Winter's Nights: Eternity

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Day Four

Hunt’s mind was still racing from the night’s events with the vampire so she found it difficult to settle down and get ready for bed. She knew that she would regret it that night if she didn’t get a decent amount of sleep, but she made a cup of instant coffee, added some alcoholic Irish Cream, and plunked down on the couch in front of the TV.

Immortality and eternity, what is the difference? Hunt wondered. Immortality means you never die, but vampires can die. They never age, but they can die. Eternity means forever. There’s no end to eternity. So vampires never end? Isn’t that the same as immortality? But they aren’t immortal… I don’t know.

Hunt shook her head. She watched some mindless TV shows for a while, emptying her mind of everything related to work, then she finally showered and went to bed.

Hunt lay awake for a while with Merry’s difficult question burning in her mind: vampirism or death? I don’t know. Merry said that death is nothing to fear but it still scares me. I don’t want to die. I want to travel, I want to learn more things, I want to find my true love… Hunt’s mind drifted to Athens. She had thought, at one time, that he was her true love. Merry says we’re still in love, and maybe she’s right. Maybe I should give Alix one more chance…

Hunt’s eyelids drooped shut and she finally drifted off to sleep. Her dreams were strange again. This time the one that she remembered most prominently was of a huge ballroom filled with people in elegant, Elizabethan clothes dancing to live music. Queen Elizabeth I was there, sitting on her throne at one end of the hall watching the dancers. Hunt was dancing with Athens, but he looked very different without his glasses and with his hair long and hanging around his shoulders. There were other people in the crowd that seemed familiar to her, but she knew she’d never seen them before and after she woke up she couldn’t remember their faces.

Athens sat on the balcony of his apartment mindlessly working his way through a bag of potato chips. His body was still getting used to the switch from days to nights, so he found it hard to think about sleep when it was sunny out.

Instead, Athens thought about the vampire. The power, the intelligence, the raw fury. But Athens was most haunted by the vampire's words: you and Alix are in love... How could the vampire know? And was she right? Did this mean that Amy still had feelings for him and that the vampire had somehow picked up on those feelings? Had something Amy said tipped the vampire off?

Athens wondered what it would take to get Amy back. Was the vampire even right? Amy hadn't really denied the vampire's statement, but did that mean that it was true? Was this some game that the vampire was playing? Or did she sincerely believe that Amy still loved him, and that he still loved her?

He knew the truth on his part: he did still love Amy. He had made mistakes that had cost him her trust, but now he wondered if her love remained and that she was simply afraid to show it for fear of being hurt again.

There were wolves in the novel Merry had been reading, which reminded her of the werewolves she knew and had known. She remembered one young one in particular. He was bitten when he was only sixteen and it had ruined his life. His parents had kicked him out of the house because they thought he was on drugs. He was living in an abandoned warehouse and locking himself in the furnace room during the full moons. Merry had found him digging through a dumpster one night and had recognized by his scent what he was. His own heightened senses had told him that she wasn’t a normal human either, so he trusted her.

Merry, like most vampires, was very rich, and she had helped the young werewolf get back on his feet. She got him an apartment and connected him to other werewolves so he had a safer place to spend the full moons. Merry smiled when she remembered the look on his face when she introduced him to another werewolf. He was so happy and surprised and overwhelmed. Merry wondered how he was doing. I’ll have to go see him some night after I get out of here, she decided.

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