Behind closed lids Cathy could feel mid-afternoon light.
She cautiously opened her eyes. A look outside her window told her it was about two. At once she realised that she felt different, stronger. She also knew where every single cell and organ in her body was, and what it did -because she could feel it. If only I'd been a vampire in high school, she thought, going to her dresser. I would have aced biology .
Cathy peered into her mirror, studying her reflection. At first glance she didn't look any different. Her hair was still the same fine light blond, her eyes bluey-gray and her skin remained fair. A closer look, however, showed subtle changes. She might be pale but she wasn't pasty, her skin had gained a healthy glow overnight, as had her hair. Her eyes seemed a shade darker, more intense, magnetic. She looked older too, and had an air of danger that frightened even her.
She smiled, checking her teeth. The smile revealed normal pearly whites. No fangs. Cathy relaxed. For some reason she'd been expecting to be in fang mode all the time- which was stupid. Vampires only grew fangs when feeding, she knew that
Maybe I'm just panicking, she reasoned . It's natural. There's a lot going to change, but nobody is going to shout-"vampire! Grab a stake," as soon as they see me. They will not even be able to tell.
It was true. If she hadn't been checking for changes, she wouldn't have noticed them. She might have just thought she looked prettier, brighter, but that could be explained away by drinking more water. It's ok, her mind reassured her. Most people don't believe in vampires and if a vampire hunter shows up they'll think I'm human unless I show my fangs or my eyes flare silver - which they won't. Besides, Ice and David are the only vampire hunters I've met and they're not likely to stake me. Well David isn't. I look perfectly normal. I even breathe, Cathy realised, watching her chest rise and fall in the mirror. Of course she didn't need too. She could stop breathing forever if she wanted. She didn't. She might not need air but breathing soothed her, made her feel less freakish. After one more look at herself, Cathy changed out of her white dress-which was now covered in dried blood and into a blue jumper and jeans, and went downstairs.
Steve was in the kitchen making coffee, he turned around when she entered.
"I take it you're alive then?"
He went back to the coffee.
"He came in late last night, asked if you were a vampire yet. When I said you weren't he went out again. He has not been back since. Coffee?"
She shook her head, fighting tears .She needed David. Where the hell was he?It was as she thought this she heard the sound of the front door opening.
She desperately raced into the living room.
"David?" She anxiously called. "Is that you?"
"Yes." He walked up to her. "Are you ok?"
Cathy nodded, confused. "You went shopping?" Her eyes roamed over the numerous plastic bags in his hands.
"I thought I'd get you some clothes."
"David, you hate shopping, especially clothes shopping. You wait around changing rooms wishing for me to hurry up, even if you don't say it. What's wrong?"
He put the bags on the chair. "I had nothing else to do. I couldn't wait around," he confessed.
Cathy threw her arms around him. He hugged her back.
"Everything's ok. I'm fine, I promise," she reassured him ,before pulling away. "Where did you go last night?"
"A bar." His eyes slid guiltily away.
"David!" She scolded, hurt. Like her David didn't drink. He hated alcohol.
"I only had a few. I'm sorry, I was upset. It won't happen again."
Cathy believed him. He couldn't have had too many anyway, or he wouldn't have been early clothes shopping.
His eyes grew concerned. "You sure you're ok?"
"Fine. I mean I feel slightly hungry but…" seeing his sickened expression, Cathy cut the joke short. "Kidding. Sorry," she apologised .
"You won't be soon." Steve appeared from the kitchen carrying a cup of coffee and packet of blood. "Take it."
She took the coffee. "Thanks." She smiled at him, taking a sip.
David frowned. "I think he was talking about the blood."
Cathy put the cup down. "I prefer the coffee."
Steve snatched his coffee from the table, tossing her the packet of blood.
"Fine. I'll make my own coffee," she said, heading for the kitchen.
David caught her arm.
"Cathy, you have to."
"Have to what?"
"I'm not hungry."
"You need to. You'll die if you don't."
She shook her arm free. "I only need to drink blood every three days, not all the time. Right now I'm fancying a curry. So, maybe later."
Cathy entered the kitchen fighting an urge to be sick. She'd only drink when she needed to. She was not even that hungry. The sudden pain in her stomach disagreed.
Steve followed ,carrying the packet of blood.
"When you've just changed you need to eat as soon as you wake up -it's vital to the process."
"Thanks for that interesting fact," she went to the kettle, "but I'm not hungry."
David joined them in the kitchen. "Cathy, drink it," he urged, "for me."
She rolled her eyes in response, before adding, "you don't even like to think about drinking blood. Less than a second ago you looked sickened by my mentioning it."
