Rise of the Dark Sun (The Blood Lust Plague Trilogy Book 1) (10 page)

This news would break him, simple as that.

Constance knew she had to tell Micah as soon as possible, but there was another part of her that wanted him to remain asleep, at least for a little while, before his whole world came crashing down around him.

Espionage? It was a set up! It had to be! Why would Samantha be a spy? How could Samantha be a spy? No, it had to be planned. There would be no other reason for us to be drugged. Samantha was supposed to wake up and overhear something that she was really not supposed to overhear so that they could blame something on her and give just cause for arresting her. But, she was doing so much good. Why?

And then, Constance remembered the award Samantha was given and she gasped in horror, “Micah!” Constance called, moving back over to the bed.

“What is it, Constance? We’re sleeping!” Micah groaned.

Apparently, he thought Samantha was safely tucked away, sound asleep next to him.

Saddened by having to be the bearer of such awful news, Constance took a deep breath and placed a hand on Micah’s shoulder. “Micah, it’s about Samantha,” she said. “You need to wake up.”

It took a long moment, but her words finally resonated with Micah and he awoke, fully alert, with a start. “Samantha? Constance, what’s wrong?”

Now that he was looking at her, with wide eyes and a face marked with concern, Constance felt the tears returning. Constance was not one to cry very often, but right now that was her only sensible reaction. “I’m sorry…” She said finally.

Micah’s heart began to pound wildly in his chest as he looked around the room and realized he was not where he had fallen asleep. “What’s going on?” Micah looked back at Constance with fear and desperation in his eyes
. “Constance, what happened? Where is Samantha?” Micah’s eyes were hard and his voice was cold.

“She was arrested by the
Vampire Government…” Constance blurted, handing Micah the letter and closing her eyes, ashamed. Even though she had nothing to do with the betrayal, she still felt that by having to tell Micah, she was betraying him. She loved him and Samantha; the last thing she wanted was to hurt either of them and now, she knew that by delivering this news to Micah, she was not only hurting him, but destroying him.

Micah snatched the letter out of Constance’s hand and began to read. As his eyes passed over the letter, his already pale complexion faded even more. “No…” Micah shook his head. Looking up at Micah, his eyes bloodshot from trying to keep his emotion bound up inside of him. “Constance…What happened?” Micah asked
, his voice breaking as he spoke.

Constance thought about every word before she spoke, trying to calm Micah before his anger exploded and he did something rash
: “Micah, I’m not sure yet. I know that she did not do anything wrong. I have a strong feeling that she was set up.” Before Micah could rise up, Constance put her hands up to stop Micah from reacting. “But before we do anything stupid, we have to think.”

“There is nothing to think about. She
…Samantha is in danger. We must bring her back. The longer she stays there…Who knows what they are doing to her in there,” Micah growled, ignoring Constance’s warning and sitting up to get out of the bed.

Constance tried to stand in his way, but Micah’s eyes glowed red as he demanded, “Move!” Pushing past her, Micah moved towards the door. “Don’t pretend I wouldn’t do the same for you.” Micah hissed as Constance grasped after him.

Moving quickly, Constance held tight to Micah’s arms, pulling him back. Pushing to get in front of him, Constance bared her teeth.

Backing up, out of surprise, Micah glared at her, bearing his teeth as well. “Don’t. This is not the time, Constance.”

“Micah, listen to me! You cannot go in there half-cocked. Since they have arrested Samantha, they will be looking for any excuse to arrest and kill us all!” Constance grabbed onto Micah’s arms and drooped down so that he was forced to carry her weight or run her over if he were to persist. On her knees, she besought Micah to listen. “Please! I love you both! I do not want any harm to come to either of you.” Again, tears began to stream down Constance’s face. “Micah, I beg you to hear me. If you go like this, you will die! I cannot lose you!” Constance screamed, burying her had into Micah’s pants, sobbing.

Finally, although his heart raced and the madness was cascading through him as th
rough a wild beast, Micah could not leave Constance now. After a pause, Micah put a hand on her head and then dropped to her eye level. As she looked at him, Micah demanded, “Then what do you propose we do?”

Still with fresh streaks of water beginning to dry on Constance’s cheeks, she smiled
. “We have to get in so that we can get her out.”

An hour later, Constance dressed to kill, obviously a woman on a mission, stormed up to the first guard at the prison, official notice letter in hand, while Micah followed her lead. “What is the meaning of this?” Constance demanded.

The guard took the notice and replied, “It means that your ward is in some pretty deep trouble.” As his eyes scanned over the letter, he smirked.

Yanking the letter from his grasp, Constance moved in close to the guard
. “Do you regard me as an idiot? Of course, I know how to read. What I meant was, what right do they have for detaining my ward?”

“I suppose they have a good reason…”
the guard said, seemingly caught off guard.

