Well, I decided to put my note kinda thingie in the beginning of the story rather than the end this time, mostly because if you want to know this, it's better to know before you read.
But holy crap.
I worked so, so hard on this chapter that I'm unbelievably proud to have it finally finished! Even if I am very nervous about posting it. On the bright side, it's close to 5,000 words, which I seriously cannot believe. You should be excited to know (at least I am lol) that I've created a twisted, sometimes misleading plot that is very confusing at times, even for me. I might have some things wrong, because I've altered the entire plot some since I posted the first two chapters, but if I find that's true, I'll just go back and fix them.
If you find any, then go ahead and let me know. I'd appreciate it.
Just mentioning, some stuff is still vague, but don't get frustrated, (that's what I normally do when reading a story where it's mysterious. I want to know everything from the beginning lol. But when it all comes together at the end, it's so cool.) It's supposed to be that way. I'll reveal more later.
But, anyway, I've put in subtle hints in this chapter, and I may have to go back later and change a few things. Most likely I will. Stupid perfectionist that I am...
Anyway, I really hope you enjoy it.
Have a lovely day.
"I see your still playing with your food."
Aiden's broad shoulder brushed up against hers, more of a purposeful shove than anything else, as she slid sinuously out the door and he inside it. She was hand in hand with some random boy who'd taken quite a liking to her early on in the night. She knew that Aiden had not expected her to revert back to the Brae and Bella hunting days, because in all honesty, it really was very painful to go this familiar route by herself, always painfully aware that her sister wasn't there with her…but she wasn't going to constantly mope. Or sulk. Or feel sorry for herself. She was going to live, --which sounded hilariously ironic, considering she was really among the dead…
Aiden's cold lips came close to her ear, just a breath away, and he whispered shortly, "You're in for an interesting surprise, Bella."
"I like surprises," She replied indifferently, raising her chin in insolence, sending him a look that clearly read, I dare you. What she was daring him to do, exactly, she did not know. Her electric blue eyes bore challengingly into his, facial expression as sardonic as ever. After she'd strode away from him earlier in the night, she'd had a distinct feeling that he was going to get back at her later for brushing him off so rudely. She wasn't anxious, she wasn't scared, she was just waiting with a sort of icy indifference. If he was going to play one of his games, she'd beat him at it and rub it in his face. That was always adequately fulfilling.
"I've got a feeling you might not like this one so much at first," His eyes glinted in mocking laughter. "But in the end you'll come around."
"Don't patronize me, you pig."
"Don't act like you're all high and mighty, Bella. You're not nearly as composed and controlled as you seem to be, and I see right through you."
"And I can see right through you. Looks like we've hit an impasse, haven't we?" She raised a perfectly manicured eyebrow. Sardonic smile turned to an icy glare, and she turned to leave. "Have a nice night, Aiden," she called carelessly over her shoulder. But Aiden had never liked to be brushed off so rudely, as if he were unimportant and unworthy of her time. Especially twice in one night.
He grabbed her arm and yanked her back. The boy—Kane's, grip on her hand faltered, therefore she let go of his hand momentarily. "Get off me," She said, almost tiredly. She was bored with this. "I've got more important things to do than to stand here and argue with the likes of you, Aiden."
"Well, have fun, but you'll see what I meant later." He laughed. "You really think know what's coming?" He put his mouth next to her ear once again. "You're wrong. I know a lot more than you think. And you'll be thanking me in the long run."
He was so mocking, so condescending; it was a good thing the lofty bastard had so recently taught her how to keep her fiery temper in check when it so wanted to unleash itself. Or else she might have done something stupid and rash. Like punching him. But, regrettably, that would have so obviously proved that she was incapable of controlling herself, which was not the case.
So she'd satisfied herself by grabbing a fistful of his black t-shirt as she turned her unyielding eyes towards his, and as they hinted at red for an instant, he merely grinned. Which really aggravated the hell out of her. He knew just how to get under her skin. And he definitely liked to use that fact to his advantage.
