Weeks passed by and Christmas was closing in on us. Chris wanted to make the trip to Canada quick, and without me. He thought it would be safest if I stayed in the compound he had created with the hunters. I had other plans. In the end, I got my way.
We left out in the jet, this morning after Chris and I returned to the compound. We had spent one last night alone in my house before spending the next week surrounded constantly by everyone he had brought along.
In the end everyone but Alaster came along for my protection. Alaster had stayed behind to protect Deirdre and all of the ritual items. Once we landed Chris needed to take care of a few business matters. I would be left in the care of the others, while I went to see where Chris lived. I wanted to experience the north, the mountains up close and personal, and Chris would be busy most of today and tomorrow. My security detail would be with me keeping me safe, and company.
The flight to Canada, seemed to go by very quick. Everyone talked, Amy and I cooked, for everyone. Amy had taken great care when making the preparations for the trip, she ensured there was enough food for everyone, and at least 6 bags of blood for those who drank it. Once we arrived in Chris’s town, she would have to make a quick trip to the surrounding hospitals to acquire enough blood, for the three vampires, who were on board. Aedam had offered to escort her, and Chris gave his blessing. He threw in, Amy, while you are out, maybe you should show Aedam around the area abit. Let him get a feel of the land. I was in Chris’s mind, don’t tease her. It is quite embarrassing, to have your face light up like a Christmas tree in front of everyone. Chris then apologized, he said, I was only teasing.
John, Chris, and Aedam left the rest of us, to go and speak with the patriarch of the green eyed clan of vampires. Chris snickered as he told me, who it was in fact. He said, remember the girl in the string bikini, or should I say the guy using that photo? Well his name is Edmund Smallwood. He is in fact the patriarch. He still hunts and drinks from humans. It was he and one of his clansmen who created our zombie hunting game, and our chat app, in order to no longer have to hunt on foot. He tries not to kill anymore. It’s to conspicuous, however at times, it is inevitable. He told me, you talked to him, a few days later. He was already aware you were mine. That is why he danced around explaining anything to you. I asked him not to. At this Chris seemed to get a bit uncomfortable. I lean up on my tippy toes and kiss his chin. It is about all I can reach if he does not bend to meet me, besides that, I rather like his adorably scruffy chin a lot.
Once they left, I decided I could scout out Chris’s estate a bit, venture up onto the mountain that is practically at his back door. Neil informed us, there is only a freeze warning in effect for tonight, the forecast sunny and a lovely 5 degrees. He says, bundle up girls, talking to Amy and me. He begins packing his back pack, with a few essentials. A small tent, a bottle of whiskey, two tin cups, and a few more items. Once we were all ready for the hike, we headed out Chris’s back door. We walked through Chris’s backyard and begin to ascend the mountain. I was partially glad, Chris had been busy with business matters, he was not in my mind, checking in to see what I was up to. He, I am sure, would not have been very happy I had decided to go on a nature hike with only Tammy and Neil for protection. But we were thousands of miles from Nic, or his clan. We were safe, in my eyes.
As we walked, Tammy and I noticed the difference in the terrain here, it was clear, cold and undisturbed. The air, had a crispness that made your lungs feel alive. Even the sky, seemed different from ours.
We started our journey around ten in the morning. We were more than halfway up the mountain when we stopped for lunch. It was now four-o’clock. Neil said, I think it is time we turn around and head back. See the clouds, starting to cover the top of the mountain, and obscure our vision. Snow is on it’s way. I agreed, with Neil and so we began our descend. My mind reaches out to Chris’s, telling him where we are, showing him the scenery in my mind. He is a bit upset at me, but tells me to be safe, and he will see me soon. Then he adds, I love you Leigh. I smile and tell him, me too.
