A/N: Hey guys! so, this is my first Vampire Diaries fanfiction ever, so please take it easy on me. Constructive criticism is very much welcomed, though :) There's going to be some stuff that you won't understand in this chapter, so bear with me until the next one is posted! I hope you enjoy it! Please leave a review!
Guilty Filthy Soul
Chapter One - Bleeding Out
"Here we are. Senior year. Does anyone else feel like this moment should be slightly more empowering?"
Casting my eyes at the ground, the last thing I felt at the moment was empowered. Being here, at Mystic Falls High School, resurfaced memories that I wasn't ready to remember. Brought up faces that I thought I'd forgotten.
Caroline Forbes glanced at the three of us, and threw her hands into the air. "Alright, so what if Senior Prank Night was a bust? We are accepting it and moving on!" she said to us, forever optimistic.
"Yeah, I mean, why should I let the fact that my boyfriend is seeing the ghost of his dead girlfriend hinder this experience?" said Bonnie Bennett, unfolding her arms and shrugging, trying to appear nonchalant.
"Right," Caroline replied, nodding her head. "And why should I let the fact that my boyfriend was turned into a vampire-werewolf hybrid put a damper on an otherwise fabulous day?"
Only in my life would those two sentences make absolute sense.
We had started walking towards the school's doors, but Elena came to halt, realization striking her. "This is our one year anniversary."
Stopping by her, we all stared at her sympathetically.
"Technically," she continued with a disconsolate sigh. "Stefan and I met for the first time on the first day of school, last year."
After a pregnant pause, Caroline grimaced. "Yeah, okay, you win."
"Are you sure you want to be here?" Bonnie said kindly.
Elena shook her head. "No, I have to be here. I have to put it all behind me, and keep going with my life."
Tuning out of their conversation, I turned away from my sister and her friends. Somewhere in my mind, a dam broke, and images of the previous school year flooded my mind. Biting my lower lip, I readjusted my eyes, peering at the pink, crescent-shaped scars that marred my wrists. I could remember how I had obtained each one. I could easily recall the history behind each mark. I could envision the very moments I had earned them.
Someone popped up behind me, scaring me out of my reverie.
"Happy first day of school!"
I realized that I had fallen behind my friends, and they hadn't waited for me. I turned to face the person who had startled me, slapping his arm. "Tyler, don't do that!"
He chuckled. "Well, can you believe it? We're seniors!"
I rolled my eyes. "Believe me, that's the last thing that's on my mind right now."
He playfully shoved me. "Oh, c'mon Madeleine, lighten up! Seniors!"
Giving him a look, I finally cracked a grin. "Okay, okay!"
Today was the first day of senior year. It was the day I had been looking most forward to my entire high school career, but now that it was here, I couldn't bring myself to feel anything more than indifference. I should have been excited, enthralled, on top of the world. Instead, I was simply unconcerned.
We walked past Matt Donovan's truck, and Tyler banged on the hood of the old, blue pick-up truck, earning his attention. He peered through the open window and coaxed Matt out of the vehicle, and he joined our small group as we started towards the school building. The hallways were bustling and congested, full of loud, pointless chatter. Tyler broke away from us to say hi to Caroline, his new girlfriend, leaving Matt and I at our lockers, which were conveniently positioned next to each other.
Matt and I weren't best friends, but over the past year, we had formed a tighter bond. With all of the chaos that the supernatural world threw at us, it was relieving to have someone else there, someone human. He and Tyler were the closest things I had to friends, besides Stefan. But he was no longer in the picture, considering he had flipped his switch on his humanity and no longer cared about me.
"Man, I don't feel like a senior," he said, opening his locker.
Nodding, I followed suit and pried my own locker open. "I know how you feel."
For the first time that day, I realized that I hadn't cleaned out my locker since last year. The first thing my eyes found was a photograph of a young couple.
To the unsuspecting and unknowing eye, they looked like any other young couple, completely head over heels for their significant other. They were positioned opposite of each other, arms outstretched and fingers laced together. He was at least ten inches taller than her, the size different almost comical. She was laughing at him, and he was staring down at her with a crooked grin, as if they were sharing an inside joke.
