I ran, I ran so far. My skinny legs ached, my breaths jagged as I sped up. The kids’ voices flew with me, calling me a freak, a creep and a liar, a liar for saying my parents’ were killed by a vampire. I didn’t know what else to say. They were all saying horrific things about my parents, how they probably wanted to die to get away from me, their ‘freak of a daughter’, they said. Tears pooled in my eyes, blurring the dark field ahead of me. I clumsily climbed over the fence, never stopping from moving, from running away. The campsite was far behind me now, the screams of the other kids distant.
That’s when I felt it, the anger building inside of me. I had this urge. I couldn’t explain it, but I couldn’t fight it. It was winning inside of me. And I let it. Pictures of Samuel flashed in my head, intensifying the urge by the second. My body was screaming out, wanting something. But I didn’t know what. I tried running it off, stumbling on the bumpy ground beneath me, but it didn’t help. I suddenly stopped, taking a deep breath. Every muscle in my body was strained as I firstly tried to stop this urge. Whatever it was, it was connected with Samuel. But my body slowly grew tired and weak. I calmed my breaths, gradually giving into the urge. I could feel it washing over me. It gave me a tingling sensation, a warm feeling in my stomach. The more I gave into it, the stronger these feelings grew. And I liked them.
As soon as I fully gave my body to this urge, the feelings changed. I wanted to take it back, to stop this, but I couldn’t. It had taken over me, tricked me into thinking I wanted this. It hurt. It really hurt.
I flung my head back, screaming up into the night sky as my muscles felt like they were ripping in my body, my jaw aching painfully. Then my head shot down, the smell of blood flowing up my nose. I sniffed, letting a smirk spread over my face as the smell made me feel warm, wanting to taste it, feel it. I looked around frantically, my eyes soon connecting with a lone sheep wondering helplessly around the field. Before I could stop myself I sped across the field in less than a second, like Samuel did with that super speed he had, just like mine. It felt amazing to move that fast.
Before the sheep could run away, I pounced on it, twisting its head in my hands. It’s neck snapped painfully. My body felt so strong, so invincible for such a young age. I never knew I had these abilities in me. The sheep collapsed to the ground, groaning in pain. Guilt crashed into me for a second before the urge pushed it away. I could feel the sheep’s blood flowing under its skin as I still had grip of its neck. My fingers tingled, the feeling shooting up my arms and down to my toes. I couldn’t keep it in any longer.
I crouched beside the poor animal, its body barely moving, as I felt my teeth grow slowly in my mouth. My jaw ached, my gums ripping open as these teeth tore out. I soon sunk my teeth into its neck, the pain dying away as the urge grew. Instinctively my body suddenly started sucking the blood from its body, like I had done it a thousand times. I smiled slowly, feeling its blood run down my throat. I sucked faster, the taste so good. I never wanted it to end, the sensation indescribable on my tongue.
The sheep’s body grew still on the ground as the last drops of its blood trickled down the back of my throat. I quickly pulled back, staring down at this lifeless animal on the ground. I quickly stood up, shakily, stepping away from the animal. I placed my hand over my mouth, not believing that I could have possibly done that to this poor creature. But the taste of blood still lingered in my mouth. I couldn’t get it away.
I ran to the lake nearby and collapsed onto my knees on the muddy bank, sticking my head straight into the water. It was murky, but I didn’t care. I needed to get this taste away. I lifted my head back out, gasping for air as water dripped off of my pale face. But the taste was still there. I soon realised splotches of blood stained my hands. I rubbed them vigorously under the water, muttering to myself. I tried convincing myself this was just a dream, all of it. I’ll wake up to my mother’s sweet voice as she’d shake me softly. She’ll hug me tightly, telling me we’d be going to the beach with Amelia that day…
“This isn’t a dream, kid. It’s real.”
“Samuel was there?” Harry asked, his eyes wide with shock.
I nodded my head quickly, staring down at my lap. He sat up on the balls of his heels, craning his head down to try and look at me. I hung my head lower, Samuel’s deep voice echoing off of the inside of my skull. Harry curled a finger under my chin, tilting my head back up. But my mind was elsewhere. Part of me was still at that lake, staring at the dark figure stood at the other side of the calm lake. Even though it was dark, I could still see his smirk on his cruel face, blood dripping from his teeth. He must have killed another innocent person, another victim with their whole life ahead of them, waking up that morning, never knowing that they would be dead in the next 24 hours.
“Rosie…Rosie, listen to me,” Harry said sternly, his eyebrows drawn together. “You’re safe now. You’re with me. I’ll protect you.”
