AN - Sorry I haven't uploaded anything in a while. I've been really busy with school and I haven't had time to write. Plus, add the fact that I couldn't come up with a good story idea. Writer's block sucks. I hope there are people out there who want to read my stories. I will try to upload more chapters as soon as possible as long as there are people who want to read more. Hopefully, I didn't lose anyone with my un-organization/procrastination. Again, I'm sorry and hope you like this new story.

Disclaimer - I don't own anything related to the Night World Series. I don't own the characters (no characters so far, but there will be characters), the 'actual' Night World, Night World symbols, etc. I do own Hazel, Duncan, Zander, and Khalidiah.

Help with pronouncing names - Khalidiah = Ca-li-di-a

Chapter 1


I head to my locker, intent on studying before the bell rings. I open the steel metal door, the hinges squeaking. I grab my Biology book, putting it in my book bag as I shut my locker. I turn to find a quiet place to study when I run into someone.

I fall to the ground, the content of my book bag spilling onto the floor. I scramble to get everything back into my bag, not looking up to see who I collided with. I reach for my Bio book just as someone else does.

Our hands touch and a spark is sent up my arm. I look up and come face to face with the greenest eyes I've ever seen. I blush as Zander Smith grabs my Bio book and hands it to me. I stand, not trusting my voice. He stands, too, and smiles at me.

"Thanks," I squeak out.

He laughs, his voice filling the empty hall. "No problem," he replies.

I wait for him to continue, but he doesn't. He stands there, staring at me. My heart beats in my chest and I think it's going to explode any minute. His eyes flash and he cocks his head as if he's listening to something only he can hear. Then, it passes and he's normal again.

"You done staring?" I ask, annoyed.

"Oh, sorry. You're Hazel, right?" he asks.

I nod. "And you're Zander. Now that we have that established, is there anything else you'd like to ask?" I reply.

When he doesn't say anything, I walk down the hall just as the bell rings. I groan, frustrated I didn't get to study. I head towards my first period class when I hear a squeal. I turn to see my best friend, Khalidiah, running towards me. I sigh, ready for whatever gossip she has. She stops in front of me, bending over to catch her breath.

"Breathe, Khalidiah," I say, rubbing her back.

She sucks in a deep breath and then jumps into her giant speech. "Oh my gosh, do you realize who you were talking to? That was Zander Smith, the Zander Smith. Can you believe how hot he is now? And he was talking to you. He was talking to you," she rambles.

I hold up my hand, stopping her. "Yeah, Khalidiah, I know who I was talking to. He's still the same Zander, you know, the immature one who played those stupid little pranks," I say.

"But he's so hot now. Plus, people do change," she whines.

"I don't know. But you are right. He is better looking than he was last year," I murmur, my face reddening.

Khalidiah glares at me. "Really? 'Better looking'? Can't you just admit he's hot?" she says, annoyed.

"Fine, he's hot," I sigh.

"I knew it. You do think he's hot," she squeals, "you should go talk to him."

I shake my head. "No way," I say.

"Why not? Are you scared he won't talk to you? Maybe you can use some of your magic on him," she suggests.

"I don't have magical powers, Khalidiah," I sigh, shaking my head.

"Yes, you do. At least, you thought so when you're grandma was around. She taught you everything you know," she says.

"I don't believe in that stuff anymore," I whisper, not wanting to talk about it.

"Well, you better start believing again because you'll need it," she whispers, ominously.

I look at her. "What do you mean?" I say, scared and confused.

"Oh, just that you'll need it if you want Zander," she squeals, her voice changing in seconds.

I laugh. "Sometimes, I think you have more than one person inside your head. What exactly goes on up there?" I joke.

"Nothing you'd want to know about," she says, vaguely.

I laugh as she wraps her arm around me as we head towards class. I glance at her hand and see the black dahlia ring she has. I smile, looking at the intricate detail of the flower. I've always loved her ring, but she never takes it off.

We race to Biology and make it in the room just as the late bell rings. We smile at each other as we take our seats and listen to Mr. Arial talk about genetics and chromosomes.

Suddenly, I feel like someone's watching me. I turn around and see Zander staring at me. He smiles, showing the whitest teeth I've ever seen. I turn back around, my cheeks reddening. I look over at Khalidiah, but she's scribbling in her notebook.

I sigh, sinking into my chair. I glare at my stomach, trying to make the butterflies go away, but it doesn't seem to work. I start to zone out when the bell rings and everyone shuffles to get out of the classroom. I shove my notebook into my book bag and get up, slinging it over my shoulder.

