Lucy’s body was found that morning, and the school was again shut down in memorial. Many of her friends mourned, having lost the leader of their group and in such a drastic way.
Roman was dying inside. He couldn’t tell any of this to anyone, except Slizzle. When he saw the news about Lucy on TV, he immediately switched it off and slipped under his covers, caging himself inside, shut down from the outside world.
Every time he closed his eyes, the image of Lucy with Evette’s fangs buried in her neck appeared before him. All he could think of was her eyes looking at his helpless self when she was being drained of blood. The surprise, the shock, the hope that somehow, Roman could help her which flowed out of her eyes, when the life was being sucked out of her.
But even though Evette’s actions had traumatized him to this point, something deep inside him wanted to see her again. It was a subconscious urge, but consciously, all he wanted was to never see her again.
She was a monster.
And so, he now had a task.
Roman took on researching everything about vampires. From vampire folklore that has existed since before medieval times, to popular culture, he tried to understand every myth and taboo about vampires. There were numerous theories, as one could guess, and some of them were just absolutely absurd since Roman had now seen many of Evette’s characteristics.
But he really wanted to know about the transformation process. Theories ranged from burning under the influence of vampire venom to being buried with the venom inside and then crawling out of the grave, fully transformed.
Some even mentioned something about drinking vampire blood as well, but Roman doubted about vampires having blood.
Although, it looked like blood mixing with honey when her eyes changed color.
Evette never mentioned how she got killed in the first place. To be someone as cruel as her, she has got to have had a messed up past. Maybe that’s what turned her in the first place. A horrible past.
As he was scrolling through the websites, something caught his eye. Vampire death. Instinctively, he clicked the link, and it took to a page that described the many myths about how a vampire could be killed. He knew a couple of them, which included stake through the heart and ripping the head off. Exposure to sunlight and fire was also shown lethal to vampires, but Roman didn’t know which one was actually correct.
As far as he knew, Evette had been drinking a potion to survive under sunlight. And in his research, he found out that potions were made by witches.
Along with vampires, witches exist as well? He wondered.
Frustrated, he ran his hand through his dry messed-up hair. The man hadn’t showered in days. And funnily enough, Slizzle had just climbed up his lap, before she sniffed him and scrunched up her nose, jumping right down.
“Does daddy stink, Slizzy?” he asked her, but she gave him no answer. Instead, she walked away and settled herself on her cushion where she slept. Roman sighed. “Fuck it,” he cursed, slamming down his laptop screen and taking a shower.
The scorching hot water flowed down his naked body as he turned on the shower. But Roman didn’t flinch at the temperature. A hot warm shower was really what he needed. The water warmed up his tense muscles and he moaned when they relaxed.
He stood, unmoving, under the shower and the steam fogged up the glasses of the cubicle, giving him total privacy.
Why had he researched how to kill vampires? Was that really what he wanted? To kill Evette? After all, she too was a student of his. And how can killing her make him any different from her?
But she had killed numerous people by now. In her more than two hundred years of life and remorseless habits, how many people might have lost their lives to her fangs? Innocent humans who didn’t know what was coming for them. Wouldn’t killing her just... save the people who she might attack in the future? Including him?
But why wasn’t she killing him already? Why was she so keen on taunting and torturing him like she is doing now? What did she gain by killing Lucy right in front of his eyes? Blood? She would have gotten that anyway.
What could be lethal to her? What could he use to potentially put her down when she went out of control? Wood? Sunlight? Fire? Any plant? Maybe a metal?
She hadn’t shown up since that night. Two weeks had passed and there was no trace of the vampiress. But he was glad that there wasn’t. It would give him more time to understand about her kind.
And the gift of life for a little while longer.
Roman hopped out of the shower, covering his waist in a thick towel, and walking out the bathroom, with water dripping down his smooth chest. After getting dressed, he resumed his research, but this time, deeper into the objects that could harm vampires.
He decided to have a small amount of almost all of them, because that way, he could use them on Evette the next time they see and find out which one actually works. The sunlight would be useless unless he knew the source of the potion she drinks.
