Author's note: I don't really know how I came up with this. I just really like vampires and the supernatural and... Show full author's note »
Chapter OneI ran as fast as I could up the stairs and into my bedroom, I slammed the door shut and locked it. I paused for the briefest of moments to catch my breath and to think.
“You don’t think a locked door will stop me, do you Zoey?” the boy called from outside my door, his voice cold as ice.
The door flew open; twisted off its hinges, and banged into the far wall of my room with such force it seemed to make the whole house shudder.
I spun around to face the most gorgeous creature I had ever seen in my life. Gorgeous yes, but his mouth was twisted into a demonic smirk that took away from his astonishing beauty.
I risked a quick glance at his eyes. Without a fair amount of training, a person’s eyes reveal everything about themselves. His eyes were wild with an undying hunger tearing its way through his body like an enchanted fire.
They were flat out black in color. The color you’d expect the devil’s soul to be. (If such a being does exist.) They were hard and cold; they were inhuman.
I’d always been able to face fear very well, I always looked at a situation rationally and I didn‘t often panic, but right now I was terrified. Terrified of the creature that stood not eight feet away from me.
I didn’t hear him walk into my room but suddenly he was right in front of me less than a foot away. His hand slipped around my neck and he squeezed hard. I was suddenly slammed against the wall.
A low growl reverberated from his chest that would sound more common coming from a wild dog than a mere boy, then he banged me against the wall again. This time almost unknowingly into a small mirror that hung underneath my window. The glass shattered and one of the shards sliced through the skin on the back of my head. I barely felt the pain spread down my neck.
My hand automatically reached up to touch the wound and it came away covered in blood. I stared at my hand in horror.
He grabbed my arm and stared at the blood covering my hand. He bent down to my height and breathed in deeply my bloody hand right in front of his face.
I clenched my fist and pulled with all my strength to get my hand back. He didn’t seem to notice, but when he let go of my hand it flew back and hit me in the chest.
The hand that was around my throat pushed down on my shoulders so hard that I couldn’t resist but slide down the wall until I was sitting with my back up against it. His expression was ravenous and I knew that he hungered for my blood. That he yearned for it so much it ached.
I stared straight into his face, my eyes turned hard, and I swiped the tears from my cheeks not quite remembering when I had begun crying.
“What are you?!” I asked, determined not to let my voice tremble. That fight was lost. He concentrated on my tear-stained visage, his face still while a million expressions crashed through his eyes too fast for me to understand any of them. The fury drained from his being and his hand dropped from my throat. His menacing smirk turned into a depressed grimace. He flew backwards onto the floor, his head in his hands, his body convulsed in deep sobs. He looked at me; fear splattered across his face. Fear of himself and what he could have done to me. However, there was more in his expression; there was a sincere apology.
“I’m so sorry.” He said, his bottom lip trembling. I got up slowly and inched toward him. It wasn’t a smart idea, but I was curious. My question still hung in the air. He shot up lightning fast, and before I knew what happened he was in the farthest corner of my room.
“Don’t worry. I don‘t bite.” I said almost sarcastically.
He chuckled humorlessly and said a bit harshly, “You don‘t, but I might.”
I stared at him never before had I seen such a being. He drifted slowly back over to me his dire hunger growing with every heartbeat.
His hands suddenly curled into tight fists and he halted. “I need to go.” He said.
“Dude you almost killed me! You could at least take me to the hospital!” I answered tactlessly. He glared at me and he began to look less like an animal and more like a teenage boy.
“I said I‘m sorry!” He said angrily, as if he found it easier to be mad at the girl he had almost killed than nice to her. I just stood there blood dripping from my head. He stared at the puddle beginning to form on the floor restraint painting his face. He neared the edge of my bedroom window.
“Wait!” I said in a hurried tone. He looked back at me over his shoulder, the very sight of him made my heart jump into my throat and I had no doubt in the world that he could probably hear it thumping feverishly. I had no idea why I thought that though.
“Um, what’s your name?” This is a question I always have to ask no matter how rude (lethal) the person’s entrance is.
