I have had this idea for ages now and it always fascinated me this idea. It seems that all we have these days of stories involving vampires that they usually involve dark romance/sex etc. I was always curious about the effects on families. So this one shot explores that side of things. There is even a little romance at the end for those who like it. Hope you like it!
26th January 1972
The cold was starting to bite into her skin, sinking its sharp little teeth right to her bones. No matter how much she blew her warm breath onto her hands, they remained like half frozen pieces of meat at the end of her arms. She began to walk faster, partly to get her circulation going again, partly because the hairs on the back of her neck were telling her someone was watching her.
The moon was covered with a thick duvet of clouds. The only light there was along the icy London road were the yellowish brown lamps that cast a sickly orb of yellow light on the areas which they stood, which were few and far between. The girl shivered and wished she had brought the colourful mittens her mother had knitted for her. She pulled her grey, itchy, woollen coat closer to her body as she practically began to jog down the road, some of her unruly curly black hair escaping from under the blue wool cap she had on.
The predator watched with an amused smirk spreading across his face like thick tar on a road. She was drawing close now. When she turns the corner a nasty surprise will await her. He could smell her anxiety like a heady aroma. Her thudding heart was like a death drum, thudding a continuous beat, he could almost dance to it. The thudding heart sang to him, told him he would no longer be alone for the rest of eternity. It promised respite, relief.
The girl clutched her bag to her chest, as if it would miraculously give her warmth, and wished she had accepted her father's offer to drive her home. He was right. Everything became distorted and mutated from what seemed to be perfectly normal objects during the day to grotesque monsters or ogres ready to reach out and grab her during the night. She tried to push away the images of broken girls bodies, the life literally drained from them, victims of the London Night-Beast. At least that was what the tabloids were calling him or her… or it. 'Stop it!' the girl thought, 'Nothing is out to get you, you are just paranoid.' But to keep the images at bay she began humming Superstition under her breath.
The predator almost burst out laughing. She was humming! Only a matter of time before she starts screaming. His mouth filled with venom as her scent intensified with each step she took. Blossoming sweet peas, violets and warm rain. Perfection.
She rounded the corner, relieved that her house was only a block away. She took seven steps. 1. She wondered what her mother had made for supper. 2. She hoped it was the same pasta as the night before. 3. It had been good. 4. She must call Mrs Rogers before though. 5. So that Mrs Rogers knew that she had gotten home alright. 6. She didn't want Mrs Rogers to worry unnecessarily. 7. A cold rock hand came out of the darkness and grabbed her hand in an iron grip. She sucked in a breath to scream when another hand clapped over her mouth, muffling any noise that she tried to make.
Both hands tugged at her and whirled her around. She felt her back and head slam against the wet, cold, gritty brick wall. Sickly flowers blossomed in front of her eyes. Whoever had their hand wrapped tightly around hers removed it and put it onto her shoulder. The rock hands gently pulled at the head and shoulder, creating easier access to her neck. The girl whimpered and her hands scrabbled at the cold ones. As she did so her bag dropped to the ground and the contents spilled out over the pavement: vinyl records, a tub of Vaseline, house keys with a smiley face key ring, a notepad with the words: 'When I grow up…' marked in felt tip pen and a variety of seed packets.
The predator took his hand away from her mouth and stroked her cheek, "Beautiful," he murmured, "You will make a stunning companion."
"P-p-please," she cried, "l-l-let me go. I d-don't want to d-die." She couldn't see her attacker in the dim light, all she could see was the oily glint of his dark hair.
"Shhhhhhh," the predator said, holding one perfect finger to her lips. 'The warmth! The softness!' he thought. "I am not going to kill you; I am going to give you new life! You want that don't you? All humans want it. Spend the rest of eternity with me. Wouldn't you like that? We were born for each other Evelyn. Me and you. You and I."
"You're insane!" she whispered hoarsely, "Please, let me go," tears were finally dripping down her cheeks.
The predator sighed, "Sorry, I have chosen you." He then leaned in and his teeth tore into the supple skin of her neck. Evelyn screamed and squirmed as he drank from her jugular vein. 'What is he doing? Why is he doing it to me? What have I done?' these thoughts and more raced through her head like bits of paper in a tornado as she tried to break free of the monster.
He finally pulled away and she felt a hot sticky liquid gush down her chest and soak into her coat. But she also felt something else. An unseen fire began in her neck and began to slowly spread. She gasped at the pain, as it spread to her limbs, her chest and her head. Like a wild fire it consumed everything in its path. She could feel herself losing the control of her body. A scream was building in her throat as she felt like she was being skinned alive.
"And so it begins," the predator murmured. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and made sure he had his blood lust under control. He quickly tore a piece of his shirt off and stuffed it into her mouth, "To keep you from screaming," he murmured. And with that, he scooped her up and escaped off into the night.
Ketchikan, Alaska. Population: 7368. Average rainfall per year: 160 inches. Placed near the sea, pretty little city. Perfect for a family like mine. It had been a year since the incident with the Volturi, we needed a fresh start. And Ketchikan seemed perfect, in Alaska, relatively close to our 'other family'. Also it wasn't that faraway from Forks so Bella could visit Charlie and Jake could come and visit Nessie, without too much trouble. It was perfect.
