Archive for July, 2012

I wait in the bathroom nervously. Two minutes. One hundred and twenty seconds. Not long to wait. As the time slowly drags on, I pick up the test. Not pregnant. I shut my eyes sadly, wishing a little blue plus sign to appear. Of course, I didn’t actually think I was pregnant, but I wanted it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little family more than anything else in the world, but I have so much more love to give.

We both had so much more love to give. Me and Balt, Aleksi. Our little family… My hand slightly trembles as I hold onto the test. No. Negative. Nothing. No baby. Aleksi was growing up so fast, soon he would be in high school, and then an adult. I miss the toddler days, and teaching him new words. I miss him needing me like he used too. I mean, I do want him to grow up, and have a life of his own. I’m happy he’s becoming more and more independent. But it’s scary. What if he grows up and we lose him?

“I’m sorry.” Balt whispers into my ear, appearing from nowhere. He takes the pregnancy test out of my hand and tosses it aside.

“Don’t be.” I mumble. “I knew the chances were slim to none.”

“Yet you’re still upset, darling.” He kisses my forehead softly, and rests his palm on my cheek. “If you were with anyone else you could have one hundred bab-“

“No, I am with you.” I sigh, climbing onto my tippie toes so that I can kiss the tip of his nose. “And while, I would love another baby, I already have everything I could ever possibly need. So don’t even think about feeling guilty.”

“I do. It’s in my nature, to realize what I’m taking away from you.” He explains half heartedly.

“What about what you give to me?” I nuzzle into him, resting my head on his chest, and my hands in the smalls of his back. “We could always adopt one hundred furry babies.” He chuckles softly into my ear.

“Werew-“

“Kittens, Balt. Or puppies.” I suggest.

“Aleksi would love one.” Balt responds. “But, perhaps something a little more… Sturdy?”

We spend a great deal of time trolling the internet for pets up for adoption. Maybe a black and white kitten. Or a husky puppy. He could have a horse, if his heart desired one. It was Aleksi’s birthday, and hopefully we can find a suitable friend for him. Maybe then he wouldn’t feel so lonely. But at the same time I was nervous. What if his thirst for blood, overrode  his sweet nature? Is that what Balt meant by needing a ‘sturdy’ pet?

While we scroll through more and more pets, the door bell rings. Phineas must be here for the birthday.

“Is there any reason you have a package on your front door?” Phineas asks as I let him into the house.

“What package? The mail man must have just come.” I shrug, how weird for a delivery to come this late at night.

“Here.” He passes the gift to me. I unwrap the parcel, curiously. “What is it?”

“It’s… It’s an apple… And a book, with most of the words erased.” I mumble confused, looking for the card. Who would wrap an apple and  a useless book, then send it to someone. It had to be a joke of some kind. “It’s for Aleksi… Apparently.”

“What does the card read?” I open the card up, and read out loud what it says.

Did you know that gods of death love apples… Happy birthday, tiny (part) human.” I frown, puzzled. This person knew it was Aleksi’s birthday, and who he was. I only knew one person crazy enough to be behind this. “Arkin…” I sigh heavily. Did this mean he was still alive? It wasn’t proof, but I felt a certain weight being lifted off my shoulders.

“You think he sent this?” Phin inquires.

“Who else do you know, would ever send an apple and destroyed book as a birthday gift, and such a strange message.”

“Yeah. You’re right.” He chuckles somewhat nervously. “Where’s the birthday boy?” As if on cue, Aleksi madly dashes out from his room excitedly.

“Uncle Phin!” Aleksi screams, almost bowling him over as he hugs him tightly.

“Look how big you are!” My brother exclaims. “How old are you now?”

“Eight!” He says rather proudly.

“Woah! No way!’ Phin jokes with him, tickling him.

“I have something to tell you.” Phineas says rather nervously after Aleksi goes off to play in his room.

“Wait, hold up. Is that….” I give him a suspicious look, studying him carefully. “Is that lipstick on your collar?”

“I…  Wait… Shut up!” He shakes his head as I laugh playfully at him.

“It is.” I shriek. “Does Phinny have a girlfriend?”

“Oh my god!” He moans loudly, slapping his forehead and trying to escape “Seriously? You’re like five years old.” He glares evilly at me.

“Balt!” I call out, still giggling. I grab his ears, and tease him more. But I know he’s smiling. I know he’s enjoying himself. “Is she cute? Do I know her? Is she a good kis-“

“I’m engaged…” Phin sighs loudly. My eyes grow wide in disbelief. I didn’t even know he was dating. Let alone who it was, sure I had an idea. But I wasn’t certain.

“Look, my baby boy’s growing up.” Balt teases as he enters the room. As Phineas’ deathly glare turns to him, Balt straightens up. “Okay, okay. I’m going to be serious for a moment, am I going to be an uncle?”

“I swear to god, if someone doesn’t start acting their age, instead of their shoe size. I’m moving this conversation to Aleksi’s room.” He scowls at us both icily. “I’m confident he can hold a mature conversation, unlike the pair of you.”

“Why isn’t she here with us right now, breaking the news?” Balt inquires, a huge smile still fixed on his face.

“Because I knew you two would act like preschoolers.” Phin takes a deep breath and runs his hand through his hair.

“I’m sorry. I’m just so happy for you, brother.” I smile sheepishly, as I pull him into a hug.

“Now why don’t you ask the bride to be to come and celebrate with us.” Balt suggests.

*
***
*

“What is this? Aleksi wonders picking up the strange book that had been gifted to him, along with an apple.  Whole pages had been erased in black ink. However some were in tact, or parts anyway. Why had he been gifted it on his birthday? It was useless, he thought flipping through the book, surveying the damage. The pages had been glues into the cover. Out of the few pages still in tact, not much sense could be made. It had no ending. No beginning. Only garbage in the middle.

Did you n… Know that gods of d… Death love ah… Ahpples. Happy bi… Burf… Day, tiny (part) hu… Human.” Aleksi reads sounding out the words slowly. Part human….

