Alas I own not thiss story MClark083108 does.
Chapter One : The Talk
The tunnels were dark and damp. The smell of decay and dead overwhelmed us as we followed the red fledglings. Every 10 feet or so was a lighted torch so we could just see our way down the tunnels. See, because of the Kahloa, we have been forced underground, safe from the Raven Mockers. The Kahloa is a Cherokee demon, who once raped and attacked women all over the earth until the Cherokee Wise Women bound him in a cave for what they hoped would have been eternity. Only earth could bind him to his imprisonment. It wasn't until my mentor, Neferet, whom I considered like a mother, no thanks to my biological one, awoke him. She was responsible for the red fledglings. For what happened to Stevie Rae, Elliot, Venus…and Stark. Stark! I still remember the last kiss that he gave me before he died. Well, he wasn't dead, but Undead. The red fledglings were students at the House of Night. They were Marked by Nyx our Goddess. They had died, they did not changed into an Adult Vampire like Erik. They were Undead. Erik, had I completely forgotten about him? I stopped in my tracks and hadn't not even realized that he was holding my hand pulling me deeper in the tunnel with the rest of our friends.
"Zoey, what's wrong? Is everything ok?"
I snapped out of the trance I was in. Looked up "Umm, yeah. I guess. Any clue on where we are going or where we are at now?"
"We're almost there" was that Okie twang that butted in just that second. My best friend Stevie Rae. Head of the red fledglings. Nyx had blessed her with an affinity for Earth. That has kept her close to Nyx during this strange change that she's made. She is different from us. She has red marks of flowers that framed her beautiful round face. Her wound was healing faster than I expected. Maybe that's what happens when you're an adult vampire. With all the blood you have to drink, I would imagine that rapid healing was not something that was a myth just like everything else the human world knew about vampires. Stevie Rae had been hit with an arrow in the heart by Stark. They boy who could not miss a target. Neferet told him to kill the "heart" and he shot at Stevie Rae. She was the "heart" of Neferet's problems.
My mind continued to wonder as we made it to the large opening in the tunnels. I thought about Stark, what I was going to do about him. I thought about Erik and the poem he read at the circle we had cast tonight. How he had given me his blood to share with the Dark Daughters. That was to be our big reveling. We were going to expose Neferet to Shekina. But as expected of the evil High Priestess, she managed to turn the tables on us, released the Kahloa and brainwashed the entire school. If only they all knew the truth. My mind continued to wander aimlessly un til Erik came up behind me
"Z…" in his cool, calm, and ultra sexy voice of his. How could I ever forget. Erik was the hottest guy at the House of Night. He reminded me a lot of Clark Kent, you know, Superman. He had the darkest of black hair with that superman curl that came just above his right eye.
"Yes? I'm sorry, my mind was wandering…did you need something?" I didn't want to sound overly enthusiastic that he was attempting to talk to me. Granted, after the ritual, I was completely shocked at what had happened. I would have swore that after everything that happened, he would have never spoken to me again. He would never feel for me again. God how I missed him. His warm embrace, the sweetness of his lips.
"I was wondering if we could talk. I know things have been kind of... I'm not sure how to put it…weird tonight, but I have something I really need to get off my chest and I think we should talk about it."
My eyes looked up at him. He was practically a foot taller than me. I was trembling. I wasn't sure where this was going to lead to. Good, or Bad? I prayed to Nyx that it was good news.
"Sure, I was kind of meaning to talk to you as well." BAH! Meaning to talk to him. No I wasn't. I was too scared to talk to him.
"Good, can we go somewhere a little more….private?" looking back at Stevie Rae.
"If you go down the tunnel on the right, there is a little alcove. Its dark, but far enough to where no one can hear you scream." Stevie replyed with a smile and winked in my direction. She was trying to be funny but I just gave her one of my 'your not funny' looks.
Erik gabbed my hand again and started leading me down the dark tunnel. The smell was unbearable down here. Almost like they stockpiled bodies of dead pizza boys down here. Until I noticed the small alcove just ahead of us. I saw the piles and piles of pizza boxes. Boxes with still pizza in them. That was the smell. Moldey Pizza. They never ate the pizza's, they simply discarded them so they could feed on the poor delivery boy. I made a mental note to ask Stevie Rae about this later.
"Zoey" As Erik turned to face me. He was so close. I could feel his breath, even though there was no need to actually breath anymore. I looked up at him, "Yes? You want to talk, so spit it out. We don't have eternity you know?" Man, why was I being rude and sassy. My grandmother raised me better than that.
"I know! Its just hard to…to…to let it all out. To tell you everything I'm feeling right this moment. With everything that has happened between us, Zoey, I still care about you. I can't stop caring about you. You have this pull to you. I can't loosen my grasp. Zoey, I'm in love with you. I can't bare to think of what happened between you and…him" Good, he wasn't going to bring up his name. I didn't want to either. I was disgusted with myself. I was a ho. I cheated on Erik. The night he changed, died, whatever. I really thought he was going to die like Stevie Rae did. I couldn't go through that again. Loren, the Poet, Neferet's lover, had seduced me into imprinting with him and having sex with him. Erik just so happened to walk in the room we were in and saw everything. No hiding it. I was humiliated. And now, he's professing his love and I couldn't do anything but to stare at him with my mouth open so far I might as well have tasted the nasty floor of the tunnel. "But that's besides the point. It took a lot of time for me to get over what happened. And after that class when I called you to recite Othello with me and you kissed me, just brought back every emotion I had. I can't take it anymore." As he said that he came with in inches of my face. He bent down, placed his hands on each side of my face. Traced his fingers around my marks and kiss me oh so lightly. "Please forgive me for being so harsh. I didn't mean to lose my cool in front of your friends. I realize now why you couldn't tell me things. Why you couldn't just be honest and open with me. You HAD to lie to us. in order to keep it fromNeferet. I see that now. Please forgive me."
