I sat there looking at the stars. It was like any other night. I sat there and watched until the first faint stirrings of light showed on the horizon. The sign of a new day and the end of the night. I sighed as I heard footsteps behind me. That would be my brother coming to fetch me. "It is time to go." He said. It was what he always said. The night would end and we would move on. Always the same. He waited for me to get up before he turned and got in the car. I took one last look at the little town we were leaving behind. My brother rolled down the automatic window. "Coming, Dawn?" he said, as I looked out over the town and frowned. "Sure, I'm coming." I said as I turned. I smiled halfheartedly at my brother and got into the car.
He was silent as we sped down the empty highway. This was becoming too routine. We would stop in a small town for a day or two and then we would move on. We had been doing this for years. Sure it was an easy way of life, but my brother wasn't one to fill the long silences. He never talked much. Not since she died. My brother had been married once. He was so in love with her. I found it hard to believe he could live without her, but he did. He did because of the promise he made. I thought it was stupid. Why must he go on living when she had died just because he had promised her he would look after me. I am three hundred years old. I don't need looking after. Just because I am his little sister.
I couldn't understand the way he looked at me. So protective. How could he feel so responsible for me? I couldn't understand how he could live his life on just a promise to her. A promise he never meant to keep.
(My brother had hated me. He had never met me and yet he hated me. He hated me because I was born. Because our parents had me. He hated me even more when he asked them to choose and they chose me. He had been outraged. How could they chose me over him? He who had been their son for two hundred years. He who was their favorite. How could he be expected to share?
It had almost killed him when he came to and found in his rage he had murdered, not me, but the parents he had been so unwilling to give up. And I had survived, the little monster who tore his family from him. He was so disgusted with himself for what he had done that he fled and left me there alone. I survived , yes, but he never forgave me for being born. Not until that day. She was dying and he could not save her. The one thing she asked him as she died was that he watch out for me and keep me safe. He promised her that, of course he did, he would have promised here anything and everything at that moment . He would have promised her the earth and the sea. Yes, he promised, and he lied. He had no intention of living without her. The instant she was gone he would find a way to follow her.
When she had died he stumbled out of the house he had built for her, and he headed into the trees to look for death. That is when he first saw me. I had been waiting outside because of the dark feelings I sensed inside the house. He came across me cowering in the dirt and stopped. I never found out why he did what he did. I never could make myself ask. But no matter why he did it, he bent over and picked me up out of the dirt and carried me away. Away from the house where the bad feelings still hovered in the air and away from the girl who had mended my brothers broken heart after the day I was born.)
I was brought out of my memories as the car came to a stop at an inn. I looked at him questioningly, but got no answer as he got out of the car. I assumed that we needed gas and went back to my pondering.
I was unhappy in this life. I didn't want to move to a new place every two or three days. I wanted to stay in one place and have a house and go to school or get a job. Why did we have to wander for all eternity like vampires on the run from the stake and pyre. We did not harm the humans, so why did we hide from them as if we feared punishment for some crime? Why did we have to slip quietly into the darkness before anyone had a chance to realize we had come? The whole thing was pointless. I brooded over the unfairness of the path my brother had chosen for us until he got back in the car and drove on. I was no longer interested in the reason for the stop. I looked out my window until the sun began to slip behind the horizon.
We pulled to a stop in front of a small hotel in the center of a one light country town. I got out and walked with him to the front desk, as usual, to get the key to our room. My brother went up to the room with the few possessions we carried and settled in. I lay in one of the beds, staring up at the foam tiles and tried to get some sleep. But sleep would not come and no matter how I tried, I couldn't seem to relax. I looked over to see my brother had fallen asleep in the chair he had settled into for the night. I remembered when the feel of him watching me at night used to bother me. It seemed silly now that he had once made me uncomfortable. I thought for a minute about the things that used to upset me. Back before I adjusted to the almost overbearingly protective way he treated me. I used to think he had always been a tyrant. How wrong I had been.
I slipped out of bed and headed to the door. I had once been horrible at sneaking out. I remember the fury I would feel as he caught me, time and time again. He would wait outside the car with a reproachful look and I would do my best to hide how much it annoyed me for it made him even happier to see how it got to me.
