Justine Ch. 07bykalamazoo707©
"Well?" Jeremiah demanded, "Where the fuck is she?"
The two men looked at each other but didn't speak; they were too terrified to say anything.
"Do not make me ask again." Jeremiah said softly.
"I... I mean we came to the door and they were gone." one of the men said.
"Why did you come to the door? Did you not understand my instructions?" Jeremiah asked his tone almost reasonable.
Only one of the men noticed the tic in Jeremiah's left jaw and knew that it didn't bode well for them and began to back away.
"Stay." Jeremiah said softly.
Immediately the man stopped frozen in place wanting to run but unable to move.
Jeremiah circled the men and looked them up and down as if trying to decide whether they were idiots or not.
"Who made the decision to come to the door?"
"I... I did." The man standing closest to Jeremiah replied.
"What part of do not approach did you not understand?" Jeremiah asked in a deceptively soft voice.
When the man didn't reply Jeremiah stopped in front of him.
"Do you have any idea of what you have done?" he asked. "Of course you don't, you're nothing but a stupid human who cannot follow simple directions!" His voice, which had started out softly, was now loud and filled with anger as he grabbed the man by the lapels of his jacket and shook him so hard that his teeth rattled.
The other man stood frozen in place, terrified. He had heard of Jeremiah's temper but hadn't seen it until now.
"Sir, please... I think I know where they went." he said, his voice almost a whisper.
Jeremiah looked at him, his eyes blackened with rage. He lifted the man that he had just shaken and threw him as hard as he could across the room. The other man grimaced and let out a soft sob when he heard the sickening thud of his friend's body hit the wall.
The truth was he had no idea of where Justine and Quinn had gone and was going to lie. If he managed to escape Jeremiah Mathers, he would move far away and never work for another vampire for as long as he lived.
"Where are they?" Jeremiah hissed as he reached for the man who tried to back away.
"The woman's apartment!" he squeaked.
"What woman? Pam?" Jeremiah asked.
"Yeah! Her place! He agreed even though he had no idea of who Pam was.
"You are sure of this?" Jeremiah asked.
"Yes sir!" the man said enthusiastically.
"Then you won't mind going with me." Jeremiah said smoothly, his eyes still black.
"N...no sir." the man stammered as he realized that he hadn't really saved his life but had in effect just ended it.
Jeremiah grabbed the man by the scruff of his neck and dragged him out of the house. Within minutes, they were at Pam's apartment.
Jeremiah dropped the man to the floor and casually walked around.
"No one seems to be here." he said as he walked from the kitchen to the bedroom, "I thought you said that they were coming here."
"I must have heard them wrong." the man said, "Please Mr. Mathers... it wasn't my idea to go to her door! I tried to stop him but he said that you would pay us more if we had her...."
The man blubbered and begged for his life for a full ten minutes before he realized that he was alone. He got up from his place on the floor, looked around and bolted for the door. He was leaving on the first bus or train headed out of Philadelphia and he was never coming back.
Quinn was doubled over fighting nausea while Buddy sat at his side offering moral support. They had been in Justine's apartment for approximately thirty minutes and he was still dry heaving. Justine was in the kitchen cleaning up the mess from the last time she was there and taking stock of her food supply. The issue of blood for her and Buddy remained unsolved and Quinn contacting a friend was out of the question. This left only one option, she had to be the one to go out.
After rummaging through her freezer, she found a package of hamburger that would be good for Buddy but wouldn't do much for her. She was already hungry although she had eaten not long ago but she wasn't at the critical point... yet.
"Mint tea" she thought as she looked through her cabinets. Finding the tea, she set about making Quinn a cup to settle his stomach. She found herself quite impressed with how quickly he was adapting to what had to be a very new and trying situation for him.
The calendar caught her eye as she walked past the fridge. "Had it really been just a week?" she murmured. In many ways it seemed much shorter than that and in many ways it felt like a lifetime since she was human. A week ago, she was going to be buying her first brand new car and eating a porterhouse steak in celebration. Now she was no longer human and others who she now knew to be vampires were chasing them.
It took Quinn to point out to her that there had to be more to it, Jeremiah Mathers wouldn't waste his time on one escaped newly born vampire unless she was important. He wouldn't have hired a hunter to look for her either and then there was Pam, where was she?
