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We were on the train station. I couldn't believe it. It really didn't make sense. I could see Giovanni's eyes burning into me. He didn't trust a thing. The rest of them weren't far off from his expression however. They all looked suspicious.
Arie didn't sit next to me on the subway train. He stood up, leaning against the subway doors next to an old woman.
Arie was standing next to me. He put his arm over me in this way that seemed as though he was really claiming me. I knew Carter noticed. I think that was the point that Arie was actually trying to get across. He wanted Carter to notice.
"The train is coming soon," he stated, "It'll take up
` "What's uptown..."
"The way to Eden."
Arie looked at him and laughed. I was glad Giovanni and the others weren't close enough to hear what Carter had said. They had gone away to feed. I knew what that meant. They would go drag some poor soul somewhere and kill him. They would suck him dry. Arie would probably be with them too if I wasn't here. He stood close though, realizing how disgusting I found the act.
"The way to Eden is uptown."
Carter nodded, "Harlem."
Arie looked over at him, letting go of me and taking a couple steps towards him, "You expect me to believe that you are going to take us to Eden from Harlem? You think I'm an idiot."
"Why would I lie to you?"
"Because you hate us," Arie stated digging his eyes, "You can't believe what we are can you? You probably went home assuming you were just dreaming. No, we are real. The monsters under your bed are alive."
"Adam isn't a monster, I'm doing this for him," Carter stated.
He looked right past Arie and looked at me as he said it. I could tell it annoyed Arie by how he rolled his eyes and Arie took a step back from Carter. He put his arm around me again, holding me close. This time he hung both hands around my torso and pulled me close. No it wasn't friendly. Even a blind man could see we were lovers.
The train station was dark, dreary. It felt comfortable though. I guess for monsters like me darkness was always the best.
Arie leaned in close to me, "You know Giovanni will rip this guy open if he misleads us. You know this..."
"Well I'm going to need you to start being careful around Giovanni anyway. I don't like how he...looks at you. He's going a little crazy. I guess we all are. For Carter's sake, I hope he's right."
I had been trying to reassure him this entire time. I looked at Carter as he looked down. He didn't seem to sure of himself. I knew Carter. I knew when he was positive, but he didn't seem positive now. He had no choice though. He had to take us to Eden. Arie was right. I couldn't imagine what Giovanni would do to Carter if he didn't take us to Eden. Hell, I couldn't imagine what the others would do to Carter as well. I couldn't protect him alone and I don't know if Arie would have even let me try to protect him.
I could sense the others coming. My sense of smell had increased so much. I looked back behind me and saw them making moves towards us.
Roxanne led them with Giovanni and David right behind her. She came up to us quickly.
"What time is it?"
"Where's this train?" she asked, looking around suspiciously.
"It's coming. Any second now."
"What's wrong?" Arie asked looking over at her.
"We aren't alone."
"The darkest?" Arie asked, "Is she here?"
"We felt her," David answered, "Right after we made a kill, we felt her. All of us at once. She's watching us. I feel it. She's come back to collect one of us."
"Where the fuck is this train?" Giovanni asked, moving closer to Carter.
He grabbed Carter with one hand. With one had he lifted Carter clear off his feet, raising him high into the air. Then he started to make moves towards the railroad tracks. I could see the impatience in Giovanni's eyes.
I ran over to Giovanni grabbing him with an arm, "Please, Giovanni. He isn't the conductor."
Roxanne raised her voice, "Giovanni! There are people watching!"
She was right. There were humans everywhere. The station was packed full of people waiting on the train. They were all along the walls and a couple people seemed to notice how easily Giovanni lifted Carter. His strength was drawing attention.
Giovanni dropped Carter. Carter barely missed the ledge. Two seconds laters I could hear the train pulling up to the station. Jesus...he could have killed him.
I quickly went to grab Carter and help him up as the train pulled in.
"Let's get one fucking thing clear," Giovanni growled at Roxy, "You are NOT the boss of me. You may have turned me, but listening to all of you is the reason we are in this mess now."
He quickly rolled his eyes and boarded the train. I looked at Roxy. She said something quickly to Arie that I didn't catch but then the two boarded as well. David looked at me, smiled slightly and followed the others on the train.
"You ok?" I asked Carter.
"Yeah, let's get on."
