Memories

Memories

A Story by vampireonion
"

This became so long it's more of a novella. o.o

"
Memories seemed to float by me, passing me swiftly. I tried to grasp onto them; to find my own. Desperately I searched, scanning every mind that happened by. I needed to find my memories, but I could not fathom why. My own memories began to flee me, and I tried urgently to hang on to them. I didn't want them to leave; didn't want to know nothing.
I began to grow panic, frantically searching for any hint of who I was. I felt the memories of others pass by faster, so faster I tried to catch them. A man, a boy, a women, a newborn child, but none where my own. I was desperate; frenzied.  If this had been reality and not some strange realm of the mind I would have been clawing and crying, but this was some fantasy realm that lived in at the present, and it terrified me that I had no sense of who I was. I needed to find out; I needed to remember. He needed my help. All was to no avail, though, and all I gained from this was knowledge. Each person's mind held more secrets I could unlock, but none I needed.
The only memory that clung to me was that of a boy, a beautiful boy. For some reason beyond my comprehension I needed to find my memories for him. Yet, my memories seemed so distant and my time so short.
Suddenly the memories whisked by at such a speed that they were beyond my grasp. My mental state worsened and I reached out to them in desperation, only to brush them and nothing else. I was falling; leaving behind all my chances of remembering. Then, suddenly, I awoke.
Looming above me was a gorgeous face. Striking blue eyes framed perfectly by long lashed sat perched on the palest of faces. Soft, pale lips were tightened in worry. He face showed lines of the same worry, but the eyes glimmered with hope. The black hair that sat atop the head was pulled my gravity to intermingle with my golden strands. I reached up and caressed the face, wishing to stop the worry. Something in me stirred as I did so, pulling me towards the figure in a way I didn't understand.
The lips parted into a smile, but I turned for them and gazed at my surroundings. Tall trees arched around me, encircling us. Another pale figure stood a few feet off, gazing. This man was much older, though, and far more menacing the beautiful. He had a look of internal evil upon his face, masked by the indifferent that he displayed. His large brown eyes seemed to bore into me, making me shiver, and his dirty blond hair seemed to be too neatly groomed. What was more terrifying, though, was his dress. He wore a long, black leather trench coat buttoned so that nothing could be seen beneath it, yet it was clearly a hot summer's day. Quickly I averted my gaze and took my bearings.
A quiet stillness prevailed. Despite that, though, everything seemed so brilliant. The tress were a luscious and glorious shade of green, the sky the prettiest shade of blue, the brown of the earth the most rich, the varying colors of the flowers the most radiant; all this was shown to me in perfect clarity. I could see sharply, and notice every detail anything held. My ears worked just as well, matching my eyes in strength. In fact, all of my sense ad equal power, allowing me to enjoy the world like none of those memories would ever possibly allow.
I was like a newborn child, viewing the world for the first time, and yet the world was strangely different. None of my memories showed it so vividly, so beautifully. It was as if every color popped, everything was delightful. I reached out and touched everything, savoring the feeling they gave. I was too happy to giggle; to astonished to smile. Everything was so magnificent; so glorious.
My wonder slowly left me, though, and other feeling came. I was terrified of upsetting the older one, and wished to cause no farther worry in the younger, so as they held their breath waiting for my next move I found myself unable to make one. I sat stock still, unable to make a noise. Then it accorded to me to speak, so I opened my mouth to do so. I wished to know who the men were. After all, I knew that I was alone without them and that fear of isolation tormented me.
As soon as my lips parted, though, I discovered I had no sense of how to speech. My voice had left with my memories. Instantly I felt the distress form an expression on my face. I needed to know how to speech; I needed to. It was madness to not be able to speak, and I couldn't help but search deep in my mind. Suddenly, I was struck with the best of all luck-my ability to scan memories was there! Happily I scanned the memories of people, testing voice after voice. Each had its own distinct ring, but none came close to what mine felt it should be.
The boy's faced was instantly etched with fear as he shook me, tears streaming his face. I was far from that now, though, How could I comfort him if I couldn't speak? I continued my searching, babbling nonsense as I tested each different sound. Giving up, the boy sat down defeated. I bowed my head,, unable to watch his pain, but not able to give up my search.
As I did this the other men gently lifted the boy and whispered lowly to him. Suddenly a fire erupted in the boy's eyes as he shouted, "Now!" Before I could try out a new voice the boy was at my side, propping me up and leading my forward. Reluctantly, the man followed.
I had no knowledge of where we were headed, but the lack of knowledge was equal to my lack of interest. I only wanted to find my voice. And thus, we continued this way, stopping each morning to rest and traveling by night. The only strange occurrence was that each and every night the pair would leave for about an hour, only to return with the boy carrying a flask that he held out to me. Unthinking, I drank from it as though it was nothing. The liquid inside was warm, but I was to engrossed in my task to really wonder what it was. I began to lose track of time, caring only for that voice to run to me. Still, I was also vaguely aware of what occurred around me. I knew the men argued each night over what to do with me. The boy would instant that I would get better and that he wasn't leaving me, but the menacing one would try to persuaded him to rid himself of the burden,. Somehow, this bothered me not a in the slightest bit. I felt safe with the boy around, as though he would protect my fragile form, and I was indeed quite fragile despite the strength I felt in my bones. That same attracting force I had felt when I first gazed upon him remained.
One night as I was canning memories I came upon a disturbing one. I had crossed these many times before; the minds of mad men and murders had not escaped me. The difference was that this memory was fresh. I could tell what this man was doing the split second after it happened, and it sickened me. He was burying his daughter, the very daughter he killed. The most disturbing factor, though, was that the man was only a few miles off from our small campsite. Unable to bare the pain of the poor child being put to rest in such a way I formulated a plan.
I rose and darted in the direction, my feet carrying me far too fast, or so the memories of others told me. Behind me I heard the sound of the boy running and desperately calling me. I felt his fear that I was leaving him, and every fiber in me being was telling me to run back to him. Yet,, those very fibers reassured me that I would be back to him in time, but that this poor child was far more important. In a matter of minutes I was near the clearing where the man was shoveling dirt upon his daughter's cold and rotting form.
I darted swiftly behind the thicket of bushes, too fast for the man to have noticed. Almost simultaneously the boy was right beside me, frantic with worry. I put a finger to my lips before scanning the memories of the father for the dead girl's thoughts. I was unable to read the thoughts of the dead, after all. Easily I found her voice and extracted it.
After clearing my throat, I began.
"What are you doing, Daddy?" I asked innocently in the young girl's voice.
Both the man burying his child and the boy stopped and stood still in astonishment. The father looked around desperately to find the source of the noise.
"Don't you love me, Daddy?" I asked.
Slowly the man turned to the fresh Earth he had just put back in place, tears streaming down his face.
"I love you, Daddy," I called. "Mommy loves you, too."
Mad, the father began to answer between his sobs. "I love you, sweetie, I really do."
"Then why won't you let mommy burry me?" I pleaded.
"You know what I did, honey. It was wrong. I'm sorry; I'm sorry!" He pleaded in desperation.
Swallowing the tears of my own I continued.
"It's okay, Daddy. I forgive you. Please don't hurt Mommy more, though."
Sobbing desperately the father agreed, mumbling incoherently that what he had done was wrong, that he couldn't forgive himself. Slowly the murder dug up the toddler's rigid form. He cradled her and kissed her forehead as though he was alive. He sat with her a while, weeping uncontrollably, before he headed off to turn himself in. It was a rare opportunity and occurrence. I knew from minds of those who were mad that few truly regretted what they had done, but I felt content knowing I had given one mother peace of mind. Slowly I rose and ran back to the campsite, mumbling the whole way.
The boy as astonished, but followed quickly. He instantly revealed the occurrence to the other man, frantically and happily trying to explain something I couldn't quite understand. Then, in that sudden moment, I gave up. I was too irritated with frustration to continue my search, in the best fitting voice I could find I shouted, "God damn it!"
Instantly the two become quite and stared in my direction. For a moment neither spoke, until the boy finally asked, "What'd you say?"
"Sorry," I mumbled. "It's just that I couldn't find my voice, and I've been trying so long, and…" My voice trailed off, and I knew I sounded insane.
The boy stared at me strangely.
"What do you mean?" He asked.
"I've been trying to find my voice. I can't remember it, you se, but no one else does either. That's why I'm using this little girl's voice, it seems fitting." And that was true. The innocence of the voice matched me perfectly. I appeared weak as I was, a slim golden-haired girl with large grey eyes that betrayed my innocence. Perhaps knowing I was innocent made me far from it, but somewhere I knew my lack of memories left me so. I was depend on others, for despite my knowledge I knew little of the ways of normal thoughts and actions. I was forever trapped in ignorance, and thus I was innocent and frail.
"You mean, you don't remember a thing?" The boy's face seemed to be deeply saddened by this, and instantly I felt the same sorrow overcome me.
"Sorry, no," I whispered, handing me head. "I tired, though, I really did."
Something registered in the older men's head and he suddenly blurted, "How did you try?"
I recoiled, my fear of him quickening my pulse. Steadily, though, I answered, "By searching their memories, of course."
Laughing, he responded, "Of course, you say that as if it's natural to do so?"
"Obviously I know it isn't, but we're not at all like them," I retorted, speaking the truth. We were stronger, faster, and somehow very different. I felt myself unable to relate completely with the people whose memories I read. Any of them would have died in our position, having to travel through the countryside at such speed that we were now had long left the forest behind us, and yet somehow avoided all human contact. Not to mention our lack of food.
Instantly the man looked confused and the boys face looked horrified. I felt as if I had done something wrong.
"I'm sorry," I whispered again, unsure of what I was sorry for, but sorry nonetheless.
"Don't be sorry," the boy said through a false smile. "It's not your fault you can't remember."
"Then whose is it?" I asked, angry at my ignorance.
He sat down beside me and I rested my head against him, weary from my desperation.
"It's mine," He sighed. "I'm sorry, but it's mine."
I shook my head. "No, it is not. I had time to find my thoughts, but I didn't; I couldn't."
Together we sat, neither daring to breathe a word. All this while, though, the other man seemed to be lost in deep thought.
"Wait…you mean you can read people's mind?" The man asked.
"No. I can only tell what they have already done or already planned. I can tell what they do a split second after they did it, before the human eye can even catch the act, but I cannot tell their most current thoughts. I think it's because I need to search though. Maybe that's why I can and you two cannot." I answered, explaining it more to myself than to him.
"What a marvelous power that would be!" He exclaimed with a twinkle in his eye.
The antique manner in which he spoke disturbed me. I knew people did not normally speak that way, and something about him using it seemed to make him far less human.
Desperate to change the subject I quickly asked, "What're your names?"
Suddenly the boy recoiled from me as though I was venomous. My hand longed out to reach back for him, but I held it still. Somehow I knew that would just cause him more pain.
Calmly the boy answered, "That's Anthony, and I'm Valentine, but please call me Val."
He seemed to plead with me to do so, and I thought it would give him comfort, so I did.
"And what's my name, Val?" I asked.
This proved to be more difficult for him than revealing his own name. Swallowing tears he answered bravely, "Angela. You hated to have it shortened." A soft smile landed on his lips as he remembered this. I longed to probe that memory, but new it was far too dangerous. It seemed as if this thought, too, crossed his mind.
"Hey, why don't you read my thoughts and remember!" He beamed; hope shinning in every possible way on his body.
