Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Bloodlines Chapter Fifteen
ADRIAN SLEPT for a make do of the counselling ass to Palm Springs. App atomic number 18ntly, his late- darkness partying with Carla and Krissy had moderateed in very puny rest. Thinking ab egress it do me uncomfortable. Thinking ab bulge pop Jill experiencing it through him make me ill.Thered been little we could do for Carla and Krissy exclude cancelleder our sympathies. Strigoi attacks happened. It was tragic and terrible, al unrivalled the pipe down way closely Moroi could entertain themselves was to exercise caution, keep their where to the highest degrees secure, and stay with shielders if possible. For non-royal Moroi living and divergence to school in the world analogous Carla and Krissy were, guardians werent an option. P changey of Moroi got by like that they barely had to be careful. The devil of them thought the circumstances surrounding their friends death were awful. That was true. They were. entirely neither girlfriend thought much past that or fel t there was boththing odd about the throat-slitting. I wouldnt corroborate either if I hadnt perceive Clarences account of his nieces death.I brought Adrian back to Amberwood with me and signed him in briefly as a guest, figuring Jill would determine better about containing him in the flesh. Sure plenteous, she was already waiting for us in the dorm when we arrived. She hugged him and flashed me a grateful witness. Eddie was with her, and though he tell nothing, there was a tactual sensation of exasperation on his face that express I wasnt the l unitarysome(prenominal) 1 who thought Adrian had be turn overd ridiculously.I was so worried, Jill express.Adrian ruffled her hair, which made her duck away. null to worry about, Jailbait. So long as the wrinkles come out of this shirt, theres no harm done.No harm done, I thought, feeling anger enhance within me. No harm except Jill has to watch Adrian hook up with former(a) girls and endure his drinking binges. It didnt matt er if Lee had supplanted her old beat up on Adrian. She was just too young to witness anything like that. Adrian had been selfish. Now, Adrian continued, if sharp would be kind enough to keep playing chauffeur, Ill concord us all out to lunch.I thought you didnt have any money, I pointed out.I said I dont have very much money.Jill and Eddie transfer looks. We, um, were going to hear Micah for lunch, Jill said.Bring him along, said Adrian. He can meet the family.Micah showed up shortly thereafter and was happy to meet our other brother. He agitate Adrians hand and smiled. Now I see some family resemblance. I was starting to wonder if Jill was adopted, scarcely you two kind of look like each other.So does our mailman back in North Dakota, said Adrian.South, I corrected. Fortunately, Micah didnt seem to specify there was anything weird about the slip.Right, said Adrian. He studied Micah thoughtfully. Theres something familiar about you. Have we met?Micah shook his go. Ive nee r been to South Dakota.I was pretty sure I comprehend Adrian murmur, That makes two of us.We should go, said Eddie hastily, moving toward our dorms door. Ive got some homework to catch up on later.I frowned, puzzled by the attitude change. Eddie wasnt a bad disciple by any means, only if it had been obvious to me since coming to Amberwood that he didnt pull in the same interest in the school that I did. This was a retell year for him, and he was content to just play along and provided do what was required to stay in good upriseing.If anyone else thought his mien was odd, they didnt show it. Micah was already public lecture to Jill about something, and Adrian mute looked like he was trying to place Micah. Adrians generous offer to buy lunch only extended to fast food, so our meal was dissolute. After a hebdomad of dorm food, though, I appreciated the change, and Adrian had long since made his views clear on Dorothys healthy cooking.You shouldve just gotten a kids meal, Ad rian told me, pointing to my half-eaten burger and fries. You could have saved me a lot of money. And gotten a toy.A lot is kind of an exaggeration, I said. Besides, now you have leftovers to abet expire you by.He rolled his eyes and stole a hot up off my plate. Youre the one who should take the leftovers home. How do you even function on so little food? he demanded. One of these days, youre just going to blow away.Stop it, I said.Just telling it like it is, he said with a shrug. You could stand to gain about ten pounds.I stared at him incredulously, too shocked to even come up with a response. What did a Moroi jazz about weight gain? They had perfect figures. They didnt tell apart what it was like to look in the mirror and see inadequacy, to never feel good enough. It was effortless for them, whereas no matter how hard I worked, I never seemed to match their inhuman perfection.Adrians eyes drifted over to where Jill, Eddie, and Micah were animatedly talking about practicing mo re self-defense together.Theyre kind of cute, said Adrian in a voice pitched just for my ears. He played with his straw as he studied the group. maybe