A/N: I've rewritten this chapter so many times I've lost count, and I still feel as though it's pretty slow moving. But I promise the story does pick up!
The perspective changes from person to person occasionally, but as with this chapter, it'll tell you who's eyes you're reading the story through.
This story is finished being written, and I think... I'll be posting a chapter... every... Wednesday! Yeah, Wednesday sounds splendid... Anyway, if you do enjoy it, I would love it so much if you left a review. I love reading what people have to say, critical and/or encouraging. I'm a pretty positive person by nature, so don't worry too much about hurting my feelings if you do have something critical (but constructive) to say. I'm always looking to improve where I can!
And yes, I know, there are small grammar and spelling mistakes. I would say that I've had every intention of going back and fixing it -and I do -but as of this moment, quite frankly, I'm a little too lazy. Like I mentioned previously, I've rewritten this chapter a lot.
Hope you enjoy! :)
Chapter 1: Evelyn
Across the horizon, there was a glow of orange light. Dusk was upon us as we walked from my house to my best friend's, Maddie's, home. The light hit the ground, colouring it with it's warm rays of golden light that you could really only see at this time of day. The only thing more beautiful than a sunset was a moonrise, for I loved to watch the pure white fragments of the moon rise to the height of the jet black sky, illuminating it with a silver luminosity.
Stretching and basking in the golden light though, I thought about the near future. School was nearing. In a few days, actually. I didn't want to go back. Was there a single normal teenager that did? It seemed like it was just yesterday that it had ended. Where had my summer gone?
The distance between my house and Maddie's was two and a half long country blocks. We walked it almost daily, the familiar course nearly engraved into the soles of my feet, to the point where I was sure I could walk it in my sleep.
I loved this time of day. Everything had a warm glow –everything but the house that a moving truck had just pulled into. It was tall and scary looking, even in the best light of day. There was a long stretch of driveway that rounded to the backside of the house, not allowing you to see who was home unless you walked right up to the front door and knocked. It was a dark red brick, three stories with a rotting wooden porch that surrounded the entire building. The third floor was an attic, as far as I knew, with a round window facing the road. It was rumoured to be haunted. No family ever stayed there for longer than two months.
I vaguely wondered if this family would be different. I hoped they were different.
"Ah, someone bought it," Maddie said. I wasn't listening, just watching as the moving truck reversed so that the trailer was to the front door. "Evelyn? Evelyn. Evelyn. Eveeelyn."
"Stop that," I pushed her lightly into the ditch, pulling her back before she actually fell. I had been searching for the new owners of the house, but all I saw were men dressed in jeans and t-shirts. The stereotypical movers. One of the first things they carried in was a large baby grand piano. Automatically, my fingers itched and my heart burned wistfully, "How long do you think they'll stay?"
"Not long," she sighed. "Wouldn't it be great if they did stay though?"
"Not like it really concerns me," I turned away from the house.
"I guess that's true," she nodded. "They'll probably leave after two months like everyone else. Unless of course, they were, like, Vampires."
"Really, Maddie?" I rolled my eyes. "Does it have to always come back to Vampires?"
"Well, Vampires are better than Werewolves," she said, crossing her arms.
"No way," I laughed, pushing her playfully again. "Werewolves are so much better than Vampires."
"You haven't read Twilight," she said to me.
"Nor do I ever plan to," I told her. "But it's not like you've read a great Werewolf story either. At least I've read a Vampire novel before."
She laughed, hip bumping me into the road. She was short and thin, but she had enough energy to make me, who was nearly a head taller than her, fall on my ass. I sat there for a long moment. We were long past the house now, but it came back to mind. "Do you think they have a son?"
"I don't know," she shrugged, holding out her hand to help me up. "Possibly. Maybe they have two. It's a big house."
I nodded, getting up.
We walked in almost silence. Almost silence, because Maddie was doing most of the talking. My mind still stood there in the driveway of the mysterious old house.
The thing about walking the distance between Maddie's house and my house was that at this time of night, it was just to keep her company. She hated walking home alone at night. So basically when we arrived at her house, I turned and started walking back. The sky was no longer an orange colour, but settled with pink and purple hues as night drew ever nearer.
"Need a ride home?" Mrs. Sparx offered as I stood in the doorway.
"I'm fine for tonight," I told her. "It's amazing out tonight, and I enjoy walking by moonlight."
"Well, don't let the Werewolves and Vampires get you," she rolled her eyes as she teased my obsession with the supernatural.
"I'm sure Vampires wouldn't be out here in the country," I said, before breaking a grin.
"Notice how she doesn't say anything about Werewolves," Maddie's little sister, Karley, said.
