After our talk, Sam stayed the rest of the night. We made sure the door was locked so we wouldn’t have Amy or my dad finding us together. Sam allowed me to cuddle up beside him and even though he was cold, it had no effect on me. The next morning he gave me a hug and vanished out of sight.
I smiled from ear to ear and for once all my other worries went to the background. That is until I realized I had to tell Dad and Amy about the date. I could just lie or compel them, but that would be stooping to my mother’s level and I wasn’t about to do that. So, I decided that the best course of action would be to just tell them. I was already lying about so much and I didn’t want to add another thing on my plate. They met Sam once and I got screamed at afterwards, so I knew this wasn’t going to be pretty.
I decided it was best to just get it over with because if I waited till last minute things were just going to get worse. I already had enough to worry about and my dad hating me was just not something I needed. So I paced back and forth until Amy yelled up the stairs for dinner. I took a deep breath and headed downstairs.
I made my way to the table and quickly sat down. Ethan was nowhere to be seen and no one really noticed. He was most likely with mom learning the ways of being a vampire, which made me hate her even more. She had to make him into this monster and now he has no chance of normality. I hated her for what she did to him, but I also knew that Ethan had been going through a lot of pain since the accident. I was pissed, but part of me knew it might have been the only option for him.
Amy set a plate in front of me with steak, potatoes, and chips. Everyone else got their food and it was quiet. To break the silence Saige brought up Ethan not being here, “Dad, where’s Ethan? I haven’t seen him in almost 2 days.”
Dad finished his bite of steak and wiped his mouth, “Ethan got an internship at some business out of town. He goes to school then he goes to internship and by the time he gets home you’re already asleep”
“I’m so proud of him.” Amy said with a wide smile, “He’s finally getting out of this stump and doing something for others. I just hope he isn’t overworking himself.”
I sat there thinking to myself about what the hell I just heard. My mom did a number on them if that’s what they truly thought. At least they didn’t turn Saige into a mindless puppet as well. Saige shrugged at the response and continued eating her food. I was dumbfounded, but tried to act like that crap was not a complete lie.
The whole compulsion thing still amazed me. I personally could not be effected, but watching others be under its control was so odd. They acted like complete zombies, truly believing what the vampire put in their head. I was glad it worked for the whole vampires trying to kill me thing, but it was still an odd feeling. I snapped out of my thoughts that were suffocating me at this point and got out what I wanted to say, “Dad, I’ll be going out tomorrow night for a few hours.”
“Where are you going?” Dad asked
“The Mint Eatery downtown.” I said
“Who are you going with?” Dad asked
“Don’t get mad, but I’m going with Sam.” I said as my Dad choked on his food. Amy patted his back to try and help him with the coughing fit. Saige laughed at dad’s sudden reaction, almost spilling her soda onto the carpet. His coughing fit lasted for what felt like forever, but when it stopped he wasn’t happy.
Dad wiped his mouth and put on his stern face,“The same boy who you had a sleepover with instead of coming home when you got hurt?”
“It was not a sleepover, Dad. I was hurt and he knew I needed rest. His house was closer than ours, so he let me stay. Sam has done a lot for me and I want to go to dinner with him.” I explained
“And if I say no?” Dad questioned with anger in his tone.
Amy being the more level-headed of the two put her hand on his chest. She shushed him and gave her opinion, “Dave, you are making this harder than it actually is. Sam rescued Carly when she slept walked and when her car crashed. Give him a chance. Your daughter deserves some happiness after everything that has happened.”
Dad looked from me to Amy and back to me. Some of the anger drained from his face, but there was still some in his eyes. He sighed and decided, “Fine, you can go on a date with him, but if I hear of any funny business, you’re done. I don’t want you to get hurt.”
I got up from my seat and gave him a bear hug,“Thank you, Dad. Thank you so much.”
I returned to my seat and he smiled to himself. He quietly said you’re welcome as Amy rubbed his shoulder. She turned toward me with an even bigger smile. Then on we ate and had small talk. It was as if everything was back to normal, even though I knew it was far from over.
Once I finished my meal I headed back up to my room to get some rest. I took a step into the room and found Saige sitting on the bed. I closed the door and sat down beside her, “How did you get in here, Saige?”
Saige laughed to herself and raised her eyebrow, “I have my ways, Carly. I am like a secret agent when comes to getting into things. I am a master of the arts you could say. One moment you think you are alone and next there I am. You never know where I am until its too late.”