The house was beautiful, particularly the garden. It was like an Eden, every plant grew in the soil and every flower possible bloomed. It was bursting with life and Esme was more than ecstatic about it. She never thought that the old woman who had lived in the old Colonial House would be capable of such blooms. She was desperately trying to look for the gardener who made all of that possible, as the flowers were starting to wilt from the cold October weather. Esme was determined to have the flowers blossoming again. But no matter how many adverts she put into the local paper, no one would own up. It became a daily frustration for her, and the children said she was trying look for the 'Phantom Gardener of Ketchikan,' or the 'PGK,' for short. This only aggravated Esme even more as she was positive that it was a person who had caused the plants to grow in such cold temperatures. She had fallen in love with the house as it was and she didn't want one part changed. It was now only Esme that was upset but only over dirt and plants.
We had only been here for a few weeks and it was only a week ago that I started working at Ketchikan General Hospital. The children should be starting school tomorrow; Nessie was more than excited to be able to go to a normal school. She had spent the whole of yesterday with Alice and Bella, shopping for school supplies, during which she had asked multiple questions on what school was like. She now had the appearance and mindset of a 10 year old; her growth had slowed down quite a bit, enough that the human eye would not be able to notice. As well as this her self control seemed quite capable of withstanding a whole day with nothing but the company of humans. Everyone was content, happier then I had ever seen them. My family was finally whole and life seemed to have taken the turn for the better.
Today Esme wanted to have a welcoming party for the neighbours. Try to 'blend in' as it were. The new sitting room was now decked out with human snacks and drinks and an invitation had been posted through each of our neighbours post-boxes by Alice. Lots of them had replied with enthusiasm, curious about the new family. The house was filled with humans. Their children were ferried into Nessie's large playroom and the adults were taken to the sitting room.
We were trying to fit in and doing well at it. All the humans appeared to be enjoying themselves and, according to Edward, no one was thinking suspiciously of us. Yes they were a little apprehensive but that was normal. No human had ever been completely comfortable around us.
Everything was going fine until I caught it.
Blooming sweet peas and violets, wet with summer rain.
The sweet yet earthy scent, told me that my family and I weren't the only vampires in the house. It disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. Worry pierced my gut and I quickly excused myself from the conversation I was having with the couple in front of me. Drat it! A day in and already something unusual, or at least unusual for us, had happened.
I wended my way through the crowd, trying to find the scent again. Instead I came across Jasper. "Do you smell something?" I asked quickly, "Vampire scent. Smells like sweet peas and rain."
Jasper gazed across the room and took a sniff. "No. Why? Did you catch something earlier?"
"Yes, but I lost it. Someone else is definitely in this house," I whispered, too fast and too low for human ears to pick up.
"Do you think they are hostile? I swear when I checked out the area the nearest vampires were the Denalis," Jasper murmured his eyes beginning to sweep the living room again.
"Alert the others. Tell them to look for a sweet pea and rain vampire scent. They're in here somewhere." I patted Jasper's shoulder before dipping into the crowd again, looking for that distinctive earthy scent again. Whoever they were they sure knew how to hide, amongst all these humans with their own scents designed to tempt. We certainly had someone experienced here.
"Thank you for showing me the garden. Clara was such a good friend of mine," the little old lady with the failing heart said to me.
I smiled at her as I helped her down the porch steps. I was conscious of the way the woman's heart was swooping, missing beats and generally going too fast. I also smelt the vampire rain and sweet pea scent that clung to her clothes and wispy white hair. It was obvious to me that Mrs Carter spent an awful lot of time around a vampire. "I'm afraid the flowers have started wilting so it's not quite how it was."
"Oh that doesn't matter! Did I mention that my granddaughter did the housework and the gardening for Clara? The poor dear was too old to do it herself so Evie offered to do it for her free of charge. Evie is always such a kind person," Rosie's British accent lilted as she smiled softly, her face creased with lines.
"Wait…your granddaughter did all of this?" I asked gesturing to the garden. The curve of the walls was lined with cherry trees. The flower beds were bursting with a multitude of flowering plants. Clematis was crawling up the stone walls and trees. There was a swing at the very end of the garden beneath a towering oak tree and near the front there was a set of wrought iron chairs and tables. It was beautiful, something out of a fairytale. But the flowers were wilting, the petals stained brown with winter. I knew that some of the more exotic plants were dying and probably would never grow again, no matter what I did. How had a young girl managed to keep all of this alive without the help of a green house?
"Yes, she's always had a bit of a green thumb," Rosie said, "Things she can do with a plant. It's almost like a gift from God."
"Is she here?" I asked desperately, feeling that I was finally going to find out about this gardener who could perform miracles.
"Oh no. Evie is working at the local diner today. The girl does too much but she always insists. But I am sure she will be more than happy to come here again. She always loved this garden," Rosie said, her watery blue eyes looked over the garden.
"She sounds like a lovely person," I murmured leading her to chair and table set.
"She's wonderful. I am lucky to have her as my granddaughter," Mrs Carter replied, smiling warmly.
"Esme!" I turned to see my husband jogging down the steps and coming to where we sat. "Have you- oh." He gazed upon Rosie who sat next to me. She smiled warmly at Carlisle and extended her wrinkly worn hand, "and this young chap must be your husband. Hello, I am Rosanna Carter but please, call me Rosie, everyone does."
"Hello Rosie," smoothing out the frown from his handsome features, my husband shook Rosie's hand, "Would you mind if I borrow my wife for a few moments?"
Rosie shook her head, "Of course not. I'll just be sitting here."
He smiled before taking my hand walking towards the oak tree, "Did you smell that?" he said nodding towards Rosie, who was gazing upon the pink drooping roses opposite her.
I nodded, "Yes I smelt it. She's been in contact with a vampire and more than once."
"Has she mentioned any friends she's close with?" Carlisle asked, his face filled with worry.
"No, apart from the woman who lived here and her granddaughter. She's mentioned no one else."
