I returned from the date to find my dad waiting for me. He grilled me with a thousand questions before he was moderately satisfied. I told him he had nothing to worry about and patted his shoulder. He was surprised that Sam was actually a good person and he just walked off. It was a small step forward, but it was still a step.
When he walked off I smiled to myself and slowly strode up the stairs. I peeked into Ethan’s room, but he was gone; most likely with my mother again. I turned on his light and saw the room looking exactly as it always had. I don’t know why I thought it would look different, but now that he was a vampire I just expected the worst. Spiderwebs, a coffin, and maybe a dead teenager hidden in the closet.
Ethan was a troubled kid, but I don’t think he could ever kill someone. I knew Ethan wasn’t that type of person, but when someone is teaching you this sort of thing, they might push you down a dark road. Ethan might not be the best person, but he wouldn’t kill. Would he?
I wasn’t sure, but I just had to hope. Once you kill someone that blood stains you. When you live forever that stain never goes away. You can bury it deep down, but it will always be there. Sam tries to fight his nature everyday, but with Ethan I wasn’t too sure. I had no idea how he would handle this new life and scared me to death.
I escaped my thoughts and closed his door. If I let myself think like that I would never leave the house. I walked into my room and flopped onto the bed. Thoughts of Ethan and mother swirled around in my head. It was like voices I couldn’t snuff out. I tried blocking the thoughts with pillows, but that did absolutely nothing.
I threw my pillow across the room only to never hear it hit the floor. I shot up to a sitting position to find Aria sitting near my window. She threw the pillow back toward me and I caught it almost instantly, “How did you get in here?”
“Does it really matter how I got in here?” Aria proposed as she made herself comfortable in my computer chair, “I’m here and you can’t really do anything to make me leave. Besides, I need to talk to you.”
“If you have come here to finish the job you couldn’t the other night then go ahead. I won’t fight as long as Sam is left out of it.” I said
Aria smiled to herself and went on, “I did not come here to kill you, even though it is tempting. I have come here because your mother would like to see you. I am just here to collect.”
“Why do you work for her? It was bad enough when I found out you worked for Anthony, which I still kind of understand. But my mother? What is so special that makes her this powerful vampire? I don’t get it.” I said
“It’s not like the movies, Carly. Vampires don’t get stronger with age, moreover it’s the luck of the draw. Usually people become a vampire with average abilities, but other times people have the chance to become god status. Your mother so happened to pull the lucky straw.” Aria explained
“Even so, why do you listen to her?” I asked
Aria looked me for a split second with a sad look to her eyes, “Anthony is her second hand and I am not going to lose him again. I only stay for him and if he ever decided to leave then I’d be right next to him. But he is infatuated with your mother, so there is little chance of that happening. Until then I follow her orders and she has ordered me to come retrieve you.”
“And if I refuse?” I questioned getting closer to Aria as she got closer to me.
“She’ll be disappointed.” Aria said lifting a strand of my hair, “I don’t think you want to disappoint her. She can be quite persuasive if you don’t follow her order. She can make things hard for you.”
“Tell her.” I said grabbing hold of Aria’s hand and pushing it away, “If she wants to see me she can come talk to me herself. Unless you plan to kidnap me, I suggest getting the hell out of my room.”
“She won’t be pleased at your defiance, but I will inform her of your wishes. Goodbye, Carly.” Aria said as she vanished in a burst of wind.
I flopped back onto the bed with a sigh and fell asleep almost instantly. The next thing I know it’s morning and my alarm is blaring loudly. I slammed my fist into the alarm and the annoying sound left my ears. I got up groggily and threw on the first shirt, pants, and socks I could find.
Without a second thought, I brushed my teeth, styled my hair, and grabbed my backpack. I looked around to make sure I didn’t forget something and then I headed toward the kitchen; a smell of hash browns wafting. I dragged myself to the table where a plate of hash browns was already waiting for me.
Saige sat down in the seat beside me, slathering her hash browns in thick syrup. Any normal human being would gag at some of the things my sister found enjoyable, but that was just how she was. I tried to enjoy my hash browns, but Saige’s loud chewing ruined my appetite. I finished about half before the noise got to be too much.I thanked Amy for the food and shot a glare in Saige’s direction. She smiled in return as I headed for the door. I waved back in their direction before heading out to my car. I buckled in and leaned over to grab something, only to find Sam sitting in the passenger seat. I screamed at his sudden appearance and clutched at my heart, “Jesus Christ! You scared the crap out of me!”