“You suppose they have a good reason?” Constance mocked
. “Well, I could suppose you are an intelligent vampire, but from our conversation here, I would be easily proven gravely mistaken!” Constance, normally a mild mannered vampire, was now screaming erratically.

“What is the meaning of this?” Cedric came out from the way Constance and Micah had come.

“It is I who should be asking you the same thing, Cedric! How can it be that just a night before, you were praising my ward, and now you have locked her up for espionage?” Constance demanded, pushing the letter into him.

Cedric took the letter into his hand but he did not read it. Rather, he prepared to act out his obviously tailored response
: “Dear Constance, we were all hoodwinked and outraged by Samantha’s betrayal, but she is a Quencher, after all, so our kind can never be too careful.”

“What had she done?” Constance asked.

“She was spying on a meeting that we held, trying to obtain information that could destroy us all. However, we understand that you and your boy have nothing to do with that, and you will not be bothered anymore after she has been dealt with.”

“You mean killed
,” Constance spat.

“We could not risk her using any information she did obtain against the vampire race. She knows far too much not to be a danger. However, if you renounce her…” Cedric replied, still as though he was reading from a script.

“I will do what I deem necessary, Cedric, but first, I want to see her,” Constance said finally.

After a moment, where Cedric looked around, catching Micah’s hard glower in his sights and feeling a slight but immediate cause for trepidation, he replied, “Yes, Constance. You have the right to visit your ward. Just, make it quick.”

Constance nodded as the guard opened the door that led to the cells, “Yes, of course. Thank you.”

As Micah passed, Cedric began to stop him, but the look in Micah’s eyes made him think twice about disturbing his wishes. Micah nodded to him as he passed.

Once they were inside, Constance and Micah made their way to the cell where Samantha was being held. Still in her dress from the night before, it was now dirty, tattered and bloody. Samantha’s olive complexion was now darkened with bruises and her throat was covered in bite marks. She looked as though she had not been fed or given water for weeks—not only a few hours.

Seeing her there, Micah’s heart broke. Leaning against the bars that separated them, he called her name. Samantha did not respond. Samantha’s head remained down and she continued in her deathly silence, just staring absently into space. Looking desperately back at Constance, Micah demanded, “What has happened to her?”

Stone-faced and seemingly without hope, Constance replied, “She has been drained regularly, far surpassing a healthy limit. If she remains like this, she will die.”

“Well, that’s why we’re here, aren’t we?” Micah asked, ushering for Constance to take out the key she had swiped from the guard.

Constance glared at him, but did not have a chance to respond before Samantha snapped out of her daydream and noticed they were there. “Constance! Micah!” Samantha’s pale and cracking lips said in a voice that was waning. “I didn’t do anything wrong. They were going to kill you. They are taking all of the Quenchers into slavery and take over the human race. That is what they have planned for me. Please go. Now! The head vampire threatened you. It’s not safe for you here.”

“We are not leaving you!” Micah insisted
. “But don’t worry. I’ve got an idea that just might get us out of here.”

Chapter 10

Micah explained his plan, which was for the two women to change places before the guards noticed. Moving quickly, Samantha and Constance switched clothing, and then Samantha and Micah locked the cell door behind Constance. “Are you sure you’ll be alright?” Samantha asked as Micah pulled her into his arms. “No,” Micah replied, but I know what must be done. We have to warn the human race of what is planned against them. To do this, we have to expose ourselves to them, show them that vampires do exist.”

“How can we do that?” Samantha asked curiously while squeezing onto Micah tighter. “My love, we have to expose ourselves in the sunlight, which will burn our very existence, but prove that vampires are side-by-side with humans. The only way to save them, is to make them aware in time
before this plan of Operation Dark Sun can be completed. Constance can record the event and work to distribute it across the viral internet.”

Samantha whispered out “but I don’
t want to lose you Micah…” Micah slowly kneeled down to Samantha, “If I don’t get blood into you soon Samantha, you will die. I don’t want to live without you, but I can’t live with myself knowing the entire human race is at stake and we didn’t attempt to stop it. My love for you is everlasting, and we shall expose ourselves together after you turn, forever cementing our bond.”

Constance finally spoke,
“Throughout my years, I have done so much that I am ashamed of. I have wronged so many in my pursuit for respect. Now, I have a chance to serve penance for my wrong-doing. It will all be worth it when you show the world who you are. The time of Operation Dark Sun is approaching, indeed, but thanks to you, their plan may falter and not go as expected. Go well, my friends. Whatever happens, I am proud to be on your side.” Constance smiled at the two, and then her face paled as she moved into character.

Micah slipped Constance the key to her cell, “Thank you, Constance.” Micah said with an abundance of gratefulness spilling onto his words.

