A blur raced past me and, in an instant, Derek was flat on his back and Leah was opening her wide mouth of razor sharp teeth and sinking them into his neck. I screamed, probably loud enough to wake half the town, but Leah didn’t even look up.
Recovering fairly quickly, I saw Derek begin to struggle beneath Leah. I saw his arms come up to push at her, but he couldn’t move her. Gradually, his struggles lessened and he seemed to calm somewhat. My mind was racing as I watched him raise his arms once more, but then, much to my dismay, Derek wound his arms around Leah’s back as if to hold her close.
Confusion crowded in beside all the other myriad thoughts that were circulating through my mind. It took several long seconds for the shock and, yes admittedly a touch of hurt, to wear off. But when it did, my mind cleared enough to allow rational thought entrance.
Derek’s acquiescence had to be somehow related to Leah’s bite, I rationalized. Maybe it was like an aphrodisiac or something. Maybe that’s how people like her and Nathan were able to overcome their victims. I couldn’t be sure, but in my heart, I truly didn't believe that Derek’s reaction was of his own accord.
No sooner than a bit of relief coursed through me, I saw blood flow in a thin trickle from just below Derek’s ear to the ground. The bright red of the fluid coupled with the shock of seeing it pour so freely from him shook me from my thoughts with a jolt of pure fury.
Without thought as to what I would do, how I could help, I closed the small distance between Leah and me and I reached for her arm, intent on forcibly removing her from Derek if I had to. I knew the instant my skin made contact with hers that if I looked, I’d see the familiar flickers of lightning at my fingertips, and that’s how it must’ve felt to Leah.
“Jalicia, there’s still time. You can do the right thing, make a different choice. All you have to do is—”
“I know what I have to do,” she declared, cutting me off. “It’s just that I don’t want to. I know what’s ahead for me and I want it.”
I had no idea what to say to that, but it didn’t matter. Soon, I was no longer thinking of her declaration anyway.
Jalicia took a step toward me, her gruesome smile widening. After a short pause, she took another. Instinctively, I took a step backward. She gave a short bark of laughter and then took yet another step toward me. Needle of fear prickled along my spine as I took another step away and the backs of my calves met the cold porcelain of the tub.
“Don’t you ever get tired of being the good girl?” she asked, eyeing me coldly.
“I’m not the goo—”
“Who do you think you’re fooling, Carson? I’ve already seen too much. Grey and Leah have already shown me things. I don’t know why you’d want to be like this,” she sneered, pointing to me in a dismissive way, “when you could be like them.”
“What makes you think that their existence is so much better than mine? So much better than yours?”
Another bark of laughter.
“I’ve seen. I know. You were too late and you didn’t even know it.”