“I’m so sorry. I was just trying to surprise you.” Sam apologized
“You did, with a heart attack.” I said as I tried to slow down my heartbeat.
Sam reached forward and squeezed my hand, “Are you okay?”
“Yeah…” I began as my heartbeat slowed and my breathing returned to normal. I smiled and reassured him, “I’m fine.”
“That’s good to hear. Since we are boyfriend and girlfriend now I thought we could ride to school together. That way I can keep you safe and we can enjoy the ride. If that’s okay with you?” Sam suggested with a big smile plastered onto his face.
“I’d love that.” I said as I started up the car.
I looked over at the front window and saw my Dad standing there with a look of displeasure. He was not thrilled about Sam even talking to me, so us going to school together made him uneasy. I understood he was worried, but treating me like a child was uncalled for. I am almost 18 and I can handle myself.
I waved back at him as he quickly shut the curtains. Without another look I pulled out of the driveway and drove toward school. The drive was silent, but peaceful. After arriving at school, Sam and I walked into the building side by side. He reached down and held my hand, causing my cheeks to turn pink.
My friends fangirled over us as we headed toward our lockers, but they held back; until lunch at least. I told Sam to go ahead because I had to grab something. Once I found my notebook, I followed. I was about ten feet from the door to first period when I heard a whisper. I turned toward the sound, but I couldn’t see anyone. I shrugged and headed back toward the door. As I almost reached my destination a hand went over my mouth and the owner of the hand pulled me into the girl’s bathroom.
After the door closed the attacker let me go. I took a raspy breath and turned around to find Claire had been the one to attack me, “Claire, what the hell was that? You could’ve just asked me to talk instead of dragging me into the bathroom. Kinda scared me there.”
“Sorry, about that. I wanted to talk to you and I knew you were heading toward class. I was hoping you would walk toward the bathroom so I could pull you in, but you didn’t get close enough. I didn’t mean to scare you.” Claire said
I wiped the invisible dirt from my clothes and crossed my arms over my chest, “I’m not mad, you’re fine. Just tell me. What was so important that you had to pull me in here for?”
Claire played with her hands in a fidgety manner and then looked up at me, “You said we could talk about what happened. I haven’t stopped thinking about it for the last few days. I saw how happy you’ve been and I didn’t want to get in the way of that, but I need to talk to someone.”
“I know this is a lot to take in. When I discovered how much evil this world had I reacted the same way. I didn’t want to believe the things I saw, but there was no denying it. It made me look over my shoulder everywhere I went and I couldn’t think straight.” I admitted
“How do you keep your mouth shut? I got home this weekend and my parents acted like nothing had ever happened. I wanted to tell my parents so badly, but I knew the consequences; they probably wouldn’t believe me anyway.” Claire said
“Claire, listen to me.” I said as I put my hands on her shoulders, “I know this is hard, but you can’t tell anyone. There are some people in this town that might believe what you say. If the others get whiff of what you say then that puts you and your whole family at risk. I can’t lose my best friend. Okay?”
“How do you do it? Keep all this in?” Claire Questioned
“It takes a lot of willpower. Whenever I begin to weaken I remind myself that if I told them their life would be endangered as well. I can’t risk another person I care about dying because of me, I’ve lost too much already. I would rather suffer in silence then bring others down with me.” I explained
“Have any of the crazy vampires tried to get you again?” Claire pried
“Aria came to see me this morning.” I said as Claire’s eyes went wide, “She didn’t hurt me if that’s what you’re thinking. She came as an informant of my mother. My mom wanted to talk to me and Aria came as a messenger.”
“Are you going to talk to her?” Claire asked
“No, not if I can help it. My plan is to ignore her as long as I can. If she wants to talk, she can come to me. Besides, I already talked to her in a vision I had last night, I don’t need to talk to her again.” I said
“You talked to her in a vision? How is that even possible?” Claire asked
I shook my head with as much confusion as Claire had, “Honestly, I don’t know. She said that she can talk to me because she was a seer before being turned and that she is more powerful than most vampires. But what I see hasn’t happened yet so even if that was true, I don’t think it’s possible. I don’t know how to even comprehend it.”
“Have you told Sam about this? He is the only one who can protect you against your mom and her gang of vampires. He should know what’s going on.” Claire said
“He knows about my vision with my mother because he was there when it happened. I have not told him about Aria yet. I just want to have one day where we can be normal before I tell him. That’s all I want.” I said
The bell rang for the beginning of first period. Claire and I swore to ourselves and grabbed out bags. We came out of the bathroom and Claire brought me in for a hug, “Thank you for talking to me, it really helped.”
