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   Chapter 4 3.

On Her Knees By Chyna McCartney Characters: 13100

Updated: 2018-01-23 21:07

"Get changed, " he demanded.

I felt him behind me for a moment, as he absently brushed a hand through my curls and then his footsteps faded off in the opposite direction.

I wondered why they wasted time walking at a human's pace. Since they were extremely fast, their speed unmatched by really any other being, I thought that it would be their first instinct to take advantage of that. I half-expected that green-eyed man to appear and reappear without a sound but he didn't seem to favor the element of surprise.

Maybe time had made the whole concept trivial to him. I mean if you thought about it, there really wasn't much of a need for it. His prey would never have the strength, the stamina or the speed that it would take to out-do him, so why bother with any unnecessary expenditures of energy?

He seemed content with allowing us to see him move. He walked like a man who thought he had an eternity to accomplish what needed to be done and given what he was, he probably had just that--an eternity.

When his tall, muscular frame was out of sight, I allowed myself to survey the room, comfortable that now I wouldn't have to be mindful of him. Every hair on the back of my neck stood on end when he was near me. There was just something so sinister about him. Aside from the fact that he had mercilessly killed five girls without batting an eyelash or without a bit of remorse, the look in his eyes spoke to darker intentions. I could sense an unnerving air of carnality about him whenever he looked at me.

He wanted me; I could see that as clearly as if it was written in neon across his forehead, but still there was more to it. The way his eyes darkened in my prescence, the twisted grin on his face when he knew he was standing much closer to me than I was comfortable with-- I could tell that making me feel uneasy was enjoyable for him. He wanted to do things to me, evil things that would be very unpleasant for me but all the more enjoyable for him.

A part of me wanted to be defiant; to declare myself untouchable in front of everyone but the more rational part of me had enough common sense to be afriad. Unless there was someone whose word was superior to his own, and as far as I could tell he seemed to be the one calling the shots, there was nothing to stop him from doing what he wanted with me.

I didn't want him near me but I knew that if I fought, there was a good chance that he would find some leverage to use against me.

I glanced down at the younger girl who was still standing in front of me. I remember the curious look the vampire had on his face when he saw me pull her in front of me protectively. If he was as nasty as he seemed to be, he had already pick up on my fondness for this girl - my willingness to protect her. If I refused him, he might try to use her against me.

I wouldn't let that happen.

She reached up with her bound hands and clutched onto two of my fingers. I removed my hands from her shoulder, letting it relax at my side and allowing her to hold onto my hands more securely. I never had any siblings, let alone any that were younger than me. This must be what it must feel like to have one. I felt an overwhelming need to protect her even if it meant going against my own self-preservation and I didn't try to fight that need. It gave me a purpose; something to fight for in spite of how helpless I felt being trapped here and at the mercy of men I would never be able to fight off.

Taking small steps, I guided her around the room. A single light bulb hung precariously from a wire jutting out of the ceiling; it was the only light in the room. The place reminded me of those infirmaries you'd see in those movies about the World Wars; during a time when turn-of-the-century medicine wasn't enough to save all those wounded soldiers or the countless families dying of illness no one understood enough to treat.

Three dozen beds with lumpy mattresses lined the large room in rows. The mattresses were covered in dark brown sheets with unfluffed pillows atop them. At the very end of the room there was another large door, which I hoped led to a bathroom, and another corridor off to the right.

"Do we change in there?" the tiny brunette asked, looking toward the door.

"I'm not sure, " I answered, pulling her in that direction. "Let's find out." I could hear the footsteps and the hushed conversations of the other girls following behind us.

I was right. It was a bathroom; like the kind you'd find in a dormatory or the gym at a high school. Nearly ever surface was covered in small white tiles. There were shower stalls and toilet stalls, each at opposite ends of the room. On one wall above the basins, I could see the rectangular, rusted outline on the tiles where three mirrors should have been. They had been ripped away, as if who ever would be using these facilities didn't deserve to see their own reflections.

The other nine girls behind me immediately headed to the bathroom stalls and the showers. Conveniently, there were five stalls with toilets and five showers- which meant that there was only one shower left for the two of us.

I sighed, retracting my fingers from the younger girl's.

"Go ahead, " I encouraged her, nodding in the direction of the last empty shower. She still looked very afraid; the last thing she needed was for some pervert to walk in on her while she changed. If I could do nothing else, I would try to spare her from some of the trauma for now- I wasn't sure how I would be able to shelter her from the rest of it later on.

"But..., " she stammered.

"Don't worry about me. I'll be fine. I'll try to stuff myself into a corner somewhere."

She looked reluctant, but nodded anyway, scurrying over to the stall and closing the curtain behind her quickly. I found a small corner, a space between the shower stall that the chestnut haired girl had gone into and a wall. I tosssd the sack cloth dress to the floor and shrugged out of the thin straps of my dress, my back to the rest of the room. It fell to the ground and formed a scarlet puddle at my feet. I was bending to grab the sack cloth from the ground when I felt something cold, colder than the air in the room, on the small of my back.

I shot upright immediately. The squeal forming on my lips was short lived because a pale hand covered my mouth. I knew who it was before he spoke.

"Shhhhh.." he cautioned. "Don't scream."

I shivered, covering myself with my hands. His cold fingers danced up the skin of my back until they we

re resting on my left bra strap. "You won't be able to keep this on with that dress."

