A loud noise made Mike jump and turn around. Someone was out in the halls, calling him. Shannon opened her eyes slowly, blinking in confusion. Her throat burnt like hell and her head was spinning. Mike looked down at her, his eyes red, matching his lips covered with her blood. Then, a knock on the door broke the silence again.
"Mike? Are you there?" A male voice asked. Mike cleaned his mouth with a handkerchief and took Shannon in his arms, placing her behind his desk, hidden. Then, he walked to the door, took a deep breath and opened. The security guard smiled. "Sorry to disturb, I thought I had heard someone screaming… what are you doing? Do you have time for a drink?" Mike cursed to himself, and then tried to smile.
"I'm a bit busy…" During a couple of minutes the guard didn't leave, keeping a chatty conversation with him. Shannon heard the voices like in a dream, feeling like she had never felt before. She could barely move, but she lifted her right hand to check a drawer from his desk. She tried not to make any noise, knowing that Mike would hear it. A weak smile covered her lips when she saw what she was looking for: serum. She felt strong, alive, and a new sensation of victory, unknown to her, invaded her heart. She kept the small box in the pocket of her jacket and then closed the drawer slowly.
"Well then, I let you work. Good night" The guard left and Mike turned around, closing the door and running towards her. His blue eyes showed concern.
"How do you feel?" Shannon looked up at him. She saw something new, his eyes were speaking. She didn't know how to describe it, she just felt it. She could tell what was going through his head just with taking a look at his eyes. The weakness of his legs began to disappear. Slowly, she stood up, observed by Mike. She touched her face. The skin was softer than ever, like porcelain. Without imperfections, like the skin of her hands. her nails had turned into a lilac color and looked like crystals.
"Why?" She asked, looking at him. He noticed the change on her, and observed in amazement how her dark eyes were shinning now. She was turning into a beautiful vampire. Then, feeling an old anger coming back, he took her arm firmly and pushed her out of the room. "What are you doing?" She said, trying to loosen the grip, but he was stronger than her. Mike took her downstairs, and she didn't have any other option than following him. It was dark, so dark that nobody could have walked there without lights. But she could see. The phenomenon was so amazing that for a second she forgot about Mike. Her senses had increased in a level she couldn't decipher, they were just there.
"I have a promise to keep" Mike said, as they reached the cellars. It was cold there, but she felt it in a different way. It didn't disturb her.
"You will kill me? Is this what you want?" She said, surprising herself with a new braveness. She wasn't panicking, she was confident. She liked this new feeling. But another feeling was coming in a stronger way: thirst. It was so intense that she couldn't think of anything else.
"Don't even think about drinking from me" He said, sensing her reaction. Shannon felt her teeth grow and her anger increasing. She moved her arm, making it free from Mike. He stopped walking and turned around in surprise.
"I'm not a human any more, Mike" She said, speaking with a totally new tone of voice. She liked how it sounded. She felt powerful, and she didn't have any kind of feeling inside.
"No, it's too soon" He murmured to himself. Shannon stopped walking.
"What do you mean?" Her confusion made her even angrier. His blue eyes observed her, and for a second, she sensed he was scared of her.
"You're a vampire" The words echoed in the cellars, and all she did was to smile. But then, like a flashback, her memory started to work. She felt new emotions coming as well, fighting with the euphoria she was feeling.
"What's going on? Why am I feeling this way?" She looked at Mike in the complete darkness, he was staring at her. Then, slowly, he opened a door that led to a crypt. She walked slowly and looked inside. The gothic walls and the stone ground gave to it the appearance of an old church. Tombs all over the place, decorated with gargoyles, shone under the moonlight that was coming through one of the small windows. "But we were under the ground" She commented. Mike followed her inside.
"We're on ground level now. I took you through a passage" He said, and the door locked behind him. Shannon felt anger again, and recuperated her confidence. The thirst increased.
"Why did you bring me here?" She said with fury. Mike walked towards the wall, and once there he opened a big box that was laying on the ground. As soon as he did it, she turned around by instinct, the smell overwhelming her. Mike picked up a bottle that contained a red liquid, the precious drink.
"You need to drink" He said, passing her the bottle. "Before you do something stupid" And before he could finish the sentence, she had finished the content already. She dropped it and the glass broke into pieces, as she closed her eyes and felt a new force renovating her. She smiled, feeling more alive than ever. Then, slowly, turned around to look at Mike.
"And now what? Which is your plan to kill me?" She said, with a calmed voice. Her eyes searched around, and for the first time, she sensed it. They weren't alone in the crypt. Her dark eyes narrowed, in alert. "Who else is here?" She said, and as soon as the words came out, she felt a pressure in her chest. Confusion, fear, love, all together. What was going on?
"It's time to choose, Shannon. To love or to be evil" Mike said, calmly, as he walked around her. Shannon blinked in confusion. Then, she heard the steps. They sounded familiar in her ears. Turning around, she froze on her place. There, standing right in front of her, was John. She felt it now. The biggest love she had ever felt before. And the weakness, the fear. She didn't like them at all. She wanted to feel alive, powerful. Then, confused, looked at Mike.
"I don't understand. You want to kill me" She said, but Mike stood up and shook his head.
"I kept my promise. Now my soul is free" She didn't understand his words, but observed in horror that the sunlight was coming, and he simply walked out of the church through a door she hadn't seen before. Before closing it behind him, he smiled. "I promised John to bring you to him as a vampire. Now you're cursed, I returned him what he did. Now I can go in peace" Shocked by the words, she saw him closing the door, knowing she would never see him again. Cursed. The words echoed in her head. For the first time, she realized what had happened. Her rational side started to work again.
