Never ask a vampire about their history. If you learn anything from me, let it at least be that. For many vampires, their history is something they'd very much like to forget or change, much less relive it for the sake of entertaining a mere mortal such as yourself.

I am not saying this because I feel this way; I truly enjoy sharing my story with others. It is only because I have learned this from experience, and it is one of the most important lessons I have ever learned. My changing was due to my ignorance of such a thing, and I have seen many other humans die at the hands of my kind for such a simple question. I only want to protect my race from becoming overrun by those who were unwillingly changed.

Perhaps I should add a little bit of an explanation to my reason other than that. For me to do this, you must be willing to let yourself be totally calm, and to visualize everything that I say. I assure you that I am suggesting this only for your own sake.

Long ago, during the Renaissance, I was an upper-class gentleman. On the day of my twenty-first birthday, my parents threw a grand ball and feast, at our estate, in my honour. They invited several people from multitudes of families, including Isabelle, the only girl I had ever loved in my life. I was intending on proposing to her in the next month, on Christmas. I knew everything there was to know about her, and she knew everything about me. Well, almost.

What she did not know was that my family held a long-standing gene which would make every fourth generation into vampire hunters, with the ability to sense, overpower, and kill vampires. No one in my family [who was alive at the time] knew about this either. It had all been kept very secret, and I only discovered it when, as a teenager, I was nearly attacked by one. I immediately searched our library to see what I could learn about this creature. I found more than I bargained for.

Sadly, my parents were completely ignorant to my abilities, which would stay with me throughout my life, no matter how old I grew. This, perhaps, is why they did not understand my apprehension towards the VanHearen family they had invited. They came from far away, but described themselves as 'friends of the family for years.' Only I knew what they truly meant.

Fortunately, the hunter gene also carried with it the ability to shield myself from the peering minds of vampires. They would not know who I was unless I chose to kill them. And even then, by the time they did know, it would be too late for them. However, the VanHearen family was a very old vampire clan, and had many stronger, master vampires among them. These master vampires will chip away at one's shields until you become so weak that it only takes one lone vampire to break through and take control of you. This was why I was nervous about them coming. I had also read that this family, while very loving towards their own, would use those that a human loves to get to them. For this reason I had tried to dissuade Isabelle from appearing at the ball, but she flatly refused, telling me that she intended to be there, and though it may hurt her that I did not want her to come, she would ignore me and make the appearance that the girlfriend of the guest of honour would be expected to. Her determination made me smile, and I had kissed her briefly on the forehead before running off to assist my mother in making some last minute arrangements.

I tried to shove the thought of the VanHearens out of my mind as far as possible, but I am sad to say that it did not work as well as I had hoped. There were more things that I had read about them, things that did not make me feel very comfortable to know they would be at my ball. Most often, their alpha master vampire was able to sense those vampire hunters that sought after them, sensing their longing to rid the world of all that was considered the undead. When they found these hunters, they most often would kill them or change them, but not before they made sure that the hunter saw the suffering and pain of his family and loved ones at the hands of the master vampires. This was what really had me scared that night.

Everything seemed to start off very well that fateful night, with the guests arriving in a tasteful fashion, all of them bringing the unnecessary and yet mandatory birthday gifts that were appropriate for a man turning twenty-one. Later that evening, between the main course and dessert, everyone demanded that I open gifts and I obliged them. Most of it was things that I would need when I got married, which did not make me squeamish. I already had purchased Isabelle's engagement ring earlier that month, and was quite proud of it. It was a stunning two-carat princess cut diamond set in gold, and the space around the diamond was completely encrusted with smaller, but not miniscule, diamonds. Even someone who was certifiably blind could see it. But anyway, back to the gifts. I was most impressed by an antique sword that my parents presented me with. It was not only a family heirloom, but was said to have been a gift to my many-times great grandfather from one of the former kings of England. The hilt was wrought of the finest gold, and beautifully inlaid with the finest rubies, emeralds, and sapphires that many had ever seen. In the center of the sparkling jewels laid an incredibly large diamond, which I was guessing could be perhaps twenty-five carats in weight. It was colourless, and sparkled with the fire that was rare among diamonds. Yes, I realize that the fact that I know that this makes me sound rather feminine, but my mother has always been a great collector of jewels, and as a child she would educate me to know as much as she did about the precious stones.