Constance nodded as she took the key and moved back to Samantha’s place in the corner of the cell.

After ensuring that Samantha’s hood hid her features well enough, the two walked out of the jails and moved passed the guard.

“Hey!” the guard yelled, “You have to sign away guardianship.”

“All in time. Don’t you think she has been through enough today?” Micah replied, holding Samantha tight to him and resisting the urge to rip out the guard’s throat. Without waiting for an answer, the two hurried away from the consulate.

Once Samantha and Micah were a safe distance away, Micah took Samantha into his arms and fled back to their dwelling in town.

As Micah lay Samantha on the bed, she asked in a dry,
hoarse voice, “How long do you think it will be until they discover our switch?”

Micah was not sure, but he knew that it was best to be positive, “I do not think they will. It is nearly dawn
, and although they have your blood, they have to sleep sometime. By that time, Constance will be in hiding and we will be preparing for our reveal.”

“It really is such a good plan, Micah. I know it is the only way
.” Although Samantha smiled, Micah detected sadness in her voice.

Lying down beside her, Micah took her into his arms. “I love you, Samantha
, and I am so sorry, but it is time.”

After a deep, quivering breath, Samantha asked, “Will you hold me until I wake up?”

“Forever and always,” Micah replied, “You are and always will be my love, my reason for living, my whole world, my everything.”

Samantha smiled and swallowed hard as Micah sliced his hand open with his fang. Holding it out to her, he said, “Drink
. You will not feel a thing, I promise.”

Samantha leaned up to Micah and kissed him for one final time as a true human or as a Quencher
, and then, she began to drink of his hand. The first taste tasted like road-kill to Samantha, probably because Micah had not eaten in a while and blood was stagnant in his veins. However, since this was the first time Samantha had ever drank anyone’s blood, she could not be sure that was the reason. Though, after the first swallow of Micah’s blood had dripped down Samantha’s throat, a craving overcame her. Samantha took another mouthful of his blood and swallowed it. Not that it tasted much better, but the blood seemed to be revitalizing her. Instantly, she felt flush as the blood began to course through her veins. Encouraged by this feeling, Samantha drank more. Life began to return to her. The more blood she took from him, the more she seemed to feel empowered. Samantha could feel the disease taking its toll on her body. It seemed as though the more she took in, the more pain and fatigue she felt washed out, instantly.

After drinking for some time, Samantha sensed that she had taken enough. Samantha felt satisfied and relaxed. Pulling away from Micah’s hand, she ran her tongue over her parched lips, happy to discover that their fullness had returned.

Micah looked at Samantha and smiled. “You are glowing,” he said, “How was it?”

Samantha thought a moment and then nodded
. “Not too bad. It doesn’t hurt.”

Micah nodded
. “Good!” As he embraced her, he said, “Now, all that is left to do is wait. Eventually, you will fall asleep, and when you wake up you will be fully vampire.”

“Thank you,” Samantha replied, hugging him back tightly. “I love you,” she whispered.

“I love you, and I am so sorry that it had to come to this. I wanted so much for you during our life. I did not want things to end like this.” Pulling away, Micah stared at Samantha for a moment and then added, “I wanted to build as normal a life as possible with you. In fact, I even contemplated asking you to find a true human donor so that we may have kids and carry on the Quencher legacy. Of course, they would have a choice, but…” Micah’s eyes shined, “I just imagined everything so much differently. Our lives, as well as the life I could provide you, and now, all of that ends at dawn tomorrow morning.”

Knowing the hurt in Micah’s eyes was real, Samantha took his head in her hands and stroked his cheek
. “Micah,” she replied softly, “I love you. Our destiny was written to end tomorrow. At least we ultimately are able to end it on our terms, our way, together. This past month has been the best time of my entire life. I have learned so much and been loved so deeply; there is nothing for which I would have traded the time we have spent or the time we have left. My heart belongs to you. When I made this decision, I promised myself that wherever that road led me, I would follow it, having been thankful for what I have had.” Samantha thought for a moment and then said, “And besides, knowing what I know now, I would never have wanted children: little Quenchers growing up in this terrible existence. I would never want this for a child.”

Micah nodded
. “I agree. This was all before…” Micah’s voice trailed off as though he could not bear to think about it any longer. “I just feel so bad that you never had a choice,” Micah added after a moment of silence.

“But I did have a choice. I chose you
, and that was the best decision I have ever made!” Samantha smiled, and leaned in to kiss Micah.

When the lovers finally broke away, Samantha began to feel exhausted.

Noticing her waning energy, Micah cradled Samantha in his arms and held her close. Thankful, Samantha cuddled closer to him. As soon as Samantha was settled, she slipped into a deep and seemingly endless sleep.

