Archive for May, 2013

The moon shines down on me and lights up the ground around me. The shadows dance playfully, across the ground and walls. My reflection sparkles in the dirty window as I watch in. Quietly, oh so quietly. I can’t make a sound or they’ll see me. And if that happens… I wouldn’t know what to do, or what to say. The thought alone made my heart race with nervous speeds. Rafe didn’t deserve my ill treatments, nor did he deserve my lack of explanations.

But I couldn’t, force or will myself to walk to up to the front door. To knock, maybe three times, and to tell him that I was home. It all seemed so easy, any outsider could easily say that they would do it. But right now, but me, I could hardly even take a breath, or even think. My salvation and hope, was so easy to see. But actions, actually going ahead with it was almost suffocating. And the feeling alone was almost enough to break me.

The cold, air envelops me. Sending chills down my spine, and changing the direction of the wind. I shiver against myself, wishing that I had thought to change out of my pajamas or even bring a jacket. Kicking myself now that it was cold. Looking back up again, my eyes lock with the vampires. Causing my breath to catch in my throat and my body to go numb.

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He drops to his knees at the window, and watches me. Cocking his head to the side. I dare not take my eyes off of him. But the longer our eyes are meet, I feel a deep serenity begin to take over and calm my nervous body down. My anxious heart begins to slow, and the frantic beats begin to ease. From behind the protection of the glass, he seemed almost human. His glowing eyes were the only remainder of his vampirism. His tussled blue, grey hair sits against his pale complexion in an almost ghostly way.

His head turns towards Rafe’s body, towering over his. He mouths words to him quietly, the window soundproofs it, but I still stand frozen in place. Responses, back and forth. They talk for a few minutes, to my silent ears, but the vampires eyes keep coming back to mine. Rafe nods his head one last time and leaves the room, and out of sight. But Vladimir stays, watching me with strange fascination.

Soon the front door opens and foot steps follow. My twin smiles briefly and motions for me to follow.

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As we get to the front door. Rafe pulls me into a tight hug. Surprising me deeply. I had expected that he would still be angry with me, and not want to see me. After all I had left him twice. “You’re an idiot.” He growls into my ear, still holding me tightly, without letting me go

“I know…” I frown, pulling away from him awkwardly. We were still family, even after everything that we did to ourselves and each other. Rafe was all I had, and it wasn’t until now that I realized how much I had missed him. “I’m so sorry… You have no idea how much I really am.”

“You were confused, Vivian, you didn’t mean to cause the harm that you did.” He shakes his head, scratching his arm for comfort. Rafe shoots me a small smile before looking away again. “We’re a family remember? Even if it’s been a long time. That means I always gotta forgive you for all the stupid shit you do. And you gotta do the same, yeah? Cause I’m always gonna screw up, and I need someone who is actually gonna be there to pull me back out. And still love me all the same. You’re all the family I got left, Viv.”

“I promise.” I give him the same uncertain smile he had done. Rafe opens the door back up, and I follow him down the short hall way to the room. As we walk inside, I feel a spike of nerves hit me.

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“Happy family reunion, yes?” Vladimir asks as we enter through the door. His accent was still heavy with the accent of his human home. It hadn’t lessened any bit since the first time I had seen him. Even after two years, a hundred, a hundred more. Deep, deep down inside he was still the same human boy he had been the day of his death. Even now if he scarcely seemed it anymore. Being this close to him though, he seemed less and less human. His eyes seemed to sparkle and dance more with the gift of immortality shining through. His ghostly, pale skin seemed to be luminescent with the silhouette of the moons glow.

“For now.” Rafe sighs and leans against the bench. Seeming slightly on edge with me being in the same room as his new master. “No thanks to you though.” He frowns and stares the vampire directly in the eyes.

“Ahh, my boy, you focus to much on the ill things in life.” Vladimir hops off the counter, and lightly clasps Rafe’s face. He smiles brightly, revealing his sharp fangs beneath his feigned humanity. His light chuckle echos throughout the rented room. “You have been reunited, and yet you still have so much hostility. I was the tracker, and have you not found who you were looking for? The thing you desired mostly?”

“Yes…” Once again he sighs deeply, and brushes the hair from his eyes. “I mean, yes sir. Thank you, you did more than you needed to, more than what was originally agreed too.” Rafe adds with a small smile, as he looks over at me. “You brought her back to me.” The look in his eyes, makes me smile briefly. Even if the room, thick with an awkward kind of tension.

“Now if we will, a moment alone.” Vladimir states watching him almost amused. Rafe’s eyes pull together, bringing with it a confused look. “Rafe, leave us be, I have business to attend.” My heart skips a beat, I don’t want to be alone with this creature. But despite my mind silently screaming logic over the rest of my thoughts. I still remain calm and collected. Almost as though I understand why I would need to be here.

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“I don’t think so.” Rafe breathes out, slight anger in his voice. He takes a step towards me as if to protect me, but Vlad lets out a small chuckle and stops him with an easy smile. “She is my sister, and I would rather not leave her alone after all this time spent apart. We don’t have much time, that’s all.”

“Child, dawn is coming, and it is already bringing with it the new day. I am not asking for a lot of time.” Vladimir says, fixing the collar on Rafe’s jacket. Glancing over at me briefly. “We cannot travel til the sun sets tonight, so you have a day to say what you will, and to make up for lost time. But I do not. Understand?”

“She’s my sister, and I will not leave he-“

“Rafe, my boy, don’t be such a nervous nelly.” The vampire catches Rafe’s gaze within an instant, cutting off his train of thought. His easy laugh stops as soon as it starts as their eyes lock.”Leave us be.”

“As you wish sir.” Rafe nods absent mindedly. Almost as though an unconscious action on his part. Without looking at me, or saying another word, he turns and leaves the room.

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Turning his attentions to me, my heart thumps anxiously. I was alone with the vampire now. “Please accept my humble regrets about my actions in your place of work. And your… Man of choice..? It was very unbecoming of me.” Vladimir’s eyes soften a fraction as he frowns at me. “Trust me, that was very out of character for me.” Attacking Henry at the bar. The memory seems to play before my eyes, almost as though an old film playing before my very eyes. The vampires speed and strength was inhuman, as was the creature itself.

“Then why do it?” My response is short, and emotion filled. His brows push together deeply, as he thinks about it for a moment. Maybe he’s deliberating his answer, or trying to spin the right angle.

“Well… You see, there was this choice.” He starts watching my reaction. His voice remains quiet, yet their is a change in it. A deeper emotion beneath the put together surface. “Rafe could have punched him once, you’d have screamed, and that would have made him angrier. He’d punch him til he was inches from life before the police arrived, and well… I think we know what happens next. His freedom is taken, and you… You’d hate him. But me? I threaten a guy, and well, I’m just a vampire. It’s in my nature to take life away, so… No harm done.”

“Well… I guess thank you for not letting Rafe do something stupid… ” I whisper, trying to look away from his deep, penetrating gaze. It was almost enough to make me feel light headed and dizzy. So, I awkwardly avert my gaze, and my eyes wonder across the room, trying to take my eyes, and mind off of him.

“Rafe is very typical in the sense, that you can sense the trouble he’ll cause.” Vladimir’s voice changes yet again, seriousness almost void from it. Smiling briefly at me, he cocks his head to the side. “But he does love you, and it’s out of that love, that fuels his insanity sometimes…”

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“You helped… You found me?” I slowly mouth out the question, suddenly feeling hyper aware of my every movement. Every breath, every beat of my heart. One of the reasons I had come here tonight, and snuck my way out of the bed of my lovers. A vampire had saved my life when I had crashed the car, Henry was certain of that, the other stuff was crazy, but this… Someone had been there.

“Why do you look so surprised?” Once again an amused look crosses his face. His eyes glimmer as he searches mine for a long moment. One of his eyebrows raise as my silence lingers.

“As you said, vampires take away life.” I mumble, now embarrassed. It wasn’t something that I felt required any further indepth analysis. He was a vampire. That should be enough.

“Is that all you see me as, little one?” The vampires face curls upwards in a knowing grin. My face turns confused as the seconds pass us by. That was what he was, his one defining factor. Vampire… And it might have been cruel to lump them all together in his eyes, but that’s where they belonged. In that one category. Monster… “I like to think of myself as quite the captain. A leader, a soldier, a dignitary. The term vampire, is so medieval. Unfortunately, the faces they look to as definition is that of a madman. It would be like comparing the entire human race to the events of world war two and the holocaust. The attacks on the twin towers, the discovery of the A-bomb. We all seem to forget, vampires lived quite humbly in the shadows since the dawn of time, don’t we?”

“I’m sorry… I-“

“World war V has not rewritten your histories, human. Until we were cast into the lime light, we were all quite content with the way things were. Vampires, known or unknown.” Vladimir finishes, looking across the room. The bold splashes of red that painted the walls. The limestone counter tops. “We’re not all the Asmodeus’ of our race, as you are not all the Hitler’s of yours. So yes, I did find you. But something about a poor, defenseless girl, lost and alone, seems to have an effect on my tired heart. Which I shan’t have cause I’m a vampire.” He adds mockingly.

“I’m sorry, I just…” I mumble out apologetically to him. The vampire’s bemused look is enough to make me feel a stab of guilt. He sighs and runs a hand through his hair.

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“We’re vampires, love.” He growls through a smile, taking my hand in his, and pulling me forward with a gentle tug. “We take what we want, and we feel no remorse.” Despite what he sends, the second his hand takes mine, a wave of calm pulsates through my entire body. And I can’t react with the full intensity I know I should. But I can’t. It’s not there. The fear, the anxiety, it’s not there. Only an overwhelming blanket of safety.

“I don’t believe you-“

“Yet it is what you felt when you came here tonight. Is it not?” He shrugs, still grasping onto me gently. And I don’t resist him, not yet.

“You’re different somehow, I mean… You…” I stop, the second I realize what I’m saying. And a deep blush encapsulates my now vivid cheeks. The red stands in stark contract against my porcelain white skin. “You found me, I came to thank you for… And well, take care of Rafe… I guess.”

“Of course I found you, you appeal to the rescuer in me. My sense of valor.” The vampire scoffs, smiling brightly at me, a hint of rebelliousness in him. This thing was very old school, I realize, thinking to myself he must be old. He had a strange sense of how he should carry himself, and the world around him should. “Usually I wouldn’t involve myself in such trivial things, but you… You’re… You’re different from the rest of your kind. It intrigues me how so.”

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I pause for a moment, as he release me, and steps in close towards me. Inches from my own body. Strangely I expected him to be cold, but he radiated heat between the closeness of our bodies. His lack of a breath is disconcerting, yet the intensity of his soft blue eyes is a serene feeling. I take a deep breath and calm my racing thoughts.

“I crashed that night. The night I left…” I whisper, feeling a rush of adrenaline through me. It was a good enough sign that I had to be honest. Vladimir, if anything, was honest. He said how he felt, and what he meant. When he meant it. “Something… Someone found me… In the wreckage, all alone, and hurt… And-“

“And what have you done with my gift of life, little one?” Vladimir says in a low, serious tone. I take a step back, my head reeling. His gift of life? Did that mean? Had he saved me? A slow grin replaces his emotionless face, and features. He crosses his arms and watches me silently. A vampire… One of the creatures who stalked the night, and brought with it death, had saved my life. Every single idea I had about vampires, seemed to disappear with that one startling truth. They weren’t meant to care about life, or even preserve it. They took death as they saw fit, Vladimir had even admitted it. And yet, here we were. Him, admitting to be my savior. His blood had restored my broken body.

“But-“

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“Hush now, child…” Vladimir coos, clasping my hand against his chest. And within the first syllable, and his first glance, I’m stuck gazing into his eyes. And I’m trapped. Yet there’s no where else I would rather be. His ghostly appearance, in that one moment seeming more than human. His lack of heart beat and pulse, as though it were an everyday happening. “Listen to me for I will say it only once. Are you paying attention?”

“Yes…” I breath out, with moving a single unnecessary muscle.

“You will not return home tonight… You will not return home to Henry…” Vlad’s voice quietly whispers soothingly to me. His gaze remaining intently on mine. “Vivian, you will forget about your life here. You don’t love Henry. You see him for what he is. A liar and a cheater. You couldn’t possibly love a man like that… Could you, sweetheart?”

“No…” I agree. How could I have stayed with Henry this long? It was clear that he was just using me, abusing me. Henry got to go out at night, his body against sweaty, hot and woman full of desire for him. And then he came home to me, whispering lies of love, and feelings, that he was clearly incapable of. The vampire was right.

“And the bar isn’t a place for a prim, and proper girl such as yourself. Such sleaze, and filth.” He continues, not yet taking his eyes off of mine, and I can’t look away. Everything he says seems to make perfect sense. “This town is not where you belong, and love, your place is not by Henry’s side… You will move on, from this, and from everything holding you back. You’ll be happy, and you’ll…

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“And you’ll forget this conversation ever happened.” Within an instant his face lingers an inch from my own, as he holds me tight in his arms. My head swims dizzily as his jaw clenches in a thoughtful look,. “But, my love, you will know that you’re mine. That you’re blood, is mine. Blackwater, Apaloosa Plains will cease to mean anything for you. You’re mine now, Vivian, and you will follow me where ever I will go. And without me, you’re nothing. Lapsi varjot, Kuulut minulle.”

*

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My slow, and stable breath rises between the sheets of the bed. In and out. Up and down. For the first time in a long time, I sleep soundly. No thoughts, or sadness penetrating my unconsciousness. For the first time in a long time, I feel free. Weightless even. Like all the shackles holding me back, were now broken.

In the shabby motel room, I yawn and stretch out my now rested body. In a slight daze from the events proceeding my current state. Yesterday, the day before, the week before then, all seemed to fade into one big blur. The year before that into an even bigger mess. Yet it didn’t bother me. Those days weren’t important anymore, only the ones that lay ahead of me. Slowly waking my eyes, I look up to Rafe sitting in the corner.

“Thank god, you’re awake…” He breathes out, a strange mix of boredom and concern in his voice. Confused I watch him in silence. “He didn’t lay a finger on you did he?” Rafe asks again with more intensity this time. His eye brow raises incredulously at me.

“No, I’m fine.” Shaking my head, I move to the edge of the bed. Rafe lets out a relieved breath and his eyes soften just a little bit. “If you were so worried, you could have just stayed? But Vlad… Vlad is a perfect gentleman, don’t fret so much. I’m a big girl now.”

