Chapter 7

The brown station wagon was the first car that Brian had seen since the two of them had reached the small highway several minutes before. He had no intention of allowing this one to pass by, even if normally he rather die than ride in the old thing. He wasn't sure how many cars would be passing down this road, especially since the sun was now starting to set, so he had to take every opportunity that presented itself. Just to make sure that this one didn't pass them by, Brian went out into the street, waving them down. If they were going to ignore him, then they would have to go completely around him. The last thing he wanted to do was leave Heather out here on this deserted stretch of the highway by herself.

Luckily, the car slowed and came to a stop. A middle-aged man with glasses and a strong smell of onions on his breath rolled down his window as Brian walked to the car's driver side.

"What's the problem?" The man asked.

Brian bent down and looked in the man's eyes, as he did so the man visibly flinched.

"No problem, you're just going to give us a ride." Brian smiled and waited for the man to reply.

"That's right, I'm just going to give you a ride." The man repeated and nodded his head.

"Oh, and one more thing, you're not going to remember us or this conversation after you drop us off. You got that?" The man nodded and smiled stupidly. It almost looked as if he was happy to obey Brian. Now, the real question was, would it actually work? He knew it did in all the movies and shows he had watched lately about vampires, but he himself had actually never really tried this little stunt himself. If it did work, then this little stunt would create all new possibilities for the two of them. That little thought actually cheered him up some. A wave of weakness flashed over him, and Brian had to grab the edge of the car door before he collapsed. It only lasted a second, but it reminded him that he was getting weaker each time he did one of his little tricks. He needed to eat, and it had to be soon.

"Heather." He called to her. The blond came running to the car, and ran around to his side of it.

"This nice man has offered to give us a ride."

"Really?" She smiled. He'd forgotten just how beautiful she looked when she smiled. After all, it had been a while since he saw her do it. Certainly not since she came to his home, and never for him. It was always for someone else. Granted, he never ran with her crowd, so it really wasn't a fair observation, but the smile she now had, it was just for him, and that meant it was all his. That little fact in itself made him smile back at her, and all it took was for them both to become fugitives. Not that high of a price when everything was considered.

"Go ahead and climb in the back Heather, I need to check something real quick."

"Are you sure? We don't even know him."

"Trust me, he's the least of our problems." The man behind the wheel turned and nodded in agreement.

"Hi, I'm Bob."

Heather smiled and reluctantly answered him. "Hi, Bob, I'm...Alice."

"That's okay, you don't have to tell me your name, I'm not going to remember you anyway." He smiled matter-of-factly then turned back to look out the front.

"I'll be right back." Brian said, ignoring her wary expression. "Trust me."

Before she could answer him, Brian ran back up the little dirt road they had hidden the SUV in. It had been a good mile up the road, but now that Heather wasn't slowing him down, he was able to cross that distance in just a quick minute, if that. The feeling of dizziness welcomed him as he came to a stop at the black SUV, and just as he suspected, the two agents had somehow opened the locked door and were now half out of the vehicle. Still handcuffed together, mind, back to back, but most of the way out of it.

"I thought I told you to stay put." Brian asked them, as he wagged his finger at them. The closest one to him looked up at him and actually bared his teeth. The very sight of it was bizarre. If it was meant to intimidate him, it failed badly.

"You do understand 'stay', don't you?"

"Go to Hell!" The other one yelled.

"You first." Brian rushed the first agent and snapped his neck with both of his hands. The second one just had time enough to turn and look at him, before he, too, was dead. The thought had crossed his mind as he killed the first one, that there was plenty of blood in either one of these two men to stop his hunger. But the truth was, that he wasn't quite ready to go that far. Killing them yes, as it was necessary for survival. But drinking their blood like in the movies? Well, not yet. he wouldn't. Not when he had a perfectly good supply of the stuff in his home. All he had to do was to drop in and get it, then get out. It couldn't be that hard. The most they would have later tonight would be one car. After all, they couldn't think he was stupid enough to go back to his house could they?

He had just one minor flaw to his plan that he didn't want to think of, and that was what if they had found his blood supply and taken it into custody. The possibility did exist, as how many people would have that much blood in their fridge? Luckily, he had moved it down to the basement fridge when Heather had stayed the night, but still, how long would it take till they found it?

It only took a minute for him to get back to the car where Heather waited. He decided to climb in on the passenger side, just in case he needed to give their driver some more incentive.

"Where to?" The man asked.

"Just drive."

"So where did you go?" Heather asked, as the car picked up speed and they headed down the little highway.

"Oh, my nature called me." He smiled.

She seemed a bit confused by his answer so he decided to change the subject.

"What's your name again?" He asked the driver.

"It's Bob, and you don't have to tell me yours, because I won't remember it or you." He smiled stupidly at Brian before looking back at the road.

"What's he mean by that?" Heather leaned forward.

Looking back at her, he noticed she had slid to his side of the car at some point. He smiled as reassuring as he could, and just shook his head, not sure how he was supposed to answer her. What would he say? 'Oh, don't worry about it, I just screwed with his brain a bit. He'll be fine...I think?'

"Brian, I'm hungry."

"Aren't we all?" he smiled painfully at her. "Um, what's your name again?" He turned and asked the driver.

"He said his name is Bob." Heather volunteered as the man turned to answer, instead, he just nodded as Heather answered for him.

"And I wont remember you."

Brian shook his head. This wasn't going to do at all. "Bob, is there anywhere we can stop and get some burgers or something?"

The man nodded.

"Could you please buy us some food?" Brian wasn't sure how much money the two of them had.