But we both knew he couldn’t. He didn’t have the abilities Samuel and I possessed; but he’d try. We both knew that. I nodded my head weakly, forcing a smile. His face softened, returning my smile with one of his own.
We sat there for ages, both trying to understand what I was saying. I didn’t even understand it half of the time. What does Samuel want from me? Up to this day, I’ve lived my life in fear that Samuel would come back to finish me off, to do the same that he did to my parents. And I guess I wanted that, I wanted to be with them. But I couldn’t. I have to live forever without them.
“I think that’s enough for today, Rosie,” Harry said softly.
I finally agreed. I was exhausted. I watched as Harry stood up and pushed one arm under my legs, the other against my back. I wrapped my arms around his neck as he picked me up, holding me close to his chest. He kissed me softly on the nose, grinning as he pulled back. I let a smile dance on my lips, letting the warm words leave my mouth for the second time today.
“I love you, Harry,” I muttered up to him.
His face relaxed, a warm smile spreading over his face. There was a long pause before Harry leaned his head back down, pressing his forehead against mine.
“I love you too, Rosie,” he replied softly before planting a small kiss to my lips, smiling as he did so.
Harry carried me out of the band stand in silence as we were both deep in thought. It was so hard telling Harry how much I loved him. I’ve learnt before that loving someone is risky when you are what I am. But it was a risk I was willing to take. I’d fight anything, anyone to keep Harry safe. And I knew he would do the same for me.
We got back to the motorbike, Harry lowering me onto the bike. He handed me the helmet, but I softly pushed it away.
“You wear it,” I spoke. “I don’t need it.”
I smiled broadly as Harry’s cheeks grew red, giving me a sheepish smile before putting it over his head.
Once he was sat in front of me again, I wrapped my arms around him. I laced my fingers on his hard stomach, half wondering where we were going, half not caring as long as I was with him. The silence around us was comforting. I didn’t feel like talking at the moment. I’d done enough of that today.
“We’ll go back to mine for tonight,” Harry softly said to me as if he had read my thoughts.
I nodded as he turned his head back around, switching the engine on. I pressed myself tight against Harry, resting my head on his muscled back. We drove around a few streets in silence before I remembered something. I pulled my head from Harry’s back, moving my head close to his.
Harry suddenly slammed on the brakes, both of us jerking forwards. He turned his head to the side, lines of concern covering his forehead.
“What’s the matter? Are you hurt?” he asked frantically. He jumped off of the bike, staring down at me. I shook my head, smiling inside as he cared so much for me.
“We need to go back to the flat,” I said up to him. “I need to get something.”
“Are you sure?” he asked, resting his hand on my neck. A car horn suddenly beeped behind us as we had stopped in the middle of the road. Harry ignored it, staring down at me with concern. I nodded quickly, biting my bottom lip. “Okay,” he eventually said, giving me a warm smile. The car beeped us again, yelling at us to move. Harry gave him a rude gesture before he climbed back onto the bike. I held back onto him tightly, dread running through me at the thought of going back. But I needed to, for the picture frame.
I swallowed hard as Harry parked up outside of the dingy block of flats. Loud music blared out of an open window, a thunderous beat ringing in my ears. I got off of the motorbike, glancing into the window of my flat. I heard Harry turn off the engine before climbing off of the bike, the helmet back on the seat. I spun back around, pressing my hand into his chest. He stared down at me, his eyebrows drawn together.
“I’ll go by myself,” I said calmly, but inside my heart was beating fast, my body shaking at the thought of seeing Zed again.
“I don’t want another fight. Please, just stay here.” I stared up at him, my eyebrows raised. He eventually sighed, his chest falling under my hand.
“Fine,” he said. “But if anything happens, if that bastard comes anywhere near you then…”
“I’ll be fine, Harry.”
He nodded slowly, his eyes full of anxiety for me. I took my hand from his chest and turned around, shuffling back into the block of flats. The smell of damp and cigarette smoke crashed into me as soon as I stepped in. I scrunched my nose up as I made my way to my flat, a couple shouting angrily at each other, the music growing louder with every step I took.
I finally got to my flat, my eyes flickering about in look out for Zed. The door was how we left it, open and hanging off of one hinge. I stepped in silently, my eyes wandering around the room. It looked empty. I shuffled in, noticing Harry sat on the bike through the window, his eyes fixed on the entrance of the block, arms crossed over his chest. I smiled to myself before making my way over to the chest of drawers. Warily, I crouched down, avoiding the glass shattered on the floor, and slowly picked up the frame. The picture was hanging out of it, but looked untouched. I dropped the frame back onto the floor and stared down at the picture in my hand. I let my fingertips run down the picture. I was so happy then, so loved.