"Who is she? How can she be in such close contact with a vampire and not notice them? Not notice us?"
"We don't know what she is thinking. She might know and is hiding it very well," I whispered desperately back, "and anyway the vampire she is with is obviously not hostile. If they were, Rosie Carter would not be alive."
"Eh excuse me?"
We both whipped around to see Rosie herself standing awkwardly behind us. I smiled widely and said, "I'm sorry Rosie, is there anything I can get you?"
She shook her head but said, "I think my granddaughter is here. She's taking me to a doctor's appointment and so forth. Do you mind helping me to the door?"
Keeping my smile and acting like we had not just been talking about her, I said, "Of course not. Right this way."
I gave one last look at Carlisle before helping Rosie through the house. "How do you know she is here?" I asked as we made for the front porch.
"Because of this damn thing," Mrs. Carter said, waving a chunky looking mobile, "She sent me a…what is it called? Text message? Technology these days! Everything is just getting smaller and more complicated."
I laughed, "I can see your point Rosie."
We made it to the door and I thanked her for coming, "it's nice to know at least a few faces," I said, opening the door for her.
"Oh well thank you for inviting me. I'll get Evie to help out your children when they come to school. 'Show them the ropes' as it were," she smiled before shuffling out onto our front porch. Her watery eyes focused fell upon a rusty blue Golf GTI sitting in our driveway, looking rather odd next to the Volvos and BMWs also parked there. "Speak of the devil! Evie! Come and meet Esme, she's one of our new neighbours!"
My eyes finally settled on the infamous Evelyn Carter…and if I needed to breathe, it would have stopped. A girl of about 17 jumped out of the car driving seat and slammed the door behind her. She was wearing a stained navy blue apron around her slim waist, a black t-shirt, skinny jeans ripped at the knees and converses. "Come on Gramster! Dr. Sully ain't gonna be happy if you're late again for the appointment. Personally I don't want him telling me what a crap granddaughter I am for not looking after you properly, so let's move it!" Her voice was melodic, with a British accent fluttering around the edges of her words and she moved with fluidity that I had only seen in a few people in my lifetime. Her hair was formed in perfect raven curls that hit her shoulders in a chaotic beautiful mess. Her skin was clear and ice-white, a perfect contrast to her hair. She was average height with an hourglass figure. Her eyes were gentle butterscotch gold. Her face rivalled those carved in stone in Ancient Greece. Her beauty probably also rivalled Rosalie's. A wind blew up behind her making locks of her hair flutter in the air.
Bunches of sweet peas and violets after a summer storm.
The scent wafted up my nose and I knew this was the vampire we had been looking for. "Hiya! You must be-" the girl stopped in mid-speech, as her eyes crashed on me. Her perfect eyebrows rose in surprise and her soft lips made a perfect 'o'. "Uh- well- wow." Her hand fluttered to her forehead as she stared dumbfounded at me. "You- huh." She seemed at a loss for words her eyes never tearing from me. I didn't say anything either. We stared at each other for what seemed like years before Rosie said abruptly, "Evie! Where are your manners? You don't stare like that."
The stunning young girl's eyes snapped away from me and focused on her grandmother. "Yeah, sorry Gramster. I better take you to the hospital." In a flash she was on the porch next to her grandmother. "C'mon, we can't be late." The girl avoided my gaze as she began to help Rosie down the steps.
"Is very grateful for you turning up, but we really have to go."
"Here let me help you," I said taking a step forwards.
The girl's beautiful face twisted into a snarl and she hissed at me, "I'm fine. Don't need your help."
I instantly took a step back, reading the defensive signs that were coming off her in waves. I wondered what was making her so hostile. She helped Rosie down the steps then led her to the car. She helped her in before slamming the door behind her, scraps of rust fluttering to the ground. "Stay away from us," the girl hissed at me, as she made her way around to the driver's side. She gave me one last burning glare before getting into the car. The engine took three tries to turnover. When it did, it puttered pathetically before it reversed out of our drive and down the road. I stared after it and shook my head. Well, that explained a lot. "That's the vampire?" Jasper and Carlisle were by my side, also staring at where the rusty Golf had disappeared around the corner.
"Looks like it," I said quietly. "Who do you think she is? She was very hostile towards me when she first saw me. Protective of her grandmother."
"She isn't her grandmother," Edward's voice cut through my thoughts.
"Rosie Carter isn't Evelyn Carter's grandmother. She is her mother." We turned to look at him, surprised looks on all of our faces. "They have to pretend to be grandchild and grandmother, otherwise it would look odd to humans. How many 80 year old mothers with teenage daughters do you know?"
"Did you find out anything else?" Jasper asked, his golden eyes locked on his brother.
"No, just that," he said, his brow creased in thought.
"Why would she put up an act like that?" Carlisle asked, perplexed, "Surely it would be better for her to cut her mother loose and run free."
"She loves her too much," Edward said simply. "Evie cannot leave her. Evie loves her parents so much, she's been helping and living with them for the past 40 years."
The night was silent. The stars stretched across the sky like a thousand shining diamonds, set into navy silk. The moon was like a silver coin against the sky. Bella sighed contentedly, her head a warm weight on my chest. My fingers were playing absentmindedly with her silky hair and her fingers were drawing random patterns through my shirt. I could feel the cold setting in and knew it must be nearing freezing now but I couldn't care less. The sky was too beautiful to pass up.
"This was the right thing to do, moving here," Bella murmured, her breath fanning across my chest.
"Yes," I murmured back, tightening my arms around her, "nice to have some peace."
