This is the right choice for me. I know it is. It makes sense.
But what if Capernaum doesn’t come back? Can I say anything to make him come back? Will he hear me? Will he listen to me? Will he come back?
Carthage stopped at another red light and looked back at LM. “Are you okay? You’re being quiet.”
LM gave the human a long, considering look.
Why did Capernaum expect me to keep secrets from him?
“I trust you, Carthage.”
If I tell him that Antioch’s XQ is at the hospital, what’s the worst thing that could happen? What did Capernaum think would happen?
LM leaned forward. “I know where Antioch’s XQ is.”
Carthage’s eyes sparked with interest. “Oh?”
“Yes.” LM thought about Raven. “You might want to buy some stakes before we go to her.”
“What time is it, anyway?” Jeff checked his wrists.
He glanced at the walls.
“I don’t know. I’m guessing at least…five? six? o’clock. It’s still light out. So, it can’t be all that late. This day has been insanely long. It should be eight o’clock at night, but it isn’t. Not yet, anyway. But night will be here soon enough. Ambrose and Barbara will get married. Then, tomorrow morning, Elsie and Hildreth will get married. Don’t tell Elsie, but I am planning to go with the Dweeb’s big idea. Me and my other guys will stand at the altar with our weapons. It’s a crazy, demented plan, but that is why I want to do it. Because it is so crazy and demented. I mean, seriously? Who does that?” He smiled. “But it will be an awesome sight.”
Someone knocked on the door.
Jeff released Missy’s hand and answered the door.
Darius and Arabella stood on the other side.
Jeff did a quick survey of his friend’s clothes. “I see you aren’t dressed like a patient anymore. You trying to sneak out?”
Darius chuckled. “No, my doctor and nurse put their heads together and decided that I was fit enough to leave.” He turned serious. “How’s your daughter?”
“She’s alive. She’s breathing. She was just squeezing my hand. Dar, I think she’s gonna come out of it. I don’t want to be too hopeful, but I have a feeling it will be soon.”
“Here’s hoping. You are still coming to Mayhew’s wedding, right?”
“You can count on it.”
“You’ll bring your Tsunachu?” Darius asked.
“And you’ll bring your DevilsDare?”
Arabella shook her head and muttered something in fast Spanish.
Darius smiled lovingly at his wife. He replied to her in imperfect, halting Spanish.
She smiled and laid her hand along the side of his face. “Mi corazon.”
Jeff raised his eyebrows. “Was that a yes or a no?”
“Yes. I wouldn’t want to disappoint Mayhew.”
Jeff thought about Hildreth and how obviously in love he was with Elsie. “Same here.”
Carthage had taken LM’s advice and bought a couple of stakes. He had continued on his way to the hospital.
LM took one of the stakes out of the shopping bag. He carefully examined it from pointed tip to blunted crown.
It is such a simple, primitive weapon. Who came up with it? How did they know that jabbing wood into a vampire’s heart would kill it? Who was the first hunter? Who was the first vampire? How did that person become a vampire if he were the first?
I suppose any hunter would know the answer to those questions. Maybe it would even be something simple, something obvious.
LM thought about Raven. He put the weapon back into the bag.
Maybe Carthage won’t need to use it.
It’s better to be prepared.