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I jerked up from the couch breathing hard, tears spilling from my eyes and trailing down my cheeks. It had been nearly a year since I had relived the night my parents died, I thought I was over it. The candle resting on the coffee table was dull and without flame. I glanced at my cell phone that was sitting on the edge of the table. It was 7:20am. Too early to get up so I fell back on the couch and stared at the ceiling trying to give myself time to calm down after that dream/memory. I closed my eyes wanting to get at least another hour of sleep but sleep wouldn't come.

A few minutes later, my phone started ringing and grunge music filled the air. Music of that genre wasn’t so likable early in the morning. I reached onto the coffee table where the music was coming from. I slid the phone open and put it to my ear.

"Hello," I said in a sleepy voice.

"Did I wake you?" I heard Phoebe ask. I sighed.

"No." There was a pause where all I could hear on the other end of the line was Phoebe's breathing.

"Well...What are you doing?" she asked.

"Talking to you. Where are you calling from?" I murmured letting my eyes droop shut.

"Um...Upstairs," Phoebe said sheepishly. I groaned in confusion.

"Why?"

"Because I didn't feel like coming down stairs." Now I noticed that I could hear Phoebe's words echoed upstairs.

"Can you sleep?" I asked.

"Nope. Can you?" Phoebe replied.

"No," I said though I still felt tired.

"Good! 'Cause I'm lonely," she said in a babyish voice. That was just another way of saying ‘come upstairs‘.

"I'll be right there," I sighed. I closed my phone and got up off the couch with a groan. I stomped up the stairs and into Phoebe's room.

"Lori! Watch this!" Phoebe commanded excitedly. She was sitting cross-legged on her bed and there
was a pile of different colored marbles lying on the fluffy comforter in front of her. I was curious so I did as she said and watched her and the marbles. Phoebe became still and silent which for Phoebe is like a miracle in and of itself. She raised her hands above the pile of marbles the palms of her hands facing upward. Several of the marbles soared into the air. My eyes popped open in amazement. Phoebe grinned and twirled her finger slightly beneath the marbles; they began to rotate and revolve around each other like a mini solar system. It was all I could do to not laugh aloud at the sight.

"Oh my gods!" I shrieked gazing mesmerized at the marbles dancing gracefully in mid-air.

"I know right! It's so awesome!" Phoebe said, beaming proudly at her magical marbles.

I grinned broadly. This was so insanely cool! "So how'd you learn to do that?" I asked curiously sitting down on the bed beside her my eyes never leaving the floating objects. She let her hand fall back into her lap and looked at me. The marbles kept miraculously twirling around in the air.

"I don't know how I did it exactly. I was just really bored so I got my marbles out." She pointed towards a large plastic container about half filled with brightly colored marbles. Phoebe had been collecting marbles ever since I met her in pre-school when I was four years old. She was the same age I was and her parents decided that she was old enough to know not to put the marbles in her mouth and choke on them. She only had three marbles then and they were her most prized possession.

"I thought they would be more interesting if they were floating and voila!" She gestured dramatically towards the marbles hovering precariously in the air.

"Very cool!" I observed with evident zeal. Phoebe smiled and lifted more marbles into the air with her newly discovered witchy powers. I was truly astounded at how adept Phoebe was becoming with this new skill of hers.

Suddenly my cell phone started to buzz and the AT&T ring tone filled the air. A few of Phoebe's marbles stopped spinning but she gained focus and they started back up. I slid open my phone and glanced at the number that was calling. It wasn't one I was familiar with.

"Hello?" I asked uncertainty coloring my voice. Who is it? Phoebe mouthed silently. I shook my head and shrugged.

"Hey, it's me," came a smooth yet somehow awkward sounding voice from the other end of the line. My breathing caught in my throat and it felt as if my heart had just lodged itself in my trachea. I had to swallow hard to get it back in the right spot.

"How did you get this number?" I blurted out before I could think of anything slightly intelligent to say. Phoebe was bouncing up and down impatiently. She desperately wanted to know who was on the other end of the call. The marbles were floating higher and higher above her head, spinning faster and faster.

"You're listed," a simple reply came from the earpiece.

"Oh," I said and I mentally kicked myself. That's what I get for getting rid of my house phone and putting my cell phone number in the phone book. Phoebe's marbles hit the ceiling and clattered to the floor. I ignored the marbles and Phoebe since it practically took all my concentration to focus on the call and keep myself from having a heart attack or something. She sighed so loudly it almost sounded like a growl. I took a deep breath preparing to speak.

"If you don't mind my asking; why did you call?" I asked trying frantically to sound cool.

"I thought it would be a bit more convenient if I called instead of just showing up like I normally do." I swear I could hear the smirk in his voice.

"That didn't answer my question now did it?" I said an involuntary grin taking up residence on my lips.

"I was wondering if you might want to do something." There was a short pause. "With me that is," Zane asked uncertainly. Again somehow my heart found its way into my throat; attempting to choke me into silence.

"You mean like a...Like a date?" I felt I just had to ask this question.

"Yeah, I guess you could call it that," Zane replied in an almost openly embarrassed way. My heart was racing and my head felt light and fluffy. I felt like giggling my brains out like some girly girl; but I kept my cool.

"Um...Okay," I said in a marginally breathless voice. I've been taking risks since I first met Zane why not take a few more?

"Cool! Tonight around eight. I-I'll pick you up?" he asked nervously. It was easy to tell that he didn't do stuff like this very often but that was perfect because neither did I.

"O-okay," I stammered excitedly.

"Great! See you later," Zane said and then the line went dead. I calmly slid my phone shut then burst into fits of over-delighted squeals and giggles.

