My mother had always told me that when I turned eighteen and had my first death call it would change my life. I just didn't know how right she was. I, Aislin Briella Gray, am a banshee, and I see death.
"Happy birthday, Aislin!" my best friend Kaydynce said, grabbing me by the waist and pulling me into a tight bear hug. Kaydynce was only a foot shorter than me yet she acted like she was six feet tall. Her short, golden blonde hair bounced as she swept me up into one of her constricting hugs. We were both laughing by the time she let go of me. Kaydynce was surprisingly strong for her build.
"Thanks, Kay," I said a little breathlessly while trying to open my locker. Kaydynce smiled broadly at me; her sapphire blue eyes twinkling with mischief.
"I can't believe you're eighteen now! You are so lucky! I can't wait to turn eighteen so I can do death calls with y'all!" Kay squealed then sighed, leaning against the locker beside mine. I looked at her curiously, wondering why she sighed.
"Don't get too excited…it's not what it's all cracked up to be," Teagan, my other best friend, said bitterly. Teagan was the oldest of my little banshee group while Kaydynce was the youngest. Both Kaydynce and I looked at Teagan, confused. I had never heard so much bitterness in her voice before. Teagan brushed back her wavy black hair in a way that said, "Whatever." Teagan was always the strongest of the three of us yet for some reason I got the impression that she wasn't has strong as we had always perceived. Kaydynce just seemed to brush it off like it was nothing.
"Don't listen to her, Aislin; you should be overjoyed that you finally get to be a true banshee!" Kaydynce replied, putting her arm around my waist and pulling me away from my locker toward first period. I smiled thinking maybe she was right yet I had a bad feeling like something horrible was going to happen, and I sure as hell wasn't going to like it. Teagan shook her head and followed close behind us with a subdued look on her face.
I wondered what had happened to make Teagan look so sad and out of place; it wasn't like her. She used to be the fun one until her eighteenth birthday then everything changed. I had a sinking feeling that the same thing was going to happen to me. I tried to think positive as we walked into our first period, Chemistry. Kaydynce, Teagan, and I sat all the way in the back of the room as to not draw too much attention to ourselves. Yet even sitting in the back we got looks and stares.
Don't get me wrong I like being stared at and admired, what girl wouldn't, yet it had only gotten worse as my banshee powers were coming into play. Banshees have a knack of being beautiful women so it shouldn't surprise me that I was getting a lot more attention than last year as I had finally come of age. I looked even more stunning with my long dark brown hair, pale blue eyes, and curvaceous body. My classmates had thought of me pretty before, but now I was gorgeous. Teagan had already experienced the constant stares, glares, and envy from the whole student body even the faculty couldn't keep their eyes off of her.
It was now my turn to be the talk of the school and the envy of everyone around me. It may be cool for a few days yet I didn't think I could handle too much attention; surprisingly I'm a shy girl. I hid behind my books as class rolled on; I couldn't wait until this day ended yet even if it did I would still have to deal with the attention for the rest of my life. I looked over at Teagan for some guidance, but she just stared off into space, lost in her own thoughts. I sighed; I guess I had to deal with this on my own since I knew Kaydynce wouldn't be of any help to me. I looked over at her anyways and saw that she was fluttering her eyelashes at some freshman boy who couldn't take his eyes off of us.
I nudged her. "Kaydynce, stop messing with the poor boy you might give him a heart attack." She just laughed it off like it was nothing. Kaydynce loved being a banshee and getting all of the attention from boys and girls alike. She reveled in her powers of seduction, but that might also be caused by being part succubus. Her mom was a banshee while her dad was an incubus. Weird combination if you ask me.
"Aislin, you're over reacting. I'm just having a little fun is all," she said with a twinkle in her dark blue eyes while a smirk played across her pink lips. I shook my head knowing I would never be able to sway her away from her flirting instead I tried to concentrate on covalent bonding. I got maybe half of what Mr. Cole was saying before the bell rang for second period, English. Everyone rushed out of the room like they were all on fire. We were the last to leave, but before I could walk out the door Mr. Cole stopped me.
"Ms. Gray, may I have a word with you for a moment." I nodded, wondering what he wanted to talk to me about. I walked back over to his desk.
"Well, Ms. Gray, I've noticed a slight drop in your grade in this class. If you want to bring it up surely I can tutor you after school to help bump up that grade," he said casually yet I knew what was on his mind as he hadn't looked at my face since he started talking. He was giving me that slow once over like he was seeing me for the first time. The offer was tempting as I did need a boost in my grade and Mr. Cole wasn't bad looking for his age with his rich brown hair and dark green eyes. Yet he was in his forties and I was only eighteen plus it would just be plain wrong.
"No thank you, Mr. Cole, but thanks for the offer I appreciate it," I replied, briskly walking out of the room as fast as I could yet not fast enough. He grabbed my arm and yanked me back pulling me close to his chest. I struggled against him not believing that this was happening to me. I pushed against his chest then did the only thing I could think of; I brought my knee up and nailed him in between his legs. He let go quick enough, falling to his knees. I ran out of the room not even looking where I was going; I just wanted to get away from this nightmare.
My mad dash to the door didn't last long as I ran into someone who immediately put their hands on my shoulders to steady me. I didn't have time for this; I looked back at Mr. Cole to see him getting up. I let out an involuntary yelp and tried to push through whoever was in my way. I guess they understood because the next thing I knew I was through the doorway but couldn't go any further as someone had ahold of my wrist. I looked up to find that I was behind whoever got in my way and that they had a firm grip on my wrist.