"I'll say," she muttered, her gold eyes gazed at the stars again, their brilliance reflected in her eyes, "Beautiful."
"Hardly," I said with nonchalance, "you outshine them by miles."
"That never gets old," she laughed, reaching up to kiss me.
I gave in to her letting her lips take mine when I heard it. A rustling outside our walls that told me there was someone was outside trying to get in. Bella heard it too because she pulled away and sat up, her eyes darting around the garden. I followed suit and called out, "who goes there?"
Someone soared over the back wall and landed into a catlike crouch on the lawn. They straightened up and ran to where we sat with vampire speed. Evelyn Carter stood before us, her tangled hair shining blue in the moonlight. She was wearing the same clothes as before, minus the apron and her hands were hanging limply by her sides. She gazed down at us, an apologetic look on her face, "I'm sorry. Have I interrupted anything?"
I shook my head, registering Evelyn's thought processes, Jeez, I have interrupted something. Way to go Evie. Real smooth. They don't seem pissed though. They're just staring at me. Probably wondering what the hell I'm doing here. Well say something then! What? Like 'take me to your leader'? That will go down great…
"Bella? Get the others," I murmured, my eyes not leaving Evelyn's face. Bella got up and made for the house, leaving me with the girl. She tugged at her hair with one hand and asked, "What's your name?" she asked.
"Edward," I said, not moving to get up.
"Hi Edward. I'm Evelyn but call me Evie. Evelyn makes me sound like I am an old lady with an obsession with cats. Which I'm not." She gave me a bright smile before turning glancing around the garden.
"Nice to meet you Evie," I murmured.
She gave a nod, "Ditto." She let out a heavy sigh. "Ugh! Look at this place." She stomped towards one of the flower beds and ripped out several weeds. "All my hard work nearly lost! I can't save a plant if it dies y'know!"
I got up to follow her, "What do you mean 'save'?" I asked.
"I can't show you without light," she murmured brushing her fingers against a wilting purple iris. "It doesn't work without light. Photosynthesis 'n' all."
"Edward?" I turned to see Carlisle and the others standing on the porch. I tapped Evie's shoulder, "Evie?" She turned quickly and smiled when she saw the others. "Oh hello! Which one of you got hissed at by me?"
Esme moved forward, smiling nervously at Evie. Evie's face turned apologetic again, "I am really sorry Mrs Cullen. I wasn't very reasonable. I just saw you with my mum and went crazy. The last vampire I met wasn't particularly nice and I assumed you were like the crazy bastard. So I am sorry for threatening you."
"That's… alright," Esme said, surprise inflecting in her voice.
"So what changed your mind about us? What made you come here?" Jasper asked.
"Well you let a whole bunch of humans into your house then you let them back out again. You're obviously decent people," she said, shrugging, "And I came here because…I'm curious about you all. I thought I was the only one."
"What happened to the last vampire you met?" Carlisle asked.
Her liquid gold eyes hardened as she said, "I killed him shortly after he turned me. He turned me against my will." Her fists curled and I noticed a few of the plants around us stirred, as if from sleep.
"Come, let's get inside," Carlisle said making a beckoning motion with his hand.
"Wait! What are all of your names? I know Esme and Edward but the others…"
Carlisle smiled and quickly introduced the others to her. She grinned back, "Hi, I'm Evie. Nice to meet you all."
She stalked past me and fluidly rose up the stars. We walked to the kitchen and we all sat around the kitchen island. I scoped my family's minds to see what they were thinking of the newcomer. Carlisle was intrigued by her, Bella, Alice and Esme were unsure what to think of her, Rosalie was wary of her and did not like Evie's obvious beauty, Emmett was excited and Jasper was curious about Evie's trepidation that was coming off her. Evie didn't sit; she hopped on top of the island, her legs dangling over the edge. She scooped her hair up and tied it back into a ponytail, locks of it shining like a raven's wing in the light. "I hate my hair sometimes," she muttered, "It never does what it's told."
I searched her mind to see if she was pretending to appear modest but found no lies. She found her beauty a pain rather than a gift. "So what brings you to Ketchikan Alaska?" she asked, setting her hands on her lap.
"We moved here from Forks Washington," Carlisle explained, "we move to a new city every time we start to look suspicious to the neighbours."
She nodded, "Same here. We had to move out of Britain to keep appearances."
"How come you're still with your mother?" Carlisle asked.
"Um…its kinda a long story," she said, tucking a stray piece of hair behind her ear.
"We have all night," Carlisle murmured, his eyes set on her.
She sighed before saying: "Well it all started on a cold night, London, January 1972. I was walking home from my friend's house when I was attacked by a vampire. I was the eighth girl to be taken from the streets by what the tabloids called 'The London Night Beast'. The difference between me and the other girls is that I survived as a vampire. The vampire, Hector he was called, had been alive alone for too long. It must have gotten to his head or something, because he was picking off girls one by one and turning them. When they refused to be his mate he would slaughter them in rage." She shuddered slightly, but continued with her story, "he took me down to this stone room near an abandoned railway that he called home. Horrible place, all damp and musty. There were piles of ashes around and about the place, it was only later that I realised what they were," she shuddered delicately again but only I saw what she was seeing in her head. A dank underground room, water and rot streaked down the dull concrete. The only light was coming from two gaps in the wall and the crack in the door opposite, which let in natural light. A vampire with slicked back brown hair crouched over Evie, a leering smile on his teeth. Only his eyes gave away his desperation, his sheer madness.
