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10.86% Blood & Juniper (A Vampire Tale) / Chapter 10: Unexpected (Part 2)

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Chapter 10: Unexpected (Part 2)

The machine rocks violently to a stop and the man retrieves the hose to leave. I stare at the girl, waiting for the inevitable. She comes to a ridged stop for a brief moment before speeding onto the lot, I suspect the hesitation may have been a small pang of humanity calling out.

I purse my lips as my eyes glaze over. I envision the murder, she'll go right for his throat, we all go for the throat our first time.

I blink, cocking my head in fascination as she discredits my prediction, throwing herself on the asphalt a few paces behind the pumps. Her frame twitches and jerks as she puts up a good fight, I find myself admiring her tenaciousness. I was right about one thing, she is not a killer and her actions prove she has no intentions of being one. My brows pull to together in pity, that's what makes this so much worse, she cannot defy her nature.

I just stand back, useless like I always seem to be as she loses her inner-brawl. She makes another dash for him, he's almost in his car but he won't even have the chance to close the door.

Again, I'm surprised and a little concerned this time. She purposely directs her charge into the back of the pump, still opposing what she obviously craves. My eyes flash over to the startled man as I head over to one of my planned spots if things were to go awry. I listen for another heartbeat inside the storefront hoping it's not elevated, she slammed into the back of the machine pretty hard. My eyes flick back over to the girl to examine the damage. 'Yep, that's going to leave a mark... on the machine not the girl.'

"Hey!" the guy yelps like a little scared chihuahua trying to act big and tough.

I can't make out any unusual activity in the storefront, so this might actually work out for the best. If the guy outside is idiotic enough to wander behind the pump the slaughter will be concealed and even easier to tie up loose ends.

Alright, buddy, are you a coward or an idiot. I find myself having a faint interest in how things will unravel, it's going to be awful, so may as well make the best of it.

The seconds tick by as the petrified man decides on the smart but cowardly route. My watch veers back over to the girl, my face quickly ridden with pity she seems to know how to pull from me. Kick starting that old well of empathy I thought had dried up a long time ago. Seeing her clearly suffering and writhing against the metal barrier brings me great displeasure, it actually pains me.

I furrow my brows determined, a shred of my old self ignites, lighting like a match in a windowless basement. Illuminating all lost things that are often forgotten in a basement. A desire to shield her, grant her solace kindles within.

Her stark yellow eyes roll upward beaming with monstrous intent and total hopelessness, tears stream down the soft cheeks dissolving the last of that human virtue she clung with waning strength. My still heart pangs with sharpness. Unsure of what I am doing or what I will do, I rush to her side. I'm done impassively speculating from the sidelines.

The beastly aura swallows her up, eyes closed tight her lips part slightly as a few teeth shift into a points. The energy is contagious and I find myself wanting the man too, sensing a heat in my own eyes, fangs at the ready to tear flesh from bone.

I push that need down, intent on aiding her, not participating in the carnage.

I grab her by the wrists aggressively as she turns to lunge, it would have left bruises if she were still human.

She jerks with supernatural strength but I keep her there all too easily. Let's just say, when it comes to excersizing super strength and agility, I have a more than few year of experience on her. That, and feeding recently helps out, too.

Eye bright as the moon snap open in fury, a growl spills out behind bared teeth, directed at me. It's usually not a good idea to get in between a vampire and their target unless you're set on getting into a bloody confrontation. Even new vampires can spark surprising amounts of strength and aggression when loosing control. Regardless, I hold my ground, flooding her with my dominating vibes, letting her know that I will overpower her if she attempts to strike at me.

Self realization sparks in her face, complete bewilderment. That is, before the sound of the car turning over sends her back into a frenzied state.

She tries again to escape, lurching with more force than the last. I'm still too strong for her, she doesn't even have a pray of slipping away.

In her crazed frame of mind she snaps her deadly teeth, attempting to bite me. I react more beastly than I would have liked, it was instinctual. I reposition the small girl harshly, standing defensively and dominate over her as I feel growl rumble low in my throat. Baring my teeth, I make it clear who would win the fight she's trying to initiate.

Just like before, she looks at me stunned, but her face soon melts and her eyes fill with pain.

"Help me." the words are but a whisper on her quivering lips.

A sharp tingle strikes my chest, quick like a bolt of electricity. Once again the foreign feeling of empathy sucker punches me. I... want to help, but I don't know how.

