Chapter Four


Shane drove the hearse--Eve's, a huge, black, vaguely old-fashioned monster, with the fringed funeral curtains still in the back--down Morganville's poorly lit streets, winding through backstreets Claire had never visited even in daylight. She saw glints of eyes in the darkness, and if there were any street-lights in this part of town, they were broken or turned off. She felt relieved when he made a turn that took them onto a broader avenue . . . until she took a good look. Lots of people walking around in the shadows.

Not normal for Morganville. But normal for vampires in Morganville.

"Yeah, it's Vamp Central Station," Shane said. "Not like Founder's Square--that's where the upper-class bloodsuckers hang out. This is where the rest of them come. There's another blood bank down here, and nothing around gets much human business after dark. Don't worry; we're not stopping."

And they didn't, not even for a light that was shifting from yellow to red; Shane just gunned right through it.

Claire was glad he did. Heads were turning to watch the car go by. Maybe Amelie's Protection extended out here. But she didn't want to risk her neck--literally--on that.

Two more turns and all of a sudden there was a giant white screen looming up out of the darkness ahead, surrounded by a fence. It looked like a parking lot inside, with some kind of vending stand at the back.

Just like in the old movies.

"Amazing," Claire said. Shane pulled up to the ticket stand at the entrance and handed over a couple of dollars--it didn't cost much, apparently. Then he drove on in. The lot was about half-full, mostly with battered old cars and trucks that matched up with what the humans of Morganville drove. There were also a few heavily tinted late-model sedans--vampmobiles. Well, she supposed even vampires loved the movies. Who didn't?

"So how does this work?" Claire asked. "How do we hear the sound?"

For an answer, Shane flipped on the radio and tuned it to an AM channel. Immediately she was treated to a burst of static, followed by extremely cheesy music that had probably annoyed people even back when her grandmother was young.

"Fantastic," Claire said, in a way that meant it wasn't. "You know, Eve went to a rave."

"By herself?"

"With a friend. She's sort of doing the mother-hen thing."

"Are you wishing we'd gone, too?"

"No," Claire said, although secretly she thought it might not have been terrible. "This is great." Shane looked over at her. "Bullshit. You think it sucks."

"I don't! "

"Just wait," he said, and smiled. "You'll see. You want a Coke? Popcorn?"

"Sure." She sighed. Shane bailed out and set off for the refreshment stand at the back. Claire got out her cell and texted Eve. R u ok? She got a reply back in seconds. Death by boring. College poseurs. Yak.

Eve always made her laugh. B safe, Claire texted back. Eve sent a picture of herself with her friend, who looked intimidated and scared and very much as if she was wishing herself gone. Eve was winking. The message with it said, Half an hour more tops. C u home.

The car door opened, and Shane climbed in, handing her a cup of Coke and a giant bag of popcorn, which she tried to figure out how to balance in her lap. The Cokes went into cup holders, at least, and before she could take a handful of the steaming popcorn, there was a sudden flicker of color out the front window, and the coming attractions started up.

Shane took the bag of popcorn from her, set it carefully in the backseat, and turned the radio down. "Hey," Claire protested. "How can we hear if--"

He leaned over and kissed her, and kept kissing her, and his lips were so hot and sweet and strong that she just felt herself melting against him. He eased her jacket off, and she didn't even think about objecting, because even though it was cold she felt warm, so warm, and then his hands were . . . Oh, that was good. Very good.

She wasn't thinking, not at all, not about anything except how incredible it felt to be with him, here, in the dark. When she finally came up for a gasping breath, most of her buttons were undone. All of his were undone. Did I do that? she wondered with a shock, because it really wasn't like her to be doing this out in public, where people could see.

But it felt like being alone. Deliciously, magically alone. Because they were in a crowd of people, but nobody was paying them the slightest bit of attention.

The movie had started, but she had zero idea what it was about, other than some crazy zombie guy stalking people. Oh, and there was a smart girl with glasses, and a hot guy who would probably survive, too. With the sound turned down to a whisper, she saw only flashes, and when she closed her eyes, she didn't see anything but sunbursts of light against the darkness.

"What's this?" Shane asked, and traced the line of her new bra with his fingertip. "Sexy. What else you got?"

"I'll give you a hint. It matches."

"Let's take a look. . . ."

