The Legends of Blood – Part One: Changes

(Evan)

I’m dead…

“There couldn’t be any other explanation as to why I didn’t have a heartbeat.

I’m dead and I never got to say goodbye to Ethan, I thought bitterly.

There was a ringing in my ears like I had tinnitus, but it was fading away just like the fire had done the moment my heart had ceased to beat. As I lay on the cot I began to hear the sound of muffled voices coming from nearby and I strained to hear them.

“Did it work?” I heard someone ask.

“There’s no reason why it shouldn’t have.”

“Then, why isn’t he awake yet?” The first voice demanded.

“Would you like to go ask him?” Someone asked in a smug tone.

I heard someone sigh in annoyance.

“Just be patient, Director Croft.” It sounded like my Uncle Mason, but it was hard to tell with how muffled their voices were. It was like I was listening to them through a wall, or a pane of glass. “These things take time.”

“Too much time, if you ask me!” Director Croft complained.

I strained to hear more, but I was quickly distracted by a gust of warm air blowing across my face and my chest. I took a deep breath and my eyes shot open. I could see every detail of the tiled ceiling above me and the tiny particles of dust that floated in the rays of fluorescent light shining down from the ceiling. The light made a slight buzzing noise that set my teeth on edge and I couldn’t stop the growl that came from my throat. I sat up in surprise and put my hand to my throat.

“What the fuck?” I asked in disbelief.

Then, I turned to my right and I saw a long mirror that took most of the wall. To the left of the mirror was a small speaker and a door that had a keypad next to the handle. I stared into the reflection and I could see the white bricks that made up the walls of my prison. What scared me the most about the reflection was my own image in the glass. I was wearing a pair of hospital pants, and that was it. My jet-black hair seemed to have a healthy glow to it and my pale white skin was a stark contrast to the tan that I used to have. My eyes, though…

My eyes that were once a deep blue in color, were now a shade of bright red. There were light bruises under my eyes, and I stepped closer to the mirror to get a better look at myself. The tiled floor felt warm to my feet as I leaned in closer to the image and it only confused me for a moment before I was distracted by my reflection again. There were tiny slivers of silver streaks that stretched out from my pupils in a swirled pattern. I grimaced slightly as I began to remember the very last Mythology class I had ever attended. It had been the entire reason that I had been stuck at school as late as I was. I took in my reflection again as I tried to place exactly what I had become.

“Blood red eyes,” I mumbled curiously. “No heartbeat.”

I put my hand to my chest to confirm that I didn’t feel anything beating within my chest. Then, I realized that I hadn’t been breathing for quite some time.

No need to breathe…

I didn’t even want to think what it could possibly mean. In the back of my mind – I already knew what I had become.

“I’m a vampire,” I stated in disbelief.

I looked at my reflection again and I saw something move behind it. I snarled and jumped backwards away from the glass. I didn’t stop moving until my back was up against the brick wall opposite the mirror. Then, my reflection disappeared, and I found myself staring at five different people. Standing in the center of the group was an overweight man wearing a brown business suit and had black rimmed glasses sitting on the end of his nose. His hair was a dark brown in color and was cut close to his head. Standing to his left was a burly man with silver eyes that had the look of experience about him. He wore a slight scowl on his face as he stood there with his muscular arms crossed against his chest.

To his left was woman that had long blonde hair that was pulled back in a ponytail on the back of her head. She wore a black pants suit and held a clipboard under one arm. She looked apprehensive but she studied me the entire time. To the right of the man in the center stood my Uncle Mason. I gasped at the sight of him but managed to keep my calm for the moment. To my uncle’s right stood a teenager that appeared to be the same age as I was. He had brown hair that hung down to his shoulders, and he had the same pale skin as I did. His eyes were a brown in color, but the bruises beneath told me what he really was.

I turned my attention back to my uncle.

“What are you doing here, Uncle Mason?” I asked him curiously.

“This is where I work, Evan.” My uncle’s voice came over the speaker next to the door as he spoke. The man in the center of the group stepped forward and I directed my attention to him more out of curiosity than anything.

“Hello, Evan.” The man with the glasses stated with a smug grin. “It’s an honor to finally meet you. My name is Agent Albert Croft. I am the Deputy Director of a secret sector within the CIA known as Section-9.” Director Croft’s grin disappeared as he continued to speak. Please, listen closely to everything that I am about to tell you, Mr. Bentley, and please hold all of your questions until the end.”

