The Vampire Peasant: A Sinister Heart Novel

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Chapter 4

4

“So what’s this interesting incident that happened?” Dino asked as we walked off toward our lockers.

I sighed once again, thinking back.

“Delfina tried to bully me after third period, even with Leo and Eva present,” I started to say as I opened my locker to change.

“Did something happen?” Dino asked, confused as he took off his PE shirt.

I didn’t say anything as I put on my own shirt.

“Yeah. Nathalie, Filamina’s sister, the one who hates me, yelled at her to leave me alone,” I said as I looked toward him to watch his reaction. The whole school and probably the whole town and country knew that she hated my guts.

“What the hell? Really?” Dino paused changing to look at me, and sure enough, he was shocked. Hell, I was still shocked about her actions. “What do you think made her do that? You think it was Filamina?” Dino asked, confused.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t know. It’s not only that though. Veronique told her off,” I said, getting a little bit excited. I finished changing and put my clothes in my locker and shut it.

I put my backpack on and waited for Dino. He was always slow when changing.

“Wait, why would she tell Nathalie off? What happened after Nathalie yelled at Delfina?” Dino asked as he put on his pants.

I smiled subconsciously when I thought of Veronique. Dino seemed to notice because he nudged me with his elbow.

“Why are you smiling?” he asked with a grin. He knew something good had happened.

“Okay, after Delfina got yelled at by Nathalie, she stared at her with ‘the look.’ You know, I think we all know what happens when she gives that look,” I said seriously. I felt a little shiver run down my spine as I remembered the horrible beatings she had given me.

“Oh yeah, we all know what happens,” Dino said with emphasis on the oh as he finally finished dressing. He slid on his backpack and shut his locker.

We stared at each other for a couple of minutes in silence before I took over the conversation.

“Anyways, she went to beat them because they yelled at her. That’s when I got some courage and protected them. The crazy thing is she got scared for the first time, and it was because of me. Leo and Eva said my eyes turned black. Don’t ask how because even I don’t know,” I said calmly. I knew Dino well enough to know he would be shocked, and sure, enough he was speechless.

What in the world? How on earth did your eyes go black? Wait, how did you scare off Delfina?” Dino was so shocked that he was throwing question after question at me.

He wasn’t giving me any time to answer.

“Dino, calm down. Take a deep breath and let Vanni talk,” Leo said, popping up. He was always able to take control of the situation.

I silently thanked him for calming down Dino enough for me to give him the answers he wanted.

“Thanks, Leo. Anyways, Dino, I think the only reason Delfina got scared was because of my eyes. Only purebloods and nobles are able to turn their eyes black, and the way mine did scared her because clearly, I’m just a peasant,” I explained as I stood up to follow Leo out of the locker room.

Dino slowly followed us out.

“So how on earth did your eyes turn black?” Dino asked, confused, as we headed for the entrance to the school.

I just shook my head. Even I didn’t know the answer to that,

although I had felt a slight sting in my eyes when I got mad.

That might’ve been when my eyes turned.

“I don’t know, Dino, but I felt pain in my eyes when I got mad. That had to have been when they turned colors, but I don’t know how. I am 100 percent sure I’m a peasant,” I said, voicing my thoughts.

We stopped at the entrance.

“Are you sure your parents are human? Like 100 percent sure?” Leo asked. It seemed like he had different thoughts now about my family heritage because my eyes could change colors. Dino was now curious as well.

“Now that I think about it, I honestly don’t know. I mean, they looked and acted normal, but the way my eyes changed to black, I don’t know if they are anymore,” I said, thinking back. Now I wasn’t so sure. If they were human, I shouldn’t have been able to do that.

“You think they could’ve been half?” Leo asked, trying to figure out why I was different from the other peasants.

It was impossible. It would’ve shown in the eyes, and they had human eyes.

“No, it’s impossible,” I said back. I crossed my arms, confused and irritated about my situation.

“Yo. Could it be possible that you’re a half-breed?”

Dino suggested.

That caught my attention as well as Leo’s. I knew he could tell what I was thinking because it was written all over my face.

“What the hell?” Leo voiced my thoughts.

