The Vampire twins.
I don't remember too much before that day, or maybe that week would be a better place to start. But I do remember those small times as clear as though they happened yesterday. Oh yes, the week of December 15th 1898. The snow was caked everywhere, most places two feet high, and in some, like my home, was five feet high, secluding our home. It was the traditional Victorian home in our little town in England. It was a stately black brick mansion with a white veranda and décor around. Black marble fountain was iced over and all coupled up with the black wrought iron fence, it was an eerie home, all surrounded on three sides by a wooded parkland.
My father was a banker, he traveled by a carriage early in the morning. He made his money happily, bringing it all home to my mother, with her mocking smiling way she criticized, thinking she was the gentlest creature in the world, prone to frequent nervous breakdowns daily. I had my tutor and my music teacher, my best friend Samantha, my twin brother with his tutor, and frequently played chess with his best friend, Alec, all an almost perfect family, until the Christmas the year I had turned sixteen.
It began on the Sunday beginning the week. After church, we gathered in the library for tea. One of the maids came in with a telegram, a telegram deciding my fate. A somehow friend of father's was coming to visit and bringing his niece, but had nowhere to put her and asked father to take her in. He seemed very pleased, mother not so much. I think they knew who it would be,
The next day when the guest arrived, we gathered around the front parlor's window. When she got out of her carriage, I guessed she was wearing a red velvet dress, just an educated guess because of the holiday season and her dress was very dark colored. As she approached the front door, she was wearing a black bombazine dress. In the light of the fire, the dress set off her icy, pale skin and dark eyes. She had the blackest midnight hair any of us had ever seen and she spoke with an accent that hinted she was of Latin decent. Her name was Antonia. She looked at me as though she were reading my mind and I was temped to say what I was thinking. My brother Edward would look at me as though he had the same feeling too.
She charmed us, spoke eloquently and gave the most false complimenting lies, told my mother she looked beautiful and she was nicest woman ever! The most ridiculous lie I have ever heard. She kept her onyx eyes downcast and spoke with a tinkle of bells in her voice, her accent was from somewhere else in England, not London, Oxford, maybe?
That night, I lay awake thinking about Antonia. Her guest room was next to mine, opposite Edward's. I thought I heard a bump and raced to my window, throwing back the lace curtains. A figure, silver in the moonlight, raced across the lawn and into the wooded parkland. The figure had it's streaming black hair flow behind it as though it were a flag. it was moving so fast, if I would have blinked, she would have been gone.
I sat there and stared, collapsing at the window seat. I stared at the parkland until I fell asleep at the seat. It must have been a trick of the light or perhaps just my imagination, but I could have sworn on my mother's soon to be grave, that that was Antonia.
The next day at breakfast, she wasn't there. She came in through the back door, shrouded in a black cloak, leaves and dirt all over her. I think I was the only person to see her though. I confided in my brother over the next two days that she had been sneaking out at night through her window to the parkland. He didn't believe me until he had his own experience. He woke up and her face was above his, like she was on top of him. He blinked and she was gone.
He recalled the way her eyes looked, strangely yellow, topaz. He and I stuck together more often, fearful of our own lives against someone Mother and Father trusted. It didn't seem right, us hovering away from her. My fears subsided until Friday of that week. I had a cold, and my brother too. She came to me, and I sat up quickly in my bed, pulling my quilts around me more, as if they would have done any good.
"Hello," she said, the babyish sound of her voice was mixed with the sound of bells and a small soprano.
"Hello," I said flatly back to her.
"I know you and Edward have been watching me," she began to say and I tried to speak, to lie, but she continued, "So by law I am allowed to give you a choice, you have seen too much."
I got her when she had paused, "Seen too much of what?"
"My dear Elizabeth, you didn't the front of my dress that day, you see, there was blood all over it, and I couldn't let it get out that I had blood on me, it wouldn't be proper, you know me and all."
I had my own sneaking suspicions, but I doubted them all at that moment, doubted my self, doubted anything and everything because at that moment, I knew what she was.
"you're a, a," I couldn't bring myself to say the word. She knew I knew, she only went out at night, she was pale and icy cold, she was beautiful, she had yellow eyes, it all made sense to me.
"A, a," she stuttered for me, "a vampire." my eyes were locked onto hers, she looked at me, with more care than would have been befitting.
"As for that choice," she continued, "I can either kill you and your brother, or I can make you both vampires. Your choice. I already talked to Edward, he will choose whatever you do."
Good old Edward, I thought. Why did he have to be brave and I couldn't? I wanted to know more about her, to beg. I didn't want to be a vampire, nor did I want to die. I had to choose the lesser of the two evils.
"I-I. can you choose for me?"
"You won't want I choose for you. I hate to spill innocent blood, I'd rather make you a vampire."
"I could live with that."
"You'd have to forever,"
"I'd always have Edward." I remembered that he would choose what ever I did.
"Okay, your choice. It will hurt."
"I can handle it if you're with me." over that last half an hour of talking to her, I'd developed a small sense of trust with her.
She went back and brought Edward with her, he had gotten dressed, being in my room and all. I wouldn't have cared. Honestly, it seemed stupid to get dressed up. She leaned into me, and whispered, "Ready? I do have a plan. Ever had scarlet fever?" I shook my head. "No? well you do now."
She bit me. The bite didn't hurt much but she quickly carried me to the room my parents called, "The sick room," for when anyone was sick.
The sick room was draped in black, for in the case of the inevitable. One whole cupboard was stocked with herbs not for the aide of a cure or cures, but for making the room smell good, a product of my own mother's silly whims.
There were two beds too. I understood immediately what was going on, my brother and I would have scarlet fever, a contagious illness if you've never had it. I knew my parents didn't, neither did the maid. I'm sure Antonia was going to say she had, she could be the only one to take care of us. She brought my brother in too after a minute, it was when she came back after telling my parents she took us to the sick room.
I can always picture their sick minds twisting with happiness that a stranger was taking care of their kids. They probably bought it too, they loved Antonia.