Castile was on to something about letting her insure at the school.Adrian, I groaned.Kidding, he said. Lee would probably challenge him to a duel. He couldnt stop talking about her, you know. When we got back from mini-golfing, Lee just kept going on with, When can we all go out again? And yet, he dropped off the face of the earth when he was in LA and I needed him.Had you made plans to meet up? I asked. Had he agreed to take you home?No, Adrian admitted. But what else was he rattling doing?Just then, a gray-haired man passed by, bumping into Jills chair as he balanced a tray of burgers and sodas. Nothing spilled, but Eddie jumped to his feet with lightning speed, ready to fly crosswise the table and keep up her. The man backed up and mumbled an apology.Adrian shook his head in amazement. Just send him as a chaperone with whoever she goes out with, and well never have to worry.Knowing what I knew now about Adrian and Jills bond, I was able to regard Eddies protectiveness in a different light. Oh, sure, I knew his guardian training had instilled that nature into him, but there always seemed to be something a little stronger there. Something around personal. At first, Id wondered if maybe it was because Jill was just part of his larger circle of friends, like Rose. Now, I kept thinking it efficiency go further than that. Jill had said Eddie had been the only one to try to protect her the night of the attack. Hed failed, most likely through timing and not because of a neglect of skill.But what kind of mark must that have left on him? He was someone whose sole purpose in smell was to defend others and hed had to watch someone die on his watch. Now that Adrian had brought her back to life, was it almost like a second scene for Eddie? An opportunity to redeem himself? peradventure thats why he was so vigil ant.You look confused, said Adrian.I shook my head and sighed. I think Im just overthinking things.He nodded solemnly. Thats why I try to never do it.An earlier question popped into my head. Hey, how come you told those girls your elevate was Jet?Standard practice if you dont want chicks to find you later, Sage. Besides, I estimate I was protecting our operation here.Yeah, but why Jet? why not I dont know Travis or John?Adrian gave me a look that said I was wasting his time. Because Jet sounds badass.After lunch, we returned Adrian to Clarences, and the rest of us went back to Amberwood. Jill and Micah went off to do their own thing, and I convinced Eddie to go to the program library with me. There, we staked out a table, and I brought out my laptop com gear uper computer.So, we found out something interesting when I picked up Adrian today, I told Eddie, keeping my voice library soft.Eddie gave me a wry look. Im guessing the whole experience of picking up Adrian was interesting at least from what Jill told me.It couldve been worse, I speculated. At least he was dressed when I got there. And there were only two other Moroi there. I didnt stumble into a sorority house full of them or anything.That made him laugh. You might have had a harder time getting Adrian out of there if that was the case.My laptop screen flared to life, and I began the complicated process of logging into the Alchemists mega-secure database.Well, as we were leaving, the girls he was with found out that a friend of theirs was killed by Strigoi the other night. both humor vanished from Eddies face. His eyes went hard. Where?In LA, not here, I added. I shouldve cognize better than to open up the conversation like that without clearly stating in advance that he didnt need to be on the lookout for Strigoi on campus. As far as we know, everyones even out Strigoi dont want to hang out in Palm Springs.Eddie became about one percent less tense.Heres the thing, I continued. This Moroi girl this friend of theirs was allegedly killed like Clarences niece.Eddies eyebrows rose. With the slit throat?I nodded. Thats weird. ar you sure thats what happened to either of them? I mean, were just going off of Clarences report, right? Eddie drummed a pencil against the table as he pondered this. Clarence is nice enough, but come on. We all know hes not quite there.Thats why I brought you here. And why I cute to check this database. We keep track of most Strigoi-related deaths.Eddie peered over my shoulder as I brought up an entry on Tamara Donahue from five years ago. Sure enough, shed been found with a cut throat. other search on Melody Croft Krissy and Carlas friend also turned up a report from closing curtain night. My people had been on the scene and quick to log the information. Melody too had had her throat slit. There had been other describe Strigoi murders in LA it was a big city, after all but only two matched this profile.Are you still thinking about what Cla rence said about vampire hunters? Eddie asked me.I dont know. I just thought it was expenditure checking these out.Guardians weighed in on both of these cases, said Eddie, pointing at the screen. They also declare them Strigoi attacks there was business taken from both girls. Thats what a Strigoi does. I dont know what a vampire hunter does, but I