Onyxx: I edited this first chapter, because now that it's been a while, I'm starting to picture Mr. Harker (Quincey) as Heath Ledger. Call me crazy, but I'm absolutely serious. (Rest in peace, we'll always love you, and even if you're dead, I'm still stalking you.)

Dracula: ... That's... That's creepy.

Chapter One:

Simon held Mary's trembling hand as they looked at the shattered mirror in Abraham Van Helsing's old office. Aramaic symbols glared at them, written in the blood of the security guard in front of them.

Mary looked at them, her lips quivering, her eyes wide with shock. "Flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood," she whispered, translating them.

Simon had almost forgotten Mary's ability to read Aramaic that came from her father having taken the blood of Dracula over a century ago. "How did he escape?" he whispered, looking around as though the monster was in the very room with them.

Mary sat down in the armchair, holding her hand over her mouth. "What do you think he means?" she whispered, looking up at Simon. "What is he after this time?"

Simon knelt next to her, taking her hand between both of his. "I dunno," he said softly, pulling her into his arms. "But we've got to find him and get rid of him—for good this time."

Mary felt a lump rise in her throat as she leaned against Simon's chest. She felt so afraid, afraid that he would come back, that he would come after her again. She knotted her fists in Simon's button-down shirt and cried, praying that Dracula wasn't coming after her.

Dracula sank his fangs into the police officer's throat, blood gushing into his waiting mouth. He had escaped that confounded place once and for all—and if Simon or Mary came after him, there would be hell to pay. Literally.

He dropped the corpse at his feet and walked away, the London fog welcoming him like a blanket as he made his way to the harbor. He had a boat to catch.

He was going back to New Orleans.

Anna put her head down on her desk, closing her eyes. The algebra test had been easy—now if only they'd let her go home about five hours early.

Sadly, they wouldn't.

She sighed, taking out a worn, dog-eared copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula. It had been awhile since she'd last had the chance to read, and she had thirty pages to go.

She made it about three lines when the bell rang, and she grabbed her books, practically running out the door to her next class.

She put her stuff down on her desk in Latin, then waited for the rest of the students to show up.

"Hey, Goth Girl!" Connor Yarborough called. Anna and her friends called him Yargerburgerblah behind his back. "So how did you become goth?"

She rolled her eyes, tucking a strand of dyed black hair behind her ear. "The magical goth fairy sprinkled me with stardust, Connor, and that's how it happened," she mumbled sarcastically.

"Seriously, how?" After she didn't answer him, he asked a new question. "So are you an atheist?"

She closed Dracula, looking up at him with a glare. "I'm a Christian, Connor, but to idiots like you, I'm a Jewish Nazi."

The entire class jumped and put their hands to their ears as a loud screeching sound erupted. Yargerburgerblah raced to his seat comically, and Anna looked up to see what had caused that God-awful noise.

Her heart immediately stopped beating as she saw what had to be the most gorgeous creature on Planet Earth glaring back at the class with beautiful blue eyes. The man was young, in his early twenties at most, and had long blond hair. It was extremely curly, and brushed his jawline around his face.

"I see everyone is present," he said softly, doing a quick headcount. Anna nearly fainted right then. His accent was almost a cross between "Northern" and English.

His gaze lingered on her for a moment, softening, before it hardened and he looked at the rest of the class. "I am your substitute teacher while Mr. Gautier is … ill." Amusement flashed in his eyes before he continued. "I am Mr. Harker." He whirled gracefully to face the board, picking up a piece of chalk and writing his name in loose, flowing script. He turned to the class again.

Mr. Harker smiled and said something in a foreign language, but none of the class understood it. He sighed, seeing the blank stares. "Pity, this is a class on dead languages," he said, turning to the chalkboard. "I am not Roman, but I am fluent in several of the Romance languages."

Yargerburgerblah raised his eyebrows. "So does that mean you know how to say 'I love you' in every language?" he asked.

Mr. Harker turned back to him with a blank expression. "Te amo, je t'aime, ich liebe dich, and so many more I've not the time to recite. But no, that's not what speaking a Romance language is. Can anyone tell me what I mean when I refer to 'Romance languages'?"

