Everything hurt. I was dizzy, my stomach was throbbing, my eyelids felt like they were laced with steel. I was dying. Well, that just sucked. It wasn't fair! I hadn't even gotten to tell Levi that I loved him yet! I mean, I was pretty sure he knew, but the point is, I wanted to say it before I died damn it!
I forced my eyes open as I was laid gently on what I assumed was a couch. I could see the living room of my house around me and then Kalene's face swam into view.
"Are you okay?" she asked.
I wanted to tell her that I was perfectly fine. I only had a hole in my stomach that was pumping blood like there was no tomorrow, but my lips wouldn't move.
Richard laughed and I wondered if he had heard me. Kalene shot a dark look over her shoulder, then her eyes softened. "Levi, you need to feed." She said.
Why? What's wrong with him? Is he hurt? Oh my god! Steven said he would feel…oh my GOD!
"Relax," Richard sighed sharply.
That oddly didn't make me feel any better. I felt Kalene's hand cool against my cheek and sighed. "He'll be alright; it's you I'm worried about."
"Here," Feliciana said and I knew that she was holding her wrist out to Levi and my jealousy meter went off the charts. Richard cleared his throat as if to disguise a laugh and Kalene pressed a hand to her mouth.
It's not funny! I'm not even dead yet and the bitch is already trying to steal my man!
"Phoebe," Richard laughed. "Shut up,"
I frowned, or at least, I tried to. Maybe I didn't want to shut up. Maybe I wanted to bug him incessantly with my motor mind until he went insane.
Apparently while I was thinking all that I was thinking, Levi was sucking blood out of Feliciana's wrist because his face was suddenly above me, looking down. His hand trailed over my cheek and a sad smile touched his lips.
I wasn't happy about him drinking Feliciana's blood—it was worse than when he drank Kalene's—but I understood that need if he was hurt. "You need to try and drink something," Levi said gently, stroking my hair.
I didn't know what that would do to help and my confusion must've shown on my face. "Blood, love. You need to try and drink some blood."
I wanted to shake my head, but I couldn't move. Levi pulled me into a sitting position very slowly, trying not to hurt me any more than I already was. "Just a few sips and it will all be over," he promised, kissing my eyelids.
Caleb moved into my view and crouched down in front of me. "Bite down right here," he instructed me, pointing to his wrist. "You'll get the best flow from there."
Ew, I thought to myself. I didn't want to bite him. That was just…nasty.
"You have to if you want to live," Richard chimed in, striding into my view. "We can always force feed you,"
I tried glaring at him, but I felt so weak. My head lolled to the side against Levi's shoulder and my eyelids drooped.
"She's fading," Richard said suddenly.
Levi brushed his hand along my jaw. "You have to drink baby," he urged.
I felt something press against my lips and assumed it was Caleb's wrist, but I couldn't even open my mouth. I was just so tired. I only wanted to sleep. That was all I wanted. I just wanted to sleep for a minute.
"Phoebe!" Levi said sharply. "Don't you dare die on me," he ordered.
I wanted to apologize for upsetting him, but I just couldn't. I thought that there was something I had wanted to tell Levi before I died, but I just couldn't remember what it was now. Oh well…
"You have to bite her," Kalene said suddenly, her voice low and urgent. "She's too far gone for the blood to do much. She has to be turned if you want to keep her."
"I won't do it without her permission," Levi said tightly.
"I don't think you have much of a choice," Caleb said softly.
"Why do you even care? Just let her die. She'll be a hell of a lot less annoying then." Fee snapped, her accent thick.
"Shut up Fee!" Kalene snarled. "God, you are such a bitch!"
I imagined everyone turning to stare at the sweet Kalene in shock. Right on, I thought tiredly.
"Phoebe," Richard said urgently. "Do you want Levi to bite you? Do you want him to turn you into a vampire like him?"
I wanted to tell him that my lips wouldn't work, that I couldn't answer and I hurt too much to move. Then I remembered in a daze that Richard could read my mind.
"Are you sure?" Richard asked, his hand feather light on my cheek.
"If he does, there's no going back." Richard said firmly.
Just do it, I managed, my inner voice fading quickly.
"Do it," Richard said sharply.
"But I don't…"
"She gave her consent." Richard snapped.
"Why should I believe you?" Levi demanded. "You've done nothing to help her before now, so how do I know she won't hate me when she comes to?" he snarled.
"You're just going to have to trust me," Richard said flatly.
There was a long pause and I slipped even further away. Levi, I thought weakly.
"Do it now!" Richard hissed.
I felt a sharp sting to the side of my neck, but I could do nothing about it. I hoped it wasn't poisonous, whatever it was that stung me, I thought in a haze.
The sting lasted for no more than a second and then something was being pushed against my mouth again.
"Levi, no," Kalene said firmly.
"Leave me alone Kalene," Levi growled.
"You've lost too much blood already," Caleb was saying.
"I don't care. It has to be from me." Levi ordered.
Everyone fell silent and I felt something like liquid fire running through me veins. It didn't hurt exactly, but it didn't feel that great either. It was just…there. "Phoebe, love," Levi said against my ear.
