I thought the second time would be it. I lasted twice as long as the first time, and every time Roxanne tried to tempt me, every time she kissed me with her mouth still warm, still sweet from human blood, I managed to resist.
Every time until tonight.
I don’t know why tonight was any different. She didn’t say anything she hadn’t said before. Actually, there’s one thing she didn’t say tonight. One name. Our Sire’s. She didn’t ask yet again if I truly believe Andrew would take me back if I managed to stop killing. She didn’t say that she doesn’t believe it. Didn’t mention how many years it has been, and how likely it is that Andrew has sired another companion for himself. No doubt he’ll teach him or her better than he taught us. No doubt he’ll keep a closer watch on that new Childe than he did on us.
I wish he’d watched us better. I wished he’d watched me better.
If only he’d caught us that very first time I killed… If only he’d noticed I was lying to him that night…
If only I hadn’t lied to him.
Roxanne tempted me, yes, back then like she did tonight. But it’s useless to pretend she’s responsible. I am no child. I always knew what I was doing. Even tonight, when I went and bit that man, I had it in mind that I’d only take a couple of mouthfuls.
No one is responsible but me.
And no one can fix it but me.
I’ll try again. I don’t know when, I don’t know what I’ll change to make it stick next time, but I will try again, and I will succeed.
I thought he was just sulking after our last discussion. Although I guess ‘argument’ would be a better word for it. It had happened before, after all. We’d argue, we’d call each other names, I’d tell him to stay away from me, and he would, for a few days, before turning up again during one of my patrols like nothing had happened.
It’s been a month already. He never stayed away that long before. It feels odd, at times, like a piece of my nights is missing.
I feel a bit silly for even noticing how long it has been. After all, what does it matter if it’s a week or four? I should just be glad that he finally listened to me. I should be glad I can focus on what’s important: my job, my human friends. Oh, and my boyfriend, too.
But even now that I know he’s really gone I keep expecting him to show up every time I go out alone for patrol. Sometimes, I go out alone precisely because he never used to show himself if Theo or Paul were with me.
When I saw Lena on the dance floor of The Edge, I thought I was imagining things. Of course I had to be imagining things. She couldn’t be there. It was just wishful thinking.
I missed her so much, I’d seen her face everywhere since I’d been turned. I’d been very careful not to go any place where I thought she might be. The last thing I wanted was for her to attract my Sire’s or my clan’s attention. She deserved better.
I knew she was still looking for me. Still hoping. There were still flyers posted around campus, with my face, my name and her phone number. I so wished I could have called, but what would I have said? If I’d told her to stop looking for me, she’d only have looked harder. If I had told her what happened to me, she’d have wanted to see me. No, it was better if I didn’t try to contact her.
But when I realized I wasn’t imagining things, when I realized she was really there, I forgot everything, forgot all the reasons why it was better if I stayed away from her. And I just went to her.
Alice nagged me for weeks about it, and I guess in the end I just said yes because I wanted her to stop asking, but the truth is, I don’t want to go. I’m really not in the mood to party, or do much for that matter. I won’t stop studying because it was Liam’s dream as much as it is mine to become a doctor, but everything else seems to have become unnecessary.
I know my friends and my family worry about me. I know they’d like me to move on. But how can I, when we don’t even know for sure what happened to Liam? Maybe he’ll come back. Maybe he’s just fine. Maybe…
I don’t want to go to that party. How could I have fun when I’ve lost the one man I ever loved?
I’ve never had as much fun as I did last night. I’ve pranked the frat house for four years in a row, last night was the fifth time – and the last – but it was also the best prank ever. And the fact that Hunter was there with me made it even more special.
When I went to college, there was this guy I kinda liked. We tried doing a few spells together, but his fraternity brothers decided that anyone pretending they could do magic were lying, and they convinced him to stop. I’ve been proving them wrong every Halloween ever since.
It’s always the same show I offer them: illusions of light and sound, icy bursts of wind. None of it would harm a fly, but it always spooks the frat boys and their party friends. But this year, with Hunter at my side, it was on a whole different level. We combined our skills and made up an entire army of ghosts wailing their way into the frat house, crashing the Halloween party there. Hunter added some thunder claps that sounded as loud as though lightning had fallen right outside. I raised a phantom wind that rattled the windows.
It was just moments before people started running out screaming.
It wasn’t much longer after that when we started hearing police sirens.
This was the craziest night of my life – or at least the craziest night to date. I have a feeling that this might not be the last time Cole invites me along for a wild ride.
For the past week, he’s been teaching me new magic spells – more impressive ones – and pushing me beyond what I thought I would be able to do. He always says I have more raw power than he does, but he’s had years to practice and hone his skills. I didn’t even know I had the potential to do magic until I met Cole and he told me about it. It’ll take me many more lessons before I get to the point where Cole stops telling me I can do better.
Then again, I don’t exactly mind spending time with him, so I’m in no hurry.
Tonight was the most magic I’ve done to date, and the most magic we’ve ever done together, too. It was Halloween, and he asked me if I’d help him prank this frat house at the university he attended. He didn’t say why he wanted to prank them, but it’s not all that hard to imagine. He’s a loner. Frat boys would be pretty much the opposite of who he is. Clashes sometimes leave scars; revenge can be a soothing balm…
I said yes – of course I said yes – and when he drove us down to campus, he told me that he doesn’t know anyone in that frat house anymore, but he’s been pranking them every year on Halloween; it’s his own little tradition. This year, he wanted to make it beyond anything he had done so far: a grand finale of sort before he moved on, and he wanted me to be part of it.
He parked across the street and we got out of the car to stand in front of a large, wannabe-Victorian mansion. We could hear music from across the street; clearly they were having a Halloween party. Cole looked at me and grinned. He asked if I was ready. I was – or at least I thought I was. I never expected things would turn out so great. Or that we’d end up running from the campus police.