"Shannon, how do you feel?" The voice of John brought her back to reality, and she turned around to meet him. Her first impulse was to kill him, to hurt him, to punish him for what she had turned into. But then, a superior force and a new feeling made her mind go blank. She loved him, more than she loved anybody else. And a new happiness invaded her.
"I'm not human any more" Her voice broke, and she fell on her knees. John didn't move.
"Now you must choose. It's the right moment, you feel it?" He said, calmly. She nodded in silence. Then, looked up at him. "If you choose not to love, your existence won't be painful. You won't want to be human; you'll enjoy your immortality and haunt humans for the rest of the eternity. You won't know pain and sorrow" She felt a pain in her chest, a new one. "But you won't be able to love, and you'll forget about me and about all your loved ones. You'll see us as simple beings that have nothing to do with you" Silence came. Did she want to live like that? She slowly stood up and walked towards John. His eyes changed, and for a second, she knew the answer. "But if you choose to love… then I promise you that you won't ever regret it" He said it with a tone of voice she would never forget. He was begging her to stay and be with him. Encountered feelings fought inside her.
"You always wanted me to be one of you" She said, but John smiled sadly.
"No. I was planning to leave and never come back. Until I knew what Mike was planning to do. To curse you as a revenge for what I did to him in the past. He kept his promise" His voice broke and then he screamed with fury. Shannon felt the pain too, but also a new sensation. John looked at her. "I will understand if you want to live without pains and sorrows" He said, and for a second, he thought that Shannon had smiled. Her dark eyes looked into his and then, slowly, she approached and stood just few centimeters away from him. Then, a soft light filled the place. John looked around, confused, then back at her.
"I love you" She said, and in that moment, the crypt filled in that light, he couldn't see her. He just felt her presence near, wishing to know what her words meant. Was she saying goodbye? After what seemed an eternity, the darkness came again, just a few sunrays crossed through a small window.
"Shannon?" He asked, and she looked up at him, waiting. She smiled.
"What are your plans for the eternity?" When he saw her smile and heard her words, he couldn't believe they were true. She had chosen to love him. He took her face in her hands and kissed her. A two vampires kiss that would last forever.
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"Dear dad and mom, September 2007
I'm feeling well in New York. Don't worry about me. I know that I didn't go home for the last months, I know you looked for me everywhere and that you were terribly worried, but I'm fine, I didn't forget about you. I'm sorry that I didn't call or write, but I just couldn't. I was involved in a secret project and not allowed to contact anybody.
I have news for you. I'm in love with someone and I plan to be with him forever. His name is John. Unfortunately, we can't go to visit you, as this project might take some time. I hope you understand. He's a good man and he takes care of me.
I think of you every day. I love you both,
"Dear dad and mom, July 2008
I've seen the news and that you're looking for me. Please, don't do this. I wish I could explain you. I wish you could know the truth, but all I can say is that I'm the happiest… person… in the world, and that I couldn't wish for anything better, as I already have all what I've been looking for. Please, don't be sad, I'm thinking of you both. I'm fine! Love,
"Dear dad and mom, December 2008
I see that you think I'm in a sect. It's not like this. I'm happily married now, it was a private ceremony and it really wouldn't be possible to invite you. I also know that you saw on TV what happened to the people who worked in our company, they all were killed. I knew some of them. Peter was a good friend of John. Police tried to find out what happened to all of them, as the bodies were burnt, like exposed to high temperatures. But trust me: it was the best for all of you. I know you don't understand what I mean, but our old friend James did a good job. Sorry, it's all so confusing. Don't be angry. We're fine, and alive. Love,
"Dear dad and mom, January 2010
It's been over one year since I last wrote. I know you're mad and that you don't want to hear from me again, and I understand it, this is why I'm writing a goodbye letter. It hurts me so much that I'm not able to explain you. It's the hardest thing I've ever done. This is why I want to say goodbye in person. And tell you the truth. You won't believe it, I know, but it has to be like this. You will see what I am now. And then you won't ever see me again. I'll be there at midnight. Yours,
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They waited in the porch, under the moonlight, holding hands. The parents of Shannon were in a state of shock and nerves that was killing them slowly. None of them understood what had happened to their daughter, how that transformation had taken place.
The trees moved in the night breeze, bringing a relaxing sound. Her mother was scared to death and she couldn't explain why. She sensed that something was going wrong.
Two forms emerged from the trees, and they held their breath. They walked elegantly, slowly, and reached the cottage house in less than one minute. Shannon smiled, and when she did it, her mother jumped back, scared.
"Hello mom and dad. This is John" He smiled. Silence came. Shannon walked towards them, but her father took his wife's hand and gave a step backwards.
"Don't move" He said. Shannon felt a pain invading her. She looked up at John, who smiled sadly. His green eyes observed her parents.
"I promise I'll take care of her" He said. Her father frowned, as her mother looked for something in her pocket. A cross. Shannon's face twisted in anger, and John held her tightly.
"Calm down" He whispered in her ear, knowing she was still a young vampire without too much control of her emotions. His voice was soft and she closed her eyes, as her teeth recuperated the normal size.
"Where is our daughter?" Her father said, in pain. Shannon looked at them sadly.
"How did you know what I am?" She asked, and her mother became pale. She knew her voice had an effect on humans.
"Just taking a look at you" She said, keeping the cross tightly in her hand.
"I'm sorry" She said, not knowing what to say. Her mother began to cry and her father stood there, shocked.
"This is not real, you don't exist" Her father said. John sighed. He had been on this situation before.
"I'm real" Said Shannon, but her mother covered her ears.
"Get out of here" She said. Her father walked back as well. They crossed the main door and she knew it would be the last time she would see them. John hugged her, and to her surprise, she didn't feel so bad. She was a vampire after all. And an eternity was waiting for them.
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