I woke up in a room I didn’t recognize. It was some sort of bedroom which only a rich person could afford with how old everything looked. I realized someone had placed a thick comforter on top of me, covering me head to toe. I scanned my arms and legs for bites or scratches; finding none. No one hurt me while I was asleep so that was a relief.
“Do you really think we would hurt you while you were asleep?” Anthony asked making me jump with a racing heart, “Where is the fun if you don’t fight? Besides, your mother wants to talk, she’s not here to hurt you.”
“She has Aria kidnap me out of my own hospital room and says she just wants to “talk”. Even if she were impatient she could just come visit me, kidnapping me wasn’t necessary. It’s not above her to hurt me.” I said
“Do not…” Anthony warned latching his hand onto my throat and nearing my face, “Talk bad about Kelly. She wanted to talk to you alone and this was the only way. She cares for you, somehow, and wants to explain herself. Don’t mock her.”
I looked into his eyes with strength, “I know you love her. I can see it behind all the anger you shelter inside yourself, but do you think she returns the favor? From what I have seen she doesn’t give a damn about you, not in the way you want.”
“You don’t understand how we love each other.” Anthony barked back
“Maybe I don’t.” I said as he let me pull his hand away from my throat, “But at least consider the fact that she might not love you anymore. When I went inside your head your past self wanted you to stop being the bad guy. You hurt Sam, but that was a long time ago. Move past it and be better.”
“I…” Anthony began with a hint of agreement before it vanished just as fast, “I can’t. This is who I am and I am here to help your mother. I love her and she loves me. We will do as we want and I will forever stay by her side.”
“Don’t keep her waiting.” Anthony said disappearing out the door.
I followed after Anthony and wandered into the living room. It took me a second to realize this was the penthouse from my vision. Exact same furniture, paintings, and floor tiles. I knew that meant I was in the lair of the beast, the She Beast. That’s when I felt the presence of another in the room with me.
“Why did you make Aria bring me here, Mother?” I asked turning around to face her.
Mom took a few steps forward and I took as many steps backward. She fidgeted with her hands and explained herself, “I wanted to talk to you. Since you wouldn’t give me the chance to explain myself, I had to do it manually. I just want to tell you why I did what I did. Let me explain.”
“You could’ve visited me at the hospital or came to my home. The kidnapping wasn’t necessary and you know it. Why did you have to make such a scene?” I asked
I know I had been ignoring her and not giving her the chance to explain, but kidnapping me wasn’t necessary. She could have come to the hospital, visited my home or waited for me after school. Kidnapping wasn’t the only way and we both knew it. She just got impatient and decided she had to have her way. Even if it meant causing a ruckus at the hospital.
Mother sighed and put her hands on her hips, “If I had come to visit, Sam would be by your side. I wanted to talk to you alone and I know you wouldn’t come willingly. So here we are. Now please let me explain.”
“I’m listening.” I said taking a seat on the couch.
Mother took a seat on the couch across from my mine and intertwined her fingers. She scanned me as if I was something foreign; different. She then cleared her throat and looked directly at me, “Where should I start?”
“Start from the beginning. How did you get turned and why?” I said
She looked down at her feet and then back up at me, “A few months before the crash I got the news that I had cancer. Your father knew, but we didn’t want to scare you guys so we hid it from you. I was getting worse each day and it was getting so much harder to hide it.”
“How come I never noticed?” I asked
“I’m quite an actor.” Mom said with a small smile as she continued the story, “One night on my way back from the hospital, I had a vision of a vampire. Soon after I met Anthony. He saw my condition and said he could save me. Anthony told me of his nature and I was scared, but I was more afraid of dying.”
“So you asked him to turn you.” I said to myself, but loud enough for her to hear me. She was afraid to die and Anthony said he could save her from that.
“He said the only way to turn was to be drained and then killed with his blood in my system. Anthony had fed on me and given me his blood, so all I had to do was die. I was planning to overdose, but then you called. Your dad was working late so I was the only one who could come get you. I didn’t want to hurt you, but I needed to die and I was running out of time.” Mom explained
“You crashed on purpose?!” I yelled, getting up from the couch and looking down at her with disgust, “How could you? You knew there was a chance I could die and you did it anyway. Was being a vampire really that important to you?!”
“Carly, it was my only option. If I hadn’t died then I would die months later of cancer. Being a vampire was my only way to keep living. I’m so sorry I put your life in danger, that was never my intention.” Mom pleaded, getting up from the couch and grabbing onto my crossed arms.
I looked at her hands and pushed her away, “I don’t care. Even if this was your only chance at saving your life you should’ve thought of your family first. If you had hit that tree any differently I would have died that night. You would have lived the rest of your undead life knowing you killed your daughter for a selfish reason. Do you understand that?”
“You wouldn’t have died.” Mom quickly replied
“And how do you know that?” I questioned
“Anthony had given me an extra vial of his blood just in case something happened. When I went to get you I put it in the tea I made for you. It was an insurance policy that if I messed up you wouldn’t die. It wasn’t enough to heal you, but if you were to die it would turn you. That way if things went wrong, I had a backup plan.” Mom explained
My entire world turned completely upside down. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I had to lean on the couch to keep myself standing, “How could you? How could you?! If I had died I would have been a vampire and I wouldn’t even know it until it was too late. You are worse than I ever thought. You were a monster before becoming undead.”
