Chapter 8: Time to be cold
Over the next few days, Alexis spent most of her time in the Library or on the computer researching what she needed within school, making sure she was prepared for her start on Monday. She needed bags, books– each class was supplied with a different Utensil that was needed. She needed to feel ready.
Which she didn’t feel she would be.
Vladimir helped her study as much as he could before retiring to his room and disappearing on Friday night like he often did; Alexis had grown up used too his Friday disappearances; she had often guessed what he was doing, feeding from humans – a secret lover, a debt he had to pay, check in with Daniel, feeding.
Louie tried to offer her help but mostly he just annoyed her with his comments on how humans behaved and how much he was going to miss her around the place.
The French vampire always seemed to be over dramatic. Alexis often wondered if he was bored and if he would really miss her because he wouldn’t have anyone to talk to around the house anymore. Caleb and Alexis trained every second day for two hours.
Caleb acted differently towards her, he taught her the exact same and made sure she could easily defend herself as well as attack her opponents – the part that was different was the fun, joking Caleb seemed to be few and far between. He used to be able to let go. She started to look for those times.
When he would eventually just let go. The Sunday before her day of school was her day of fighting with Caleb, it gave her a break from her studying. “You realize that sitting in with those books all day is going to make you lose your mind” Caleb commented as he stood against the door in the Library. Alexis turned towards him, she was tired, her eyes were red and there were bags under her eyes.
A laugh echoed on her throat that seemed dry, she needed a drink. She kept trying to remember the basic needs for herself but lately with all the worry of school, she had forgotten.
When had she last taken a drink? When had she last been to the toilet? Slept? “I’ve not been in here for that long” Alexis countered, a small smile tried to pull on her face. “You’ve been here for 12 hours straight” That was something Alexis wasn’t expecting to hear, she was really in there for that long?
“Oh…” She found herself trying to rethink where her time had gone. What time was it now? Had she skipped past a day? It was now Sunday? She dug into her pocket for the ’new’ phone Vladimir had bought her for going to school.
Programmed with Vladimir’s and Louie’s number in it for emergency circumstances. The phone stated it was Sunday and that it was 7 o’clock in the morning. She let out a groan and pushed her head down on to the table. “I must have lost track of time.” Caleb couldn’t help but smile and move in to lift her chin up to look at him. He was being caring again; it was always a switch with him. He could be so lovely and kind one moment and then the next he was rough and stern. “It’s alright. Are you strong enough to learn something or would you prefer to have a lesson after you sleep?” he questioned with general intrigue.
He hadn’t lived with a human in two decades and even though it was so short of time he forgot how much some people needed to sleep and Alexis seemed to be different from everyone else. She would sleep half of the night and half of the day, which meant she was up half of the night with the vampires and the vampires were ’technically’ up the second half for her.
That was all going to need to change now. She was going to need to get into a ’human’ routine. Sleeping at night and up all day, Caleb wondered how she would cope; she had been in a vampire’s timetable for a long time.
Vladimir had been trying to get her into that schedule lately but with this last night it seemed knocked out of touch. She shook her head and stood up out of Caleb’s clasp. “I’m fine to learn for a couple of hours. Vladimir said I should get used to staying up all day and sleeping all night. I guessed I messed up that last night but I have to keep myself up today otherwise school will be more difficult tomorrow” Alexis rubbed her eyes, now that she was back to normality instead of in one of her books she seemed to be more tired. She tried to stop herself from yawning but finally let herself be over taken by one.
Caleb chuckled, before keeping the amused look on his face. “If you have a couple of hours now and then stay up till 10 you should be able to get a good night’s sleep and be ready for your high school in the morning. I assure you” Alexis stared towards Caleb, sometimes she wanted to question him, she wanted to understand why he could be so cold to her sometimes and yet in moments like this –he could be so kind, so caring.
It was giving her whiplash, but instead of asking or saying anything she merely nodded her head. It seemed right. “Will you wake me up in a couple of hours then?” Alexis asked after a moment, her green eyes staring up at the brunette eyed vampire. “I will” Caleb answered before pulling her towards him, he moved out of the way so that she would glide past him towards the door, urging her to get some more rest.
“Now go and sleep” Alexis yawned at the same time she nodded her head, she didn’t look back knowing she was tired. She began to head down the stairs towards her bedroom to get some sleep.