“Okay, Master of the Arts. Whatever you say.” I said as we both burst into laughter. I haven’t talked to Saige in so long. It was nice talking to someone who didn’t know the horrors I did. As our laughter died down the room went silent, that is until Saige brought up Sam.
“So, you have a boyfriend?” Saige asked
“Yeah, I guess I do.” I said
“Do you like him?” Saige asked
“I do, I really do. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like this about anyone before. After everything that has happened I just need normal. I want to be happy and Sam makes me happy. He means a lot to me.” I said
“You better give me all the details after your date.” Saige said as she jumped off the bed and began toward the door, “And I mean everything.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll give you all the juicy tidbits. If anything happens, you’ll be the first to know. Promise.” I said
“Oh, and if he hurts you. Does anything you don’t like. I will take care of him. I might be only 12, but I know karate. I can be a powerful adversary.” Saige said doing the praying mantis pose.
“Alright, karate kid. If anything happens, I’ll let you know.” I said
“Good because I am always ready for a fight. Goodnight, Carly.” Saige said as she disappeared through the door.
“Goodnight.” I whispered as the door closed and I flopped onto my bed.
The next thing I know the room is pitch black and the house is silent. I pulled myself up and noticed the clock read 3:45 a.m. I scuffed at myself for falling asleep so soon, but that wasn’t gonna change what happened. I moved to a sitting position and pulled my socks off.
I changed into my pajamas and jumped back into bed. After I collected on my blankets in a pile so I could snuggle with them, I laid down. I got comfortable and then I heard someone open my sliding glass door. I peeked from under my sleep mask and recognized the clumsy walk.
Luckily I had a lightswitch right next to me so I turned on the light and sat back up. He stopped in his tracks and turned back around, “Ethan, why are you sneaking into the house so late? Especially through my room?”
“Mom, was teaching me to control my abilities and she thought I should try to stay here for the night.” Ethan explained as he crossed his arms over his chest, “I went through your room because going through a sliding glass door is less suspicious than flying up to a second story window. Even if it is dark, people notice things.”
“What is Kelly teaching you?” I asked
Mentioning my mom’s actual name bugged Ethan, “Mom is teaching me to use my abilities and control my thirst. She is your mother too, Carly. You shouldn’t disown her like that.”
“The minute she became a vampire and lied for a year about it, she lost the right to be called mom. She left her family to suffer and she didn’t try to come to us once. If she really cared she wouldn’t have done all that crap. Also have you forgotten that her goons have tried to kill me multiple times or has she not told you?”
Ethan took a step toward me, “She couldn’t come near because she needed time to control herself. Mom is sorry for what her group did, she didn’t want it to go the way it did. Just give her a chance, you might be surprised.
“Yeah, right. If she was sorry she’d tell me in person. But she hasn’t. I haven’t seen her since the night she stopped Anthony killing me. If she truly cared, she’d be here. She turned you for selfish reasons and that is all. Nothing more.” I said
“You believe whatever you want, but she is trying. She isn’t the monster you think she is. You are her daughter and she is your mother; nothing is ever going to change that. Maybe she did turn me for the selfish reason of not wanting to lose her family. But I am not complaining.” Ethan said walking toward the door and turning back to look at me, “Just give her a chance.”
Before another word could escape through my lips, he was gone. I turned the light off and stared up at the ceiling. Thoughts swirled around in my mind and I just couldn’t fall back to sleep. I tossed and turned for several hours until my alarm went off for school.
It was pretty much the same as yesterday. I went to class, got my assignments, enjoyed my lunch, went to more classes, and then I went home. Sam noticed my down in the dumps attitude and tried to cheer me up. It worked a few times and other times it didn’t. What Ethan said was really getting to me.
I hated my mother, but I also wasn’t even giving her a chance. Before she died, my mother was my best friend and now that she turned, I wouldn’t have a thing to do with her. I always held grudges and I knew if I had the chance to talk to her then maybe we could hash it out. I was pissed and any person in their right mind would feel the same. I really just didn’t know what to do.
While at lunch the others asked again if we were official and we admitted the truth. Everyone jumped up in their seat and congratulated us; as if we were getting married or something. None of them were surprised because they could see the chemistry we had together. That moment brought my spirits out of the blue and I truly tried to keep that smile on face.
While we all chatted together, I noticed Claire was just as quiet, if not more so, than yesterday. I tried to ask her about it afterward, but she kept saying she was fine. I knew Claire too well to know she was lying. I don’t know why, but I had to find out. I knew it was most likely about the events a few days ago but with everything going on I just hadn’t had the time to talk to her about it. I felt awful for putting her through that trauma, but what could I do?
