Chapter 1: First Day
“Mama don’t make me go!!” I gripped my backpack tightly as I sat in the back seat. Staring out the window. “Summer can’t be over yet.”
Veronica laughed as she scrolled on her phone. “Dont’t be such a baby, Lance.” I rolled my eyes.
“Cállate, no one was talking to you, Ronnie.” I loosened my grip on my backpack slightly.
“Lance calmarse, Verónica ser agradable a su hermano.” Mom cut in and then smiled at Rachel. “Why are you the quiet one, mija?”
“Hey!” Veronica and I shouted at the same time before the car came to a stop somewhat near the school.
Every year on the first day our parents would drop us off for good luck. It doesn’t really work but it’s a nice tradition and this is Veronica’s last year and then it’s just Rachel and I for one more year.
“We’re here. Before you three get out of the car I wanted to say, that I love you all so much. Veronica, I hope your senior year is the best it can get and I’m so glad you found Acxa so early in your life. Maybe, Marco, can be as lucky as you and find his this year.” Veronica smiled and ran her finger over Acxa’s name on her wrist.
“Rachel and Lance, my youngest children. May this school year be the best and don’t worry too hard about your soulmate, mijo. Sé paciente y mija, have fun. Now get out of my car. I need to see Nadia off to her first day of school.”
We all climbed out of the car and made our way to the school. Going our seperate ways. Veronica went to join her friends and Acxa. Rachel to her friends and I to mine.
I admit I didn’t miss school. I miss seeing Hunk and Pidge every day, yes. I didn’t enjoy the amount of work we recieve and due dates or test. Presentations, on the other hand, was my cup of tea.
I pulled my phone out as I turned a corner. I quickly dialed Hunk’s number. “Where are you guys? I just got to school.” I sped walk down the hall.
“Um, hello Hunk. How are you? Wow, that’s wonderful, congratulations.” He mocked me. I groaned into the phone and he chuckled. “We’re in the west wing at our normal spot. You haven’t talked to me in a month. I have big news”
“Or me!?!? Lance you like died on us.” I heard Pidge loud and clear through the phone.
“I know, I know and I’m sorry. Something happened.” I said and heard silence. “I’ll tell you all when I get there.”
“I hope everything's alright, Lonce.” Allura said this time.
“It’s better than before,” I mumbled then quickly changed the subject. “What’s your big news, Hunk?”
“I’ll tell you when you ge-”
“Hunk found his soulmate!!!” I heard Romelle shout along with Pidge.
I hung up instantly and began sprinting down the halls. I spotted them quickly and slammed Hunk into a hug. I pulled away and his face was bright red.
“Ay Dios mio, what was it like? Is she nice? What does she look like? When? Where?” I asked every question after the next pretty quickly.
“She’s pretty amazing. We met at my parents' bakery. She lives in the next town over so she doesn’t go here but we’ve been hanging out and texting.” His face was red as a tomato.
“My Hunky got a girlfriend.” I cheered loudly.
“He’s not the only one. Matt found his as well.” Pidge smiled brightly. “He won’t shut up about her. It’s beyond annoying.”
“I think it’s cute,” Romelle said brushing her finger along her chin.
“You're not the one who sleeps in a room next to his and have to hear their phone calls every night.” Pidge rolled her eyes.
“Veronica is the same way. I believe Luis would do the same.” I was too young to remember that tiny little detail.
“Lonce,” I looked up at Allura who was sitting with Lotor. They met their sophomore year. He was a transfer student. Allura and Lotor are in the same grade as Matt and Veronica but we got along quite well. With Allura at least. “I’m sorry about your sister.”
I looked at Lotor who avoided my eyes. Acxa probably told him and Veronica probably told her. Would I be that open with my soulmate?
“She’s doing better.” I could feel the joy slowly leave my body. I could feel Hunk, Pidge, and Romelle’s eyes on me. “Rachel lost her soulmate. She woke up screaming in pain and then the name faded with the pain. She’s been out of it lately but she’s getting better.”
I felt Hunks hand rub my arm. “I’m sorry.” Hunk gave me a sad smile.
“It’s fine honestly. She’ll find someone who’s blank as well or she’ll live life to the extreme.” I smiled and the bell rung for class.
“Come on, Pidge, we have math first today.” Hunk grabbed her arm and they said their goodbyes.
Romelle looped her arm through Allura. “We’ll be on our way, see you later Lance.” I waved and made my way to Biology.
I didn’t rush to the class but I did manage to get there before half the class. I saw Ryan and Nadia sitting together. I got along with them but there was only two chairs to a lab bench.
I found one in the back and no one else sat there yet. I looked down at my wrist. The name Keith in bold letters stared back at me. Please don’t ever fade on me.
I’ve never seen Rachel in such much pain. She always liked to hide it. She’s my older sister, twins or not. She always tried to be brave for me but that night she changed.
Marco came close before. He felt pain but his soulmate’s name stayed, thankfully.
The bell rung again and I jumped, almost falling out of my chair. “Careful Lance.” I saw Nadia giggling.
