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Darkness falls (darkness.., p.11
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       Darkness Falls (Darkness Falls, Book 1), p.11

           Jessica Sorensen
 
Chapter 10

  I once had to run for over three hours during a surprise attack while out on a raid. I was with two other Bellators and decided to use myself as a decoy, so they could get away. There were so many vampires and it took me forever to find a way back to The Colony. But that day I discovered something remarkable. I’m fast. And I mean fast, with seemingly never-ending endurance.

  I decide the best thing to do is figure out a plan. It’s getting late and if there are vampires prowling around, they'll be out as soon as dark possesses the sky. I tell Maci and Bernard to wait where they are, while I run up to the top of the highest rock and scope things out. I make it to the top in no time, but my breath catches at what I see. Miles and miles of red rock stacking the golden desert land. There’s no sign of life, water, or food. No buildings. No people. To add to the bad situation, hundreds of caves carve the sides of the red rocks, which means there are hundreds of places for vampires to hide. The clouds are starting to shift, deepening in color. Darkness is rapidly approaching.

  “You can handle this, Kayla,” I mutter to myself. “You just need to come up with a plan.”

  “Kayla!” Bernard hollers. “Get down here. Maci won’t shut up about this stupid Angel thing!”

  Who do they think I am? Their mother? From up here, they look like tiny dots in a land of dust, arguing with each other, making way too much noise. I could just take off and leave them here to fend for themselves. It’d be easier to find a place to hide and much faster if I were alone. But I’m not that kind of person; I realize that right away. So I climb back down the rocks.

  “Okay.” I dust the dirt off my hands and knees. “Here are the rules that we’re going to need to follow if we want to have a chance at surviving. Rule number one—”

  “We already know the rules.” Bernard rolls his eyes. “Always carry a weapon. Never go out after dark. Never get bit, yadda, yadda, yadda.”

  “Those rules don’t apply to us anymore—well, except for the getting bit part. That always applies.” I wave my hand at the sky. “Night’s coming and we have no place to hide.” I pause. “Now, we’re going to have to make up our own rules if we want to survive out here. Okay everyone check your pockets and see if you have anything on you.” They start patting the pockets of their pants, while I check my leather jacket.

  “I got nothin.” Bernard kicks a rock and it slingshots across the air and skids to the ground. “This is such crap. What’d they do? Search all my pockets before they threw me out? They even took my freakin’ necklace.”

  His necklace. Inside my pocket, my fingers graze the cold metallic plate. Right beside it is Monarch’s pocket watch. I can’t believe they’re both still there. I take them out.

  Bernard steals his necklace away. “You took this from me?”

  “No, I found it in the hospital, after I saw Gabrielle dragging you down the hall,” I say. “Which, by the way, what happened with that?”

  He gives me a dirty look, ignoring my last question. “Yeah, right. Sure you did.” He nods at Monarch’s pocket watch. “And who’d you steal that from?”

  I close my hand around the pocket watch. “I don’t remember you being this rude.”

  “And I don’t remember you being a thief,” he snaps.

  “It’s from her dad,” Maci interrupts, walking between us, her hair a halo of red blowing in the wind. “He gave it to her before he died.”

  I wrap my hand around the pocket watch, the warm metal pressing against the palm of my hand, memories of Monarch swirling my head. “Maci, how do you know he gave it to me? Were you awake or something?”

  She shakes her head and smiles sweetly. “I just know.”

  “Okay.” I’m not sure what to do about all this. The kid is talking about Angels, death, and knowing everything, like someone would talk about what they ate for dinner.

  Bernard hooks the necklace around his neck and gives a quick squint at the metal plate, before tucking it under his black t-shirt. But I catch a glimpse of the numbers on it. This time I know they’re numbers because some match what’s on the face of the pocket watch.

  “So that says your name on it?” I question, nodding at the spot on his shirt where the necklace hides.

  He crosses his arms over his chest. “Yes, Kayla,” he says snidely. “I already told you this once.”

  Talking to him is pointless so I move on to the last thing in my pocket. My knife. I inch it out, the silver handle the perfect fit for my hand, the jagged blade sharp enough for plunging into a vampire’s chest. If I ever get that far.

  “Does anyone have anything else, weapons, anything at all?” I ask, tracing my finger tip along the blade.

  “Nope,” Bernard answers, not bothering to check.

  I consider patting him down just to make sure. “What about you Maci…?” I trail off at what the small girl clutches in her hands. “Where did you get those?”

  She hands me three syringes and three vials, each filled with a black liquid. “The Angel gave them to me.”

  Lines sketch the label, forming words I can’t read. “Did they tell you what to do with them?”

  “Yeah, he said we were supposed to inject them,” she says, zipping up her jacket. “As soon as we got out here—that it would save us.”

  Inject an unknown medicine into my body? “Wait. Someone told you we were going to wake up here—out in the desert?” I ask. “Did they tell you why?”

  She nods. “But I can’t tell you yet—not until you’re ready.”

  “Did they say—”

  A shriek rips the air, like a siren of death. We all freeze.

  The vampires have awakened.