just dont see drinking blood as part of their goal.I wouldnt think so either. But neither of these girls was drained.Strigoi dont always finish drinking from their victims. Especially if theyre interrupted. This girl Melody was killed near a club, right? I mean, if her killer heard someone coming, theyd just take off.I suppose. But what about the throat-slitting?Eddie shrugged. We have tons of accounts of Strigoi doing doddery things. Just look at Keith and his eye. Theyre evil. You cant give logic to them.Um, lets leave his eye out of this. Keith wasnt a case I wanted brought up. I sat back in my chair and sighed. Theres just some thing bugging me about all the killings. The half-drinking. The throat-slitting. Theyre both gothic things happening together. And I dont like strange things.Then youre in the wrong profession, said Eddie, his smile returning.I smiled back, my mastermind still turning everything over. I suppose so.When I didnt say anything else, he gave me a surprised look. Youre not actually you dont think there are vampire hunters, do you?No, not really. We have no evidence to think they exist.But Eddie prompted.But, I said. Doesnt the idea freak you out a little? I mean, right now, you know who to look out for. Other Moroi. Strigoi. They stand out. But a human vampire hunter? I gestured to the students pull together and working in the library. You wouldnt know whos a threat.Eddie shook his head. Its pretty easy, actually. I just treat everyone as a threat.I couldnt decide if that made me feel better or not.When I returned to my dorm later, Mrs. Weathers flagged me down. Ms. Terwilliger dropped something off for you.She brought me something? I asked in surprise. Its not money, is it? So far, none of my coffee purchases had been reimbursed.By way of answer, Mrs. Weathers handed over a leather- continueed book. At first, I thought it was the one Id just finished. Then I looked more closely at the cover and read Volume 2. A yellow sticky note link to the book had Ms. Terwilligers spidery writing on it Next. I sighed and thanked Mrs.Weathers. Id do any task my teacher asked of me, but I was kind of hoping shed assign me a book that was more of a historical account than recipes for spells.As I was walking down my hall, I heard a a few(prenominal) exclamations of dread from the far end. I could see an open door and a few people huddled around it. Hurrying past my own room, I went to see what the problem was. It was Julia and Kristins room. Although I wasnt sure I really had the right, I pushed my way past some of the frightened onlookers. No one halt me.I found Kristin lyin g on her bed, twitching violently. She was sweating profusely, and her pupils were so large, there was hardly any discernible iris. Julia sat near her on the bed, as did a oppose girls I didnt know so well. She looked up at my approach, her face filled with fear.Kristin? I cried. Kristin, are you okay? When no response came, I turned to the others. Whats the matter with her?Julia anxiously refolded a tight cloth and placed it on Kristins forehead. We dont know. Shes been like this since this morning.I stared incredulously. Then she ask to see a doctor We need to call someone now. Ill get Mrs. Weathers No Julia jumped up and caught batch of my arm. You cant. The reason shes like this well, we think its because of the tattoo. stain?One of the other girls caught hold of Kristins wrist and turned it so that I could see the inside. There, tattooed in glittering copper colory ink on her shadowy skin, was a daisy. I remembered Kristin pining for a celestial tattoo, but last I knew, she couldnt afford it. When did she get this?Earlier today, said Julia. She looked abashed. I lent her the money.I stared at that sparkling flower, so pretty and seemingly harmless. I had no doubt it was what was ca use this fit. Whatever was assorted with the ink to pop the question the high wasnt reacting correctly with her system.She needs a doctor, I said firmly.You cant. Well have to tell them about the tattoos, said the girl who had been holding Kristins hand. No one believed Trey, but if they saw something like this well, everything at Nevermore could be close down.Good I thought. But to my astonishment, her words were met with nods from the other gathered girls. Were they crazy? How many of them had those ridiculous tattoos? And was protecting them really more important than Kristins life?Julia swallowed and sat back down on the edge of the bed. We were hoping this might pass. Maybe she needs a little time to adjust.Kristin moaned. One of her legs trembled like it was havi ng a muscle spasm and then stilled. Her eyes and their large pupils stared off blankly, and her ventilating system was shallow.Shes had all day I pointed out. You guys, she could die.How do you know? asked Julia in astonishment.I didnt, not for sure. But every once in a while, Alchemist tattoos didnt take either. In ninety-nine percent of the cases, human bodies accepted the vampire blood used in an Alchemist tattoo, allowing its properties to infuse with our own, kind of like a inferior dhampir. We gained good stamina and long life, though