"Stay out of my buisness," She warned dangerously, for the second time, shoving him roughly away with one hand as she leaned into the tall, --for some reason grinning boy, with an attractive mop of brown hair--, for emphasis, gripping his hand once again.
"Just wait until later," He told her narcissistically. "You may not have attacked me yet, but… "
"I can control my temper quite easily, now that you've taught me how," Bellatrix retorted harshly. "But when I choose not to, you had better hope to God you're not in the way," She spat, sending him a last scathing look before walking away again, the boy striding elegantly next to her, tranquil and quite untroubled. Odd.
She did not look back.
"Why's he so pissy?" The boy asked. His name was Kale, and he really was quite different from the other guy's she'd tagged as her "victims". He was so collected and, she had to admit, just…beautiful. Odd adjective to describe a boy, she knew, but it just…fit. So perfectly.
"Ex boyfriend," Bellatrix's lie slid easily out of her mouth. "He's just…overprotective and slightly stalker-ish." She hoped Aiden was honing in on this conversation. It sure felt like he was. Listening to other individual discussions was a perk of being a vampire. It was like being in an overly crowded room, hearing all the conversations at once; it was overwhelming until you learned how to use the skill. But once you learned how to zoom in on just one conversation, you could hear it perfectly. Fun, to say the least. But other immortals knew when you were listening, most of the time; the hair on the back of your neck would stand up, and you got this…just this feeling. A creepy feeling. But you could block it out or ignore it.
It was quite enjoyable to imagine the deep scowl on his face. She smiled for a moment and blocked out the feeling.
"What're you smiling about?" Kane asked, entertained.
She smirked coyly. "Oh, nothing," She replied breezily. Then, "Hey, why don't we take this shortcut?" She asked him innocently, jerking her free hand towards the dark alley between a quaint but empty coffee shop, and and an expensive clothing store, also empty but for the oblivious sales clerk, blissfully asleep at the front counter. "It takes so much longer to get home otherwise."
"You're not scared?" Was that amusement glinting in his eyes? Slight hilarity? Was there a joke being played on her? But she was distracted by the stunning color of his eyes…they were very, very fascinating…they sucked her breath away, almost strangely so, every time she looked into them. Bellatrix shook her head and continued walking as a more brisk pace, dark ringlets framing her eerie face, impassive once more. It wouldn't work to think these kinds of thoughts. He was a human, like she'd once been blessed enough to be. Just the stupid human boy for the night.
Getting attached was not an option.
But then the assumedly routine sort of night got chopped up and thrown hugely, irreversibly out of proportion.
Before she'd had any sort of chance to do so herself, the boy suddenly and randomly slammed her up against the wall, roughly, and gave her a roguish grin that was entirely too animalistic for his previous demeanor. Too raw. Too powerful. He didn't kiss her, like she would've expected, but instead he effectively laced his fingers through hers, pinned them above her head, and put his mouth to her neck. As soon as his lips made contact Bellatrix stiffened. Not out of fear, but sheer, total surprise. Pure shock.
They were so cold…
He couldn't…no, he definitely couldn't, there was no way in hell….she would have known….wouldn't she?
But apparently she hadn't been paying close enough attention to the numerous signs, which now seemed appallingly obvious. Like they were spelled out in a neon green light right in front of her ignorant eyes. How had she been so entirely stupid, and blind? His gorgeously vivid, chocolate-colored eyes, which she'd girlishly and naively thought were so alluring? Why hadn't she wondered how a mere mortal could have eyes like that? How freakishly beautiful he was? No human looked like that. Not even models.
Plain idiocy on her part. Plain, undiluted idiocy.
And Aiden…he'd noticed just by walking by him!
