True Heart

Dakota Grey is just an ordinary girl with an ordinary life. That is, until she meets Alex, a vampire who just can seem to let her go. She learns that she's not an ordinary girl and in fact, she had a whole life before her memory was erased. Together they find out just how small the world really is as they try to piece the puzzle back together.

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11. Chapter 11

Alex shifts beside me and I open my sleepy eyes. Most everyone is awake except the newcomers. Because we're underground I have no idea what time it is. My side feels incredibly better and Alex seems a lot better too. Out of the corner of my eye I see Star walk over to us and she clears her throat for our attention.
"Can I speak with you," she asks me. I nod and stand up to follow her. Alex stands with me and I catch some stares from the other vampires.
"Alone," Star adds. Alex steps back and I follow her outside. Surprisingly the smoke has cleared. A gray mist has settled around the battlefield that even the sun can't penetrate through. We walk through the mist for a while until Star stops.
"I know Alex likes you," she says. Oh great, she wants to talk about this.
"He always has and he always will. He will never look at me the way he looks at you," she continues. We continue walking along the battlefield. All the dragons have left. I'm not sure where she's headed with this conversation.
"Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I'm ok with it. You can have Alex back. I understand you guys have a long history and I respect that," she adds. My jaw drops. I honestly was not expecting that. She...doesn't care? I trip on a tree root but catch myself before I fall on my face.
"We should head back before we're missed," she smiles. I nod. I'm grateful because I won't have to fight her for Alex. I'm glad she understands. We step into the cool darkness and I stare at all the hopeful glances. How can they be so hopeful, we've already lost. Why can't they see that? Star walks away and starts talking to Hannah. I start to walk toward Luke who I've ignored for so long but Alex stops me.
"I need to talk to you," he orders. I'm confused. Why does everyone need to talk to me this morning? I sigh inwardly and follow him back outside. We don't get far before Alex stops me. He faces me and I know whatever he has to say won't be good.
"I recently received information from Castle saying that your sister, Isabella, is in town," he tells me. My older sister is in town big whoop. Who cares?
"Wait, why did Castle tell you that," I ask cautiously. Alex sighs and runs his fingers through his hair.
"Your vampire sister...is the head of the Lamia Roma," he mutters. My jaw drops for the second time today. She can't be!
"They must be wrong," I argue. Alex refuses to meet my gaze. They weren't lying.
"That means she's the one trying to kill me. She's the one who killed Amber and Jay. We're not safe," I realize painfully. My heart aches. My own sister did this to me.
"I'll keep you safe," Alex murmurs. I can't take this anymore. Alex acting like he's king of the world and that he can protect me from anything. He can't.
"I'm tired of almost dying every second of the day," I shout at him. His face grows serious as I coldly pass him. My skin's burning. Not good. I push open the door and see the waiting faces.
"I am sick and tired of being beat at our own game. We bring a rescue team they bring an army. We bring helicopters they bring dragons. What does this tell us? It tells us we are outnumbered but that doesn't mean we should sit around and wait for someone to come attack us! We need to fight back!" I shout. Dylan's eyes light up but other then that no one else moves. I hear Alex walk through the door behind me.
"You told her her sister is head of the Lamia Roma didn't you," Sam sighs. 
"Yep," Alex mutters. I feel like slapping him for saying that.
"I'm not saying this because my sister is head of the bad guys. I'm saying this for all those we have already lost to her," I retort. Sam closes her mouth and I know she's think of Jay. My comment hits home for her and I can't help but smile.
"If my sister wants a fight she can have one she just better prepare to lose because even though their numbers are great they will never be as loyal or as strong willed as we are. Each and every one of us is fighting for some reason whether it's for love or for freedom or something else entirely. What are they fighting for? They are fighting because Isabella told them to. True they're loyal to her but what's going to keep them loyal when they see us marching over the horizon. When they see that we will not give up just because they are standing our way. When they see that they are invading what's rightfully ours and that we will do whatever it takes to get it back. We will never stop fighting and with each new death it only gives us a better reason to fight harder. Right now we're sitting ducks. Every attack so far they have done to us but you know what I say to that. I say, wow have they really become so lowly that they have to attack us in our own homes. They are fools fighting us in our own territory. We know it a hundred times better then they do. I say we fight back today. We shouldn't give them the time to attack again. We'll take the fight to them. Today is the day we win," I say. I see impressed faces all over the place and that encourages me to continue.
