Vampire Wake (Page 25)

With my hands stretched out before me, I darted down the dark corridor, my heart racing in my chest and beating in my ears. Luke was behind me, his lantern sending eerie shadows up the wals and across the floor. In the dim yelow light, my shadow appeared stretched and elongated, and out of the comer of my eye, my back look distorted, just like I had a pair of wings growing from it. Shuddering, I looked away and the deformed-looking shadow disappeared.

Reaching the top of the stairs I raced down them two at a time. Bolting across the landing, I headed up the stairs towards the corridor that led to Kayla's bedroom.

"Kiera!" Luke said from just over my shoulder, "What's wrong?"

Ignoring him, I pushed open the door and ran into Kayla's bedroom. Scanning the room, I could see that she wasn't there. The window leading to her balcony was open and the cold night air bilowed the curtains outwards like a sail.

"Kayla?" I yeled, checking her bathroom. Running back into the room, I could see Luke was standing in the doorway and in the light from the many candles, I could see how pale Luke's face and chest realy looked. His skin was almost white and the scars that covered it shone an angry purple and blue. His wings hung from his back, the tips of them nearly brushing the wooded floor and I could see now that the edges of them looked frayed like a piece of lace that had been unpicked.

"What's going on?" Luke asked, his eyes never leaving me as I darted around Kayla's room.

"Kayla told me that she met you in London," I told him, puling back blankets and kicking aside the clothes that lay strewn al over her bedroom floor. "If it wasn't you, who was it? And why would they pretend to be you? But more than that, she has been meeting a friend in the woods at the summerhouse..." but then I stopped. Something had grabbed my attention.

Crossing the room to her dressing table, lying on top of a pile of used face wipes, perfumes, and lipsticks, I saw a folded piece of paper. Picking it up, I read what was written on it.

Dear Mother, I know you believe that you have my best interests at heart - but really you don't. If you loved me, you would trust me - the two go hand in hand, don't they?

I know it's been difficult recently for you with father's disappearance, but it hasn't been easy for me, either. We both know that I'm different from other girls my age and the physical changes that I've undergone have really screwed me up inside. I don't know who I am but more importantly, I don't truly understand what I am.

I know you sent Police Officer Hudson to watch over me and keep me safe, and part of me understood your reasons why and it showed me that you loved me despite the problems I have caused you. But when I discovered tonight you had surrounded me with spies - I knew that you didn't trust me, either. I can't even begin to explain how your lack of faith and trust has hurt me.

I know that I am different - different from you - but I am your daughter. I didn't ask to be made like this - I wish more than anything I could be like other girls my age - but I know that I can't and this I have to come to understand and accept in my own time. But I will never be able to do this if you don't trust me, and by surrounding me with your spies to watch over me, I don't believe that I will ever come to terms with what I am.

Therefore I'm going away - far away from here with my friend Luke Bishop. Yes it has been him that you've seen on the other side of the manor walls.

But he has become someone that I can trust - he has become a good friend. Before Kiera tells you what has happened (and I suspect she already knows - you were right you can't get anything past that one) I want to be honest with you. I gave Luke the key to the tunnel that leads beneath the moat, he has been secretly meeting me at the summerhouse in the woods and he has been to my room, he was curious to see where I lived and to see inside the manor.

But mother, you are in great danger from these spies that you have enlisted to watch me. Luke told me that there are two Vampyrus that were behind the disappearance of father - Jim Murphy and Sean Potter, and I've discovered tonight that these are the two that have been masquerading as your chauffeur and handyman. But worse still, Kiera is working with them. You are in great danger. When you find this note get as far away from Hallowed Manor as you can - Luke has told me that Murphy and Potter are soon to overrun the manor with vampires.

Please don't worry about me mother, I'm with Luke and he has promised to protect me.

Forever in my heart Kayla Handing the letter to Luke, he scanned his eyes over it, then folding it in half, he looked at me and said, "I don't understand Kiera, I've never met Kayla, so who has she been meeting?"

"I don't know," I breathed. "But whoever he is, he's tricked Kayla into giving him keys to the grounds so that he can come and go, he's been in her room and the manor and..." but before I'd the chance to finish what I was about to say, snapshots of the nightmares that I'd been suffering from flashed in front of my mind's eyes. The images were so strong that I wobbled backwards, almost losing my balance.

Gripping my arm to steady me, Luke said, "Kiera, what is it? What can you see?"

Opening my eyes and looking at him, I said, "Kayla's been meeting Philips."

"Philips?" Luke asked sounding unsure.

"I've seen him in my dreams, Luke," I told him.

"He's scarred down the left side of his face. But not from burns, from where Potter attacked him in the graveyard at St. Mary's Church."

"But that means..." Luke started.

"He's tricked Kayla into believing that he is you - her friend. Without ever meeting you, she wouldn't have known any different. Kayla is in danger!" I snapped and raced past Luke and out of her room.

"Wait!" Luke holered after me.

"We don't have time!" I shouted over my shoulder, charging down the stairs to the great hal. Reaching the foot of the stairs, I could see Murphy and Potter standing by the front door. There was a hazy blue cloud of smoke hovering just above their heads as Murphy puffed on his pipe and Potter sucked on the end of a cigarette which dangled from the corner of his mouth.

Seeing me come running down the stairs, Potter opened his arms and smirking he said, "Come running back to me, have you?"

Ignoring him, I looked at Murphy and said, "Have you seen Kayla?"

"Not since she discovered us in the gatehouse," he said.

Joining us in the hal, Luke looked at his two friends and said, "Philips is here."

"Where?" Potter said, standing away from the wal and blowing smoke out of his nostrils.

"Impossible," Murphy growled. "We've been watching this place for weeks -"

"It doesn't surprise me, then, that he's found a way in," I snapped more angrily than I intended.

Knocking the smouldering contents from his pipe into a nearby flowerpot, Murphy eyed me and said, "Listen here, Hudson, you don't know every goddamn thing in the book. We've been watching your back here. There's only been the two of us..."

"Look, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it to sound like that," I told him. "It's just that I'm scared for Kayla - she doesn't know what Philips is al about. She doesn't realise the danger that she's in."

Then from behind us, somebody said, "What's going on here?"

Spinning round, I saw Mrs. Payne come from the shadows beneath the wide staircase.

Looking at Luke, Potter, and Murphy, she said, "And who might you three be?" Before anyone had a chance to answer her, she looked at Potter and said, "And put that cigarette out. It's a disgusting habit."

Ignoring her, Potter looked at me and said, "Is she related to you by any chance?"

Turning away from his grinning face, I said to Mrs.

Payne, "We don't have time to explain now, but these are my friends." Then pointing to Murphy, I said, "This is my sergeant, the smoker is caled Potter, but you'l probably know them better as James and Marshal."

With a look of confusion splashed across her face, she said, "The Chauffeur? Marshal?" Then pointing at Luke, she added, "Where's he come from."

Pointing to the ceiling, Luke smiled and said, "From up there!"

"But...but -" Mrs. Payne started.

"Look it's been a pleasure chatting to you old lady," Potter said, grinding the cigarette out with his heel on her polished floor, "but I'm guessing that we have a more pressing engagement to attend. Is that not right, Kiera?"

Staring at him, I said, "Yes," and in that moment I could feel his rough hands on me again and his lips pressed against mine.

"Wel?" Potter asked.

"Wel what?" I asked, looking into his green eyes.

"Where's the girl, sweet-cheeks?"

Pushing away those images of me and him together in the gatehouse, I puled open the front door and said, "Folow me."