A boiling, blistering, severe flash of fury shot through her, and she could've shot herself. Was it because she was only two years old? Or was she just irreversibly dumb? She felt him chuckle amusedly against her skin, his mouth turning up into a grin, his breath cool, and she shivered as his protruding fangs bit into the soft skin without warning. For a second she was paralyzed, and it was so strange…she wasn't paralyzed because it hurt, but because it was a dizzying, intense rush, that left the world whirling quickly on it's axis around her. The dark streets, the single pale glow of one streetlight….they whirled and whirled until they turned into a single multicolored blur, passing around her again and again.
But, not one to lose control of a situation for too long, though she'd already done that to some extent, Bellatrix viciously yanked her hands from his and let the fury overtake her. Her own white teeth grew to abnormal proportions, the feeling of normality left her, and her veins lit up, her body blazed, and she blasted him off her with a red flash so instantaneous that it was surreal. Kale flew violently halfway across the alleyway before catching himself easily; he was poised, though not having expected the attack. When he turned his gaze towards her, he was no longer beautiful with chocolate eyes…his eyes were black. Like Aiden's. So alike Aiden's, in fact, that she was mildly disturbed. In fact, she responded to him as she would have if Aiden had pulled a stunt like this on her.
"You bastard," She spat. "Scheming son of a bitch."
He grinned, untroubled. "Took a while." He grinned. "I'm surprised on the slow uptake. I've heard a lot about you. Would've expected a bit more perception from you, but every cloud has a silver lining, isn't that true?"
"Every overconfident, illusory jerk has a unique way of showing his true self, isn't that true?" A response to a question with another question. Old tactic.
"I would think so. I think mine was by far the most interesting way, though." Would he ever cease to look so entirely amused? It was getting downright irritating. "I had you fooled. I could've killed you and you wouldn't have stood a chance."
Bellatrix laughed derisively, then almost immediately adopted a sinister sort of anger, glaring her trademark glare. "Don't flatter yourself. You took me by surprise, but you hardly got any of my blood before you flew across the bloody alleyway." Not only would she have to find someone else to feed off of, and soon, but she'd have to drink more. Perhaps one wouldn't even be enough…if she drank enough to kill, it would be. But that was something she would never consider. She never wanted her conscience to feel that intensely, passionately guilty ever again. Accidents happened, but once was enough. Twice, she was a monster. And it all went downhill from there…
"Are you english?"
"What?" She asked, utterly confused by the sudden and random change of topic. "We're in England, you dolt, of course I'm British!" Or at least somewhat british…she'd lived in America for the first 12 years of her life, hence the fact that she didn't use as much British slang as others.
"Just wondering," He said. "Lovely accent by the way, very h—"
"Don't finish that sentence."
"Don't have to."
"I have a suggestion," She snapped annoyedly. "How about we get off the trivial topic of the way I speak and back to the fact that you, being the selfish prick that you are, have not offered any explanation for your behavior." It seemed he was here for the sole purpose of irritating her to death. "Care to explain yourself?"
"I'd much rather stand here and watch you get angrier by the second," He confessed with a smile. "And I'm not saying you have to believe me. If you don't want my help then I'll just leave. It's your loss."
"You don't happen to know Aiden, do you?" Bellatrix spat. This had been a suspicion since she'd flung him off her. "Because you're attitude has a stunning likeness to his."
"We're old friends," He said elusively, still grinning that stupid, infuriating grin. Yes, there was no doubt that he knew Aiden. Their posture, not to mention just their demeanors in general, were infinitely alike. Ew. She and Aiden had a love/hate sort of relationship, and just one of those was just very tiring; two would be utterly exhausting. "He told me about your unfortunate situation and suggested I come up here to help you."
"And how would you be of any help to me? If anything, you'd do the exact opposite, you deceptive egotist."
He leaned against the wall, arms crossed, face now impassive. He too, it seemed, had long since mastered the art of looking casually elegant. "I've had experience in dealing with Lucien. And others like him. My…knowledge, you see, could really help you."