"What's going on here?" the guy said; his voice was rough and deep like thunder it made my body go weak just hearing it. I shook my head and tried to control this sudden feeling while looking past his arm to where Mr. Cole was.
"Nothing that concerns you, Mr. O'Neil, now why don't you run along and let Ms. Gray and I finish our conversation," he said, sternly. I started to shake uncontrollably at just the thought of being alone with Mr. Cole again. The guy looked back at me, studying me closely from my wide eyes to my shaking body.
"Oh I'll leave Mr. Cole, but not without her," he said as he wrapped an arm around my waist and walked away with me attached to his hip. I looked back to find Mr. Cole standing by the doorway glaring at me. I knew it wasn't over and that scared me. I looked up at my savior, studying his features. He had reddish-brown hair that covered his ears and a lean but muscular build. He must have sensed my staring as he looked down at me with a small smile. I was momentarily stunned by his honey colored eyes.
I felt a blush creep up my cheeks as we continued to stare at each other, which probably wasn't the best idea when walking through a crowded hallway. I tripped over my own feet and almost fell if it wasn't for the tight grip he had on my waist. I looked down at my feet, embarrassed by his presence and the constant stares we got.
"Th-thank you," I stuttered under my breath. He stopped, and I could feel his stare even though I couldn't see it. I felt two warm fingers touch under my chin and lift it up so that I could look him in the eye.
"What happened back there?" he asked, studying my face. I looked down again.
"H-he wanted to bring my grade up…but not by tutoring…"
"Oh," was all he said before pulling me against his chest and holding me tight. I let myself relax into his arms feeling safe for the first time today. We stayed like that for a while until the bell rang for second period to begin.
"Let me take you to the nurse," he said suddenly, picking me up and cradling me against his chest. I was completely stunned that I just went limp in his arms and just let him take me to the nurse. If it had been anyone else I would have made a fuss yet I felt safe and calm in his arms; it was a feeling I wasn't used to. I was lolled to sleep as his arms rocked me back and forth as he walked. I must have dozed off because the next thing I knew I was sitting up in one of the nurse's beds gasping for air.
"Shh, it's alright now. You're safe here," a feminine voice said, pushing me back into a laying position. I looked around the room at the white walls and posters of diseases and infections. I shuddered just looking at them; this wasn't a place I wanted to be at all. I looked around until I spotted my savior. I gave him a small smile.
"Hi," I said a little groggily.
"Hello to you too, sleeping beauty," he said with a grin playing across his lips; lips that seemed to tempt me.
"How long have I been asleep?" I asked trying to find a clock.
"I'd say you've been asleep for maybe thirty minutes or so," he replied, "but don't worry I told the nurse to let all of your teachers know that you weren't feeling good." Interesting, I thought as I looked him over once more.
"So what shall I call you since I don't think savior would be the best thing?" I asked playfully; I was starting to like this guy despite only knowing him for about an hour.
"Kaelin O'Neil and who might you be, sleeping beauty?" I knew that name, have always known that name yet it had been so long since I had heard it.
"Oh my god, Kaelin, it's Aislin, Aislin Gray! We used to go to grade school together before you moved," I replied, unbelieving that the little, goofy boy I knew as a kid had grown up to be a handsome teen. Kaelin's smile widened at the mention of my name.
"Aislin, I thought I recognized you. Wow, you've grown since the last time I saw you," he joked, giving me a slow once over that made my skin tingle. I smiled up at him finally feeling happy since the incident with Mr. Cole.
"When did you get back? I haven't seen you in any of my classes so it had to be recent, right?" I asked, curious.
"Actually I just got back yesterday," he chuckled, walking over to my bed.
"Oh, well then that means you need someone to show you around the town again since you've been away for so long," I said a little flirtatiously. I couldn't help it there was just something about him that drew me in. His golden eyes lit up along with a broad smile that spread across his face.
"That sounds like a plan," he replied, holding out his hand to me. I blushed and took his hand. He wrapped his hand around mine and helped me get out of the bed. We smiled at each other then walked out of the nurse's office then the school to my car. We walked through the parking lot, reminiscing on old times like when we used to dare each other to run around the neighborhood naked.
"So why did you come back?" I asked, jokingly, nudging his shoulder.
"You." He said it so seriously that I was caught off guard momentarily. We had been friends since we were little, but I had never expected him to feel anything more than friendship for me. I laughed it off like he had said a joke; the look in his golden eyes though said something else entirely. I still couldn't believe that Kaelin had come back, and he was the same old goofy boy that I had known all of my life though now it looked like he saw me in a different light. Yet things have never been perfect in my life so why start now?
I felt a tingle in my throat and my vision started to go blurry; I knew then that I was about to have my first death call. I closed my eyes wishing it away yet wishes rarely ever come true. A loud screech erupted from my lips as my eyesight turned into a vision of death. The vision played out then just like that it was over, and I crumbled to the ground with tears streaking my pale cheeks.
"Aislin, what's wrong?" Kaelin asked falling to his knees beside me probably in the hopes of helping me, but no one could help me now. I now understood Teagan's bitterness and what my mom hadn't told me. My death call had been of the last person I had ever expected, and the one person I had fallen for despite only getting to know again about an hour ago. I saw the death of Kaelin Quinn O'Neil, my first love.