By painter

Episode 51

We stayed in that library, holding onto each other for a long time, and by the time we broke apart, all clues that there was ever even the slightest of a disturbance in this room were swept away. “I don’t want to go.” I whispered weakly, looking up at Pedro’s strained face.

He tapped my nose, then grabbed my hand, leading me out into the hall. “You know I don’t want you to go, but I’d never forgive myself if something happened and I could have prevented it by getting you away sooner.”


“I understand.” I whispered, my eyes on my feet as we walked.

“How are you?” Pedro asked carefully as the elevator doors slid closed in front of us.

I sighed, instinctively bringing my hand to my once injured shoulder. “I’m ok.” I nodded, dropping my hand back down. “I guess it was just easy to forget what you all are.” I said bluntly, then turned to give Pedro an apologetic look, hoping my words hadn’t offended him.

Pedro nodded his head. “I know what you mean.” He smiled lightly. “So many myths paint us as blood hungry monsters, when really, that is only such a small part of us. For the most part, blending with humans is pretty easy, because aside from our diets and heightened abilities, we really aren’t all that different.

It’s only when you come face to face with the ugly side of our nature that you are forced to see the thing that keeps our kinds separate.”

I thought about what he was saying, and a part of me felt like he was trying to tell me something, but I wasn’t sure what exactly.

I ignored the feeling, trying not to hear whatever it was. “Pedro?” I said and he looked down at me. “How does it work?” I asked. “Being changed, I mean.” Then I bit my lip as he walked me to my room and we sat at the foot of the bed.

He laid back on the bed, looking up at the ceiling. “When we want to change someone, we bite them, but we have to release our venom.”
I looked at him frantically, my heart rate picking up. “Well, what if he used his venom on me, Pedro! What if I turn?” I shrieked grabbing my shoulder.

Pedro sat up quickly, steadying me with his hands on my shoulders. “Rachel, he didn’t.” He assured me. “When we bite and release our venom, it is a pretty immediate reaction.” He explained. “The venom hits the blood and it quickly spreads throughout the bodies systems, temporarily putting the victim in a coma like state for anywhere to an hour to a whole day. When they wake up, the change is complete.” He said then rolled his eyes at me. “Are you in a coma right now, Rachel?” He asked and I slapped his shoulder.

“No.” I mumbled back.

“Then he didn’t use his venom, and you are going to be ok.” He smiled, then reached out to hold my hand. “Can I ask you something now?” He asked quietly and I got slightly nervous from his serious tone, but I nodded my head anyway. “Why are you so afraid that you might have turned?” He asked, not meeting my eyes. “Is it because you want Calvin to be the one to do it…or because you don’t want it to happen to you at all?”

I dropped my eyes from his face too, ashamed that he had been able to pick up on how badly I don’t want to be like him. “Well,

“That’s what I thought.” He answered for me. “Rachel, why did you agree to marry Calvin, knowing that you don’t want to be turned?”

I shot a defensive look at him. “Because I love him.” I said.
Pedro sighed. “I know that, but what exactly do you think will happen?” He asked.

I stood up from the bed, angry with him for bringing this up. I’d done such a good job for so long now, not thinking of this exact thing.

It was the only thing that was standing between me and the way I feel about Calvin, so I had chosen to ignore it, push the feelings and thoughts down and just enjoy my human time I have left. “I didn’t think about it.” I snapped at him. “I chose to be stupid, and pretend that that was never going to come up.” I said stomping over to the bathroom and noisily started shoving some of my things in my bags that Maria had laid out for me.

“Like you said though, apparently I don’t have to worry about it anymore since you’re convinced that my husband is dead, and I’m being kicked out of the castle.” I said sarcastically

I stopped when I felt Pedro’s cool hand on my back. “I didn’t mean to anger you.” He smiled. “We don’t have to talk anymore, and I have lots to do before tomorrow night. We’ll need to leave as soon as the sun sets, so make sure you get your rest.” He looked sadly down at me and I looked away, not ready to feel guilty for snapping on him just yet. “Do you want me to inform Greer and Tessa, or would you like to?”

I shook my head, looking down at the nearly cleared off counter in front of me. “You do it.” I told him. “I just want to be alone.” I sighed.

Pedro left me to myself and I went back to packing away my things, even the things I didn’t care to keep, just anything to keep my hands busy while I waited for it to be late enough for it to be acceptable for me to just crawl back into bed.

After only an hour passed I decided I didn’t really care what time it was at this point. All I want to do on my last night here is just wrap myself in what was left of Calvin’s scent on our bedsheets.

I was seconds from climbing into bed when there was a soft knock on my door. “Come in.” I said weakly and Cromley stuck his head in.

“Miss Lexton is here to see you, your highness.” He announced, looking to me for approval and I sighed but nodded.

She walked in tentatively, her pale blue dress hanging gracefully from her small frame. “Hi.” She murmured, walking over to me at the foot of the bed.

“Hey.” I replied, looking at her questioningly.

She was holding a bracelet in her hand, fidgeting with it nervously. “I just wanted to come and apologize for my behavior before.” She smiled. “I really hope I didn’t offend you.”

“That’s alright, Lexton.” I told her. “No worries.”

She looked over my shoulder and pointed. “That’s a beautiful painting.” She commented and I turned away from her to admire the large painting of a rose garden that Calvin had had moved in here from his mom’s old room.

I grinned at it, then turned back to Lexton just in time to see her straighten back up to standing, her face flushing bright red. “Oh, I dropped my bracelet.” She said innocently, but the way she was holding one of her hands behind her back now was really suspicious.

“What are you hiding?” I demanded and she backed away. “Lexton, what do you have?” I asked her again.

She turned quickly, trying to beat me to the door, but as she turned I saw the envelope in her right hand and I jumped to grab it, snatching it from her grasp.

She whipped around, her dark hair falling into her face. “It’s not what you think!” She insisted, but as I looked down at the envelope in my hands, and the guilty look on her face, I had a feeling it was exactly what I thought.

I flipped the envelope over in my hands, feeling like I’d been punched in the gut when I saw Calvin’s beautiful script across the front, but it was her name and not mine that he’d written. Angry tears stung at my eyes. “Why do you have a letter from my husband?” I asked still staring at it in disbelief.

Then I laughed to myself. “This is why you came back in here wasn’t it?” I asked, already knowing I’m right. “You weren’t sorry, you just didn’t want me to find your little secret.” It was obvious that the letter must have fallen out of her bag when she spilled it at the foot of my bed the other day in such a hurry to get away from me. “Get out.” I said evenly, but forceful.

“Rachel, please, let me explain.” She begged but I walked away from her and over to my bed, yanking the letter free and opening it.

“Cromley!” I called. “Get her out of here!” I screamed, holding the open letter in my hands without looking at it.

The very thought of Calvin sitting down wherever he was and taking out a piece of paper to write her name on it instead of mine, was enough to make my blood burn white hot and my heart to feel like it was frozen over.


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