"That's because she'd let them get her," Maddie grinned.
They all laughed at me, and I rolled my eyes before saying goodbye and heading down the road back to my house. Approaching the haunted house, I spotted a sleek, black car parked at the head of the driveway, almost invisible except for the light of the moon hitting its roof, and a boy about my age sitting on the hood, looking at the house. I was walking on the same side of the as the house now, and I was a bit nervous meeting the new kid alone. I tried to just walk by.
"Evangeline?" he asked suddenly, and I looked up. He was handsome, with dark brown hair, silver-blue eyes that seemed to glow in the moonlight, fair skin, and pale lips. He was the ideal type of man.
"Um," I looked around, "No."
"Ah, I'm sorry, you just looked like someone I used to know," he said, looking away.
"Does that line actually work?" I crossed my arms in front of me.
"You're kidding, right? That has to be one of the oldest pick-up lines in the book," I said. My heart was thumping rapidly. It's not that I was scared, but I always felt a little nervous talking to guys that I've known less than a few months. The fact that this one was a complete stranger on an empty road in the dead of night was no exception. "You just moved here –what are the chances that you'd run into someone you know here?"
"That's true," he laughed, showing fanged teeth. Maddie would have gone crazy to see that.. He appeared to be a little embarrassed. I found that attractive –I hated those good looking types that seemed to only have confidence. "Do you live around here?"
"Well, yeah," I uncrossed my arms and rolled my shoulders, trying to lose the anxious edge that consumed me. "I wouldn't just be walking around here in the middle of the night if I didn't."
"That's also true, I suppose," he chuckled.
We fell into silence.
"Well, I should probably get going," I said, brushing my hair over my shoulder.
"I don't even know you," I told him.
"So let's change that," he said, taking my hand as I began to walk away. My throat jumped into my throat. It took me by surprise, but through the gentleness in his touch, in a way I knew I had nothing to worry about. Though I wondered how long he'd been out here for -his hands were cold, and it took everything in me to suppress a shiver. "I would love it if you showed me around town sometime. Or just go on a date, whichever you want to call it."
"You're... very forward, aren't you?"
"Being forward is a good trait to have," he told me.
I sighed. "Well, if you're lucky, maybe you'll see me around."
"I'll have my fingers crossed," he gave a small smile.
He wouldn't be saying that after seeing some of the other girls at my school. Or once he caught sight of Maddie. She had a huge chest. She's been a full C-cup ever since grade seven. They've only grown since then. I didn't stand a chance.
"I'll see you around," he said, releasing me.
"I suppose you might," I replied, trying to sound calm if anything.
"Unless you want a lift home," he said as I began to walk away.
"Maybe another time," I told him, not glancing back. "There's a full moon out. I'll walk.'
I heard his engine roar to life, and he drove off towards the house. I glanced back to see it disappear behind the three story building. And then I realized I didn't even know his name. I cursed myself as I walked home. How stupid of me. What if he really was interested in me?
As I walked along, the trees gave way to fields, and fields to houses as I approached the small village that I grew up in. I called it a village, but I think in geography class I found out it may have been more of a hamlet. But that was two years ago, and I could hardly remember the definitions. But village, hamlet, town or city, it was home, and in the end that's what mattered, I guess. I couldn't imagine living anywhere else.
The sound of the piano greeted me as I neared the corner I lived on. It was faint, but in the quiet village I lived in, I could hear it clearly. I went around the fence to the front gate, unlocking it before slipping through. Shadow ran at me, jumping up and nearly knocking me down.
"Hey! Get down," I scolded him. He continued to run around me. For being such a large dog he sure had a lot of energy. I smiled and scratched him behind his ears. "Good boy."
I walked up the brick-porch steps and opened the front door. I loved my house. It was old, older than the haunted house. Parts of it were under minor renovations –like they had been for the past ten years of my life –but, like my mom always said, it had character.
Slipping off my shoes, I glanced at my mother. She continued to play, sitting at the piano that sat across the front door in our front hallway. Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. That was her favourite piece to play. I pulled the heels of my shoes together, placing them on the mat in front of the closet door.
"Hi mom," I said, sitting on the edge of the bench to watch her hands.
"Hi sweetie," she barely glanced up. "Maddie get home safely?"
"Always," I replied, watching for a moment more. I lifted my hand to the keys that she weren't touching, brushing my finger over the long white keys.
"Want to play?"
"No, I'll let you play," I told her, getting to my feet and going to the stairs. "I'm going to go upstairs to take a shower and go to bed."
"Okay, goodnight," she called up after me.
