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As far as freaks go, I used to think I took the bag. Among all the inept social outcasts of the world, surely there couldn't be anything stranger then a girl who literally glows in the dark. No amount of D&D, World of Warcraft, or stamp collecting could really compare.
If it was just the glowing, things probably wouldn't have been so bad. I mean, I could just avoid going outside at night and no one would be the wiser. Sure, my skin always had an unusual luminescence during the day, but it wasn't anything all that noticeable when you considered my pale features and dark hair.
Unfortunately, my very presence seemed to have an abnormal effect on anything electrical. For example, light bulbs constantly flickered whenever I was around, and if I got too close they'd go out completely. That's not mentioning the many computers, televisions, and kitchen appliances that have short circuited in my tender care. Renee must have gone through at least three laptops before she realized what was happening. From that point on, all of the electronics in our house were immediately wrapped in some sort of plastic covering. I was also forced to wear latex gloves whenever I picked up the phone or used the computer. My mother wasn't going to take chances when it came to our eight hundred dollar stereo system.
As a result of my unusual characteristics, I became an exile among my peers. They either assumed I was some sort of germaphobe, (I blame the gloves) or were under the impression I was possessed or haunted by ghosts. The flickering lights probably reminded them too much of Carrie. It wasn't like I was going to go psycho killer on them, jeez.
Well, it wasn't quite as bad as I make it out to be, there were a few kids that still talked to me in class or during lunch, but outside of school I was on my own. I never let anyone but Renee see me at night. In the dark I was too obviously different.
Mom often compared the radiance of my skin to the moon, but I thought it was a ridiculous contrast. If anything I was like a solar lamp, I absorbed light during the day so I could 'shine' at night. I wasn't sure how accurate that analogy was.
Renee was paranoid about leaving the state and I wasn't allowed to ride a plane that would have me trapped on-board after 6pm. As a result I never left Arizona for long periods of time, and since it's always sunny here, my theory remained untested. Actually I didn't really get the chance to do anything.
In short, I'm cursed.
In retrospect, I suppose I should have been grateful, for it was my 'curse' that saved (or doomed) me.
I was sixteen and we were visiting my grandmother down in Oro Valley. In comparison to the rest of Arizona, it was very cool and green. Of course, it was still a desert covered in gnarled mesquite and saguaros, but the trees actually had some small semblance of life. Therefore, it was a veritable paradise in the otherwise dry landscape.
Not that I was complaining. I loved the desert and its singular beauty. Nothing could really compete with our bold acrylic sunsets, majestic mountains, and endless skies.
At the time we were in the middle of our Monsoon season, and the huge thunderheads had just started to roll over the mountains. It was my very favorite time of year; the lightning storms were always spectacular to watch from a distance.
Grandma's home was located near the outskirts of Oro Valley, so she was surrounded on all sides by miles and miles of endless desert. Made of simple adobe, it was a small three bedroom house that had an old homestead feel. From the front porch the light of the city could barely be seen.
About a quarter mile from the house was a place I loved to go to after dark. It was a large pile of boulders that broke the desert skyline like shattered glass. The top of the largest rock was smooth and warm from the sun, which made it perfect for star or storm watching.
In Phoenix the light from the city tinges the night sky a constant yellow. Like a never ending daybreak. Out here though, the evening sky remains clear and black, civilization is just a distant dream in the balmy air. These infrequent visits with my grandmother were my only real opportunity to indulge my secret hobby.
After dinner, as usual, I hoofed it out to my rock. I only stumbled a few times, which was great considering my clumsy nature. Thankfully I knew the trail well enough to navigate the shadowed desert paths.
In Arizona, snakes and scorpions are a serious concern out in the middle of nowhere; so I'd made sure to wear my thick hiking boots, sturdy blue jeans, and a light tank top to keep me cool in the temperate desert air.
Confident in the knowledge that I was alone, I clambered to the top before lying out on the snug limestone beneath me. Lightning arced in the distance, creating stunning flashes that illuminated the earth with breath taking definition. Slowly, to the sound of remote thunder, I fell asleep.
