Chapter Thirteen

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I lay in bed with Kevin curled up next to me staring at the picture of my mother. When I first found the picture I wanted to believe that it was some sort of mistake. That the woman I grew up believing was my mother was my mother.

But then I started to notice how different our faces were. Our noses and our cheeks. Nor did I have any traits in common with the man I believed to be my father. 

My brother and I looked different, too. While he was only about six years old and hadn't yet grown into his looks yet, we still had such different faces and bodies.

Then I went back to look at the box in the attic with all of the pictures of Lora. And at the very bottom was my birth certificate with a note paper-clipped to it.

Mary,

I know this is out of the blue and we haven't spoken in years, but you are the only one I trust to keep my daughter alive. They don't know about you. They won't look for her here.

I have to go away for a while and I don't know what would happen to Mia if I'm not watching over her. And then what they might do if I don't come back.

Please take her in and care for her until I return. And if I don't, please raise her as your own.

Lora

I had no idea who those people my mom were talking about, but I'm assuming it had something to do with the mob or whatever. Or the government. Or maybe she was just crazy. It didn't matter.

And I didn't want to bring it up with Mary, my "mother," because it looks like she didn't know much about the situation either. That, and I'm a chicken afraid to know the truth.

I liked the idea that my mom could be a super spy or supercriminal or something like that. But the most likely possibility was that she was crazy. And I didn't want to close that door.

It was late in the day and I was about to go to sleep when someone came downstairs. It was Jay.

"Hey, I haven't seen you for a since I asked you for that favor two days ago," I said, slipping the photo underneath my pillow. I didn't like anyone knowing about it. "I was beginning to think that you were avoiding me again."

"No, just trying to find an answer that would please you." He looked nervous and jumpy.

"Jay, what's wrong?"

"Nothing, just... the reason that Kayla is feeding on you, from what I can tell, is because she's prepping to take over as the new head of the Rutherford family."

I squinted. "What?"

"The Rutherfords. They're kind of in charge of every monster that lives in North America. And Ellias isn't going to live much longer and so Kayla is getting ready to be in charge. And she doesn't want people to see her as weak."

I walked over to the bars of my cell and looked Jay in the eye. "You have to help me, Jay. I can't live like this much longer with her coming down and drinking my blood every other day. I need to find a way to get her to back off. Please."

Jay looked over his shoulder at the basement door to make sure it was closed then walked over to the cell. "Look, Kayla doesn't have a weakness per se, but there is something you could use to get out of this situation."

"What's that?"

"Do you remember how there are myths about vampires who burn in the sun?"

"Yes," I said and pointed up at the window that was letting in sunlight. "That obviously doesn't affect you guys."

He raised his eyebrows in an are-you-sure kind of way. "It does, just differently than the myths. See, we are weakened by the sun because we become like humans during the day. No super strength, no speed, no senses, no nothing. So you could tell Kayla you want out and she couldn't use any of her skills against you. And she wouldn't risk coming after you at night. Because if she loses control and kills you, Ellias wouldn't be too happy." I gave him a confused look. "He likes to have a human standing by in case of emergency and it's hard to get one without arousing suspicion." He pointed to himself and I remembered that he said he was a runaway. 

He took a step back from the cell. "It takes a minute to find someone that we are sure no one would be looking for."

"Then why did you guys take me?" I asked.

"Well, the guy in there before you died and they didn't have time to look for anyone before Ellias got shot. We needed someone right away and Charlie remembered you from school and how you ran away once before. He figured you would be our best bet on short notice."

I nodded. "Did I mention that I hate you all?"

"No, but I kind of figured."

He then handed me my dinner which was just mac and cheese and a chicken breast and some bread. I ate it all. I had to fuel up for tomorrow morning. I knew Kayla wouldn't go down without a fight.

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