Suddenly the wind picks up, and the temperature drops. Snow starts to fall, Amy and I can no longer see, the person in front of us. Amy loses her footing, and tumbles over the edge, she lands about ten feet down on a small ledge. Tammy immediately jumps down to her. Neil scoops me up in his arms, and jumps down next. Once we land, Neil places me back on my feet. He then immediately goes to Amy’s side. He says, we must move her, and get her into some sort of shelter. Tammy begins searching immediately for an overhang, or cave, something that will get us out of the elements. She returns soon, she has discovered a small cave. She bends down and scoops up Amy. Amy winces in pain. Neil is right behind, holding my hand, leading the way for me. Once inside, Neil quickly gets a fire lit, and the small bedroll from his backpack laid out, for Tammy to set Amy on. Neil then begins to ascertain the damage to Amy’s body. He looks at me, and says, Leigh, we are going to need some of your blood. I nod, in agreeance. Tammy then retrieves one of the tin cups from Neil’s backpack, and brings it to my side. She sits by the fire, on a log, and urges me to as well. She then asks if she may, I agree to allow her to, I am a bit concerned, but I know, Neil will not allow her to go to far. I know it has been since last night since Tammy fed, and she won’t drink from a man, directly. Her promise to John. Her fangs, emerge, and she carefully cuts my wrist, with her teeth. I feel her drink, only a small hit, then she holds the cup under it to catch the blood, draining from the cut. I tell her, you have such self control. She smiles at me and says, it is because I am a female. She continues cutting my wrist, each time it heals, until the cup was half filled. Then Tammy carried it to Neil, and he in turn fed it to Amy, who was barely conscious. Neil then asked Amy how she felt, she said, better, but tired. He says sleep. And she does, very soon after. Neil then begins setting about the task of assembling the tent, Tammy goes out, and finds a few small squirrels for Amy, Neil and I to eat. She then searches deeper into the cave, for dry wood, for the fire. Surprisingly there is quite a bit. She stacks it up against one of the walls. She then goes back out, and collects a couple of downed trees, and brings them inside to dry out a bit, unsure of how long we will be here. I enter Chris’s mind, and tell him about everything that has occurred, since we last talked. He asks how Amy is doing, I say resting, he conveys the message to Aedam who is beside himself. He tells me they are on their way to find us, and will be to us as soon as they can. I tell him I love him, and to please be safe. He says, I will. And Leigh, I love you.
Neil placed the back of the tent flush against the wall. Then he and Tammy moved Amy on the bedroll into the tent for added warmth. Once she was settled in, Neil returned to his backpack and removed the other mug and a small kettle. He went outside and scraped up some of the snow. He placed it in the pot. Then put it over the fire, to melt it. He then brought it to a boil. Neil then used a good bit of whiskey to scour out the cup which contained my blood. He added in some tea bag, to the tea kettle and brewed a small pot of tea for us to share. He then skewered the squirrels, Tammy had caught and cleaned. She laughed, saying well I have now had animal blood she said tastes a bit nutty, laughing. I smile, not sure if she is serious, or kidding. Neil says, good thinking Tammy. I asked Tammy was it enough, or if she thought she needed to feed from me again. She said it will suffice for now, I’ll let you know if I need more, and she threw a wink in my direction. Neil then said, you were right earlier, the reason you are restrained with Leigh, is because you are a female. At least in part you are. All male vampires want Leigh’s blood, but it goes farther than that. They want every part of her. At this, Tammy made an odd face. Neil sensing what she was about to say, said, I’m not saying John wants Leigh, but the animal inside of him does. As you know, on more than one occasion, he was able to keep from feeding from her, so he is strong, the bond you and he share, is what has made it possible for him. Tammy says, I know he loves her, we all do. She is one of our best friends. She then smiles at me. Neil says, your love, and you are female, is what allows you to keep from tearing into her flesh at any given moment. I say through a strained voice, I am very glad.
Amy begins to stir in the tent, after a couple of hours. Neil goes to see to her. He pops his head out, and says, Leigh, I think we need a bit more of your blood. I ask Tammy, feel like a hit? She smiles, and says okay. She then retrieves my mug from by the fire. She cuts my wrist once again, using her fangs, and this time takes a very long drink from it. She then places the cup under my wrist to collect the downfall of blood, that is draining at the moment. Suddenly, a man, or should I say vampire bursts through our hidden oasis in the cave. Fangs bared, ready to attack. Tammy has handed me the cup and is on her feet in seconds. Before he attacks, he looks at me, and sniffs the air. Neil is up and in Hunter form within seconds, as well. Then through his fangs, he asks, you are Chris’s? I say yes, at this point Tammy is restraining him with all her newborn strength. I get up and go inside the tent with Amy and leave Tammy and Neil to deal with this intruder.
I feel Chris enter my mind. He felt my fear, the first fear of the day. He asks what is going on? I show him, in my mind. He smiles, and says we have made it to you then. He says that is Edmund. I say charming fellow. Chris apologizes. It is, and I finish the sentence for him, my blood. I know, with a bit of irritation in my voice. I then hear Chris’s voice outside the tent.
I unzip the tent and poke my head out. Aedam is immediately by my side, wanting to see Amy. I tell him, let me crawl out, and you can come in and see her. I add, after that last bit of my blood, her color has finally returned, and she is feeling much better. Aedam says thank you Leigh. I smile. He then offers me his hand, to help me to my feet.
Chris is immediately by my side. Giving me his hand. Helping from the opposite side, to get me to my feet. All of a sudden, I feel a bit dizzy as I stand. I almost fall. Chris catches me. I am in his mind, I think, I have given too much blood in such a short amount of time. He smiles down and says thank you Leigh. He then scoops me up and goes and sits by the fire, with me on his lap. He tells me sleep while I hold you. I listen, and am out.
