Before I met HER, my life-and my sister's merely revolved around destroying Dracula. We cared not whether we lived or died-as long as that devil spawn died first. We had no future. We did not care. All changed-when I was bitten by a werewolf ...and I met HER...

I'll never forget that day. The smell of the evening mist, the absolute silence of the forest, the rope biting hard into my wrists as I put myself as bait for the hell hound, the faint smell of cordite and werewolf, along with 800 pounds of said werewolf crashing into me. I felt a sharp pain in my Water. Darkness...I could still hear Anna crying for me...

Hours later, I heard voices. One female, the other male. I could smell a feminine scent coming closer. A hand felt my pulse. Then I heard the man speak my name. The speaker was Dracula himself! Then the girl...

Before I knew it, I was in the air. I heard the flapping of wings, screeching. I was too tired and in pain to open my eyes. I wondered if I was dead. That meant Anna would have to carry on without me-

The sound of feet landing on a wooden floor. The smell of dust. Someplace old. The closing of a door. The screeching stopped. The tearing of fabric-the feel of fabric round my injured neck...Why couldn't I move? The sound of thunder. A human cry, shock coloring the tone. Like a cue, I opened my eyes –and looked into the face of a girl hardly out of childhood. SHE looked 17. HER face was brooding-like an angel cast out of Heaven. SHE wasn't very beautiful –but very far from plain.

"Be at peace, Prince Velkan, you are safe,"

SHE told me, raising HER hands in defense. How odd...that a vampire would help me. I thought it was a trick, that Dracula was waiting outside, waiting to kill me. But no, SHE brought me home-and wished me well. And I noticed HER eyes were Mahogany pools encased within Midnight doors that matched the color of HER hair, making HER look mysterious-and beautiful. How I had to mentally slap myself for harboring such thoughts. Yet, I could not forget HER.

When we met again-this time in Castle Dracula itself, it seemed so odd...that it pained HER to think of ME turning into a ravening, mindless werewolf. And surprising myself, I held HER gently. I admit-I had grown to like HER. Unlike the brides, SHE had a mind of HER own-and a heart.

I paid a painful price for thinking such things. Dracula found out-and he scourged me-with a silver-lined whip. Oh the pain..the scalding furrows that ripped across my back, nearly breaking my spine...I knew now how Sweet Jesus had suffered for our souls...The pain multiplied when I felt HER cutting herself, punishing HERSELF-for something SHE was blameless of. The pain had two good uses, though: Dracula could not control me and the pain gave me strength to escape. And escape I did, swearing to save HER.

No one would believe SHE was innocent in all this. SHE was a vampire-a fledgling of the Devil's Son. HER attack on Van Helsing and Anna at the village square WAS surprising-then again, SHE must have been under his will. He must have made HER forget. But in my heart, I knew deep down-SHE was like a late rose: when it blossomed, it would be the most beautiful of them all.

I tried to save HER many times, for Dracula was far from willing to let HER go-obviously. But I made HER remember who SHE was. And slowly, my feelings grew for HER. It was undeniable-and unstoppable. I still remember when I saved HER from the Masked Ball in Budapest-despite the torn dress and HER hair in disarray SHE still looked like an angel ...I remember HER cold yet smooth hands around me, trying to rouse me. I could have died there and then, and would have been the happiest man that ever lived.

SHE not only gave me a reason to live, but also a future -with HER. One I would gladly want. SHE was my match in every way-an equal even.

It feels as if it was just yesterday when I rode to HER house to tell HER I loved HER. SHE looked at me-and SHE kissed me back.

I watch HER now, as SHE walks down the aisle with HER father. SHE wears a silvery, strapless gown, with choker and matching arm clasps adorning HER. HER veil is simple, and SHE wears white roses in HER hair. HER father is trying very hard not to cry. So do I. When the priest says,

"You may now kiss the bride."

I look at HER with love. So does SHE. SHE drops the roses-and throws HER arms around my neck and kisses me, sending us crashing to the floor-onto each other. As much as we dislike people of the opposite sex throwing themselves at us, since it's our wedding day, we'll make exceptions.

Later, when we are alone together in our room, as my wife lets HER hair down and changes into a nightdress, I look out of the window-it is full moon tonight. The antidote I took has ensured I can take the shape of a werewolf at will. Yet, I can't stop feeling a primal urge... Then again, it is after all... the beginning of the mating season...

"My love?"

"Yes, Velkan?"

"You do know that I am second last of my line?"

The poor innocent girl. SHE has no idea of where I am going with this. SHE nods anyway.

"Besides Anna, it is up to me to carry on the family line."

It finally dawns on HER.

"Well then, I think its time we had better...start right now?"

SHE says playfully.

"But of course."

I answer, pulling HER to the bed. And the lights go out....


Like I said, SHE gave me a reason to live. And a future-with HER. Soon, SHE will give us children to call our own...

(Back ground theme: Shania Twain's "From This Moment On")