“Carly, listen…” Mom began as she stepped forward and I backed away.
“Don’t.” I said holding back more tears, “It’s bad enough you almost turned me and never told me. What’s worse is you left. You left never telling anyone you were still alive. Do you know how many nights I went to sleep crying? Do you know how unhappy I have been?”
My heartbeat was racing in my ears and my hands began to shake. I reached up to my neck and felt blood seeping through the gauze. The doctor said to stay away from stress and this was the exact opposite of that. Mom’s eyes went to the gauze and never left. I could see the hunger in her eyes, but I tried to ignore the fear rising in my chest. She bit her lip and ignored the smell of my blood. She was trying to stay strong for me, which was a bit of a surprise.
“I couldn’t be near any of you. My first few months I couldn’t control my urges and I was worried for all of your safety. When I finally decided to return I saw that your father had moved on. If I returned I would ruin that happiness he had finally found. I turned Ethan because it was the only way to save him from pain. I didn’t mean this to happen, any of it. You have to believe me.” Mom said squeezing her eyes shut.
“I trusted you.” I said as I began to sob.
“I know and I’m so sorry.” Mom apologized with “genuine” guilt, “I shouldn’t have done what I did, but I didn’t want to die. I was desperate and I wasn’t thinking clearly. I didn’t want to leave you, but in the end that is exactly what I did. Please don’t be mad. I just wanted to be there for all of you. Please forgive me.”
I looked over at her and my wall broke down. For only a moment I saw my mother once again. I pushed away all the bad she had done and I just wanted my mom. I ran to her and dug my face into her shoulder. She wrapped her arms around me and I did the same to her.
She smelled just as she did before she died and her hug was just the same. But there was a coldness to her skin and something stiff about her posture. I wanted to believe this to be true so badly. I wanted to have my mom back, but I knew it wasn’t meant to be. Her eyes said loving mother, but her stiff posture meant she didn’t mean it. I wanted my mother back, but I knew she died that night in the crash. This vampire in her body wasn’t her.
She had almost killed me, tried to turn me, and hurt me in more ways than I can describe. Forgiveness isn’t possible and I don’t think it will ever be. For the main fact that she was lying. Not everything she said was a lie, but it wasn’t the whole truth either. I wanted to call her out on it, but I just wanted to hug her one last time. When I left here I would get the answers I needed. Most likely the answer I didn’t want.
I wanted to believe her story so badly, but I knew it was just a fantasy. Even if she had turned to save her life she still put mine at risk. I needed answers, even if it hurt me in the end. I couldn’t deal with anymore lies. My mom pulled away as I wiped away my tears. She put her hands on my shoulders and looked down into my eyes.
“Okay, I’ll give you one chance but if you betray me again then we’re done. I won’t have anything to do with you. I really want this to work.” I said
“I do too, but this can’t last forever. One day you will grow old and I’ll still be in my 30’s. A mother should never outlive her children. I was thinking…” Began Mom
“You want to turn me?” I interrupted
“Yes, but not if you don’t want to. I just thought that since I turned Ethan, I could do the same for you. That way we can be a family again and never worry about losing each other. We’ll be a family forever.” Said Mom
That’s when the little trust I had for her shattered. She was lying and now she wanted to turn me. I had never wanted to be a vampire and now that I knew my mother was one, I definitely didn’t want to become one. My greatest fear was that I would become like her and I will not let that happen. If I ever became a vampire, Sam would be the one to turn me, not her. Yet I played it off like was indecisive when I was clearly screaming no in my head.
“I don’t know…” I said doubtfully
My mom shook her head and continued, “I don’t need the answer now. Just think about it and let me know within the month. Waiting too long will be troublesome. So please at least consider it.”
“I’ll think about it.”
“That is all I ask for. Now that we have talked, you may leave. I’ll have Nick take you home.” Mom said as she disappeared.
I began to walk toward the main door and saw Ethan peeking through one of the doorways. I stopped and turned toward him, “She’s a liar, Ethan. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket please. Don’t believe everything she says, don’t fall for the lies.”
Ethan looked at me for a long moment and then closed the door he was looking through. I knew he could feel something was wrong. I just hope he joins the right side and realizes the truth. Then Nick appeared from the other room with a flirtatious look. He picked me up bridal style and walked out of the penthouse. Once out of anyone’s sight, Nick used his speed to take me to my house. It was like being in a car and watching everything speed past in a blur.
Within minutes I was in my backyard. Nick stopped near the steps to my balcony and pinned me up against the wall, “Nick, back off. I don’t think my mother would like you being like this to me. Didn’t she say not to touch me?”
“She did, but she is also isn’t here.” Nick said, twirling a strand of my hair between his fingers, “Before she got involved I was allowed to have fun. Now it’s don’t do this and don’t do that. Your mother makes being a vampire more of a job then it has to be. I want to have fun with you. Just give in, Carly. I can be a lot of fun if you give me a chance.”