(I smiled to myself as I sneaked out the door, into the night. I walked down the dirt road to the center of town and remembered the first time I outsmarted him. I had been with him for almost two years and was beginning to hate the way he hovered protectively. I waited for him to fall asleep in the chair where he kept watch over me every night. When I was sure his breathing was deep and even, I slipped out from under the covers and went to the door. I didn't care that I was in only a tank top and a miniskirt. I slinked out across the grass and headed down the street of the small city motel we were staying in. I did not trust myself to get the keys, nor did I think he trusted me enough to keep the battery cables hooked up. I made my way to a juice bar where teens hung out at the time. The 80's were so strange. How could people dress in such horrible ways. I admit the miniskirt was an invention from god, but other than that it was fashion hell.
I smiled at a boy who obviously didn't know it is impolite to ogle and made my way into the bar. I didn't know what it was males found so interesting. I was pale as a sheet and my hair was dark brown, almost black, matching the shade of my eyes. I was too tall and my posture was horrible, yet they stared without fail every time. It had bothered me immensely at first, but I got used to it. I strode up to the bar and smiled at the waitress. She looked at me as if I had slapped her. I could almost see the green that colored her emotions. Actually, I could see the green that colored her emotions. I always could. Their emotions could be seen in the color of the air around them. Mine was a weird talent. I could understand sensing emotions but seeing them portrayed in colors in the space around the one I am sensing was completely new. I thought it was a strange talent and tried to ignore it whenever I could. It bothered me to be different. I hated to stick out in a crowd. My brother often called me his wallflower. I would have liked that.
I smiled at the girl staring at me like I had a third eye growing out of my forehead and said "can I get a soda?" She frowned at the ringing in my voice and took the money I laid on the counter. A minute or so later she came back with a soda. I wondered in the back of my mind if she was shallow enough to spit in it. Probably not. I took the soda and turned around on my stool. I smiled, this was the most normal thing I had done since I met my brother. I couldn't wait to see the look on his face in the morning. A small part of me wondered if he would be too angry. But I dismissed it, I wasn't afraid of my brother and he knew it.)
I slipped into a movie theater that had just begun to roll the movies. I chose one that was playing a romance, smiling to myself as I thought of how easy it was to sneak in unnoticed, even in the brightly lit front entrance. As the movie began to roll, I thought of just what had happened as I returned from my first prison break.
(I walked into the room around two in the morning with my head held high. I wasn't going to feel guilty. It was his fault for being so protective. It wasn't my fault outsmarting him had become my new hobby. What else was there to do at night? I closed the door behind me and turned to face his fury. There was fury and I stood there as he chided me and ranted out all of his frustration with my head held high, trying to fight back the smile that threatened at my lips. Even through the yelling and anger I could see the pride and joy in the color of his surroundings at how quickly I had learned to outsmart him. As expected, when the torrent was over, he sat down on the bed and looked up at me fighting a smile of his own.
"So you finally managed to sneak out. You didn't take as long as I expected. You sure did better than I did the first time I got away from mom and dad." I was surprised. He never talked about our parents. I could feel a story coming and my brother was not the person I would pick to lead a conversation. I sat down so listen expecting a short memory that I would puzzle over for days. It was something to do in the endless vacation that was our life on the road.)
As the movie started I noticed a group of boys staring at me. I smiled politely and turned my attention back to the screen. A boy and girl were in the park and were working through the first akward stage of their relationship. I had seen it all before. The thing that caught my interest was how out of place the boys looked. I don't have to go too much into detail about why guys are out of place in a romance without girls with them. That was the only thing that would drag a guy into this Chick Flick. I began to speculate mildly as the couple on the screen went through meeting the parents. I noticed that none of the boys were paying the slightest bit of attention to the movie. Most of them looked at me with obvious lust coloring the air around them. It wasn't hard to put two and two together.