With one smooth tug, he tore the strap and I clutched what was left the bra to my body. Before I could stop him, he had shredded the other strap as well.

"Just perfect, " he whispered close to my face, biting the tip of my ear lobe. Then he was gone, disappearing in a gust of cool air and leaving me standing there trying to cover myself.

When I had finally recovered from the shock of it, I was furious. Furious with him and even more so at myself.

What was I thinking!?! I should have crammed into that tiny shower stall with her regardless of how uncomfortable it made either of us. Instead, I had left myself completely exposed and vulnerable. I had practically allowed him to touch me like that.

I wiggled my hips, trying to force the dress up over my butt. I was frustrated with this. Why was he toying with me? And if there was something he wanted, why didn't he just make his move? I don't think I'd be able to deal with the paranoia of having to wait for him to pounce.

I had gotten my arms into the small cap sleeves and was working on tying the 'v' at the bodice of the garment with the thin leather straps, when I heard the curtains being drawn back behind me. She rested her small hand on my arm and I jumped, depsite knowing who it was.

"I'm sorry, " she apologized her soft voice shaking.

"It's okay, " I reassured her. "I'm okay." I grabbed my red dress from the ground and she grabbed onto my right hand when I offered it to her.

"What does he want with you?"

She asked in a hushed voice when we were back in the large bedroom.

I sat down on the edge of the bed that I'd chosen and she sat there beside me, staring up at me the way toddlers often did.

"I'm not sure." I really didn't know. It was a game to him. He was just playing his cards, toying with my hand and withholding his ace until the right moment.

I probably wouldn't be able to fight him off when the time came but I sure as hell would try.

I shifted on the bed, debating whether or not to loosen the leather straps slightly; they were cutting into my skin. The goblin had been right, this dress was extremely tight. I had to pull the skirt down to cover more of my thighs when I sat down and it was difficult to move my shoulders. As I had suspected, the deep v was extremely revealing; it pushed my breasts together, leaving the inner curvature of my mounds exposed to the cool air in the room. I was lucky the damned thing managed to cover my nipples.

I felt slutty-- well I guess that is the point of this outfit, but I was uncomfortable regardless. I never dress this way.

I folded my arms across my chest, trying to cover myself.

"But he'll come for us, won't he?" Her voice trembled around that single syllable- 'us'.

I turned to her immediately. She was clutching onto my fingers more tightly, her grey eyes lightened with fear. There was no us where that vampire was involved. I wouldn't let him have her.

"What's your name?" I asked in a low voice, trying to soothe her.

"Melanie." she replied.

"Good. I'm Teryn. Now, listen carefully to me, Melanie." I gave her fingers a squeeze. "Nothing is going to happen to you. He will not lay a hand on you. Whatever he wants to do with me, what ever he has in store for me, it will never include you."

"You can't promise me that, " she whispered, her voice barely audible. Tears trembled at the corner of her eyes.

"No, I can't promise you that he won't try anything and I won't lie to you and say that somehow I might ever be able to over power him. But I can promise you to that I will do everything in my power to keep you safe."

Saying it out loud made the committment I had made to myself seem more real. I would protect her for as long as I could.

Her expression was puzzled and she scooted a little closer to me, her grey orbs boring into mine. "Why?"

I shrugged. "Because you don't deserve this."

"That's not a good enough answer. None of us deserve to be here. Why would you want to protect me specifically?"

There wasn't really an answer to that question.

"I don't know, " I answered sincerely. "It isn't something I can really put into words. Why do you stay with me? Of all the girls here, why was it me that you latched on to?"

A light flush graced her pale cheeks. "You're stronger than I am; stronger than any of the girls here."

"What makes you think that?"

"You didn't look away. I wasn't awake when he killed the first four but you were, weren't you? For all of them."

I nodded, remembering their cold corspes and the fear in their eyes before the end.

"I could tell, " she said. "The look on your face every morning when we found the bodies; the way you looked at him.... I could tell that you had witnessed everything.

I was awake when he came for Maple last night. I saw you with her. You held her hand until the very end; you let her know that she wasn't alone and that it was okay to let go. That's how I knew; that's why I wanted to stay with you."

"Is that why you like holding onto my hands?"

She nodded. " I feel... safe, standing next to you. Watching you with Maple, I just knew that you could be strong enough for the both of us. I've never been a strong person. I don't think I can endure this on my own." The tears spilled over then, glistening in the weak light as they dribbed down her cheeks. Melanie looked so vunerable in that moment, like she was on the very precipice of a break down.

If I needed any more reason to want to shelter her, this was it: I couldn't bare to see her fall over that edge. With the back of one of my hands, I wiped her tears away.

"Don't cry." I told her. "They don't deserve your tears."

"I trust you for some reason." She admitted, sniffling. "I know that you'll keep me safe but I don't know if I deserve that from you. Nothing I could ever do would warrant your protection."

"It's not something you have to earn, Melanie. I will protect you because I want to. I didn't really know what to think when you grabbed my hand but you have so much faith in me. I don't think I could live with myself if I let you down."

There was nothing conditional about the choice that I had made. Nor was there any real motive. It was just something that I had decided to do and oddly enough, I was able to accept that.

Melanie came over and wedged herself into my side, resting her head against my shoulder.

She seemed to have accepted that too.

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