I nodded once in acknowledgment and made myself comfortable on the cot. I didn’t feel the need to sit, but there was something familiar about the action that helped keep me at ease.

“You were in a terrible accident, Evan.” Director Croft continued in his scratchy voice. I growled slightly as I suddenly remembered the tawny haired teenager that had been standing in the middle of the road. “Your uncle saved your life by injecting you with a serum that we’ve recently been developing here at our Northeast Headquarters. Now, I know that this all seems confusing to you, and to be honest, the entire process confused me at first. But, once you begin delving into the history of everything, you will begin to understand why your life needed to be saved above anybody else’s. That is not my story, though.” The Director glanced around at the people in the observation room with him. “Shall we adjourn until sunset?”

Everyone followed Director Croft from the room except my uncle and the man with the silver eyes.

“Was there any other choice, Uncle Mason?” I asked as I tried to wrap my head around the idea of what they had turned me into.

“I’m afraid not, Evan.” My uncle replied quietly. I saw a tear roll down his cheek and I frowned. “You would have died if I hadn’t injected you with the serum.”

“How did you even know that I was going to be there?”

“We were told by someone who can see the future, Evan.” Uncle Mason said in a serious tone of voice.

I stared at them in disbelief for a minute before something else clicked in my head.

“Is that why Mr. Hunter recruited me to his Mythology class?”

The man with silver eyes busted out laughing and pushed my uncle playfully.

“I told you that he’d figure it out, Mason.” The man chided my uncle before he turned his gaze back to me and he smiled. “There are great things in store for you, Evan Bentley. Many great things! I’m certain that the Mother will be truly impressed.”

The strange man glanced at me with a knowing grin before he spoke again.

“The remote for the television is on the desk in the corner, Evan.” He said with the same grin. “Unfortunately, your uncle and I still have work to do before sunset. So, we will be by to check on you when we have time over the next couple of hours. There are some clothes for you in the bathroom behind you. The showers here are actually kind of nice. You might enjoy it. By the way, Evan, I am Jon Wells. I’m a werewolf, but you can trust me. I know Mr. Hunter’s descriptions of our kind can be sort of colorful at times.”

“You don’t know the half of it,” I said as I rolled my eyes. Mr. Hunter had clearly had a thing against werewolves, and he wasn’t afraid to show his prejudice during class. Jon chuckled lightly.

“Also, if you need anything,” Uncle Mason stated. “Just hit the number nine on the keypad and press the star button. I’ll notify the operator to transfer your calls to my office.”

Then, my uncle smiled at me before he and Jon left me alone.

My throat felt dry and itchy by the time I heard the speaker click back on. I knew what I needed to quench the burning.

Blood…

“The thought of it made the tangy flavored venom begin to build in my mouth like saliva. I swallowed against and waited for the sound of whatever human or creature was standing on the opposite side of the glass. I had spent the past three hours staring at the ceiling lost in my own thoughts about what my life was going to turn into that I didn’t even realize the time had passed.

“Evan?” It was my uncle’s voice over the speaker. “How are you feeling?”

I turned my head to the right so I could see my uncle. There was a nervous look in his light blue eyes, but he looked tired at the same time. His black hair was mostly gray, and he kept it short against his scalp. He had thick framed glasses that slid down his nose and he would use the tip of his index finger to push them back in place. The white lab coat that he was wearing was buttoned up halfway, and you could see the white dress shirt that he wore beneath it. I still hadn’t answered his question because I didn’t know how to answer him. There were a million thoughts running through my mind at once, but I was slowly learning how to separate them into their own strands of thought. I knew that the biggest thing I was feeling was confusion though.

And thirst…

“I’m confused,” I finally answered my uncle as I turned my gaze back to the ceiling. “And I’m thirsty.”

“From what I’m told, Evan, the thirst will decline in time.” Uncle Mason explained – his baritone voice crackled slightly over the speaker. “Now, why are you confused?”

I decided to remain silent. I knew my uncle couldn’t answer the real questions that I needed answers to. Besides, I didn’t want to talk to anybody that was in the strange place. I only wanted to talk to Ethan. I turned my attention back to the ceiling and studied the bumps and grooves of the different tiles. There was one question that my uncle could answer though…

“How much longer until sunset?” I asked as I sat up on the cot and swung my feet over the edge. My uncle smiled at me as I stared at him. I swallowed against the excessive venom building within my mouth again as I noticed the throb of my uncle’s pulse in his neck.