When the final bell rang I ran out to my car and got out of the school as fast as I could. Sam would be at my house in only a few hours and I needed to be ready. I parked my car, ran through the door, and jumped up the stairs to my room. I locked the door and here I am now.
I have been shifting through my closet for almost half an hour and I still had no idea what to wear. Last time we went on a “date” Sam vanished for weeks afterward. I knew this time around that wouldn’t happen, but I wanted this to go well. I had enough issues as it was, if I lost Sam I would be heartbroken.
At last I decided on a pair of black jeans, a white shirt with a victorian style neckline, and my nicest flats. I didn’t want to overdress and I definitely didn’t want to underdress. Hopefully, I chose a happy middle. I didn’t want to look like I was trying too hard, but I also didn’t want to look like I wasn’t trying at all. Worrying about what to wear made me smile because that is most teenager problem I have had in a long time.
I heard the doorbell ring, causing me to almost fall down the stairs. I wanted to get to the door before anyone could make awkward conversation, but I was already too late. Saige had opened the door as I made it to the last step. I told her to shoo and she did, but not before winking back at me. I rolled my eyes and brought my attention to Sam.
His attire was similar to mine; a happy middle. He had jeans and a button-up shirt with his hair gelled in it’s normal style. We almost got out the door in one piece, but Amy and my dad were upon us before I took a step. Amy kindly greeted Sam and my dad just eyed him down. I wanted to run out the door, but I knew that would make my dad even more uneasy.
“Nice to see you again.” Amy introduced as she shook Sam’s hand. The feel of his cool skin made her cringe back a bit, “Sam, you’re freezing.”
Sam quickly pulled his hand from hers and tried his best smile, “Sorry about that. I get cold quite easily, but I assure you I feel wonderful.”
My dad took a step forward and put his hand out for a handshake. When their hands touched my dad grabbed hold and pulled Sam closer, “If you lay even one hand on my daughter, I am not afraid to use my shotgun to keep you out. Understand me?”
“Loud and clear.” Sam said in the same tone of voice.
“David, stop it. Sam is a good boy and he would never lay on hand on her. You need to relax.” Amy said separating the two as they both gave each other an awkward smile.
“Well, we’ll be going now. See you guys later.” I said grabbing hold of Sam’s arm and pulling him out of the house. We walked to the end of the driveway as my dad watched us the whole way. I felt his eyes searing into my back like a hot iron and I know Sam felt it too.
We arrived at his car and Sam opened the door for me. I thanked him and got into the passenger side while he went around to the driver side. I looked back up at the house and saw my dad hide behind a curtain. Sam started the car and we headed out to the restaurant.
“Sorry about my dad. He is very protective of me and the idea of me hanging with a boy urks the hell out of him. He is much nicer than the facade he puts on. Once he gets to know you, he’ll hopefully lighten up.” I said
Sam reached over with one hand and squeezed my hand closest to him, “My father was the same way with my sister back when. I can understand his worry for you and I don’t plan to anger him.”
“What were your parents like?” I said looking down at my feet and then back at him, “I know Anthony took them from you, but before that how were they? If you don’t mind me asking.”
“They were amazing. My mother was always there for us when we needed her and if we got hurt she was there to kiss the cut. My father was protective of Aria and he pushed me to be the best I could be. They were the best parents anyone could ask for.” Sam said as he pulled into a parking space in front of the small eatery.
“They sounded amazing. I bet they would be proud of you if they saw you now.” I said with a small smile.
“I’ve done a lot of bad in my lifetime, but I really hope you’re right. I truly hope so.” Sam said getting out of the car and walking around to open my door. I climbed out and we walked toward the restaurant.
I had been to this restaurant once or twice and I loved it every time. The food was delectable and the decor made you feel at home. The place was decorated like it was from the Victorian age and the waitresses wore the same era type of dress. We were led to a table on the far end and we sat across from each other.
The waitress gave us our menus and I had no idea what I was gonna get. I stared at the menu for a good 10 minutes before I decided on a burger and fries. Sam got a small salad, which would sit untouched. As we waited for our food I tried to get him talking. “What do you think of the restaurant?”
“It reminds me of when I was still human. When all anyone had to worry about was living to 30 without catching a disease. It was a lot simpler back then.” Sam reminisced
“Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong era.” I said moving my napkin onto my lap, “I have always been fascinated with victorian and edwardian life. It was simple, but people enjoyed their lives. I might not have had as many rights back then, but I don’t think I would’ve cared.”