He throws the book down and slams himself back onto the bed. Despite what his parents had told him, he was still scared. He was a monster. But he wouldn’t say that anymore. They didn’t like when he said that, or was upset. So he would pretend. Acting wasn’t lying. So he wasn’t being bad. He was going to be good. So he couldn’t be a monster.

*
***
*

Rayne enters the room, glowing, happy smiles. She looks radiant. Being engaged obviously suited her well. Now that I think about it. I always thought they might end up together. But now that it actually is happening, it feels a little strange. My best friend, and my twin brother. Engaged. But at the same time, my best friend and my twin brother, engaged. Happy, in love.

Balt pours us all a glass of expensive wine, and offers it out.

I look at the smiling faces in the room. We had survived everything that life had thrown our way so far. Elvira, the threat of the council. Everything, and we were all together. Alive. Happy. Sane, for the most part.

“Here’s to us.” Balt says, raising his glass high.

“To family.” Phin adds taking a large sip.

“To the future.” I cheer.

*
***
*

Author’s note: The end of Generation 2. I’m going to miss this generation, quite a lot. But now it means that it is Aleksi’s turn to take the reigns and lead the way. 

Here’s some pic spam, to help remember this generation, plus some bonus ones.

Phin and Connie as toddlers

Phin and Connie as children

Phin and Connie as teenagers

Colt ❤

Family photo

Rayne and Phineas ❤

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“Aleksi?” I ask softly as I knock on his bedroom door. He still didn’t want to talk about what had happened today. “Can we come in?”

“No! Go way!” He screams through the wall. “I monstah!”

“What do we do?” I ask turning to Balt. I stare frantically into his eyes, just hoping that he would know. But instead of answers, he looks just as confused and concerned as I do. “Do we wait, or go in anyway?”

“Honestly?” Balt replies pursing his lips, clearly deep in thought. “Someone needs to talk to him. But someone who… Understands.”

“Who understands?” I toy with the idea for a while. Someone who understands… Which means not me. Not his own mother… “You then?”

“You know that I don’t mean it that way.” He responds noting the deflated expression on my face. “What I mean is that he’s part vampire. Which means he has a whole lot of ideas floating around his head that he probably doesn’t understand. He’s scared.”

“I know. I’m just worried.” I give his hand a squeeze. “Go on. He needs you.”

Balt places his hand over the door knob and casts me an unsure look. A small, forced smile appears on my lips telling him to go. He pulls it open and shuts it behind him. The second I’m sure it’s shut, I collapse to the ground. This isn’t fair at all. Aleksi is just a child. He’s too young to have to deal this. Growing up was hard enough for me, without the added drama of vampirism.

*****************************************

“Go way! I don’t wantchu here!” Aleksi screams as his father enters the room.

“Well I’m not going anywhere. So we can talk about what happened, or we can sit here in silence until someone gives up.” Baltezhar says softly to his son, sitting next to him on the bed. “And I’m not going to quit, not when it comes to you kid. So.. What’s it gonna be?” The young boy frowns deeply.

“I… I…” Aleksi mumbles, trying to force the words out. “What’s wrong with me, pa?”

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong. You’re perfect.” As the words pass his father’s lips, the boy groans. “What I think that you’re referring to is your… Our condition.”

“Con-dish-on?” The boy mouths the words slowly, letting them roll off of his tongue.

“Yes. You’re special, son. You’re not like the others. You’re-“

“No. You mean I not normal!” Aleksi glares at his father, interrupting.

“Who’s to define what’s normal anymore?” Balt cuts in, offering a rhetorical question, allowing the boy time to fully think through what was being asked of him. “Well?”

“Uh… Uhmmm…” His soft blue-green eyes full of doubt.

“Exactly.” Balt kisses his son’s forehead. “There is no perfect definition of normal, because it doesn’t exist. We all have our own theory, our own beliefs and our own ideas on what is ‘normal.’ So don’t get down because you don’t fit into one of them.”

“But…” The child tries to argue but is subdued quickly.

“But nothing.” He states simply. “You are a normal, sweet, innocent boy. There is nothing wrong with you.”

“And my… My con… Condish… Condishon?” Aleksi’s eyes filled with wonder, and question.

“Our condition…” He goes on to explain.

*****************************************

I rest my head onto my pillow trying to find sleep. Instead I toss and turn, wondering. Was Aleksi going to be okay? What was Balt saying? Was I a failed mother because I wasn’t in there? No. I wasn’t a failed mother. Maybe I wasn’t doing the best job with Aleksi. Maybe I should have known he was going to go outside. Maybe I should have stopped him. But I loved him and I would do anything for him. I’m not perfect, but I’m trying. My hardest and that counts for something. I’m doing the best I can. It’s just so hard to see him like this. So hurt, and confused.

“Are you… Are you still awake?” Balt asks softly.

“Mmmhhmmm.” I mumble, as he flops down onto the bed.

“Good.” He whispers

“How did it go?” I ask, as he nuzzles onto my lap.

“We still have a long way to go. But… We made some progress tonight.” He whispers, gazing intently back up at me. “And we’ll all have to take baby steps until we – he can stand on his own.”

“I don’t know what I’d do without you.” I sigh heavily, brushing the hair from his face. I still can’t believe he’s mine.

“You would try your hardest.” Balt says very seriously, before playfully adding. “And fail miser-“

“Hey!” I feign hurt, but a worrisome question still nags at my mind. It had been a while since we had seen him, or had any form of contact. “Is.. Is Arkin still-“

“As I said yesterday, and the day before then. And every single day since he’s been gone. I.. I don’t know.” His expression remains disinterested. “But, vampire time is very different than human time. While you may have been a nervous wreck after one week. He might wait years before he decides he’s ready to grace us with his time.” I frown, knowing that he’s right.

“We’ll be okay…” I mutter, lying back down. Snuggling next to Balt, getting comfortable. “It will all be okay.”

Author’s note: I know that this chapter is pretty short, sorry guys (and girls). But, the next chapter will be the final for this generation. Hopefully (fingers crossed anyway), as I know I have a habit of rambling.