My mouth hung open in shock. It would explain my eyes changing colors.

“How the hell could Vanni be a half-breed, and what in the world could the other half be?” Leo asked, practically yelling.

“Honestly, we are going to have to look more into this. I think Vanni is a half-breed,” Dino said, confirming my fears.

I didn’t want to be a half-breed. I was scared of what the other half could be. After we ended our little discussion, we all decided to go back to my house to see if we could find anything about who my parents really were.

“So as soon as Eva arrives, we can go,” Dino said just as she walked up.

The guys glanced at each other and then back to me. I nodded back silently, letting them know it was time to go.

“So what’s up, guys? Why is everyone so quiet?” Eva questioned us, confused.

We glanced among ourselves and then back at her. I assumed they wanted me to explain because they kept quiet. I sighed and ran a hand through my hair before I began explaining.

“So the guys and I came up with this theory that I am a half-breed,” I started slowly explaining because I didn’t want her to get confused and to explain things twice.

“A half-breed?” Eva asked. This was a good sign because it meant she was with me so far.

“We thought of this because of my eyes and how they turned black,” I explained.

She nodded as she most likely was recalling this morning’s incident.

“If you were full-blooded or whatever, how could it be that you were turned into a vampire? A full-blooded supernatural being shouldn’t be able to be turned, unless you were half-human and your human half was turned, but you should still have some other physical traits of your other side, shouldn’t you? I mean, if you were a half-breed.”

Eva was half-thinking aloud, but what she said was starting to make sense. Maybe I did have certain traits of another supernatural being. That would make it easier for me to figure out my other half.

It wasn’t long before Veronique had shown up.

“I’m sorry, Vanni, but I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation,” Veronique said, looking down shyly as she came to stand next to me.

I placed my hand on her shoulder, which made her look up at me and smile that warm, kind smile of hers, the one that I kept thinking of all day. I gave a small smile in return, trying to make her feel welcome.

It worked because she placed her left hand over mine before she turned her attention back to the group.

“So what’s this I hear about Vanni being a half-breed?” she asked curiously.

“We were thinking because of what happened this morning that Vanni might be a half-breed of some other supernatural being. That, and he was more than likely half-human before he was turned into a vampire by Delfina.” It was Leo who answered her.

Veronique looked down for a couple of minutes in thought before turning her attention back toward me. She made me nervous. She was calculating me—either that or looking for something on me that I didn’t know of.

“Hey, Vanni, could you pull your hair back for me for just a second?” Veronique asked randomly.

It was a weird question, and I could tell the others were just as curious as I was as to why she had asked that. They looked like they knew something, probably something that I didn’t.

I slowly nodded and did as asked.

I swept all the hair out of my face into a small ponytail, uncovering my pointed ears. I was embarrassed of them because I was the only one who had them in my family. I heard everyone gasp in shock, making me turn red and cover them back up again.

“Oh my god, Vanni! Since when have you had your ears like that?” Eva asked rather loudly. It was a bit too loud for my liking.

I stayed quiet for a couple of minutes, not wanting to answer. Veronique placed her left hand on my cheek, making me turn my head her way. She just smiled that warm smile of hers. It seemed she was the only one who wasn’t afraid of me at that point. I didn’t understand why my friends were afraid of me. Even Leo was afraid.

“Why is everyone afraid of me all of a sudden?” I asked as I looked from Eva to Dino and finally to Leo. I saw them gulp down more fear and shuffle backward a couple of steps.

“I’m not afraid, Vanni.” Veronique said softly as she gently held my hand. Her hand was so small in comparison to mine. Hers held warmth and comfort.

I looked at her and couldn’t help but smile. I gently squeezed back, making her smile even bigger. I looked back toward my friends, and my smile dropped. I knew they were afraid, but I couldn’t understand why.

“Vanni we’re n-not afraid of you, we’re just taking precaution. That’s all.” Eva stuttered.

It seemed Leo and Dino were both too afraid of me to say anything. I sighed and shook my head in disappointment. I looked up at the sky and thought, How could my own friends turn on me?