I helped Carter onto the train. The train was relatively empty really. David was standing next to Giovanni. They were talking. It didn't seem like the conversation was too friendly though by the annoyed face that Giovanni had painted on. Roxy was sitting quietly as she usually did, looking like the most disciple 12 year old girl in the world. I noticed Arie sitting on a small private bench towards the back near all car crossing. He had his hand ups up against the back of the other seat and was looking at me. I knew what that meant. It meant he wanted me to sit with him.
I didn't though. I guided Carter to a seat away from the others. I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to talk to him privately. It's been so long.
We had so much catching up to do.
"I'm so sorry about Giovanni. He's out of control. He wouldn't be acting like this if Decadence was still around," I started off.
"Who is he to you?" he asked as soon as we sat down.
It was almost automatic. He was looking at me with this strange look. It was like how you looked at someone when you felt like they were trying to trick you or something. I knew what he was talking about but still felt like I needed to avoid talking to him about it.
"No...him...the one looking at me like I just stole something from him," Carter elaborated, then actually turned and looked down the subway car to Arie.
Arie was looking back, unmoved by Carter's recognition of his hard stares. His stare was intense too. I could tell he didn't trust Carter. The thing about Arie was that I understood where he was coming from. His whole existence depended on someone he never knew. He was rightfully suspicious.
"Remember the night," I asked, "The night that everyone died. Well the woman we are running from now came for me then. She turned me into what I am now. He was the one that saved me."
"Adam, if she wanted to kill you why didn't she do it then?"
"Carter, things are just too complicated."
"Spit it out Adam."
I couldn't lie to him. He was Carter. He'd been there for me when I didn't have anyone.
I sighed, "Well she doesn't exactly want to kill me Carter. She wants to kill them."
"Are you fucking..." he stated then realize he was talking too loud to lower his voice to a very, very soft whisper, "Are you fucking serious? She isn't even after you, Adam? Why the fuck are risking your life for these monsters Adam. I knew you were different. You aren't like them."
"I am like them. And besides...I can't just abandon them."
"I just can't. You understand."
He shook his head, "You love him don't you?"
Suddenly as he said that I heard David scream. He screamed at the top of his lungs. You would have thought it was a old scared woman. It had come just in time though. I couldn't continue having this conversation with Carter.
I ran to the other side of the cart where David and Giovanni were standing. David was standing pointing out, but the train was moving now. What the fuck was he pointing at?
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Roxy asked, "Must I
remind all of you we are trying to keep a low profile?"
"She was there."
"The darkest. She was standing on the goddam platform," David explained.
We all looked at each other.
"Who was she looking at?"Arie asked him.
"I don't know. I just saw her. I wouldn't be mistaken. The humans saw her too. They were stuck, almost like they couldn't move. She stunned them."
"Maybe she came back for me," Arie said.
He looked at me, almost letting me know how good of a chance that was. A part of me wanted to just start crying but the other part of me just wanted to be near Arie. I couldn't believe I wasn't spending as much time with him as possible.
Doubts came into my head.
What if we didn't make it to Eden?
What if we didn't make it to Paradise?
David looked over at Carter, "How long? We need to get there. You understand. You need to help us, you understand. Adam talk to your friend, make him understand."
"Calm down David," Roxy stated, "He's doing his best."
I looked back at Carter. There was a look in his eyes. I didn't fully understand the look but seemed distant almost like he had spaced out in that time.
We ended up getting off the subway in the middle of Harlem. I could see the drug dealers and prostitutes had completely taken over the night. The crackheads and tricks ran around making the streets so alive that everyone looked they were up to no good.
Giovanni was watching us hard as Carter and I lead the way. I followed behind Carter trying to give him some sort of support. There were such hard looks from all of them. They didn't trust us.
I even heard Giovanni say something to Roxy to the likes of, "This can't be the road to Eden."
I didn't respond anything back though. I could spend time wasting trying to assure them of something that I myself wasn't so sure of. Eden...here? No...it was impossible. Eden was someone in Africa, I thought or maybe in the Middle East close to Jerusalem. That was where Eden was...not in Harlem.
"This is what I saw in my dream," Carter stated.
He walked us into something that looked like an ordinary building. The door was unhinged and left shut but he easily just walked inside. He felt comfortable as though he had been there before. It was as though he knew no one would be on the other side shocked and surprised to see us.
And he was right. No one was there.