Something rather exciting happened last night, I hit 3,500 views. Which admittingly probably doesn’t seem like a whole lot. But it’s about 3,500 more views than I thought I would ever get. So thank you all so much for bearing with me this long. It actually means a lot more than you know :3 ❤

People usually say that their wedding day is the greatest day of their life. But those who say so, obviously have never been on a honeymoon. And even if Baltezhar was able to leave our room during the day, I still don’t think we would have chosen to leave. It was one of those magical weekends, that you only dare read about in romance novels. But it was real, it was ours.

However such bliss can only exist so long before reality interrupts. Baltezhar and I both want another child, and in a perfect world that would be a  possibility. But we were already incredibly lucky to even have had Aleksi. It was heartbreaking to know, that we may never again be as lucky. And despite the unlikely statistics that we would ever again conceive, it didn’t stop us from trying, or practicing.

Things had also gotten significantly more difficult since Aleksi’s fifth birthday. His vampirism is becoming more and more prominent with every passing day. His skin growing more sensitive to the suns violent UV rays. His tolerance for human food grows weaker and animal blood is fast becoming irrelevant. His tiny body is turning against him.

Due to his sensitivities it is up to me and Balt to home school him, so he can grow up to be as intelligent as his potential allows. Arkin said it could be difficult in the years to come and he was right. We  tried to explain it to Aleksi what he was exactly. But he was still so young, so we only told him a part of it. And even then he didn’t understand. He deserves to know the truth, but I want him to have a childhood. To hold onto his innocence for as long as possible.

“Momma?” Aleksi’s childish voice asks snapping me out of my day dreams.

“Yes, darling?” I ask him, messing up his hair. He looks so much like my father did when he was young, I realize with a smile.

“Outside. Can I play. There’s a kitty outside. Can I play with kitty cat?” he asks excitedly. I take a look outside, 2pm, still daylight.

“Sorry honey. I want you to finish your math problems, and then hop in the bath. You know that you’re sensitive to the sun.” It wasn’t fair that he couldn’t act like a normal kid. But hopefully I could stall him long enough. I always felt bad for saying no. But I had too. For his own good. He just didn’t understand.

“But… But… kitty.” he frowns, whining.

“I’m sorry. Now hop to it, okay.” I give him an encouraging smile, pulling him into a hug. “Don’t make me ask you again.”

“Okie Momma.” Aleksi sighs and leaves the room. I brush my hand through my hair nervously. He was still so young.

I sit back down, pick back up the pen and continue writing. Soaking in the familar sound of pen to paper. As I begin writing, inspiration takes hold. Fabulous tales begin spilling onto the page below. A handsome knight. A princess in distress. A very, wicked witch. I begin to lose myself in the words, and the ink that forms the words.

My entire body jolts as I hear a blood curdling scream. Who? Where? I listen closely, allowing my instincts to take over. Aleksi… I force my body forward, searching. Where was he? And that’s where I see the front door. Wide open. My baby sprawled out on the pavement in the sun.

“Darling?” I call out, my voice a nervous pitch. My darling. Not my Aleksi. I push past my traumatized  husband as he stalks up and down the shadow line unable to do a thing.

Aleksi is curled into a small ball, whimpering on the ground. Trying to hide himself from the hot afternoon glare of the pounding sun. Beads of sweat drip off of his brow. His eyes are squeezed tightly shut. The only thing I can think to do is to bundle him into my arms, and carry him back inside.

“Sweetie..?” I mumble looking down at him as he recovers. He trembles slightly as Balt places a cool cloth onto his forehead. “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”

“Hey. This is not your fault.” Balt insists, with a worried look on his face.

“I should have-“

“No. This is not your fault.” We stare at each other for another moment before turning our attention back to our child. “He will be okay.”

Aleksi coughs suddenly, and slowly opens his eyes. A scared look crosses his face immediately as he gazes up at us.

“Baby, I told you not to go outside. Why didn’t you listen?” I should have been watching him. I should have known. It was all my fault.

“Am I in twouble? ” Aleksi mumbles with a terrified look on his face. “I just wanted to play outside. I never go outside.”

“No, you’re not in trouble.” I breath out a sigh of relief. But as I listen to his words I feel my heart breaking in two.

“I’m sowwi. I just wanted to play. Like a… Like a normal boy.” His voice is now a quiet whisper as his confused face questions us silently. “Am I mostah?”

“No, child.” Balt whispers brushing the boys hair out of his face. “You are not a monster, okay?”

“Then why? Why does it hurt?” he whimpers agains, desperately searching both our eyes for answers. “Why I not loud outside? Why I feel like one…”

“Honey… Baby, please. You are most definitely not a monster.” I yelp surprised with a dull ache forcing it’s way into my chest. “I promi-“

“No!” he screams jumping to his feet. “No, I just want to be normal. Please, why can’t I be normal?” Aleksi throws him arms into the air and storms off to his room, slamming the door behind him.

Balt and I stare after him longingly. Both unsure of how to respond to his outburst. “I should go after him…” I mumble.

“No, give him some space to calm down. When he does, then we will go to him. Together. And answer any questions his troubled mind may have.” Balt explains to me, giving my hand a squeeze.

“I just wish it was easier for him.” I frown. “It doesn’t help that we have none of the correct information either. It’s just not fair.”

“Life isn’t fair, but, I promise, we will do the best we can.” Balt nuzzles into me kissing my forehead. “We always get through it, don’t we?”

“Always…” I grumble, as he pulls me into a tight hug.

“Always!”

I take a deep breath. I wanted him. All of him, forever. “W..Will you… Willyoumarryme?” An awkward silence fills the space around us. The only sound is the night time orchestra of the wildlife. Oh god, what had I just asked? I look away not able to look him in the eyes anymore. I couldn’t take this back.

“Darling… You want me? Always?” He whispers pretending to think about what I had asked of him. His voice sounds husky, and nervous. I take and anxious gulp, avoiding his questions. “Of course I need you, want you.”

“So…?’ I ask, my voice a tiny squeak. “W.. Will you?” A huge smile spreads across his face.

“Ye-“

“I hope I’m not interrupting.” Arkin cuts in, walking out from the shadows. Me and Balt both glare at him angrily. “But I was wond-“

“If you don’t leave right now, Arkin, I’m not kidding, I will tear your throat out.” Balt growls at him playfully and impatiently.