At the vile, unwelcome sound of Lucien's disgusting name, she started to emanate more vigorous power, but sensing that he was testing her, to see how much control she had recently built up, Bellatrix clenched her fists and brought herself back down to a controlled stance of potency, feeling the edge break off very swiftly. Hopefully he hadn't even noticed; it hadn't actually manifested into a physical change yet; only in her mind had she quickly begun to power up.
Bellatrix resolutely strode towards him and stopped less than a foot away. "What would you know about Lucien?" She asked calmly, interested but challenging, crimson eyes trained on his.
He studied her intently, as if trying to analyze her. "More than you'd think."
"So, you know Lucien very well?"
Kale nodded and leaned forward onto the edge of his chair, or her chair, rather, as they were currently located in her small but neatly done up house, which was supposedly abandoned. It was a few hours after their rude meeting in the alleyway; the blackout drapes pulled over the windows, surreptitiously nailed into place. They were almost impossible to rip out, because they were made of a thick, unusual fabric that was almost the consistency of cardboard, it seemed. They were usual looking, though. She had to appear normal, after all, and boarding up the windows, which would have been easier, was a bit odd for a casual passerby to see while taking a routine walk down the street. Her home was normal; small but elegant, and as she lived quite by herself. It suited her nicely.
There were an ungodly amount of vampires in the area, it seemed, and she knew most of them; but blending in with humans was a necessity unless one wanted to be discovered and killed, without mercy, but the terrified hands of people who wanted normality to be the only existing reality in their small world. Whatever we are not is what we are taught to fear.
Bellatrix was standing in the middle of the room, motionless but full of unvoiced inquires and millions of thoughts, and Kane was resting his elbows nonchalantly on his knees.
"How well?" She asked him bluntly, without turning, studying an astonishingly beautiful painting, encased in a large golden frame. She'd hung it on her wall shortly after her change from real life, so precious, to an eternal fate damned to living her life when by all standards she should be dead. It showed a the sun rising up over the horizon, over a lush green forest, casting the long shadows of the evergreen trees over the long green grass swaying in the wind. She missed the forest at daybreak. She'd always loved to watch the sunrise as a little girl, though she, Braelyn, and her little brother had been the only ones in the family who could watch it without burning to a crisp within a few excruciating minutes.
A whimsical, longing look flashed in her eyes for a mere tenth of a second, instantly replaced by the same demeanor as before. She replaced her gaze to the just as breathtaking picture beside the sunrise; it was an actual picture, though, this one. Blown up. It was of the sun setting over the glistening water of the ocean. You could almost see the waves gliding, hear them crashing in the distance…taste the salty mist and feel the warmth of the scorching day slowly ebb away into the calming coolness of the night, enveloping you in a calm tranquility. Until the night wore on, as it was bound to do.
That was her life. The night.
"He's not someone to mess with, Bellatrix," Kane warned her sternly, eluding her query without explanation, already black eyes darkening slightly. "Don't even think of going after him again until you're ready. And even then, it's not an option to go alone. You'll need backup or he'll rip you to pieces, no matter how thoroughly you've trained."
"He's not going to kill me," She countered indignantly, tossing her raven curls behind her shoulder upon habit. Hands on her hips, poised and striking, as usual. If one didn't know why she came across as being so self-assured, then she would seem to be conceited. But once you're not human anymore, it's second nature to be idealistically comfortable in your own skin. "I know what he wants, and he's not going to stop until he gets it."
"That I know," Kale replied. "But he's sadistic, and you can't be sure he's not going to stake you the next time he sees you. As it is, he's watching you. He's probably tracked every move you've made."
"I'd know if he was here," She hissed darkly, clenching her fists, consciously willing herself to stay calm. She'd sense his prescence, so dark and evil.
"He won't be here himself, he's far too lazy. He's probably got his followers doing it for him. They're not nearly as bad as he is, but all the same, they are downright evil."
Bellatrix though pensively for a few seconds. "They haven't bothered me, or made their prescence known."
