35: Bravery

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Chapter Thirty-Five- Bravery

Mind Control

1. Mind control is generally a superpower for supervillains, where the user takes control over the actions or reasoning of another.

2. Something evil. The actions of an evil, evil girl.

I was back to reality again. My gaze darted around the Labyrinth, head turning, as if looking for answers. Goosebumps cascaded over my whole body.

Was this really going to happen? I clung to the wine bottle in my hand, and kept the second vial in my pocket. Then, unsteadily, I made my way towards the center of the Labyrinth. This place was big, and crowded, and skirting past vampires without them noticing me was a terrifying job. It made all the skin on my body crawl. I was just finishing up my period, so even worse; I knew that I smelled like blood. People kept staring at me with their soulless eyes, like dolls, and I wanted to puke and run away from this place. But I had to be braver than that.

When I made it to the center of the Labyrinth, I had psyched myself out a little bit. Sure- phantom tremors still rocked up and down my body, and I felt so cold, I might as well be dead. But I was fine. Completely.

In the center of the Labyrinth, the last room was tinier. More exclusive. It was the center of the vampire hierarchy, and only the oldest Council members were allowed. (And Donors.)

In the middle of the room was an underhung area, where the floor dropped inwards. This area was fitted with two plush couches, surrounded by clear boxes full of files and official-looking documents. It was as tiny as it was intimate.

Tyson was standing in the corner of the room, alone, inspecting his mosaics. I kept looking around, for ancient-looking men, or women, like there were last time. But no one was in the room.

"Hi, Laurie," he said, turning around. And oh, crap, crap, crap, he wasn't drunk at all.

No wine bottles littered the floor. The place was neat. Immaculate. Too immaculate.

I was staggered. My mind dropped to the floor.

"I have wine for you," I said, softly, putting it on a side table.

"I'm not drinking tonight, Laurie," he murmured.

As if to show everyone that he had self-control, once and for all. Why tonight, of all nights? This was the one time I was counting on him to fuck up.

Tyson looked up. For once, he wasn't smiling. He had on a poker face, which scared me even more.

He undid the buttons on his black dress jacket, dropping it onto one of the couches. And he was a skinny skeleton, but he wasn't languid. He was stock-still. Expectant. Well, fuck him. I wouldn't give him whatever he wanted.

I studied the murals on the walls, ignoring him. There was a new masterpiece sitting in the corner, freshly painted. It was less abstract. It showed a dark violet, electric girl, sitting on a rock, brightly. Her face was skinny and her eyes were evil.

The painting girl's eyes were round like saucers. Her hair was greasy and messed-up. She wore shapeless clothing, and stared hauntingly into my eyes. Like a phantom. Her eyes were too wide.

Oh, God, it could be me, or it could be Ji. But no way. It couldn't be.

"Can you tell me about the painting?" I asked, finally.

He turned to it, dismissively. "No. It's nothing."

It was his sister. He was always thinking about his sister.

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