"He waited for three days for the change to complete. When I woke up, he introduced himself and claimed what a happy time it was for him as he was sure I was his mate. He was completely and utterly insane. I told him I didn't want to be his mate. That's when he got mad. He tried to break me apart but I escaped him. I managed to make it outside. There were a lot of shrubs and weeds around us. He was coming towards me, with this horrible look in his eyes." She stopped suddenly and looked down at her hands, biting her lip. "I'm not proud of what I did next," she whispered, "I was furious and scared and disgusted. The emotions grabbed me and sucked me in. I didn't mean to kill him. What frightens me more is that I didn't even lift a finger. It wasn't very difficult." She snapped her eyes up, "have you guessed what I can do?"
"You can manipulate plants." Esme said, "That's why the garden is blooming."
"Yup," Evie said grimly, "who would have thought something like that could be used to kill?" An image suddenly flashed in her mind. The same man as before was standing among shrubs in an abandoned railway. There was a horrified look on his face as long tendrils from the plants around him were snaking up his body, forcing their way into his mouth and nostrils. Cracks appeared along his skin as the firm green creepers began to slowly rip him apart. I shut my eyes against the image, venom rising in the back of my throat as if I was about to be sick. I had seen vampires die in a number of different ways but never the way Evie had done. When I opened my eyes Evie was staring at me, "I'm guessing you're a mind reader." She said, "Sorry, didn't mean to give you graphic details."
"That's alright," I said, "I shouldn't be looking."
She gave me a sympathetic smile, her eyes containing an unreadable emotion. "Anyway, realising what I had done," disgust filled her perfect features, "I ran. I stuck to the country so I wouldn't come into contact with people. I think I ended up in a cave in the middle of the Cairngorms in Scotland. I found out that my burning thirst could only be quenched by blood. You can't imagine my relief when I found animal blood was enough. I hunted deer mostly; if times were desperate I drank from foxes and such like. We don't have an amazing array of large animals over there. I was away from home for two years. I didn't know what I was and wasn't willing to risk endangering my parents." Her eyes filled with sadness. "They never stopped looking for me," her face twisted into a frown, "I visited them, just wanted to let them know that I was alright but I wasn't thinking of staying. But when I arrived, they ordered me to stay. My mother was in tears, my father was holding me so tight I thought it would take years before he would loosen. The told me they had looked for too long and hard to let me go. So…against my better judgement, I stayed. We moved around a lot after that, village to village, town to town. My dad was a mechanic, while my mum worked as a secretary. It took all of our savings and more to move from Britain to America. Dad passed away a few years ago and Mum became unable to work, so we're constantly strapped for cash. We moved here about 2 years ago now. I work 3 jobs: cleaner, gardener and waitress and… that's about it. I stay with my mother because she needs me. Without me, she's gonna end up in a god-awful care home and I can't have that. She should be able to be at home when she…dies not around strangers, y'know?" She looked at us, as if challenging us to dispute her claim. None of us did and she took a deep breath before saying: "You now know my whole back story. Now it's your turn, what's your story?"
She glanced at Carlisle expectantly, having established that he was the leader of our group. Carlisle gave her a basic summery of our story right up to the present. She listened carefully and only spoke after he had finished speaking. "Wow…that story is more epic than mine." She grinned mischievously, the earlier disgust vanished.
"So how old are you?" Rosalie asked, her earlier competitiveness vanished also.
"Literally: 54. Technically: 16. Man! What a terrible age to get stuck on! I am this close to being legal for a dozen things but still can't do them. Sucks. Balls." She giggled suddenly and slid off the granite top, "Don't take this the wrong way, but I could kiss you all right now. I thought I was alone. But here you are, right in front of my very eyes. Very real. Very solid."
"I'm glad you feel that way," Esme murmured watching as Evie almost skipped around the room.
"Mhmm," she hummed, a content small smile tugging her lips, "You lot looking forward to school? The sheep treat me like I have the bubonic plague so it's probably not going to be any different with you lot. Though I have to warn you, some sheep are more stupid than others and will try to flirt with you. Colin McGregor," she stopped in mid prance to shudder again, "captain of the basketball and complete spannerhead. He only got the hint when I deliberately spilt milkshake all over him."
"Really?" Emmett said grinning, liking this quirky little vampire.
"Mhmm," she hummed again, "You guys aren't going to be out of the flames either. Paula Reynolds will have her claws out no doubt." She placed her hands flat against the granite top again and grinned. "Lucky for you, you have me to guide you through these dangerous perils."
"Looking forward to it already," Alice chirruped, getting up and swinging one arm around Evie's shoulders. "We are all going to be amazing friends. I know. I can see it happening."
The rest of the evening was spent getting to know each other. Laughter filled the kitchen, so much so that Nessie woke up and came down to see what the fuss was about. When Evie saw her she cried, "Is this the infamous Nessie Cullen? Your parents weren't lying when they said you were adorable. You're cuter than kittens. Or puppies. Or both! Depends what you prefer..." Nessie grinned, her thoughts focused on the funny beautiful girl with the raven hair. When dawn came Nessie was sat firmly next to Evie, as both counterparts jabbered away like songbirds.
Only when dawn streaked the sky a grapefruit pink did Evie say she had to go. "Mum will need me." She seemed reluctant to go as she slipped out the back door. "Wait Evie!" Esme called as Evie strode across the lawn. She swivelled, "Yeah?"
"Could you fix the garden? Please, some of the plants are close to death."
Evie smiled brightly, "Of course! It will be my pleasure." She strode to the drooping pink roses and cupped a flower. She closed her eyes and stood still. And before our very eyes, the wilting plant began to strengthen. The petals filled out again and regained their vibrant colour again. It was like watching a normal plant grow at an accelerated rate. She opened her eyes again and smiled at the effect. "Beautiful," she said before gently letting the flower go.