Caleb let her sleep; he stood at her door as soon as he knew she was sleeping. He was curious; he had never seen someone so excited about something. She had stayed awake all night just to study for school. This was someone that he would have laughed at, that people would bully.
Surely, he had to do something to help her, to warn her. His head tilted to the side, but she could look after herself. She wasn’t some human that he had to protect. She was a werewolf. She was also able to defend herself, he had been training her and he could feel the strength running through her arms. He knew she could protect herself. He shouldn’t worry about her. He shouldn’t worry about her for many reasons and her being bullied was the least of these.
Daniel was going to kill him if he didn’t make her turn into a werewolf, he was supposed to be working on her rage – trying to push her to her limits but instead he was standing at her door thinking of ways to protect her? Now that didn’t seem right.
He didn’t seem to be in the right state of mind. He stiffened himself up and marched over to her bed, he paused looking at her sleeping. She was so delicate, so gentle and so peaceful. He didn’t want to disturb her, yet he had promised her.
Also, if she didn’t get up, she wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight. Caleb had let her sleep long enough, she had gone to bed at seven and now it was eleven. She needed to get up and eat lunch as well as train. He took a big breath and nudged her, she groaned slightly. “Alexis” Caleb spoke sternly and Alexis pulled up the covers a little more.
A shake of Caleb’s head had him almost smiling; he steeled himself against that thought and grabbed the covers at the edge of her bed. She wanted woken up Caleb thought before pulling the covers with all his power towards him and on the floor in front of him.
Alexis spun in the bed; she had grabbed on to the covers and she regretted that fact. Her eyes sprung open and she managed to let go of the covers just before she went off the bed with them. Her direction had changed on the bed and she now lay vertically on the bed, her hair pulled over her face and her chin bounced off the mattress.
“Right. Time for training” Caleb’s voice spoke and she lifted her head to greet it, she couldn’t see through the tangles of hair covering her face. Caleb had moved towards the door only looking back to see if she was following him. “Hurry up” He added on before leaving her door and heading towards the gym.
Alexis was stunned for a moment before she stumbled off her bed and headed towards her bathroom to strip and get ready for training. What time was it? How long had she been sleeping? Alexis felt so disorientated; she rubbed her eyes and got into a shower, hoping that it would wake her up. She moved as quickly as she could and got washed and then shortly after got dressed.
Pulling on her shoes she stumbled out her bedroom door to head towards the gym. She rushed along trying to catch a glimpse at the clocks around the house to see if she could see the time but no matter how hard she tried the clocks were always just out of her view.
Towards the last few doors she gave up and rushed to the gym. Caleb had pulled himself down to a tank top and shorts, her towel was over his shoulder and he had moved mats into the middle of the room.
Stunned for a moment she moved to the middle of the room, stopping before the mats. “Ready Chief” Alexis pulled on one of her big smiles hoping that it would come across well. Caleb looked up at her, his face held an un-amused expression, his eyes held a caring perspective in them; if she hadn’t seen it before she would have missed it for sure. Shaking her head, she tried to avoid what was happening, she decided she wasn’t going to get caught up in his emotional turmoil. Alexis decided she was going to focus on her workout and defensive training, especially since she was scared about tomorrow.
What happened if she ran into bullies or werewolves? She needed to know how to defend herself and the only person that seemed to be helping her was Caleb. He had taught her more in the past two weeks that Louie had in the last year. “So…What are we learning today?” Alexis tried to make conversation with him, more light-hearted as it always made him easier to be around. It normally made him friendly as well but she didn’t think that was going to happen this time.
Caleb lifted himself from the ground after he placed the last mat in place and rubbed his hands against his shorts; he grabbed the towel from his shoulders and flung it to the side of the room. “We’ll just go over everything we’ve learned before to make sure you remember it” Caleb looked her over waiting for her to object before he moved forward, shaking out his limbs so he was ready to fight.
Alexis began to stretch out just like Caleb had taught her too, making her legs heat up she bent them behind her and started to jog on the spot, she moved her head to the side a few times and shook out her hands.
Caleb began from the beginning going over everything he had taught her and Alexis remembered everything. Not only because he had been a good teacher on these things but because she had wanted to learn.
Which made a big difference, she knew this from when Vladimir had taught her the different subjects growing up. With English and other Language subjects she had always wanted to learn them and that had shown in her work, but with Mathematics it had been lacking. She had found it a boring subject and that had also shown in the outcome of her work.