Things were about to get very interesting--and she wasn't thinking about the movie at all--when her cell phone rang. Claire yelped and flailed around for it, mostly to shut it off, but Shane sat up, and she squirmed around to get to a sitting position, holding her shirt closed as she squinted at the display.

"It's Eve," she said. Shane smacked his forehead right into the steering wheel and made a sound of utter frustration. "Should I get it?"

"Yeah," he said, not too happily. "I guess so. But tell her I hate her a whole lot right now."

"You don't."

"Oh, trust me. I could not hate her more."

Claire pressed the button and said, "Eve? Shane says--" She was interrupted by the sound of screaming. It was so loud and shocking that she almost dropped the phone. "Eve? Eve!"

Shane caught the alarm in her tone, and reached out for the phone. "Give," he said. She handed it over, shaking, and he put it to his ear. "Eve? Eve, can you hear me? What's going on?" He stopped to listen, and gave Claire a look that made her shiver again. "Yeah, I hear it. Are you safe?"

"Speaker!" Claire said. "Put it on speaker!"

He did. Screaming blasted out of the phone, but it wasn't Eve's; she was trying to talk. Only part of it came through. " . . . Define safe. . . . trying to get . . . crazy . . . need help--"

"Hang on, Eve. We're coming," Shane said, and tossed the phone to Claire as he fired up the hearse's engine, slammed it into reverse, and backed up with a squeal of tires. "Try to get an address!"

"I know where it is," Claire said. She gave him the address, clear and sharp in her memory from the flyer she'd been handed days ago on the steps of the Science Building. "That's not far, right?"

"Not far," he agreed, and hit the gas, speeding toward the exit past rows of parked cars with fogged-over windows. "Keep her talking."

"Eve? Can you hear me?"

"Yes!" Eve's voice suddenly came through the background noise loud and clear. "We're okay for now, but we need backup, big-time."

"What's going on? Vampires?"

"Oh, you'd think, but no. Some jackass jocks started tearing up the place. They've been rampaging around through half the town. . . . Oh, shit!" There was a rise in screaming and confused sounds. When Eve came back, she was out of breath. " Now there're vamps. And they are pissed."

"Is Oliver there?"

"Didn't stop to read name tags. Oh, man--seriously not good here. People are dying--Cory! Cory, no, don't--Cory!" Eve's last word was a scream of utter horror, and then the phone just . . . died. Claire hung up and tried calling back. Eve's cheery voice mail took the call. She looked over at Shane, who was staring straight ahead with an expression as hard as stone. He shook his head.

"Hurry," Claire whispered. She realized her shirt was still open, and quickly buttoned it up with trembling hands. "Does Eve keep any weapons in here?"

"Probably in the back. Wait--check the glove box."

Claire opened it and found two silver-coated, sharp-tipped stakes. They weren't her favorite vampire-fighting accessory, only because they weren't something she could use at a distance, but the heavy, cool feel of them eased a tight, anxious knot in her stomach. But there was something odd about the way they felt. . . . Claire turned the stakes over in her fingers until she saw what that roughness in the surface was, and almost laughed.

"What?" Shane asked. Claire showed him the stake. The dashboard lights caught the silver surface and shone red from a skull design blinged out in fake rubies on it.

"She BeDazzled her stakes," Claire said.

"Yeah, she would." He almost smiled, but his eyes were wild, and he couldn't seem to get his face to relax. "Get Chief Moses on the phone; get her to send the marines."

Claire nodded and speed-dialed Hannah's number. Hannah sounded cheerful and alert, but on guard when she answered. "Moses."

"Hannah, it's Claire. Eve's in trouble--well, a lot of people sound like they're in trouble. You know about the rave tonight?"

"I had some plainclothes officers there making sure the kids didn't get into trouble. Except they did, right?"

"Eve called me, and there was screaming. I think you'd better send everybody. Just in case."

"Done. And, Claire, don't you go running in there." "But Eve's in there! "

"And we'll get everybody out."

Hannah hung up on her. "Hannah says not to go there," Claire said.

"Well, I like the lady, but screw that," Shane said. "Call Michael. Eve probably did, but just in case; he'd rip my ears off if I didn't let him know what was up."

Besides which, Michael's vampire strength wouldn't be at all a liability right now. Claire tried his phone, but it went to voice mail. She left a message with the address, and texted him, too. That was all she had time for, because Shane skidded the hearse around the last corner and onto a street that should have been deserted after dark--well, was deserted most of the time--but was parked up with cars on both sides.

