Max leads me into a room that I must have been carried through but I don’t remember it. I do remember the people though. The lisp is looking at me with a bland expression but the other is scowling. Colin smiles.
“You alright?” he asks.
I nod. “One bit me.”
The lisp moves his hand closer to the gun slung across his shoulder.
“Careful,” Max says.
Colin plasters a grin on his face. “Now, guys, I did say that she wouldn’t turn.”
Tall and thin steps away from the wall and walks toward me. He moves with a grace that tells me although he doesn’t have a gun, he is the more dangerous of the two men.
“Hi,” he says and offers his hand to shake. I take it. “My name is Aaron.” His hand is warm and his grip is firm. I like him and can’t help but smile.
“The nervous one is Eric.”
I look at Eric but he just grimaces.
“So you are like these two?” Aaron motions to Max and Colin.
“What’s it like?” he asks.
“You have heightened senses, you are fast and strong,” I pause, “but you do lose a bit of what makes you human.”
“What do you mean?” Aaron asks.
I shake my head, not sure how to explain.
“You feel indifferent to humans,” Max rumbles.
Eric twitches toward the gun again.
“You don’t need to be nervous,” I say. “The other’s blood can heal us but humans are poisonous.”
Max looks at me shocked. “Really?”
“Yes. The people who had you thought the cure didn’t work because every time they fed them human blood it killed them.”
Max looks at me. “That explains the threat.”
“What?” I ask.
“They said that they would hook an IV line up with human blood. I didn’t understand it.”
“Not much of a threat then,” Aaron says. “More like a veiled attempt at imparting knowledge.”
Max starts to pace. “It was odd.”
“Who told you?” I ask, hoping the answer won’t be Ricky.
“Ricky,” he says, his back to me.
Shit, I think. I try to remember our flight. Had Ricky done anything odd? I see him blocking the way. His gun in its holster. “He never drew it,” I say.
“What?” Colin asks.
“His gun,” I say. “When we were running he never drew his gun.”
Eric sneers. “I thought you were impervious to bullets.”
I ignore him and look at Max. He nods. I feel suddenly deflated. I’d put Ricky into the evil category and now he is just floating in my mind. Do I trust him if I see him again or do I kill him?
“Shit,” Colin says and I agree with him.
“There’s nothing we can do about it now,” Max says.
I sigh. “I know.”
“So,” Aaron says, “what now?”
“I need to get to Mel.”
Max looks annoyed at this but Colin just seems resigned.
“Who is Mel?” Aaron asks.
“Another monster?” Eric questions and I shoot him a look. He glares back and I sneer and look away. I really don’t like him.
“Bitsy’s friend. She lives in Sudbury,” Colin says.
“Most of that area burned,” Aaron says.
“I have to check.” I can hear the pleading in my voice.
“Better not take the bug,” Aaron says. “Not sure how much fuel we will find around Cardiff.”
“The bug?” I’m confused.
“My helicopter,” he says with a smile.
Max steps between us. I guess he isn’t liking the smile I’m giving Aaron.
“I’ll go with Bitsy to check her friend’s place.”
“Okay,” Aaron says.
“Colin? You stay here and help get the bug ready to fly,” he continues.
I shiver at that. I don’t like flying much and the thought of taking a helicopter fills me with fear. I remember I’d been told once that helicopters used the same technology as a bumblebee and they always look as if they are going to fall from the sky.
Aaron gives me a grin and I’m guessing that my face is showing my apprehension. “It’s perfectly safe.”
“Yeah,” I say, but I can hear that I don’t believe it.
Aaron laughs and Max scowls at him.