Scarlett disappeared with a ghostly laugh into the deep shadows created by the trees at the end of the bridge, leaving me alone.
The night’s unexpected turns had left me reeling, unsure of what to do next. After we had rescued my sister almost two months ago, I had decided that the best course of action was probably to avoid Scarlett entirely. She created too many confused emotions. Logically I knew I should just kill her and be done with it, but there was something about her that made that course of action seem repellent. She’d continually catch me off guard with her expressions and humour, just like a human woman and I would start to forget what she was.
Then, I would see her fighting and revealing her true nature… like tonight when she had ripped off a vampire’s head only a few feet away from me. It had been nothing to her, effortless. Somehow that didn’t make me like her any less. She had looked powerful and in control, like she could take on the world, no problem. Despite my long held beliefs about her kind… she wasn’t a monster to me anymore. As far as I was concerned, that made her all the more dangerous.
I had wrestled with the decision to go to her about Angela for weeks. I didn’t know who else to turn to, but I knew it would be dangerous to bring Scarlett back into my life. The fact that a secret part of me had actually wanted to see her made me even more reluctant.
Angela, being six years old had no such concerns. When Saturday rolled around and I told her that Scarlett might be visiting later, she was ridiculously overexcited. For my part, I wondered if Scarlett really would come. She was not the type to go back on her word, but after everything that we had been through and the long-time apart; it seemed difficult to imagine her sitting in my very normal looking living room and talking to my family.
My mother knew about Scarlett’s abilities- I had to tell her in order for her to understand why Scarlett would be coming to help Angela. What she didn’t know was that Scarlett was a vampire. I had never had the chance to tell her during our previous escapades and afterwards it seemed like an unnecessary worry. She had been very taken with Scarlett when she had been under the impression that we were dating (in actual fact we were out searching for my missing brother, Darren). I didn’t think it was necessary to tell her the full truth, when she was already so scared of something happening to Angela again. She certainly wouldn’t let Scarlett anywhere near Angela if she knew. A few months ago, neither would I.
About ten minutes before four o’clock, the doorbell rang causing my heart to do a very unnecessary flip. I ran down the stairs to get it before my mother could decide to answer it, I was sure she secretly enjoyed embarrassing me as much as possible. I opened the door to reveal Scarlett. She was dressed casually in a long patterned dress with a woollen coat and scarf. Her fiery hair tumbled freely in waves around her shoulders and down her back. She smiled, waiting for me to invite her in.
“You came.” I said, finding my voice.
“I did.” She replied as she stepped through the threshold. As she passed me I caught the scent of some pleasant floral perfume.
Remembering my duties as host I hung up her coat while she took off her boots. Without them she was even shorter, barely reaching my shoulder. In her present state, it was very hard to imagine her as a cold blooded killer. Nonetheless, I forced myself to keep it in mind.There was a knife hidden in the waistband of my jeans and a wooden stake in my pocket. I wasn’t sure how effective they would be, but I wouldn’t hesitate to use them at the first sign of danger. I know that we had made an agreement not to harm each other, but I was never sure exactly how in control she was. Vampires can be unpredictable creatures.
As I led her into the sitting room where my mother and sister waited, I heard an excited cry.
“Scarlett!” Before I could stop her my sister ran to greet us, throwing herself at Scarlett who hugged her back a little awkwardly.
“Um, hi.” Scarlett said, looking surprised but pleased at Angela’s enthusiasm.
Thankfully my sister moved away and ran back to our mother who stood to greet us. “Scarlett,” She said warmly, “It’s lovely to see you again.”
“Hi Vicky, it’s nice to see you too.” Scarlett returned my mother’s smile as she moved into the room. She glanced at Angela. “Now, why don’t you tell me what’s been going on.”