The car was quiet, forcing me to listen to my breathing and uneven heartbeat. I didn’t want to be alone, even if it was only for a few seconds. The driver’s door opened and Eli climbed in. The cool air that blew into the car carried a sad tune in with it — or perhaps I was imagining things.

“Sera brought your boxes and things down to the car earlier. Are you ready to go?”

Slowly my head bobbled up and down, but Eli didn’t start the car. Instead, he got out. I glanced in my side mirror; he was coming around to my side. He opened my door and more cool air blew in, causing me to shiver slightly. My teeth sank into my bottom lip as I used pain to fight back the fresh batch of tears.

“Are you all right?” His words made it impossible to hold back the tsunami that pushed relentlessly at my tear ducts.

“It’s my fault,” I cried hysterically.

“Hey.” He pulled me into him. Usually his sweet, crisp scent and low comforting voice was enough to sooth me, but not this time. This time my pain was too fresh, too overwhelming.

“None of this is your fault, Ruby.”

My chest ached as my lungs desperately fought against my distraught sobs for air. Slowly I nodded my head and my tears ran out once again.

“Aleksandrov has a plan. We’ll get out of this. We just have to go with the flow for now, okay?”

“Okay.” I sniffled.

Eli kissed the top of my head and guilt struck me as Hunter flashed across my mind. I cringed as I pushed the image from my head. I wasn’t ready to think about him. I needed to focus on getting out of this mess and protecting what little amount of loved ones I had left. I pulled away from Eli’s embrace and sat back in the leather seat. I was thankful for it, I would have collapsed without it.

“We have a lot of driving to do,” Eli said as he climbed back into the driver’s seat. “If you’re up for it, we can talk about —”

“Thank you.” I sounded a little rude, although I didn’t mean to. I just didn’t think I could handle hearing his name out loud. I stared unblinkingly for long periods of time and I felt like I was going to start hyperventilating at any second. I needed to get over it, otherwise I could put many, many lives in danger.

In my side mirror I saw the school disappearing rapidly behind us. Before long, we were encompassed by the forest. If you’d asked me a year ago what I thought about the forest, I would described it as tranquil, serene, and quiet, but all I could think of now were secrets, dark, and evil. I looked at Eli; here he was again, helping me and protecting me. What if I lost him, too?

“A penny for your thoughts?” he asked, not taking his eyes off the road.

“You’re going to need a lot of pennies…”

The corner of Eli’s mouth twitched as he fought a smile.

“I don’t know what I’m thinking. It changes so quickly, I’m all over the place.”

“That’s normal. You’ve been through so much tonight, and I know this might come off as insensitive, but we need to go into this thing with a clear head, otherwise we’re going to die. I know you cared for Hunter; he was there for you when I wasn’t. He might have been a bad influence, but he kept you going and kept you safe. For that I will be forever grateful.”

Mr De Luca and his words of wisdom were correct once again.

“You might have lost a few friends along the way, Ruby, but you still have me… and Mila.”

“I know.”

And for that I was truly grateful. I’d be dead without them or worse— a vampire.

As I peered into the darkness, I tried to ignore the feeling someone was watching me. A twisted feeling filled my stomach, making me uneasy.

I had cried so much my eyes grew heavy. I sat forward in my seat, trying to keep myself awake.

“You can sleep; we still have a long way to go.”

“When I wake up, would you like me to drive so you can nap?”

Eli chuckled and glanced at me briefly. “You drive?”

“I’m eighteen, of course I drive. Aunt Jen taught me when I lived with her.”

“Do you have a license?”

“Yes, Eli, I have a license!”

His lips curled into a smile. “Okay. You can drive tomorrow, but only if you sleep now.”

I slumped back into my chair and wiggled against the leather. I placed my legs on the dashboard and immediately found my comfortable spot.

“This doesn’t bother you, does it?” I asked, pointing to my feet.

“No.”

“Good night.”

“Good night,” he whispered.

I closed my eyes and long sharp fangs filled my mind. I was scared, but I needed to turn that fear into anger. I needed to find something to fuel me, because if I remained an emotional mess, I’d get us killed. I was pulled deep into a dreamless state, forgetting all about the horrors of my reality.

Déjà vu

The smell of a bacon and egg muffin wafted menacingly under my nose, waking me up. The sun was bright and the air was hot. It was the perfect weather to go to the beach, but alas I had vampires to work for.

“I didn’t know if you’d want sausage and egg or bacon and egg, so I got you both.” Eli smiled.

I wiped sleep from my eyes and grasped the bacon and egg breakfast muffin. When I had fallen asleep there was nothing but darkness and Eli and I were alone. Now we were at a pit stop on a motorway somewhere, surrounded by other people and families. It was a relief to see normal people. It had been a while since I was surrounded by humans. As I un-wrapped my muffin and Eli climbed into the car next to me, I saw a teenage a girl who appeared to be around my age. She was on her mobile phone.

“Well, she said you texted her. She’s my worst enemy, Peter! You’re my boyfriend, not her friend!”

I envied her; her problems seemed so miniscule against mine. I wished my biggest worry was if my boyfriend was texting my enemy. What felt like the end of the world for her would be a walk in the park for me.

“One day.”

“Hmm?”

“One day you’ll be free from all of this.”

It was like he could read my mind sometimes. “I will never be free as long as I am what I am.”

The sudden realisation put me off my food but I ate it anyway.

“So, can I drive now?”

It took a little bit more persuading on my part before he managed to hand over the keys.

“Keep your eyes on the road and focus. I don’t want to die before getting to the vampire nest.”

“Yeah, that’d be pretty embarrassing wouldn’t it?” I giggled.

“This is my favorite car, please don’t scratch it.”

“Eli, chill out. I’m not that bad at driving. Go to sleep and I’ll have us closer to our death in no time.”

The engine started. If it wasn’t for the soft vibration, I wouldn’t have noticed the car had even turned on. It was so quiet and smooth.

Eli watched uneasily as I pulled out onto the highway. When he saw I was actually staying between the lines, his eyes closed. A peaceful silence fell in the car and I peeked sideways at Eli. His body was at ease. His chest rose and fell with each breath.

Focus! My mind yelled at me, forcing me to watch the road but it wasn’t long until I found my eyes on him again.

“Eyes on the road,” he said, opening one eyelid. His green eyes pierced into my soul and I felt my cheeks heat up. His voice was light and relaxed but it still didn’t make me feel any less silly.

“Oh-I …Uh, I …” I took a deep breath of air. “Sorry.”

How embarrassing.

The concrete river curved its way through the bush like it grew there naturally. The trees lining the motorway flew by in a blur of green and black. Before long it was midday and the scorching sun was high up in the sky. I took my foot off the accelerator slightly as I passed a ‘Take a break’ sign indicating a service station and rest area up ahead. I was thirsty and slightly peckish, so I decided to pull in when it came time to turn off. As soon as the car rolled to a stop, Eli’s eyes sprang open and he glanced around, trying to get his bearings.

“Are you hungry?”

“It’s twelve already? I didn’t mean to sleep for so long.”

“That’s okay, you needed it and I was having fun driving. Shall we eat in?”

My whole body ached as I slid out of the car. Eli’s groan told me he was experiencing the same discomfort I was. After a good stretch and a quick meal, we were on the road again.

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