“We’re in the process of locking the facility down, now.” He replied. His light blue eyes seemed to be filled with worry. His entire demeanor appeared apprehensive. I could hear the beat of his heart over the speaker and it set my teeth on edge. I tried not to think about it and focused on ignoring the sound.

“How’s Tatum doing?” I asked in a valiant attempt to change the subject.

“Not well, Evan.” HE replied with a frown. “I doubt that he lives for another month.”

I gasped in surprise.

“I didn’t realize that it had gotten that bad,” I told him honestly.

Uncle Mason shrugged his shoulders in defeat.

“So, why didn’t you give him the injection?” I asked in confusion.

“He wouldn’t have lived through the injection, Evan.” Uncle Mason explained sadly. “Trust me. I’ve been studying up on the subject for quite a while now, Evan.”

Then, another question came to my mind. One that I hadn’t really considered until that moment.

“What time does my dad come to work?” I asked nonchalantly as I tried to catch my uncle off guard.

Uncle Mason grinned smugly.

“I told your father that you were too smart to fall for that,” my uncle said in an amused tone.

Uncle Mason chuckled to himself for a moment and my gaze was drawn to the pulse in his neck. My throat felt like it was on fire as I watched my uncle’s blood slip beneath his skin. It would have been so easy to just sink my fangs deep into his tender flesh and drain him dry. I ran my tongue along the edge of my razor-sharp teeth absently as my throat continued to burn. The relief I needed was just on the other side of that glass from me. I began to wonder if I was strong enough to break through the glass to get to my uncle.

“No!” I suddenly shouted out and jumped to my feet. I clenched my fists and held them tightly against my ears to drown out the sound of my uncle’s heartbeat. “I’m not a fucking monster!”

I glanced at my uncle to see that he was in complete shock from my outburst. I growled as I fought to get the image of killing my uncle out of my head. It was his fault that I was a vampire! It was his fault that my life had been taken from me! I didn’t want to kill him anymore.

I needed to kill him…

“Go away, Uncle Mason!” I growled out from between my clenched teeth. The venom was practically running out of the sides of my mouth. “Get out of here before I kill you!”

“I was suddenly standing in front of the window and I slammed my fists against the glass. The snarl I let loose made my uncle jump, but he didn’t walk away as I attacked the glass again. I could tell that it was thicker than it appeared to be, but it rattled with every strike of my fists. Uncle Mason frowned and reached out to the desk in front of him and pushed a button. Suddenly, I was staring at a red-eyed monster. His lips were curled back over his teeth and I flinched as I saw the spit running from the corner of his mouth. The bruises under his eyes looked even darker than before and the silver strands in his eyes almost glowed. I was taken aback by the ferocity of the glare in the monster’s eyes until my rational mind began to take over again. I gasped when I realized that I was the monster in the window. I growled in frustration before I went and sat back down on the cot. All I could do was stare at my reflection and wait for someone to come get me.

“You truly are amazing, young blood.” A feminine voice said over the speaker that caused me to jump in surprise. “You can relax, Evan. I would never do anything to cause you harm.”

“Who are you?” I asked curiously and a minute later the mirror went away, and I was staring at a woman with long black hair standing in the center of the observation room. She smiled at me and I took quick notice of how sharp her teeth appeared to be. She had the same tell-tale bruising beneath her blood red eyes as I had. Her skin was flawless, but it looked as though it should have been much darker than it was at the moment. She was wearing a very dark red cape around her shoulders that snapped together in front of her neck. The woman had a long black dress that seemed to ripple with her every movement. The dress fit her frame snugly and it almost shimmered in the fluorescent lights of the observation room. It was then that I realized I already knew the answer to my own question. I knew exactly who the strange woman was…

“Lady Arella,” I said with a brief nod of my head in way of greeting. She looked pleasantly surprised at my recognition. “The Mother of Vampires.”

“So, I take it that Jon has already been through to see you?” She said with a light chuckle. Her laugh was intoxicating, and it even had a bell like ring to it. “He always has been known to give away my secrets.”

“No,” I said to correct her. “Nobody has told me anything about you, except that you would be impressed by me.”

“Then,” she looked at me curiously. “How did you know who I am?”

I hesitated not knowing if I should tell her about my dreams or not. She seemed pleasant enough, but something in the back of my mind told me that she had not survived this long just by being pleasant. Finally, I sighed in defeat and told her.

“I think it was a dream,” I tried to explain. “When I was burning, I saw you and your son in a hut. You were begging for Orthis’s life to be spared and the Angel appeared.”