"Who was it? What's going on?" Phoebe asked. I paused in between giggles long enough to breathlessly say one word, "Zane!" Phoebe groaned loudly.

"Well what did he want?" she asked. I stopped laughing immediately and sprung up off the bed.

"Oh my god!" I yelled elatedly.

"What?" Phoebe said sounding thoroughly alarmed.

"Oh my god!” I exclaimed again. “What am I gonna wear?!" I asked urgently before darting from Phoebe's room and into my own. I tore open my massive walk-in closet and glared anxiously at every corner. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to wear. I mean should I appear sophisticated, classy, mysterious, fierce, shy, smart, sexy, girly, or funny? The guy is a vampire and I've only known him for like four days. How am I supposed to know what a teenage vampire looks for in a girl?
Phoebe came sprinting into my room and she asked, "You have a date?" I nodded, my head bobbing up and down nervously. "With Zane," Phoebe said and this time it wasn't a question. I nodded yet again my head moving even more rapidly. "So what are you gonna wear?" she asked. I groaned melodramatically and threw my hands up in the air for emphasis.

"Why do you think I'm in here, Pheebs?!" I fell to the floor in front of my gargantuan closet in a hopeless heap.

Phoebe stepped around me and vanished into the depths of my over-stocked closet. A while later Phoebe returned smiling triumphantly. "What about this?" she asked.

I glanced at the outfit Phoebe was displaying and almost fainted. She was holding an incredibly short, incredibly tight black leather dress; complete with fishnet sleeves, thigh slits, and a neckline that plunged to the waist. Phoebe had gotten me that outfit for my sixteenth birthday thinking that my wardrobe needed a little spicing up.

"No," I said immediately my eyes wide with the horror of wearing that outfit in public. Phoebe gazed at the dress.

"Why not? It's sexy," she insisted smiling in a totally perverted way. I narrowed my eyes.

"I'm fine with sexy, but I don't want an outfit that says, 'hey, I tie guys up and whip them for a living.'" Phoebe sighed and hung the dress back up. I got up off the floor and joined Phoebe in the room that was more like a clothing store than a closet. I shuffled through the many drawers and racks finally coming up with something that I would consider decent for a first date.

A pair of seriously distressed blue jeans, slashed up with tons of holes. I grabbed a studded belt that added just the right amount of classy edge to the jeans and a deep purple tank top sporting a Gothic cross slanting diagonally across the front. At first, I was against wearing that shirt until I remembered it was the silver chain that had hurt Zane, not the cross.

I ran a comb through my long red hair and pulled it into a hair band so that it was out of my face. I looked in the mirror and adjusted the silver cross at my throat. Glancing down at my fingernails, I sighed. There was black nail polish beginning to chip off my nails. I didn't feel like re-painting them so I just scratched the rest of the black polish off.

Since I was finished with picking my outfit for tonight, I exited my closet and laid the tank, jeans, and belt out on my bed. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and glanced at the time. It was only noon! By the gods, waiting for eight hours was going to be pure agony! I flopped back on my bed.

"I wonder where he's gonna take you?" Phoebe mused quietly. I sighed.

"I don't know," I paused for a second to think. "But I bet wherever it is it's gonna be awesome," I said grinning.

"How do you know going out with a vampire is a good thing?" she asked sullenly. I gave her an accusatory look.

"What do you mean?" She sighed and fiddled with a strand of her hair hanging out of place.

"I mean, what if he's planning on taking you to his lair and sucking your blood." I looked at her my eyebrows raised. "What?" she asked as if what she said was something one used in everyday conversation. I rolled my eyes at her. I was in such a good mood right now not even Phoebe's outright tendencies to speak every word that popped into her brain no matter how disturbing could get me down.
I sighed and turned back to Phoebe. She rushed at me and had her arms around my neck again. "Oh Lori, I'm so glad you're b-back!" she cried. I didn't realize how much I missed Phoebe while I was with the Hunters. "I'm sorry, th-that I c-called you an idiotic m-meal," she sobbed loudly. I laughed soggily, and I noticed that I had started to cry too. Aren’t we just the most emotional, crybaby girls ever?

"It's okay, Pheebs," I murmured. She pulled away from me and sniffled again.

"What happened to you?" she asked holding open the door, and taking a tissue from a box sitting on a small wooden table just inside the doorway. I followed Phoebe into the living room, and we both flopped down on the couch. I took a deep breath and thought back to the night before.

"I guess it was last night after you left. I heard this tapping sound coming from my bedroom." I swallowed sullenly and continued, "Some guy jumped through my window and knocked me out with chloroform." Phoebe gasped.

"Who...Who was it?" I shook my head.

"Could've been a number of people..." I said. I counted off my fingers with each name I said, "Colten, Malick, Cedric, Jason, and some guy I don't even know the name of." Phoebe's eyebrows climbed up her forehead as I said the names.

"Zane 'saved' me," I said, making quotation marks in the air with my fingers. "Attacking a few of my friends in the process." This time Phoebe looked confused.

"Zane hurt someone?" She asked.

"Understatement," I said in a dark voice. Phoebe looked shocked. Seriously he's a vampire what did you expect? I wanted to say that but I didn't.

"Zane threw Malick about fifteen feet across the room; he banged into the wall so hard it cracked." Phoebe's eyes widened in terror and amazement. "Zane also slammed Colten into the floor hard enough to make the tiles fly out of place." She let out a squeak of compassion for Colten. It felt good relaying Zane’s crimes to someone other than the person who committed them.

"Wow," she said.