These boys were looking for a good time and they were expecting to get it from me. I smiled into the darkness as I imagined what they thought was going to happen. Humans could be so stupid. Did they honestly think that they would get far? I had to remind myself that they thought I was weak and human like they were. I got up from my seat and strolled out of the theater. I could use some entertainment. I hoped silently that my brother didn't come to my "rescue" before I had my fun. He could be such a kill joy sometimes. How often did I get a chance to break a few rules? You would understand if you lived with my brother.
I walked silently into the street and down an alley that I was sure would give them the perfect opportunity to corner me. I smiled to myself as I heard the footsteps of the boys behind me. I could hear the faster footfalls of the others who were going to block the other end of the short alleyway. I sped up slightly to give the impression of fear, how easy it was to toy with them, I almost disgusted myself. As the footsteps behind me picked up speed I broke into a light jog. My heart was racing, but not with fear, I couldn't wait for them to corner me in the shadows of the alley, smiling in triumph. I played my part perfectly, Stopping dead as the other group stepped out into the opening I had been running for. I stretched my eyes wide, fighting a smile, and looked from one group to the other. They closed in and one whispered, "Hey sexy, what are you doing out by yourself? You might run into some bad characters." He smiled as he said this and the others laughed. The leader reached for my wrist, and I prepared for the fun to start, but just as the boys hand closed around my wrist, a voice came from the farthest end of the alley. "Hey, it ain't nice pick on girls. Why don't you go play with someone who likes your games." It shouted. I looked toward the voice in irritation. Why did someone have to be heroic when you least want them to? Now I would have to save him and miss out on all the fun. What did he think he was doing? He didn't stand a chance against all of these boys; did he want to get his ass kicked? I sighed and let it go. I would get another chance someday. I grabbed the boy who still held my wrist, but before I had a chance to do anything fun, like throw him into a brick wall or fling him twenty feet into the air, the boy was ripped from my grasp.
The stranger threw him to the ground and, so fast the movement blurred, landed a solid kick into the next boys gut. He hit the wall and slid to the pavement at my feet. The others scattered soon after and I was still standing there with that irritated expression frozen on my face. This was no normal human. That was obvious, but then what was he? He walked up to me slowly, his hands in the air. It reminded me vaguely of a criminal showing he is unarmed as he surrendered to the police. A look of concern crossed his face as he approached me. He was probably wondering if I had gone into shock. I watched him warily as he put his hand on my shoulder. "Hey, you okay? Did they hurt you?" He looked my over swiftly and then seemed to notice the look on my face. "Hey why are you looking at me that way?" He leaned over me and I caught his scent for the first time. Immediately I was twenty feet away from him crouched defensively against a wall. How could I not notice it! All of the signs were there! What was I thinking, I should have checked his scent instead of assuming he was human. But why on earth would a vampire save me? Why would he chase off other humans just to get to me? It seems pointless. What reason could he possibly have? All of these questions flooded my mind as the concern in his face melted into surprise and suspicion.
"What are you?" He asked as he inched closer. The suspicion melted into raging curiosity. He cocked his head to the side and I could see the irritation in his face as he tried to figure what I was. I wasn't letting my guard down no matter how innocent his emotions were. "Why did you interfere, bloodsucker? What reason could you possibly have to chase those boys away?" I asked him, as I watched his slow advance. He straightened out of his crouch abruptly at the word bloodsucker and eyed me with suspicion again. "You seem to have the advantage here. You know what I am, so kindly tell me what you are." His silky voice pleaded in the darkness.
"I don't have a name for what I am. I just am. I am neither vampire, nor am I a werewolf. I am no half breed and I am certainly not human. What am I? Your guess is as good as mine." I said in a voice dripping with honey. I would be lucky to talk my way out of this one. I hope my brother doesn't catch wind of this or he'll be as overbearing as ever.