She didn’t understand the value of numbers and she never knew why they were so important, sure she loved words and she loved how words and numbers could blend together to make a story but Algebra just killed her – if she could avoid that subject then she would.
Constantly. After a couple of hours of practice, Caleb stopped –he hadn’t broken a sweat like he normally did. Alexis felt warm and she knew sweat would be dripping down her forehead but she wasn’t ready to stop training yet. She wanted to tire herself out.
Taking in deep breaths, she tried to calm her breathing down. She was panting almost, her heartbeat going faster than it normally went. “May I ask you a question?” Caleb found himself questioning the young wolf without thinking, he had thought about this question many times but he had always refused to ask it. He didn’t really think it was important and he couldn’t justify asking that question.
Now he didn’t care, he wanted to ask the question and he didn’t care if there was no justifying it – it was time he knew. Alexis looked at him trying to assess what he was going to ask her, if the question was going to be one she could answer. From his eyes she couldn’t tell anything so instead of saying anything she bounced her head into a small nod waiting for him to ask. “Why do you want to learn how to defend yourself and fight?” his eyes questioned with someone she hadn’t notice before.
Alexis head tilted to the side, she felt like her insides should panic, her heart rate should have increased and the sweat of being nervous should have been dripping down her. But instead she was ready for it; she had tried avoiding this question since she had asked to be trained. With Vladimir and Louie, she had joked it off saying she needed to be able to protect herself from Louie’s advances or anyone else like him.
Now with Caleb she felt like she wanted to tell him the truth, she felt like he was someone that would understand why she felt the way she did. Alexis didn’t need to justify anything to anyone but still to Caleb she felt like she owed him something.
He had come into her home and apart from acting like a smart aleck, egotistic vampire – he had treated her with respect and taught her not only how to fight but how to have fun with someone her age. He hadn’t just been training her, he would play games with her, hide and seek was easily played in such a big house.
He had woken her up in the middle of the night not long after she had gone to sleep to watch the stars fly across the sky as he told her to make a wish.
The bond she had created with Caleb was one both seemed to ignore when it came down to it, one minute they would be so close you would think they were more than friends and then the next they were cold towards each other and acted as if they were natural enemies. That was how it seemed to be. None of them confronted what was right in front of them and it was like they were each waiting for the other to make the move. But the two of them wouldn’t make that move, both refused.
A shrug followed Caleb’s words before Alexis spoke. “I know we’re not always going to be stuck in this house and I did want to get out of this place sooner or later so I thought I needed a way to defend myself. School was my best option because it’s sort of an in between so I don’t have to completely leave the house by myself, it’s just half the day. Vladimir has told me about the werewolves, and how dangerous they can be to humans never mind each other and I’d hate to run into one of them and not know how to defend myself against them. I know he said the best thing to do is run but I bet you sometimes you don’t get the chance to run. You only get the chance to fight. I guess I just want to be ready for anything. No matter what the danger. Plus, I bet not all vampires are as nice as you guys” Alexis was staring down at her feet by the send of her speech. She felt nervous and she had tried to get through her reason very quickly wondering what Caleb would think of her when he knew the truth, she half wondered if he would laugh at her because of it. She hoped not.
The room was silent.
Nothing was said and her words hung in the air like a bad smell. She dragged her eyes up from the ground to look at Caleb and again he looked at her with his caring eyes, he smiled slightly. “I understand, you don’t need to explain to me how you feel but I do understand and I am glad I could teach you” She had expected anything apart from that, she held her surprise back and smiled towards him. He could be so kind sometimes that she didn’t expect it especially in times when he had been acting so cold.
“Now go and get something to eat so you’re ready for school tomorrow and pack your bag. You’re better getting everything ready tonight for school. Vladimir is looking for you anyway you better go and see him” Alexis smiled towards him nodding her head before hugging him “Thank you” Caleb tensed and he couldn’t bring himself to hug her back, she had never shown this much affection for him before, he hadn’t been shown this affection from anyone before not even in his family when he was human.
A smile curved his lips as he pulled her off him and turned her around to the door pushing her out the door. She looked nervously up towards him, wondering how he had reacted to her hug. But he didn’t seem overly effected by it. “Good Luck” She was pushed towards the door, her steps making an echo against the ground as she moved to find Vladimir.