"Yeah, but I stopped the fight before anything else happened," I said shrugging as if I talked about things like this all the time.

"How'd you do that?" Phoebe asked leaning closer to me eager to hear the rest of the story.

"Well, it'd be cool if I could say I used my awesome Kung Fu skills to make 'em back off, but I just yelled ‘stop’," I said grinning.

Phoebe giggled, "Yeah, everyone underestimates the value of a good yelling voice." We both started laughing, and once we started we couldn't stop.

It had been a long time since Phoebe and I had laughed so hard. What we were talking about wasn't even that funny but we laughed anyway. We did more than laugh; we chuckled. We chortled. We guffawed. We giggled. We snorted. We laughed so hard we started to cry. By the time we finished laughing we were both laid out halfway on the couch halfway off it, gasping for breath.

"So what about Zane?" Phoebe asked still smiling hugely.

"What d'you mean?" I asked, looking slightly confused. Phoebe's smile faded a bit.

"Well you guys seemed a little awkward around each other," she explained.

"Oh, I guess it was a little weird between us. I just let Zane know that he can't follow me everywhere and expect me to be okay with it," I muttered. Phoebe nodded in understanding.

Suddenly there came a harsh knock on the front door. Phoebe and I got up off the couch and walked curiously toward the door where the vicious knocking was coming from. I opened the door cautiously and was surprised to see Phoebe's parents.

"Uh, hi Mr. Hallman," I said indifferently. Phoebe's hulk-like father shoved his way into my house, his mousy little wife scampering behind him.

"Phoebe Annabelle Hallman!" Phoebe's father bellowed. Phoebe shrunk back and seemed to become very small. "You are never allowed to see this girl again!" he said jabbing a fat finger in my direction. I glared angrily at him but he didn't seem to notice. I saw tears start to well up in Phoebe's eyes. "Now get your stuff and go home!" he commanded.

"Why?" Phoebe cried.

"She's irresponsible, Phoebe. And she has no parents to enforce certain rules. And you told us she was missing for nearly 24 hours!" He tried to sound friendly at the beginning but he ended his sentence with a roar.

"But she's my friend," Phoebe sobbed.

"I don't care. Now go back to the house," he said. I saw Phoebe clench her fists, and she screamed, "No! I won't go back home ever!!!"

The noise began as a slight rattle and I dismissed it as any normal person would have.

"What did you say to me?" her father asked angrily, raising his fist and shaking it in the air. The rattling became louder.

"I said...NO!!!" Phoebe hissed in a cringe-worthy voice. I glanced around as the rattling became even louder and noticed objects shuddering fiercely, and some were even levitating a few inches above the surface they were originally resting upon. Phoebe's dad came closer and grabbed his daughter roughly by the shoulders, shaking her. She stared daggers at his hands.

"DON'T! TOUCH! ME!!!!!" Phoebe grabbed her father's arms and for one prolonged moment, her hands glowed fiery red and her father's jacket sleeve caught fire.

I was so shocked I couldn't speak; I just watched the flame creep up his arm with astonishing speed. Phoebe sprang back from her father and the floating objects crashed to the floor. I looked back and forth between Phoebe's shocked expression and Mr. Hallman's frightening attempt to swat the fire from his jacket. What the hell just happened? My thoughts were panicked. Phoebe's dad just caught on fire. That was weird, even for me. I watched Phoebe's father wrench the jacket from his back and stomp out the fire. Mr. Hallman gave his daughter a frightened look and started backing quickly down the hall towards the door. Phoebe's mom gave Phoebe an apologetic glance and scurried after her husband.

When the rest of the Hallman's were out of the house, I walked over to Phoebe and thought: How can she possibly be related to those people? She looks absolutely nothing like them, and God knows she doesn't act like them.

"Pheebs, you okay?" I asked in a quiet voice. She looked at me, tears leaking down her cheeks and she shook her head.

"Come on," I whispered, and I lead Phoebe back into the living room. I pushed her gently onto the couch and sat down beside her. She swiped the tears from her face and hugged her knees to her chest. After a while of just sitting there staring at the wall I was about ready to burst with questions. Phoebe glanced at me, sighed and asked, "What?"

I turned quickly to face her. "By the gods!" I whispered in an urgent voice. "How'd you-I mean that was...By the gods!" I flustered, convinced that Phoebe had made her father catch on fire. Phoebe looked at me in an annoyed way then went back to glaring at the wall. "How did you do that?" I asked softly.

She looked at me. "You think I did that?" she said and I could swear I detected the slightest hint of excitement in her otherwise uncharacteristically bleak voice. I nodded my eyes wide with amazement. She sighed.

"All I remember is being really mad and then poof!" She gestured with her hands. "Flaming father," she murmured. I couldn't help but smile.

"Hmm, it's definitely not something you see every day." Phoebe shrugged and muttered, "Unless, of course you're us." I let out a short laugh.

I guess Phoebe had run out of things to say because she continued to stare at the wall. Though I too had nothing to say, I sure had enough to think about. How did Phoebe do that? I mean she set her father on fire. And I'm guessing that if she did that then she was also responsible for the floating objects. Spontaneous combustion and levitation it was like...MAGIC!

"Phoebe!" I yelled springing up from the couch.

"What?" she asked in a panic.

"You're a witch!" I said, filled from my toes to the top of my head with excitement. Phoebe's face fell.

"Lorelei, I didn't mean to hurt him. I don't even know how it happened!" she cried.

"Pheebs, no! That's not what I meant," I said, more excited still. "I mean you're a spell slinging! Curse casting! Wiccan badass!" I insisted in a voice that sounded as if I was a coach giving a pep talk to a losing team.