Arella looked completely stunned by my explanation. She shook her head in disbelief before she forced herself to smile. I couldn’t help but to stare in awe at the woman that was so willing to give up her own life to save the life of her son.

“I’m definitely impressed, Evan.” Arella told me gently. “Would it bother you if I were to join you, Evan?”

Arella smiled and motioned towards the door that separated us.

Can I keep the monster under control long enough to keep from killing anyone?

I doubted my self-control and frowned at the Mother of Vampires. Arella noticed the look on my face and laughed lightly. I couldn’t stop the growl that came from my throat and her laughter died abruptly. She glanced at me without any amusement in her expression. I could tell that she meant business.

“You won’t want to drink from me, Evan.” Arella told me solemnly. “You can trust me.”

I sighed in defeat and nodded my head. I placed my hands on my knees and glanced back up to see that Jon was standing beside Arella. The door to the corridor was still closing behind the man as he stood there with his arms crossed against his chest. The speaker clicked off with a subtle pop that irritated me slightly. I strained to hear what Arella and Jon were saying to each other as their lips moved in conversation. I couldn’t hear them through the glass like I could earlier, and I frowned. It bothered me that I couldn’t figure out what they were saying, and I felt another growl escape my throat. Jon and Arella both glanced at me. Arella was grinning smugly while Jon just looked at me with an annoyed expression on his face. I turned away from them and decided to finally go change my clothes.

Lying on the sink in the bathroom was a pair of denim jeans and a black t-shirt that fit snugly to my torso. I ran my fingers through my black hair and tried to see if I could get it to stand on end, but without any gel my hair was just proving to be difficult. I noticed a pair of black sneakers sitting next to the sink with a pair of socks sticking out of them. Everything fit me perfectly and I couldn’t help but check out my reflection in the mirror one last time before I returned to my holding cell.

Arella and Jon were both still standing in the observation room when I finally returned. Jon nodded approvingly at my outfit while Arella smiled.

“You are a truly beautiful individual, Evan.” She said with a smile. “The Gift has only enhanced all of your attributes. You are stunning to say the least, young blood.”

I smiled shyly and sat back down on the cot.

“Evan,” Arella continued. “Jon is hesitant about me coming in your room without him.” I glanced up in shock at the two of them. Jon had gone back to scowling at me suspiciously. “Would you mind if he joined me?”

I couldn’t help but frown at the question. I was terrified of the both of them. Then, I thought about my little brother. Ethan could be my distraction from the situation if I thought about him hard enough. I tried to think about Ethan’s blue eyes, and I found myself almost yearning to see him again. I tried to think about my mother, but I could barely recall what she even looked like. Trying to think about her gave me a headache that refused to go away until I thought about Ethan. Even trying to bring up a memory of my father turned out to be painful. Only Ethan was able to bring me peace for some reason.

Ethan…

I glanced up as the door squeaked slightly as it swung open. Arella entered the room first followed by Jon whom immediately shut the door behind him. Once the door is shut I notice that my uncle and Director Croft both entered the observation room. My uncle reached forward and flipped the window back to a mirror which I silently thanked him for.

Jon looked tense and he scowled at me. I felt the hair beginning to stand up on the back of my neck as his silver eyes pierced into my very soul. Arella just continued to smile at me as she moved slowly towards the cot. I tried not to look at Jon. My brain was trying to process the scents of the two strangers in the room. Arella carried a flowery scent with her but I detected some woodsy scents as well coming from her. Jon smelled like a dog that needed a bath three months before and I couldn’t help but frown.

I growled and fought the urge to leap at the werewolf. I gripped the edge of the cot tightly and I heard the metal frame give with a slight metallic twang. I forced myself to think about what it used to be like to hold Ethan in my arms whenever we would spend the day lying around the house. It helped but it wasn’t quite enough. The only way to get used to the wolf was to spend time with him.

“He’s not as bad as he seems, Evan.” Arella’s light voice had a chime to it that easily caught my attention. “You might even get used to his smell after a while.”

Jon rolled his eyes as Arella continued to watch me.

I took another breath and forced my muscles to relax. My entire body felt like a spring that had been wound up too tight. I growled as I felt my muscles twitch, but I could feel the energy within me beginning to die off.

“Don’t move, Jon.” Arella warned the werewolf as he tensed himself up. “He’s actually gaining control of it on his own.”