“I’m not sure I appreciate your tone, sir.” Arkin replies, sarcastically. His voice slightly higher than before.

“And I’m not sure that you understand me.” Balt takes a step towards him. “I’m completely serious. Go now, and I won’t rip your face off.”

“You sir, are a… Are a… bully.” Arkin glares stubbornly at us both. “Are you sure this is the guy you want to call your husband? He’s a whole lot of angry, and unjustly so. Also he doesn’t like unicorns or fair-“

“Arkin! I swear to god. If Balt doesn’t do it, I will.” I threaten, sighing loudly. He gives us both one final grin of defiance before he’s gone. “Crazy, ins-“

“Where were we?” Balt mumbles kissing me passionately, interrupting my train of thought. “Oh, I remember. I was just about to accept your proposal to make you my wife.” I giggle softly, admiring his face. He would be mine. We share another deep, passionate kiss on the balcony under the stars.

“Mum?” I say slowly inching her bedroom door open. “Mother, please, I have some news. Please…”

“What is it, darling?” she mumbles sitting up in bed. I walk over to her and sit down on the bed. She had been crying again, I could tell.

“First, let’s get your something to eat. You need to keep your strength up.” I help her up, and we slowly make our way into the dining room. When she takes a seat, I fetch some leftovers.

“It’s okay, mum.” I mumble taking the seat beside her. She doesn’t eat any of the food on the plate, instead she stares at it sadly. “I… We have some news.” I motion towards Baltezhar as he enters the room.

“You… Both…” mother says in a daze, a hint of sadness removed from her gaze.

“As you know, Balt and I have been together for a while…” I begin. Although we weren’t always together, my heart had always belonged to him. I look at them both for a moment. My heart rate rising at the idea of saying it out loud.

“Mrs Godwinn. I would like to ask permission to have your daughter’s hand in marriage.” Balt finishes my thought, sensing my hesitation. I watch my mothers facial expression change. Her grim demeanor is quickly replaced with a teary eyed smile.

She stands up and collects both of us into her arms, murmuring sentiments of love and congratulations. I grin at her proudly. This was what she had always wanted.

Through much deliberation, we decide on a fall wedding after Aleksi’s fifth birthday. That way he would be old enough to understand the significance of the occasion. He was growing up so fast. Soon he would be in school, and then learning to drive, going to prom… Where it all started for me… For Phin… Where our lives began. It seemed surreal how much time had past since then.

******************************************************

Five years today. And so much had happened since then. Since he was born. As I look down at his smiling face, I see a flashback of the his short life. My baby was growing up. He would enter the journey through childhood today. I lift Aleksi into my arms, and kiss his forehead.

“Happy birthday, sweet heart.” I whisper into his ear as the rest of my loved ones sing the celebratory birthday song. I turn my head, gazing at everyone’s faces. It had been a tough year, but here we were. All together. Things I hadn’t even imagined to be possible, were now a reality. He was going to be the most loved child in the world…

We lean down towards the cake and blow out the candles, making a wish for a bright future.

******************************************************

I stare at the mirror, nervously. This was it. My big day. I run my hands down the silk dress for the tenth time that minute. My wedding day was finally here. I smile at myself shakily.

“I came to say goodbye, and to wish you luck on the eve of your wedding.” Arkin smiles entering the bridal chamber.

“Won’t you stay?” I mumble, not realizing how much it would hurt to see him go. “At least for the wedding?”

“No, I’m afraid I can not hold the council off for much longer, without making a speedy return to the courts.” He offers another encouraging smile.

“Not even for a few hours.” I frown at him, begging.

“I’m afraid it would not be a wise idea, for me to make them wait much longer.” He half heartedly explains. “I do not want them to follow me here. Your family will be protected, that I will make sure of.”

“Why won’t you stay? Is it because I agreed to your deal? And now you have what you want?” I curse under my breath confused.

“Child, the council does not have a good track record with the Lapsi Varjot. It’s an unnecessary risk, and you have already given to much to our cause.” He sighs and shakes his head apologetically at me.

“You sound like you know a lot about that…” He had no doubt seen and done many terrible things in his years, but to think he had ACTUALLY committed them was another thing entirely. He was just so…Innocent.

“Unfortunately yes.” His eyes fill with sadness as he speaks. “One of the great many benefits of being on the council. Vampires, and even mortals used to hunt them down, and reward us with them to get in our good graces. I was always… Kind with mine. But the others were not so lucky. I would hate to see you offered the same fate.”

“If your a vampire, then why do you care so much? Why not just give in?” I ask tentatively.

“Because I do not let what I am, define me.” Arkin states. “I love, I feel, I live. I am not a monster, so I will not act like one. There are times, when, yes,  it would have been easier to give in… And there are times I wish I had been stronger…” He frowns staring down at my engagement ring.

“Did you lose someone?” I ask slowly, mouthing out the words nervously. “Is that why your so… Sad.”

“Once upon a time ago. Yes, I loved and lost. But this is not wedding talk.” He argues passively.

“No. It isn’t but you promised me answers, and if you leave, I don’t know if I’ll ever see you again.” I offer him an unconvincing smile.

“I’m not sure why you would need to know about Elvira’s mother.” He muses, letting me know just enough so I would be intrigued.

“E..Elvira’s m.. Mother… Which would m.. Make you h.. Her…” I stutter trying to comprehend his words. While I was aware he had a certain relation to her, I never imagined this.

“Her father.” He states simply. “And as her father I offer you every drop of sympathy my body contains. She was a.. Confused child.”

“Y.. You must hate me… I’m so sorry.” I sob ashamed. All this time. All this time and he never said anything. “Why would you protect me if I.. If I-“

“I mourned the death of my daughter many, many decades ago. After she ki… After my mate… Passed onto another life.” His face darkens dramatically. “I just need to take responsibility for my blood. Something I should have done a long time ago.”

“I’m sorry. She was still your daughter.” I state firmly.

“She was my daughter. Which is why I let her away with so much. And which is why I will forever mourn her.” He shrugs. “But I will always hate her for everything she has done to me, and the rest of the world. But that does not mean I will ever stop loving her.”

