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I knew at once that he was a vampire. His scent was so heavy that I began to cough and hack. That caught his attention, and looked at me from the bench where he was sitting, facing the crashing waves of the ocean.
“Are you okay?” he asked. I never knew how three little words could make my heart jump so. I blushed a deep crimson and couldn't stop the small smile that wormed its way onto my cheeks.
“Yeah, I just...” I looked around, then caught sight of the water bottle in my hand. “I just choked on some water, that's all.” He nodded and went back to the book he was reading. I stood there dumbly for a good eighty-seven seconds, until he looked up from his book and focused his eyes back on me. My eyes traveled around his body, his crisp black suit, his well groomed black hair, his moonlight pale skin, his dark sunglasses. I could see easily through his glasses, it's a special ability I possess, no matter what, I can always see people's eyes. Most turn their eyes away awkwardly, I was shocked at how steady his gaze was, his eyes locked with mine, I shifted from foot to foot nervously. Without touching me he held me there, I couldn't move, it was like he had me in a full body lock, only a thousand times scarier.
“Do you need something?” he asked, his eyes never leaving mine.
“Um,” I said nervously. Then I remembered that I wasn't just any girl, I hardened my gaze, I could see the light in his eyes flicker momentarily as I found my metaphorical footing. I climbed on a mental ledge and stood there to catch my breath and readjust myself. Now it was my turn to hold him there. Despite the calm look that was all the late-night joggers that passed us saw, I could see the panic in his eyes, I guess my hold wasn't as strong as his, because he broke away. Then again, maybe this meant I was stronger. “No,” I said, lifting my head high. “I was just admiring the sunset.” He nodded and smiled.
“Yes, it is pretty magnificent isn't it?” We stood there for a bit, just watching the golden sunlight illuminate the thrashing water.
“Kaden Lee,” he said. His Asian eyes flashed as he smiled at me, and held out his hand. I took it in my own tanned one, and allowed him to give me a firm shake.
“Helena Krystolan,” I smiled at him, and hoped I didn't have anything stuck in my teeth.
“Lovely name,” he said, standing and stretching his arms out behind him. He somehow managed to do this without letting me see what the title of his book was. It was dusk by now, I didn't know much about vampires, how was their reaction to the dark? The impending nighttime didn't seem to faze him though. He looked around, placed his hands on his hips and grinned.
“So when were you bitten?” he asked. My stomach dropped.
“I know what you are,” he said. “Were you born this way or were you bitten?” I didn't know if I should tell him something like this, but his eyes made me want to tell him everything.
“When I was eight,” I begin, cringing a little at my words. “I was bitten. And what of you?” he raises his eyebrows at me. “Were you bitten or were you born this way?”
“Ah, you counter attack nicely, Helena,” he places a pale hand on my shoulder. “Ah but, like you, I was bitten when I was but thirteen. It was Avacious himself that did it, actually.”
“The one and the same,” he nodded. “I'm sure your story is just as interesting?”
“Nah,” I said, sitting down on the bench beside him. “I'm not that interesting.”
“Oh I don't know,” he smiled. “You seem pretty interesting to me.” He brushed a strand of long blond hair away from my face. I blushed and looked down.
“I should go,” I said, standing up and looking down at my wrist as if there was a watch there.
“Oh,” he said, his voice sounded rather sad, I blushed again, turning my back on him so he wouldn't see. I began to walk away. “Wait!” He stood up and walked casually over to me, his long legs making it that distance in three easy strides. “Here, I want you to have this.” he slipped a ring onto my left ring finger. The ring was pure iron, with two large stones swirling around each other, one red, one green. I looked at him quizzically. “For protection. All bad fay will keep their distance so long as you wear this ring,” he leaned over and gave me a kiss on the cheek. Then he stepped back so he was on the edge of the wharf, his back to the ocean. “Until the next time, Helena,” he jumped and twisted off the edge of the rock. I rushed to the edge and looked out onto the dense water, but Kaden was gone.