“You,” a voice suddenly stuttered from behind me. I quickly spun around, the picture tight in my hand.
Zed stood at the doorway, his eyes wide with fright. His jaw moved up and down as we stared at each other across the room.
“Wh-what are you?” he whispered, his muscled body trembling with fright.
Beads of sweat lingered on his forehead, his eyes wandering up and down my body. I folded the picture and shoved it into my back pocket before I stepped forward, ready to push past him. But he suddenly pulled a knife from out of his pocket. I stood dead still in the middle of the room. Hysteria filled Zed’s dark eyes as he pointed the knife at me. He stepped into the flat, his eyes never letting go of mine.
“Don’t move,” he ordered, taking a step closer to me. I did as he said, silently praying that my strength would come back. I only needed to knock him out of the way and I could run. But I can’t control it, my strength. It comes and goes. I'm vulnerable, but I could survive Zed's attacks. Harry couldn't. I had to keep Zed calm in order to keep him away from Harry. He's only outside. He could get seriously hurt. I can't anger Zed.
“Zed, don’t do this…” I said calmly, stepping closer to him.
“I said don’t move!” he shouted, the knife still pointing at me. I stopped again, putting my hands up as if surrendering. I knew he couldn’t kill me, but I could still feel pain. I would eventually heal over, but if Zed hurt me then that would leave Harry vulnerable outside. But I’ve made a promise to myself to never let anyone harm Harry.
Zed quickly marched up to me, grabbed my wrist and twisted my arm behind my back. He shoved me up against the wall, the knife hovering by my neck. My face was pressed against the wall as pain shot up my arm from my wrist. I winced, sucking in a breath as he rested the end of the blade on my neck.
“Zed, think about this,” I said calmly, ignoring my muscles of my arm screaming out in agony.
“I-I saw what you did. You threw that boy across the room,” he said, his voice trembling with fear. “And your eyes…” His sentence died away as his body shook against mine.
“Please, Zed. Stop this,” I said, but a grunt was pushed through my lips as Zed shoved me harder against the wall, my ribs crushing my lungs.
“What are you?” he spat into my ear, the blade slowly cutting a layer of my skin.
“I don’t know what you mean,” I lied, trying to hide the fact I was beginning to shake. I suddenly winced when the blade cut me deeper, his body crushing mine. I could feel his heart pumping hard in his chest, the blood circling around in his body. The smell of it sent tingles over my body. “Let me go, Zed,” I said sterner now, slowly feeling my muscles tingle.
“You’d like that wouldn’t you?” he spat into my ear. “Well you’re not going anywhere, girl.” My fist suddenly clenched by my side, my muscles stretching inside of me. Fury coursed through me, my strength growing quickly in my body. “I’ve seen this before,” Zed spat. “Monsters like you deserve to die!”
His words left me speechless. I felt the energy drain from my tight muscles, my eyes widening at his words.
“What do you mean before…?”
Zed was suddenly jerked off of me, the knife cutting across my neck as he moved back. I spun around to find Harry twisting Zed’s wrist, the knife falling to the ground. He punched Zed in the face before forcing him up against the wall near me. I tensed my muscles, trying to get my strength back. But they were gone.
“Go!” Harry shouted to me before slamming Zed harder up against the wall. Zed’s body looked weak and defenceless as he let Harry beat him.
“No, Harry, let him go!” I lunged towards them. I needed to know what Zed’s words meant. He’s seen someone like me before, but when? How?
Harry suddenly pushed me hard in the chest, causing me to stumble back.
“It’s for your own good, Rosalie,” Harry spoke sternly as he pointed a finger at me, still pinning a weak Zed against the wall. His eyelids drooped as his body slumped against the wall.
He nodded to the door before he turned his attention back to Zed, punching him in the stomach. I stood there, trying to force my strength to come back, but my muscles just groaned as I tensed them. My body refused to toughen. I screamed out in fury before storming out. I was infuriated with Zed, with Harry, but mostly myself for being weak and useless when I could have used my strength for defence.
I marched out of the block, slamming my fist against the wall by the door outside. I screamed out again, thinking that maybe if I was given more time I could have increased my strength. I had felt my strength grow in there before Harry barged in. I was fed up of not being able to control my abilities. I have such amazing strengths. I could use them for good and force away the beast inside of me. But I can’t. I’m useless.
I stepped back from the wall and shuffled back towards the bike. I sat down on the pavement in front of it, my legs bent against my chest. I ran my fingers through my hair angrily, but Zed’s words kept running through my head.
“I’ve seen this before.”