It was a long dark hall.
"Stay close to me," Carter instructed.
I looked back at the others. They were just as confused as I was. None of us spoke though. We just walked down the long dark hallway. It seemed to never end. It just seemed like a long hallway of nothingness.
There was however a distinct smell. It smelled like sewers or something. Then there was a sound.
"We are going underground," Arie stated.
He was the first to pick up on it, but I quickly recognized that it must have been just as he said. The path that we were walking seemed slanted downward. We were going underground. The smell was horrible. It was really getting to me. I wasn't the only one. David had picked up his shirt and covered his nose almost completely.
I stuck close to Arie, burying my head in his coat. The smell in this room was really something else. I hadn't smelled anything like it before.
"You said you know how to get there in a dream?" Giovanni stated, "You've never been here before?"
Carter seemed to not hear him.
Or maybe he was ignoring him.
Either way he kept walking, taking us deeper into this tunnel. The air seemed to get less, although it wasn't so bad to the vampire body, it seemed to be affecting Carter. I could hear his breaths getting so much deeper. I could smell the sweat slowly dripping from his skin.
There was a door. It seemed heavy. Carter stood in front of the door.
"This is the way," he stated, "Behind this door is the bridge to Eden."
Bullshit. I wanted to say it, but none of us didn't. I had expected to have to fight a 3 headed dog or something. I had expected some sort of maze or something. I'd expected it to be so much harder, but no...just a door. That was it? It couldn't be so simple. I looked at Arie. He smiled at me and pulled me closer hugging me. Would him and I really be so happy so easily?
We looked at the door. It was plain but there was some kind of sound behind the door. It sounded like water. I believed that it was essentially just that...water. As we got closer to the door, the age on the door seemed to show. It wasn't a normal door. It was more like a solid pathway blocked off by a large piece of stone.
Giovanni walked past all of us pushing past Carter quickly, "Move. Now let's see. I'll break this shit off. We don't have that much time."
"You don't have to be so rude to him," I told Giovanni.
Arie shook his head to me as though telling me to stop, "Stand over here Adam."
I wasn't sure why Arie became like that at times. It was almost like he knew something that I didn't quite know. Every time Giovanni and I even got a little close to communicating he would say something to break it up. Shouldn't he know by now to trust me? Shouldn't he know by now that I didn't have Giovanni in my heart at all?
Giovanni seemed to notice, but I could only see it in his stare. He didn't say anything. He just turned to me and stated as though he wasn't really there with us, "I wonder if we still have to drink blood in Eden."
Carter has been pushed against the wall. He pounded against it harder and harder. It wasn't budging though.
"Quickly, Giovanni," Roxy stated.
Giovanni was moving quickly as well. He was ripping at that door. I could see his claws digging between every crevice trying to pull out the door. We watched steadily, hearing the clawing sounds at the door get heavier and heavier.
I held closer to Arie. There was this pressure on my chest. I had felt it before. It was the pressure with Lilith. The senses that vampires got were so distinct and strong. You knew things without seeing them. Sight was no longer your strongest sense. Now the others were powerful as well.
I pulled at Arie, whispering softly into his ear, "We don't have much time. I feel her all around us. The darkest is near..."
Arie pulled away from me and went over to Giovanni. He started to help him try to pry open the door. I didn't know if they were making progress. They both had strained looks on their faces. I'd seen Giovanni pick up heavy people like feathers. I had seen Arie pick me up without even slightly breaking a sweat. They had superhuman strength. Why come this door would not budge? It was such a plain looking fucking door. Nothing spectacular or anything.
"Guys..." Roxy stated.
We looked over to her. She had a confused expression on her young face.
She smiled quickly, "Has anyone seen David?"
We looked around. I hadn't even noticed he was gone. The expectations of Eden had completely gotten hold of me. I was lost in the thoughts of finding it. It hit all of us until we had the same confused expression as Roxy on our faces. David was completely absent in the group.
"When was the last time anyone's seen him?" Arie asked.
Carter, who was sitting on the side, with his head down clearly out of place among us answered quickly, "He came down the steps from Harlem. I made sure everyone came in."
"He was behind me just a minute ago," Giovanni stated.
