Present-day, London, England, 2009
“Hallie, come on, we’re going to be late!” Elise beckoned from the car as she pulled up outside the modest three-bedroom house.
“All right, I’m coming.” I called back, leaning out the window of the living to wave at my best friend, “Dad insisted on being awkward, wouldn’t let me leave without breakfast!”
“Oi, young lady, you need to eat.” Emmett’s voice caused me to jump and almost hit my head on the window frame, “Now go have a good day and stay out of trouble, love you, kid.”
“I always stay out of trouble,” I chuckled as I moved to kiss his cheek, “I love you too, Dad. Oh, and please tell Mom if she insists on using the last of the shampoo, put the fresh bottle out.”
“Your mother will do what she will, you know that.”
Elise pressed the horn of her black Ford Fiesta Ztech, which rang far too loud, given it was only eight in the morning, “Seriously Hallie, we still got to pick Daisy up!”
I shot a smile at Emmett before I ran outside and hopped in the passenger seat.
“Seriously, girl, your timekeeping is awful.” Elise chuckled, her dark pink, full lips curved into a smile as I shut the car door. “Let’s go get the crazy one.”
Eighty years had passed since the night I became a hybrid. I wasn’t Hallie, The Witch of Willow Lake, and I wasn’t Hallie, the Vampire. I was Hallie the Hybrid. Half Witch, half Vampire.
The first six months had been unmerciful, although I barely recalled anything other than the sheer thirst and hunger I felt. According to Emmett and Alicia, they’d never seen a new Vampire so rabid. The fact I still somehow kept my powers made their work incomparably harder too.
They couldn’t control me with animal blood; they had to source human blood for me. Nothing else would calm me enough or stop me from attacking them to let me out of the cabin to hunt for the blood myself.
They’d failed once, and I’d killed a lost hiker a few miles out. Although they’d kept that from me for a while, they didn’t want me to suffer under the guilt they knew I’d feel.
After about six months, things got more manageable. The bloodlust calmed, and they started weaning me off of human blood. However, it took almost two years before I was in any form to leave the cabin and be around the living.
It wasn’t just my Vampire instincts we had to control; it was my powers too.
That proved far more of a challenge than before. My powers were twice as powerful as they’d been before. It seemed my Vampire side amplified the powers, and the Witch side of me heightened the skills I’d gained as a Vampire. Even to the point, I didn’t even need to summon my weapon, which I’d discovered was a whip made of lightning. I just had to picture it, and it was there in my hand.
We did not understand how it happened or why, and we didn’t know the rules now. However, using my powers didn’t seem to age me. At least they weren’t at the rate they usually would have. I turned at twenty-one while looking eighteen, and I still looked eighteen.
I could run faster than Emmett and Alicia and held far more stamina than they did.
My senses were more attuned too. I could see, hear, and smell things at a greater distance than they could. As Emmett liked it put it, I was a Super Vamp.
After three years, I recast the daylight spell. Alicia had saved a necklace she’d brought me the day the Wolves attacked us. She had planned on giving it to me, to wear with the dress for my date that I never got to attend the day the Wolves attacked us.
It was only a simple necklace, a small gold chain that held a gold pendant of an angel, but I loved it.
Since then, we went back to do what we’d planned to do before the attack. At first, we only stayed in towns for three years. However, as the years progressed, society developed, cities became busier, people lived longer and made advances in makeup and beauty products. We could now stand to stay in one town for an average of six to eight years before people caught on.
I started in town, claiming I was sixteen and fresh out of school, with my falsified grades that told people I’d studied outside of the country. And for the first two years, Emmett and Alicia would force me to go to college.
Although I minded little, I hadn’t worked my way through every subject imaginable yet.
Alicia’s information would put her at thirty-four, and Emmett’s would put him at thirty-six. They would find jobs instantly. Usually, Alicia picked up a small position in a store, often a clothing one since she’d become taken with fashion during the fifties.
Emmett became fascinated with technology. He was like a child on Christmas morning when the first cell phone had been created, so he often took a job doing something with technology. Unknown to all, he helped build the very first cell phone.