In the upstairs hallway, I ran into my little sister. Sophie was a head shorter than me, even though she was only two years younger. Her hair was lighter, and her eyes were bluer. She had a crooked smile, but it seemed to attract boys more than my straight teeth. Eventually, she was going to get braces though, and her teeth would become straighter that mine. And she'd probably still attract more boys that me.
Well, she'd always been more boy crazy that me anyway...
"Did you see any of the new people down the road?" was the first thing she asked. "Ashley called and said that they're an old couple and their grandsons. They're Ashley's new neighbours. Isn't it kind of exciting?"
"Many people have moved into that house," I rolled my eyes and pushed past her. Our relationship was unsteady, my little sister's and mine. Some days we didn't get along, and others we got along so well that my parents would tell us to be quiet when we couldn't stop giggling. I love her, but sometimes she just rubbed me the wrong way.
"But they never stay long," she sighed, lifting a hand to her hair and twirling it around her finger.
"This family's different," I said, opening the door to my room. I grabbed a change of clothes and went back to the hall for towels.
"How do you know?" she asked. A look of realization crosses her face. "You did see them! Did you talk to them? Are they nice? Are they our age?"
How did I know?
I don't say anything, but instead shut the door on her face.
"Whatever," I could imagine her rolling her eyes as she headed to her bedroom, the door closing firmly behind her. I leaned against the mirror on the door and closed my eyes. Silently, although I'm not religious in the slightest, I prayed that I'd meet Mr. Mysterious again soon.
First day of school, grade eleven. It was scary that the first two years of my high school life had flown by so quickly. I shivered as I looked out the bus window. It wasn't cold. Quite the opposite, in fact, but I felt as if a pair of eyes were on me, and just the slight knowledge sent chills through me. I turned to see Cole staring at me and Maddie. He was the type of guy I hated. The overly-confident, good looking type. He leaned over to one of his friends, Philip, one of the hottest guys in school, and laughed. Philip didn't though. He just rolled his eyes and nodded, staring out the window, sparing me a single and apologetic glance.
I sighed and turned around, facing Maddie.
"Aren't you excited?" she asked.
"For school?" I rolled my eyes. "No."
"I just want to see everybody that I haven't seen all summer," she shrugged, a grin on her face. "Don't you want to see everyone?"
"Hey, Maddie," one of the guys at the back of the bus called. Another one of the guys that hung out with Cole.
"I'll be back," she grinned, touching my arm quickly before standing up and going to the back. I looked over my shoulder at her. She sat on the lap of one of the guys. Now, don't get me wrong, she wasn't a slut. She still had her V-card and everything. She was just a flirt. She was interested in Philip.
As the bus pulled up in front of the school, she came back to my side. I stood up, and the two of us filed off the bus. She waved to Philip and the other guys as they walked away.
She sighed happily, "He is so hot."
"So I never told you, but I met the guy that lives in the haunted house," I told her, adjusting my bag on my shoulder.
"Really?" she perked up and grasped my shoulder tightly. "Is he good looking? Hot? Vampire?"
I liked how she managed to slip that last one in there. "He's like… the star that appears to be closest to the moon." The moon being symbolic for god-like. Maddie knew that. We were lame. And we knew it it.
"That good looking?" she pressed her lips together in thought. "I think I'm going to have to meet this guy. What's his name?"
"I forgot to ask," I admitted. "We'll codename him Mr. Mysterious. But he's nice. Oh, and he has fangs."
"I really have to meet this guy. He sounds more like a Vampire by the minute," she chuckled to herself. She pulled her cell phone out and looked at the time. "Well, the bell's going to ring, and I don't want the front seat in calculus. See you later."
"Bye," I waved to her as she headed off.
"Evelyn," Kristy called from a distance, and I turned to see her approaching. She was short, but her blond hair came down to the middle of her back. Hazel eyes with tiny green fragments shined in the September sunlight. She was so bubbly that it was impossible to not like her on most days.
"Hey," I grinned. "Ready for French?"
She stuck her tongue out, "French in the morning sucks."
"It could be worse," I shrugged. "We could be like Maegan and Chantelle, with gym in the morning."
"Yeah," she giggled. "That would suck so much more."
We worked our way to the third floor where our French class was held. Our school had five floors, and I always had the hardest time describing the layout to people, because they weren't stacked one on top of another. Three were above the ground (Floors 1,2, and 3), one was under ground (A floor), and the last was in the middle (B floor). With nearly a thousand students, we Simcoe Sabres needed all the classrooms we could get. I remember this one year that one of my best buds and I had traveled through every hallway from one class to the next. It took us all of the minutes between the two periods to get there, and we were almost late. But it was fun.
