Music of Souls (Chapter 3, page 1 of 2)

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Chapter 3

Each day of the following two weeks, Gabriel retrieved the couple, brought them to the same room, and schooled them in the art of feeding without killing. Jackson began to accept his fate and found comfort in the fact that none of his victims remembered his attacks. He had learned under Gabriel's tutelage how to influence them to forget.

Sarah found her self control quickly, and could retract her fangs of her own accord, though Jackson still required verbal cues, and at times physical restraint from Gabriel to stop feeding. They were both becoming accustomed to their superior strength and heightened senses.

One evening, Jackson heard a coach beneath the window; and upon investigation saw Victor, his two henchmen, and Gabriel board. As the coach pulled away, he woke Sarah. They made their way to the entrance, passing three even younger vampires who paid no attention.

Once outside, they headed toward the forest. Jackson said, "I think we should stay away from populated areas, the forest is our best chance to stay hidden. Are you able to run, Sarah?"

"I think so."

He held her hand as their pace continued to increase until they were moving at a speed unheard of in humans. They were deep into the woods in no time, and barely winded. The sounds and smells of the forest nearly caused them to lose focus and stop running to fully experience their surroundings. Every sense was intensified and vibrant, yet secondary to the overwhelming craving for blood.

When Jackson felt they were a safe distance from the castle, they stopped to make plans.

Sarah asked, "How will we feed?"

"I hope we can feed on animals. With our speed, we should be able to run down deer."

"And what if deer blood doesn't nourish us?"

"It will… it must."

They spent four days deep in the forest. The animal's blood sustained them, yet they were not thriving. The burning in their throats returned as well as the pounding headaches, but they remained alive. On the fourth night they sat cross-legged together discussing their future, or lack thereof. Sarah broke down weeping at the hopelessness, and as much as Jackson desired to comfort her, he could not find the strength. The survival instinct that had been fueling his resolve melted away and he did something he could not recall ever doing; he openly wept. The pair sat embraced, grieving their lost lives. They knew, even if they survived, returning to their families would be unfeasible.

Jackson heard a noise and motioned to Sarah to silence herself. The rustling sound of nearing footsteps on the forest floor created panic.

He jumped to his feet, pulling her up. "Run!"

They sprinted, only to find the interloper faster. He stood in front of them and shouted, "I mean you no harm. I am one of yours."

Sarah and Jackson stayed a safe distance."You are not here to kill us?"

"What purpose would that serve?"

"Were you not sent by Victor?"

"I know not of Victor, I am Frederick, Frederick Caulder. Why do you fear me? You are vampires and I do not possess a stake."

"Pardon me?"

" A stake, I have no stake. Are you a bit touched about the head, boy?"

"Certainly not, I am well educated."

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