Anna raised her hand involuntarily, and Mr. Harker pointed to her. "A Romance language is one that is deeply rooted in Latin," she explained, "such as French, Spanish, and Romanian."

Mr. Harker's eyes twinkled. "Now can you tell me why English isn't considered Romantic?" he asked softly.

"English isn't considered Romantic because though we derive over sixty percent of our vocabulary from Latin, we also have words from Greek and Spanish and French that we've adopted."

He clapped his hands together. "Excellent! Come up here and take your choice of candy for being the only one able to answer simple questions about things you went over at the beginning of the year."

Yargerburgerblah's eyes lit up at the mention of 'candy.' "I want some candy!"

Mr. Harker narrowed his eyes. "Fine then. During the age of the Romans, Connor, what was the capital of Italy?" he asked.

Connor furrowed his eyebrows. "Umm …"

Mr. Harker nodded in his direction. "And that is why you can't have candy, Mr. Yarborough."

Ten minutes passed of Mr. Harker's brutal teaching method. However, Anna didn't mind—she already spoke Latin fluently.

She sighed, scratching the inside of her wrist. It had begun to itch frequently, almost as if she had a rash. She looked at her arm, scratching again. It did no good—it still itched furiously.

She sighed, finished with the worksheet Mr. Harker had handed out, and pulled her book out again. She barely noticed when Mr. Harker stood over her, checking her work.

"Excellent," he said in her ear. Anna jumped, blushing, before he put a hand on her shoulder. He paused a moment. "What's that you're reading?" he asked, leaning down next to her.

Anna flipped to the cover so he could see the bold printing of the simple word—simple, yet feared above everything else.

Mr. Harker smiled knowingly. "Dracula, eh?" he said softly. Then, he continued moving down the rows.

The bell rang, and Anna rushed out of class, happy—yet sad, also—to be out of Mr. Harker's presence.

Sad because he was so indeniably cute.

Happy because, strangely, she felt she knew him—and their last meeting hadn't exactly ended on good terms.


Bella's wickedly vicious smile almost made the shadowy figure regret his agreement—almost. He smirked further, staring at his two most loyal followers.

"My lord, we swear our first daughter to you!" Vikas vowed, taking the Count's hand and kissing the dragon ring.

Count Dracula sneered. "And if you don't have a daughter?" he asked softly.

"Then the first daughter of our bloodline!" Bella's voice was desperate. "But promise us—promise us eternity, master!"

The Count's sneer became a wicked grin. Even Renfield hadn't been this loyal for the promise of the rats—he'd 'ratted' him out for the sake of Madam Mina.

The Count took her hand in his and kissed it. "But first, you need my blood," he said softly. "The first daughter of your line cannot truly be mine—not unless she is born with my blood."

Bella's eyes widened gleefully. Dracula was disgusted by these people—obsessed with the occult, even madder than Renfield had been. Poor, poor Renfield—but he'd served his purpose.

Dracula gave them a goblet of his blood, and they each drank. Now, the child born of them would belong to him, and, if need be, that child's children, until a daughter was conceived.

The Count's wicked grin grew even wider when Bella's screams of labor reached his ears as he left. He could smell the man-child, but he knew, one day, a daughter would be born.

I have walked the earth for centuries! In search of a soul, not bitten, but born.

Dracula snapped out of his flashback as he wiped his lips of the blood that stained them. His most recent meal, a doctor from the same asylum he had visited nearly a decade ago, lay dead at his feet.

He looked up, his sizzling green eyes examining the huge Gothic house, where the young woman, he knew, lived.

The breeze brought him her scent—lilies, the flower of funerals, and lavender. He lifted his face to the wind, closing his eyes.

He opened them again, flashing red. "Soon, my princess," he whispered, then he turned on his heel, his trenchcoat swirling in the cool October wind, and disappeared onto a rooftop.

Anna sat at her window, reading the sequel to Dracula, written by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt. She had barely gotten to the third page when she had the eerie feeling of being watched.

She looked out of the window and almost fell out of her seat. A man stood across the street, staring up at her window. His curly, dark hair blew around his face in the wind as he simply watched her. Anna blinked, and then … he was gone.

She looked at the book with narrowed eyes, then closed it.

"That's what I get for reading vampire novels at night," she grumbled, crawling into bed and turning off the lamp.