Kristy and I sat down in our assigned seats, glad to see some of our other friends in the same class. After two years in a school, you tended to know nearly everyone, and became friends with, well, nearly everyone. I sat by the window, an empty desk beside me in the back. Grade eleven, and we were still having our seats assigned; Kristy sat on the opposite side of the room. There weren't many students in the class this year, most of my peers not taking the class any more than was required. A brief count said we had twenty-one students in total, leaving me completely alone in the back row.
"Welcome back, Evelyn," My teacher greeted me as he passed out first day handouts. Last year in French, I had been one of the top students. The only reason Kristy even took this class was because I convinced her to. I promised to help her understand it all.
I enjoyed French –the way it rolled off the tongue, becoming something poetic. It was great. Despite being a French class, most of the instructions were in English, which was probably for the better, or there'd be even less students in this class. Believe me, the teacher tried to talk to us in French, but he'd yet to succeed with our class. Though maybe this year would be different. Grade eleven and twelve is where you get serious, right?
The teacher gave us our locker assignments, and we put all our things there immediately, sliding our locks into place before returning and reminiscing about our summer. Most of my stories involved Maddie, which probably came as no surprise to the rest of the class. We were like a package deal. But while the others were talking, I couldn't help my mind wandering to Mr. Mysterious.
The bell rang, and I was glad despite the easiness of the class. I gathered my things, said bye to Kristy, and headed down to A floor for music.
If I loved French, I adored music; the piano, the guitar, the violin. I wanted to learn how to play them all. Right now, in that class though, it was just the flute. Not a bad instrument, simple, light –but it lacked the difficulty I strived for. I wouldn't mind playing the saxophone though. Perhaps I'd suggest it to Mr. Jordan.
Chelsea was in my class, one of the girls I'd more than likely be hanging out with at lunch. She was kind of the head honcho amongst the group we ate with, or rather, she acted like she was. Everybody seemed to look to her when we wanted to do something, but when she started pulling the strings a little too tightly, their gazes shifted to me to cut them loose. It was a repetitive process. For some reason, no one else but me could stand sinking into her bad side. Even so , she still looked at me as her friend, and vice versa.
"Hey, Evelyn," she greeted with a smile.
"Hey," I acknowledged her with a nod. "I like your hair."
"Do you?" she touched her hair with one of her stubby fingers. Chelsea was pretty, but her fingers were short. Like Maddie's fingers. She was constantly dying the under layer of her black hair in funky colours. Today it was pink.
"It looks nice," I told her as we sat down.
On the first day of school, none of the classes seemed to start anything big. We didn't play an instrument, though it's not to say we didn't work, because we were handed sheets containing the boring part of music; naming notes, counting beats, etc. We were a grade 11 advanced music class, I was sure we knew our notes by then.
"How was your summer?" Chelsea asked as we settled down with the worksheets on the music stand.
"Mine was great," she began, "Greg, Tyler and I went to…"
I stopped paying attention as Evan walked into the room. He was late for class, which wasn't typical of him, but he handed Mr. Jordan a late slip and sat down beside me, brushing his dirty blond hair out of his face so that I could see his blue eyes. He had braces -and glasses -but that didn't stop him from being cute. He had a child's face, a little round, though he himself was quite thin. I would have sighed happily, much like Maddie had earlier, but I just smiled at him. I'd had a crush on him since the ninth grade. He was one of those guys that just had a way with the ladies. I was only one in the queue to his heart.
"Hey, Evelyn," he grinned at me.
"Hi, Evan," I was surprised at how smooth my voice came out.
"How was your summer?"
"Great," I told him. "We visited my older sisters in Alberta and Thunder Bay."
"Sydney and Bree, right?" he asked.
"The only sisters I have," I grinned. "And what about you? How was your summer?"
"Good," he stretch, and spread his arms over the back of my chair and the empty one on his other side. "Philip, Cole and I spent most of our time at the beach."
"I hate him," I muttered.
"Cole? I know," He tossed his head to get the hair out of his eyes again. "But you shouldn't care about what he thinks."
"I'll keep that in mind when he's being a creepy little snot," I muttered, grabbing my eraser and getting rid of my mistake on the worksheet.
"He does have a tendency to act that way," he nodded. I watch him from the corner of my eye. My heart's racing, the way it always does. But this... this I'm used to.
"And you're friends with him, because…?"
"I like being popular," he cracked a smile that made me melt. I liked to think that Evan liked me. Maybe. Probably not.
"You should stop," I told him. "There are other people to hang out with."
I didn't say it. And I didn't get a chance to respond, because the class was getting too loud, and Mr. Jordan had to come out and tell us to quiet down. When he went back into his office, I changed the topic.