The vampire inched closer and then relaxed. He smiled at me sincerely. The smile made my heart miss a beat and I was embarrassed when he noticed. He smiled again at the blush that spread over my cheeks. How was I supposed to think straight with his beautiful crimson eyes looking at me like that. Then I was shocked as he crumpled to the ground in agony. The sun had begun to light the horizon aflame with the beginning of a new day. The back of my mind noted that my brother would be furious that I was out in the daytime, but most of my concentration was centered on the almost overwhelming need to protect the vampire I was recently so eager to escape from. The urge caught me so of guard it was a while before I realized that I had draped my jacket over his face and was racing through the street like a streak of lightening towards the motel we were staying in. I was grateful that my brother had already gone to search for me and was not in the room.
I set the boy on the bed I had recently lay in, turning restlessly in the darkness. After covering him completely in the quilts, I hurried to the windows to close the thick cloth curtains and shut out the rays of the rising sun. I streaked back to the bed when I was sure all light was barred from the room and pulled the thick quilt off of the boy. He was unconscious, but was breathing. The instant my mind caught up with what I had done, I gasped. I was still frozen in shock on the floor of the motel room when my brother stormed through the door.
"Where in hell have you been?!" He yelled before the sight of my face brought him up short. Before I could blink he was at my side and his arms were around me. "What is it sis? What has happened? It will be alright. It can't be that bad, Tell me. What is it?" He cooed in my ear as he stroked my hair and looked into my shocked and fearful eyes. I looked at him and wondered if he would hate me for what I had done. Would he leave me? Would he kill the boy I had saved from the sun? Would he hate me for my stupidity? Would he send the boy back outside to die? I didn't know, but as I stared at him in horror, he caught scent of the vampire in my bed. In an instant, I was against the wall. My brother was crouched in front of me and he was filled with the reddest fury. I was shocked by the vivid crimson that flooded through him as he crouched protectively in front of me. Before I knew what I was doing, I had thrown myself in front of the boy and threw my arms around him. My brother stared at me in shock for half a second before he realized what was going on. "NO!!" He yelled as understanding flooded his face. The vivid red of his anger grew ever brighter as he took a step in the boy's direction. The look on my brothers face frightened me but I stood my ground. Sometime during the endless silence that followed, where my brother alternated between protective glances at me and murderous glares in the boys direction, the vampire regained consciousness.
He sat on the bed looking from my protective stance in front of him to my brothers murderous glare with first, confusion and then fear. My brother finally found his voice as he noticed how I looked at the boy. What did he see in my face? I had no idea what he would see and I didn't care at the moment, for he was screaming at the boy now and I felt another surge of the protective instinct that led me to save him in the first place.
"How dare you try to take her from me! She is MINE! You can't have her. I'd have killed you already if she wasn't protecting you. What would make you stupid enough to try to take MY SISTER!! I don't give a DAMN what you thought you were doing! I will wring your filthy bloodsucker neck before I let her go, UNDERSTAND!! Give me one reason, ONE, Why I shouldn't let you fry in the sun for…"
The threats he was flinging at the boy over my shoulder were drowned out as rage flooded my system. He was yelling at the vampire like he had planned what had happened, yelling at him as if he planned to steal me the whole time. I was not going to let him talk about me as if I belonged to him. I did not belong to anyone! I was so mad my eyesight was tinged with red and I tasted the fury on my tongue. My brother's stream of threats and accusations cut of abruptly, as a feral snarl ripped through my chest and I leaped for my brother's throat.
The next thing I remember is crouching over the body of the boy I had saved. He was balled up on the floor between me and my brother. He had thrown himself between us before I could rip out my brothers throat, but I couldn't stop before I rammed into his chest at full speed. My brother was standing frozen in the same spot as I leaned over the vampire. After a moment, he sat up and rubbed his chest where I had slammed into him. My brother was looking between us with a mixture of shock, reluctant gratitude, and anger streaked across his face.
"Don't you dare blame this on him! We only met just now, how could he have known what was going to happen, and why does it matter?! I don't belong to you and you aren't the boss of me. You can't tell me who I can fall in love with!" I roared at him, still sitting on the floor with my teeth bared. He looked at me as if I had slapped him. I felt a momentary pang of regret as I saw hurt color the air around him.
"Just give me a chance to explain what happened before you do anything stupid, okay bro?" I pleaded as I slowly climbed off of the floor and pulled the boy to his feet. He looked from my pleading eyes to the fear streaked across the boy's face and nodded. He sat down on his bed and folded his arms. "I'm listening," he said.
