This may sound stupid at first, but I personally think you'll like it once you continue reading.
By: Mattie King
Prologue: 3 days earlier.
Cynthia relaxed on her bed as she heard the soft knock of her father’s hand on the wooden door.
“Come in,” she called out lifting the covers up to her chin, she couldn’t let him see her in her day clothes when she was supposed to be in bed.
“I wanted to tuck you in,” He said walking over and sitting at the foot of her bed, gazing at the warm fire that was burning slowly.
“Cynthia,” he began.
“Yes father?” she asked.
“I didn’t exactly come her to tuck you in. I came to talk.” Cynthia gulped; she knew what it was about.
“What would it be about?” she asked politely.
“I’m forbidding you to go out alone at night. I don’t want you running about at strange hours, and getting into trouble.” He said simply.
“But why?” she asked even though she too knew why.
“I know what you’ve been doing. I forbid you to see that boy you’ve been talking to in the market, and getting up to visit him. You are too young to be alone with a boy. You have no idea about what he could to. I will not allow it, and just incase,” he got up and walked over to the window, his boots making quiet scuffing sounds on the wood floor. “I’ve put up these bars, you will not be able to get out unless I say, or you’re with your mother.”
“So I’m just going to be trapped in here like some prisoner? In my own home?” she asked outraged.
“Somewhat.” He smiled. He was enjoying this.
“I can’t believe this! I’m seventeen!” she jumped up out of bed and froze as he looked her up and down, she had forgotten what she was wearing.
“You should! Look at what you’re wearing! I will not have my daughter sneaking out and acting as if she was some tramp.” He walked over, his eyes flared with anger and disappointment.
“No, no father! Please, no!” she cried out. He grabbed her arm pulling it behind her back where she could do nothing but try to wiggle out of his strong grasp.
He pushed her to where she was lying face down on the bed; he unfastened his belt and slipped it out of the loops.
“Please, father, please!” she was crying now, tears streaming down her face.
“You have to learn. You have to obey!” he yelled fiercely he pulled his wrist back with the belt at hand folded over to make a nice thwack sound.
“No, no, no.” she whispered, tears still streaming down her face. He lifted the belt higher and brought it down, a sickening slap sound that made her cry harder knowing she wouldn’t be able to see Adam again and she would get beaten for it if she did.
“No, not again!” she cried out as he brought it down again, not even scolding her now, but beating her out of his anger and disappointment.
He lifted her head up by her hair and pulled her up, shoving her against the wall.
“No daddy, no.” she whispered as he stepped forward a menacing glare on his face as he held the belt.
He came close to her, and leaned down, “If you ever disobey me again, I can’t promise that you’ll be alive the next morning to witness the death of that boy.”
She was breathing hard now, chills running up and down her spine as sweat poured down her face matting her hair to her cheek. Her eyes were wide with fear, and mouth hung open about what he had just said and promised. As the door came open and her mother walked in, she saw her father give her one more stare as he turned, “Harold? What’s all this?” she asked, pointing at the rumpled sheets and spots of blood on the floor where he had pulled her up by her hair.
“I was teaching Cynthia a lesson.” He said stepping forward giving his wife the same stare as his daughter knowing she wouldn’t be able to stop him if it came to almost killing their daughter. As her father stormed out of the room closing the door hard, she looked at her mother, her eyes wide and fearful.
“Oh honey.” She said walking over to her daughter and hugging her close.
“Mamma, he said he’d kill Adam. He would kill him mamma!”
“Quiet…” she soothed stroking her soaking back. Together they slid down the wall and her mother gave her time to cry.
Cynthia walked quietly through the midnight shadows, her long flowing blonde hair catching the breeze as it blew across her face illuminating her white appearance. She could hear the click-clack echo from her shoes that strutted down the pavement. Thick smoke from the burning of tires, scraps of wood and trees swarmed around the town. She peered around the corner into the next alleyway. She had to be careful.
Her father would be angry if he discovered she had gone out alone again at night, and her punishment would be severe this time. She walked quickly now, her fingers tracing over the dusty walls, and began to shiver even though it was windless and warm. As she rounded the corner that led to the town square she caught sight of the mansions brooding presence at the far end of town on a hilltop. As she walked through the streetlights, glancing around to see if she could see anyone about, she saw the winding road through the woods that lead to the mansions gates.
Only she knew about this path. She stumbled at first as she stepped over an uprooted tree trunk but then quickly regained her balance and continued. The swift movements of bats overhead made her feel welcomed and warm. As the moon rose up over the starless sky, she felt at home: warm, peaceful, and dark. She loved the dark. It’s sounds; it’s corners in the alleyways where it stayed waiting and watching, the trees soon becoming fall as the leaves rustled and fell to the ground, the ravens call beckoning to her, soaring high into the night over the town watching over her, as she made her way through the tall oak trees. Her vision soon came into focus and she could see every angle, outline, and shadow, her ears suddenly alert and waiting for any movement or rustle of the grass.
Her mouth formed a smile thinking about what she may discover tonight in the dark. She brushed the hair that hung loosely in her face; shiny and silky from the nice hot bath she had later that day using the lemon shampoo she knew Adam loved. She ran her fingers through it imagining whose fingers would be running through it soon. She smiled, that seductive shy smile that led everybody to believe she was sweet and charming but she was far from it. Even though her father had forbid her to see Adam, she smiled at the excitement of having to sneak back in through the secret compartment in the fireplace that led to the basement incase of attack. One place her father had yet to discover.
Her lips curled upward, red and vibrant waiting patiently for later tonight. Her eyes a dark shade of green and full of life and charm as they twinkled in the moonlight as she looked upward using the moon as her guide like an old friend it showed her the way to happiness and trust. She soon made it to the clearing that was a field of wild flowers, and a path she knew so well cutting through the tall grass.
