Antioch tensed up as a scalpel of another sort touched his throat.
“She trusts you.” said Raven. “I do not see any reason to honor you with my trust.”
Raven dug his claw in deeper.
“And how am I supposed to do anything for her if my neck is slit?”
“How can I trust that you will do anything other than kill her?” He growled. “There’s only one way that I know.”
Robin frowned. “Raven. Don’t be stupid.”
Antioch exhaled a subtle sigh of relief. My gamble paid off.
“I know him. He holds someone else’s memories inside his stupid block-shaped head. If you change him, there ain’t no sure bet he’ll remember how to fix her.”
“It’s nice to see my boy inherited my intelligence.”
“Shut your mouth! You ain’t got any say in this conversation. So, SHUT THE FREAKIN’ HECK UP!”
“Robin.” Raven’s breathing became a loud, tired pant. “I…tired…cannot….cannot…tired…” His claw retreated.
Antioch stabbed Missy in the neck.
Raven roared and tackled him, knocking the white-haired man to the floor. Antioch shoved him off, sending the vampire into the rolling stand, which rolled away until it hit the wall. Surgical instruments exploded off the tray.
Raven charged back at him.
Antioch stood and punched him.
That accomplished only one thing: Infuriated Raven beyond reason.
The vampire bared his fangs and dived at Antioch’s neck.
Antioch swung another punch.
Raven grabbed his wrists and forced him down to the floor.
Antioch struggled to break free.
His smile was neither kindly nor benign.
It was fierce and cold.
It was the last thing Antioch saw before Raven bit his neck.
It took Raven a lot longer than usual to come out of the blood high. Or maybe it just seemed that way because of his day exhaustion
Raven slowly licked his lips as he watched Antioch struggle through the change. He offered him no assistance nor any helpful bits of advice. Not even a single touch of comfort.
Just a whole brick wall of silent observation.
“OH, HOLY HOT DARNATION!”
Raven glanced at Robin, who was rushing to the sink. He stepped on the hands-free pedal and frantically gulped down the water.
“Is she all right?”
Robin gulped down another mouthful before glaring at him. “You coulda warned me that her blood was like that. Ya stupid white-gloved—-ohhhh….” He stuck his mouth under the faucet and resumed gulping.
Antioch became silent and still. He stayed still and blank-eyed for seven minutes. He exhaled a hard breath and blinked. His gaze moved about in a restless, unfocused way.
Antioch stiffened and focused on him. “hungry.” he whispered.
“Of course, you are. There is something you must do first.”
Antioch’s pupils widened. He stood too fast and tripped and fell. “Lord.”
Raven stood over him. “Yes. I am your lord and you must obey me.”
“Who am I? I don’t remember. I can’t.”
Robin finished his chugging and came over to Raven’s side. “I could sure use a good nap right about now.”
“Show him who he is.”
Robin sighed. “Stupid as always. I ain’t got his memories. Just my dad’s. And that sure ain’t gonna help us right now.”
“Fine.” Raven looked at Antioch, who shrank from his gaze. “Come, sir. I know who can help you.”
Antioch followed him as if he were a dog on a leash.
Raven stopped by Missy.
Her neck was healed.
He glanced back at Robin. “How did you heal her?”
Robin scoffed. “It’s what I do. I can heal humans. Stupid. Can’t heal my injuries, but I can sure heal humans. Someone had a sick sense of humor when they gave me that ability.”
She opened her eyes.
Raven’s expression softened. “Missy.”
Pretty shirtless Raven.
“I need your help. I…” Only then did he realize her feelings for Antioch were not the same as his. He realized in the same moment that he was in big trouble. “I am sorry, Missy. He hurt you. He tried to kill you.”
Her eyebrows quilted up. Antioch…Is he…Is he dead?
“He’s worse than dead. He’s changed.”
She shook her head.
No. NO! NONONONONONONONONONO!
“Missy! I had to do it. I had no choice. He wanted to kill you. He tried to kill you. He was never going to fix you. Never going to let you go. Missy.” He tried to think of a way to excuse it, to further explain it. But all he could say was, “I’m sorry.”
She hid her face in her hands and wept silently.
Raven felt completely lost.