“Don’t be afraid to ask. You are the only person who knows aside from Sam. If you need anyone to talk to, I’m here.” I said as Claire smiled and headed down the hall.
I watched her walk down the hall until she vanished around the corner. I then turned toward the classroom door, took a deep breath, and went inside. When I stepped into the entrance of the room, class had already begun and everyone looked up at me. I quickly sat down in my seat hoping for the teacher to ignore me, but I was never that lucky.
“Carly, why are you late to class?” Asked Mrs. Lindell as she turned her back to the chalkboard so she could see me.
I stuttered a bit as I set my stuff on my desk, “I...I lost my notebook. After I found it I had to use the bathroom, real bad. I lost track of time and heard the second bell ring. I’m very sorry, Mrs. Lindell. It won’t happen again.”
Mrs. Lindell looked me over with squinted eyes. She did not fully believe me and I could tell I was done for, “Carly, you need to remember your belongings when you come to class. This is the first time you have done this so I’ll let it slide just this once, but If you are late one more time, you get detention. Do you understand?”
“Yes, I understand.” I said
Mrs. Lindell shook her head and went back to the lesson. Christina was not fully satisfied with my response, but she let it slide. Sam on the other hand could tell I was lying a mile away. He waited till Mrs. Lindell had her back turned before he leaned forward, “Why were you late?”
“Claire, had to talk to me.”
“About what?” Sam whispered
“I’ll tell you later.”
“Is it something serious?” Sam whispered
“No, it’s not. I will tell you later, okay. Now be quiet I don’t want to get in trouble.”
I turned back around to find someone standing in front of my desk. I looked up to find an angry Mrs. Lindell. She tapped her heal on the floor as I awkwardly smiled up at her, “Hi.”
“Ms. Carlisle, you are late to class and now I catch you talking while I am trying to teach. I let the being late for the first time slide, but you know you aren’t allowed to talk. Meet me in detention during lunch today. That way you can focus on your work.” Mrs. Lindell threatened as she looked back at Sam, “You too, Mr. Flitz.”
Christina looked over at us apologetically as I turned away from Sam. I was pissed about being stuck in detention, but I knew Sam was just worried. I couldn’t really stay mad at him, not for long anyway. The class went on as normal, but time just ticked by like a turtle trying to run.
Sam kept trying to say sorry, but I just kept shushing him. I wasn’t about to get two days of detention. Now detention was nothing compared to what I have gone through, but it still sucked. I focused on my work and when class ended I walked out of class, alone.
I ignored him for the rest of the morning. I wasn’t angry at him at all, it was just annoyance at myself. When I arrived at detention, Sam was already waiting for me at a table near the back. I fidgeted with my backpack and took the seat beside him. He looked over at me and tried to apologize, “I’m sorry I got you stuck in here. I just wanted to know why you were late.”
“Don’t worry, I’m not mad.” I said as Sam looked at me with doubt, “Okay, I was a little annoyed this morning. But after a class or two I realized how being mad was just stupid. I mean this is nothing compared to everything that has happened. I forgive you.”
That’s when the bell rang for the beginning of detention. Everyone got in their seats as the lovely Mrs. Lindell walked through the door. She looked around at all of us and slammed her ruler on her desk, “This detention as many of you know well. You will work quietly on your homework and if I hear talking, I’ll see you tomorrow as well. Get to work.”
Everyone nodded as the teacher sat down in her desk and pulled out some girly magazine. I searched through my backpack to find my math assignment. Sam pulled out something from english and we got to work. About twenty minutes into detention, my phone vibrates. I quickly grab my phone and put it under the table so Mrs. Lindell doesn’t know I am looking at it. I open up my messages and find one from Sam. I look over at him and he motions me to open it.
The text read, “What happened between you and Claire?”
I responded quickly after, “She pulled me in the bathroom before class to talk about what happened with Anthony. Claire told me she was having a hard time dealing with keeping everything she saw a secret. I talked to her and I think I convinced her to keep her mouth shut.”
Sam’s phone buzzed and he quickly typed back, “Learning all of this in the way she did can be scary. Wanting to talk to someone just makes sense. At least she has you because if she starts telling others, we could have a big problem on our hands. Dealing with evil vampires is bad enough, but vampire hunters are just as bad if not worse.”
I looked at Mrs. Lindell to make sure she didn’t notice my phone as I texted back, “There is one other thing. Aria visited me this morning.”