We’d buy a small house on the outskirts of a smaller town, and we’d stay there until we couldn’t. We’d hunt when needed, under cover of the night, and we kept our blood supplies locked in a basement.
“You’re going to get us fired!” Elise rolled her deep brown eyes at me as she pulled up outside Daisy’s house, who was standing outside waiting.
I shrugged my shoulders, “It does not bother me.”
“Oh yeah, because you’re leaving in a month, right?” Daisy sounded in a huff, pouting her thin, light pink lips as she climbed into the back seat.
I’d broken the news to them two days ago. Our time was running out here in a small town in London, England, so we had to contemplate moving.
“Daisy, please.” I groaned, “My dad can’t afford to turn this job down; it’s his dream.”
“What about yours, though, Hallie? You love it here.” Elise sighed softly as she glanced over to me.
“I do, but it is what it is. I’ll miss you guys, though, and hey, we still have an entire month. Better to make the most of it than sit and pout, right?”
“I guess you’re right. Come on, let’s get going.” Daisy gave me a small smile as I looked back at her with a smile of my own.
Elise and Daisy had been my best friends since coming here seven years ago. We’d met in college, all of us studying English literature.
Elise, who was originally from the Philippines, had a dream of becoming an author, and she was more than good enough to go the distance with her books. She just needed to find that one company that’d give her a chance, and I knew she’d soar.
Daisy was more of a reader than a writer, but English literature had always fascinated her. Ever since that first day of college, we’d been friends, and we’d become well known around college too.
I was the pale, silver-haired one dressed in a style that was part e-girl, part goth, with two different colored eyes and a stubborn attitude. Elise was the one with tanned skin, flowing dark brown hair, full features, and adoring personality. As for Daisy, she was the tall, athletic one with black hair cut into a shoulder-length bob, which made her pearl-gray eyes shine and a firecracker attitude.
“We should throw you a big going away party. And you promise you’ll keep in contact, right?” Daisy asked, her tone full of hope.
“I will, I’ll call and write all the time.”
“Good, or we’ll hunt you down, girl.” Elise chuckled. “All right, let’s go get this working day over with, so we can go sit, watch movies, and make ourselves fat on ice cream.”
I busied myself stacking the shelves of the large bookstore we worked in when I felt two hands grab my waist, pulling me close to them as lips attached to my neck.
“Masato!” I chuckled, feeling the softest blush kiss my cheeks.
That was another thing we’d found odd about my Hybrid self. I wasn’t like Emmett and Alicia. I could blush, and cry, and my heart pulsed, although it was weak and slow. It was like I was stuck in that transition phase in ways.
“Hey, beautiful.” He spun me, smiling, showing his perfect white teeth, and his smoldering dark brown eyes glimmered under the lights.
“I’m at work.”
“I know, I just wanted to swing by and say hi. You free on Saturday?”
I sighed, feeling my heart sink, “Masato, I told you-”
“I know you’re leaving next month. However, I decided I’m okay with that. I want to make the most of having you around while I can. Please?”
I looked at his pleading eyes, up to his tousled dyed blonde hair, before my eyes scanned his slim but muscular body.
Masato would be the one other thing I would miss the most besides the two girls. We’d been dating for two years, and out of the guys I’d dated before, he’d been different. Everything about knowing I’d have to leave here was harder than it ever had been before.
“All right, I can do that.” I nodded, finding myself unable to say no, even though I knew it was probably for the best.
“I’ll pick you up at six, and I’ll see you tomorrow as well? For the benefit.”
I rolled my eyes. It was all ball gowns, suits, and ties and a way to guilt-trip the more affluent people into donating money to whatever their cause was this year.
“Sure, I’ll see you then.” I tiptoed and pressed my lips softly upon his.
“I love you, Hallie.”
“I love you more.”
“And I love you the most.” He grinned.
“Now go on, before you get me fired for slacking.”
He shot me his perfect boy next door smile before he walked off, waving over to Elise, who was over the other side as he left.
With a heavy sigh, feeling the weight of my impending departure, I put myself back to work.