I sighed softly to myself as I hand washed the dishes in the sink, trying to keep my mind occupied. Anton was away at work and I always enjoyed my time alone to myself. Whenever Anton was around, I felt on edge. It was not until he would leave for the day that I felt more myself. Even then, I hadn’t truly felt like myself since before the wedding. At first things were alright in the marriage. I chose to look past certain things and prayed that I would eventually love Anton. But that never happened and it only got worse. I stayed with Anton for fear of being harmed if I tried to leave.

 

A knock sounded at the front door, and I wiped my hands with a hand towel as I went to answer it. To my surprise, it was Luca at my front door. My heart sped up as I saw him, in both fear and excitement. There was something thrilling about Luca and his life as a vampire. He could do whatever he wanted and he did not have to answer to anyone. Luca was incredibly strong and fast… no one could hurt him. He was invincible.

 

“Good afternoon Luca. I was not expecting a visit from you.” I stepped aside, letting Luca enter the house. He held his hands behind his back as he walked through the house, looking around. I watched him as he looked at photographs that hung in dusty frames upon the wall. He was silent, even as he moved. “Is there anything I can get you?”

 

Luca looked over at me and smirked, shaking his head. “No thank you child. I do not require food or water, only human blood.” My brows lifted in surprise and suddenly I wasn’t sure what to do with myself.

 

“I’m sorry, I was just trying to be polite.” Luca nods in understanding, turning to address me fully. His crimson eyes pierce mine and for a moment, I feel as if I am looking into the eyes of a predator. He keeps his distance from me, trying to make me feel safe with him here.

 

“I came here to check up on your wellbeing Makenna. You must know that I have watched over you your entire human life.” He waits in silence as I take in his words.

 

“I suppose you are correct Luca. You have always looked out for me.” I roll down my shirt sleeves, suddenly feeling self conscious. His red eyes watch me carefully. “I am doing… swell.” I clear my throat, my heart beating faster in my chest. I am not swell, not at all. Throughout my marriage, I have put on a brave face in order to get through the day. I try my best to please my husband and I keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. Somewhere along the way, I convinced myself that what was happening between Anton and I was acceptable and that I was content with it.

 

Luca steps forward, narrowing his vision to focus on me. It’s like he can see right through me. “Makenna… you clearly are not swell. I have noticed a change within you, and not just physically. You are quieter than you used to be when you were growing up. You had all of these aspirations. Here you are now, all grown up and none of those aspirations have come true. Instead you subject yourself to your husband and follow all of his orders.” Luca appears before me and I take a step back, his speed catching me off guard. I try not to meet his prying eyes. Luca lifts his hand at a slow pace, bringing his finger to my chin. He lifts up my chin, forcing me to look at him in a gentle manner. “Look at me child. What has happened to you to make your inner fire dim so much?”

 

I open my mouth to speak, but no words come out. How do I explain to someone what I have been hiding this whole time? How do I tell someone that my husband punishes me when I do not obey his commands, or how he forces himself upon me? I tried to come out to my mother about it, but she simply dismissed it. She claimed that it was just a part of marriage and that all wives must obey their husbands. Divorce is not legal in Malta, so I am forced to be with Anton forever.

 

Growing up, I was always aware of my qualities. I was beautiful and intelligent. Never was I concerned with my place in this world. I was proud to be Makenna Geraldi. Looking back at the past year with Anton, I lost that innocence and confidence. Instead, it has been replaced with fear and anxiety. I am no longer confident in the person I have become. I do not like the person Makenna Bartoli has become.

 

I sit down on the floral sofa, feeling the anxiety set in. I have kept all these secrets in for so long that I am unsure if I want to say it allowed.

 

“Luca… I don’t know if I can say it. For if I say it, it shall make it real.” I look up at him, my eyes beginning to fill with tears that I have kept inside for months now. I wipe away a tear before it can fall down my cheek. My cardigan falls off my shoulder as I do this and I catch Luca intently staring at my shoulder. I hastily pull my cardigan back over the bruised skin, but it was not fast enough for the vampire. He already saw. He knew. Anger flashes within Luca’s eyes and I can seem them beginning to darken before me. His hands clench into fists.

 

“He deserves to die for what he has done to you. You are one of the most beautiful souls I have ever come across Makenna. So strong and bright, just like a flame. This pathetic human deserves to go to hell for what he has done to you.” I rise from my seat, lifting a hand.

 

“Please, Luca. Wait.” Luca’s eyebrows pull together. “You cannot just kill him. That would be murder.”

 

“He deserves to be killed for what he has done to you.” Part of me does wish that Anton was dead. He made me feel pathetic and worthless. I was his subject, not a real person.

 

“Luca, I need your help,” I pause, taking a shaky breath. “Please help me get out of this. I cannot do this anymore.” I thought many times of going to Luca for help, but somehow got trapped within my own world of self pity and hate.

 

Luca comes forth, taking one of my hands in his. His skin is ice cold to the touch and sends a shiver through my spine. His eyes pierce mine and suddenly, I feel that there is a end to this hell I have been enduring. There is a salvation within those crimson eyes.

 

“Come away with me Makenna. I can take you away from all of this pain. I can make it so you never feel pain again. We can travel to places you have always dreamed of going and places that you never even knew existed. You get to make all of your own decisions and you can live forever. No one can harm you again,” he pauses, looking at my intently. “You are the chosen one Makenna. You are destined for a better life. Let me give that to you.” A sob of relief escapes my lips and I nod, incapable of words.

 

“We must leave now, before that pathetic human returns.” Luca picks me up in his arms, and in a spiffy, we are out of the house. I feel like I am flying, but within the safety of Luca’s arms. Curled up against his chest, I realize that my life has just changed forever. Never again do I have to be touched by that awful man. No longer do I have to endure pain. I can leave behind this anxious and fearful girl for the fierce and proud woman that I know I truly am. I am Makenna Geraldi, and I am going to become a vampire.

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