Prologue

Faith sat in the far corner of the crowded night club, crossing and uncrossing her pale, stocking covered legs impatiently. She fumbled for a few moments in her Nightmare before Christmas clutch until she extracted a small, circular compact. The letter "V" was engraved elegantly on it's surface and embossed in gold. With some effort, she dug a short, black fingernail into the tiny crack down the center and lifted until the tiny mirror popped open.

Holding the compact in the air, Faith pretended to gaze at her reflection. She sighed as she did every time she looked in the mirror, realizing for the millionth time that there was nothing to see. Instead of dwelling on this issue, she looked past were her reflection should have been and focused on a laughing group of Gothic boys standing near her corner.

She could tell she'd caught the gangs attention, the boys were huddled together, whispering quietly. Faith's trained ears picked up enough of their conversation over the loud music to know for sure that they were talking about her.

Smiling slightly, she lowered the mirror and pressed it closed between her palm and black nailed fingers. Faith carefully replaced the compact in her clutch, then withdrew a tube of dark red lip stick and slid it across her full lips.

As she finished applying the stain, one of the boys stumbled forward. Faith jumped, as if surprised, then, looking him over, smiled shyly "Oh... you startled me!" she said, letting the innocent smile widen deviously. It was too easy!

"Uh... yeah... Sorry about that... I just... I wanted to ask if you'd... Want to dance with me" He stuttered, eyes trying to avoid looking toward her corset clad chest. Faith looked the boy over, he was skinny,but toned. His black hair stood in spikes, and his face had a chiseled look about it. He was attractive, not perfect, but attractive.

Faith bit her bottom lip slightly, as if thinking, then nodded. Gently, she lifted her pale hand, the boy took it eagerly and helped her to her feet. As he led her to the dance floor he babbled on about himself. Faith barely listened, and didn't catch anything but his name, Mike. She danced closely to him, not giving his mind a chance to wander.

Whenever she knew the silly boy wasn't looking Faith rolled her eyes, humans were so easy, show a little skin and they tripped all over themselves to be with you. Were was the struggle? She looked around the dank, smelly club, but found no one who may produce a challenge.

After a few minutes of obnoxiously loud music, the lights dimmed and a melodic tune swept through the club. Letting another smile play across those crimson lips, Faith wrapped her arms around Mike's neck and let her head rest on his shoulder, taking in the sweet smell of his blood. Unable to resist she touched her lips to his pulsating neck. The scent of metal took her over, causing the dizzying sensation she knew so well. Mike let out a tiny groan and his pulse quickened. Faith could almost hear the the blood gushing through his veins.

When the song was nearly finished, Faith led Mike outside, his band of friends gawked in amazement and jealousy. Without looking, Faith knew that Mike was grinning their way. She sighed and shook her head, knowing that he was too busy making sure everyone saw him to see her disapproval.

Once outside it didn't take Faith long to place her spell over the helpless mortal. They had walked to a nearby park, deserted by all but one lone vagabond sleeping peacefully under a worn bench.

Smirking, she led Mike toward a rusty old jungle gym. As they climbed, hand in hand, up the creaky steps, Faith ran the fingers of her unoccupied hand over the old graffiti. She smiled as she read each little note. The words Brooke + Dave popped out at her. Around these, people commented, an arrow was drawn toward Brooke's name, the word whore scrawled above it. Under the names, someone wrote in glittery ink you and every other girl sister. Faith chuckled quietly, not even Mike noticed. She wondered why humans thought so much of love, this is what it always turned up like. Turning from the graffiti, Faith led Mike higher up the play set until they reached the biggest slide. She sat then, Mike following without hesitation.

Within a few moments, they were tangled together, kissing as passionately as a woman and her soldier the moment before they were separated, possibly forever. Mike's hands tangled in her blond hair as he pushed her closer to him. The scent of his blood grew stronger, almost overwhelmingly. It seemed unnatural that anyone's heart should pump at that speed.

Carefully, she worked her lips downward, leaving a red stain of lipstick from his mouth to the base of his neck. Pulling away for a moment, Faith smirked at Mike who smiled back looking dumbfounded. Then, without any hesitation Faith let her fangs slide from their sheathes and pierced his fragile neck. Mike let out a sound that was half way between a moan and a cry. But Faith kept going. She wanted to go forever, perhaps until there was none left, but that would be irresponsible. She'd have to kill him then and a murder in a town like this would be front page news, besides, others had seen her.

