Chapter Twenty-Three


I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Aviah threw Aysel with deadly accuracy, impaling her on a broken wooden beam. Aysel sat there stunned, coughing up blood from her mouth and looking down at the wound with a distant look in her eyes. She had mere seconds to live.

"Aysel!" I screamed. The shock of the situation was too much to bear. This was all my fault. If I hadn't kept up this relationship with Aysel, she wouldn't be bleeding to death with a piece of wood through her. I was getting to my feet so I could run to her, when about a dozen things happened at once.

First, the formerly boarded-up hole where I had first fallen through the floor and into Aysel's bedroom practically exploded and the Slayer I recognized as Will jumped through, rolled to the side and started firing his gun at Aviah. He was quickly followed by Fayer and one other, who also opened fire. I ducked out of the way just in time to avoid being staked, but Aviah was not as lucky. She was quickly pumped full of darts, wooden stakes and plain old bullets, but she didn't seem to be going down just yet.

Will flicked a switch on his flashlight and suddenly Aviah's flesh started to burn and flake away where the beam touched her. A UV flashlight, I noted, how clever.

Frances wasn't spared either, but at the moment I was merely grateful that they were there distracting them so that I could get to Aysel. I darted past the wailing ancient vampire and fell on my knees at Aysel's side. I was surprised to see that Darwin was already there, holding her head up and speaking frantically.

"Aysel! Aysel, can you hear me?" He shouted, slapping her face lightly. Her eyes were barely open, but she seemed to moan something to the affirmative.

I think I may have cried a bit then. Probably a very frightening sight for Aysel, as when Vampires cry, they cry blood.

"I'm so sorry, Asyel," I told her softly. "If it wasn't for me, this wouldn't be happening to you. I..."

"Oh shut up, old man!" Darwin cut me off. He immediately turned back to Aysel. "Listen to me," He said firmly. Aysel stared up at him, taking shallow breaths. She was fading quickly. I was furious at Darwin for not letting me say goodbye to her. He wouldn't even let me apologize. "You're dying." Aysel's breaths picked up in panic.

"Leave her be, Darwin!" I growled, couldn't he let her go in peace? Surely it would be easier on her if she simply faded away. There was no point in scaring her now.

"No! You're dying Aysel, but I can help you."

In shock, I realized his intent. "Darwin, no! It's a curse! Don't you understand, she wouldn't want this!"

"Then let her decide."

"She's delirious with blood loss, don't do this to her!" Darwin was still too young to understand the vampire's curse. He saw it as a blessing of power and eternal life. All logical parts of me wanted to rip Darwin away from her and let Aysel die in relative peace. But the selfish part of me couldn't do it. If Darwin was going to turn her, then she would live. I wanted her to live, I did! But not this way. Aysel would not be happy with this at all. This I was certain of.

"I...don' die," Aysel gasped in short, shaky breaths.

"Good enough," Darwin shrugged and bit into his wrist, and then pressed the wound to Aysel's mouth.

"Darwin!" I gasped, but it was too late to stop him. Aysel was sucking greedily on the wound, drawing in Darwin's blood. I could see her strength returning. Quickly, I pulled her off the beam that had implaed her and watched as the wound started to close. Her flesh lost all color and she grabbed Darwin's arm with everything she had and refused to let go.

Darwin obviously wasn't prepared for the eagerness a new Childe had for blood. Many people forget what the experience of being sired is like. The blood itself is like magic, filling you with power even as your body dies.

I could see Darwin was getting weaker as his blood was drained. I had to force Aysel away from him and hold her back as she fought me for more blood.

Behind us, Aviah screamed and finally fell. Francis was already a crispy pile on the floor. I could smell the searing flesh as she burned and shriveled up into ash. Now the Slayers had a clear view of us.

"Perfect," I growled.


I tried my best to get there in time. I really did. My head was spinning, everything was chaos. Even with my vision blurring, I managed to spot the two vampires and Aysel in the corner. I stumbled towards them, but one of them, the blond, hissed at me. I stumbled back, confused and a little scared, and in the time it took to recover, they were gone. All that was left behind was a pool of dark blood and a pointed wooden stick covered in Aysel's blood.



I don't know how long I had been asleep for. It seemed like hours, days, and centuries all at once. My dreams were frantic and jumbled. Faces flashed by and I seemed to remember hours of tutoring and lessons, but I couldn't remember what I was learning or who was teaching me. Briefly, I awoke long enough to hear Darwin and Iden arguing, but nothing they said sounded like English. My mind was delirious and every part of my body ached. When I started to be more aware, I realized I was starving. I had a terrible thirst, so strong it hurt, but I couldn't recognize what I was craving.

