From the world of Zora Ink... Inspired to thought-provoking questions and Google.

Lost and Found

I, desperate to get away from my horrid foster parents, did an amazingly stupid thing. I ran away.

But perhaps I am getting ahead of myself. My name is Zora Ink and I am an orphan. My mother died shortly after I turned fifteen, and my father committed suicide soon after. For the past year, I have been scuttled around between a variety of foster homes, in the hopes of finding my "niche." Like that'll ever happen. But the social workers keep hoping, so I have to keep dealing with these pitiful excuses for parents.

Oh, and one more thing. I'm a vampire. My mother was mortal, but my father was a vampire, so I'm only a half-blood, but vampire blood always wins out. My mother told me everything she could before she died. My father was never really around; he loved my mother, but for some reason or other, it was never really safe for them to be together. I don't really know the details, but I know the gist of it. And it's enough.

So, here I am, lost and alone in the woods that I have been expressly told not to ever enter. Why, I'm not sure. All I know is that I was told to, under no circumstances, enter the forest. So, being me, a trouble-making kid who never seems to fit in anywhere, I had to go in. Of course, I had to go all the way: no flashlight and only an MP3 player to keep me company.

Foolish being that I am, I got hungry and decided to go hunting. Big mistake, because I was ambushed by these big guys wearing all black. They seemed to think they could get me to, you know, perform sexual favors for them. I'm still not sure where they got that particular impression. And that brings us to where I am now, bound and gagged in a clearing in the middle of forest, Goddess knows how far from my stupid foster parents.

One of the guys was looking at me like I was a piece of meat. Very raw, uncooked meat. If I didn't know that they were hunters, I would swear that he was a vamp, too. People have been wrong before, though.

"So, toots," another of the guys started. "What's a pretty young thang like yourself doin' in this dark, dangerous forest?" As he spoke, he pulled the gag out of my mouth so I could answer.

I couldn't help the quip that came out. "Well, I find it hilarious fun to wander aimlessly around until I'm kidnapped and tied up by a bunch of old men who think they're the best thing since sliced bread."

I could tell by the murderous looks on their faces that that was entirely the wrong thing to say. Whoops, my bad.

"So, you think you can be smart with us, girlie?" Dude Number Two, the one whom I had been talking to, was starting to advance into my personal space. "You think you can just say stuff like that and get away with it, huh, girlie?"

Two's breath smelt unpleasantly like something raw and severely undercooked, which just made my theory of them all being vampires that much stronger. I really wanted to tell him to go brush his teeth. Unfortunately, I was bound and he looked ready to commit murder, so I just kept quiet for once in my life.

"Are you gonna say anything else, girlie?"

"Yeah. Stop calling me 'girlie.' It really grates on the nerves, I find." Why couldn't I ever stop when I was ahead?

"So sorry, girlie. I'll make sure never to do it again, lovely." Well, good one! Now, I was his 'lovely.' Excellent work, Zora.

Now Two's friends, Three and Four, were also gathered around my personal space and I was really starting to get uncomfortable. All three of them were leering at me and, I must say, I was not having fun. My lack of fun was about to become more fun-less, because Two's buds had decided to join in on the fun. Well, their fun, not mine. Right now, fun to me sounded like running as fast as I could (I'm on the track team at school or, rather, I would be if I was ever at a school long enough to get on the track team) in the opposite direction. That seemed to be very unlikely, so I just hoped that nothing too terribly scarring would happen to me.

"What's say we have some fun with her, boys." Apparently, Two had just decided to make my night even worse than it actually was. I won't even think about what was, because that is just sick. No way I was going to do three old guys, willing or not. Maybe if I got them distracted enough...

"Hey! You there in the black!" All three guys turned from their football huddle to look at me. They really need to get some color in their wardrobes. "Yeah, I'm talking to you!" Be as vague as possible, Zora. "Why don't you sexy beasts take off those clothes so we can get down to it." By their shocked looks, I'm guessing that 'fun' did not involve sex. Hmm, this is a potentionally problematic situation.

Luck seemed to be with me for once in my haphazard adventure, for they seemed more interested in whatever they would do with me than having some unplanned sex. Thank the Goddess for little things.