“Shut it, Rizavi,” I muttered and she gave me a wink.
Our teacher shut the door as she walked in. “Good morning class, I’m Ms. Ryner and I-”
A student with black mullet of hair walked in late. His face was flushed when he realized everyone was looking at him. A weird pull hit my body as I stared at him. My pulse began to race and he looked at me and held his stare.
“Hi.” Our teacher smiled at him. He looked at a way quickly. “You must be our quick transfer student, Keith Kogane, was it?”
I tensed. Keith was his name. Keith as in my Keith. As in the Keith on my wrist. Holy shit!!! This can’t be happening.
“Yes.” He said quietly.
“Well welcome to the Garrison, Keith.” She smiled. “Take that seat in the back next to the McClain boy.”
He looked at me again and tensed. He sat down next to me. Ryner continued talking but I drowned her out.
“Keith?” The boy turned around and gave me a blank expression. One I couldn’t read.
“What?” He glared at me. I swallowed.
“Um...I…” I stuttered not really knowing what I was going to say.
“Spit it out or don’t waste my time, McClain.” He continued staring at me.
"Uhhh...nevermind. I’m sorry.” I turned quickly. Maybe this was my Keith. Maybe this was some other Keith.
But if it was, then why did my body feel like it was going to die from being near him. I felt safe near him, a pull towards him. But he seemed not to feel it.
Chapter 2: Worse Day
“Do I really have to go, dad?” I grumbled staring at the ceiling of the truck. Shiro stared out the window letting the wind blow through his hair.
“Yes, Keith, you really have to. We’ve been over this. Your mother and I believe this is the safest choice for you two.” He looked at me from the rearview mirror.
Mostly me, is what he meant by that. Shiro was slightly safer in a way but at the same time not. “Keith, don’t be difficult school won’t be that bad,” Shiro said this time.
I mocked him with my hand. “I’m not being difficult. I understand why we have to switch schools but I rather we didn’t.”
My life has been difficult from the moment my parents met. See my father is a vampire. It was just him and my adopted brother, Shiro. My father was friends with Shiro’s mother and father before hunters killed them.
My mother was sent by the galra to kill my father and Shiro. She found out they were soulmates and kept their relationship hidden. Ending up with me as a result.
Since then my mother’s been keeping the galra off our tracks and she’s been helping other vampires along the way. Which includes moving schools whenever the galra get close to us.
If they find me and what my parents did they’d lose their shit. Last time they almost killed us, they took Shiro’s right arm and left a scar across his face.
My mother helped us escape without being caught. Now we’re here. Hiding again, like we always do.
We stopped near the front. “Both of you watch out for each other. Be careful and be safe. Don’t get distracted. Remember to not drag attention to yourselves.” My dad looked at us.
He pulled Shiro and me into a hug and sighed. “I love you both so much. Don’t get distracted and stick close to each other. We can’t trust anyone but each other. Limit friends. No football.” The last one was directed towards Shiro.
“Bye Dad, we’re already late.” I pulled away and stepped out of the car.
“I’ll make sure he doesn’t get into any trouble.” Shiro smiled before getting out. He threw his arm around my shoulder. “We’ll be fine Keith.”
He whispered to me. I allowed my body to relax slightly. They could both feel my nervous energy.
“I know, Shiro, but the last thing I want right now is walking into a class late and everyone staring at me like some freak.” Shiro laughed and I rushed up the steps.
I followed my map to my current class. The bell rang and I let out a groan. Today’s already off to a bad start. Now I want to go home and sketch pictures and watch movies with Kosmo.
I pulled the door open and watched as my worse fears came true. Then I smelled the ocean and beach sand. It was refreshing and beautiful. I looked towards the smell and saw him.
That’s Lance. His blue eyes watched me carefully. He seemed to recognize me as well. I could hear his heart beat quicken the longer we stared at each other.
Then the teacher asked me to sit with him. Wait! This can’t happen now. I'm supposed to lay low. ot bring attention to myself. Not make many friends and not find my soulmate.
He can’t know about me. He can’t be dragged into my mess of a life.
He looked at me again and tensed. He sat down next to me. Ryner continued talking but I drowned her out.
“Keith?” His voice sounded so hollow but so beautiful all at the same time.
I decided to do something so stupid.
“What?” I glared at him. He tensed at the harshness of my voice.
I pretended to not know him.
“Um...I…” He stuttered. I instantly felt guilty but he can’t be part of this, me. What if he doesn't even accept me for what I am?
“Spit it out or don’t waste my time, McClain,” I spoke firmly and he stared hopelessly at me. His eyes seemed lost.
“Uhhh...nevermind. I’m sorry.” He turned quickly. I mentally punched myself in the face.
This wouldn’t last. I know it wouldn’t last. We literally sit next to each other. I’ll have to make it work for now. For now, it would have to wait.
Chapter 3: Lunch Rush
Today was trying to be my absolute worse and it was winning. That Keith kid was in all my classes so far, but I got lucky with my seating. I had Pidge and Hunk during history and Ryan during gym.
