I lay still in the darkened bedroom, the sound of the clock ticking loudly on the bedside table next to me. Keeping my eyes close, I listen to the soft sound of his breathing. There was a soft grunt sound, then the rustling of bedsheets as Charles readjusted in his sleep. Charles had been asleep for an hour now, exhausted from his sexual encounter from a few hours prior. The encounter was enough to leave him out of breath and sweaty. It was sweet how tired he was; I was not used to making love with a human and I did not feel tired afterwards as I would have as a human. Charles slept naked, the silk sheet covering the lower half of his body.

 

As Charles slept, I tried to keep my mind occupied. I had been a vampire for two years now and was taught by Luca to control my bloodlust. Although I was better at it than I had been two years prior, I still slipped up often. Luca stayed nearby in Barcelona in case I needed his help. He knew of my plan to turn Charles. I wanted to do it myself when I was strong enough to turn him without killing him. We both knew that I wasn’t ready, but my training was going well with Luca’s expertise. He even let me hunt on the outskirts of the city so that I could get practice in the art of seduction, for when I wanted to lure my prey away, and in the art of being discrete, as not to get caught in the process of feeding. Luca was also teaching me to control the bloodlust by only feeding on one or two humans at a time. When I was in my first year as a newborn, I had a habit of hunting multiple humans at the same time. I could not help myself, for the bloodlust was too strong. Recently, I had convinced Luca that I was stable enough to be with Charles in person. I couldn’t just leave him behind forever. Charles was my soulmate and I couldn’t be away from him for a long period of time. Luca agreed to let me spend time with Charles, but he refused to leave the city. He was also near, lurking in the shadows to prevent me from doing something I might regret. I told Luca that I would be swell on my own with Charles, but my emotions were heightened and I would have done anything to be Charles.

 

I daydreamed when Charles was sleeping at night to keep myself busy. I didn’t want to wander the streets and potentially kill people, so daydreaming was what got me by. Luckily, I have a tremendous imagination and it can often times be very intense, almost as if I was dreaming again. I missed dreaming. I miss being able to close my eyes and shut myself away from the world, away from the pain that Anton had caused me. Dreaming was my escape from reality. My life now was like a dream. I’m a vampire that is in love with a human. I will never die and there isn’t anything that I can’t do. I’m unstoppable. Sounds like my dreams from when I was human, but it isn’t a dream at all. This is reality.  

 

My mind continues to drift away as Charles sleeps. I think of my dreams from my human life, only to be caught off guard when my imagination takes me to Anton. Anton… My mind drifts to Anton and his abuse. I try to escape the thoughts but they are coming too fast and they suddenly overwhelm me. My emotions, still heightened, are sometimes hard to control. My eyes fly open and I sit up in bed, my body filled with rage. My throat begins to burn as I stare at the wall in front of me, Anton’s face haunting me. I can’t seem to get away from it. My eyes dart around the room, his face still in my line of sight. I try not to yell out, wanting to get his image out of my mind. I close my eyes tightly, trying to focus on something, anything other than his face and the burning in my throat.

 

Thump, thump. Thump, thump.

 

My eyes open, my hands in my hair as the sound grabs my attention and holds it.

 

Thump, thump. Thump, thump.

 

My crimson eyes focus on the human next to me, sleeping soundlessly as I battle myself from feeding on him. My eyes focus on the artery in his neck.

 

Thump, thump. Thump, thump.

 

The burning in my throat overwhelms me and I find myself suddenly inches from his neck. My hands on his chest, holding him down. The human’s brown eyes open, staring into mine. His heart pounds louder in his chest as his eyes align with mine. Something in his eyes makes me freeze in place, my face inches from his. The human lays still, trying to calm his beating heart. Anton’s face was stuck in my head and for a moment, it is Anton below me.

 

“Kenna,” Anton says, only it isn’t Anton’s harsh voice. A different voice says my name. I close my eyes for a moment, focusing on the shaky voice I just heard. When I open them again I am staring into the eyes of my love, Charles. I throw myself backwards in horror, crashing into the wall. A picture of Charles and his family breaks from the impact, falling to the ground. Charles sits up in bed, watching me. My throat burns and the guilt begins to set in. I was going to kill him. Charles. It’s Charles… not Anton. Run Kenna. Run. I disappear from the room, flying through the corridors to escape. I finally get out of the building, only to run into the arms of Luca. I look into his eyes, the burning in my throat unbearable. His dark eyes stare into mine and he takes my hand, running with me to find me someone to feed on.

