Missy sat on the paper sheet covering the cold surgery table.
The trembling didn’t start until she saw the array of instruments on his surgical tray.
He’s going to help me.
He’s going to fix me.
Missy looked up at him.
He smiled benignly at her as he put on his surgical mask.
The two vampires ran up to the fourth floor on just pure adrenaline. If either of them had stopped to consider what they were doing, their day exhaustion would have walloped their backsides.
So, they kept moving.
“Are you ready?”
She dug her fingers into the paper sheet on the table. Her hands glowed a hot red-orange. A wift of smoke rose from the sheet.
He noticed. “Calm down. I won’t hurt you. You can trust me. I only want what’s best for you.”
The glow faded slowly.
She released her grip on the sheet.
“Good, XQ. Are you ready?”
The two vampires reached the fourth floor and kept running.
Down a hallway lined with a multitude of doors. According to the map Raven had found, the Surgical Services suite was nine doors down the hall.
Raven mentally counted the doors as he ran past them.
Missy thought about Raven.
His silky black hair.
His dark red eyes.
His pretty face.
I wish he were here.
“XQ. Are you ready?”
I really wish he were here.
“Nine!” A sign lay plastered on the door – “Surgical Services”.
The two vampires tore the door down.
Missy laid down on the cold metal surface.
Antioch smoothed out her hospital gown.
She closed her eyes.
The two vampires ran through the reception/waiting area.
Past way too many exam rooms.
She opened her eyes.
Master. Will this…will this hurt?
He didn’t reply.
Antioch picked up a syringe with a long, thick needle from the surgical tray.
He uncapped it.
It’s going to hurt.
It’s going to hurt.
HE’S GOING TO HURT ME!
He stabbed the needle into her throat.
Her scream reverberated inside Raven’s head, causing him to trip and fall.
Raven bowed his head. “We’re too late.”
“He’s done something to her.”
“I said, shut up.”
“She’s in pain.”
“SHUT THE HECK UP OR I’LL KICK YOUR LIVER INTO YOUR SPLEEN!” Robin knelt beside him. “Don’t say another word, Raven. Just shut your pretty little lips up.”
“You don’t seem to understand.”
“I do. You can weep and whine later. Right now, we need to charge in there and kick stupid Antioch out the window after shredding his gizzards. Come on. Before we both lose our energy and knock out, let’s get this done.”
Raven nodded and rose to his feet. “Let’s get this done.”
Antioch smiled as she slipped into unconsciousness.
He turned to his surgical tray and considered the various instruments. “That one.” He picked up a scalpel and returned to her side.
Regret crushed him.
But only for a moment.
“It has to be done. My colleagues would agree with me. We can’t just let you leave, XQ.” He pressed the scalpel against her throat. “My dear XQ.”
He stopped and raised his head as the surgery door banged open. “Hello.”
Raven snarled. “Back away from her.” He extended his claws. “NOW!”
Antioch looked down at her, at the scalpel, and weighed his options. He stood up straight and uncovered his mouth. “I thought you wanted me to do this.”
“You hurt her.”
“It was only an injection to knock her out. Did you really expect me to operate on her while she was conscious?”
Raven winced as his day exhaustion kicked in. “Robin.”
The other vampire came up to him and squeezed his shoulder. “I’m here.”
He struggled to keep his eyes open. “Help me.”
“It’s okay. Just hold on. Put your arm around my neck. Good.”
Antioch lost interest in whatever they were trying to do. He turned his attention back to Missy.
Something ticked and clicked wrong in his mind. I can’t do this. She trusts me.
But I’ve worked so hard on getting her just right. I can’t just undo that all and give her away.
But how is that any different from killing her?
He listened to the sound of their klutzy, uncoordinated footsteps on the cement floor.
I lose her either way.
But if I kill her, he doesn’t get her either.
He smiled. I knew that was the right choice.
Now, I know why.
The scalpel’s blade bit deep into her skin.