The real pain didn't hit after all the tingles and pins and needles accelerated after storming into my body like a storm of red fire ants about to kill me. It felt like my body was being ripped apart and I couldn't scream, I couldn't see, I could hear though. I heard Antonia lie about how we were getting worse, my brother never screamed as far as I could tell, and the pain only got worse. It was disorientating. I couldn't think about anything, anything but the pain. It continued for days though it felt like years since I'd been able to feel anything other than pain.
On the third day, I was told it was, the pain began to subside. The knives and stabs went away, all that was left was tiny pins and needles and a constant ache. I could think, but I still couldn't speak or see. Until I felt like I was choking, I could breath, but my throat and nose felt like they were closing up, like something was constricting them and then I was able to take a deep breath, then I felt nothing.
When I woke up, still the third day, it was night, Antonia was sitting there, mopping my forehead with a cold cloth, something was unusual, I could hear and see more, just little tiny details like paint drippings on the crown molding on the floor and I hear the maid and mother talking and shuffling up the hallway.
"How do you like your new you?" Antonia asked.
"It takes a while to get used to you know. You know you're much prettier than before, you had tiny blemishes on your skin, now it's as pale as mine." she handed me a mirror. I looked. I looked much more different. My features had evened out, my hair was shinier and a little longer. My lips were fuller, the little baby fat was gone from my body, and the dark circles under my eyes from staying up late were gone. But my eyes were the color of dark honey.
"My eyes, they're pretty. But," I couldn't continue for a small stab of hunger and thirst combined to terrorize my throat. It was a burning sensation and I couldn't ignore it. I tried to gulp some air and swallow some saliva, but it didn't help, it only cooled when I kept my mouth open. But only just a little cooler.
"Ah," she noticed, "you must be thirsty. Well use you're new speed and change. Edward should be back in a few minutes." my speed?
I peered out the door and ran as fast as I could, which I now realized was very fast because it took me only a second to get to my room. I changed from a white night dress to a blue dress. Then I finished dressing and did my hair. I ran back to the sick room where Edward sat at the little table, reading of course.
"We have forever to do that you know." I said, it sounded funny because my voice had changed from it's slightly raspy and horse sound, to a light tinkling of bells mixed with an intellectual voice.
"I know," he answered. He was dressed and Antonia stood up and I sat down.
"You know you can't stay here," she began. I began to stutter shocked. I knew she wasn't joking because of the serious, molded look to her face. "Yes, you won't age and therefore will expose the vampires. We can't have that now can we Elizabeth?"
"Then how were you someone's niece?"
"Adoption. I'm supposed to be seventeen, but really I'm one hundred and twenty. Twenty if you want my real age when I was bitten. I snuck into an orphanage, and bang, I was that pretty."
"But then, what are we going to do? Where will we stay?"
"With me, I travel a lot. You can come with me, we could start, what's the word? Coven? Yes. A coven."
"What about our parents?" I noticed my thirst more and it was becoming very noticeable that I was truly uncomfortable.
"After a few hundred years, everyone you know will have died or forgotten you."
"That's a bit harsh," Edward interrupted.
"I suppose it was," Antonia said, thoughtful, "But we have to leave tonight, the sun can't come up or," she didn't finish until she saw our eager stares.
"What?" I asked. My thirst was becoming unbearable now, someone was throwing hot cinders and flaming logs down my throat, followed by hot soot and ash, delicious.
"When the sun hits us, we turn jewel colors. Like ruby and amethyst, we turn sort of into jewels, but we're still alive and somewhat human or what ever we can be considered."
"No one knows. When you become a vampire, you have to wear something silver to counteract the sun, no one knows why, but it's the only thing we have so we can go out in the sun. You better get whatever you want to take with you, including something silver, we have to leave. Now."
I ran out with out another word. I flung myself onto my bed. I felt tired, sad, but I knew I could never feel tired and my sadness was but a weak human emotion and I knew it was only in my head. My only thought was about how to get my throat too stop burning.
There was only one thing I wanted to take with me. A velvet jewelry pouch my mother had intended to give me for Christmas. Edward had let it slip he knew and where it was hidden some weeks ago. I raced to mothers room and to the closet, hiding in there until I knew I was safe and alone. The pouch was in an old hat box. Inside was a diamond necklace, a silver locket with a picture of me and blank on the other side. The last was a familiar portrait, or me and Edward as babies. In a tiny jeweled frame that sat in the palm of my hand. I put the pouch on my wrist and closed and locked my parents' door.
I sat down at my mother's desk and pulled out a piece of stationary and a mother-of-pearl pen. I scrawled the words "Goodbye" and on the bottom "We love you" on the paper and ripped it in half. I raced to my room and put the half with good and We lov on my bed, then in Edwards room placed the last piece. They would be sure to find it. I took up my cloak and Edwards. I knew I wanted to be hidden, even if I would never be cold ever again. Shivers ran down my back and tingled down my spine.
Antonia grabbed my hand and flung me out the open window. The thrill of it was truly not scary at all, and of course it didn't hurt. I landed on my feet and followed my instincts into the forest. I wished Antonia had come with me. I heard a sound, the soft pitter of padded feet on the soft wet ground, the ground as soon as it had just rained and the ground was soft as a feather.
I ran and found that my running was silent, more than the maid's tiny feet at home as she twittered about the house cleaning and cooking, she sounded like a mouse, she looked like a mouse with her ashy blond hair and tiny nose. She sounded like a mouse, with her quiet demeanor and the slight squeak to her soft voice.
I found the pad-footed animal, it looked like a very large wolf and it stopped for a second, it's ears perking up suddenly. It listened, it was still and silent for a moment that seemed more like an hour. Then it lay down and what looked like to sleep. I took my chance and pounced on it, following my instincts to highest degree. I held it in my arms for a moment, realizing my mistake. It was dead. I laughed at myself, my laugh ringing through the trees until I stopped, remembering the thirst in my throat, the still painful burning sensations that I couldn't ignore.