I still couldn’t shake the weird feeling I got from him off. I stood in the lunch line with Hunk. He seemed to be grinning widely at his phone. “Hunk, can I ask you a question?” I grabbed my tray and made my way down the line grabbing some fruit.
He slipped his phone in his pocket and grabbed a tray. “What’s the question?” He pointed at the french fries and the lady handed him some.
“What feeling did you get when you met Shay?” I mumbled and grabbed a slice of pizza and scanned my ID. I waited for Hunk to do the same and we made our way to our lunch table.
“I felt this warmth, this pull towards her and I knew instantly who she was. A little voice said Shay and everything felt like it clicked into place.” He smiled at the fond memory. “That feeling gets stronger the more we see each other and the more we hang out.”
I frowned as we sat at the table and ran my finger back over the name staining my wrist. I turned to where the pull followed and saw him staring back at me.
He noticed me looking at him and he turned quickly back to a boy who was sitting with Matt. Rolo had his arm around Nyma and they looked very deep in conversation with the boy. Adam sat quietly resting his head on the palm of his hand as he stared at the boy.
“Lance?” Pidge grabbed my arm and smirked at me. “Stop daydreaming.”
“I wasn’t daydreaming, Pidge,” I mumbled before bitting into my pizza. I looked at her plate that held two slices of pizza. “How come you get two?”
“Matt lost a bet and I get his pizza.” She bit into hers. “He has to do my chores and give me his lunch for two weeks.”
She bragged and then stole a fry from Lance’s tray. “Hey!” Hunk glared at her and then I snatched one and ate it. “If you guys wanted fries then you should’ve got some or at least ask.”
“Now where the fun be in that?” Pidge snatched another one. Romelle ran up and sat next to us.
She looked down at her salad before slamming her head down on the table. “Can I just say having Iverson for gym is going to be the death of me. I can’t seem to feel my legs anymore.” She whined.
“I have him second and then I have to sit in history with these two with Coran rambling. I never felt the room spin so fast.”
“Wait is he that bad?” Hunk whined.
“We have him last.” Pidge gripped her tray. “This is the thing I need. Why is gym even necessary? Who are you to tell me my body’s wrong?”
“He’s horrible. We sprinted around the track and had to do 50 push-ups and if we touched the ground before 50 we had to start again.” I exaggerated a tiny bit. “Good luck.”
I finished off my pizza and saw Allura with Lotor. They were talking to Acxa and Veronica along with Zethirid and Ezor. Those couples always seemed joined at the hip. Soulmate couples always were.
I looked back over towards Keith but now he was leaving the cafeteria. I stood up quickly grabbing my backpack. “Where are you going?” I heard Pidge shout but I kept walking until I was outside in the hall.
It was empty and quiet. Then a cold hand grabbed my wrist tightly sending electricity through my arm. I gasped and turned to the person who grabbed me.
“Why are you following me?” His violet eyes burned into mine. His grip tightened and I winced at the pain. It loosened instantly but stayed firm.
“Who said I was following you? I could just be going to the restroom.” I jerked my arm away from his. “Let me see your wrist.”
I need to know and I don’t have time for him pretending.
He stepped back from me. “That’s a private and personal thing.” He wore a guarded expression.
“It’s just a name, Keith.” He tensed at his name. I pulled my sleeve down and showed him his name and he froze. “I know you feel the link so why are you pretending not to?”
His face began to pale. He stayed silent. “Am I not what you expected? Did you not want a soulmate? Why are you treating me like shit?” I felt the anger rise more and more as I stared at the now silent boy.
“Lance,” He started but fell silent. “I didn’t mean to make hurt you."
“Oh because full-on ignoring your soulmate doesn’t hurt.” I mumbled, “I can feel some of your emotions as well you know.”
He stared at me curiously. “I’m sorry I acted that way. I was shocked and scared so I panicked.” He sounded sincere but I couldn’t tell if he was being truly sincere.
“It’s fine.” I felt my anger deplete. “Let’s start all over, I’m Lance.”
I smiled this time and he could sense my mood change because he seemed more relaxed. I stuck my hand out and he shook it bringing back the electric feeling. He started grinning.
“I’m Keith.” His voice seemed completely calm. I stared at his violet eyes. They were different, rare. How could someone have eyes so beautiful?
“Well, Keith, would you like to spend the rest of lunch with my friends and I?” I smiled at him feeling this warm in me.
He nodded and we went back to the cafeteria.
Chapter 4: Soulmates?
I stabbed into my mac n cheese as we ate in silence. I took a sip of the blood from my cup. Trying not to feel nauseous. Mom couldn’t join us for dinner tonight since she had some sort of mission that no one would explain to me. “Because I’m too young,” They would say. I was always the last to know anything because it’s safer.
“How was school?” Dad broke the silence. He was halfway through his food. “You two are very silent.”
I glanced at Shiro who was stiff. “Very interesting.” He mumbled and his face began to turn red. I looked back at my food.