Leigh was out in seconds in my arms. Then Neil began to tell me and everyone else of the days events. He notices my irritation for them going off, without informing me of their plans. He apologizes, saying he assumed, that I would have known, due to the link Leigh and I share. I then had to admit, I had been rather preoccupied all day, with this business with Edmund’s clan. I tell Neil, I suppose, we shall have to share the blame for what has occurred. I added, I do know, when Leigh puts her mind to something, she usually gets her way, thinking back to the first time I drank from her in my bed. I look down at her beautiful face, sleeping next to where my heart use to beat, and kiss her ever so gently on her forehead.
I wake up a bit disoriented, at first. I see the cave, then my eyes focus in on Chris who is still holding me snuggled into his chest. He asks, how did you sleep my love? I smile, and say rather well. He helps me, to slide into a sitting position between his legs, so I can lean against his body for support. Neil walks over and hands me a cup of hot tea and a very large piece of squirrel on a stick. He says, don’t worry, its fresh. John and Tammy just got back, an hour ago maybe, from hunting. John then pipes up, Tammy has introduced me to the flavor of squirrel blood, laughing as he says this.
We sit around as I eat, and I am brought up to date. Edmund apologizes for his introduction. “I couldn’t help myself Ms. Kearney.”
“It’s Leigh. Just Leigh. And I know, my blood does it.” Then turning to Neil, how is Amy?”
“She is recovering quite well. Your blood works magic.”
I smile, and ask Chris, “How long will we be here?”
“That, I am unsure of. There is a blizzard that has moved in. Tammy has done a great job of getting supplies for all of the humans.” “Hey, what about me.” John adds in.
“You didn’t let me finish. John began helping too, once we arrived. They have enough firewood and meat, to last a week at least.”
“What about blood? I only have so much to give, even with me regenerating it so quick.”
“Well, Neil and Aedam have agreed to allow us to drink from them, so only Tammy will need yours.”
I interrupt, “And you.”
Chris smiles down at me. “I will see. Amy may need more still. I would rather drink from an animal at this point in time than to have you sleep the whole time we are here.”
I change the subject. “So, what all kinds of meat did y’all collect?”
“Oh,” John begins. “We got some squirrel, but theirs are different than ours. They are huge. We also managed some rabbit, and Tammy got a bear. I think his blood was the best.”
“I’m sure. He is a meat eater. It is probably closer to human than a vegetarian. Actually that poses a question. Do you taste a difference between the blood of humans who eat meat and vegetarians and vegans?”
Edmund takes up the question. He speaks quite fast which makes it a bit difficult for me to understand. “Well, I always say you can smell a vegetarian a mile away. And it’s true. They don’t have the same scent or taste. Does a steak taste the same as asparagus to you?” I shake my head no. “The same is true for us. We can even taste the difference between the blood types. I myself prefer a nice O. It has such a strong flavor. It is something vampires learn as they mature.” Chris winks at me as I listen.
“I myself prefer a nice B positive.” Chris adds.
I am in his mind. “My blood type, eh?”
“I have always been partial to it, honestly.
We all settle in, with John and Tammy taking the first watch. Chris and I cuddle in close to the fire, and Aedam and Amy snuggle up in the tent on a sleeping bag Chris had brought. Neil dozes off next to the fire on the other sleeping bag. Edmund joins Tammy and John in the watch.
“How long have you two been vampires?” Edmund begins.
“It has been awhile for me, close to a year, I think.” John states.
“I am still a new born, Tammy adds. I was changed for my birthday, a few months ago.”
“You are both quite young. You have a lot to learn.”
“Not so fighting, we have been taught how to defend ourselves. Chris and the hunters ensured that.”
“Even against someone as old as me?”
John states. “I could hold my own. You may kill me in the end, but I would cause you some damage.”
“I can teach you another way. A way of incapacitating a vampire without ever touching him.” Edmund begins to laugh.
“Edmund, don’t fill their heads with your wild ideas. I have much more work to do with them even now.”
John turns to me “Is there a way?”
I look crossly at Edmund. “It is said, a vampire is powerless against a certain herb. One that if ingested could kill them.”
Leigh’s eyes pop open, “Garlic. Why didn’t I think of that?”
Edmund and I break into a hearty laugh. “No my love. Not garlic. That is merely a myth. It is said, sage can kill a vampire. Have you never heard, they use sage in preparing the dead in ancient times.”
John begins, “If it’s so deadly to us, how can we use it?”
“You can’t directly. But, you could have a human, or a hunter create something for you to wear. Something for you to carry. Something you could spray onto an ancient one.”
“Does it really harm vampires?” John questions.
“I can’t say I have ever had a run in with it.” Edmund begins. “But I have had one with Angelica root tea. That will stun a vampire, totally incapacitate.”
“I have as well. In Russia, when I discovered the Alexandrite. The men, they had drank it earlier in the day. They knew what would happen if a vampire fed.”
Chris was lost in thoughts of the past as the fire flames danced in front of him. Everyone else settled down and remained quite the rest of the night.