She followed the path and could see the ravens still soaring high above over the field, their shadows leading the way to the end of the field. Stepping out of the grass, she walked over to the mansion gates. The black iron bars designed into circles, waves, points, arrows, and an initial of AS in the middle. She saw that they were open, just for her. She squeezed through with her tiny petite frame and locked them again so no one would disturb her. She walked up the hillside and as she reached the top she saw the pond that lay behind it. The moon reflecting on it as the sudden wind blew currents onto the grass that surrounded it. Cynthia turned to look up at the boarded mansion and saw the same light up in the window and a curtain drawn back. She stared up at the mansion that looked like a castle with its cement bricks, high roofs with odd angles, iron bars that you could see through the boarded up windows, narrow peeks, and arching walkway that led to the front door. It’s waiting for me, she thought as she looked around at the overgrown shrubs, and bats flying about.
She turned her attention back to the front door that was well crafted and had a lion’s head as the doorknocker. She walked up to the door and knocked three times. She looked back behind her to see if she was followed even though she locked the gates and saw nothing was there. But when she turned back around to face the door she felt an odd presence behind her. She turned her head slightly just to see if she could see whom it might be. She saw no one. As she turned back once more she felt a quickening of footsteps on the cobblestones and as she was about to turn she was grabbed from behind and swung around.
“Get off!” she laughed. The figure sat her down and she looked up to see Adam in front her of. His face covered by a black cape, she so much wanted to see his face. She peeled back the cape hood and saw his dark brooding face. His eyes shinning in the moonlight, his mouth smiling approvingly, his eyes looking her up and down with longing. His midnight black hair lying nicely on his shoulders illuminating the way he wore his shirt. It was a black satin button up that was half way buttoned and cool to the touch as she stroked its softness, his pants a dark blue that were barely worn but outlined his narrow build. She reached up and hugged him tightly, never wanting to let go of his love.
“I’ve missed you.” He whispered, his breath tickling her ear as he talked.
“Me too.” She replied holding him close.
“I was wondering if you would enjoy a picnic under the moon tonight.” He said pulling away making her stumble since she was resting her weight against his broad chest barely coming up to his chin.
“Alright. Let’s go.” he said holding up the basket complete with a checkered tablecloth. Taking her hand she let him lead her around the side of the house and down towards the pond.
“I didn’t want to take you out among the wolves tonight but I’m sure if you keep close they won’t bite.” He laughed and she did too hugging him closely.
She couldn’t get enough of his rock hard body and lean waist, his husky breath whispering sweet nothings into her ear as they make their way down the hill, his way of doing romantic things and not knowing that he had made her day although he was never trying, it was just who he was. She helped as he rolled out the tablecloth on a patch of grass he had picked out by lifting plates of crackers and cheese, grapes, French bread, wine, Italian dressing and salami out of the basket.
At the bottom was a delicately crafted piece of cheesecake; she decided not to take it out just yet. She sat everything down carefully making sure she leaves room for Adam’s strong build.
“This all looks good,” she said as she lifted two wine glasses out too, looking around at the simple food he had brought.
“So do you,” he said as he walked towards her leaning down and kissing her on the forehead. She blushed like a schoolgirl as he sat down and stretched out his legs looking out at the pond.
“Wine?” he asked holding up the bottle.
“Yes,” she said handing him the two glasses and looking around nervously. She hadn’t made her a spot to sit. He sensed her uncertainty and turned,
“Would you like to sit down?” he asked smiling that gorgeous smile of his.
“Um…I would.” She smiled too; he could always make her smile no matter what the time of day.
“Come on,” He patted a spot on his leg. “Um…I don’t exactly feel comfortable sitting….t-there.” She felt so dumb, and girl would jump at the chance, but she just wasn’t to that point of feeling that comfortable with him. Not with her father’s warnings. “I won’t bite.” He smiled. “I just-” she said feeling foolish.
“Yes?” he asked.
“It must be something. Come here,”
She obeyed and stepped forward kneeling down to where he could talk easily to her.
“Here,” He said picking her up and sitting her on his leg that was strong and muscular. “Not so bad?” he asked smiling.
“No.” she replied shyly. She couldn’t believe how stupid she felt. All day she was waiting for tonight, hearing about how gorgeous and smart he was from other girls that had spotted him, then he finally asks if she would mind coming to dinner and she feels so shy around him. “I bet you bring all the girls you meet up here.”
“Yes. And I share them all my deepest secrets and lavish them with kisses, and speak to them as if there’s no one else in the world that will make my heart beat faster.” He smiled, as she looked down disappointed. “Don’t worry, you’re the only girl that makes my heart beat fast.” She looked up, “You must think I’m a little fool for coming here and acting like I did.”
“No, not at all. I was the one that was the fool; I should have known you wouldn’t feel that comfortable around me.”
“Well how about if I am now?” she asked her voice raw and husky.
“I would have to tell you my secret.”
“What would that be?” she asked.
“That would be that I love the way you make me feel.”
“Really?” she asked.
“Really.” He replied looking down at her his eyes longing for her. “I guess then…we can…” she looked up at him her heart beating like a drum against her chest wondering if he can hear it. “Adam…I…have to tell you something…” He quieted her as a placed his warm lips against hers for a split second then pulled away. “See what you make me feel?” he asked her his eyes deep and soulful. “I feel everything.” She whispered leaning in once more hungry for his lips. Kiss me Adam. Kiss me now! She prayed silently knowing she may never see him again.