"Incredible!" Carlisle murmured.
"Have you always liked plants Evie?" Esme asked as Evie bent down to brush her fingers over the sagging geraniums.
"Yeah. When I was human I saved up to buy my own little allotment where I would grow vegetables and flowers. I liked buying seeds and cuttings. My friends called me weird but I didn't care."
"It's wonderful Evie. Truly like a gift from God, like your mother said," Esme said enthusiastically.
Evie laughed as she began to make a slow circle around the garden, brushing her fingers over the different plants. As she did so the plants flourished suddenly the colours fresh in the morning light, "Yeah, when mum found out she said it was a sign that God hadn't given up on me. I guess it's a nice way of thinking about it." We watched as Evie worked, eventually Esme followed behind her, gazing at the blooms with evident delight. Once finished, Evie brushed the soil from her knees and hands. She was now standing in a thriving garden. She said, "Now I really have to go. This garden will need my attention again in a couple of days. I still need to do a more thorough job though. But this should do."
"Thank you," Esme said, suddenly hugging Evie around the waist. "Come here anytime and not just for gardening."
"I will," she said brightly hugging Esme back before pulling away, "Looking forward to seeing you at school."
We called out our affirmations too as she vaulted over the wall and into the forest behind it. "Lovely girl," Esme murmured.
"Yes," Carlisle agreed, "a pity really."
For the next two weeks my family got closer to the Carter family. Evie would show us the best hunting spots in the forest; she came around regularly to 'garden' but she also came around to be with us. Her excitement at finding others like her was infectious and we enjoyed her company. She chattered away like a little bird, talking about this and that, a happy little smile tugging on her lips. She played with Nessie, teaching her how to cartwheel and walk on her hands. She brought her own well-used record player and set it out in the garden. She played all the songs from her human years and sang along with them, while she raked up the falling leaves and clipped the plants. The children tell me that she is just as lively in school, making silly faces at people in the corridor who stare at them walking by, came into school wearing brightly coloured clothes and enchanted the teachers with her winning smile and easy laugh.
However she didn't have much time to spend with us. She worked as a cleaner and gardener in several of our neighbour's houses and a waitress in the local diner, to keep herself and her mother in the small apartment they rented near the centre of town. She also had to pay for her mother's prescription medicine, gas on her car and food. It did help that Evie, being a vampire, did not need most of the basic necessities that were such a drain on resources. But her mother's medicine didn't come cheap. And the visits to the hospital were becoming more frequent by the week. When Rosie did visit she was looking more pale and weak, her heart fluttering desperately within her chest. It was only Evie's determination that kept her Rosie visiting the hospital and taking her pills. But it came as a surprise to me when, on a busy Thursday morning, I was summoned to a quiet patient room, with Rosie Carter propped up on the pillows. Evie was sitting across from her, her hair even more wild than usual, her eyes glassy looking as if she was about to cry. "You asked to see me?" I said, walking to be beside the bed. Rosie smiled a small smile at me and nodded. "Evie, why don't you get me a cup of tea? Remember-"
"English Breakfast, 2 sugars, dash of milk and piping hot. Yes, I remember," Evie said her usual cheerfulness devoid from her voice, snapping up from her chair. "I'll give you two privacy." She was gone before I could say anything to her.
"She's not herself," I commented looking at Rosie.
"We've just received the news," Rosie said quietly, a sad look tugging at her face.
"Its your time, isn't it?" I asked.
"Oh yes," she said, "It is my time. Finally." There was no remorse or fear in those words. Just a glum acceptance.
"You're not afraid?" I asked leaning forward to lean my elbows on the bed.
"Hmm, rather…expectant. I'm waiting to see what all the fuss is about. I do hope I'll see my Bill again. Tell him what a wonderful daughter we have."
"She is something special," I murmured, "Is there a reason why you want to see me?"
"Please could you take my daughter into your family? I have never seen her more happy in this life than when she is with you. You've been so good to her. I want to die knowing that she will be safe and happy," her eyes were pleading, her frail hands curling around the stiff white sheets of her bed.
I gave a pause before saying, "You could turn into one of us you know. Be like your daughter, live forever. Would you want that?"
She shook her head vehemently, "No, I don't want to live forever. I have seen enough of life, I've had my fair share of it. And I'm happy for what I've done. And anyway, Evie beat you to the punch."
I didn't say anything, just looked at my hands as I contemplated her words. "She needs to be with her own kind now. She's been too lonely for too long. She always denies it but I see it in her eyes. She watched all of her best friends grow up, go to university, get the jobs they dreamed of, find husbands and have children, things that she dreamed of doing when she was 16. She's been left behind. I can't even begin to imagine the isolation of that. I know it's a lot to ask, we only met each other less than two weeks ago, but please. Break her solitude."
I sighed and looked Rosanna Carte dead in the eyes, "I promise to take your child into my family as if she is one of my own. It would be my utmost pleasure."
Her worried face smoothed out to a beaming smile, "Why thank you. Thank you so much. This means a lot to me."
"That's alright," I said quietly.
"I'll have my attorney set out the deeds for you to take her." I nodded. We stayed in silence for a few moments before Evie was back in the room again, holding a paper cup full of tea, "Here," she said gently, placing the cup carefully on the bedside table. She then slumped into the chair opposite her mother and put her head into her hands.