There were people boiling out of the doorway of one of the big, rickety warehouses on the left, and Claire had a blurry impression of open mouths and panicked faces as the hearse hurtled toward them.

Shane blurted out a curse that normally would have made her blush and slammed on the brakes. Somehow, he managed not to hit any of the running, screaming crowd, which just parted and flowed around the car, scattering into the dark in all directions. Shane threw the hearse in park and took his hands off the wheel. They were shaking. He stared at them a second, then snapped out of it and grabbed one of the stakes from Claire. "Stay with me," he said. "I mean it. Right with me."

She nodded. Shane took a deep breath and got out of the car, and she slid out after him as he ran to the back and opened up the hatch to grab a black canvas bag. "Hope this isn't her makeup," he said as he shouldered the strap and slammed the door. "Let's go."

People were still coming out. Claire noticed that most of them seemed okay, just freaked-out, but there were a few who seemed like they might be injured. Maybe that was just from the general crowd panic--hard to tell. She hoped so. She heard the wail of sirens approaching, and had time to think, Hannah's going to be really angry at us, but then it was too late to have second thoughts. Shane was moving against the flow of people, heading inside, and she'd promised to stay with him.

She kept her promises.

Someone smacked into Shane as he started through the doorway, and he staggered back a step, then grabbed whoever it was and yanked her out into the street.

Monica Morrell. She looked just as scared as everyone else running from the building, and then, as she realized who it was who had hold of her arm, she looked . . . relieved. Relieved? Claire thought. Really? Because Shane and Monica made cats and dogs look like besties. "Collins," Monica said, and looked back. "Jennifer's still in there. I think . . . I think she's still in there." She was trembling, and she looked cold in her red and white minidress.

No, it wasn't red and white. It was white. Claire parted her lips, realizing what all the red was, and looked sharply at Shane. He was staring at Monica with a very odd expression--pity, mixed with distaste. But mostly pity. It was almost concern.

"What happened?" he asked. She didn't answer, so he shook her, not too gently. "Monica, snap out of it. What happened?"

"It was all going okay, and then the Epsilon Epsilon Kappa guys showed up. They were all drunk and crazy, started yelling about being in a fight and how they kicked somebody's ass. They busted stuff up."

Shane went from concerned to pissed. "That's it?"

"No! No, they . . . they were followed." Monica swallowed. She looked pale and shaky. "The vamps came. I guess the ass they kicked belonged to one of them. It got ugly. It's getting worse." She looked down at Shane's hand around her arm, and got a little of the old Monica 'tude back. "Who said you could go all bad-cop on me, Collins? Back your wannabe ass off!"

He didn't let go. "Did you see Eve?"

"Little Miss Goth Princess had some boring chick with her. She's--" Monica looked over her shoulder. "I don't know. Everybody was running. I didn't see where she went." Shane let go of her. Monica grabbed him instead. "Hey," she said. "Look for Jennifer. I didn't see her come out. She was right behind me. I think."

Shane said, "Let go or lose the fingers," and she did, instantly, stepping back and wrapping her arms around her torso--for warmth, not in defiance. Shane looked back and held out his hand. Claire took it. "Ready?"

"I guess."

"Watch your back."

The oncoming wail of sirens meant help was coming, but Claire knew Shane wasn't going to wait. She didn't want to, either. That had been real fear in Eve's scream.

They plunged onward, into the warehouse.

The place smelled like smoke--not burning-insulation smoke, but the kind of bong smoke college students liked a lot better. It made Claire's eyes water. The rave lights were still on, cycling through all kinds of colors and patterns, strobing white every few seconds. The music was still thundering, too--the deejay had left tracks running and bugged out from behind the console in the corner. Claire could feel the vibrations in her bones, and her ears went instantly into shock. She could still hear, but it was like hearing through earmuffs.

A few people were too scared to make a break for the door; she could see them hiding behind the speakers, or pressed against the walls in a huddle, trying to pretend it all wasn't happening. The usual Morganville strategy. It was hard to make out details in the weird lights, but none of them had Eve's Goth style. Mostly college kids, Claire thought. Well, they'd gotten their tuition's worth tonight.

There were bodies on the warehouse floor. They weren't moving. Some of them had very, very pale faces, and wide eyes, and mouths still open in silent screams. Bite marks on their throats.

