“Oh God, please no,” she cried softly as she pulled at the door as old terror surfaced, threatening to overtake her. She could almost hear the screams and the growls as she pounded against the door. This could not be happening, not again. “Help! Somebody, please help me!” she screamed as she slammed her fists against the door.


Chapter 8

“You want another beer?”

Christofer didn't bother looking up at the waitress as he nodded. She sighed heavily with annoyance as she walked away, probably hoping that he'd just leave. Hell, at the moment he wished he could do just that. He wished that he could get into his truck and forget that this small town even existed and live the life he craved.

There were so many things that he wanted to do and see, but never had the chance because of his duty to his sister. He didn't blame her for the way his life turned out. He blamed himself. If it hadn't been for him, their parents would have lived and his sister would have lived a full happy life instead of a life filled with sorrow and disappointment.

He'd lost count over the years of just how many ways he'd truly f**ked his sister over. He was the reason she'd spent four years in that hell being poked, prodded and experimented on by those monsters. He was also the reason why they had to hide after their escape and the reason she never had the childhood that she’d deserved. If it hadn't been for him, she could have been adopted out after the war to a nice couple, but he'd been unable to let her go.

When they came to the States he'd planned on finding a couple that would take Marta in and love her as their own. Through a priest, he’d found a young couple that would have done just that. They would have given her everything that he couldn't, a home, stability and, most of all, a childhood, but in the end he hadn't been able to part with her. He couldn't trust anyone with her care. It was one of the most selfish things he'd ever done.

She meant the world to him and he'd thanked her by destroying hers. There were so many things in life that she'd given up to stay with him. Instead of a life with dolls, schoolwork and games, she'd lived a life on the run. They never stayed in any area long enough for her to make friends, because they were always afraid of being discovered.

He knew that he should have destroyed the lab and all evidence of their existence when they’d escaped, but there hadn't been enough time. He'd been too afraid to find out what they'd do to his sister if they'd been caught. Instead, he’d grabbed his sister's weak body and ran and never stopped running it seemed until about forty years ago when Marta finally had enough.

It was the first time they'd ever truly argued. She was tired of running and wanted a home, a real life and he wanted to keep her safe. It hadn't mattered what he said or did, she’d refused to listen to him. He tried, God, how he’d tried to convince her to stay with him, but she wouldn't. She’d said she loved him, but couldn't live like a fugitive any longer. She needed some peace in her life and in the end he'd been helpless to do anything but see to her wishes.

So he’d bought her a house and stepped back, allowing her a chance at the life he knew that she deserved, but he was never far from her. He took any job he could find, jobs that no one else wanted and sent her every last cent. The only thing he seemed to need was blood in his stomach and that was easily handled with a visit to the seedier side of whatever town or city he happened to be living in at the time.

For years he’d slept in abandoned buildings, garages and woods, too afraid to make any place permanent. Even though he'd missed Marta a great deal, he was glad that she no longer lived that life alongside him. As much as it hurt to watch her go on with her life, he was glad that he could finally do the right thing by her. In time it gave him comfort to know that his little sister was happy, had friends and had even fallen in love.

He'd never seen her happier than on her wedding day when Richard promised to love, honor and cherish her for the rest of their lives. Although it had frightened him to entrust another man with her care he did it, because he truly believed Richard loved her. For the first five years of their marriage, Marta was always smiling. Then one day her smile dimmed and she didn't seem to have as much energy anymore until one day she could hardly get out of bed.

The next five years were a struggle for her and hell for him. No one knew what was wrong with her. Her doctor tried to convince her that it was all in her head and for a while she believed him. Richard certainly had. Her husband started to pull away from her, leaving her alone, in pain, and not caring that she wasn't eating or able to even get out of bed.

Christofer left a construction job in Canada when he’d stopped receiving letters, couldn't get her on the phone, or a straight answer from the man he'd entrusted with her care. The day that he came home and found her practically living on the bathroom floor caused something inside of him to snap.

For the first time since he'd woken up and found himself chained inside a cage, he hadn’t fought to keep the monster inside him buried. After settling his sister in her bed he went after the bastard that was supposed to care for her. It hadn’t taken him long to find Richard's scent and hunt him down. When he found Richard in that motel room two towns over God himself wouldn't have been able to save him.

While his sister had been struggling to survive on the bathroom floor, the bastard that he’d trusted to care for her was off f**king another woman. In two minutes he’d made his sister a widow and hadn't cared, because he would never allow another person to harm her.

After that, he’d made Marta his world once again. He’d brought her to specialists who’d discovered that the damage done to her from the experiments he'd been helpless to stop had done far more damage to her than anyone had realized. It took years of surgeries and almost constant care before Marta was able to function once again. The damage had left her weak and vulnerable. Christofer hadn't had the heart to ask her to move from the only home she’d ever known and loved when he knew that he shouldn't stay. There had been so many reasons for him not to stay, but none of them had been more important than Marta's happiness and wellbeing.

During the first year, Marta made him promise to stop feeding off people, afraid that he'd draw attention to himself and he'd be taken away. He’d reluctantly agreed even though he knew the pain from hunger would be unbearable thanks to his time spent in the lab, but for her, he happily did it.

For that first year, he managed to keep most of the hunger pains at bay by drinking animal blood he'd purchased from butchers in town. It was the vilest thing he'd ever put into his body, but he hadn’t had much of a choice. If he let himself go hungry for too long the monster inside him would take over and leave him with no choice but to attack someone and he was afraid that someone would end up being his sister.

He'd hoped his purchases would go unnoticed, but they hadn't. People in town began talking about them. Not long after that, their attention shifted to the fact that he wasn’t aging. It wasn’t long before men he used to work for started refusing to hire him and women and children would go out of their way to avoid him by crossing the street or running into the nearest building when they spotted him.

He quickly went from being a welcome member of the community to the town freak and there hadn’t been anything that he could do to stop it. He'd already cost his sister so much. He refused to take her away from her home. Since leaving her wasn't an option, he’d learned to ignore the glares, whispers, and looks of revulsion. He’d also managed to make a living doing what he loved, something he doubted would have happened if the people in town were still willing to hire him and he hadn’t been forced to turn back to drawing out of desperation to support his sister.