I hope you had a good weekend.
We’ve got a new character. HAYDEN. What do you think about her? And what do you think is going on with Bianca? Remember what happened at the end of The Huntress and the Hound? Any thoughts on what might happen later on in this book?
Here is chapter three and four of An Empty Grave. I hope you read and enjoy, and let me know what you think!
“This makes no sense, Deklan. Is she vampire or is she human?” Rose asks, the irritation clear in her voice.
It’s just after sunset, and we’re standing on the bottom floor of Deklan’s building. For the past couple of months we’ve started calling it ‘Haven’ because it’s sort of a safe haven for people of the supernatural variety,
Deklan is a friend of ours. He knew both of my parents when they were younger, as well as Rose’s parents. Yes, he is a vampire, but he’s a good guy. He wasn’t at first. He thirsted for blood and killed many people, like all vampires, but then he changed. When he was human, hundreds of years ago, he had a wife and a newborn daughter. One night he crossed the Aldinn, and in return the Aldinn killed his family, and turned him into a vampire so that he would suffer for a very long time. One night Deklan watched Aldinn kill and torture a Huntress, and it kind of changed the way Deklan viewed things. He swore to protect Rose because she would be the one to help get his revenge on the Aldinn. Along the way, Deklan found Alec and saved him from vampires who killed Alec’s parents. He gave Alec to Sarah, Duke’s mother, but Deklan was still a father figure to Alec. Years ago, Deklan found this old abandoned and he fixed it up so that if anyone was ever on the run from the Aldinn and needed a place to stay, they could go here. He put the deed in Alec’s name so that when he turned eighteen, he could come and live here with Deklan. Now that they moved to town, Alec lives here one of the higher floors. Most of the other rooms have been changed into training rooms, and he had a pool placed in the lower level.
That is how we got here today.
Deklan leans against the walls with his arms crossed while Rose paces in front of him.
“She’s the descendant of the Aldinn,” Damen says from the doorway.
I’m surprised to see him. I thought it was the week for him to be with his biker gang/ wolf pack. Damen is Rose’s uncle. He’s tall, has a natural dark tan, and pitch-black hair. His son, Duke, looks just like him. They are both werewolves.
Rose turns to him. “How? I thought he was born a vampire.”
“He was. Vampires can’t procreate, but, well, he is the first. Some things are… different for him, I guess. Just like his ability to walk in the sun. Thus, making Hayden a hybrid. She eats regular food rather than blood, and she can walk in the sun, but she heals fast, and grows old slowly.”
“So, the Aldinn did the nasty with someone, and now he has a great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandchild roaming around?” Rose asks, sounding disgusted.
“Yeah, I think you missed a couple ‘greats’ in there, Cuz.” Duke says as he emerges from behind Damen and steps into the room, making a beeline for Rose. She grins at him as he stands next to her, and then they both turn back to Deklan.
“This is the first I’m hearing of her. She must have just reached her peak,” he says, while he moves to stare out the window, all cryptic-like.
“Her peak?” I ask.
Deklan turns back to us. “This doesn’t happen very often, so this is sort of a myth. The idea is that if a vampire is born, they are to function like a normal human being, growing, eating, until their body has fully matured. It’s different for everyone, just like puberty. Now, that her essence is finally showing through, she must have peaked.”
“Guess she peaked in high school,” Rose mutters making me chuckle.
Damen and Deklan roll their eyes, but they have amused smiles on their faces.
Rose clears her throat.
“Why would she want to meet with you? Why would she enroll in our school? Obviously, she knows what she is, so why come here where there is a Huntress? None of this makes any sense,” Rose says.
Deklan turns back to face us. “That is something we’ll have to ask her.”
“Should we trust her?” Rose asks.
“I honestly don’t know.”
It doesn’t take long for us to decide what to do. We all get back in our cars and drive to the cemetery. It wasn’t much of a debate on whether or not we were going to go. Even if to just try and get some answers to what the Aldinn might be planning. Rose bites at her fingertips the whole way. Without her powers, she feels useless, even though that is the last thing she is. Before, she wished that she could be normal. But now, normal is the last thing that she wants to be. Her being normal is a price I am willing to live with. Rather her be normal than dead.
When we arrive at the cemetery, Hayden is waiting with another girl. The girl is a few inches shorter than Hayden, with long black hair, and pale features.
We all get out of our cars. Duke and Rose convinced Remi to stay with Sarah back at Deklan’s place. We didn’t want to risk her getting hurt if something goes wrong.
Our group walks towards the pair, and we stop a few feet in front of them. We all assess them while they do the same to us.
“Who is your friend?” Rose asks, cocking her head to the side.
Hayden stares at Rose for a few seconds before nodding to the girl next to her.
“This is my sister Lily,” she answers.
Rose mutters something about the Aldinn getting around, making Hayden glare at her.
Hayden then turns to Deklan. “Hello, Deklan.”