“We have all eternity,” He suddenly said, “right now let’s just enjoy the night.” He bent down and blew out the candle he had brought; she quickly grabbed his masculine hand that was warm and soft, her hand fit perfectly into it, slender, warm, and soft just like his. With his other, he unwrapped the crackers and cheese carefully making two sandwiches and handing her one. Together they ate the food and shared their deepest secrets. As they finished the desert he laid her on the cloth and let her snuggle up against him. She never felt so right holding someone’s hand gazing up at the full moon. She could feel the warmth of his body as he laid out next to her his body stretched out on the cloth in silence. She could see the brightness of his spider ring he wore reflecting in the moonlight and touched it apprehensively.
“Do you like it?” he asked quietly.
“Yes. Where did you get it?”
“My great grandfather gave it to my father. Soon after he passed away he gave it to me. I’ve worn it ever since. Would you like to wear it?” he asked. She nodded as he slipped it off. Sitting up he reached into his jean pocket and pulled out a loose silver chain. He strung it on and fastened it around her neck. “Promise to be with me forever?” he whispered leaning his forehead against hers fingering the ring. “Yes.” She said lowering her head to his shoulder where she breathed in the soft smell of soap. Together they lie back down and snuggled close together sharing the moment. If this may be that last time she sees him with her father’s harsh rules, then she wanted to keep what she knew a secret from him, not let him worry, and keep something of his so if this may be the last time, she would know he still loved her.
Cynthia awoke in a daze and looked around, she was back in her own bed. How did I get here? She wondered glancing around. No sign of movement out the window. It was still dark though. Did Adam take her home? If so how did he get into the house? Wanting to see him already, she got up and looked down. She was in her bedclothes. How did she get into them? Was she the one that walked home earlier that night and changed without knowing it? She looked in the mirror. Her hair was nicely combed back in a sleek ponytail. Who could have done that? Was it Adam? She’d have to go and find out later. Right now she was hungry. As she made her way downstairs she saw her father sitting in a chair in front of the fireplace. Was he seeing if she’d sneak out? She guessed he did seeing as he held a rifle in his hand across his chest sleeping soundly. She opened the tiny compartment that was filled of bread and cheese. Seeing this food, she didn’t feel hungry. She wanted something more. But what was it? What was making her stomach rumble so? What did she need? Questions like these swarmed around her all day. She was so hungry but nothing her mother put in front of her made her feel satisfied. At home, she was tired and when her mother called on her to help with dinner she felt like a zombie standing up and trying to do even that. “What’s wrong?” her mother asked her as she helped. “Long night?”
“Nothing is wrong. I’m just tired. Daddy kept me up all night with his sleep talking.” Which was partly true, her father did keep her up, with fear. The knock on the door to her house echoed throughout the house, getting up from her studies she unlatched the lock and peered outside to find the mailman.
“May I help you?” she asked as he stood on her front stoop timidly.
“A letter from Mr. J. Adam Schreiber.”
He said handing her the white parchment. He started walking away, “Do you know what it might be?” she stopped him.
“No I don’t. I’m sorry. Have a good day.” He tipped his hat then left leaving her alone again. She was about to walk back to her room when she heard a knock sound out from the door. Answering it, she saw Adam standing in front of her,
“Adam,” she gasped moving aside to let him since her mother and father were out. He walked in and stood in front of her, taking her hand in his. “What are you doing here?” she asked.
“I came to see you. Something wrong?” he asked searching her face.
“No, nothing is wrong.”
“You can tell me,” he said holding her close. She leaned into him and found that he smelt of her favorite soap. “You get my letter?” he asked.
“Yes,” she replied wondering if she should tell him what had happened three days earlier with her father.
“Will you come?”
“I’m not sure. Listen Adam,”
“Please come,” He interrupted.
“I don’t even know what it is about, I haven’t even opened it and just got it a few minutes before you came. ”
“Well can you read it?”
“I’m not sure. I told you that already. I’m don’t even know if we can see each other anymore.”
“What are you talking about?” he asked.
“My father,” she began but was interrupted by the door opening. She saw that it was her mother entering. Even though it wasn’t her father, she knew that her mother would let something slip. “Quick Adam!” she turned back to face him, but saw he was gone.
Later that night she opened the letter to find Adam’s neat cursive handwriting. It read:
Please join me Friday night for dinner. Be there eight o’clock sharp. I’ll be waiting.
How could she see him after what had happened? Once was enough but risking their relationship again? She couldn’t do that anymore, she had to put it to a stop. She decided to go Friday night and break the news to Adam.
Around twelve she woke up and snuck out through the fireplace. It smelt moldy and dusty with years of age. She reached a ladder and suspended down, the bars slippery and wet. She made it down a corridor where she turned left then right, and came out to a clearing where she could go to the mansion and not be seen. She turned and glanced back up at the house, her father’s room light off and the fire going. She had placed pillows in her place and a wig she wore for a ball she was invited to when she was five. It looked just like her body lying there so she didn’t have to worry. She hurried this time, the ravens matching her pace soaring above. This time Adam was waiting for her by the gates. “I was worried. I told you eight and you come at twelve.”
“My father doesn’t go to bed until after nine even then he lies awake for about an hour trying to get to bed.”
“Oh. Well come on. I have dinner set up and everything.”
He led her through the yard and towards the back of the mansion where they entered through the back door that was as well carved as the front. Cynthia looked around at the houses interior: portraits of silver head men and women hung at odd angles on the faded flower wallpaper through the hallways, along with wild painting by such artists as Picasso and van Gogh. Each door through the hallway had a specific carving on the front; the one they stopped at had a wild lion head that was the length of the door, the glass doorknob in its mouth. “It won’t bite.” He whispered. “Are we the only ones here?” she asked. “For now, my parents are in France, the butler in the guest house until morning when he comes to fix breakfast,” he stopped as he heard her stomach growl. “Hungry?” he asked laughing and hugging her close. “Yes. I’ve had this weird craving all day. I can’t put my finger on it.”
