Jasmin paced back and forth on the terrace, her gaze turning East, always East. The rage had threatened to overwhelm her when the first calls went to voice mail. She'd kept dialing however, and eventually, in desperation, turned to dialing Anne's number. That finally produced someone answering their phone, and her pleading with the young woman to come at once. For her plan to work, Jasmin knew she'd need someone to help her get somewhere safe once she got off the roof.
Now her gaze moved between horizon and phone. Anne didn't know the details, just that she needed the other woman to come now and that her life was in danger. *Trusting the friend of a hunter. I must be mad. I'm liable to end up as dead from this as if I'd done nothing.* But in the end, she knew that likely death was better than certain.
As her pacing continued, she looked at the time once more, before moving to look over the edge, and then returning to the pacing. She knew she should stop, but it helped the nerves. Dawn was coming, after all. Finally, she just collapsed into a lawn chair, and waited. Someone would be here soon.
Cadee followed Anne, cycling wildly through almost desert streets. She knew Anne was choosing their route, she knew the neighbourhood streets, its twists and turns, as the back of her palm, and she was evading populated streets; sacrificing distance in lieu of speed, reasons unknown.
She had been returning from a busy hunting night –those strange not-quite-dead creatures again, it seemed they were growing in numbers too – when she had almost collided with Anne in her way out. She hadn’t explained much, but ordered her to take her bike and follow. It was almost dawn and she looked determined, so Cadee had obeyed.
“Are you gonna tell me where we’re going?” Cadee shouted to Anne, in a moment the other girl got close enough to hear.
Anne looked back over her shoulder and laughed, she was enjoying herself, the imp. “To Jasmin’s,” she shouted back at last. “Sounded dead scared on the phone, needs me asap.”
Cadee almost yelled in outrage, Jasmin? She was too tired for this! Dammit! But she kept pedaling, if Anne was going to Jasmin at dawn, she surely wanted to go along.
She picked up her phone, and looked at it again, getting up to pace. For a moment she looked at it again and considered calling Balthazar. Just to fuck with him one final time, just in case. Maybe swearing – no, no, no forgiving him. It'd cause the wizard worry to hear her do something like that. Then she decided against it. Better not to give him the satisfaction.
It was when she looked over the edge that she couldn't believe what she was seeing. People.... biking? Biking? That couldn't seriously be her, could it? The figure looked familiar. Pulling her phone, she dialed Anne again quickly, trying to get an answer. When she heard the answer, she wasn't sure what Anne said, her mind racing.
“Hello. Is that you down there on the bikes? I can see a couple of riders. You can drive, can't you? Please say yes.”
“Sure I can,” Anne answered, breathless from the ride. She looked up; was Jasmin watching from her terrace? She couldn’t make it from the street, not at night, at least. This was getting stranger and stranger. “What do you need, Jasmin? Should I go up?”
Jasmin gave an audible sound of relief, patting her back pocket. Her keys were still there. That was a relief at least. “No, no don't come up. There's nothing you can do for me up here.” She paused for a moment, moving over to the side. “Look, Anne. I don't have much time to explain. It's a long story. But I'll need you to help me to a motel I know that won't ask questions. Is that you down there?”
“Yeah, it’s me. Cadee’s here too.” She continued looking furiously up, she really couldn’t see a thing.
“She’s in the penthouse terrace,” Cadee interrupted her, looking up too, aware of her efforts. “I can see her.”
Anne nodded and continued talking on the phone. “I’ll take you wherever you want to go, just tell me what to do.”
Jasmin continued to watch the area. At last, things were looking up, though with her roommate along? No. No time to complain. She rattled off an address quickly. “That's in case... Anne. Thank you,” she moved back to the sword momentarily, running her tongue along the blade and shuddered. It might not do much. But that deliciously powerful blood might help some.