There were also a couple of vampires down--also pale, but with stakes in their chests; that didn't necessarily mean they were dead, just wounded. There was one who was definitely dead, because--and Claire had to control an urge to retch--his head was missing. There was still a stake in his heart, too.

She thought she saw the head a few feet away in the corner, but no way was she going to go take a closer look. She was thankful Shane turned away from all that, heading into a hallway that channeled the thundering music into waves. It was still too loud to talk. In strobe flashes, Claire saw blood on the walls in smears.

The hallway opened into another big room, and the music wasn't quite loud enough here to cover the screams. Or the sound of fighting.

Shane stopped, zipped open the bag, and pulled out a crossbow. He stuck the silver stake he'd been gripping into a pocket of his jeans, loaded the crossbow, put another bolt between his teeth, and nodded to Claire to follow. She nodded back.

When they came around the corner, they saw where the noise was coming from. A group of people were hemmed tightly into a corner, mostly cowering, but some were big, drunk-looking frat dudes who were yelling challenges and smashing wooden crates over the heads of the vampires who were closing in on them. The lights in here were dim, dirty fluorescents, and flickering like mad, but somehow Claire saw what happened next with high-definition, slow-motion clarity.

A male vampire--young-looking, with long blond hair tied back in a ponytail, wearing a black leather jacket--grabbed hold of one of the frat boys (who was, she realized, wearing an EEK T-shirt) and dragged him away from the others. The boy was football-big, but the slender vamp lifted him right off the ground by the neck, glaring up at him as he struggled and tried to scream.

Then the vampire said, "You think you can defy us and live? Who do you think you are, meat? This is our town. It's always been ours. You have to pay for your disrespect."

And then he closed his fist and crushed the boy's big, muscular throat like crunching up a sheet of paper.

Shane brought the crossbow up almost as fast and fired. The bolt hit the vamp in the back, on the left side, just about dead center in the heart.

The two bodies hit the floor together.

And then all the vampires turned on Shane and Claire. Shane loaded the second bolt and dropped the bag between the two of them. Claire didn't need any instructions; she crouched down and groped around inside the bag. No extra crossbow, unfortunately, but plenty more bolts, which she took out, and two vials of silvery liquid--silver nitrate. Claire handed Shane another bolt to put between his teeth and popped the cap on one of the vials.

The vampires didn't look familiar to her, but then, she didn't keep up with every bloodsucker in Morganville; she thought these were probably some of the ones Amelie had been concerned about, who weren't taking the new human-rights decrees of the town quite so well. Well, vampires liked to be in charge, no doubt about that. And they didn't like being challenged.

I just saw that boy die, she thought, but then shut that thought off, walled it away, because it wouldn't help to think about it. Not at all. "Eve!" she yelled. "Eve Rosser! "

From somewhere near the far edge of the human crowd, she saw a very white face turn toward them under a sleek cap of black hair. Eve didn't say anything, but there wasn't any time, because the vampires were coming for them.

Shane fired once, taking down one of the five, and as he reloaded, Claire threw the contents of the vial in an arc across the other four. Where the silver nitrate hit vampire skin, it hissed and bubbled like acid. That stopped at least one, and slowed down the others long enough for Shane to get off another shot. It went wide as the vampire batted the bolt aside in midair and lunged for them. Claire dived one way, and Shane the other; he hit the floor and rolled, came up on his knees, and reloaded another bolt in time to get the vamp square in the chest as it rushed him. It still reached him, and Claire uncapped the other vial of silver nitrate, heart pounding, but Shane rolled again, out of reach, and the vamp collapsed on the floor before it could claw him.

The other two still in the fight were women--one about her mom's physical age, with gray streaks in her long hair, and a lean, mean face. The other looked barely older than Claire herself, with short red hair and a round face that might have been sweet-looking, if it weren't for the glowing eyes and pointy teeth. Both had gotten burned by the silver nitrate, and they weren't in a hurry to get another dose, but Claire realized that Shane was out of crossbow bolts, and she'd dropped the rest by the bag, ten feet away.

She made a dash for them. The red-haired vamp cut her off, laughing, and kicked the bolts into the far corner, along with the black canvas bag.

