Chapter 3: The Departure
As soon as I was well enough to leave, we fled as quickly as possible.
I grabbed a few photos of my mother and I and a fresh pair of clothing and we left the house I grew up in forever.
As he drug me through the streets, walking much faster than I could, I asked, “Could you at least tell me your name?”
“Dante Antonio De Luca,” he answered with a smirk.
“I’m Victoria Dawn Miller,” I said, blushing. “So, how did you find me, anyway?”
“Shh!” He said as he pulled me against a wall.
“What, what is it? What do you see?” I whispered in a panic.
He was looking around the corner of the building, shaking his head in despair. He looked toward the ground and said silently, “I’m so sorry.”
“You’re sorry for what??? What is it, Dante?!”
“Your mother…” his voice trailed off.
“What’s wrong with my mother?! Is she over there?! Do you see her?!”
“You must be quiet!” he hissed at me.
“I knew it,” I looked down, defeated, “why did she have to go by herself?”
“I’m so very sorry, Victoria. But we must leave, there is no time. They will be destroying this place soon.”
“Destroying?” I said in horror. “What did we ever do? I just don’t understand it. I don’t understand any of it!”
“There are things in this world that no one can explain. But if you are patient, we may arrive somewhere safe and I can tell you what I know.”
“Okay,” I said softly.
He drug me too fast away from the scene of terror my mother was lead in, he didn’t let me see her, hear her, or protect her. I was starting to hate this “Dante” guy, I mean what is his deal, he comes in my house, takes me away, and doesn’t let me see my mother? I guess I can understand that it might be too much for me to see, but then again, that’s my mother!
I couldn’t believe I’d never see her again. I’d never see my home town again, or any of my friends. I’d never see the home I grew up in again. And it was all because of these creatures that I didn’t even know!
I was angry. I was frustrated. But I knew I was safe now. Even though I didn’t know this Dante character, he seemed like he wasn’t going to harm me, he seemed like he was going to protect me. Yes, I feel safe next to him, but something is telling me not to trust him at the same time. At his point, I’m utterly confused.
It’s not that I didn’t know he was one of them. But he was different. There was something about him that intrigued me, something that kept me wanting more. What’s wrong with me? I thought to myself, what am I thinking? I’ve trusted before and I’ve lost before. I wouldn’t have my hopes set on him, although I wanted them to be etched into his skin. I wanted to stay with him, yet I was deathly afraid of commitment and even more afraid that he was going to kill me.
We ran through the streets until we made it to a small patch of woods. I became worn out, unable to run anymore. I was out of breath, out of energy, and scared. I hadn’t seen anyone alive. Was I the only human left? No, I couldn’t be, Dante had said they were just coming to my town…or did he say that?
“Would you like me to carry you? You can sleep on the way to my home.” This worried me, how am I supposed to sleep in a man’s arms that I barely even know. I’ve heard him say but three sentences and he’s already wanting me to trust him? I swallowed my pride along with a large gust of air and decided that I was too tired to walk.
“Sure,” I said. He picked me up into his strong arms. The steady pace of his steps slowed my breathing and made me fall into a very deep sleep. I heard Dante breath, very slow and even, making me sleep with a smile on my face for the first time in years. Something about this man was amazing to me. Sure, I didn’t really know him, but from what I could tell, he was a very compassionate, caring individual. Even if he wasn’t human, he could be just human enough for me.
I woke up as Dante slowed his pace. He whispered in my ear, telling me everything would be fine and I would be safe soon.
I yawned in his arms, sighing as I realized the peace that was my sleep had finally ended. I was well rested for the time being and I would be able to walk now.
“You can put me down now.”
Dante lowered me to the ground, putting my feet under me, holding my back for a moment until I could find my balance. I stretched now, throwing my arms above my head and letting out a groan. I stepped a few feet away from him and started walking again. He should consider himself lucky for me even letting him carry me. I hadn’t gotten close to a guy ever and I wasn’t about to just give in to this one; especially knowing what he was.
“Just a few more minutes,” he said, pointing his finger ahead, through the forest. I squinted my eyes, trying to see through the dark trees. I couldn’t see anything yet and honestly, I was becoming a little impatient.
We walked in silence the rest of the way. I watched him out of the corner of my eye, smiling slightly at how unbelievably cute he was. I shook my head and the thoughts that ran through it, telling myself not to let this guy effect me. He’s only gorgeous, that’s all. He doesn’t matter, as soon as we get to wherever we’re going, I’m leaving and never looking back.
Finally, we arrived at a very large, beautiful home. It was dark yet I could see it clearly. It was a home I’d always dreamed I would own some day. It was a log cabin looking home with two large wooden doors on the front and a porch that wrapped all around. There were beautiful pink bushes that lined the outside of the house, bringing even more beauty than I could imagine.
“Is this your home?” I asked, speechless.
“Yes,” Dante answered, opening the front door for me. I hesitated for a moment, second-guessing if I should go in or not. Finally, I decided, I might as well amuse this guy for awhile, I guess.
The exquisiteness of his home knocked the breath out of me. I looked around speechless as he walked to the living room.
In the middle of the main hall, hung the largest chandelier I’d ever seen. It was magnificent. It was made of crystal, the finest in the world, I’d believed. I wondered how Dante could afford such a luxury by himself.
