Kissing Coffins: Shadows
Chapter One: Hide Away
It was now or never. A few humans watched with openmouthed horror, fascination mingling with alarm. Curiosity—both a fault and a virtue in the human populace's character. Without curiosity, inventions wouldn't have been made to benefit the medically ill and the entire mortal race. But with curiosity, humans often fall prey to things that would hurt them. At this moment, they had no clue what was going on; if they actually knew a bloodthirsty vampire was in their midst, they'd be screaming. Hell, I felt like screaming.
He cut through the crowd easily, a predator amongst prey. His lips were curled back slightly to reveal his long fangs. They were brilliantly white in the dark air, flashing threateningly in the dim glow from the cars parked around us. But the light didn't deter him—his nostrils were flared, his eyes a startling shade of crimson. He was angry.
My arms held the girl I loved protectively against my chest. She was breathing fast, nervous. My hands shook as I stroked her back soothingly. There was no way that he was taking her away from me like he took away my life.
She looked up at me, fright widening her eyes. We both knew that we had to go through with it in order to end it for good. But she didn't deserve to be put through this option—I didn't want her to do this just because she was being threatened by my nemesis. I didn't want her to die because of my stupid mistake.
I didn't want her to be part of the world I detested.
"Alexander," she murmured against my chest. Her eyes tightened as she looked up into my face. She was determined. "Now!"
I could feel his eyes on my flesh, daring us to go through with it. And as over fifty humans and a hungry vampire watched on, I pulled her closer and did the thing that came as second nature—I sank my fangs into her neck.
I watched as the blood dripped off my hand. A single drop slid down my alabaster arm, leading a pale red trail to my elbow. I licked it away absentmindedly, the feeling of the liquid crawling down my skin starting to tickle.
Dammit; I was starting to go insane in this place. I glared around at my new bedroom, willing it to spontaneously burst into flames. Instead, the hunter green walls with the fleur noir trim just stood there, taunting me about my minuscule psychic abilities.
My new bedroom wasn't the reason that I had blood on my hand, however; I had accidentally knocked over a goblet of O positive when I had placed my paint set on the table. I had been trying to paint a mural of a dead tree—resembling the one outside my window— on the wall to brighten this place up. No such luck; painting didn't cure loneliness. It only satiated the growing hunger for companionship. But it was getting harder and harder with each hour.
As a person, I should have the right to live out my very long life in peace. I should be able to blend in with the night crowd, find my true love, and start a life for myself without living in fear everyday. I should have a dog too, one with a big fluffy tail and a loud bark. But as a vampire, I had to live life with the constant overwhelming feeling of doom hanging just above my head. At any moment I could be staked, burned, shot, beheaded or get my throat torn out by any enemies of the supernatural persuasion I might have.
And I certainly had them. One of them was on my mind in particular. A little angrily, I took another gulp of blood and settled back into the molted and stained armchair sitting in my makeshift bedroom. A single candle glowed on the short rounded table next to me. A ghost romance novel with a thick, leather-bound cover rested next to it and the paint set I had placed down recently. My lucky black paintbrush was looking rather dejected, at the farthest point of the table and the rest of the objects.
I'd meet him soon, I retold myself as the dark curtains covering the single tiny window in my attic bedroom blew in the brisk breeze. I didn't bother closing it. I wasn't likely to catch a cold, after all, so why go to the trouble? And besides, by adapting to changes in the weather or physical pain, I was strengthening my endurance for the battle ahead.
Outside of that window, a sprawling lawn of un-kept, overgrown weeds kissed the end of a dreary cul-de-sac surrounded by untamed hedges and a wrought-iron gate. There was a broken birdbath in the thicket of the weeds, humorously similar to a normal family's average garden gnome. A fractured rock path led up to the arched wooden door of the Coswell Manor, my temporary house. There was a rusted handle and a dragon shaped knocker that always popped off when you touch it, and all the windows were boarded up, allowing no sunlight to leak through. This was a fortress that kept out all the living things that I was attracted to.
It was for their own good, though. Sighing, I settled my eyes on a cardboard box in the opposite corner, opened half-way. It contained my clothes and other necessities. It had reminders from the town I had left just a night ago, so I didn't want to dig through it just yet.
I had to leave behind my mortal girlfriend, Raven Madison, because my parasitical childhood adversary, Jagger Maxwell, was hunting me down. I had left his twin sister, Luna, at the alter when I chickened out at my arranged marriage. I didn't want to bind her to me when we didn't even know each other very well. It seemed completely unfair for both of us to spend eternity with someone we don't love. And we were only seventeen, so why should we even get married so young in the first place?
I had retreated to my grandmother's mansion on Benson Hill in a place that I dubbed Dullsville due to the seven thousand faceless people inhabiting it. It seemed like the perfect place to retreat—a discreet little hideaway in a place that might as well not have existed. I wasn't expecting to fall in love with one of the townspeople, though.
She was different then anyone I had ever come across. Exotic and wild, she was everything that I wasn't. Brave, fearless and ready to risk everything for someone. It also helped that she and I had similar styles—I had been dreading going to Dullsville because there was a lack in the supply of those who wore combat boots and listened to the Damned. I found a gem in a sea of pebbles when I came across Raven.
I hadn't been planning on telling her that I was a vampire. It just sort of happened in the end; it was totally by accident. Coincidently, on the same night I finally was revealed to her about my true nature, I had to leave her. My parents had sent word that Jagger was coming fast on my trail and was in the next town over. Unable to bear the idea of Raven getting harmed because of me, I decided to finally confront my enemy before he caught up to her town. For her benefit, I had to leave her.
But dammit . . . I wanted to go back to her so badly. I gritted my fangs in agitation. Jagger was going to pay for this. Every time I found peace in my life, he always disrupted it. He was a spiteful, vindictive pest with absolutely no motivation other then to cause others pain. And to avenge his sister.
Sometimes I wondered if it was even worth running off from my new town. He would have been coming to me anyway, and if I had avoided Raven he'd never suspected I cared for her. And if I had come across him I could have talked the whole problem out with him. It really seemed like a complete misunderstanding.
But of course, Jagger wasn't like that. He didn't listen to anyone but himself, something that was going to be his downfall later on in his life.
I looked at the grim walls as the candlelight flickered. My eyes narrowed.
This was needed to end.