Part 1932 – Battling Uncertainties

Carthage bit his lower lip.

I sure hope I don’t have to use those stakes. I’ve done so many things at The Institute. So many experiments. But I’ve never had to directly kill someone before. Antioch usually was the one who handled the rejects.

Maybe it will be okay.

Maybe adrenaline will take over and I won’t even realize what I’m doing. That’s how adrenaline works, right?

He sighed. “So, she’s at the hospital?”

“Yes.” LM said.

“And I need the stakes because…?”

“Because she is guarded by a vampire.”

“Ah. Is this the same one who changed Antioch?”

“To the best of my knowledge, yes.”

“Ah.” Carthage lapsed into silence as he drove through town.

LM glanced at him, but he left the silence intact.


“I couldn’t find the right moment to say this earlier, but you dodged Hildreth’s question about training with him.” Darius said. “So, what are you going to tell him?”

“I don’t know.” Jeff returned to his daughter’s side.

Darius and Arabella joined him.

“If I had to give you guys an immediate answer, I’d say that I want to wait until Tessa gets better. Then, we’ll see.”

“Sounds like yes to me.” Arabella said teasingly.

Jeff smiled. “Maybe. I just don’t know how much after care she’s gonna need. I don’t know if she’s going to need me 24/7 with no breaks in between.”

Arabella laid her hand on his arm. “We will help you if you need it.”

“Thanks. Raven has already sworn that he’ll do his part and I trust him. I believe that he will keep his word.” His expression turned serious as he did a mental run through of everything the doctor and nurses told him. “I don’t know what’s going to happen when she opens her eyes. I only know what might happen. And nothing more than that.”


Maybe Capernaum is worried that Carthage might steal Antioch’s XQ.

LM watched the buildings and other cars rush on by.

That would make sense. It would make a lot of sense. She is a very valuable creature. Anyone would pay anything for her services. The price would be ours to set and people would gladly pay it.

But it would be stupid to steal her with that vampire sitting right there. It is daytime, but he would still fight to the death for her. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he values his day sleep over her.

But I don’t think I’m wrong.

But we do have stakes. We could stake him as soon as we enter the room and take her.

Who would stop us then?


Darius pressed his fist against Jeff’s upper arm. “Don’t worry. Everything will turn out fine. You’ll see.”

“I hope.”

“It will. She’ll wake up without any complications and she’ll be fine.”

Jeff smiled. “That’s a very nice thought, but I just don’t think it will happen that way.”

“It might. If there’s anything I’ve learned and learned well, it’s that life is surprising. Sometimes things happen when everyone says that it can’t.”

“Like you and me?” Arabella asked.

Darius smiled at his wife. “Just like us. I never thought I’d fall in love.”

“Then, you met me.”

He joined hands with her. “Then, I met you. I knew right then and there just how wrong my thinking was.”

“Mi corazon.”

He kissed the back of her hand. “And you are mine.”


Carthage pulled into the parking lot and pulled into the first empty parking space he saw. He didn’t even check if it were a handicapped spot. He didn’t care. He just took it.

He unbuckled his seat belt. “Okay, LM. Let’s do this.”


LM quietly wondered what his friend was planning to do.

“Don’t forget the stakes.”

Maybe I’m right.

Maybe he is going to steal Antioch’s XQ.

The half-fey glanced around the car, hoping for Capernaum to reappear.

Capernaum did not reappear.

“If you can hear me, my dear friend, then come with me. Be with me. Let me know that this is okay. And if it isn’t, tell me why.”

But Capernaum didn’t reappear.

“LM, come on.” Carthage got out of the car.

The half-fey obeyed.

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