The burning arrow thudded into the wall.
Fire. The old, dry wood of the meetinghouse ignited in an instant. Dark, oily smoke filled the air, scratching my lungs and making me choke. Around me, my new friends cried out in shock before grabbing weapons, preparing to fight for their lives.
This is because of me.
Arrow after arrow sliced through the air, stoking the flames higher. Through the haze of ash, I desperately sought Lucas’s eyes. I knew he would protect me no matter what, but he was in danger, too. If something happened to Lucas while he was trying to rescue me, I could never forgive myself.
Coughing from the soot-thick air, I grabbed Lucas’s hand and ran with him toward the door. But they were ready for us.
Silhouetted against the flames, a dark, forbidding line of figures stood just beyond the edge of the meetinghouse. None of them brandished weapons; they didn’t have to in order to make their threat clear. They had come for me. They had come to punish Lucas for breaking their rules. They had come to kill.
This is all happening because of me. If Lucas dies, it will be my fault.
There was nowhere to go, no place to run. We couldn’t remain here, not with the blaze around us roaring, already so hot that it stung my skin. Soon the ceiling would collapse and crush us all.
Outside, the vampires waited.