“No, go,” she repeated. “I’ll call you as soon as it’s safe.”

I hesitated for a minute and then headed down the steps, Amy’s blood still flooding my nostrils. We had to get this curse lifted, we had to succeed at the end of the year. Because I never ever wanted to put her through that again.

I knew I had been short with Amy all day, and I regretted it. I hadn’t meant to be, and she certainly didn’t deserve it. And without a chance to properly apologize, it weighed heavily on my chest.

I knew Sarah was having a miscarriage, it didn’t take a doctor to diagnose it. I was still fairly in the dark when it came to the mystery of a woman’s body, but the blood pouring out of her convinced me that the child could not survive. A child had never been conceived from vampire coupling and so perhaps it wasn’t meant to be. Perhaps this is what happened all the time and no one talked about it. There was so much that I didn’t know about the world I lived in, and so much I wished I had never learned.

I rushed down to the basement, fighting transformation all the way. The monster in me craved the blood on the floor, wanting to lap it up, and I hated myself more than ever

I made it to the hospital in 10 minutes after Amy texted me that it was safe. I probably broke every speed law on the planet. I had dismissed the school to regular classes, which I’m sure made the department heads hate me, but I wasn’t in any mindset to address them. It was 6 am, and it had been a long sleepless night. I walked into the hospital waiting room and Amy was waiting for me, a bandage up her arm.

“Amy,” I said, reaching out to wrap her in a hug. To my surprise though, she didn’t return it.

“Come with me,” she said, striding ahead of me towards the double doors.

“Amy, if you’re mad at me, do you think we can discuss it some other time?”

“Yes,” she said, and pushed a door open.

Sarah lay in a bed, tubing hooked up to her arms. She looked exhausted, but a quick glance at the monitors told me that her vitals were strong.

“Sarah, how are you?” I changed my tone, approaching the bed carefully.

Her eyes flicked opened, and she gave me a small nod. “I’m alright, now.”

There was a silence, and the two girls looked at each other before Amy spoke.

“Sarah decided to take matters into her own hands and induced a miscarriage. Using pennyroyal.”

“What?” My jaw fell open. I was torn between offering sympathy and losing my cool.

“You don’t understand.” Sarah’s eyes were full of tears. “I couldn’t have that baby, I couldn’t. You know Connor wouldn’t support me, you know my parents would freak. And I didn’t want it.”

“Sarah, if you didn’t want it, there were other ways of…”

“No.” She shook her head, meeting my eyes. “Connor comes from a time when that doesn’t happen. He told me that if he caught me doing that, he would hold me captive.”

“WHAT?” Now my jaw fell open. “I’m going to kill him myself, don’t you worry.”

“That’s not love.” Amy took her hand, squeezing it. “And you know it.”

“Sarah,” I said carefully. “Pennyroyal can kill you, did you know that?”

Instead of looking shocked, she nodded.

“You what?” Now it was Amy’s turn to be shocked. “You knew it could be fatal and you did it anyway?”

“I knew you wouldn’t let me die.” Sarah met my eyes. “Damn what the Shields think, Liam, I knew that if my life slipped away, you’d change me.”

I heard Amy gasp, and it must have been because of the look on my face. Every muscle in my body tremored as I tried not to punch a hole through the wall. Amy made a move towards me, but I moved away. I didn’t want to be touched, I didn’t want to think, I didn’t even want to breathe. I was trembling and I paced the room, trying to get under control.

Finally, when I felt I could speak without exploding, I turned to Sarah, trying to keep my voice as calm and even as possible.

“Sarah,” I spoke slowly. “Don’t you think that if I could save a Shield from dying, Porsche would be standing beside me right now?”

“Shields cannot be changed,” I spoke as if every word had a period after it. “Shields cannot be changed into werewolves or witches, or vampires. Shields cannot even return as ghosts. If you had died, there would be nothing that could bring you back. Did you not think of that before you executed a drug overdose?”

Sarah paled even more, looking to Amy, who nodded.

“I thought that…” Her voice was trembling. “I just assumed you got to Porsche too late. I didn’t…”

“He tried,” Amy said, tears in her own eyes. “He tried. But she didn’t come back.”

