The Vampire Cliché

"Wake up, Chris! Wake up!" A gentle voice called softly and tenderly. It was also filled with the warmth of someone who cares...

An angel?

...God?

Wait, no, it's female...

Mother Mary?

"Let me handle this," a male voice gruffly said and then a pinch.

Hmm. I think I entered a vacuum. Maybe I got kicked out of heaven into space for that fried dumpling I nicked off from Alex's plate while he wasn't looking once…

My eyes snapped open as I waved my arms around, shrieking, "AIR!"

The first thing I saw was Richard's smirking face as he removed his dirty, grubby, insolent fingers from my nose. I glared at him as soon as I finished taking in mouthfuls – and nosefuls (I know it's not a word but bear with me – the lack of oxygen is killing what little brain cells I had left) – of air.

"You're awake!" Cytherea exclaimed happily from beside me. I stared at her blankly before everything came back to me.

"Demonic minx in an angel's clothing!" I exclaimed as I pointed at her and backed away as far as the bed would allow me. I was about to wonder how I got on a bed – in some room – but Cytherea caught my attention before it could walk away.

"I'm sorry, Chris," she said, her bright eyes going wide and slightly glazed with gathering tears. Her full lower lip jutted out a bit and I could see them trembling. She gave me such a skilled wide-eyed-kicked-puppy-dog look. BUT no way was I going to crumble and give in to her obvious and pathetic attempts at cooling my – the toughest cookie in this scorching and sapless oven we all call life – blazing temper-

"Aww! She's so cute!" OH NO! My arms and mouth moved without my implicit instructions! First, Cytherea and now my own body? Judases, every single one of them! Hmph!

"Get your hands off of her!" Richard yelled as it was his turn to rudely point at me. Evil, sadistic inner Alex commanded my traitorous arms to tighten their hold on Cytherea while my lips formed a smirk. I would've been upset that I've been betrayed once again but that hot glare complete with red cheeks that Richard sent me just made my smirk all that genuine.

This is payback for cinching off my air supply, you big, un-hot ass!

"If she's pissing you off, little brother, then I think I'm going to really like her."

I looked up and saw a slightly older and more rugged version of Richard. He was taller by about three inches and he had about two day's worth of facial hair. I was also a bit surprised to see that he actually had a thin scar that ran from his temple to his jaw before it was cut off and another thin scar that was on his neck. Like in many of my favourite sappy – I mean, romantic – novels, the scars should've been imperfections but they just made him look more striking and dangerous.

I then noticed the fact that he was smirking at me (OMG! I think I can go off to meet the Almighty in the heavens above happily!) and he jerked his head towards Richard.

"Doesn't he create the most interesting shade of red whenever someone points out his foolish and hopeless crush?"

Ah... I think I have found my soul mate.

"Shut up, Julius!" Richard yelled at his older brother, his red face turning a darker shade that would be purple if he keeps it up. "Stop encouraging that boyish monkey or else she's going to think she's human!"

I scoffed. "Better a monkey than a rabid rabbit... gopher, squirrel, racoon, rat, bat, mouse-"

"Just ignore him," Julius told me as he walked over and bent forward a bit to put me closer to his eye level. "He acts like a little cretin but we both know he's an adorably fluffy bunny on the inside, teeth and all, right?"

Richard cringed as Julius and I looked at him at the exact same time before flashing him identical smirks. He blanched and looked like he was going to be sick.

Ah, yes, after a whole life of searching for my soul mate, I have finally found him!

"Come on, little brother," Julius said as he grabbed Richard's upper arm and began dragging him out of the room effortlessly as Richard struggled. "We should give the ladies some privacy and let your new friend recover from the sandman."

The door shut behind them, muffling Richard's protests of Cytherea's virtue being in danger.

Seriously, that guy is forgetting that I'm a girl! He's such an insensitive prick-

"I'm sorry for making you sleep," Cytherea told me softly with an apologetic smile. "It was for your own good though since at least you're here in one piece."

I just sighed heavily. "It's okay, I guess. Is it one of those things where you don't want me to see the way to your secret hide-out or you have to kill me? If it is, I completely understand-"

"It's actually a more simple reason," Cytherea interjected sheepishly. "It's because Richard is driving."

[Silence]

Huh?

"HUH?" I sputtered in disbelief. "That's the reason? Because Richard is driving?"

"You don't understand it because Cytherea sedated you," a new voice drawled. "There have only been three times in my life when I thought I was on the brink of agonizing death – one of those times was when I was in a car with Richard behind the wheel."

