(A/N: Before anyone says anything, yes, this is a repost. But it is also a vast rewrite, redo, rework. I went back and read all of this, one of my favorite stories of mine, and I hated the way it sounded. So I'm going to delete all the old chapters, and completly redo all of this and Aftermath, which I'm finally going to finish. Expect the only things to remain the same will be the plot and line of events.)

The body at my feet was lifeless, and no matter how much I wanted it to, nothing could bring it back now. The two punture marks in the neck of the dead man bled away the last few drops of blood that it had, the drops I could not drink away before the heart stopped.

I hated to be this way. I didn't want to live like this, killing just to survive, being a...a vampire...

"I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!" I screamed at the top of my lungs, kicking the lifeless corpse before me. Then I paused, glancing around quickly to see a blessedly empty street. Then I dropped to my knees and sobbed. No one would be out here tonight. No one...but me.

~*~

I couldn't sleep that day. My coffin was lonely and cramped, and there was no room to curl up into the fetal position I desired. But I was too afraid to leave it, afraid of the rays of the sun that would burn my skin, tear my fragile veins the instant I was exposed. So I stayed in the coffin, pulling my knees up and crossing my arms as tightly as I could. The wood around me still smelled of pine, the smell of the forest all around this place, and it made me lonesome. I was not at home, here in Wisconsin, with my boyfriend; I was far from my little town in Pennsylvania. This was where I'd run away to, after all the horrible things I'd done at home. This was where I hid from my past.

Though I could not sleep, I was tired, and I was hungry, even though I'd just fed a few hours ago. I didn't want to think about it, the kill, the bloodlust, the passion, the revitalization...oh, God, I almost thought it felt good, when I wasn't doing it.

~*~

The slam of the front door woke me from a shallow sleep, full of strange images and loud sounds. It was five o'clock, I deduced, and that was Tom coming home. I tried to shut my eyes and go back to bed, but Tom lifted the lid of the coffin and beamed a relaxed smile down to the tired being that I was.

"Good morning, Moonshine. It's dark out, time to get up."

"Nnnennnnn..."

"Did I wake you up? I'm so sorry..." he morphed his smile into an almost sarcastic frown. I wanted to slap him.

Instead, I said, "No, I was up, just resting..." That was a lie, but sometimes I could be nice, sometimes.

"Oh, well, that's good. Hey, I got you something on my way home..." he said as he walked out into the living room. My spirits lifted a little. 'Something' ususally entailed blood. And that I could deal with. He came back just a few moments later with a clear plastic container filled with a congealing crimson substance. From this point of view, it was disgusting. Positively disgusting. But I knew it was sustenance, so I accepted it from him, wrapping on set of long fingers around the canister while I used the others to peel back the lid. I brought it to my lips, the scent hitting me just before the liquid entered my system and it made me toss my head back lustfully, nearly inhaling the fluid. When I brought my head back down to cease my feeding, more than half the container had been emptied. It was so good. Nothing like the thin, pulsing, warm blood from a human, that was the best, but this, brought from the butcher, was good too.

"It's alright then?" Tom asked me.

"Always...always..." I muttered, and watched light ripple on the surface of it as I sloshed it around just a little in the plastic.

Tom wasn't able to understand. He didn't know the sheer delight that came from drinking the one substance on the planet that could sustain one's existance, no. He couldn't. I'd let him drink it, once, but he'd tried to do it as I had, taking large swallows of it, and he was sick for days.

"So, how was last night? You seem awfully hungry."

"No, no," I quelled his thought, "last night was good...I, uh...yeah, last night was good."

"What did you..."

"Just...just some guy...probably on his way home from work..." I had to stop then. Giving the victim an identity was the most painful thing I could do to myself. I stopped, and I looked away from Tom, showing him that I couldn't say anything more on the subject. I yawned.

"You look tired. I should let you sleep, huh," he said, not really asking a question. He took the tub of blood away from me to put in the fridge, and after placing a kiss gently on my cheek, he left me there, in the dark, closed-in closet, in my stale box, to sleep.

~*~

I don't know how much later it was when I rose, but the house was silent, the television was off, and Tom was sound asleep. I frowned. We hardly got to see each other anymore, with Tom working day shift and...me, working the graveyard shift, excuse the blatent pun. I pursed my lips, then clicked my tongue in a sigh. Oh, well. Time to hunt.

