Chapter Twenty

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It was the crick in my neck that woke me. For a moment I couldn't think where I was or why I was lying on the floor then recollection surged back. I was at Greylark, nestled in Luke's arms, my head in his lap. I shifted slightly, moving my head so I could look up at him. His eyes were closed, his chest rising and falling with deep, even breaths. 

I was stiff from sleeping on the floor and my whole body ached from the night before but I didn't care. Waking up in Luke's arms was magical and he was right - the nightmares had stayed away.  

His face looked younger when he was sleeping. It was hard to equate this peaceful Luke with the snarling vampire I'd seen the night before. But both sides were a part of him and I loved each part equally. It was one of those moments that you wish would last forever; Luke, holding me in his arms like I was something unspeakably precious, and me gazing up at him, memorising every line and angle of his face, his skin lightening with the coming - 

I sat upright, fear bolting through me. The sky outside was pale grey, the moon reduced to a faint smudge. Dawn was coming.  

"Luke," I cried, frantically shaking him. His eyes flicked open. As soon as he saw the panic on my face he was alert and ready for danger. Except this was a danger he couldn't confront. I pointed to the window, at the treacherously pale sky.  

Luke shot to his feet, his face drawn tight. I'd never seen genuine fear on his face before. It cut me like a knife that this was a danger I couldn't protect him from. 

"Will we make it?" I said as we started for the stairs. 

"Have to." His reply was clipped, terse. 

"Maybe we should stay here. It's not like the sun can reach every room in the asylum." 

We were at the bottom of the stairs now, the front doors just feet away. "We can make it," Luke insisted.  

We took another two steps and Luke froze. "Don't," he said when I tried to move forwards. "Something's wrong." 

Mystified, I stared past him at the double doors. Nothing seemed out of place but if Luke said something was wrong, I trusted him. His senses were keener than mine.  

"Wait here," Luke told me.  

He left me standing in the middle of the lobby while he approached the front doors. As soon as he stepped away from me, cold dread curled through my chest. Now I felt what he felt, that inexplicable sensation of wrongness. Whatever was out there I wasn't going to let Luke face it alone. I stepped up behind him. He shot me a mildly frustrated glance but he didn't tell me to get back. Which was good because I wouldn't have listened.  

Luke eased the left door open a crack. I could just about see over his shoulder to the slice of outside world.  

A car was parked outside the asylum, a battered blue Toyota with a crack on the windscreen, and rust-lesioned paintwork. Standing by the car was a figure that chilled the blood in my veins. Caleb's face was grim but there were twisted lines of pleasure around his mouth. And in his hands - my mouth dropped open. Caleb was holding an honest-to-God crossbow. A crossbow that was pointed right at us. 

I heard the thwack as Caleb fired a bolt then Luke was spinning round, shielding me. His body sharply jerked and I heard him catch his breath in pain. A black bolt was sticking out of his left shoulder.  

Shoving Luke out of the way I closed the door. The lock had long since rusted to uselessness; the door would only slow Caleb down for a second. 

"Come on." I grabbed his hand and we ran for the stairs. Logic dictated we should have run to the back of the building and tried to find another exit. But the bolt in his shoulder would slow Luke down and if we found ourselves cornered outside...I didn't even want to think what would happen if we were outside when the sun came up. At least we knew the upstairs better than Caleb did. Our only chance was to use that to our advantage and try and take him down. 

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