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       Wisdom, p.26

         Part #4 of My Blood Approves series by Amanda Hocking
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“I’m just getting started. ” I pulled the knife from stomach, and I sliced open her neck.

  I let go of her, and she wrapped a hand around her throat, trying to stop the blood flow. I turned the knife sideways, and while she held her throat, I stabbed the knife into her chest. It slid in between her ribs and right into her heart.

  She stared at me for a moment, and she didn’t fall, so I twisted the knife, making sure she was dead. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head, and she fell back on the concrete.

  “That was unexpected,” Thomas said.

  I wiped her blood off my hand, trying to make it less slippery, and then I threw the knife at Dane. It only hit him in the shoulder, not enough to really hurt him, but it startled him into letting the chain go. I thought it might, so I started racing forward as soon as I threw the knife.

  When I got close to the edge, I jumped. One foot landed on Dane, and I used him as leverage to jump up higher. It also had the side effect of knocking Dane forward, and he fell over the side of the cliff. I heard him yelling as he fell, but I never heard him hit the bottom.

  I grabbed the end of the chain just before it slid through the last pulley, stopping it a split second before Jack plummeted down after Dane. The force of Jack falling pulled the chain hard, and it slammed me into the ceiling.

  I almost lost my grip, so I looped the chain around my wrist twice.   I used my body as an anchor, preventing the chain from slipping through the pulley, and Jack from falling down the endless hole.

  Thomas didn’t get to stop us because Peter came in, and he started fighting with him. Thomas turned out to be a much better fighter than his friends, but Peter wasn’t too bad himself. He bounced off a wall to kick Thomas in the head, but Thomas recovered quickly.

  Bracing my feet against the ceiling, I tried pulling the chain up. Jack wasn’t that heavy, but I had one wrist bound to the chain, so I had to do it one-handed. Plus, I had to do it hanging upside down, and the angle I pulled it from made it hard to slide through.

  “Alice. ” Jack stared up at me, his feet dangling over a black, bottomless pit.

  “Hold on, Jack. I’m getting you. ” I strained on the chain.

  The chain cut into my wrist deep, making blood pour down over my arm and the chain. The chain was slick, and it began to slip through my hands. It would deglove my hand soon, and if it did that, the chain would slide free, off my hand, through the pulley, and Jack would fall down…

  “Alice, don’t!” Jack yelled.

  “No, I’ll get it!” But as soon as I said it, the chain slipped.

  I’d pulled Jack up higher, so when the chain slipped through my hand, he fell harder and faster. That put more pressure on my wrist when the chain pulled taut.

  The force of it slammed my hand into the pulley, and I heard Jack cry out. The chain had to be nearly tearing off his own hands and arms.

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  “Alice, listen to me. You have to stop. You can’t pull me up, and if you try, you’ll just lose your hand and end up falling down with me. ”

  “I can save you,” I told him. “You have to trust me. ”

  “No, you need to free your wrist and swing back on the cliff,” Jack said. “We both don’t need to die for this. ”

  “No! If you die, I die! You asked me to spend forever with you, and I’m going to! “

  I strained harder, pulling the chain farther up. I only had to get it up far enough where Jack could swing over, and put his feet on the cliff, and that was only a few more feet. Peter was too busy fighting off Thomas to help, so I was left struggling with Jack on my own.

  I almost had him. His head was over the top of the cliff, but the chain slipped again. This time it was too much. The chain crushed my wrist. I heard the bones snap when it hit the pulley, and the chain pulled at my skin.

  I was losing blood, which only made me weaker, and the blood left the chain impossibly slippery. I couldn’t get a grip on it again. It didn’t matter how strong I was. The blood made it too slick, and the chain was going to slip off.

  “Alice,” Jack said, but I kept pulling at the chain. I couldn’t get any traction, and my hand kept slipping. I wasn’t moving him at all, but I kept trying to pull and pull as tears stung my eyes.

  “Jack, I love you, and I’m not giving up on you!” I hung upside right above him, my feet pressed to the ceiling and my wrist wedged in the chain against the pulley. He was looking right in my eyes, and he knew.