“W..Will you ever come back?” I whisper. A part of me didn’t want him to leave. I didn’t want him to risk dying.

“I don’t know.” He frowns at me. “Take care of Aleksi, growing up could be rough on him. I should go.” He pouts at me and turns his back. “It’s time.”

“Arkin…” I yelp, as I see him leave. “Come home… One day. Please.” I look at him sadly. “Let me know that your alive.”

“You make a beautiful bride.” He smiles weakly at me. “Tell your husband, I am sorry for my sudden departure. I wish you the best of luck for your future, Miss Godwinn.”

Miss Godwinn, soon to be Mrs… I think terrified as I wait at the end of the long corridor. I could kill a vampire, but the thought of getting married scared me stupid. Take a deep breath, I will myself silently. Balt was out there, waiting for me. All I had to do was walk down there and he was mine. Simple. Just don’t trip.

I push the doors open and slowly walk down the path. One step at a time. I blush a soft pink, looking upwards, and seeing the faces staring back. Smiling, happy, blissful.

Balt… My heart skips a beat when my eyes finally reach his. A small smile touching my lips. It was okay.

“I, Baltezhar… Dracula” He says playfully and dramatically, choosing a ridiculous surname. “Take you, Constance Godwinn to be my wife. I will always be by your side, from now until the end of time. I will stand between you and the creatures of the night. I will protect you from those who wish you harm. I will shield you from your darkest days, and the shadow of the light. I will never betray you, for you are my heart, my soul and my life.”

“I, Constance Godwinn, take you Baltezhar, to be my lawfully wedded husband. I love you. So much, and because of this love we share, I promise to always be yours. Before you, I was someone else. Someone I wasn’t happy with. And through you, I have found my true self. I am strong, because your by my side. And under the smile of the moon tonight, I give myself to you. My entire being, heart and soul. From now until the end of time.”

After the vows are done, my brother screams out “you may now kiss the bride.” I blush deeply, as Baltezhar pulls me into his arms. Despite everyone in the room, we kiss lustfully and lovingly.

The family assembles at the grave yard at twilight. We say our somber greetings to one another. I hadn’t seem any of them in four years, and now our meeting was tainted by the reason for the occasion. Instead of happy squeals of excitement, joyful hugs and smiles, we greet each other with tear stained faces and bloodshot eyes.

I take a look over at mother. She’s devastated. Utterly and completely. She’s thin and frail, having lost a lot of weight. Ever since he… Father… Left our world, she had stopped eating, stopped smiling, like all life had been sucked right out of her veins. Father was her life, and now he was gone. I can’t bear the thought of her suffering. Of my family’s suffering.

Throughout the funeral ceremony I try my hardest to stay strong. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. I repeat over and over inside my head. I chew my lip, fighting the sadness that threatens to swallow me whole. Keep it together. Don’t cry. I stare at the urn, that now contains my fathers body. I shut my eyes tightly as a single tear falls down my cheek. Be strong. He would want you to be strong.

Dad… I remember when I was little, we would have pillow fights and you would tuck me into bed. You would say “there wasn’t a thing in this world I couldn’t do if I wanted it enough.” When I got older, we would have private talks. About everything and nothing at the same time. And although I never told you anything to do with vampires, I could tell you anything. You always knew exactly what to say. And now… Now I would never get I hear your voice again. Or hug you when I am feeling down. I would never get to see your face again… Your gone, and I don’t know what to do… I slowly open my eyes willing for father to appear before me. Telling me it was all just a horrible dream. I feel a soft touch onto my shoulder, guiding me into his arms.

“It’s okay to cry… You don’t need to try to be strong and hold it in.” Baltezhar whispers into my ear. “Everyone’s hurting. I’m here and I’m not going anywhere.” I collapse into his arms. Letting my tears soak into his shirt. Balt doesn’t say a single word, instead just holds me. Softly stroking my hair.

When I finally pull away, I check on Aleksi. He didn’t understand death. Just that someone he loved very dearly wasn’t here anymore. I softly rock him, backwards and forwards, as he sobs silently. He had dealt with so much grief in his young life. I just hope it doesn’t continue to haunt him as he grows older. Balt kisses both of our foreheads and takes him from my arms so that I can comfort the rest of my family.

We hang up father’s portrait above his urn. It was one that mother had painted of him. Forever memorializing him. He was a father, a grandfather, a husband, an athlete. And most importantly, an amazing person. And one day, when Aleksi was older, I was going to take him here, and tell him all about my father. His grandfather. My lower lip quivers, as I say my final, reluctant good byes.  It was too soon.

Before we return to the house I see Arkin alone by himself, sadly watching over us. At first I’m angry, he knew. He knew and couldn’t help him. But then it soon disappears. It wasn’t his fault. It was no one’s fault. Especially not Arkin. I approach him slowly, trying to find the strength to say what I needed to say.

“I’m sorry for your loss.” He murmurs as soon as I’m in ear shot. “It’s just… So sad.” He sobs.

“Doesn’t it get easier? You know, living as long as you have?” I ask trying to build up to what I wanted to say. He scrunches his face up for a moment thinking.

“No. Never. But as a vampire, I guess there’s the choice.” He shrugs, studying me. My tears. My disheveled appearance. “I can turn it off, or feel everything. And when you love, and lose, you never really get over it. It’ll always be something you carry with you.”

“Oh…” I sigh. Why did I even think for one second he would know what to say.

“But… I guess… No. It does. It does get easier. I promise.” He offers encouragement. “Day after day. year after year. Decade after decade. It gets easier, to the point where you don’t want to throw yourself off a bridge only to find out your immortal, every single time you realize that they’re gone.” I stare at him shocked for a moment, unsure of how to react. Sensing the awkward tension begining to settle in around us, he continues “I.. I’m not g.. Good with this s.. stuff. I.. I’m… I should go.”Before I can say anything he’s already far, far away.  I bite my lip and decide to go back to the others.

We return to the house to recover, and to celebrate his life. But the rest of the evening feels like my heart is being torn to pieces. Reliving every day with him. But at the same time, it feels good knowing just how many great memories we had with him. I know my mother never had many with her parents. She never even knew when they had died. So I know that she feels slightly better knowing that he would always have a place in our hearts. In hers.

