You lie silent there before me,
Your tears, they mean nothing to me.
The wind howling at the window,
The love you never gave,
I give to you.

Really don't deserve it,
But now there's nothing you can do.
So sleep in your only memory of me,
My dearest mother.

Here's a lullaby to close your eyes, good-bye,
It was always you that I despised.
I don't feel enough for you to cry, oh well,
Here's a lullaby to close your eyes, good-bye.

So insignificant ,
Sleeping dormant deep inside of me.
Are you hiding away lost,
Under the sewers?
Maybe flying high in the clouds,
Perhaps you're happy without me.
So many seeds have been sown in the field,
And who could sprout up so blessedly,
If I had died.
I would have never felt sad at all.
You will not hear me say I'm sorry.
Where is the light?
Wonder if it's weeping somewhere.

Here's a lullaby to close your eyes, good-bye,
It was always you that I despised.
I don't feel enough for you to cry, oh well,
Here's a lullaby to close your eyes, good-bye.

Here's a lullaby to close your eyes, good-bye,
It was always you that I despised.
I don't feel enough for you to cry, oh well,
Here's a lullaby to close your eyes, good-bye.

Here's a lullaby to close your eyes, good-bye,
It was always you that I despised.
I don't feel enough for you to cry, oh well,
Here's a lullaby to close your eyes, good-bye.

Here's a lullaby to close your eyes, good-bye,
It was always you that I despised.
I don't feel enough for you to cry, oh well,
Here's a lullaby to close your eyes, good-bye.

I finish my song, and Anju gives me a small, almost unnoticeable smile, "Thank-you, Atta. I've always liked that song."
I smile from next to her on her balcony's stone ledge, both of us sitting with our legs dangling over the side. "No problem, Anju." I notice a figure walking towards the house and call, "Hey, Karin!"
She looks up and sees us and waves with a grin. She hurries up the path, then.
I turn to Anju, "Shall we go and greet your sister?"
She nods, turning herself around and hopping off the ledge with me in tow. Carrying Boogie, she leads me downstairs just as Karin comes inside. "Welcome home, big sister."
Karin grin, "Hi, Anju." She sees me come down the stairs and runs up to hug me, "Atta! It's so nice to see you!"
I laugh, returning the hug, "You too, Karin. It's been a while hasn't it?"
She nods excitedly, "So what are you doing here? I thought you were out of town..."
"I was. And now I'm not. I'm back home, for a while at least, and I thought I'd come and visit my favorite family of vampires."
She giggles, "Well, it's great that you're back anyway. How's your singing thing going for you?"
I grin, "It' going well, actually. I got a ton of offers when I came back here; there are a bunch of little caf├ęs and clubs that want me to perform."
"That's great! Oh! Does big brother know you're here?"
I shrug, "Probably not."
She looks confused, "What do you mean 'probably not'? Haven't you tried calling him?"
"But why not? He'd be so happy to see you, Atta!"
I raise one eyebrow, "You think? I mean, he's probably out with one of his four dozen girlfriends..."
She sighs, "Still, he was so sad when you left... and it's been almost a year since then!"
Boogie surprisingly speaks up, "Weren't you two close or something?"
I nod, "Yeah, you could say that... I didn't know he was upset that I left, though. In fact, I figured he'd be mad at me for leaving for so long."
Boogie gets all stupid about it now, of course. "Oooooh, just how close were you two?" He then starts making kissy noises until Anju pinches his face and pulls on it.
I roll my eyes, "Ren and I were never like that. We were just good friends." I brush some of my black hair out of my face, "Anyway, if you want to tell him, go ahead. But, I'm not gonna call him out of nowhere to tell him that I'm in town."
I pass them and go to the door, "I'll be at home if it makes any difference. Bye, girls!" I quietly shut the door behind me before they can say anything else, then spread my black bat wings and fly off for home. I know, the wings are a little surprising, right? Well, that's what I get for being only half-vampire, instead of the real thing. I mean, it's not that bad or anything since I can still fit in with humans. It just kind of bugs me that I can't be normal to either race, ya know? Not a vampire, yet not a human either. It's... frustrating.
Anyway, I get home and head inside, making my wings disappear on the way upstairs. As usual, I leave the lights off. I turn on my computer and glance at the clock. 'Only 8:42, huh? Night's still young...' I shrug and start typing up my latest short story. It's sort of a hobby, writing. Been doing it since I was a kid. Granted, I've never published anything, no matter how many times I've been told I should. I don't think I'm serious enough about it; I just do it whenever I feel like it.
I reflexively reach for my cell phone when it starts vibrating, "Hello?"
"Why didn't you call me when you got back?"
My ears perk up at his voice and I smile subconsciously, "I didn't know if you were with one of your girlfriends. Wouldn't want to interrupt you."
He chuckles, "Thanks for being so considerate. But, as chance would have it, I'm free at the moment."
My smile grows a little, "And?"
"I'll be there in five minutes."
I shake my head, resisting the urge to giggle, "Like I didn't see that coming... Alright, I'll be here, Ren."