"I don't like to think about you drinking blood," he corrected, "but I'd rather you did than have you die. You chose this, you got what you wanted. You're a vampire- now you have to stay one. I will not let you starve yourself. If I have to- I'll pour it down your throat myself."
"You wouldn't," Cathy whispered, shocked.
"Maybe not, but I will." Steve handed her the blood, his expression cold.
Cathy looked from Steve to David. She knew that they were not going to give way. Angrily, she bit into the packet, cold, thick blood filling her mouth. She almost spat it out again. Closing her eyes, she held it down, visualizing curry instead. Amazingly, once she forgot what she was drinking, she actually enjoyed it. Her teeth sharpened and the pain in her stomach got replaced by a warm tingling feeling. Within a minute the packet was empty. Cathy licked her lips, her teeth retracting.
"Next time I want it warm," she sulkily complained.
"Warm is better," Steve confirmed, "it all depends on how hungry you are. Sometimes I can't be bothered with heating. Of course fresh human blood straight from the body is even…"
At David's cough, Steve smiled. "Each to their own."
Once Cathy had scrubbed and washed the dried blood from her dress and bedclothes, she hung up the new additions to her wardrobe, assuring David she loved them ,yet being strangely disappointed by the modest, girly items- wishing them to be sexier. Eventually, she and David joined Steve in David's training room where he'd spent the last three hours.
"So, you've finally arrived. Correct me if I'm wrong ,but isn't the fate of the world more important than your dress sense?"
"I wouldn't expect you to understand how important it is to look good." Cathy smiled condescendingly
David stepped between them. Though for what on earth for she wasn't exactly sure. It was not as if she couldn't hold her own. Speaking of which…
I am a vampire now, Cathy thought. I've never trained when I've been a vampire. She looked at Steve. This was gonna be fun!
"So," she smiled happily, "We're here. Lets train."
"Ok." David approached her. "Lets start with the basics- punching and blocking. Steve, you practise over there."
Cathy's face fell.
David caught her expression. "What's wrong?"
"Nothings wrong. It's just I'm a bit worried, that's all. I mean- I know I'm a vampire, but…"
"Don't worry," David interrupted. "I'll be careful. You won't get hurt."
Actually, Cathy was more worried about hurting him. She smiled meekly, inside raging. She wanted a challenge, someone who would fight back. If this was training it should have an element of real danger. How was she going to learn anything if David mollycoddled her? Plus, she 'd mastered punching and blocking days ago. I need Steve, Cathy realised. He'll put up more of a fight, treat me as an equal, and he knows more how new vampires work-he was one. Not to mention, I'd have a lot more fun kicking his arse than David's. If I train with David it's a waste of time. I want Steve. She was just opening her mouth to say this-when she caught sight of David's expression. His whole face was practically aglow with excitement at training her for the first time, helping her. She couldn't possibly reject him. It would be like murdering a kitten.
Cathy smiled again. "I did a little of punching and blocking at Steve's but I'd love to learn more."
David nodded. "I'll go easy on you. It still might be tough though."
"I think I'll manage."
A few hours later David and Steve lay in bed, exhausted. Cathy paced. Training had been useless. She had needed to listen to stuff she already knew, watched Steve do a load of fancy moves, and held back on every punch, and even then David got a bit beat up, he was definitely getting worse.
The only thing the entire bore- fest had taught her was she was very strong. She'd sent David reeling through the air with a punch and that was without proper training. If she had that- she could be so much more. Cathy made up her mind. She glanced at her already packed bag. It contained only the bare minimum. A few random clothes, spare toiletries and make up. She would not need much else. Cathy knew what she had to do. She had to go to Ree. If she did, she could hopefully fool him into thinking she'd joined him, learn more ,and if he believed she'd really turned he could help increase her strength by tapping into her powers. Cathy knew it was a gamble but sometimes to win you had to do bad things.
She was not a fool. To prove her allegiance to Ree she might have to do some unpleasant things- even kill. But Cathy was wiser than before, harder too. She also knew actions had consequences. No doubt if she did something bad, she'd pay for it, and she would. In training she had been scared of hurting David's feelings, she now knew how dumb she'd been. During training, she'd realised something. In life people had to be firm, make decisions and stick to them. She couldn't keep questioning herself or trying to please everyone. If she carried on, she would never get anywhere, learn anything- as evidence earlier that night.