"They don't want you to be aware that they're here," He challenged simply.
"Lucien isn't going to kill me, so neither will they. If they're following his orders."
"You don't know that."
"Yes. I. do. How many times do I have to pound this into your head?"
"As many times as you want. You're wasting your breath; it's impossible. He kills whoever gets in his way. And, apparently, you're in his."
Entangling her pale, slender fingers into her thick, bouncy curls, she tugged on them tirelessly in a vain attempt to calm herself down. Her voice was still distinct and balanced, though. "I'm not in his way. He wants to destroy my life, and he's going about it in an extremely sick and perverted way."
"What makes you think your that special?" She was facing the other way, but could practically feel the smirk on his face.
She turned around with a peeved expression, one hand in her hair, one hands still on her hips.
"Don't act like I want this to be happening," She said darkly, like a predator ready to pounce; still but lethal. "If you've deluded yourself into that mindset than get the fuck out of here now. He set up the only family I've ever known, and thanks to him I only knew them for seven years! He killed them because my father got on his bad side, for some reason. Including my baby brother. He wasn't even a vampire, there was no reason to kill him but for sadistic pleasure! They adopted Braelyn and I when our biological parents died; they'd adopted my little brother a year later, from some other family when he had nowhere to go…."
Bellatrix had no memory whatsoever of the first 12 years of her life. All she knew, all she'd been told, was that her biological father and mother had died. Not very much information. She hadn't the slightest clue if she'd hated them, or got along well with them, or if they had been quite fond of her and Braelyn. Had they been a fan of those dreadful family dinners? Had her mother tucked her in at night and lovingly smoothed her dark hair, and kissed her forehead, before quietly leaving the room? Was she a daddy's little girl? Had she had friends that were important to her? What had her personality been? Had she known who'd killed them?
She had no idea. She couldn't remember anything. Nothing. At all. And it made her want to kill something.
She'd had to re-learn everything about herself and Braelyn, also, once her parents, the only ones she could ever remember knowing, the ones she called mom and dad, had taken her in. They'd been conveniently been placed in America, right on the corner of Bellatrix and Braelyn's street, on that fateful night. They'd been on an odd, random quest to explore the world in its entirety, since, after all, they really did have all the unlimited time they wanted to do so.
They'd sensed another vampire in the area, with murderous intent, and had become worried and curious. Following the intuitive, foreboding sense had inevitably led them to the two sisters sitting by themselves; extremely disoriented, incredibly dazed, and extraordinarily confused, completely oblivious to anything around them.
It was a touchy subject for Bellatrix, the matter of her first 12 years of life, and she always made a very conscious effort to not attempt a recollection of the memories; every time she tried, it felt as if she were trying to scale a ridiculously slippery steel wall with no gripping spots. Impossible, daunting, and hopelessly frustrating. A, stupid, irritating, tall steel wall that never ended in its intimidating height, was her past demon that she tried to never dredge up if she could help it.
"My sister and I were at college the day he murdered the rest of my family…" Planning a future for the lives that they no longer had. "After he killed my parents and brother, Lucien left us by ourselves for a while just to see what would happen." Three and a half days, to be exact. Time to let them suffer before coming out into the open.
This memory made her so incredibly, uncontrollably angry, that the air around her thickened with a slight shade of red energy, her gleaming teeth extending. She wasn't trying so hard to control this impulse at the moment; she was too livid at the memory, so terribly fresh in her mind. The fact that Aiden wasn't there was good; he'd see this as a step back. But she simply couldn't help it.
"And then, the day of the funeral, after we came home, he was there in our kitchen. Just sitting there, as if he was completely at home. Then he began to explain how he killed my mom, dad, and brother, just baiting us, and then he told us that he'd make sure we got to see them soon."
She practically growled.
