The Fourth Degree

Why Colin?” I ask Aaron. I can’t not ask it. Maybe it’s my nerves or maybe it’s the silence. I am sorry that he starts awake.

“I like him.” He grins. “You have to admit he has a very cute arse.”

I sigh. “Why not me? Or Max?”

Aaron turns his head and looks at me. “I don’t know much about what is going on, but I have read enough paranormal horror to know that there is always a connection between the vampire and victim.”

“We are not…”

He holds a hand out to stop me. “Maybe not, but it’s all I had for a reference.” He then gives a smug grin. “I was right too.”

I sigh. “Why not connect with me or Max then?”

“Because you are already connected and I find you attractive. It could get… complicated.”

I guess I can understand that. But I wish he had chosen anyone else but Colin. I’m still not certain I trust him. It’s almost as if he is hiding something.

Aaron is studying me. “He likes you.”


“Colin. But not in the way you imagine.”

“What do you mean?”

“Colin doesn’t lust after you.”

I blink. Part of me is shocked and the other part kind of knew. “Does that put you in an awkward position?”

He smiles, a huge face splitting grin and leans close. “No… And I still lust after you.”

I know my eyes have gone wide, because of his words but also, now he is this close, I can scent him. He has an earthy smell of cinnamon and freshly dug earth. It is distracting. I must smell good to him as well, because he has leaned further in and closed his eyes. It ought to remind me of a dog scenting the air, but it doesn’t.

Behind Aaron there is a cough. We break apart and I see Colin looking at us with a grin. Max is there and is eyes are thunderous.

“I asked you to distract her…,” he grinds out in a low tone.

“I was,” Aaron says, not sounding the least bit flustered.

“By talking to her…” Max is definitely angry.

“Oh shush,” Colin says. “I think it’s hot.”

I roll my eyes. Max turns his thunderous gaze on Colin who starts to laugh. “You face is a picture!” I can’t help but smile. As does Aaron.

Conor arrives carrying a bag full of water and he laughs, although he has no idea why.

“Now,” Colin says, getting himself under control. “Can we get out of here?”

Aaron nods, gives my hand a squeeze and leaves the passenger section. Max takes his place. He scowls, but I can see that his eyes have softened. “You like me?”

I say nothing for a moment and he looks away. Max always seems so strong, I never thought he might feel vulnerable.

“Yes,” I say and at the same time I lean forward and hug his arm to me. “A lot.”

I have a sneaky suspicion that it is even more than that, but I can’t bring myself to say the word. I can’t even think it.

Max slowly relaxes and he places his hand over mine.

Outside I can hear shouting. Aaron is in the pilot’s seat and watching Colin and Conor argue.

“What’s going on,” I ask.

“Arguing who gets shotgun,” Aaron says.

“Well, it isn’t Conor,” I cry, thinking of the danger and the switches in easy hand distance.

I reach for my belt, so I can sort it out when Max gets up. “I’ll go.”

Once he turns up, Conor falls silent. The next minute he is being buckled next to me. He has a scowl on his face and is pouting.

“Don’t be mad,” I say. “At least you get a window seat.”

He looks and gives a small smile. Max settles next to me and Colin closes the door. I take a deep breath. I’ve got this.

Max takes my hand and as Colin settles in the cockpit and the engine purrs to life I close my eyes. I feel as someone slips headphones over my ears and I’m glad for the reduction in noise. I hope Conor has some, but at this moment I can’t look. My heart beats fast and I try desperately to relax.

When we take off I feel my body forced into the ground. It becomes heavier. Max has hold of one hand and Conor has the other.

“Ladies and gentlemen, and Colin. We are on our way to Cardiff and the flight will take just over an hour. I’m afraid there are no flight attendants due to them becoming blood sucking, flesh eating, zombie vampires, so there will be no refreshments served. Please feel free to open your eyes but keep yourselves strapped in. I’ll keep this ride as smooth as I can.”

I can’t help but smile, even if it is on the inside as the whole of my being is trying to push the fear away. This is going to be a long flight…


About Kate

Kate Murray has recently completed her Masters in Creative Writing and is currently working as an illustrator and writer. Her first anthology of short stories ‘The Phantom Horse’ was published in December 2013 and she subsequently has had another anthology published by Raging Aardvark; “Love Just Is” looks at the truth of love, in all its guises from romantic to obsessive. She is currently working on an anthology of ghost stories which should be published at the end of October 2014 and is also writing her first novel. Kate runs two blogs, one is about her life as a writer ( and the other is a serialisation of a novel, “The Gone”; a disaster hits the world while Bitsy is on a flight from Italy. She lands to find that the world is completely altered and she must learn to survive in a place where everyone is not who they appear to be ( Kate has had short stories published in magazines and e-zines, including ‘The Lampeter Review’, ‘Jotter’s United’, and ‘What The Dickens’. She has had short stories included in the ‘Twisted Tales 2013’ anthology published by Raging Aardvark, and the ‘Busker Anthology’ and ‘Spooky Tales Anthology’ published by What the Dickens. Kate’s artwork has been exhibited at the Museum Of Modern Art in Machynlleth where she was selected after entering the art competition and at Aberglasney Gardens as part of the Mid Wales Art group. Her artwork has been published by companies from Norway to Australia and her latest works will have illustrations in it. She has also had a series of line drawings published by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust in their biodiversity action plan. Kate currently works in the foothill of the Cambrian Mountains where she has a purpose built workshop that she affectionately calls her ‘house’ as she spends far more time in there than anywhere else.
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One Response to The Fourth Degree

  1. Kate says:

    Reblogged this on Kate Murray and commented:

    The Fourth Degree. Can Bitsy hold it together long enough for the helicopter to get into the air? ‪#‎amwriting‬ ‪#‎thegone‬

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