Sam smiled to himself, “I think you would’ve looked fantastic in a victorian ball gown or even an edwardian dress with the big hoop skirt. Watching you try to keep your balance would be hilarious.”
“Hey, my balance is not that bad. You shouldn’t be talking, Mr. Judgy Pants.” I said as we both burst out laughing.
A few other customers looked over at us, but lost interest quickly. As I tried to catch my breath, our food arrived. The waitress set our food in front of us and curtseyed. We thanked her and she vanished behind the counter. I immediately began to dig into my burger as Sam played with his salad.
As I ate Sam watched from across the table. I was almost halfway through the burger before I noticed his stare. I looked over at him and spoke with food still in my mouth, “What?”
He shook his head and smiled, “Nothing. I just think it’s cute how you eat. Most girls eat very little and make themselves look like barbies, but you don’t. You just stuff food into your face, not caring what others think.”
“I have never really cared about what others think. Of course, at school it gets to me a little more, but usually I don’t notice. I want to be myself and I won’t pretend to be anything else.” I said as I took another bite, which caused ketchup to land on my cheek.
“Here, let me.” Sam said grabbing his napkin and getting closer. I tried to tell him I could get it, but he refused. Sam leaned over the table and wiped the ketchup from my cheek. His eyes locked on mine and we lingered in that position for a little too long. After he snapped out of it he returned to his seat and set the napkin on the table.
I moved my hand up to where he wiped the ketchup and smiled. I moved my hand away as we both awkwardly sat there. I decided now was the best time as any to learn a little more about Sam’s past so I cleared my throat and asked, “So, I know you were turned in 1719, but do you have stories from then till now? An adventure or something?”
Sam thought about it for a moment and then it hit him, “In 1895, I was traveling to Ireland to see the land as I had never been there in my 176 years of being a vampire at that point. I was visiting a tavern and at that time I was still consuming human blood, but I didn’t kill any longer, not unless I had to.
“I found a pretty bartender and wooed her with my compulsion. We went out back and I fed from her. As I did I heard someone else’s breathing and found a man standing there. I tried to explain, but he ran off before I had the chance. A few days later I found him and explained everything. I wanted to compel him, but the way he was interested in me, made me leave him be. Abraham was a kind man and Dracula was an excellent novel.” Sam explained as my eyes went wide with surprise.
“You met Bram Stoker?!” I asked with awe.
“Yeah, he based Jonathan off of me. I told him of how I came to be a vampire and instead of being scared, he was enthralled. He used some aspects from my vampirism to create Dracula, but based Jonathan’s traits off of me as well. We stayed friends until he died in 1912. I even went to the premiere of Dracula in 1931 with his family.” Sam reminisced
“Did you ever offer to turn him?” I asked
Sam nodded with a sad look, “I had on multiple occasions. I told him of what he could bring to the world if he had an eternity. He was a brilliant writer who was plagued with nightmares. I told him I could save him, but he refused. Abraham wanted to die as any other man would because he didn’t want to leave poor Florence by herself and he didn’t want to turn her either. He didn’t want to live an eternity without his wife.”
“Did you ever watch the 1922 Nosferatu silent film?” I asked
Sam laughed and shook his head, “Never in a million years. They took Abraham’s story and changed names. I was visiting Abraham’s grave when I found out. I was furious and Florence just as much, if not more. We even sued the company who made the movie, having all the copies burned. Sadly, one slipped through the cracks and that’s why people even remember its existence.”
“Well, you should be happy to know I never liked Nosferatu. Not as good as Dracula by any means.” I said as we both looked at each other, bursting into laughter.
I took a quick sip of my drink and when my glass touched the table top, everything started spinning. I knew what was going to happen and I was not going to let this ruin our date. We were having such a good time and a vision was something I did not need right now. Sadly, there was no way around it, so I tried to stay as calm as possible.
The world was spinning and I could feel the pain surging to my head. I gritted my teeth and looked over at the blurry Sam. I could tell he could sense something was wrong, but I tried to get him to stay calm. I straightened up and pretended like everything was fine, “I have to go to the bathroom real quick.”
“Are you okay?” Sam asked with worry.
“I’m fine, just have to use the little girl’s room. I won’t be long.” I said trying to get up from the table without falling. Luckily, I made it around the corner before walking became a challenge. I stumbled into the one stall bathroom and locked the door.
