The Dummy's Finale

14

In Which Amy Kramer Is Confused

The stab wound continued to bleed, soaking her t-shirt, wetting her skin. You'd think she would feel the blood coming out of her, but she couldn't over the blazing pain that twisted and persisted in her side. Her breathing was labored, and she wet her lips to speak.

"God, it hurts," she moaned, squeezing her eyes shut as Slappy applied pressure on the cut, his face still set in a fierce scowl. His sky blue eyes met hers.

"Shut the fuck up, Amy!" he snarled, an edge to the anger in his voice, and she realized it was concern. After everything he'd done to her, and everything he would do to her now that he was back, he was worried that his incubus boyfriend would kill her?

Since it hurt to talk, and made it harder to stop the bleeding, she complied more than happily. Her head spun, her breathing coming out shallow and quick, bordering on hyperventilating, and she watched Slappy's face above her.

"Hey, stay awake, Amy." He spoke harshly, but the undercurrent of her voice pulled at her, and she tried valiantly to stay awake, to keep her eyes open. Black spotted her vision. His voice sounded like he was speaking to her from a great distance, and she felt herself slipping off the precarious edge.

"Damn it!"


Slappy stared in horror as Amy went limp, her eyes fluttering shut. Her hot blood seeped into the terry cloth he held against her knife wound, wetting his hands, and the coppery smell was so strong it made him dizzy.

If only he'd stopped Ray.

He knew nothing about ways to ward off incubus, but his determined attempts to find any books relating to them in the world of the unnatural brought no books. And now Amy was hurt and it scared him to the very core that he'd been unable to protect her. She was unlike anyone else — fierce, stupidly brave (or incredibly stupid) and a little cracked, not as broken as he was but he'd had a lot more to balance than she did. She wasn't hunted by his brother or tortured by the ghosts of his past.

"Damn it," he hissed, pressing hard down against her side as something salty and thin streamed into his eyes. It soaked his t-shirt, under his arms, and it took him a split second to realize it was perspiration. His stomach lurched at the unsettling prospect of what was happening to him, but he pushed it aside, focusing again on her.

Her face was sallow, pinched with pain even in her state of unconsciousness.

The blood seeping through the towel was thick and hot. It seemed like it was slowing, but a glance at the tint of her face had him cursing. Her lips had a bluish hue, her skin cool against his shaking hand. Any breathing that rattled past her lips was frantic, shallow.

Damn, damn, damn.

He wouldn't let h er die. Focusing on her pale face, he slowed his breathing, feeling the heat of his beast rising, and with a small click, it snapped into place. The relentless, unending amount of power — demon power — flowed through his veins, made every hair stand on end, and even Mrs. Kramer had stopped crying when it became palpable.

For such dull senses, humans knew when things were unnatural, the calm before the storm.

"What — what are you doing to her?" Jed whispered quietly, his voice croaky, thick from crying. He was leaning against the door, watching them anxiously, nervously.

Slappy swallowed, tasting the hot copper that came with tapping into the animal, and spoke. His voice was gravelly. "Saving her life." The swirl of energy popped his ears, electricity crackling and fissuring inside of him, racing through his veins; it burned his fingers, warming his palms.

He lifted her shirt, staring at the long slice in her skin, the heavy stream of blood pouring out of it, and took a deep breath. When his fingers touched it, fire burned through his veins and he gritted his teeth against the beast that wanted to taste her blood, just one taste wouldn't hurt her, but he ignored that voice with the ironclad control of a demon of millenniums and focused, really focused on her.

The skin under his hands was steadily growing warmer, color returning to her pallor face as he infused her skin with his energy. Her aura flickered against his, tentative and cautious, and his beast cooed at her mind's submission to him, but he refused to acknowledge it; this wasn't about sex or mates — he needed her to open those brilliant eyes and say something smart ass, to breathe deeply and cuss him out.

It felt like a lifetime before she moved, a small shift in position, but it was better than nothing, and he felt the seam of the cut close, watching the skin stitch itself back together in a manner not unlike a spider's web being weaved. Amy was still again, and his heart sank to his stomach as he knelt closer to her head, cradling her face in his hands.

They left streaks of blood across her cheeks as he began to whisper her name. "Amy, Amy, wake up," he murmured, brushing a wayward strand of hair out of her delicately-built face. Her eyelids fluttered. His stomach twisted sharply as she inhaled suddenly, her eyes popping open. Her mouth dropped open wide as she sucked in a breath to scream, but Slappy clasped her to him, cradling her face.

"Amy Kramer, look at me. You're safe. He can't hurt you. If he does, well, I'll kill him. I'll fucking kill him for hurting you," he told her calmly, watching as the cocktail of fear, panic, and shock drained out of her tear-filled eyes. She swallowed hard, her hands coming up to grasp his tightly as she began to cry.

Huge, jerking sobs wracked her as she seemed to realize she had died and collapsed against him, burying her face in his chest. He'd never seen her get so upset; sure, there was the one crying jag she'd had before, when he first became a "human," but that had been anxiety-induced.

"Oh god," she whispered against his chest, squeezing with her nails, digging them in until they pierced his skin and it hurt, which surprised him. She clung to him, shaking and shivering, carving crescent moons into his arms and he squeezed her tighter against him.

They didn't speak a word after that.

His beast, however, had plenty to say. Snuffing at the girl's aura, tasting her inert submission. The beast was sending vile images to him, her wanton underneath him, the heat of her skin, his blood like fire in his veins, desire pumping through him, and he could feel himself react.

Amy, if she did notice, didn't point it out, and for that he was grateful. She probably thought he was excited about the blood and the fact she'd been at death's door. His beast wanted to bury himself in her, to prove she was alive and the wound wasn't killing her and Ray had never laid hands on her, but Slappy knew it was his fault; if he'd never come back into her life, she wouldn't have been targeted.

"I have to go," he said, pulling away from her, avoiding her eyes.

"Go? Go where, Slappy?" she asked, her voice growing in volume and strength, and he knew it was his demon energy mixing with her blood, strengthening her, healing her from the inside out.

"Ray's targeting you because of me, Amy. I have to go — he'll follow me. You'll be safe."

"This is your fault!" Mrs. Kramer screamed, suddenly flying into the room. "If you hadn't come back..." She trailed.

"I'm sorry, Amy." He sucked in a deep breath, letting his hand cup her face, staring into her green eyes, and swallowed hard. "I'm so sorry." As easily as taking an exhale, he felt himself leave in a flash of brilliant light, miles away from her.

He wouldn't — couldn't — hurt her anymore than he had already.