“What happened?” My dad’s tone was suspicious. I stayed quiet and finished my food. I began draining my cup quickly.
“I kinda…” Shiro paused. I found it funny how smitten Shiro was because he was always confident with his words and actions. “Met my soulmate today.”
I avoided dad’s eyes waiting for him to say something. It was silent for what felt like hours. I couldn’t tell if he was mad or happy. He couldn’t really be mad because we couldn’t control fate.
“That’s great Takashi,” He smiled at Shiro. “Is he a vampire?” Shiro shook his head. “Take it slow, alright and be careful. I prefer you staying with soulmate instead of us moving this time around. So no mistakes you two.”
His voice was firm. I tighten my grip on the cup more. I could feel Shiro staring at me with a knowing look. Now it was my turn. Shiro found out after school. He kept bugging me about the kids I sat with during lunch.
I swallowed and looked at Dad. “I found mine as well.” He tensed. Dad was always harder on me. “He’s not a vampire either,” I added and my dad gave me a weak smile.
“The same thing for you then. I don’t want to separate you guys from them. That would bring you all too much pain.” He was okay with it.
“What about mom?” I asked. Mom would think it’s a stupid risk factor. She wouldn’t like it at all. She puts family first.
“I’ll worry about your mother but for now you should be getting ready for bed Keith.” He gave me a look I knew way too well.
It’s the one where he and Shiro needed to talk about something that I didn’t need to know about for now. I rolled my eyes and grabbed my dishes.
I put them in the sink and went to my room. I pressed my ear against the door and listened. They know I have heightened hearing which I don’t understand why they have me leave every time.
It was harder to hear since they were whispering but I was able to make out their whispered voices. “Lotor goes there,” Shiro said first. “His dad doesn’t know yet but when he finds out…”
“We need to avoid him at all cost. Once his parents find out about us we can’t hide again.” Dad spoke quietly. “I don’t want your brother to know about this. I don’t want him to stress. He over thinks things.”
So does Shiro. I thought to myself. Dad puts way to much pressure on Shiro. He doesn’t notice because Shiro tries to hide it but he didn’t see Shiro that day until after.
I felt Kosmo brush against my leg. Who’s Lotor? He sounded vaguely familiar. I’ve heard his name before. I don’t think I met him at school today.
“What about mom? When she finds out, she won’t like it. She’ll think it’s too much of a risk. She-” Shiro stopped. It was quiet for a moment.
“I’ll deal with Krolia. We’ll figure this out, Shiro.” My dad’s voice was soft. The one he rarely uses. “Right now all you need to worry about is school. This is your final year and I want it to be great. I want you and your brother to take care of each other no matter what happens.”
It was quiet and I decided to back away from the door. Lotor? Where have I heard that before? I walked towards my bed and sat down. Kosmo jumped up on the bed and snuggled up on my leg.
I smiled at him and rubbed his back. “How was your day, boy?” I laid back and rubbed his head. “Did you get lonely not having Keithy here with you?” He wagged his tail quickly.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t here. I’ll make it up to you this weekend.” I smiled and looked at my wrist. “Maybe Lance would like to hang out this weekend.”
I stared at the ceiling. Lance was weird. He was something I didn’t expect but he was a good weird. Lunch was pretty nice. Hunk, Pidge, and Romelle seemed cool. The rest of our classes were better since I wasn’t avoiding him like an idiot.
He pretended that half the day didn’t happen. I feel so stupid for acting like that. Why do you do the things you do, Keith? Lance liked me so far but what about the parts he didn’t know about me. What if he hates me being a vampire because tv ruined the image of vampires.
We all aren’t thirsty blood sucking freaks. We harvest and drink human blood, yes but we don’t go ripping people’s necks open.
Most of us have standards. We get blood from the hospital’s or have some human friends. Like my mom and her group of friends who know a bit about us.
But he doesn't know that and his first thoughts will be to run and I’ll scare him. He’ll be scared and then he’ll never want to see me again we’ll both be lonely rejects. Why is this happening to me?
Maybe it’ll work out in its own way. I mean why would the universe put his name on my wrist and mine on his if it didn’t believe it wouldn’t work out.
I need to stop thinking about this and sleep. I can’t stay up all night again being lost in my thoughts.
Chapter 5: There are people in my home.
I couldn’t stop smiling. It was weird. Today was a great day. The best day. I’ve always wanted today. He seemed so perfect. I felt lucky but when I look at Rachel I feel guilt. We always dreamed about finding our soulmate together. We always did important things together. It was that imaginary rule we made up when we were younger and couldn’t seem to break it until today.
We would joke and goof off about finding them. But that night, I held her for so long as she sobbed. I didn’t know what to say to comfort her. It was something we never thought about.
I want to tell her about Keith, she’s always the first to know. When his name first appeared and I freaked out because it was a boy she comforted me and reminded me that Veronica’s had a girls’. She helped me out on the first day of school or when James bullied me through middle school before he met Nadia.
She should be the first to know but it would break her. She’d break all over again and I couldn’t that happen but I also couldn’t lie to her. I’ll just keep quiet until I’m asked.