Reluctantly, she pulled her away from the horribly pale boy. She wondered for a fraction of a second if she'd taken too much, but instead concluded the boy was just frightened. Smirking, Faith kissed Mike once more, full on the mouth, then let herself drift into the night, leaving the boy smiling dizzily, as his memories escaped him.

Chapter 1

"You're going to get caught one of these days Faith" Ariel said flatly, flicking a strand of dark brown hair out of her face childlike face. "You can't just wander around taking guys from crowded night clubs! What if one of that boys friends had followed you?"

Faith covered her mouth as she faked a yawn. "It's almost dawn sis, I'm tired. Can't this wait?" Faith wasn't in the least bit interested in Ariel's routine warnings. "It's not like he'll remember what happened." She reached tiredly for her mahogany coffin, but before she could lift it more than a few inches Ariel slammed it shut again.

"Honestly Faith! Act your age! You're nearly 100! You shouldn't be out seducing teenage boys! I just want you to be careful!" her clear gray eyes turned an astonishing shade of red that made even Faith cringe.

"Act my age?" Faith yelled back, making sure to stay back at least ten feet, a nearly impossible feat in the cramped, messy attic they now called home. "I'm in a 17 year-old body! I'm going to act like a 17 year old!" she hesitated a moment, grabbing a porcelain doll from a pile of clutter just in case she needed to defend herself, before adding "and maybe you should act like the 12 year old you are!"

Ariel's eyes changed again, this time to a fiery orange. "I am not 12 Faith! I am 94! I can except it, why can't you?" her slight frame trembled in a way that seemed to adult for the rosy-cheeked girl.

Faith glared at her younger sister once more as she walked back to the coffin "I'm going to bed" She quickly lifted the lid, making sure Ariel wouldn't have a chance to swat it shut again. She climbed in and sat there for a moment, leaving the lid open while she stared back at her sister.

After thinking a few moments Faith shook her head then looked back to Ariel, "I don't see why you get upset. Can't you just live a little?" her voice shook as she spoke and she hoped it wouldn't start the fight again, it really was much to early for the two to start up again. The sun was already starting to come up and it tingled on her pale skin.

Ariel climbed into her own coffin "I've lived too long already." she started to close her lid, then stopped, and looked back to Faith "I didn't like being 12 when I was 12... why would I want to be that age forever?"

Faith bit her lip yet again, she looked at the silky bottom of her coffin, then closed her lid, plunging herself into the darkness she'd come to hate.

As Ariel rolled out the cricks in her neck, Faith tried to think up something, anything to make this night better for her sister than last. Suddenly she remembered the vagrant under the park bench the previous night. Smiling delightedly she quickly brushed through her dark blond locks and threw on a pair of blue jeans and a plain white t-shirt.

"What's on your mind?" Ariel asked, half way through sliding on her own fresh shirt. Her slender figure was too perfect to belong to a real 12 year old. It curved ever so slightly, but slightly was enough to make her above average.

"Not much" Faith replied, grinning still too widely. "Just thinking about were we might hunt tonight." She paused a moment for effect, "I actually saw this old deadbeat under a park bench last night, if we hurry we might be able to to put the poor old fellow out of his mis-"

"You're disgusting Faith!" Ariel interrupted, "Really, it's one thing to kill accidentally, I mean we've all done that! But to do it on purpose just cause you think someone's better off... it's... it's vile!" Ariel spit in one breath.

Faith rolled her eyes and let her smile widen again, "You know I was only kidding Ariel... Like I'd really kill him just for sport! I just wanted to see if I could get a rise out of you, that's all!" She slid a file across her already stubby nails, which were now painted the brightest shade of pink.

"That's not really something to kid about Faith!" Ariel retorted, picking up one of the many porcelain dolls that littered the attic floor. Holding it up high, she inspected the frail statue carefully. She gave it a disapproving hiss and tossed it behind her, ignoring the crash that shattered the dainty figurine, she picked up another doll from the cluttered floor. This one she held up for a moment, then lowered it into her arms, rocking it back and forth.

"You know dear, for someone who hates having to pretend she's 12 you pretend an awful lot!" Faith pointed out with a laugh. Ariel quickly rearranged herself, letting the doll dangle at her side between her thumb and index finger as if it was revolting. Faith sighed, then changed subjects "Anyways, I still say we check the park, he may be there still."

Ariel wrinkled her nose, an ugly face for a girl as pretty as the dolly she'd chosen. "Whatever, it doesn't matter I suppose. Just promise me one thing please. Could you do without murdering the smelly old fart?"

Faith raised an eyebrow "I think I could do that much."