“I’m sure it’ll go away.” he said as he turned the knob and took her in. The room was fascinating, a huge open window stood out the best when you walked in, book shelves lined the walls, paintings too, along with a long table with chairs that were covered in a leather like material.
“You’ll see,” he said as he sat her down on the couch letting her get comfortable as he went into the kitchen.
Stepping back out he brought out a cart; it was filled with ham, potatoes, green beans, and rolls. Placing a plate of food in front of her, he sat down.
“Not hungry?” she asked looking down at the tantalizing food.
“No, always thirsty though.” He replied.
“What do you think of Vampires?” he asked as she stared at the plate of food while taking small bites.
“Vampires? I’m not sure. I’ve never met one,”
“Never?” he asked.
“Would you like to?”
“I’m not sure. Would you?”
“I don’t know either.”
“Why?” she asked as he looked at her strangely.
“Just a question.” He said looking outside the window, a full moon in view. As she sat back in the chair, overwhelmed by all the food he had sat in front of her, he grabbed her hand and pulled her up, bringing her close to his body. Those dark midnight eyes looked back at her. He leaned toward her and kissed her with passion. He kissed her as if he were drinking her, filling her, sharing his love and spreading it through her veins. He pulled away and she had to take a breath, as she breathed in slowly Adam leaned in again kissing her ears, and gently nibbling them. She giggled like crazy. His lips and teeth made their way down her neck, his mouth filling her with total passion. His soft biting on her neck tickled. She was under his spell; she moved her head, wanting to move their mouths closer together so that she could experience all of him. Adam startled, sunk his teeth into her neck so hard she screamed. “Oh, no! I’m sorry.” He apologized. She held her neck and looked up at his eyes that were confused and worried, “It’s okay.” She replied, feeling blood gush out of the wound on her neck. She held her neck that was pulsing like her heart. “Cynthia are you ready to be mine?” he asked. “Huh?” she asked he sat in front of her swaying. “Together. Are you ready to be mine for forever?”
“What are you talking about?” she backed away, still the room swayed and she had to brace herself against the wall. “I want you to be mine for forever. To live with me,” His eyes looked at her pleading and begging her to stay with him.
“I c-can’t. I can’t. I’m sorry.” She ran out of the room, out of the house, and down the hill towards town. “Cynthia!” she heard him call out.
“Cynthia!” he screamed her name angrily, hurt, and confused. She clutched her neck as blood ran down her neck and onto her clothes.
“Cynthia!” his voice rung in her ears as she fell to the ground in the town square. She felt dead and had no reason to tell Adam what her father would do to him, no time left because she would never see him again.
Cynthia awoke in her own bed and saw her father sitting at the foot. “You were with him weren’t you?” he asked angrily. “Father I-I…”
“Don’t make up excuses!” he interrupted her his face an angry shade of red.
“I wasn’t! Won’t you hear me out? I love him! Is that what you wanted to hear? Was it? Because it’s true! I swear it’s true.” She looked at him dangerously.
“How can you say that?!” he yelled picking her up by her trembling shoulders and throwing her against the wall. “Because it’s true! It’s true!” she yelled clutching her shoulder that throbbed with pain; tears were already welling up. What was going to happen? She wondered.
“How dare you! You disobey me and go off with him. Look what he did to you!” he grabbed her neck and she winced in pain. Moving her eyes slowly over she saw she had two puncture wounds.
“Look!” he threw her against the wall where she slid down onto the floor.
“I am. And you know what father?” she didn’t give him a chance to reply, “I like it. I like the feeling I have now. Power, strength, courage. I even have the courage to get this,” she reached down under the bed and pulled a stake out from under it, “And kill myself.”
She held up the stake as her father looked at her shocked.
“Oh…father…I would…I really would.” She hissed at him holding it to her chest walking slowly towards him. She stood on her toes and whispered sinisterly, “And I’d do the same to you.” He placed the stake behind his back that was rigid with apprehension holding him still.
“Go ahead. I dare you.” She smiled and with her fist compelled it into him. His eyes were wide with fear as he slid down her body, “You didn’t have to dare me.”
She let him fall to the floor, even though he wasn’t a vampire, he was dead. The scariest part though, was that she liked the feeling of taking his life and now, she didn’t have to worry about him coming between her and her loved one.
As she watched her father’s body move lifelessly, she walked over to her closet. Throwing open the wooden doors she took out a cape she had and placed it around her shoulders, she had found it while going through her closet earlier, it smelt of soap. It smelt of Adam. Looking once more around the room, she left. Walking down the hall towards her parent’s bedroom she opened the door slowly. She saw her mother laying peacefully on the bed, a book in hand. She walked over, a tear falling, and kissed her mother good-bye. Her mother stirred, “Cynthia?” she asked drowsily. “Shh…go back to bed.” she said removing the strand of hair that was in her mother’s eyes. “Why are you up so early?”
“I have to leave.”
“Leave where?” she asked her eyes now wide-awake. “Somewhere where no one can bother me. I can live in peace.”
She looked at her mother, whose eyes were wide with fear and begging her to stay.
“Good-bye mother. I have to leave.” She looked at her mother lying terrified in bed like a child watching her daughter leave and not know why, she wouldn’t tell her anything, simply that she was leaving.
She left her mother, and went downstairs. As she walked outside she let a breath of cold air hit her teary face.