I shook my head, sadly watching his face fall.
"I can't. I thought of that before, but if all that memory hit me now at once I couldn't handle it. Before, while I still had a glimmer of it, it wouldn't have, but after I woke up it was too late. I have to do this slowly or the madness will kill me." I clarified gently, trying to make him understand. There was no possible way those memories could come back to me without them destroying my mind. Despite me desire for them to come all at once, I needed to pace myself or die.
"Okay," he mumbled, hanging his head.
"You guys will probably help me, though," I reassured. "Besides, where else would I go? I may seem strong to you know, but trust me, I'm scared; so scared of what I don't really understand."
It was then that the true awareness of the fear hit me. I began to long for some sort of reassurance, anything, to keep my mind from the thought of what lay ahead when we reached a city. I had read the thoughts of humans, yes, but the horrified me. I feared my lack of true understanding of their thoughts and actions, my lack of memory, my lack of social familiarity. I felt my mind miles more advanced, yet miles behind at the same time. This caused a fear in me so great I began to tremble.
Suddenly two cold arms wrapped themselves around me, holding my close. I could feel Val's warm breath upon the back of my head, and the comfort it brought with it. I held onto his arms while I nestled my face into his chest. It was easy this way to forget everything for a moment; to let that attraction take hold. I slowly closed my eyes, weary from my search and the time. I could sense that he was just as tired, and together we let ourselves fall to the ground in certain sleep, still entangled.
I awoke the next evening before he, and decided to take a walk. I needed to sort my thoughts, and to remove myself from the brooding presence of Anthony. Silently I walked off and circled the campsite. I never went too far, but made it a point to have the campsite remain out a view. I contemplated the meaning of everything.
I was clearly not human, but something in me told me I once was. It was that sense that told me I needed to keep searching, to remember. Still, I somehow knew I had never been as the rest. The way my mind worked now hinted that it could never have been as theirs was. I had to always have been different if I was able to adapt. This form felt right; perfect in every way. I was significantly different now, though, in body and mind. Yet, still, I knew not what I was. I was human-like, resembling them in build, yet far more beautiful, all three of us are. I knew from the memories of them that they would be stunned at our beauty, that we are what they would consider a perfect human. Anthony would be the strong, cunning, and handsome ideal man, the man all men wished to be; Val would be the dazzling, willful, and brilliant boy all boys wished to be; I would be the beautiful, sweet, and innocent young girl all teenage girls wished to be. It was the picture perfect family, despite the old appearance of it. I knew that one might think it perfect year ago, but by reading memories I discovered the look of beauty had not strayed far. Girls still pretended ignorance to appear innocent, boys still wished to be the most attractive, and men still wished for strength. Everyone still chased that same ideology.
My thoughts then took a sudden turn as I recalled the boy's sleeping form. He was truly gorgeous, and before I left I was content with staring at it, mesmerized by the beauty of the colors it possessed. Everything still appeared captivating to me, but I had grown used to it. That was why my thoughts then were so strange. I could feel it was that attraction, but I had yet to understand that attraction. My mind simply could not comprehend. What was he to me? How did he know me? Why did he comfort me so? Despite my knowledge, my emotions were mysterious. They were something I had to learn on my own, through experience. This angered me because it left me like a child. I was powerless to whatever I felt, and therefore it controlled me. I acted impulsively on my emotions, unable to understand them until after I let them take over.
With no question answered but my thoughts sorted I turned back to the campsite. Anthony was gone, but Val sat there with a worried expression that turned to relief when he saw my face.
"I was just about to go look for you. You scared me, you know." He scolded.
"I was thinking," I reassured.
"Thinking about what?" He asked softly, drawing me near.
"What we are. We're too perfect to be human; too fast, to strong, too beautiful. And about how I know you-or you know me."
His face contorted when I mentioned my thoughts of him, but he quickly replaced it with a smile as he answered, "I can answer one of those mysteries."
"Which one!?" I asked, excited.
He laughed, "You're just like a child; you know that?"
I pouted.
"Don't worry; you were always that way-young and old all in one. I like that about you. Anyway, you are a vampire, like me and Anthony." He explained smoothly.
"Vampires don't exist," I said, shaking my head. All the memories had said so, after all.
"They do," he laughed, pulling me onto his lap. "No one believes in us anymore since there were never many of us."
I cocked my head to one side, "But what about all the myths…?"
He laughed harder now. "All false. Think about it, they can't be real, can they? Science already tells us that."
He was right, but one question till puzzled me.
"Then why don't I crave blood?"
He sat, stunned. Finally he peeped, "You don't?"
I shook my head. "I never have. Actually, food sounds a lot better. I've been hungry for a while now."
He stared at me, unable to solve this mystery.
"Maybe it's because I gave it to you…" he mumbled more to himself than to me.
Suddenly I realized what had been in those flasks and where they had drifted off to for that hour each night. It all made sense. Yet, I was not startled at all, but in fact relieved. It was as if I knew all along what I really was, and simply needed him to confirm it.
I shook my head. "No, it isn't. Shouldn't I have wanted it rather than took it because you hadn't it to me?"
"Well, we do need food, too," he tired.
"Which do we need more, though?"
I saw now that he finally accepted, but something else overcame him.
"What is it?" I asked, perplexed.
"She'll now, probably," he reassured both of us.
"Who is she?" I asked, confused.
'The queen. We're heading to her."
"Why?"
"Because we aren't safe from where we came from. Hunters found us."
"Hunters?"
"Yes. There are still vampire hunters trying to kill us. They live secretly, but they are there with the weapons to kill us."
"How?" I felt myself like a child, engrossed in the explanation to the simplest of questions. He seemed to enjoy teaching me, too, and I could not say I did not. I liked the closeness it brought.
"You ask a lot of questions don't you?" He smiled. "But, anyway, they kill us with special weapons they designed. They're like normal guns, but stronger. You see, we can still die, but it takes more to kill us. I don't know why, though. I was never good at the science of it. All you need to know, though, is that we need to go to the queen in California and live with the vampires there. It's where well be safe. All vampires are welcome there."
I nodded, taking this all in. I scanned the memories of recent campers and they all placed us in Nevada somewhere.
"We would be there already, but we took a weird route, I think, I pointed out.
"Yes, we did, to avoid cities and towns, but we're going to have to enter one, soon. We're not too far from where the queen is, and we need to clean up first. I promise you in a week that we'll be there and safe."
"One last question, though," I giggled, finding all my questions silly. "Why is she in California?"
"Well, to trick the hunters she traveled from house to house in Europe, and now ran to America. It will trick them, you see. They expect her to be there, not here." He gently explained.
"Oh," I simply said. It made sense, and with my lack of knowledge of the vampire world I accepted it easily.
Anthony returned and we set off once again. The next few days followed suit, with me sticking close to Val's side and asking him question after question. He gently explained to me that as vampires we were far from human, yet we still could get along. The problem with that, though, was that we were predator and they were prey. Thus, it was a dangerous game. He also clarified the myths for me. The only reason we preferred night was because of how pale we are. It is like the skin of an albino in pigmentation, and therefore we are sensitive to the sun, but it does not harm us aside from a sunburn that can be prevented from sunscreen. It also causes our eyes discomfort, though. With our enhanced vision we absorb far too much light to not be blinded by the sun. I He allowed me experience these things for myself when I was curious. I searched memories for a similar feeling and yielded the dilation of pupils during an eye exam as the closest result, yet not as intense.
Val also explained to me that we grew weak without human food, but could survive long without it. Blood, though, we would require daily. All through this trip he provided me with it, though, and my lack of desire for it left me unwilling to hunt. He appeased this unwillingness in me without complaint, though, but every time he left he waited a moment for me to join him. I never did, but I was at his side in everything else. I was scared to leave it, and that hour he hunted for always left me anxious until he returned. He always made it a point to return before Anthony, though. I had been completely honest with him this whole time, explaining to him all my thoughts and asking all my questions. Thus, he knew of my fear of Anthony.
Anthony was far less patient with me. He laughed at my silly mistakes and remarks, and got angry at my ignorance. This simply aided to my fear of him, and I kept my distance. Although he and Val talked often I never spoke to Anthony unless completely necessary. I felt her and I to be to different o ever be able to really converse.
Finally, though, we reached a small ton that was the last stop before we reached the queen's home. As soon as I heard and saw the town though, I felt my heartbeat accelerate. There was far more people than I had ever seen. During our travels a few humans had passed us by, some spared from Anthony and Val's hunt, but most were not. I felt no sympathy, though, but instead felt relief. I feared that people, and that helped me to accept their death. Val explained to me that although we could survive of animal blood, our main prey was humans. I understand why, too, whenever he handed me the flask with their blood. It was far better than any other animal blood we had ever had, and so much more filling. It was as though it was our intended diet. Still, though, I longed for the taste of what Anthony referred to as human food. I only had tastes of it here and there when Val would steal from his victims, but I found myself going to memories and recalling feasts with my mouth watering.
The sound of the town seemed to pay the boys no mind, though, so they made me enter. I shied away from all contact, but I could feel their gaze always rest upon us. We entranced them, the perfect weapon. What other animal so easily loved its predator? With them loving us we were the perfect contradiction, able to seduce them to us before killing them. It made perfect sense, yet I feared them as they should fear us.
I clung to Val as we made our way to a motel. There was no way we could appear at a hotel in our condition, Val explained. We had to pretend to be poor and homeless, in need of a place to stay and a shower. This bothered me little because it meant less people, but the condition of our place did. The room was dirty and reeked of its previous tenants. It took all I had in me to get into the shower, which was surprisingly clean, unlike the rest of the bathroom aside from the toilet and sink. It seemed only the items with water stood clean.
After I showered and happily used a toilet, which was a great alternative to the open earth, I gazed into the mirror. The body that gazed back was truly more gorgeous then I had thought and I heard myself gasp. I had seen myself in murky ponds and streams, but I had always imagined myself more human. I was far from human, though. My whole body was just as pale as theirs, but there was a striking beauty in my features. My figure was perfect and seductive, yet an air of innocence surrounded it. My eyes were a mysterious grey that hinted innocence and brilliance in one. My lips were pale, but full and enticing. I knew that when I moved I naturally accentuated these features, my natural powers calling humans towards me. This made me far more reluctant and fearful to remain in the town. Quickly, I turned from the mirror and got dressed into my washed, but still filthy, clothes.
As soon as I exited the bathroom, though, I sensed something was wrong. Val was gazing at me with sympathetic eyes and Anthony had a smirk upon his lips.
"You're going to go with Anthony for a bit to get new clothes, okay?" Val announced, sending shivers down my spine. The thought of being alone with him scared me.
"No," I protested, not caring the Anthony could hear. I was too used to speaking my mind.
"I know you don't want to, but it's faster if I get the food, you get the clothes, and then we leave. We can be at her house by morning." Val explained.
"Besides, sweetie, I'm not really all that bad," Anthony soothed, yet there was something venomous bout his speech. "Or would you rather go alone?"