I looked towards the doorway where the voice came from and saw a bored-looking youth about my age. While Richard was the typical boy-next-door-with-a-temper and Julius seemed the flaming-hot-and-dangerous-bad-ass, this one was the laid-back, devil-may-care type with lazy yet strangely intent (go figure) hazel-green eyes that were partially hidden by his dark hair.

"Chris, meet Kellan," Cytherea happily introduced. "Kellan, this is Christine Lee but we just call her Chris."

"You do kinda look like a boy," Kellan said as he looked me up and down. For some reason, I couldn't find it in me to be pissed off about his comment like with Richard. While Richard made it an insult, Kellan just said it with a matter-of-fact voice that I couldn't find any ill intent despite the words.

Wow, he's good.

"But Richard was exaggerating," Kellan continued, inclining his head. "Look long enough and anyone would realise you're female. Anyway, I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about." He turned away from us and headed back towards the door again. Before he disappeared, he looked back at us one last time.

"And welcome, Chris," he drawled with a small smirk that caused a strange jerking in my chest before he was gone.

"He's so cool," I said in awe as I looked back at Cytherea. "Cool as in calm... as in indifferent... as in plain awesome!"

Cytherea expression was one of amusement as she helped me get off the bed. "I'll introduce you to who's going to train although you may also meet some of the others. Richard, Kellan and I all belong in the same team. Julius is actually a squad leader of his own team."

"Are Richard, Kellan and you the only ones in your team?" I asked her as we walked out of the room with Cytherea lightly holding my arm.

"No, there are others and you would probably meet some of them," she answered as we turned at a corner.

As soon as we rounded the corner, I saw that a guy and a girl around our age were walking towards us. The guy had long, shoulder-length, straight dark hair that formed soft waves at the ends while the girl had soft-looking chestnut brown hair that fell to her waist. I glanced at Cytherea to see if she recognized them and sure enough, she was smiling happily at them.

"Hi there, Meir, Shima," Cytherea greeted them before gesturing to me. "This is Christine Lee."

Meir was definitely a sight to behold. His facial features screamed "aristocratic" with those high and pronounced cheekbones, as well as the aquiline nose. The girl, Shima, was a petite darling with innocent doe-brown eyes and sensual lips who gave me a bashful smile that made me want to hug and cuddle her badly!

"Nice to meet you, Christine," she said in a soft voice with rose-tinged cheeks as she looked at me with her bright eyes. I almost melted as she took me to my happy place.

She. Was. So. ADORABLE!

"Please call me Chris," I told her with a great big grin. The red tinge on her cheeks spread a bit further and she gave me a shy look through her lashes as she gave me a hesitant but absolutely sweet smile.

"Then nice to meet you, Chris," she said in her adorable voice as her smile became a bit more confident, thus ultimately making it irresistible.

I could not stop myself.

I glomped her.

"Can I keep her?" I demanded excitedly as I nuzzled my cheek against the top of Shima's head. Her hair was soooo soft. *nuzzle-nuzzle, cuddle-cuddle*

Cytherea just gave me a calm look. "It's not me you have to ask permission from."

That was when I felt two hands grab my wrists before they were gently but firmly wrenched away from Shima. I then began to fall backwards a bit as I was pushed back.

I looked up and saw the guy – Meir – wrap his arms around Shima's shoulders before pressing her against him. Shima just looked up at him in confusion while Meir looked at me with a narrowing of his eyes that screamed, "MINE!"

Oh. I guess that means I can't take her home and make her my new doll.

Hold on.

Wait a minute!

Am I getting zombie-loving tendencies?

...Of course not. Wanting to have Shima as my very own doll so that I could brush her hair, play dress-up, show her off to my friends and take her around places only means I want a doll – not a zombie. Why would I want a zombie anyway? They have tendency to eat people and drink their blood! I certainly don't want Shima going around drinking blood-

Oh right... She's a Tarah.

[Silence part 2]

NOOOOOOOOOOOO! She's a Tarah!

Well there goes all my fantasies about finding the perfect little girl! Maybe I should just make my own perfect little girl instead of finding one.

Not make one like that!I'm too young and modest and pure and chaste and morally wholesome to be making my own perfect little girl in a method that requires some help from a male like that! That thing that starts with an 's' and ends with an 'x' and has an 'e' in between! NO! Of course, if I want to make my own perfect little girl at this period of my life where I'm still young and modest and pure and chaste and morally wholesome, I'd do it with sugar, spice, everything nice and some chemical XX! XX 'coz it's a girl, you know... As in not XY 'coz that'd be a boy...