Isabelle's gift to me was a handsome pocket watch that had been handed down to the sons in her family throughout the years. Seeing as her mother was unable to bear children after her birth, there were no sons left in the family. I felt an extreme swell of pride at the thought that her parents thought of me as a son enough to pass that watch on to me. That thought alone made me confident in my intentions for Christmas. I hugged Isabelle, pulling her tight to my body, and kissed her. The room burst into applause, and she pulled away from me, her cheeks tinted from blushing.

"You really shouldn't do that in front of people, Alexander. They can accept the fact that we may kiss privately, but if it is seen in public, what will people think we do in private?" Scolding me, she poked me in the ribs and passed me the next present.

It was a blue velvet box, the size of a fist, with a white ribbon tied around it. There was no card attached to the gift that I could see, and before I was done my examination, Isabelle impatiently pulled it from my hands and tore the ribbon off in one fluid movement. She handed the box to me with a smile.

"Really, Alexander, I should think that you would be more interested in the contents of the box than the outward appearance of it. Open it, I want to see what's inside!" She giggled, and thrust it into my hands.

Seeing her impatience with a box that surely contained jewelry excited me, and once again I had a feeling that I would not be able to wait until Christmas to ask her to be my bride. Grasping the box tightly, I flipped the lid open with my right hand. Laid inside on delicate white satin was a fair-sized cross pendant, made of intricately woven silver in such a pattern that it appeared Celtic to me. It was set with a pear-shaped ruby of such a deep colour that it only reminded me of blood. Immediately I knew that it was a gift from the VanHearen family, and I suppressed the shudder that was rising through my body. Attached to the pendant was a rope-style silver chain that would be long enough to tuck the cross into my shirt if I felt like it.

I raised my eyes to Boris VanHearen, the head of the clan, and smiled at him. "Thank you, sir, for this beautiful gift. I shall treasure it always, and keep it near to my heart." As much as I wished that I could lock it into a safe and forget the combination, I knew that my parents would insist upon my wearing it. Being brought up religiously made crosses a normal occurrence, but my parents would not allow me to forget about it. A cross was a cross, and seeing as I did not wear one now, they would say I had no excuse.

"I am glad to see that you like it, Alexander. I had hoped that it would impress you." He replied in a thick accent, one that I could not use to figure out just exactly what their origin was.

"Thank you again, sir." I smiled at him, hoping that he could not tell it was fake. He should not have been able to reach through my shields, as they were up, but they were not up in full force. I would just have to hope.

I moved on through the rest of the gifts, receiving some beautifully tailored jackets [my mother must have helped with measurements], wonderfully painted landscapes, and even a new riding habit from a favourite cousin of mine. Once the last gift was unwrapped and the giver properly thanked, the servants brought in the dessert. I had fought with my mother endlessly, until she finally agreed that I was too old for the chef to bake me an outrageously large birthday cake. I insisted upon tiramisu, and luckily she agreed. Upon tasting it, I knew I made a wise decision.

After one quick bite, I excused myself, rushed to my chamber, and rummaged through my drawers until I found what I was looking for. Hurrying back, I was able to slip back into my chair before many guests noticed. They were too occupied by the chef's wonderful dessert. Just as I was beginning to enjoy the tiramisu, my mother and father began to clink their knives against their crystal wine glasses, signalling for everyone to be quiet.

They lifted their glasses, and called out together. "A toast!" My father cleared his throat. "A toast to our wonderful son, Alexander, who has never failed to make up proud in all his twenty-one years. On this day, the day that he progresses to manhood, I would like to make an announcement to everyone. Alexander has been studying for several years with our most trusted employee, and his tutor, Henry Zidler. He has succeeded so well in his studies that he will soon be off to a university in France, where he will study everything from science to fine arts. Few people are accepted to this university, and it is so prestigious that I dare not say its name. I'm sure you all know which one I mean." There was a hushed murmur around the room, and many nods. "So, a toast to Alexander. Congratulations, my boy!"

My father smiled at me, and motioned for me to join him and my mother in front of the table. I slipped my hand into Isabelle's, and brought her with me. Everyone in the room began to clap and cheer, and I simply smiled until they began to calm down.