So I told him what happened, quickly editing out my plans to bend the rules. He seemed to believe me and when I finished my story, he sighed. "I guess it wasn't your fault. I'm sorry to both of you" he said, looking from me to the boy. "I guess I should have asked you first." He looked at the boy again. "So, what's your name, anyway?" He asked.
"My name is Noel. I am from a family of vampires that lives in Mississippi. We have a permanent settlement there and live in a community of vampires. We call the place Ileana. That means Greenwood. We have lived there for hundreds of years." He said as he glanced from my brother to me. "We aren't the only species there. We have witches and werewolves, too. The elders have managed to keep the peace between us for so long that we have begun to mix breed."
"So, why did you leave?" I asked. He looked up at me and smiled, I felt my brothers disapproval from across the room. I threw him a warning glance before I look back. "I can't see why you wouldn't stay." He took a deep breath before he answered.
"I was bored. I had lived in that town for three hundred years and I needed a change of scenery. I left to look for a new home and never went back."
"Where did you go?" I asked, curious. "I went West first, traveling through Kansas and California before I turned North. I headed into Washington after a few years without finding a place I wanted to stay in. When I got there, I came across a little town called Dark Point. The town had an interesting scent, so I went to explore. When I arrived in the residential area, I was shocked to find myself face to face with the largest pack of animals I had ever seen. I knew almost immediately that they weren't normal animals. Together in the group, there were panthers, jaguars, tigers, wolves, eagles, bears, lions, horses, falcons, and something you could only describe as a dragon. They smelled nothing like normal animals and seemed naturally aggressive toward me. Then the power hit me. It-"
"What do you mean 'the power'?" My brother broke in.
"My vampire ability is that I can shape shift into anything I come in contact with. I don't just look like the species, I am that species. I become the thing genetically. I felt my body heat up and my skin changed from pale white to a smooth peachy brown and my hair turned black. I didn't understand why I had become human. The creatures in front of me were NOT human. I stood there, confused until one of them changed. He came up to me and glared in my face. 'What the hell did you just do? You don't smell like a leach anymore. What kind of trick are you trying to pull, bloodsucker? How come you smell like part of the pack?' Then it hit me, they where shape shifters. 'I'm sorry if I intruded on your territory. I didn't know that I was not welcome. As for my change, my ability is to change into any new species I come in contact with. If I am not wanted, I will go. Can you point me in the direction of the nearest town?' I said trying to stay on their good side. I didn't want to pick a fight with sixteen angry shape shifters. The human in front of me surprised me by laughing. 'Cool!' He exclaimed and threw his arm around my shoulders.
'Have you met the others, yet?' He asked me as he led me toward the group of animals behind him. 'They would get a kick out of you. Guys, meet the newest freak. Hey, what's your name anyway, new guy?' he said as we came closer. 'Uh, Noel. No, I haven't met the others. Who are they?' I asked, confused by his sudden change of attitude. 'The others are local vamps. They live in town. Noel, these are the packs. My pack and Johns pack we each have nine members.' He took me up the road and the others phased and followed us. We need to introduce you to the others before they catch your scent and freak out. They have a problem with nomads in their territory. They are very protective of their way of life. We can't let some wild vampire blow our cover, it would ruin our way of life. We live in secret. The vamps pose as humans and live their lives with the people of the town and we stay in our own community hidden in the forest. It is a great way to live if you aren't for the whole move every day thing. We try to keep the peace and the secret as best we can.' He explained as entered the woods. 'So if you are a shape shifter now, what is your animal?' one of the people behind us spoke up. 'I don't know yet. I suppose I will have to choose one. How do you get the forms you have?' I asked as we entered what looked like a large community of small houses. they were all set in what looked like a rough spiral pattern twisting out from the largest houses in the center. 'These are the vamps.' He said as several vampires wandered into the square that was the center of the community. 'Who is this?!' A male vampire demanded. 'Why have you brought us a nomad? You know others who see the hidden city must die to protect the secret!' He thundered at us. 'Chill, Volti. He is not a normal nomad and he won't tell anyone.' The man beside me stated. I wondered how he could trust me so completely. 'Why does he smell like a shadow walker?' A female asked. 'Because he is one. His talent is to become any species he comes in contact with. He won't be a danger to us.' The man explained. 'I Have come looking for a place I can stay. This place is much like my old home.' I explained to them my home and why I left. They welcomed me, but after a few years I felt the same restless boredom that made me leave my home in the first place. I left and began searching again for the place I belonged in." he finished his story.