"A little overdramatic, and a bit too cliché for his disappointingly high intelligence, but we were still about to piss our pants. So he bit us, made sure it hurt," (when wishing to cause pain, the drinking of blood could hurt terribly, but otherwise it just caused extreme dizziness and mind-numbing disorientation.) "And left us to bleed out on our living room floor. All I remember is waking up and feeling more pain than I've ever felt before or since. Braelyn was writhing and twitching on the ground next to me. At the time I didn't know what was going on, but—"
"It was the transformation," Kale supplied. "Excruciating."
The change from becoming a human to morphing into a permanent member of the living dead had sparked her powers; the incredible ones that came with being the only living fire elemental. She was incredibly rare. Elementals, usually, were mortal. And their powers were not likely to come about until they were in their late teens to twenties.
Kale seemed to suddenly realize somehting important. "But, I thought he didn't change you two…"
"Then who did?"
"Aiden," She said.
"How in hell would he have found you there in time?" Kale questioned incredulously, eyebrow raised.
"He'd been a friend of my dad's," Bellatrix explained. "When he heard about my family's murder, he decided to keep tabs on me and Braelyn, knowing that Lucien wouldn't give up. He had someone watching over us. He was out feeding," She explained. "And whoever it was told him. He got to us before we died, but not soon enough to catch Lucien, and decided to change us, instead of watching us die. He couldn't do it; he'd known us since we were adopted and didn't want to lose us too. Then he left before we woke up and tried to find Lucien."
Aiden had always hated that devilish bastard with such a passionate, fiery intensity, that it almost rivaled her own. She always had a suspicion that part of the reason for that hatred, though, was that Aiden knew so much more about her family and her past than he was willing to let on…
"How does that prove that Lucien doesn't want to kill you?" Kane asked. "If anything, that only proves that he failed the first time, which is unrealistic for his record, and that he'll want to get rid of you sooner and more than ever."
"No," Bellatrix muttered, leaning against the wall, sliding down it until she hit the thickly carpeted floor. "He tried that, and then realized that playing one of his sadistic games would be much more fun."
"An elaboration please?" Kale wondered.
"He killed Braelyn a few weeks ago because he wants to watch me suffer," Bellatrix sighed and empty-sounding sigh, eyes clear and focused. "I don't know why, but that's what he did. I think he might've had it all planned from the beginning…"
"You could be giving him too much credit."
"I doubt it," Bellatrix casually waved away the comment with a dismissive flick of her wrist, reading his expression though not needing it to clarify her answer. "This guy's so smart its creepy. Hell, if he were stupider, then it would be so much easier for me to beat him. But he lured my parents and my little brother away, while they were by themselves…he didn't want to dispose of Braelyn and me quite yet. The thing that I don't know is why. Which sucks, because it would be very beneficial to know that."
"He tried to kill you a few days later, though," Kane replied. "He could have made a mistake—" Why did he keep insisting on Lucien not being as cruelly calculating as they both knew he was? He wasn't that ignorant.
"Or it could be possible that he was just watching the despair he caused, reveling in it."
"While that does fit his style, I think that somehow he had a feeling Aiden would turn us. He knows so much, its disturbing And even if his gut feeling was wrong, we were just dead, it was less amusement on his part, but not a devastating loss altogether."
"You've though this through."
She nodded, looking up at him unwaveringly through thick eyelashes. "Very thoroughly."
"Well, now that I know you're perceptive and intelligent enough to handle this, I can explain myself."
He'd been testing her, not giving away the answers himself, acting ignorant to Lucien's mind and motives and technique to see where she stood. Smart. Very smart boy. But, once again, it was something very alike to what Aiden would do, and it irked her.
"Then please do so."
Kale stared her down, as if analyzing her again; assessing if she could handle the truth. "I want to know. I can handle it," She told him, evenly but inflexibly. "So stop trying to wear down my resolve, it's not going to happen."
He nodded his head almost imperceptibly, finally accepting that she was right.
"I," Kale told her, with an undeniable air of someone about to whip out a bombshell, "Am Lucien's brother."