“Mijo, you’re very quiet over there,” I looked at my mother who was cooking dinner. Tonight everyone was coming to eat dinner and spend the night, to celebrate the first day of school. A perfect time to tell everyone. “¿Está bien?”
“I’m fine, mama.” I smiled at her and watched her cook over the stove. She was making steak with black beans and rice. “Hunk and Matt found their soulmates.”
She turned around cheered. “That’s amazing, mijo. Hunk must be happy. How’s Katie and Romelle?” She turned back to the food.
“They’re fine. Pidge is still short and evil and Romelle was really happy to see everyone today.” I smiled. “I also made a new friend today.”
“And their name is?” She said slowly turning the fire on low.
“Oh his name is K-” I paused. She knows the name on my wrist they all do. Be creative Lance think of something quick, “Kris…”
I swallowed. “Kris? Are you sure that’s his name, Lance, because you don’t sound sure.” She raised an eyebrow at me. I avoided her eyes. She could always tell when someone was lying, it was like her superpower. Same with dad and mis abuelos. They had weird things about them that I never really questioned. Marco and Luis are weird as well.
“Um…-” The door rang, “I’ll get it!”
I jumped up and ran to the front door. I hope it’s Marco because I really didn’t feel like dealing with Sylvio and Nadia right now. I love my sobrinos but my legs didn’t have it in them for piggyback rides.
I opened the door and was greeted by my future purple haired sister-in-law. “Acxa, what brings you here? Veronica’s in the shower.” Acxa eyes were red and puffy she looked at me with a blank face. “What happened? What’s wrong?”
“Is your parents here? I need...um...we need to talk to them.” She whispered and then I noticed Romelle standing behind her. Her skin was sickly pale and she was cover in blood. Just blood everywhere. She was carrying someone. Her once blond hair looked brown from all the blood. The smell was horrible.
“R-r-romelle, what happened? Is that Bandor?” I felt my legs get weak. I could hear a car pull up outside and saw Luis walking up quickly. Lisa was getting the kids out the car.
“Lance?” Luis came closer and then realized what he was saying. “Lance get inside and get mama.”
He looked at me but I couldn’t move. My legs seemed to ignore me and stare at the blood on my friend. “Lance, who’s at the door?” I heard my mom walk up behind me and then gasp.
“Ay dios mio, Lance go upstairs now and get Veronica and tell her to come down.” she grabbed my shoulders and spoke calmly. Finally, my legs began to move and I ran upstairs.
I pounded on Veronica's door. I heard her make a frustrated scream before snatching the door open. “¿Qué quieres maldito mocoso?” She finally looked at me and her anger dropped.
I stared at her and couldn’t seem to speak. “You...d-d-downstairs...Acxa…” Veronica grabbed my shoulder and rubbed my back.
“Lance, breathe.” She guided me to Rachel’s room. “Stay with Rachel and I’ll go talk to mama, understand?”
I saw Rachel who gave us a worried look. I nodded and she rushed downstairs where I heard more noises. “Lance?” Rachel whispered before pulling me into a hug.
“It’s all going to be okay, hermanito.” She rubbed my back soothingly, “Mama y papa will figure everything out. They always do.”
“But Bandor he wasn’t moving, hermana.” I sobbed. “What if he’s, what if he’s...?”
The door was pushed open and Sylvio and Nadia came in. They were crying. “Tio Lance, tia Rachel, what’s going on?” Veronica came in after them.
“Watch them until the morning. I’ll be downstairs. Stay up here for the rest of the night. Someone will bring you food in the morning. “ She looked stressed but not scare. “Romelle and Bandor are fine, so relax.”
She left before we could ask questions. “You hear that guys, everything's fine. I’ll put on a movie…”Rachel smiled at the kids.
Throughout the night I heard more people come in. Voices that I haven’t heard before. They were discussing something but what? Why would Romelle come here and not the police? Why was Acxa with her? I needed an explanation.
“Lance,” I turned and saw Rachel. She was studying my wrist. I looked down and saw a light bruise wrapped around it. “What happened to your arm? Is this a handprint? Who grabbed you?”
I snatched my arm back but the name on it was a faded type of red look. Faded red? How could I forget? “Nothing happened. Someone just grabbed me pulling me out of the way.” I rubbed my wrist. Please don’t see the name.
“Who?” Rachel’s eyes watched me closely. “Was it, Keith?”
I looked down at the floor. She pulled out my arm again. “I know when your lying, Lance. I saw it when we got in the car after school and I heard you too in the hallway. He grabbed you. That grab was not strong enough to leave a mark.” Her face twisted the way it always did when she knew something.
“Stop it. I’m fine, Rachel.” I pulled away from her again and stepped back this time. “It was an accident.”
“I’m telling, mama.” She turned towards the stairs but grabbed her arm.
“Rachel, para!” She frowned at me and loosened my grip and ran downstairs. “¡No puedo creer que!”