We all sat in silence for a while. The story had taken us all in. We were amazed by how many communities there were that creatures like us could live out their lives and not worry about humans. The story had drawn both me and my brother in. I felt the urge to leave home now and search for the places in Noel's story. "Noel why do you think you weren't happy in those places?" I asked, unable to see what he would not have in such a perfect place. "I believe I was looking for you." He said looking at me with eyes that made my heart melt. "I traveled and traveled looking for the thing I did not have. I never realized that I was looking for love. It makes me feel as if I have lived my life with a hole in my chest and when I am near you the hole is filled. I have found what I was looking for. You don't know how happy that makes me." He finished.
Actually, I could see exactly how happy that made him. I didn't say so, for I had gotten lost in the depths of his crimson eyes. The force of his gaze held me and I never wanted to look away. I was sad when my brother cleared his throat and Noel looked away. "So what are we going to do now?" My brother asked. "We can't follow the same routine now. Pretty boy can't travel in the sun. I guess we need a new plan, and I'm Matthew and this is Dawn" I was surprised that my brother had given in so easily. He was going to let Noel Stay with us. I didn't understand. "You are letting him stay? What made you change your mind?" I asked against my better judgment. I should have just taken the miracle without question, but I couldn't hold back my curiosity. "The way he looks at you reminds me of how I used to look at Sadie." he stated simply. I was shocked. He hadn't said her name since the day she had died. I didn't know what to say.
"If you are not opposed to staying in one place a while, I would like to visit my family. I have not seen them in centuries." Noel said breaking the silence. "They probably think I am dead by now. It would be fun to see haw they have done without me." He continued when we didn't answer. "Sure, I can do that. It would be great to visit your family." said brightly. The thought of not moving around made me instantly love the idea. Richard, Do you want to go to Mississippi?" I asked my brother with a pleading look. "Sure." he said unable to fight the joy the idea brought to me.
We loaded up the car with our things and the few things Noel had. I sat in the back with him while Richard drove. We drove east from the little town in Phoenix we had stopped in, headed for New Mexico. My brother drove until the horizon began to lighten. We stopped in a small town, I don't know the name. I was too tired to care. I wasn't used to being up all night. I figured it would take a while for me to get used to the change. Noel noticed how tired I was and said, "You shouldn't have to stay up all night just because I can't go out in the sun." "It's okay, Noel. We will get used to it. It will just take a while." I said. "No I want to help. Would you consider letting me drive? I don't sleep, so it won't hurt me any, and you could get some sleep at night. It would make me feel better, and I bet your brother would like me more, too." He argued, persistent. "Okay, fine. You can drive." I caved. He could be very convincing when he wanted to be.
The next evening, we got in the car and Noel took the driver's seat. I rode up front with him while Richard took the back seat. He grumbles to himself about not getting to drive his own car and I laughed. We decided to head for a small human town near Noel's home to stop and prepare. It didn't take us long to arrive. Noel drove extremely fast.(Vampires, always in a hurry!) I thought to myself smiling. We pulled into the inn just as dawn was setting in. It had only taken four days. Noel went to check in as I woke Richard and got our things. Noel came back out to lead us to our room.
The room was small. It had only two beds and the bedside lamps were bolted to the tables. Noel went to take a shower as I rummaged through my clothes for a formal dress. I had had it for years and had never worn it. I was glad I would finally get the chance. It was an emerald green dress that flared out halfway down my thighs and swirled with every move I made. Richard gave me a disapproving look as he eyed the way it showed all of my shoulders. When Noel walked out of the bathroom he stopped dead and stared at me before shaking himself and going to search for something to wear. I walked into the bathroom and worked on my hair. By the time the sun set, I was ready and Richard was waiting impatiently by the door.
