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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13. Chapter 13

I smile wide as he tips his hat upward. The other "officer" smiles with me and I run into his arms. I breathe Alex's familiar scent and a tear slides down my face.
"I thought you wouldn't come for me," I say. My voice is muffled because my face is buried in Alex's chest. He doesn't flinch so I'm assuming his chest is better. 
"You kidding? I'll always come back for you," he murmurs in my ears. I shiver as he brushes the hair from my face. Dylan clears his throat and we pull away.
"So, how was your dragon ride?" I smirk. Dylan raises his eyebrows and laughs.
"Yes, well lets just say that dragon likes you better," he replies. I laugh with him and Alex smiles.
"So, how'd you end up here?" Alex questions. I roll my eyes.
"Oh, the usual, I ended up getting caught looking like I did something bad," I answer thinking about the times me and Alex have been caught in those situations. He nods and Dylan looks totally confused.
"Will all officers report to the main hall for a staff meeting please," an announcer calls over the loud speaker.
"Look, at 9:30 they're moving you to a real jail. We'll accompany you there," Alex explains. I listen and once he's done I slip the pocket knife out of my back pocket. Pressing it into his hand I nudge him out of the cell.
"I don't want them to take it away," I say. Dylan speeds out and waves for Alex to follow. Stepping closer to me, he smiles mischievously. A smile plays on my lips as he leans closer. His cold lips gently meet my burning ones as he kisses me. I feel him slowly plant something in my hand before he moves his hand to my lower back. There, he slides something flat into my back pocket. His lips continue move along with mine.
"Um, hello?" Dylan interrupts. I sigh and Alex groans as he walks out of the cell. 
"And, try to control your thirst until I get back," he adds as he races down the hall to catch up with Dylan. They're gone in a second and I'm left alone. Again. I open my hand and find a paperclip laying in the middle. A paperclip? Oh, he never intended for me to go to the jail. In milliseconds I'm at the lock and I see it has two locks. One that needs a key and the other needs a key card. I quickly bend the paperclip to fit in the lock. Stretching my arm through the bars I grab the lock and shove the paperclip into the hole. I must have forced it in too hard because the paperclip snaps in half before I have a chance to turn it. Darn it. Now what? I pull hard on the lock and the metal screeches until eventually the lock crashes to the floor. The man in the cell across from me watches me intently as I try to pick up the broken lock. He smiles knowingly as he flexes his muscles. Frowning, I clench the lock in my hand and throw it at him. With perfect aim it hits him in the jaw. His face hardens and he comes to the bars. He opens his mouth and I suddenly realize he's going to call for help. I hurriedly take what I'm assuming is a key card out of my pocket and wave it in front of the monitor. It clicks and the jail cell door slides wide open. My hands reach the guys mouth before he mutters a peep. His eyes widen incredibly when he finds out he can't break my grip.
"You will not say a word. I am leaving now and you will not say anything until I am gone. Understood?" I growl. My skin is burning again and his blood is so close. He nods and I'm left with no choice but to trust him. My hands leave his mouth and I sprint down the hall before I end up killing him.
"Help!" His loud voice rings out. I smack my forehead. Mental note: you can't trust people in jail cells. Guards come running behind me and I turn back to see the guy smiling at me. I glare at him although I'm guessing he can't see this far. The guards aren't catching up but I have no idea where to go. Well, lets put it this way, there's only one way to go. Around a bend and then there's the big room that leads to the interrogation rooms. There pretty much isn't anywhere to go. Well, anywhere to go where I won't get caught. Oh, well. Here goes nothing. I sprint around the corner only to find it's a dead end. Crap. Now what? I spot a door at the end of the hallway and without thinking I slip inside. The pitch black room is filled with racks upon racks of clothes. Black slacks and gray shirts. For both men and women. All sizes. I swear with the amount of clothes they have here it could be a clothing store. I find the women's section and pick out clothes that will fit. If I can fit in maybe I'll be able to get out of here. In the dark I blindly try to change without putting stuff on backwards. I hear footsteps outside so I randomly pull a pair of pants on. The door swings open and a blinding light turns on. The officer's vibrant teal eyes widen in surprise and he closes them just as quickly.