“I would suggest taking a step back before I make you.”
Nick and I both looked up to see Sam at the top of the balcony. Nick bit his lip, shook his head, and exhaled. He looked from Sam and then back to me. He caved and took a step back, “No need to get your panties in a twist, Sam. Carly and I were only talking.”
Before either of us could say more, Nick vanished and left us in the dark of my yard. I rolled my eyes and slowly walked up to the top of the balcony and into Sam’s arms. He wrapped his arms tightly around me as I did the same to him. That’s when he asked the dreaded question, “Are you okay? I was so worried that something bad might have happened.”
“I’m fine.” I said pulling away from the hug so I could look at his face, “Aria took me to my mother. We had a less than pleasant chat and then Nick, sadly, dropped me off. I wasn’t hurt in any way. I’m okay.”
“Except you were stressed.” Sam said noticing the bloody gauze.
Sam pulled me into my room and made me sit down on the bed. He disappeared into the bathroom and returned with fresh gauze. As he reapplied my bandage I began to talk, “What did you tell everyone?”
Sam unwrapped the bloody gauze and set it aside, “I compelled them to think I took you home. They believe I drove you home from the hospital, that I carried you to your room, and that you are sleeping. They are not to disturb you until tomorrow so you can get in your beauty sleep.”
“I would do anything for you.” Sam said cleaning the wound and rewrapping the new gauze. There was no look of hunger on his face or in his eyes. He was completely calm.
Sam threw the gauze in the trash and put all the supplies back in the bathroom. He returned and sat down in front of me, my eyes never leaving his face. He looked up from his feet and noticed my stare. Which placed a look of confusion on his face, “What is it?”
“You took that really well. You cleaned up my neck with not even a hint of hunger on your face. I was just surprised since I have been told on many occasions that my blood is intoxicating.” I explained
“I fed before you got here.” Sam said with a small smile, “I knew something could have happened and I wanted to be ready to take care of you. I didn’t want to take the chance of hungering for your blood.”
“Well, thanks.” I said
His hand reached over and he intertwined his fingers with mine. He turned his body so we were facing each other and then he asked what he had been wanting to ask since I got back, “Did she explain herself?”
“She did, but I don’t believe her story for a second. She said that she was diagnosed with cancer and that Anthony came to her. The night of the crash he had given her blood and an extra vial. She had given me the extra so if I had died in the crash I’d be a vampire too.” I explained
“She really did that?” Sam questioned
“That’s what she told me at least. She said that she stayed away from us because of her urges. When she finally decided to come back, she saw my dad had moved on so she stayed away. Which I kind of understand, but she should’ve at least told someone.” I said
“If she told you, would you really believe her? You wouldn’t have known of vampires existence back then and I highly doubt that would have gone well. Your mother might be telling you the truth.” Sam said
I shook my head and explained, “I don’t think she was lying, but she also wasn’t telling me the whole truth. I could see it in her eyes that she was hiding something and I need your help to figure out what. Could you go to St. James hospital and look through my mom’s file?”
“What if she is telling the truth?” Sam asked
“Maybe, but I have to make sure. I need to know if I can trust her or not. Please, Sam. Do this for me.” I said with pleading eyes.
Sam looked at me for a long moment and sighed in defeat, “Fine, I’ll go, but what are you going to do if she is telling the truth? If the story she told was what really happened?”
“If she is telling the truth then I will give her a chance. I don’t trust her worth a damn, but I won’t push her away anymore. I will give her the benefit of the doubt. So please find out if her story is true.” I said
“I will tomorrow, but tonight you need to rest.” Sam said
Sam helped me up and moved the covers aside. I slid into bed and he covered me back up. As he turned to leave I grabbed hold of his wrist and he turned back to look at me, “Please don’t leave. I don’t want to be alone. I am weak and stressed with everything that has happened in the last few days. Just please stay with me. Please.”
He looked down at my hand and then back up at me. His face went soft and he nodded with a smile. I scooted over and he laid down beside me. Once Sam was comfy I laid my head on his chest and he wrapped his arms around me. His chest was muscled, but felt so soft at that moment. He made me so happy I could never explain how much he meant to me. He was the one thing in this world that I knew would always be constant.
I knew this wouldn’t last forever because he was a vampire, but I didn’t care. I would deal with that fact in the future. Right now I just wanted to enjoy this night and be beside the man I love. That’s when my mind went to a dark place. I wanted to enjoy the feeling of Sam beside me, but my mind wouldn’t let me. The day’s events crept back in. Like a poison spreading through my veins.
My mother had given me an ultimatum and I didn’t tell Sam. I should’ve told him, but I wasn’t going to ruin this moment. She gave me a month to think it over, but I already knew my answer. I wasn’t gonna let her make me into a vampire like her. If I were to ever become a vampire, Sam would be the one to turn me. I knew if I declined her offer it most likely would end badly, unless she actually cared about choice.
I would find out in the coming days if she were lying or not and then we’d see. Could she be trusted or was it too late for that? I’m not sure, but what I do know is that I would fight until the end. Even if it meant I didn’t make it to see another day. I wouldn’t go down with a whimper.