Temptation of the Moon
It soaked onto the cold, wet soil and spread and uncurled and spiraled like a blossom, true-red and horrific.
It was everywhere.
On his clothes, his hands, his face, his lips…
The air reeked of it.
And the taste—the taste was exciting.
With the rush still coursing through his veins, James stood to his feet gracefully, slowly, like a predator. His sinewy muscles flexed with his every move. His tall, lanky body stood over the victim, an unfortunate hunter, and with a flick of his tongue, he drank the last drop.
It had happened like this:
He was panting, desperate now.
He had to run—hide—anywhere. Before it was too late. The man was fast, well-trained. Armed with a silver crossbow, he fired at James with deadly precision. The arrow pierced through the night, through the thick branches and leaves of the trees, and sped to a frantic James.
It barely grazed his cheek. James curled himself, flinging his body to the side, and he managed to land on the ground alive, but hurt. The slice appeared neatly on his pale cheek, and fresh blood dripped from the wound.
James groaned, the sound barely audible.
The hunter's quick footsteps drew near.
The heart beat wildly inside of James, the last remaining fragment of his humanity. He could feel something dangerous and insidious rise inside of him, boil to the surface, whispered and teased at him. He pushed the cobwebs of temptation away, looked at the moon.
It was going to be too late.
When the hunter appeared in front of him, James stayed still.
"Vampire," the man had hissed.
"Stay. Away." James said. Though he kept his eyes averted, James could tell that the hunter was pointing the weapon at him.
"You pay for your sins tonight." The click and whirring of the bow's mechanics.
"Please," James begged hoarsely, "I am warning you."
The heart inside of James gave one, last insistent beat.
The moon was completely full.
James looked up and the hunter saw something magnificent, something truly monstrous. The boy's eyes had gone completely crimson. His fangs grew, spilling over his sensual lips cruelly. Lethal claws, sharp and powerful, ripped from his hands.
James howled, giving reverence to the moon.
He was not an ordinary vampire, the hunter thought. This proved to be his last thought.
But the transformation was not complete. Before it could be so, James leapt from his crouch. He was upon the hunter in seconds.
Later on, all he would remember was the exquisite taste of blood.
A sob escaped his lips as he stared at his blood-stained hands. His now very human hands. A killer's hands.
"What have I done?" He whispered.
James looked at the body and felt the intense pang of sorrow stab through him; he had wished more than anything, at that moment, that the hunter had succeeded.
He knelt down by the broken, drained body. James uttered, "I'm so sorry." And this, he repeated over and over, until his throat scratched.
He looked at the moon mournfully, but it was now covered by dense, pockets of clouds.
James howled in outrage. In hurt.
But the pain proved to be dangerous.
His eyes blackened once more, turned a murderous crimson. His fangs grew, sharpened.
The senses were heightened, every one of them. Things looked so much sharper, the sounds were so much more magnified, his skin tingled in sensitivity, and everything smelt so much better.
His head whipped in one particular direction.
Then, he took flight.
James ran, his legs pumping against the cool, night wind as he followed the sweet scent. A low growl emitted from his lips, and he felt the nails rip from his fingers as claws took their place.
A slight breeze drifted over him, and he breathed in deeply. A thrilling shudder shook him, and he ran with reckless abandon. He had only one thing on his mind, everything else was muddled and drowned out by the desire pumping in his blood.
James smiled wickedly when the place came into view.
"Mia," he breathed.
He prowled to where her window was, then stealthily, with abnormal strength and speed, climbed up the tree just right in front of her room.
The wind blew her curtains aside, allowing him to see that she had left her windows open. Anger and excitement surged through him, anger that she had stupidly disobeyed him and excitement that she had dared to. He closed his eyes, remembering how she smelled of sweet roses and rain and, because he was a vampire, he remembered how tempting her blood had been to his senses.
With the reflexes of a cat, he lightly hopped onto a thick branch that grazed her window sill.
She and one other young girl were sleeping. He guessed the latter was her younger sister. Mia's mouth was slightly parted, her lips were moist and pink in the moonlight.
The heart inside of James pounded.
Images of her, blood-soaked and limp in his arms, ran through his animal mind. James imagined his fangs buried in her white, creamy neck, imagined drinking her and devouring her until she was utterly spent. He imagined the sounds she would make, little helpless, mewling ones.
The heart inside of James beat against his ribcage.
You can't do this.
Mia. Images of her smiling at him sweetly, sympathetic and warm, woke him. She had stayed with him that night; even though she had seen what he was capable of—seen that he could kill with just his bare hands, she had still insisted on helping him. She was brave and stubborn, and James had never met anyone like her before. And when he kissed her, the feeling was unlike any other he'd ever had. James had never felt so alive before. She tasted like wildfire and innocence all at once. She was innocent; he still remembered the indignant frown on her face when she'd confessed how hurt she'd been because he had stolen her first kiss. He hadn't felt particularly remorseful at that.
His eyes darkened briefly, and then returned to a warm, brown-burgundy color. His wild hunger dissipated.
He let out a ragged breath.
Something wet glided from his eyes. James touched his cheek and realized that he was crying. A heavy feeling descended. It had been clear to him for a few months now, ever since that fateful night, what was happening to him. But he had never killed for his own bloodlust before—had come close to doing so, but he never did.
No! James' heartbeat was erratic now. He clutched at his chest desperately, wondering if the heart inside of him was really there. Monsters like him didn't have a heart—shouldn't.
James couldn't even remember the kill. Everything had been done in a furious haze of hunger and predatory instinct. He remembered running from the hunter, so that he wouldn't be able to kill him. But the hunter had chased him down, cornered him. He remembered telling the hunter to stay away, but that had been useless. Then, he didn't remember anymore—just the broken and torn body afterwards.
This was his reality now. He was turning into a monster, destined to kill for his own survival.
James' claws retracted, his fangs disappeared.
He fell from his perch to the ground, but the impact of the fall did nothing to him. James rarely felt pain.
"No," he cried, "why? Why is this happening to me?"
Nothing answered him, save for the gentle lull of the wind.
James hadn't been satisfied with the hunter; he had wanted more.
He had wanted Mia, and he had been tempted to take her. James realized with a haunting certainty that he could have almost killed her. He had been the predator and she the prey.
James felt his body curl, felt his arms wrap around his stomach.
He felt sick.
But more than that, more than anything, he felt incredibly lonely.
He had never felt so alone in his life.
Poor James. Don't you just want to give him a hug? Be careful, he might eat you. It's quite obvious now that as he is turning into a vampire, his sanity is slowly going away. What do you think of it so far?
Next chapter, Mia is going to be the narrator again. But I hope this chapter has given you some insight into James' world. You guys are awesome for reading. Let me know what you think of the story so far.