We continue sharing stories until late at night. All of us. My sisters, their partners, Phin. Even Baltezhar. Mother stays quiet however. A few stray tears falling down her sleep deprived face.

After a lot more tears have fallen, I go outside to get some air and take a moment to recover. We had made it through the day, and we had survived. And even though it would be hard. We would do the same thing again tomorrow. And the next day. Until we can live with the pain of losing dad.

I hear the door open, and almost silent footsteps behind me. It tun my head slightly, so I can see better. Balt..

“Your my rock, you know that?” I whisper to Balt. “I don’t know how you got me through today. But you did, so thank you.”

We will get through this. Take it day by day.” his lips softly brush against my cheek.

“I don’t know how I’d cope if I ever lost you.” I mumble, while nuzzling in closer. It would kill me. And I was worried that  losing my dad would be the death of my mother.

“You never have to. I’m always going to be here.” He squeezes me tightly. “Try and stop me.”

“After everything she’s been through… I’m scared for her.” My heart rate rises dramatically, as I breathe in his musky aroma. “Losing dad, everything with me. You know, she missed two of her daughters weddings because I sent them away.”

“It’s not your fault.” He tries to argue “You were protecti-“

“And falling in love with a vampire.” I chuckle painfully and quietly.

“Falling in love with a vampire… How very thirteenth century of you.” He mutters, raising one eyebrow incredulously at me.

“Shut up and hold me.” I lightly slap him, and fall back into his arms. This was where I wanted to be. Forever. “H.. How about we make it… O.. Off..icial?”

“Official?” He says dragging the word out slowly. A faint smile reaching his lips. I squeeze his hand nervously.

“L…Like a… Uh…” I take a deep breath. I wanted him. All of him, forever. “W..Will you… Willyoumarryme?”

“W… What deal?” I whisper nervously. Negotiations were never a good thing to do with a vampire, least of all an insane one.

“You give me Elvira…” Arkin states. I shoot him a puzzled look. He knew she was dead, and what happens to dead vampires. Why would he ask for her?

“I tuned her to ash.” I mumble, half afraid. Only a lunatic would ask for such a thing.

“No. I did. That’s what I want.” he explains with a smirk.

“Don’t you understand how the whole vampire thing works?” I ask confused. What was he even asking? For me to bring her back so he could do it again? “She’s gone. Dead. No more.”

“No, I don’t think you understand.” Arkin says impatiently. “I killed her. All the consequence or benefit will befall me. I killed her.”

“What do you want?” I whisper. It meant the council wouldn’t come for my family and I. What would I have to do in return if he took responsibility for her death? Whatever it was, it couldn’t be good.

“I’ll give you anything.” he begs. “Anything.”

“Wait, what? You’ll give me anything?” I frown at him utterly confused. He was dead serious.

“My lake house in Hidden Springs, my ranch in Appaloosa Plains? What about money? How much can I offer you? What about a kangaroo or an ostrich?” Arkin rambles on and on. Offering various goods, luxuries and exotic animals. I stare at him dumb founded not saying anything. He would reward me? For breaking some unwritten vampire law? And choose to be punished instead? “I’ll do anything, please. ANYTHIIIINN-!”

“Shut up. Let me think.” I bury my face in my hands. This didn’t make any sense. He didn’t make any sense. Why couldn’t he just be normal. “Why do you even want to claim her?”

“Because the council needs some shaking up.” He moans, deep in thought. “They can’t kill me, ’cause I’m a pure blood. They’re vampires, they only listen to power. If they think I killed her, then I have power. They’ll listen to me.” His voice is silent by the time he finishes his tirade. Almost a whisper. He sounds almost scared.

“Ark-” I mumble, reaching out to his arm.

“Please. Anything.” He almost yells, whilst interrupting me. He softens his gaze “Please…”

“Why would you do this for us?” My voice is almost inaudible. A deal. With a vampire. That just screamed bad news.

“I can promise your family’s safety, and I’ll give you anything.” He pouts sadly.

“I don’t make deals with vampires.” I frown at him. He purses his lips looking at the ground.

“How about a dozen silk socks? Or what about answers for you then? And everyone’s safety?”” He argues with me pleadingly. I stare at him shocked, this was way too good to be true. “And anything else you could possibly want?”

“Tell me something first. Why does the council need… Shaking up?” His eyes flicker up to mine. Mixed emotions flaring behind the glowing red pupils. I think I see fear in them. But only for a moment, and I’m not completely sure. What could he possibly be afraid of? He was something beyond death, beyond life. Something more.

“Because they take and they take and they take.” Arkin whisper in a low tone, holding my gaze in his. “How much do you think that they can  take before we fall apart completely?”

“And you think they’ll listen, just for that? Just because you ki-“

“Pure bloods have been untouchable for hundreds of years. A lot of us knew Elvira was evil. But no one was strong enough to make the right choice. I wasn’t.” He whimpers to me explaining. “If I killed her, they have to listen to me. I would be strong, and brave, and a revolutionary. And my dear, we are in dire need of a revolution.”

“You want to start a revolution?” I give him another puzzled look as I speak. No wonder Rayne let him in. They both wanted the same thing.

“I just want to change things. Things in my world, the vampire world are not as good as you might believe. It’s wrong. All wrong.” Arkin’s face darkens. “And not all of us want this monstrous life for ourselves, child. But we have no option but to follow the iron will, the evil will of the monsters in charge.”

“So you start world war V, then what?” His plan didn’t make any sense. Perhaps I don’t understand vampires or their politics as well as I think I do, but it’s ludacris. Almost as crazy as him. He was going to get himself killed, and then all of us.

“That is not for you to worry about, child. If you agree to this the-“

“If agree to it, what then? They’ll kill you.” I glare at him for a moment. I finally understood why I felt like he needed protecting. He was an idiot, and so damn bizarre. Arkin needed someone to tell him no. To shelter him.

“Then I die. We both would have lived up to our side of the bargain.” A soft, nervous laugh escapes his lips as he speaks. “It’s a win win. And they won’t, they can’t kill me. I’m an old blood. Older than many of the council members. And I’m a pure blood.  Now make up your god damn mind, woman!”

