The Thirst: First Flirtation (Book 2)

Sequel to First Encounter.
Hannibal and Jade now know each other true identities. But since the fight between them Hannibal thinks Jade is dead. Jade however is very much alive and looking for revenge. But as a vampire she knows that sometimes the best revenge, is to not attack someone. Sometimes you have to slither your way into their lives, and take away something, or someone, they hold dear.

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12. Jade's Past

Note: Certain things that happen in this chapter may be hard for some to read, it talks about the skinning of someone. If you think that you might fall into that category just skip the part in italics.

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Jade had to admit that the news of her father coming to town shook her more than she thought possible. But she had been lucky in that she hadn't seen any sign of him in town yet. She just hoped that luck would continue. Maybe he wouldn't come after her at all... ya right. Who was she kidding. Her father took pleasure in torturing her. There was no way in hell he would pass up the chance to hurt her now. Especially for something like breaking vampire law.

Thinking about her father drew up old memories she had long hoped to forget, but that still sometimes plagued her nightmares. As she sat on her couch, her knees curled up to her chest, her mind traitorously dredged up horrid moments.

"How many times have I told you to never speak to me like that when I have company over," he said coldly.

"Father, please..." Jade begged as crimson tears ran down her cheeks. She tried to pull her arms free from the bonds that held her, but it was no use. She had no strength so she wouldn't be able to break the chains no matter how hard she tried. She whimpered as she saw the blade glisten from the light hitting its smooth surface. She wanted to call out, to scream, but she had learned long ago that no one would come if she did. Her father always made sure of that.

She watched with fear as he walked over to her, the blade held firmly in his hand. When he was right in front of her she tried begging again. "Father..." But he just backhanded her.

She screamed out in pain as he cut a shallow line from her shoulder to her wrist, her hips to her ankle, and down the middle of her chest and back. Her screams did not stop there however, as her father then started to peel away her skin, using the blade to sever the membrane between her skin and muscles. He meticulously cut away her skin like one might expose the delicate flesh of a peach. The process took hours, as he removed every inch of skin from her body. Halfway through she had lost her voice from screaming, all she could do was cry and silently pray that it ended soon. When he finally did finish he placed the blade to the side.

"Maybe next time you will remember your place." With that he turned on his heel and left.

Jade hung in mid air for some time after that, as the blood dripped from her skinless body. She was sure that this time she was going to die. That her father had finally had enough and was going to let her descend into the final death. But as she waited for death to come something happen. She soon found herself being dropped to the floor. The agony of her raw muscles against the ground was excruciating. She expected to hear her fathers voice say something cruel to her, but instead she was greeted by familiar blue eyes. Eyes that belonged to her longtime friend, and sometimes guardian angel, Liam.

Jade jerked back as she felt a hand on her cheek. She looked up to see Liam leaning over her couch.

"Which one was it this time?" he asked softly.

"When he skinned me."

He just nodded before coming around the couch to sit next to her. He pulled her into his arms as he held her tight.

"I will never let that happen again."

"I know, you said that before."

"That is because I mean it."

They were silent for a moment before Liam spoke up again.

"I saw the humans today. But they did not appear to have seen me."

"Ok."

"Have you told them yet what is going on?"

"No."

"Why?"

"Frankly, Will doesn't exactly remember and so telling would then be telling. And I don't want that. Hannibal is... well Hannibal."

"What does that even mean?"

"I have no clue. But if I find out I will let you know. Look I just don't want to put them in danger's way. We will take care of the cleaners, plain and simple."

"I just don't understand why you won't tell them."

She finally pulled away from him before turning to look directly at him."For someone that wanted to kill both of them you sure seem keen to help them out."

"Well yes, that is because I want to kill them. Not some stupid Royal lackies."

"Lay off them, will ya."

"Alright, alright." He threw up his hands in surrender. "Come on." He stood up and held his hand for her to take. She raised an eyebrow. "If we want to win this fight we have to practice. You know the cleaners will have some kind of weapons, and lord only knows what your father will have."

She weighed that in her mind for a moment before taking his hand and getting off the couch.

"If we do this no whining or anything like that. I don't want to hear how you broke a nail, Liam."

"Shouldn't I be saying that to you?"

"And yet you are not." She laughed.

"Oh! That hurt my feelings."

"You don't have feelings."

"Oh! There you go again!" He placed his hand over his heart.

"You certainly don't have a heart."

"I have one, it just isn't beating."

"Come on." She picked up a pillow and hit him with it. He was about to grab a pillow himself but she stopped him. "No, save your energy for the swords and such."

"You are just saying that because you know I would win."

"Oh as if! I can beat you hands down."

"Want to make a wager on that?"

"Yes, if I win you owe me. It doesn't matter what I ask, if I call in a favor you have to grant it."

"Hm... Alright, i I win you have to tell me what the deal is with that Hannibal guy."

"What do you mean?"

"I could smell him on you the other day. Something happened. Not to mention I know he is more than just a regular human. You don't care about humans like you do this man."

"Alright, fine. Deal." She held out her hand and he took it. Once they shook they then made their way down into her basement to train.

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