There was a large staircase right when you walked into the house and the largest painting I’d ever seen at the top of the stairs. I had no clue who the people were, a woman and a man, the woman sitting in a chair with (I had guessed) her husband standing at her side. They were both very attractive. The woman had long, dark brown hair that curled gorgeously. She was dressed in antique clothing, a light pink corset with white lacing. Her eyes were as blue as the ocean. The man had long, blonde hair that was pulled back into a ponytail. He was also wearing antique clothing, but he wore a black suit with coat tails. He looked in control, dominant. He, like his wife, had eyes that sparked like the midday sky.
“Are you coming?” Dante asked, now standing next to me.
“Yes, I’m sorry, I’m just in such awe over your home.”
“Come, have a seat,” he put his arm out over the black leather loveseat.
I walked over slowly to the couch and sat, staring straight forward, trying not to look into his hypnotizing eyes.
I finally looked up to him and watched him as he paced back and forth. He had his hand resting under his chin, his face in thought. He was so graceful, he walked as I would imagine an angel to. I wondered what he was thinking, what he wanted me to say.
“Is something wrong?” I finally asked, curious as to why he was pacing as he was.
“No, nothing, I’m just thinking of a way to tell you what I want to tell you.”
“Well, take your time, I’m in no hurry,” I looked down, I wasn’t the best liar, and lying to him was even harder, for some reason. Fact of the matter was, that I was in a hurry to leave. I wanted to leave this place forever. If everyone I loved had died, then I must start anew. I was always the strong one in my family, supporting my mother the times she was most sad.
He sat down next to me and took my face in his hands. This startled me a little. I tried to pull away but he held me there with a look of shock on my face.
“Victoria,” he finally said, “I am…one of them, but I am not one of them.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, puzzled.
“I chose a different path, a different life for myself.”
I was silent, intrigued by what he would be explaining to me.
He looked at me with his sparkling emerald eyes and I realized I wasn’t breathing. He was a god, a god in the flesh. I couldn’t get over how flawless he was. Something about him was so different, so amazing to me. Yes, he was one of the retched creatures that had killed everyone in my home town, including my mother. But he was different, he was caring, sympathetic, and I wanted to be with him. No, I can’t be with him, I can’t have feelings for a man I just met! My mind was strong, telling me not to believe him yet my heart was telling me to listen.
“When I was…changed,” he said, still staring into my eyes, “I knew I didn’t want to be like them, I didn’t want to be one of them, I didn’t want to kill innocent humans. Because, after all, I used to be a human myself. I couldn’t live like the others. I tried. But every time I would look a woman or man in the eyes before I mercilessly killed them, I would wonder who they were, who their families were, who I would be hurting by killing them. It ate me up inside. I knew I couldn’t live like that anymore. So I had a new idea. I began to hunt criminals. After all, they were full of blood, too,” he said with a half smile.
“I see,” I was seriously interested in his story, I wondered how he was changed, who changed him, I wondered everything about Dante, too bad I’d be leaving too soon to find out.
“Victoria,” he whispered, holding my face tighter, “I couldn’t leave you there, I couldn’t just let you die.”
I was confused at the change in the subject. I didn’t understand, and I’m sure the confusion showed in my face. I became a little more distant at the point, was this guy a stalker, or what? Come on, what’s so good about me that you would save me?
“I smelled you miles away, your blood. It smelled as nothing I’ve ever smelled before. Your blood reeked of fear. Once I smelled you, I knew you were in trouble. I knew I had to save you. It was as though it called to me, beckoning me, beckoning me that I needed to save you,” he lowered his face to my neck and rubbed his nose up and down, I backed away and he raised his head again, “And then I saw you. I saw you lying there, sound asleep. I wanted you. I needed you. And most of all, I needed to save you, to take you away from that hell.”
“And for that, I am eternally grateful,” I sighed, relieved he was there, yet in sadness and fear also. All I could think what that this man was going to kill me. He just had his mouth to my neck for godsakes, I need to leave this place!
“I know nothing of you except that I want you all to myself,” he whispered.
“So, my blood called to you and told you I was in trouble?” I asked, bewildered. I didn’t understand why my blood was so much different than everyone else’s to Dante. I didn’t understand why he didn’t just kill me like everyone else. Why was I so special? Why was I the only one left in my town? Why did I have to stay alive and watch everyone suffer? And most of all, why does this guy want me? What the hell is going on?
He started, very quiet at first, staring directly into my eyes, “For a vampire, if a human’s blood calls to him, that is very special. I’ve never heard of another instance of this except with someone else I once knew...” he looked at the ground now, as if in deep thought.
I finally understood. I was his one. I got even more distant now, backing my head away completely and moving a few inches away from him. “So,” I started quietly, “I’m your….your soulmate?” I choked the word out, hating the sound of it.
“I guess you could say that. This has never happened to me before, Victoria. I am nervous. I mean, you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, and touched, and smelled. I know nothing about you but I already know I love you. It is the greatest feeling. Especially since I really can’t feel anything anymore.”
“What? Love? Oh boy, this is moving a little fast for me! I mean, I’ve got to leave, I’ve got to figure out what’s going on, here! I can’t….you can’t….you can’t love me! What are you talking about?!”
“Victoria, calm down. Maybe I should have waited to tell you this, but I feel you need to know. I’m sorry, please don’t be angry with me or want to leave. I’d really prefer if you stayed for awhile.”
I sighed. “Fine, I’ll stay. But if you try anything, I swear to you, no matter how strong you are, I’ll break your neck!”
“Fine, fine,” his face turned angry. He must not understand the mind of a woman quite yet. Oh, he will get to know it!