The walk towards the mansion was a long one. Or at least it seemed like it. She didn’t feel the raven’s presence up above, the welcoming of the dark, the happiness; she only felt sorrow, and loneliness. Was this what it felt like to be alone? Cold and afraid? Why did she feel this way if she had her sweet Adam waiting for her? She ignored the pain and cold, just walked on. It took her awhile to make it up the hill this time. Why did she feel so weak? What had happened earlier that night? It was so dark out, she seemed to lose all senses, all she was, and wanted to be was Adam’s lover. Why was she forced to be an outcast and not understand what was happening? Why did she have only Adam to understand her when she felt that nobody understood? Why couldn’t everybody understand her and what was happening? As she made her way to the front door it was thrown open and Adam, his face like a demons, came out, grabbing her. “Adam? What happened?” her voice was a whisper.
“You left me.” He whispered sinisterly. “Left you? I was scared Adam!” she screamed backing away from him. “Scared? How can you be scared with you father dead? You see, there’s no one to bother us. No one to keep us apart! Especially him! You shouldn’t be scared anymore!”
“How did you know that?” she whispered her eyes teary.
“How did I know? I told you to!”
“You told me to kill my own father?”
“Of course. You think you would have done it if I were to just tell you?”
“You can read my mind?”
“Then why did you act the way you did when I told you I couldn’t be with you?”
“Cynthia, wouldn’t you act the way I did if you were to go to all the work of getting me to come here day after day, night after night, and when I say no to your proposal it means none of the planning you did worked?”
“I can’t believe this…”
“Believe it, it’s real.”
“I thought you understood me! I thought you knew what I was feeling, but instead you read my mind? Did you ever even love me?”
“Love? I don’t know the meaning of love, and I don’t need to love you when my plan is to just make you one of us.”
“So all of this was an act? An act to get me to be one of you?”
“Don’t you understand you foolish girl! Yes, it was an act, a performance, a show just to get you to be with us, with me. I may not love you, but I need you. I need you so much.” She cried out and stared in shock—two teeth slid down. Two long, slender, tapered fangs overlapping his canines.
“Don’t worry, after I’m through, you’ll need me too.” His lips parted in a predatory expression and a low growl rumbled from his throat. She stood motionless, head light, as he advanced on her. His hands settled on her cape worn shoulders, and she almost gasped; his hands were warm now. “Adam?” she whispered.
His face softened. His arms drew her near and he cradled her like a child, hands soothing over her hair and down her back, his voice murmured unknown words into her ear. He took Cynthia’s hand, brought her wrist to his lips. His brown eyes caught hers. His fangs slid down. He felt her shudder when they pierced the soft skin, but he knew it didn’t hurt. He slurped gently at the blood, far from the fierce demand he had wanted, the kind of feeding that brought pain. He took only a little of her blood, then slid the fangs back into their sheaths in the roof of his mouth, all the while keeping his eyes on hers. So long as he kept her locked in his gaze, he could keep her from slipping into the faint her body longed for, its refuge against the jarring shock. And she had such beautiful eyes, he thought, large and green and as long-lashed as his. She didn’t know that she trusted his gentle actions, or his brown gaze. The eyes were the windows to the soul or they used to be. His were frosted over with ice as thick as Antarctica.
Floating in the sea of the waters of slumber, Cynthia felt the hands moving over her body, waking her. She drifted back regretfully, but when she came awake to find him kissing her, at her throat, slanting his mouth over hers, she could not be sorry. She arched, eager for him to hold her once again like it used to be. She was in his bed.
Her eyes flew open as Adam’s fangs pierced her neck and he began slurping. There was nothing light about it. He slurped hard, intently. She tried to push him away, but he was made of stone. She tried to cry out, but his mouth silenced her cruelly. He released her, clamping his hand over her mouth instead, and his own mouth fell to the other side of her neck. His teeth sliced into her. Terror laced through her veins, then pain, as they drew the blood out of her. Slowly, she felt herself growing weaker, until she lay unable to move. His face rose into view, the hunger in his eyes unchanging, anxious, his lips stained red with her blood. He leaned to her and sank his fangs into her throat, then drew back. Blood trickled down his neck and chest. He laid himself over Cynthia, positioned so that the cut dripped blood onto her lips.
“No.” Her voice was hoarse, shaking, as she understood. The blood slipped between her lips into her mouth. She closed her eyes, turned her head away.
“You’ll die,” he said coldly, forcing her head back and her lips open to let more of the hot liquid into her mouth. She tasted it, sweet, rich, tangy, and burning. She swallowed it. And then she couldn’t stop herself from swallowing the next mouthful. Or from latching her lips on his throat when he lowered himself, slurping, swallowing.
Slowly Cynthia felt herself rise out of a blank, gray world of fog. She did not want to leave this world, but fought to stay blanketed in its concealment, away from feeling, away from thinking, away from knowing. But slowly, she rose.
She woke in someone’s arms. Her eyes struggled open and looked up into the delicate face of a beautiful man. He smiled gently down at her, and long, silky black hair brushed the sides of his face. He stroked a light hand over her cheek. “Good morning,” he said softly.
“Morning?” Her voice felt rough and gravelly in her throat. Blurry eyes stared. She lay in this man’s arms on a black bed, in a small bedroom shaded in burgundy, black, and ivory. “What is this? Where am I?” Her mind was thick like the fog she’d rolled out of.
“Do you remember anything?”
“Adam?” he prodded.
She shook her head, and then winced at the pain that echoed in it like marbles rolling around in an empty glass vase. “I don’t—I don’t remember. Please—what—”
“It’s all right,” he soothed, brushed his hand through her blonde hair. “You’ll remember. Do you want to get up?”
“I—yes.” She took his hand and let him pull her up into a sitting position. Her stiff body ached when she tried to stretch it.
The room was dark—why could she see everything perfectly like before?—because heavy red and black curtain were drawn over the two windows. She could feel the sunlight behind them. She could smell it. It smelled burnt and offensive.
Frowning, she looked back at the man. “I want to know what is going on here, and I want to know now.”