When they finally reached an agreement ten minutes later, (I would later find out that I was incredibly close to being taken by three old guys, but they decided on the original plan instead) they came causally back to where I was still tied up on the ground.

Two declared, "We've decided that you would make very good bait. We're gonna set you free, but you have run out into the forest and make as much noise as you can or else we will shoot you and you will be dead." Gee, thanks, I didn't know that they were going to be shooting for a kill. That they were hunters would never have clued me into the fact that they might be able to kill me with one shot.

"Okie-day!" I replied. "Will I be getting dental for this work or is it purely free-lance?"

"Shoo, girlie, before I shoot you right here!" As you could imagine, I got my butt out of there quick. I really have no desire to be shot before I could even try to escape. After I tried was another story altogether.

So I ran. I knew what they wanted me for. They wanted me to be the bait for their vampire. Stupid hunters knew that there was a vamp in the area but they couldn't tell where it was, so they used me as the bait to find it. Ha ha. Little did they know that the very vamp they were searching for was none other than me. Looking back, I should have realized that, as a half-blood, hunters can't smell me out as one of their 'victims.'

I ran about, trying to be as quiet as I could be without the hunters becoming suspicious. My plan was to come up behind each of them and suck the life out of them. As soon as they were spread out far enough, I would become silent and they would never know what hit them. It was a brilliant plan; I had every faith that it would work.

It only took a few minutes for the hunters to become spread out. The first to go was Three. His blood was rich in magic, and there is no sweeter taste than that of blood and magic. I found Four and also made quick work of him. Two was last and I let him shiver in fear for a minute before I drank deeply of his life essence.

"You should have taken the sex," I whispered, satisfied. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that there was another one.

I was standing over Two's dead body, laughing at the fact that he probably had said, at some point in his life, that vampires would roam free over his dead body. I just wanted to bask in the irony of the current situation for a few moments. Just behind me was a faint scuffling sound, but I had blown it off as a small rodent because I had already killed all the hunters. I was wrong.

Strong arms wrapped themselves around my throat, threatening to cut off my supply of oxygen. "Never can be too careful in these parts. You never know when something will decide to drink of you," a deep male voice whispered in my ear. For some reason, the voice turned me on. I wanted to see its owner.

Still in his grasp, I whirled around to face my would-be attacker. My action surprised him and he loosened his tight hold on me just enough that I could wrap my arms around his neck. He backed up until he hit a tree and I had him pinned tightly to its rough surface.

"Gotcha," I whispered back. He watched, transfixed, as I slowly lowered my mouth to his neck, and stopped inches from his skin. His breath hitched as I licked the sensitive surface of the skin covering his jugular vein. His heart began to beat faster and I'm still not sure if it was from excitement or terror. I placed feather-light kisses along his neck and as he was melting into me, I bit down.

Unlike any other I had ever drank from, he showed no fear that I would kill him. Instead, he did something that surprised me. He moaned and leaned into my touch, but I was surrounded by the exquisite taste of his blood, unable to comprehend anything other than his sweet life. I only heard his moan as an echo reflecting off of the surrounding trees.

I made myself stop, considering it would be a terrible waste to kill this beautiful being. I slowly pulled up and dropped a lazy kiss on his lips, which soon turned more passionate and he responded and began caressing my teeth with his velvet tongue.

As I pulled back from the kiss, he leaned down over my neck and bit down. I was in heaven. The feeling of total surrender, of letting him drink my blood, was ecstasy. I was so high on the feeling that I never wanted it to stop. When he finally did pull away, I keened, low and from deep in my throat.

He chuckled and just whispered, "Maybe some other time, girlie." Somehow, coming from him, 'girlie' didn't sound so bad.

My mystery lover, 'cause that's what he is to me now, started to walk away and I, desperate for him to stay, yelled after him, "I don't even know your name!"

For just a moment, he turned back and flashed me a small smile. "Braeden, love. My name is Braeden."

And, with that, the love of my life walked away from me. To this day, I don't know where he is or how he is doing, but I do know that our paths will cross again because he is my only. Braeden is my mate.

So, I lie here, in my bed, and dream of Braeden. I dream of my only and I dream of our next meeting. I hope to the Goddess that it will be soon...