I could feel my throat tighten. My scars started to burn at the sight of his face.
Matt turned to say something to me, but caught sight of the photograph, too. "Are you okay, Madeleine?"
Shaking my head, I sighed heavily. "Yeah, yeah, I'm fine." Reaching out, I grabbed the picture and swiftly tore it in half, crumpling the remains in my fists. I let the ruined fragments fall to the floor.
"Are you sure?" he asked. "If you want to-."
"Matt, I'll be fine," I told him, closing the subject. "Thanks, though."
"'Kay." He shut his locker, showing me his book. "I gotta get to class." With that, he swerved on his heel and started towards his first class. I watched his retreating figure for a moment before turning back to my locker.
Sorting through my piles of books, I retrieved my history textbook, brushing a lock of dark hair behind my ear. I glanced at the remaining array of photos stuck to the door of my locker.
The first was of Elena and I, at the beginning of our junior year.
I called Elena my twin, but in reality, we weren't even biological siblings. I had discovered recently that she had been adopted as a newborn baby, around the time my mother had given birth to me. Wishing to keep Elena's adoption a secret, our parents had told us that we were fraternal twins.
We didn't look anything alike, not even like siblings. She was 5'6", with beautiful tanned skin, long, elegant limbs and alluring curves. Every guy, at one point, had fanned themselves over her. Though I didn't easily admit it, I had always been senselessly jealous of her physical appearance.
My eyes found my own face. Pale skin, brown hair, brown eyes. I was utterly normal.
The next photograph was of Tyler, Matt, and I. It was from ninth grade, our first year at Mystic Halls High School. I smiled as I remembered how awkward those years had been: acne, braces, and puberty. I almost cringed just at the thought. But I missed the sincere innocence of that age. Not really knowing what horrors the world had to offer. When the worst thing that could have happened was an unexpected pop quiz.
And finally, there was a picture of my parents. Sadly, the smile vanishing from my lips, I lifted a finger to touch their faces. They had died over a year ago, but the pain was still fresh. It was searing hot, like a fire burning inside of me, consuming me. It flared as I studied their motionless forms.
A hand found my shoulder.
I turned to find Alaric standing behind me. "Madeleine, it's time to get to class," he said softly.
Shutting my locker, I nodded, and followed him to his classroom.
"What happened to this place?"
Damon looked up from his place on the couch. He wasn't surprised at all by my unexpected entrance; I suspected he had heard me before I even reached their front steps.
"Stefan happened," he muttered, rolling his eyes, taking a sip from his cup. "Ruined a damn good rug too."
The first thing I had noticed was the unappealing smell. It was a mixture between strong alcohol and a certain metallic twinge that made my stomach sicken. Then, I had found a body of a young woman, in her early twenties, her skin stained and her blonde hair matted with crimson blood. Under closer examination, I had discovered that her limbs and head had been torn from her body, and had just been put back together, the corpse sitting up against the wall.
"Where is he now?" I asked.
"Running some errands for Klaus. I thought I told you not to come over," Damon continued.
With a shrug, trying to tear my eyes from the bloodstains on the furniture and floors, I replied quietly, "I wanted to return these books you let me borrow."
"Madeleine, I told you that you could keep them."
"I know. But I felt bad about it, so I thought I'd bring them back anyways. Do you mind if I look for some new ones?"
He shook his head. "I don't care. Help yourself; they're just collecting dust. But beware of a lurking Rebekah. She's around here somewhere."
Nodding, I stepped over another mangled carcass, careful not to touch it, and turned down a corridor. It lead to a staircase, which took me to the second floor, and finally to their antique library.
The unpleasant smell had faded away, replaced by the smell of old parchment and ink. With a smile, I returned the books to their respective shelves and started searching keenly for some new ones. Fingertips dancing across binding after binding, I would pull one from its place every now and then and study the vintage cover, before putting it back and looking for another one.