“Since when were you on first name bases with the vampire?”  His face twitches for a brief moment, his voice a little to loud. A blush settles on my cheeks as I think of an answer. To be honest I hadn’t even thought about it when I had said it. Up until now, he had always just been the monster taking my brother away from me, yet it was different now.

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“I’m… I’m just trying to move on and get past all of this, Rafe…” I whisper, trying to focus on my own voice, and what I was saying. I run my fingers through my hair, trying to detangle the knots. Family was important, and Rafe, Vladimir. Back in Blackwater, I had let all the dramas and pointless fights get in the way of that. I couldn’t lose my brother again… At the end of the day, he was all that I had. All the events that had happened since living in Appaloosa Plains had proved that to me. “I don’t want to be this girl anymore, Rafe… The one who’s afraid of her own shadow because the darkness terrifies me. At the end of the day, I need to…. I can’t be me anymore…”

“Vivian, no one is asking you to be any different.” Rafe says, sitting next to me on the bed. My eyes stare at the wall, before slowly making their way back to him. “Vampires aren’t all bad, Viv, just like not every person is bad. Sometimes, we just got to trust our instincts, and just let go… Decide who’s worth it and who isn’t.”

“But I was wrong!” I blurt out, my eyes frantically searches his. Rafe as I had been told, had our mothers eyes. Vibrant purple, almost unnaturally so. But it was a piece of our heritage, of where and whom we came from. “I let Henry walk all over me, and I keep fooling for it. Do you know, last night, he admitted to everything, and because he said ‘I love you’ I let him just stroll back into my life like it never happened? I’m pathetic…”

“You’re not pathetic? I mean why? Because you wanted to trust the word of someone who was supposed to love you back?” He responds without a second thought. “Vivian, it’s not wrong to want things to work out. Yeah, sometimes it doesn’t happen… But you know what, there will be a time when you’re right about someone, and they’re one hundred percent genuine about feeling the same.”

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“But how could I be so wrong about him?” My voice doesn’t get any louder or stronger. Even with more time to breath and move past this feeling.

“Because guys like him, they know exactly what to say to make someone believe them.” Rafe says watching my reactions closely. “If he wasn’t good at it, you wouldn’t have fallen for his lies. And if you weren’t so hard on yourself, you wouldn’t be such a target to these things. If you actually believed you could do better…”

“I just don’t know what to do with myself anymore….”

“None of us do. Me? I’m just winging it. Doing the best I can.” His soft chuckle vibrates throughout the room, as he lightly taps my arm. “Look… I know you don’t wholeheartedly approve of what I’m doing… But… Vladimir… He isn’t all bad, I mean he helped me find you. And yeah… He’s a vampire, and dangerous, and blah blah blah. But, I’m doing good. Right now, I’m surviving. And I trust him… Not completely, but enough to know that he knows what he’s doing.”

“Do you think that you’ll survive the war?” I ask, focusing on him now. It was a nice distraction from what I was feeling.

“I’m hoping, but honestly…” A thoughtful look crosses his face, as he moves his arms back against the bed, and leans back. “Wars have casualties. But wars have to have an end. I don’t think the the human politicians have the right idea against killing all vampires to reduce the threat. There are… Were some good vampires.” His smile is loving as he day dreams. “Team Asmodeus wants to enslave us, team Azazel wants to drink us… But… He wants things to go back to what they were before all of this. In some way or another. Normalcy, coexistence in some way.”

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“Our parents… They’re gone… Because of vampires…” Slowly I draw the words out. Ever since I had found out, I hadn’t told him. And it was wrong. They were our parents and he deserved to know the truth about them. Whatever had happened, whatever reason, vampires had come, and taken them away from us. Forever.

“I know-“

“Wait, you knew and you neve-“

“Shhhh, Vivian…” He says soothingly, stroking my back in soft, comforting circles. “A vampire, took our mother away. And our father, for whatever reason… Ran away. But it doesn’t matter who… Or what is the reason for that. Knowing isn’t going to bring them back. Anger, isn’t going to bring them back. Just know that it was at the start of this war, don’t let them die or fade away as martyrs without a cause, Viv. Everything happens for a reason.”

“Because vampires stole them from us, we should fight their war?” I ask simply, still perched on the edge of the bed. How could he know and never say a thing? But, I had done the same thing to him. When Huttser had told me, I didn’t share the news with him. I hid it, kept it a secret, to protect him.

“No… We should fight for something though…” He sighs and looks at me with a strange look. Almost as though he was saying this was the best he could come up with. “Not in vain, but for something. And yeah… It’s sometimes hard to know what’s worth fighting for, and what’s right, and what’s wrong… But at the end of the day, deep down, we do know, and we do the best we can with that knowledge.”

“I don’t know what I want, or what I know… I.. I’m confused-“

“Look… I wasn’t going to say anything. But me and Vladimir are going to Bridgeport for a while. To set up base, to train, to prepare. Come with us. With me. I.. I can’t bare to see you this way, or to lose you again… You’re my sister, and I want to know that you’re okay. And it’s hard to keep an eye on you when you’re half way across the country.”

“Rafe… I-“

“Unless you’re answer is yes… I don’t want to hear it.”

*

Ding dong….

“Look, it’s 7pm, and I’m running late for work… Can we make this quick?” The man in the white lab coat says marching to the door whilst yelling through it. Worry was already clearly written on his face before he even opened the door. She left that night and never came back home. Henry thought it was okay when his eyes had shut that night. Vivian had forgiven him. They had kissed and made up. He was going to be different, he knew it, and she believed it. But when he was asleep she got up and left.

Twenty missed calls later and a half dozen more texts and emails begging her to come home and nothing. No one had seen her, or spoken to her. Although Henry didn’t believe Shelly when she had told him that she didn’t know where Vivian had got to. Vivian didn’t make a move without telling her about it.

More than preoccupied he opens the door.

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“What the hell are you doing here, vampire?” Henry hisses at the silver vampire who in the night before had attacked him, and tried to kill him. Anger bit at his insides, making him flair up.

“Now you’ve deeply upset my dear friend.” The vampire responds apathetically, without a single care in the world. “And I have to make sure that you know exactly what you’ve done to her, and I want you to feel exactly what she feels. But of course, emotional affliction is pointless really. I need you to feel it all, every single drop of blood you shed will be for her.”

“This is private property… I… I think you should go-“

“That’s not how this works! Now invite me in….” Vladimir in an instant catches Henry by the throat, and holds him tightly in place. His eyes capture his and Henry soon stops struggling against the vampire’s grip.

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“Please… Won’t you come inside….”

 “Stop!” I squeal loudly. My feet softly making their way through the warm sand beneath me. Sinking a little more with every step. But it doesn’t slow me down. Instead I speed up, as his footsteps get closer with every step. I can’t outrun him forever I think, trying to think of an escape. There is none, the beach stretches out for miles in either direction. And the crashing of the waves echos around me.

“I’m gonna get ya!” The man bellows loudly in response, his footsteps growing louder, as he crashes through the sand after me. I scream louder as I almost trip over, and barely catch myself. I hear a small chuckle behind me, as the man thinks he’ll be able to catch me. But I’m too quick.

My heart pumps loudly in my chest, as the breeze catches my hair and lifts it up, and makes it dance in the summer sun. The warm, salty air fills my nostrils as I take a deep breath in, still running away from the man. One of his hands catch my waist and pulls me back against him.

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Wrapping an arm around my neck gently, Henry pulls me close to him in a loving embrace. His lips tenderly touch mine as we continue kissing, and walking along the beach. As we pull apart, I blush a deep red and smile at him. “Caught you.” He beams back at me, my hands run along his stomach as I pull myself closer into him.

“Took you a while.” I smirk at him and giggle at his face. He feigns hurt and shakes his head.

“Maybe I took a bit longer to catch you because I like the view from back there.” His own smile turns devilish as his hands wander down my back, squeezing and stroking his way down.

“Maybe?” I giggle, feeling a wave of desire rush over me as he bites his lip watching my reaction.

“Mmmm, definitely.” Henry smiles again, kissing me deeply before pulling away. I rest my head against his shoulder and just breath for a moment. Things could be so good between us, almost perfect. Especially on the days that I didn’t have to work. Although there was the nagging feeling of what Shelly had said, that almost interrupted my every waking thought. But for now, I had to forget about it. Because days like this made those feelings fade away. I mean… Lucian… I”ll always love him, without a doubt. But I can’t just walk away again, in the hopes that things will work out. I’m not a child anymore, I can’t waste my life on what ifs… But it will never, ever stop the what ifs from happening, from plaguing me.

The sound of Henry’s phone snaps me out of my thoughts.

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“Hello…” Henry says answering his phone, and walking away. “What are you doing calling this number… I told you not too… I do too… But still… Yeah she’s right here… Come one… Oh… Mmm really..? If only you knew what saying that, does to me… Yeah.. Yeah… When… Now…? I don’t know, I’m with Vivian… Yeah, I know… Yeah… You know that… Really..? Mmmm…. Yeah, okay…. You’ve talked me into it… But come on no calling this number… Yeah, especially when I’m with her… Yeah… I know… Yeah… Okay, I’m coming… I’ll see you when I get there…”

As he puts down his phone, I walk up to him and wrap my hand around his. “What’s going on?”

“The hospital wants me to go down. There’s an emergency.” Henry says, putting his phone back into his pocket and leading me back up the beach with him.

“It’s your day off though…” I mumble feeling disappointed. He smiles and kisses my nose.

“I’m sorry. I can’t exactly say no though.” He sighs, frowning for a moment. “I could tell them no, but that poor guy… He’ll probably bleed out before they can even get a hold of the next doctor though.” This wasn’t fair. Out of all the doctors they had, why did they have to call Henry?  I smile meekly at him, and start walking up the beach. The more steps I take, the more my frown takes a hold of my face.

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“I’m sorry, I… I’ll just miss you. It’s meant to be our day off. Together. I was really looking forward to a whole day with you. That’s all.” I force out a smile, and stroke his cheek gently. His hand rests on the sides of my body and squeeze gently. I hated goodbyes. Even if it was only for a day. But… I was never good at them. They brought back memories of Luc… They brought back bad memories.

“I know.” He sighs and pulls away abruptly. Running a hand through his neatly, combed back hair. The thought always came back to me that he could say those things back to me. But he never did.

Even as I saw him walking off in the distance to his car, I felt a stab of guilt. Maybe he wanted to get far away from me. Maybe that was it. They could call any other doctor but they always called him. Times like this brought back the overwhelming feelings that encapsulated my past. And everything that Shelly said made me want to go sprinting back to him, and to never let go. But I had left to help him, and we had come this far, even if it… Even if it could be different. I didn’t give it all up for a small chance.

*

At the bar the next night, I try to keep busy to stop my mind from wondering. And more than anything, I miss the comfort from a bottle. The way the liquid warmed me up and made me whole again. And I was brave, and I was someone else. More than anything, I wanted it.

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Searching the shelf for a bottle of tequila, my eyes read every label. Missing the taste of every cool drink, and it’s effect on me. Sighing deeply, I know that it’s over. And there won’t be anymore late night binges. Shelly was right, it wasn’t a good coping method, regardless of how much I missed it. I needed to heal on my own and with a clear head. It was the only way I could move on with my life.

Slowly I look up and at the mirror on the very back of the shelf. And look out into the bar. The woman waiting for her drink was getting impatient. Shelly looked like she had met a new man, if you could even call it meeting since she most likely new him from the bar anyway. Her laugh echos in the room, as she sways her body to the beat of the song. Henry… Henry was just keeping himself entertained.

But one person catches my eyes…

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My entire body snaps around in an instant. Without any conscious thought at all. Without a further second his eyes catch mine in the distance. He holds it, intensity burning within his sparkling gaze. His jaw tightens with another passing second and he pauses midstride.

“Excuse me, miss? My drink.” The woman tuts with a roll of her eyes. But her voice is barely audible. So faded into the now almost silent room.

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“Rafe….” I breath out, unconsciously taking steps toward him. His red hair dances and weaves between people, creating more of a distance every second. And I follow in response. Through the crowds of people, almost as though no one else is in the room with us Only Rafe and I. “Rafe?” I call out louder, my voice still somewhat shaky. This had to be a dream. This had to be anything but real.

He pauses mid stride, allowing me to catch up to him. My hand raises up to his shoulder and I pull him around to face me. His vibrant purple eyes stare back for a moment, completely emotionless. Seconds tick by in silence between us. Until his face cracks and a small smile pulls up at the corners. Melancholy in his eyes. “We thought that you were dead, Vivian. I thought that you were dead.”

For a moment I just process his words, and him. Time had changed him, aged him. Just as it had done to me. He wasn’t the boy he was when I had left. Clear signs of puberty had changed his young, youthful face to that of a mans. His jawline was edged with stubble that had yet to be shaved. His voice, a few octaves lower. His shoulders broader, stronger. “Rafe… I’m so sorry. I meant to write, to-“

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“To what Vivian? If you wanted too, you would have.” He replies in a low growl to me, interrupting my sentence. “When you ran away that night, you abandoned us. You abandoned me.” But I hadn’t… He was leaving me, he was going to abandon me. He couldn’t play the victim, not when he was going to do the exact same thing to me, and without remorse. He was only upset that I had beat him to it. And it wasn’t fair.

“No… Rafe…” Whispering, I reach out my arm to comfort him, but he shrugs me off. My heart thuds painfully as his glum look darkens. He sticks his hands into his pockets and stares at the ground.  “I didn’t leave you, I… What are you doing here? How did you find me?”

His jaw tightens, as he looks me in the eyes guiltily. “He called on me, Viv. I came to say goo-“

Without warning someone bites my neck and kisses me gently. One hand holding me in place, the other slapping me on the backside. Henry breathes heavily into my ear, completely ignoring Rafe standing angrily in front of me. I turn a violent shade of red, as Henry doesn’t back down, even when I try to push him away. “I’m ready to go home now, Viv.” He announces still pushing himself onto me despite my obvious protests.

“Henr-“

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“I said I’m ready, love.” He slurs, kissing my face roughly, before prying himself away.

“If I were you, I’d let her go, boy.” Rafe growls at him, taking a step forward and puffing out his chest in dominance. Henry pushes me away, almost knocking me off my feet as he laughs loudly, too drunk to be aware of the situation and what might happen to him.

“Or what?!” He bellows still laughing, before wrapping his arm back around my waist. “Come on, Viv, let’s go home.”  This time he says it with a little more dignity, but it doesn’t do anything to lessen the rage that Rafe sees.