“I… I’m not making up my mind right now.” I say stubbornly, as we stare intently at each other. He could save my life, but was I really willing to let him die for me? For my family? I wanted my family safe. That much was obvious. And I wanted answers, desperately. But to make a deal with a vampire. A mentally deluded pure blood. “Who was E… Elvira to you?” I finally manage to squeak out.

“No one.” He glares, suddenly angry. “She was a heartless cow, and I felt NOTHING towards her!”

“I’m not asking how you felt about her. I’m asking how you n… knew her.” I stutter at the end. He was unpredictable. I didn’t want him to get angry. “You said I could have answers.”

“Does that mean I killed her?” He yelps excitedly clapping his hands.

“I didn’t say that. I.. I..” I can’t find the words. His eyes get all foggy, and he fades away for a moment, paying me no attention.

He shoots me a pained look suddenly. “What! Don’t even think about begging me. I will make my mind up when I’m good and ready.” I snap at him. I needed time to think. More than he was offering. “And not a minute after.”

“N.. No.. You… You should go home.” He mumbles, looking at me concerned. “Go. You should go now.”

“B.. But?” I go to speak but he stops me.

“Your family needs you right now.” He states simply without elaborating any further. “Go. Hurry along, child.”

I arrive home, after virtually being kicked out. I was nervous. Why had Arkin totally freaked out on me? More so than usual. I wrap my arms around myself as the cool mountain breeze embraces me as I reach the stairs. I bite my lip, willing myself to shakily turn the door handle. I slowly inch the door open. Why was I so scared? This is crazy I think snapping myself out of it. Someone had probably just blown a light bulb and Arkin had snapped. Everything would be fine.

I flick the light switch.

“Dad!” I scream seeing father lying motionless at the base of the stairs. It’s exactly like they describe it in the movies. Everything slows down. A single heart beat lasts a lifetime, and a single step, forever and a day. Phineas doesn’t move an inch, despite hearing me screaming. Mother cries softly over father’s body. “Dad…”

“Dad…” I scream again, running as fast as I possibly can. But I can’t go fast enough. Time is to slow. I’m to slow. My tears already spilling over. I feel a weight grab my waist spinning me around.

“Don’t look. Shhhh. It’s okay. It’s okay.” Balt softly whispers on repeat into my ear.

“Dad…”

It wasn’t real I keep telling myself. Father would open my bedroom door and mess up my hair. Tell me some corny joke and we would both laugh. It wasn’t real. He would come right in, tell me he loves me one last time. I bite my lip, silently sobbing. Don’t go, dad. Stay with me. Please. I don’t want to be alone. I lift my cold, trembling hand to my face and wipe away my tears. Dad…

He wasn’t coming back. He had tripped, and fallen down the stairs. Gone… Forever. No, it wasn’t true. My father was still here. He couldn’t be… Couldn’t be dead. The funeral was in a few hours… It was too soon. I wasn’t ready to say good bye. I needed to say I love you one last time. I needed him back.

“Dad, were you proud of me?” I whisper out loud, trying not to wake Aleksi, who had only just fallen asleep after crying all night. “Was I the kind of person you wanted me to be? I’m sorry… Dad. I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay.” Phineas whisper kneeling beside the bed. “We’ll get through this. Together. I promise.”

And that’s when I see my mother’s heart broken face. She had lost the love of her life. I can’t remember my mum with without dad. They were always together as long as I remember. It wasn’t always that way, but they love… They loved each other. They were the reason I even believed that true love existed in the world. And now it was over. She was alone. It wasn’t fair. How was she going to live without him?

“C… Co..nie your f.. Father was so p.. P… Proud of you.” She sobs trying to control her voice. “B.. Both of you. H.. He l..l…Loved you all s..s..So much.”

“M.. Mother.” I whisper, throwing my arms tightly around her neck. “He loved you more than life. I.. I’m so sorry.” Phineas gets to his feet and joins in the family hug. Squeezing us both tightly. “We’re going to be okay”

“They’re here.” Balt says quietly, looking at us all concerned. “It’s time.”

I woke up the next day with a fright. Had yesterday really happened? I rub my eyes still exhausted. “We need to talk Balt…” I whisper, knowing he can hear me. But he doesn’t come. “Stop being a coward and come here. Balt?” I say slightly louder, still waking up.

“He’s out right now.” A nervous Arkin mumbles beside me. My heart skips a beat. I stare at his face for a second. He looks terrified. And then it hits me.

“Ahhhh!” I scream loudly. Oh god! I’m in my underwear I blush mortified.  He looks away, back to me, then back to the roof again.

“I… Oh…” He mumbles just as shocked as me. “Errrrr.”

I try to unsucessfully cover myself. My mind racing, not able to see the obvious solution, such as wrap my myself in a blanket. Arkin looks away again, refusing to look me in the eyes.

“How long have you been there?” I squeak. I didn’t trust this guy at all.

“I… I… Not even a m… Minute.” He mumbles. I try to smile at him, to lighten the mood, but he blushes and looks away again. “D… Don’t worry, I p.. Promised I would behave, and I’m a man of my word.”

“W… Who are you?” I ask.

“You know my name.” His response is surprisingly more confused than sarcastic.

“Then what are you doing here?” I sigh loudly, getting annoyed. It was bad enough him having to be here. To see me in my… Unmentionables…

“Ding dong the witch is dead! The witch is dead! The witch is dead!” He starts happily singing, turning away completely, leaving me more puzzled. He really was a child.

“So that is why you’re here? The council sent you. Didn’t they?” I say deflated, causing him to stop singing.

“You misunderstand my visit. This is purely pleasure, not business.” His choice of words leaves me feeling… odd and uncomfortable.

“P… Pleasure?” I ask, my voice once again high and squeaky.

“I have a de-“

“Get out!” Balt growls entering the room, throwing myself in front of me.

“You said I could stay!” Arkin whines, cowering close to the floor.

“Not in this bedroom. And not with her.” Balt responds coldly, somewhat jealously. I blush slightly hearing the emotion in his voice.