I ran into my room and slammed the door. They’ll overreact. It was nothing. I waited for a couple of minutes for them to come storming upstairs and yell at me but no one came.
No one even mentioned it the next morning but it was also a very awkward morning.
Chapter 6: A Date?
“This is Kosmo.” I brought Kosmo around the bench for Lance to see. “He isn’t aggressive so you don’t have to be scared.”
Lance crouched down and began to pet him. “He’s so big and beautiful. How old is he?” Kosmo ran around Lance wagging his tail.
“He’s between 2 and 3 years. My dad found him in bad shape and decided to take him in.” Lance smile was warm and it made me glad to see him smile. He seemed a bit off this week. I don’t know if that's his normal mood but Hunk and Pidge sensed it too. He also seemed to ignore Romelle’s absence throughout the whole week.
We walked over to a spot in the grass under this huge tree. The breeze was calming and cool. There weren’t many people around and it was an area farther from the playground.
I felt my nerves get excited as I realized we were alone together. Not like at school where you could bump into kids at any moment. We decided to meet here without anyone else. Just the two of us and Kosmo of course.
We still barely knew anything about each other, it was mostly awkward conversation. “What’s your family like? You bring up your dad a lot.” Lance probably read my mind or felt my panic. His face was calm and relax. Just breathe Keith.
“I have an older brother, Takashi Shirogane, but we call him Shiro. He’s adopted and goes to our school. My dad’s a fireman but hasn’t got back to work yet since we moved.” He’s still trying to figure out our whole vampire situation. “My mom is at work a lot so we barely see her but she’s a great mom. Last we have Kosmo here who I’ve explained already.”
Lance threw the baseball for Kosmo to catch. “My dad works a lot as well. He goes on a lot of traveling trips for work. Sometimes my mama goes with him but that’s only once a month. I have four older siblings. Luis who’s around 29 and is a school teacher. He’s married to Lisa and they have two kids, Sylvio and Nadia. Sylvio is 7 and Nadia is 5. She just started school. Next is Marco who is the only person in that house that doesn’t treat me like a baby. Marco’s 25, he’s a pizza delivery boy but he’s going to school online to become an architect. Veronica is a senior at our school and she’s dating a girl named Acxa and then there’s my twin sister, Rachel. She recently lost her soulmate.”
“That’s a big family. I’m sorry about Rachel.” I said softly and he avoided my eye contact. “Did they know each other yet?”
“No, it happened in the middle of the night. She just started screaming in pain from her chest… it was horrible. The screams were just...I’ve never seen her in so much pain before. Then the name faded and she became hysterical. She wouldn’t eat or sleep. She only talked to me and only ate when I feed her or slept with me by her side. It lasted two weeks before she acted as nothing happened. She became quieter and closed off.” Lance stared lost in the memory. His eyes were slightly watery.
I reached out and put my hand on his shoulder. He jumped slightly and looked at me. “Hey, it’s okay. You don’t have to think about it, Lance. We can talk about something else.” My voice was barely above a whisper. He smiled and leaned against my shoulder.
“What are your favorite foods, mullet?” He played with the grass.
“Mullet?” I turned and looked at him and he smirked.
“Yeah, mullet. Look at your hair, it’s a mullet.” He ran his hand at the ends of my hair and a small part of me screamed at the touch. “Now tell me what your favorite foods are? Mama will ask me one day and I need to be prepared.”
Blood. Solid foods make me slightly nauseous but I can eat it because my dad makes us practice.
Instead of saying that, I just listed off a bunch of foods I ate that made me the least sick. For example, meat and seafood. Lance told me his and we spent the day just talking about everything and anything except me being a vampire and his mood swing during the week.
Hours passed and I realized I was now leaning against the tree with his head in my lap. He was messing with my hand and started to pull on my ring. The ring that protects me from burning to death.
I pulled it back down quickly. “Your ring looks nice.” He studied it so some more.
“It’s a family heirloom. Passed down from generation to generation. My dad’s side.” He continued to look at it. He sat up and rubbed his arms.
“It’s cold. What time is it?” I picked up my phone.
“6:30.” I pulled off my jacket and handed it to him. “We're here for four hours. Do you want to get something to eat before I take you home.”
He put the jacket on and smiled at me. “Are you asking me on a date Keith Kogane?” He watched me with mischief in his eyes.
“Maybe I am, Lance,” I mumbled trying to hide my face knowing it’s probably bright red right now. “Let’s get some food and then get you home.”
We ended up getting burgers and fries. Kosmo was fast asleep in the car with the windows cracked. We sat in a booth by the window so I could keep an eye out on him.
“It’s weird that you never eat anything at school. You know they serve burgers there right.” Lance was halfway through his burger and kept switching between his fries and the burger.
“It takes me a while to get hungry.” Lie, I’m literally starving right now and I can smell the blood in everyone in this building but I have control.
“How? Do you not do anything but sit around and breathe because that’s what we did today and I’m starving.” He’s ocean scent was beginning to mix with the blood.