“Henry, listen for a moment.” I say in a low tone to him, trying to get him to back down. His eyes focus loosely on mine for a moment, as I hold his attention. “This is Rafe, my brother. He’s come a long way to see me.” His brows furrow together for a moment as he processes it.

“And you’d rather stay here, with the guy who threatened your boyfriend, than come home with me?” Henry growls at me, frowning deeply. He sways slightly on his feet as he watches me, expecting me to follow him. And a part of me wants too. If I don’t go with him, it’ll hurt him. I’ll hurt him. But… “Vivian, this isn’t fair, okay, he threatened me.” Rafe smirks at him. “You heard him. Don’t you care? If you don’t come with me, don’t come home at all.” He watches my tortured expression, knowing that he hit the mark and I’ve no choice but to give in.

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“Hen…” I whisper reluctantly, one eye still fixated on Rafe. A stab of guilt feels like a hard kick to the stomach. Nervously I look away and try to think of my options. But nothing comes to mind. Henry holds out his hand, his gaze softening just a little as he wills me to follow.

“Vivian… Don’t feel like you have to do this.” Rafe says, his expression changing dramatically. Almost cold and monotone. I give him a tortured expression in return as apology, I had to do this. “Let her go…” His voice flares for a split second as he glares at Henry.

“I think that she’s made her choice.” Henry scoffs, rolling his eyes as he tries to take a step towards the door.

“He said let her go, child, or I will be forced to tear your throat out.” A man with grey hair captures him by the throat. His hands wrapped tightly around him, without any signs of letting go. He smirks as Henry struggles against his iron grip.

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“L… L… Let… Me… M… G.. Go…” Henry spits out, his face turning redder with every passing second. But the vampire smirks still, baring his teeth in a show of defiance. I stand paralyzed in fear as I watch it unfold before me. There is nothing that anyone could do to help him. This vampire, could kill us all in an instant and not even blink an eye.

“Vladimir…” Rafe sighs and shakes his head apathetically. “If you want to avoid a scandal, you’ll let him go. There’s too many people here, and it looks like she’s already made her choice.” As he says it, he spits the words out venomously to me. Hatred and disappointment stinging at his eyes.

“As you wish.” Vladimir releases him in an instant and returns to perfect composure as though it never happened. His eyes sparkle in the dim light of the bar, as he looks around calmly. His hands running along the back of Henry’s neck. Quietly mocking him as he looms over top, shushing him.

“B… Bar… Stard….” Henry coughs out, whilst glaring at the vampire. It made sense why Rafe had come now. Vladimir had returned for him. And Rafe was leaving, he was leaving with this thing. This creature. Rafe had been so angry that I had left, but he was doing the exact same thing now, and it didn’t hurt any less.

“Hen… Are you… Are you okay?” I whisper, pushing Vladimir out of the way, and caressing Henry’s face. Softly trying to calm him down, but it’s to no avail. He snaps upwards, pulling his body away from us all.

“Lets go, now!” Henry says coldly, fear’s cold hand lingering in his voice so obviously. His eyes fixated on my intently as he gives me no choice. But there isn’t one. That creature, that cold, dead monster, had attacked Henry, without provocation. Without reason. It could have killed him, it could have killed us all. Vladimir was just another one of those killers on the news. Just another one of them.

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I nod my head at him, and he takes my arm, pulling me forward with him. “Do you really want to go with him, child?” Vladimir asks, almost as if he knows something that I don’t. I pause momentarily, as Henry is like a dog walking more than his leash allows. He gets nudged back as I stand planted firmly. “A man like him?”

“A man like him?” I growl at him questioningly, shaking my head.

“How many nights has he had to “work late” this week? This month?” His response is almost monotone. With an emotion hidden beneath the surface. One that I couldn’t quite pick up on, mostly because it was unfathomable. Vampires didn’t care. Henry tenses in his place, not even turning around to defend himself or even look at me. “A man like him. A man that you shouldn’t trust because he’ll walk all over you.”

“Your wrong.” I state firmly, squeezing Henry’s hand in a show of support.

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The car ride home was in complete and utter silence. Henry hadn’t spoken one word since the bar and since we had left. Not a single thing, not to let me know that he was okay, or to let me know what he was thinking. Nothing. But it wasn’t only him. I hadn’t said a thing either. It felt like the weight of the word was on my chest, and stuck in my throat. So much so that I couldn’t even make a sound, not even a squeak.

The long winding road back to his house seemed to take longer than usual. With none of the usual chatter, or songs on the radio as a comfort. The feeling inside my chest made me want to run, and get as far away from the problem as my feet would allow it. But I couldn’t. My own personality dictated me to stay right here. It didn’t matter what happened, I didn’t have the guts to actually leave, or hide. I was trapped in a kind of prison that I alone created.

“We’re home.” Henry says darkly, taking the key out of the ignition, but with no other movements than that. No inclination of getting out. He just sits there. Clenching his jaw tightly, crushing his teeth against each other. I look down at his hand still painfully holding the clutch, as though he could shatter it any moment.

“Hen-“

“Just get out!” He snaps at me, without even looking my way. Henry sighs, and slowly moves his hand towards the handle and opens it. “Lets just… Lets just get inside okay?”

Slowly I get out of the car, and follow him inside, expecting another outburst by him. Henry angrily unlocks the front door and hangs the keys up on the hook. He glares at me before stumbling into the lounge room with a angry frown. He walks over to his bar, and pours himself a drink and tips it back. And it’s gone in a few thirsty mouthfuls.

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“I don’t know what to say, Henry.” I whisper walking over to him. My voice barely audible. “I don’t understand what just happened, or what I can do to make it go away. I’m so sorry though, you know that, don’t you? I’m so, so sorry-“

“You’d better fucking be!” He growls at me without any signs of remorse. My heart thuds painfully for a moment, as I watch his hands clutch onto the bar tightly, and his face drops. “A vampire?! A fucking vampire!?!” His voice grows loud again for a moment. “Thanks for fucking telling me!”

“Tell you what?” I mumble watching his rage grow and grow. It had happened a few times like this, and when it happened I didn’t eve recognize who he was anymore. He didn’t mean this, any of this, but he was scared, and confused. It wasn’t fair to me, but it wasn’t fair to him that he had been attacked.

“Vampires!” Henry scoffs, sculling back another drink. His head shakes as the liquid goes down his throat and his eyes finally raise up to meet mine. “Why did you never tell me? I mean, there must be a reason. A pretty fucking good one.” I didn’t quite understand why I would need to tell him about a vampire, or knowing one. I could understand why he was upset though. But I was too. Couldn’t he see that? This hurt me too. I needed comforting too, and answers.

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“I… I’m.. Sorry-“

“It’s all making sense now.” I attempt to pull him towards me. But Henry tenses, and spits more venom at me. Taking a step back, his brows furrow together, as a thought clearly imprints itself on his face. I watch him carefully, feeling tears prick at my eyes. “You didn’t think that I would figure it out?”

“Figure what out?” I moan, questioning his strange paranoia. What makes sense? What did you figure out? My eyes search his intently, waiting for his answer. Henry just paces around the room, almost vibrating with his own emotions.

“The vampire.” His head shakes again, as he looks at me. I feel a chill go down my spine as his eyes look my way. Any other moment, any other scenario and that would have made me lose my train of thought. But right now, I couldn’t feel anything but the fact that it felt like I was losing him. Because of who I was, because of who Rafe was, because of my past, because of everything. And Henry’s own fear was taking over. He just wanted answers. “Your accident…”

“M.. M… My accident?” My voice drops again, as a cold feeling envelops my entire body. What about my accident? My sluggish brain slowly tries to process what Vladimir and my accident had to do with one another. I had crashed the car trying to get out of town, and then I had woken up in a hospital, in another town, another city. And Vladimir was most likely on the other side of the country, draining some pour family dry.

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“Don’t play dumb with me, Vivian!” His finger stabs out at me, viciously, attacking me. “I know what you did, I finally figured out who you are.”

“Hen-“

“I don’t want to listen to your fucking lies!” Taking a step closer, his body towers over me. His chest puffs out in anger. My heart thuds in my chest. Fear grips me in a paralytic way. “We found traces of V in your system! When you were at the hospital. And you walked away from a crash that should have killed you, paralyzed you in the very least. And you walked away! Not a bruise, nothing. And you just walked away!”

“I don’t know how it got there…” I whisper, my voice shaky as my eyes scan the room for any sort of escape. But I know, I know that the biggest part of me would never have the guts to run. It didn’t matter how bad it got. I was alone once. I drowned myself in booze and hard spirits. And I’d never have the guts to try and survive alone again.

“You know what! I fell for that once, love…” Sarcasm covers that one word. Love. Is this what this was. Love… I yearned for him to call me by that one word, to say that one word and mean it. And now, it seemed the furthest thing from his mind right now. Love… Did he even know the word. “Do you want to know what I think? What I really think happened that night, and correct me if I’m wrong.”

“I haven’t lied or deciev-“

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“Give the lies a rest!” A few lone tears fall and trickle down my cheeks. Staining them with my loneliness and misery. All my emotions in liquefied form. “What I think happened was that back at home you were a dirty little V addict and Vladimir…” The name rolls off of his tongue like it was poison. “And Vladimir was your source. And that night, the night you crashed, you had a little too much to drink out of his veins, and you were that high you couldn’t even see straight. And you crashed. And then, because of all the filth in you veins, it healed you.”

“You’re crazy! You don’t actually believe this do you?” A spike of adrenaline hits me now. My voice gets louder as I deny his claims. There was absolutely no way. No way at all.

“Yeah, I’m the crazy one.” Henry shakes his head. Frustration a tight pain in his chest. “How much did you want him tonight? When you saw him, did you want to stay there with him? Did you want to go back to all those blood fueled nights, that meant you couldn’t even see straight because of him? Tell me, Viv, how much do you miss him?”

“I don’t!” I growl at him in anger. Even surprising myself at the power of it. “Vladimir means absolutely nothing to me. In fact that’s a lie. I hate him for taking my brother away from me, from home, from being safe. My brother, isn’t even my brother anymore because of him. Because of that filth that is his blood, and I can’t do or say anything to change his mind, because he’s that much under his spell that he’s gone forever. So no. I don’t miss him. I don’t want him.”

“You’re a liar-“

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“You know what I don’t get?” Taking a step back I look him in the eyes and hold his gaze firmly. “He said I shouldn’t trust you, that you’re a cheater, and you’re the liar, and now, I’m the bad guy. That doesn’t quite make sense, does it Henry?” I feel empty, and lost. It was like I had lost control of my body now, I didn’t want to say those words, I tried to stop myself, but the words slipped out anyway.

“What!? You actually believed him?” His face softens for just a moment, as his hand lightly touches my shoulder. I pull away, and we stare each other down. “You know that I would never do that. Not to you. But you… You believe him. A vampire?”

“It’s not that vampire I believe.” My words cut us both like razors.

“Look, Vivian, maybe you’re right. Maybe he’s right. But guess what?” Henry hisses at me, still caught up in the anger of the moment. “I didn’t ask for this, Vivian. I liked you, I did, and you were so innocent, and you wanted the “boyfriend experience.” So I gave it too you. And for a little while, I believed that we could do it. But it’s not me, Viv, it’s not. I’m not meant for just one person, doesn’t matter how much I love you. I try so hard to hide that part of myself from you. And what for? Viv?”

“Hen-“

“No, don’t say anything, because this isn’t my fault. It’s not my fault that I go out at nights to be with those other girls. It’s not my fault! I can’t help it.” He repeats again. My eyes cloud over again, as I look down. It was my fault…? “I didn’t want this. I didn’t want a relationship. Or monogamy. That was all you. And because I care about you, I let you believe that lie. For you, I only want you to be happy. So I played along, for you. It was all for you. Vivian, it was all for you, it’s still you. Vivian, I’m so sorry, but I love you. And I wish i was the guy you wanted, but I love you. And I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so ashamed of myself. I just want to be the guy that makes you happy. I’m sorry.”

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“You’ll forgive me, though, won’t you?” He whispers, pushing me forcefully against the wall, and holding me against it. His eyes search mine and plead with me to say those words to him. Relieving him of all responsibility, and consequence. But I can’t say a thing. He had just told me the thing I had feared so much. And now, my voice was locked away. “Vivian, I don’t mean to do it. But I have to lie to you, so that you don’t get hurt. I don’t do it to hurt you. I try so much to control myself and to protect you. Because I love you. Vivian… I love you…”

“If you wanted to protect me, and if you loved me, you wouldn’t do that to m-“

“I can’t help it. I’m sorry, I’m such a screw up, if you never want to see me again, I understand.” Henry mumbles, still not releasing me from his hold. I struggle a little bit, but give up in a matter of seconds. I’m not sure if I was even trying to escape, I already knew he was too strong. Distraction. I needed it. He couldn’t tell me that he loved me for the first time, not when he was confessing this. It wasn’t fair. “I just wanted you to know that I love you. So much. I tried so hard to be a different person. And I can keep trying, Viv. I can be different, if you give me another chance.”

“Henry, I don’t know if I can…” All those times I had mentioned it too him, his flirting, him having other girls phone numbers, and he had been offended. I had felt terrible, and all those times I had been right. But through it all, deep down I knew, I knew this about him, and I had hidden the truth from myself. If I blamed anyone it had to be myself, didn’t it?

“How can I prove it? Viv, I’ll do anything for you, anything to prove it. Love, please.” My breath catches in my throat. Henry smiles at me weakly. His eyes sparkle.

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“For now… Just kiss me.” I whisper giving into him. Make me forget…

His ragged breath leans in closer, making me dizzy with anticipation as he stops moments from my lips. “I love you.” He breathes out easily, smiling briefly. Running a hand through my messy hair, and holding me in place. My hand runs up his back softly. His lips touch mine softly, as I try to focus on the one fact that made me even remotely smile. Henry Marshall loved me. Loves me.

*

My eyes slowly creep open, the second Henry’s exhausted snore starts to echo throughout the room. His drunken breath, in and out, in and out. On repeat. Getting louder with every breath. A tear glistens down my cheek and stains the pillow beneath me. How on earth did things get so bad?

Henry… Oh Henry, my hand strokes his cheek gently. He loved me… He was trying, and he was going to try harder. It wasn’t his fault that things were the way they were. I could call him mine, and be loved by someone. Or I could let him go and be alone for the rest of my life. He would go back to the girls and drinking, that much was a sure thing if I told him to go. But… If he stayed… Maybe I could be happy.

Maybe in time, I wouldn’t feel so alone.

I could be happy again.