"Now, we can sit here and wait it out as Alex here is suggesting or we can round up our troop and fight back," I add giving them a choice. I see the pain in Alex's eyes and I know he doesn't want to go against me. He's just afraid I'll win. They wait. All of them. I guess they're waiting for Alex to defend himself.
"Dakota, we have injured. You don't expect them to fight do you?" He asks gently. Hannah nods and I see a lot of vampires on his side. Maybe I'm not winning.
"Have you forgotten that Pax Pugnatores is made up of 99% vampires. We'll heal quickly trust me," I tell him. He frowns at me and I wait to see what everyone will choose.
"For Sabrina's sake," Luke says as he walks over to me. I smile as he takes a stand to my left.
"For my husband," Star says tearily. She comes and stands to my right.
"Sorry bro but she's right we need to strike back," Shawn tells Alex regretfully as he comes to stand by my side.
"I don't think we should go down without a fight," Eric smiles as he comes to me.
"He's right," Kelsy adds as she follows Eric.
"I have not worked in Castle all my life to see it fall," Naomi replies. The two new vampires stand.
"My name is Ally and Seth was my older brother. I think it's only fair to him that I fight back," the female vampire announces as she joins my side. The male speaks up after her.
"My name's Cody. I think that even though the causalities will be great we still have something to fight for," he tells everyone. Jane doesn't say anything but she walks to my side also. That's almost everyone. Only Hannah, Brianna, Dylan, Cassandra and Sam left.
"I'm sorry Dakota but I have to side with Alex because if I run out of supplies then I don't know how I'm going to save everyone," she sighs as she stands next to Alex. Brianna joins Alex and I am left to guess why. Dylan smiles and at me and I know his decision.
"You kidding me! I'm totally up for the attack. I've still got a few fights left in me," he laughs as he joins me. I see Alex glare but I ignore it. Cassandra rolls her eyes at him but comes to stand beside him. Sam walks up to Alex but doesn't join his side.
"For Jay," she whispers as she turns away from him. I smile at Alex and I see a smile growing on his face.
"You know what? This is ridiculous, there is no way I can compete with someone this persuasive. You've convinced me Dakota so you can wipe that smile off your face," Alex gives in as he walks to my side. My smile grows larger then ever as I turn to face those I have gathered. Alex turns with me and his fingers interlace with mine. I raise my arm and so does Alex. I have successfully unified the team. Even Hannah and Brianna join our side.
"For freedom," I breathe. Alex smiles. 
"So what's the plan?" Dylan questions. I freeze. Honestly I haven't thought past unifying ourselves. Actually, I hadn't even thought past the first sentence of my speech. Alex lets go of my hand and walks off somewhere leaving me to face Dylan alone.
"Um, well first I need to visit my sister," I reply regretfully. He nods.
"Lets go," he answers. My eyes widen.
"Right now?" I ask. He laughs. He can't be serious right? I mean how on Earth are we going to get out of here.
"Choose who's going with you," he adds. I smile.
"I'm taking an attack team to find my sister. I'm taking Dylan and Alex. Sam, your in charge," I announce.  Alex and Dylan follow me out the door and I cringe as the sunlight hits my skin. It doesn't hurt as much as it used to but my face still stings. I hear Alex come up beside me and a second later I feel him place a baseball hat on my head. The hat blocks the sun and I sigh thankfully. My hair's still in a ponytail so I pull it through the hole. Dylan takes the lead and he takes us to a field of willow trees. I'm starting to get a little worried because there's nothing out here but willow trees. We walk on for about an hour before we finally stumble across a helicopter.
"Nice," I approve. Dylan smiles and we jump in. Dylan sits in the pilot's seat and I sit in the seat beside him. Alex gets in the back.
"I'm assuming you know how to fly a helicopter," I prod Dylan. He swallows hard and a sense of dread fills my stomach.
"Can't be that hard right?" He reassures. I put on a fake smile and nod. He flips a bunch of switches and the helicopter roars to life. Within a few minutes Dylan has the helicopter flying high above the sky. The view is breathtaking, it absolutely amazes me. In the distance I see another base that I'm assuming is a Lamia Roma base. Dylan starts to panic. Well on the outside he looks as calm as ever but panic radiates off him.