Some minutes later, I heard a wolf, and I killed it, again following my instincts. I bit it and sipped it's blood, it was sweet, much sweeter than it should been. Then I walked away. I was ready. Edward, in father's silver college ring, wanted a clean brake, to leave quietly with no reminders of whatever had happened. I wrapped up in my cloak, slipped on the silver locket and prepared to leave my home and my old life. I wanted to leave and never come back. I had my brother and Antonia, who was my new best friend. I couldn't wait for my new life to begin.
About two hundred years later, our travels took us the Untied States, we ended up living in a house around the outskirts Carter, Tennessee with the most beautiful waterfalls. Edward and I went to Elaine T. Keen high school currently. We start out in new places at the beginning of each school year as tall seventh graders. We keep together and we've graduated high school so many times, we've lost count. Antonia poses as our mom and we all three go by the name of Newman. During my two hundred some odd years, I've written lots of books about different things, some of them vampires. We've never encountered any other vampires.
The best part was that Edward and I had discovered we hade some gifts. Some very, very special gifts. First off, we both could speak to each other in our minds. We'd tested it and we could be about thirteen hundred miles away and still hear each other. Next, Edward could manipulate how things grew. He could make trees grow super fast, he ever made bread rise a mile up from the ground. I can make other people feel what I feel, I think it's very useful when Antonia gets made at me and Edward for going out in the sunshine to see our jewel-skin. I love my emerald skin and Edward turns Lapis Lazuli colored skin.
We were juniors in high school when I walked into class and He was sitting next to where my spot in class was. It was December, the middle of the semester and the new boy was going to sit next to me. I didn't care. I was the quietest kid in the class, but frequently called on and always giving the right answers. Since it was the first period of the day, math, Edward wasn't in my class until science, the next period.
The new boy was made by Mr. Flanders, the principal, to stand up and speak.
He stuttered, shy as anything, and I felt sorry for him, I felt confidante and tried to make him feel it too, he didn't.
"I-I," I tried to make him feel confidante again, happy, glad, anything to help, nothing worked, "I'm Stephen Newman," hey! That's my last name, "and I moved here from Wisconsin." not a bad state, we'd been there three times. "I play baseball and my dad's one of the new police officers," real original. He had the shy look on his face, one that made him look pinker than a rabbit's nose.
When he sat next to me, I noticed him a little more. He had milk chocolate colored hair and he smelled like all the good boys smells; spicy, cinnamon, nutmeg, a little hint of leather, but it was all good. As a vampire, I knew that I had a scent too, I knew it was floral but I longed for someone to tell me how beautiful I smelled, did I smell like lavender, roses, a mix of the two, Edward just told me, "Lizzie, you smell fine, floral."
Thanks a lot. But some how it must have worked because during the passing period, as I walked to my next class, Stephen walked up to me.
"Hi, I'm Stephen, I guess you already knew that" he said.
"Hello, I'm Elizabeth" I replied, he smelled really good, too good.
"Um, I was just wondering if you'd like to go out with me. Tomorrow night, because it's Friday tomorrow."
"Yes, it is Friday. Um, sure. Just be at my house at," I stopped. For some reason, my throat burned, not just burning, thirsty burning. For the first time in two hundred years, I was as thirsty as I was when I was born.
I spotted Edward and ran to him, then stopped, I shouted behind my should, "I'll meet you at uh," where? "the Cheesecake Factory in the mall at seven."
I ran to Edward, grabbed his hand, and told him we had to leave get out somewhere where he could call Antonia. After a minute of arguing, he handed the phone to me. We were outside the school in his car, mine parked next to it. I swallowed and prepared for her to tell me off.
"How do you feel?"
"What?" I asked.
"I asked if you were all right, you need to get a hold of yourself and come home now, in Edward's car, I don't think it's safe for you to drive right now. Edward will pick your car up."
"Why, did I do something wrong?"
"No, Elizabeth, your thirsty, and it…. I'll explain it when you get home."
I clicked the phone shut and sat in the car. Edward knew, I told him all the way home, I walked into the house before he even stopped the car. I hit the ground and got up, dusting myself off. I knew Edward was going to go hunt, give us time to ourselves. Antonia came out of the house, her sleeves rolled up and her hair in a bun.
She hugged me and led me inside. She sat me down in the upstairs den and flipped on the computer. While it was loading, I got a bad feeling about something, whatever she was going to de to me wouldn't be good. She went to a travel website and called me over. I pulled up a chair.
She looked at me, "While we're not talking about it, we're going on a trip to France. Paris actually."
"Why?" I asked puzzled. This had nothing to do with anything.
"Because, every two hundred years, your coven is supposed to visit the Del Mar coven."
"The who?" again, I was really puzzled.
"They're like the royalty our world has, the presidency, our rulers, the law maker, the whatever our world has that is in control. The rules are all made by the," she said, trying to jog my memory.
"I think you told me about them once, you were friends with Dominic," I said, recalling the conversation. We were talking about the rules, "Yes, we're going?"
"In about a month's time. Short really," she said with a sigh.
"Can we talk about why you called me home from school?"
"You smelled that boy's blood, it was calling to you, you need to know that you can't talk to him, it's too dangerous, you can't be near him, his smell is too appealing to you. It would be all to very easy for you to slip up, to feed from him."
"But that's going to be difficult, we are going on a date tomorrow night."
"Well you can't,"
"I can, and I will, Antonia. Don't worry. Have Edward come with us if you're that afraid, he can stop me if I do something stupid, but…"
"I think, Antonia, I love him. He smells so good and he's so sweet and I feel alive, more than I have ever felt in two hundred years. It makes my heart want to sing when I'm near him."
"How long have you known him?" she asked skeptically.
"An hour at the most."
"Oh," she sighed, "well, I'm going to trust you, against my better judgment, I think you can handle yourself. If anything goes wrong, I want you to run, at the slightest hint of danger."
"Thank you." I walked away, giddy.
I didn't go to school the next day, I hunted, by my giggles kept scaring the game away. After I began controlling myself, I was able to drink and feel fine. My eyes were turning an amber color, almost brown, I didn't want him to see my eyes and be afraid. For the rest of the day, I sat up in a tree, a big tree were you could see the Laurel waterfall perfectly.
