Pushing my way past the trees and branches, I tried to look for a safe place to hide. I could hear them behind me, which made me all the more desperate to hide. I was thirsty and tired, but I knew that death would come for me soon enough. It would be nothing short of a miracle if I managed to survive past this month.
After running for a few more minutes, my body gave in and I ended up collapsing behind a bush. I tried not to gasp for breath too loudly, for the fear of being found and killed. However, I did not understand why I was running. I was going to die anyway, might as well have it done quickly and painlessly right now than to the endure the agony which I knew would be my companion in the coming days.
However, as I gazed at the full moon, with needles coursing through my veins, I knew I could not let those people kill me. My clan may have shunned me, but that did not mean I would allow them to kill me. I would live out my remaining days in solitude. If I died, then I would die knowing I was not weak enough to just sit and let them kill me.
The rumbling of the clouds stole my attention, making me realize that a storm was about to come. I needed to look for a place to seek shelter, but there was nowhere I could go. My clan had officially shunned me, which meant I was not allowed to show my face, let alone exist in this world. The leader of my clan would not stop until he had me turned to ash, or decapitated. If I was destined to survive, then I would have to take on a new identity because it was the only way I would be able to live.
“I think we lost her.” My heart jumped in fright when I heard Bolby’s voice. I could not believe my own college friend was turning against me and helping those people find me and kill me.
“We cannot lose her. Keep searching, her scent is still here. She must be nearby.” This came from Ajax, who happened to be the eldest son of the clan leader. He was one of the most dangerous vampire I knew, which made me all the more terrified.
Another growl tore through the winds as the clouds gathered overhead, eclipsing the moon, bathing the world in darkness. Despite the oblivion surrounding me, I knew I was far from safe. For vampires, there was no difference between night and day, as they could spot the tiniest of creatures during both times. I needed to get out of this forest, because I knew in the next few seconds Ajax would find me and kill me and I could not allow that to happen.
As soon as the first slice of lightning cut through the clouds, I got up and forced my legs to resume running, knowing that I had to find a safe place to stay as soon as possible. My scent would be the death of me if I did not get out of here. I had discarded all unnecessary clothing and if I ended up removing my black shirt and pants, I would be exposed in an entirely different way.
“I can smell her. Her scent is strong near the rose bushes,” Bolby hollered, which had me frowning. There were no rose bushes around me, so why in the world did he say that? I did not know the name of the bushes around me but I did know that they were not rose bushes.
Using all my remaining strength, I ran as fast and as hard as I could. They were going to catch me if I didn’t get out of this forest. Ajax was fast, a lot faster than I was, but right now when my life was on the line, I had to be as fast as I could.
“Hiding is futile, Tempest, you know that. I will find you and when I do, you better be ready because I am going to kill you. The clan has shunned you, which means you are not allowed to exist. So do us all a favor and stop hiding. If you cooperate, I will give you a quick and painless death,” Ajax shouted. He was right, there was no point in living like a refugee but I was willing to take the risk. I just did not want him to kill me. I had a lot of things to do before I died and one of them involved taking revenge from my twin sister.
Using the last bit of my strength, I managed to get out of the forest and ran the length of the deserted road, hoping it would lead me to some place where there were no vampires and I could be free. However, as my lungs exploded with the need for blood, I started to doubt whether I would be able to reach the next town or not.
“No, no. I must keep going.” No matter what happened, I must ignore my need for blood, it was the only way I would be able to survive. The thing that was vital for my existence had become a curse for me. I could not let it rule my life any longer as it would be the reason I would die now.
Forcing all thoughts of blood to the back of my mind, I forced myself to continue forward. And when I finally reached the end of the road and entered what looked to be deserted town, I knew that I would have to find a place here to stay in order to regain my energy.
“I doubt I would be able to regain my energy, but I have to try.” I told myself, as I looked for an inconspicuous place. This town looked to be fast asleep. Not a single sound could be heard, not even the hoot of an owl or the chirping of crickets, it was deathly silent.
Now that the threat of being captured and killed was no longer weighing on my mind as it had been before, the need for blood slammed to the forefront of my brain. And despite my best efforts to control myself, I couldn’t help it as my fangs elongated and my throat went dry, craving for the one thing that now had the power to kill me.
“N—No,” I moaned as I tried to distract myself by walking around and looking for a house so I could try and relax, but all I could think about was blood and how thirsty I was. What would happen to me if I did not get blood? I knew I would go weak and lose my strength, but for how many days would I be able to live?
Thunder rattled the sky, before the first drop of rain fell on my face, followed by another and another until the clouds opened and let loose a torrential rainfall, soaking me from head to toe in seconds. I was glad for the rain because it meant that my scent would be washed away and no one would come after me. Hopefully I would be able to find a way to reverse this curse before it killed me. But I did not know how I would be able to do it. The person who was the cause of this fled the scene and told the entire clan to come and kill me.