That thought scared me far worse than being with Anthony so I quickly agreed. I could see Val reluctantly accept this and leave. Anthony and I left not to long after.
The streets were bustling in the evening light. Summer was coming to a close and it seemed everyone wanted to enjoy it while I lasted. The fear of the people drew me towards Anthony, and I found myself so close I was nearly on him.
Laughing, he said, "Calm down, Angela. People are going to stare even more if you look frightened."
He was right, and yet I couldn't calm down. Instead I continued to follow Anthony stride for stride as we went from store to store. When the sales clerks approached they kept their eyes fixed on us, and I get several remarks on my beauty. This caused me great unease, though, and I found myself not answering until they left mumbling that I was rude. Anthony would laugh, saying they only though a young father was taking his daughter out to get new clothes for school. Still, though, I couldn't be near them. It was the fact I had never really interacted with others, perhaps.
With my fear propelling us we finished quickly and I found myself outfitted in a clean white summer dress with nice shoes to match. Anthony didn't settle for just anything, though, and the fact he dragged me from one expensive store to the other nearly exhausted all my courage. I did land us look perfect, though. Anthony had gotten himself an expensive pair of jeans, a clean white dress shirt, and a nice pair of leather shoes. For me he got a white summer dress that hugged me but fell out slightly with an empire waits and was lined with silver lace, a pair of silver earrings in the shape of the moon with a matching necklace, and silver sandals. We looked rich and out-of-date, yet perfect. The only thing that reminded disheveled was my hair, though, for I refused to let humans close enough to me to touch it.
"Well, I did all I was asked of," Anthony said suddenly while were walking through a park back to the motel where we were to meet Val, eat, and then leave.
"What?" I asked, startled.
"I'm saying good bye. I need to hunt, my love." And with that he disappeared, leaving me too baffled to chase after him.
Suddenly the situation hit me. I was trapped alone amongst the people. Some concert was going on in the park and that caused it to be full. Instantly a panic struck. I forgot my way back to the motel, and feared the people in my way. Breathing heavily, I sat myself on a bench and began to cry. I was too afraid to leave my spot, and I knew I was in hysterics. Those around me glanced at me shocked, but whenever one approached to attempt to console me my fear got worse and they ran off thinking me to be insane. Time seemed to tick by slowly, and everything seemed to slow down. I willed it to go faster, but to no avail. Everything was lasting to long, making the fear last just that much longer. I began to rock back and forth, unaware and uncaring of what my body did. Suddenly a hand touched my shoulder and I tensed with fear, unable to scream.
"Angela!? Angela!" The person screamed. Slowly I turned around, registering that it was Val. Gratefully I virtually attacked him, clinging to his shirt. I felt his body get tense as I buried my face in his chest, not quite caring that he had just acquired new set of expensive clothing. His presence calmed me; reassured me that I was now safe.
"What happened?" His voice was angry.
"He left," I mumbled. "I was so scared."
I began to stop crying, but I didn't want to lift myself from his arms and so I clung to him and let the embrace soothe me. Even though he trembled in anger, I felt safe. I knew that anger was not directed at me, although it was intense.
"That b*****d!" He growled.
"Thank you," I said, looking up and ignoring his anger.
He turned and looking me in the eyes, returning my gaze. Instantly I felt him calm down. Gently he stroked my hair as I nestled back on him, not caring what the humans thought, but knowing well what they did.
"I'm always here for you," he whispered into my ear.
"I know, and that's why I said thank you," I answered. "I don't think I could make it without you."
I looked up and saw his face show pain, but it was gone so quickly I wasn't sure if it had really been there. I brushed that though aside, though, and allowed his comfort t overcome me until I forgot about the people surrounding us.
"What food did you get?" I grinned as I righted myself in his lap.
He laughed; probably glad my spirits were up.
"Chinese since you took about it so much."
I smiled and took my sweet and sour chicken. As we ate I studied his outfit. He had on nearly the same as Anthony, but his shirt was a pale blue. Although any man would shy away from such a feminine color it brought out his eyes so stunningly I doubt any would object. The light color also added a bit less contrast against his pale and vampire-like features, casting a more human-like look. That I did not like, though. Somehow my dress had caused them to shine more, making me less human. It was as though we made up for the other.
After the ideal chit chat about our new wardrobe, and a bit of laughter when I mentioned that he looked less like a vampire and how I detested that, we continued without Anthony. Val protested that he could not see the man without attacking him, and that we had no time for that. This did not bother me at all, though. It was a relief to rid myself of Anthony's menacing presence.
Val made us run, but carefully as to not ruin or clothing. He made sure that my dress remained white, all the while commenting that my hair would just have to be. This made me laugh; the fact he seemed so preoccupied with the finest details. I told this to him, and he let out a short chuckle, but after that he remained silently. When the house came into view, though, he was beside himself with worry. Quickly he smoothed out any wrinkles and perfected our appearance. All the while I gazed at the house in amazement.
To call it a house is an understatement. The place was a mansion of immense size. It was belt in the old Victorian style, which seemed fitting with the legends people told. The place rose three stories with what appeared to be a small attic, and stretched so wide it might've taken some a few rests before they went from end to end. What amazed me more, though, was how alive the place was. Vampires walked about, all destined to be somewhere. They seemed less frightening when I explored their memories, but the social anxiety gripped me still. What overwhelmed that, though, was a sense of belonging. It was as though I had finally found my home. Slowly, I began to walk forward before Val had finished, forcing him to quickly follow me.
As we approached I felt the vampires all turn and stare. This made me feel quite small and deprived me of any sense of privacy. I felt myself shrink closer to Val as I tightened my grip on his hand. He calmly led me towards the open door, where the once active and noisy house became still. Inside there was a big sitting room of sorts, with chairs that encircled a fireplace. A staircase hugged the wall as it spiraled upward to the left, and two doors hinted to other rooms on the left wall and directly across from the door.
A beautiful figure descended the staircase. A woman who appeared to be in her early twenties strolled won gracefully. What caught me, though, was her sheer elegance. She had the air of a ruler about her, and a dignity that had become lost with time. Her piercing green almond eyes were adored with dark makeup that made them seem both strong and gentle, her long and curly black hair hung in an interact way-half of it pinned up with frilly black and red lace, and the rest spilling perfectly down her shoulders. She wore a long red dress satin dress with black trim that descended down the front of her gown so that it parted the gown into two, with a long black frill in the middle. It was parted straight, though, but rather at an angle so that towards the hem and bodice. It was as though she stepped out of the wrong centaury perfectly.
Immediately the room bowed to her, accept me. I was unaware I was to do so, and felt as though it was strange. This caused many glares, though, and one even shouted. The queen, as I was sure by now that it was her, laughed.
"Welcome, Valentine. I heard you were coming, but I thought you were coming with Anthony." She studied me as she spoke, making me feel uneasy.
"This is the girls I spoke of. I regret we had to leave Anthony behind." I could hear Val swallow as if he tried to press some unknown fear down.
"The human!" The queen exclaimed.
I cocked my head to once said, perplexed by her commented. I was clearly not human. She paid me no more attention, though.
"You of all people should know better, Valentine," she scolded.
"But she's different!" He protested.
"How so?"
"Show her, Angela." Val said gently.
By now I understand nothing and was so confused I had to scan the queen's memory, but only slightly. I feared I would find too much about myself. Through my quick search I managed to find that I had once been human, but that was all before I felt a sudden warring from my mind to stop before I pried too far.
Ignoring the queen I turned and looked Val straight in the eyes, disappointment more than anger taking over.
"Why didn't you tell me?" I demanded.
My words seem to cause the room to go into an uproar. Everyone was shouting, but I paid them no mind. The queen, on the other hand, quieted them as she studied us.
Val remind silent, so I repeated myself, more intense. When he refused to answer I became far more direct.
"Why didn't you tell me I was human?" I did all but shout.
Looking down, he whispered, "I couldn't. Please believe me, I couldn't. I can't tell you know, you told me not to."
It took a minute for his words to sink in, and I knew what he meant. He believed I could not handle my humanity.
I shook my head. "You were so wrong."
Now Val looked up at me with tears in his eyes, pleading, "Please, please forgive me, Angela. I wish you could understand."
"That's the problem, I can't…I can't remember, remember?" I pointed out, but my disappointment gave way to his pleading, and I found myself forgiving him with a hug nonetheless. I could feel his need to cry, but he straightened himself in front of the others and apologized to the queen.
"Wait…" the queen said, gathering the information together. "If you can't remember as you said, and he never told you, how did you find out?"
"Your memory," I answered, forgetting how strange that was until she gasped and stared at me to explain.
"I can read people's memories. I never red those who know too much about me, though, because I cannot handle all that knowledge alone, but I can and often look through people's memories in order to learn. It makes me kind of…social awkward, though." I explained.
"Yet you speak fine to me."
"You're different, somehow," I shrugged.
"Come, now, explain your story." The queen urged and sat us down on a couch with her opposite us.
Slowly I began my tale, explaining everything I could in the best of detail. The queen listened without interrupting, but her attention was obvious. As was that of the vampire audience I had. I found their silence disturbing, though, and shrunk towards Val as I spoke. Finally my tale was finished and I felt myself ease slightly despite the fact the room remained silent. The queen then broke the silence with a question.
"Is that why they all babble incoherently?"
"Who babbles incoherently?" I asked.
"Other humans that have been turned. They babble incoherently, but unlike you they never stop. We allowed one to continue and he went on for years. That is why we must kill them, and that is Val's job. Insane vampires will only reveal our position."
I turned to Val, trying to imagine him killing a crazed human as I was. The picture as hard to form, but I understood perfectly that it had to be done.
"I think it takes a great will to settle on a voice that is not your own. It feels dirty, like your stealing something you hate." I thought aloud.
"And what of your memory? Why is it you can recall all of your vampire life?" She questioned.
"That I do not know. Maybe it's to make room for new thoughts, or maybe the old thoughts collide far too much. I don't really have an answer, but questions."
"What questions?"
"The same as yours, I assume. And why do I not crave blood, ever?" I stated.
"That has confused us greatly," Val added. He had remained silent until this point, and thus his voice caused quite a stir, but the queen quieted everyone with the lift of her hand.
She shook her head, "That truly is a mystery, but you, Angela, are a great blessing. You see, the hunters have found us, which I am sure of, but no you can scan their memories and know when they shall attack."
Her smile at this fact unnerved me. I wasn't sure I was capable of doing such.
I don't know who they are, though, so I cannot find their memories," I protested.
"You will find them in time, do not worry," she smiled. "Now, though, you must be tired. All have two rooms prepared right away, but first I want to get to know you better. Come with me."
Val gave me a slight push, and I looked back at him. I was reluctant to go, but I saw in his face he wanted me to, so I followed her up the steps to the third floor and down several hallways before we stood in front of two large oak doors designed with the most striking roses that seemed to pop out of the wood itself. The queen opened these doors to reveal a massive bedroom that the memories of humans placed with the rooms they saw in movies about old kings and queens. The room was a royal purple outlined in gold. The walls were trimmed with it and the large bed echoed it. The floor was covered by the most lavish rugs, with many chairs and pillows resting on it. A vanity stood to the left corner, a desk by the bed, and a fireplace with Victorian couches surrounding it to the right. Beside the fireplace and beside the vanity sat doors, but the queen led me toward her vanity. She pulled out a brush, sat me down, and began to work at my hair.
