It was cold. And Charlotte, being a vampire- she never felt cold. She assumed that possibly, the cold she felt was an illusion but then again, maybe it was just her heart that was cold. Frost dusted every available surface it could find, clinging onto the dead leafless trees and the pale de-hydrated grass. To a human, Charlotte would of looked rather odd- standing bare footed on the cold ground. Then again, Charlotte was alone. She was in the middle of no-where, somewhere between Florida and Louisiana. It was the coldest year on record, well, that's what Charlotte had been told. The arctic wind bit at her marble face, yet she felt no pain. Only the brush of soft velvet- that was something she would never get used to. The fact that everything felt different, the wind like velvet, the sun like a blanket and grass like a carpet. She hated it. The way things had changed for her in the last year. 18 months ago, she had been cursed with immortalism. 6 months ago, she had escaped the clutches of her creators- Jasper and Maria. Now she was travelling with Peter, her friend. Well, he was more than a friend to her. He was her soul-mate, something Peter commonly referred to as being each others 'Mates'. Right now, Peter was else where. Where, Charlotte didn't know but she knew he couldn't have gone far. Charlotte let out a long sigh- which to her dismay failed to bring the mist that would usually be projected from someone's mouth as they breathed in tempuatures that Charlotte was standing in right now.
The grass beneath her made loud cracking sounds- like she were walking on glass- as she turned to walk back into the safe house. The safe house was beautiful; it was New Orleans French quarter style- with a balcony with twisted metal railings, large French windows and a marble porch to which the large oak double doors opened up onto. Once, Charlotte imagined the house may have been stunning, with beautifully white walls and pale blue painted shutters; but now, the building had since gone into abandonment. The paint had become a murky gray, many of the windows were missing shutters and the black paint on the railings had chipped to reveal the silver grey surface beneath. Charlotte still considered it beautiful though. The inside, was much less damaged than the out- with the only problem being a few cracks in the walls and the thin layer of dust that covered everything. Charlotte had hoped to clean the dust though, like she had done with the rest of the mess. Cleaning kept her distracted. The house was relatively unfurnished, apart from one single arm chair in the reception room and a mattress for a bed on the top floor. Not that she needed a bed. Charlotte's footsteps drummed loudly against the marble floor as she walked into the front room and sat on the old moth eaten arm chair.
Charlotte wondered who had lived here before it had become desolate- possibly a rich family who owned many slaves. She knew there were children living here before her; she had found the Nursery on the top floor. It pained her to think of such things, Children, since she could no longer get what she desired. It pained her more to think of the children who had once lived here- since she was certain they were killed after she found bullet holes in several of the rooms on the first floor. Charlotte had predicted that the youngest of the children was merely a baby- which she assumed had slept in the, now rotting, bassinet- and the eldest may have been anywhere between the ages of 6 and 9 after she found small dresses in the wardrobes. There had been a mother and father too- naturally. They had slept in the room opposite the Nursery. Charlotte knew at the times of their deaths that the couple were happy together, since she had found the skeletal remains of both, curled up together on the floor at the foot of where their bed should have been. That sight had made her cry. The sight of two dead people she had never met but the bones of which, had reminded her of something she longed for. Release.
Charlotte closed her eyes, imagining the house in its prime- before the Civil war. She imagined the wife sitting in this chair, doing cross stitching as a nurse, of African heritage, cared for the baby. She imagined the Children gathered by the fire, as their father told them all an exciting story about knights and princesses. Maybe the young girl had dreamt of becoming a princess- like Charlotte had when she was younger. It was every little ones dream- to become a Princesses or a Prince. The children could have well been treated like royalty in a home of this size- unlike Charlotte in her youth where she could only make believe she was a princess while helping out on the farm. Another thought she cringed at. The farm had burnt to the ground in a lightning storm, the night Charlotte had been turned, taking all her family with it. The sound of the oak door suddenly slamming against the wall- made Charlotte flinch. She had been so preoccupied with her thoughts that she had not even noticed the rich aroma of Rain-of-yet-to-come, freshly cut grass and exotic fruits that Charlotte had once seen on market day.
