Tap, tap, tap….
The window continued to tap until Ava wrestled herself out of bed. "What in the hell?" She muttered to herself as she walked to the window.
Her eyes were barely open when she looked out, but instantly saw Mello standing before her in the field. "Do you know what time it is Mello?" she asked him with a tired plea in her voice.
"Oh come on Ava, I just got back into town. Come down so I can see you." He replied with a grin. Ava smiled and thought for a second. It didn't take long for her to decide. Quietly she grabbed her shawl and climbed down the gutter. Suddenly her foot slipped on the mildewed metal and fell. But Ava landed in the arms of Mello. He held her in his arms in silence for a moment with Ava's eyes wide open now. "Are you awake now?"He said laughing. He put her down and gave her a long hug. It had been a long time since they had seen one another, almost a month to the day.
They ran off to the corn field behind them hand in hand. Both of them grew up in orphanage homes most of their lives and felt an adrenaline rush pulse through their veins when they ran off together into the night. It felt like they were running away from their problems. Ava was turning twenty this very night. Mello was twenty-two and had a job in the market as a bread boy for the baker. Ava was still living at her orphanage she grew up as, but as a servant for the woman who ran it. Mello no longer lived in a his orphanage but lived where he could at friend's houses from time to time until he was kicked out for overstaying his welcome. They had been best friends since they could remember and always stood for one another. He was her soul mate and Ava loved every moment she was able to spend with him.
They ran until they found their spot in the woods where a weeping willow stood by the river. In the summer they use to fish in the river for hours but almost never returned with a reward. They sat down together underneath the hanging branches and studied the moon together.
Ava looked at Mello's masculine face. He had long dark brown hair with untamed waves caressing his face. His eyes were a deep hazel that seemed to often glisten in any light. Underneath all that stubble, was a fresh goatee that shaped his jaw to perfection. He had a lean but muscular figure with tan skin all brought up by the farm work he used to do while living in his foster home. He had a spirit of a wild stallion, rules meant absolutely nothing to him, and he made it a point to never follow or live by them. He did whatever his heart desired, and Ava loved that quality of him.
He noticed her gazing up at him. He took the opportunity to admire the angel that sat in his arms. She was gorgeous beyond means. No other girl in town or anywhere else in his travels compared to her. She had piercing green eyes that could tear a man's heart out within a second. Her crimson red hair was luscious and wavy in perfection. It seemed no matter how tired or hard at work she was, there wasn't a moment where she wasn't slightly less beautiful. But the one feature that melted him instantly was her contagious smile. She lit up a room the moment she walked in, and it intensified when she made one of her quick witted jokes.
"Where do you think Beatrice is sending me away?" Ava asked.
Mello shrugged, "Maybe off to some foreign country where she will never have to remember how much trouble you've caused." He grinned thinking of what they had done together and how they had also gotten in trouble together, just like brother and sister.
"I want to leave and go where I want to go, but for all I know she'll send me to hell if she really could." They both laughed, knowing that the old hag was unpredictable.
"Where will you be after I leave?" Ava asked Mello with concern in her voice. "I'll be around. You'll never know when I'll show up. You could be in London and you might see me there."
They sat in silence, thinking to themselves of what might happen to each other. "Well," Ava began to say, "I think we should meet somewhere when we have enough money and run together and travel the world like we dreamed of doing when we were younger. Forget what everyone is telling us to do. Just go out and do whatever we want to do."
Mello smiled, "I think that is the best idea you have ever come up with in our entire trouble making career." They fell fast asleep in each other's arms.
"Ava wake up! Ava!"Mello whispered harshly with his finger to his lips telling her to not make a sound. Mello got up and took Ava's hand and led her deeper in the woods where they could not be seen. They hid behind a bush as Mello pointed his finger to the open sky. The large crescent shaped moon hung high above them and was a glowing an eerie white, but a dark shadow in the moon had caught her attention.
"Oh my…." Mello quickly put his hand over Ava's mouth.
Up in the night sky was a demon casting a shadow in front of the moon. Hovering over the land looking like it was in search of something. It screeched into the night. Its voice echoed in Ava's ears. She couldn't imagine how such a thing could make an ear shattering noise. It had a massive wingspan like a bat, but an animal like body of a man. It was enormous in size. Suddenly it dived down into the forest. They lost sight of the hideous creature.
"We need to go," Mello said franticly.
They ran in the opposite direction straight back to Ava's orphanage. They kept looking up into the sky for the creature, dodging any open areas in risk of exposing them to danger. By the time she had gotten to the gutter again, they were out of breath and the sun was coming up.
"What was that thing?" Ava asked.
"A dark creature, one you never want to encounter." Mello looked up still.
"You don't think it was a…" Ava couldn't finish her sentence before he interrupted "A vampire? Yes I believe it was." He finally looked at her. She had a sudden panic in her face. He knew she had never seen a vampire let alone come dangerously close to being its prey.
"It will be alright." He said with a reassuring smile. "It probably just needed to eat, you know how they only kill so many a month."
"Yes but they never come this way, its maybe one or two a month. We have had four so far." Ava said, not buying into his charm.
"Just go to bed and forget what you saw, ok." Mello said. He hugged her and smiled, "everything will be ok Ava, and I will always be there for you. Write me if something happens and you need to get out of wherever Beatrice is sending you. You know what to do. And don't worry about tonight, they are probably just visiting and have gone back to Transylvania by now." Ava nodded her head. She began to climb up the gutter and soon into her window.
Ava laid her head down for no more than a minute before Beatrice slammed open the door and began to bark orders at Ava.
"Get your arse up right now and go to the market and get some bread for the little ones!" She slammed the door closed.
Ava slowly wrestled herself out of bed and walked downstairs. The smell of sausage and bacon fill the kitchen and the sound of shrieking children went unnoticed. Ava grabbed her shawl and a basket. She was about to open the door, but then she stopped.
She walked to Beatrice, "where are you sending me off to?" Beatrice turned around. She was a ghastly woman. She was severely heavy set, with unmanageable black greasy hair that was always put up in a messy bun. She had large moles covering her body, several protruding ones on her face. Her fingers were always caked with dirt and grime from her intense work and labor of taking care of children with a bottle of the best vodka by her side. She always reeked of liquor, giving her a more unsettling appearance.
She had a grin on her pinched face knowing that it was killing Ava that she didn't know where she was being sent to.
"Well my dear," Her heavy body walking to Ava with her hands on her hips, "I was thinking you would do well in a place with discipline, a place where you can learn manners and a place where there will be too many chores to do that you can't possibly get in trouble."
Ava stood there with an eyebrow cocked. "And that is?"
Beatrice laughed knowing where she was sending her. "You will be a servant for a Count. You will be under his rule until he feels he doesn't need you anymore. Then you will be a free person. For all I know you could be there forever or until you die. It's up to him."
Ava didn't take kindly to her cruel joke. Trying to talk to a drunken drunk was difficult as it was, but trying to get answers was even more difficult. "Where is this Count?" Ava asked sternly.
"He lives in Transylvania where all the hellish beasts like you run off to" Beatrice began to laugh at Ava. Ava couldn't believe she was sending her that far away from her home. She grew up here her entire life. Even though she hated it, it was all she knew.