I sigh, hanging up. 'Well, they told him... This is good, I guess. I did want to see him, and he is my best friend after all...' I type up the rest of the paragraph I'm on and save it. Suddenly feeling self-conscious, I quickly brush my hair out and straighten my clothes. I hear what sounds like a rush of wind. Smirking, I get up from my computer chair and go downstairs just as there's a knock at the door. I open it and grin, "Hey there, stranger."
He laughs and comes inside as I step out of the way.
I shut the door again and turn to him, my grin set into my face.
Ren pulls me to him, "It's good to see you, Atta."
I sigh in content, returning the hug, "I missed you."
"I missed you, too." He steps back enough to look down at me, "Don't leave for so long next time."
I laugh, "I got back as soon as I could. There was a lot going on, what with my singing getting off the ground and everything. Those hunters being around didn't help, either..."
"Hunters?" He looks on edge now.
I nod, "A couple of vampire hunters were tailing me the whole way. I shook 'em off, though. They think I'm in America right now."
He smirks, "They can't be very good hunters, then."
I pout and whack his arm, "Oh, shut up. Jeez, I've only been here for a day and you're already back to insulting me! So mean, Ren..."
He just laughs, setting a hand on my head, "Yeah, but I get away with it every time."
I cross my arms, "Hmph."
I go to walk past him, but he wraps his arms around my middle and holds me back, "Where do you think you're going?"
"Away from you."
"I don't think so, Atta dear," he whispers into my ear.
I sigh, letting him pull me against him again, "Why not?"
He leans his head down and rests his head on my shoulder, "Because you've been gone for almost a year. That means it's been almost a year since I've had a taste of your blood..."
I chuckle, "So it was my blood you missed. Thanks, Ren, that makes me feel loved."
He smirks, "You know that's not what I meant. But can you blame me? And you haven't lost that immunity, have you?"
"Then what's the harm? Besides, you know you enjoy it."
I suppress a snort of laughter, "Yeah, that's it. How ever did you figure it out?"
He chuckles, but doesn't answer.
"Hmm... You can have some... if you can catch me." I slip easily out of his hold and jump away from him when he tries to grab me again. I make it about halfway across the room before my foot catches the leg of a chair. I stumble, but try to keep going.
Unfortunately, my loss of balance slowed me down enough for him to grab my arm and pin me to the wall. His eyes are shining with laughter, "Guess that plan backfired, huh?"
I pout, "Hmph... Stupid chair..."
He laughs, "I win, regardless of the circumstances."
I roll my eyes, "Yeah, fine. Go ahead, Ren."
Smirking, he brushes my hair aside as I turn my head to the side. He hesitates for a second at my neck, before I feel his fangs pierce my skin.
The pain only lasts a second, then it disappears, and I let him take what he wants. As strange as this may seem, he's done this before. It's how we met. He was in desperate need of a drink and pulled me aside into an alley to bite me. When he realized I was a half-vampire, he apologized, but once I explained to him that it wouldn't affect me, I let him go ahead with it anyway. As far as I know, I'm the only girl he's ever bitten that he hasn't slept with in the process, which I'm very happy about. I take that as reassurance that I mean more to him than the girls he picks up in the city.
When he's finished, he pulls back and sighs contently, "Hm, better than I remember..."
I chuckle, "Glad you enjoyed yourself."
He smirks and pulls me to him again, hugging me tightly. "Atta... How long are you going to be here?" He sounds hesitant... almost like he's afraid to ask.
"...I'm not sure. I mean, I know I've got at least a month, but after that... I don't really know."
He doesn't say anything, but his hold on me tightens slightly.
I frown, my forehead resting on his shoulder, "I'm sorry, Ren."