  “I’m sorry for everything I said to you the other night. I didn’t mean any of it. I was just trying to protect you,” Jack said, his voice thick. “I wasn’t even mad, and I can forgive you of anything. I always would. I love you. More than anything else in this world or the next. ”

  The only thing I could see were his blue eyes. They were the only thing I wanted to see. They never wavered, not even when the chain slid off my wrist.


  I hit the concrete hard. I had wanted to fall over the edge of the cliff, following Jack down, but I’d been angled just the right way so I landed on my back on the ground. I stared up at the bricks on the ceiling, and for a minute, I couldn’t feel anything.

  I heard Peter grunting. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew I should help him, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

  With some effort, I turned my head to see Peter crouched over the edge of the cliff next to me, the chain in his hands. It took me a second to realize what I was seeing. Hand over hand, he pulled the chain up, and within a few seconds, he heaved Jack up over the edge.

  “Jack!” I screamed and crawled over to him.

  With his hands still bound and his chest and stomach covered in wounds, I dove at him. I pressed my lips to his, kissing him. I brushed back the hair from his forehead and sobbed.

  “I love you, I love you, oh my god, I love you,” I repeated over and over between kisses.

  I had thought that I had truly lost him, and there was a desperation to the kiss that he matched with equal fervor. I wrapped my arms around his neck and held him to me, breathing him in, tasting his lips, relishing his heart pounding against mine.

  “I’m okay, Alice,” he smiled, looking me in the eye.

  “I’m sorry for everything I’ve put you through,” I said. Tears of relief streamed down my face, and Jack just smiled at me. “I’ve never stopped loving you. Never. And I was wrong. You’re all I need to be happy. You’re all I’ll ever need. ”

  “I’m not all you need, and I don’t even want to be. I just want to love you, for the rest of my life, and as long as you let me do that, we’ll be okay. ”

  I leaned to kiss him again, but he stopped me.

  “I hate to do this, but would it be okay if we popped my arms back in their socket before we made out?” Jack asked, and when I apologized, he laughed, sending the same dazzling tingles through me that he always did.

  “Need help?” Peter asked, crouching down next to us.

  I got over the shock of seeing Jack alive and looked over Peter for the first time. He’d sustained a few blows himself, but Thomas was the one with a metal poker through his heart in the corner.

  Jack grimaced as Peter shoved both his arms back in place. Peter got to work getting the chain from around Jack’s wrists. He might’ve dislocated Jack’s thumb in the process, but he got the chain off.

  He sat up, rubbing his battered wrists, although they didn’t look as bad as my completely wrecked hand. Peter tossed the chain off the cliff, still crouched down in front of us, and Jack looked at him.

  “Hey, Peter?” Jack said, popping his thumb back into place.

  “Yeah?” Peter turned to him.

  “Thank you. ” Jack met his eyes, and they looked at each other for a moment. Peter swallowed and nodded.

  “We should probably get you guys out of here,” Peter said, standing up. “Your girlfriend needs to get that hand fixed. ”

  “Holy hell. ” Jack notice
d my hand for the first time.

  It looked like a bloody piece of meat. The tingling heat had taken over, scrambling to heal. I’d actually lost a lot of skin, and I wasn’t really sure how it would grow back.

  Peter grabbed a towel, and I wrapped my hand in it. He helped both Jack and I out to the car, and Jack explained how he’d ended up there in the first place. He’d gotten home to find the vampire hunters demolishing the house, and Matilda in the process.

  Apparently, they were obsessed with finding Daisy. They were certain she was part of the movement and sent to expose vampires. The hunters would do anything to stop that, and nothing Jack could say would convince them she was dead. If he’d been there when she’d been buried, that might’ve helped.

  Samantha had seen the Lamborghini parked outside the tunnels before when they were following me, and she insisted that Jack take them down there. When they still didn’t find Daisy, they resorted to torturing Jack for information, and that’s when I had walked in.

  On the car ride back to the house, I called Milo to tell him to come home.   Ezra and Mae were already waiting, and something about the crisis had set Mae back into motion. She wrapped my hand in gauze.

  The skin would grow back in a few hours, but I didn’t want a bloody hand until then. Ezra took care of Jack, checking his wounds and forcing him to compensate for his blood loss.

