“I’m so full I could barely walk to the car,” I laugh as we pull out the parking lot.

“I missed this place so much. The food, oh god, the food. New Orleans might have the best food in the world,” Destiny almost sings the words as we head down the street.

Ever since we’ve made it to New Orleans Destiny has been having a great time. Whatever burden she was holding onto back in the cabin seems to have been lifted from her heart. We’ve been laughing, eating and just having fun. Apparently, getting a parade license in New Orleans is pretty easy. We’ve seen a parade just walking by every day for the last four days, and even managed to join in on one. I’m glad to see her smile again. I’m not sure if it’s New Orleans or being close to her family that’s got her excited, but it doesn’t matter.

“Wanna walk through the park? Walk off some of this food.”

“Yeah I wouldn’t mind that.”

“A lot of vampires can’t eat real food anymore. One of the perks to being Adze,” she jokes.

I hate people who drive with their high beams on, it’s not even that dark. I know I’ve got vampire eyes now, but the sun isn’t even down yet so there’s no point in high beams. If your eyes are that bad, catch a bus, and why is he driving so fast?

“Oh shit, Destiny speed up.”

The words leave my mouth but they’re sucked up in the sounds of metal groaning and bending while glass shatters.

For a moment, maybe more I lost consciousness. I open my eyes to us holding on for life as the car slides across the asphalt on the driver’s side. I catch a glimpse of Destiny’s eyes as we slide; panic, confusion, rage, all flash by one at a time.

I awake, upside down latched in by the seatbelt. I don’t spot Destiny in the car and it hurts to move my neck. The first time I’ve felt real pain since I’ve turned. I suppose vampires do feel pain, it just takes a lot to make us feel. My ears are still ringing from the crash even as my vision returns. Unfastening the seatbelt drops me on my head again, but lets me crawl out of the windshield and onto the grass.

I can’t appreciate the moment, as Destiny goes flying past me, embedding herself into a parked car. These aren’t the normal vampire goons. None of the stupid suits they wear, these guys are all wearing matching black gear with bullet proof vests and masks, something I’d expect from an action movie. I stumble to my feet, regaining my equilibrium and rush over towards her unnoticed. I’m not their target, meaning they’re probably sent by the Marson family and not somebody we made an enemy of on the way.

The vampire in front of her lifts a golden dagger, but doesn’t get to plunge it into her before I can plunge one of my nightmares through the back of his neck. Arrogant bastard, who brings a gold knife to a fight? A small amount of blood splatters onto my face, but I’m more concerned with Destiny. She’s awake and prying herself free.

A crowd has gathered and sirens are cutting through the ambiance heading towards us. We could fight, but innocent people might get hurt. We’re not exactly in the best shape to fight. We’re full of food, the car accident scrambled some of my wires and she looks like she looks like they dragged her right out of the wreckage. I thought there were fees for doing this kind of stuff in public but they don’t seem to care.

I snatch her hand and start to pull her through the crowds, “Hey Bluebird, we have to run. Those guys got our weakness,” she slurs the words. “A lot of people don’t know our weakness.”

“Already moving.”

Her words are slurred and for once I’m moving faster than she is. I’m not the only one who got my wires crossed in that accident. We should be healing up, but it’ll still take time. As far as I know, she’s never been hit like that, nor have I. If we were normal, we’d probably be dead. As we duck into an alleyway, I’m glad the crowd has blocked their view and made it hard for them to move. They might be willing to pay the fine for assaulting us in public, revealing vampires and magic to so many people, but they wouldn’t just kill bystanders and make it worse. For that, I’m actually thankful.

I can hear the commotion getting closer after a few minutes, they’re still coming after us. My wounds have already started to heal from the car accident, but a few of Destiny’s haven’t. She’s more coherent now and back to making plans. She thinks the Marsons sent an extermination squad after her, and the best way to survive would be to split up. I know she’s just planning to lead them all away from me, and I can’t accept that plan.

“We could just trap them one at a time and fight them. We if we can expose their flesh, it’ll kill them. The sun isn’t even down yet,” I’m giving every idea I can and she’s waving it off.

Destiny reaches into her pocket, and pulls out lipstick. We’re facing death from vampires trained to kill and she’s putting on lipstick. I’m not a good fighter, I just trained more than most vampires. These guys have trained, and they’re used to their vampiric abilities and they’ve probably got a ton of experience. Why is she checking her hair now?

“How’s my hair look,” she asks.

“Great, you always look great to me.”

“You like the lipstick? I don’t usually wear any, and never blue. I’ve always wanted to, and I thought you might like it.”

“Destiny,” is she still loopy? “I don’t think this is the right time for this.”

“I think it’s perfect.”

Destiny pins me to the wall and kisses me. I give in, my lips and tongue tingle the way I thought they might when we first kissed. The taste of cream soda fills my mouth, my body is warm and light. As she pulls away I open my eyes and realize I’ve slid to the ground.

“It’ll wear off in about thirty minutes, I hope it’s everything you wanted, the flavor was custom. Thanks for loving me Bluebird, like real love. Find you someone that can live a quiet life with no enemies, just promise you’ll never forget me.”

I try yelling at her, I try chasing after her, but my body just won’t move. I can only listen to which way she’s running. I knew she’d do something like this. I’m not letting it end like this.


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