“Of course,” he began. Cynthia’s eyes locked on his and they stared at each other when he did not continue. Like the devastating sweep of floodwaters, she felt the crash of remembrance. She fell back into Adam’s arms, choking on a scream that wouldn’t quite sound.
“What did you—did you do to me?”
“I bet you can guess.”
“Am I—?” Cynthia broke off, a chill shuddering over her skin; the skin that she was just beginning to notice was icy cold. Was she what? She couldn’t finish the thought, because if she gave words to it, even in her mind, she would be insane.
She dragged in a deep breath. As the breath hit her lungs, so did a deep-anchored hunger that rumbled in the pit of her stomach. It built too rapidly for thought, all but making her keel over with its strength.
Adam reached for her as she panted in agony, and took her in his arms and brought her to him. His hand slid under her chin and tilted it up. “Do you understand?” he asked.
She stared at him, dazed. “What?”
With a muffled curse, he cupped the back of her neck and pressed her face to his bare throat. Startled, she tried to pull back, but he held her fast. Then she heard it. The slow, steady beating of his heart, and the pounding rush of blood through his veins. She whimpered as a throbbing ache settled into the top front row of her teeth, just above her canines. She felt the sleek movement there, and two slender fangs slid down. Her tongue touched them tentatively, darting to their points, then ducking back to hide from them. But she understood, and the sudden blur of comprehension sent a thrill like excitement through her blood.
The hunger built into tension, and she no longer hesitated. She knew what to do. Her hands came up to clasp behind Adam’s neck. Her mouth opened, teeth resting against his throat, and his skin shivered deliciously under her touch.
She felt his hands on her shoulders, comforting, urging. Adam her master; her lover. She belonged to him and as before there had been one, now there would be two who would love, live, and be.
Her fangs sank into his flesh and the blood rushed her mouth.
Killing one person after another. That’s what her life had resulted to. Getting odd stares from towns’ people only fueled her anger towards them and her love for Adam because he knew what she was, because he was one too. As the years passed on, she grew stronger, but lonelier. Adam would go out at night, leaving her alone, stuck to drinking the blood of the butler, which she got beaten for. Her father who was no longer living would beat her because she would go to see the man she used to love, now the one she used to love beat her too for trying to live in the body he made her. Blood was the only way out of that hole. It made her feel strong, powerful, loved. She couldn’t get enough. Late one night she had looked over to see Adam’s body lying peacefully on the bed, being the creature she was, she drank his blood. He never woke during her performance, but the next day he beat her for what she had done seeing the odd bite mark on his chest though he had done it many time before to her. She only felt weaker when that happened, he though, felt recharged about giving his blood. She never got what she was, only understood what she had to do. Like Adam understood. She had gone out of the old creaky house that once felt comforting, and would walk among the soft soil, and down by the lake, to catch the moonlight that shown on the water’s surface. It made her feel safe, the moon, and it’s light. She no longer felt the raven’s presence, only the noise in the distance yearning for her return.
Cynthia stirred; she was lying on the cold soil by the pond, the water lapping at her clothes. She was soaking wet and cold. She opened her eyes fully and looked to see two red eyes in front of her. “Adam?” she asked the eyes. It nodded. “Why are you being like this?” she asked. He reached and lifted her trembling body to his, “I’m afraid to love you.” He whispered. “You shouldn’t be. You have me. Why did you change?” she asked tears forming. “Why did you have to choose to be what you are?”
“I had to live; I had to move on. This was the only way out,”
“Way out of what?”
“Adam…what are you saying?”
“Your father, when you were asleep, would come after me at night, he would try to kill me. When he did, he left me lying on the floor in the mansion. A man came, helped me, and gave me a choice. I could die, or I could live and be with you, only there would be a catch. What you saw, was the trade he gave me for living.”
“You did that for me?” she asked holding him like she used to, although he was cold not his usual warm.
“Yes. I love you, I wouldn’t be able to leave you just because of what I was forced to be, and to live and be able to see you every night like nothing happened was better than dying. Even though I’m forced to be like I am.”
Waking in Adam’s bed, she felt the sudden coldness. She turned over onto her side and saw that he was not there. Confusion took over her and she stumbled out of the bed and ran through the dark hallways. Yelling out for Adam, she stopped at an open door. No door was to be open without being shut when entering or exiting. This door though, was open, sunlight pouring in through the crack in the ruby shade curtains. Shielding the harmful rays from her skin, she stepped in. Her breath escaped her, words coming to her mouth, but stopping and coming out in a wordless gasp. There lay Adam, his unmoving body surrounded in his own blood. His eyes glassy and horrified, his mouth forming an “o” expression of agony. In his back was the fire poker, driven right through his pale lifeless body. Suddenly words came, only they were sobs and whispers, “How could this have happened? How?” she asked herself, tears falling.
Running to him, she crouched down and lifted his head.
“Adam, my Adam…why did you leave me!” she screamed as she cradled his head.
Weeping, she let his head fall to the ground and ran out of the room unable to control her sanity that slipped away with every breath she took. Scared and hungry from not feeding, she didn’t have any energy so she sat hunched in a corner, suffering and withering away into dust, hoping that one day, she would be reunited with Adam, somewhere more exciting then the hell hole he had left her in. Although it was torture for her, it was also torture for her soul. She was being tormented and agonized in the house that kept many dark secrets and memories of the past in the crevasses and shadows. She would soon wither away, not knowing or feeling anything but remembering the pain he had caused her, the pain she had caused others. Each hour of darkness, she waited and watched, trying to keep up enough strength for when Adam would return, return to take her away, away from the torture but to a far worse place, hell itself.