He clears his throat. “Well, you know my name. I think I should know yours.”
“My name is Hayden Markson.”
“And what can I do for you and your… sibling.”
“We are looking for a safe place.”
“How do you mean?”
“Two months ago we were normal. My sister and I lived in a foster home. We’re blood. We had no idea who our parents were. Then a man came to us. He told us that we were half vampires and that our real father is the vampire. ‘The Old Evil’ he said. Of course we didn’t believe him, but then… things started happening.” A deep frown forms on Hayden’s face, and she does a little shake before continuing. “Like I said, it all changed. He told us that we had a choice: to stay and fight with our father or to die. We did the only thing we could think of – we ran. We’re not killers, and we don’t want to live with any or by his rules. We made it to Sioux Falls about a month ago. We were living in my car, when we ran into a group of vamps. They tried to kill us.”
The sister share a look. “Were about to when this guy came in and stopped them. He told us about you, all of you. He said that if I wanted to survive, I had to find you, Deklan. He said that you would help us.”
“This… man. What was his name?”
I gauge Deklan’s reaction. His face stays emotionless.
“What is your father planning?” Damen asks. “Why would he kill you? His own flesh and blood?”
“It’s not secret the Huntress’ powers are gone. With them disabled – ”
“I’m not a car,” Rose protests with a grunt.
Hayden ignores her and continues. “He is taking over. He is turning humans; turning those who are willing, and killing those who are not. He is doing it slowly, taking his time, enjoying himself. He has people hunting down his children to find out who is on his side and who isn’t. He’s building an army.”
“And he’s both of you, directly?” Deklan asks.
“Not directly, but we have been… visited.”
“And all of you are against your father?”
“I’m not a killer,” Lily says for the first time. “And I like the world the way it is.”
“We’ve been cautious. No one knows that we are here,” Hayden says. “We just need a place to stay, where we will be protected so that we can figure out what to do. We’re new to this. Please, Deklan, we can be an asset to you.”
“How?” I ask, intrigued.
Next to me, Rose tenses.
On the other side of Rose, Damen leans over to whisper in Deklan’s ear.
Hayden turns to me with a smile. “I’m the only one who is a full hybrid. Lily is still growing. With the Huntress’ powers gone, I can be your fighter. I have my powers. They are just as strong as hers were.”
“Just because I lost my powers doesn’t mean I lost my fight,” Rose says, crossing her arms and standing a little taller.
Hayden’s eyes move to her, and I see her asses Rose.
“You couldn’t take me,” Hayden says with a scoff.
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that, toots,” Rose replies, and I have no doubt a grin is placed on her red lips.
“We’ll just have to see about that then, yeah?”
Rose takes a step forward, her hands now on her hips. “Give me a date and time, and you’re on.”
Hayden opens her mouth to reply, but Deklan speaks first.
“You can stay with us at Haven, until you figure something else out. Until then, you will be helping out. Going out on patrols, training with us, that kind of thing. If I suspect that you are lying about anything, I will let her stick a stake through your heart,” he says, nodding to Rose. “Got it?” He asks.
The girls nod.
“Good. Have all two of you been enrolled in the high school?”
Again, they both nod.
“Alright, maybe that will help you all get to know each other a little better. Now, follow us.”
Deklan motions and we all get back into our cars.
I call Damen, putting the call on speaker so that Rose, Duke and Alec can hear what is going to be said.
“Are you sure we can trust her, Deklan?” I ask, once he answers the phone.
I start the car, and pull onto the road, with Hayden’s care following closely.
“I don’t. But, I trust Killian. He sent her here for a reason. He wants us to help her. So, I will.”
“Who is Killian?” Rose asks.
“He’s… He’s a man I met a long time ago. If I trust anyone in this world, it would be him.”
Rose and I share a look.
When we get back to Haven, Deklan shows the sisters what floor they can stay on, and then he instructs us all to get to the top floor, because we still have to train tonight. Since the sightings of vampires have been so low recently, we’ve been training during the week, and then hunting on the weekends. More people are out on the weekends, and in return so are most vampires. It seems logical enough.
“This is where we usually meet,” Deklan tells the newcomers once we are on the top floor. “And inside that door there is where we usually train.”
While Deklan talks, my eyes drift to Chase and I watch him quizzically. He has his eyes on Hayden. Granted she is unique so of course he is wondering about her, but I don’t like the way she keeps peaking at him out of the corner of her eye. Obviously, new girls gotta learn how things work around here.
“So, what skills do you have?” Damen asks Hayden.
“I’m just like what she used to be,” she replies, throwing her chin towards me. I roll my eyes. How many times am I going to have to tell this girl that powers or no powers, I can still kick some serious ass? “I can fight, and I can heal quickly. And I have a vampire’s essence so it is easier for me to get close and kill them. They think that I am one of them so they automatically trust me.”