I could hear Iden's voice again. I was sure I felt his hand on my face. His voice was soft and shaky. He sounded scared; it didn't comfort me one bit. Carefully, I opened my eyes. I didn't recognize where I was. We weren't in the estate anymore, but it was still dark. Had we succeeded? Was Aviah dead? Was Wes okay? I tried to speak but my mouth felt so dry. Eventually I managed to croak out "Wes...?"

"He's fine," Iden answered, his blurred image slowly sharpening in my view. Darwin was behind him, looking nervous.


"Aysel," Iden sighed, "Try to stay calm, I'm going to explain to you what happened, but you have to try and keep calm."

Keep calm? What had happened that they were so worried about? I was too disoriented to think about it, so I nodded and tried to concentrate on breathing.

Only I wasn't breathing. I couldn't breathe. I started to panic again, desperately sucking in air but I was unable to get any oxygen from it. "I can't breathe! I gasped. "I can't..."

"Aysel! Stop!" Iden cried. "You're fine. You're okay. Just relax. Something happened to you at the estate..."

Iden tried to explain, but I was already catching on. My skin was pale, much paler than it used to be, I wasn't breathing and Darwin and Iden looked very, very nervous. Carefully, I prodded my teeth with my tongue. If my heart had still been beating, it would have nearly stopped when I felt the fangs in my mouth.

"You killed me!" I roared, lunging forward. Iden was caught off guard and fell backwards. I fell on top of him, fangs extended, ready to tear him apart. I was almost surprised to hear myself hissing. "You killed me you son of a bitch! I'm dead!" That craving I had was for blood. I wsn't breathing because I was a vampire.

Iden's eyes were sad, and he didn't deny it. I didn't know whether to be angry or would my parents say about this?

"He didn't kill you," Darwin spoke up, "Aviah killed you. Do you remember?" He stood over me, for once looking very serious. I tried to think back. Wesley, Aviah...the slayers swarming into my house. Vaguely I recalled the pain and bone-chilling cold of dying, the wooden spike thrust through my side, disgusting and terrible. Desperately I lifted up my shirt, but saw only a small, puckered scar where once there was a gping hole and a piece of wood stained red with blood. "how long was I out?" I asked.

"Two days," Darwin answered in a near whisper. "Your body was dying quickly, you would not have lasted much longer. I had to make a decision."

I blinked. "You...?" Was Darwin saying what I thought he was saying? "You did this to me?" The rage was, replaced by only confusion and terror. "I told you that you were dying, and even if you were too far gone to remember, you said you didn't want to die. I changed you."

"I wanted this?" Somehow I couldn't believe it. And Darwin had saved me? From what I understood he was just a baby vampire himself. I didn't think he gave shit about me, at least, not enough to turn me into a vampire. I didn't know what ws involved in making a child, but it had to be something they didn't take lightly.

"Iden was too slow," Darwin shrugged. He looked away if he was human. I almost thought he was blushing.

I tried to take deep breaths to calm myself, but I couldn't breathe anymore. I gasped and choked instead. I wasn't used to my lungs being non-functional, yet. Iden held my death-cold hand in his, stroking it lightly.

"I...I think I need to be alone for now." I told him.

"You shouldn't be," He argued, "You must be hungry."

"I don't want to hurt anyone..." I confessed.

"I can show you how to do it without hurting anyone, but it will require a lot of self-control."

I only nodded. I would have to try. Despite the angst and the anger that came with being a teenager, despite the fights at school and the outbursts, I guess I really was a big softie in the end. The thought of killing people made me feel ill. "For now," Iden said, "Darwin will get you something from a blood bank. It won't taste good but it will keep you nourished until you are stronger."

Darwin scowled, "Why me?"

"Because you did this to her!" Iden snapped. "She is your responsibility now."

That, more than anything else, seemed to scare Darwin.

"There is a reason young vampires are discouraged from taking on children. You have barely even started your introduction into our world, and already you re burdened with the teching of another. If you wish, I will take over her care."

Darwin stiffened, "I won't abandon her."

That seemed to make Iden smile. "Then I will assist you both. For now, Darwin, just do as I say nd find soemthing for Aysel."

There was no more argument from the blonde vampire. He turned and left so quickly he seemed to blink away. Iden once again focused his attention on me.

"How am I going to explain this to my parents."

Iden sighed, "Normally a vampire is discouraged from contacting his family after his death"

I felt like I wanted to cry. Just cut off all ties to my family like that? I couldn';t do it!

"But..." Iden continued, "In your case I think we should make an exception."

I couldn't help it, I finally smiled. "I can still see them?"

"With an escort, of course," Iden warned, "You will find tht around mortals you will...change. And you are newly born, it may be difficult to control yourself."

"You mean I might want them?" I questioned. Somehow the idea of chowing down on my dad's juglar was not very appetizing.

Iden only nodded. "We'll see how you'll feel in a few days."

