Missy looked down at the sleeping vampire.
His head lay in her lap.
“I feel like he’s weighting me down and not just because his head’s in my lap. He’s keeping me here. He’s keeping me from returning to The Institute.”
“Can we really stay here? Me and him? Antioch already knows that I’m here. So, this location is no longer secure. But where else can I run to? Where can I hide where Antioch won’t find me?”
Missy sighed. “Maybe I should just give up and go home. I probably will. I always do.” She pinched the longer ends of his hair and raised it to its full length. She released it.
His hair fell soft and light on his skin.
“I wonder if he’d want to come with me. I don’t think they’d accept him, though. They’d just send him home and I’d be alone and I’d want to escape and I would escape and I’d find him again and I’d stay with him until I want to go home again and I’d go home again and…”
He rolled onto his side and laid his hand right above her knee.
Her heart raced.
Antioch laid his hand right above her knee. “Don’t be afraid, XQ. Sit still.” He raised the needle.
She grabbed the paper sheet on the exam table.
“This will hurt.”
The needle was so long.
The needle was so thick.
She shook her head.
“XQ. DON’T RESIST.”
She sat still.
But her heart wouldn’t be still. It raced.
He tapped the needle a couple of times.
Her heart beat like a caged bird throwing itself at its prison bars.
He thrust the needle in the semi-circle of skin between his thumb and his index finger.
She couldn’t tense up.
She couldn’t scream.
Not even when he injected the fire into her bones.
Tears fell down her face.
He pulled the needle out.
“All right. Now, for the other knee…”
Missy escaped the confined space under the desk.
She stood there, trembling and anxiously rubbing her throat. “My voice is still there. My voice is still there. It’s still there. It’s still there.”
She shook her head and backed away from the desk until she bumped into the chalkboard. An dusty eraser fell out of place and hit the floor.
She let out a sharp cry and ran out of the room.
Halfway to the front door, she turned into a creature of fire. She ran faster and escaped into the cold, into the daylight, into the falling snow.