“How good can you fight?” Chase asks.
Hayden turns to him with a smile. “Good enough.”
“She’s gotten kicked out of school enough times for it,” Lily says with a chuckle. Hayden glares at her sister, but a small smile rests on her face.
“I think we might have to put that to the test,” Duke chimes in.
I look at him, and find that he along with Chase, Deklan, Damen, and Alec are all staring at me.
“Oh, no. No. No, no, no. I am not going to fight her,” I say, stepping back a step. I look at Chase. “You do it. You fight her.”
He raises his hands up, and backs away. “Nope. Not me, I don’t fight girls.”
I want to say ‘yeah, right’, but I know what he means. He doesn’t do it unless he has to. In this case, he doesn’t have to.
“What? Chicken?” Hayden asks.
Is she really being a pain in my hide when she’s the one who came to us for help?
“No, I just don’t want to hurt you,” I say. Then I turn to Deklan. “But, I guess if I have too.”
“Good,” Hayden says in a cheery voice, and then she walks ahead into the training room. Chase’s eyes follow her the entire way. Deklan and Damen follow her, and then her sister, then everyone else.
Chase catches me staring. I raise an eyebrow, but don’t say anything, and instead go ahead into the training room.
Damen and Deklan stand near to the door in stiff silence with their arms folded across their chests their eyes on Hayden in the center of the room, while everyone else is scattered around the room talking amongst themselves. Sarah and Remi had joined us when we got back, and now Remi is talking to Hayden’s sister, and a few feet away from them, Sarah is talking to Duke, and Alec. Everyone quiets when I step in front of Hayden.
We go head to head, my eyes just an inch higher than hers. She stares at me with a look I can’t read.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” She asks me, as she cracks her knuckles. “I wouldn’t want to hurt you.”
My lips tip up, and I crack my neck. “That is not something you should worry about.”
I begin bouncing on the top of my feet, and we begin to circle each other both of us in a boxing stance. We make a full circle twice before she steps her left foot out and throws her right fist towards me. I thrust my left hand up raising her arm so that her side is uncovered and throw a fist at it. It hits, and she jerks back, her fists going with. Her smile is gone now, and we circle each other again. We both throw fists, while the other blocks, until she gets a good hit in, knocking me in the jaw. My head flies to the side, and I feel blood pool in my mouth. I spit it out, and wipe my mouth with the back of my hand. When I turn back to her, there is a smile on my face.
“Finally, you are actually trying.”
A few more hits pass and then she nails me in the stomach. With lightning fast speed, she is behind me, an arm around my neck.
“This is me trying,” she says into my ear, as her arm around my neck tightens.
I don’t fight it. Instead, I reach up with both of my hands, and I grip her arm. Using all of my weight, I lean forward, and throw her over my shoulder, and slamming her on her back on the ground. She flips onto her stomach to push herself up, and that is when I pounce. I jump on her back, slamming her back into the ground, and I grab her arm, pulling it back, and twisting it up. She doesn’t even make a sound to show if she is in pain or not.
“Give?” I ask her, leaning down to look at her face.
She hesitates for a moment, as if weighing her options. Then she nods.
“Yeah, I give.”
I fall away from her and sit on my butt, breathing heavily.
“Are you sure she lost her powers?” I hear Lily ask Duke, but I don’t say anything. I stand up, and wipe away the sweat from my forehead with the bottom lining of my t-shirt as Hayden rolls over and sits up.
“Good fight,” she says, without looking at me.
“You too,” I reply and hold out my hand. She looks at it for a second, then grabs it and I pull her up.
I hate to admit it but, she was right. She will be a good asset to us.
Later on, after Chase has driven me to his house, where we sneak up to his room. His father is sound asleep in his bed, and his sister is out for the weekend. We slide off our shoes, and then crawl into the queen size bed with soft blue sheet, and somehow it feels like the most natural thing in the world – being here with him.
Leaning down, he kisses me on the forehead, then the cheek, then the lips. I angle my head, deepening the kiss, and then he rolls so that his body is covering mine; then we both roll under the covers.
A while later, Chase is asleep, laying on his stomach, his face shoved into the pillow. My hand plays with the blond curls on his head. Something moves in the left corner of my eye, and for a second my heart stops. I flinch away, close my eyes, and count to five while taking a deep breath. When I reopen them and look at the spot near the window again, there is nothing there. I fall against my bed, breathing fast. Thank god. It’s not real. Six months ago, on New Years Eve, I saw my mother. Not my mothers twin sister, but my mother. It was her with her long brown hair, and bright blue eyes. I looked away, and when I looked back seconds later, she was gone. The same thing happened this morning in first period, and against just now. It has to be my imagination. Nothing else makes sense.
Closing my eyes again, I take another deep breath, and try to fall asleep. It was just my imagination. It was just my imagination. It was just my imagination.
Fin, for now. Have a great week y’all. Stay rad.