"What's wrong?" I question. He looks at me worriedly and I have a feeling I don't want to know.
"I don't know how to land a helicopter," he tells me. My eyes widen. Oh boy.
"You said it couldn't be that hard right?" I cry. He turns away and doesn't meet my gaze.
"Haven't you ever landed before?" I ask. If he knew the helicopter was there then he must have had some training landing one. He sighs.
"Crash landed," he replies. I rip off the baseball hat and throw it at him.
"What?" He asks, surprised. I bury my face in my hands. I've just lead us all to our deaths because Dylan can't land a helicopter. How do you tell someone they're going to die? Wait a minute. Maybe we don't have to land.
"If you just hover over the ground we can all jump out and then we won't have to land," I say my thoughts aloud. It's brilliant if I do say so myself.
"How do I get out?" He asks. Whoops. I didn't think about that. 
"Jump?" I suggest. He stares at me skeptically.
"Out of a helicopter," he says with one eyebrow raised. I shrug my shoulders. We are rapidly reaching the base and we still don't have a plan.
"Here goes nothing," he mutters as he lowers the helicopter about 5 feet off the ground.
"Go," he urges. I nod and turn to Alex.
"Lets go," I shout over the helicopter blades. Alex jumps out and I turn back to Dylan one more time.
"Don't do anything stupid," I order. He nods and I jog over to Alex. I feel vulnerable standing in the middle of a helicopter landing spot in the middle of the Lamia Roma base. Dylan gently lands the helicopter and I'm surprised. He actually landed it safely. He comes running out smiling. I smile with him. He picks me up and twirls me around a few times before setting me back down.
"I landed the helicopter!" He says joyfully. I absolutely cannot believe he landed the helicopter! I laugh and so does he. We lived! A loud groaning sound interrupts us and I turn back to the helicopter. The whole thing has turned into a flaming ball of fire. Dylan's face falls and he doesn't even turn to look at it. It's on fire. Lovely.
"There goes the helicopter," Dylan sighs. I raise my hand to my forehead and frown.
"Well, no turning back now," I warn as I turn to face Alex.
"So...what, we just walk right through the doors?" Alex questions sarcastically.
"Pretty much," I answer. He raises one eyebrow questioningly.
"Hey, theoretically it's supposed to work," I defend myself as we reach the two doors. I'm nervous. I haven't seen my older sister in a long time. Taking a deep breath I push open the doors and step in. Dylan and Alex follow me in. It reminds me of a doctors' office, people waiting in a lobby. I signal for Alex and Dylan to wait and I walk up to the desk. The lady doesn't even look up when I reach it. 
"State your business," she says in a bored tone. What am I doing here?
"Um, I need to speak with Isabella Grey," I tell her. 
"She's busy right now you'll have to wait," she tells me as if I'm a little child. My gaze hardens, I don't have time for this. She sighs impatiently when I don't leave.
"Tell her that Dakota 'Grey' is here to see her," I retort emphasizing my last name. Her eyes widen slightly and she swallows uncomfortably. 
"Through that door then its the third door on the left," she replies pointing to a giant door. I nod and begin to walk to the door. Alex shows up at my side and grabs my arm.
"Dakota, something's not right. We came here too easily. I'm coming in there with you," he argues. I hear that his breath is ragged.
"Your hurting again aren't you," I ask although I say it more like a statement. Alex doesn't meet my gaze. I can't believe he didn't say anything.
"Look, I'll be fine Alex. It's my sister," I reassure him. I'm still mad at him for not saying something.