"I am so sorry Dakota. I didn't realize..." Dylan trails. I slip my arms through a gray button-down shirt and grab one of the gray baseball hats. I take my ponytail out and make it into a bun. Placing the baseball hat on my head I walk over to Dylan. Grabbing his arm I jog out the door. We reach the hallway and its's empty. No guards come running around the corner and I'm shocked. We run around the bend and almost crash right into the crowd that's gathered in the passageway. I push my way through the crowd until I reach the center. I immediately recognize the man I threw the lock at. He's tied to a pole so tightly he can't move. I feel bad, I honestly do. An officer I don't recognize raises a whip and slams it down onto the man. I flinch and bump into Dylan. He practically jumps and backs away from me. Tears fill my eyes and I don't know why. I mean, I'm supposed to not like this guy. He's a criminal. But I guess I am too. Think about it. Whose really the bad guy? The Lamia Roma? Or us. I mean I just said I'm a criminal so does that still make me part of the "good guy" team. Or does that make me just as bad as my sister. I honestly don't know anymore. It's just becoming so hard to tell whose the bad guy. Right as the man raises the whip again I step out of the crowd and right into his range. The whip hits me directly in the face knocking the hat off my head. My jaw swells immediately and I hold back my scream. My jaw bruises to the point where I think he might have broken it. I swallow painfully and take the time to turn to the criminal. His deep gray eyes smile at me and I become aware of the fact that my skin burns. I'm not sure which pain is worse, my jaw, or the burn that's reminding me that I need blood.
"What were you thinking?" The officer screeches at me. I blink slowly at him and realize I'm standing in the middle of a crowd of armed officers saving a criminal's  life.
"This man...um," I stutter. A tear slides down my face and I wince as it runs across my bruised jaw. I see Alex pushing his way through the crowd to reach me.
"This man...is a human being," I manage to come up with. I pleadingly beg Alex to stay put. He catches my glance and stays. The officer has one eyebrow raised at me and I rack my brain for an excuse.
"So...so whose really the criminal? This man, or this officer," I question the crowd. I mainly get confused looks but some people in the crowd understand what I'm talking about.
"What I'm trying to say is, whose the real bad guy? The man who committed the crime or the man whose punishing him for, what? Looking at you weird," I direct my explanation at the officer. He looks shaken and I catch an approving nod from most of the crowd.
"He falsely called out the officers because of a prisoner that escaped but when we reached this area there was no one here," he explains. My eyes widen when I recognize they came after me. I throw a panic glance at Alex but he only shakes his head and walks out of the crowd. 
"I'll be taking him now with the assistance of my...fellow guards," I make up as I untie him. Dylan comes to my rescue and we lead the man quickly out the front door before anyone has a chance to say anything. Alex refuses to even look at me so I let go of the man's handcuffs. He turns and walks backwards in front of me.
"So, you like me," he implies. I frown at him but I catch Alex glance questioningly at me.
"No," I answer as if what he said was the most ridiculous thing in the world. Which, it was. I gasp as I feel my jaw mending itself. The pain is excruciating but I'll never tell them that.
"Well, you must seeings how you just risked your life for a criminal," he reasons.  I laugh but it turns into a cry as my jaw screams in protest. No one offers any support though, not even Alex.
"You do realize I'm a criminal now too," I inform him. Alex sighs frustratedly at me and I look away.
"So? You still like me," he taunts. I shake my head at him and he smiles. Alex growls threateningly as he raises his fist and punches the man right in the face. My mouth drops and Alex shakes his hand.
"I'm sorry, I just had to do that. He was getting on my nerves," Alex apologizes to me. I try to hide my smile but somehow it still manages to show up. I giggle and Alex turns back to me.