Phoebe smiled. "Really? You think? Is that-is that even possible? I mean I know I read about Wicca a lot but there’s nothing in the books about randomly setting people on fire," she asked. I shrugged and plopped back down on the couch.

"I don't know! I mean vampires and Hunters are real; so why not real actual witches?" Phoebe's eyes widened.

"Let's put it to the test," she said, smiling mischievously. I returned her smile and nodded. She sprung up from the couch and skipped over to the window, her usual perkiness back in her step. There was a white candle sitting on the windowsill, which Phoebe grabbed and skipped back over to the couch. She sat down and placed the candle in the middle of a glass coffee table stationed in front of us.

I kept quiet and watched Phoebe concentrate on the candle. After a few minutes, I started to get bored and I had to stifle a sigh. My eyes were just beginning to droop shut when I heard a gasp. My eyes popped open and I glanced at Phoebe. She was staring at the candle, her mouth hanging wide open. I saw her fingers twitching with power beneath the candle, which was hovering several inches above the tabletop. Her hand moved out from under the candle seeming to have a will of its own and she briefly touched her index finger to the candle's wick. The air seemed to grow thick with electricity and the wick sparked into a flame.

My jaw dropped so far I'm pretty sure it touched the floor and I gasped. The candle dropped through the air landing hard on the coffee table and the flame dissipated. Phoebe blinked out of the weird power haze she had somehow found her way into and mumbled, "What-what happened?"

"Pheebs!" I squealed bouncing up and down on the couch in excitement. "You did it! You made the candle float and then you...you lit it without a lighter! That is so flipping awesome!" By now, I had jumped up off the couch and was dancing around the room in amazement.

Phoebe looked purely stunned. She touched her finger to the candlewick once more and it lit. She let out a surprised squeak and jumped back into the couch. I paused in the middle of my wacky happy dance and stared at the flame flickering wildly atop the candle. I giggled madly and continued dancing. Wow! A day of sleep really did the body good.

"Oh my goddess! I'm a witch!" Phoebe burst out, eyes wide. I rolled my eyes in the middle of my dance and breathlessly said, "I do believe I just said that!"

"This is so insane!" Phoebe cried, joining me in my dance of wacky happiness. I grinned.

"Vampires! Witches! Hunters! Werewolves! Demons! Who knows? They could all be real!" she said. I stopped jumping and my grin faded. "What's wrong?" Phoebe asked, confused by my sudden dour mood.

"I was just wondering why we think it's so cool that these things are real," I insisted. Phoebe stopped bouncing,

"What d'you mean?" she asked.

"Well...All witches can't be good. Not all vampires can be like Zane. And the Hunters don't seem very friendly," I murmured. Phoebe sighed and sat back down on the couch.

"That's a good point," she said, staring at the flickering candle. I sat down beside her.

"Maybe we think it's cool because we're freaks," I stated. Phoebe giggled.

"Yeah, a couple of freaky supernatural weirdo’s are we." I nodded in agreement. I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and glanced at the time as I often do.

"Whoa," I said quietly.

"What?" Phoebe asked peeking over my shoulder at my phone; the screen on my phone read 1:44am.

"How'd it get so late? Early? Whatever," she asked. I shrugged. "Well I'm tired," Phoebe stated, getting up off the couch. "I'm going to sleep." She trudged upstairs. I heard Phoebe flop down on her bed and then things were quiet.

I sighed and stared into the dancing flame on top of the candle. I was just way too wired to sleep so I just sat there, alone, in a dark room but for the flicker of a candle that was lit by magic. I can accept the fact that Phoebe is a witch. I'm cool with it and not at all jealous...I mean why couldn't I be something like that? Instead, I'm supposedly a Hunter, which would be kind of cool if I had super strength, and super speed like the rest of them. But I don't! I am utterly pathetic! It seems like all my friends are super heroes and here I am-the damsel in distress-thinking that I belong.

I curled up on the couch and stared at the flame perched precariously on top of the white candle. I chewed my bottom lip as my suddenly depressing thoughts raced through my mind in a barely coherent fashion. I must have been more tired than I thought because I felt myself drift off into an uneasy sleep to the angry buzzing of my thoughts.

A nice dreamless sleep would've been too good to hope for two nights in a row but somehow the hope weaseled its way into my heart. As it had many times before, my hope went ignored.

It started out like all my other nightmares. It was an icy October night, I was twelve years old and engrossed in a hand held video game. I was sitting in the back seat of my parents' car and they were sitting in front. Everything seemed completely normal; they were listening to music and laughing.

Suddenly some guy came out of nowhere. The car swerved to avoid hitting him. The tires hit a patch of ice and the car spun out of control. The video game flew out of my hands and my body jerked forward because I had neglected to put a seat belt on. The car rammed into the side of the bridge we were passing over breaking the railing. The car was perched in mid-air for a split second then it plunged into the ice-cold water, which made the air whoosh from my lungs. I remembered water flooding into the car through some unseen opening, and floundering around trying to roll down a window or open a door but it was futile. As my lungs began to burn for oxygen there came a muffled crack as one of the windows were smashed open and I was yanked from the drowning wreckage of my parents' car. I kept my mouth and eyes shut and let some invisible savior drag me from the water.

As abruptly as when the car went off the bridge I was out of the water; painfully cold air tearing through my throat and searing in my lungs. I saw a gorgeous teenage boy hovering over me. He was soaking wet and had the most memorable eyes; they were the color of thunderclouds. There was something more fighting to break through the wall I put up around the memory of that night but I forced it back into remission.