"I also have something that I would like to say." I said loudly, my voice carrying over everyone else's. The room went quiet, and I began. "For as long as I can remember, there has always been one person in my life who I have been able to share everything with. This person has been my rock through difficult times, and has always been the one to bring a smile to my face no matter what the situation. This person has also captured my heart, and claimed it as her own." I turned, looked at Isabelle, and smiled. "I would like to publicly announce my love for Isabelle Cartier." The guests broke out into maddeningly loud applause, and I held up my hand for silence. "That is not all that I am here to do today."

Once again, I turned to Isabelle, but instead of remaining standing, I bent on one knee, drawing a blue velvet box out of my jacket pocket. Isabelle's eyes widened in shock, and I heard several of the women in the room gasp. Ignoring them, I popped open the box, allowing the light to capture the fire of the diamonds, and I knew that its glittering was visible even to those sitting as far away from me as the room would allow. "Isabelle, you are the only girl that I have ever loved. You are the sunshine in the rain, and I can't imagine my life without you. I can't remember life before you, and nor do I want to. The only memories I want to have when I die are happy memories of a very happy life with you. Isabelle, will you do me the honor of being my wife?"

I could hear another gasp from the guests, and saw my mother out of the corner of my eye, trying to shove my father out of the way so that she could examine the ring. I nearly laughed. Isabelle's eyes were wide with shock, and her mouth was a round O of surprise. The entire room was holding its breath, waiting for her response. She stayed silent for so long that I began to get worried, and started to fidget.

I stood, and looked her in the eye. "You are the only woman I want in my life, Isabelle. Will you have me?" She blinked, and moved her lips as though she was trying to say something, but no sound was coming out. A look of confusion flitted across her face, but then she threw her arms around my neck and kissed me.

All of the guests jumped from their seats, and began to cheer and clap louder than ever. All but the VanHearen family, but I was so damned happy that I didn't care! I pulled away from Isabelle, and smiled at her. "Why didn't you just say yes? You're the one that bothers me about kissing you in public!" At this everyone laughed.

"I..I don't know, I guess that you stunned me into silence!" She exclaimed, laughing happily.

"So you'll have me?" I asked again, just to be certain.

"Yes!" she cried, hugging me again. My mother finally succeeded in getting past my father, and immediately shoved us apart to grab the box that was crushed between us.

"My God, Alexander, this ring is incredible!" She gasped, and immediately whipped out her jewelers glass, pressing it to her eye. "These diamonds are flawless, colourless." She just looked at me, and I knew what her next question would be. I simply answered it before she had the chance.
"Five carats, mum. And yes, I know that it's perfect. Do you think that Isabelle could put it on now?" I laughed, pulling the box from her hand. I lifted the ring from the white satin, and slid it onto Isabelle's ring finger. She looked down at it, and once again her eyes went wide. I drew her face up in the crook of my finger, and kissed her again.

The guests went wild, and when I drew back from her, they continued cheering. My father signalled the orchestra, and they began to play a beautiful violin concerto, perfect for waltzing to. I led Isabelle out onto the floor, and she daintily lifted her voluminous skirts to join me in the dance. I couldn't help but drink in the sight of her, seeing how beautiful her pale, creamy skin looked in her icy blue gown. It was rare to see a fabric of such a colour during those days, and I was glad to know she'd be the only one wearing it. The square neckline enhanced her full breasts, and the beaded bodice drew attention to her small and shapely waist. I loved how she looked in that style, especially with her draping sleeves. The only thing I could possibly think to compare her to was an angel, so ethereal with her strawberry blond hair shining as it hung down her back in beautiful ringlets. Her blue eyes had a sparkle to them, and I quickly kissed her cheek.

"Have I told you yet how incredibly enchanting you look, my love?" I whispered into her ear, my hot breath tickling her earlobe. She started to say something in reply, but I quickly drew her earlobe into my mouth, nibbling it with my teeth, caressing it with my tongue.

She gasped sharply. "Alexander! What are you doing? People are watching!" She pushed me back gently.

"Oh, Isabelle, you worry too much. Besides, it simply appears as though I am whispering to you. Don't tell me you didn't like it!" I teased her with a wicked grin, I knew it was wrong to tease her, but at that moment I didn't care.

She blushed furiously. "It wasn't that, Alex, we're in public!" I stared at her.

"What?" she asked me, searching my eyes.

"You called me Alex."

"What's wrong with that?"

"You never call me Alex, it's always Alexander."

"As I said, what's wrong with that?"