She made the mistake of looking down for a moment, snapping her head up and steadying herself, eyes closed. That was a long way down. Jasmin waited a few more moments to gather her nerves, before taking a single, fateful step forward, air rushing around her, arms up and over her head. Then suddenly her jaw was clenched, and pain shot through her body as she stopped moving, fighting the urge to scream.
Anne watched the vampiress’ fall with horror, frozen. For half a second she stupidly thought she would turn into a crow or a bat or something, like in one of her novels, but Jasmin fell like lead, seemingly gaining speed with momentum; she looked like a broken doll being tossed by a careless child. And then it came the noise, something between a splash and a thud. She didn’t react until she felt Cadee spring into action next to her.
Without a word, Cadee jumped off her bike and in two strides she was next to the vampiress, looking at her thoroughly before daring to touch her. Jasmin had fallen legs first, probably on purpose, and they were clearly broken, in more than one piece, too. One of the femurs was showing through her jeans, a mess of ragged flesh and shattered bone, the other was twisted in a very unnatural way at the height of her calf; her arms didn’t look broken, but she had damaged them pretty bad protecting her head, which wasn’t as bad as she had feared it would be.
What could have possessed the vampire to attempt a fall like that? Even if she couldn’tdie, she must be in excruciating pain. But this wasn’t the moment to ask.
“Jasmin?” she called the vampire, softly. “Can you hear me?”
Pain. Oh the pain was incredible. She moved her hands just enough over her mouth to scream into them, an event which seemed to last an eternity to her, but couldn't have been more than about a good half minute. Then she started to laugh, unaware of Cadee's question, nearly hysterical. “I'm... going... to LIVE!”
One of her arms moved behind her back slowly, fishing the keys out of her pocket. They fell on the sidewalk next to her. That was when the voice began to penetrate at last, laughter decreasing although not quite stopping. “Oh, yes, Cadee was it? ... oh yes, I can hear you just fine... you know how we are in theater, have to make an entrance....
Through the laughter, she pushed herself to roll over, phone forgotten as she did so, screeching in pain again. Her face was bruised and battered as well. She looked over the two women as she began to calm. “Let this... let this be a lesson to you,” she laughed again, pointing at Anne. “Don't leave... don't leave someone in the death trap... they will do something stupid and escape.”
Cadee looked from the hysterical Jasmin to Anne, and they exchanged a puzzled look. She didn’t really follow the vampiress histrionics, but this wasn’t the moment to try and do that either. She took the car keys Jasmin had dropped and threw them to Anne.
“Bring the car,” she ordered. Anne nodded and left for the buildings underground parking entrance. Cadee looked back to Jasmin. “Oh yeah, it’s Cadee and you’re alive, or as alive as you can be. Now, let’s forget theatrics and get you somewhere shady, right? Sun is about to rise.”
“Well, this will hurt,” she added, moving so she could raise her. Cadee slid an arm under Jasmin’s broken legs and another beneath her back, and raised her effortlessly. The vampiress groaned and closed her eyes. “Sorry, Jasmin. But I guess the less we’re in open sight, the better.”
Jasmin dropped her head back, blinking several times at the pain and actually breathing. It was a rare event, but it stopped the urge to scream. She was... off the ground? This easily? Her head turned to the side. “Listen to me,” she managed to croak out, and breathed deeply again.
“Romano,” she said at last, with the car coming around. The rage welled up inside of her, fighting through the pain. “That lecherous old troll did this... this... and the worst is the insult! What am I, a new fucking turn? Not dangerous enough to kill?”
*Romano again! Who is he? Fucking Houdini to appear everywhere?* At the thought of the escape artist, she looked up and chuckled; Jasmin probably deserved the title best, surviving such a fall. “My guess’s you’re not easy to kill, Jas,” she said as she walked to the car. “And I wouldn’t be so angry at not being a pile of dust, if I were you.”
With care, she managed to get the vampiress in the back seat of the car, as comfortable as she could get, while Anne moved the bikes to the building’s parking lot. Five minutes later, they were in their way to the motel.