I was not sure what to do after I hung up with Derek. I decided to head back to the house.
I headed over to the mail box to check the mail. And a paparazzi snapped my pic! Why weren't they there when Jake hit me?! I'm sure that picture would have made them tons of money!! I was getting upset all over again. I knew just the thing to calm me down.
ICE CREAM! I figured one little overindulgence wouldn't hurt my waist line.
I was halfway through when Vi walked in. "Lace? I thought you'd be out shopping for some scrubs or something. I was going to call and ask how the interview went but...." Vi gasped when I looked up.
"Lacey! What happened to your face? Oh my Creator! Let me see, let me see. Does it still hurt?"
I forgot to check it out in the mirror. From the way Vi was carrying on, it must have been pretty bad. "I screwed up and told Jake that I had been talking to Derek." Vi looked even more shocked. "Jake hit you?! That is so far out of his character... " I shook my head. "I think he has already been turned, Vi. He is showing signs of losing control of himself."
"Oh, Honey. I am so sorry for all this. I should have warned you away from him in the beginning. Will you ever forgive me?" Vi reached out and enveloped me in a hug. "It's not your fault, Vi. I had..." A knock at the door interrupted me. It was Derek. I tried to keep my back to him but he had seen the damage. He quickly spun me around.
"What the hell is this?! Did Jake do this to you?! Why didn't you tell me?!" Vi looked between the two of us. "Um, I'm gonna go upstairs and call Jacq." With that, she was gone.
"Derek, you aren't giving me a chance to talk. I didn't want to influence you into doing something you would regret. It WAS Jake but ..."
Derek moved so fast! He was out the door and gone by the time I made it to the living room.
Vi was just coming back down the stairs. "OK, Jacq should be pulling in any minute now. She has news about....hey, where's Derek?" I turned to look back at Vi. "I think he has gone after Jake. I think he is going to kill him!" I felt so helpless.
"Lace. What is meant to happen will happen. Derek can stop the change. He wouldn't actually kill Jake." I heard Jacq coming up the stairs. "He IS going to kill him, Vi. And it's all my fault!"
"Hey, what's going on? What are you two so upset about? What happened to your face?!" Vi and I took turns filling Jacq in on recent events.
"I'm sorry to say, but I agree with Lacey. He plans to kill Jake. But I don't think it's your fault, Lace. Derek has, for some unknown reason, decided to get emotionally involved with you. And he will stop at nothing until he is assured of your safety." Why?! I am nothing special! I started to feel panicked. "We have to stop him. But where did he go? Jake has not been showing up for work and hasn't been seen for days!"
"I think I might know something. I was at the salon when Vi called. A woman named Marina had just walked in and the women were aflutter about her fiance. A man named Beau. I don't think it's a coincidence." Marina? The new model!
"Vi! That is the new model that just signed on with B! She is from Bridgeport, just like Beau. She probably set up a safe house for Beau. Chances are, that is where Jake is."
"Yes. And I have all personnel files on the computer!"
We hovered while Vi accessed the info. "Hurry, Vi, hurry!" I repeated over and over. "Got it, girls. Let's move!" As soon as the words left Vi's mouth, I was out the door and sliding into my car.
The ride to Marina's place was silent. I had too much time to think. What if we have this wrong? What will we say if she's home? "Um, excuse us while we search for vamps and half-vamps." She will surely call the mental hospital on us!
We were almost to the house when I saw Jake flash across the road. I slammed on the brakes but he just kept running. I didn't see Derek anywhere. I jumped out and didn't even notice if Vi and Jacq were following.
I ran into the woods where I had last seen Jake.When Derek suddenly appeared, I stopped dead in my tracks. I couldn't hear what they were saying, but I could tell Jake was trying to plead with Derek. Jacq and Vi walked up.
I tried to get closer so I could hear what they were saying. Derek must have heard me because he looked right at me. His whole demeanor changed. I was puzzled until I remembered my black eye. Oh no!
"No deal, Jake. You MUST pay!" I watched as a strange light began to form around Derek's hand. Jake looked as if he had been nailed to the ground. Why didn't he try to run? Derek began to speak,"Da, quaesumus Dominus, ut in hora mortis nostrae Sacramentis refecti et culpis omnibus expiati, in sinum misericordiae tuae laeti suscipi mereamur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen."
After Derek finished what appeared to be a prayer, Jake grabbed his chest. What did he do?! Then suddenly...
Jake disappeared! "What did you do to him, Derek?!" He looked at me with a most serious face. "What had to be done to assure myself of your safety."
"Jake's evil has been banished. I used his vamp blood to burn him from the inside. Nothing remained of him just as if he had been a real vampire."
"But you didn't HAVE to kill him! Vi said you could have stopped the change. You only killed him because he hit me!" He continued to stare me right in the eyes. "Perhaps that is true. Either way ... what is done, is done." How could he be so callous?
"Lacey, you must understand. I am charged with keeping things balanced. You are still in shock from this day. Let me take..." He reached to put his arms around me. I backed away from him. "NO! You stay away from me, Derek. I can't believe what just happened. I .." I turned and ran back to my car. Vi and Jacq were still by Derek but I didn't care.
I stopped at the edge of the road and took a deep breath. Derek said he was trying to keep me safe. But I still didn't feel safe.
I kept everything in the whole ride home. But as I went to take that first step up the stairs, the dam broke. I cried and cried and cried. I don't know how long I sat at the bottom of the stairs, just crying. But when I felt all cried out, I went upstairs, washed my face...
... and fell into an exhausted sleep.