5

Long nights stretched into longer days. Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. I hadn't seen Trent in a long time. He'd all but disappeared. I knew this was the calm before the storm; and I was smack dab in the eye of it. And I knew it was dangerous thinking to think that he had forgotten about me and moved onto something else. He hadn't forgotten, and that scared me. But what scared me even more, was not knowing where he was or when he was coming back. It could be months, years even. However, I highly doubted that it would be the latter. My time was growing short.

I hated to admit it, but I wished that he would come see me. Just show me some sign that he was still around here. But my wishes went unanswered. I tried to go about my daily life as normal as possible. But I found that every little noise made me jump; I kept scanning the crowd of faces to see if his was among them. I was leery of people that would walk behind me. I had sleepless nights; and when I did sleep, I had frightening dreams. I wasn't sure how more of this I could take.

I had no one to protect me. I had no family. I'm an only child and both of my parents are dead. I have a hard time making friends. And because of my work schedule, I didn't have time for boyfriend. Lucky for me, I had a gun; for all the good it did me against a vampire. But I would not go down without a fight. At least, I hoped I would be able to.

I went months with no word, until one day…I don't even want to think about it. Well, I was at home one night, showering after a long day of work. I stood there, letting the hot water massage away the aches and pains. When I was finished, I wrapped my towel around me and stood in front of the mirror. I wiped off a small space so I could see myself. I opened the medicine cabinet to retrieve my moisturizer. I closed it and nearly had a heart attack. Trent was standing directly behind me, staring at me with those dark eyes.

"Hello, Grace." Wow, no one has called me that in a long time. And the way he said it was…mmm, it made me melt. I wanted to wrap my arms around his neck and give into those lips. Wait, what was I doing? I had to stop this, but…this was different. I couldn't break away, not this time. His pull was stronger. It was like I was having an out-of-body experience. Like I was looking down, watching the entire, powerless to stop.

I saw him extend his hand to me. I took it. He led me to the bedroom. We stopped in front of the bed. He laid his hands on my hips and pulled me close. He kissed me. A slow, little kiss on the lips; just enough to leave you wanting more. He picked me up and laid me down on the bed. He laid down next to me. He began to kiss me slowly, starting at my lips, then working down to neck. He seemed to hover there. Sub-consciously I knew something was wrong, but I couldn't stop it. The feeling was getting more intense. He took one more kiss, then…then…

My eyes shot open. I just lied there, in a cold sweat, breathing hard, and staring at the ceiling. That was intense. It felt so real. I found myself reaching my hand up to my neck just to reassure myself that it wasn't. I rolled over onto my side and pulled the cover up to my chin. I found it hard to fall back to sleep after that, for I couldn't stop thinking about it. After what seemed like forever, I finally drifted off to sleep.

After that night, I was on edge; even more so than before. I couldn't function properly at work, and I feared to be home alone at night. There were days when I could barely do my work and nights when I stayed up all night for fear of having those dreams. On an occasion of one of those sleepless nights, I was sitting in the living room on the couch. I was dead tired and just staring at the wall. I thought I had fallen asleep, because I could have sworn I saw Trent looking at me from the corner of the room. I remembered feeling sheer terror. But when I blinked, he was gone.

I resigned myself to the fact that the end was near. And I would face it with courage. I had received a call from Trent. He asked me to meet him in the forest where we had discovered the bodies of the two men he'd killed. He wanted to talk. I knew this was it. Not that it would do me any good, I did pack a little heat. I grabbed my gun and my taser. The whole ride there, I was distracted. I pulled my car over to the side of the road. It's a good thing I decided to wear my tennis shoes. The walk there was long and rough. With all the tree roots and twigs that were sticking up out of the ground, one could trip and break their neck. Believe me, the thought had crossed my mind. It wouldn't be difficult. All I would have to do is run blindly and one well placed root could trip me so bad that I just…tumbled…and broken my neck. But I wasn't going to do that. That would be the coward's way out. I was going to face Trent and die with dignity. At least with as much dignity as I could muster.

I wasn't really paying attention to where I was going, but somehow I found our meeting spot almost absent mindedly. I know it might sound strange, but it felt like something was pulling and guiding me.

I stood there, looking around for him. I heard something rustle in the trees. I didn't have to turn around to know that he was standing directly behind me. Sweet mercy. Those feelings were coming. The feeling of need, of want; wanting to feel his touch.

"Hello, Gracie," he whispered seductively, his breath warm on my ear. I felt his lips go from my ear and down my neck, his hands, inches from my skin, moving down my arms. My breathing was getting harder. I could resist it no longer. I turned around and looked into his eyes. It was in that moment that I realized that was a big mistake. His eyes were cold and dark. My eyes went wide in terror. I tried to move. It felt like my feet were pinned to the ground.

"Trent, p-please, don't do this," I stammered. "You don't have to do this."

He narrowed his eyes and gave me a wicked little smile. "Now that's where you're wrong, my dear." He got closer and took my chin in his hand. "What you don't seem to understand, is that, I need you. It's an insatiable hunger. And in order for me to sate myself…well, you can guess the rest." He cocked his head to the side a little and pouted his lips. "Seems such a waste, though. To kill such a beautiful creature. Oh, well, their loss."

He bared his teeth and none too gently shoved my head to the side to expose my neck. I gave out a guttural scream and felt an intense pain. Then everything went black.