I heard Jon snort, but I ignored him. I knew I could do it if I just tried hard enough. Ethan would have been disappointed in me if I didn’t learn how to control myself. I slowly released my grip on the edge of the cot and placed my hands on my knees. I glanced up to see that Arella was smiling at me while Jon just stared in shock. I took two more deep breaths and let them out slowly as my body continued to relax.

“I’ve never saw such a thing,” Jon said in quiet disbelief. He grinned at me and just shook his head in disbelief. “I was almost positive that I was going to have to fight you, Evan. In nearly five-thousand years I have never been as surprised as I am now.”

I couldn’t help but smile at his praise and it only helped me relax even more.

“I wonder what else he’ll be capable of,” Arella said with an amused grin on her face.

“I guess we’re going to find out,” Jon added with a chuckle.

Then, the speaker clicked back on and my throat began to burn as I heard the sound of two hearts beating noisily.

“The doors leading to the exit tunnel will unlock when the bell chimes, Agent Wells.” I heard Director Croft’s voice over the intercom. “The facility will remain locked down until the three of you return.”

“Yes, sir.” Jon replied before the speaker clicked off again. “You must have a lot of questions, Evan.”

I turned my head towards him and nodded.

“Tons…”

Jon grinned again.

“Well, we’ve got tons of time to answer them for you.” Jon replied pleasantly. “First, we need to take you hunting.”

As if on cue, a bell chimed over the intercom system in the ceiling and a woman made an announcement about the facility being secured for the night. The burning in my throat began to intensify as the lock on the door clicked loudly and the door swung inward slightly. The sound was sharp, and it made me wince in pain.

“Follow Jon to the tunnel, Evan.” Arella instructed me. “I’ll tell you what to do once we get outside.”

I nodded and watched with interest as Jon pulled the door the remainder of the way open. He turned back towards me for a moment.

“Hold your breath, Evan.” He instructed before he led the way into the observation room. I did exactly as he told me. “You don’t really need to breathe anymore. It’s just going to be uncomfortable for you when you can’t. Especially since you’re a predator.”

I froze at his words and Arella bumped into me.

I’m a predator, I thought bitterly. Ethan is going to be disappointed.

“Come on, Evan.” Jon said in an annoyed tone. “We need to get going.”

Jon stepped out into the dimly lit hallway and motioned for me to follow him. He began to jog down the hallway and I went to follow him. I had no idea how it happened, but I was suddenly running next to Jon and I growled in surprise. Jon just laughed and shook his head.

“You’re just full of surprises,” Jon stated with a grin.

Jon turned and twisted through the hallways of the facility before he turned into a long tunnel that seemed to slant upwards. We ran all the way to the end of the tunnel until we were stopped by a large steel wall. Next to the door is one of the speaker boxes and Jon walked over to it and pushed a button.

“We’re here,” he stated before he returned to where Arella and I were waiting. “Don’t be surprised, but it snowed today.”

“I love the snow!” Arella stated rather happily.

I felt myself frown as I thought about the young man standing in the center of that dark country road that was covered in snow. My Uncle Mason was right. There had been no other choice.

I was pulled away from my thoughts as yellow strobe light began to flash on top of the door. I could hear the sounds of motors grinding into action as the steel wall began to separate down the center. A yellow light began to shine in through the growing crack in the door and I began to feel anxious over the thought of being able to finally mollify the burning sensation in my throat.

I want to do this, I thought in surprise.

I couldn’t believe that I actually felt excited to drink someone’s blood – but I did. My muscles were beginning to tense up as the door continued to inch its way open. There was a single yellow light hanging just outside the door, but there was only darkness and a blanket of white snow beyond that. The musty air within the tunnel was quickly replaced by the cool air blowing in through the crack in the door and I breathed in deep of its fresh scent. I growled in delight at the mix of smells and Jon chuckled lightly.

“Relax, Evan.” Arella told me as she placed her hand on my shoulder. I was so distracted by the scene before me that I didn’t even flinch at the contact. “We have all night to explore your new abilities.”

I can’t wait, I thought excitedly before Jon took off running towards the nearby tree line. Before I knew what I was doing, my body followed behind the werewolf. I began to laugh as I felt the wind blowing through my hair. I passed Jon easily as I ducked beneath a tree branch and I couldn’t help but laugh with delight.

Jon chuckled from behind me…


I watched as the blonde-haired woman reached into her car. She must have just been getting home from work as she grabbed her purse and went to shut the door behind her. The monster inside of me growled with excitement at the murderous act that I was about to commit. Arella touched my shoulder as if giving me permission to make my move and my body lurched forward.