If murdering somebody meant Ree would increase her power- she'd kill. As long as it wasn't David or somebody who mattered to her- she'd make the sacrifice. Better a few people to die than the whole world, and once Cathy got strong enough she'd be able to stand a better chance of killing Ree. If he trusted her, she could even take him by surprise and do it without a fight. Cathy nodded. It wasn't like she could lose anything. He'd want her to get the necklace but she honestly didn't know where it was.
Maybe he'll want me to kill David too. She went cold. No! She shook her head. That's one thing I can't- I won't do.
Relax, her inner voice ordered. If you put it down to old feelings but do everything else he asks, Ree shouldn't hold it against you.
You have to make a choice. She grabbed her bag. David wouldn't wake till morning. When he did, she'd be gone.
Cathy shoved him to the back of her mind. She shoved everything there-because soon she'd probably have a lot more things to try to forget.
Cathy opened the door.
It took over three hours of constant driving and numerous wrong turns until Cathy came to Ree's. Upon seeing it-she gasped.
A three story house towered before her, every inch of outside was painted a pure white. She found it ironic.
Parking Steve's car outside, she grabbed her stuff and approached the building. She could just about make out a swimming pool in the back. Her stomach dropped. This place seemed doomed to draw attention, not conceal. Whatever happened to him moving around a lot? From the way Steve had described the address it had been hard to locate, even he hadn't been told it, only would have found out once he got the necklace or so she presumed. Had Ree already got enough back up he didn't need to worry anymore who found it? As she knocked on the door, she feared so.
Cathy glanced up ahead- it was nearly dawn. Soon, David would find her note. What will he think? That I've lost my mind probably, she thought, answering her own question, and right now I'd agree with him. She spied a figure approaching the door. Cathy froze. She no longer wanted to be an undercover agent. She only wanted to go home. Remember what I decided, she mentally instructed herself. Don't be a wimp now. The door opened. It was too late. A big burly man who would have looked at home on the door of any nightclub inspected her. Cathy almost expected him to ask for ID. He opened his mouth- his expression thunderous.
"Hi, I'm Cathy," she calmly introduced herself, before he had chance to speak. "I don't know if you know who I am, but I have some very important information regarding the necklace. Are you Ree?"
A/n.I was going to edit book 1 first and then post, but I thought I might as well work on editing book 1 this week. I reread it and was going through grammar and other errors so I'll be clearing that up. I've been busy lately, and working on writing SB which is why the wait. But I hope you enjoyed this chapter, even if it appears Cathy has gone insane.
Chocolate tuna- I am glad you enjoyed her transformation(some of my mates hate that part as they get grossed out. I need to get friends with stronger stomachs.) Steve is far from an open book. Er- as for Cathy becoming slightly more ruthless… no comment. Rachel is not really one of my "main" characters hence her frequent absences. But she has a place in the story- but it might be a while before she resurfaces. Thanks for an astoundingly uplifting and positive review.
Nyte Shade- You are in love with Steve? Are you sane? Lol. It's nice you admire Cathy, although that admiration could be tested a bit this time round.
WiltingBlackRose- Thanks for reviewing each chapter and so quickly too.
Unknown- I'm sorry you're a bit upset by Cathy's transformation, but I hope it will add more layers and twists to the story. Thanks for the review.
Kays Domain- Us girls take any excuse to dress up, although perhaps wearing white was not the best idea , David and Cathy are drifting so I'm glad you noticed that. I have an issue with Steve's POV . Later, especially, it's crucial to the story, but having one at the moment is a bit of a problem.
MagicalShade- The dress was her unusual way of trying to cope, and keep herself busy. If you thought Cathy was crazy before, what do you think now?
Keike- Now, why do you presume Steve has an ulterior motive? Thanks once again for reviewing.
AIAK- That was a very accurate summary of the chapter. I'd give you a star, except I don't have any stars. But still- well done.
Lady K- Honestly, nicking my creations! Poor Steve. Why don't you take David instead? He needs some love and attention. Your review was very nice and entertaining. Thanks.
Crazy- I am glad that you like this. Did you read it all in a day? I'm impressed.
Mystik- Rose- I don't know , would you like her to have a thing with Steve? Your review was really pleasant and I hope you continue to enjoy this.
Rach- Cathy probably doesn't hate him as much as she thinks she does. So you may be right.
SimpleW- Because I am evil! The Cathy and David romance is sort of there, slow and in the background, but there. What other romance can you mean? Thanks for reviewing.
grafftiskies- Are you in love with Steve too? This book has more of David's thoughts, and slightly more action. A giant thank you for still reading and reviewing.
Ann1822- Thanks for reviewing.
If you have any comments- please review. Thanks to everybody reading, luv Kaitx