Cool fingers caressed my cheek, and brought me gently to the land of consciousness once more. Gradually my eye-lids fluttered open to stare directly at the face of the most gorgeous woman I'd ever seen. Long crimson hair cascaded around her shoulders in loose curls, looking disturbingly like blood when paired with her unnaturally pale skin. Her visage was a picture of dangerous beauty, sharp and fierce, but strangely mesmerizing.
I felt my heart rate spike as I realized she was straddling my waist, keeping me pinned to the rapidly cooling stone below. A terrible grin spread across her features as her eyes flickered from my faintly glowing skin to my eyes. She seemed smug, as if she could hear the brisk tempo of my heart.
The woman leaned down toward my face, her nose gently brushed against my collar as she inhaled; a low purr rumbled in the back of her throat. I fought desperately to keep as still as possible, but I knew my body trembled with fear. Something in me, some instinct long buried in my primitive subconscious, told me that this woman was extremely dangerous.
"Well, well." Her voice was a high soprano that clashed with her feral looks, "What. Have. We. Here?" As she spoke she leaned back, but placed one hand firmly on my stomach, as if to discourage me from moving. In any other situation, the position would have been sexual, but at that moment it merely heightened my fear. "A cute little rabbit far from home?"
Bright ruby eyes raked across my body, making me feel even more naked and vulnerable than before. For the first time I noticed what she was wearing; a pair of cargo pants and a long sleeved shirt that was completely inappropriate for Arizona. Her feet were bare and I wondered how she could run around the desert without any type of shoes.
"No," a soft murmur, a whisper barely heard on the wind. "Just a firefly, gazing at the stars." The boldness of my reply stunned me. Actually, the fact that I'd been able to speak at all was an occasion for amazement. For a long time she simply looked at me contemplatively before turning her face to the heavens.
"A glow bug that longs for the sky huh?" A small smile graced her features and suddenly I felt the danger bleed away, leaving me shaking with relief. Peering back down at my face, she smirked playfully before shifting her body off and onto the stone beside me. "So, little firefly," She crooned, "Do you mind if I gaze at the stars with you?" I shook my head weakly. "Good." A contented hum issued from somewhere deep within her chest.
I kept my eyes trained unwaveringly on the stratosphere, trying not to think about the undoubtedly dangerous creature that sat so casually beside me. There was no doubt in me that she wasn't normal, if not slightly inhuman. Not that I really had a right to criticize, being a human glow stick wasn't exactly ordinary.
Before I had time to further ponder my thoughts, the wind abruptly shifted, bathing me in a scent that was an alluring combination of ginger and vanilla with a slight hint of something floral. Plumerias, that's what it called to mind, ginger and vanilla with an undertone of plumerias. It was pleasant, and lulled me into a state of relaxation I couldn't have achieved otherwise.
In fact, I felt a little too peaceful.
My eye-lids grew heavy once more, some part of me realized it might not be a good idea to fall back asleep, but I couldn't resist the pull. The last thing I remembered before I fell asleep was a glint of amused scarlet eyes.
A/N: Well this story is, as you may have noticed, a VictoriaxBella femslash and was inspired (In no small part) by the fantastic fic 'My Flower, Her Fire' by –Edit-. There are almost no VxB fics on the site that has even come close to the epicness of 'My Flower, Her Fire'. And it made me want to contribute some small token of my own to the pairing.
This story will start out with Bella meeting Vikki for the first time in Az at the tender age of 16. The story will progress through the entire first book (with some changes) and might (with enough inspiration and reviews) continue through the others as well. I'll have to see where this takes me.
Also, this story is under the assumption that Victoria hasn't met James yet. I don't know when or if they WILL meet, so don't hold your breath.
If you have any questions/comments/criticisms please feel free to click on that shiny little 'Review' button at the bottom of the page, or if you prefer, PM me. I always like to hear readers' opinions, and enjoy talking about any ideas for improvement you may want to discuss.
Also, I have no Beta for this story. If you know how to edit, and you want to volunteer, PM me for details.