There’s nothing but darkness all around me, voices calling for me to follow them. But before I can Thomas’s voice calling me, pulling me away from them.
“Scarlet come on wake up. You have to come back.” His face started to appear in the darkness, his hand reaching out to me. I started to reach out to him, and everything else started to appear around him. I opened my eyes, at first I didn’t know where I was or what happened to me. I looked around, I was back at the apartment, in Thomas’s room; his face above mine, his eyes glowing gold. Nothings spinning and I’m taking it as a good sign.
“How long have I been out of it?” “About a day; now come on; you have to get up.” I nodded and he pulled me up to a sitting position, on his bed.
“Come on you need to eat.”
Helping me up, we left his room, walking into the kitchen, sitting me at the table. He gave me some food, and a tall glass of orange juice. “So I have to work, and you are not leaving this place without me. Understand?” I nodded and we ate in silence. I started to feel better as soon as I had food in my stomach.
After he finished eating, he cleaned up. “Alright I’m going to work. I mean it no leaving.” I nodded he gave me a kiss on the head, and walked out the door.
Thomas left leaving me alone, instructing me no leaving the apartment, I’ve been here about a week, and I have only been out the one time, at least I think it’s been about a week.
I still don’t understand why but I think he’s trying to protect me, in a weird way. When I’ve been alone; I’ll change for a while stretching out other animals.
Thomas has been gone for a while, so I changed into the raven. I felt safer then I have ever felt. Shiny black feathers, dark red on the underside of my wings, and a red stripe going down the back of my head.
I flapped my wings flying low through the apartment, so no one would see me through the windows.
All of the sudden the doorknob moved and I could hear his breathing. I started to panic; I tried to change back, but nothing would happen. I couldn’t change back, I’m stuck; just as the door opened, I flew into the bathroom grabbing the towel on the back of the door, with my beak pulling it closed, and I heard his voice and his footsteps.
“Scarlet I’m back. Scarlet where are you?”
I hadn’t tried to talk as an animal in a while; but I managed to change my vocal cords enough to say. “I’ll just be a moment.” I landed on the sink, and tried to change back. But nothing would happen; I tried and tried, but I couldn’t change back.
Thomas knocked on the door. “Scarlet is everything okay in there?” I couldn’t answer, and he became very agitated.
“Scarlet open the door!” I tried to calm down, but I’m only getting more stressed.
“If you don’t open up, I’m coming in.” He pushed against the door, opening it easily, since I couldn’t lock it. “What the hell?” Panicking, I flew past him flying into the living room. I landed on the coffee table, he walked up to me and knelt down in front of me. “Oh my god! Scarlet? Is that you?” I dipped my head trying to nod.
“Wow I can’t believe it! Can you turn back?” I tried to say “No” but it came out garbled. But he seemed to understand me.
“I’ll try and help you. Just stay calm.”
He put his hand on my back, and closed his eyes, and something happened. I don’t know what he did, but the change started, and I was back quickly. I sat in front of him, human; and strangely exhausted from the change.
“Thomas I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, I was just scared to tell you. I’m a shapeshifter; I can take the shape of different animals.”
I waited for him to yell or something, but he didn’t, he just smiled.
“That’s amazing. I knew there was something about you, but I didn’t think that it would be… this.” Giving him a look, he smiled.
He opened his mouth and a pair of fangs extended, and his eyes changed colour.
I know what he is, I’ve met a few over the years, coming through town. “You’re a vampire? How could I not know you’re a vampire?”
“You know about vampires?” I nodded.
“Yes I also know that there are also werewolves out there. I’ve met a few over the years. Have you ever met another shape shifter?” He shook his head. “No I’ve never met one. I didn’t know they exist. I’m sorry.” “I don’t know why this happened to me. Why I ended up like this. You see I wasn’t supposed to live past a week when I born.” He sat back so he could sit on the couch.
“Why do you say that?”