"I'm sure you have questions," she pointed out.
Gladly distracting myself from the pain I asked, "What's your name?"
"Armida," she smiled. "That is what my mother, the queen before me, named me."
It was then a questioned I had never really asked Val popped into my head.
"How old are you?"
"You do not ask a lady her age," Queen Armida laughed, but then gently added, "My vampire or human age?"
"Both," I responded, not too embarrassed.
"Well, to humans I would be two hundred forty, but I'm really twenty-four. I've been queen for the past forty-two years."
The confusion must have registered on my face because she laughed and explained herself.
"We age one year for every decade. I suppose he did not tell you to protect you."
"Protect me from what?" I questioned, still clinging to that disappointment.
"You said yourself you cannot handle too much of your memories at once. He was simply worried he'd break you. When humans are turned the become insane, that is why we refrain from doing so. To be born a vampire is the only way. You are the only of your kind, dear, and the mental state the transformation causes must have left you fragile. Even I can feel it. You cling to him in such desperation, as if you would fall apart the moment you separate."
Her words rang true, and I did not deny them. I did have one question, though.
"Why did he turn me if it is his job to kill those who are turned?"
I could see the queen's face contort and her body stiffen through the mirror, but she did not ignore my question. Instead, she answered in a low voice, "That, my dear, he will have to explain to you in due time. I do not believe you are ready for such a memory, but it clings in you yet. All I may say is it is the very reason you regained sanity unlike the others. Now, enough of this before you become far too depressed."
The queen led me through the door beside the vanity and into a lavish closet that resembled more of a dressing room. She shifted through her things before producing a long white nightgown with fake pink roses lining the bottom. She instructed me to dress, and despite all the memories humans possessed about it being strange to undress in front of another I felt no shame. It was a thing of vampire nature, to feel comfort near the queen. It was not nearly as comforting as I felt near Val, but it was comfort nonetheless.
Val. As I thought of him I began to accept his decision more. Queen Armida's words echoed in my head, and I knew I needed him.  He was forgiven truly. It was in my ignorance that I had felt that disappointment. I was simply thinking of how it had made me feel, but there was a reason for all he did. I had never imagined what he would feel about my current position. I resolved to go and announce I forgive him as soon as the queen was done, but she was having fun. I could see the glimmer of childhood in her eyes, as though she was dressing and playing with a doll.
"Am I your doll?" I asked.
"You really don't worry about offensive questions, do you?" she laughed. "In a way, I suppose I do. I shall not lie; I have yet to see a vampire like you. It was as if you were meant for the change, and I'm just having fun with it. Think of it as a queen assisting a subject….except far friendlier. There's something in you I like."
"But you don't really know me," I protested.
"No, but it's a sort of…aura you emit. You aren't like the other females who approach me wishing to gain my favor or simply because of their job. You're too innocent for that."
"So then we are friends?" I hoped.
"I would like that, and you'll need it. Valentine will be leaving on occasion for his job and to gather information. I shall make sure it is never for longer than necessary, though," she added after seeing my distressed expression. "You must understand this is what is needed. I would not do so otherwise."
I nodded, unable to speak. The thought of being alone was muting.
"Now, dear, we've talked enough. You are tired, I see. Come, all show you to your room." Queen Armida explained as she led me to a room not far from her own. The room was a deep red adorned with roses. It contained a four-posters bed with white sheets covered in red roses, a desk with a chair, a small closet, and a small bathroom. Clearly the room was meant for someone of more importance, but I did not protest. The thought of a bed enticed me far too much. When the queen left, though, I found myself unable to sleep and worried. The solitude frightened me, and it was then I realized I had spent every night near Val, yet tonight I was alone. This produced such a fear in me that I found myself outside my room, ready to search for him but to afraid to encounter others.
It was then I noticed a crack in the door of the room beside me, and heard his voice coming from within. Slowly, I turned to peek, desperately hoping it was him. Relief overcame me when I saw it was his room and that he was crawling into bed. Gently I pushed open the door and stepped in.
"What's wrong?" He asked soothingly as he sat up.
"I'm scared," I mumbled, acting like a frightened child.
"Of what?"
"Of sleeping alone." The reality of the fear made me feel slightly foolish, but the prospect of sleeping alone was far too great for me to quit now.
He smiled and motioned for me to join him. Happily I shut the door behind me and crept up next to him. The bed was big enough to allow us both adequate space, but I refused to use it.
"I forgive you," I mumbled into his chest as I drifted off to sleep.
"I'm sorry," was his only response before my weariness took over.
I awoke long after the sun had gone down. Val had his arm wrapped around my waist and my body was curled to fit snuggly beside his. Careful not to wake him I rose out of bed and went to the bathroom of my room to shower, hoping he would not notice the noise. When I entered my room, though, I discovered the queen sitting calmly on my bed.
"Good evening," she greeted. "I knew you'd come here soon. I saw the two of you. I should have known better than to expect you to remain alone. I am truly sorry."
I nodded, still groggy.
"Well, I came to fetch you. I want to dress you today, please!" Queen Armida pleaded like a small child. "You are the perfect girl to dress. It seems all everything does is just make you appear more…you. I am sorry, but I have always had a passion for dress. Although my fashion is older than the current times, I like the elegance of it. It's a trait my mother gave me. She spoiled me too much with clothing."
The queen's smile brought a smile to my lips. I felt less like her doll. It was pure delight to allow her to dress me. I knew she meant well by it, too. He plan had logged in her memory all night, and she meant to make the other vampires that occupied this house respect me. She felt it essential to have been properly groomed for this. It was dangerous to read her mind, though. I had to avert myself from any memories of what Val had told her about my human self, and despite my precision at reading memories I was drawn to those.
Casting this aside I followed the queen to her room where she made me was in her incredible bathroom. Afterward she dressed me in a plain light pink gown and put a cool water rose into my hair, pinning one side behind my ear and letting the wavy gold hair slip cleanly down my back. She left my face makeup free, though, saying it looked to innocent to have anything. When I was finally allowed to gaze into a mirror I agreed. I was truly stunning.
The queen dressed herself in a similar way, only in red. She used black eyeliner heavily and a deep red lipstick, which made her appear far more mythical. I loved it, and was envious of tat ability in her. Should any human see her they would be stuck immediately with fear, yet curious to what stuck them with it.
By now I expected Val to be awake, but he was not. The queen invited me to play cards while we waited, teaching me nearly every game. I learned quickly, mainly due to the memories I scanned. Thus, we played and talked. Queen Armida told me of how it would take time for the other's to accept me, and how I had to remain patient and understanding. The idea of prey turned into an equal was frightening, and they needed to adjust. This made me think of how Anthony seemed to be menacing to me. Perhaps he felt this way, and I was scared due to that human nature.
As we were in the midlist of laughing over a game of blackjack, Val knocked and entered. I immediately turned my head and smiled at him.
"There you are," he laughed. "Why didn't you wake me?"
"You looked tired." I answered simply.
"Care to join us?" Queen Armida offered.
Val nodded and sat down. Together the three of us enjoyed several games and laughter before a clock somewhere stuck midnight. Rising, Queen Armida made us go with her to eat, saying she'd be honored to have us as guests. I followed eagerly, not realizing my hunger until she had announced we were to eat. Val seemed a tad more relaxed about it, but I knew he had to be as well. He had not hunted much the night before.
The queen led us down to the first floor and to an ordinary dining room. There three plates sat laden with what looked like veal, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. It was a simply diner, but was presented so perfectly and on such fine china one would expect it out of a five-star restaurant. What made the meal strictly for vampires, though, were the three wine glasses filled with human blood that sat beside each plate.
We ate slowly and peaceful, very aware of the eyes that gazed at us form the open doors. Others had seen me descend the stairs and watched over me like a hawk. Every move I made was being scrutinized, and yet among my current company my fears were comforted. Being vampires we had or glasses refilled several times, only mine was out of the fact I was persuaded, not out of thirst.
"You need to teach her to hunt, Valentine," the queen said as she sipped from her glass. Then, seeing his shocked expression, she added, "She told me what you did for her, and although it was the right thing to do at the beginning, you must allow her to learn. Do not fear the human nature interfering, though. She has no recollection of it and most certainly will kill. It's her fear of humans that serves as the only drawback, but you do not have to start there."
Val seemed slightly pained at her words, yet nodded in understanding.
"She's right," I agreed. "I don't feel any sympathy for it. It's…" I searched memories for the right expression, "the circle of life."
Queen Armida laughed at my words, but then added seriously, "You will do it tomorrow night."
Gazing directly at me Val answered the queen, "I will."
Suddenly, the house seemed to be in an uproar. Together we turned in unison towards the door, where the commotion seemed to head. As the voices grew louder so did the footsteps. A tall vampire with dark hair thundered in, took a bow, and then announced, "My queen, there is something you should see…" He looked toward me as though he meant for me to stay behind, but the queen called both Val and I to follow her. What we found in the entrance of the mansion sent a shiver down my spine.
There sat Anthony, smiling menacingly, but covered in dirt and twigs. He looked as though he had been in a horrible fight. I turned to see Val tense up, every muscle in his body ready to fight. I put a hand on his arm, and he turned his face toward mine, relaxing slightly after meeting my gaze.
"What happened?" the queen asked, concerned.
Anthony simply pointed to me, his smile growing wider.
"What does Angela have to do with this? From what I understand it is you who did her wrong," Queen Armida said sternly.
"She led them. There was a hunter that saw her and recognized her from before, when she was human," he spat at the word.
"And?"
"He followed her. That little b***h revealed our location to him! She had to have known, too! She can read memories." His eyes blazed as he accused me, and I felt myself shrink back.
The room had grown silent, a tension suffocating every vampire that inhabited it. I could feel the anger rise in Val until he seemed to ripple with it.
"And you knew yet you blame her?" Val's voice was laced heavily with his rage.
"I only found out when they f*****g chased!" Anthony shouted back. "Val, we're good friends, but that little b***h is too much for me."
"Don't call her that." Val growled, shaking my hand off him.
"Why; she is one," Anthony mocked.
I knew what was going to happen, but that did not make it any less shocking. Val took one growl before he jumped straight onto Anthony. The fight moved fats and was so frenzied I could hardly make out much of what was going on. Anthony had little room for attacking back, though, and every vampire knew it. No one moved in to help either side, or to break them apart. I felt myself shrink towards the queen, and she gently held me close. I had a fear that with Anthony's age and stature he would win, but something deep within me, and instinct of sorts, explained that was not possible. Still, the violence held me away, and I forced the queen and myself backward several feet, but was trapped watching.
As suddenly as the fight had begun it stopped. Val pulled away quickly, leaving Anthony a mess upon the floor. I studied Val carefully, though. He was panting and had slight scratches, but seemed mostly unharmed. He was panting, though, and I knew the fight had taken more strength then he could know.
"I'll let you live since you were my friend, but if you ever do that again I'll be sure to kill you," Val warned as he stormed off.