"Can we hurry this up some?" he grumbled. I ignored his foul mood and got into the car. Noel sat in the back with me this time as Richard drove. He wasn't happy that he needed instructions to find the hidden entrance to the town. "Welcome To Lliana." Richard said as we passed through some large vine covered gates. The air around him was tinged grey with his nervousness. "It will be fine." I soothed as he grew tense. He gave me a grateful look as we pulled to a stop in front of the house he had pointed out. "Someone is here. I can smell them." Richard said.
We got out and made our way to the front porch. I could feel the black waves of suspicion and fear emating from the house. "They don't seem pleased to have unexpected company. We should be careful." I warned as we knocked on the door. They nodded in understanding.
"Who are you? What is your business here?" a man's voice came from inside the house. Shock radiated from Noel "Father? Is that you? It Noel. I've returned home." Noel called to the man in the house. The door flew open and a man stood eyeing our group with suspicion. "You claim to be my son, but you can't be for my son left us centuries ago and never returned. How do I know you are him?" The man questioned. I looked at Noel and the look of shock was still frozen on his face. "How can you not recognize me, father? I would have thought you would eagerly accept my return. What has changed you?" Noel asked looking hurt. "The man's face softened as he read the honesty of Noels words. "We have hoped for your return since the day you left us. You nearly killed your mother when you left. I had long since given up hope of your return. Many of us believed you dead. We never heard word from you in all of the years that you were gone. We used to celebrate you birthday. Your mother checked the mail every day to look for letters. She would jump to answer the phone in hope that it would be you. It never was. I still think she never gave up on you. If you are my son, you have much to explain. What you did is unacceptable. You nearly tore our family apart. If you are not my son, then you better hope that you don't make it into your mother's room. If she is put through this again for nothing I will personally rip you to pieces and set your sorry carcass aflame." The man's forceful words had me speechless. I couldn't understand how he could hate his son so much for being unhappy. I couldn't help the words that rushed from my mouth at his threat. "Sir, I'm sorry, but you can't possibly blame him for leaving. If he was unhappy, it would have been cruel to force him to stay. He left to find his place in this world and you can't blame him for wanting a reason to live. I can't just let you judge him for leaving to find a life of his own." I was momentarily distracted by the blindingly vivid red that colored th e air around me. I couldn't let him take his anger out on Noel for no reason. It was unfair. The man turned to me. He seemed to just have noticed my presence. He looked me up and down, his eyes widening as he took in my curvy figure accented by the dress. Surprise and curiosity colored the air around him momentarily before being replaced by more suspicion. "And who the hell are you?!" He spat at me viciously. I was surprised by his anger towards me. What had I done?
I was snapped out of my thoughts as Noel placed himself firmly between me and he man. The man looked from me to Noel lingering on the protective stance he was standing in and noting the low growl slipping from his lips. I put my hand on Noels arm to calm him. "Noel" I warned. He looked at my pleading face a moment before dropping his protective stance. I didn't fail to notice that he still stayed between me and the other man. Neither did his father. "Who is the girl? Why is she here?" He asked Noel gruffly. "I have never seen her before." "This is Dawn. She and her brother, Richard have been traveling with me for a few days." Noel explained. "Well, don't just stand there. Come in and sit down. I'll get your mother." The man said, reentering the house. "Mary, Jake! We have company and I think you should meet them." He called, just above a whisper. (Again, Vampires, Ugh.) This would take getting used to.
