Legacy (Page 32)

I MAKE NO CONSCIOUS DECISION TO FLEE. ONE moment, I'm staring into Sandra's face, into Avery's wide, unforgiving eyes and the next, I'm racing out the front door, into the night, away from the apparition.

I know in my head what I saw wasn't real. My heart, though, is sending adrenaline pumping and thundering the message to get away. The animal fights for self-preservation. I'm in my car and spinning out of the driveway, tires screaming in protest, and miles down the road before rational thought returns.

With it comes the shaking. It starts with my hands, jerking on the wheel, then my body spasms with such a visceral physical reaction that I have to pull over. I stumble to the side of the road and retch until my ribs throb with the effort. I vomit blood, black, thick, burning my throat like acid.

I fed from Lance last night, but blood is absorbed directly into my system. There's no detour through a digestive tract like food in a human. Where this blood is coming from, I don't know.

I don't care. I'm too sick too care. Too weak from the exertion. I fall to my knees, clutching my stomach, head falling forward to the pavement, and pray that this sickness will pass.

From far away, like sound muffled by water, I hear the approach of a motorcycle, the deep, guttural roar of a Harley. Fear that it might be Sandra brings me staggering to my feet. I get back behind the wheel of the Jag and slide down until I'm hidden, waiting for the bike to pass.

It does.

I sit up and stare at the figure riding away from me.

Long, black hair flows from underneath a helmet. A broad, masculine back hunches over the handlebars.

A stranger.

Not Sandra.

Relief, then a deep feeling of futility washes over me. What did I do? Did I think Sandra would not have recognized my car at the side of the road? Was slinking down in the seat supposed to protect me?

I lean my head against the steering wheel. I have to get control of myself. I don't know what happened back at that house-at Avery's house-but I do know I'll never let it happen again. I'll never go back.

I also know that Sandra's hold over me is broken. Whatever magic she possesses, I won't give the bitch a second chance at me.

My heart has stopped its wild pounding. My body no longer jerks and quakes. It's time to go home.