When I met him for the second time his smell was so different that I almost didn't recognize him. He smelled as if he had been rolling in faeries. I shied away from the smell, as faeries are something to be feared. He was wearing a suit with a huge rip in on the left side, and the sleeves torn to shreds, I could see his lavender shirt underneath. His hair was freshly gelled, I could still smell the hair care products, and his teeth were still that brilliant shade of glittering white, and his eyes, this time uncovered, were smiling at me.
“Ah, Helena,” he said walking up to where I was sitting on a park bench, gazing at over the large pond and the ducks that wallowed in it. I turned my head, my face never showing my disgust at his smell. What kind of vampire was Kaden Lee to go messing in the bouts of the fay? He sat down next to me, with one ankle resting on his knee, his arms on the back of the bench, he was the absolute picture of relaxation, besides the torn suit of course. “And how have you been since last I saw you?” I smiled shyly, and looked at my hands.
“I've been alright, I suppose. And what have you been up to?” I was dying to know what had happened to him, but he didn't volunteer any information so I decided not to push.
“Oh, not much,” he shrugged. “Just taking care of some business. And what has brought you here this evening?” The mosquitoes were busy that night, and I was fighting an inward war between scratching and not embarrassing myself.
“I just thought I felt like watching another sunset,” I said, relieved at my words coming out calm and cool.
“Helena,” he said, his green eyes flashing playfully. “It's three o'clock in the afternoon. I don't think you're going to sit here until the sun sets at nine.” He threw back his head and laughed, a hot blush burned up my cheeks. My lie was not going as planned.
“Oh...” I said, turning my head away from him. He laughed again, then placed a hand on my cheek, and slowly, ever so slowly, turned my head so I was looking right at him. Our eyes met, but he just laughed softly and looked down. Then turned his head to look at me again. As his eyes took me in, I watched him, and the small cut on his cheek that was still bleeding a bit, leaving a brownish red trail down his jaw line. I drank him in, as if I had never seen him before in my life.
“So what's it like?” it took me a moment to realize what he was asking. “You know,” he pressed, his eyes were nearly glowing now, the flashes came so quickly. “Werewolf.” I gulped, the shadows of doubt leaked out of my mind, was it really that obvious what I was?
“What's it like being a vampire?” I retorted. He grinned.
“You get used to it,” Kaden said.
“Same here.” He smiled and turned his head away from me. With my eyes I traced his jawline, perfectly straight, not a single blemish was there on his skin. He turned back to me, still smiling, and I couldn't help it, I smiled back. I detected a disturbance in him. His heart was racing faster than mine! Slowly the smile faded off my face, and I got up, and ran away.
It was winter the third and last time I saw him. I was wondering about in the flower garden outside the natural history museum. I don't really know why I was there, huddled in my wool and leather coat, freezing my knees off in my skirt, meandering about frosted bushed and wilted flowers and silver twigs. I'd heard somewhere that keeping a silver twig in your pocket was good luck. I broke one off a bush and stuffed it in my pocket.
“Boo!” I jumped, Kaden was standing behind me. He laughed as I whirled around, my blue skirt billowing around my knees.
“What are you doing here?” I tried to act angry, but I couldn't stop the laugh that came into my voice.
“Same as you,” he said, wondering through the gardens, stepping on dead flowers and sleeping buds. “Just admiring the death around here.”
“Lee!” we turned around. Standing on the opposite side of the street was an Asian looking girl in a blue coat with black hair the longest I had ever seen. She waved excitedly and hurried over, rather awkwardly in her black heels. She shuffled up to Kaden and fell into a long, deep kiss.
“Huan-Yue,” he said, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. “This is Helena, Helena, this is my girlfriend Huan-Yue.” I shook her hand, forcing a plastered smile onto my face.
“It's nice to meet you,” I said. She smiled and said the same.
“Well Helena,” he said taking his girlfriend's hand. “See you around.”
“See you,” I said and watched as they stomped off through the snow. I yanked the ring off my finger and tossed it onto the snow. I wiped crystalline tears from my eyes, and headed home.