It has been three nights since my first time serving customers. All of my wounds were healed up by the second night. But I pretended to be in pain the whole time, to trick them into thinking I was still patching up. The normal recovery time for a girl was three nights anyway. More time for me to regain my strength. But… to be at full force for my escape, I knew I had to do one thing: feed!
“That guy dislocated my shoulder pretty bad. Three nights and I still haven’t healed up.” Jennifer complained.
“I’m sorry. I wish I could help.” I said.
“Well, it’s ok. Not like you knew how to absorb my injuries and heal them on your body.” She joked through the pain.
“Jenn…I need your help.” I whispered to her.
Jennifer raised her eyebrow, with a half curious half suspicious look on her face.
I told her everything: about my Dad, his nightly rituals, my Mom and her cancer, my brother, Eugene, and how much I love him. How I need to stay alive, to get out of here… to save him
It felt like a huge weight was lifted off my chest, being this vulnerable and exposed to another girl. I had no choice. If I wanted her to help me, I had to tell her. I had never taken a leap of faith before, well, until I met Daemon. This was my second, and hopefully, not my last leap of faith.
Jennifer sat through my life story, never once breathing. Her eyes seemed to absorb my pain into herself, and with a deep sigh, she said:
“You know, I had a little sister once. How I would have given everything to be there for her. I don’t know what happened to her after I crossed over. But every night when the pain was too much for me to bear, she was the one thing that kept me going.” Tears began to form in her dark hazel eyes.
“I’ll help you, and I’ll go with you. If I’m thinking what you must be thinking, then I already know your strategy. You can heal, much faster than the others. And that gives us the advantage and the element of surprise.”
I nodded, so relieved that she was willing to help me. I sincerely hoped she would not double-cross me when push came to shove. Because as I have witnessed, there was no second chance: you fail, you die.
“In order to pull this off”, she continued, “You need to know all you can about the security guards in the front and their extras. When we escaped, I would be in too much pain and too weak to help you, so I put my life in your hands. And this time, if we got caught, we would not get so lucky.”
“Tell me all I need to know.” I said.
“The Boss kept the front door only sufficiently guarded, for obvious reasons. All the girls are always tied up, but just in case some customers got carried away and untied them, the guards would step in. And there are four of them, each guarding a different section. The first guard you would run into, he has the ability to shoot laser out of his eyes and cause you insufferable pain, the kind of paralyzing and head-splitting pain that stops you in your track until you do what he wants.”
Ah yes, the laser, I have first-hand experience with this guy. I let Jennifer continue.
“The second guard, if we were lucky enough to make it through, his extra allows him to turn oxygen into fire! And not just around himself, but in every pore of his enemy.”
Ok, how am I going to fight someone who can cause my body to combust into flames?!
“The third guard was the most deadly, from what I can tell. He has the ability to… simply disintegrate.” A brief look of horror invaded Jennifer’s face.
“What do you mean by disintegrate?” I asked
“Meaning he could separate every atom, every cell, every nucleus in your physical form, and cause them to split apart.”
“Ok, seriously? I thought you said only the back door was filled with dangerous fighters?” The loss of hope began to dawn on me.
“Well, these three guards are nothing compared to what you would face in the back. Trust me on that.”
“And the fourth?” I let out a sigh.
“I don’t know.”
“What? What do you mean you don’t know? I thought you had the ability to sense other vampires’ extras?”
“Yes, any vampire, just not him. For some reason, every time I tried to sense his extra, something told me to back off.” Jenn said.
Ok. This is seriously starting to worry me. Maybe this was a pipedream after all. I am a freshly turned vampire. And my extra was definitely not the offensive type. Neither was Jenn’s. We would not dare involve anyone else in our scheme, for fear of them snitching on us. It would be a literal miracle if we could pull this off. How am I supposed to fight three deadly fighters, and a mysterious last stance with an unknown extra?
“Perhaps this could come in handy…” Jennifer saw the look of hopelessness on my face, and pulled out what looked like a pen with a cap on it.
“What is it?” I asked.
“It belonged to a slagshunter. He was a repeat customer of mine once. Until a few years ago, rumor has it that he and his colleague harbored a “dead body”, until that body crossed over into darkness. The new vampire caused a lot of commotion around the spice shacks in the city, seeking revenge on those who fed on him and turned him in the first place. Needless to say, the Elders do not tolerate such violation. They killed both him and his colleague.”
“Focus, Jenn!” I yanked her back from her digression.
“Oh yeah I’m sorry. You know me, the gossipy type. Guess it’s clear where my extra came from. So, this slagshunter gave me his pen the nights before he knew he would die. This pen can cut through flesh, bones, concrete, anything. Here’s the secure lock. Do not, under any circumstances, carry this pen around unlocked. You could literally cut yourself in half by accident.”
“OK. Got it, loud and clear.” I said.
We looked at each other in silence, as we knew tonight would be the night. We were either gonna escape this hell forever, or end up two piles of flesh with a punctured heart.
“I never got your name, by the way.” Jennifer asked.
“Call me Rain” I said, without blinking.
--- to be continued ---