A desperate look appeared in Rosie's eyes and she began to speak, "I remember when you were human, Evie. You would go out to your little allotment with nothing but an empty shopping bag and a trowel and then you would come back with the shopping bag filled with to the brim with carrots, parsnips, potatoes, cabbages, everything. But you would never let anyone into your allotment. You used to say it was your own personal Eden. Bill said you always spent more time there than at home. It was almost true. You would spend hours there and when you came back, there was a sparkle in your eye and colour on your cheeks. You would talk about roots, soil and seasons. You were happy. And sometimes I see that happiness even now. Most especially with the Cullens. So don't you think that this is over for you just because I'm going, young lady. Stop moping and deal with what's happening."
A snarl emitted from beneath the raven curls but otherwise Evie did not move.
"I should go," I said quietly, "I'll see you both soon." Rosie smiled and said goodbye. Evie just grunted at me, her position still not changing.
Two days later, Rosie Carter was dead.
1 month later
"Welcome to the Denalis Evie. They'll be pleased to meet you," Esme said. I didn't say anything as we reached the front door and I vaguely heard the doorbell ring. I reached out with my 'gift' looking for the friendly warmth of growing plants. That was another side of my talent; I was able to sense plants around me, their familiarity and warmth usually grounded me. I'd done it a few times before Mum died, when I was feeling low, but I was doing it constantly now. To me, my mum had been the last link to my humanity, to my past life. I now felt that since I lost her as well, I'd lost the final piece of old self. I now felt empty. Now, no one knew me as a human. That thought twisted my gut and made me clench my fists. For one horrible moment I wanted to kill Hector again, make him suffer for what he did, again and again and again. But I snapped myself out of that track of thought before it could really start. I reminded myself that it was that type of thinking that was going to turn me into the same kind of monster as Hector. The thought made me shiver.
For one month I was completely out of it. I wasn't myself and I knew it. The Cullens were amazing but I still missed my old life like crazy. My parents were all that I knew. It had been bad enough when Dad died, but Mum had been there with me. Now they were both gone and I was left behind… again. "You need a man," Alice said to me when I told her what I was feeling, "you need a man to pick you up and brush you down." I laughed hollowly at her, thinking she was just trying to cheer me up, and continued to sprinkle manure across the pansies.
For some reason, due to a vision that Alice had, a vision that no one will explain properly to me, it became essential for us to visit the Denalis, another vegetarian vampire coven. They lived deeper in the forest that surrounded Ketchikan. So here we are, after Alice forced me into a pair of heels, skinny jeans and a red halter top that clung to my body like a second skin. I couldn't work out what all the fuss was about. It was like my mother forcing me into that god-awful pink cotton dress when my Grandparents were around.
The door in front of us swung open and a vampire with strawberry blonde hair grinned at us. "Cullens! It's so good to see you again! And with a new addition as well," her buttery eyes settled on me, "Well, well, aren't you a pretty one." She was still smiling friendlily at me but I didn't know how to respond.
"Hi, I'm Evie," I mumbled shoving my hands into my pockets.
"Pleasure to meet you Evie, I'm Tanya. How's vampirism suiting you?" she asked.
I knew she meant well but I really couldn't help thinking what a stupid question that was. "Oh you know… it's alright."
Her smile didn't fade but she turned to Carlisle and said, "Speaking of which we have a new addition! He's been a vampire for a while yet he wanted to try out our lifestyle."
"Oh! Is that why you invited us?" Carlisle said as we entered the foyer of their giant ass mansion. I wasn't used to this type of wealth. I was used to working my ass off to keep my mom alive, now that even that was gone; I found all of this excessive buying bewildering.
"Partly, we were curious about your new addition, yet wanted to show off ours," Tanya said before laughing.
I rolled my eyes as a succession of vampires glided into the room. A woman with deep gold hair clutching the hand of a man with long sandy hair tied back at the nape of his neck, then two Spanish looking vampires, one male and one female. Finally sloping into view another vampire, who looked about 19, with white blonde hair that stuck up like a weird, spiky halo around his head. His eyes however were a rich burgundy colour, not gold like most vegetarian vampires. He had perfect masculine features and gave off the arrogant aura of a boy who knew he was good looking. His eyes fixed on me and an intrigued smile spread on his lips. "Evie, this is Kate, Garret, Carmen, Eleazar and finally, Aaron. Aaron, these are the Cullens: Carlisle, Esme, Edward, Bella, Nessie, Emmett, Rosalie, Jasper, Alice and finally Evie, their newcomer."
The vampire named Kate said, "Hi Evie! Have you only been a vampire recently?"
I shook my head, "Naw, I was made in 1972. I met the Cullens a month back and, due to my circumstances, I joined them."
"What about you Aaron? When were you made?" Carlisle asked.
"Oh I'm a lot older than Evie," he said, is voice surprisingly deep and smooth, "I was made in 1743."
"So you have been around for a while now. What made you switch diets?"
"I've always had a desire to settle down permanently somewhere. This diet seems to accommodate this better than the other way," he said.
"Oh Evie knows all about slipping into the background. She's lived with her mother for the past 40 years or so. Haven't you Evie?"
Aaron turned to raise his eyebrows at me, "Really? Your mother?"
"And father, until they both died," I said stiffly.
"That must have taken a lot of self control," he said, eyes still glued to me.
"Um…it was ok. First few years were hard but…I could never kill my parents no matter what I am."
He said nothing and I vaguely heard the others continuing the conversation but Aaron and I remained silent, staring at each other. I wondered why he was staring at me like this, taking a sudden interest in me, of all people. I suddenly noticed that we were the last people in the foyer. I started and, not wanting to be left alone with the boy, hurried through the door to the left of us to find the others. As much as I hated to appear weak to anyone, boys had always remained an unsolved mystery to me. I simply didn't know how to handle them.