I head to my next class, not waiting for Khalidiah. I float through my next classes, the butterflies in my stomach never subsiding. In each class, Zander is there staring at me. When the final bell rings, I jump up from my seat and run to the parking lot.

I head to the big oak tree near the front of the school. I let my book bag slide off my shoulder as I sit down under the giant branches of the tree. I sit there, waiting for my mom to come pick me up, when I see Khalidiah coming out of the front doors of the school. I'm about to call out to her, when Zander walks up to her. I scoot farther into the shadows of the tree, so they don't see me.

I watch as Khalidiah points to her black dahlia ring and then at Zander's shirt. I stare at his shirt. It's white with a black rose on it. I stare at it for a few minutes, wondering where I've seen something like that before.

When I can't remember, I look back at Khalidiah and Zander. I see Zander nod like he knows what Khalidiah is talking about. Then he walks away. I watch him walk down the sidewalk until he disappears around the corner leading to the neighborhoods near the school.

I stare at the spot where he disappeared when I remember Khalidiah. I look back and see her standing there, staring at me. We lock eyes and stare at each other. Then, she smiles at me and heads to her car. She opens the door to the silver car and gets in. The car comes to life and she drives out of the parking lot to her house.

I sit there, thinking about what Zander and Khalidiah could have talked about. I'm lost in thought when my phone vibrates, telling me I have a text message. I grab it to see who texted me. It's my mom. I get up when I read the text that says I should start walking home since she's going to be late. I pick up my book bag and head down the sidewalk.

I'm opening my front door forty-five minutes later. I head to the kitchen, wanting to snack on something. I grab an apple and head up the stairs to my room. I open my door and drop my apple. Sitting on my bed is my ex-boyfriend, Duncan. A scream builds up in my throat, but he puts a finger to his lips, quieting me.

"Ah, Hazel, just the girl I've been waiting for," he says, his silky voice clouding my mind.

He gets up from my bed and is in front of me in a flash. I blink and look up into his silver eyes. He spins me around so my back is to him. I feel his breath on my neck and the rise and fall of his chest.

I close my eyes as I start to fall asleep when an image of Zander pops into my head: his smile, his shirt, and his eyes. My eyes open and my mind clears. I step out of Duncan's arms and I turn to face him.

"How did you get up here?" I ask, crossing my arms.

"Come on Hazel. Does it really matter how I got up here?" he says, coming closer to me.

I hold up my hand, stopping him. "Yes it does. What are you even doing here? We broke up, remember," I say, annoyed.

He sighs, running his hand through his brown hair. "The front door was unlocked, but I thought we could get back together," he says, wrapping his arms around me.

I push him away, wanting nothing to do with him. "Just go away. I don't want to get back together and I don't want to see you in my room ever again," I say through clenched teeth, trying to hold my anger down.

"Fine, but I'd watch out if I were you," he says, ominously as he heads out of my room. I hear the front door close as I flop onto my bed. I stare at the ceiling when I hear my phone vibrate. I groan as I get up from my bed. I find my phone in my book bag and I look at the screen to see who's calling me. I see that it's Khalidiah, but I hesitate, debating whether or not I should answer. I hit accept and put it on speaker.

"Hello?" I answer the phone.

"Hey, are you okay?" Khalidiah asks.

I lay down on my bed before I answer. "Not really. Today was just a crazy day," I say.

"You want to talk about it?" Khalidiah asks, concern in her voice.

I sigh. "Well, in every class, Zander was staring at me. I had butterflies the whole day and then after school, I saw you and Zander talking. Oh and to top it all off, I found Duncan sitting in my bedroom when I came home," I answer.

Khalidiah doesn't answer. I sit there in silence, waiting for her to say something. I sigh, but she doesn't say anything.

"Khalidiah? Are you there?" I ask, my voice soft.

"Yeah, I'm here. So you saw me and Zander?" she whispers.

"Yeah, I did," I reply, waiting for her to explain.

She sighs. "It isn't what you think. I know you like him, if you admit it or not," she pauses and my cheeks redden even though she can't see me, "I can't tell you what we were talking about until you believe again."

"What's that supposed to mean?" I yell, frustrated.

"It means what it means. I can't explain it any further," she says, cryptically.

I sigh, exasperated. "Why do you have to be so . . . mysterious sometimes? Sometimes, I feel like you're keeping secrets from me and I thought we told each other everything," I say, confused.

More silence and then I hear her sigh. "I know, but this is too dangerous to mess with. Anyway, you said you saw Duncan in your bedroom. What did he do?" she says, changing the subject.