Bob began to shake his head no, until Brian leaned forward and looked into his eyes, and the man immediately swapped to yes. That last little trick caused a pounding to begin just behind Brian's eyes. It wasn't too bad, but from past experience he knew this was the start to something he rather not go through right now. He needed to find a place to hole up so he could leave Heather alone while she slept. Then he could recover what he needed as quickly as he could.

Otherwise he was going to have to go native, and if that happened, he was going to regret not just trying to suck those agents dry. About twenty minutes later, they had found a little truck stop. Bob went in and brought back some food. Brian picked at his, not really eating much, even though it tasted pretty good. He knew that this food wasn't going to do him much good, except maybe keep him alive, and even that wasn't something he knew for sure.

"So, what are we going to do now?" Heather asked, as she finished her last fries and sucked on her chocolate milk shake. "Are you going to finish that?" She added, when she seen him picking at his burger. He shook his head and offered it to her. She snatched it and his fries, but he decided to keep his strawberry milkshake just in case it would actually help a bit to get something into his stomach.

"Where are you putting that all?"

She was halfway done with his burger already. This was pretty surprising, considering her size and how big that cafe burger was.

"What?" She looked up indignantly. "I haven't eaten in, like, two days?"

True, he couldn't argue with that. He had offered her some breakfast earlier that day, but instead she had elected to run to her house. That whole thing didn't turn out brilliantly.

"Bob, do you know of a motel or anything up ahead?" The man nodded. "Good, why don't you drop us off there, then?"

"And I won't remember you, either." Bob responded. Brian wasn't sure, but he thought what he was saying was either getting shorter, or more disjointed. Either way, he wasn't sure if that was good or bad. Whichever it was, it was definitely time to get off this train before he had to fuddle with this guy's brain again.

"Well?" Heather asked, as the last of the hamburger disappeared into her mouth.

"Well, first we need some sleep. Then...we will need to feed you again from the looks of that." He nodded to the two empty hamburger wrappings, "Then, we will have to decide what we wanna do with the rest of our lives."

"Well, I know what I want." She said. "I want my Mama and Daddy back, and I'm going to go back and get them."

Brian had to contain a sigh. He really wished she would get over that. He had to hear that time and again the entire day. Even the two agents that had recently woken up, had begun to complain about the incessant demands to go back after her parents. He had tried to tell her that they had no idea where the agents took them. That, in fact, these men in black may very well have taken them out of the country in one of those unmarked planes to a secret prison in some other country by now. One of the agents chuckled at his suggestion, but Heather would have none of that. Her entire plan was to go to the state police, or another town's police, where they wouldn't have been corrupted, and seek their help. Brian tried to persuade her against it, but she was adamant. He had tried to suggest the two agents right before he left them in an attempt to get some useful information about their situation, but like the first two, they seemed immune to his power of suggestion. Even after he had taken their sunglasses off, so apparently they didn't affect his power after all.

That in itself told him he didn't want to mess with these people unless he had to. The way he saw it, they should just write them off as casualties, and if his ability to make suggestions continued to work, the two of them could move to Jamaica and live quite comfortably. Any of those thoughts and plans were being dashed with her pigheadedness. The only reason they were free now was because of him.

If he had been just a normal teen like Chuck, they would both be locked up somewhere right now, most likely sharing a cell with some big, disgusting rapist. Well, maybe not him. In fact if he had just been normal, he would be at home right now oblivious of any of these goings-on. So, in a sense, he was the victim here, and yet she was the one going on about her parents, and her loss.

"Alright, Heather. Suppose we do it like you want, but we do it in a way I want, just to make sure the whole country isn't compromised."

"What do you mean?"

"These agents are US agents. That means government types."

She looked at him uncomprehendingly. He shook his head. "As in federal government."

"Just because they said they were, doesn't mean they weren't lying." She said matter of factually.

"I agree, but please, let's be careful."

"I will be, Brian. But you know you don't have to go with me when we get to a new town. I won't tell them you were involved, I owe you that much."

"I think you already did back at your home, in case you didn't remember."

She smiled at him for the second time. "That's okay, silly, once I clear this up, you're going to be a hero, and not a criminal." She leaned forward quickly and kissed his cheek. All argument went out of him at that moment. He remembered who he was traveling with. He had just been kissed by the most important girl in his life. The one he had thought about endlessly for the last couple of years. Here he was, practically alone with her, and she thought he was her hero, and kissed him.

It was times like this that he remembered how young he really was, and not some impossibly old vampire from TV.

The car pulled off the road and drove into a parking lot.

"Bob?"

"Here's a motel." The driver responded. Sure enough, there was one. It was one of those single level, beat up ones he'd seen on the side of highways all the time. The misty pine name was mostly burnt out, with only a few letters still lit, not to mention the vacancy sign.

"Okay, Heather. First we get some sleep, and then when the sun comes up we'll try it your way."

She smiled and clapped her hands excitedly. "You won't regret it, Brian, I'm sure this is going to work."

He nodded and climbed out of the car, and waited for her to do the same.

Bending down to talk face level with Bob, he told him to go home and forget.

The driver just nodded and put the car in reverse, and began saying over and over as he pulled out of hearing. "I forget you. I forget you. I forg..."

Brian sighed and scratched his head, and wondered if staying here was such a good idea.

Well, if worst came to worst, he would just have to save them again. Right now he needed a room to put her to bed, and a chance to go eat. It only took a few minutes to suggest the motel clerk into giving them a room for the night, but by the time he sat down in it he felt exhausted and the pain behind his eyes was almost unbearable.

He wondered if he had the strength for what he needed to do tonight. Only time would tell.