Blood Prophecy Page 44

“Ha!” I was practically standing on the gas pedal.

I hit her just before she could dart into the safety of the forest.

She rolled over the hood and hit the windshield. I eased off the accelerator and the car spun out madly. My stomach pressed against my spine. I slid down the hill backward, narrowly avoiding the farmer, Solange still clinging to the window. Her white dress fluttered against the glass, blocking my view. I slammed into a fence post and the sound of metal crushing in on itself made my teeth hurt. The car stopped with a violent jolt. Solange flew into the snow, rolled to the edge of the road, and lay there motionless. For a long time all I could hear was the hammer of my pulse in my ears. The seatbelt was digging into my stomach and my cheek hurt from where I’d bit it when the car hit the fence.

The driver’s door flew open. Kieran grabbed my shoulder. “Shit!” he shouted in my face.

I burst out laughing. I couldn’t help it. He was usually so calm and confident, like Hunter.

“I’m okay,” I told him. I tried to unbuckle my seatbelt but my fingers were trembling so much he had to do it for me. Adrenaline made me light-headed. “I just hit my best friend with a car.” Nausea rolled through me. “I’m going to hell.”

He crouched next to Solange warily. “She’s out.” He reached out to brush her hair off her face but stopped himself, drawing back out of reach.

“For now.” I slid off the seat. The cold air was bracing and helped clear my head. I took a few deep breaths. “Won’t last long.” I pulled a crossbow out of the trunk and armed it. I stood over Solange with my teeth chattering and my hands shaking, an arrow aimed at her chest. “I’m immune, I’ll stay with her. You get some rope or something.”

He pulled chains, ropes, bright yellow twine, and two pairs of handcuffs out of a bag in the backseat. The last time she’d lain so still, he’d had to feed her his own blood to revive her. This time, he cuffed her wrists together and then wound thick rope around her arms and torso. He used the twine on her ankles.

“Where is she?” Quinn and Connor skirted the slumped bodies sprawled in the road without a second glance. I spun around, crossbow still at the ready. They leaped out of the way. Quinn flipped into the air and right over my head. Connor landed in a tree, balancing on a lower branch. One time. I’d accidentally shot Marcus one time.

“Isabeau’s on her way,” Connor said, dropping back down to the ground. Snow drifted off his jacket. “Mom and Dad, are, of course, out of range. But Aunt Hyacinth went to find them and Christabel is going to keep calling from the barn.”

The twins circled their little sister carefully. I lost feeling in my toes. It felt like hours before Hunter drove up in one of the school vans. Her friend Jason was with her.

“Sorry,” Kieran said curtly. “If we called the emergency unit for the vics, they’d have to take Solange too.”

“I know,” Hunter said, all business. “Help me get them in the van.”

The victims were all breathing normally but the boy’s cheeks were white with cold. There was no way of knowing how far he’d walked or how long he’d been following Solange. Jason grabbed him under the arms and dragged him to the van without a word. Kieran helped the woman and Hunter guided the farmer as he shuffled toward the backseat. He sat down with a groan, looking confused.

I crouched in front of him, smiling gently and hiding the crossbow behind my back. “You’re going to be okay,” I told him. “They’re going to take you to the doctor.”

“Caught some hooligans in my field,” he slurred. “Did something to my cows.”

“Did they touch you?” Kieran asked sharply from the other side.

“High on something,” he mumbled. “Smelled like they hadn’t showered in weeks.”

“But did they touch you?” Hunter repeated.

The farmer smiled. “Had my shotgun. Scared them off good and proper.” We exchanged a sigh of relief. “Rather go home,” he mumbled. The wrinkles on his face were like crevices.

“Too bad,” she said cheerfully. “We’re taking you to the doctor first.”

“Smart mouth. Just like my granddaughter.” He opened one eye. “How do I know you aren’t after my cows too?”

I tried to buckle him in. “Do you know Cass Hamilton?” I asked. “The vegetarian animal-rights activist who hands out flyers at the farmers’ market?” He scowled. I patted his hand. “She’s my mom. Your cows are safe.”

He was still grumbling when he passed out. Jason slid into the driver’s seat as Quinn carried the woman to the back of the van. Kieran looked grimly at the neat row of bite marks on the back of her neck.

“At least it wasn’t Hel-Blar,” I told him. She’d have scars though, they all would. Apparently Solange had abandoned her delicate supper manners. Aunt Hyacinth would be horrified. I stepped back in time to see Quinn lean into the open window and kiss Hunter quickly, but fiercely. She touched his cheek. He turned and pressed another kiss into her palm before straightening up and stepping back.

The van sped away. We were left in the warped prisms of light from the broken headlight, three Drake brothers, a hunter, and my best friend tied up at our feet.

“Um, guys?” I said, staring at the edge of the woods. “We have another problem.”

Chapter 17


I didn’t need a memory box to know that the residents of Bornebow Hall hadn’t survived Viola’s first night as a vampire.

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