Chapter four- realisations
Everyone gaped at her. Including me. The only person who wasn’t was Tristan. A grin was slapped cockily across his face (but it wasn’t really a smug smile so that wasn’t really a good description) and his eyes sparkled with what I could feel were tears of happiness. A strong wave of realisation swept over all of the vampires and Hunter.
“Arabella, I knew you weren’t dead. I could feel it. What happened?” Tristan exclaimed a tear glistened on his marble skin.
“Ditto.” Arabella breathed, a soft bell on the breeze. Before anyone could blink Tristan had Arabella in a tight bear-hug. I glanced from the embracing siblings to the other one, Robin, who stood paralyzed and a goofy grin toying at the corner of his mouth.
I couldn’t help but smile myself as I was swamped by an enormous amount of glee and pleasure. I could hear Arabella and Tristan giggling and crying into each other. Whispering softly about how sad they were and how they thought they would never see each other again. I looked once more at the vampires, most of them wore a complex expression or one of an unreadable nature. I got the feeling that if Tristan hadn’t been the leader then most of them would have felt differently.
When they finally broke away, Arabella ran straight to Robin who looked quite shocked when she ran into him. I could feel how embarrassed he was when he felt her soft curves. He obviously wasn’t accustomed to being in that proximity to women. He wrapped his arms around her shortly then pushed her away.
“Sorry, forgot that you didn’t like hugs. But I’ve missed you. You can’t blame me.” Arabella said impishly.
“It’s fine. Just wasn’t expecting it, that’s all.”
I moved forward purposefully, straight to Arabella. I slapped her hard on the shoulder and saw Tristan shy toward me in my peripheral vision. She span around on her heel saying OW but I ignored her, landing her with an icy glare.
“Care to explain?” I hissed through my teeth. I heard Aonie and Hunter move forward behind me, as if they were flanking me. Arabella gave an apologetic look.
“What would you like to know?” This was the girl who had stood next to Tristan. Her appearance matched her voice exquisitely, with a loosely fitted sweater made of a fine cashmere and a flowing silk skirt that was completely black, falling to her knees as if she were a dancer.
“Well, you never told us that you had brothers. So come on. Introduce us. I thought you had some form of manners.” Hunter interrupted me before I could voice my venomous thoughts.
Arabella heaved a sigh then said, “This is Robin; he’s the youngest of my brothers but older than me by seven years. This is Tristan; he’s the oldest. That’s about it. Not much else matters.”
“Does that mean that we don’t? I thought we were friends. You’ll make me cry.” Protested a boy. He was the same build as Tristan; long, lean body with broad shoulders. His hair shone like a raven’s wing in the light of the moon’s (his hair was black if you didn’t get that), his eyes melted milk-chocolate. His shirt was a deep maroon and his trousers a dark brown to match his eyes. He came up behind Arabella and carefully nudged her in the small of her back.
Arabella giggled like a nervous school girl which made Hunter tense up.
“Of course you matter, but since I’m not sure if I recognise all … Adrian!” She shrieked then leaped at him, his thick arms encircling her. He laughed into her hair as he set her back down.
“I’ll help you out then, you remember Jane? Well …” He trailed off as he indicated the girl who had moved next to Tristan, the one who looked like a dancer. The girl smiled sweetly, even her smile was graceful and caring .
Everyone turned back to look at Adrian who was standing in front of the line of vampires waiting for quiet to continue his introductions.
“ You probably won’t remember these three stunning girls but, this is Lauren,” he said indicating a girl with glossy brown hair that swayed to her shoulders in thin, straight streaks and round, hazel eyes. “Dhechan,” the girl next had an oriental look about her; long, shimmering black hair and dark, mysterious eyes. “And Eleanor.” This girl had short, spiky hair that was a violet-black tinge and pale blue eyes.