I readied myself with my "night camo", a la black shirt, black pants, and a toasty-warm black coat, not forgetting the long, silver sword I carried in the case wilder prey should cross my path. I had never met another vampire before, and I did not know how they would react to me if I entered their territory. Better to be safe than dead - again.

Just then, the shrill ring of the phone riccocheted through the entire house. I never answered it, almost no one knew I was even here. But when I heard it stop mid-ring the second time, I assumed Tom would handle it and I proceeded to the door. Soon, though, I heard him behind me, and I turned around to look him in the eyes from just about a yard away. He had the cordless in his left hand, a glass in his right, and on his face was a sincerity I hardly saw.

"S'your mom," he told me, tightening his grip on the receiver, "she...uh...she died, tonight."

For a moment, my mind was absolutely blank. My body followed suit, going limp, and I crumpled to the floor, my face finding its way to the upturned palms of my hands. "Mom..." I sobbed, "Mom, I didn't mean it...God, Mom, I'm so sorry, I love you...Mom, no..." I cried as though she could actually here me, as though this pathetic display could actually resurrect her. This was all my fault...I knew it was all my fault, I had...God, what had I done? I had killed my own mother...

~*...Flashback...*~

I came in from the kill, wild eyes ablaze and limbs all a-tingle. My movements were more like flailing, like dancing than the re-entry to the house I had meant. That was, at least, until I caught sight of my mother who was leaning against the dining room table, glaring at me. Positively glaring. The look alone stopped me dead in my flamboyant tracks, and I froze somewhere between third position and a stag leap. My mother eyed me up and down, looking at my wild hair, my disheveled black garments, and my flushed face. Here, her eyes grew wide.

"God, Mizu, what's...Your lip! Is that...bloo-"

"NO!" I cried, and I think my voice broke, so I tried again, "No. It's...my lipstick, yeah."

"Mizu, what the hell do you do at night? Where have you been going? You're NOT with your friends, I've talked to every one of them over the span of this week. You've been out and they're not caught sight of you!"

"Mom, relax, I was just walking," I bluffed, "you know what an insomniac case I am. I just needed to move..."

"Could that be because you spend all day sleeping? What's going on? What's wrong with you, Miz?" she was at that parental point between begging and demanding the truth, where if you didn't answer just as she wanted, then you might as well have lied again. So, I did.

"Nothing, Mom, I swear to God," and I raised my arms in an exaduratedly surrendurring pose.

"Mizu..." she looked about to cry, "I read your diary. This was cute when you were twelve, but this has gone too far. You're NOT a vampire! You're my daughter."

I was dumbstruck. "Mom, you read...you what? You didn't! That diary, that's mine! MINE!" I screamed.

"Listen to me, Mizu, we're going to go upstairs, together, okay?" she sounded like she was treating a psych-patient, "and we're going to look in the bathroom mirror, and I won't care how you look, and neither will you, but you're going to look, and see!" I knew what she was thinking. "This is the only way I can think to prove to you that what you're doing at night, it's just not healthy!" She was thinking that vampires didn't have reflections...well, I didn't. But what I did have was a plan. I felt around in my back pocket for the small utility knife I carried, just in case I ever needed to do something important...like file my nails, or cut a thread off my sweater. Sure enough, there it was, and I kept my hand there until we made it to the bathroom, so that my mother could see for herself that...

"God, Mizu, you're..."

"I'm sorry, Mom," and in an instant I had my knife out and open. Another instant, and the thing was lodged into my mother's left side. Shock, pain, horror, disbelief, all of these things were clear as day on her face. I yanked out the knife, sealing her fate. The blood blossomed onto her shirt and then began to drizzel down her leg. Then I fled. I could watch no more.

Grabbing only a few simple possessions and my wallet, I left the house as fast as I could, hopping into my poor little compact car and, after jamming the key into the ignition, I forced it to turn over in the cold weather and sped away. I never looked back.

~*...End Flashback...*~

Tom came closer to me, putting his hand on my shoulder in an attempt to comfort me. "Mizu? You okay?"

Slowly, I stood. I shook my head and my whole body was trembling. "I...can't believe," I muttered, tears running down my cheeks. My mother had been in a coma since that night, but I never thought that it would come to this. I never thought that she would die. Tom brought my body close to his, holding me, rubbing my back softly. I didn't return the embrace; my arms hung at my sides and I felt nothing except, for the first time, what it was to really lose something. "Mom...Mom..." I mumbled over and over again, feeling cold all over. Then sickness washed around me, and I pulled away from Tom, spreading my arms wide like an offering. "Please, kill me."

"What?"