I felt a tug on my body to chase after Val, and immediately untangled myself from the queen's arms. As I ran I heard Antony ask, "And you'll let this pass?"
"You know better than to insult a vampire's…" Queen Armida's voice had grown to a low whisper that I could not hear, but I could hear the anger in it.
I found Val sitting angrily on his bed. Silently I went into his bathroom and extracted a first aid kit from the medicine cabinet, where all the memories of the vampires down bellow said it would be. Without a word I went over and kneeled beside him, gently cleaning the wound on his forehead. I felt his body lose its tension until he grabbed my arm. I stopped and turned to his face, only to find it gazing at mine with such terrible longing.
"I'm sorry," he managed.
I shook my head. "No, it is I who should be sorry. There's something you want and I can't give it to you."
"Do you know what that is?" He eagerly asked.
Hanging my head low I responded, "I wish I did. I really do, Val, but I don't."
He sighed and I continued in the silence. Once I finished I sat on the bed, making sure to keep a distance between us.
"Don't be sorry," Val finally whispered, breaking the discomfort.
"But you gave me so much and I give you so little in return," I mumbled, tears forming in my eyes.
"No, no," Val said, shaking his head. "You give me so much more than you know."
He closed the distance between us and hugged me. I buried my face in his chest as I let the tears fall, wishing desperately I knew what it was he wanted. If only I hadn't forgotten; if only I hadn't been human.
"Don't cry," he said as he stoked my hair. "Come on, I'm fine, really; just mad at Anthony."
I looked up at his face to see him smiling, and couldn't help but smile myself.
"Mad doesn't quite cover it," I joked.
He laughed, and I joined him.
"You're right. I got a little out of hand there."
"I don't mind," I smiled honestly.
"Oh, really?" He raised one eyebrow playfully.
"Why should I? I never really liked him."
"And the girl everyone calls innocent doesn't mind killing!" He laughed.
That joke seemed to have erased the gloom from earlier, and we stood and walked back down to the queen together with smiles on our faces. She saw us and a look of relief passed over her face. I could tell she had to deal with the stress of cleaning up and fixing what had happened, so I left Val's side and walked over to hers.
"It's good to see you two are fine," she smiled.
"What about you?" I asked.
"Oh, I'm alright," she sighed. "It's just tiresome to have to deal with all this at once. First I had to kick Anthony out, calm the people, and now I must plan for an attack."
"Sorry about that," I said, biting my lip.
"It is not your fault. It was only a matter of time before they found this place, and I am strangely glad they have. Now we my finally face them and rid ourselves of most of them," she explained.
"You are that confident?" Val asked.
"I wasn't before Angela showed up. Now when they attack we shall know they're plan."
The weight of that rested on me, the pressure of it nearly overwhelming. I hoped I could do as she asked. I felt a strong desire to help my kind, but that desire was tainted with my fear of disappointing them. What if I couldn't do it? What if it failed?
"Well, now, we should probably discuss this matter. Obviously we shall need to deploy scouts immediately, and should they find any converted humans you will have to deal with them quickly. As we discuss this, I'd like you, Angela, to attempt and reach the memories of a hunter." As she said this she lead us near the fireplace were we sat and did as told.
The conversation fell distant as I focused my search. It was tiresome to do so, but I had searched for my voice with such desperation I knew this was possible. My mind kept wondering, though, and I found myself engrossed in people's lives until I had to pull myself back to reality in order to search another mind. This went on for what only felt like hours until I somehow drifted off to sleep.
The next evening I awoke in Val's bed alone, only to find him dressed and waiting. This time, though, he was dressed in a plain t-shirt and jeans. I was perplexed as to why, until he said, "Hurry, you want to go hunt, don't you?"
I jumped out of bed quickly, and he laughed as he handed me clothes similar to his, explaining the queen had left them for us. I went to the bathroom and dressed as fast as my body allowed, not bothering to brush my hair. Surely it would tangle, anyway.
Val led me out to the cool evening air and out towards the forest. The sounds of the night pulsed in my ears. My body had entered a hunting form and my senses worked as they had never had before. The sharpness seemed to be tuned in with the creatures; the noises causing my eyes to dirt quickly and find the source. Val appeared to be the same way. Suddenly a herd of deer ran past, startled by the snap of a twig my foot had made. Val pounced on one, clearly attempting to show me how it was done, but instinct had take over. As quickly as he had jumped I followed suit, and we each held a kill in our mouth. Proudly, I sat it down and turned to him. I had forgotten my lack of desire for blood, though, and found Val gratefully sucking his kill dry. I knew I should, too, in order to keep my body alive.
Sucking directly from a kill was much more satisfying then drinking from any glass or flask. Although I felt no longing for the blood that taste of it was still something I enjoyed, and yet the blood seemed to taste much better fresh. Grinning I set my deer down.
"I told you it didn't bother me," I gloated.
"What about people?" Val taunted playfully.
I thought about it for a second before calmly responding, "I think if it was simply one I could do it."
The perfect opportunity arose, too, when a human who happened to be hiking too far caught our attention. Arrogantly I ran right after the person, sinking my teeth into his neck before he had the slightest notion I had arrived. It was easier that way for me as well, for it stopped any possibility that I would read his mind as was too fast for my fears to catch up.
Val stared at me as I handed him the limp form, offering him the first drink. He seemed to be astonished that I had done this. Still, he took the body gratefully.
"You know, vampires do not usually give their kills away," he said as we walked back.
"I know, but you'd enjoy it more. Besides, I like you."
Val remained silent as we continued, probably lost in thought. Once we arrived at the house Queen Armida made me recount the experience over another dinner. She listened intently and praised me for how good I had done. I felt like a young child due to the happiness her praise gave me, but I cared little of that fact. Val seemed to sense this childlike high in me, but the joy rubbed off and he simply smiled at my beaming face.
The reminder of the night was spent in frenzy. The queen ran about giving orders and making plans, leaving Val and I to talk. We discussed nothing of importance, and I was careful not to touch the subject of Anthony. I did inquire about my humanity, though. Val explained that I had looked virtually the same, but my skin had more color to it and my cheeks a rosy pink. I had come from a wealthy family and was well known among my peers. That was all I allowed him to say, already feeling a slight pressure in my head for attempting to recall such memories. There was also a distant look in his eyes that worried me, and I felt it grow as he continued to speak.
The queen came and sat down beside us as the house began to calm. The vampires that remind in the house were slowly drifting off to sleep, and those who had missions had already departed and went to acquire a good night's rest.
"I come with bad news. You'll have to leave tomorrow evening, Val. We need you to take care of a group of humans and the man, Alexander, immediately. They have been spotted off of Salt Lake City. I'll give you until early tomorrow evening." Then, seeing the worried expression on both our faces she added, "Do not worry, I shall personally look after Angela. I have a feeling she and I will become good friends."
A deep sadness mingled with fear engulfed me. I trusted the queen, yet my stranger anxiety lingered heavily. There was also the idea of Val and I being several miles apart. It would take him about a week with our speed, and that meant a week without him. I felt my throat seize up as I contemplated this, but I attempted to conceal it upon my face. I knew the queen would not ask this of him unless it was of the utmost importance.
"Okay," Val said, hanging his head low.
Queen Armida seemed heartbroken for having to deliver the news, so she said with a voice tinged with her worry, "I'll leave the two of you alone for the reminder of the night."
As she walked off I turned to Val, only to find he had been watching at me the whole time.
"Will you be okay?" His voice deeply echoed his concern.
I nodded, refusing to answer lest I reveal the truth.
"Are you certain?" He asked, sensing my lie and demanding a verbal response.
"I'll have her, and it is not as if you aren't coming back," I answered.
He looked down for a moment, then raised his head sighing, "I know you are lying. I can tell when you're worried."
I gulped, not knowing how to respond or able to meet his gaze.
"I will be back soon," he promised, attempting to quiet my fears.
I just nodded.
"Come on, Angela. It's going to be harder on us this way," He insisted.
"I know," I whispered. "It's just that I…I can't shake of the fear. I know I will make it, though, so go with an empty conscious. I know that's impossible for you, though."
"It is," he agreed. "But it is also impossible for you to be fine with this, isn't it."
"It always will be, but that doesn't change the fact it needs to be done. All we can do is accept it and move on. It'll be easier that way, like you said," I sadly pointed out.
We remained in silence for the rest of the night until we quietly headed off to bed. Even there a distance remained, as though neither of us wanted to get close in fear of causing the separation to be harder. It was for that same reason that I woke without him there, though. Instantly I felt a deep depression overcome me, and I simply sat up on the bed unmoving.
I do not remember how much time passed, but when I finally entered reality and left my mindless state there was a darkness engulfing the room. Queen Armida had shaken me and her face glowed with worry against the darkness of the room. I felt tears on my cheeks, and slowly I wiped those. Seeing that I was indeed back Queen Armida turned on the light and sat beside me.
"He didn't even say good bye," I mumbled.
Soothingly the queen pulled me into her and gently rubbed my back. I was hardened against this, though, and merely sat there thinking.
"I didn't even wake up," I said with a burst of tears.
"It's okay, love," the queen comforted.
"No it's not," I said whilst shaking my head. "He didn't say good bye!"
"I'm sure he had a good reason. Maybe it was too hard for him?" she offered.
I knew she was right, and that my sorrow was selfish, yet I still felt it. That sense of separation was unbearable, and with it topped without a formal good bye I felt myself overwhelmed. There was no way to correct the situation, though, and so I was forced to dry my tears and wait quietly in the queen's arms. Eventually I gained the strength to rise up, feeling guilty for having kept the queen from her duties for far too long.
"Come with me," she beckoned, lifting me to my feet.
The queen led me to her room and into her bed, where she instructed me to wait. She returned with blood and bade me to drink. I did so, knowing I needed it despite my lack of desire. After I finished she placed the glass upon her nightstand and climbed in bed. Confused, I turned to face her, question her action with my eyes.
"You won't be able to sleep alone, and I'm worried," she explained.
"But I'm keeping you from your work," I protested.
"That may always be done later, and what is important can be handled with rationality. You, my dear, cannot be left alone. The fear will consume you," She explained. "Now, go to sleep."
I did as told easily; the depression had worn me out. I fell into a horrid sleep full of awful nightmares. I remembered none, but the dread remained with me even as I awoke. The queen turned to me from her vanity, asking if I was better.
Yawing, I nodded.
"You didn't sleep quite well. I was worried," she stated.
"I know, but I'm hoping that is behind me. I need to keep my mind busy now." I said as my depression was fading.
"That will most certainly happen. I'll need your assistance today and for you to try and locate a hunter."
Her words were true. After dressing we went about, securing all the valuables. As we worked I was either searching or commenting on the beauty of the place. Queen Armida thanked me each time and explained where the artifacts came from. Each had a story and an era. It seemed as though the queens were notorious collectors, hording what they held dear. This made the house quite valuable as time passed, each artifact gaining worth with the years. In this it was easy to pretend my fears and depression did not exist. It was also in this that I was able to pass the week by with my spirits growing daily. Soon I found myself able to converse with a few vampires briefly without fear. These were mainly those who served the queen, such as the cooks. They were kind to me and I found myself slipping into the kitchen when the queen grew engrossed in her work. There, María, the head cook and a fifty-year-old Spanish vampire who had changed her name after disowning her abusive family, would smile as she handed me a small snack that I always refused, keeping in mind Queen Armida's warning that we only required human food every few days else we wished to gain fat. A week passed me unknowingly.