Haha! Did you get it? It was a joke! An ingenious joke!

I am so majestically pathetic.

But then again, if I meet my own perfect [vampire] lover, I could already move onto the next stage of my life where I'm no longer modest and pure and chaste and morally wholesome and make my own perfect little girl instead of wanting to steal Shima.

Oh right! I was talking about Shima!

She's a Tarah!

I gave her a look of mourning as I imagined what she would look like with those pesky rodent teeth. Oh the travesty of it all! It just goes to show that no one can truly be perfect...

Cytherea's a Tarah!

Of course, I'm not so slow that I didn't realize it before. Note to self: for reference, return to chapter 3 – containing the introduction of Cytherea – of my brand new diary documenting my life since meeting a certain temperamental vampire and a psychotic zombie maker.

Anyway, I just didn't connect the perfect girl with rodent teeth! I looked at Cytherea in horror as I tried to imagine the teeth on her.

But I couldn't picture it! My mind refused to accept that the ethereal goddess came with teeth that should only belong to pests that bring humanity disease!

"Is she all right?" a deep, husky male voice asked emotionlessly as it brought tingles from my brain to the very tips of my toes. It was the kind of deep voice that could definitely be used for phone s-e-x.

I looked back towards Shima and Meir since it was from their direction that the voice came from. When I saw that there was no other male around, I deduced that Meir was the one who had spoken.

Daaaayymn.

My eyes narrowed. "What is it with all you Tarah being impossibly good-looking and having sexy orgasmic voices?"

I quickly clapped my hands over my mouth!

I said orgasmic!

"Oh forgive your filthy corrupted daughter, Father in heaven!" I yelled in despair as I threw my hands up in the air imploringly.

Meir eyed me cautiously and began to slowly back away from me, dragging Shima with him while Cytherea laughed good-naturedly.

"We're not all good-looking, Chris," she said with an airy laugh. I gave her a pointed – dare I say accusing? – look.

"Yeah, right," I said with a roll of my eyes. "So far, everyone you've introduced me to has been exceptionally gorgeous."

"Is she normally like this?" Meir inquired. His face was still blank but the tone of his voice showed concern – about my sanity I'm guessing. "Perhaps she requires nourishment?"

"Has Chris met everyone on our team?" Shima interjected shyly.

Cytherea shook her head negative. "She's met everyone, including Julius, with the exception of Zayn."

"I do not think it wise for her to be introduced to Zayn," Meir said slowly. "At least not in the state she is in."

The state I'm in?

I had a corny joke with that one but it might be smarter for me not to mention it lest my state be brought up – and questioned – again.

"It'll be fine," Cytherea soothed him. "She's really harmless."

Meir looked like he greatly doubted it but he just nodded his head before turning towards the direction he and Shima came from.

"We'll go with you," Shima explained as she offered me a gentle smile. I have to etch that precious smile in my memory before I see that smile mutilated by squirrel teeth.

After a number of corridors and a few lefts and rights, we finally ended up in front of a black door. I took a huge gulp of air nervously before an almost hysterical giggle left me.

I knew that it would only be later on that I would probably regret my crazy thoughts on Shima. Seriously, I'm starting to think it's the sedatives. Even I am not this crazy at my worst. Maybe it was post-almost-getting-killed-by-stupid-Mattia-and-getting-stalked-by-vampires trauma catching up to me. I just know that if I stop acting like this – if I became serious and seriously thought of how I almost died. If I seriously ponder what's going on around me right now and the type of people I'm surrounded with now…

I would completely and totally lose it. This was more than just a few bullies. This was my reality being rewritten.

So far, I am only going with the Tarah because it wasn't their side that tried to eliminate me. But still, do they really care what happens to me? Or am I actually just bait for the Methuselah? Will I become more of a target if I sided with them? Will they be the death of me? Also, I really have to learn that just because some people look trustworthy; it doesn't necessarily mean they are...

Moral of the story: hotness ≠ harmless

Funny how the crazy part of me is actually the one that's keeping me from going insane. I can only laugh about my situation or else I'd be on the floor, broken and crying, just like I used to before when I went home battered and bruised and utterly defeated.

I may fail in the end but I will absolutely try my damn hardest to never go back to being that person.

Then the doors opened.

A/N: Thank you to everyone reading this. Your comments really do make my day.