The tree was a good place to think. I stayed up there, happily. When the sun was beginning set, I stroked my silver locket I never take off, and left. The night life of the city was nice, but slow. I kept thinking about our coven living Tokyo. The sunset was pretty and I dressed in a sunset colored baby doll top and a short skirt for my date. I didn't need any makeup, when you're a vampire you don't. I just put my hair up into a bun and let some tiny braids hand down around my face.
I said good bye to Edward and Antonia and drove off to the mall. The inside was cold, but I barely noticed it. I saw Stephen waiting outside the restaurant. He looked as beautiful as ever, and smelled as good as ever. I didn't eat, begging off that I wasn't hungry, but was able to eat a slice of cheesecake and some water, without throwing up. Eating food to a vampire is like eating dirt, or mud. It's disgusting, but you can eat it.
After, he offered to take me to a movie but I had a better idea.
"Can I take you somewhere?"
"Sure," he said, "where?"
"Follow me on your car," I said getting into mine.
I made sure he followed, smiling into my rear view mirror back at him. He looked bewildered when he didn't know I was looking at him. The road was a little bumpy, but my car could make it. When I pulled over to the side of the rode, and motioned for him to do so as well, it was like something had snapped. He did it, never asked a question.
I took his hand and led him to where I was last night. He looked confused, again. I walked to the tree I was in last night in climbed up a few branches, swiftly, with ease. I sat, swinging my legs in the air, making figure-eights, looking at his calm, confused expression, yes he was still and angel. Then, I reached out my hand. When he didn't take it, it was my turn to be confused.
"Do you trust me?" I asked.
"Do you trust me?"
"I-I-" he stuttered, "I do Elizabeth, but," I ignored the but.
I grabbed his hand, it was so warm, and I was so cold. I pulled him up and he sat next to me. I turned around, and he looked at me, a slow grin spreading across his pale-white face. We raced across the tree to the top branch. We sat there side by side.
All of a sudden, he looked at me. The blue in his eyes intensified, brightened and darkened at the same time. The green was highlighted and the gold faded to honey. The brown sat in the background like the sad little ballerina waiting for a chance to shine. I had never seen the colors in someone's eyes shine the way his did.
"Elizabeth," his smell intensified.
"Yes?" I thought I knew what he was going to say.
"I have never felt the way I feel about you. I-I,"
"I know, I do too." I cut him off, and did exactly what anyone else would have done.
I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him. Stupid girl, I thought. He was smelling really good, and I wanted to tell him what I really was. I pulled away.
"I love you too," I said.
"Always and forever until you tell me to leave."
He looked at me, I felt my eyes turn into their usual dusky honey.
"Your eyes, why are they yellow?" he asked.
"It's called honey. And that's a story for another time. I have to go. I'll call you tomorrow."
I hopped down from the tree, and landed on my feet and started walking to my car. I got in and started it. I saw him walk to his. I blew a kiss and mouthed "I love you," and drove away,
When I walked in the door at the house, Edward was sitting on the couch with a book and Antonia was on her laptop.
"Kill anyone Elizabeth?"
"You wish," I retorted to Edward.
Antonia looked up from her laptop, "So, how did it go."
"He's in love with me, I'm in love with him, I want to tell him who I really am tomorrow. So I'm going up to my room, if anyone needs me-"
"What? No, no way are you saying anything to him Elizabeth."
"Going to stop me, Edward? What are you going to do? Go on my dates for me? Yeah, right."
"She's right Edward, if they're in love, then you can't stop her."
"It's only one date, what do you thin you're doing, you can't do this! You can't. what if he spreads this around, can you trust him? What are you going to do? Make him one of us? You can't do that you know! And how, little sister, do you plan to stay together? How can you say your in love after knowing him two days and one date? It took me years to get to know Alec."
"Yeah, and look where he is now, in his grave somewhere in England. So much for your best friend." he looked shocked.
"I'm sorry, that was uncalled for,"
"No, no. your right."
"Bring him here tomorrow morning."
I did just that. I picked him up in my car and drove him to my house. I didn't speak but kiss him when I saw him and then hold his hand and lead him to my car. Edward and Antonia were sitting at the tale where the dining room was, I sat with them, Antonia at the head of the table.
"What is this about, are you going to tell me how to treat Elizabeth, because I already know-"
Edward cut him off, "we know that, she likes you a lot and because she does, we trust you, completely. Besides, what's going to happen if you two get closer and you don't know?"
"I have no idea what your talking about," in truth he didn't.
"I know that, which is why we should show you instead of tell you because you'd never believe us."
I slid my hand into Stephen, he was so warm, and I wasn't. I was cold, no heart beating, staying forever sixteen. Beautiful and never had a chance until now to love and be loved. I wasn't going to let this slip away, unless he truly didn't feel the same about me. But that was different, up in the tree, he told me he truly loved me, forever and always.
Edward and Antonia led the way outside, our backyard, sort of. Edward beckoned to me and I stood next to him. He looked around for a shrub of a little sapling. He found a tiny tree only a few feet above the ground. He concentrated really hard and it began to grow. Antonia walked to the tree, and was able to pick it up, and fling it. I ran fast and brought the tree back. Edward nudged me, and nodded.
"Edward's calm right now, totally. Now watch his full calm disappear. It's magic," I narrated.
I concentrated on my feelings, then sent nerve-wracking nervousness, agitation to him. He fell on his knees, his teeth chattered and his hands shook. He couldn't resist the urge to bite his nails. I stopped and let go, letting the calm drift back into his sense of mind, his state of being. He rose from the ground and thanked me. Stephen looked like he was going to pass out, which, eventually, he did.
Edward picked him up and I found a rag and a bowl. I sponged ice water onto his face. He looked so peaceful sleeping, like a child and I envied him. At least he could sleep. At least he wasn't tortured each night by day dreams, nightmares that can come true in an instant. And then the trip to France to worry about. I had a lot on my plate, but it began to melt away.