She didn’t hear the creak of the door being opened or the men taking Adam away to be burned. She could see though out the corner of her eye, that they were looking at her. Mumbling and thinking of what they should do with her. Cynthia didn’t think much of it; obviously neither did the men so they left her. She could only hope that she could gather up enough strength to visit the ashes of her poor Adam. Days passed, days where all she could think about was Adam, his face haunting her dreams and reoccurring in her nightmares, all the same. She would be standing on the balcony, looking down at the beautiful garden of long stemmed roses. The door would open and she would turn to see Adam, standing behind her with a wild evil grin on his pasty face. His eyes dilated and staring at her coldly while grasping something in his hand. She saw what it was as he stepped closer. It was a stake, and he raised it up only to bring it back down right into her heart, as her eyes grew wide with terror and fright. His breath was hot and musty, drawing in ragged breaths as he kept talking. Gripping her jaw tightly, he would kiss her wildly letting her slowly drift away where he would then let her fall off the balcony into the pit of roses. She then would wake up in a bed of terror, her nightgown clinging to her and her hair matted to her sweaty face. Tears would be streaming down her face sometimes after the dream and the only way for her to fall asleep again was to keep crying.
The smell of burning filled the air as she woke up, drowsy and weak from her dreams of fright. Pulling herself up, she steadied herself against the wall of books then walked slowly to the window. Placing her palm to the cold glass, she peered outside. There on the hill right below her house was where the bon fire was going to be. Sticks and trees were stacked and lingering around the open coffin. She saw two men bring out the body of Adam. They put him in the coffin; closing the lid they had the priest say a few words. She could not hear them, but as they stepped back and had the men set it a fire, she screamed. It roared and sent up flames and flickering sparks as it slowly burned Adam’s body and coffin. The sky was cold and gray, perfect weather for her mood of mourning. She was very distraught as she watched the flames burn her lover’s body. Crying softly she suddenly felt recharged and alive, she ran out to the bon fire, screaming and cursing at all the town’s people, their eyes wide with confusion. She didn’t know how she had made it out to the fire, only that something had ran through her, giving her the courage to stand up and not feel weak and useless.
“Why did you do this? Have I not grieved enough?” she cried.
A woman stood up boldly, “You wretched girl, he was trouble! He needs to be burned for his actions and sent to the fiery pits of hell!”
They shook their heads in grief and slowly she watched as they turned away from her, walking away. One stayed behind though, and watched as the flames ate up Adam’s body that was mutilated and falling to pieces. Crying, she dropped to her knees and prayed for her Adam. Shaking, she repeated the words of her father.
“You have no idea of what he could do.” he said.
“Yes I do father,” she answered, “He can break my heart and leave me to be alone in misery.”
Sitting alone in the library of the house, she quietly watched the day move on without her as she sat hungrily. She had not fed in so many weeks it was hard to count. Thinking about blood made her head spin and made her mourn of Adam, which she didn’t want to at the moment. It was five o’clock and she hadn’t done anything all day except sit and wait. She thought of going to sleep but a knock jolted her awake. Walking slowly down the stairs, she unlatched the series of locks and opened the door to the visitor.
“Hello?” she asked timidly to the man who stood in front of her.
“I’ve came to help you,” he said.
“Help me? I don’t understand…”
“With your grieving. I stayed behind after the others had left, I saw you mumbling something about your father. I think he may be part of your problem.”
“You know nothing of the problems I face,”
“I do. I’ve lost someone very dear to me, my sister. I know what it’s like to lose someone and feel as if you can’t move on.”
“I can’t move on. You don’t even know the half of it.”
“I know that I can help you, just give me a chance. I’m a professional for the people in town; they’ve all have came to me at some point, all leaving happily. I want you to be happy,”
“I don’t even know your name.”
“My name is Joshua Heathery.”
“You probably don’t even know my name yet you are proposing that I have problems and we’ve only just met.”
“I told you, I know of the things you go through. It may not seem like it, but I know what you are feeling.”
“If you must help me, my name is Cynthia.”
“Cynthia.” He repeated quietly.
“What was that?” she asked stepping forward and outside, into the cold weather.
“Nothing, now are you going to let me in or leave me out here?”
“I like the idea of the second choice but seeing as it’s getting darker I mine as well let you in.” she steeped backward and let him enter.
“I love your house,” he said looking around as he took of his coat and hung it on the coat rack.
“What could you like? The spider webs?”
“Feel…” she remembered when she felt the houses warmth, now cold.
“I don’t know what we’re going to accomplish. It’s about five thirty.”
“I was hoping to stay with you.”
“We’ll see. Why don’t you come to the kitchen?”
“Okay,” he said following her.
Sitting down with two cups of steaming tea, she left hers alone to get cold, a solitary sugar cube floating on top melting away. Joshua drank his though, to the last drop and then asked for more. She got up mumbling away as she fixed him another cup. “Would you like to tell me a little bit about yourself?” he asked, his accent sneaking into his words. British, she thought bringing him the cup of tea and taking her seat opposite of him not answering his question. “No sugar?” he asked taking a sip and making a distasteful expression.
“Forgive me,” she whispered and got up to retrieve him two sugar cubes.
“Here,” she said dropping them in, two satisfying plop sounds came that sloshed the tea over the edges. He laughed and wiped it up while she asked him once again why he was here wasting her time.
“Helping is what I do, it’s what you need.”
“How long will this last?” she asked trying not to think of him staying in her house.
After leaving Joshua in a room to sleep, she had made her own way back to her room. Her stomach rumbled miserably as she sat down on the vanity chair and stared at the mirror, which she could not see herself in. She wondered if Adam would find out her secret, and if he did, would he keep it. Shaking her head, she brushed her long tattered hair. Smoothing out the tangles, and making it shine. It was no use though; it still had that feel of dirtiness. Getting up and carelessly throwing the brush onto the table, she made her way towards the balcony. Staring up at the moon, she whispered silently to herself that she would get past this, she just had to. She slowly fingered the spider ring that was latched around her neck and walked back towards the bed, reminiscing of Adam the whole time while she lie awake, the darkness swallowing her.