I dipped out of consciousness for a moment and when I came to again, he was whispering to me. "You have to bite me, love. Use those cute little fangs of yours."
I felt a little stronger than I had before, but I still wasn't strong. I wasn't even sure if I could get my fangs to grow. Almost as soon as that thought occurred to me, my fangs lengthened in my mouth and I forced my eyes open to slits.
Levi was looking down at me, his face a mask of worry. "Just a little bite, love. You only need a little blood."
He pressed his wrist to my lips again and I forced myself to unhinge my jaw. I very slowly, keeping my eyes locked on Levi, clamped my teeth around his wrist and bit down. Warm blood rushed into my mouth and I closed my eyes. It wasn't the most delicious thing I had ever tasted in the world, but I guess it could have been worse.
"That's it," Levi cooed, rubbing my back gently.
I remembered what Caleb had said about him having lost too much blood already and tried to unclamp my teeth from his wrist. "Just a little more, love," Levi coaxed, grabbing the back of my head to hold me in place. "Almost done,"
I was starting to feel sick, like I was too full when he finally released me and pulled his wrist from my mouth. I felt something warm and sticky on my lips and my tongue flicked out to lap up the drops.
"I told you," Caleb said sternly.
"I'm fine," Levi muttered wearily.
I opened my eyes with surprising ease and took in the group standing before me. "What the hell happened?" I asked, yawning loudly.
Levi looked beat and I wanted to reach over and comfort him, but someone was holding my arms. "What the…?"
"It's for your own good," Kalene said gently.
"Is someone going to answer me?" I demanded.
Levi smiled tiredly at me. "What part do you want first?" he asked. "The before, the during, or the after?"
"What do you mean?" I questioned.
Kalene released my arms and sat next to me, patting my hand. "I guess being a dhampir before becoming a vampire makes the transition easier." She mused.
"Vampire?" I asked, my eyes wide. "It…worked?"
Levi nodded slowly, watching me the way you watch someone on the ledge, not sure if they're going to jump or not. "Yes," he said.
"So I'm…a vampire?" I asked, just for clarification.
"You said that's what you wanted," Richard said, his face showing his worry that he had gotten it wrong.
"No, no…it was…it is." I stuttered, sitting up straighter, my hand flying to my stomach. My shirt was torn and bloody, but the hole that had been ripped out of my stomach was gone.
Levi closed his eyes and rested his head back. "My lovely little love," he sighed.
I stood shakily and made my way over to him. I was surprised at how softly I walked already. I laid my hand against Levi's cheek until he opened his amazing blue eyes to look at me. "I have been trying to tell you something for the longest damn time,"
Levi smiled at me. "Oh yeah?" he asked. "And what might that be?" He pulled me into his lap, despite the fact that he was tired and needed to feed.
I rested my head against his chest and smiled. "I love you,"
Levi's chest rumbled as he chuckled. "I know, love."
"You're supposed to say it back, I think." Richard said with a laugh.
"I love you two, my little love." Levi said, stroking my back.
There was an enraged shriek and then a door somewhere slammed and I knew that Fee was one happy camper. Not.
"Levi, you really should go feed." Kalene said sternly.
"I should," he agreed, sounding reluctant to go.
"Can I come?" I asked, looking up at him.
His eyes sparkled at that suggestion. "Hm," he said with a bright smile. "It's like we have some kind of connection,"
"That's because we do," I said with a sad smile, my hand trailing to his own bloody shirt.
"Hey, don't be complaining. That connection saved your life." Kalene said suddenly.
I looked at her and smiled. "Does it look like I'm complaining?" I asked.
She rolled her eyes and stood. "Come on you two," she said to Caleb and Richard.
I looked at Levi and smiled, kissing him quickly. "So, about that marriage proposal…"
Levi gave a bark of laughter. "We have the rest of eternity for all of that." He said.
I slid from his lap and stood, holding out my hand. "You're right. Besides, I believe you have to at least take me to dinner first." I said.
Levi took my hand and grinned. "Of course; what would you like to eat?"
I made a face up at him. "I don't have any idea." I said.
Levi rolled his eyes. "We'll start you off easy, love."
"Can we go to a forest themed restaurant?" I asked, hoping he got my meaning.
"I'll do you one better," Levi said with a smile. "We can dine in an actual forest."
"Alright, but I have to be home before sunrise." I told him sternly.
"Phoebe," Levi said, swinging me into his arms. "I love you." Tilting my chin, he gazed into my misty green eyes for the space of a heartbeat, then he lowered his mouth to mine. My lips trembled beneath his and he deepened the kiss, willing me to trust him, to believe him, solely with his lips.
And I did. Forever.
Alright! That's it! Kind of a cliched romantic ending, but I think it's cute. So, in case you missed it. Phoebe is now a vampire, Steven may or may not be dead-I'm leaving that ambiguous on purpose-Miranda escaped Richard, and Fee is still a jealous freak! I hope you enjoyed Instincts, and stay tuned for my next novel, Scaly When Wet : A Mermaid's Tail.
KML92- Lol, she's had a pair all along, she just kept them in her dresser.
SapphireIce - Yeah, but look at it this way. Phoebe and Levi can be together forever now because of him. He's still a big jerk, but at least something good came out of that.