He was stirring on his sleep so much, I became worried. It was almost an hour before his eyes fluttered open again. Through the painful hour, I imagined him waking up and giving me the sign of the cross, the little x with his index fingers. But no, he looked at me and sat up and behind my back, I waved everyone away. I sat next to him.
"Give me your opinion."
"I knew you had to be something like that unless you wore contacts. You're unusual, I like that. V-v, vampire or not, you're still my Elizabeth, and unless you tell me too leave, I'm staying."
"Glad to hear it, then you'll be around for quite a while. Hmm, maybe I'll take you to France with us when we go, if you're eager to meet more vampires."
"Wouldn't ruin my day, but why not? I think you'd have to meet my dad first, he's a little headstrong about these things."
"Sure, when," I asked, beginning to be apprehensive.
"Today's Saturday, why don't you come over tomorrow."
"I'd love too, but wouldn't your dad be one of those dads? The don't-bring-her-home-unless-she's-the-one-you-want kind of dad?"
"Yes," he said getting up.
"The why are you taking me?" I asked, I was really confused.
"Because you are the one I want, forever and always, remember? I love you and you love me, isn't this all that matters? I mean, I may be a weak human, but," he stopped. He got a look on his face, trying to stifle back a smile.
I knew where this was going, "No. Absolutely no. Never in a million years no. Wait, let me think, uh no! Honestly? I wouldn't."
"Your over exaggerating."
"No, I'm not. I will not make you a vampire unless we're," make up a condition Elizabeth, "married. Not unless we're married and I'm not going to get married at sixteen."
"You could pass for eighteen."
"That doesn't matter, and don't flatter me. If we're married then I will, but I'm going to wait until we're at least seniors. Then, come talk to me."
"It's the middle of the semester. Next year, we're seniors. I can wait, I don't know about you."
He pulled me into a kiss. This time, I didn't pull away. As a rule now, I would never pull away from him. I wanted to stay in that kiss until he started to pull away for breath, I had counted the minutes in my head, two straight minutes of nonstop kissing, more than I've ever had.
He pulled me onto his lap on the couch and I stayed there in his arms, were I wanted to be for exactly forever.
To go or not to go to France
Antonia wanted to go to France as early as possible, but the only thing on my schedule was to meet Mr. Newman, the guy who shared my last name. Mr. Newman was nice, though he insisted I call him Bob. When Stephen opened the door and brought me in, Mr. Newman took Stephen away to the living room. I thought it was going to be bad, Stephen would get in trouble, I braced myself for yelling, but it was congratulatory yelling.
"Great job son, three days into school and you have the most beautiful girl in school, you sure she isn't going to leave as soon as she gets what she wants? You can't be sure, she's one of the beautiful ones."
I chuckled quietly to myself, loud enough so no one could hear. Bob gave his son a high-five and came back into the kitchen. He smiled, he looked almost exactly like Stephen when he smiled, his eyes light up and got very sparkly.
"Hello, I'm Bob Newman, chief of Police."
"I'm, ironically, Elizabeth Newman." we shook hands.
We had dinner, Mr. Newman was a very good cook, he made eggplant parmesan. Normally, I would have begged off a stomach ache, but I was eager to try it, until it tasted like dirt. When no one was looking, I stuffed pieces of it into my napkin and then slid that into my purse to dispose of later.
After dinner, Mr. Newman began his shift at the station and Stephen took me home. Before Stephen left me, he pulled my chin up to him. He was so tall. He pulled me into another kiss and I pulled away this time, I didn't want him to start turning purple.
"Look for me outside your room at eight." then I left.
I changed out of the pretty skirt and top outfit for some comfy jeans and a tank top. I combed through the tiny knots in my hair and out it up in a ponytail. Mr. Newman had said yes, Stephen could come with us to France and I was so excited, Mr. Newman called the school and we could leave on Tuesday. I wasn't going to go to school on Monday, packing and arrangements, but Stephen could.
As I tied the laces on my tennis shoes, I wondered how fast I could get to Stephen's house, providing I didn't get lost like an idiot. At seven-fifty-nine I ran the eight miles and almost ran smack in to the tree outside Stephen's bedroom. I looked around and waited. For a few minutes, nothing happened. I picked up a couple of small, shiny pebbles and began to lightly toss each one. If I threw any harder, there would be a crack in the window.
Two, three stones until he poked his head out the window and I accidentally threw the fourth stone that hit his cheek. I heard him swear, unnatural cussing was kind of cute. When he stopped rubbing his cheek, I began to climb up the tree and sat on the branch closest to his window. I never realized how easily I could climb trees with ease.
I swung into the window and landed neatly on the floor with one hand at my hip. I walked back to the window where Stephen stood with an expression of shock. I threw my arms around his neck and pressed my moth to his. The tension on his lips melted away, and soon he was kissing back. He leaned and fell back against the wall. He pulled away for a second and looked at me. He sat down and stretched out on his bed. I knew what he wanted and I lay down next to him.
I snuggled up against him. He pulled his arms around me and we lay there, staring at the ceiling. His mouth brushed my hair, my neck, then found my mouth. He kissed me for a long time, then lay back on his pillow.
"So what do vampires do, if they can't sleep?"
"Well, since we're leaving tomorrow, I'll give you a little crash course. You smell really good, and I mean really good. You'll be hard to resist. When we get to the coven's, well they call it their palace, just be quiet, speak when spoken too."
"You're not answering my question."
"Oh, I get it. Um, well, during the night, we hunt."
"Okay, well how come you can go in the sun and not burn up."
"First, we don't burn," I said propping my self up on my elbow, "second, we turn into jewels in the sun, I turn into an emerald, but I'm still alive. See this locket I always wear? Wear something silver, you never turn into a jewel. The humans made up the burning thing just like the garlic thing, the cross thing, the holy water thing, just so they think they have a fighting chance against us."
"Would I lie?"
"I'd know when your lying," he mused.
"I've had two hundred years of practice. I'll test you. I'll tell you three things about myself and one of them is a lie."
"Bring it on."
"Okay. I was in love with my brother's best friend for a time, you are the first boyfriend I have ever had, and my brother Edward is nice, most of the time."