Veronique’s squeeze on my hand made me snap my attention back to her.

“Don’t worry, Vanni, you can even come stay with me at the palace,” Veronique said.

My heart started racing, and my palms were getting sweaty, which in turn made me embarrassed because she wasn’t letting go of my hand.

“Are you sure? Are you absolutely sure? The king won’t get mad, will he? He won’t kick me out?” I was at a loss for words from her offer but scared at the same time.

“I’m sure you have your reasons for inviting him,” Filamina said rather rudely. She noticed that Veronique was holding my hand, but it didn’t seem to faze her the least.

I noticed she had come with the rest of the royals at her side.

Nathalie was glaring at me, and for some reason, it got me mad instead of sad and depressed like it used to. I suddenly felt my eyes flicker to black as I let out a low inhuman growl back at her. I saw her eyes turn to fear as she cowardly ran and hid behind Filamina, as if she could stop me.

“Vanni!” I heard Veronique whisper-yell from beside me. She slightly yanked my hand downward toward her, making me jerk to the side.

I snapped out of my trance, and my eyes went back to their normal state when I turned to look at her.

“You did it again,” she whispered as if trying to keep it a secret. With all the vampires around us and their enhanced hearing, her whispering did no good. “Nathalie, I’d do good to remember this if I were you, and I do have my reasons for bringing him back with me to the palace. It’s important that he stays with us,” Veronique said, trying to convince them.

They didn’t look convinced though. Nathalie was still hiding away from me.

Veronique suddenly pushed my hair aside, uncovering my pointed ears once again. They looked curious when they saw them. They didn’t cower in fear as my so-called friends had. They exchanged looks before nodding.

“Very well then. He comes with us. I warn you, Veronique. He must stay with you,” Filamina said with much authority.

However, Veronique looked pleased with her decision and gave me a big warm smile. It filled my heart with joy, seeing her that happy. I smiled back, letting my hair fall back in its place, covering my ears, framing my face.

“Yay! Let’s go! I have much to tell you.” Veronique beamed with excitement as we followed Filamina to the cars, ready to head to the palace. I followed last, sitting next to Veronique without a glance toward my friends.

“Your life is about to change, Vanni,” Veronique said.

She was practically bouncing with excitement. I didn’t know why though. Maybe it could be that I was coming to live with her. I couldn’t be sure though. I knew that what she said was the truth though. I saw from the looks the other girls were giving me that it was true. Nathalie was still afraid of me. That was because she had provoked me. Even though the other girls saw me like that, they didn’t fear me like everyone else had. It was then that I could tell that they too weren’t human.

I looked at Veronique and gently grabbed her hand. I was trying to calm her down. Instead, she laid her head down on my shoulder and sighed happily. I was wondering what was in store for me when I got to the castle. The minute I stepped foot in this car, I knew life for me was going to change.

“Vanni, we’re here,” I heard Veronique say while shaking me awake.

I hadn’t even realized I had fallen asleep until I heard Veronique’s voice. I slowly opened my eyes, trying to wake myself up. When I was finally fully awake, I looked around to see where we were. I suddenly took in a sharp breath at how beautiful the palace was. It was surrounded by a forest. It was at least five stories high. It was painted a beautiful white. It had a roundabout with a beautiful water fountain in the center.

The drive up to the door seemed to take forever.

When we circled around to the front doors, I was taken aback.

I wasn’t expecting to see people at the front doors. There were two men ready for us. They were dressed in black suits. I assumed one of them was for the car so he could park it. I had no idea where though. I didn’t see any garages. We had finally come to a stop. I shifted so I could get ready to get out and help the girls get out.

“So, Vanni, how do you like it?” Veronique asked me as we followed the other worker in black inside the palace. I started to wonder if this was a daily thing for them or if it was because I had come.

“It’s beautiful. I mean, wow. Hey, Veronique, why aren’t you afraid of me?” I asked as I let her lead me though the foyer and down the right hall. I assumed she was leading me to the lounging area. “Hey, where are we going?” I asked curiously, breaking the silence.

She looked back at me and smiled one of those warm smiles that I was growing to love before she answered me.