She was so lost in her musings that she didn't realize that she no longer heard Quinn dry heaving. She carried the hot tea to the living room frowning when Quinn wasn't there.
"Quinn!" she called, "I made you some mint tea!"
She frowned when there was no answer and then realized that Buddy was missing as well.
"Quinn!" she called again as she walked back to her bedroom thinking that maybe he was in the shower.
"Damn it!" she swore when she realized that both Quinn and Buddy were gone.
Quinn looked back at the kitchen and heard Justine puttering around. His nausea had passed and he felt good enough to start thinking about the blood situation. He inched toward the door and was stopped by Buddy who like before became an immovable object.
"Come on," Quinn whispered, "she needs blood and you know it."
Buddy refused to move and no amount of coaxing helped. Quinn grabbed Buddy by the collar and pulled as hard as he could while keeping an eye out for Justine.
"Look, she's your mistress isn't she?" Quinn asked, "And aren't you supposed to help her? She needs blood and if you won't let me go alone then come with me."
Buddy actually seemed to be considering Quinn's suggestion. He looked around Quinn as if looking to see where Justine was and then he moved.
A few minutes later, they were on the street walking toward center city.
As they walked, Quinn called several of his old dealers hoping that one of them would be able to help him with a contact.
"Mikey! Hey, it's Quinn! Yeah, I've been clean for a while. No, I'm not looking to score... well not drugs anyway. Blood, yeah human blood, ok thanks man."
It wasn't until the third phone call that he scored.
"Brucie! Quinn O'Dell here, I heard that you know someone who deals in human blood. Cool! How much? Two hundred a unit? What's in it? Gold? "
As they talked Quinn did a mental count of the cash in his wallet, there was barely enough for one unit.
"Alright, how soon can he meet me? An hour? I'll be there."
"It's our lucky day." Quinn said rubbing Buddy's head and headed for the nearest bank machine.
Justine cursed Quinn for his stupidity and called him every name in the book that she could think of and then she cursed at Buddy, he definitely should have known better but at least he was with him. She closed her eyes and wondered if she could get a fix on Quinn by smell and then wondered if she could reach Buddy. She decided to take the path of least resistance and call out to Buddy since her bond with him was already strong.
"Buddy!" Justine called out in her mind, "get your asses back here! I know that you can hear me damn it!"
She knew that Buddy heard her because she felt and heard his response, "we are fine."
"That's just great now get back here now!" she sent back.
"soon." was the one word response.
"Where are you?" she asked and closed her eyes. "Holy shit!" she exclaimed when she realized that she was seeing through Buddy's eyes. She could see Quinn talking on the phone as he looked around although he had no idea of whom he was supposed to be avoiding. "Stay put, I'm coming to you." she sent, "and don't you let him leave!" she added.
On a whim, she grabbed both her and Quinn's bags and teleported to the corner where Quinn and Buddy were apparently waiting for someone.
"What in the hell do you think you're doing?" she hissed from behind Quinn startling him so bad that he almost dropped his phone.
"Don't do that!" Quinn exclaimed. "What are you doing here? People are looking for you!"
"Not only me you idiot!" Justine hissed, "You too now let's go before someone sees us!"
"Not yet." Quinn replied, "I scored some blood for you and Buddy... here it comes now."
A black SUV pulled up to the corner and stopped. A tall lanky white man got out of the vehicle, looked at Quinn and then at Justine.
"Damn dude! She's ...."
"You got the blood or not?" Quinn asked not liking how "Bones" as he was called was looking at Justine.
"I got it." Bones replied not taking his eyes off Justine.
Quinn stepped between them blocking Bone's line of vision, "How much do I owe you?"
"I got five units at two hundred each, that make a thousand but if you give me a few minutes with your lady friend, I'll knock two hundred off."
Quinn felt a rage that he couldn't explain as he went for Bone's throat, "She is mine and don't you ever forget it!" he hissed into the startled man's face as his hands tightened around his neck.
Justine looked around; she had to stop this before someone saw them.
"Quinn, let him go." she said softly, "he is nothing to get caught over."
Seeing the SUV gave her an idea. Looking at Bones, she spoke softly, "invite us to your home."
"We're not going anywhere with him!" Quinn protested still holding on to Bones.
