Fourteen-year-old Camilla Smythe was sitting in the Public Library, in her small hometown in South Dakota off in a corner by herself. She had a pile of books in front of her, along with a notebook for any notes she might need to take. She had gotten her mom to drop her off there as soon as the doors had opened at eight am. It was now after ten am. Her mom knew it was safe to leave Camilla there because the librarian, Janet, was one of her mom’s cousins.
“Why does it not surprise me to find you here?”
Camilla looked up to find her good friend Shelly.
Shelly was standing with her arms crossed, giving Camilla a dirty look.
Camilla just smiled, not taking offense, her braces shining in the fluorescent lights. She asked, “Where else would I be?”
Shelly plopped down in the chair next to her with a grunt. “I was hoping anywhere but here.”
“You know how I love to read, Shelly. That is why most call me a bookworm,” Camilla continued ignoring her friend’s frown.
“They might not call you that, if you would go outside and play like a normal kid sometimes,” Shelly told her as she rolled her eyes.
“Probably, but it doesn’t bother me much because I have you,” Camilla said. Then, giving her friend a sideways look she asked, “Now, why are you here?”
“My mom ran into your mom, who said you were here,” Shelly told her.
“Mm…” Camilla mumbled. Then she pushed her large frame glasses up her nose before propping her chin in her hand. She took a moment to study the girl who had been her best friend since kindergarten as she nibbled the inside of her cheek.
“What? Why are you looking so hard at me for?” Shelly asked.
“Do you think vampires are real, Shelly?” Camilla asked in a whisper.
Shelly’s eyes widened. The question had her glancing down for the first time at the pile of books in front of Camilla.
“Is that what these books are about?” Shelly asked her as she tapped her finger on the top one.
Camilla sighed. She just hoped what she was going to say wouldn’t ruin her and Shelly’s friendship. “Yeah. I had this crazy dream a few nights ago and…” Camilla sighed again. “Well, it got me thinking, so here I am researching vampires. So, do you?”
“Who’s to say really. TV and movies make them seem real I suppose, but are they truly real? Eh, I think I’d have to meet one to believe they genuinely exist,” she answered with a decisive nod.
Shelly was like that, Camilla thought. Shelly was one of those “seeing is believing” type people. So, Camilla just nodded in agreement.
“So, tell me what you’ve learned about vampires so far,” Shelly encouraged.
Camilla grinned as she pulled her notebook closer. This was why Shelly was her best friend. So, taking a deep breath she began, “Okay, well…”
*Two weeks Later**
Camilla yawned as she finally finished her homework and stood up from the kitchen table. Walking into the sitting room, she found her parents cuddling on the couch kissing. She gave a secret smile hoping one day a man would love her as much as her father loved her mother.
“I’m going to bed now,” Camilla said.
Mother turned to look at her. “Alright, sleep well.”
“Goodnight Camilla,” Father added.
“Goodnight,” Camilla said. Then up the stairs, she went to her room.
Crawling beneath her cover she gave a tired yawn and soon drifted off to sleep.
Camilla was laying on a bed so soft it felt like a cloud. It didn’t feel anything like her bed that was for sure. There was a muscled arm under her head and a masculine body behind her.
“Mm… Meine Geliebte, I have missed you,” a deep gravelly voice said from behind her. He gave her a soft, chaste, kiss on her cheek before saying, “My dreams are so lonely when you are not in them.”
Camilla smiled at him calling her meine Geliebte. She’d looked it up the first time he had called her that and found out it was German for “my beloved”.
“Mine too,” she said. Then, with her eyes still closed, she asked the question that had been burning in her mind ever since that first dream, “When do you think we will meet for real?”
She heard him give a soft sigh. He then picked up her hand and held it gently, rubbing his thought lightly across the back of it. “I wish I could say soon Geliebte, but I fear it is not to be. You are so young yet.”
“Oh,” she said sadly, “but we will meet, right?”
“Ja, we will Geliebte,” he told her. “When the time is right, we will meet. I feel this in my very soul. Until then, I must be satisfied with my dreams, as must you.”
Opening her eyes, she rolled almost onto her back, so she could get a better look at him.