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I inch my way out of bed, and sit on the very edge of it. Watching Henry’s slumbering body for just a moment. He was breath taking. More so than i could ever hope to actually get. Yet he was mine. More out of my league than anyone imaginable, but he wanted me. Actually wanted me.

Standing up, I slowly and quietly make my way to the front door. In fact, I’m not exactly sure why I needed to go there of all places but I did. It was like it was calling to me, and all these questions were buzzing on my mind. As much as it didn’t even begin to make sense to me, I had to know.

Arriving at the motel, the only one in town, I stand at the window. Too scared to even knock on the door.

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I had to know how I walked away from that accident, that night. Vladimir was the only vampire I knew, or had ever seen anywhere near Blackwater. It made sense it that regard…

But he was a vampire. He was dangerous in that regard. I mean he had attacked Henry tonight without warning, without just cause. All because he was a vampire. A monster and a killer. Where ever he went, death would follow.

Yet someone, something saved me that night…

And I had to know who.

As they say, life goes on. The events in the last two weeks meant nothing to fate or anything else. Lucian, Rafe, Blackwater. None of it mattered. And for that I was grateful.

Working in the bar was a salvation for that one reason. It was one of the only places that my mind ceased to think. Maybe it was the fact that I was too busy too think. The almost constant boom of people rushing through the doors, living out their lives. Ordering drinks, meeting and getting to know people, eating and laughing. The noisy hum of life happening around me was enough to distract me from my lack of. By watching them, I felt less alone, and more apart of things. It was stupid, but in some small way it helped.

Or maybe it was the fact I found comfort in liquid courage. It relieved me of all troubles and worries, more and more with each sip. Don’t get me wrong, I knew it wasn’t the right way to deal with my issues. But if I could shut it off, even for a moment, then I would be okay. I could move one with my life in some small, insignificant way. And drinking, no matter how foolish, was just another coping method to mask the guilt and pain that I felt right down to my very core.

I sigh as I scrub down the benches. Washing off crumbs and spilt beer that had made it sticky. Effortlessly I wipe in circles watching the rest of the room buzz around me.

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“Sweetheart, do you wanna pour me a drink?” Looking up, I see the smiling face of Henry watching me. His eyes twinkle as his shirt, not completely done up shows off his chest and neck line. “Did Shelly give you a job here?” His eyes slowly drag themselves up and down my body. “I approve.” I feel a burn in my cheeks as I look away quickly. I focus on making his usual, but I can feel his eyes on me, which makes me nervous. For a moment, my mind goes completely blank and I can’t even think what goes into the drink next.

“So I look professional then?” I blurt out without thinking, trying to relieve the awkwardness that I felt. But the redness in my cheeks only deepens, as I look at him. I had hoped that by saying something, anything at all, the uncomfortable tension I felt would disapate. What a vain attempt that was.

“God yes. I would hire you in an instant, not for bar tending, but… Something.” He grins for a moment, before taking his drink hesitantly. My chest tightens as he smiles and runs a hand through his hair. “I uhh… I mean. I don’t know what I mean. I’m sorry.” His smile grows wider by the second, a hint of mischievousness in it. “You just look really beautiful tonight. And it makes me kinda nervous… I’m not usually so bad at this.”

“You’re not! I… You’re doing fine.” I give him a small smile in return to my outburst. Henry Marshall was nervous. All the rumors didn’t seem to do him justice. I mean he was meant to be a big time flirt, and an ever bigger player, but right now he seemed vulnerable. Almost as much as me.

“No one has ever made me nervous before.” His eyes search mine for a moment, a thoughtful look on his face. Looking down I take a deep breath. “Except for you, that is. There’s something about you Vivian…”

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“I uhm… Thank you, I guess.” I squeak out at him, nervously playing with my hands behind my back. His caramel eyes search mine for a long moment again before he drops his gaze.

“I’m glad that you gave this town a chance.” Henry sips on his drink without looking at me now. I watch him, and smile briefly. This man was different to how I imagined him to be, yes, he was a flirt. But right here, right now, he wasn’t the man he pretended to be. Or everyone thought that he was. “I thought that you would run off back to where you came from, the second you had the chance, or get as far away from it as you could. But you’re here, which means, I still have a chance.”

“Henry… I..” A deep blush burns in my cheeks as I think of something to say. Everything I had been told about him could be true, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel something right now. Other than a strange mixture of wanting to pass out, hyperventilate and be sick all at the same time. “I… I’m glad too.”

“Look I have dinner arrangements very, very soon, do you want to meet after that?” Henry says clearing his voice and smiling again. “You’re working, and you hardly know me, so it’s okay if you say no. But I just…” He leans in closely, close enough I can smell his cologne and the warmth of his breath. “I just can’t stop thinking about the girl who strolls through my ER and leaves me breathless.”

“I uhhh….” His hand grazes mine for a moment as my mind draws another blank. It’s distracting, intoxicating even. I can’t think when he touches me like that. “Y… Yes…”

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A girl strolls up wrapping her arm around his neck seductively. Henry pulls her tightly against his body, as she moans quietly into his ear. Her long blonde hair falls down past her shoulders and edge along down to her thin and toned stomach. “Henry, I wondered where you’d wandered off too. Chatting up the waitress is… She’s cute, but love, you can do better. Come now, dinner is at eight, and we’ve five minutes to spare.”

“I told you I’d meet you there.” Henry sighs, pulling away from her, looking tense. The woman seems oblivious to what he was feeling. His face seems darker than before, almost scowling. “You do not need to check up on me every five minutes, I said I’d be there. I was just about to leave.”

“We all know what you’re like, Henry.” She retorts, rolling her eyes at him. Shaking her head at him, her long hair sways in the movement. “And I don’t think we’re all wrong. Can we just go? Please?”

“Remember my offer, Vivian.” Henry smiles at me as he turns to leave. In their next step, the blonde woman, entwines her fingers with his. As they reach the door, the girl looks back, smirking victoriously at me. I don’t know what to think about it. He had asked me out, yet here was this gorgeous girl. With him. Although things seemed bad.

He wouldn’t ask me out if he was with someone though, would he? Unless… They weren’t going to break up.

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It seems foolish despite what I know about Henry, but as my shift goes on and time passes, I feel an anxious knot in my belly. Like butterflys, it was an understatement to say the man made me nervous. I was terrified, if he came back here, what would we talk about? What if it was totally awkward and I couldn’t say a single thing?

I take my anxiety out on the dirty dishes, scrubbing them til the shine and shimmer in the dim light of the bar. Except it still isn’t clean enough. I dry each glass and each plate individually and take them one at a time back to their place of the shelf. Trying to draw out each second that I had left here.

Slowly the bar begins to empty as the early hours arrive. No sign of Henry. Disappointment. But what did I expect, she was beautiful, absolutely stunning. I shouldn’t be so surprised that any guy would choose her over me. A beautiful, tanned, long legged, blonde haired bombshell. Her ruby red lipstick could capture whatever man she desired, any man at all. All she’d have to do was wiggle her hips and look in his direction and he’d be hers.

Things were bad between them, but it was obvious that it wasn’t bad enough.

I bite my lip in frustration and take a seat at the bar with another drink. I mix the drink around in the glass before taking a long sip of it. It was always the same, anywhere I went. The pretty girl got the guy, and what was there for me? I was lucky that a guy like that would even look my way. I should be grateful he even bothered talking to me. How many drinks had I even had tonight? To many to count.

The bell on the front door rings as the door swings open and foot steps follow.

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“Hey, we’re shut!” I sigh, going to stand up. Looking up, it’s Henry, looking a mess. Between dinner and now, he’d lost his jacket, revealing a plain white top that was buttoned  only half way up his chest. The rest revealed part of his tones chest. His hair, however, always looked neat and tidy.

“I’m sorry, I can leave if you want.” His voice shakes slightly, as he walks over. Each step sends my heart into over drive. I didn’t know what to do, or how to react. Should I be angry that he made me wait, or glad that he had even bothered showing up? I mean he didn’t need to come. The girl he was with before was gorgeous, and stunning and everything a man would want, yet here he was.

“N.. No… Please stay.” I blurt out too quickly for my own good. Henry smiles before striding up to me in a few easy steps. Once again, so close that I can feel the warmth of his breath, and breath in his sweet smell. His hand gazes against my neck and lifts my face up to see his. His face is slightly blurry under the effects of my nights drinks.

“I’m sorry I took so long… There is no excuse for my tardiness. That just took a bit longer than I thought it would.” He breathes inches from my face. The smell of alcohol is evident on his breath, as it is on mine. “All night, all through I kept thinking about how much I wanted to be here with you, and this…”

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Within an instant his lips are on mine hungrily. Kissing them roughly, desire dripping off every touch. I want to push him away but I can’t. I can’t say anything, my mind goes completely blank and I forget everything I was thinking about a moment ago. As the kiss deepens, I give myself into it. Tangling myself into his hair, and pulling him closer to me.

As he finally pulls away, I’m breathless, struggling to focus on him. “It… It’s okay. I for… Forgive you.” I smile up at him, there was something about him that I did trust, even if no one else did. He didn’t want to hurt me, or do anything, he was confused. And he had run a little late, no big deal.

“Did you want to go for a walk?” Henry smiles, pulling me into his arms and up onto my feet. “I know it’s not the most exciting thing in the world, but it’s a full moon, and it’s beautiful outside. If you’re not into that-“

“No! I’d love to.” Interrupting him, I smile widely back up at him. A full moon… Going out on a full moon. It seemed like such a small, trivial thing, but it wasn’t. Not to me. To be able to go out on a full moon was a huge deal, but with someone… My mind buzzes with the prospect of it.

As we walk, his hand wraps around my own, and for a while, it’s just silence. At this time of night, the city was asleep. Everyone was in bed where they were supposed to be, safe and sound. Away from the demons that stalked the night. However, I felt safe here. It might just be delusional, but I did.

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Henry takes us to the very top of the town. Overlooking the entire place. There was a depth of majesty here, and beauty. The full moon lights up the night sky, and the world below. I can see his face clearly as he sit down in the dirt and pulls me with him. I giggle as he wraps his arm around me and points out various buildings and what they are. Wiggling a bit closer, I rest my head on his shoulder.

“It’s beautiful here.” I whisper, nuzzling into him for warmth.

“It is.” Henry’s keeps eye contact with me, a hand running delicately under my chin, with a smile on his lips. “You are.” His breath is ragged as he leans in closely. Desire fills my entire body, as his lips lock with mine.

“I’m glad I’m here.” As we pull away, he takes my hand in his. The other hand is used to pull me against him tightly. “With you. I’m glad I gave it a chance.”

It’s hard to say how long that we were there, like that for. Completely oblivious to everything happening around us. The outside world seemed to fade away completely til it was only us. In the full light of the moon, and everything that it meant. I no longer had to fear this part of life. It was a hundred miles away, and right now, with Henry, I was glad for that.

As we fell through the front door, we locked lips fiercely. Exploring every inch of each other’s body’s with our curious hands and lips. He pushes me lightly against the wall, attacking my neck with a barrage of hungry kisses that send waves of desire through my intoxicated body. And I can’t resist him. I don’t want to.

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“Lets go upstairs.” I whisper, pulling him into another deep kiss. Almost addicted to the feeling of it, and the taste of him on my lips. My hands run through his hair, trapping him in the embrace as his hands roam my own body. Slowly grazing up my thighs, and my chest.

*

New Years Eve, almost seven months after that. I breath deeply to steady myself Henry leads me away from the party, my hand in his. As he stops, he smiles, and kisses me softly. I couldn’t believe that we were here, seven months later. Although it hadn’t been smooth sailing at all. But he was a changed man, or he was trying to be. There was the occasional late night phone call and flirt with the pretty girls at the bar. But that’s all it was.

Henry was mine. Watching him and the girls flirting was hard to watch, but I knew that’s all it was. Harmless flirting. At least he was trying to make an effort. But he didn’t mean it, most of the time he was only being nice, and they thought it meant something else. But Dr Henry Marshall was mine.

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“Love, I know I didn’t get you anything for your birthday…. Or Christmas, and I’m sorry. But…” He kisses my neck softly, as I feel something cold getting placed on my neck. Looking down, a beautiful, silver necklace with diamonds decorates my neck. I can’t even speak. My breath catches in my throat. “You like?”

“Henry… Oh my god, this is too much!” I squeak covering my mouth in shock. His soft chuckle comes out sweetly, as he hugs me from behind, wrapping his arms around my waist tightly.

“Nothing is too much for you.” He whispers into my ear before kissing it half a dozen times. “I’m really sorry about last night. It was really shitty of me to not throw her number out when she gave it to me, or to explain to her that you’re all I need. I guess I just wanted to get back home to you that badly that I forgot, or I wasn’t thinking. But I wasn’t going to call-“

“I know, I’m sorry I overreacted. I know you wouldn’t.” I turn around and kiss his check softly. Embarrassment makes my stomach flop uncomfortably. I knew that he was mine, I knew that. There was no reason to act like an idiot and yell at him over a piece of paper that he hadn’t thrown out yet. “It was my fault, for being crazy. You would never do that to me, and… I’m so sorry Henry.”

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“I’m not that type of guy, Vivian.” Henry sighs, pulling me into his arms again. My hands gently caress his face as he looks my in the eyes. “I hate fighting, and this is just a token of my feelings for you. So you don’t forget… Again. I’m yours. You have no idea how much it sucks, every time you get defensive over something that little. She means nothing to me, it was just some girl in a bar.”

“I know, Henry. I trust you. Completely.” I smile weakly at him. I did trust him. If he wanted those girls, we wouldn’t be together right now. He wouldn’t have brought me this necklace. “I just… You’re a great catch, and I can see why every single girl wants a chance with you. And your so sweet, you don’t say anything so you don’t embarrass them. But given half a chance, they would try their luck with you. It’s not you I don’t trust it’s them.”

“I hope so, cause I’m trying.” Henry says intently. I feel a stab of guilt in my chest.

“I sorry Henry… I just don’t want to lose yo-“

“Lets just get back to the party… Okay?” He interrupts, ignoring my sentiments. This happened every time we fought. It always came back to how I couldn’t trust him. And the guilt that he left me with for mentioning anything sucked. But there was a part of me… A really, really small, almost non existent part of me that didn’t trust him. But it was so tiny it was barely even there.

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Leaving the room, Henry is stopped by Helen. Instead of walking away to be with me, he pulls her into his arms in greeting. His smile is wide, as she giggles and pushes her body up against his. Nothing is happening. Just a reunion between two old friends…. I think to myself, tearing my eyes away from them. I trust him, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Nothing, he’s with me now.

