Home > The Compelled (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries #6)(6)

The Compelled (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries #6)(6)
Author: L.J. Smith

In that instant, I yanked the stake out of my boot and shoved it between his shoulder blades as hard as I could.

Samuel fel forward onto the girl, then tumbled onto his side on the dock. Blood soaked through his coat. The girl sprang up and darted to the other side of the warehouse.

My hands trembled. I’d staked Samuel. And if I staked him through the heart, it would al be over. But it wasn’t that easy. I needed him alive until he could take me to Damon.

He began to struggle to his feet, the wooden stake jutting unevenly from his back. I lunged forward to restrain jutting unevenly from his back. I lunged forward to restrain his hands, but he spun away from me before I could reach him.

“These attempts are getting tiresome,” he hissed as he yanked the stake from his flesh and threw it to the dock. I dove for it just as a police whistle sounded. The subsequent clattering of footsteps caused us both to freeze.

“Commotion at the warehouse!” cried a foghornlike voice from the top of the pier.

Samuel stole off into the shadows as three police officers rounded the corner. Instead of fol owing him, I calmly walked out of the al ey, humming the song I’d heard the drunk singing outside the Lamb and Sickle as though I, too, was just a common vagrant.

“What’s the trouble?” one red-faced officer wheezed as he valiantly attempted to catch his breath. A tal er policeman with a mustache appraised me suspiciously. I wondered where the girl had gone and whether she was in danger of Samuel doubling back for her.

“There is no trouble, sir,” I said, rising to my ful height.

“Just having a bit of fun.” I wavered from one foot to the other as I said it, pretending I was a whiskey-addled fool. I clenched my jaw, talking through my teeth to conceal my fangs, which always emerged when I was antsy.

The policeman glanced around, and I was thankful there were no gas lamps on the pier and he couldn’t see the bloodstains on my clothes.

The sound of a bottle breaking farther down the pier startled the policeman. He turned his head sharply over his shoulder. From the shouts and glass shattering, it was clear shoulder. From the shouts and glass shattering, it was clear a true brawl was brewing.

“I ain’t got time to deal with you,” he said. “Now see you get into a lodging house. Make any more noise tonight, and you’l be arrested. Are you clear?” he asked.

“Yes sir.” I nodded.

“Good.” The policeman hurried off to the scuffle while his short, red-faced partner struggled to keep up. As their footsteps faded, I realized I could hear the faint ba-da-bump, ba-da-bump of the mysterious girl’s terrified heartbeat.

The moon filtered through the mist, casting an eerie green glow on the slippery dock, now tinged red with Samuel’s blood. The ba-da-bump, ba-da-bump got louder and louder as I headed toward where I’d last seen the girl.

“Don’t get any closer!” The voice sounded weak. I remembered the terrible crack, loud as a thunderbolt, when her skul hit the brick wal . She was crouched behind a crate in an al ey next to the warehouse.

“Are you al right?” I asked, kneeling down so I was at eye level with her.

“I don’t know.” The girl hesitantly pushed the crate away.

Her eyes were catlike, the pupils more like keyholes than circles. I glanced away, nervous by how entranced I was by their unusual shape, only to see a slow but steady trickle of blood run from her temple and into her hair. “I think he meant to kil me,” she said shakily.

“You’re al right now,” I said in a soothing voice. “Do you know why he was after you?”

The girl laughed, one short bark. “Wel , it wasn’t because he liked me, I can tel you that much. No. When a vampire sets after you, you don’t ask why.”

I rocked back on my heels in surprise. “You knew he was a vampire?”

“Yes. And so are you,” she said. “But you saved me.


“Why wouldn’t I? Do you know who that man was?” The girl shrugged. “I knew he wanted to kil me, so we never got around to making formal introductions. I was just minding my own business and then…” She shuddered.

“You’re safe now. I don’t drink human blood. I only want to protect you.”

The girl’s eyes blazed into mine, her pupils widening and contracting. And then, after a long moment, she nodded.

“Thank you for being honest,” she said. “I’m Mary Jane.

And I suppose you can tel that I’m more than I seem. You saw one of my tricks. I only wish it had worked better,” she said rueful y. She clearly knew how to control her power. But was she a witch? Or some other creature of darkness I’d never encountered? I leaned in, hoping to hear more about her trick. How had she pushed Samuel back?

Instead, she took a deep breath and said, “So, who are you, vampire?”

But before I could respond, she fainted, hitting the dock with a muffled thud.


Not knowing what else to do, I grabbed the unconscious girl and made my way back to the tunnel, staying in the shadows to avoid any suspicious glances. As expected, everyone on the pier was too involved in their own miseries to notice me, or the girl breathing shal owly in my arms.

When I final y managed to snake my way down to our makeshift camp, I was relieved to see Cora lying peaceful y next to a smal fire.

“Cora,” I said.

She started awake, her eyes widening as she took in the figure in my arms.

“Is that Damon? Is he dead?” Her voice was tinged with hysteria.

“No! No, it’s not Damon,” I said hurriedly, trying to assuage her fears. “It’s a girl Samuel attacked. I got there before he could kil her.” I slowly placed the girl on the ground. Instinctively, she curled her smal body toward the fire.

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