The three beautiful girls smiled in unison as Arabella gave a knowing nod. Adrian moved onto another group of people. All of them wore white vest tops that clung to them and white shorts that came half-way up their thighs. “You probably won’t remember Taylor, Susannah, Pierre, Amy, Thomas and Rachel. Wow, that is a mouthful. But these lot were always boring so it’s a surprise that we remember them.” Adrian chuckled. He cut off as a girl with thickly curling dark brown hair kicked him sharply in the ankle, her near-black eyes gleaming with smugness as Adrian hopped up and down clutching his ankle.
“Good one, Amy.” Congratulated another girl who looked almost identical to her only she was a bit taller. Their clothes were the same too; long sleeved cotton, grey shirts with matching grey suit trousers that looked cotton too.
“Thanks, Rachel.” Amy replied. The other girl, Susannah rolled her stormy-grey eyes then flicked her soft wheat-coloured hair over her shoulder. Susannah wore all black too; black, silk shirt with black shorts that were the same length as Lauren’s, Dhechan’s and Eleanor’s.
“I do remember them, Adrian. Wow, so you’re all here. You’re all vampires. Wow!” Arabella sighed. Her grin was still there on her face but she didn’t sound so sure.
“There isn’t anything to worry about though, we are very careful about blood …” Tristan began. He was still talking but I was distracted by three boys. Pierre, Thomas and Tyler were whispering to each other and nodding.
The one who was doing most of the talking had cropped red hair and icy blue eyes. His shirt was a sea blue and his trousers a dark grey. He kept shooting anxious glances toward Robin and I could feel a peculiar depth to the glance. The one who was only doing some talking but mainly nodding had dirty blonde (also cropped) hair and soft hazel eyes, brown shirt and brown trousers. The other looked nervous with a worried frown on his pale lips. His skin was a light ebony, his hair black and spiky, dark brown eyes and marine blue clothes.
I realised with a start that what had distracted me was the strong feelings of love edging off them in short, staccato waves. I couldn’t quite place who they were for but their was definitely worry for loved ones. They trusted Tristan’s judgement but they weren’t positive about this move.
“That should be fine. We have a lot of animals here who are, fortunately, becoming over-populating. So you would be doing us a favour. Just try not to do your hunting when people are around, we need all the help we can get.” Dartemis explained. His white-blond hair shining a peach in moonlight and his white robes a magenta. Tristan laughed, it was sweet and enchanting making my head spin slightly, I could tell where Arabella got hers from.
“Thank you.” Tristan said after he was done laughing. He led the vampires away into the palace. I’d missed a lot! Aonie and Edward followed them closing the door quietly behind them. I was dismissed and told to keep this quiet from the other volunteers.
* * *
The fire had burned out when I got back to the camp; no one was out. Only a few candles flickered in the many tents that stood dotted in every direction. I turned onto the muddy path on the right and followed it to my tent. The candles were out in my tent. I silently opened the door and shut it just as silently, letting the green canvas material sway shut behind me. I was shocked to Emery, Aisling and Elena all sitting up.
“Where were you? We were worried! What did Arabella want?” Shrieked Emery. She shot to her feet and shook my shoulders slightly when I didn’t reply.
“We were just … sharing old memories. Sorry, I didn’t mean to be gone for so long.” I replied once she had finished almost breaking my neck. “If you don’t mind I am going to sleep because I am shattered.” I finished as I picked a pile of clothes from my bed and slipped into the bathroom.
Yes, a bathroom. Weird, I know but they came with the tents. It was just a small, white affair with a toilet, bath-shower and a sink. I put the seat down on the toilet and placed the pile of clothes on it. I really was tired, my amber eyes had dark shadows under them and felt like lead every time that I blinked.
I sighed at my ghastly reflection. My hair was frizzy and knotted all over, not that that was unusual. I changed into my cotton vest and shorts ensemble and went backto climb into bed.
Chapter five- nightmare
Isabella strode into the room with malice. Her deep mahogany eyes scanned the room with disdain.