"Yes we are." Justine said, "Aren't we?" she asked Bones.
"Of course you are! Jump in."
"Quinn let him go so we can get out of here." Justine said firmly.
Buddy let out a soft growl that got Quinn's attention; he had learned that whenever the dog growled, it was a warning of some kind. He let Bones go and shoved him aside so that he, Justine and Buddy could get into the SUV.
"Take us to your most secure place." Justine said as she settled into plush seat of the SUV.
It wasn't long before they were on the Schuylkill Expressway heading out of the city and Justine was having her first taste of human blood.
The first taste was tentative but then in a matter of seconds, the bag was empty and she was reaching for another one.
"Whoa there!" Quinn said moving the cooler before she could get another one. "I don't know but I don't think that you're supposed to drink so much at first."
As if in agreement, Buddy moved and lay in front of the cooler.
"I want more!" Justine said pushing past Quinn almost knocking him out of the seat.
To his credit, Bones kept driving keeping his eyes on the road while Justine wrestled with Quinn and Buddy over the cooler.
"Fuck!" Quinn screamed when Justine in her rush to get to the blood finally succeeded in knocking Quinn to the floor of the SUV. "Justine! Stop it!" Quinn said in his most commanding voice. For just a moment, he didn't think that she would listen to him but then her eyes began to clear and Buddy began to relax.
Justine shook her head and looked down at Quinn still on the floor of the moving vehicle.
"What happened? Did I hurt you?" She asked.
"Let's just say that you're a light weight when it comes to human blood and I'm fine." Quinn said as he got up from the floor.
"Are you sure that I didn't hurt you?" she asked taking his face in her hands and examining it closely.
"I'm fine but you don't have to stop touching me." Quinn replied surprised by his boldness.
Justine didn't answer but leaned forward and kissed him, "Thank you." she said after she broke the kiss.
She looked down at Buddy and rubbed his head, "and thank you too."
"You got any empty containers in here?" Quinn asked.
"Look in the back, you might find something." Bones called back.
The only thing that Quinn found was an empty take out container. He looked at Justine, "are you going to be alright if I give Buddy some blood?"
"I'll be fine, I promise but I have a question for you." Justine replied.
"How did you know to stop me?"
Quinn shrugged, "it only made sense. I mean you've had nothing but animal blood for the past week and I just didn't think that you should drink so much until your system adjusted to the human stuff."
"Why didn't you freak out when I told you what I was?"
"Should I have?" Quinn asked.
"Justine listen to me, I've been missing something in my life for a very long time. The drugs and alcohol temporarily filled that void. I had Amanda and Lana but they just weren't enough. I don't know if I'm explaining this right but .... It's as I told you, since I saw you that first time nothing has been the same. I feel like I've been waiting for someone like you to come along and here you are. Am I making sense?"
"It does." Justine replied.
"I know that you must have thought that I was some kind of pervert or nut case but I swear to you I couldn't help myself, I had to find you."
"Do you understand why?" Justine asked.
"Because of the mate thing but why didn't you know that the first time we saw each other?"
"I think on some level I did." Justine replied, "But you have to understand something, I went to work one day human and the next day I was a vampire. I was concentrating on understanding what was happening to me and surviving on my own. My best friend Pam was and still is missing and I had people looking for me and I knew that if they found out about you, that you would be in danger and it was all that I could do to keep myself alive."
"You seem to have adjusted well." Quinn said, "How did you figure things out if no one told you?" he asked.
"I don't know," Justine replied, "the knowledge just seems to be there when I need it."
"These people who are chasing us, they're not human are they?" Quinn asked.
"No they're not and at some point, I'm going to have to face them."
An hour later, the SUV was pulling up to a large gated home.
"Welcome to my humble abode!" Bones quipped as he jumped out of the vehicle.
Buddy got out first, sniffed the air and then ran around the house faster than any dog that Quinn had ever seen. When he came back, he wasn't even winded. It seemed that the human blood was what he needed too. They followed Bones top the front door and waited when he went inside.
"What are you waiting for?" he asked, "come on in!"
Pam and the women looked around the large van that had the plushiest seats that they had ever seen. There were glasses of warmed blood sitting on trays as well as human snacks and drinks if desired. Each woman took a glass of the warmed blood, sniffed it and took a tentative taste before guzzling it down.
