Cassandra's Curse Ch. 03

bysimply_cyn©

Raj winced as the light bathed him and his eyes burned a moment. He met the Watcher's gaze a moment. The older man was clearly perplexed but he took the girl all the same and glanced to his Slayer questioningly. "Who's he?" Raj just half grinned and waved a bit as he stepped aside to let them be.

Cassandra helped Nigel usher the girl to the car as she looked at her Watcher with a soft sigh. "I was hoping you would tell me ... he says his name is Larajie, or Raj for short." Glancing at him as she eased the girl into the back seat of the car she added on a hushed whisper, "There's something different about him ... I can sense it."

Nijel took the coat from around the girl and handed it to Cass as he wrapped her up in a nice comfy fleece blanket and handed her a teddy bear to cuddle ... old means to calm a person down and then he stepped back to close the door after telling her he was going to take her to a hospital. He glanced to Cass then to Raj and back again. "Well you'd better figure it out ... or kill him. You know what he is. They can't be trusted."

Raj seemed unaffected as he listened, completely understanding the reaction of the people. He was a Hunter ... what else were they supposed to think? Nijel met Cassandra's eyes evenly, "You'd better not go getting yourself killed over some gut feeling either."

Cass met his gaze evenly, nodding solemnly before shifting her gaze to Raj. There he stood ... still. It didn't make any sense. Why hadn't he run? He had plenty of opportunity now while she was with Nigel but he hadn't done it. Not at the moment any way. Turning her gaze back to Nigel she said, "Do me a favor, huh? Drop me off at my apartment on the way ... I'm suddenly exhausted."

Nigel blinked a bit and glanced at Raj again. "You're g... nevermind." He shook his head. "Get in. Let's go." He glanced at Raj again, clearly confused. Larajie ... he'd have to look that one up. The name didn't come to mine immediately. He was probably some distant spawn of some other distant one of some kind lost in the web somewhere.

Raj stood up straight and cleared his throat a moment. "Can I get my coat back?'

Cass looked down at the coat in her hands and then moved away from the car for a moment, moving to where the vampire stood. She was still wary ... she hadn't forgotten what he was but her jaded gaze wasn't quite as accusatory or hard as she looked at him for a moment before thrusting the jacket out at him. "I'll be watching you," she said in a low voice as he reached out for the jacket and released it into his hand.

He reached for the coat to take it and just grinned. It was a good-natured grin. There was nothing sinister or vicious about it. Sarcastically he responded, "I'm honored." He chuckled and la id the jacket over his arm. "Can I at least get your name?"

Cassandra saw his grin and she wasn't sure what to make of it. There was that something about him that she couldn't quite put her finger on but inherently, even though it went against everything she had learned about vampires and the undead, there was something that was ... good? Shaking her head some, she turned to head back to the car and Nigel who she could see was staring at her in disbelief. Turning as she reached the car, she simply responded, "Cassandra." She didn't offer a nickname or what friends called her ... she had no intention of making friends with a vampire. But as their eyes met she knew that she'd have to be careful around him. Shifting her gaze to Nigel, she slipped into the passenger seat of the car and shut the door.

Nigel folded into the driver's seat and shut the door, locking them all in as he buckled up and started the car again to back up and pull out of the cemetery. Raj stood there a moment, watching them as they drove away. He could hear Nisus coming back with his gang. The old coot was getting slow in his old age. He slipped into the shadows and became one with them to vanish.

After a while Nigel finally spoke up, "What the hell was that back there?"

Cass simply stared ahead at the road. She didn't know what to say or what to think about what had happened or what was going on with this particular vampire. But she knew Nigel expected an answer. "I don't know," she answered honestly, turning her head to look out the passenger window, lifting a slender hand to her mouth where she chewed on her thumbnail. It was an old habit and one she did when she was deep in thought. She couldn't make sense out of it. Withdrawing her thumb, she turned her face to look at Nigel. "Did you feel it? He isn't like the rest I've come across."

Nigel was quiet for several minutes as he sped toward the city hospital. He would get Cass to her apartment as soon as he knew the girl was taken care of. She was asleep in the back seat, thank God. Finally he took a deep breath to answer, "Yes ... I felt it and you're right, he's not like others. But I still don't understand why you let him stand there. Now he knows my face and yours. They're not dumb creatures, Cass ... they can put one and one together. What if it was a trick?"

Cassandra sighed deeply, turning her face away again. "I don't know ..." she trailed off as she gazed at the road in front of them. It was near empty with it being in the early hours of the morning. She didn't even care what time it was. All she could think of was a hot shower and curling up in front of her fire and damn it ... this ... vampire. "I don't know, Nigel ... I know it's stupid. I know it's insane. I just felt something ... human about him."

Nigel snorted as he turned on his left hand blinker to get in the turn lane and go toward the hospital. "Human. Cass, he's a vampire. He's not human. Get that idea out of your head. Haven't I taught you better?"

Cassie rested her temple against the car window with a soft sigh. Yes, she had been taught better. Yes, she knew he wasn't human. Yes, she should get this idea out of her head. But she couldn't. She remembered the way his face had morphed ... the way his fangs had elongated when they had fought. She also remembered the way he didn't run and the way in which he had watched her while she cared for the girl. It was just insane. She needed sleep.

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