“I have no idea. My dad says that’s why I’m so skinny.” Lie. I feel like I’m just telling lies all day today. Maybe I’ll tell him the truth soon. He seems cool with me so far.
“Dude, you literally got the smallest burger. Not even Sylvio g-” His phone began to ring. He answered quickly. “Hola Mama.”
He paused listening to the lady on the other end. I could everything she was saying but I couldn’t understand it. It was all in Spanish. “Estoy con Keith en mi cita recordar. No te preocupes, ya casi terminamos y estaré en casa pronto.” Lance said calmly and sighed.
That lady sounded calmer now. “Lo siento... No te preocupes mamá, va muy bien en realidad... Estamos a punto de irnos pronto...Adiós, te quiero.” He hung up and looked at me.
“She forgot where I was and got worried. She never did this to Luis or Veronica. Did you know she hasn’t asked much about you.” Lance sounded slightly angry now. “No one seems to care that much at home right now. They’ve been weird with me. But I remember when Luis told everyone about Lisa. That’s all they talked about for a month and then Veronica found Acxa her freshman year and they were excited.”
He paused wrapping up his trash and placing it on the tray. “I remember when your name appeared on my wrist and I began to panic because it was a boys name. Rachel helped me through it and my mama said no one cares if it’s a girl or a boy, mijo, we’ll all love you the same. Now I’ve met you and it’s this tense air whenever I come to the room.” He laid his arm across the table making a fist.
He let out a breath, “I’m sorry, I’m ruining our date aren’t I?” His voice came out tight and angry.
I placed my hand on his wrist and brushed it softly with my thumb. “No, you didn’t. Don’t apologize. This whole date was for us to get to know each other better and I don’t mind listening to you. Your voice is really nice.” He looked at me and laughed.
“Thank you, Keith. I’ll make sure to remember my voice is nice.” We slid out of our booth and cleaned up our area we got into the car and I let him control the radio. I ignored my hunger and listened him sing along to the music as I drove.
We finally pulled up to his house. The lights where on and the yard was well kept. I turned the music and turned off the car. “Looks like we’re here.” I turned to him as he stared at the house.
“I had fun today Keith. I have had fun like this in a while.” He looked at me and whispered. He was getting closer.
“Well, I’m a phone call away,” I whispered. Leaning closer. The world around us faded into the darkness. Then our lips met. I felt a surge of electricity and all my sense were filled with him. His scent ran the blood away and I felt like I was at the beach instead of my dad’s car.
His lips were softer than I imagined and they fell perfectly with my mouth. Chills run down my back. I pulled my hand towards his face and held his jaw. Then I heard it. The beat of his heart. The beautiful sound of life. Then it was over.
We pulled away even though I wanted more. I wanted the moment to continue and never end. We rested our foreheads against each other and our heavy breathing filled out the car.
“Thank you for today, mullet.” He whispered and the door opened. I watched as he walked towards his house and a woman with brown curly hair came out and hugged him tightly. She looked up and saw me and smiled. I waved and she waved back. She pulled Lance into the house and then he was gone.
I opened the glove compartment and pulled my backpack out. Inside was bags of blood. I ripped it out and drank it as fast as I could. Thank god for Shiro’s stash or I would have starved.
I texted my dad telling him I’m on my home and turned on the car. Shiro was going to want to hear everything about today.
Chapter 7: Pidge is a Cheating Liar
As soon as the door closed I was pulled to the living room and pushed onto the couch. I looked up and saw my mom, Veronica, and Rachel staring at me.
“¿Cómo fue?” Mama said first she looked at me tensely like she was expecting it to go bad.
“It was great.” I smiled and the tense look left almost immediately. “We stayed at the park for a while and then got something to eat.”
“Oh my god, mi hermanito had his first date.” Veronica jumped wildly and sat down beside me. “What’s he like? Is he funny, kind, mean? How many siblings does he have?”
I felt my face burn with embarrassment. “Veronica, slow down, let him breathe first. Don’t attack your brother with questions.” Mama sat down next to me. Veronica rolled her eyes and continued to squeeze my arm tightly eager to know every little detail.
“Why didn’t you introduce him to us?” Rachel asked this time. She sounded the least bit of excited.
“I didn’t think you guys wanted to meet him or even cared.” I avoided their eyes and that tense energy came back.
“Hermanito, we care so much. Of course, we want to meet him, he’s your alma gemela.” Veronica took my hand and gave me a small smile before it grew into a wild crooked one.“Mama, we should invite over for dinner next week.”
I glared at Veronica, “Wait, no-”
“That’s a great idea, Ronnie. Next Friday the whole family will be here including Acxa. Let’s invite Keith.” Rachel and Veronica shared the same look.
“Traidora.” I mumbled and she smirked at me.
“Oh that’s an excellent idea, mijas, and then he can meet the family and we can get to know him. Give me a list of his favorite foods, mijo.” My mother squeezed my shoulder.
“Don’t you think we’ll be overwhelming him?” I looked at her and she laughed.
“ Oh no cariño, he has to meet us one way or another and this is perfect.” She clapped and sat up a bit. “Acxa met us the same way.”