“That’s the problem with you Sarah: you don’t think!” I hadn’t meant it to come out so harsh, but it did. I was beyond caring. “You don’t think at all. You think that whatever you do doesn’t have consequences, that there’s someone who can always fix it and save you. Connor and Isabelle wanted nothing more than to be free of Selene’s grasp, and now you’ve given me no choice but to exile them.”

“You have!” I snapped. “How can I keep them around knowing Connor threatened you? But he wouldn’t have had to threaten you if you didn’t put him in such a position!”

I cut her off. “Right. You didn’t have anything to do with it whatsoever. Unless you’re about to tell me you were raped, you’ve got no leg left to stand on.”

“LIAM!” Amy snapped at me, but I was so angry I could barely see straight.

“This isn’t a game,” I continued. “You think this is a game, you just waltz in and take whatever you want and assume there won’t be consequences? I told you from the beginning, if you didn’t want to be involved in this, you just had to tell me and I would have made sure the vampires had nothing to do with you. You watched from the sidelines for a year while Amy went through hell, and what, you thought it would be fun to come and try?”

“LIAM!” Amy’s eyes were blazing fire, and she was angrier than I had ever seen her. “Stop talking right now or I swear to God…”

“Or what, Amy? Or what?” I couldn’t stop my mouth. “You’re the one who fell in love with the damned creature that stands before you, and you’re the one who’s stupid enough to stay. For God’s sake, you’re not even twenty. You should be out and about living your life, not trapped in here with me.”

“Why? So I can set you free to be Nina’s knight in shining armor?” Amy screeched back at me. “Wouldn’t that be nice for her? Wonderful strong Liam to pick her up when she falls, to cuddle her when she cries and nurse her back to health. I’m not stupid, Liam.”

I almost laughed. “You seriously think that’s what’s going on? After all I’ve done for you, Amy…”

“Get out!” Sarah interrupted both of us, glaring at me. “Liam, get out before I call security.”

I snarled at that. “I would tear security limb from limb if I had to, and you know it. You two think being a monster is so romantic, so fun? I’ll leave you to your romantic notions.”

I made sure to slam the door on my way out.

I waited until morning to find Connor. I shouldn’t have, I had visions in my head of us both being vampires and tearing him to pieces. But I knew that those visions were illogical. First of all, it was vampire rage causing me to think that way, and second of all, Connor was much older than me. It would likely be him tearing me to pieces. So, when morning came and my head was clearer, I dressed as I should, as a headmaster of a respectable school, and calmly asked my secretary to call Connor out of whatever class he was pretending to be in. I sat behind my desk and folded my hands, waiting.

By the expression on Connor’s face when he entered, I knew that he was anticipating a war.

I knew that in a school full of teenagers, I would have to deal with pregnancies and teenage drama. It had happened twice in my time as headmaster, and both times, we had to call in all the bells and whistles: social services, parents, clinics, everything. Never did I expect to be dealing with it among my vampire population.

He sat, wordlessly. I took a deep breath, wondering how to approach this. My hands twitched and I decided, to hell with it, and reached into my desk drawer, pulling out a bottle of whiskey and 2 shot glasses.

I shrugged. “What’s it going to do? Destroy our livers?”

Connor agreed with me on that point, and I poured us both a shot. I was stalling for time and I knew it, but the truth was that I was torn. From what I had learned about Sarah and her behavior, she wasn`t lying to me. Many of these age old vampires still lived in the old ways, their morals and views still kept. Connor came from a time when wives were to stay at home and have children and the men went out and did their own thing. Often, that meant not being faithful. And if a baby were to come along, they would likely react in the same way Connor did, and not think anything of it.

But on the other hand, Connor and Isabelle were united with me in killing Selene, and they were probably two of the most powerful fighters we had. There were so few people in the world who shared my view, that I didn`t want to get rid of any of them. I knew how badly the ache to kill Selene hurt, and the fact that I was taking it away from them made my heart burn.

“Connor, I think you know why you’re here,” I said at last.