"You heard me. I'm not worth anything but this."

"Mizu..." his eyes rose from the ground up to mine, "I would never. Never."

"Why?! I don't deserve to live! Please, Tom!" I moaned. I thrust my sheathed sword at him. "Take this, it's silver, it'll do it," I instructed.

"No, Miz, I won't do it. I can't," he refused. He threw the sword forcefully to the ground. "You did what you had to do, or at least what you thought you had to do...look, please, just don't go crazy on me. Don't be like this."

I stared. And stared. Did he...he actually cared about me, didn't he? A new sort of sensation flooded my insides. "Tom," I wiped the hot tears from my skin, then flung myself at him, hungry for his embrace. He looked at me warmly, but distantly. He lifted my chin with his hand and kissed my lips.

~*~

I sat up in the dark room, pulling bare arms from around my equally bare waist. I smiled. Tom was constantly trying to nail me. I guess it took a terrible tragedy to make me easy. Across the room shone a digital clock, the only light in the dark place. Midnight, it showed. I still had time to feed.

~*~

There. Movement. My keen eyes were perfectly adjusted to the night world around me, made darker yet by the thick groupings of trees. Even still, I could see a single leaf flutter before me, and my sharp ears could hear even the tiniest crack of a twig, rustle of dead grass. I made out a shape of a deer not too far away. It was small, but it would do. The city was too far for me to make it there and back before sunrise, so tonight forest creatures would have to do.

Almost soundlessly I made my way from my current spot to just a few feet from the deer. Then I made my break, and so did it. We dashed together through the forest, my mouth becoming wet with saliva as I smelled the blood flowing through the animal, heard it's warm heart pulsing, and I unsheathed my sword. Pointing the glinting tip at the fawn, I lept to my right, the sword sliding through the animal's soft, young flesh easily. In an instant, my arms found their way around the neck of the deer, and my mouth was drawn to the throbbing vein in the neck of the small thing. They punctured the skin, finding blood with ease, and I latched on, drawing blood out faster than the deer's little heart could pump it. Soom, the animal was just seconds from death and I pulled away from it, leaving the little fawn dead there on the frozen ground. I removed my sword from its belly, the blade now covered with all sorts of internal material. I crinkled my nose.

"Eeww..." I sighed, and, holding the sword a good distance from my side, I walked back to the house.

~*~

I turned off the faucette and dried my sword with a towel, then slid it back into its casing. I took it back to my room, laying the blade on top of my dresser where it could usually be found. I stripped off my coat and heavy sweater, unbuckled my belt, and slipped into my coffin, lowering the lid on top of me.

~*...Dream Sequence...*~

It was late, maybe two or three in the morning. I was typing away furiously at my computer, working at the homework I should have done at about three o'clock that afternoon. I sucked in a deep, refreshing breath and cracked my knuckles, deciding it was time for a snack break. Sauntering into the kitchen, I gravitated toward the so-called "Chocolote Cabinet" and peered inside. Alas, there was no chocolate, but there were orange cupcakes. I smiled. These things had plenty of sugar to keep me up all night. Pulling off the rapper and tossing it in the garbage bin, I took a large bite and a shiver ran up my spine from the vast amount of sweet that had entered my mouth. I turned to go back to my work, expecting to see in my path nothing but the dining room I had walked through once already. Instead, I saw much more.

A figure, dressed all in black, was smiling at me.

"The...hell?" I mumbled. The figure flew at me, and I tried to scream, but it was too late. A hand covered my mouth and lips pressed against my neck. I felt the teeth scrape once against my flesh, then they punctured the thin skin that covered my jugular vein. It was painful, so painful as I felt all the blood leaving my body and a hollow, cold feeling replacing it. My heart began to pump at a vastly excellerated speed, and I knew I was going to die. I started to kick and flail wildly, and I landed the luckiest shot of my life. Apparently, this vampire was male, and I had landed a kick square to his groin. The teeth yanked themselves awkwardly out of my neck, tearing my skin crookedly, and my attacker fled faster than I could blink. I reclaimed a standing position and stumbled to the stairway, my head light and thoughtless. I made my way slowly into the bathroom to examine my injuries, but there was nothing in the mirror. Nothing but the ivy wallpaper on the wall behind me. I wanted to scream, but I could not. My breath caught in my throat and I knew my life from this point on would be very, very different.

~*...End Sequence...*~

I awoke in a cold sweat, frightened until I recognized the pine walls that surrounded me. I sighed. How I hated memories.