- Pearl and Damien’s squabbling about her being alone outside in the middle of the night woke up the rest of the Collins family.
- Damien’s off-the-cuff remark about Pearl’s red hair forced him to begin to tell Pearl the truth about Megan’s death.
The Collins kitchen, the same night
A kettle of hot water for tea was warming on the stove. The Collins family along with Pearl were sitting around the kitchen table. Pearl stared at all of them, waiting for one of them to tell her the story.
“I’ll do it, since I made that dumb comment anyway,” Damien finally said. He cleared his throat and looked at Pearl. “Remember I told you earlier tonight about Megan, the girl that was killed here last year?
“Yes,” Pearl quietly responded, leaning in closer.
“Well, there’s a lot to it that you’re not going to believe, but it’s true. This town is not what it seems—“
“Wait a minute, wait a minute.” Pearl crossed her arms over her chest. “Are you going to tell me some fairy tale that Megan was killed by some vengeful ghost, or had all of her blood drained by a vampire? I didn’t fall off the turnip truck you know.”
Damien’s mouth dropped open and Astrid jumped right in. “Megan did have her blood drained by a vampire. Actually, a half vampire. I mean, a half human/half vampire. His name is—“
“What???” Pearl exclaimed. She bolted from her seat. “I don’t think I have to listen to this silliness. Vampires? Next thing you’ll be telling me is that you’re all a bunch of werewolves—“
She stopped when she saw the dead serious expression on all of their faces. “Oh no. No you don’t. There are no such things as vampires and werewolves! They only exist in stories and horror films. You can’t honestly sit there and actually tell me you’re all werewolves, and that there’s some half-human, half vampire running around sucking people’s necks! This is madness!”
“It’s all true Pearl,” Rhiannon calmly replied. “It’s why there’s only nine people living in this town, and only three of them are human. Now ten, if we add you.”
Pearl backed away. “I don’t believe this. None of what you’re saying can possibly be real…I have to get out of here. I’m going back to my car and it’s going to start, and I’m getting the hell away from all of you freaks.”
She started for the living room door, but Damien grabbed her. “Don’t touch me!” Pearl screamed, clawing to get away from his grasp. But he was strong, and he held her tightly in his arms while she fought him. Finally, too tired to keep up the struggle, she collapsed in his arms and started to cry. He stroked the back of her head, whispering in her ear. “It’s okay Red. We’re not going to hurt you. We only want to protect you. That’s why we’re telling you everything. We’re not lying Pearl. You have to listen to us. We promise we’ll get you out of Haven by tomorrow night, but you have to hear us out.”
She looked at him through tear-stained eyes. “My God, you’re serious, aren’t you?”
Damien nodded gravely. He turned to look at his mother, father and sister. “I think it would be best if I tell her the entire story.” The tea kettle whistled, breaking the tension.
“I’ll get that. Come on Caleb, Astrid, let’s fix some tea,” Rhiannon said. The three went into the kitchen, and Damien sat Pearl down on the sofa. He held both her hands and gazed deeply into her eyes.
“I know none of this is going to be easy for you to believe, but it’s the God’s honest truth. Werewolves and vampires, they aren’t just legends, or horror movie characters anymore Pearl. We’re real, and we’re in Haven.”
Pearl didn’t say a word, and he continued. “Now you have nothing to fear from my family and me. Yes, we are wolves, beasts, hunters—but we don’t hunt humans, only animals. We’ve never touched another person, and we’re not going to start. But we don’t want you here when the next full moon comes, which is the night after next. We want you safe and far away from this town. No Pearl, it’s not us you have to fear.”
“Then who Damien. Who, or should I say what, should I have to fear?” Pearl looked at him pleadingly.
“Astrid is right. There is a half-human, half-vampire who lives here, not that far from us. There’s two of them. They’re brothers— Quinn and Jude Nightshade. Now Jude is okay, he’s harmless. But Quinn is another story all together.” Damien stopped to take a breath before continuing. “That girl Megan I told you about? She was Quinn’s lover. She was like you, a human woman who ended up in Haven by accident. Her car broke down on her way to Boston and Quinn was there to be a Good Samaritan. When the two met, that’s when it all started. He turned her into a hybrid like himself and they soon began terrorizing Haven. We had more people living here last year and those two killed them all.
Pearl sat there dumbfounded. “I can’t believe this—“
“Believe it. I saw those two myself. They’d go into the woods and hunt animals too. Do you remember me telling you about the Lawrence and their farm?”
Pearl nodded yes, and he continued.
They also killed some of their livestock, before in desperation, Gene and Iva decided to give Quinn blood from the animals they slaughtered for meat to appease him.”
Pearl’s stomach lurched upward and she clutched it. “I think I’m going to be sick.”
Damien grabbed both of her shoulders and massaged them. “It’ll be okay Pearl, I’ll spare you the rest of the gruesome details. Anyway, this went on for all of last year until one of the last remaining humans, a preacher named Walter Eldridge, lost his wife one night. He got a glimpse of a woman running out of their home before finding his wife murdered, and he thought it was Megan. So while Quinn and Jude were out of town one day, Walter tracked down Megan and stabbed her in the heart. Since she wasn’t a full vampire, she was still mortal and she died. Walter dumped her body in front of Quinn and Jude’s house as a message, leaving a crucifix on her body. He thought she was possessed, he never realized what she really was. But by leaving the crucifix, he revealed himself to Quinn, who was obsessed with getting revenge. So he went to Walter’s home. Walter put up a good struggle, but Quinn is extremely strong. His vampire side came out in full and he killed the old preacher. He and Jude buried the body in the woods and that was the end of it—but Quinn is still obsessed with Megan.”
Pearl sat there, still in shock. All of what Damien told her was too hard to imagine. It was like a story out of one of Stephen King’s novels.
Damien looked at her with concern. “Pearl?”
“I don’t see what any of this has to do with me being in danger Damien. What does Megan’s death have to do with me?” Then she flashed back to his earlier comment on the porch about redheads. “Wait—did Megan have red hair?”
He nodded and she sunk back on the sofa. “Megan was younger than you, and her face was rounder. She was absolutely gorgeous. But like you, she had red hair and a pale complexion. If Quinn ever saw you, he’d go even madder and I’d be afraid he would try and turn you into another Megan, into this substitute for someone he still so desperately wants. And since you’re pregnant, it’s even more important that we get you out of here before he finds you.”
Pearl bent her head down, putting both hands on her head in disbelief. “If what you say is the truth— then I’ve got to be out of here by tomorrow afternoon. I can’t risk my baby’s life knowing that there’s a—there’s a sexually frustrated killer vampire on the loose.” She laughed in spite of herself, still really not believing all that Damien revealed to her.
Damien however, wasn’t laughing. “This is no joke Pearl. I’m afraid for you and your little girl. It’s absolutely pertinent that Quinn never knows you’re in Haven.
Coming up next:
- Quinn comes to the Collins home looking for Pearl and gets into an argument with Caleb, Rhiannon and Astrid.
- When he doesn’t get the answers he’s looking for, Quinn decides to spy on the Collins home.
- Astrid realizes Damien has quickly become enchanted with Pearl.