  As soon as Milo and Bobby arrived, Jack sent them back out to take Matilda to the emergency vet clinic. Ezra thought she had a few broken bones, but he figured that she would be alright, once she had proper medical care.

  Page 77

  After Mae finished tending to me, I headed upstairs to lie down. Jack was already up there, and I could hear him arguing with Ezra. Ezra told him that he needed to let the blood work, and Jack kept insisting that he should be at the vet with Matilda, even if he did have bleeding wounds all over.

  Peter was in the dining room, picking up the mess the vampire hunters had left, and I stopped.

  “How are you?” I asked.

  “Better than you. ” He looked down at my hand. “How is that doing?”

  “I’ll live,” I shrugged.

  “Glad to hear it,” he smiled, and he looked at me. His emerald eyes met mine, and though they didn’t captivate me the way they once had, they still held my attention.

  “Thank you, Peter,” I said softly. “For what you did tonight. ”

  “You know, I didn’t save him for you. ” He looked towards upstairs, where Jack was. “He’s a good guy, and the world wouldn’t be as nice a place without him in it. ”

  “I know,” I smiled. “But thank you anyway. ”

  I went upstairs, and Ezra stood in the bedroom doorway, blocking Jack from making an escape. He sat on the bed in his boxers. Most of his cuts had healed, but some were still raised and red. A bad one his stomach still bled.

  “Mattie’s gotta be terrified without me!” Jack said.

  “Milo and Bobby are with her. ” Ezra sighed and looked back at me. “Maybe you can talk some sense into him. ”

  “I’ll try,” I said.

  He left us alone, and I walked over to Jack. I could see him working up some argument about how he needed to leave, but I climbed on his lap, straddling him. I kissed him on the mouth, so deeply I could feel his blood pulsing through his lips. His arms went around me, pressing me close to him.

  Maybe I had never been meant for Jack or Peter. Maybe I had only been meant to be a vampire. That thought had terrified me before, but I realized it was better this way. When I held Jack to me, feeling how much he loved me and how much I loved him, I knew it was real.

  I loved Jack because of every little thing about him. The way he laughed, the way he made me smile, the way he’d stay up until nine in the morning watching zombie movies he’d seen a hundred times, and the way he could never hold a grudge.

  I loved him because I loved him, not because it was fate or destiny or in my blood. We had chosen each other, and that felt more powerful and more magical.

  Matilda came back home with three broken ribs and a broken back leg, but she was slated to make a full recovery. Jack babied her like crazy since she’d been injured protecting him, but I didn’t blame him.

  After things had settled down a bit, I sat down with Jack and told him exactly what I wanted to do. After everything that happened with the vampire hunters, I felt like I had to do it.

  People and vampires were being hurt and tortured, and I wouldn’t stand by and let that happen.

  Jack wasn’t thrilled about it, but he was supportive. I drove to Olivia’s with his blessing, and that was all that mattered.

  I arrived at V in the early morning hours when the club was empty. That’s the time they received deliveries of alcohol for the drinks for the human bar. The club always looked bizarre and cavernous when it was empty, but I supposed that was true with all clubs.

  Olivia sat at the bar next to the dance floor, going over her inventory checklist. Violet was behind the bar, helping the delivery guy stock up. They were at the opposite end, far enough away where they couldn’t hear me talk to Olivia.

  “If you’re looking for Rebekah, she left last night, since you didn’t need her anymore,” Olivia said, and I got up on the stool next to her. “Though, lord knows why anybody would willingly spend time with her. ”

  “No, I’m not looking for her,” I shook my head.

  “Then what can I do for you, doll?” She lifted her head and smiled at me.

  “Those vampire hunters that were here, they were bad people,” I said, and she nodded. “They didn’t do what was best for vampires or humans. They only cared about money, and they were monsters. We never did anything to them, and they tortured us. ”

  “I’m sorry to hear that,” Olivia said, and I knew she meant it. “That’s not how they should be. That’s not how I was, and I’ve always hoped that hunters could live on the side that benefits both humans and vampires. ”

  “Ezra told me that because we’re vampires, there are no good guys. But I don’t think that’s true. I want to be one of the good guys,” I said. “I want you to train me to be a vampire hunter. ”

  “Honey, it would be my pleasure,” she smiled.

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