She continues stare into my eyes with those heartbreaking tear filled ones. I want to take the suffering away. I contemplate using suggestion on her, but I'm well aware that's a band-aid and not a permanent fix. Besides, it might do more harm than good in the long run.

Her tortured gaze drifts over in the direction of that damn guy driving off. He's a lucky son of a bitch, he doesn't even know how close he was to being a victim of a gruesome homicide.

She pulls at my hold a third time but it's different than before, more anguished rather than an uncontrollable reflex.

"Let go of me, I need him!" She cries as if she's going to die.

I nod internally, 'I know, I know you "need" him, but I also know you don't really want that.' I breathe out quietly through my nose. God knows what I would give to dine on him, too.

"Is that really what you want?" I ask calmly, it's rhetorical of course, I know she doesn't want that. I can see it plainly her face, no need for vocal confirmation.

"Yes...! NO! Arrgh!"

'Mmhmm.' I almost make the sound but keep it to myself.

She closes her sad eyes and that face continues to slope further while crude reality settles in.

I loosen my grip, she's back in her mind for now. If that's for better or worse I can't really say. Doubts begin to trickle in, I wonder if interfering was the best call, maybe I *am* just making this experience so much worse. Perhaps ripping the her inevitable fate off like a band-aid is how it should've been handled. We all kill eventually.

She takes me off guard when she throws herself at me, curling into my chest while weeping softly. I just freeze up like an idiot. *This* was the last thing I expected and I was running through all the possibilities earlier. She obviously didn't recognize me, there's no chance she'd seek comfort from someone who was involved when her life got turned upside down.

A tinge of guilt slips in. I may have not been directly responsible but was I an unintentional catalyst? I don't think I have a right to offer comfort, but I lightly hold her anyway. I question if it's an act of selfishness, comforting her to ease my own guilt.

She doesn't squirm like I half expected. She may have transformed from a weak human into a perfect predator just yesterday, but she still looks so frail and delicate in my arms. I shift my fingers in a lock of her hair, the other hand making light circles with my thumb on her shoulder.

She kept her face buried in my chest for a great while so I continued to hold her gently, taking in that magical fragrance emitting from her skin.

A bizarre urge rises, I want to hold her tighter, having her in my arms is just right. A protective impulse swells.

'Mine', a beast declares somewhere deep.

What the hell has gotten into me? I understand my desire to protect her from corruption, she's a rare untainted flower, but I dislike this possessiveness.

I let go of her abruptly, feeling like a stranger in my own body. Some alone time to collect myself will do me good.

She shyly removes herself, looking down at the ground. She's too innocent for this life.

"Thanks..." she expresses sheepishly.

She's thanking me? She shouldn't be thanking me, as soon as she gets a good look at who I am I'll get the repugnance I've rightly earned.

"Sure," I lamely acknowledge.

She finally looks up to examine me.

"*You*," The words roll off her tongue in disgust as resentfulness is clearly written in her wide eyes.

My outward demeanor remains unchanged, this is the reaction I expected and the one I deserve. I wait for her to make her next move wither that be yelling or getting violent, I'll let her get it out of her system.

She gawks openly appalled. "Wha.... were you following me?!"

I tilt my head to the side, that's the first thing she's going to say to me? I glance over her shoulder and back to her face.

"I could smell you. I didn't think it was possible, you should have been dead. So yes, I followed you... I can't believe you've actually managed to cheat death."

"You... could smell me?" She asks dumbfounded. This woman is not reacting at all how I envisioned. She should be telling me what a piece of shit I am or try to pay me back by inflicting pain on me... She should be, right?

"Yeah, you carry a distinct scent."

"Is it a good scent?" her expression softens a little as she raises one brow.

Now I'm the one who's baffled and I'm sure the expression I'm wearing is completely stupid.

Seeing my confusion, she shakes her head slightly, putting an angry face back on before continuing.

"Well, why did you help me just now? Were you even trying to help me?" her glare nailing me against an invisible wall as her sharp skepticism hammers blatantly.

Why did I help her? I look down at the worn road for a few moments to think through my motivations for aiding her, before meeting her scrunched up face again.

"It looked like you really didn't want to kill him, so I stepped in."

"But *why*?"

I gazed up at buzzing street lamp with insects swarming the yellowed light to reflect on my actions. I guess, I sympathized with her being at the mercy of that inner devil I know all too well? Because, I didn't want to see that innocence she wore so perfectly be tarnished? Because, for some unknown reason I actually cared about her well being?

I finally responded, "I don't know."

I truly didn't know.


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