I really couldn't believe what I was hearing. Forgive him?? HAHAHA, was he kidding? Forgive him? It was ME that needed to be forgiven.
"Erik,…I…ugh..I don't know what to say. "
"Then don't say anything at all. I'm willing to put this all in the past if you are."
"Erik…I.." and before I could get out of my mouth what I was planning to say he kissed me again. This time, much more passionately. He pushed me up against the wall of the tunnel. Kissing me deeper and deeper. His hands around my face pulling upwards towards him tangling his fingers in my hair. He wanted me and I could feel it. In more ways than just his kiss. How on earth could he get so 'excited' in this place and after all that happened. I managed to push him away to get a little bit of air and a few peeps of what I wanted to say.
"Erik, please stop! Not that I don't enjoy you kissing me. I always have. But it's not me that needs to forgive YOU. But I believe it's the other way around. I can't change what happened, but if I could, I would! You mean so much to me, but this is a confusing time. We are hiding from Raven Mockers that want nothing but to tear us to pieces, we have no food, no clothes, no water, and all you want to do is kiss me!"
He laughed a deep laugh. His hands left my face, "Ok…Zoey, I forgive you. I forgive all the actions that have happened. I swear in front on Nyx that I will put this all behind me and I ask her blessing to continue to love you forever."
He always shocked me. I had to laugh though. He really was in love with me. He really wanted to put this all behind us.
"Then I need to be honest about something. You know Stark right?"
"Yeah, what of him?"
"Well, before he died, I kissed him. It was his last request. I don't know what was going on, but I felt a draw to him. If you really forgive me, then I believe I need to be completely and totally honest with you. I don't want to hide things from you and certainly don't want you to see things or hear things from a second party"
His eyes were empty as he backed up and turned away. I could feel the tears swelling up in my eyes. I could hear him taking a few deep breaths and counting to ten.
"I appreciate you telling me the truth and not hiding it from me. But if you don't mind, could you please explain this…'draw' to him?"
"I'm not sure how to describe it. It wasn't sexual, I can assure you that. I'm just not sure. I just have this feeling that Stark is supposed to be in my life and that we're connected on some sort of level. That's why I felt so intently on watching him and protecting him. "
"I see. Is that why you kissed him then?" his tone sounding a bit colder now.
"Erik, I don't need you to go and get all angry again because of a kiss. That's all it was! It was kind of a last minute request he had. He was spitting up blood and it was…it just…smelled…"
"So you kissed him so you could taste his blood?" he interrupted.
"Yes, well, no not exactly. Well, YES. It was just overpowering and I'm not sure why it is, but I felt drawn."
"Ok. Whatever. I'm not going to think about it. But I suggest you make a decision. Now. I can't play games with my heart Zoey and I can't let you do that to me. I need to know if you'll be with me and ONLY me."
I wasn't expecting that. "Erik, It's much more complicated than that"
"No ITS NOT! It's simple. You can chose to be with me, only me, and forever with me, or you can chose to not have me in your life and be with someone else…or that Stark kid"
"Hey now! I don't answer well to ultimatums. If that's how you want to be about it, why did you ever profess your undying love to me?" did I really say that? undying love?
Erik took a deep breath before he answers and walked closer to me again. He hands on each side of my face. "Because I DO love you Zoey. I don't think you understand. My heart belongs to you. I can't simply just hang in the rafters while you go kiss every guy on the planet. I'm sorry this sound a bit cold and mean, but that's how I feel. Will you be with me or not?"
I just looked up at him. His hands still holding on each side of my face forcing me to look at him while he talked. I couldn't even bring myself to talk. What did I want to say. Yes? that's what I wanted. But what about Stark? What about what he said about coming back for me? Would he ever? Could I change him? Probably not. Should I just take the safe route and go with Erik? How did I feel about Erik? I felt for him deeply, but not sure if I was in LOVE with him yet. That's something that would take more than just 2 months to develop. But I did know that I wanted to be with him.
"Erik, I just simply don't know how I feel at the moment. I do know that I like you very much. I would love to be that trophy girlfriend that you could show off on your arm. But I'm not sure where my emotions are right now. There is so much going on that…"
Just then it hit me like a ton of bricks. The pain in my stomach was like a hundred knives stabbing you all at the same time. I bent over and moaned. I started to cry and I screamed. Erik came rushing over and put his arms around my back. "Zoey! Whats wrong? Are you ok?"
"I don't know" I screamed. "It's so painful! It hurts!"
"Zoey, look at me…LOOK AT ME!" he screamed. His face full of worry, then fading to calm. "It's ok. Your going to be OK. your changing. I will be here for you, it will be over soon, I promise. Why don't you call Earth to you in order to help with the pain"
What a great suggestion. I had an affinity for all the elements. As rare as that was for a normal fledgling, I was no normal fledgling. As I called earth to me, the pain started to subside. I smelled lavender, fresh cut grass, dirt. Now the pain was totally gone and all that was left was a hunger I've never felt before.
"We need to get you out of here. Your going to need blood. Here, this will do until we can find something". He slit his wrist and held it to my lips. I wrapped my hands around his wrist and began to suck the blood right out. It was sweet. That ultra sweet that I tasted when I imprinted with Loren. Was this how all Vampire Adults tasted like? If so, I would have no need to feed from humans.
I let go of his wrist and he took he shirt and wiped my mouth for me. The smile on his face could have been seen hundreds of miles away.
"Ok, lets go. We're going to have to tell the group what happened"