Things That Go Bite in the Night

by Jasmine Taylor
1300038229|%e %b %Y, %H:%M %Z|agohover (updated 1300547844|%e %b %Y, %H:%M %Z|agohover) | 2 comment(s)

IC Date: February 17, 2011 — Early Evening

The cry for help is so loud that Jasmine wonders why no one else seems to hear it. Yes, it’s telepathic — which means it’s literally all in her head — but she’s sharing the cafe table with two other psychics and they don’t even bat an eye. Jasmine, she’s not so lucky. The fear and surprise cause her head to jerk up, and it’s only the quick reflexes of Colleen that stops her from sending her coffee cup crashing to the floor.

“Jas, are you okay?” Colleen’s gray eyes cloud with concern. One hand reaches out to steady Jasmine.

~You didn’t hear that?~ Jasmine sends the thought, her eyes casting around the cafe for the source. Not a thing seems unnatural or out of place, and there doesn’t even seem to be an echo of the spine tingling cry that set Jasmine’s heart to pounding.

Collen shakes her head. “I didn’t hear anything.” Colleen can receive but she isn’t a sender. Her pixie face draws into a slight frown, and though it’s easy for Jasmine to hear the thoughts flickering rapid-fire across her friend’s mind, she tunes them out. Now’s not the time for Colleen’s peculiar brand of passive-aggression, envy and frustration.

~I didn’t either.~ Priya has an easier time of it. Her dark eyes move from Jasmine to scout around the cafe, and then return again. ~What did you think you heard?~ There’s a note of smugness and doubt coloring the words, the assumption that if Priya and Colleen didn’t hear it that there wasn’t anything to hear.

Jasmine frowns at the implied dismissal, but doesn’t rise to the bait. She gives a half-shrug before lifting her coffee cup to her mouth and taking a sip. ~Probably nothing.~

When it comes again, Jasmine knows she isn’t imagining it. Her reaction is a little more controlled the second time, but only because her coffee cup is on its saucer and nowhere near her hand. She blinks, her gaze darting between Colleen and Priya to see if they have any sort of reaction at all.

“I’m going to the loo,” Jasmine declares as the desperation in her head escalates to panic. It’s not hers, naturally, but it goes hand in hand with the sobbing, whimpering voice. If it belongs to someone in the cafe, they’re quite likely mad, but also good at putting up a mask. Yet, something tells Jasmine that it isn’t coming from anywhere inside the cafe at all.

There’s a side entrance exit right off the hall that holds the loo, and with a quick glance back over her shoulder to make certain Colleen and Priya are still involved in discussing the fit blokes at the corner table, Jasmine takes it. She steps into the access alley and automatically clamps a hand over her nose as she is assaulted by the smells of old coffee, stale food and cigarette smoke. She takes a step forward and tries not to wonder about what it is that is making her shoes stick to the ground and takes a look around. Aside from the couple leaned against the wall fully involved in one another, the alley is empty.

Jasmine turns to go the way she came when the thoughts assault her again, frantic, clawing and so very urgent that it sends her heart pounding and makes her breath catch in the back of her throat. Her attention is drawn, no drawn, pulled like a moth to a bright flame back to the couple against the wall.

helpmeohgodhesgoingtokillmeidon’twanttodiepleasesomeonehelpme

Jasmine stares, her jaw working soundlessly. The voice is frantic and so afraid that Jasmine has to touch a hand to the sticky, greasy wall to support herself. It’s only now that she can assume that the way the pale hands claw at one figure’s back isn’t in a romantic, lustful moment. She doesn’t want to reach out, she doesn’t know what she can do or how she can help, but she knows that she has to do something.

Her mobile is in her hand, her feet carrying her forward before she can second guess herself.

“Hey is everything all right over there?”

It all happens so quickly then that Jasmine has trouble processing it. She knows, even when she replays it in her mind — again and again and again — that there is a good distance between her and the not-couple. Jasmine knows that she didn’t move that quickly, but somehow one half of the not couple is in front of her, and there is nothing human about him.

The eyes are the deepest, darkest black. It’s like staring into the bottomless depths of an indescribable hell and Jasmine instinctively recoils, trying to look anywhere but in those eyes, or at the face covered with blood, incisors far too long for a human mouth.

He’s on her. Too fast. Too hard. Too strong. Her head snaps back and hits the wall soundly, rattling her teeth. The impact with her spine sends shock waves rippling down through her entire body.

It’s happening too fast but her brain processes it in snapshots.

Vampire (she’s heard the stories, the rumors, the things that no one wants to talk about or admit are real.) Fangs. Blood. Strength.

Death.

Jasmine opens her mouth to scream —

“Don’t scream.” The words push against her mind, a lulling tug at her defenses. They try to work their way past her shields, into the core of her mind —

She pushes back with all she has —

And slumps to the ground against the wall, the creature (Vampire, vampire, vampire, say it) sent sprawling by another body.

“You need to get out of here.” Jasmine is pulled to her feet and she turns to stare in confusion at the speaker. Hazel eyes stare back for a heart beat before the other young woman turns back to the scuffle between the pair in the alley. “Go! And be more careful next time!”

There are questions she should ask, things she should wander about, but the growling and hissing, and grunts of pain are enough to tell her that this isn’t where she wants to be. Jasmine catches a flash of dark metal in the young woman’s hand as the other concentrates on the fray, and it’s enough.

Jasmine can’t get back into the cafe fast enough. She can’t find a bathroom stall quickly enough.

She thinks she won’t ever stop heaving over the commode.

It’s a long time before she comes out. A long time after she refuses to let Colleen or Priya into the stall with her and convinces them that she’s just sick and will take a taxi.

Not nearly long enough before Jasmine sends a frantic text to George or throws herself gratefully into his confused arms.

She promises she’ll talk about it later, but she doesn’t think she ever will.


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