20.Cat Free of the Bag.20
"Shut up," I snarled, fighting against the vampire's iron grip. Panic set in now that I was unable to do anything without making things worse for myself. Just when things seemed to be working themselves out, the secret had to be spilled. Cat out of the bag. The only thing that could make it worse was if people know that my Darkblood allowed me to be a full-on demon, or tainted angel as people had referred to it, which was the poetic way of thinking of it. The Lightblood who's a Darkblood. An angel with demonic taint.
My own thoughts nearly made me roll my eyes as the boys I'd come here with stopped, uncertain as to how to improve the situation.
"Good," the vampire praised, voice so close to my ear I shuddered. "Now let's make a deal. You let me take girlie, then I'll tell you how to save the little one."
My eyes flicked to the little girl at the side of the road. She was so still, frozen and green in the face. Elijah looked as well, his expression torn as he looked from me to the little girl.
A troublesome halfblood or a young Lightblood full of potential.
"Just protect her," I whimpered, meaning the girl. I had already stopped struggling. I couldn't force them to choose between me and a little girl. "I'll figure this out."
But will you, halfblood?
I cringed as the vampire began backing away toward the bushes, taking me away from the four boys. They watched, still having not made a decision, until I felt the vampire freeze behind me.
"H-How," he choked, his hold on me releasing. I spun around only to have two arms wrap around me, squishing me into someone's chest.
"Thank god," Shade muttered as he embraced me, "I was worried he'd sense my presence."
The initial shock of being hugged by him caused me to lose my words, and I sputtered as he squeezed me tight before letting go. A shy smile was on his face, revealing a dimple in his cheek. It made my face heat up, which was something I rarely did. I could never imagine myself, raised by a father and three brothers, blushing at a boy.
It seemed even more ludicrous since I was supposed to be a big, bad Darkblood, but here I was, shyly smiling back. "Do you have some sort of teleportation ability?" I asked, wondering how he got past.
Shade grinned, mischief in his eyes. "Some minor invisibility and teleportation, yes. My name suits me well," he pointed out, hand slipping into mind as he began walking to the body of the young girl. The others snapped out of their trance and trailed behind us as we approached the body and I fell to my knees. Her eyes were still zipped shut, her hands cold.
No, I thought, pulling her into my lap. Please don't die.
Travis slowly came to stand beside Shade, his footsteps almost deafening in the silence that hung over us. He knelt as well, gently lowering himself down to be on my level as I brushed my fingers through the ends of the girl's leftover pigtail.
"Cloud," he said gently, "we should go."
I can't. This is my fault.
"We can't just leave her here," I told him, the girl's skin cold to the touch.
"We can't do anything for her," Travis added, gently closing the girl's wide eyes with a quick, respectful brush of his hand. "People are going to start talking, and we need to make sure the Valley is safe. We need to head back."
They're wrong. Maybe they can't do anything, but I'm not them.
Ignoring his words of reason and reassurance, I lifted the girl's head into my lap, brushing her newly cut hair out of her face. My mind was hectic, trying to think of how I could save her. My blood was also toxic, which meant it had to be magic that rescued her.
Darkblood caused this.
So maybe Lightblood could reverse it. The gift that allowed me to handle Darkblood in my veins could be the same gift that took it out of the child's system. The tingling started in my scalp, slowly travelling down to my fingers until they began to visibly temble. I pressed my fingertips to the bitemark on her neck, careful not to push hard. It was warmth gathering under my skin, sweat dripping down my forehead, gradually heating the area around me. There were voices, those of the boys, but they were too faint for me to understand. It was only warmth, and the cold that was draining out of the girl, replaced by heat radiating off me. The tingles were my Lightblood magic, alive and pulsing, waiting to destroy a disease. My thoughts sent it to her, in the form of a calm white glow beginning in my fingertips and traveling through her bloodstream. Wonder filled me as I watched the welcoming light fill her, glowing from inside her veins, the green parlour of her skin fading.
Before death could take her, the glow returned to me and the girl's eyes opened, eyelashes fluttering as her eyes tried to focus. They were wide, taking in the blue sky above her in a wonder that matched mine. Her eyes were just as blue as the sky with little clouds, remaining open as she stared in silence, my hearing slowly coming back. Instead of being yelled at to leave, the warriors who'd followed me here were whispering, eyes never leaving me as I knelt by the little girl's side.
Tears slowly spilled over, falling down the sides of her face until disappering into the hair at her temples. She sniffled, clearly sensing something had happened to her, before sitting up, launching herself into my arms.
"I've never felt something so warm and safe," she cried into my shoulder, tiny arms snaked around my neck. I held her, rocking back and forth gently as she cried. Unlike most people, she didn't cry ugly. Instead, her lips trembled but she didn't frown, and her face was less scrunched up than most's when she squeezed her eyes shut. It was a delicate cry, and all I wanted was for her to stop and to have her mother hold her.