“I said I’d behave!” I realize that it wasn’t that Arkin was overly confident or arrogant. He just was… Childish. In every sense of the word. A man sized child.

“And did you?” Balt glares at Arkin for a moment before softening his gaze to me.

“P… Please d… Don’t hurt me.” Arkin whimper. I stand there in shock. He could tear Balt’s heart out without any effort at all, and he was scared.

“He didn’t do anything unwarranted?” Balt asks, ignoring him.

“He was fi-“

“I was a perfect gentleman.” Arkin cuts me off. “And as your elder-“

“Look, it’s too early in the night for this. So stop it. Both of you.” I growl, telling them both off. Quite frankly, this was all to much, for anyone to wake up too. “Balt, you asked him here, he is your responsibility. If you don’t trust him, then I will ask him to leave. No in between. And Arkin…” I stop myself here. Could I really scold a two thousand year old vampire. Although he acted like a man child… He certainly didn’t act his age, or pedigree. “And Arkin… You do not want me to raise my voice again, understood.” Balt stares at me stunned, while Arkin sticks his lower lip out frowning.

“I was a perfect gentleman.” He repeats himself, sulking.

After that I eat my breakfast or dinner, as I suppose it was. The meal was eaten in complete, uncomfortable, awkward silence. The house was empty except for us three. Mother and father were out. Aleksi was with Rayne. And Phineas… I had no idea where he was. However, the two vampire’s stare at me intently, probably still sulking. I refuse to make eye contact with either of them. I still blushed just thinking about it.

“Will someone please tell me what’s going on?” I ask playing with the food on the plate. I push around a lone piece of broccoli, dragging it from one end of the plate to the other. I sigh before pushing the plate away completely.. “H… How do you know each other?”

“The council.” Balt replies squeezing my hand. “We met shortly after I was turned. Him and Elvi-“

“Elvira and I were merely acquaintances.” Arkin cuts in, still frowning, turning to Balt. “Hate was our only bond.” Balt sighs and rolls his eyes at him.

“As I was saying, Elvira took me to him on a number of occasions.” Baltezhar explains, trying to find the right words, so not to upset Arkin again. “After I left her, when she was on trial, I returned to find out whether or not she would be executed. When the council spared her-“

“She should have died then!” Arkin spits angrily. “I took pity on the fool who married my… Who married Elvira. I took him under my wing, tried to retrain him. Fix the damage she caused. Undo the scars on humanity. Cleanse the ea`-“

“Who married your what?” I ask stopping Arkin’s insensate ramblings.

“My nothing.” He glares at us both. There was some issues there.

We continue talking, both of the boys having various outbursts throughout the conversation. Most of which was Arkin. Elvira was definitely a touchy subject for him. But why that was, no one would tell me. However Balt seemed to act different with him. Soft, sensitive, even when they were arguing. There was a certain amount of care they each had for one another. They obviously trusted each other to a certain extent.

When the sun sets, Arkin retreats from the discussion. Claiming it was hunting time, but I’m sure he just needed time to himself. Like he was overwhelmed by everything. I try to talk to Balt about it more, but he seems reserved about answering my further questions. He obviously did not want to share information that Arkin wasn’t willing to make public knowledge. Fighting my stubbornness I agree to let it go. Hoping that I can get enough time alone with Arkin to ask him about it.

“Your pouting.” Balt notes, grabbing my hand.

“I’m just thinking. Why don’t you go and hunt too?” I yawn lazily. “Or-“

“No.” Balt gasps quickly, figuring out what I was alluding too. Then he chuckles softly. “If I drink your blood, I’m afraid that would start world war 3.” He runs his hand through his hair. “Rayne and Phin make a ferocious team. Bruce too.”

“World war me?” I sigh.

“Exactly.” He chuckles before lightly kissing me. “But I better follow that fool just in case he decides to start an argument with a traffic light.”

After I’m alone, I go to check on Aleksi at Rayne’s house. She looks incredibly awkward and uncomfortable when I greet her. As we enter the house I see she has two glasses of wine out. She looks at me apologetically, knowing that I know. I ask her if she knows where Phineas is and she blushes a deep shade of red. It was obvious that he was the other glass of wine tonight, but I keep my lips sealed. if they were ready to admit anything, they would tell me. Instead of prying I wake Aleksi from his nap and hold him tightly. He should be at home with me I think. But while I wasn’t sure I could trust Arkin, it was better if he stayed here.

I sit down with my child, and teach him new words. But I’m too distracted by my new house mate. I should have the guts to ask Rayne about Arkin, she would have know about him. She probably would tell me the entire truth. I would have been angry with Balt for not telling me, but Arkin had a certain sorrow about him. Like he needed to be protected. Which was a strange thought, I couldn’t imagine a two thousand year old pure blood needing protection from anything. But there was just something about him, something so innocent.

“Mawww?” Aleksi coo’s snapping me out of my thoughts. “Nhu pirah good?” I stare at him thoughtfully for a moment.

“Yes. New vampire is good.” I smile at him halfheartedly. He was one of the good guy’s right? At least Baltezhar and Phineas weren’t waging war against him. That was a good sign right. “Arkin good.”

“You think so?” A voice from behind me pipes in. Arkin… I turn around and glare at him. That was something he was not meant to hear. I can hear the arrogance drip from every word.

“How did you get in?” I glare at him. “What did you do to Rayne?”

“Well, child, she doesn’t hate me as much as she does your love monkey.” He replies. I blush wildly as he speaks. “I think she actually kind of likes me.” He winks.

“Well… If it’s any consolation, I’m sorry that you don’t want me here.” He continues, his arrogant smile still planted firmly on his face.

“I’m sorry, but you’re right I don’t want you here. And I don’t know why you are here.” I glare at him stubbornly. Rayne was going to be in serious trouble.

“It’s understandable, it’s nothing to apologize for.” Arkin replies shrugging. Baltezhar had almost certainly had a talk with him about how he should act. “But-“

“But what?” There was a catch. There was always a catch, I think disheartened.

“I’m here to make a deal.” His response is bold. Not something that I had expected of him. I wasn’t going to be making any deals, with any vampire.