The Biker Wore Red (Chapter 2, page 2 of 8)

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Chapter 2

"You ok?"

"It depends on what you say next," she said shakily.

"It's not as bad as you think," Eli reassured her. "The spell requires a vial of blood from a close relative of each man cursed to be combined with the blood of a relative of Rodriguez. Your donation is the last of what we need."

Niki felt the color return to her face as Eli smiled.

"Feel better now?" he asked. "See, no one has to die, or sell their soul to the devil, or anything."

Niki nodded a bit sheepishly. "But why did you wait so long? You should have known I'd help as soon as you asked."

"It's a little more complicated than that," Eli explained. "The blood has to be collected by a member of the sect, under very specific conditions. Besides, I wanted to see you. I know it was selfish of me, but I couldn't think of leaving this world without seeing you once more."

"But, if I'd known sooner, we could have had more time!" Niki protested.

"No, honey. I couldn't do that. There was too much to do, and too many unanswered questions, like whether you'd fall under the curse, too."

"Can I ask a dumb question?"

"What's that?" Eli asked, running a hand over her hair and smoothing it away from her face.

"Why didn't you just use Mom's blood?"

"Where we could, we've used the blood of a sibling. Siblings share the blood of both parents, and it makes the bond stronger. In my case, there is no option. The curse centers on me, and we have to do everything we can to optimize our chances."

Niki nodded. "Okay. The sooner we do this, the sooner you'll be free to come home, where I can take care of you. When do I leave?"

"I won't be coming home afterwards, Niki," Eli explained gently. "I can't. Once the curse has been lifted, our spirits will at last be free to cross over completely. Niki, try to remember we've been dead for a long time, most of us, more than once. No, if the spell works, my life-and the lives of everyone else here-will be over."

"We need closure," he explained, "even if it means permanent death. This is no kind of life, living like prisoners, going through the trauma of death only to wake the next day, as if it had just been a bad dream. It's too much. Can you understand what I'm saying, Niki? Can you see why this is so important to all of us?"

"I…I suppose so," Niki said slowly.

"Good." He squeezed her hand encouragingly. "Red will take you to Mom's. He's the only one I can trust to take care of my sister." Eli smiled.

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