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Mortality Race

Summary:
Humanity. Everybody wants it. Everybody would do anything for it. Now that re-transformation is possible, how far will the vampire population go in order to obtain it? And what if not everybody wants it? The race for mortality has begun.


Notes:
This story was beta'ed by TRDancer of fanfiction.net. A big thanks to her! All the chapters are written out and ready to go, so you can expect fast updates. I know -- I'm shocked too! The story has been my little project for a while now, so naturally I'd be very grateful for some feedback. It's just no fun writing something when nobody tells you how they liked it (it's very depressing too!). Please remember to always review the stories you've read -- you'll make the author's day :) The POV changes quite often so you can get a glimpse of what all the characters are thinking and feeling. Enjoy! :)


9. Guardian Angel

Rating 0/5   Word Count 1869   Review this Chapter

__Chapter Nine__
Guardian Angel

Dorothy's POV

But I wasn't dead yet, right? Right?

And then I snapped.

Was it a divine power that made me dart up the stairs at the speed of light? Was it God who led me to the empty floor where I had more time to collect myself? I didn't know and I sure didn't care—I could thank the Lord later, if I ever got the chance.

In fact, I swore that if I got out of all this alive I would praise the Lord every day and every second of the rest of my miserable long life.

I reached the next landing just in time, as the voices on both sides of the building now resonated from exactly one floor below me.

I flew to the middle of the long passageway between the two staircases. Desolately, I noticed that I was at the top of the building. There was no more "up" anymore.

An abrupt hiss made me jump out of my skin. Had someone spotted me?

But—with a big, silent sigh of relief—I realized that it wasn't me the hiss was directed at, but the other pair of voices underneath me. The sound was hostile, and was reaffirmed by a second hiss from the other party. Though the sound was terrifying, I realized that it was also good for me: both groups came to a sudden halt. They seemed unsure of how to continue—would they search the lower floor first before heading upstairs? Neither of the parties appeared willing to make a move, and that granted me some much needed time.

Time which, however, went to waste. Even if I had all the time in the world, what could I do? I was stuck, at a dead-end…

And then, from one terrifying second to the other, the screaming started.

Someone was suddenly screaming just one story below me, thrashing against the hard concrete floor as if the demons of hell were personally there to light fires in him. All I could make out from behind the agonized, blood-curdling, spine-tingling, hair-raising scream was that he was male and not alone. A woman screamed with him, only using words rather than noises; she was begging someone to stop and emitting dry sobs. And that someone was laughing at the top of her lungs, as if she was enjoying every ounce of pain that she was obviously causing this unknown person…

I started to realize what she'd meant with "torture". My insides collapsed like a house of cards.

I didn't know what to do. I was lost. I was doomed. Purgatory was waiting.

But then I felt something.

A soft breeze touched my frozen cheek as I stood in the middle of the hallway, facing the eastern staircase. All I had to do was turn ninety degrees to the right to detect the source of the fresh air.

A window.

An open window.

Thank you, Lord, thank you!

Some part of my brain registered my own foolishness for not coming up with this to start with—of course there would be a window somewhere for me to use—but the relief was far too strong to allow for any embarrassment. I wasn't lost, after all! I had an escape route there, practically staring me in the face…

It took a few seconds for the command to reach my legs, but when it did I almost flew to the little square in the wall. The window couldn't have been more than two feet wide, but it was just the right size for me to climb through without making a sound. And to think that I didn't even have to break the glass! My eyes closed for half a second to send one violent applause to heaven above. God was maybe a little sluggish, but he was plenty ingenious enough to make up for that.

I pushed the panel aside—it didn't even creak!—and flung my legs over the pane. The slight breeze tickled my neck, soothing me after all the horrors I'd had to endure that day. I breathed in the sweet scent of nature that welcomed me in. It would offer me a better hiding place, I was sure.

I braced myself and let go. In one swift movement, I was down.

The moist earth felt heavenly beneath my feet. I straightened myself and shook the worst dirt off my clothes, too glad and relieved to grasp that there was still danger around me. Just the sight of the open forest with no "up" or "down" was enough to make my heart swell.

For the first time in days, I felt safe.

And for definitely not the first time in days, my happiness was shattered and tread upon in just one tiny part of a second.

"Look, there she is," a low voice whispered from behind me.

Oh, God, no. No, no, no, no…

Why wave a carrot in front of my nose if only to snatch it away a moment later?

God was a sadist.

Not really feeling anything but fear and loss anymore, I swung around to face my capturers. Maybe God was just kind enough to make them less sadistic than the woman upstairs. But considering everything I'd already experienced that day, I highly doubted it.