“Blake.” he said as he threw himself out the window. I found it strange that some guy would leap out of the window rather than walk through the front door. He hadn’t had any problem with breaking my bedroom door down.
“Blake.” I sighed to myself. The name came out with a mixture of derision and gratitude. The last thing I remember is falling to the floor and floating into the shadowy clutches of sleep.
“Zoey!” I heard the panicked cry of my best friend Phoebe through the haze of unconsciousness. I squeezed my eyes shut. I knew if I opened them I would just see my best friend hovering over my bed trying to wake me up, and then I would know all of what I experienced last night was just a beautiful nightmare.
Okay I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably thinking, what is this freak talking about? That was not beautiful! It was horrible! A horrific nightmare that involved almost being killed by the world’s most lethal creature.
I’m a pretty twisted sister. It was fascinating to me; being that close to someone so unusual. Hearing his voice, those perilous words that drifted through the air, splintering through my mind and making me shiver with fear and pleasure. Seeing his face. Even feeling the excruciating pain, he caused me. There’s nothing else in this world quite like that.
“Zoey!!” Phoebe shouted again. She started shaking me up and down and I had no choice but to wake up. My eyelids fluttered open and the first thing I noticed was that I wasn’t in my bed. I was on the floor. The second was Phoebe’s face tinged with a sort of green color, and she looked like she was going to be sick.
“Oh my god! Zoey you’re alive!!” Phoebe gasped, relieved. My eyes scanned the room and then I saw it. The most useful piece of evidence I had that told me last night wasn’t a dream. There was the shattered mirror hanging haphazardly under my window. I could have jumped with joy if I didn’t have the most massive headache.
“Zoey are you alright?!” Phoebe asked, her voice brimming with concern.
“Yeah,” I replied, sitting up slowly.
“Are you sure?” she asked, her hands fluttering uselessly over my bruised body.
“Uh huh.” I said checking to make sure the rest of me was okay. I glanced at my right hand and saw my fingers stained crimson with blood. Yes another sign! I thought to myself.
“Zoey!” Phoebe squeaked, horrorstruck.
“Huh?” I said, bending my legs and arms to make sure nothing was broken.
“You’re bleeding!!!” Phoebe yelled. My right arm reached up to touch the scrape on the back of my head and sure enough, my hand came away stained with even more blood. “Oh god! That’s a lot of blood.” Phoebe said, glancing at my hand then at the puddles of dried blood on the floor. “Are you sure you don’t need to go to the hospital and get like transfusions or something?” she asked nervously.
“No, no, I’m fine. It’s just a scratch. Besides head wounds always look worse than they are.” I said standing up, as I did I felt a bit dizzy but not too bad.
“Okay. But you might want to clean yourself up you look terrible.” Phoebe said.
“Thanks.” I replied sarcastically. I grabbed a clean pair of clothes and headed down towards the bathroom. When I got there, I closed the door and looked in the mirror.
I almost screamed at my own reflection. My hair was matted with blood and my neck was covered with finger shaped bruises. I really was a mess. I quickly got out of my dirty clothes and jumped into the shower.
It was a relief to have the blood run off my body and down the drain. I washed my hair carefully and I noticed that the scrape wasn’t on my head it was the back of my neck and it really wasn’t deep at all. Nothing a band-aid couldn’t handle.
I stood there under the running water for a bit and then shut it off. I stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around myself. I got a box of band-aids out of the medicine cabinet and took one out. I dried the cut off as best I could and put the band-aid on it. There, good as new.
I pulled a violet tank top over my head, and put on a pair of gray Capri’s that said Dance in purple on the back. I ran a comb through my hair and pulled it back into a damp ponytail. I grabbed my dirty clothes off the floor and threw them in the hamper. I opened the bathroom door and stepped cautiously back into my bedroom.
“Better.” Phoebe said approvingly. “But tell me,” she paused, “What happened to you?”
“Uhhh…” was all I could muster. There were thoughts about last night racing around in my head, but the most solid one was; should I tell her? Should I tell my very best friend about the complete stranger that tried to kill me? I had a feeling that he wouldn’t want me to tell anyone. Of course, he didn’t actually tell me what he was but I thought I had a pretty good idea. The only conclusion I could come to was…Vampire.