"What?" He asks mischievously. I attempt to hide my smile unsuccessfully and look toward the bright blue sky.
"Nothing," I reply. Alex smiles and my heart melts. I blush incredibly and I try to hide it by turning away. He notices though and his smile grows larger. We reach a small silver car and Dylan shoves the guy in the backseat. I hop in with the prisoner and Alex and Dylan get in up front. We drive on for what seems like forever until we finally reach Castle. Dylan throws the prisoner over his shoulder and we walk into the closed museum. It's deathly silent and I'm starting to get a little freaked out. Alex leads us to an "employees only" area. He pushes open a door that supposedly leads to a restroom and lets Dylan go first. I stop.
"I am not going into the men's room," I say decisively. Alex rolls his eyes and smiles.
"Dakota, this doesn't actually lead to a bathroom you do realize that right," he replies. I frown.
"But still, there's something wrong," I refuse. He sighs and pulls me in anyway. Right away I smell the prisoners blood scent. It's powerful. And human. I start to breath heavily as the room starts going downward. I manage to control myself until the door swings open. With Alex in the lead we file out into a long dark passageway. We eventually reach a door and it opens to a wide room filled giant flat screen TVs hanging on the wall. Vampires sit in chairs operating different controls. Immediately someone whisks Dylan away. I'm left alone with Alex in the middle of the room. A woman calmly walks toward us. Alex stiffens up and I'm left to wonder why.
"Hello, my name is Julia. May I speak with you Dakota, for a second," she suggests. I follow her into a smaller room and she closes the door behind her. Her expression is serious and I start to get a little worried.
"There's something very important I must tell you," she starts. I raise one eyebrow questioningly.
"I've only been here 5 minutes I can't be in trouble already can I?" I ask. She doesn't reply so I'm assuming that I am.
"When a vampire bites a human their venom goes into each and every cell in that person. It goes into every nucleus of every cell and changes the DNA. Venom is made up of two things but in some rare cases its made up of three. First, it's made up of a sample of that vampire's DNA. The DNA goes into the cell and switches up the combinations of DNA. Meaning, instead of adenine and thymine pairing up as they always do guanine pairs up with adenine. You look confused, basically it changes the human's blood just enough to make them a vampire but not enough to change the person's characteristics. It also freezes the person in whatever stage of life they were in so their body doesn't get a chance to reject the new blood. Except it doesn't freeze your weak spot, that's why you can die if you get injured there. Second, it's made up of 46 extra chromosomes for each cell therefore making the person...well, a superhuman. In some rare cases the venom also has a third component, a mix of fluids called XIODE. What the fluid does is it puts a trigger on certain emotions. Meaning, when you see someone or find yourself in a certain situation some of those emotions kick in and pretty much take control of your body. When that happens it could cause you to make rash decisions resulting in putting yourself in danger. There's only one trigger though, find it and you might actually live," she explains. Honestly the only thing I heard was blah, blah, blah, blah and you'll live. I'm not a scientist so half this stuff doesn't even make sense.
"So, what does this have to do with me?" I question slowly. She smiles and I suddenly don't want to hear her answer.
"Your sister did a study on this that really helped us. Alex is one of the rare cases where his venom is made up of three things. Because he bite you and only you that makes you one of those rare cases also. But that also means you have a trigger on your emotions. Amber found that that trigger....is Alex," she tells me cautiously. I think I'm starting to understand this now. Basically Alex controls my emotions. Wait how?
"How?" I interrogate. She nods as if she knew I would ask.
"Every time your near him, every time you see him, and every time you brush up against him your mind goes blank and whatever the strongest emotion is at that time happens," she continues. So Alex brings out he worst in me. Well that's nothing new.
"But you need to be careful because if the strongest emotion is a negative one then it could lead to rash decisions resulting in death," she adds. Wait. What? Amber's words flash through my mind, "When are you two going to realize that you will only kill each other by being together." She knew. Long before I did.