I keep walking, and pour myself a large drink of the closest spirit that I can find. However, a drunk Shelly shrieks in laughter, and pulls me into a tight hug. “Where are we going?” I giggle as Shelly takes my hand and leads me behind her. The cold, winter air hits us as the door opens and we step outside. But I’m grateful that I can’t see Henry and dwell on what he was doing anymore.

“Let’s play a game.” She states before taking a large sip of her drink and smiling at me. “It’s new years eve, and I wanna get to know you a bit better, aye love?” Almost seven months of knowing this girl and she was still as lively as ever. Despite that though, she was still the only real thing that I had here in this town. The doctor was… Henry wasn’t the type of guy that I’d ever have imagined myself with. And this job, wasn’t my dream job, or even something I’d want to do long term. So all in all, she was the only thing anchoring me here.

“A game then.” I sigh, sipping at my wine and sitting down. Watching her lighting the fire and pull her seat up nice and close to mine.

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“This game is all about regrets, not only in the last year, but everything.” She grins at me for a moment. “I’ll go first. What do I regret?” Shelly sighs taking in a long breath. Playing thoughtfully with the hem of her dress. “I regret that I never finished high school, or went to college. You know, no one in my family has ever been to college, and my daddy had his heart set on me being the first. I… I regret that me and my daddy spent so long pretending we hated each other instead  on focusing on the fact that we’re a family. I regret marrying so young to a man that wasn’t gonna be there for the long haul. I regret being so young and foolish and not giving my kids the start to life any kid deserves.” Her eyes shine in the dim light as she speaks. “Your turn, Viv.”

My chest tightens as I try to think of an appropriate answer. My regrets… Biting my lip I think back to the last eighteen years of my life. Not knowing my father, and being the type of child that he wanted to get to know. Maybe if I was any one else he would have stayed. Kissing Lucian, or perhaps it was the fact that I left that made it hard to live with. Maybe I had been too hard on Rafe or not at all. Maybe I regretted all these things. Estranging myself from everything I knew and loved. Maybe, just maybe. “I regret that I wasn’t braver.”

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“Oh Viv!” Shelly shrieks loudly with a sigh. “You can’t do that you know, sugar. Answer one question, by bringing up one hundred and one others. Stop being so cryptic with your answers. You know, love, when you first got here that was okay, you were hurt and damaged, and I didn’t want to rush you. But come one, near on seven months later and you don’t trust me enough to give a proper answer. I love you like a sister Viv, I gave you a job, opened up my home to you, introduced you to my kids… And I feel like I don’t even know a single thing about you.”

“I… I’m sorry.” I mumble quickly looking her deep in the eyes. It was true, I had blocked off that part of myself so that it couldn’t hurt me anymore. If I didn’t acknowledge it, then it wasn’t real. I could live happily, because it seemed like a thousand miles away. “I guess… That I thought if I didn’t talk about it… Didn’t think about it… Then… It wasn’t real. That part of my life is over. For good, and if I don’t…. Mention it, or say anything, I’m just trying to bury that part of my life. If it’s not in my mind, at that point in time, then it can’t hurt me. I can’t hurt me. But if… If hiding from it is doing more harm than good, then it’s… It’s not helping. I have to find a new way of coping, and that might mean… That might be talking about.”

“Vivian, love, I’m sorry, I just, don’t understand.” She says slowly, giving my hand a squeeze. Her soft smile is comforting as she gazes at me. “Hiding from your problems isn’t gonna help nothing. I’ve been there love, and drowning myself in alcohol a few nights a week, and a handsome flirt, isn’t the medicine that you need. Of course, I had two kids to think about, so I snapped out of it quicker. But…” Her sentence slowly trails off, as concern covers her face.

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“My mom, she died when I was just a baby…” Almost whispering, I smile weakly at her. “Vampires… They took her and my dad, and only he made it back. And he left, I must not have been the kid that he wanted, because he didn’t stay. Not to get to know me, or make sure that we were okay…  My brother, Rafe… He’s an alcoholic, and a V addict. He fights every night to make enough money to fuel his addictions, and… And it’s gonna kill him. One day, one fight, and it’ll be over.” Tears prick at my eyes, making them glisten by the fires light. I bite my lip to try and distract myself from the almost overflowing sadness. “And… And Lucian… He was… We were best friends since as long as I can remember. And I’ve loved him for as long as I can remember. Now his dad… He said that we couldn’t be together because we weren’t the same-“

“You weren’t the same?” Shelly questions breaking me from my trance. The same… I think desperately for a moment of an answer. In this world Lycans didn’t exist, and we were the same because of that.

“He was a…” Panic fills my head as I try to finish the sentence. “P.. Politican… Or soon to be… Anyway…”

“And you couldn’t be with-“

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“I was not that breed of girl. I’m not that girl. You know, Politician, Politician’s wife… It makes sense.” I murmur quietly. “And I’m not her, the type of girl a man like him should choose. His father said that he wouldn’t stand by and watch his son with a… With lower class girl. His son was made for something… Someone better. And the town wouldn’t stand for it either, because it was against the rules.”

“Love, you didn’t listen to him, did you?” As she asks me the question my head tilts up again so that I’m looking her in the eyes. “There is nothing that says that you couldn’t be with him, or that he couldn’t be with you. That’s not the way things work, but of course I’ve never been to Blackwater so I have no idea what stupid hick ideas those simpletons have, but come on.” A hint of anger fills her voice and darkens her face. “No one can tell you who you can and can’t love. He could be president of whatever, but that is no reason.”

“His dad though, his family-“

“He really did a number on you, didn’t he?” I nod slowly, feeling the familiar feelings of guilt and loss wash over me. “If this guy, Lucian, did you say his name was? If Lucian knew what the choice was, if he really knew, what do you think he would have chosen?”

There wasn’t a choice, I think glumly. I didn’t give him a chance, but I knew what his answer was, his father knew what his answer was the night he had first spoken to me. And we had both ignored it to protect ourselves and our own interests. But if I had of given him the chance, if I had of let him decide? Would things really be different? “And when the time came that he had been cast out by his family, and his town? And he hated me for it?”

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“Let me tell you a story, Vivian. When I was seventeen I met Darren, and he instantly became everything I wanted. My dad, he hated him, because Darren wanted to be a builder, and he had absolutely no dreams of going to university or college or anything like that. And my dad saw that I had chosen Darren when it was too late. And my daddy said if I went to prom instead of filling out college applications then that would be it. I was gone and he wouldn’t speak to me again.” Shelly reminisces, the fire dancing on her skin, mixing in with the moonlight. Her lips move as her soft voice speaks. “And when Darren came to pick me up that night, there wasn’t a choice, not really. Nine months later, Kerri was born. We got a tiny house, and shit paying jobs, had a shotgun wedding, and believe it or not, we were happy.”

“And then it ended. Don’t you hate him or regret it?” I pry watching her reaction, expecting her to be offended  but she smiles back at me.

“Actually… No. It was the best decision I could have made. Which sounds silly cause now I’m a divorced, single mother of two. But yeah I wish I finished high school, went to college, blah, blah, blah. But… For seven years of my life, I was happy, I was in love. You know, when I was pregnant thee first time, and started getting fat, I was so upset, that I couldn’t fit into my favorite pairs of jeans anymore. He brought home fried chicken wings, and chocolate ice cream, all the bad food that you can imagine, and he told me something. He told me that he wanted me to get big and fat so our little baby could be healthy and happy and covered in rolls.” Shelly laughs loudly with a sheepish smile. “And then he told me that he loved me, and that as long as we were both healthy, that he couldn’t care less about how many pairs of jeans I outgrew. Don’t ever tell him this, but he is a good guy, and I don’t regret us because it ended. I would’ve hated myself if I had of turned him down. Even knowing what  do now. It was the decision I needed to make at the time. And my daddy, we didn’t talk for years, but now we’re closer than ever before. We healed. He could have lost his daughter, or let go of his pride, and in the end, family is more important than any form of self dignity and pride. Sorry, sometimes, is the best thing we can say, and forgiveness, the best action we can take.”

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“You said that you regretted some things though, marrying-“

“I wish the first man I married was gonna be the last, call me a romantic.” She laughs loudly again, her smile growing wider again. “And I wish I had of waited til I was in a better condition to have kids. Instead of being dirt poor, shitty jobs, tiny home, now single. I don’t regret doing these things, I regret the circumstances. It’s different.”

“So what am I supposed to do then?” I ask. She was the closest thing that I had to a family now. As crazy as it seemed, it hadn’t even been seven months, and she was the only lifeline I had left. If I needed advice, then I trusted her with it, with her perspective.

“You know things about this guy, better than I do. But, his family would have apologized in time for their reaction, but they’re parents. They only want the best for their kids, you’ll realize that when you have your own. But when you let go of what you think is best for them, you realize that their happiness is the only thing. It might have taken a few years, but it would’ve been okay. And, if he was that good of a politician, if it was his calling, then his town would’ve stood by him.” She smiles, squeezing my hand softly again. “When you left, who were you trying to protect, you or him?”

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“This isn’t the life that you want, is it sugar?” She says continuing after a moments silence. “I mean being a waitress, and dating, if you can even call it that, Henry. You’re a sweet girl, and it just doesn’t make sense. You could do so much better, be so much more.”

“You know, my brother used to say that too. Said I could be anything I wanted. Maybe this is what I want-“

“Don’t even kid yourself.” She screeches laughing at me, sipping her drink again. “Maybe you weren’t a Politician’s wife, but you’re not this girl either. And the time will come when you believe it.”

Authors note

A quick heads up guys, the story will be taking place outside of the Ravenwood world for the next several chapters. So be prepared for a bit of world jumping.

And I am sorry for the delays with chapters til things settle down a bit. I am hoping for at least two chapters per week to be published from this point. Fingers crossed. 

*

My limbs feel heavy and weak as I lie still on my back. Where am I? How did I get here? Eyes flutter open as my vision dances before my dull mind. Beeping echos in my ears as I try my hardest to wake my slumbering body. Pins and needles vibrate up my legs and arms, worst in my extremities. The blood in my head circulates loudly, and forcefully as I attempt to lift myself up to no avail. Deafening. My vision flickers, a room slowly starts to appear in the haze.

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White walls swirl around me vividly, as the sun’s silhouette dances around me through the curtains. My eyes slowly trace the room, looking for the origin of the beeping. In the corner a small seat lies, with the latest magazines beside it. The door open to the bustling hall way outside. On the door, a small white board with scribbles I can’t yet make out. Moving on, a small bedside cabinet borders my bed. With a vase of pretty flowers lighting up the room. On my other side is a small machine, beeping occasionally in time with the moving lines of the screen. I had seen it on the doctor shows before, every movement signified my own heart beat. Cords leading off it, connect to my finger, with a needle piercing into my delicate skin, delivering much needed fluids into my weakened body.

Closing my eyes again, I try to recall my last memories before I woke up a few minutes ago. Blank, blank and more blank. I sigh, and open my eyes. Lucian… My entire body snaps up until I’m sitting up in bed. I remember, I remember everything. We were walking, and upon our travels, he had led me to a forgotten stage. A spike of nerves hits my belly, and the monitor beeps accordingly with my racing heart. We had kissed, I had kissed him. And then… My foggy mind fights me every step of the way. And then… Huttser had told me that we couldn’t be together… So I… So I left… I followed Lucian to the dance, and told him I was leaving. He fought me, he told me no, he said that he loved me…. And I… I took the car…

The sound of the tires squealing deafen me as my mind relives the rest of the story.

Crash….

The beeping beside me grows louder every second, as a single tear rolls down my face. How could I have been so dumb? I could have died, and it would have all been for nothing.

A man in a white coat enters the room holding a chart, as I quickly wipe away the tear glistening against my skin. His light brown hair is neatly combed back, to show off his clean shaven and chiseled jaw line. Assessing the machine  the man says nothing, as he scribbles into the chart. Placing it down, he smiles at me warmly.

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“My name is Doctor Marshall.” The man finally says, holding out his hand in introduction. “Please calm down, I know it’s a lot to take in, waking up in a strange room with no idea why. Do you know where you are?”

“I… Um…” My slow mind takes a moment to process what had happened since waking up, and although it seemed an obvious conclusion, I took a while. “Th… The hospital?” I croak out. “I… I was in a car ac… Accident.”

“Very good.” The doctor says still smiling. “Last night you were found on the side of the road, out on West Swan Road. The car was an absolute mess, luckily though, you had seemed to found your own way out, and passed out beside it. You were very, very lucky to be in such a stable condition, an accident like that… Well it’s a miracle.” One of his hands runs through his hair, making sure that every hair was still in place. “Do you know your name? We can’t call you Jane Doe forever.”

“My name…” Once again my mind slowly ticks over the answer. “Viv… Vivian.”

“It’s pretty.” He says, before his body stiffen slightly. “Miracle is a slight…. Exaggeration. I’m sorry miss Vivian. I hate to do this, but when we brought you in, you had high levels of magnesium and iron in your body. With these high levels, and your rate of recovery, we have to ask… Are you a V user?”

“V?!” My eyes widen, as I spit out an answer. I had never before used the stuff, nor would I ever use it. After seeing Rafe’s addiction to it, I could never.

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“Whatever you say is confidential. No police, it just helps me do my job to make sure that you have the best recovery.” Doctor Marshall says calmly, still fixed on the idea that it was me. My doing.  But I would never, could never.

“The tests must be wrong, I would never-“

“Shhh, it’s okay. Just a question I have to ask when presented with such results. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask.” The doctor smiles again, before pulling his chart out again, and going over some of the tests. “A pretty girl like you shouldn’t be involved in such things anyway.”

“I… I’m not in…. Involved” All the blood rushes to cheeks as he tests my blood pressure. 

“Good.” He looks up at me briefly. “Now I will make sure that the nurse comes by soon with some lunch for you, you must starving. And all your vitals do seem in order and you’re well again. Almost enough to go home… But I’m gonna keep you here a little longer than you need to be, just so I can personally keep an eye on you myself.”

The doctor leaves the room, and talks to a nurse at the door before they go on their separate ways. My mind races with no end in sight. I had actually left home, but right now, in this hospital bed, it seemed pointless. I wanted nothing more than to return home and climb into my bed and just sleep. More than anything, I longed for Lucian’s embrace. Emptiness haunted me, and ingrained itself into every part of my being. Alone, that’s what I was from now on. Alone…

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But in the end, it gave Lucian a chance at life, a real one. The one true alpha of Blackwater, and a damn good one at that. Every single person in that town would be lucky to have him, and he would fight for each and everyone of them. A small smile touches my lips, it would be worth it in the end, because he would be happy. Not now, but in time, we both would be.

