I finally turn away from the display only to bump right into the History teacher. I cannot help but think that if I had turned with just a little more power, his shoulder would have been dislocated and he would have sank down to the boringly tiled floor out of sheer pain. It makes me smile on the inside that I have so much power over these people.
I wish I didn't have it.
"Sorry. I was just admiring the poster. I didn't know high schools treasured their students this much."
The teacher, whose name escapes me, chuckles as he rolls his eyes a little.
"Yeah, uh, they don't. Caroline Forbes is a different story, though. Her mother is the Sheriff here in Mystic Falls, so if Caroline wasn't known for being an overachiever, I'm sure she'd be known for that fact anyway."
I can't help but feel that the teacher has some hidden vendetta against Caroline. I smirk at him.
"Ah. You picked up on that." He looks down at his cheap dress shoes as I see his hands find their way into his pockets and then sighs.
"Anyway, I'm Alaric Saltzman. History teacher extraordinaire. I take it you're the new AP Literature substitute. Hey, listen. Tonight, my friend, Damon Salvatore, and I are eating at the Mystic Grill. Not inviting you or anything, but, you know, we'll be there."
Alaric quickly checks his watch.
"Damn it. I'm now the very late History teacher extraordinaire. I'll see you around...?" He trails off as an indication that he wants to know my name.
His eyes light up as he starts to walk down the hall.
"Short for Niklaus of German origin. Interesting."
He continues to walk away without another word. Something about that bumbling teacher draws my attention. I may have to make my appearance later on tonight at the grill.
"You made some friends?!"
I calmly continue reading my book as Rebekah comes charging into the living room. She wastes no time flicking on the flat screen television resting above the fireplace. Its volume seems to boom throughout the house.
"What are you talking about?'
I do not look up from my reading.
"Oh, Nik. Don't pretend that Mr. Saltzman didn't invite you down to the Mystic Grill tonight."
"He didn't, Rebekah. He just told me that he and his friend, Derek or something, would be dining there."
"Which is telling you to come join them! Go!"
I see my book fly out of my hands just as I am about to start the new chapter. I slowly turn my head toward my smiling sister.
"Rebekah, I will advise you only once. Do not test me. You decided to come find me again after forty years, dear sister. I did not come looking for you. So who are you to come now and try to play savior? If I needed saving I would have asked for it centuries ago."
I silently get up as she stares at me with sad eyes. In that moment, I hate myself more than usual. I have, yet again, let the beast take control of my words.
Of my life.
My feet steer me toward the door as I grab my jacket from the wall hanger in the foyer.
"Nik, where are you going?"
I open the door and pause in the doorway.
I walk through the glass doors of the generic, small-town restaurant. What has made me come here, I don't know. I survey the room until I see Alaric hold up his index finger in recognition. Sitting across from him is a dark-haired man around my age.
I start to walk toward the table before I feel a small spasm throughout my body that tells me something I usually pay no attention to. As I near the table, the spasm is screaming at me; which is rather unusual. As I make contact with the gentleman known as Alaric's friend, I can confirm that Damon Salvatore is a vampire. A vampire of my bloodline, no less.
I take a seat and pick up the flimsy menu. Damon's eyes are on me. He knows who I am. No doubt about it. I'm sure as soon as our hands met in that handshake he had every idea who I was.
"So, Damon." I look at Alaric as he addresses Damon. He doesn't even move his eyes from his menu as he responds.
"No. My brother and I still aren't on speaking terms."
Alaric seems to sink down into the booth even more as he pinches the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger.
"You and your brother are being so childish. Why is it that a set of two hundred year old vampires can't get along because of a seventeen year old girl?"
I feel my head involuntarily snap toward this History teacher. He knows of vampires? So, does he know that I'm one? I doubt this Damon Salvatore character will tell him.
"Alaric, you know how my brother is. He wants his happy little ending that he's been waiting for. Sadly, the happy ending he is envisioning is too busy envisioning me."
Damon smirks as Alaric rolls his eyes.
"I don't need to know anything more about Elena's visions of you. Thanks. What I would like to know is why--"
"You know what we are?" I have no idea what comes over me as I interrupt Alaric's badgering of Damon. In this moment, it feels like a weight is lifted off of my shoulders. This human here knows of our existence. He's someone I don't need to hide from.
"I knew the moment you bumped into me that you were one of them, Klaus. Anyway, Damon. Elena says--"
"How do you know about vampires? Why are you so nonchalant about the fact that we exist?"
Damon and Alaric both roll their eyes at the same time. I start to feel like I'm the one person who isn't aware of the running joke. Damon starts to chuckle at me after a while.
"What's so funny, Damon?"
"Your making it very obvious that you're new here, pretty boy.. Everyone knows about vampires in this town."
As soon as Damon says the last word of his sentence, a woman that looks similar to the multitasking Caroline Forbes enters through the door of the grill. Her blond hair is cropped above her shoulders and is styled straight; unlike Caroline's medium length waves. She is in a police uniform no doubt, but has the extra stitching that reads "Sheriff."
I look over at Damon just as he smirks.
"Speaking of the frightened townspeople..."
Alaric angrily shakes his head at Damon.
"Am I missing something, fellows?" I inquire into the inside joke that seems to be running between the two men.
Damon looks at Alaric for a few seconds, then turns his head toward me. For a split second I can see the sadness in Damon's eyes before it goes back to his straight-laced exterior.
"In the crossfire between justice and vampires, Alaric's girlfriend was killed. So were Elena's parents."
For some reason something isn't registering with me.
"What does that have to do with the Sheriff?"
Alaric looks down and furrows his brow as Damon takes a long sip of his beverage. I become impatient quickly and I am about to say so. Damon must sense the forming of my sentence as he begins to tell me what I want to know.
"Sheriff Elizabeth 'Liz' Forbes was the person behind the trigger."