"There's a new person living in the haunted house," I told him, not knowing what else to say.
"Cool," he replied, borrowing my eraser. I noticed Chelsea glancing over at us, but didn't say anything to her.
"They have a son about our age," I went on.
"Is he here today?" he asked.
"I haven't seen him," I shook my head.
"Hmm," Evan murmured. "Well, if he moved in recently, perhaps he's still unpacking."
"Is that that Vampire kid?" Chelsea asked.
"Well, he does have fangs, yes, but I'd hardly call him a Vampire," I muttered.
"Evelyn would know," Evan teased lightly.
"Whatever," I rolled my eyes.
Yes, I hoped that was the reason for keeping him away.
I'd taken to walking home every night from Maddie's since I met Mr. Mysterious. It'd been a week since I saw him. I always glanced at the house as I passed it. Lights were on here and there and I could hear the piano being played. I stopped to listen to see if I could figure out what the song was, but I couldn't hear every note, which made it hard.
"Remember me?" a familiar voice said.
I turned, but I couldn't see him. It had been Mr. Mysterious, right? I hadn't been imagining things? Bittersweet relief washed over me. No. Just relief, I was happy to hear from him.
"Hello?" I called into the surrounding darkness.
"I'm here," he said, he stepped into the moonlight, stepping out of the shadows of the row of trees along the road. Waiting for me? Was that being conceited to presume?
"It's been a long time," I paused, gaining confidence for no particular reason.
"That it has," he took my hand, the same one as before, and lowered his lips to it. His lips brushed it gently and he looked up and smiled –fangs and all.
"And to think I never caught your name," I said, trying to keep my cool. I wondered if I was hopelessly failing. If I was, he didn't show any signs of it.
"And to think I never caught yours," he countered. "But since you asked first -Shayne Van Owen."
"I'm Evelyn," I told him, "Evelyn Rae Laverne."
I looked back at his house, where I could still faintly hear the solid sound of a grand piano floating. "Who plays the piano?"
"You can hear it from here?" he asked, surprised.
"When you walk alone in the dark you tend to hear a lot of things," I told him. I had good hearing, so what? "So who plays?"
"My mother," He said.
"Your mother?" I asked. "I thought you moved here with your grandparents," This time I was surprised.
"No, they just came with Mr. Smith, James and I," he shrugged. "To help us settle down while my parents finish up in New York. They still work there, so they are away a fair amount of the time."
"James and Mr. Smith?" I asked.
"Respectively, my brother and our butler," he told me.
"Oh, you have a brother?"
"Yeah, he's two years younger than me," he said.
"I have three sisters, two of them moved out, and one lives Alberta while the other lives Up North. Sophie, the one that still lives at home, is two years younger than me, too," I told him. "She's such a…"
"Pest?" he suggested. I nodded. "Yeah, James is the same. Every time I go somewhere at night, he just wants to come."
"I wish Sophie was like that, it'd be easier to deal with her, but I don't have a car, although I've just recently gotten my driver's license, so I can't go anywhere anyway, so she's always bugging me," I rolled my eyes, "Sometimes 'pest' doesn't describe her, she's more like a sister from hell."
"Same with my brother," he nodded.
"He's a sister from hell?" I snickered. I regretted it instantly. Why was my sense of humor so lame?
"You know what I mean," he smiled.
"Maybe they should hook up," I suggested. "Two of a kind, you know?"
"Maybe I'm prodding too much, but why don't you go to school?"
"I'm home schooled," he said simply. His eyes looked seemed to be looking past me as he spoke those words.
"Home schooled… ouch… it must boring," I teased.
"Yeah," he nodded, his gaze coming back to my face, a slight smile gracing his lips "But my father insists because he wants me to go to a great university and at a high school, well, you tend to get a bit more distracted."
"Understandable," I thought about how the boys around me kept talking, and usually brought me into their conversation. "So do you like it here?"
"You mean the middle of nowhere?" he joked.
"It's not as bad as you think," I paused. "Okay, it is, but that's beside the point."
"I guess I should show you around sometime," I grinned referring to our first conversation.
"That'd be great," he said.
"That sounds good," I told him. "Do you have a good memory?"
"The best," he said. "Why?"
I told him my phone number.
"I'll talk to you later," I told him, smiling, slowly backing down the road towards my house. My heart was racing like crazy. I never had that much courage. Ever. I was going to die of embarrassment as soon as I was out of his sight. I knew I would. I just knew it...
"And I'll call you later," he called after me as I walked away. I took a deep breath, smiling a little despite myself.
This time he watched me as I disappeared into the night.