hardly got the amazing somatogenic abilities dhampirs received. The blood was too diluted for that. Even so, there was always the insouciant person who got sick from an Alchemist tattoo. The blood poisoned them. It was made worse because the gold and other chemicals worked to keep the blood infused in the skin, so it never had a chance to leave. Those left untreated died.Vampire blood wouldnt cause a expansive high, so I didnt believe there was any in this tattoo. But the treatment we used for Alchemist tattoos relied on breaking down the metallic components of the tattoo in order to release the blood, allowing the body then to clear it naturally. I had to assume the same principle would work here. Only, I didnt know the take aim formula for the Alchemist compound and wasnt even sure it would break down copper like it did gold.I bit my lip, thinking, and finally made a decision. Ill be right back, I told them, racing to my room. All the while, an inner voice chastised me for foolishness. I had no business attempting what I was about to. I should go slap-up to Mrs. Weathers.Instead, I opened my room door and found Jill with her laptop. Hey, Sydney, she said, smiling. Im IM-ing with Lee and She did a double take.Whats wrong?I turned on my own laptop and set it on the bed. While it booted up, I reached for a low-pitched metal suitcase Id carefully packed but never pass judgment to use. Can you go get me some water? Quickly?Jill hesitated only a moment before nodding. Be right back, she said, jumping off her bed.While she was gone, I unlocked the case with a key I always kept on me. Inside it were small metres of dozens of Alchemist compounds, the kinds of substances we mixed together and used as part of our jobs. Some ingredients like the ones I used to dissolve Strigoi bodies I had lots of. Others, I had only a sampling of. My laptop finished booting up, and I logged onto the Alchemist database. A few searches and I soon had the formula for antitattoo treatment pulled up.Jill returned then, carrying a cup brimming with water. Is this enough? If we were in any other climate, I couldve pulled it straight from the air. Its fine, I said, delightful the climate had kept her from magic.I scanned the formula, analyzing which ingredients did what. I mentally deleted the ones I was genuine were specific to gold. A couple I didnt even have, but I was pretty sure they were simply for skin comfort a nd werent requisite. I began twist out ingredients from my kit, carefully measuring them though still moving as quickly as possible into another cup. I made substitutions where necessary and added an ingredient I was certain would break down copper, though the amount required was only a guess on my part. When I finished, I took the water from Jill and added the same amount that was in the original instructions. The final result was a liquid that reminded me of iodine.I lifted it up and felt a little like a mad scientist. Jill had watched me without comment the entire time, catching the urgency. Her face was filled with concern, but she was biting back all the questions I knew she had. She followed me when I left the room and headed back to Kristins. More girls were there than before, and it was honestly a wonder Mrs. Weathers didnt just hear the racket. For a group so intent on protecting their precious tattoos, they werent being particularly covert.I returned to Kristins bedsid e, finding her unchanged. Expose her wrist again, and hold her arm as still as possible for me. I didnt direct the command to anyone but put enough force into it that I felt certain someone would obey. I was right. If this doesnt work, we get a doctor. My voice left no room for argument.Julia looked paler than Jill but gave a weak a nod of acceptance. I took the washcloth shed been using and dipped it into my cup. Id never actually seen this done and had to guess about how to apply it. I made a silent prayer and then press the washcloth against the tattoo on Kristins wrist.She let out a strangulate cry, and her whole body bucked up. A couple nearby girls instinctively helped hold her down. Tendrils of smoke curled up from where I was holding the washcloth against her, and I smelled a sharp, acrid odor. Waiting what I hoped was an acceptable amount of time, I finally removed the washcloth.The pretty little daisy was mutating before our eyes. Its clean lines began to authorize and b lur. The coppery color began to shift, darkening into a bluish green. Before long, the programme was unrecognizable. It was an amorphous blob. Around it, red welts appeared on her skin, though they seemed to be more of a superficial irritation than anything dire.Still, the whole thing looked terrible, and I stared in horror. What had I done?Everyone else was silent, no one knowing what to do. A couple minutes passed, but they felt like hours. Abruptly, Kristin stopped twitching. Her breathing still seemed labored, but she blinked, her eyes focusing as though suddenly perceive the world for the first time. Her pupils were still huge, but she managed to look around and at last focus on me.Sydney, gasped out Kristin. Thank you.