I sigh, annoyed with everyone. "Well, it was so weird. When I broke up with him, I didn't feel anything for him, but when I saw him today, it was like I was hypnotized. I wanted him more than anything, but then a picture of Zander popped into my mind and the feeling stopped. Then I told him to get out. Plus, he was really creping me out. He was like breathing on my neck," I explain.

I hear Khalidiah gasp and a knot forms in my stomach. "What? What's wrong?" I ask, scared.

A few seconds pass before she answers. "Nothing, but did he hurt you in any way?" she asks, her voice even more serious, if that's even possible.

"No, he didn't hurt me," I answer, the knot in my stomach tightening.

She sighs. "Good, but seriously Haze, you need to think about your grandmother and what she taught you. You have amazing talents, don't let them go to waste," she says and then she hangs up before I can reply.

I toss my phone on my nightstand and close my eyes. I try to close out all the sounds sneaking into my ears, but can't. I lay there, staring at the ceiling, for what feels like years, but could only be about an hour.

My mind wanders to Zander and his shirt. The way it falls on his chest and tightens when he laughs isn't the only thing on my mind. The black rose on his shirt clutters my mind. I feel like I've seen it before.

My thinking is cut short when my phone vibrates again. It's probably Khalidiah again, checking up on me, but when I look at the caller id I don't recognize the number.

I hit accept and put the phone to my ear. "Hello?" I answer, shakily.

"Hey, is this Hazel?" A deep male voice asks.

"Yea, who is this?" I ask, unsteadily.

"It's Derek. Derek McDonald," comes the reply.

My entire body freezes. Derek McDonald is calling me? The most popular guy at school. The football quarterback, the homecoming king. The best (rumor) kisser ever. He is calling me?

I lay there frozen, until I realize where I am. "So can I ask why you're calling me?" I ask, my voice cracking.

"Well, some of us seniors are having a party tonight at my house since my parents are out of town and we decided to invite some juniors. So you want to come?" he explains, his voice washing over me.

My paralysis returns and I lay there frozen again. It takes all of my strength to keep my phone from falling out of my hand. I suppress the girlish scream building up in my throat and put the phone back up to my ear.

"Sure, what time should I be there?" I ask, trying to sound nonchalant.

"Be there around seven. Some people like to be late, but the real party is at the beginning," he says.

We talk for a little bit after before we say our good-byes and hang up. I hold my phone to my chest as if it's a precious treasure that I don't want anyone to steal. I look over at my alarm clock and suddenly sit up.

The time reads 6:25 and I shoot out of bed. I head to my closet and try to find something to wear. I settle on a grey long-sleeve sweater that goes to about mid-thigh and a pair of dark jeans. I pull on my black boots and head to the bathroom. I check my hair and spray some perfume on. I do one more hair check and head downstairs. I call for my mom, but she doesn't answer.

I see a note on the fridge and pull it off. It reads: "Hazel, sorry I'm going to be home late from work. There are some leftovers in the fridge, but you can go out if you want. The keys to the car on near the door. Don't be out too late. Love you, Mom."

I head to the front door, grab the keys and head out. I get in the car and head towards the address Derek gave me. When I get close, I pull over to the side of the road where very few cars are. I park the car and get out, making sure I lock it before heading towards Derek's house.

I get to his house and it's a mansion compared to my house. I walk up the driveway and head to the front door. I ring the doorbell and Derek answers right away. He smiles at me.

"Hey, Hazel, glad you could make it," he shouts over the blasting music coming from inside the house.

He leads me inside and I'm surprised to see so many people already here. I check my phone and the time reads 7:09. Derek was right. The party is at the beginning.

I sit down on the couch in the enormous living room and watch as people dance, drink and make-out. Someone hands me a drink, but I pour it in the plant next to the couch.

Half an hour later, a guy I don't know pulls me off the couch and onto the dance floor, which is pretty much the entire living room. The music energizes me and I start to dance. I laugh and talk to the guy who pulled me off the couch.

An hour passes and I start to get tired. The guy points me to the kitchen where I get some water. I'm about to get a refill when I see him. I stare at him and the glass I'm holding falls out of my hand. Luckily, it doesn't break and I hurry to pick it up.

When I set it on the counter, I glance in his direction and he locks eyes with me. He smiles and heads towards me, but I turn in the opposite direction. I head to the backyard where people are swimming in the pool, when I look over my shoulder and see Duncan following me.

I pick up my pace and turn a corner, not paying attention to where I'm going. I hit a dead end, but it's too late. I turn around and Duncan's there, blocking my path.

"There you are, Hazel. I've been looking for you," he says, taking a step closer to me.