The nightmare suddenly flashed to the morning after the accident. I woke up fully dressed in my bed. I was thinking...Hoping...Praying that all that had happened last night was just a dream; the man in the middle of the street, driving off the bridge, and abandoning my parents as I was saved and they weren't. I walked slowly into my mom and dad's bedroom trying to prolong the moment because somehow I knew that they weren't going to be there...They weren't.
When Zane and I were some ways away from the Hunters' secret headquarters I stopped. Zane halted as well, and exhaled in a gust. He peered at me from under his dark brown tousled bangs. There was a guilty expression sliding across his face.

"What is your problem?" I asked shrilly. He swallowed and looked away from me for a moment. I glared at him until he answered.

"You were gone for nearly twenty-four hours." He looked back at me and sighed; clearly he thought he had explained all that he needed to, but it wasn't enough for me.

"I went to your house," he continued. "Phoebe was sitting on your doorstep crying. She told me you were gone. Your door was unlocked, and your window was wide open. I could smell the chloroform." He took a breath and winced as the smell of my blood stabbed at his senses. I gave him a look of impatience that said ‘continue’.

"I told her I would find you. I tracked your scent trail and when I found where it ended...I just-" he looked at the ground and shook his head in frustration. "I lost control!" His fist struck the brick wall to his left and it fissured, red dust rained down on us. The sound of the blow and the cracking of the wall made me jump, but I stood my ground.

"Fine; but just to let you know I really don't appreciate you stalking me," I stated and I stomped away from him in a huff. Zane stayed where he was on the sidewalk his arms trembling with fury. He dug his fingertips into the wall and ripped out a chunk of the brick with a sound like an angry bear. He caught up to me and crossed his arms over his chest defiantly.

"You do realize you're going the wrong way," he said in a highly mocking tone, a cocky smirk on his face. I spun on my heel and marched stubbornly in the opposite direction. Zane put a firm ice-cold hand on my shoulder and turned me in the right direction. My heart leaped at the casualty of his touch, but I was still angry. I gritted my teeth and let him lead me to the correct street. Apparently the way to my house lead through a dark alley. How cliché.

I struggled out of his grip on my shoulders and turned to face him; we were less than five inches apart. "Why do you do that?" I asked angrily. He pushed my hair behind my ear and I held back a nearly involuntary shiver.

"Do what?" he said, answering my question with another. I swallowed hard.

"That! You j-just do things an-and it makes my brain go all weird,” I stammered while gesturing wildly. He gave me a look like he thought I was an idiot. I glared at him furiously and took a deep breath. “Whenever you're near me all my thoughts fly south for the winter," I said in a grudgingly articulate way. He had to know the effect he had on people, right? I lost my marbles whenever he touched me or got too close.

"So, what you’re saying is I dazzle people?" he asked unbelievingly. I nodded. "Hmm, I guess it's a vampire thing," he murmured softly leaning forward, closer to me, dangerously close.

"Well stop it," I said, backing away from him and running off in the direction of the suddenly crowded sidewalk.

I didn't know if I was going the right way; but the truth was I really didn't care. Why did Zane have to be such a...such a...? Well I couldn't think of a bad enough word right then, but that's what he was! He was just so infuriating! I saved his ass back there and he didn’t even say thanks; or acknowledge in any way that he was grateful. He attacked my friends, and still I helped him.

I stomped down the street. "Maybe I should've let them kill you," I grumbled angrily. He was following me again! I swerved around to face him, my fist raised, my expression livid with irritation. Before I could think about what I was doing, I swung my arm at him in an attempt to hit him. He caught my arm, his fingers closing tight around my wrist.

"I'm sorry about your friends," he said seriously, looking curiously at my wrist in his hand. I yanked my hand back and continued walking down the street fuming. Stupid vampire reflexes.

"Well you know 'Sorry' isn't gonna cut it," I mumbled absently. He caught up to me and asked, "How can I make it alright?" I gave a short laugh and said, "You could go away." Or let me punch you in the face.

Zane stopped mid-step. "Is that what you want?" he asked looking at me. His expression wasn’t the composed mask it always was. He looked hurt and yet somehow relieved. I made a sound in the back of my throat that was somewhere between a sigh and a groan and stopped walking.

"I don't know what I want," I said rubbing my head, because it had suddenly started to ache. We stared hard at each other; both of us seemed to be trying to read the other’s mind.

Finally, I sighed and sat down on the sidewalk. Zane sat down beside me but said nothing. I thought about speaking but every time I opened my mouth to say something, I lost my nerve. Then suddenly the words I had only spoken in my head were starting before I could stop them. "My life was complicated before I met you." I swallowed past the lump in my throat and continued, "And I was just dealing with the normal stuff." I paused because it looked like Zane was going to say something.

"So you want me to go away," he said in a glum voice; it wasn't a question. I took a deep breath and exhaled in a sigh.

"I'm not going to answer that yet. The thing is; I just met you like four days ago.” His gaze found the ground and it looked like he wanted to say something desperately but his lips remained set in a thin line so I continued, “sometimes you can be so sweet, and you make me like you so much." I took a quick gulp of air. "Then at other times you get me so angry." I stared at my hands folded gently on my lap and thought about what to say next. "I don't want you to leave...but-I just." I sighed as I realized that I was at a loss for words.

"You need some time to think about things," Zane murmured. I could feel him staring at me. I nodded without surrendering myself to the pained expression on his glorious face. "And to be able to think you need space," he continued. Again, I nodded.

"But that doesn't mean stalking me from the shadows," I explained trying to lighten the mood. The corners of his mouth turned upward in a sad smile. I glanced at him and my heart soared as I again noticed how gorgeous he was.