Too long, I thought. Much too long to wait, but I trusted Iden, and I definitely wasn't feeling like myself.


The aftermath of the fight at the Black estate was pur chaos. The McEwan's were in a state of panic and desperation. No one was quite sure what happened after Aviah and Francis were defeated. There were only two pilesof ash up in the attic, and a hell of a lot of blood. It seemed that Iden and Darwin had escaped, and Aysel was missing. I had this deep sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Wes wasn't badly injured, only scared out of his mind. The vampire didn't bleed, at least, not much, which meant that the pool of blood must hve come from Aysel. I was certain that no one could survive losing that much blood. It was only a matter of time before they found her body, drained and broken, lying in a ditch somewhere. Daisy and Greg were throwing fits, demanded that their daughter be found. Wes just sat about crying.

I felt incredibly guilty. I wasn't able to get to Aysel in time. Even with nearly the whole of the MacDonald clan behind me, they still mnaged to hurt Aysel. There were some disturbing rumours going around that Aysel had been impaled on the bloody wooden stick we found in the attic. I couldn't believe it, though. I wouldn't. They must have seen something wrong in all the confusion of the night. Aysel was alive somewhere, she had to be! Probably with those two damned vampires, God only knew wht they were doing to her. It made me so pissed off I wanted to break my hand against a wall. I didn't though. I had to remain hopeful, for her family's sake, if nothing else.

We searched for her for nerly a week before people started to give up hope. The vampires had taken her away somewhere, and she was almost certianly dead. Daisy and Greg would have to terms with it eventually. Our searches had turned up nothing at all. Aysel was never coming bck, and I was given the dirty duty of telling her family.

I knocked on the door and was waiting around for an answer when I heard a familiar voice behind me. "Not you. What are you doing her, Fayer?"

It ws glorious to hear my name from her lips. I spun around with a grin so big it nearly split my face. Aysel stood in the drive, looking fresh and healthy, smiling nervously. Iden was beside her, his hand on her shoulder, and Darwin behind them. The boy's hands were in his pockets and he looked as if he wanted to be anywhere else in the world, but he didn't move when I came dashing towards them. I couldn't help myself, I threw my arms around her nd embraced her tightly. Surprisingly, she didn't try to move away. "We thought you were dead. There were some awful rumours about you being injured with a wooden beam or something like that."

Aysel shrugged uncomfortably, "I was..."

What? "But you look fine..." I protested, "ow could possibly have survived...?" I trailed off as I realized the truth. Aysel smiled shyly, reveal a pair of wickedly sharp fangs. "Oh no..." I gasped, "Aysel, no...why?"

I turned to Iden in fury. "Why would you do this to her?" I screamed. I swung my fist at him and he didn't even bother to dodge, he just accepted it calmly. "She's cursed now, you monster!"

"Fayer stop," Aysel sighed. "It's all right. I didn't want to die. And Iden didn't do it anyway."

"Then who...?" I didn't have time to finish, because the front door swung open and the ntire McEwan family came rushing out. "Aysel!" Daisy was crying. Aysel ran to them with her arms wide and accepted a barrage of hugs and kisses. She must have changed a lot in the past week. Normally Aysel would be shoving them all away in embarrassment. I suppose near-death experiences change a person.


My family reunion wasn't nearly as awkward as I thought it was going to be. After hugs and kisses we went inside where my family listened to my explanation of where I had been the past week. My mom made tea and brought out cookies. It was very comfortble, despite Iden and Darwin being there to keep me from trying to eat my family, and Fayer for some reason standing in the doorway. I found I didn;t want tea and cookies anymore. I was finding that eating anything but blood made me feel ill. For one it made me throw up, my body didn't want it anymore. For another I was getting used to the blood. Eating normal food for me now would have been like me drinking a big glass of blood for breakfast when I was still human. Absolutely disgusting. Even so, everyone was happpy to see me. And although Wes was a bit scared when I showed him my new teeth, I was still his sister after all. He told me they were cool and sat across the table from me, staring.

All in all, I'm kind glad I ws changed into a vampire. It gave me more time to spend with my family, instead of dying young and horribly, impaled on a wooden stick in a dusty old attic. I would get used to this vampire thing if I had to. I wasn;t sure if I would ever really like it, the way Darwin seemed to, but I could deal.

Anyways. Everything worked out (kinda) in the end. I got to stay mostly alive, my family didn't lose their daughter and I would have the rest of eternity to be with the very sexy Iden. Even Darwin wasn't so bad for a vmpire daddy. He worried about me a lot and seemed determined to take care of me, which was cute.

And that's the story of how little-old-me became a vampire, one of the scary, sexy undead things that roam that night. How terrifying is it that now I'm going to be round forever? Those other vamp bastards aren't going to know what hit them.