“Is this it?” She asked bluntly. Her tone was harsh and cold, it had a slurry edge to it that made it sound almost careless but people who knew Isabella knew that she was everything but careless. The 18 year old body that was her prison for the time was long and one that she noticed turned heads on Earth. Her hair fell to her luscious hips in chocolate locks. This would have been what she would have looked like when she was 18.
“This is it. You can put your things in the draws then if you comeback downstairs we can start things.” Replied a gruff voice from the doorway behind her. She nodded slightly and let the door click shut behind her. Her heavy suitcase fell with a soft thud as it hit the thick wooden floor that was varnished to a perfect mahogany sheen. Isabella’s blue jeans clung to her well-toned legs just like her white t-shirt to her torso.
The room was simple: green paint that peeled slightly; A small single bed with plain sheets; a mirror; and a chest of drawers. Isabella had seen a lot better. She gave a scornful look at her suitcase and decided to unpack later. So, turning back to the door, Isabella grinned in anticipation. She was here forone reason and one reason only. To arrange the death of …
* * *
I sat up abruptly in my bead. Cold sweat made the sheets cling to my body awkwardly. I peeled the sheets away to let the cool dawn air surround me. The sweet smell of rain tickled my nose as I took in deep breaths. I hadn’t had a nightmare in centuries. That had to be the worst though.
I could still feel a layer over me, like an extra skin that made me want to gag. I could still feel her mind in mine, it’s evil stench and grotesque thoughts. How somebody could think and feel such hatred to someone … I don’t know but it was just horrible. The three other girls lay in bed, silently asleep, so I quietly slid out of bed and into the bulky boots that stood by my bed.
The cold air was welcome on my bare arms as I strode into the misty morning. The sky above me was painted in dull pastels, at least things were normal around me. I walked slowly down the mud path, scuffing my feet to see the drops of dew spray onto my legs. My mind began to come back to it’s own as the crisp air filled my lungs.
I froze as I saw a silhouette coming toward me through the mist. My relief was so strong that I almost fainted, it was Alec!
“You scared me, Alec.” I whispered, trying not to wake people up.
“Sorry … are you alright? You look strange.” He replied, concern filling his eyes again. He is so sensitive to my emotions!
“I had a bad dream.”
“Want a hug?” He offered and thrust his long arms in my direction. I smiled shyly but let him warm me in a very comforting embrace.
It was a weird feeling being in his arms. Like last night when the shields were opened, not wrong but not quite right either. I couldn’t put my finger on what made it feel like that but it was as if something was missing, like there was something more to it.
Before I realised, Alec had pulled back. Not completely but just enough to be able to look into my eyes. His right arm dropped from my back and came up to caress my cheek, leaving my skin warm and tingling where he touched it. I licked my lips unconsciously and his hazel eyes stole a quick glance there. This time when he looked into my eyes there was an anxious question toying there. I focused … what would she do if I kissed her? … and that’s what I got from his head.
My mouth relaxed slightly and he took that as his cue. As he leaned in, I could feel his warm breath on my lips and my long eyelashes tickling his soft cheek. Making the last move, I softly touched my lips to his in a gentle kiss then pulled back slightly teasing. Alec laughed slightly as he cupped my face with his hands in a vice like grip (he was so strong). I couldn’t have escaped if I wanted to.
As our lips met again a sweet wave of shock went through me. His hands moved away from my face so he could lock his fingers in my hair, making the kiss deeper. I did the same with my hands and marvelled at how amazing his curls felt beneath my hands. His lips parted, as did mine, and a thrill shot through me as his tongue tickled the edge of my mouth gently. Alec’s hand untangled themselves form my hair and traced the curve my back until they froze at the bottom. I wasn’t sure what to do then: his tongue still tested the edge of my mouth; his hands were still on the small of my back. He was holding back because he didn’t want to push it and upset me.
I thought I’d help him out a bit and pushed myself against his body so there wasn’t even the slightest gap between us. I tuned into his mind then to see what he was thinking: wow, this feels so good. Is this a go ahead or should I just stay calm? What should I do, I don’t want to give her the wrong impression! What! I hate clueless boys. My hands came down to the collar of his t-shirt to trace the line of skin that it left bare. I felt him gasp slightly as my index finger began to tickle his abdomen.