The tone in his voice was really nonchalant. That was a big deal to me though. I couldn't see how he was so calm. It was a big deal that someone was standing right there a minute ago, in a long empty hallway and now was not standing there. It was almost as though the person just chose not to exist any longer.
had to keep going down the hallway," I stated, "We would have seen him if he
walked back from where we came. Someone
would have noticed. He must have snuck
back into those shadows or something."
"For what though?"
Arie took a step forward, "Well we have to go find him I assume."
shook his head, "Listen, I'll stay here with the human and work on the door.
You guys can go find him.
I'm sure he's not far."
"Like hell we'll leave you here," I stated.
"The fuck do you mean like hell...newborn," Giovanni asked, taking a step closer to me, "You getting real comfortable speaking now aren't you. I remember when you were a scared little runt."
"Well I'm not scared anymore," I challenged him.
"I can make you scared again,"
He took a step close to me...way too close. I could smell his breath against me. I could see the saliva glistening on his fangs as he let his mouth drop open only slightly so that I could see the sharp things. They were tucked behind his other teeth but were out now clear as day. He was letting me know they could rip me to shreads if they wanted to, but I knew better. He could try...but my body was different now. I could feel it.
"Stop," Arie stated quickly jumping between us but instead of turning to Giovanni, he turned to me, "Adam, you are way out of line. Come on baby...let's split up..."
I didn't get it. Arie should have been getting pissed at Giovanni. Fuck was he trying to keep the piece for. He was the one who exploded most of the time. I was the calm one.
"I'm not leaving Carter here alone with him..."
Just at that moment when I was clear that Giovanni was going to get more offended by what I was saying, there came a scream that shook my mind. You see, looking back I will never forget the scream. It was a horrible thing.
It shrieked out, causing Roxy to look up and remember the days she was actually just a pre-teenager. It caused Arie to reach out for me and grab me quickly. He wasn't the only one though. Carter had reached out to me as well, but Arie was a vampire. He was quicker. He had grabbed me and claimed me.
We all ran to the sounds...but I made damn sure that Carter was close to me. I moved away from Arie and grabbed Carter by his hand.
Arie noticed...I knew he did.
I couldn't take the risk though. I knew Giovanni wanted Carter around. He could betray all of us if he wanted to, but he needed Carter. Giovanni wasn't the type of person who needed motivation for things like that. Carter was the ticket. By taking Carter, I was making sure that he would come along as well and leave that door alone.
We ran down the hall.
"Damn it, he's done," Roxy stated.
Like usual, she was the first one to notice.
David was on his knees. He was bleeding. No the blood was gushing from him. Behind him, Lilith stood there. She was leaning up against the wall of the stone tunnel. You would think she was the victim as well, by how she looked pressed up against the wall. I swear, it could have been a painting because it was so beautiful.
David sitting on his knees, he was losing his being but it was going so slowly. It was going so fucking slowly. It was as though everything was being dismantled inside of him and he was being forced to experience everything slowly.
"Oh god...oh god...oh god..." I stated.
I cried out for God, not because I knew him, but because I felt like if there was one, he was the only thing that could save us from Lilith. We needed saving too. She had killed him in a most savage way. I couldn't stand the sight of Arie's silent, immediate reaction to seeing David's death. He was crying. It was clear that he was crying. I knew that him and David weren't the closest, but they did seem to have a bit of respect for one another.
"You bitch!" Roxy stated, "You created us. And now you destroy us! We are your children."
Lilith smiled dramatically, "So many have stated
that. Yes, I have refused to answer
before, but I'll accept since you seem so shocked that I took your friend
here. I don't know any love.
Sometimes you get cold in life.
You know that don't you, Roxanne.
Yes, I know you. I know you all.
You know how it feels when man betrays
you. Man looks at you and because you
are young you can only attract perverts.
You never found love, did you Roxanne?
You know then that it is time to rip open someone.
I have given you what you needed to take the
hearts that you couldn't have by will.
Yet you didn't."
"But we exist, we found a way to still be happy. Why won't you let us be happy?" Roxy stated.
Lilith turned around and started to walk out of the ring, "Exist how? You exist for what? For nothing. From my anger, I bred my revenge for Adam. You were supposed to be my anger.Now you aren't. One way or another, a woman betrayed will have her revenge. You understand. There are some people who have no will. They get their heart broken and just accept it. I've seen these human women. Like you..."
"I'm not human."