"You never had a crush on Edward's best friend. You stuttered a little."
"Wow, nice. You deserve a reward."
I found his lips and crushed them, he was gentle, bending, wondering what he'd done to deserve the most beautiful girl in the world. I pulled away, let him breath, and then went back. I could tell he'd become greedy. I threw my arms around his neck as he kissed me back. I had never done this before, never in my life had I kissed someone like him. But it felt so natural, I went with my instincts.
When the sun rose, I was laying in his arms. He fell asleep kissing, that's all. I lay there staring at the ceiling until the sun shone in threw his window. My reached my hand out to the sun, and it turned emerald, the emerald slowly crept up my finger, so slow until it consumed my hand and I pulled away back into the shadow. The emerald began to melt away. It was part of my rock hard skin, it didn't feel like something was creeping up on me, it felt like a tingle.
I got off the bed and began to softly shake Stephen awake. He rubbed his tired blue eyes and yawned.
"It wake-up time for the little human, we leave in an hour. Are you packed an ready to go?" "No."
"What?" I ran with my speed to the dresser, "let me handle the packing, go and get ready and dressed," I opened up one of the drawers.
"No, let me," I cut him off with my hand and pointed "out" to the bathroom.
He walked away and rummaged through his wardrobe to pack the nicest clothes he had, which were nicer pairs of slacks and button-up shirts. I had to take him shopping. It took about an hour to pack his suitcase with a week of clothing. I went to grab something out of a top drawer and something fell out from the bottom. It had fallen upside-down and on the back was a date, September 18, 1995. I turned the paper over.
It was a picture of a beautiful woman with long golden hair holding a baby, with amazing eyes. Stephen and his mom. I turned the picture over in my hands twice, then touched my locket. The engraved outline of the heart felt smooth, but didn't care. I had hated my mother, wished she were a lot looser, not strict and silly. Here, I realized the truth; Stephen's mother had died when he was young. Someone else would have found this unfair, I found it perfectly fair, yet something pained a little. I dismissed it and let it go. I folded the picture along an already made crease and slipped it in Stephen's suitcase.
He came in, drying his hair and getting his nice shirt all wet. I had run and snuck something nice into the bathroom for him to wear. My sweet pet human had to look nice. He kissed me and splashed me with his wet hair. He combed his hair and we took his car to the airport, protesting when I said we should run. I had to take him car shopping too, a '97 truck was not my idea of a car worthy of someone in love with a vampire and going to France.
A nice Lexus, or maybe a Porsche. Never, ever would I let him drive anything less. Something more of course, by more I mean vintage cars, those were nice. I saved a car from '51 and sold it for almost a million dollars. I had a nice shopping spree after that.
Stephen pulled into the driveway and parked. Antonia's car sat packed in front of the porch and Edward carried a suitcase and got, then out when he saw me. I hugged him.
"Have fun last night, sis?"
"Not what you think, and you know it. I'd give you a nice call to say I beat you by eternity because no one wants you."
"Ouch, that's cold."
"No less than you deserve," I said. That was mine and Edward's typical relationship, we loved each other, but we were typical siblings, our bickering was to be expected and Antonia handled it like any mother. Taking my side and telling Edward to go to his room.
Edward shrugged his shoulders and began talking cars with Stephen, educating him on his taste in cars. I went inside to fin Antonia and my suitcase. I found both outside my room. Antonia was pulling it out and was about to go down stairs. I gently pulled it from her.
"Let me help you with that."
"I thought we were going to have to meet you at the airport," she said.
"And miss a car ride with you? Never."
Antonia and I walked down. There was never a better driver than her. She was careful and she had never crashed.
I slid into the front seat with Antonia. Edward and Stephen were behind, surrounded by suitcases. I laughed at my own thought. The airport was practically empty. It took almost no time at all to get our tickets, breakfast, and board the practically empty plane. The stewardess was young and seemed board, talking a passenger's seat to text and giggle mindlessly.
All three hours to France, I sat next to Edward. Half an hour in to the flight he poked me while I stared out the window.
"Have you thought about Stephen and the Del Mars?"
"Well, I don' t think they'd like it if any of our kind, intermixed."
"What does that even mean?" I sighed.
"It means it could be dangerous to be with Stephen. I like him, I have nothing against the good guy, but I would pick him over you. It would be much healthier if you had someone else. Being with Stephen could get you into trouble. If someone has to take punishment, I would go to your defense."
"I wouldn't expect anything less, from you or Antonia. But if this ends badly, I'd go down with him, which means you'll probably go down with me which means Antonia will go down too. don't worry, if anything happens, we'll all be together."
"That's not only part of what I was worried about," he got a funny look on his face, "I have a feeling he might ask you to be one of, one of us."
"Well, quell your fear, I talked to him about it."
"What did you say?"
"Um," oh great, now I'm in trouble. Edward will hate me.
"What condition, Elizabeth?" his voice got sterner, his face harder, his eyes tightening.
"I told him we would have to be married for me to even consider it. And that we have to be seniors before I even consider marriage."
Here we go, "What?" that came out as a loud whisper, "Marriage is one thing, but your giving him hope."
"I have no real intention to make him a vampire, Edward," I spit out his name.
"Yes you do, you'll want him even more. You're in love with him and he you. You won't want him to grow older and have this beautiful young wife, though that is-"
"Accepted in some societies, I know, but that's wrong" I cut him off. I was sick of the conversation, but what could I do?
"I would never want to see my sister the product of a bad relationship: the beautiful sixteen-year-old that is married to the eighty-year-old man."
"I can control myself just fine, thank you. And for your information, it's nice to have someone who doesn't think you're going to mess up all the time."
"I don't think you're going to mess up, I think you can be klutzy and I think you're still a new vampire trying to work out the kinks on your life."
"You're one to talk, you have no girlfriend, no life, and you never get out and go shopping with me, we could do something other than shopping, go see a movie. But no, you want to stay home, finish your homework and read."
"I never said I was perfect. And I never said you weren't-" the pilot exclaiming our decent into Paris cut him off.