A tall blond boy walked down the stairs and froze. Shock radiated from where he stood, quickly followed by anger. He didn't seem to know what to do with himself, so he just stood there gawking at Noel like he had never seen another person before in his life. A petite woman cam in from the study and looked up from the book in her hands. Her eyes froze on Noel and the book slid from her finger. Tears of joy filled her eyes as the pink of her love filled the room. She flung herself at Noel. She threw her arms around him and cried into his shoulder. I could feel his guilt as he realized how much his mother had missed him. He put his arms around her hesitantly and patted her on the back. "It's good to see you, too mom. I've missed you." He whispered into her hair. That's when the boy on the stairs snapped. "How dare you show your face here again! Do you even realize the shit we went through when you left! Of all the stupid things you could do, coming back was the biggest. You have some nerve coming back into this house after you walked out on your family!" He screamed, rushing down the stairs at full vampire speed to get into Noel's face. "Get out! I should kill you for coming back at all!" "Jake!" Noel's mother exclaimed in shock. "No mother! I'm not going to sit by and watch as he rips our family apart again! If father won't kick him out, then I will!" he raged. All of a sudden it was too much. His fury overwhelmed me and I collapsed.
"Dawn! Dawn, are you alright! Noel was holding me in his arms. It took me a moment to remember where we were. I was laying on the floor. Noel had me cradled in his arms and Richard was sitting on the couch glaring at Jake. I noticed the boy had a huge gash across his face. I wondered briefly what had happened. Noel's mother was sitting beside him tending the cut. His father was standing in the corner looking at me confused and suspicious as he eyed the way Noel held me to his chest. I looked back at Noel. He was looking me over trying to find out what had caused me to faint. "Dawn, what happened? You just collapsed. I don't understand." He looked worried. I smiled. "I'm fine, Noel. I just couldn't handle the pressure of it is all. It was to much, and my system just shut down. I will be fine after a moment." Then I realized what had happened to Jake. I eyed Richard suspiciously."Did you hit him, Richard?!" He didn't answer, but I took his guilty expression as a confirmation. "Why did you do that? He didn't mean to do it and you could have calmed him down without knocking him out." I scolded. I felt the smug satisfaction radiate from him. "It felt good, though, and he deserved it. He should learn to control his emotions better. I don't think I left a permanent mark though." he seemed disappointed. I laughed. "What the hell are you two going on about? What happened?" Noel looked confused and annoyed. "His emotions became too powerful for me to handle. I passed out from the pressure of his anger on my mind." I explained, I had forgotten he was new to my talent. I wondered what his family thought of me. I looked to Noels father. He seemed to have come to a decision about me at last. "Sir, it's driving me crazy. Can you please tell me what you are thinking." I asked. He gave me an amused look and cleared his throat. "I have come to several conclusions. You will have to tell me if they are correct. First, I get the feeling that my son is more than just traveling with you. It seems to me that there is something between you." He paused to get my reaction. I blushed and he took it to mean he was correct. "Second I have been puzzling over what you are. I noticed immediately that you are not a vampire. You have a heartbeat. You are not a werewolf. You don't smell like one and you would be in wolf form, seeing as it is a full moon tonight. You are not a shape shifter, for you don't run a temperature. You are magical, but not a witch. The magical presence is there, but it's not quite the same as in a regular witch. You are not whole or even part human. I believe you are a new species of creature. Your brother seems to have the same qualities as you. Since we have no record of your species I must ask what it is that you are."
I smiled. "I don't have a clue. I was hoping you could tell us. We are the only ones like this that I have ever met. Our parents were the same but they didn't have a clue either. As far as we know we are a totally new species." He seemed let down. "Well if you are a new species, you will need a name. Do you have any ideas?" He asked. "No we never thought about it. We were just different. I guess we could give ourselves a name, but what would it be? I puzzled over it. I looked up and noticed a faint stirring of light. I hadn't realized we had been here so long. At that point I realized how tired I was. I yawned deeply and Noel chuckled beside me. "I keep forgetting that you need sleep." He whispered in my ear. "Is my room still suitable for people?" He asked his father. "Yes, we kept everything exactly the way you left it. Your mother wouldn't let us touch it." He smiled lovingly at his wife. "Then you can sleep in my bed, Dawn. It is better than the couch, I guess." He offered. I was too tired to care. "Sure, it's fine." I mumbled into his chest as he helped me up the stairs. I was out before my head hit the pillow. The last thing I remember is him laying down beside me as I sunk into a deep dreamless sleep.