"So stubborn. I'll give you 15 minutes. If your not out by then I'm coming in," he mutters. I watch as he turns away and walks back to a seat. I open the giant red door and slowly step through the hallway. I notice a blue door and begin to get curious. I press my ear against the door and listen intently. The only sound coming from the room is a low buzzing sound. Well curiosity killed the cat. Or in this case curiosity killed the vampire. I push open the blue door and peek in.  The room is empty except for a desk and chair. On the desk is a high tech Apple computer. I check outside once and seeing that there's no one in the hallway I step into the room. In the side of the computer there's a flash drive. I sit in the chair and shake the mouse a few times to wake it up. The computer comes to life and I scan the names of the documents. Documents cover the entire screen so densely I can't even see the screen saver. My eyes widen as I see each document name is a persons name. I scan over the names Cassandra Amare, Dylan Serane, Samantha Ash and Alex Trennat. They're our files. I also see names under the title TERMINATED. Gavin Longe and Jay Laon are among them. I can't believe all our files are here. I click on File up at the top and hit sync. The computer starts to load and I decide to watch for anyone coming down the hall. Once the computers finally loaded I unplug the flash drive and shove it in my pocket. I quickly drag each file into the trash can. Then I tap on the trash can and delete all the history. I hear footsteps down the hall and I put the computer to sleep. I guess they don't put alarms on this stuff. Oh well. I put everything the way I found it and slip into the hallway. I jog to the third door on the left and slip in.
"So, I see you've been enjoying your time as a vampire," Isabella's voice floats from the back of the room. I turn to face her and see that there's a small hallway that leads to the room where Isabella's standing. Two doors face each other in the hallway and then at the end there's the one I came through. I walk down the hallway and she meets me halfway. 
"Good to see you," Isabella says with her arms outstretched. I hug her back and remember how much fun we used to have when we were kids. Too bad we're on opposite sides now. And too bad I just stole some of her top secret files. 
"So, you work here," I prod. She smiles.
"I'm pretty proud of it. We keep people in check. Sort of like the CIA but better," she tells me. I nod and put on a fake smile. Inside I'm screaming at her because she was the one who killed Amber. And Jay. And Gavin. And Seth. Do I need to go on. The list extends past them.
"So, how'd mom and dad take it? You being a vampire and all," Isabella asks and I frown. They certainly didn't take it well.
"Not so well," I sigh and Isabella laughs. She touches her ear and then her smile disappears.
"5 minutes," I hear Alex say in my mind. Darn it. I forgot about them. If I try to contact him now Isabella will be suspicious so I don't.
"How'd you get here?" Isabella asks me. I frown. I really should have come up with a story.
"Um, yeah, I came here by helicopter," I explain. She frowns.
"Where's the pilot?" She questions. Sheesh I didn't know this was 20 questions.
"About that, the helicopter kind of exploded and the pilot died," I make up. Isabella seems to believe me so I figure I'm good. At that second Dylan bursts through the one of the side doors. Inwardly I'm smacking my head against a wall.
"Who's that?" Isabella demands. I don't meet her piercing gaze.
"The pilot," I mutter. Isabella is getting mad. I can tell.
"You told me he died when the helicopter exploded," she continues. I sigh.
"Well-"
"So you lied," she concludes. I look over my shoulder at Dylan and he looks sorry. I glare at him but turn back to Isabella.
"I like to call it bending the truth," I suggest. She glares at me ferociously.
"Why don't you go back to the helicopter," I tell Dylan. He looks confused.
"But the helicopter exploded," he states. I smack my forehead.
"Times up," Alex says in my mind. Wonderful. Not. Alex comes barging through the opposite door Dylan came through. I groan, this couldn't get any worse.
"Who is that and what are they doing in my office," Isabella shrieks. I smile pitifully and she clenches her fists. At that same instant a ear shattering alarm goes off. Whoops, that was probably my fault. I guess they do put alarms on their computers.
"I think I should leave now," I say quickly before anyone else has the chance to speak. I spin around and run back toward Alex. I frantically grab his head and pull him through the door he came through. Dylan follows and I suddenly find myself in a enormous garage. Alex takes the lead, sprinting toward a row of helicopters lined up for take off. We pass by a stable with unusually large stalls. I hear a roar and realize that it's for dragons.
"Wait, hold on," I caution. Alex skids to a stop and turns to face me.
"Wait? Dakota, we don't exactly have time to wait," he lectures. I can hear footsteps stomping through doors on all sides and I know Alex is right.
"Look, I just figured taking a dragon would be safer seeings how Dylan here can't land a helicopter," I argue. Dylan nods.