She stood, and strode into the lobby of the house. Peter, with his brown messy tumbling hair and ruby red eyes, stood carrying as small a tree. Charlottes brow creased as he leant the fur tree against the wall- sending hundreds of tiny pine needles scattered across the floor. Her mouth fell open in shock, and confusion, as Peter bought in a small plant pot as well as a box of which the contents was a mystery to Charlotte.
Charlotte put her hands on her hips "What's all this?"
Peter turned, cradling the box in his arms "It's Christmas Char"
Charlotte almost reeled in disgust. Christmas. Did Christmas even exist for people like her? The last Christmas she remembered was well- never; her family had been too poor to celebrate it. Charlotte turned away as she heard the quiet thud of the box being put down on the shiny floor.
"Char?" Peter asked putting his large hand on her tiny shoulder
"I don't celebrate Christmas..."
"Why not?" Peter asked shocked and astounded that someone did not celebrate Christmas
"Because I never have, and I do not think it is appropriate for people like us to celebrate such a pure holiday" Charlotte snapped
"Oh..." Peter said with disappointment.
Charlotte turned to apologize but Peter had shoved passed her and left her alone. She knew he needed time to calm down or think about it. Then again, as she thought about the words she had used, maybe the wording she had used were cruel. In essence, she had called herself, and Peter, monsters- the devils Children. Vampire or Human, Charlotte knew that to call someone that was horrible, very nasty indeed. She let out another long sigh- wanting to apologize to Peter but she knew he would end up hurting them both if she went there now. Charlotte glanced over her should at the poor bare Christmas tree as the remaining light from the day faded into night.
Peter lay on the mattress of one of the three bedrooms as he thought about what had happened today. Well, yesterday now, Peter thought. The surprise for Charlotte had been ruined- at no fault but his own. He should have asked if she celebrated Christmas, he knew that some people didn't but he never guessed that Charlotte wouldn't celebrate the festivities. She was perfect after all- no matter how much she complained that she was ugly, he had always told her other wise. Inside Peter felt guilty about making Charlotte mad or upset- or whatever emotion she was feeling at that point in time. He always felt guilty about hurting her in anyway. He knew now that the Christmas present he had bought her would be pointless now- she wouldn't want it. She never accepted his gifts without saying 'you didn't have too'. Charlotte to Peter was obviously still getting used to the fact that she was better off now than she was when she was human. Peter looked at the silver locket in the palm of his hand, before placing it in a small box before tightening the golden ribbon neatly around the red paper. With a sigh, Peter got to his knees and leant over to the wall. There was a small hole behind one of the panelling's and it would be a perfect place to store the necklace until he thought she was ready. The panelling came away with a click, and went back into place perfectly after he had put the packaged inside.
Peter looked across at the other side of the bed and imagined Charlotte there half day dreaming as he wrapped his arms round her petite frame. Speaking of Charlotte, he thought, where she was. She hadn't come upstairs, and it was beginning to get light now. Peter slowly stood, wondering where Charlotte could have got to - hoping she didn't hate him much. He walked out onto the landing, and peered around the top floor- she wasn't there. Peter looked downstairs and into the lobby only to see a strange flickering light being emitted from the living room. Fire. Peter thought before bolting down the stairs. Had he really hurt Charlotte so much that she had decided to take her own life? Peter prayed not as he rounded the corner and into the living room. The sight that lay before him was beautiful. The room was decorated for the Holidays- all the decoration Peter had bought in the box was in the correct places. All the baubles and candles and the angel sat on the Christmas tree while other things like Holly leaves and Ivy chains hung around the room. Peter immediately forgot everything he had done and thought about upstairs- as he stared in wonder. The fire was a blaze, with Charlotte sitting staring blankly at the war blanket of heat that the fire gave off.
"Char..." Peter gasped
She turned and smiled, standing "I hope you like it..."
"I love it!" He grinned broadly gesturing to the room
"Good," She said walking to him her eyes fixated on his own "I know enough about Christmas to know where things should belong- I also know enough to know that when you stand under Mistletoe- that you're supposed to kiss the person who is beneath it with you"
Peter looked up and smiled, seeing the white berries hanging over his head. He looked back down at Charlotte, before their lips came together for a gentle kiss. They pulled back and looked at each other smiling.
"Merry Christmas Charlotte" Peter grinned, wrapping his arms round her
"Merry Christmas Peter" Charlotte sighed happily as she rested against his chest in his arms.