Astrid had never been in more pain yet more blissful in her life. She was on fire and freezing cold. She was breathing with no lungs. She couldn't hear her heart beat but her pulse was racing. She felt like her stomach was split open and everything was falling out. She had never felt more in pieces. She had never felt more solid. The blackness was blinding, it was too bright. And then she opened her eyes.

"Are you ok?" A blonde man stood over her, eyes full of concern. He didn't have the chance to breathe. Astrid leapt up off her back and aimed straight at his jugular.

Blood dripped hot and sticky off her chin as she stood up. Astrid saw the carnage, but it was as if from a great height. She looked away and spotted a mirror in the alleyway. As she walked over to it, she noted how she almost floated in air, her feet barely making an imprint or sound on the frozen ground. She gazed into the mirror. Violet eyes stared back at her, the same they always had. They were bigger, more innocent, but the drying blood on her lips revealed something more sinister.

Then she smelled it; the intense, coppery smell of blood. She snarled at her reflection, and then proceeded to look around. She was alone. It was only then that Astrid realized she had not been breathing. The only blood was on her face. She licked her lips. Mm… The sound was much more musical than she thought. She looked over the rest of herself. She had been a dancer, and it had showed. Now, she was even trimmer, the thin layer of fat covering her had disappeared. I know what I am… thought Astrid. I'm a… She smiled then quickly gasped. Her canines had sharpened slightly. Not enough to notice, but as soon as she ran her tongue across them, she knew, a vampire.

Astrid stood up, drained. So if I'm a vampire… that means I have super strength like the ones in the books? She found the closest, heaviest looking object she could find. A cinderblock sat nearby and she walked to it. Try as hard as she might, she couldn't lift it. Oh come off it! I could so pick up one of these when I was human! She tried something, anything, and everything. She was helpless.

"But if I'm the 'perfect predator'…" she mused, unused to the way her voice sounded, "It would make sense that I would be either really strong or really helpless. I guess I got stuck with the…" She heard footfall and snapped her head toward the entrance to the alley. "Hello?" she said, her musical voice filling the space.

"Hello?" A voice echoed back. A boy, teenager, walked into the alley with her. He was tall, blonde, and built, with surprisingly vivid green eyes. She looked him over quickly and noticed his clothes. He was dressed casually, but there was an air about him that said they were all designer clothes. "Hey," he said in a soothing voice. "Are you ok? You look really pale." That was probably true. She was hardly ever outside, and her family wasn't rich enough to afford vacation houses at warm beaches or trips to the tanning booths. The only reason she could even take dance lessons was because it was a class at school. Astrid remembered to breathe again. It hit her like a ton of bricks. The smell of his blood was delectable. It wasn't the coppery scent of the older blond man's blood. Instead, it was sweet. She could hear his heart singing ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum. It was enticing.

"Hi…" She said unsurely. She did not want to hurt him. He seemed really innocent and sweet. And she may have just developed a small crush on him. "I'm Astrid."

"Hey, Astrid, I'm Wesley. Wesley Roberts." He smiled, and she noticed his dimples. It was cute. "So, what's a girl like you doing in an alley like this?"

"I could ask you the same thing," Astrid said, eyeing him up slowly. She gave him a sarcastic, questioning look.

"Well, I honestly don't know. But I'm glad I did. I ran into a beautiful girl, so it's not all bad."

"Oh…" said Astrid. She looked at her feet. She wasn't really that pretty… "Thank you." She mumbled.

"So," Wesley said, sitting on the cinderblock she had tried to lift only moments before, "you didn't answer my question." He motioned to an overturned rubbish bin beside him.

"Um… I…" She scanned the alley, looking for the old man's body. It wasn't in sight. She must have been down in the darkest part of the alleyway. "I just thought I heard something…" If she remembered correctly, that IS what brought her down here. Or rather, a really, really handsome guy who was extremely compelling who had a voice like silk and mesmerizing eyes. "But it was just a cat. So what brings you down here? You don't look like the kind of boy who comes to this side of town." She gestured at his clean, nice clothes. Compared to her raggedy skinny jeans and Converses, he was practically wearing a tux.

"And what kind of boy do you think I am?" he asked and raised his eyebrows.

Astrid blushed. "I just meant… you… uh…"

"You're cute when you're caught off guard, you know that?" Astrid blushed even deeper. "Nah, I'm just messing with you, Astrid. But you are really cute, you know? How'd you like to go out some time?"

"But we just met." Astrid said. She was rarely confused by guys, but Wesley wasn't like any other guy she'd ever met. He was sweet and charming, but pushy, and incredibly cute. He had to be a heartbreaker.

"I know I know… But it just feels like we should. I feel like I know you." He was definitely a charmer. Astrid stared at him. "No, really, I mean it."

"Well… I mean… I guess we could hang out some time…" He smiled at her, and she relaxed.

"Ok, then. I'll see you around!" Wesley got up to walk away.

"But wait. How will I know where to meet you?"

"Oh, I just have a feeling we will be seeing each other real soon." He winked and then walked out of the alley.

That was just weird, thought Astrid.