His lips grinned against mine, he understood. His right hand moved lower down my body. It stopped on my thigh so I lifted my leg and pressed my knee into his side which made him lean against me automatically. Fortunately, there was a large tree behind me so my back pressed against that. My legs were either side of him: one on the ground; and one lifted. I let my tongue touch his as it went into his mouth.
Alec pulled back only slightly but it was enough to make me want him back again. His lips came to my jaw and followed it along to my ear. A moan of bliss escaped my lips as he began to nibble gently but it was such a good feeling! He moved back to my neck then mumbled something.
“What?” I groaned in annoyance. I didn’t hear what he had said. Alec took a big step away from me and looked at me in horror. He laughed and then, shaking his head, he strode away into the fog.
I couldn’t move. What had just happened? The tree was rough against my back and I moved from it automatically. My mind was reeling with confusion at the situation. Had he misunderstood? Had I upset him some how? Was he going to come back? All of these questions swamped me with pressure as I optically made my way back to my tent.
When I got there, Emery was awake but rubbing her eyes groggily. I ignored her which was probably best, ignoring Emery usually made her ignore you. That day she must have been feeling empathetic toward me.
“What’s wrong? What about Alec?” She exclaimed as she giddily walked up to me.
“Who said anything about Alec?” I replied defensively.
Emery gave me a “I’m not stupid” look. Then led me into the bathroom so that we wouldn’t wake up the others. I launched myself onto the edge of the sink and sighed.
“Well … I think I upset him. I didn’t mean to I just didn’t hear what he said. He just stormed off in a tantrum. I never thought he could be so touchy.” I gushed when she had closed the door. I wasn’t going to tell her about the bit before that, that was private! Besides she would probably find out anyway.
There was a long pause until Emery looked at me and giggled.
"You really don't know much about boys do you. Every one can tell that he's totally in love with you. Typical!"
"Well, I doubt he is anymore. Besides, I'm not here to have any kind of relationship ... I mean, i'm pushing it with having friends. Once the battles over,I have to go backto the underworld. I shoudn't be doing these sorts of things, it's wrong ... well, not wrong but it is for me!"
I took a deep breath as Emery gave me a gaping smile that was part way betweenpleasure and shock. "Oh my ..." She mouthed at me, she was too shocked to even finish the phrase that made my skin crawl. I sighed in total annoyance at her immaturity. And, sliding down from thesink, I realised something ...
I couldn't fall in love with Alec. He couldn't fall in love with me. I was the undead, as alive as the vampires that housedin the palace.He would only live until he died. But I would live for the life time of three extremely powerful immortals (who could only be killed by other immortals ... or so I thought).
Isabella grinned to herself. This was going exactly how she wanted it to. And she would be the one to kill him, not one of her stupid lackies that Silas demanded she have with her at all times. How was she ever going to get anything done if they were always there reporting her every move back to him? Unbelievable, was the way she described his reaction to her, but there are a lot of other words that she would use to describe him.
Sexy being high up there. However, that was not an option to her. She would never go there again. Not in this life time anyway.
Pushing those ugly thoughts to the back of her mind she brought back the glee at what she was about to do. Well, it wouldn't be for a couple of weeks yet. She needed her sister to be ther, it just wouldn't be the sameif weren't a family reunion.
She was pleased that a rumour had already been set in play; the shadow moon would be attacking someone on the 30th of August. Exactly ten days away. Perfect, not too long but still longer than I'd like,her vicious thoughts snarled. The killing would be easy, almost too easy. But it wasn't the mortal she wanted ... or needed. Her sister was the main ingredient in all of this; the only thing that mattered. To kill the one that they all relied on would earn her that last bit of respect that she needed from Silas.
Everyone else respected her ... or feared herreally as much as they possibly could. Another thought that made her grin to her three friends.
This wsgoing to be so good, she almost cried at the thought!
* * *