The pain became excruciating and I collapsed onto the tiled floor. I held back my screams as everything faded to black. The darkness surrounded me like a warm blanket, but then it was ripped from me soon after. I opened my eyes to find myself in a penthouse.
The room was decorated with fine furnishings and looked fit for a queen. I slowly walked around and from what I could tell, I was all alone. That is until I heard footsteps behind me, I turned around to find my mother. Most people in my visions don’t notice my presence, but she looked right at me. At first I thought it was her looking through me in that direction, but then she talked.
“Carly, it’s nice to see you again. I didn’t think you would stop by on your own accord.” Mom said with a smile.
“How can you see me? No one ever sees me in these visions, except Anthony. How can you see me?” I asked
My mom took a few steps forward, “Only the most powerful vampires can see through the veil of vision and reality. Sam, Aria, Nick, and humans cannot sense you. But Anthony and I are different, we can feel you. I was once a seer myself so I can sense you even better than Anthony can.”
“But what I’m seeing hasn’t happened yet. It’s a future event so there should be no way you can see me. Besides, you’ve only been a vampire for a year. How come you can see me and Sam can’t? This doesn’t make sense.” I said
“Nothing makes sense in a world of monsters. Some come into power quickly while others never find it. There is no perfect explanation, there never is. The world is never black and white.” Mom replied
I shook my head and looked over at her, “Why am I seeing this? All my visions include death or something just as bad. Why am I seeing you?”
“Your visions do not show you just disaster. When I learned how to control my abilities I could see anything I wanted to see. I could touch others and see their memories, even futures. If I focused hard enough I could see what I wanted for myself. Maybe a part of you wanted to see me.” Mom suggested with a smile.
“I don’t want to see you. You left us to become a vampire and then you never told me. I had to find out because you had to stop one of your goons from killing me. Why I would I want to see you after all you have done to me?” I asked
“Sometimes we block out wants for the fact it scares us.” Mom said appearing right in front of me, “You might hate me, but I am still your mother. Part of you still cares for me and you want to make sure I am okay. I was in your life for almost 16 years and I loved you; I still love you. I might be different, but my love for you has not changed.”
“Well, my love for you has changed. You aren’t my mother, she died the night of the car crash.” I said removing her hand from my shoulder, “Maybe, one day I will be able to forgive, but not anytime soon. You’ve lost me and nothing you do is going to change that.”
“We’ll see about that.” Said, Mom, as the world around me began to fade, “See you soon, Carly.”
The pain returned and I collapsed, fading into darkness. Seconds later, I was shot back into reality and the white ceiling of the bathroom came back into view. I quickly sat up and clutched at my chest. I felt hands on mine and looked up at the owner of the hands and found Sam. He was crouched down beside me and moving some sweaty hairs from my forehead.
“Sam?” I asked as I tried to get my bearings, “How did you get in here? Isn’t this the girl’s bathroom?”
“You were taking a long time so I went to check on you. I listened through the door and heard your heart pounding in your chest. I knew something was wrong so I came in and saw you on the floor. I could tell you were having a vision so I’ve been sitting by your side for the last 20 minutes.” Sam explained
“Thank you, it means a lot to know you cared enough to check on me.” I said with a small smile.
“Why didn’t you tell me? I could tell at the table something was wrong, but I didn’t want to pry. If you had told me I could’ve been here to comfort you the whole time.” Sam said with worry-filled eyes.
“I didn’t want to worry you, but next time I will definitely inform you first. I promise.” I said
Sam smiled and helped me get to my feet. He paid for our food and we headed out to his car. On our way back to my house he got curious, “What did you see in your vision anyway?”
“I saw my mother, except she could see and hear me.” I admitted
“I thought that was impossible?” Sam questioned
“Yeah, that’s what I thought too. But supposedly only powerful vampires can sense me. If you were a seer before becoming undead you can see and hear me even better. I don’t really understand it.” I explained
“What did she say?” Asked Sam
“She said that seers don’t just see disaster. With practice I can see what I want to see. She thinks I wanted to see her when I wanted nothing of it. She thinks I wanted to see her but I pushed it so far down because I was scared of it.” I explained
“It is possible.” Sam said as I looked over at him and he shrugged, “Even if she is now an evil undead vampire, she is still your mother. Nothing can change that. You might hate her and you have good reason to, but you can still love her.”
I nodded and stared out the window for the rest of the ride. Maybe Sam was right, but I just couldn’t accept it. My mother had done too much to me and I just couldn’t forgive her; I wouldn’t forgive her. She isn’t my mother anymore and I am not going to let anyone else make me feel differently.