Lost and Found

Chapter 1

Jade's view

The first thing I noticed, before the grass soaked in rain, before the night sky dotted with stars, and even before the ominous trees, stripped of their leaves, that seemed to surround me…no, the first thing I noticed was the fact that I only had one arm. Now this seemed to be something that required my immediate attention. I studied my left shoulder, the place where my arm should've been, but no matter how hard I looked I just couldn't seem to find it. At last I decided to give up, if I looked around for a bit, my logic told me that it was bound to turn up somewhere.

With great difficulty I managed to roll onto my stomach, the moist ground sent a shiver through me so violent that I'd almost describe it as a spasm. Now that I was in a more advantageous position I could see that my arm was back. It had been under me the whole time, I was slightly worried about the fact that I couldn't feel or move it, but I figured I was just over-reacting. I took a moment to look at the creature just inches away from my nose; it was to my left so I had to squeeze my right eye shut to be able to fully focus on its writhing body. It was obviously quite small although up close it looked rather large. It reminded me of a strawberry lace in its broadest perspective; it wasn't as long as a strawberry lace, it was also rather fat, and the colour of pink flesh instead of bright red. Actually, there was something about the colour red, something important…

But my mind had already wandered back to the worm…worm? Oh yes! That's what it was, a worm! I smiled to myself in satisfaction, well, that was one mystery solved. As a reward I let myself lie there, feeling the beginnings of pins and needles…

Damon's view

Well, that had gone better than planned. I had finally revealed my arrival at Mystic Falls to my dear little brother, who in his delight had promptly threatened to find out what I was up to no matter what. But I knew the threat was an empty one, Stefan was weak on animal blood, and to be honest I wasn't up to much. His girlfriend on the other hand, a delicious little thing with white blonde hair and lapis lazuli eyes, had been quite a treat. The spitting image of Katherine, no wonder my brother was smitten, maybe I'd have to change that.

It was night, the best time for a vampire, unless you had a ring like me, than the day was just as convenient. The corners of my lips turned up at my little joke. A thought, that was just as constant as the throbbing of my un-dead heart, pushed itself to the front of my mind. I hadn't fed in a while, as I had been flying aimlessly as a crow for the past half-hour I decided to land on a neighbouring branch in the middle of Old Wood. Not bothering to change back I used my mind to search for food, sensing the wildlife around me. Going to the middle of the woods might not have made a whole lot of sense since it was just as easy to look in town, but a lot more people came through here as sight-seeing, and in the woods there was a lot more fun to be had.

But I soon realised that I wasn't alone, just beneath me was a girl lying on the ground. I could deduct that she was probably around eighteen, her clothes weren't in the best condition, not that I was complaining, but she appeared to be wearing blue jeans and a simple black top with no sleeves that was rather flattering. Her hair was matted with mud and rain water but I guessed shoulder length and mahogany brown with hints of red showing through, she was bare foot.

She was also a vampire…

Jade's view

I opened my eyes, which was weird because I didn't remember closing them. I gently explored the sodden grass with my previously dead arm, it was alive! I got to my feet at an impossible speed and as a result fell back into an awkward sitting position. It was at this moment that I knew someone was there, I tried to explain it to myself, it was like when you know someone's behind you, except I was certain of it, and it was more above me than behind. I looked up and sure enough, a huge bird loomed over me. Well, I guess it wasn't really looming since it was all that way up in the tree, but the sense of it was definitely there. Its plumage looked like it would be as soft as silk and it was black, but where the moonlight caught it, hidden shades of blue were revealed like secrets. The word 'crow' came into mind and I saw that its eyes were completely black, it looked all pupil, but instead of the flat expressionless black I had expected, I saw that it had an endless amount of depth to it. Something in its eyes told me that it was laughing at my predicament.

I closed my eyes and shook my head vigorously from side to side as if I had broken from a trance. Forgetting the crow for a moment I dragged my attention to the task at hand, I still hadn't managed to stand up and to stay up, and I was fast becoming saturated.