I stood up and started walking down the sidewalk. "Lorelei," Zane called my name, making it sound a thousand times more beautiful than it really was. I turned around and he was right there. I gasped at the close proximity.

"What?" I whispered, struggling to gather my thoughts. He shrugged shyly and said, "Well, you're still going the wrong way." I grinned.

"Walk me home?" I asked. He licked his lips and nodded sharply to the opposite road. I sighed at my horrible sense of direction. We walked down the street side by side. Neither of us said anything. Occasionally Zane took a hand from his jacket pockets and pointed in a different direction.

It was a long walk back to my house, but Zane seemed to know where he was going. About an hour and a half passed and then we were turning onto my street. Zane and I hadn't spoken a word the whole way back but I think I was all right with that. I trudged up the front steps of my house and rang the doorbell. Why I rang the doorbell at my own house I’ll never know. Phoebe answered the door, and she looked absolutely dreadful. Her short blonde hair was sticking up in every direction possible, her eyes were rimmed with red caused by her constant tears, and she sniffled every few seconds.

"Lori!" Phoebe yelled launching herself at me and wrapping her arms around my neck in a tight embrace.

"Hey Phoebe," I choked out. "Okay you know, oxygen becoming an issue," I said in a strangled voice.

“Oh! Oh I'm sorry.” Phoebe laughed in a watery way. She pulled away from me, new tears spilling from her eyes. She swiped her sleeve across her nose and sniffled again. Then she flung herself at Zane and hugged him tight.

He stumbled backwards in surprise, and the corners of his mouth pulled downward in a frown, but still he let her squeeze him. "Th-thank you!" Phoebe sobbed gratefully. She suddenly sprang back from Zane. "Oh god! I'm sorry! I didn't mean--I'm sorry!" she flustered as she realized she had just been hugging someone who would love to chew her throat out and drink every drop of her sweet ruby red. There was a hint of shock in Zane's expression.

"It's all right. I-I told her everything," I muttered sheepishly. Phoebe nodded, an unstable smile spreading across her face.

"Okay," he said in a composed tone, rubbing the back of his neck as if it hurt. "Well, I guess I'll see you some other time, Lori," he mumbled awkwardly.

"Mm-hmm," I said smiling apologetically. He stared at me for a moment before turning around and starting back down the street. I watched Zane walk and everything seemed dull compared to his radiance.
I could honestly say that was the best sleep I had ever gotten in my entire life. Chloroform and exhaustion is the perfect recipe for dreamless sleep. For some strange reason I didn't want to wake up. Therefore, I kept my eyes shut and rolled over trying to get more comfortable so I could get just a few more hours of sleep. But as I turned my body, I bumped into someone’s arm. My eyes snapped open. I looked up to see a kid, no older than myself with sandy blond hair, and playful hazel eyes. He was focused on the TV screen where there were two animated people fighting, one of which was being repeatedly punched in the face. Mortal Kombat I was certain. The boy who was sitting next to me had a play station 3 controller in his hands, his fingers were moving so rapidly they looked like nothing more than skin shaded blurs.

"Malick?" I mumbled, sitting up and rubbing the sleep from my eyes.

"Hey, hey sleeping beauty," Malick said turning his head towards me though his fingers on the controller were still moving impossibly fast.

"Where-where are we?" I asked glancing around the room. I saw a ping-pong table, a television, a very complicated looking stereo system, and a wooden chest overflowing with every kind of weapon you could imagine all elaborately made from silver. Malick paused the video game he was playing and swerved all the way around to face me.

“A headquarters of sort,” he replied.

“Mind telling me exactly where in town that would be?” I asked trying to sound innocently curious.

“Uh...I’m not sure I’m allowed to tell you exactly where we are,” he answered. I sighed and rolled my eyes.

"Fine, don't tell me. But can I ask...How long was I asleep?" Malick glanced at his watch.

"Whoa, almost twenty-one hours," he said raising his eyebrows in surprise. I was shocked as well.
Suddenly from outside there came exhilarated laughter. The door swung open and nine teenagers filed into the room. Grins and laughter went zinging through the area.

"God! That was so fucking AWESOME!!!" Someone yelled. A ripple of amusement floated through the crowd. Then I recognized a familiar voice, "Yeah, yeah Jason we all agree, storming that nest of vamps was pretty awesome you can stop saying it." It was Colten. He shoved his way out of the crowd and flopped down on one of the overstuffed recliners. I stared around the room at anything but the mass of people who had just entered the room.

"Fine I'll stop saying it but, God I’ll never get over the rush!" The guy named Jason replied. By now, my mouth had gone dry with shock. I thought the Hunters would be all arrogant and proper and all “kill” all the time, but they were behaving like a bunch of kids. That's when I realized that's all they were. They were just a bunch of kids. I’d say the oldest one in the room was maybe nineteen. It's not like they chose to be Hunters; they were born that way.

"So you're number thirteen? How’d you manage to skip going to the Academy?" someone asked me. I turned my gaze unwillingly to the person who had spoken; a guy who had dark hair that stuck up every which way possible and eyes that shimmered with shades of green and brown. Did he say ‘academy’? What academy? Just as I was about to ask Peyton came skipping out of the din and jumped onto the couch beside me.

"She has a name," she scoffed at the person who had just spoken to me.

"I'm Cedric," the boy informed me holding out his hand for me to shake. I was hesitant in taking his hand.

"Lorelei," I muttered in an uncertain tone, and I only brushed my fingertips against the palm of his hand.

"So Lori, what’s up?" Peyton asked smiling brightly and tossing her glossy auburn hair over her shoulder.