Almost all of the books dated back to the 1800s. There were novels, biographies, almanacs, and so many others, piling up, untouched for decades. Sometimes I found newer books, and I imagined that their nephew Zach had stowed them away in here.
Books were my safe haven. Elena had always turned to her journal, but I had always found refuge and comfort in reading. Discovering new worlds and cultures, reading about how the world worked and how the Earth spun, peeking into someone else's life... It provided distraction for hours and hours on end.
There weren't many people I knew who shared my strange love for literature. I knew some who enjoyed reading, but it wasn't the same.
"Who are you?"
An edgy voice broke my train of thought. Startled, I turned on my heel and came face to face with a blonde girl. Her arms were crossed, unwelcoming, over her chest, and she was studying me, trying to determine whether or not I was a threat.
Suddenly, she was in front of me, moving quicker than the blink of an eye. I took an involuntary step backwards. She was a good five inches taller than me, not including the extra inches her heels provided her. Her complexion was light but flawless, and her eyes were an icy, crystalline blue. Leaning in, a cool smile claimed her lips.
"You're human," she stated.
Clearing my throat awkwardly, I said, "I recognize you. From history. You're Rebekah, Klaus' sister."
"Someone's good with their Original trivia." She winked. It was obvious she had decided that I was, ultimately, not a threat. "Let me guess, you're Madeleine, Elena's twin sister, who's not actually her twin sister."
She stepped back, giving me some room to breathe.
Rebekah was astoundingly beautiful, much to my surprise. When you've heard so many dreadful things about an individual, you make them out to be horrifying monsters in your mind. Though, she didn't have the face of a monstrous killer. But I assumed that made her all the more lethal.
"What are you doing here?" she asked, leaning against a shelf casually.
"Looking at their books," I answered, gesturing towards the surrounding novels.
She gazed at the shelves of books, somewhat uninterested. "You like to read then, do you?"
I nodded precariously.
"So did my brother," she responded nonchalantly, inspecting her nails. "He has mountains of books from all over the world, stashed away somewhere. Many would kill for his collection."
"Klaus?" I questioned, my curiosity getting the best of me.
Rebekah shook her head. "No, Elijah."
Elijah had been the first Original I'd seen and become acquainted with. The first time I'd met him, I hadn't known about the existence of vampires, and had grown quite fond of him. He was the most civil and moral of the Original family, or so I'd been told, and so far, nothing had contradicted the statement. But, for the time being, Elijah was trapped in a coffin by Niklaus, daggered and locked away.
"Oh," was all I could muster.
She shrugged. "But I've never been interested in reading. I'd rather see the world than read about it."
"All I want to do is travel the world," I breathed, the words tumbling out of my mouth. Then, I let my voice fall, my eyes cast downward at the floor. "But I can't, so reading is going to have to suffice for now."
With a small smirk, Rebekah paused. She stood up to her full height, straightening her posture. Then, she said to me, "I'll see you at school, Madeleine Gilbert."
But before she could disappear, something else caught her attention. She lifted her chin and stared at me, bewildered.
Milliseconds later, an excruciating pain broke out all over my body. Instantaneously, blood began to seep through my clothes, the vivid red stains blooming like crimson flowers. My breathing grew shallow as panic flared within me. My fumbling hands found the gaping gash that had formed at my throat, but the rush of blood seeped through my fingers.
"What's happening?" Rebekah demanded, appearing by my side, her expression uncertain, the smirk no longer on her face.
Overwhelmed by the agony, I let out a small whimper, unable to scream. My knees were suddenly weak and my legs gave away underneath me. I fell to the floor, convulsing, trying idly to make the pain go away.
In a flash, Rebekah had torn my sweatshirt off of me, her eyes wide in confusion. The smell of my blood hardly fazed her as she examined me, looking for the source of the fresh wounds.
Lifting my hand, I could see my bloody wrists even through my blurred vision. I let out a strangled cry as realization struck me hard.
My scars were reopening.
And just before the world dissipated right in front of me, I found another set of eyes, besides Rebekah's; cold, hazel orbs that looked down at me with a hint of unjustified and cruel satisfaction.