"Ok, so I just control it when I'm around him," I say giving her a solution.
"It doesn't work that way. You can't control it and neither can he. Problem is you two are naturally drawn together. Because I have the authority to give you orders I'm ordering you two to stay apart. No looking at each other, no being in the same room, no being within a 100 yard radius of each other. I'm taking extra precautions for you two. In the study Amber did she found that you seem to make rash decisions. If you two are found together there will be consequences," she tells me. The way she says it, it makes it seem like there's no way I'll be able to get out of this one. 
"Does Alex know?" I ask tentatively. She takes a deep breath before answering.
"He was told just before you escaped from jail," she replies. That would explain why he ignored me so much. I fake a smile and turn to head out the door.
"Oh, and here's your schedule. You'll need to follow it precisely," she warns holding out a sheet of paper. I take it and storm out of the room quickly before she tells me to do anything else. I see Alex right away and walk to his side.
"You knew about this didn't you?" I frown at him. He avoids my eyes and instead stares at the floor.
"Yeah," he sighs.
"What are we going to do?" I ask in a softer tone.
"We'll have to stay away from each other," he says decisively. He looks hurt but I can tell we both understand. Out of the corner of my eye I see Julia walk outside and give us a disapproving look. I sigh and Alex wraps his arms around me. I breathe his sweet scent until he finally pulls away and then I'm left to face my schedule. It looks exactly like a school schedule. Ugh. I have Advanced World History first. This absolutely sucks. I thought I was out of school when I finished high school. I follow the map on the back of the paper until I reach room 102 labeled 'World History'.  I slowly pull open the door and peek in. Blood smells immediately reach my nose and I am yet again reminded I need blood soon. The teacher is a young man who looks a lot like Seth. Well, he looks young, for all I know he could be a million years old. Human blood scent fills the air and I search for the source only to find prison guy staring at me with a goofy smile on his face. I smile back but shrink into the doorway as the entire class turns to look at me. 
"Well, you must be Dakota. Come on in," he welcomes with his arm held out. Taking a deep breath I stride across the room and shake his hand. His skin is deathly cold, or maybe it's just deathly cold to me seeings how I hardly have the energy to walk across the room. I feel faint and the room spins a little when I move too fast. I'm overheating. Not good.
"Feel free to take a seat anywhere you like. We were just beginning our lesson on the Revolutionary War," he suggests. I scan the room for an empty seat preferably in the back. I guess old habits die hard. The tables are arranged so that two people can sit at each table. The teacher must think this is a joke because there's only one seat opened and it happens to be right next to the only human in the classroom. Sighing, I take a seat next to him and try to pay attention to the teacher.
"So, today we Americans take our freedom for granted. We just expect things to be easy for us," he starts. I swallow hard and my jaw stings a little.
"Hey, sorry about earlier," prison dude whispers. Holding my breath I turn to him.
"What do mean?" I question, confused. His deep gray eyes are soft and forgiving. And caring.
"About teasing you for liking me," he mutters. I smile and he smiles back.
"So, what is your name? Cause I've been calling you prison dude this whole time," I murmur. His face becomes serious and he leans closer to my ear.
"Just because I went to jail doesn't mean I'm a bad person," he says defending himself. I pull away because I'm afraid I'll bite him if I don't.
"I didn't say you were," I reply. His worried eyes search mine intensely.
"Miss Grey, I know this is only your first day and you don't know all the rules but I do believe what I have to teach will be of more help to you than whatever Mr. Walker has to say. So I would like you to recite 5 battles from 5 different places during the Revolutionary War," he announces sternly. My eyes widen because I honestly couldn't even name one battle let alone 5. Prison dude clears his throat softly and pulls a black pen from his pocket. I have no idea what he's doing because there's no paper on the desk except my schedule. He gently presses the pen tip to the inside of his arm. In neat black letters he writes, '1. Siege of Boston, 2. Capture of Fort Ticonderoga, 3. Battle of Jersey, 4. Battle of Bunker Hill, 5. Grey's raid'. I give him a 'I owe you' look and turn to the teacher.