I looked at her and said, "Oh you know the usual; knocked out by chloroform in the middle of the night; kidnapped by people I thought I knew, and brought to some headquarters against my will. Nothing big." Peyton blinked looking absolutely stunned.

"Well when you put it that way it sounds kind of bad," she mumbled.

"There’s a way to make it sound good?" I asked sarcastically. Peyton looked slightly hurt by my reaction. I could tell that most of the Hunters enjoyed what they did so maybe they were surprised by my negative response. We didn't have time to say anything else because two people suddenly burst through the door; one of which I recognized as Clay. They were shouting so fast that the only words I caught were, "Hurry up!" and "Vampire!"  

"What's going on?" I asked, alarmed.

“Our security’s been breached,” Clay said with calm urgency. The heads of all the Hunters snapped up.

“What the hell do you mean our security’s been breached?” asked the one called Jason. Clay rolled his eyes skyward which made him seem a little less imposing.

“I mean there is a vampire in the building,” he replied almost patronizingly. Colten and Malick jumped up from their seats leaving Peyton next to me with a concerned expression on her face.

“How’d they get in? Were they invited?” Colten asked. His mien was extremely focused and he suddenly seemed different from the kid I had grown up with. Clay nodded grimly. Suddenly Jason groaned.

“Damn it, Mom! This is what we get for putting the deed in her name! She should know better than to invite strangers in,” he cried and his hands flew up to his head.

“We gotta get moving. We tried to stop him but he’s feral; knocked us both on our asses. Come on,” the guy that had come in with Clay said. I heard Jason growl under his breath and he darted with super human speed over to the weapons chest to grab one of the many pointed silver implements.

“You know a vampire can come in without being invited,” I murmured looking contemplatively at Peyton. Her brow furrowed.

“No they can’t,” she said.

“Yes they can, it just hurts them so they try to avoid it. Are you sure he was invited?” I asked. Her eyes narrowed at me suspiciously.

“Your ears are still too weak, huh, newbie? I heard Jason’s mom invite someone inside on her way out of the house. She’s lucky he didn’t kill her,” Cedric said glaring at me with equal suspicion.

“How would you know something like that?” Peyton asked and I could swear I heard astonishment in her voice. Like a ‘newbie’ couldn’t know something she didn’t. I felt my face burn as her eyes bored into me.

“Peyton come on! I know this vamp and it’s gonna take all of us to put him down,” Clay said and the authority in his voice kind of made even me want to follow his lead. Peyton leaped up and they all filed through the door in a blur to kill this supposedly feral vampire. Suddenly I was alone and more confused than ever.  

I knew I should’ve stayed put, but my natural curiosity got in the way of my common sense. I got up from the couch and snuck through the doorway in pursuit of the Hunters. When I came to the end of what seemed to be an extremely long hallway; I heard sounds of a fight, and sounds of struggle. I peeked through the doorway at the end of the hall as silently as a shadow. My eyes widened and I had to work to stifle a shocked gasp. Zane! Zane was the vampire that had gotten past security. He was being restrained by at least six Hunters; three on each side holding his arms back with all the strength they could muster.

Zane was so enraged that his words lashed out in harsh snarls. “I know she’s here! What did you do to her?” His arms tensed against the grip of the Hunters and his bared fangs glinted sharply in the fluorescent lights that shown above as he vocalized his fury in terrible roared threats. I shoved open the door and the Hunters that weren’t holding back a furious, bloodsucking, ‘feral’ vampire swerved around to look at me.

“Lorelei! You shouldn’t be in here,” Amenti said nervously in a voice that suggested worry. (Egyptian worry!) I couldn’t help but be amused by her strong Egyptian accent. Zane spun around and lost one of the Hunters that held him. His teeth were still bared, his fangs still showing. He stared at me; his eyes expressed some sort of relief, but his stance was full of an insatiable, animalistic hunger. My mouth fell open slightly and a quiet gasp escaped my lips. Our eyes held each other’s and for some reason I just couldn’t look away. That’s when I realized that an actual twinge of fear shot splintered my mind.

“Get her out of here,” Clay yelled in an authoritative voice. Sofia, Kendra, and Ginny sprinted over to where I stood frozen in terror; my gaze locked with Zane’s. I was being tugged backwards by three of the six chicks. I stumbled and unfroze. What I saw next was so fast I couldn’t keep up. Malick was suddenly flying across the room. He banged into the wall and the dry wall cracked. There was a blur and Colten was behind Zane. Zane went rigid for a fraction of a second and there was a deafening crack. Zane had grabbed Colten by the throat and flipped him over; he landed on the tile floor putting deep crevices in the stone and even making some tiles fly out of place. I yanked my way out of Sofia’s grip and rushed into the middle of the fight. I was right between Zane and Jason, both of them looked like they were going to explode with anger. They lunged at each other.
“STOP!” I cried and both of them froze. Despite how stressful things were at the moment, I still had enough time to marvel at how great their reflexes were.

“Get out of the way, Lorelei,” Zane growled, his voice quavering with rage. I glanced fleetingly at Jason and his expression said the same thing; he had a silver stake gripped so tightly in his hand that his fingers were putting dents in the metal.

“No,” I said with more confidence than I felt.

“Get the hell out of the way or—”

“Or what? Are you going to hurt me?” I asked stubbornly. Jason sighed in exasperation, but neither of them moved.

“You’re new here, you don’t understand, it’s not like he’s some random off the streets. He’s a vampire,” Jason insisted desperately.