Two vampires were walking towards me. They were coming so slowly that I wondered whether they really wanted to catch me at all. Maybe they were so sure of my seizure that they had no need to hurry.

My lungs seemed to unfreeze right then, for my breathing returned at a hectic, ragged rhythm that would surely frighten away any forest animals in a three mile radius. I didn't shake, of course, as my body was stone hard, but I felt some nerve ends in me quiver. I didn't know what expression I had on my face—one of fear, or the original one of surprise?

The vampires inched closer, the nearer one raising his hands reassuringly, as if he was capturing a wild animal.

"It's all right, Dorothy, it's all right… we don't want to hurt you…" he murmured.

His words had no effect on me. How could they, when the man uttering them was so tremendously terrifying that it washed away all reassurance? The dark-haired vampire was huge, and not only in height. His muscular arms did not make me want to happily leap into them. His chest was broad and burly. His legs were thick as tree trunks, and something told me it wasn't fat that made them so big. Only his face was gentler than the rest of his body—it was a round, boyish face with thin lips and warm eyes that gazed at me with an expression I couldn't decipher. Was it regret I saw there? Or was it just pity?

The woman walking slightly behind him placed a graceful hand on his upper arm, causing both to halt just a few feet away from me. I shifted my eyes to assess her, wondering whether sadism was something that you could see in someone's looks. The woman didn't look demonic, at least, but what vampire ever did?

She had long brown hair that cascaded down her shoulders. She wasn't tall, especially not put beside her large companion, but she was certainly taller than me. Her heart-shaped face was bejeweled by a pair of large, gentle, light eyes that were topped by two thin lines of eyebrows. In this instance, both brows were furrowed, and her face overall revealed her discontentment.

The female dropped her hand from the big one's arm, sending the last of his restraints down the drain. What would stop him from attacking me now? I drew in one last breath, expecting the cast-iron blow to arrive any minute.

But instead of attacking me, the man only lowered his arms and said: "It's all right, girl. We wish you no harm."

The rate of my breathing increased.

"Look, she's terrified," the young woman asserted, now pulling the man back again. "Dorothy, I promise we don't want to hurt you."

I remained silent.

To my great confusion, the two vampires just stood there, gauging at me as if I were an attraction at some freak show. They took in my no doubt nervous appearance but made no move to seize me—and I, petrified as I was, made no move to escape them.

Finally the bigger one let out one loud sigh and turned to the woman.

"Bella, we need to tell the others."

There was evident regret in his voice, but I couldn't quite match the feeling to his words. What others did he mean? The female upstairs who wanted to torture me?

The woman—Bella, apparently—looked back at me, thought about something for a second, and then turned back to the man. Her eyes were fierce.

"No, Emmett."

I couldn't believe my ears.

The big man seemed to share my feelings, although I could swear there was some understanding in his eyes.

"Bella, we can't just—"

"Oh, yes, we can," she retorted. "Just look at her!"

Emmett did look, and his forehead wrinkled as he did. He sighed again.

"Rose…"

"To hell with Rosalie!" the woman hissed. "To hell with all of them! They've been treating us rotten in the last few weeks. Has Rosalie spoken one kind word to you since we left home? Has she given you a single kiss?" Emmett frowned, and Bella smirked. "I thought so."

I watched their exchange in utter wonder. Had my muscles been loose enough to move, my jaw would have surely dropped open.

"Please, Emmett. She doesn't owe them anything."

She gestured once more towards my frozen figure.

Emmett looked at me for a third time, and then closed his eyes. Clenching his hands into fists, he slowly shook his head.

"All right. I see," he said.

My mind comprehended the meaning of this, but my heart did not. There was no way that he'd just given me free leave. There was no way these two vampires could be angels that had been sent down just for me. There was no chance.

But when Bella looked up at me and smiled, I had to understand.

"Go, Dorothy. We'll cover up for you here."

Still unbelieving, I started to recover my senses. My legs regained their feeling, flexing in the need to get away now before God decided to play another trick on me. My knees bended, and then I flew, taking the first few steps towards my freedom.

But on my third step, someone called out behind me. For the third time, I froze.

"Dorothy, wait!" Oh, Lord, what now?

Bella appeared by my side then, still that warm expression upon her face. She lifted my hand and placed something on it, closed my palm, and finally took a step back.

"Goodbye, Dorothy. Be safe."

Without a glance I stuck whatever she'd given me into the pocket of my jeans and for the first time since God knows how many days, I smiled.

"Lord bless you."

And I was off into the forest, finally free from the hell house that had transformed from a safe house to a prison in a matter of just a few minutes. I felt liberated, and I felt safe, once again sure that there was some sort of God above me in the skies.

I had but two insecurities:

"Where would I go?" and "Why, oh, why was God so indecisive?"