As lunch arrives, I push the food around without touching it. V… Why would the doctor think that I was a V user? I frown deep in thought. My rate of recovery and levels of magnesium and iron were telling him something that couldn’t be true at all. Could it? I look at my body, assessing it. Apart from my mind being a little slow at first, which was most likely from the drugs getting pumped into my body, there was nothing else. No broken bones, no cuts, not even a bruise. I had been in a car accident, the doctor said it was a miracle that I was even okay, and there was no sign of injury anywhere.

But I hadn’t…. That was the problem. It all made sense apart from that one little, minor detail that I hadn’t used. I would own up to the fact that it was possible, but there was no way… Unless… No. There was no way a vampire had came and saved me from that wreck. They were monsters, killers. They had taken my parents away from me.

It wasn’t possible.

It couldn’t be.

*

Doctor Marshall comes back again that night, with a warm smile again on his lips. It was a welcome distraction from my own cynical thoughts that had made my mind their home. Other than not having anywhere to go, and no money, things were… Things still weren’t great. Having a bright positive attitude would solve nothing in this case. I could make believe that the last week hadn’t happened, but it had. And acting any different wouldn’t change the fact.

Lucian was a constant on my mind, the kiss, the goodbye, his declaration of “I love you.” Over and over again, like salt onto a fresh wound. I needed him, I wanted him. And on top of breaking his heart, I had broken my own. By saying goodbye to him, I said goodbye to everything that I knew and loved. My best friend, my home, my safety net. If home was where the heart is, then this right here, definitely wasn’t home.

“Vivian, you’re not hearing a thing I’m saying are you.” The doctor sighs with a slight chuckle, his name was Henry as he had told me about three times in the last thirty minutes. “Should I just leave you to rest?”

“No… I’m sorry.” I mumble apologetically at him. “I’m just thinking, you know…”

“About what?” He scrunches his face up for a moment, before frowning at me.

“Everything.” I state matter of factly, as that was all that I needed to say. “I… I mean, I’m a long way from home, and I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, where I’m going. I’m such a mess right now.”

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“You say mess, I say intriguing.” Henry laughs, sitting on the end of my bed, smiling once again. “Appaloosa Plains isn’t that far away from Blackwater. And… Well, even if you have no idea what’s going on right now, if you leave in the middle of the night, with no plan, no nothing, no idea how to drive a car, then there’s a reason that you left in the first place.”

“There is a reason.” I confess, looking at the doctor thoughtfully. “But… I’m not at home, where the problem is, so it’s forgotten about.”

“You’re a terrible liar, but-“

“I’m moving on.” I growl at him defiantly, but he just laughs at me and stands up.

“Whatever you say.” He shakes his head at me, not buying it for a second. “My shift is over, and you should get some rest. Tomorrow is a new day, and you’ll be discharged from my care, so you can run far, far away from here and me. But until then, I am still your doctor, and you still have to listen to me.” He smirks at me, before he turns and leaves.

“Night…” I mumble to him, as he stretches and leaves the room.

*

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True to his word, I’m discharged the next morning. With nothing to my name, it’s terrifying. I walk around the town, taking it all in with my eyes. The country town was quiet and home to range of different people and animals. Much like my own… My old home. The fact I didn’t know anyone was both uncomfortable and comforting. Both for the same reason, they didn’t know me, they didn’t know my story, it was a fresh start.

Appaloosa Plains wasn’t nearly as wild as Blackwater, and was a much larger town as I soon found out. But there was an appeal, a beauty to it. It was still a small town, but Rafe was right, Blackwater was suffocating. Everyone knew everyone elses business. You  couldn’t walk two feet without bumping into someone that you knew. And if you didn’t like someone, then you were forced to essentially be their neighbor.

Before long, the sun begins to set, taking with it my almost calm demeanor. I had nowhere to sleep tonight, no place to go. Hunger had set in hours ago. Still in the blood stained clothes that I had worn in the accident, I had nothing.

I enter a small bar, knowing that my answer does not belong in here. Sitting down at the bar, I take in the musty smell of the place. A woman cackles loudly, as her male counter part tells a dry joke, and sips his beer proudly. She grins and lightly rubs his chest flirtatiously. In the other corner of the room, two men play darts noisily and wolf whistle as a waitress saunters past them with a wiggle of her hips. The pretty bar tender smiles at me for a moment before walking over to me.

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“You look a little lost, sugar.” She smiles briefly, as she wipes the bench in front of me. “And this is definitely not a place for a nice girl like you.” I watch her silently for a moment, and the swirl of her hands.

“I am a little lost.” I reply monotone, still watching her wipe down the dirty bench. The noise grows behind me as the men clank their beer glasses together and chant to the music out of tune. Except that they’re too drunk to even notice what they’re doing.

“Do you want a drink then, love. Might calm the nerves a bit.” I look at the name tag on her shirt, Shelly, is written in big bold letters.

“I have no money-“

“On the house then.” Shelly smiles, pouring a brown liquid into a glass for me. The froth on top fizzles and bubbles over slightly before she passes it too me. “You look like someone who could use a drink. Trust me, I’ve done this job long enough to see the signs. So what’s your story?”

“My story?” I question, raising an eyebrow at her. Deliberating it a moment, I take a swig of the drink, the yeasty taste sliding down my throat. It burns slightly with the aftertaste of the drink, but I ignore it easily. “I… I ran away from home, and everyone there. And I obviously didn’t think it through, because I have no idea what happens next. What I’m too do next.”

“A guy then?” She pries with an easy smile, pouring herself a shot of clear liquid and tipping it down her throat.

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“A guy…” With a nod of my head, I take another sip of the drink. My eyes squint shut momentarily, it would take a while to get used to this taste. A long time for sure.

“That bastard then.” She makes a generalization, not asking anymore questions. She tuts her head, confidently and pours another two shots. “One for me, one for you.” She motions to the strong smelling liquid. Hesitantly, I pick up the glass, and drink. Like kerosene it burns my throat on the way down. “But you know the best way to get over someone, is to get under someone else?” She giggles loudly, winking at me.

“I concur.” An older man slurs from behind me. His breath smells like whisky, and his clothes have a foul stench on them. He wobbles slightly, as he looks me up and down. Shelly laughs again. “I’d be able to h… Help you out there miss.”

“For being so rude and disgusting Willis, you should buy us all a round.” She feigns an offended look before laughing out  loud again, as the man searches his pockets for coin. He puts the money on the bench and walks off muttering under his breath in gibberish. “Stick with me love, you’ll be just fine.”

Drinks and drinks later, my head is abuzz with glee. The alcohol had stained my better judgement but had taken away all thoughts of Blackwater and what I left behind. Shelly as I found out, was a divorced mother of two, living in the trailer park not far from here. She had a contagious laugh and a feisty attitude, and made many of the bars regular patrons fund our drinks for the night.

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“Well, well, well, looks who’s here.” She mutters to herself, shaking her head at the man behind me. Pulling a face at me, she groans slightly.

“I hope you’re not getting me favorite patient here too drunk. You know, someone could take advantage of the situation.” The doctors familiar voice rings behind me.

“Someone like you?” She tries to stay serious but ends up cracking a smile. “The usual, doctor?” With a nod of his head, she begins pouring the glass for him. Henry hands her the money, and sits at the end of the bar with a wink in my direction. “Please do not tell me that you’re falling for that?” She shrieks with a drunk giggle.

“For what-“

“The charm?” She shakes her head, as I look at him from the corner of my eyes. “That man, is a nothing by a flirt. I swear, if he weren’t a doctor, and so damn cute no girl would talk to him. But he is, and everyone thinks that they can change the man’s old ways. Good for a weekend, but not for anything else.” She slurs slightly, with a glint in her eyes. I chuckle at her speech and think about it for a drunken moment. “So don’t get any ideas, missy.”

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“He hasn’t offered me a drink, so-” I don’t bother to finish off the sentence as I take another swig of my drink, ignoring the foul taste. Move on, forget and live your life. I think to myself.

Time passes in a drunken blur. Success. Day one, complete. I had forgotten about everything back at home, and it was the furthest thing from my mind as I take in mouthfuls of beer and vodka. One drink at a time, that part of my life dissolved. things that worried me before seemed to fade into nothingness, it was a problem for a different day. The night soon turns into a jumbled mess, as more drinks are consumed.

*

The sun shines brightly in on my face, as a natural alarm clock. The day rapidly greets the land, and the sun takes its rightful place high in the sky. I groan, opening my eyes. The glare stings my eyes, and blinds me momentarily. My head thuds loudly as I shakily stand up to shut the curtains. Rubbing my temples with my hands to try and soothe the almost blinding head ache, I try to remember how I got here. But most of the night is a blur. The last thing I remember is another drink.

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I yawn, stretching out wide, feeling a sickness in my stomach. What happened? How did I get here?

Searching for clues, I put my hands in the pockets of my pants, and manage to pull out a piece of paper with writing scribbled on it. After a few minutes trying to decipher the message, I’m able to read it.

To Vivian,
Right now you’re probably regretting those drinks, aren’t you sugar? But, when your heads cleared up, come downstairs and we’ll talk about your new job. Here with me
To a night I doubt you remember, and a damn good one at that.
Yours truly,
Shelly xx

PS: There’s some clean clothes on the bedside cabinet, and help yourself to a shower.

I yawn, and scrunch the piece of paper back up into my pocket and groan. She was right, I did regret those drinks right now. The smell of alcohol on my breath and clothing was disgusting, and pungent. Almost making me want to be sick. My stomach doesn’t feel right, almost making me bring up last nights contents.

Never again…” I whisper, knowing full well it was lie. Only because for one night, nothing else mattered. It didn’t seem like the right thing to do, but it was easier. I was braver, more confident, I was someone else.

Slowly, I make my way into the small shower and clean myself off. Scrubbing under each of my nails until they’re clean and spotless, not a speck of dirt or blood left. I shampoo my hair, til the only thing that I can smell is coconut and the bubbles float around me. Only after every inch of my body has been scrubbed clean and the stench of the night before washed away do I step out of the shower and change.

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Nervously standing at the foot of the stairs I wonder whether or not I should go downstairs. It meant that I would have a job, however, this isn’t what I wanted my life to be. I was meant for more than a waitress in a dirty dive bar. Wasn’t I? A nervous jolt goes through my body. I’ve no money to my name, this could be my only chance. If I got money it meant I could leave this town, I could go to college. I could do something with my life.

But that’s not the only thing pushing me down the stairs. I need something to keep me busy, and something to keep my mind from drifting to the one who’s name can’t be mentioned. Moving on wasn’t as simple as leaving town. It meant finding a job, a home, a new one… And even god forbid… Someone… No, there was no one else, and it was just me. Plain old me, nothing special.

The bar is empty downstairs as I hear Shelly’s loud laughter from outside. I could still just leave. Slip out the door and it would be like I was never hear. My brows furrow deeply as I look up at the TV for distraction. If I was going to go anywhere, or doing anything, I needed money. I couldn’t do anything without it. After I found a bit of money, I could decide what to do next.

This was only temporary.

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“The Riverview llamas lost 3 – 7 against the Bridgeport Seals in the hockey this weekend. This has been Lucas Murray with the sports. Back to you Rachel with the news.”

In breaking news, there was a spree of brutal attacks on homes last night. Three homes in the California area were raided by vampires. The families were brutally attacked, and there were no survivors from any of the homes. This brings the death toll up to 17 this week alone. The police are treating this as a homicide, and are looking into avenues that can bring reprieve to the state of California, and to the city of Starlight Shores. The chief police commissioner of the area urges people to stay inside their homes at night, and not to let anyone that you do not know into your homes. That this is in fact a state of emergency everyone, and I agree with the chief’s words. Stay safe, for your families, your friends and us all. Joining us tonight is one of the lead scientists on project V, giving us some of our own tips on how to stay safe in this crisis.”

“Thank you for having me on the show tonight, Rachel. My name is Derri-“

Turning off the TV a knot begins to form in my belly. This was now the world I was living in. There was no safety due to the pack that I lived with. No Lycan to keep me safe at night. I was exposed, out in the open… And there was nothing that I could do about it. In this world, vampires were a very real threat. They no longer represented the bogey man hiding in the shadows, and under the bed. Here, they haunted and stalked the nights, taking whoever they wanted as prey. Whether it be  a wealthy man, a lost child, a politician, or a single mother of two. The rich, the poor, man, woman, child and senior alike. All with one thing in common, that they could be next.

And now, I was added onto the finite list of soon-to-be victims. There was no escaping it. Vampires owned our world now.

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“Sugar, you’re up.” Shelly says as she opens the door. Anxiously I look over at her, feeling the full weight of the moment on my shoulders. As well as the hangover fervently fighting to take me back to bed and the bathroom. “Are you ready for the first day of the rest of your life?”

Update

Posted: May 7, 2013 in Generation 1

okay guys, I promise I haven’t forgotten about you. Other reason I haven’t been able to post is that I spent the weekend packing up the house to ship to the other side of the country and am now living out of a suit case in my partners house. It’s been an exhausting weekend

 

What that means is the Internet is terrible and slow. So, I’m hoping the next post will be soon, in the next week if I’m lucky. 

Screenshot-18Time seemed to stop completely. Seconds felt like hours, and hours an eternity. Almost as though the hour glass itself had been broken. Lucian was a wreck. He wasn’t aware how long he had been sitting there in that same spot since… Since she had left and said her final goodbyes. Since his life had been smashed into a thousand and one different pieces. There was nothing he could say or do to bring her back. There was no need for time and its implications anymore. Vivian was gone and time had run out for them.

Lucian groans and buries his face into his hands. He had confessed to her his true feelings, that he loved her, that he needed her and she had still walked away. Seventeen years of devoting his life to her and what for? Vivian didn’t care, she didn’t love him.

Except he knew, deep down, that it wasn’t true. Lucian sighs, realizing that at this very moment that she could be a hundred miles away or she could still be there. At home, just as devastated as him, or packing her bags, or even waiting for the taxi. It was a long shot, but what was he doing? Siting and dwelling on his confusion while the love of his life just up and left him in the night.

The young Lycan growls to himself impatiently as he gets to his feet. If there was a chance that she was still there, he had to take it didn’t he? He knew that if he didn’t go now, then he’d regret it for the rest of his life. And Vivian, she was not someone he was willing to regret.

