I examined first my hands and then the rest of me; my hands were slightly larger and calloused, I was burlier and taller. I was exactly as I was in that vision that I’d had via Luther. Just like in that vision, I felt more alive than ever; my entire body buzzed with power and energy. Jared’s energy was fifty times the strength of Joy’s. Two things unsettled me. One, I wasn’t sure I could channel such a large concentration of power of both mine and Jared’s combined. Two, I didn’t seem to care that I might not be able to channel it. I was filled with this sense that nothing could happen to me. All I could think of was releasing this caged power against the attackers.
Sam, no! The voice reverberated around my head. You need to unmerge with me right now. I told you not to do this; you can get drugged on the power!
Although his words didn’t quite penetrate, Jared’s voice still somehow snagged my attention.
That’s it, baby, just think for a minute. Think. I know the power feels good to you but it’s too much, it could take over you! It could kill you!
That couldn’t be right. I was invincible. Wasn’t I?
That might be how it feels but it’s not real. Baby, please, listen to me: you have to unmerge with me right now.
He was right, I finally fully realised; I could be hurt, the power really could overwhelm me. But I couldn’t unmerge with him like he wanted. Not when I knew the attackers were coming. I could even hear them. I have to do this, Jared.
With my Sventé agility and Jared’s Pagori strength and speed all mixed together, leaping from tree to tree in my ascent was practically effortless. Finally I reached the overstory layer where I perched myself steadily on the top of a large, sturdy tree.
Sam, baby, please don’t do this?!
I need to do this, you know I do. We do. Now stop resisting or this won’t work. Please?!
From where I stood I had a clear view of the approaching vampires. I could also see flashes of energy and light in the distance where the others were battling. I raised my arms straight above my head, shoulder width apart, with my hands balled into tight fists. I then closed my eyes as I tapped into the eager power inside me that seemed to have a life of its own. It was like it was impatiently clawing at my insides, bumping against my organs and making me feel as though I was going to burst. For a moment I wondered if Jared was right, if it was too strong for me to channel. But then he spoke and although I wasn’t sure what he said his voice grounded and anchored me.
Using the combination of my ability to tap into the natural elements and Jared’s gift of electrokinesis, I opened my fists and it was as though the energy streamed out of me as I released it and manifested it into a massive grey cloud; a cloud that increased in size with each second. I watched as it continued to grow and darken until it was like a smoky blanket hanging over the island. A harsh wind picked up and then there was a loud clap of thunder.
Then came the lightening. I directed the bolt at the High Master vampire, Winston Jones, who had been fast approaching until the storm began. Instantly he was ashes. Seeing that his vampy friends were ready to make a run for it I sent a massive gush of wind at them, sweeping each one of them up and then I shaped the wind into a gigantic tornado; a tornado that touched nothing but what I instructed it to. I was sweating and shaking as I directed it West, sweeping up each and every enemy that I could see – it was easy to tell them apart from the friendly vamps because they were the only ones running away. Any that somehow managed to escape the tornado got struck by a lightning bolt. I then moved the tornado to the South, collecting more of the surviving foes, and then onto the East to gather the rest of the attackers I could see. Then I lifted the lid on the last bit of power I had contained inside me and created a large ball of fire that engulfed the tornado and every vampire within it.
And then I collapsed, greeting an unconscious state with gratefulness.
She obviously wanted me to kill her. That was the only explanation I could think of as to why she’d place herself in that much danger. I’d felt how it had been for her when she Merged with me and our energies clashed; it was as though she was standing at the edge of a precipice, fighting against a wind that could possibly throw her over the edge. I sensed each time the power almost overwhelmed her enough to throw her over that edge into oblivion. And I hadn’t been able to do a goddamn thing about it. I’d tried over and over to undo what she’d done but as the Merging gift was hers I had no choice but to be nothing more than a voice in her mind, grounding her.
“Sam, baby, wake up,” I coaxed as I lay her on the forest floor. As soon as she’d collapsed with exhaustion her own body had peeled away from mine, leaving my skin itching like crazy for a minute, and I’d had to then carry her down the bulky tree. I squatted beside her, running my hand through her hair. “Come on, wake up.”
Becoming aware of a presence behind me, I turned to find Antonio, Luther and Sebastian being teleported by one of the guards.
“How is she?” Antonio immediately asked.
“Totally wiped out. She’d known from what happened with Joy that she could drain me if she wasn’t careful, but she’d ended up draining herself.”
“Thank God it wasn’t to the point of death,” said Luther.
“A coma?” enquired Chico as the entire squad suddenly appeared from the trees with Alora.
I heard some of the guys cursing in. “She’s just unconscious,” I assured them. “But she’s sapped.”
“So she’ll be okay?” David was swallowing hard in panic.
I nodded. The only thing I could think of that might rouse her from this state was blood. I slid my hand under her upper back and raised her slightly, allowing her head to fall back a little. Then I bit hard into my wrist and swiftly put it to her mouth. Although the skin quickly healed itself I still managed to get a few drops onto her tongue. “Come on, Sam.” Nothing; no movement, no sounds, not even the flicker of an eyelid. “Sam, I swear to God if you don’t wake up I’ll spank your ass.”
Bastard, I heard in my head.
Instantly a smile curved my mouth. “She’s alright, she’s waking up.”
Denny raised a brow, still tense and anxious. “How can you tell?”
“She’s just telepathically called me a bastard.” There were laughs at that but the air was still filled with worry. Then she inhaled a long breath through her nose and everyone seemed to sigh and sag in relief. Aquamarine eyes found mine and she smiled a little. I raised her and pulled her onto my lap as I sat down. “Hey baby.”