He was, for the most part, all a blur, but she could just make out a few things. She could tell his hair was brown, his eyes red, and that he had fangs that parted his lips. She knew his shoulders were extremely broad, even in their blurred state. It excited her to know he wasn’t puny, for she did so love the look of a muscular man.
Then, just for a moment, as her gaze strayed downward, his chest became clear. He was wearing a V-neck tee shirt which gave her a glimpse of his pale skin and light sprinkling of chest hair before he disappeared.
Awakening the next morning, Camilla jumped out of bed in excitement. She could hardly wait to share her newest dream with her friend Shelly.
She quickly dressed and hurried to school. Once there, she stayed on pins and needles until lunchtime when she could talk.
When lunch came, she practically ran to the cafeteria and sat down at the lunch table. Looking across the table, she could hardly hold in her excitement.
Shelly looked at her and grinned after unwrapping her sandwich. Then she said, “Okay, spill, my friend. What has you so worked up?”
“I had another dream, Shelly,” she whispered to her friend. She didn’t want anyone else to hear because she knew they would make fun of her.
She also didn’t want tales of her dreams getting back to her parents.
The Smythe name was a big one in this South Dakota small town. Her parents already worried that her head was too far into her books and the clouds as it was. If they ever heard she was having dreams about a vampire man? Well, she didn’t know what they would do, but she knew she wouldn’t like it.
Shelly looked up from her lunch and asked, “You did? This makes how many dreams now?”
“Four or five I think. This time I saw him though Shelly! I mean, I saw more than his glowing red eyes and fangs, which is usually all I see,” Camilla told Shelly excitedly.
“Okay… So, what does he look like then?” Shelly asked before taking a bit of her sandwich.
Camilla frowned thoughtfully as she too began to eat her lunch.
“Well, I could tell his hair was brown, medium brown I guess. It was cut extremely short, like almost military short,” Camilla said as she put her thumb and forefinger about an inch apart to show length.
“Bummer, because I know you like guys with longer hair. You know, like that singer dude you like so much,” Shelly muttered with a thoughtful look. She also began to tap her nails on the table. “What is his name again?”
Camilla felt her face heat as she glanced down at her plate and mumbled a name.
“Oh, what was that Camilla? Oh yeah, Louis, that’s his name!” Shelly snickered a bit. “I still think Liam is way hotter, just saying.”
“Hm-pf… whatever. Don’t be dissin’ my main man! Now back to my dream please,” Camilla said. Then she smiled as she began to think about her dream again. “So, he’s slightly pale, not pasty white, just not tanned. Oh, Shelly, he had the broadest shoulders. He looks like he could lift a Mack truck or something, you know.”
“Oh, wow!” Shelly exclaimed with wide eyes. “Like one of those wrestling dudes?”
“Yeah,” Camilla agreed with a dreamy sigh.
“Well, that is fascinating and all Camilla, but it really doesn’t help you find this guy. Of course, you have time to do it in, since you are only fourteen…” Shelly’s voice faded.
“I know Shelly, but I know I’ll find him someday,” Camilla said, even as her shoulders drooped. “I have too.”
“Oh, and why is that?” Shelly asked.
Camilla’s dreamy smile came back at her friend’s question. “Because I want a vampire’s kiss of course! I think he’ll be the perfect one to give it to me.”
Shelly shook her head at her friend’s flight of fancy. Vampires, everyone knew they were made up works of fiction. Well, apparently everyone but Camilla. She knew though that her friend was profoundly serious about finding this vampire dream man.
When Camilla says she’s going to do something, she does it, no matter what. So, Shelly watched her friend look for her dream from that moment on at every turn, never quitting.
Shelly watched as Camilla turned down the guys who drooled over her because there was only one she wanted.
While Shelly was dating in high school, Camilla was at home studying.
While Shelly was partying in college, Camilla was still… studying.
After college was over, Shelly went to work at a bakery. Camilla began learning the ropes to take over Smythe Enterprises.
Occasionally, Shelly would ask Camilla if she was ready to give up on her dream.
Camilla’s answer was always the same, no. She would tell Shelly that every day brought her that much closer to finding him.
Eventually, Shelly stopped asking.
What Shelly didn’t know, was that it would take her friend eighteen years to find him and that it would take her halfway across the US.
But find him she did!