The monster inside of me was in control and he was thirsty. The woman jumped slightly as she turned around and I was standing directly behind her. I could feel the heat of her body and it seemed to pull me forward. I pulled her into my arms without even giving it a second thought and the woman giggled slightly.

“Jack,” she said with a giggle. “At least wait until we get inside the house!.”

Then, she slipped her hand up my chest and she froze in my arms. I could feel her heartbeat quicken as she realized that I wasn’t Jack. I nuzzled my face into the crook of her neck and sniffed deeply. I growled with delight as I took in the honey-like scent of her skin. Then, the monster grew tired of my hesitation and he sank his fangs into her tender flesh. The woman cried out in pain, but it was too late for her.

The hot blood filled my mouth and I gulped it down greedily. She tried to push against me, but her struggles were quick to fade as the life slowly drained from her body. I was in heaven with every drop of her blood that flowed over my tongue. My taste buds were on fire with joy. Her body went completely limp only moments before her heart stopped and her last breath slipped from her lips. I sighed in relief as I laid her lifeless shell on the ground. The monster wanted more.

I wanted more…

I knew that I should have felt disgusted with myself, but all I could think about was how good I felt at that moment. My body felt like it could fight a million people if I wanted to, but I managed to keep myself under control. My throat still burned but not nearly as bad as it had earlier. The sound of the front door of the house opening made me freeze. I glanced up just as a man stepped out onto the front porch and the monster growled with delight.

The man noticed me standing over his dead companion and his face paled. I saw him take a step forward and his expression changed to one of disbelief.

“Alicia?” He called out. The man glared at me angrily. “What have you done? I’m calling the cops!”

He turned to run back inside the house, but I was already moving and by the time he reached the door I grabbed his shoulder. I growled as he swung on me and easily ducked out of the way. My entire being was focused on the man’s motions as he tried to fend me off with all of his strength. I easily avoided every punch he threw at me and the monster began to grow bored. The man swung at me again and as I ducked out of the way, I reached out and grabbed his arm and bent it sharply behind him. The man screamed in agony as his shoulder dislocated. I kicked him in the side of his knee and broke his leg which made it easier for me to force him down to his knees. I yanked his head back and exposed his throat where his pulse was beating wildly. Then, I sunk my teeth into his neck and drained the man dry.

I dropped his body on the porch and stepped away from him. Arella stood on the sidewalk that lead to the porch of the house and grinned at me like a proud parent. When I stopped in front of her she reached out and wiped the corner of my mouth with her thumb. She pulled her thumb back and sucked the blood off of it.

“Lucky you,” she said with a giggle.

I glanced down to see that my shirt was soaked with blood. I frowned and tried to ignore it.

Ethan’s going to be disappointed in me…


Arella and Jon stood nearby and watched me as I tried out my new vampiric abilities. I had taken off my shirt and Jon had burned it along with the house of the people that I had murdered. Jon had explained to me the importance of covering up our kills. The secret had to be kept or the Elders would send Hunters after you. Now that the government was involved with the secret, it was even more important to keep yourself hidden. The air felt only slightly chilly against my bare torso as I practiced zigzagging through the trees. My thirst had been satiated by the couple formally known as Alicia and Jack, and I was even stronger than I had been before. I ran towards the trunk of a tree and jumped off of the ground when I was about thirty feet from it. I spun in the air until my feet were pointed towards the tree. Everything seemed to go into slow motion as my feet touched the tree and I let my knees bend to cushion the impact. I was only crouched against the trunk of the tree for a moment before I launched myself back in the direction that I had come from. I flipped three times before my feet landed perfectly on the ground and I decided to return to where Arella and Jon were waiting.

“What did you think?” I asked with a grin. I wasn’t even out of breath and it felt great.

“That was rather entertaining,” Jon replied with a smile. “How do you feel?”

“Never better,” I replied happily.

“Good,” Jon stated with a nod.

Arella smiled at me and placed her hand on my shoulder.

“The sun will be up in an hour or two, Evan.” She told me with a hint of remorse in her voice. “Jon is going to take you back to the Section-9 Headquarters.”

“You’re not coming with us?” I asked in surprise.

“No,” she replied with a frown. “There are other matters that I must attend to before the war finally begins. We will meet again, Evan. You can be certain of that.”

“I hope so, Mother Arella.” I told the Mother of Vampires with a gentle nod.

Arella placed her hand against my cheek with a grin on her own lips.

“You have so much potential, Evan.” She told me. “Immortality suits you.”

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