I gave her a curious look. "Nothing, really, it's just that I've been trying for ages to get you to call me Alex. After I stop pestering you about it, you call me Alex. It doesn't make sense."

"Well." she gave me a coy smile, and I knew I was about to hear one of her rare wicked remarks that matched my own. "I supposed that I should get used to saying Alex as opposed to Alexander. I won't be able to concentrate enough to scream your full name, now will I?" she grinned.

I nearly doubled over in shock. I was certainly not expecting that one! I kissed her again. "My dear, you are growing to be as wicked as I am. What has gotten into you?"

"Well, you have in many ways, but not in the one that matters right now." She lowered her eyes, her lashes creating a black curtain. She raised them slowly, and I could see that her eyes were smoldering.

"My goodness, two remarks in less than two minutes! What is coming over you?!" I laughed, and then quickly raised a finger to her lips. "Wait, don't answer that one. I don't think I'll be able to take it!"

She proceeded to laugh, throwing her head back and really putting herself into the quick spin I had begun just at that moment. I pulled her back close to my body, and just as the music finished, I dipped her over my knee, and kissed her long and full. She smelled so sweet, and I had a serious urge to taste her. We pulled apart [once again, there was a tremendous amount of applause], and I could see that her eyes now mirrored my own intense gaze. We were both smoldering inside, and I instantly knew that neither of us would be able to wait until our wedding night, just as I hadn't been able to wait to propose to her.

I quickly pulled her back up, so that I could resist the urge to make love to her right there in the middle of the grand hall. We walked away from the rest of the dancers in silence, and left the grand hall to make for the parlor. When we arrived, I helped her arrange her skirts about her so that we could sit together on the same sofa. As I began to smooth them down her legs, she caught my gaze. There it was again, the smoldering fires behind her eyes! I continued to smooth her skirts, and when my hands touched calf and no more masses of fabric, I let myself wander down to her small, finely-boned ankles, and I removed her shoes. I began to gently caress her feet, massaging them gently. I made eye contact, watching the fires in her eyes. As my touch became more intense, the fire grew. Dipping my head down to her feet, I began to kiss around her ankles, and then along the tender skin of her instep. I heard her gasp, and smiled to myself. I began to trace lazy circles with my tongue along her arch, and then suddenly stopped, and drew myself up to sit beside her. Her eyes were half-closed in pleasure, but the fires were burning stronger than before.

She turned, gazed at me through a curtain of thick lashes, and let out a small, contented sigh. "Why'd you stop?" she murmured, her lips curved in a half-smile.

"Because you didn't want me to." I grinned wickedly, and saw the fires in my own eyes begin to blaze in the reflection of hers. Her mouth parted ever so slightly [I knew she saw the fires raging, too.] and I did not hesitate. Immediately, I lowered my mouth to hers, and kissed her passionately. She kissed me back with the same passion, and a low groan escaped my throat. I pushed past her lips to taste her, and as I kissed her my hands wandered to the corset-like laces down the back of her dress.

Quickly I found where they were tied, and pulled the laces open with a quick flick of the wrist. With no negative response from Isabelle, I continued to loosen the laces, and near the waistline of her dress I had unlaced it enough to slip my hand inside and touch the warm skin of her back.

She gasped, and broke the kiss. "Alexander!" My full name again. Not a good sign.

" hinted at it as we were dancing! Those things that you said, the fire in your eyes." I trailed off, hanging my head in shame. "I didn't mean to frighten you, my love, I thought you wanted this as I do."

She cupped my chin in her hands and drew my face up to hers. I knew I wasn't imagining it for sure now, the fires were still there, still burning brightly.

"Alex, I do want this. I want much more than this, and I don't know if I can wait. My eyes may say that I can't, but I can at least try, can't I?"

I sighed. "You're right, Isabelle. I'm sorry. Can you ever forgive me?"

She smiled. "My silly little Alex. Of course I can." She kissed my cheek.

"I'm not little." I pouted.

She flashed me her wicked grin again. "I know, Alex. I know." I looked down, only to discover that I had pressed myself tightly against her as I had been trying to unlace her dress, and I quickly pulled back, blushing.