As he arrived at the house, his heart was in his chest and he felt weak. The suspense was killing him. Lucian couldn’t bear the thought that she may not be there anymore, and that it could be final. Trudging up the stairs he felt the nervous pit in his stomach deepen, and worry on every inch of his face.

As he reached the door, a part of him wish that he didn’t have to open it. That if he didn’t open it, then he wouldn’t have to relive his torture again. Vivian is gone…

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Lucian opens the door, surveying the room in silence. All her clothes, her personal belongings were gone. It was like she was never here. And it felt like a swift kick to the gut. It shouldn’t be like this. She should be here, sitting on the bed doing her homework, or reading a book. and then when she spotted him, a quick smile would cover her face. And every inch of her body would light up. Then she’d throw the book down, and throw herself into his arms.

Things should be different, she should still be here. With him.

It didn’t make sense.

Strolling over to the bed, he sits down and thinks. He doesn’t want to but he can’t stop it. The flood of memories came back to him one after the other. Blinding his vision, til tears had misted over, and he was blind to the outside would. Everything he felt for her lingered at his fingertips, longing to touch her smooth, porcelain skin again. In his mind, he could hear her sweet, soft giggle echo throughout the room.

“Son, you’re late home.” Lucians eyes snap open to see his father watching him from the door way.

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“I’m sorry, dad.” Lucian swallows roughly, regaining composure of his voice, and his face. He smiles at him weakly, but it doesn’t reach his eyes. “Did Vivian make it home all right?”

“Yeah, a few hours ago, but you missed her.” Huttser responds with a loud yawn, stretching his arms out wide. “She came home and asked to borrow the car.”

“And you let her go?” Lucian’s teeth clench angrily til they more than hurt. “You let her just walk out of here?”

“Well, yeah, she sa-“

“At 9pm at night, when she can’t even drive?” Cutting in, his voice drops to a low monotone.

“Yeah…” Huttser says slowly, his face turning a strange shade of red.

“This is your fault, isn’t it?” Lucian stands up from the bed in one fluid motion. His mind was weak with confusion and paranoia, but he was starting to piece it all together. “You’re the reason… Vivian left, because of you…”

“Son, I’m sor-“

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“You do not get to use that word!” Lucian growls fiercely at his father. All the venom that he could find in his body, coating every word. Standing face to face with him, he continues getting louder. “You would have let me believe that it was my fault that she left, and that I wasn’t good enough. I loved her, and you told her to leave?!? She wasn’t just some girl that you could order around!”

“Lucian!” Huttser’s voice bellows, loudly over his hysterical son. “I did what I had to do. You have a responsibility to this pack, and you would have just thrown it all away for her. For some mutant vampire offspring. She is not Lycan, son, It goes against pack law for you to choose a non-Lycan. As alpha of this pack, you need to have standards! How could any wolf justify standing beside their enemy? She is not just vampire blood, but she is rebel blood! When they come for her, would you led this pack to the slaughter?”

“Don’t… Don’t try to justify this!” He snarls, exposing his fangs in an obvious sign of defiance and challenge. “I don’t care about some law made by the first wolves, god knows how long ago. I am not some slave to their rules! I love her, end of story! I would die for her if it came down to it!”

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“Play the fool then, kid.” Huttser steps closer, towering over the smaller man. “And you’ll have nothing. No pack to stand beside you, and to run with you on a full moon. You go against pack law, and that’s it. I forbid you from seeing her again or you’ll lose us too.”

“Oh, you forbid me?!? Guess what? I’m not five fucking years old anymore!” Lucian slaps the old mans hand away from him, narrowing his eyes. He always feared this man, it was his father, why wouldn’t he? Except right now, he feared only one thing, and his father was definitely not it. “You don’t get to choose who I love.”

“If you want to be a part of this family, you’ll shut you’re mouth and do as your told.” He responds coldly. He wasn’t in the mood for games or his sons stubbornness  In his own mind, he had done the right thing, and even if he was angry right now, he would see the truth in due time.

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“And maybe that’s the whole problem! This family!” Lucian snarls defiantly. “Disown me then, I don’t need your shit. If you want to control me, then I’m better off alone!”

“Son…”

“No. You better hope to god that I find her, or else.” He threatens quietly, and without another word, he sets off back outside. he didn’t know where she planned to go or anything like that. But there were only two ways out of town, and he had to guess right.

He ran along the main road, sniffing the air, hoping for any sign of her passing, any at all. Passing the bend, he hits an indescribable scene.

A car wrecked.

The strong scent of blood wafting from the scene.

And something else entirely…

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A vampire….

Lucian instinctively growls defensively as the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. The creature appeared as if out of the shadows themselves. Leering into the car, and growling. Slowly reaching in and pulling  out Vivian’s bleeding and broken body.

Once she’s out, it sinks it’s fangs into it’s wrist. Spilling it’s blood and allowing her unconscious body to feed. To allow her dying body to recover.

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Lucian’s first and only reaction to fend off the villain. He snarls, but within a second the beast is upon him.

*
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“Sit down!” The impatient vampire growls at Lucian just inches from his face. The boy flinches, of what he knew of vampires, they were killers. And this one was filled with anger and rage.  Against him it seemed.

“Balt, calm down.” The second vampire speaks in a soothing voice to his counterpart which only seems to anger him more. His hand touches the his back gently. Upon the touch, the aggressive, shaggy haired beast straightens up in the blink of an eye with a loud growl.

“I will not calm down.” He hisses back turning his aggression on his partner. His jaw clenches tightly as he stalks away. “She could have died. Tyhmä vitun pentu!”

“And she is alive!” He responds raising his voice. “You brought him back here for a reason and surely that wasn’t to kill him.”

“Painu helvettiin!” Barring his death, a low growl escapes his lips. But without another word he disappears from site. Cursing and muttering under his breath.

“W… Wh.. Who are you?” Lucian stammers watching the vampire intently. Any sudden movements and he’d turn into his wolf form.

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“I apologize for Balt’s… Hostility. If you knew him at all you’d understand.” He smiles at him kindly trying to comfort him. “My name is Phineas, you must be… Lucian? I presume. Alpha to be of Blackwater.” His voice changes to somewhat sarcastic as he addresses the wolf.

“What do you want from me? And Vivian  What did he do to her?” Lucian states coldly. Hiding the worry he felt at the moment. If he escaped he might be able to take one of the vampires, if that at all. The angry one, Balt, had years on Phineas, that much was obvious, and there was a clear bond there.

“Baltezhar gave her his blood to heal her injuries. And an ambulance was called so she’ll wake up in a warm safe environment, away from all of this. She was unconscious when Balt got there so she won’t remember a thing.” Phineas explains still not taking his eyes off of the prisoner. “As for you, a conversation is required at the moment. No more than that, if I have my way. You will not be harmed.”

“Why does he care about whether some girl lives or does?” Lucian frowns. The angry one had a connection to her in some way.

“Tell me, do you know of Vivian’s parents?” He ignores the previous response and asks another question. “And state the truth of what you know. You are leader of that tribe are you not, so I do not count you to be an idiot. So don’t try and play dumb with me.”

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The wolf thinks for a second. His brow furrowing as worry line cross his youthful face. It somehow seemed like betrayal to Viv, even though she wasn’t here. But these men might want something from her. After a moments deliberation. “Raveena Corvinus: Born 1537, progeny of Asmodeus Dragomir. Aleksi Godwinn: Maker unknown, date of rebirth, unknown.”

“I wonder, does she know that you know this?” Baltezhar enters the room again, still fired up but somewhat controlled. Phineas shoots him a worried glance, but Balt ignores it. “Tell me about them, boy.”

“I…” Lucian goes to argue, but decides not too. He didn’t know how this was relevant to anything, but decided not to annoy the already angry vampire. “Under the command of the now excommunicated Prince Arkin, Raveena and Aleksi were working on a blood substitute. When the vampire council learnt of this, they raided the lab. Arkin and Aleksi were taken hostage, where they were tortured, and Raveena escaped. After the birth of two somewhat human children, she was recaptured, and sentenced to death alongside Aleksi. Rumor says he escaped at the start of the vampire civil war.”

“Rumor says?” Baltezhar questions, eyeing him curiously. But his face soon drops again. “It is good to see that Elizabeth’s legacy still flourishes…”

“Elizabeth? Wh-“

“How do you think that a rebel leader, the supposed catalyst for world war V, Aleksi has no known maker, no know date of creation?” Phineas responds with a small smile. “Because he had none.”

“And hybrid theories are nothing but a rumor.” Lucian counters without looking at either vampire.

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“There is a rumor that Raveena bore children to Aleksi, and that they themselves were cured of vampirism from the womb. And that Aleksi Godwinn, icon of the rebel movement escaped with his life. That the Blackwater wolf pack launched the attack on the council, under the rule of Azazel himself, and that Huttser Vorhes alpha and commander is favored by the pure blood himself so much so that he will not touch his land.” Baltezhar explains in a slight mocking tone. “These are all rumors, yet everyone in this room knows them to be true. And my son, Aleksi, was born half human, half vampire.”

“Your son…?” Lucian mouths out slowly…. He could feel the heat burn in his cheeks. Vivian’s grandfather….

“Does that answer you’re question as to why I would save her life?” Balt growls and frowns again. “My granddaughters life. Now you know who I am, and why you should be scared.”

“Balt, calm down.” Phineas states quickly. “You detest us, child?”

“This war has taken everything from me. I do not detest you, but…” She’s gone, she’s never coming back, because of what she is. Because my father fears the vampires coming for her. “I’ve lost so much.”

“You’re not the only one to lose something. You’re whole species, human and wolf alike. Oh woe is me. ” Phin sighs, sounding bored by the subject.

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“Before the war I had a loving wife, a beautiful home, friends, family, a good job. And then it happened. And I lost absolutely everything, as did some humans.” Phin groans. “When Asmodeus launched attack on Ravenwood, they slaughtered everyone, man, woman and child, everyone. No one was spared. When they got to my house, it was too late. My… My wife… I only lived because I was a vampire, and he deemed it punishment to let me live. But… They killed her in front of me. Made me watch while they killed the love of my life.”

“And that’s the day that people became aware of vampiric presence in the world. And it is not the true face of vampire they see. The ones that are hurting just as much as the people they show on the tv, the ones who are fighting to protect those who can’t protect themselves. That day, in that instant, Asmodeus became the face of vampire.” Baltezhar shakes his head and falls to the ground. “The man who would slaughter an entire town because of one rebel was born there and an old history with hunters. The face of vampire, what everyone sees is a killer.”

“How does this affect me?” Lucian says, thinking about the answer himself.

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“You are to be alpha one day, yes?” Baltezhar asks, poking at the fire slowly. “You do not understand vampires because you’re daddy didn’t. But you sympathize with them. The vampire civil war does not look to end anytime soon, but… The rebellion is slowly building up its ranks, and doing what they can. Politics is not an easy thing, especially when someone has no influence. But you have a whole town, and one pack to another, you’ve got the wolves.”

“You want me to-“

“I’m not asking anything of you, it’s just… I need to know that you’re not going to start a war that you won’t fight in like you’re father. War is at your door step, and it’s getting closer, stronger, more violent. You cannot ignore this fight.” Balt continues. “It’s coming to you, and your people.”

“Then we’ll fight. I’m not father, I do not care about traditional wolf laws that state this is not my fight.” Lucian growls out to the surprise of the vampires. “If it’s a fight they want, then it’s a fight they’ll get.”

“I just thought that we owed it to you to warn you. Times are tough for everyone, but the south has remained relatively intact. And I’m afraid that it’s coming to an end. There’s talks, whispers, all of it.” Phin talks now. “Since you’ve been watching over Vivian for so long, and it is clear that she would feel something if you were to be harmed.”

*

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“Who is she?” Lucian asks quietly, watching the vampire known as Baltezhar tuck a woman into bed, and kiss her forehead softly. The vampire turns around to face him, a sad look in his eyes.

“My wife…” He whispers. “She’s… Sick.”

“Why don’t you give her your blood then?” Lucian pries without realizing it.

“There must be a limit to my power. When she first started getting sick, I would give her my blood and she’d be fine for a while. But as time went on, it just… Stopped working.” He sits on the edge of the bed and watches the rise and fall of her shuddering breath.

“I.. I’m sorry.”

“Both of us are cursed because of what we are. I will live long enough to see my wife die a little more each day and not be able to fix it. She’ll forget who I am, and that I am a vampire. She’s kicked me out many times before because her husband is as old as she is, and I’m an impostor. I will love long enough to suffer lifetimes of pain and suffering. And you..” Balt whispers sadly. “You can’t be with the one you love. Cursed to walk alone.”

“Except you could just turn her-“

“No! She… She wanted to live her life as a human. Just because I’m afraid to be alone, doesn’t mean i should take away that choice from her. Besides it might not work. Her mind could be fixed, and she’ll live forever, as an old woman. And she’d hate me for taking her mortality away. And if I did… She still might not remember who I am. Then she’ll be cursed to an eternity of being like this. Not knowing who she is, and…”

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“I do not intend to be like my father and hide in the south forever, Balt.” Lucian quickly changes the subject. “The wolves, my pack, we will fight when the times comes. I know that… I know that Vivian would want me to do the right thing. And I’m sorry about why she was in the car in the first place-“

“When I gave her my blood, I saw things, she showed me things. And… Don’t be sorry. Viv, she reminds me a lot of myself actually. She only left to protect you, just know that. It wasn’t because she didn’t love you, or she didn’t care. If that was truly how she felt she would have stayed. She loves you…”

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to do…”

“I didn’t turn Connie because she didn’t wish it to be so. But she’s a ticking time bomb, with not much time left.” Balt whispers slowly. “Vivian  chose to leave, because in some way she thought that it would protect you. So let her go, you never know, she could come back home one day.”

“And until then?”

“War is imminent. Make sure you’re fighting for the right side.”

To say that I didn’t know how to feel was an understatement. I was confused, trapped in the world of my own bitter loss and unending questions. My own fear was paralyzing me, and confusion weighed heavily on my mind. Was I too be happy that I had done it, I had shown my true  feelings for Lucian and he hadn’t laughed in my face, that he had kissed me back? Or was I too be ashamed, and apologetic I had gone against Huttser’s advice, and made Lucian think he had a speck of choice? Or was I too mourn, the loss of a love I never got to live out?

A small frustrated smile bites at my lips as I reach home. That kiss was not mine to have, and for that I could not rejoice in the fact the he had reciprocated. Lucian was going to be alpha, and that meant I had to let him go. Didn’t it? Biting my lip, I slowly stalk to my room for solace.

