Rais had been walking for quite some time. Acacia’s words still stabbed at his ears like daggers. What had she meant? Why had she betrayed them? Footsteps sounded from behind Rais snapping him out of his thoughts. Tightly clutching Makani, the half-breed quickened his pace.
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Rais moved into the shadows to avoid being seen. The steady rhythm of the footsteps behind him became almost menacing. ‘This is the last thing I need right now.’ He thought. His elegant strides grew longer as he began to run. He had to make it to Faunus’ home before sunrise. Time was against him.
Hoping to lose his stalker, Rais turned down a narrow side street and headed south. The street was dark. The only light that could be seen came from the second story of the drug store. All the other shop owners had gone to bed hours before. ‘What time is it? Why did I get us into this mess? How did I?’ Rais’ thoughts began to wander again. ‘If I would’ve just ignored him that day, this wouldn’t have happened.’ He shook his head. It was too late. He knew he could not go back and change things.
Rais focused back on his surroundings. Tall dark buildings were to his left and right. Their rough brick structures stood silhouetted against the moon lit sky. Rais knew that it was only a matter of time before he and Makani were found. He let out an anxious sigh. He had to hurry. Even with his super human speed, he felt he was moving too slowly. “Come on, damn it, faster.” Rais pushed himself harder.
A car rounded the corner. Rais glanced behind him. When he saw the small, black sports car, he whispered, “Shit.” He turned his gaze forward again. The car’s headlights light up the entire street. The brights were on. Rais pushed himself forward. The sports car pulled along side of him. If he made one wrong move, he knew that both he and Makani would be dead with in seconds. ‘We’re so close.’ He thought, ‘this can’t happen now.’
The window on the front passenger side rolled down as the sound of a gun being cocked came to Rais’ ears. He gracefully dodged the bullet. ‘I can’t risk this.’ Rais tightened his grip on Makani and swiftly turned down an alleyway. He heard the car come to a screeching halt, and gunshots rang out behind him. The hunter would not follow on foot. Rais knew the hunter would not be that stupid.
Faunus’ home was only a few blocks away. Rais continued to run as quickly as he could. He had to make it to Faunus’ with Makani still alive. Nothing else mattered to Rais at that time. “Just hang on a little longer, Love.”
When Faunus’ house came into view, Rais kept his pace steady. He knew there was still a chance that the Agency could catch them. Even at Faunus’, Rais knew they would not be safe. There was no sign of anyone on the street.
“Faunus, open the door!” Rais ran to the back of the house and up the back steps. He kicked at the door; his boots left black scuff marks on the white paint.
The door swung open, and a harsh, raspy voice demanded, “Get inside.”
Rais obeyed and entered the house. The interior was lit with dim candle light. Rais looked around. It had been ages since he had been in that place. The smell of roses filled his nose. Finally getting the nerve up to speak, he started, “Faunus, I need…”
“Did anyone see you?” Faunus appeared in front of Rais. His deeply wrinkled features held a look of concern.
“We were followed for a bit, but I think I lost the hunter. Faunus, can you help him?” Rais squeezed Makani.
Faunus motioned Rais to follow as he began walking. “He’s almost beyond even my repair, but I can try.” Faunus led Rais down a steep set of wooden stairs. “Watch the last one. It’s broken.” He spoke regarding a busted stair. He turned on the dim overhead light. “Put him on the table.”
Rais nodded, and again obeyed Faunus’ command. He gazed down at Makani. The young man’s face was stained with black mascara and tears. Rais shamefully shook his head as he lowered it. Turning away, he whispered, “I don’t know how I let this happen.”
“You trusted her. It’s that simple.” Faunus spoke as he pulled a black kit out of one of the cabinets that lined the concrete wall.
“She’s one of us. Why would she betray us like that? She not only brought harm to Makani and I but to our entire kind as well. Rais kept his back to the table not wanting to watch what was happening behind him.
“She had no choice in the matter, Rais.”
“The Agency caught her about a month ago. They gave her the choice to live or to die. She chose life, Rais. You know how the Agency is when it wants information. If they have a chance to destroy the enemy, they will take it even if it means teaming up with one of the hunted. Acacia just so happened to have information about your plan to run away with the boy. They know it all. They’ll be here at any time, Rais.” Faunus paused for a short moment. Rais felt the old vampire’s icy gaze on his neck. “Listen to me. My guardian lives in the mountains about an hour north of the city. You’ll take Makani there in my truck. I have already notified him that you will be coming. He will be waiting for you.”
Rais turned in astonishment. Vampires never told where their guardians were hidden. “But what about…”
“Me? Don’t worry about me.” Faunus finished stitching up Makani’s wound. “I will take care of things here. I will meet you there tomorrow night. Now, take Makani and leave.”
Rais looked down at Makani. “But how do I…”
“It’s programmed into the truck. You don’t have much time, Rais. If you want to see sunrise, I suggest you leave now.”
Rais lifted Makani’s limp body off the table. He shifted his gaze to Faunus. “Will he be all right?”
Faunus nodded. Handing Rais his keys, he whispered, “Make haste, my dear friend.”
Clutching Makani, Rais rushed up the stairs and into the small garage. He struggled slightly as he opened the passenger side door of the truck. After resting Makani in the front seat, he reclined it back allowing the young man to lie down. Rais squeezed his way between the front of the truck and the wall. He climbed behind the driver’s seat and started the truck. Reaching up to the sun visor he pushed a button and opened the garage door. Rais watched behind him as he backed the truck out of the driveway and turned north.