He steps back to look at me, shaking his head, "Don't be. This is your life now. You've been waiting for something like this your whole life, and even if it means I won't get to see you as often, I'm happy for you." He rests one of his hands on my head, "Just promise you'll come back to visit whenever you can."
I smile up at him and nod, "Of course. That was my plan from the beginning, anyway. I don't like being away either, you know."
He smirks again, "I'd hope not." He looks at me for a few seconds in silence, then his smirk fades and he looks down, "Atta, there's something I wanted to talk to you about. I would've called you, but I thought it'd be better if I waited until you came back, so we could talk in person."
I tilt my head, concern working its way into my voice, "Sure thing. What is it?"
He glances at me, then leads me towards the couch. Once we're both seated, he begins, though he's still finding it hard to look at me, "Mother and Father have been waiting for you to come back too, probably more anxiously than I have. They want to speak to you about the same thing, but I'd rather you hear it from me. They're worried that because of the way I behave around women, I'll never find a wife, and they've been pressuring me to find a bride." He sighs, "I've told them countless times that I don't want to marry yet, and they backed off to a certain point."
I've been listening intently with a shocked expression, but seeing as he's paused, I force my voice to work again, "And what point is that?"
"...They're going to let me wait to actually get married, but there's a condition. ...I still have to choose a woman for when that time comes. It's ridiculous, Atta. Father's brought me to meet other vampire families, hoping that I'll pick one of their daughters, and every time I don't, Mother throws a fit."
One thing still bothers me, "I don't understand, Ren. What does any of this have to do with me? Why do they want to talk to me about it?"
He finally looks at me, "...Mother believes that, because of our friendship... you'd be an ideal choice."
'Oh... wow. That's definitely NOT what I was expecting...'
Seeing the total surprise on my face, he looks down at the floor again. "I told her not to tell you anything. I didn't want her asking that of you, and I'd never ask you to go through with something like that."
I take a minute to get things straightened out in my head, then look down at my hands, folded on my lap. I take a breath to calm myself, and my shaky voice, and murmur, "What do you want me to do?" I can feel his eyes on me, but I don't look up. "Since you don't want to get married, and you obviously don't want to pick some woman you don't know to be your wife, this could be a way out of it."
"What are you talking about, Atta?" He sounds confused.
"Well, you could do it to appease your parents. It'd get them off your back, at least..."
"Are you saying you want to go through with it?" he interjects, the confusion replaced with surprise.
"I'm not saying anything. I'm asking you, Ren. What do you want me to say? Nothing would have to change between us; it'd just be a way to shut your parents up about you getting married, that's all," I explain, my eyes meeting his. "And you're not asking this of me; I'm offering." I don't think I've ever seen him so surprised in the time I've known him.
"...You'd really do it? You would marry someone you don't love to help me?"
I shrug, looking down again, "You know I'd do just about anything to help you out. Plus, it's not like I'm giving up on a life with someone else. I mean, what crazy person would want to be wed to a half-breed? And besides..." 'Alright, now or never Atta. Come on, just say it!' "...who said I'd be marrying someone I didn't love?"
It's silent after that. He doesn't respond to my little confession at all, but I can feel him staring at me. After some minutes, he wordlessly rises from the couch.
I look up at him, "...Ren?"
He turns to look down at me, and I'm shocked to see a smirk on his face. He reaches a hand down for me to take. "I guess we should go tell Mother and Father, shouldn't we?"