"Don't get modest on me now, Alex. Come here. I need an embrace right now." She smiled. I did as she asked, and hugged her tightly, my hands pressing her into my body, keeping her tight against me. I could tell that, in the midst of my earlier embarrassment, she had re-laced her dress. I couldn't help but be disappointed, nor could I disrespect her wishes. I stood up, and she followed me as I walked back to the great hall. It was nearly eleven- thirty, and many people were dancing.

As I walked past my parents with Isabelle, heading for the other dancers, my father stopped us. "Isabelle, my girl, your soon-to-be mother-in-law would like to inspect your ring more closely." He smiled, and leaned in to whisper to her. "As much as I hate to allow this, we both know how much of a jewel fanatic she is. She said she wouldn't take long."

"Sir, we both know her idea of a short inspection is really a long inspection to us." She grinned, and walked away arm in arm with my mother. I was left standing with my father, and I couldn't think of anything to say after what had just happened with Isabelle.

"Perhaps you should put on that cross that the VanHearens gave you. It certainly was handsome." He suggested.

"Yes, Father." I knew better than to argue, I would've had to wear it sooner or later. Finding it among the pile of gifts was like looking for the proverbial needle, but I managed, and was soon standing by the dancers, waiting for my fiancée to return. The next thing I knew, Boris VanHearen had snuck up behind me, causing me to jump.

"I am glad to see you like my gift, Alexander. It warms my heart." He said, looking at the cross on my chest.

I had an impressive, albeit sarcastic, remark to his sentence, but chose to hold it back. "It is an incredible gift." I said, forcing a smile.
"I was, ahem, wondering if it might be possible for me to speak to you privately." He said quietly, with a tone in his voice that caused me to shiver.

Why was he affecting me like this? I had held back many vampires before with less difficulty, and even killed powerful ones that were fighting me with everything that they had, without flinching. Why was his voice and presence alone causing me to panic? Sadly, I had no choice but to speak with him. I knew that my father would not tolerate my refusal. "The drawing room would probably be appropriate for conversation." I replied, leading him through the halls to the richly-furnished room.

He immediately seated himself in my father's favourite chair, and I lowered myself into the one that so often reminded me of something from Ancient Egypt. "I would like to congratulate you on your engagement, my boy. Isabelle is a beautiful girl."

"Yes, she is, and I love her very much." I said quietly, wishing he would go away. Or at least get to the point.

"If there is anything that my family can offer in preparation of your wedding, or perhaps in the future, do not hesitate to ask." He offered politely.

"Thank you kindly, I will remember that."

Boris cleared his throat. "I know what you are, Alexander." That one sentence caused my blood to run nearly as cold as his. Oh, why had my mother chosen to take Isabelle from me? At least I could have had an excuse had she been there!

"What are you talking about, Boris?" I asked, throwing my shields up even stronger, if that was possible.

"I know that you are a hunter, Alexander, and not the kind that looks for venison." He said, his eyes boring holes into mine.

I shivered uncontrollably, and stared at him. "A hunter? I do go on fox hunts occasionally, but that is all the hunting I do." Hopefully playing ignorance would help me. It would not. His face turned an angry purple-red, which I did not know vampires could do.

"I know that you are a vampire hunter, Alexander. And you know that I am a vampire. Now, where exactly does that leave us?"

I knew it was pointless to lie to him, so I just sighed instead. "In an ordinary situation, I would have killed you by now. Unfortunately, you are a friend of my parents. I cannot just kill you that simply."

"And because you are the son of my friend, Alexander, I cannot kill you that simply, either. So we are in a rather odd predicament, aren't we?" he responded.

I got the feeling that he was not going to be killing me today. "What exactly do you propose, Boris? That we ignore each other?" I asked, knowing full well that I could not.

"Not exactly, my boy. I would like to propose an alliance."

I nearly fell out of my chair. Was he mad? "And why would a vampire hunter and a vampire form an alliance? It's quite the oxymoron, don't you think?"

"Precisely, that is why it would be so unexpected, and a definite advantage." I wasn't following him, but he continued anyway. "From me, you could learn many things about my kind, things that could help you become a better hunter."

"Now I know that you're mad, Boris. You want to not only form an alliance, but help me kill your own kind? I thought that was something like genocide."

"There's more than just that, Alexander. I would help you, but you would help me as well. Help me avoid the other vampire hunters out there. Many are after me."

I just looked at him. I couldn't do much more than that. "I get the feeling that I should probably be calling a doctor right now." I muttered.