I eventually found the others, sitting in a plush looking living room. I smiled nervously at them all as they looked up and quickly sat cross legged on the floor next to the coffee table. Aaron entered a few moments later and gave a warm smile at me before sitting on one of the sofas next to Tanya. I listened more than talked as the conversation flowed, but eventually I got bored with the talks of the Volturi and politics. Definitely not my scene. I began to 'play' with the vase of tiger lilies that sat on the coffee table. I made a shoot grow out of one of the stems. It curled its way around my first finger, a bud beginning to develop at the end. The shoot continued to grow, wrapping itself around my palm now, until it settled in the middle of my palm. The skin of the bud, cracked into six perfect segments. The petals peeled outwards, revealing a burst of fiery orange. One stigma, six stamen, the orange petals flecked with deep brown. A perfect bloom. I admired the way the colours contrasted with my pale skin, the rich heady scent that wafted out the centre, the way the petals tips were a deep scarlet that slowly lightened to a flaming orange. Nature was beautiful and I have a feeling that it was what saved what was left of my sanity in those first two years of wild roaming.
It was then I noticed how quiet it had gotten. I snapped my eyes up to find each and every vampire staring at me. If I could blush, my face would be the shade of London's double-decker buses. The lily quickly wilted in the palm of my hand, the colours fading, the petals wrinkled before finally turning to dust. The shoot dropped off the original stem and also shrivelled and turned to dust.
"Sorry," I muttered, "I was bored."
Before one of them could burst into a speech I jumped up and said, "I'm going outside."
I was outside in a flash and I breathed in the scent of the forest. I felt the towering strength of the pines all around me and I smiled at the feeling. I tried to take a step onto the bumpy soil, when one of my heels snapped. I gave a growl of frustration, and then hooked the heels off of my feet. I lobbed them as a far away from me as possible and continued on barefoot into the forest. "I miss you, mum," I whispered, as I treaded carefully through the undergrowth. "It's not the same. I don't feel the same. They're not human no matter how they want to dress it up. I'm too used to having you around, a human I could trust." There was a pause, as if I expected my mother to suddenly appear before me and make everything alright again. She didn't of course, so I continued, "Is there something wrong with me? Why am I not like them? Why can't I just deal with what I am? I want to be human so badly it hurts."
"Don't we all?"
I gave a short scream and nearly jumped out of my skin. "J.C. on a cracker!" I shouted, clutching my chest, as if my dead heart was thumping loud again.
Aaron stood before me, hands in pockets, staring at me with same amused smirk on his lips, "J.C. on a cracker? Never heard that one before." He was at least a head taller than I was, his blond hair being ruffled in the slight breeze. His dark eyes were focused on me, as if I was a rare butterfly.
I pulled my best aloof face at him, like the face some of my friends did when they were talking to boys they liked and said, with some degree of coldness, "Do you usually sneak up on people like that?"
He shook his head, "Only on pretty girls like you."
I snorted, "How old is that pick up line?"
He shrugged, "Oh…I don't know. Thought it was worth a shot."
"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked fists clenched.
His smile morphed, turned into a warm grin, "I heard what you did for your mother. That took a lot of patience. Patience that most vampires don't have."
I jutted out my chin, "So what?"
"You're different. That much is evident. I've never seen a talent like yours before. And you are exceptionally beautiful, which is always a plus." Another step forwards.
"Why would it matter if I am pretty?" I said, having the sudden weird urge to reach out and touch his silky-looking white gold hair. It was so different from mine, straight instead of curly, shockingly white instead of shockingly dark.
Another step, I had to crane my neck to look at him now. "You are not alone in wanting to be human. Most of us do. Most of us also had immortality thrust upon us. We've just gotten very good at dealing with it."
I raised my eyebrows, "Oh?"
Another step, our chests now brushing each other. I breathed in his scent. Again so different from mine. The fresh bite of the wind, the salty sweet tang of the sea, "Yes," he said, "We learn to look at things in a different way. To find a way to pass the years, while we keep a small part of ourselves from before."
"Sounds like you know what you are talking about," I said, smiling softly at him. He grinned back and reached up to put his hands by my cheeks.
"You have no idea," he murmured, eyes locked on me. Deep warmth spread from my chest, travelling down my arms and legs, reaching the tips of my fingers and toes.
I don't know where this side of me was coming from. I was openly flirting with a boy, a nice looking boy. A boy that my friends would deem, 'completely snoggable'. And I have to say I would agree with him. This boy was fit. "I think you should give me some pointers."
"Gladly," he said, right before his lips crashed onto mine.
Things might not be all that great for me recently: I was made into a vampire by a stalker, I've been living with my parent for the last 40 years of my life and I've watched said parents and friends die while my body refused to age. But hey, when you're in the arms of a boy that makes you think that your long dead heart might beat again and a family of your own kind who will be there for you, things don't look so bad.
Yeah, eternity wasn't looking so bad now. I'll never forget my parents. They did so much, too much people might say. They could have rejected me, call me a monster, but they didn't. They picked up the pieces and put it all back together.
So the moral of the story is, dear children, that your parents love you more than you know. And when you do eventually 'fly the nest' be sure in knowing that it is your parents shape the most basic parts of you, so they will always be with you.
So I conclude this story, going off with my two hundred year old boyfriend and five hundred year old family off into a figurative sunset. To you dear reader, go and tell your parents that you love them. Cheesy, I know, but you'll thank me later. Just sayin'. Peace out.
There we have it! Please Review!