Waking up late in the afternoon the next day, Cynthia got out of bed and made her way towards the stairs, stopping only to feel the wood’s crevasses and smoothness at the top. Gingerly, she made her way towards the bottom, only to find Joshua waiting for her. “You’re up,” he said looking her up and down, the white nightgown hanging limply on her tiny frame.
“Yes,” she said passing him, “I suppose you made your own breakfast?” she asked looking back at him as she opened the kitchen door. “Somewhat,” he smiled, smoothing his striped tie and straightening his jacket. Walking into the kitchen, she gasped at the mess that lie on the counters.
“You did this!” she exclaimed turning to find him right behind her, grinning.
“Yes, you see, I don’t know exactly how to cook.”
“No wonder,” she rolled her eyes and started picking up the series of pots and pans. Joshua silently watched from the table, eating an apple. “Aren’t you going to help me?” she asked angrily.
“I enjoy watching, it helps me think,”
“Oh, I bet you’d enjoy something else,” she hissed as she secretly hoped she would be able to tell him her secret, maybe then he could really help her. Throwing the last of the garbage away into the trash bin, she made her way over to the table where they had both previously sat before. He was sitting there, twiddling his thumbs and talking to himself. “So,” she said as he looked up.
“I was wondering what you would think of painting,”
“Painting?” she questioned him, eyeing him curiously.
“It might relieve stress.”
“I don’t stress,”
“Are you sure?” he looked back at her, his dark green eyes searching her face.
“Yes, but I think I’d enjoy painting.” She lied.
“I have something for you then,” he reached over to the other chair where a thick tablecloth covered something. He lifted it up, a ribbon dangling from it as he handed it to her. Gasping softly, she took it and slowly undid the ribbon. Unfolding the cloth carefully as he watched on, she marveled at the beautiful canvas and colors that came in silver like package. A series of small paintbrushes were kept in a leather pouch that tip’s were soft and smooth. “Thank you,” she said looking up shocked at the gesture, “this must have cost a fortune.”
“Don’t think anything of it, think of it as a way to recovery.”
After getting dressed, she took the paint into the next room where an easel was set up facing the window overlooking the pond. Sitting down on the ottoman, she watched as Joshua took a seat next to her, watching her get situated. Nervously, she took out on slender paintbrush and dipped it into the jar of water and then into a deep blue color, running the fine hairs across the page until it was completely colored. Then, she dipped it into a white color and drew a moon; it’s silver light shining down onto the trees she had painted and onto the winding road that led through them. That’s where she drew a girl, lost and pushing away dark green branches, trying to find her way, just as she was, just as Joshua wanted her too. The way Adam wanted her too, leading her down a dark path but showing her only a little bit of the truth, the truth all around her, shining down on her like the moon, and the truth was, she was falling in love with Joshua’s gentle actions much like she had Adam. Just like he had showed her, in his kind, loving way.
That night, Joshua had sat her down and talked to her in calm considerate words of what he could offer her. He said that he could help her, but he had to understand what was holding her back from the rest of the world. It wasn’t easy, for her or him. She started off explaining of her father’s warnings to stay away from Adam and where they had first met. Sitting calmly on her bed, she talked fast, trying to get it all out, that way, hopefully, he would somehow understand without having to question her. “My father said a lot of things, things he didn’t mean. But when he told me that he would actually kill Adam if it came to that, he would. So I left him, to be with Adam,” she stopped, swallowing as tears brimmed her eyes. “When I came here,” she stopped to wipe away a tear, “he was a monster. He said that he had only wanted me just so he could make me into one of them. A monster just as he was,”
“What was that?”
She stopped, looking up to search his face; it was serious, deep in thought.
She hiccupped, and wiped away more tears that streamed down her face, “I-I-”
She couldn’t possible tell him could she?
“Yes?” he said, reaching out to grab her hand that fingered the necklace that was latched delicately around her pale neck. Her dress covering her bite wounds from Adam, shielding her secret away from Joshua.
“A-a-” How could she do this? What would he say if he knew? If only he knew…
Joshua had left her alone that night; she couldn’t bear to tell him the truth. He had nodded politely and said that they would continue this later, when she was ready. She had liked that he didn’t pressure her, but gave her space so that when she was ready, she could tell him. She lay awake that night, watching as shadows of trees and creatures leap across the faded wallpaper. The wind blowing against the window trying to enter, a crack let only a current could enter to blow her curtains towards her bed. Looking back at the curtains, she noticed a shadow. It was dark, and mysterious, she gasped as she sat up, alert and prepared as the shadow stepped forward. Getting out of the bed and stumbling over her own two feet, she gripped the satiny fabric and pulled it away, only to find the face of Adam, in front of her, his dark eyes gleaming, his face white like the moon. “I’m back Cynthia, but Joshua wasn’t so lucky,” he held up a severed head that’s neck had two puncture wounds in it. He stepped forward, dropping the head only to grab onto her and pull her close, kissing her violently as he thrust a stake into her back, only to pull it out again and let her crumple to the floor. Her eyes watching in horror as he stared down at her, satisfied. Waking up screaming, she gasped from the dream, it’s realness. Suddenly, she felt two hands on her shoulders, shaking her. “Cynthia, Cynthia, what’s wrong?” the voice asked, she realized it was Joshua. Blinking, she sat up, and wrapped her arms around his neck, “Oh Joshua, it was so real, so real.” she whispered. He didn’t say anything, only put his arms around her and pulled her close, comforting her, not knowing of the dangers that awaited the both of them, what this dream meant.