Chapter Twenty-One

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Caleb dragged Luke through the open doorway and threw him into the sunlight. Luke screamed, a terrible cry that pierced me to my soul. Desperation lent me strength and I launched myself to my feet. 

Caleb was busy watching Luke burn; he didn't even glance in my direction. He probably thought the little girl was no threat. Big mistake. 

I slammed my elbow into the side of his face. Caleb stumbled, the look of satisfaction knocked from his face. Just a few minutes ago I'd been terrified of him. Now there was no room for anything inside me but deep, burning hatred. It was like someone had lit a fire at my core and I wanted to throw Caleb into the flames. Let him see what it felt like to burn.  

Caleb started to recover but I was faster. I attacked him like a creature possessed, rage channelling unusual strength to my fists and feet. This was anger on a scale I'd never experienced before. If I killed Caleb I wouldn't feel an ounce of regret. I wanted to kill him.  

Dimly I was aware of Caleb landing a couple of punches to my chest. They didn't even slow me down. If Caleb had taken Luke away from me I was going to tear him apart with my bare hands. In that moment I felt strong enough. 

Dropping onto my heels, I swept a straightened leg out in a half-circle, knocking Caleb's feet out from under him. He landed with a bone-jarring thud. I scrambled over to him even as he was rolling over. I hauled myself onto his back. He threw an elbow into my ribs. I didn't even feel it. Fisting my fingers in his hair, I wrenched his head back. I had grim visions of snapping his neck like Luke had done to the rogue vampire but snapping a neck isn't as easy as it looks and I didn't have time to learn. 

Instead I smashed his face down on the stone floor. His body bucked beneath me. I hit his head again and he went limp. If I'd had my knife on me I might have killed him then but I was unarmed.  

Another scream came from outside. 


I was outside before I even realised I was on my feet. Luke was curled in a tight, shaking ball, his arms flung up to protect his face. Smoke poured off his body. If the towering asylum hadn't cast a shadow over him he would have completely fried by now.  

I didn't have time to see how badly injured he was. I didn't know if Caleb was still alive but I had horrible visions of him climbing to his feet as if nothing had happened, like the unkillable villain from a bad horror flick.  

Grabbing Luke, I half-dragged, half-carried him to Caleb's car. It was unlocked; maybe fate hadn't completely turned her back on me. I bundled Luke into the back seat, laying him on the floor so he was as far away from the sun as possible. His skin was blistered and bloodied, his arms blackened and raw. Nausea choked my throat. I whipped off my t-shirt and threw it over his face, trying to protect him as best I could.  

I bolted round to the driver's side before realising I didn't have the car-keys. If this was fiction I would already know how to expertly hotwire a car but nothing was that easy in real life. My gaze snapped to Caleb's prone form, lying just inside the asylum. I had no choice.  

Swearing, I ran back towards Greylark. I still half-expected Caleb to lunge to his feet as soon as I reached him but he didn't move. I rolled him over. He was heavier than he looked - my desperate strength was wearing off. The most terrible morning of my life was starting to take its toll. My hands trembled as I searched his pockets. I didn't look at his bloodied face.

Caleb's jeans were empty so I started on his coat. I had to half-remove it to get at the inner pockets. My fingers touched cool metal. I pulled out the key with a cry of triumph. After a nanosecond's indecision I pulled his coat the rest of the way off - I could use it to cover Luke. 

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