"On the contrary, Alexander. You should not be calling one, for he would tell you that you are the one that is mad. Accusing the leader of an upstanding family to be a vampire will definitely deem you to be the crazy one."

I knew he was right. "What do you want from me?"

"An alliance, that is all."

There was no way I was agreeing as fast as he wanted me to. I told him so. "I want to know more about you before I agree to this. I want to know your family's history. All it says in books is bad things, and my parents seem to think your wonderful. Some sort of vampire trick, or truth?" I asked.

"Truth, Alexander. Truth. We are not all bad."

"All bad. That doesn't sound good."

"I admit, we are not picture-perfect, but we are not black and rotting, either. Given the chance, you might like us quite a bit."

"I still stand by what I said. Tell me your history. Tell me how you became a vampire. Then, and only then, will I think about it."

Boris stood and was in front of me far too quickly for my liking, his black gaze invading my soul. "You dare ask me for such a thing? Such a thing is not worth your alliance! How dare you!" he exclaimed so loudly that I was sure someone would hear us and come to my rescue.

How wrong I was.

Before I knew it, he had begun to feed upon me, his sharp teeth piercing my neck. He did not use his vampire tricks to make it pleasant, either. I thrashed, kicked, and screamed for all that I was worth, but it did nothing but make him bite harder. I began to relax, knowing that there was no way I'd escape this alive. Never would I see my darling Isabelle, or even know her intimately. At that thought I began to thrash again, but the pain stopped me. I began to think about everything I'd never have with Isabelle. Our children, beautiful children, the boys with raven hair and the girls strawberry blond, nearly perfect mirror images of their parents. A beautiful home with beautiful things, and everything I needed to make Isabelle happy. And of course, the nights that we would spend in each other's arms, discovering new heights of passion, and only stopping for the fact that we needed sleep to survive. By that time I was far too weak to fight back, and I knew that I was finished. Boris had taken nearly all of my blood, and looked fairly satisfied.

But I still had the strength to mutter a few words. "I'm...not dead...yet. Not...dry..big...mistake." I gasped out, coughing up blood between words. A look of horror crosses Boris' face, and he immediately ran back to me, looking me over. He cried out in anger, and stood there, watching me die.

As I went into convulsions, he held his wrist to my lips. I discovered that, as I had spasmed, he had made a slice into his skin, and his black blood was pooling to the surface. Never had I seen anything so fascinating, and I immediately fastened my lips to his skin. I fed. I never imagined that I would do anything so horrid, but I did it. And...enjoyed it. I began to feel less lightheaded, and I ripped my teeth from him, taking a chunk of flesh with me. I swallowed everything, and although my mind was appalled at it, my body was satisfied. I began to feel better.

"Blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh." Boris muttered, a pained look on his face. At that moment I felt myself begin to die, and I knew the exact moment when my heart stopped, and when I stopped breathing. I'll never forget it. I fell asleep, pain wrenching through my body, and when I woke, Boris was standing over me. He held out his wrist again, and I fed, loving the taste of the blood flowing over my tongue. He drew his arm back, and I tried to hold it closer to my mouth. He slapped me, and my head reeled.

"You had to ask." he murmured, and then walked out of the room. I looked down at myself. My skin was pale, but it was my skin. I looked in a small mirror sitting on my father's desk, and I was still me. My reflection a bit misty, but still me. I tried smiling, and noticed that my teeth had grown into fangs. I jumped back in shock. I knew what I was.

I was the thing that I hunted and killed.

Immediately I fled to my chamber, and curled myself into bed, with great racking sobs shaking my body. I cried myself to sleep. It was only twelve-thirty in the morning.

I was Alexander Hérmes.

I was twenty-one years old. And in the matter of one hour, I was dead.

I was a vampire.

About an hour later, a brief, quiet knock at my door woke me up. I snuggled further into into my bedclothes, trying to hide myself from the world. The door opened, and a pale sliver of light spilled over my dark rug. It faintly penetrated the sheer burgundy curtains around my mahogany four-poster bed. I heard the door close, and allowed myself to relax. Whoever it was, had gone.

That was when the blanket was lifted from my body, and I felt someone snuggle in next to me and kiss my neck. I jumped, and turned around to face the intruder.

"Isabelle!" I whispered. "I thought..why are you here? What time is it? Shouldn't you be home?" I asked nervously. I had a feeling that I'd get hungry soon.