I hugged my legs as I thought. Has Zed witnessed a vampire attack before? He might be feeling the same as me, loss, anger at this thing killing someone he knew, possibly loved. I could relate to him. We could understand each other. I could have calmed him down and spoken to him about what he saw if I had more time. I rested my throbbing head onto my knees, squeezing my eyes shut as loud music still blared from somewhere behind me in the block.
“Rosie,” someone eventually spoke.
My head shot up from my knees, glaring as Harry stood above me.
“Are you okay?” he asked as he crouched down next to me, wrapping his arm around me. His knuckles were rough with smears of red liquid covering his skin. I shrugged his arm off angrily.
“For God sake, Harry,” I growled to him. His eyebrows furrowed, almost making him look cute, but I pushed away this thought. “I could have sorted it out in there if you would've given me some more time.”
“But Rosie, I…”
“But nothing, Harry. I don’t need you to be the fucking hero all the time.”
“Rosie, I was only trying to help you…” he said, wrapping his arm back around me, his voice laced with pain. I jumped up from the pavement, feeling my anger boil over, but still no sense of my powers. It only built my rage further. And I knew I was about to take it out on Harry. But I couldn’t stop myself.
I glared down at Harry’s slouched over body, eyes displaying his guilt and offence towards my behaviour.
“Well maybe I don’t need your fucking help!” I bellowed.
Harry’s face fell, his gaze lowering in shame. Silence grew thick around us as Harry stared down at the ground, biting his bottom lip. His eyes were squeezed shut as he embraced his knees to his chest. The sight of Harry hurt and offended eased the anger in my heart. I sighed heavily before crouching down before him. I curled a finger under his chin, lifting his head up to look at me.
“I’m sorry, baby,” I finally muttered, witnessing the tears glisten in Harry’s green orbs. It only made my heart ache even more. “I knew you were only trying to help. It’s just that Zed said something in there.”
Harry’s eyebrows knitted together.
“He said that he’s witnessed something like me before,” I muttered. “I wanted to speak to him so I could ask him what he saw. But then you came in.”
Harry’s face finally softened as he slowly began to understand.
“I’m sorry,” he murmured. “I just saw through the window Zed pointing a knife at you. I got scared and ran in without thinking...”
A smile slowly appeared on my lips as he continued stuttering apologies. I quickly put my hand over his mouth, bringing a finger up to my lips.
“Shh,” I whispered. “You talk too much.”
I felt Harry grin under my hand. I leaned forward to leave a kiss to his nose before removing my hand.
“Did you get what you wanted?” he finally asked.
I grinned as I pulled back before taking the picture out of my back pocket.
“Yeah,” I replied, waving the folded picture in the air. I felt the relief wash over me, knowing I had what I came for, that we were both safe. Harry grinned at me before pulling himself up to his feet. He groaned softly, a hand clutching his left lower hip. I helped him up to his feet, eyebrows drawn together in confusion.
“It-it’s nothing,” Harry suddenly stuttered, forcing a weak smile to his lips. But I didn’t believe him. Before he could stop me, I lifted up his shirt, revealing a cut on Harry’s left v-line. My eyes shot up to his. His bottom lip was stuck between his teeth, eyes avoiding my insistent gaze.
“What happened?” I asked sternly. “Who did this to you? Harry.”
“It’s fine,” Harry tried reassuring, batting away my hands. His top fell back down over his body, masking the cut from me. I stared up at him, arms crossed tight over my chest.
His head finally lifted his chin from his chest, an anxious expression across his face. He knew I wasn’t going to back down.
“Zed,” Harry finally answered. “He got me with some glass the other day.”
Harry shrunk away. I haven’t seen him this vulnerable before.
I finally flung my arms around him, eliciting a sudden gasp from the man I held tight. I squeezed my arms protectively around him, holding his body to my chest. I fisted the hair on the back of his head, pressing him close to me.
“I’ll always protect you,” I whispered. “I promise.”
I let my other hand slide down his left side, wrapping my fingers around his lower hip, palm pressed against the cut lightly. Harry buried his face into my shoulder, bending his knees a little to match my shorter frame. His arms wrapped around me, holding me as if protecting me himself. And I'd do the same for him. Until the day I die.
I finally withdrew, beginning to feel uncomfortable showing my affection towards Harry in this place. The last time I was being affectionate towards someone in public, we were targeted. I survived, but he didn’t.
“Thank you,” I finally muttered up to Harry, “for caring about me.”
Harry swiped my hands up into his, taking a small step into me. I rested my forehead just under his chin, breathing in his strong fragrance. Harry placed my hands on his waist. I turned my head to the side, resting it on his muscled chest; his heart beat hard inside. I felt him tighten his arms around me, kissing the top of my head.
“You don’t need to thank me, Rosie,” he said softly down to me. “I’ll always be here for you.”