"Where are you taking us?" Pam asked.
"To a place that we hope that you'll come to think of as home." Zoë replied with a smile.
"Do you live at this place?" Janine asked.
"I do," Zoe replied, "I've been there for two years."
"What happened to you?" Pam asked. "You were there one day and gone the next."
"What did Jeremiah Mathers say?" Zoe asked.
"He said something about you getting an opportunity that you couldn't turn down." Pam replied
"Is that how he put it?" Zoe asked amused.
"Yes and by the next day, someone new was sitting at your desk. You are aware of what he and Malcolm have been doing aren't you?" Pam asked.
"We know and have been trying to rescue any woman that wants to be rescued; believe it or not, there are those who like their new lifestyle."
"That doesn't really surprise me." Pam replied and thought about Justine. "Justine was turned too."
"We know and we're looking for her." Zoe replied.
"Who is this we you keep talking about and who is Justine?" Janine asked.
"When I say we, I am referring to myself and the Queen." Zoe replied.
"Queen? What queen?" Pam asked.
"There's a lot to explain but there is a queen and king of the vampires and for the most part humans are unaware of us and it needs to stay that way. There are those who would try to kill all of us if they could."
"So you're trying to rescue Justine?" Pam asked suddenly getting the feeling that there was something else going on. "What else?" she asked.
"We need to find Justine and her mate before Jeremiah Mathers and Mikhail do."
"Jeremiah? He wants her dead and who is this Mikhail?" Pam asked anxiously.
"Jeremiah wanted her dead but not now and Mikhail is a hunter and assassin that Jeremiah hired to find Justine."
As Zoe talked, she realized that she wouldn't have to ask Pam to help her find Justine, she would offer and if anyone could get Justine to come to them for help, it would be Pam.
"I don't understand." Pam said.
"Pam, the current queen is ready to step down partly because she's tired and partly because the new queen has risen even though she isn't aware of her role."
"New queen?" Pam murmured and then the lights came on, "Justine? Justine is the new queen?" She asked.
"Yes and that's why we have to find her before anyone else does." Zoe replied.
"Do you know where she is?"
"We did." Zoe replied.
"Did? What do you mean did? And why didn't you go after her?" Pam demanded.
"It isn't that simple...."
"The hell it isn't!" Pam retorted, "You came after us didn't you?"
"Yes but Justine is different, she has to choose to come to us and as of yet she is mistrustful of anyone except for her mate and her familiar."
Pam was silent for several minutes before she spoke again, "I get it now, you came for us because you needed me. You need me to talk to Justine."
"That is partially true." Zoe said, "We would have come for you regardless of your relationship with Justine. I'm not the only woman at the house who was turned to be sold for profit."
"So what is this? A halfway house for turned women?" Allison asked.
"I suppose you could call it that," Zoe replied, "but each of us were working professionals before we were turned against our will. I was an attorney and I still practice. We have women who are nurses, doctors as well as many other types of professions living in the house. As they become more comfortable with their new life they move on and continue in their chosen fields."
"Let me ask you this," Pam said, "were you going to con me into helping you or were you going to ask for my help?"
"I was and am fully prepared to get your help in any way that I could and if that meant deceiving you then yes, I would have done it."
Pam looked at Zoe, she wasn't the same introverted attorney that she had been two years ago. She was still soft spoken but there was toughness about her that hadn't been there before. But then, she herself had changed; she was much stronger and needed Justine as a friend but no longer as a protector. The realization that she no longer needed Justine as nothing more than a friend made her feel good, the fact that for once she could help Justine made her feel even better.
"Justine is closer to me than my own family," Pam said, "I would do anything and I do mean anything to help her whether she's a queen or not, what do you want me to do?"
Mikhail was looking around Justine's apartment when Jeremiah appeared. That they had been there was obvious, the mess in the kitchen was cleaned up and there was a pile of dirty clothes on the bedroom floor. The question was, where could they have gone and why did they leave?
"What in the fuck are you doing here?" Jeremiah demanded, "You quit remember?"
"I remember." Mikhail replied unfazed by Jeremiah's appearance.
"You didn't answer my question." Jeremiah said as he approached Mikhail.