“We’re going to the kitchen. I bet you’re hungry after skipping lunch. Am I right?” she asked as she turned back around and continued walking to her destination without even waiting for an answer.

She was right though. I was starving. I decided not to answer that question. I silently thanked the heavens for allowing this young beautiful girl to enter my life.

Why isn’t she answering my question? Is it some sort of secret?

“So why aren’t you afraid of me?” I asked once more, hoping that I’d get an answer this time.

I heard her sigh. That probably meant it was a long story.

“I’ll tell you once you’ve eaten enough,” she said.

My stomach rumbled at the mention of food, and my throat began to burn. I was so hungry for blood that it was starting to hurt to swallow anything, even air.

“C-can I h-have some b-blood, p-please?” I tried to ask, but my voice came out in whispers. My mouth was so dry, I could barely even speak. I couldn’t even find my voice. Everything I said came out in whispers.

“Huh? Vanni? Are you okay?” Veronique asked, concern written all over her face.

I simply shook my head since I couldn’t talk right.

“What’s wrong? What do you need?”

It seemed she didn’t hear me. I’ll have to try again.

“B-blood, p-please?” I tried to keep my sentences as minimal as possible. I had to concentrate hard so that it would come out. It was hard to talk when your mouth and throat were as dry as a desert.

“Huh? Oh yeah, that’s right. You need blood.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any, but no worries. I’ll let you drink some of mine.” She offered up her blood as if it were nothing.

I shook my head furiously. I didn’t want to hurt her. I didn’t even know if I would be able to stop myself, although the closer she came, the more tempting it was and the harder it was to resist. I could hear the slow and steady rhythm of her heartbeat. She smelled so sweet. I could even bet she was just as delicious. I lunged for her, knocking her to the floor, me lying on top, not able to hold back. I was about to sink my fangs into her delicate flesh when I heard her speaking to me.

“Go ahead, Vanni. Drink as much as you need,” she said.

Her voice sounded so angelic, so sweet, so beautiful. It broke my heart knowing I had to drink from her to stay alive.

Me drinking some of her blood would mean that I would be leaving two puncture wounds, marking her flawless skin. I didn’t want to do that to her, but I knew I had to. I need my blood for the day.

Right before I sank my fangs into her, I wondered what it was like to drink from her, what it was like to drink fresh blood. I wondered how different it was from the blood bags.

“I’m sorry for this,” I said before latching myself onto her neck. A single tear dropped as I started to drink from her.

Her blood was delicious. It was pure ecstasy.

When I felt her grip my shoulders tightly, I thought I had taken too much. That was before I had heard her let out a moan of pleasure. So it wasn’t only me who liked this. After a couple of minutes, I retracted my fangs and licked her wound. I was shocked when I saw it healing itself.

“H-how? How are you healing? Humans shouldn’t be able to heal after being bitten. So how are you?” I asked in shock.

She just let out a small giggle. My cheeks flushed red in embarrassment. I slowly got up off her, stood up, and offered my hand out to her to help her up as well. I kept my head down out of embarrassment.

“Vanni, it’s okay. You thought correctly when you said I wasn’t human,” she said softly in between giggles.

I snapped my head up to look her in the eye to see if she had any signs of a lie, but all I saw was truth.

I was right then.

“So . . . what are you, and how are you able to heal that fast?” I asked curiously.

Whether she laughed at my silly question or at me, I had no clue. She was hard to read.

Usually, you could see what the person was feeling through their eyes, but hers held nothing but amusement. I couldn’t read a damn thing.

“Vanni, I’m fae. I work for the seelie courts. I’m using my magic to heal my wounds and also to look like this, but we’ll save that for another time,” she explained, giving me a warm smile.

I was so confused and lost.

What in the world is a seelie court? Look like that? I’ll have to ask her later on what she meant by that.

She started laughing again. My confusion was only growing the more she laughed. She was making me feel like an idiot, like I was stupid, like it was the most obvious thing in the world that everyone should know what a seelie court was except me, the lost, confused, dumb one who didn’t know anything.

“Come, Vanni. I’ll explain everything in the library,”

she said, still laughing.

