Home > Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1)(15)

Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1)(15)
Author: Nikki Kelly

I glanced down into the footwell self-consciously, trying to calm myself. My eyelids stopped twitching after a few moments. Jonah switched the radio off altogether and said nothing.

Gabriel reached his hand out and cupped mine in his own. Instantly the knots in my body loosened and I felt calm again. Taking a deep breath, I said, just to him: I’m sorry.

Jonah continued to whiz around the winding roads at top speed, and miraculously the thick tires stuck to the road. Eventually I could see the highway. I glanced back at the countryside. Saying farewell to the rolling hillsides, I wondered if the rain that had begun pelting down furiously was an omen.

And sure enough, as I watched, the landscape became a whirlpool, and at the center of it, there was a transparent ball, bouncing and balancing, containing a terrifying image: a large group of Vampires standing next to the smoking remains of the house, observing. At the front of the row of obedient soldiers, two seven-foot-tall putrid figures snarled and shrieked an ungodly, deafening noise that reverberated through the trees.

Wearing long black cloaks, their bald heads covered in tattoo-like markings, they certainly didn’t look like Vampires. They were so dark that I felt every inch of me tremble as I took them in. I couldn’t watch them for long as something underneath their skin bubbled and traveled through their bodies, so that they seemed to disappear and reappear in and out of focus.

Standing slightly behind the others, I recognized the same Vampire who had stood face-to-face with me and then disappeared. He was furious. I tried to make out what he was shouting, and my body tightened as one of the putrid figures twisted his head, revealing his fangs. I was certain, as his stare shifted from his subordinate, that he could see me. Pointing into the air, he hissed a sound that made my bones feel as if they might splinter, and then the figures were gone.

Disconnected from my vision, I found myself panting shallow breaths.

Gabriel, sensing my unease, turned to me and took my hand once more. What did you see?

They are outside the house, they’re furious that we have escaped. They will not stop. I don’t know how I knew, but I did. They were coming for me and they wouldn’t rest until they had what they wanted.

You mean they were outside the house? he corrected me. You were seeing a vision of the past? But then, how is that possible, you weren’t there, it’s not a memory.

I’m not sure.… It felt as though it was happening right now. And the two figures who stood at the front of the Vampire clans were nearly identical to the creature who came to me this morning.

Gabriel seemed to contemplate before responding. Have they ever reached into your memories before this morning?

Not in this lifetime at least. That was the first time.

“Since Jonah drank from me,” I said aloud by accident.

“Sorry, what?” Jonah said.

I looked to Gabriel and he shook his head in discouragement, but I carried on. “I saw the Vampire clans outside the house. There were two huge figures with them, wearing black cloaks, and they were covered in tattoos.”

“You mean you saw the Purebloods? But when? They weren’t just standing around when we left,” Jonah replied.

“They were Pureblood Vampires? Is that what they are?” I panicked.

Gabriel reached for my hand and squeezed it, taking the lead. “Francesca has an ability to see things. What she just described was a vision she had. Which means, if her vision is accurate, Michael was right. Two Purebloods and their clans are on our heels.”

Jonah cleared his throat, hitting his chest as he said sarcastically, “Human, right?”

“Yes, Jonah, she is human. Just a bit extraordinary,” Gabriel replied with a false confidence.

The car fell silent once again and no one said anything. Jonah careered down the fast lane, constantly checking his mirrors. I thought he was checking that we weren’t being followed, but occasionally I felt his eyes observing my reflection.

“Where are we going?” I broke the silence.

“Back to the main house,” Jonah replied.

“Which is where, Europe? America?”

“Buckinghamshire,” Gabriel answered.

“Buckinghamshire? Surely that’s not far enough away!”

“It doesn’t matter how far away from here we are. Purebloods and their clans are all over the world. I was turned in Florida,” Jonah replied coldly.

“Yes, but there are two Pureblood Masters not very far from here. I think I’d feel more comfortable if we went transatlantic.”

“Cessie, we have a very secure property in Hedgerley. We live on the outskirts of the community. It’s very safe, I promise you. We’ll stay as long as we can before we move on. We can go to the States or Canada next if you still want to. Honestly, while we try to sort all this out, it’s better for us to be somewhere we’re already established—a place we know is as safe as possible. Trust me.” Gabriel calmed me.

Gazing back at him, I faltered. “You called me Cessie.”

“If that’s what you prefer,” he said, but it felt reluctant.

“And where will I live?” I asked.

“With us of course,” Gabriel replied, flashing a cautious smile at me.

“It’ll be nice to have another female around the place,” Jonah joked, grinning cheekily as he watched my reaction in the rearview mirror.

“And the other Vampires?” I still wasn’t comfortable with the idea of the others, and having to exist so closely with them.

“They won’t hurt you. I promise,” Gabriel reassured me.

I considered the idea and finally nodded in acceptance. I needed to be around Gabriel; he had filled my dreams for as long as I could remember and now I was with him. And, however odd, this was a family of sorts, and it was the best offer that had ever been extended to me.

“You should rest. We have a few hundred miles to go yet. And your shoulder must be killing you,” Jonah suggested.

I looked to Gabriel, arching my eyebrows; he knew what I was thinking.

Don’t say anything about that just yet, just for a while, especially now he knows you have visions.

“That’s a good idea,” Gabriel agreed. He reached for a blanket and began wrapping it around me so that I was warm and snug. His hand ever so slightly brushed the bottom of my bare neck and a tingle stirred through me. “Try to sleep. I’ll wake you when we get there.” Gabriel gently moved the stray blond hairs that had cascaded onto my forehead behind my ears and smiled.

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