The queen's room door busted open, causing me to turn quickly. I had been searching memories while the queen signed some legal documents that made the government not worry about the house. I was sure she paid some of the members.
María sat in the doorway panting and a smile stretching across her lips.
"Señorita, come quickly! He's back!" She gasped to me.
At once I jumped off the bed and ran down the stairs as fast as I could, the rooms zooming by. My heart pounded with the excitement, and I felt as light as a cloud. My body guided me to the entrance, but halted immediately when I saw him standing near the doorway asking one of the maids if she had seen me.
A grin nearly covered my face as I registered that he had returned. Val sat so unaware and quietly that I didn't dare to stop him. Instead I gazed at him, taking in his presence. It was wondrous to have him back. Slowly he looked up at me, and unable to take the joy anymore I ran and jumped at him. As though expecting it he caught me and I wrapped my legs around his waist.
"Hi," he laughed.
"I missed you," I beamed back.
"Really? I hadn't quite noticed," he chuckled as he sat me down.
The queen and María entered the room then, both breathing heavily from the effort of chasing me.
"My goodness, Angela! You gave me a fright at that spend," María scolded, but a smile sat on her lips.
"Sorry," I laughed.
Confused Val stared directly at me. I had forgotten he didn't know of my recent friendships.
"Val, María; María, Val," I introducid.
"Little Angela finally started talking to us," María laughed. "You must thank the queen for that, though. The girl grew so attached to her she followed her every words. It was she who made Angela speak to us."
"Us?" Val asked.
"The cooks and servants, only," I explained farther.
"Well, then, thank you, my queen," Val said, still puzzled.
"No need to thank me. I've grew quite fond of Angela," she smiled.
The queen was correct. She and I had grown close over Val's absence. I had relied on her too partially fill the whole he had left, and her kindness allowed for this to continue. We had grown a friendship near sisterhood through this, and I no longer added her title. It felt odd to me to do so, for she seemed to close to be so distant. It was she who insisted I stopped, though, for I continued out of courtesy.
"Well, I should return to my duties," María smiled as she left to the kitchen.
"And I to mine," the queen followed.
I looked over to Val, my face still glowing. His confusion was replaced with a smile as he looked back at me. I followed him as he went into his closet to change, questioning his trip.
"So, any questions for me?" I asked as he changed in the closet.
"Of course!" He laughed from inside. "How is it you managed to open up?"
"Well, Armida slowly made me ask them for things. It kind of just happened, though," I answered.
"Well, I'm glad," he smiled as he came to the bed. "It puts my mind at ease."
"What about you? I never asked how you were." I asked.
"Miserable," he sighed. "I had to distract myself."
I hugged him and whispered, "Why do you think I opened up?"
He returned the embrace and we sat quietly for a moment until he broke off and mumbled something about being tired from his journey. I nodded and went to change into a nightgown before climbing in beside him. I had hoped to talk to him more, but I found him already in a deep sleep. I felt the tears rise as I sensed the same feeling of abandonment as I had before. It was in this mood that I fell asleep.
The next evening I awoke earlier and headed down to the kitchen to help María cook.  We laughed as I expressed my joy for Val's return. She was a great listener, time and experience guiding her to a motherly help of the young. Her thick accent only added to this, though, and drew me closer to her. The other cooks were just as kind and joked with us, but none possessed her motherly appeal.
As I went back upstairs to see if Val had awoken I heard his voice coming from Queen Armida's room. I crept over to greet them both, only to be stopped when I heard the conversation.
"You have to be careful, Valentine," Queen Armida warned.
"I know, but it's difficult when…you know what I want," he sighed.
"Yes, but she is fragile. The day you left she wept for the whole night," the queen nearly shouted.
A silence followed, until Val broke it with a soft and pained, "…What?"
"You left her in her sleep, and she awoke alone. You left her alone!"
"But I did not mean to! I thought…" His voice sounded horrified, and I felt a knot tying in my stomach realizing I caused this feeling in him.
"I know what you thought, but it was sonly best for you. You endure a lot, but you must remember how weak she is."
"I do not!"
"Oh, Valentine, do not be a fool. I see the way you gaze upon her. You want her back."
Suddenly Val was beginning to leave, unable to continue the conversation. Hurriedly I hid in the nearest room, careful to not make a noise as I did so. I sat down in the dark room with my back against the door. What had the queen meant? How did Val gaze at me? I tried to answer these question, but my mind kept pointing me back to wear this all began-my loss of memory. Surely he wanted me to remember, and I could not so it hurt him. The reality that I was the one to cause him to have to endure sickened me. I wanted to help him, but I could not. I felt tears silently roll down my cheeks, and quickly wiped them away. I had to conceal this knowledge and do my best to distance myself from Val. That is what he wanted, after all.
This fact led me to keep myself painfully away from Val. Although I spent most of my days with him, I slowly began excusing myself and drifting towards the queen and María until I spent only a slight more times with him then I did with them. The only time I allowed the closeness to return was during the night. I'd wait for him to drift to sleep before I curled up next to him and held him close.
The charade was easier to continue when he left on trips, but the queen was careful to keep him away for no more than three days and to occupy my time as he left. Each night she inquired as to whether I had found a hunter, and each night I regrettably replied that I had not. I searched intently, though. It was during my search one night that a horrid result hit me. I had been sitting with Val and drifted off searching memories, only to land on a horrid one that required the queen's immediate attention.
Without a word I rose and dashed to the queen. All memories of the vampires pointed her in the entrance, greeting those who had recently returned from their missions. Wildly a ran to her, willing my legs to carry me as fast as they had whenever Val returned, but that speed seemed impossible. Still, in my panic I had reached the entrance quickly.
"Armida!" I shouted, startling the vampires around her.
"Why do you use her first name!?" A vampire growled, but I had no time to feel the fear at his anger.
"They're coming!" I shouted as I gasped for breath.
"What!?" She asked, her eyes growing wide.
"I found one, and they're coming!" I shouted as I ran up and grabbed her arms. "We have to prepare no-"
I was interrupted by a crash. One of the hunters had entered through the window undetected. Instantly he was subdued, but more pounded in. The queen ran off to control the battle and gather her people, leaving me alone. It was then that my adrenaline wore off and I felt the fear strike. I was utterly alone in a frenzy of attack. I could hear the gunshots, snarls, and screams around me. Unable to handle the battle I sprung back and devoted my mind to searching the plans. Whenever I found a move that came next I immediately shouted it to no one in particular, clinging desperately to the distraction and the hope it could save us.
My mind had wondered too far for me to even see the battle. I was snapped back to reality, though, when I found the barrel of a gun pointed directly between my eyes.
"Don't move," the stern voice of the hunter said.
My panicked mind took note of him. He was sweating and dressed in battle gear that firmly fitted over his tight muscles. The man's face was angry and unpleasant, yet I continued to gaze into his searing brow eyes that raised the fear in me. His mind betrayed his emotions. The hunters knew not why I could predict there moves, but they knew they had to get me. He had pummeled through the frenzy to reach mean, his anger driving him. His family had been killed by vampires, and he wished revenge.
"It isn't me who killed them," I whispered in a shaky voice.
"Shut the hell up!" He shouted as his hand shook. I could tell he was about to pull the trigger without even reading his memories.
As I squeezed my eyes shut I heard a loud growl and a thud. I opened them only to see Val ripping the man apart. It was a bloody, disgusting mess, and yet it brought me relief. Even the man's screams brought me no sympathy. I felt myself watching intently as the man was killed, very aware of the avoidance hunter and vampires alike had to the conflict. My mind strayed to a memory, though, and it startled me. When hunter was not only afraid of Val, but did not want to fight. I looked up and locked my eyes on a boy about my human age.
The boy sat cowering in a corner, away from the battle. I ran over to him with a speed too fast for him to match. I knew he was poorly trained, forced to attend this mission due to his father's will. His father was a general, and thus held his son at his level.
"Hide," I whispered into his ear.
Startled he turned his gun to me, but I waved it away easily.
"Hide, now," I whispered. "I know you don't want to fight, and I know you're not experienced enough. If you don't hide you'll die!"
The boy was shocked at the news, but ran away nonetheless after I told him the directions to Val's room and instructed him to hide in there. Now I had to search the memories of vampires as well to make certain not a soul entered that room.
Val was at my side a second later, and I gratefully hugged him. The seriousness of the occurrence had finally stuck me.
"Thank you!" I shouted through sobs.
Val hugged me tightly before quickly letting go. He remained guarded in front of me and I resumed my role. The battle continued so fast and furiously that I hardly was able to register all my thoughts. It did end, though, and I never had to direct any vampire from our room. Not a soul reached past the second level, but the damage was clear. Both parties retreated-the hunter's to their base a few towns off and the vampires to the back of the second level.
With the battle over the people began to clean up. Those badly wounded were rounded up and sent to the basement where the medical facilities were, and the rest were left to recollect themselves and clean up the dead.
I ignored, this, though, and went to our room. Val followed closely, the look lingering in his eyes. I opened the door to find the boy wounded by the strength of the vampires that had attempted to prevent his escape.
Val nearly jumped on him, until he saw my calmly approach the boy.
"What is the meaning of this, Angela!?" Val angrily asked.
"He's different," I answered. "Pease trust me."
Val's eyes gleamed with anger and disappointment, and I was guilty of it. Slowly, though, he calmed.
I turned my attention to the boy who was shaking in fear.
"Don't worry, I won't hurt you. You and I can benefit from each other, you see. I can keep you alive and save you from your unwanted future, and you can provide me with information," I smiled.
The boy wasn't listening well, but I knew he heard my words. I rose and went to the bathroom, Val watching the boy.
"You're not doing it for the information," Val accused, reading me as he easily did.
"No," I answered truthfully, "but I am doing it. I don't expect you to understand, but he's not like the rest. His mind is different, and I can't let him die this way. Once he is better and gone he may be hinted down as food or killed by another human for all I care, but I will not allow him to die in a battle he does not want."
"You can't do that, Angela," Val pleaded.
"Val, I'm sorry, and I know I say that often, but believe me when I say I am," I said through tears. I had finished dressing the boy's wounds and he had fallen asleep, allowing me the chance to roll back and let the tears flow.
Val remained coldly near the door, shifting uncomfortably.
"I have to do this, Val, even though it makes you hate me. You know I don't want that," I nearly shouted, trying desperately to make him understand.
"I can't hate you," Val sighed as he knelt in front of me. "You're doing something dangerous and foolish, Angela, but I'm not leaving your side."
"You're too good to me," I said as he wiped my tears. "I know I do a lot to make you hurt, and I'm so sorry."
"Where did you get that impression?" Val's face betrayed the lie.
"Val, I can tell."
"Trust me, Angela; it's better to have you than not to," he whispered.
I sighed and looked down, only to have him pull my face up to look him in the eyes.
"Promise me you won't leave," he demanded sternly.
"You know I can't," I objected.
"Promise me," he demanded more firmly.
"I promise," I whispered.
"Promise what?" He continued his demand.
"I promise I won't leave."
"Good," he said as he released me. "Now, let's get some sleep."
"We can't," I said, pointing to the boy on our bed. "Daisuke is in there."
"Then we'll go someplace else."
"But what if someone finds him?" I whined.
"They won't, and if they do they'll leave him be. They can tell someone is planning something is his wounds are tended to."
Convinced, I got up and followed Val to the room that had been intended for me when we first arrived. Exhausted and afraid I allowed myself to sleep while I held him tightly. Val held me back, a way we had not slept since I heard the conversation between him and Queen Armida. The experience comforted me and ended a longing that had persisted.
The next evening I rose late, but before Val. I carefully woke him and whispered that I was going to check on the boy. He agreed and went back to sleep. Hoping he would remember, I made my way to the boy.
The boy was sleeping heavily on the bed. I pulled the chair from the desk up to the bed and scanned his memories. I learned the hunter's had gathered together after the one who had followed me reported the news. Once he didn't return they followed his trail and confirmed our location. This allowed them to form a base of their own and monitor us. They then trained and planned their attack. Soon they were too attack again, but in greater numbers and with better men.
I followed the boy's memories of his father to his father's mind, and from there I was able to observe the hunter's plans. With this secure I smiled contently at myself.
The boy began to stir, pulling me out of my search. I watched as he opened his eyes and smiled.
"Good evening, Daisuke," I smiled.
"How do you know my name?" His voice was strong, but his eyes were fearful.
"I read memories."
"Wait…what? Vampires can't do that!" He contradicted.
"Yes, but I'm different. I was once human."
His eyes bulged out of his head as he took my words in.
"Im…impossible," he whispered.
"It's true. I don't remember any of it, but I got past the madness. It's an ability I have so I can find my own memories, though. You see, it's horrible not knowing where you came from, and it hurts Val," I whispered.
"Why did you save me?" He changed the subject, uncaring of my troubles. He thought me truly a monster.
"Because you're different. I only saved you from the battle, though. After you heal you'll have to leave here and survive on your own."
"So you're different, too," he mumbled. "You're not like the others. I've seen vampires before, and none of them are like you."
"I suppose," I answered.
It was then the queen entered, and she stared accusingly at me.
"Angela, what is the meaning of this?"
"Armida, forgive me, but I had to. He has provided us with the best information, though. Well, his father has. They're planning another attack at the end of the week, but at a much larger scale," I said, hoping to distract her.
"Then I must prepare immediately. Do what you wish with the boy," she said.
"I want him to heal. After that he needs a chance to start over." I said.
"Angela, you sure are strange," the queen said as she shook her head and left. I knew now that I had secured his life while he mended. The queen was too distracted to question my motives and too trusting to care. The betrayal tormented me, but my mind remained set.