 

Luca helps me find a man in a dark alley. Standing guard at the entrance, Luca lets me feed on my prey. I stop the man’s screams, drinking every last drop from his artery. The blood soothes the burning in my throat, and I collapse to the ground in ecstasy. I lean back against the alley wall, licking my lips to get every last drop of the man’s blood. Luca comes over once I am finished and disposes of the body. I close my eyes to continue the feeling, not wanting it to end. Luca stands before me, letting out a sigh. I open my eyes, standing up to meet his gaze. He looks disappointed and worried.

 

“I thought you were capable of being around Charles without harming him.” Luca lifts a brow, crossing his arms over his perfectly sculpted chest. Luca warned me that I wasn’t ready to be with Charles. I was still too new to this life. I pleaded to him to let me see Charles. He finally gave in, but I had a feeling he didn’t think I was ready. Now I was just further proving my instability.

 

“I’m so sorry Luca. I didn’t intend to feed on him… I was haunted by the memory of Anton and it overwhelmed me. I couldn’t escape it. All I could see was his face and I wanted to kill him and end it. I didn’t realize that I would attack Charles. I would never hurt him, you must understand that Luca.”

 

“And yet you almost killed him tonight.” He watches me carefully.

 

“It won’t happen again, I promise.”

 

“You and I both know you can’t keep that promise. You are too young Makenna. I should have never allowed you to see him this soon in the first place.” Luca stands still, watching me intently.

 

“Please let me go back to him. Please allow me to explain myself to Charles. Let me return… and I promise to leave with you tomorrow.” I plead, my body calm now that I have just fed. I dread having to leave Charles again, but seeing him for this short period of time was worth it.

 

“Fine. Head back to the lad. But I will be outside the window, listening to everything. It is the only way to protect him,” he pauses, letting his arms fall to his sides. “We leave in the morning, before dawn. Say your goodbyes Makenna, it may be some time before we return.”

 

“Thank you,” I say softly, heading back to Charles’s apartment.  

 

I finally arrive at the apartment, knocking softly so that I do not wake up his neighbors. I wonder in the back of my mind if he went back to sleep, or if he left, trying to escape from me. Guilt fills me as I wait at the door for him. I hear the weight shift on the bed and his footsteps make their way to the front door. I can almost feel his warmth through the wood. He pauses before opening it and takes a deep breath. I step back as Charles opens the door, not wanting to frighten him. His eyes watch me carefully, trying to assess my mood.

 

“I’m sorry Charles. I didn’t mean to cause you harm. I was stuck in this whirlwind of memories of Anton and I couldn’t escape. I tried to get out and I don’t know what happened. I couldn’t control it. The pain and burning took over and I could not stop. I’d never hurt you Charles, not intentionally. I’m so sorry. I understand if you never forgive me.” I pause, knowing if I could cry, I’d have tears rolling down my face. I was not being the vampire I wanted to be. I was still the overwhelmed, sad girl that Anton ruined. I held my breath to calm myself and I stood perfectly still, watching Charles. He looked down for a moment, and he almost looked sad, as if he felt bad for me.

 

“Come on in dollface. I know you’d never do anything to harm me.” He stepped aside so I could enter then shut the door behind me. I hold my hands together, staying silent until he chooses to speak more. “Are you feeling well sugar? You had me worried.” He looks at me with weary eyes and yawns.

 

“I’m okay dear. I just got overwhelmed. It won’t happen again, I promise.” I bite my bottom lip, aware of Luca’s presence outside the apartment, knowing he is listening. Charles watches me. He walks over, placing a hand to my cheek, cradling my face. I look into his warm brown eyes, never wanting to look away. I could never hurt him. This is my soulmate. He is my Charles. He leans down, placing a kiss lightly upon my lips.

 

“I’ll always be here for you Kenna. You are extraordinary and are the love of my life. I know you’d never harm me.” He leans down, kissing me again. I get lost in his kiss, knowing that he speaks the truth. He will always be here for me. Always.

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