Vervain, juniper, and garlic were the main plants many sources claimed to be lethal to vampires. Pencils could be used for wood. But what if it’s some specific wood. White Oak? Hawthorn? Many are said to be lethal to vampires. He didn’t even know which to choose.
And then there was heat. Fire. That would kill anyone, wouldn’t it? Regardless of what being, they were.
Roman decided to go out and get samples of these products.
Dressed in a black hoodie and sweatpants, he climbed in and out of numerous shops, getting pointed little stakes made of the woods he guessed could be lethal to vampires. And then, he went to shops that sold herbs, buying some juniper, vervain, garlic, and hawthorn leaves.
He would either stab Evette in various places with the stakes, but they would do nothing to kill her or use the plants on her to find which one works. One of them has got to work anyway.
The school was resuming on the coming Monday, and then, he could see her. Excitement surged through him as he thought of the scene in which he weakened her. She deserved every bit of it anyway. She had already caused a lot of damage.
Both to him and the world as a whole.
When Monday came, Lucy’s framed photograph next to Jacob’s halted his movement through the hallways. He sighed regretfully and placed the white flowers he had brought among the numerous other bouquets and cards placed on the table and floor in their honor.
Wasn’t this the very spot where we had the conversation about vampires, God? He thought as he looked around at the mourning faces. This time, none of Lucy’s giggling friends dressed in mere clothing were walking around. Instead, they were all dressed aridly, in mourn of the death of their dear friend.
When the time came for him to take his class, Roman was more focused on his mission than the teaching. Of course, he taught the class, but the sight of her sitting right in front of him, innocently as though she hadn’t drained the blood of a girl who had been sitting in the same room as her a few days ago, kept enraging Roman.
“We all know the story of Dracula, by Bram Stoker,” he began while taking a glance at Evette. “But did you know that Stoker himself had never visited Transylvania?”
The class shook their heads.
“The many descriptions Stoker had written about Transylvania were written after he learned about the place through travel books, and journals. So you see Stoker had never...” He continued his teaching, all the while keeping his eyes on Evette whenever he mentioned a vampire.
He explained the many methods that were used by Abraham Van Helsing and his team to put down Dracula and his demonic wives, looking over at the vampiress in his class every time he mentioned stake, garlic, and anything as such. But to his sheer discouragement, her smug expression changed at none.
When the class was over, the students began shuffling out of the room but instead of leaving, Evette stood back. Realizing that the class was empty, she closed the door and looked over at Roman, smirking as she took her steps toward him.
“How ironic it is for you to teach about vampires in a class that has a vampire in it, isn’t it mon cher?" she asked.
“It wasn’t my choice to have a vampire in it in the first place.” He replied, while slowly taking off the little stakes of oak, and hawthorn from his pocket and hiding it behind his back, waiting for her to come a little closer.
“It’s never anyone’s choice to have a monster with them in the same room, Mr. Berkshire.” She whispered as she came forward, but soon, her marble arm snaked behind him, grabbing the little stakes and yanking them out of his hand. “And what do we have here, Cherie?" she asked, observing the pencil-like pieces of wood in her hands.
Fuck. He cursed silently.
Fear grew inside him as the ruthless vampiress in front of him looked him in his blues and smirked. “You were planning to kill me with these? How pathetic!” she scoffed.
Roman stayed silent for a moment before opening his mouth to speak but was cut off by Evette.
“You really hate me that much? Enough to kill me?” she asked.
A pang of guilt hit Roman’s heart. Did he really want to kill her? Was his urge only due to a moment of hatred? In the end, if he had finally succeeded in eliminating her, would he live the rest of his life in guilt?
But she has killed an endless number of people. The living would be safe from her ruthless fangs if she died.
“You deserve to die!” he spat and rage, filled her face within barely a second. Her nostrils flared and she tightly wrapped her hand around his throat, cutting off his air supply. But just as quickly, the sound of burning sizzles and Evette’s hiss reached his ears as she hastily pulled her hand away, looking down at the angry burn lines on her palm in anger.
Instinctively, Roman’s hand went up to grab his chain that hanged on his neck, and smirked, relieved to know one of her weaknesses now.