Wait! I thought we were going to the kitchen. Why the library all of a sudden? I thought she was hungry.

“Vanni, I wasn’t the one hungry. You were. I am headed for the library because I want to explain to you about the seelie and the unseelie.”

She answered my questions without me having to ask. It was shocking at how she knew what I was going to ask.

Maybe it was a coincidence. If she was a seelie, then what was an unseelie?

“It was no coincidence, Vanni. By the way, both seelie and unseelie are fae. Just some are light, and some are dark,”

she answered as we turned into what appeared to be the library.

The library was breathtaking. Just like everything else in this palace, it didn’t disappoint. The books were neatly tucked into shelves that lined the dark blue walls. The shelves reached at least eight feet high. There were couches and chairs around glass coffee tables spread out through the room.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” She voiced out my thoughts once more. This was starting to get creepy.

“Yeah, it is,” I replied, dragging out the yeah.

How is she doing that? She couldn’t possibly be reading my mind, could she? No, that’s impossible. She can’t be. Only nobles are able to do that.

“Actually, Vanni, I am able to read minds. I can use my magic to do so. Nobles aren’t the only ones who can do so. Actually, it was the unseelie who had given powers to the purebloods. It was then that the purebloods starting marrying inside their families to keep their powers. Nobles gained powers when a pureblood mated with a human. That’s how the vampire rankings began,” she explained.

I was speechless, to say the least. It was as if she’d lived long enough to see it happen and progress until now.

I didn’t know that, about how the vampire rankings had started. I was still confused about the seelie and the unseelie thing and why they had given the purebloods special powers in the first place. As if reading my mind again, she answered my unasked questions.

“The seelie are light and good fae. The unseelie are dark, mischievous fae. The unseelie like to cause trouble.

That’s why they gave the purebloods special powers long ago,” she said as she looked down.

It was as if she was recalling that moment as if it were yesterday. I brushed that off for now. I wanted her to explain more about the fae right now. I also hated it when she read my mind. I mean, my thoughts were meant to be kept private. If I wanted anyone to know, I would’ve told them by now.

“Sorry, Vanni. I won’t read your mind anymore,” she apologized, looking down in shame.

“It’s fine. Could you explain more about the seelie and the unseelie and what they do? You said that you work for the seelie courts. What do you mean by that? What is it exactly?” I asked, still confused. I had no idea of the seelie and the unseelie. I didn’t even know they existed until a couple of minutes ago.

She led me over to one of the book sections and scanned over the shelves. I assumed this might have been the history section as she was grabbing a history book of the fae.

“Here it is,” she said, pulling out an old brown book.

I looked over her shoulder, peering down at it. It was an old brown leather book. You could tell it was old just by looking at it. It had gold lettering written on the front of it. Written in cursive, the title read, “The History of the Fair Folk.” I followed her to one of the black couches in the center of the room.

“Now the seelie and the unseelie. As I told you before, there are both light and dark fae. Let’s start at the beginning.

Seelie means ‘happy,’ ‘holy,’ ‘lucky,’ or ‘blessed.’ Unseelie means ‘unhappy,’ ‘unholy,’ or ‘misfortunate.’ The categorization of the fae is based on the courts to see whether or not the fae is light or dark.

“The seelie from the seelie courts are light fae. They help humans and warn them when they have offended them.

They return human kindness. Some fae like to play pranks on humans and forgive easily. Fae from this court are usually happy and lighthearted. Now the unseelie from the unseelie courts are dark fae. They mainly come out at night, and most of them are malevolent. Some aren’t, but that’s rare,” she explained.

I was still sort of confused. Sure, I understood what they were, but still, it would have been nice to know who was who.

“Take me, for example. I am a seelie. I am helping you not just because I like you but because it’s my job. You are in danger, but we can get into that later.”

That took me by surprise.

Danger? Helping? I was getting more confused as she kept on.

“An example of an unseelie is a dullahan. Now dullahans aren’t just one person. They’re a species. Dullahan means ‘without a head.’ So obviously, a dullahan is a headless rider. They are usually male, but very rarely will you see a female dullahan. The dullahan will carry their decapitated head under their arm. They have unusually large eyes and wear a grin that stretches from one ear to the other, showing their blackened, pointed teeth. The skin of a dullahan’s head is the color of rotten, moldy cheese. It most likely smells too.