“I know,” I muttered slowly moving towards Zane. Jason’s eyes flashed with worry and he opened his mouth to object. “You guys kill vampires and that’s-that’s cool but this guy is my friend...” I paused for a moment, “fangs and all,” I whispered knowing that each Hunter would hear me. I was now close enough to Zane to reach out a hand and touch his arm, but of course, I didn’t.

“Come on,” I mumbled looking down at the cracked tile. I could feel the eyes of the Hunters on both of us. They were perplexed; shocked into complete silence. I knew they were trying to decide what was wrong with me; why I was treating this ‘feral animal’ like an actual person. Zane stood still, not looking at me. “Zane, please,” I begged, going against my better judgment and laying my hand gently on his arm in a way that would be comforting to any human. He brushed my hand away; his face was a mask painted with hatred, and a blood drenched desire to rip each and every one of these people apart. He shook his head and looked down at the floor for a brief moment before slowly walking over to the door trying to ignore each one of the Hunters’ confused and steely glares. I trotted after Zane; also trying to ignore the judgmental stares of these kids that I’ve known most of my life, aside from Clay of course. My face burned with embarrassment. As if the Six Chicks didn’t tease me enough.
  • Mood: Fear
  • Listening to: No More Mr. Nice Guy by Alice Cooper
  • Reading: The Great Gatsby
  • Watching: American Horror Story: Freakshow
  • Playing: My Horse
  • Eating: meat loaf
  • Drinking: water
Rules:
1) Write down every letter in your name
2) Write down a song that pops into your head beginning with each letter.
3) Count the number of letters and TAG that many people.

Looking Glass by Hypnogaja
Unbelievable by EMF
Cumdumpster by Jack off Jill
Into the Fire by Disturbed
Needles by Seether
Dance Until We Die by OMNIA
At Last by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren

Slave 4 U by Britney Spears
Yellow Brick Road by Jack off Jill
Dancing With Tears in my Eyes by Ke$ha
No More Mr. Nice Guy by Alice Cooper
Equinox by OMNIA
You and I by Lady Gaga

deviantID

MissLucysLeeches
Lucinda
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
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SUSCRIBE to me on YouTube! I makes awesome (crappy) videos about awesome (random) stuff that everyone loves! (is indifferent about)
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:iconalysiuss:
Alysiuss Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015
hey how are you?
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:iconbleached-angel:
Bleached-Angel Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2015  Student Writer
To tag a quality deviant: And you’re it! Quality doesn’t mean that you have a lot of followers, or a lot of messages. It means that you’re nice to other people, and you deserve to be happy. If you get this message, someone is telling you that they love you as you are, and they don’t care how many followers you have. Send this to 10 deviants who deserve it. If you break the chain, nothing will happen. But it’s just good to let someone know that you love them!
Heart:icondragonhugplz:Heart
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:icondruid69:
druid69 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2014
Thank you for the :+fav:
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:iconinsanelywierd:
InsanelyWierd Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
tank u for dem llamas llama cancan
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:iconv3digitimes:
V3Digitimes Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Hi, and  a very very (really very) late thanks for your fav !
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:iconschneefuechsin:
Schneefuechsin Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey dear~ Foxy Dummy 
Foxy Fav  on L=Justice by ShonaliKapoor
Have a wonderful day~ Foxy Wave
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:iconbear48:
bear48 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2014  Professional
:iconcollorllamapls: :squee: :onfire: :squee: :iconcollorllamapls:

Thank you for the :llama: Llama

:iconcollorllamapls: :squee: :onfire: :squee: :iconcollorllamapls:
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:icondavidcherokee245:
DavidCherokee245 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2014  Hobbyist
Thank You for the Lama Badge, I'm Most Honored.
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:icondemonic-nik:
Demonic-NiK Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2014
Thank you for the favourite!
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:iconschneefuechsin:
Schneefuechsin Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey dear~ Foxy Dummy 
Foxy Fav  on Ryuk - Applefan a lifetime by ShonaliKapoor
Have a wonderful day~ Foxy Wave
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:icondruid69:
druid69 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2014
:) Thank you so much for the :+fav:
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:iconschneefuechsin:
Schneefuechsin Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:iconthanxforfavplz: on Crona - Simply adorable~ by ShonaliKapoor
Have a wonderful day~ Luigi Giving Flower
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:iconx40xyg3n:
X40xyG3N Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2014
Cheers for faving
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Jack-Freedom Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014
 Thanks for the fav :)
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:iconschneefuechsin:
Schneefuechsin Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey again dear~ :w00t:
How are you today? - I hope good :D
:iconthanxforfavplz: on Camellia blossom by ShonaliKapoor
Have a wonderful day~ Luigi Giving Flower
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lolslikemuttley Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014
Thanks for the faves :)
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:iconschneefuechsin:
Schneefuechsin Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey dear~ :aww:
Thank you again for the :+fav: on Book of circus by ShonaliKapoor
Bye~ :w00t:
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:iconschneefuechsin:
Schneefuechsin Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:iconthanxforfavplz: on Lasting memories - Do you remember? by ShonaliKapoor
Have a wonderful day~ Luigi Giving Flower
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violetlet Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks for the fave!!!Love 
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DoppieCroft Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014
Thank for the fave! Thanks for everything! :iconsparklesmileplz:
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CelestineLeFaye Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
( ˭̵̵̵̵͈́◡ु͂˭̵̵̵͈̀ )ˉ̞̭♡ Thank you for the Fav
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Demonic-NiK Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014
Thank you for the favourite!
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Silvermoonlight Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thxs for the fav.
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RebelSilence Featured By Owner May 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the faves.. again :3 ! :huggle:
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RebelSilence Featured By Owner May 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the faves :)
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