"Who was that?" the boy asked, now sure I would take care of him.
"That was the queen," I answered.
"She let me live!?" He was clearly shocked.
"She trusts me," I said as my head hung low. "I'm betraying that trust, though."
"Thanks," the boy said as he looked up to my face.
Val entered then. His eyes glared at the boy, but he said kindly to me, "Come on, Angela, it's late and if we don't go hunt now we may never have the chance."
The boy was both terrified and surprised at Val.
"I'll see you soon, Daisuke, but I have to go or I'll die," I told him as I left, following Val out to the forest.
When we returned the boy had fallen back asleep. I continued to watch him and read his father's mind as Val joined the others in the effort to clean the house. Not a soul bothered me or questioned me. I found it odd the vampires did not complain of my lack of work, until I happened across the mind of one. They all believed me to be doing work of importance and held me at high regard for helping them. Most had suspected my past humanity would cause me to flee to the hunter's side, and all were shocked when I helped them instead. The main reason, though, was that all knew or saw what Val had destroyed the hunter and were far too fearful of the torment he may cause them. Somehow, this put a smile on my lips.
"What are you thinking about?" the boy asked.
"How protective Val is," I said.
"Val…he's the guy, right?"
"Yes," I nodded.
"Your boyfriend?" He asked as though it were true.
The question hit me with such force it truly dazed me. Did it appear so?
"No. We're close friends. He's the first person I saw when I awoke and has stuck with my sense."
"So, it's just fear that attracts you to him?"
"Not at all…it's…complicated, I suppose." I was deep in thought now, trying to verbalize my thoughts of Val. Not a thing came to mind, though.
"I see…" The boy said with a smile twitching on his lips.
"Now, go back to sleep," I commanded.
"Why are you helping me?" he abruptly asked.
"I already told you," I answered.
"But there's more to it," he objected.
"I don't think there is."
"There's no reason for you to do this. You told me you lost your humanity, so there has to be something in this. You already have the information, though."
"Okay, say there is something else in this. It's clear I have no idea what that something is." I pointed out.
"You seem to know little." His truth caused me to recoil, and noticing this he quickly added, "Sorry, that was too much."
"No, no; you're right. I just wish I did know more," I sighed.
"You'll learn."
"But I won't learn what I want to know." I had busied myself so that my eyes could look away, hiding my fierce longing.
"What do you want to know?" His voice was not entirely curious, but also slightly sympathetic. It felt odd to have the sympathy of the enemy.
"Who I was…who I am. It's all too confusing. I hate not knowing. It's pure torture, you know? Well, I don't expect you to, but to explain it, it's like knowing you once existed but not knowing all at once. How can I have been if I am not that being now?"
"Something tells me you weren't much different. I don't think we can change that much. I mean, there are the obvious differences," he motioned to my appearance, "but your personality couldn't have been too different."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you, and don't take this the wrong way, seem more human than the rest, but at the same time you seem more like a vampire than they do," he elaborated.
"So, I was always trapped in this sort of limbo?" I asked.
"What limbo?"
"I feel like I belong, and yet I don't. Kind of like I'm finally close to what I should be, but like I can never be what I am."
"Um-hum," he mumbled. I knew my words had sunk in, but his injuries were tiring him. I ceased the conversation and allowed him to sleep. The battle raged on in my head, though. I knew I was not being honest with myself, yet I couldn't figure my lies. I had suppressed knowledge I deemed too revealing claiming it could damage my health, but the truth for most of them was fear. I feared what I once was. What if knowing never truly revealed me? What if I could never discover myself? It was so hard to untangle the lies, especially when part of me resisted. Sighing, I rose to go outside and get some fresh air.
As I walked down the hallway I heard another conversation between Queen Armida and Val, and, not so innocently, eavesdropped.
"Valentine, I'm warning you, that girl will destroy you," Queen Armida began.
"No she won't." He seemed to be denying it more to himself than to her.
"Everyone knows how you feel now. There is only one way a vampire can become the enraged and powerful. No one but I can see that look in your eyes. When you gaze upon her there's that deep longing and pain, yet you can't look away. It's obvious that you follow her ever movement; that even when her back is turned to you and she is laughing among others your stare follows her."
"But it's only because she's so distant!" He hissed.
Suddenly my heart caught in my throat. Had I not been helping Val?
"She does not remember, Valentine. She does not have that same desire she once did." The queen was soothing, but her lies angered me. She made it seem as though I no longer had any care for Val.
"Lies; I know that's a lie. She still is overjoyed to see me every time I return," his voice was so objecting it seemed he wanted to reject reality.
"But she no longer grieves desperately for you."
"Then why does she not remain alone in her room?"
"That, poor Valentine is fear. She is content to use me as a substitute when you are gone. Is that not proof enough?"
"No," he boldly and angrily stated.
"Val, I fear this will tear you apart," she pleaded with him.
"Destroy me or not, I can't leave."
"But you must," she said with a voice full of concern.
"You just don't understand, do you?!" His footsteps were heavy, and I knew he had to be pacing back in forth, something he did often when angry. "If I give up now I lose everything."
The way he said this nearly stopped my heart. Was I the cause of such pain? Unable to stand any more of the conversation, I silently fled outside where I entered the forest and hid. I knew it was dangerous to venture so deeply alone, but I did not want to be found. There, I sunk with my back against a tree and let the tears spill. How could I have been so cruel? What could I do? If I left I'd hurt him; if I stood I'd hurt him. My mind battled itself, half wanting to flee and half wanting to stay. Yet, I had to stay. My people needed me, and I needed Val, and yet why am I hiding from both? Over the hurt I caused and the torment I endured I wept.
I remained hidden long after my tears had ceased. Silently I gathered flowers and one-by-one ripped of their petals. It was an act that kept my hands busy and mind clear. I needed this depression. For so long I had pent up all my worries, afraid to inflict any farther pain to both myself and Val. Now, though, in my solitude I was able to relieve myself of it slightly and remain sound.
After I felt the best I possibly could I returned to the mansion with my pain hidden once again. I had been gone for hours and Val was worried.
"Where were you!?" His voice was frantic, but I ignored it as I made my way to Daisuke.
"I was worried sick! And then that human told me you left hours ago!" He explained, following me at my heels.
"Calm down, Val. I'm fine, aren't I? I was just outside." I said nonchalantly, disguising the truth easily.
"Outside!? You could've gotten killed!" He shouted.
"And I could die just as easily while doing normal things, but that doesn't mean I should live in my bed, does it?" I objected, anger slowly raising in my voice.
"What's wrong with you, Angela?" Val whispered as he shook his head. "You're different."
"No. I'm still me," I answered. "I'm not mad at you though, so don't worry."
"Then who are you mad at?" he asked,
"That's private."
"I think I ought to know," he whined.
"So I'm not allowed my own thoughts?" I complained.
His face looked hurt, and I saw my words defeat him. As greatly as this pained me, though, I knew it was best. I had to distance myself farther from him. He and I needed each other, but surely it would be easier for him if we were far less close?
"You never kept anything from me before."
"And I should probably start. My mouth is a little too big." I said this with a laugh, but the laugh was hollow. I longed desperately to collapse in his arms and tell him everything, but it was my turn to be strong. Ever since I had woken he had provided the strength for both of us, but he could not bear such a burden forever.
His face started to lose its pain as he studied me. I felt uncomfortable, as though he could tell my lies. Before he could speak, though, the boy awoke and I jumped on the excuse.
"Feeling better?" I smiled.
"Kind of…" he mumbled. I could see how uncomfortable he was with Val, so I shooed Val away.
"Go," I protested while laughing. "He's scared of you."
Val face reverted back to the pained expression, causing me to quickly add, "I'll see you in a little bit. It's almost dawn, anyway."
Vale left to quickly for me to see his face, and I felt worried. Quickly I scanned the memories of vampires to ensure he had truly gone and helping, and once I was sure he wasn't outside the door attempting to make sense of my decision, I turned my attention back to the boy.
"What was that about?" Daisuke asked.
I sighed and sat down on the edge of the bed.
"What happened?" his voice was now laced with concern.
"I…I need to…" I was chocking on my words and felt tears well up once again.
"What do you need to do?" Daisuke was soothing, and I knew he now fully trusted me. He had bonded to me, clinging to his lifeline.
"I need to stop this," I said with such vigor I was now standing. "I should've never been so open, I should've never saved you, and I should've never been so clueless!"
I was now quite animated, but careful to keep my voice low. As I realized the direction my mind was headed, though, I stilled and my voice crawled to a whisper.
"I should never have been turned."
"Why do you say that?" He was attempting to help by making me realize my true thoughts, yet my true thoughts scared me.
Quietly I whispered to him what I had overheard. He watched me and was conscious of my every move. Should I lower my gaze, grow louder, and force back tears he took a mental note.
"I don't think you really understand what she means."
"Well, obviously not." The statement irritated me.
"No, you don't really understand because you won't let yourself. I think you know what they were talking about." Then, as if to drive the point home, he sternly added, "I think you know why you cause him pain."
My heart pounded deep in my chest. He was right, but I didn't want him to be. I kept forcing back to answer, refusing to let it come fully to mind.
"Hey, Angela, stop pretending you don't know. It's time you realize your feelings for what they really are. We both know why you saved me. You need my ability to read emotions-you needed me to tell you the truth. Well, the truth is you need to find out for yourself." He was being stern now, yet I could tell he meant well. He did speak the truth, though.
"No, no! I can't!" I was desperate not to think; to let all thoughts drift away.
"Can't or won't?" He was calm, noticing my panic would result in self-knowledge. Yet, this simply depend my fear and made me more frantic until I stormed out of the room, only realizing I had no were to run to.
"You okay?" Val asked. I had someone ran straight to him. Everything always led back to him!
"Ugh!" I complained angrily before leaving in a flurry.
It was the queen I found this time, though.
"Armida, if you want to win this battle just attack them first. There's no need for a battle on our own land, and they're not prepared for attack," I said, attempting to drastic my mind.
"Angela, do you believe I have not yet figured this out? We have already started the battle. I had to leave you alone. Please understand. It was for your own good; your own mental state. I knew you would not hide from me anything unless there was reason. It did not take long for me to discover you needed more than anything to suppress certain thoughts. I've noticed such behavior since you entered. It's what gave you your innocence, but, dear, innocence does not last. We must all face reality." As she said this she laid a hand upon my shoulder, but I shook it off. Everyone was saying the same thing! I didn't want to know, so why were they making me!
I ran off, ignoring Val's echoing footsteps. Immediately I entered my room and locked the door before he could enter.
"Angela?" He pleaded, concerned. "Angela, please tell me what's wrong."
"No!" I shouted. "Go away!"
"Was it that boy!?" he growled.
"No! It's you!"
A strong silence followed, ended only by Val's footsteps as he turned and left.
I curled up with my back against the door, hugging my knees. I bit my lip as I tried desperately to keep my thoughts back. I didn't want to admit to anything. I wanted to stay innocent. I was happy. Who were they to take away my happiness? It was their entire fault!
Even as the morning light seeped through the window and blinded me, I didn't move. I needed to think, and yet I didn't want to. My mind was against itself once again. I was constantly battling myself. I needed to think; I needed to.
A sudden knock on the door startled me. Who could be awake at this hour?
"Angela?" The voice was soft; caring. It was Val. Only he would remain awake during the day for me.
Fighting back all my desire I opened the door. I needed to confront him for I had come to the conclusion that everything did truly lead me back to him.
He stood in the doorway with such an expression on his face that I had to look away. Staring at my feet I allowed him to enter."
"What's wrong?" He asked, attempting to draw my close. I recoiled, not yet able to truly be near him.
"Angela?" he begged, stepping closer.
I moved back, shaking my head.
"Please tell me," he whispered, holding back tears. Why was I resisting? Why was I letting him suffer?
"Is he gone?" I finally asked.
"Who?" Val had been startled by my voice, but it was clear in his enthusiasm that he wanted me to speak.
"The boy."
"Well, yes. I kind of got jealous and forced him out." Val looked apologetically at me.
"I figured," I nodded.
"W-what?" Val seemed shocked, causing me to be shocked in return.
"I knew you were going to," I repeated.
"I thought…I thought," his voice cracked as her tried to choke out the word. "Angela, don't you like him?"
I was surprised. He had implied that I had fallen for Daisuke. How could he have thought such a thing? We had nothing in common and I watched him with need, not love.
"Of course not!"
"Then…why did you save him?" Val asked.
"He…" I looked down, willing myself to continue. "He…he can read emotions. I needed him to read my own. I've been lying to myself, and to you, for a long time."
"What do you mean?" Val was still clueless, and yet so much was coming at me at once. I now knew the simple answer to everything.
With tears in my eyes I responded, "Val, I know you don't really want to hear this, and I still have no memories, but I know so much more than I ever did when I began. I had always felt….drawn to you. I blamed it on you being there and guiding me; believing me when I was insane. But that's not it."
He was stunned now, but I knew now what I meant. Looking up and into his beautiful and stunned eyes I continued, "Val, you need to understand that I don't remember, and I probably never will. I'm sorry I can't give you the old me back, and I know you want her. This feeling isn't just from my humanity, though. I love you."
His emotions changed so quickly and yet I made sense of them all. First he displayed his astonishment, then his pain, his joy, and finally his frustration.
Grabbing me violently, he growled, "Fine! If you can't remember I'll make you! I'm sick of this!"
I was afraid and surprised, but not of Val. I feared what he was about to do. In a motion to swift for me to protest he clamped his lips on mine. Fiercely, he kissed me. I had no time to react, though. I was thrown back, back to memories I had tried so hard to recall. They dragged me down; away from conciseness.