Claire yanked her silver stake out of the waistband of her pants. She was terrified, but she was also angry--angry that Eve had been penned up in the corner with all those people, like so many cattle. Angry about all the dead people. Angry for the probably-stupid boy who'd just gotten killed right in front of her. Angry that this was all happening because some vamp's pride had gotten hurt.

"Hey!" Shane yelled, and tossed his empty crossbow to the ground as he jumped to his feet. "You going to let her have all the fun? Come on, Vampirella! Let's go!"

The older vamp turned on him with a snarl, and in one leap was all over him like some horrible jumping spider. Shane hit the ground hard, on his back, and tried to roll, but the vamp was too strong. She snarled again, jaws gaping wide, and Claire desperately threw the silver nitrate at her. It hit, but the vampire ignored the burns.

A blur flashed out of the hallway and hit the vamp in a full tackle, taking her completely off of Shane as she tried to bite him. Both Shane's attacker and the newcomer hit the far wall with a hollow boom, and then jumped apart. Both snarling.

Both vampires.

Michael. He looked tremendously scary when he was like this, all eyes and teeth, and he looked strong. Claire swallowed hard and focused on the vamp in front of her, the redhead, who had been as surprised as Claire at Michael's furious arrival . . . but was getting over it fast.

The vamp lunged for her, but came up short with a kind of funny squawking sound as her head was yanked backward, hard.

Behind her stood Eve, both hands in the vamp's hair. "That's my friend, you bitch!" Eve said, and--when she was sure Claire was ready--shoved the vamp at her, off balance.

Onto the point of Claire's silver-coated, blinged-out stake.

The vamp cried out, and for a second her eyes met Claire's, and Claire felt something terrible: guilt. There was terror in those alien eyes, and hurt, and surprise . . . and then the vamp went down at her feet, taking the stake with her.

The vamp girl had been somebody's daughter once. Somebody's sister. Maybe even somebody's girlfriend. Maybe she hadn't asked to be what she was now.

Claire felt sick and she wanted to cry, but there wasn't time, because Shane was at her side now, pulling her into his arms.

"Eve?" he asked. "You okay?"

Claire turned her head to look at her friend. Eve didn't look okay. Her Goth makeup was a mess, mascara smeared and running in thick, uneven streams down her face; her dress was torn at the shoulder, and she had long, red scratches down one arm that were still bleeding.

But it was her eyes that really told Claire how not-okay she was. They were wide and full of misery. Without even knowing why, Claire let go of Shane and hugged Eve, who hugged her back so hard it hurt. Eve was trying not to cry, from her hiccuping little gasps for breath.

"You're okay now," Claire whispered in her ear. "We came as fast as we could."

Eve nodded and tried to smile. "Guess I can't say you're losers for at least a week, then." Her voice sounded odd and muffled, but she blinked back the tears. "Thank you." She kissed Claire's cheek, then Shane's. Shane stepped away, clearing his throat. "Oh, don't go all boy on me."

"Mikey!" Shane yelled. "You'd better finish it up! Your girlfriend's trying to kiss--"

He didn't finish, because all of a sudden the fight was over . . .

. . . and Michael lost.

It happened so fast Claire hardly had time to comprehend it, but one second, the two vamps were a blur of movement, and the next, Michael was down on the ground, crumpled like a broken toy.

The other vamp grinned with her sharp, sharp teeth gleaming in the light, and licked blood from her lips. Her eyes looked brilliant and insane, and redder than the blood. She kicked Michael's limp body out of the way and came for the three of them, doing that creepy jumping-spider thing again.

Suddenly, there was a cold, still presence standing in front of them, and a white hand reaching up, grabbing the vamp in midair and slamming her down to the floor.


The Founder of Morganville had arrived, and she'd done it in force; as Claire looked behind her, she saw at least a dozen vampires, all looking very seriously dangerous, including Oliver and a number of others she knew by sight. They were all dressed in long black leather coats, like a kind of uniform, with the symbol of the Founder stamped into the leather on every one of them.

Amelie was wearing white. Pure ice white, almost shimmering in the dim light. Her hair was up in a woven crown, nearly as pale as her elegant silk suit.

"Do be quiet," she told the fallen vampire. "You're a worthless idiot, but I don't want more blood tonight. Don't make me kill you for what you've done." Amelie's voice was so cold that it seemed to drop the temperature in the overheated, stifling room by at least fiftydegrees."Getup."