I mean what else could he be? With the strength, and the speed, and oh my dear sweet Goddess he was hot! Plus, there was also that hunger. The way he looked at me as if I was just something to eat. The way he seemed to be able to hear the acceleration of my heart beating furiously against my rib cage. The way he wanted so much to taste my blood…
“Well?” Phoebe asked impatiently. I glanced at my clock and said, “I have to go…now.” and I started walking rapidly towards the door.
“Wait, wait, wait, wait. Where could you possibly be going?” Phoebe asked.
“The gym. Self defense classes start today.” I said, opening my bedroom door, and stepping into the hallway.
“But how are you gonna get there?” Phoebe said following me down the staircase. “Its raining and your cars at the auto shop.” Phoebe said.
“Its only six blocks away. I’ll ride my bike.” I said stopping at the front door. I turned to face her.
“But you’ll get soaked.” she said. I sighed as I finally registered the rain pattering on the roof.
“So. A little rain never hurt anyone.”
I opened the door. “Fine. I’ll just go clean your room or something.” She said sadly.
“Good luck with that.” I said teasingly.
“You know since its raining no one will be there; maybe not even the instructor.” Phoebe said.
“Ah Pheebs, so what? I went to last session, I know my way around.” I replied as I walked out the door and got on my bike. Phoebe shut the door and headed up stairs to do what she could to make my room look less like a crime scene.
When I got to the gym, there was only one car in the parking lot and it belonged to the girl who worked at the front desk. I ran through the lot and pushed open the double doors at the entrance. When I got to the front desk Sadie was laid back in her chair with her feet on the desk reading a Life&Style magazine.
“Um, Sadie?” Sadie jumped at the sound of my voice, almost falling out of her chair.
“Oh, hey Zoey. Thank God, you’re here! I am so bored. So um, okay. You don’t have to pay or anything I’m just gonna leave and go home and you can stay here as long as you want. Just don’t forget to lock up when you’re done. The keys are under the desk. So…bye." Sadie fumbled under the desk for her purse and tucked the magazine under her arm and left.
“Okay that was odd.” I muttered to myself. I bought a bottle of water from the vending machine in the corner of the lobby with the loose change I found in the pocket of my pants and took a swig before leaving it on the desk.
I opened the annoyingly creaky door that lead to the gymnasium and walked slowly through it, looking around at the speed bags, and the kickboxing simulators that littered the gym. Phoebe was right. The instructor wasn’t here. I stepped over toward the training dummy and started practicing basic defensive moves.
Nearly thirty minutes had passed, and after riding my bike in the rain my drenched clothing was beginning to dry. I moved into a separate room where there was a variety of exercise equipment. I set the treadmill to a fast sprint. I love to run and I’m really good at it. Phoebe said I should’ve joined the track team at school, but I never did. I started running.
The thumping of my heart and the electronic whir of the treadmill created a rhythm that lulled me into a trance-like state for about forty-five minutes. When those minutes were up, I jumped off the treadmill while it was still going.
It had been about an hour and fifteen minutes since I had gotten there, so I decided it was time to go home. I turned the treadmill off and turned around. What I saw astounded me and set my heart beating at a dangerously high level.
It was him. The guy that almost killed me last night. My eyes widened and it took all my strength to keep from either hyperventilating or passing out.
Something was different about him. His eyes were a big part of it. Just like last night. They were a different color. They were a long way from black and nigh irresistible. It was hard to look into them, but once you did…that’s it.
You could never look away.
The cobra and the mouse.
The lion and the lamb.
The age-old story of predator and prey. They were apologetic still, but not nearly as fearful. Instead of the black that they were they were a nice shade of blue-gray.
“Um, hi.” He said hesitantly. His voice bounced around in my scull. It was carefully trained to reveal no hint of what he was truly thinking. In truth, his voice sounded vaguely familiar and not just from last night.
I seemed to be frozen in place.
I couldn’t think.