I take a step back, but hit the wall behind me. "What do you want, Duncan?" I ask, my voice shaking.

"Oh, I think you know what I want," he says, matter-of-factly.

I shake my head, but he keeps coming closer. I close my eyes, wishing he'd disappear, but he doesn't. Then, he's right in front of me. He's so close I can feel his breath on my face.

I try to keep my eyes closed, but I can't. I open them and I'm staring into his silver eyes. They seem to hypnotize me. A burning desire starts to form deep inside me.

The more I stare into his eyes, the more I want him. I crave him. I need him and he needs me.

Then the words escape my lips, "Kiss me."

He does. It's hungry and full of heat. My body reacts, the feeling starting to be satisfied. He deepens the kiss. He kisses me and I kiss back. Then he moves, slowly, to my neck. I gasp for air when his lips leave mine, but I don't protest. He starts to kiss my neck and I let him.

His teeth brush the skin of my neck and an image of a black rose pops into my head. My eyes open, slowly, and I think of Zander's shirt. That gets me thinking of Zander and I realize where I am. I gasp and push Duncan away.

"What are you doing?" he says, his voice hoarse from kissing me.

I shake my head, knowing what I've done. A strange feeling settles at the bottom of my stomach and I feel like I'm going to be sick. My eyes feel with tears when I think of Zander. I feel like I've betrayed him even though I barely know him.

Duncan takes a step closer to me, but I hold my hand out to stop him.

"Go away," I say through clenched teeth, my anger at him rising.

He laughs and smiles at me. "I can't do that, Hazel," he says, a smile in his voice.

I push past him, determined to get as far away from him as possible. I head out the front door of Derek's house and down the street to my car. I take the keys out from my pocket. When I look up to unlock the car, I drop the keys. Standing there, with his arms crossed, is Duncan.

"How did you . . ." my voice trails off.

He smiles at me. "How did I get here so fast? Well, I can't tell you, but I will soon."

And then, I'm pinned to my car, Duncan's hand around my neck. I feel his breath on my neck and he twists my arm. I scream in pain, but no one seems to hear me.

I brace myself for more pain, but it doesn't come. Then, I feel him release me and I fall to the ground, holding my arm. I start to cry, sitting on the ground. Then, I hear what sounds like two people fighting and I look up. That's when I see why Duncan let go of me.

Someone pulled him off of me and was now fighting him. I couldn't see their faces because there was no light anywhere except for the distant streetlamp, but also because it seemed like they both moved with inhumane speed. They were both a blur.

I focus on my rescuer and I gasp when I see who it is. Zander ducks just in time, making Duncan miss his attempt at punching Zander. I watch them fight, neither one overpowering the other.

Suddenly, it's like everything happens in slow motion. I watch as they both pause and start to change. They both start to grow what looks like fangs and their eyes start to get a red tint to them. They circle each other, waiting for the other to make the first move.

I sit there watching, silently praying I'm dreaming. Duncan suddenly lashes out and aims to punch Zander in the jaw, but misses and Zander spins around hitting Duncan square in the shoulder. Duncan staggers backwards, but doesn't back down. He rotates his shoulder a little and it seems as if it fixed itself.

Before anything else can happen, Zander comes to stand in front of me, hissing at Duncan. It's almost animal-like. Duncan backs down and starts walking down the street, away from me and Zander.

I sit there, not moving, waiting for the adrenaline to wear off. When my breathing returns to normal, I struggle to stand up with my bad arm. I grunt and Zander spins around as if remembering I was there. His face was back to normal, but I knew better. He takes a step towards me, but I hold up my hand, stopping him.

I finally get up, but groan when I see the keys still on the ground. I bend to pick them up, but Zander has them in his hand before I'm even near them. He holds out his hand, waiting for me to take them. I reach out my hand, hesitantly, but I take the keys.

"Thanks," I whisper, not wanting to talk to him, but my body says differently.

I turn to get in my car, but he stops me by grabbing my wrist. I stiffen and he lets go. My hand falls to my side, but I don't move to get in the car.

"Hazel," is all he says and I'm crying. I wrap my arms around myself, trying to stop myself from shaking, but it doesn't work. Then, Zander turns me around and wraps his arms around me. I cry into his chest, letting him stroke my hair. It soothes me enough to turn my crying into sobs.

I feel him staring at me and I look up into his green eyes. "I'm sorry," he whispers, not wanting to break the moment.

I nod, knowing I forgive him. Then I say the one thing I'm not sure I want to be true. "You're a vampire."

Thanks for reading. I would really appreciate it if you could review. I will try to upload more chapters faster this time. Thanks for reading my story. I hope you liked it.