"Did you forget, my silly little Alex? My family is spending the night to avoid the long drive home. I couldn't sleep, I thought maybe you could help me sleep." She whispered back, kissing my neck again. This time I stopped myself from jumping. I wanted to kiss her, wanted to do more than kiss her, but knew I couldn't. The thought of it was too much for me, and it was that moment that I became aware of the fact that I had forgotten to put on my nightclothes.

Isabelle noticed, too. "I should really stop calling you little, Alex." She murmured against my ear, this time pulling the same thing that I had on the dance floor. I threw the covers off of her.

"Isabelle, you have to go. Now. You wanted to wait, so you're going to wait!" I said angrily. I couldn't...wouldn't feed on her. I knew I would need to. But I wouldn't. She looked at me, a confused and hurt look on her face.

Moving cautiously, she climbed from my bed, slipped through the curtain, and made her way towards the door. It was then when I noticed that her nightclothes were nearly as absent as mine were, and a groan escaped me.

"Oh, Isabelle." I whispered, wishing I didn't have to send her away. She turned to face me, with such an innocent look on her face that seemed to ask 'Have I been bad? Why are you sending me away?'. Something woke inside of me, something I had never experienced before, and suddenly I heard Boris' voice inside of my head. You need to feed now. If not on blood, then on sex. Either will do for you, I promise. But you need to do this now. A part of me wanted to ignore him, but I knew that he was right.

I lifted myself gracefully out of my bed, not caring that I was stark naked and fully erect. I glided over to Isabelle, swept her up in my arms, and carried her back to my bed. I laid her down as gently as I could at that moment, for I was having problems controlling myself. As I pushed back the covers with my feet, I began to madly unlace her corset with one hand, and pull frantically at what little other underclothes she had on.

I succeeded with the latter, but the former required the attention of both of my hands. After what seemed like minutes, and I had nearly driven myself mad, I finally had unlaced her corset, and she silently helped me pull it over her head. I drank in her appearance, loving her beauty.

I loved her shining hair, her sparkling eyes, her full mouth, her delicate collarbone, full breasts, finely-boned hands, shapely waist, her long legs. I loved everything about her, and though it felt wrong, I wanted to love her in every way possible. Our hands began to explore each other's bodies, and we quickly began to gasp with pleasure. I dipped my head to her breasts as my hands focussed elsewhere, and began to nibble at her nipple, causing it to harden.

I didn't use my new canines, because I didn't want to scare her. A small part of me wanted to shock her, but I wanted to love her first before I let that part take over. She inhaled sharply, and small moans came from her throat.

Soon she was whimpering, and I couldn't hold myself back anymore. I spread her legs apart with my knees, and entered her, thrusting like the demon that I was. I began to cry, and fell over her chest, still thrusting. Her breath was coming in ragged pants, and I kissed her neck. Gently, at first, but quickly with more passion.

The next thing that I remember, was that I was staring down at Isabelle, her eyes wide with shock, full of pain, and her mouth frozen in a scream that never made it past her lips. I tasted blood on my canines, and knew immediately what had happened. I could see the blood on her neck, glistening and black on my golden bed sheets, and I could no longer hear her heart beating. I began to weep, and soon the racking sobs were back, overtaking my body. I kissed her forehead, her cheeks, her frozen lips.

I tried to breath life back into her, even tried offering her my own blood as Boris had, but nothing helped. I collapsed on top of her, my tears mingling with her blood. I heard her exhale, and propped myself back up faster than I thought I could. Her eyes shone with unshed tears, and when she saw me, drenched in her blood, her eyes filled with fear. Her body shuddered, and then her eyes drifted closed.

I screamed then, and raced to my closet. I grabbed my favourite jacket and pants, quickly threw them on, and wiped my mouth off on the nearest shirt. My shoes slipped themselves onto my feet, and I headed for my door.

Suddenly I turned around, racing back to Isabelle. I slipped the ring off of her finger, shoved it in my pocket, and ran out of the room. It was too painful to be in there.

Racing through the house, I ran to the great hall, grabbed the sword my parents gave me, along with its sheath, and buckled it to my pants. I also shoved into my pockets anything else that could possibly be sold, so that I could support myself. I did not know where I was going, or what I was going to do, but I knew that I had to go. I could never again live in this house.

I was a vampire.