I couldn’t breathe.
All I could do was listen to my heartbeat become so rapid it seemed like one continuous beat. I quickly surveyed his entire expression. I tried to read him. Ordinarily I’m very adept at puzzling out what someone’s true feelings are but his face was a mask of indifference. However, I still detected the hunger. He still craved my blood. He wanted it. Nevertheless, his thirst wasn’t nearly as intense as it was the night before.
He mistook my stunned silence. He thought I’d finally gone into a state of shock. He thought that I was afraid of him. He turned to leave. But just as he lifted his foot to take a step towards the doorway, I came out of my trance so to speak.
“Wait! Don’t leave!” I took a quick step toward him. He turned back around to face me. “I know what you are.” I said, hoping that what I said would be enough to keep him intrigued.
“Really?” He said the most charming crooked smirk I’ve ever seen appearing on his face. His left eyebrow rose questioningly.
“Um…Yes.” I said nervously. His stance told me to go on, to say it. “Uhhh…” I swallowed and took a deep breath. His smile grew. "Um…”-blink- “uhh…” -deep breath- A single word escaped my lips, “Vampire!” His smile disappeared. I think he was counting on me getting the answer wrong.
“Are you afraid?” He asked. One minute he was standing in front of me about six feet away, the next, he was behind me about six inches away. I turned around slowly to face him and said, “No.”
The truth was I was terrified. I was scared now and last night. But I sure didn’t want him to know that. My throat got tight. I couldn’t speak. I opened my mouth but no words came out. I just stood there. The most lethal creature on the face of the planet now less than three inches away from me.
I slowly turned back around. I knew it was stupid of me to do that but I couldn’t look at his face without turning into an entranced, vulnerable pile of mush.
“You’d turn your back on me? Even though you know what I could do to you?” He whispered softly in my right ear. I kept completely still, my heart accelerated at his closeness. I felt his cold breath on the skin of my neck and I shivered involuntarily.
“W-what do you want from me?” I stuttered.
“Nothing really. But at the same time so much.” I took a deep breath and said as angry as I could manage, “Okay listen buddy; I’m not much for riddles, so just screw the cryptic crap!”
“I would say sorry. But I’d be lying. When you’re angry, the blood pools beneath your skin and it grows hot. I love seeing that.” Blake said in a dangerous voice, and he stroked the side of my face from my temple to my jaw. The contact his skin made with mine left a burning trail along the side of my face even though his fingers felt as cold as ice.
“Well, you obviously want something or you wouldn’t be here.” I mumbled almost unintelligibly as I stood there too afraid to move.
“Well Zoey, did you ever think that maybe I wanted to see you again? That the opportunity to catch your sweet scent was too great to pass up. Maybe I thought I deserved to be tortured for what I nearly did to you.” Hate hazed over his words and only the tiniest fraction of his hate was directed towards me. The rest was all for him.
He hated me for making him feel so helpless, for putting the dry ache in his throat and the ravenous hunger in the pit of his stomach. He hated himself because he hated what he was. He utterly despised the monster inside. The monster who could snap five persons necks in less than a second. The creature who loved to kill just for the hell of it. The demon that just boiled beneath the surface waiting for the day it got to come out and play.
“Torture yourself? How?” Was my clueless response. Blake who seemed to be in a completely different place looked down at me and said calmly, “Being so close to what I can’t possibly have.”
“Oh…” I murmured quietly. He grabbed me gently by the shoulders and turned me back around to face him so he could see into my eyes to read my emotions… to read my soul it seemed. I blushed, my cheeks turning sweet crimson. I looked down at my feet.
Blake sighed longingly, bent down slowly as if to whisper in my ear, and pressed his smooth cool lips to the hollow of my throat. His lips brushed down my neck until he reached the crease above my shoulder.
I froze completely and my mind went white with fear. Blake opened his mouth and I felt two razor sharp points press gently against my skin. With a sudden burst of adrenaline, I rolled out of his grasp and darted about nine feet away from him.
“What the hell man!” I yelled, backing farther away from him rubbing the place where his teeth almost broke my skin.