“What?!” Sam exclaimed out loud. Everyone looked over at us and Mrs. Lindell gave us the evil eye. She shushed us and went back to her magazine, “What did she do?”
“She was being a messenger for my mother. Aria was supposed to bring me to my mom so we could talk. I refused and Aria left, most likely running back to my mom to tattletale.” I texted
Sam set his phone down and turned toward me to whisper, “Why didn’t you tell me sooner? I could’ve came right away. If she would’ve hurt you, I would never forgive myself.”
“I didn’t want you to get involved. If she had come to hurt me, I couldn’t live with you being hurt as well. Besides, I’m fine and everything worked out.” I whispered
“What if she comes back and your mother is more demanding?” Sam whispered
“Then I deal with it when it happens. For now, let’s just live in the moment and ignore it.” I said as I squeezed his hand, “It’s okay.”
I patted Sam’s shoulder and got back to my homework. I could tell he didn’t want to stop talking, but he gave in. We worked silently until the period ended and Mrs. Lindell allowed us to leave. I collected my stuff and we walked toward the door together. On the other side, Phoua waited.
I said goodbye to Sam as Phoua appeared beside me. She wrapped her arm around mine and pulled me down the hall, “Christina told me you got detention for being late and talking to Sam. I wanted to tell you during lunch, but since you weren’t there now will have to do.”
“Tell me what?” I asked
“My boyfriend is throwing a costume party this weekend and he is inviting half the school. I was wondering if you and Sam would like to come?” Phoua offered with a cheery smile.
“Halloween was almost two weeks ago.” I pointed out.
“He wanted to wait so no one would expect it. Besides it’s never too late to dress up. Come on Carly, it’ll be fun. Please!” Phoua begged
Phoua could sense my hesitation and grabbed my arms. She maneuvered herself so I was in front of her and she looked at me directly in the eyes, “You are coming to this party, Carly. You have had a few rough weeks with fainting, missing school, and trouble at home. This will take your mind off things. Please come. I know you and Sam will have a good time. Please.”
“I don’t know if Sam would want to go.” I said
“If you’re going, he’s going. Do you really think he would deny you? I can see how he looks at you, he will follow you to the ends of the earth. You’ll have fun…” Phoua suggested
I looked into her puppy dog eyes and my barrier broke. She always had a way to convince people to do what she wanted. The eyes always get me, “Fine, I’ll go. But I won’t promise I’ll enjoy it.”
“Don’t worry you will!” Phoua said bringing me in for a tight hug. I patted her back in return. She pulled away and ran toward her next class. I stood in a trance until another kid knocked into my shoulder. I snapped out of it and headed to class. This was going to be fun to explain to Sam.
After school ended, I found Sam sitting in the front seat of my car. I had locked the car this morning so him getting in meant he broke into my car. Did I care about that? No, not at all. Having someone waiting for me was an awesome feeling. I smiled at him as I got in the driver’s seat, “How did you get in when I had the car locked?”
“I’ve lived a long time, I can get into anything.” Sam said with a smile.
“I bet you can.” I said
I started the car and maneuvered my way out of the parking lot. The whole car ride was in silence, but it didn’t bother either of us in the slightest. Silence is quite soothing when the world around you is always so loud. The silence soon ended when I pulled into my driveway. I turned the car off and Sam began to get out. I grabbed hold of his sleeve and pulled him back into his seat.
“Phoua invited us to her boyfriend’s costume party this weekend. I said I would go and I was wondering…” I offered
“I would love to.” Sam said before I could finish.
“Oh, really?” I said quickly, “You don’t have to come if you don’t want to. My friends will be there and I will be okay.”
Sam leaned forward and put his hand on my cheek, “I want to go to enjoy it with you. Your safety is important to me, but so is you being happy. I would love to go with you, Carly. Would you like to take me?”
“Of course, I would.” I said
“Then it sounds like a plan. I’ll pick you up Saturday night and you can show me the way.” Sam said giving me a peck on the lips before exiting the car.
After a few blinks I got out and watched as he walked toward the road. He looked back at me as I yelled toward him, “Do you even have a costume?”
“I’ll find something, no need to worry.” Sam said with a smile. He ran out of sight and used his speed to vanish.
I smiled to myself and headed toward the house. Hopefully I could find a costume in time and hopefully Sam would like it. Having anxiety over dumb stuff like this really bugged me, but that’s just who I am. This party might finally give me a chance to do something normal; maybe.