"Just as bad. You accepter! You folder! Not everyone is helpless. Some people have a will. Some people have a will stronger than life itself. A will of adamantine. Some people get back the man those who've wronged them and they won't rest until they do. And all the outlaws come out to say, Lilith will get her revenge today. And all the outlaws come out to say, Lilith will get her revenge today."
She disappeared singing into the darkness.
The presence was gone in only a second or two completely. Her voice still trailed longer than her actual body remained in the hallway. You ever had a monkey on your back? The monkey on your back would never go away would it? It just kept nagging at you and nagging at you and killing you slowly. It had gotten David this time. He was bleeding and all his pains and his despair were leaking out as well.
And as he died he whispered something, something that only Roxy had heard as she went up to him, hugging him in all her will.
"He wants to see Giovanni."
We looked behind us and saw Giovanni standing there. He wasn't saying anything. You would think they hadn't even known each other at all by how Giovanni was acting. You would think they hadn't been lovers for centuries.
"Giovanni go," I stated.
He just looked at me and turned away, "He's dead. We need to move on."
I couldn't help it. Tears came to my eyes. I could see David's mouth still mouthing off Giovanni's name as he died slowly.
Jesus Christ. I had never seen someone so devoted to someone else in my life. I was sure what Arie and I had still did not reach anything near what David felt for Giovanni. However Giovanni was standing there so completely nonchalant it was scary.
"Are you fucking kidding me?" I asked immediately, pacing back and forth, "This boy fucking loves you! He dedicated his life to you and this is what you do!"
"Please, vampires are considered the afterlife, remember?"
"Bullshit, Giovanni. You know he probably loved you even before you became vampires. Why are you doing this? Just...FUCKING GO TO HIM!"
He was completely unmoved by my begging. I could see the others were just as disgusted by they all seemed to expect it from Giovanni. They all seemed so god damn used to it that it didn't even bother them at all.
David only wanted him. And then I looked at David and I could see David was breathing his very last breath.
"Man, David hold on," I stated.
It was too late though. I wanted to force Giovanni in front of him. I wish I could. I wish I could be Giovanni for just a second. If I could go into his body, I would run up to David. I would tell him I loved him. I'd tell him that I'd never forget him. I'd tell him that he'd made me the happiest man alive and that no matter what plane or dimension we were on, that we'd always be together because he was fastened into my heart.
I couldn't become Giovanni though.
David had dropped off completely dead and I had attacked Giovanni. I had taken off my feet like I had done so many times before. I was flying towards him and trying to grasp him. I managed to get at his collar before he came back.
He swung a punch at me, but I way too fast. I grabbed onto his collar and I could see Arie grabbing at him trying to pull us apart. Roxy was too busy tending to David still, probably hypnotized by the idea that he was dead as well.
Carter was left to grab me away.
He grabbed my leg but I felt myself pushing at him, pushing him away. I didn't mean to. I immediately turned around trying to apologize.
But there was something else.
Something else that made us all freeze into place.
It was blood. Carter was bleeding. It didn't effect me too much, but the look in the eyes of the others was different. Roxy had almost completely forgotten about David. She had gotten up. They hadn't fed in such a long time. I knew the fresh blood in a live victim was more than intriguing for them.
I was different though. Lilith had designed me different from them. I could feel a need to drink, but I could resist. I don't think that resistance was there with them.
"Oh god, I cut myself," Carter said, "Damn..."
"Carter, stay behind me," I stated.
Giovanni took a couple of steps forward, "Let me just lick it a little. That's all. I just want a lick."
"Me first. I'm the oldest," Roxy quickly tagged in.
They both began to advance. Their eyes glowed in the dark almost like wolves at night.
That was when Adam came. He blocked them off, stretching out his arms, "Get him the fuck out of here, Adam," Arie stated.
Roxy and Giovanni were quickly looking at us. I could see them attack immediately and I grabbed Carter and began to run. I saw Arie grabbing onto Roxy throwing her back and then chasing after Giovanni. He didn't catch him immediately. It took a second, but then he caught him and pulled him back.
"Run, go back to Harlem. We'll stay down here and wait for you until he stops bleeding."
Time was what we was lacking in all of this. Now I had to separate from them until Carter had no traces of blood left. All I could think about was the time that would take.
I knew in the back of my mind that where Lilith was, whoever she was out killing now, she would come back for someone else very...very soon.