“What?” Blake murmured coolly, leaning back against the wall a cocky sideways grin on his mouth.
“You know what’s weird—,” I said, my voice rising with hysteria and fear. He shifted his weight off the wall and crossed his arms, signaling me to go on.
I took a deep breath and continued, “First you apologize for almost killing me, then you try to eat me!! And you know that really doesn’t give a girl the impression that you’re one of the good guys!!!”
“Well, as you can obviously see, I am not one of the good guys.” Blake said the same crooked smirk on his face. His mildly arrogant voice ringing through the air.
I smiled edgily and said, “Like I even need your assurance.” I backed slowly toward the exit without turning around. Blake took a long stride forward that put him about three and a half feet closer to me.
I started backing away faster, and he took another step. I stumbled through the door and into the lobby.
I started to turn around but stopped; I realized that it wouldn’t be very wise of me to turn my back on him again after he almost bit me, but I did anyway.
I spun around and sprinted towards the main entrance, extraordinarily fast for a human but not nearly as fast as a vampire. I was almost at the door when Blake appeared in front of me, out of nowhere.
A small gasp escaped my lips. I looked at his face, and again he was more animal than teenage boy. I saw his lips part menacingly, and I heard a low growl split the air. I didn’t even have enough time to compose my terrified expression before he grabbed me by the throat and lifted me off the ground.
And if I weren’t so busy you know being throttled and all, I would have made a snide remark that would sound a little bit like, “You know it wouldn’t hurt if you took a few anger management classes.”
I grasped desperately at his hand wrapped tightly around my throat, but he wouldn’t let go. I felt my face grow red from lack of oxygen. I couldn’t speak so I tried to beg with my eyes. Beg for dear life. I knew Blake was smart. I knew he could take a hint. Fortunately for me he did. Blake took a deep breath, closed his eyes and let go of me.
I fell to the floor, gasping for air despite the ache of my neck and throat. I looked up at him still sucking wind.
His eyes were squeezed shut and his fingers trembled as he fought to keep control of himself. I swallowed and winced at the pain. Man he has a killer grip.
Blake rested his head against the wall and massaged his head with his index and middle fingers.
I got up slowly and lay my hand on his shoulder in what would be a comforting way. He flinched away from my touch.
“Please…Don’t.” He begged. I took my hand back and let it drop to my side. Having to do so hurt me. More than I would’ve liked it to.
I felt paralyzed next to this unusual marble creature. That’s how I would describe him. Because he was so still. I mean I was good at being still and quiet but definitely nothing at all like him. I still had the steady rise and fall of my shoulders and chest that told people I was breathing. With him, there was nothing. Before it at least looked like he was breathing. Now I could tell he wasn’t.
There was nothing I could do. I knew that. I couldn’t make him feel better because me just standing here was causing all the problems. All I could do was stare at him and imprint every single one of his somehow flawless features into my head because I was too selfish to leave. His rustled dark brown hair, his cheekbones that cut across his face in an almost perfectly angular way but not quite. I moved my eyes down from his face and across the alabaster skin of his neck, down to the way his dark blue hoodie hung on him. The long sleeves were pushed up to his elbows showing off his hard, muscled forearms.
I crept closer to him and mumbled, “Are you okay?” He suddenly unfroze and was all the way on the other side of the room before I could even blink.
“Fine.” He half said half sighed. He slid down the wall and into a sitting position and stared at the ceiling. I sat down beside him about four feet away and hugged my knees to my chest. He groaned but didn’t do anything.
“Why won’t you tell me what’s wrong?” I asked cautiously, being careful not to strike any nerves. I don’t think I could handle another strangle hold.
He turned his head to face mine and rolled his eyes. An incredibly human gesture. “I really don’t think talking will help. Especially talking to you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked crossly.
“I just-I just can’t concentrate with you around.” I looked into his eyes a little crease appearing between my eyebrows.
“What?” Blake asked, sounding slightly amused by my expression.
“Nothing. I just thought I was the only one that happened too.” I said embarrassingly.