"Siege of Boston, Capture of Fort Ticonderoga, Battle of Jersey, Battle of Bunker Hill, and Grey's raid," I list. The teacher looks impressed and he turns back to the board without another word. 
"Ben Walker at your service," prison dude whispers to me. I smile at him as he tries rub the ink off his arm. It only smears and I giggle. He smiles at me and I realize I haven't given him my name.
"Dakota Grey," I answer. His face grows serious again and I almost ask why.
"Are the rumors true?" He asks curiously. I stare at him confused but he doesn't explain. The bell rings and he shoots up from his seat. He sprints out the door. I try to follow him but people block my way. I sigh and take a look at my next class. English. Yuck. I already know how to speak English so why do need to learn it again. I push open the door and take a seat next to Star who seems like she's been here a while.
"Hey!" She smiles warmly. I smile back but all I can think about is the rumors Ben was talking about. What rumors?
"This is my favorite class," she continues. My eyes widen incredibly. How can she like English. It's just writing sentences. She catches my weird look and explains.
"We don't actually write," she tells me. I nod but I still don't see how this is going to make anything more fun. I read the chalkboard at the front of the class and see my teacher is Mrs. Rians. She practically jumps into the room theatrically and addresses us like Shakespeare.
"Ye i' the crowd want to learn to talk like ye," she says. I honestly think Shakespeare did a better job but oh well. I lean closer to Star and ask the question that's been clawing at my throat.
"What are the rumors about Alex and I?" I ask her in a whisper. She looks hesitant but replies.
"Rumor has it Alex got a restraint order because being around you started messing with his head," she tells me. I ponder that a second. They think Alex got ordered to stay away from me? Quite the opposite. I'm supposed to stay away from him because he's messing with my head. So how did they get it flipped. Unless...unless Alex is being tested for something. Oh my. My jaw drops in realization as everything falls into place. The Pax Pugnatores needs a leader. Me. But the only way to have me thinking clearly is when I'm not around Alex. But they also need Alex to lead alongside me. So, they're right this second probably, if I'm right, messing with his mind trying to make it so I don't make rash decisions around him. I can't believe this. Backstabbers.
"They're not true right," Star mutters softly. I look her directly in the eye.
"Is there any way you could somehow arrange a meeting between me and Alex?" I interrogate. She thinks a second then smiles.
"Yeah, meet me in the hallway after class," she says confidently. I sit there as bored as ever until the bell finally rings. I stand and walk out the door slowly hoping Star will catch up. She jogs to my side and hands me a slip of paper. Frowning I take it and read it. I immediately recognize Julia's signature at the bottom so I scan the letter. I smile at Star and she beams.  
"It's a permission slip permitting you to go to the Medi Care place in hall B. that's where Alex is being held or whatever," she informs me. I stare at the handwriting that looks exactly like Julia's.
"How did you ever get Julia to sign this?" I ask in amazement. She giggles.
"My talent is that I can imitate anyone's handwriting no matter how sloppy," she says. I nod and she shoos me down the hall toward a giant sign that says Medi Care. I step through the doors and right off the bat I smell human blood. I turn to the smell and see it's Ben. He's sitting on a bed and I can smell his overpowering blood scent. I float to his side and he looks up. 
"Hey," he mumbles. I worriedly start to pace.
"You ok?" I question. He manages a smile but I see straight through it.
"They're going to change me," he tells me. I know what he means. They're going the make him a vampire. I clear my throat and try hard to ignore the burning in my throat. Vampires in white uniforms step out of a white door and fill the lobby area. I step away and watch as they lead Ben into a small room. I walk away. I don't want to hear him scream in pain. I don't want to be there when he dies.

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