“I would so kill you for this,” I muttered, sending out a curse to the person who sent me to my death. I did not want to die before taking my revenge but my thirst was intensifying and I knew it wouldn’t be long before I ended up collapsing.
Walking through the deserted town, I looked left and right, trying to spot an empty house but there was not a single one that was empty. I could hear the heart beats of the sleeping residents, which only served to worsen my thirst. I did not want to commit murder and suicide at the same time, but that was exactly what I would do if I did not find an empty house soon. Why did this happen to me?
My ears prickled when I heard a cat darting past me. I heard its heartbeat, fluttering like a hummingbird ready to take flight. This poor little creature was afraid of me and was trying to run away, little did it know that it would take me a mere second to grab it and sink my fangs in its soft flesh and another second to drain it of its life’s essence.
However, with need came a sharp reminder that I could not feed on this cat if I wanted to live out my days suffering in peace. This bloody curse was going to be my death and I could not do anything about it except find a way to reverse it. But I barely had knowledge of how magic worked, so I did not know how I was going to handle this. Perhaps instead of looking for a house to stay in, I should look for a library or something so I could read books and maybe find a cure for this curse.
After walking around for God knows how long I reached what looked to be a hill. And on top of the hill stood the biggest house I had seen in my life. It was even bigger than the headquarters of my clan, and that was saying something because the clan’s headquarters was huge.
The giant house was painted black and looked to be deserted as far as I could tell. I could not spot anyone’s presence in there. Maybe this was an abandoned house which was the theme of people’s scary stories in this town. But since there was nobody present here, maybe I could rest here for a while and try not to think about blood, even though that was next to impossible because my body was in serious need of it. In a few hours my veins would feel as if they were on fire and then would come the bone crushing fever which would push me closer to death. Yeah, I was not looking forward to any of that.
Taking a deep breath and forcing thoughts of blood to the back of my mind—which they refused to go to—I stepped forward and slid open the window before sneaking inside. I did not know why I was scared to go in, as there was nobody present, but anxiety seemed to keep a tight grip on me as I shut the window once again when I was inside.
Looking around, I realized that I was inside what could only be the living room. Even though it was dark, my vision made me see things bright and clear as if the sun was out. There were antique sofas and tables scattered around with black fixtures and lamps adorning various spots. A black, crystal chandelier hung down from the ceiling and I knew that if the lights were on, it would give this room a luxurious feel. In fact, not a single item present here looked to be cheap, which made me wonder why nobody had bothered robbing this place.
“Focus Temp, you are here to rest for a few hours. And then you have to go and find the cure. You cannot die like this; you have to make your enemy pay for doing this to you.” I told myself as I moved out of the living room towards a set of spiral staircase which would hopefully lead me to an empty bedroom.
As a vampire, being exhausted was something that never happened to me, but due to the lack of energy as I was unable to feed, my system was in need for some time out. But I could not give my body what it craved, so I had to resort to something which I’d barely done since I was born, and that was to rest.
Climbing up the stairs felt like the worst challenge. I could not believe I had been reduced to this—a lethargic mess. I was so angry with the person who cursed me that I could not even take her name. How could she do this to me? I would make her pay if I ever lived to see the next few days.
Once I reached the top of the stairs, I had the option to go either left or right. I chose to go right because the left corridor seemed to have a lot of paintings and not many doors and I needed to find a bed.
“I am a vampire; I should not be trying to sleep in the night. This is ridiculous,” I complained as I looked for a door which was unlocked, as the first three doors weren’t.
After trying the next few doors and finding them locked, I thought it would be best to check the second floor, but before I could do that, a burning pain began in my heart and seemed to spread through my body, traveling through my veins, setting my soul on fire. Oh no, not so soon; I had yet to find a room. But fate had other plans.
The pain intensified which had me crying out loud as my knees gave out and I fell on the floor, clutching my heart, begging for the pain to go away. This was it, I was going to die. I thought I would be able to survive the next few days but it seemed as if it was not meant to be.
Ignoring the sheer agony was not possible as it only got worse with every passing minute. Bile rose up and I ended up vomiting only to see my blood staining the floor.
“Who is there?” I froze when I heard a deep, powerful voice which had the power to rattle my heart. How was this possible? This house was abandoned. I did not hear a single heartbeat when entering this place, so how come there was a man here?
However, I soon forgot about the man as another wave of agony pierced my insides, causing me to moan out loud. But a new fear replaced the terror of my impending death when I looked up at the man standing before me. He was easily over six feet tall with dark brown hair and dark blue eyes. His chiseled jaw and nose and sculpted face gave him an aura of danger and darkness, but it was what he was holding in his hand that terrified me…
A silver dagger.