The other vamp did, moving slowly. Claire didn't see Oliver move, but suddenly he was right there, holding both the woman's arms in a bone-shattering grip behind her. "No foolish moves, Patrice," he said. "I don't believe the Founder is joking."

"Get her out of my sight," Amelie said, and looked at the other fallen vampires. The one who'd been burned badly by Claire's silver nitrate got up and limped over, looking thoroughly terrified. "This one, too. And release those others." She waved a hand at the vampires Shane had nailed with the crossbow bolts. One of Oliver's black-coated troopers glided over and pulled the arrows out. The two downed bloodsuckers, released from their paralysis, coughed and sputtered blood.

They'd live.

"Michael," Claire whispered. Eve broke free and ran to him, throwing herself down on the floor and taking his head into her lap. He looked--oh, God--he looked . . . dead. His eyes were open, and he looked so pale, so still; there was a hole in the side of his throat, but not much blood. Claire skidded to a stop and put her hands to her mouth, trying to hold in a scream. She felt Shane's hands close hard around her shoulders--that was probably his version of feeling the same rush of horror and denial.

Then Michael finally, slowly, blinked. Eve screamed. "Michael? Michael! Talk to me!"

"He can't," Amelie said. She had come up behind them, and was looking at Michael with a slight softening of her usual cool expression. Maybe, Claire thought, because Michael still reminded her of Sam, her lost love. Apart from the color of their hair, they'd looked a lot alike. "He'll be all right once we get some nourishment into him. I'll have my people take him directly to the blood bank."

"I want to go with him!" Eve said.

"I'm not sure that's wise. Drained and hungry vampires, even ones you know well, can be very unpredictable. I would hate for anything to happen that Michael might regret later."

"What about what we might regret later?" Shane asked under his breath. "Oh, right. Humans don't count."

Amelie heard him, and her head swiveled smoothly as she focused her cool gray eyes on his face. "I only meant that you would likely not be around to regret anything, Mr. Collins. Ms. Rosser. Explain what happened here. Now."

Eve was combing her fingers through Michael's blond hair, but now she looked up, startled. That lasted only a second, though, and then her attitude snapped back in place. "Gee, I don't know, maybe a vampire attack?" she snapped. "It was a party; then the frat idiots crashed and started boasting about how tough they were; then these freaks showed up to teach us all a lesson. That's what they said. They wanted to put us in our place."

"I see," Amelie said. "And you did nothing to provoke them?"

"My friend--" Eve's voice failed. Claire could see she was trying once again not to cry, and how much it hurt. "My friend Cory was just trying to have fun. That one, the redhead, she grabbed her and just . . . tore her up. Cory's dead. I saw it happen."

"Oh, man," Shane whispered. Claire put her hand on top of his, where it lay on her shoulder. "Eve . . ." It sounded like he wanted to say something, but he had no idea what. She loved him for that.

Amelie waited a moment, and then said in a very low voice, "I am sorry for this experience, and for the loss of your friend. All who broke the law will be punished."

Eve's eyes grew brighter, but not with tears. With fury. "Punished ? What, like little kids going to bed without their blood supper? No TV for a week? Time-out?"

"I can assure you that the punishment will be severe."

"Not enough!"

Now Amelie's voice turned cool again. "It is enough for me, and that will be enough for you, Ms. Rosser. Enough for all of you. Do I make myself clear?" She didn't wait for an answer; she turned to Oliver, who was standing nearby, hands folded behind him, watching as the vampire prisoners and humans were herded out. "Vampires are dead here. I will expect a full investigation."

"Of course," Oliver said without turning. "And I expect the appropriate punishments will be meted out, according to the law."

"Sir," called one of Oliver's men, who was kneeling over the red-haired girl with Claire's stake in her chest. "You should see this."

Oliver walked over, frowned, and crouched down to examine the girl more closely. "Silver," his man said, and Oliver nodded. Oliver tugged on a pair of leather gloves and grabbed the stake, which he pulled out and immediately dropped with a clatter to the floor.

The girl didn't breathe, move, or react.

Claire gripped Shane's arm tightly, and waited, but the vampire stayed still on the floor, unmoving. There was a burned patch where the stake had gone in that continued to slowly burn outward.

"She's dead," Oliver said. "Silver poisoning. She must have been unusually allergic."

Claire had killed her.

And the appropriate punishment for a human killing a vampire was death.