"Oh yeah like taking a dragon is so much safer," he mumbles sarcastically as he follows me into the stable. I scan the stalls in panic looking for a specific dragon. No corkscrewing today. I run down the aisle looking for the small sea green dragon from before. I think I can trust it. I know, it set my shirt on fire but when I think about, I never would have jumped in the lake if my shirt wouldn't have caught fire. And if I never jumped into the lake I never would have found Alex. It's a stretch but it'll work. When I reach its stall I fling open the door and get blasted by a cloud of warm breath. If dragons could smile this one would be. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. Alex and Dylan catch up to me just as I begin to climb onto her back. Well I'm assuming it's a her. I reach down for them and Dylan grabs my hand. As I pull him up I hear shouts outside the stable and I hurriedly reach down for Alex. The dragon begins to get restless and Alex still hasn't grabbed my hand. I lean over and look around for him. 
"Alex!" I scream as I see him running down the aisle. He looks like a marathon runner except for the fact that he's being chased by a group of security guards. Who all happen to be vampires also. And they have guns. The dragon steps out of the stall and roars what sounds like a battle cry. The guards stop out of fear and that gives Alex time to get ahead. He reaches the dragons feet and drops to his knees. I'm confused so I lean over to see what he's doing. That's when I see the chains on the dragon's feet. I guess I didn't see those before. Alex pulls out a key from his pocket and that's when I realize he ran back and risked his life to get the key. Wow. Alex unclips each chain and then launches himself at the dragon. She rears and jogs toward the open doors. The guards are catching up and they've started shooting. Alex continues herding the dragon out the entrance. A bullet catches my arm and I wince before turning back to Alex. I stretch my arm out for him but the dragon runs out the entrance. Alex runs to keep up and I stretch farther to pull him up. Tears begin to stream down my face as I realize there's only a few yards left before we'll be in the air. A bullet hits Alex in the chest and he stumbles before slowing down rapidly.
"No!" I screech. I stand and leap off the dragons back. Bullets hit me from all angles but the pain in my heart is worse. Alex might die. I reach his side and urge him to his feet. He moans as I run him to the dragon. I try to shield the bullets that are aimed in our direction. The dragon paces restlessly at the edge of the floor.
"Hold your fire!" An order rings out loud and clear. Isabella steps in front of the army and I wipe my tears. Alex has crumpled to the ground and he won't get up.
"I'm disappointed Dakota, I really am," she announces. As long as she keeps talking I can save Alex. I pull out each bullet and watch as the wounds heal instantly. He groans and opens his eyes once they've healed.
"Did you really think I'd let you leave so soon," she continues. I get Alex to sit up and he wipes the tears from my face.
"Especially after I found out you are leading the Pax Pugnatores group," she adds mischievously. I pause to look at the wicked smile growing on her face. I roll my eyes and look Alex directly in the eye.
"After I found that out, well I can't let you go now," she says. I slip the flash drive out of my back pocket and shove it into Alex's hands. He looks confused.
"I'll have to take you prisoner," she announces. I close Alex's hand.
"Destroy it," I whisper to him. He nods and I know he understands that I'm staying. I stand and face Isabella.
"If you let them go I'll go with you as prisoner," I beg. Alex stands behind me and he takes a step closer.
"You not in a position to bargain," she tells me. I feel Alex's breath on my neck.
"The other option is we try to run and you shoot us to death," I say. I feel Alex slip something small in my back pocket.
"Sounds appealing," my sister comments. I smile.
"Doesn't it? But think, if you kill me now you won't get any information out of me," I bargain. Isabella thinks about this for a second before answering.
"You have 5 minutes to leave, after that you're dead," she tells Alex and Dylan. Alex turns me around to face him. I wait for him to make me promise him I won't die but instead he wraps his arms around me tightly. I breathe his familiar scent until he pulls away and runs over to the dragon. They fly away and I'm left to face Isabella. Two of her guards handcuff me as Isabella walks toward me.
"I thought they'd never leave," she sighs. One of the guards kicks me in the back of my knee and I fall to my knees. My head faces the ground and bloody tears spill onto the concrete. Isabella leans down so her mouth is at my ear.
"Now spit it out. What do you know," she orders. I let go of the breath I'd been holding and look up at her.
"Why don't we go somewhere public," I suggest. She concentrates for a second and then nods.
"Ok, but your keeping those on," she gives in pointing at the handcuffs that keep my hands against my back.

 

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