This sleep was like nothing Samantha had ever experienced before. At first, Samantha felt as though she was being rocked ever so gently into a dark, calming abyss. She traveled back and forth by the power of unseen arms, sinking deeper and deeper into the recesses of her own mind.

Eventually, however, the rocking began to make Samantha feel ill. She willed for the rocking to stop, but she only began to feel herself drop quicker as the feeling of swaying was replaced by a distinct plummeting feeling. Samantha had been consumed in dreams of falling before, but nothing to this extreme.

Samantha felt her heart pounding and her ears ringing as her stomach felt as though it w
ere twisted in knots. The longer she fell, the more panicked Samantha became. She tried to stop herself by grabbing at the blackness surrounding her, but all she felt was nothingness. Samantha flailed in thin air, but only seemed to fall longer and faster. Eventually, she tried to scream, reminding herself that she was still alive so long as this was just the transformation into becoming a vampire, but no sound escaped her lips. It was as though she was falling through a vacuum. Nothing she did could stop it and no sound could penetrate it. She wondered if her body was lying on the bed, peaceful and seemingly undisturbed or if her body was in fact jerking around violently, causing Micah to fear he had made the wrong decision in changing her. For Micah’s sake, she hoped the former, but for her own, she wished Micah knew to try to wake her up.

No matter what she did
, though, Samantha continued to fall, with no end or change in surroundings. She fell forever, continuing to fear the end that logically had to come eventually. Samantha contemplated what that end could be. However, the end all depended on where she was.
Would it be water or pavement?
Samantha thought, not sure exactly what to hope for.
However, if this is all taking place in my mind, then there is no tangible logic, so there hypothetically never needs to be a logical end. Can I just fall like this forever? Is there a beginning, but no end? Perhaps I am in a coma…
Samantha continued to fall, and her heart continued to beat erratically, threatening to bounce out of her chest. Her head pounded, and she began to think of every instant that had been important to the development of her life. Everything Samantha had done to get her to this moment came to the forefront of her mind in one long, overpowering wave. However, the memories were simply thoughts; nothing appeared to her in the darkness. Then, finally, Samantha’s final thought occurred to her with horror:
Maybe something went wrong. Maybe I am not changing into a vampire. Maybe this is death.

 

Constance needed to get out of her cell, but she knew she could not raise the alarm, or else none of them would stand a chance. There were no windows that allowed light into the tiny cell, probably to ensure that the prisoner did not go before their time. Constance could only judge the approaching daylight from the feeling of fatigue her body acquired. Unfortunately, it was this feeling alone that she would have to rely on.

Taking the bag of blood that Constance had made Samantha donate for emergency use out of hiding, she began to drink from it. Constance savored the taste of not only the purest blood in all the land, but probably the last taste of the nourishment that ha
d been entwined within her soul for so many centuries. The taste of this substance was not only her nutrition, but her lifestyle and her beauty. More important to her than breathing, the last of this blood marked the end of her life, although it ensured that her life would remain balanced for at least a few hours more: just enough time to get the proof she needed so that their deaths would not be in vain.

After savoring the final drop of her last meal, Constance tucked the plastic bag away again,
so as not to leave any remnants as clues of her escape. After she knew the bag was secure, she checked once more to ensure the coast was clear for her to make her move, and then she pulled the key from her person. The jingle of the metal startled Constance, but after she realized that it was only a natural noise that no one else had heard, she quickened her pace to the door.

As she weaved her arms through the bars to fit the key into the lock, she felt a sense of urgency which made her hand quiver.

Forcing defeatist thoughts from her mind, she fit the key into the lock and wriggled it until the door opened. Constance may not need to be alive for very much longer, but what she had to do with the time she had left would probably be the most important thing she had ever done throughout the span of both her true human and vampire lives. This had to come to pass, or Constance’s existence would have all been for nothing. This was her meant-to-be moment. She could not fail!

 

Samantha awoke with a start and Micah pulled her closer to him, awakening immediately. “Samantha?” he said, peering down at her, waiting for her to look up at him.

When Samantha did look up, Micah noticed the change in her immediately
, and she was beautiful! Her red hair had become even fierier than when she was a true human, and it cascaded down her back and around her with elegance, perfection and grace. Her pale skin seemed to glow, looking healthy, though much lighter than her natural true human skin tone. Samantha’s eyes lit up with life; although she was infected, she looked gorgeous! Samantha had always been angelic in her appearance, and Micah had never thought he could think of her as more beautiful, but looking at her now, he realized that he was wrong.

Samantha smiled up at him, realizing he was still with her. “Are you okay?” Micah asked.

“I am now,” she replied, “I was falling and I could not escape.”

“I’m so sorry. I did not know. The transformation is over now, so you should sleep soundly from now on.” Micah held Samantha tight.

When they broke away again, Micah asked, “So, can I see them?”

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