“A dullahan will either ride on a black horse or a wagon pulled by black horses. The horse’s head is usually bigger than its own body. The dullahan uses the spinal column from a human for a whip. The wagon that a dullahan pulls is made of human bones and skin. The pokes of the wagons wheels are made of human thigh bone. They have candles inside the skulls on the wagon to light their way. The wagon’s covering is made from dried human skin.”

She read on without cringing. I didn’t know how she did it. That didn’t sound like a very pleasant sight to see or smell. That sounded like something out of an old folktale that humans told their children so they wouldn’t stay late out at night.

“I’m not finished yet, Vanni.” She interrupted my thoughts.

What more is there to tell? I think I’ve got a pretty good idea what an unseelie is now.

“Dullahans collect the souls of the dead or dying. When their wagon stops, it means that someone is about to die. They will call out the name of their victim, and that person will die immediately. Then they use their whip to collect that person’s soul. They do not like being watched while they run their errands. If they feel that you’re watching them, they will lash out your eyes with their whip, or they will douse you in blood.

That will signify that you are the next to die. There is no way of stopping a dullahan from getting to you. All gates will automatically open. All locks will unlock when a dullahan approaches. Although dullahans are frightened of gold. Even the tiniest speck will scare them off and drive them away.”

She sighed as she finally finished reading.

She acted like it was nothing, like that wasn’t anything new. I guess being a seelie, it wouldn’t surprise her.

They were just the opposite of her, unseelie. By the way, she had to read about them, which must have meant that she hadn’t run across one yet, but then again, no one had ever seen one and lived to tell the tale since they didn’t like being watched.

“So you see, Vanni, not all of us are good, but we all have a job to do, and we will do them without question. The seelie and the unseelie are loyal to their jobs. No one can sway them from doing them. The dullahans may seem cruel and evil, but it’s part of their job. My job is to protect you at all costs. No matter what.

“Actually, it’s our job right now. My other fae friends. We were all sent to protect you. Even though Filamina is mean to you, it’s her job to protect you.

Even Nathalie has to. We acted like relatives to blend in. We are not related at all. We are all just from the seelie courts sent to protect you. Fae don’t have last names, by the way. Those are made up too.”

I felt my heart drop when she said that,

when she said it was her job. Now it all made sense, the way they had protected me in school, the way they had pretended to be scared. They did it just to blend in. They did it to find out who I was. It was all part of their job. They were looking for me,

for the half-vampire, but why?

So it was only her job. Her duty to be with me. Her duty to like me. Her duty to be nice to me. Will I ever have true friends? How can I even find out who is friend or foe? I don’t even know who I am anymore. Everything has been a lie.

Whether she read my mind or not, she didn’t say anything, and for that, I was glad.

“So, uhm . . . how am I in danger?” I asked, trying to get my mind off everything else.

She just sighed and shook her head, meaning she wasn’t going to tell me. Right now, in my state of mind, I would have probably gotten a panic attack.

“Come on. Let me show you to your room, and as for that little piece of information, I’ll tell you when you’re ready,” she said, getting up.

She set the history book on the table and walked out of the library. She was walking down several halls, twisting and turning. We turned down at least four of them before she stopped in front of the ones on the right. It was the third door on the right. The door was large and made of mahogany.

“Wow, this is beautiful,” I said, walking into the bedroom as she pushed the door open a little wider.

The walls were painted gold. When I say gold, I mean literally. They literally put gold in the paint.

There was a California king-size bed on the far wall. It had black sheets, and the bedside tables were black as well. The long dresser ended a little more than halfway on the wall. There was a door on the left in the center with two black dressers on each side.

I decided to open the door on the left to see what was behind it. I was in awe when I opened it. I saw it was the bathroom, but let me tell you, it was no ordinary bathroom. It was grand. It had a spa-like tub on the left with a porcelain toilet in the front of it. Next to the toilet lay the sink, which was directly in front of me. The sink was made of marble. However, the cabinets underneath were mahogany.