We took our bags and a rental car and were off to the hotel. We were in an older part of Paris, steeped in history. Red brick buildings and yellow stone arches were part of the street, not carefully preserved like they would be in the states. The hotel complimented the gothic style street it adorned and became the crown jewel. It's lavish inside completely contradicted it's outside, which was worn and yellowed with age.
The faux-stone tiled floor were slippery with fresh gloss and the golden chandelier was polished until it heart my eyes. I slipped my hand into Stephen's and held it tight, he was scared and truth be told, I was too. The little bald clerk handed us a key, oh no.
"Are we like sharing rooms?" I asked.
"Yes," Antonia said, "much cheaper to buy one big suite than three little rooms. Don't worry, there's the living room and that separates off into three bedrooms, one bathroom, and I think you and Stephen are going to have your own bathroom."
"Your, your trusting us?" "Well, yes. You'd probably sneak together anyway. I just trust you not to do anything dumb. You're better than that."
"Thanks," I muttered. I knew what she was referring too, and I wouldn't do that, there was much to much a chance I could hurt him, crush him, and I wouldn't do that, besides, way to early in the relationship.
Stephen coughed and Edward turned his head. The suite was up on the top-most floor and as grand as downstairs. We were going to go the place Antonia had designated around noon. She said someone would be there to escort us to what the Del Mar's called their "palace" in the under ground catacombs. There wasn't much to do but shop in the near-by stores, which Antonia and I were planning to do tomorrow.
So we ended up watching French TV for three hours, not so bad except for certain scenes unfit for children, not wanted to be seen by tourists, frequently came into view on the soap opera-style movies. I grew too bored and about an hour and a half before we were supposed to go down to meet this person, I went to get ready, look my best.
I took a shower, something I hadn't done for weeks, vampires don't sweat and always smell good. Easily, I could have gone without it, but I wanted to kill time. After I washed, I got dressed in some skinny jeans and a baby doll top. I was going to do something about my long loose curls, but I had killed to much time and didn't have time. Edward peeked in the bathroom and told me to come on, run his hands through his red-gold hair, as messy as mine was clean. We shared the same color hair, but sometimes it looked better on Edward, when it looks more blond in the sun. I undid my silver locket and locked it back into place, the cold metal settling into the hollow of my throat. I slid on my sneakers and walked with the rest outside. Stephen locked his arms around my waist, but I was too nervous to do much else then lean back into him on the elevator. He let go then slipped his hand around my mine, then I felt more, secure. We walked through a few allies until we came to a corner market filled with people, an outdoor market where a cleverly concealed man stood in a shadow near the door of the inner market.
Antonia had a feeling and marched us over to the concealed man. He was tan, with midnight black hair cropped and even darker eyes that seemed almost sweet and kind. When I got closer and closer he had toned muscles, really deep and large. Antonia greeted him by name, Dominic. And then she introduced me, Edward, and Stephen. I thought about Dominic. That was a nice name. he smiled his god-like smile at all of us and shook each person's hand, until he came to Stephen. I knew he would complicate things.
It seemed like something clicked in his mind and he became friendly again, and then lead us to a building, burned beyond the faint hopes of repair. He opened the door for us, which seemed to be in working condition. He led us around a corridor, still very charred, and into a room. He looked around and found a door, a closet door and inside that, there was a painting, a really beautiful painting, expertly crafted and untouched by flames, the whole wall it was on was white.
It was an oil picture of the Eifel Tower, and he pulled the gilt frame away from the wall, and an expertly hewn cut had been made in the wall. He stepped through, asking us to follow him, his voice was a lower soprano,
After a little bit of a walk, we stopped, and I sighed. Dominic opened another door, which led into a throne room, sort of. It was marble flooring, a painted ceiling, and three marble thrones, one very large to the left, a very small one in the middle, and the medium sized one on the left, it seemed out of order. Then Dominic cleared his throat intentionally and out of another door, all the doors were making me dizzy, came three figures, all three intimidating.
The first one, a man, looked mean and cold, the had deep-set muscles and dark brown hair. A little girl sat in the middle throne, next to who I guessed would have been her father, and she had a smile permanently on her face, which was framed by long black hair. The woman who took the middle sized throne had a short pixie cut with her platinum-blond hair and all three had colored eyes, black, yellow, and blood-red.
Dominic introduced them with respect, "This is Pierre, his wife Ava, and their daughter, Jane Ellen. This is Antonia, Edward and Elizabeth, and Stephen."
"Ha!" the vampire Pierre roared with laughter, "you brought along your pet human. This is rich!"
"He is not my pet," I growled.
Pierre stopped laughing and looked at me. I touched my locket, I was nervous on the inside, the look I wore on the outside was hatred, I didn't like Pierre at all. He looked back and I felt the hatred melt into a calm expression. My calm lasted until I saw someone walk through the door. This person I hadn't seen in almost two hundred years.
Oh, dear god.
Alec looked nice, his short dark blond hair was neater than I remembered and he wasn't pulling the ribbons out of my hair, the last time I paid attention to him was when I was ten. I ignored him for the next six years. Now here he was, walking over to me. He was kind of cute, I mean he grew up a little. That didn't make me want Stephen any little bit less that what I always will. I had my suspicions, then Edward leaned into me and whispered, "what is he doing here?"
I turned around, "You idiot! What is your problem?" I screamed, I loved screaming.
"I don't have a problem, I didn't know he was still living? I thought he died with everyone else!" I looked at him, damn Edward's sincerity.
"Then what are you doing here, Alec?"
"Same reason you are, with a twist. I came to see the Del Mar's. But I came also to see you."
"Why me? I hated you, you and your guts, I ignored you for six years!"
"I have to tell you something, I-"
"Save it!" I knew what he was feeling, though I couldn't twist it, or turn it around. Suddenly, the whole damn Del Mar coven was coming out of the doorway in front of me.
It was Edward's turn to get mad, "Do you not see that she's already in a relationship? What the hell were you thinking? "
"Thinking that I was going to tell the girl I loved the truth after two hundred years?"