"Hello." The voice came from in front of me; it was like a warm fire being fed with logs of ice, warm and alluring but with an undertone that had me on edge. My eyes tried to follow the voice on their own but when they could go no further my head reluctantly followed through until I could see what had caused the disturbance. A man was lounging against the thick trunk of the tree where the crow had been, and when I looked up now the crow was gone, I could see this intruder quite clearly and a gut feeling told me that this wasn't right.

Even with the help of the half-moon overhead, I shouldn't have been able to see his features with such clarity; the angles to his face, the cheek bones, the fact that his skin was so beautifully pale, especially in contrast to the shock of dark hair that covered his head and penetrated his vision from time to time. His lips were the perfect shade of red…there it was again, a sort of uncomfortable feeling of…what? I wanted to say hunger but I knew that was wrong.

Some distant part of my mind reminded me that I was staring but I didn't really care, if I wanted to look then I would look. I also noticed that he was wearing all black; boots, jeans, leather jacket, the lot. A rather dark character for the story of my life I thought to myself. I had the feeling I'd be swooning at his feet had I been standing in the first place.

I leaned back on my hands and squinted at him, rolling my head so that it was resting on my right shoulder, "may I ask what the time is?" I felt quite drunk, yet I couldn't remember drinking anything recently.

The intruder smirked, "you could ask but you won't get an answer."

Frowning, I replied with, "oh, well I won't bother asking then."

For some reason this strange man found my rather reasonable reply somewhat amusing. I ignored him and decided to have another go at finding my feet, this time at a slower pace. I pulled my knees up to my chin, took a moment to brace myself, and then pushed up. There was a second when I thought to myself hey, I've done it! When all of a sudden I started to lose my balance and I grabbed the first thing that came to hand, a well-defined shoulder. I looked questioningly at the stranger's arm and then his face.

"Honestly, it's worse than watching Bambi learn how to walk, and the movie itself was bad enough. The only part I mildly enjoyed was when his mother died." He seemed to be serious and yet I couldn't understand why he was talking about Bambi. I tried to think but that made my head hurt so I stopped trying and just waited for an explanation. Instead he took my hand and very gently kissed it in the way of a gentleman; he raised his head to look me in the eyes, "Damon Salvatore." I inwardly gasped at the eyes that were so familiar, eyes that moments before had been in the head of a crow, there was no mistaking it, this man and that crow were inevitably the same person. As this ran through my head my face betrayed nothing, I was an excellent liar after all.

"Jade Onyx." I gave him my best smile; he was the only help I had.

"Jade Onyx?" Damon rolled the unfamiliar pairing of words around his tongue. "Unusual name," he accused, peering at me. I shrugged,

"Unusual parents I guess." The look on his face said that he didn't buy it, but I wasn't lying. Well, it was his problem, not mine. I started through the forest on silent feet, Damon didn't follow, which I half expected. But then I had the shock of my life when I turned at the sound of an owl to see him, the two of us barely an inch apart. The instinct to take flight was too strong and I really don't know how far I would have got if Damon hadn't have caught my wrists with his surprisingly strong hands.

"Don't ever try that again," he said in the way you would talk to a young and rebellious child. My expression must have told him that I hadn't a clue as to what I'd done wrong because he looked down and when I did the same I saw that my normally short nails had turned into terrifyingly impressive claws. Still restrained by Damon I brought the nails up to my face, and on closer inspection, found them to be as sharp as tiny individual knives. I looked on in awe as they retracted into the short, stubby nails I was used to. When I looked back to Damon he was studying my expression closely.

"How'd I do that?" He was still holding my wrists and had started to rub the palms of my hands with his thumbs in therapeutic circles. I gently pulled my hands out of his and put them behind my back, still waiting for an answer.

Damon smirked at my reaction; I was beginning to think that was all he could do. "It happens when you're caught by surprise or…," he smiled in satisfaction, "feeling threatened." I was about to reply when I smelt something on the air, we were getting near to the end of our little tree sanctuary because I could smell pollution, and food, and…blood. I felt two small daggers indent themselves on my bottom lip and when I touched them they felt very sensitive. Damon came up behind me again but my senses were so renewed that I wasn't surprised by him this time as he put his face next to mine and whispered in my ear, "thirsty?"