“I was told that by my parents.” He looked at me, it’s like he’s seeing into my soul. His eyes went wide. “Your parents resent you for living. They never treated you well. You showed them what you are; and your mother threatened you with a knife and you have the knife in your bag, and you ran away from home.”
I didn’t say anything, just looked down.
“I am so sorry Scarlet. You never should have had to deal with that. Your parents should have known better.”
I didn’t say anything. What could you say? At seventeen my family hated me and wanted nothing to do with me. “Hey you don’t ever have to go back to them. I know I should have done things differently, but I also know that there was something about you, and I couldn’t lose that. And to answer your other question yes I read your mind.”
None of this should be happening to me, I should be at home planning my eighteenth birthday party.
Not running away from home, and some guy basically kidnapping me. I can’t stay here I have to leave.
“No you can’t. You don’t know what it’s like out there. Theirs people that will want to hurt you. I can protect you here, so just stay, please?”
It wasn’t the please that stopped me, it was the look of fear in his eyes. The look of losing me, of not knowing what would happen to me.
It’s like he genuinely cares about me! I’ve never really known that.
“Ok I’ll stay, for a while at least.” “You can even have my room, and I’ll sleep on the couch.”
He looked over at my stuff, still sitting there in my bags. “We’ll get you a small dresser for you things.” He looked at me. “I still can’t believe it; you’re a shape shifter. Can you show me something else?”
“I don’t know, do you think you can handle it?” He gave me a look. So I nodded got up and walked away from him.
“The only people I’ve showed this were terrified to me.”
“You don’t have to be afraid to ever show me!”
I took a deep breath, and got down on the floor. “Close the blinds please.”
My voice already starting to change. “I can usually call what I want to change into, except for when it just come’s, forces it on me. So just stay where you are.” I put the image of a wolf in my mind, white fur, and bright blue eyes. “I want you to take a photo of me, after I change.”
He nodded and grabbed his phone.
I closed my eyes, and called the wolf forward. I started to feel her coming to the surface, my muscles changing, fur sprouting, and lengthening all over my body. There was a pop, and the change completed, and I stood on all fours in front of Thomas, as a white wolf.
I shook out my fur, and stared at him. He didn’t move for a moment, I wasn’t even sure if he’s breathing or not. He took a photo of me and I walked over to him and sat in front of him, and put my head in his lap.
He put his hand on my head. “Scarlet is it really you?” Showing him it’s really me in here, I nipped at his hand.
“Okay I get it, it’s you. You’re beautiful.” He moved his hand down my back, feeling my fur. I moved back and reversed the change.
I came over and sat next to him.
He didn’t say anything, just stared at me like I’m not real, not sitting right next to him. “Thomas you have to say something.” I reached up to slap him, but he grabbed my hand before it made contact with his face.
“You’re amazing. That was amazing.” He traced my cheek with his finger, his touch so smooth that it left goose bumps in its wake.
I moved back, putting a little distance between us. Neither one of us said anything; I didn’t know what to say.
He saw what I am, and is freaking out, because of it. “Thomas?” There was still nothing; and this time I did slap him across the face. And that seemed to have snapped him out of his shock.
“You don’t get to freak out on me because of this; I’m the one that should be freaked out, not you. So snap out of it!”
He put his hand to his face, and rubbed his cheek where I slapped him. “You didn’t have to slap me you know.” I got up and started to walk away from him, I said “Yes I did” and went to grab one of my bags. He has a small balcony so I grabbed a book and climbed out the window; leaving Thomas watching me.
It stopped raining and the sun came out. When something would happen I would crawl into a book and everything would be okay. Looking at the building around me, I had to wonder where he got the money to pay for it. He did say he has a job, and it has to be a pretty good paying job, to pay for this place.
I looked over the ledge and noticed a ladder going down the fire escape.
I looked back inside; Thomas was nowhere to be seen, so I put my book down and went over to the ladder.