I was a battered nineteen-year-old girl, running violently from a mob that chased me in my mind. Val was right beside me, dragging me at a speed I could not imagine. I was running widely, desperately. I was a human, and the daughter of two very renowned hunters. Yet, I had reminded so different. I had felt it then so much more than I had felt it as a vampire. I had tried so hard to fit it, but finally I gave up. I knew I was different, and so did Val.
Val, he had encountered me while hiding amongst humans. Somehow I had stuck out to him, and he noticed my difference. He began a friendship between us, intrigued by my difference. He explained me as being more vampire in nature than human. At the time that shocked me, and yet now I understood it so perfectly.
It didn't take long for the two of us to fall in love this way. It wasn't like he loved his prey and me my predator, but as though we loved equal beings. We both knew what I was destined to be, but I understood all too well what became of humans that attempted the change. One night we had been forced to, though.
I had left my parents, unable to continue lying when I knew the truth. They and I had always been distant; always clashed. At first it was because they refused to raise me, but it grew to our views, and finally our simply existences. We were mortal enemies of each other. How could I, being so much like a vampire, remain with them?
When we had meant up with Val's partner, Anthony, I looked at Val and demanded he changed me. Instead of protesting as I thought he would he simply asked if I was sure. I nodded, telling him it needed to happen. I couldn't stay what I wasn't.
Anthony told Val not to; telling him love was blinding him. Yet, Val understood perfectly. He wanted to. For a vampire it is the greatest pleasure to drink from the one you love. Not to death, but to a point where your blood and theirs intertwine in perfect harmony. But most importantly Val knew the truth. He knew I needed this.
Making a final plea I promised I'd remember; that I wouldn't be like the rest. I told him I'd cling to our memories; that I'd make myself remember no matter what. It was at that moment that he sunk his teeth into me and I began to transform. I felt myself begin to slip, and desperately I hung on to him and my promise. It was now I knew that it was the love, not the promise, that had lasted, and the love that had brought me through.
I felt that love more than ever now. Finally I understood how deeply I had hurt him; how desperately he had to have been clinging to that hope I had not lied. All this time he waited and watched as I struggled to remember. Unknowingly I had attached myself to him, making him remember what he could not have. I had broken him, though. I had pushed him too far.
It was that love I needed now more than ever, though. I clung to it; to him. I needed to pull out of these memories once and for all. I had to leave the search behind. I knew now, but the force of the knowledge was pulling me down. My defenses had been weakened, and my body had snapped under the pressure of my mine. Still, I felt s small shred of hope. I desperately clung to it, pulling myself slowly out.
I began to grow more aware of what happened around me and could here Val crying desperately, "Come on, Angela! I didn't mean it! You don't have to remember! Just don't go!"
His body was shaking with his sobs and rocking mine. Val had fallen to his knees holding my limp form. I couldn't bare it, and yet my eyes wouldn't open.
"I love you! Please don't go!" He shouted in a final act of desperation. He never truly believed his words would work, and yet they did. At last, I had the strength to open my eyes.
"Angela!" he cried with joy as he hugged me.
I smiled now, knowing I could finally end his pain.
"I'm so sorry, Val," I whispered. "I'm so sorry I caused you so much pain. I can't imagine how it had to before you, waiting so long. And there I was, the whole time oblivious to the fact by getting closer I was only hurting you. Well, at first. I found out. I heard Armida speak to you and yet I didn't let myself really understand. I was selfish, and selfishly I clung to you."
Slowly I reach and stroked his face and wiped away his tears, watching as the recognition took place.
"So, you remember?" His voice came out only as a whisper, and I found myself smiling at it.
I nodded. "I remember everything now. I loved you all along, Val. It's the only reason I can be here to remember."
"All that matters now is that you do remember!" He cried out in joy as he enveloped me in another passionate kiss. This time, though, I was able to kiss back. Suddenly, though, he pulled away and asked, "Um…do you still not desire blood?"
"No," I answered truthfully. "I can't read memories anymore now since I don't have to, but I still have no desire for blood.
"Oh…" he disappointedly said as he looked down in shame.
"But…I could try," I whispered seductively in his ear.
I laughed as his face grew red in embarrassment.
Gradually I moved my lips to his neck and bit down, letting my teeth sink in. The instant his blood hit my teeth I felt a sudden outrageous longing for it. I let my arms cling to him; pull him closer to me. I sucked his blood hard, the passion indescribable and I let the moans escape my lips. His arms encircled me and clung with the same force I did. He felt the same passion I did. Moaning, panting, it was like the perfect form of passion. There was making love, and yet it came no were comparably close to the passion his blood infused in me. I didn't want it to end, so once I had finished I allowed his teeth to break my skin. In this fit of passion we allowed or desperate longing to finally be reconciled-finally we were together as we should be and with complete understanding of our true selves.

© 2010 vampireonion


Author's Note

vampireonion
Me and my grammar.

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wow amazing
i liked this :)
well done :)
Your Friend Demi

Posted 11 Years Ago


A excellent story. Was a longer read then I usual try to read. I like the characters in the story. Storyline held my attention. Thank you.
Coyote
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Posted 11 Years Ago



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Added on February 10, 2010
Last Updated on February 10, 2010

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vampireonion
vampireonion

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About
I love, and I mean LOVE to write. I think I'm pretty good at it. Not amazing, but pretty good. My stories tend to be depressing, though. I can't seem to write a happy character. Maybe the depression g.. more..

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