“Yes it happens to me,” he said smiling. “Probably not for the same reason it happens to you though.” Confusion painted my face.
He chuckled without humor and started to explain. “Your scent is like nothing I’ve come across before. Your blood is highly desirable to every vampire I‘m sure. And it just confuses me. Clouds my better judgment. Like last night. I absolutely dreaded the thought of killing you but when I saw you, I felt I had no choice. Your scent put a thick haze in my brain and completely erased all sane thoughts. Leaving only the monster behind. The monster I don’t ever want to get out again.” He looked down at his hands, ashamed for having to tell a mere human how he really felt.
“Wow.” I said. “I feel like I should apologize or something. For making you feel that way. It’s got to be horrible to lose control of yourself like that.”
“It’s not your fault.” Blake murmured tilting his head back against the wall and closing his eyes.
I stood up slowly, keeping my eyes firmly glued to the space that Blake occupied. He didn’t move or stir in the slightest. Like he didn’t hear or feel me get up. I mean I was stealthy, but not that stealthy.
I stepped around him and noticed nothing but a small tightening of his muscles at our extreme closeness. I grabbed the door handle with cautious hands and pulled the door open. I slid through the small opening and darted to the bike rack where my bike sat soaking wet, the rain pattering on the leather seat.
I wiped the water off the steel lock that fastened my bike to one of the metal post. I felt around in the pocket on the side of my Capri’s, and came away with nothing but a bit of grayish pocket lint.
“Damn.” I cursed quietly under my breath, as I flicked the lint onto the ground and remembered that the key was at my house sitting on the kitchen counter. My hands moved automatically down to my hips, which is what I did when I was angry or irritated. I looked up at the sky and squinted my eyes against the falling rain.
Suddenly I felt a cold finger press gently against the band-aid smoothed across the cut on the nape of my neck. “Do you need help?” Blake asked softly. His finger fell off my neck and traced down my spine. I shivered involuntarily. Am I the only one who thinks he has an issue with personal boundaries? I wound my fingers around the steel chain.
Blake crossed over to the other side of the bike rack and asked, “Do you mind losing the lock?” I looked down at the lock.
“Um…No.” I said, confused. He smiled and wrapped his right hand around the chain. He gave a gentle tug and the steel snapped as if it were made of paper. My jaw dropped as I marveled at his strength.
A full grin split across Blake’s face and he laughed at my expression. The sound of his laughter was so pleasant; I could listen to it forever. I quickly snapped my mouth shut. I caught the lock as he dropped it and stored it in the pocket on the front of my bike.
A lightning bolt flashed a couple blocks away lighting up the whole sky. I jumped at the loud sound of thunder that followed. The rain poured harder on the pavement and me. I was instantly drenched. Seriously, I looked like a drowned Chihuahua and I was shaking like one too from the cold rain.
I looked up at Blake. He was still smiling, his razor sharp teeth glittering white, obviously he was amused by my drowned Chihuahua state.
His brown hair was now black from the rain. Drops of water putting identical black spots on his hoodie.
“Well, I guess I’d better go." I said, trying so hard to keep my teeth from chattering. I started to get on my bike.
“Wait.” Blake said. He grabbed my shoulder and spun me around. He opened his mouth as if to say something, but seemed to think better of it, and shut his lips in a tight line. He took his hand off my shoulder and stroked my left cheek, his fingers hesitated on my skin.
I was shocked. He had just touched me. And this time he didn’t try to strangle me too. I tried not to blink because I knew that if I closed my eyes even for the tiniest fraction of time he would be gone when I opened them again. I didn’t want that.
Eventually I had to blink though and when my eyes opened he was gone, leaving nothing of his presence but for the faint electric sensation that started in my left cheek where his skin touched mine and fell through my whole body.
I got onto my bike and pedaled home, my head filled with thoughts of pity. Pity for Blake. I just couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. I couldn’t imagine what being a vampire put him through. What it made him feel?
Hunger. Undeniable hunger and a thirst that felt like a white-hot cattle brander stuck down his throat whenever he was near a human. (Yes, I definitely think that’s a suitable comparison.)