He would be a great alpha one day.

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Crawling into bed, I cradle myself in the fetal position and curl up in a tight ball. My eyes do not close, instead they slowly drift towards the view from my window. I watch the clouds float across the sky, as the sun takes it’s dying breath for the day. Brilliant was the sunset that stained the evening sky purple. Til the moon began it’s own journey high into the night sky. Lighting up the darkened world with it’s eerie silhouette, and dancing with shadows. Wolves began their soul piercing, lonely melodies and songs, for whom the moon can dance, now not alone. Stars, twinkling and colouring the night sky.

This world, this town was not made for me. Wolves owned it in every aspect and way. Their beautiful songs filled up the night skies as they sang to the moon. Night after night. Hunting by lunar light, and stalking their way through their land. And the Lycans…

I was the one who had invaded their lands, much like the vampires. My mother, my father… They had come, and brought with them blood, and death, and war. The night now no longer belonged to the wolves, but now a far more menacing monster, lurking in the shadows. And my blood right was that of war. And I was going to tear this pack apart. One kiss at a time.

My eyes squeeze shut as unsure foot steps walk up the hall way. Pausing, and deliberation. Dreading it just as much as I, or perhaps more. Tired muscles tense and tighten, nervous knots tearing up my insides. He creeps closer, slowly inching forward.

A knock….

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“V… Vivian?” Lucian’s tortured voice calls through the door softly. Taking a long pause, as he waits for an answer that won’t come. More than anything, I want to speak. I want him to open the door and wrap his arms around me and tell me it’ll be okay. “I’m sorry. I… I don’t know what I did, but I’m sorry. Please… Talk to me? Tell me what I’ve done to upset you… Make me understand.” His voice breaks as he falls to the ground outside my door. Back against the wall. “I don’t understand…”

I’m sorry….

“Just so we’re clear. I meant everything that I said out there. I’d… I’d give it all up in a second for you. I wouldn’t even have to think about it… I mean, what’s there to think about. It’s…. You. Viv, it’s you, it’s always been you.” Slowly he speaks the words that makes my stomach churn inside and out. I would have given anything to hear him say these things once, but now it just made me sick. “And I know… I know you meant it too.”

I did, Lucian, I did. Every second of that ill fated kiss. 

“I just… I don’t know what happened. For a second out there, I actually thought you cared, that you felt the same…” Lucian mumbles quietly through the door. Every second that we were separated felt like an eternity in hell. “Everything was perfect… For only a moment. If I’ve done something, if you… If you don’t feel the same…”

You’re everything to me. It was all perfect, for just one moment, it was. Until we came crushing back down to reality.

“Why? Viv? What was the point?” A growl erupts from his side of the door. Echoing and rumbling through the door and my room. “Why kiss me, and make me feel like this, like everything will be okay? Just to turn my world upside down on it’s head? You ran, without any explanation, without any sign of remorse. You let me know that you felt the same, you kissed me. And then you just….”

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A loud thump strikes the wall beside the door. Creaking the old walls inside the house. “If you felt the same you would talk to me about this. I wouldn’t be talking to a door tight now if you gave half a shit. If you’re scared or… Nervous about what this means, talk to me about it. We should be working this out together. If you… If you want to take it back… Then let’s just forget about it. No harm, no foul, aye?” My breath shudders as I feel hot tears forming and slowly trickle down my face. I owed it to him to go out didn’t I? No. I had to be the bad guy, he didn’t need to hate his father too. “Vivian, don’t you give a shit about me anymore? I am here, asking you to come out, and you can’t even dignify me with a response…”

Silence, nothing. I want to answer, to tell him that I care, that I don’t want to take it back. That I want him, but I can’t.

“Fine! Have it your way. It’s pretty obvious that you regret that kiss, and that I mean nothing.” He growls, anger seething out with each word.  “So fine, that’s it. I’m gone.”

“I… I’m sorry…” I whisper to myself as he storms off. “I… I love you, Luc. I’m so sorry.”

Over the next few days, I avoided him like the plague, and he did the same right back. It was the longest that we had not seen each other or talked. If we fought, we always resolved it in a matter of hours. But this… This was not something that could be fixed or resolved. I had played with him, and held his heart in my hands, and then crushed it all. Betrayal. And I couldn’t even explain why.

When he had first turned into a Lycan, and he had left me the woods, I had hated him. But at the same time, I loved him enough that I wanted to be in his arms again. It had been a little over a year since that night, the beast inside him would have killed me without a moments hesitation. Yet Lucian remained in there, he fought it. And then, when he had returned to me, he apologized with every piece of his soul and pride. Every full moon since then, he left and returned to me. Trying to tame the wildness in his heart so he would never face the fear of hurting me again.

That was the biggest fight we had ever had, and that was for due reason, to protect me. And he had. And this, right here. Was I protecting him or myself?

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It was heart breaking really. Lucian would be alright in the end, of that I knew. He was strong, confident, and a survivor. His life here was clearly ingrained on him. Friends, family, ambition, and future, all lived and breathed around him here in Blackwater. His parents loving, with his friends he laughed the loudest, and his pack, it made him strong, determined. All the love in the world was his, and he had it in his hands. Lucian deserved the best in life, and that’s what I wished for him. Nice things, good health, the love of a beautiful woman…

By the years end I would have nothing, no longer surrounded by the things I took for granted. Rafe would be gone, following some vampire across the country. He wouldn’t write, he wouldn’t call, it would be as if he never existed. Bright lights and pain only lit up his future. Lucian hated me right now, and because of that I could no longer call his home my home. It wasn’t fair on him to make him feel uncomfortable in the place that was meant to be his safe place.

Where would I go? What would I do? Slowly my head turns behind me to see Lucian for a split second. Surrounded by his pack, and his friends. Becki smiles warmly up at him, with a soft chuckle. Lucian smiles back at her happy and inviting face, but his smile, it does not reach his eyes. My eyes quickly dart back to the front.

It was torture, how could someone who means so much act like a total stranger?

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Reaching my limit, I push myself off of the bench and force myself past him. Except I can’t leave without looking one last time. Except once again, it’s torture, he doesn’t turn to look, or even given an indication that he saw me. Becki twirls her hair, and giggles sweetly at him as they discuss the dance that would begin in a few hours. The others in a state of obliviousness to everything and everyone. And Lucian, perhaps out of the corner of my eyes I see him look back.

I don’t know where to go now. My plans were never thought of for that far ahead. An escape was my only intention, and now I was free of his gaze. The feeling of queasiness soon fades, but doesn’t leave me completely. How had I messed everything up this badly? A few days ago, I had everything.

Something stirred inside me, stating that I needed to say goodbye. I had to end this before it killed one of us, me especially. It made sense, If I left, then he wouldn’t have to feel anything for me, I’d be gone. And the temptation would cease. Huttser would be relieved. And Lucian wouldn’t have the chance to leave me then. Not if I left first.

*

To be completely honest, I hadn’t actually thought it out at all. Not what I would say, or where I would go. But to me it seemed the only escape from what was happening. My stomach flips as I watch Lucian hop in the taxi, dressed in his finest suit for the dance. I stand at the window nervously, feeling sick to my stomach. I had to do the right thing, didn’t I?

Huttser walks into the room, and eyes me cautiously. Yet he says nothing, but I can tell he knows exactly what’s happened just by the disapproving look on his face. His proud eyes, don’t look away.

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“I’m sorry…” I mumble out apologetically to him. I didn’t know what to say, the man made me nervous. He had laid out the rules for me, and in spite of it, I had done the exact opposite of what he had said to me. If Lucian was to be alpha, then he couldn’t be with me. I knew that when I had kissed him.

“This will break his heart, you know.” Huttser responds, slight annoyance in his voice. “I told you to back off so that this would not happen. Instead of listening to me, you go against my wishes, and teeter with tribe law. I just don’t get what you were trying to achieve, Vivian.”

“Nothing…” I glare, getting defensive. It wasn’t fair that I had fallen in love with his son, and only told the rules afterwards. Not that it would have made any difference. “This isn’t easy for me either, Huttser. I mean, I… I would do anything to make him happy, and I just wish that happiness was with me.”

“It can’t be you, so do the right thing. Give him the chance to be happy with someone else.” He shakes his head at me. “Fix it.” After that he walks away without further conversation. I didn’t really have a choice in this. How I felt meant nothing… Except it was his son, his successor, of course he only wanted the best. I had to fix this, and if Lucian was at the dance, then I already knew where to find him.

Going into Salamae’s closet, I rummage through until I find a dress fancy enough to get me into the dance. I feel a fool, the second I slip into it. But it was the only thing in my size that I could get this short notice. My stomach flips as I look at the door to leave. I didn’t want this. But there was no other choice.

*

As I arrive, a jolt of nerves gets sent throughout my system making my anxiety reach an all time high. My throat tightens as I begin the walk up the path to the front door. The door to the small hall creaks open.

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My eyes scan the crowded dance floor for just one of the dancers familiar faces. After a few seconds a spot him, hand in hand in a dance. It’s like a kick in the stomach, but it just reminds me of what I need to do. Of what I have to do.

But I can’t…. It’s Lucian…

No, I have too.

“L… Lucian?” I call out weakly, feeling the fear quickly building up to the point I feel like I can’t breath. “Lucian?” This time I call out louder and stronger. In an instant it seems, he’s in front of me.

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“Vivian, you look beautiful.” He whispers, his eyes slowly taking me all in. Dragging up and down my body, before fixating on my eyes. Lucian hated wearing tuxes, I think to myself, smiling slightly at the thought. He must hate it right now.

“Can we talk? In private?” I mumble. He looked good in it, even if he hated it profoundly. Lucian, as if forgetting the previous days mood, takes a hold of my hand and leads me out of the building. We don’t say anything as we walk. That comforted me greatly, I couldn’t speak yet. I didn’t know my words yet.

We reach the river, and only stop then. He smiles slightly as he releases my hand.

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“Lucian… I have so much that I need to say to you, and half of it, I can’t even begin to explain.” I whisper, keeping my gaze on the shore line, as I watch the sun fade. It was beautiful, stained with pinks, and purples, into the night itself. “I’m leaving… I’m so sorry.” Mumbling the words, and blurting it out at the same time. I can’t tip toe around this.

“You’re what?” Lucian’s face turns to fear, as he intently studies my face. Somehow as if the answer is written on my skin itself.

“I made a mess of things, and for that I’m sorry. But this is the only way-“

“The only way? Jesus christ Viv. I love you, don’t you get that?” His jaw clenches tightly together in anger as cuts me off. “Viv, I love you.” This time his voice lowers, softly confessing to me. He loved me… My heart breaks a little more at this point, all my dreams were coming true and I had to reject them. “I can’t imagine my life without you…”

“Luc-“

“Don’t do this to me.” Lucian’s voice cracks, as he drops his voice to a low whisper. “I’ll come with you, I follow you anywhere… I just can’t do this without you.” Losing their sparkle, his eyes painfully search mine for comfort.

“Y.. You’re not L.. Listening to me.” My lower lip trembles as I feel my own eyes begin to glisten over. How could I do this to him? To me? In a different world, we would run away together and we would live happily ever after. This conversation wouldn’t happen.

Without another word, he bundles me into his arms tightly. I didn’t want our embrace to end, not ever. Cause that would mean it was my time to go, and my time to leave, without him. It’s the right thing to do…. I repeat over and over again, trying to find my reason for needing to leave. But they were hard to find, especially when he held me close.

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Lucian sniffles and rests his face in my neck. “I know you feel this too. I don’t know what happened to you, but I know deep down inside, that you love me too.” Growling resolutely into my ear, I rest my head onto his shoulder. “If it makes any difference, I don’t want you to leave. And I know that I can’t convince you to stay, but please, Viv… I need you.”

“Luc…” I whisper, pulling away slightly so that I can look him in the eyes. “I wish that there was something that you could say that would make me give up this hopeless cause. I do. But there’s nothing you can do to change my mind.” The thought had crossed my mind, that we could be happy together. But it wasn’t fair on him. Huttser was dead against our relationship for the good of the pack. If we defied him, he risked losing everything, and that was too much to bear.

“Tell me the words and I’ll say them-“

“There’s none. Luc, I’ve made up my mind. I’m leaving.” If I didn’t believe my own words, I’m sure he didn’t buy it for a second. The fact was, I had nothing here without him. But this was his home. And he wouldn’t realize it now, but he would grow to resent me in time for staying.

“Where will you go?” He whispers, not yet pulling away from our embrace. Yet his body tensed at the realization that I was going.

“I don’t know yet. Somewhere where the horses roam wild. You promised me one back when we were kids.” My voice is stiff as I don’t want to have this conversation. Yet I yearned for our childhood back.

“I’d have promised you the world, and delivered it, if only you gave me the chance.” He pulls away slightly and sighs.

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“And the world is so big.” I half smile at him, entangling myself in his mess of hair. “And there is so much out there that you haven’t even seen or experienced yet. So much you don’t know.”

“And I know that I won’t find anyone who makes me half as happy as you do. You’re my best friend, I couldn’t care less about the rest of the world.” Lucian looks down at the ground, trying his best to compose his voice.

“I can’t stay and for that I do apologise. I don’t want to hurt you-“

“Then don’t-“

“It’s not that easy, I can’t just stay here with you forever because it’s what you want.” I growl, he wasn’t getting it. There was nothing he could say to sway my already made up mind. “I can promise you that you will find happiness again, and it’ll be the real thing, Luc. Not like me. Not someone who’ll love you one day and then up and leave you the next. She’ll be beautiful and kind, and mean everything to you-“

“I don’t want her…” Lucian frowns, every inch of his face evident with his pain.

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He pulls me into him, and kisses me softly. Except he doesn’t let go, and I don’t try to escape. My body melts into him with every desire and emotion bubbling in my veins for him. My arms wrap around his neck and pull him closer to me.

It didn’t feel like it right now, but I was doing the right thing. Maybe one day I could return, but right now, he needed to forget about me, and this… The feeling that made me feel like my heart could explode with every second that passed by in this embrace. How could it be wrong, if it felt this right? Without explanation I knew it was wrong. I wasn’t a Lycan like him, and that was one day going to be okay. But just not today. Not for a while.

When I left, it would feel like my heart would have been torn from my chest, and left right here, on the ground, trampled and broken. And it would have been my choice, my terms. I was walking away from everything I loved and held dear.

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“Goodbye, Lucian…”