There was a large cabinet above the sink, which was also made of mahogany. It also had a mirror on the front of the cabinet door.

On my right-hand side was a shower with black tiles inside and a glass shower door. It had a towel rack on the outside of the shower door. Of course, there were no windows in the bathroom, which was strangely odd to me.

“Hey, Veronique, why are there no windows?” I asked, confused.

She stayed silent, ignoring my question yet again. It was strange. I didn’t understand. It was just a simple innocent question, or so it seemed. I decided to finally look back at her to demand an answer, but when I looked back, she was gone. I was stunned by her sudden disappearance and kind of mad too.

How dare she leave me! She’s avoiding telling me something. Maybe it’s to do with me being in danger. I’m still curious about my other half though. Guess I’ll have to find out on my own. She didn’t say anything about me having to stay in here though. Maybe I could go searching the castle, see if I can find out anything.

I decided to search my room first before I wandered through the castle. I walked over to the closet because I was curious to see how big it was. If my room and bathroom were great, then the closet could be as well. Part of me was hoping that it was full of clothes so I didn’t have to wear my pitiful clothes, but the other part of me was hoping that it wasn’t, only because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself when I wore them to school tomorrow.

I hesitated as I stood in front of the closet door, contemplating on whether I should open it or not. My heart was thundering in my chest the longer I waited. I let out a shaky sigh and closed my eyes as I decided to open it and get it over with.

I swung open the door as fast as I could before I had a chance to change my mind. When I finally opened my eyes, I gasped at the sight before me.

Holy shit!

I was lost for words. This was beyond my imagination. The closet was filled to the brim with clothes. It had three times more clothes than I had ever owned in my entire life. The clothes were extraordinary. They looked as if they had cost a fortune. I didn’t even want to think of the price they had to pay for all these.

I was snapped out of my thoughts as I heard footsteps enter my room. When I stepped out of the closet to look who it was, I saw Angelique. She was leaning against the door frame.

Maybe I could get an answer out of her.

“Hey, uhm, why are there no windows in here or the bathroom?” I asked quietly. I was still shy around them, even knowing who and what they were.

“So how are liking it?”

I really didn’t like her answering my question with another question. She laughed as she heard me growl out of irritation. I was irritated that everyone was avoiding my questions. I wanted some damn answers, and they weren’t giving them to me.

She laughed harder when she saw the scowl that had crossed my face.

“Come sit with me, Vanni,” she said, giggling.

She had finished her laughing fit as she walked toward the bed, gesturing for me to follow. I just simply watched, ignoring her gesture.

She made herself comfortable at the foot of my new bed, feet dangling. I hesitated at first but caved in. It couldn’t be helped, not if I wanted her to comply and answer me.

“So I see you have some questions,” she said with a smile as she watched me—closer than I was comfortable with, might I add. It seemed like she was waiting for an answer.

I just nodded, not trusting my voice at the moment—if I even had one. Sitting this close to anyone other than my so-called friends or Veronique made me a little nervous.

Her smile faltered as she noticed I wasn’t going to say anything. “Look, Vanni, I can’t answer your questions if you don’t ask them.”

As soon as she said that, hope began to fill my body.

I was right. I could get some answers.

Several questions began rushing in my mind as I tried to think of the right one to ask first. Or should I ask the most important one? I was about to ask one when a different thought came to mind. I furrowed my brows and looked at the floor as I thought about it.

“Why are you willing to give me answers when Veronique wasn’t?” I asked, not looking up from the floor.

I heard her sigh deeply.

“It’s your right to know. No matter what she tells you” was all she said before she grew quiet once again.

I just nodded, thinking of my next question. Well, she answered my questions about how she knew. I was guessing she ran into her along the way. The question was why she was headed to my room.

“Why are there no windows?” I asked for the third time today.

If she was giving me some answers, then I was determined to use this moment to my advantage. Who knew when an opportunity like this would happen again? These girls were stubborn, it seemed. If they didn’t want you to know anything, they were going to go to great lengths to avoid it.

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