"Then how are you here?" I asked.
"Same way you are, I came on a plane."
"Stupid idiot, why are you here? You're a vampire, aren't you?"
"Yes, a trip to Paris to bring some professionals to find you back home. I met the Del Mar's and I was accidentally changed, then I left. And now I intend to love and marry you, is that a crime?"
"It is if she doesn't love you," Stephen said.
"It's true," Pierre chimed in, "Marrying someone against their will is a crime in France.
"I'm not concerned," Alec said.
"You should be," Edward said.
Then, all of a sudden, Alec leapt at Edward, it sounded more like boulders crashing against each other. It sounded inhuman. It continued morosely until Dominic and another boy pulled them apart. They continued to shout at each other and cal each other nasty names.
I looked at Stephen until another boy took him away. I watched in silence as the boys went away in silence, all because of me. Pierre went with them and Ava went out a passage to the right. Jane Ellen watched the mob of vampires disappear and then follow. Only one girl stayed behind, she let her long red hair go loose and walked away.
She came over to us and forced a smile.
"Hi, I'm Charlotte."
"I'm Elizabeth, this is Antonia, what happened to the boys, what's going on?"
"Well, you don't pick a fight with someone from the Del Mars unless you have a death wish."
"But Alec isn't in your coven, is he?"
"Not yet, but they'll protect him, they want him. They want to be strong, powerful, they want to be feared. They choose you for the coven, you stay, it's a trap you can't get out of."
"Why would they want him? He's an idiot lovesick boy, good for noting but sorrow."
"That's not what Ava and Pierre think, he's powerful, he can leak into people's thoughts, bend them, see them. He knows everything about everyone. But he can't do that to you."
"Yeah, I know. I can use my power on him though, but not very well, he's strong against it."
"Dominic, I think you met him, he's doing a study on vampires, five books with all the knowledge of a vampire. Two are dedicated to history. He could help."
"I think it's got something to do with love, I can't bend Stephen's emotions. I can't make him feel what I want to feel, I-"
"Hush, keep your voice down. I'm sorry but, if the leaders hear you, they'll keep you here, they're obsessed with power. That's all they want is power and control. They need vampires with special abilities. They know about Edward's, they'll offer him a place here, if they don't condemn him."
"They'll condemn him, for what?"
"If they find he's guilty for starting that fight, which they will, they're like corrupt cops, they'll protect Alec because he has something they want."
"Then why did they take Stephen and not me? I was involved."
"Same thing, you're powerful, they'll be nice to you. They probably want you too, they took Stephen because they see him as a problem too, normally, you'd be in huge trouble for bringing him down here, no human has ever entered here and come out alive, or a vampire. They took Alec away to seem fair too."
"But that isn't fair," Antonia piped up.
"You're right, it's not. I don't want to be a part of this anymore, but I can't leave," Charlotte sighed, running a delicate hand through her long red hair.
"Why?" I asked, "You can leave if you want to, they won't stop you if you disappear."
"I'm engaged, the other boy who took your brother away is Conner, My fiancée. I couldn't leave him."
"Oh, well he could come too, if you left," Antonia said.
"He's the problem, he's always yelling at me, always pushing me around, I'm scared of him."
"Don't be, just leave."
"I couldn't, even if I wanted to. He'd find me, that's his and Roger's thing, tracking expertly. I might never get away."
I believe if she could have cried, she would have. I hugged her. but she pushed away, then broke down and hugged me. I confess I did bend her emotions a little, helping her feel a little more relaxed with me and Antonia. She didn't cry, she couldn't. But tears were there on the inside, welling, not enough to pour. When she relaxed a little more, without my help, someone came through the door they took they boys away through.
She stroked her short blond curls and looked to Charlotte. She smiled at her, then turned cold eyes upon me. Me and Antonia. The blonde walked up and hugged Charlotte, no doubt thinking to erase what good I had done in comforting her. I tried to turn her emotion to sweetness, but something blocked it, sent a shock of electricity back to me. It startled me and the blonde noticed.
she laughed, "Nice try though, your pretty powerful. I'm Theodora, Charlotte's best friend. Come, Ava had some rooms prepared for you, next to mine and Charlotte's."
She led us down through the doorway she had come through and a haunting feeling escaped from it, following me and staying right at my side. The room Theodora gave me was nice, but it didn't feel like home.
Charlotte and Antonia stayed with me in my room for a while, which was a long way from the throne room, and it was higher up, secluded in the outskirts of Paris, and I had a large window looking out into a garden with a peaceful pond. My friends stayed for a long while to talk about Connor and then a talk about how to get Stephen and Edward out of their cells under ground.
"What's your idea, Charlotte?" Antonia asked.
"From what I know, there's no way to get into the cells underground where the prisoners are unless you have Pierre's or Ava's key. They keep their keys with them always, no one ever goes down without one of them. We'd have to wait until the trial, which is usually quick after the arrest, but why don't you-" she was cut off by a knock at the door. Theodora and a girl with black hair named Maya stepped through the doorway.
"We need Antonia and Charlotte as witnesses, we are going to begin the trial," Maya said, I was standing up to follow but Theodora pushed me, she thought, lightly, but sent me across the room onto the floor, crashing into a dresser. "You get to stick around for a while," she said.
She laughed and closed the door behind herself as soon as she had left the room with her captives for the trail. I could hear the faint click as she locked the door behind herself. Normally, I would have broken the door anyway, vampire strength and all, but I don't think I was thinking straight. I looked to the window. It easily slid off the sill and onto the floor. I climbed out to the three inches between the window and the three stories below.
I laughed to myself and easily crept on the ledge, holding on to the sill still. I edged my way forward until I was completely on the ledge, in danger of falling, without the danger. I wanted to jump, for the thrill of it, just like jumping out of my favorite tree at home. It would be easy, I would catch the wind and float down, or maybe just plummet, and land softly on my feet. Whatever happened, I wasn't going to die.
So, I jumped. The cold wind caught my face, but didn't hold me. I felt it slide down me and I landed softly on my feet. I walked around the graden, and stopped and the little pond.