It looked safe enough to climb down. I got to the ground and has a look around; people are milling about, it didn’t seem people were paying much attention; I saw a paper box and went to grab one.
I pulled some change out and got a paper.
I got back to the ladder, and tucked my paper in and started climbing back up.
I got to the top, and someone’s up there waiting for me. I looked up at Thomas whom was standing there arms across his chest.
I smiled and finished climbing up.
I took out my paper and started to walk past him. He stepped in front of me. “Where did you go?” I didn’t like the tone of his voice. “I went out. Now get out of my way.”
I pushed past him, climbing back through the window.
He followed me back inside; moving to stand in front of me again.
“I told you not to leave the apartment without me!” That got me angry.
“What did you expect? I’ve been trapped here for over a week, and have only been out a couple times. So can you really blame me for sneaking out?”
“No I don’t, but you can’t do it. You have no idea how dangerous this city can be, but I do know. When I first got here I was attacked and killed by a couple angry vamps. So I do know how dangerous this city can be.” I looked through the paper looking for only one thing, if my parents put out a missing person’s report on me.
But there’s nothing, not one word.
“I know Scarlet; I’ve been watching the papers, but they haven’t reported you missing. I am so sorry Scarlet.”
Sighing I refolded the paper. “I shouldn’t expect one; my family hated me, they were probably happy to see me gone.”
“I know. But you don’t need them; not anymore.”
He took the paper from me, and threw it on the table. He looked at the clock.
“It’s almost five so why don’t I order some food and we’ll talk.” Nodding. “Ok. In the short time I’ve known you, I don’t really know a whole lot about you. So this will be good.” I said setting the paper down. “That my darling is a very long story.”
He headed for the kitchen, leaving me sitting there watching him walk away.
I looked around the room, my gaze settling on the calendar hanging on the wall, no it can’t be!
I went over to it, and looked at the dates.
It’s a few days before Halloween, and that means a few days before my birthday. “Oh my god!” Thomas must have heard me, because he came running into the room. “What is it? What happened?” “It’s only a few days before my eighteenth birthday.” I said sighing. “Really, well them we’ll have to do something won’t we?”
Shaking my head. “No we don’t have to.” The way he looked at me. “Of course we have to, you’re turning eighteen. Look at it this way; it’ll be a fresh start for you, and after the life you’ve had you deserve it. A new beginning.”
He smiled, and put his hands on his hips.
“So it’s settled, I’ll arrange it.” He walked back to the kitchen, and I continued to stare at the calendar page. Thomas came back out a couple minutes later saying he’d ordered pizza.
He had to pull me away from the calendar.
As we walked over to the couch I said.
“I’ve been gone over a week, and there’s been nothing. It’s like they just forgot about me.” “You don’t have to worry about it; you never have to see them again. There not worth it. Just forget them.” I nodded. “But I thought that there might have been something.”
He sat down, and pulled me into his arms. He just held onto me; I started to cry not being able to stop myself. I don’t know why I’m crying, I have no reason to be upset. They didn’t want me, Thomas is right I’m better off.
“Don’t cry. Everything will be alright.”
I pushed him back; I wiped my eyes, trying to pull myself together. I looked back at the calendar, wondering if my parents will ever come looking for me.
Thomas put a hand on my cheek, and smiled.
“You have a new family, here with me.” He grabbed a small bag from beside the couch, and handed it to me. “Here this might cheer you up a little.” He said setting it in my lap.
I opened the bag, and pulled out cell phone. A blue and red case and black phone. “It’s a burner, so you don’t have to worry about it being traced. My numbers in there already. I will try and let you out more often. It will be hard, but I’ll try.” “Thank you.” I said looking the cell phone over. I’ve never had a cell phone before, and I have no idea how to use one.
I put it down and folded the bag. “We still have a little time before food will be here. Why don’t you go and lie down until it comes.” I nodded and headed for the bed room. I closed the door, and as it shut tears started to flow, I crawled into bed, and cried until everything around me darkened, and I drifted off.