“And she looked like her eyes were going to pop out of her head,” I remembered how nervous she was meeting everyone.
“And who’s fault is that?” Veronica pinched my arm. “I remember you being the one suggest something like that.”
“Whaaat? I don’t remember anything like that.” My voice cracked slightly and then I started laughing. “Okay maybe I do but Keith is different. He’ll freak out by a large number of people and you all will definitely scare him away and make me a rejected.”
Rejects were rare but they do happen. Some don’t accept their soulmate and it never ends well. The thought of being rejected is terrible. People who get rejected fall into a hard depression and if they don’t have the right motives to live anymore they result in suicide. They feel a black pit inside of them when their soulmate leaves. The one who leaves feels this undying guilt in them and fall into depression as well. It’s worse than losing your soulmate because at that point they’ve chosen not to love you and it’s hard to realize.
“You're not going to become a reject, Lance, stop being so dramatic.” Veronica yawned. Rachel still seemed tense. She was obviously still not talking to me but it felt like there was something going around in here that they all knew and I didn’t.
“Now mis hijos, we’ll plan more in the morning but now we should all get ready for bed.” Mom stood up and stretched. “Upstairs now.”
No one argued about it and went straight to their rooms. After a hot shower, my body began to feel heavy with sleep. As soon as my head hit the pillow I fell asleep.
“Pidge, you have to be cheating,” I selected my new character for our new match. She giggled t herself. We were at Pidges house which was across the street from mine. We decided to hang out Sunday since we haven’t in a while and we were all busy Saturday. Pidge brought out her new game Battle Star 5. Hunk made some popcorn and watched us play. Romelle was supposedly on her way over. None of us have really talked to her and she’s been ignoring my texts but she told Hunk that she’s coming still so I guess everything is all right.
“Lance, if I was cheating you would get a hit on me.” She said real slow making sure I heard every word. We weren’t the only friends over today. Upstairs, Matt and his friends were hanging out. They got here before I did but I already knew Nyma, Rolo, and Adam would be here and maybe that new kid who I assumed was Keith’s brother. “You just can’t admit that you suck.”
“I don’t suck, you just didn’t teach me how to play and now I have to learn on my own which you won’t even let me do that.” I threw my arms up and she rolled her eyes.
“All I’m hearing are excuses.” She said casually. “Come on I thought you were going to destroy me, Mr. Sharp-shooter.”
She mocked me and I finally decided on a character. We were about to start the match when the doorbell rang. “I’ll get it!” Pidge jumped up and bolted towards the door. Matt came down and looked at the tv.
“Your playing that satanic game. Pidge mastered it after playing nonstop for a week. She can play that game with her eyes closed.” He leaned against the wall. “You’re never going to win dude. She’s got you trapped.”
“Doesn’t she get tired of playing?” I set the controller down and grabbed some of Hunks popcorn.
“Really again with the food stealing,” he mumbled but leaned the bowl over for me to grab some more.
Matt laughed and shook his head. “Lance, she’s Pidge. She’ll never get tired of it until she masters it. She ambitious.” Matt looked towards the door and saw Romelle.
“Matt, go away, you’re scaring my friends with your boring personality.” Pidge popped up from behind Romelle. Romelle smiled at us but avoided my eyes. Maybe she wasn’t avoiding them maybe she was glancing around the room, Lance. Stop assuming.
“Boring, Pidge I am not boring. I’m more entertaining than you.” Matt poked at his little sister while Romelle came and sat next to us. She seemed the same but different.
Her clothes were the same. A light pink t-shirt with white short overralls. Her hair was the same. She carried herself the same and she smiled the same. But if you looked closely you could see the marks. Two puncture holes on her neck and down her arm. They looked mostly healed but were very recognizable and felt familiar to me in some way but when I thought about it nothing but a black wall came up in my mind.
Hunk hugged her tightly and she smiled. “Sorry I wasn’t at school this week.” She smiled sadly. She kept her eyes on Hunk and barely looked over to me.
“You don’t need to apologize for missing school, Romelle.” Hunk said in that kind and comforting tone he always uses. He slid off the couch next to her and pulled her into a tight hug. Matt finally went back upstairs after arguing with Pidge and he came to join us on the floor.
“So, what happened?” Pidge said bluntly and I elbowed her in the side. “Ow.”
She rubbed her arm and Romelle turned to us with an angry look. “Someone broke into my house after school. They got away with it but Bandor’s in the hospital and my parents...t-they didn’t make it. Right now I’m staying with Coran since our parents were good friends.” She said in one breath like she was just trying to get it out before she broke down. Tears began to run down her face rapidly and she began sobbing. Hug pulled her into a tighter hug.
“Oh Romelle, I’m so sorry.” Hunk rubbed her back and so did Pidge. I stared afraid to touch her. The blood all over her was still fresh in my memory. The marks on her arm looked way too familiar. I’ve seen them before on someone. She was also giving off this feeling. I wanted to console my friend but something was telling otherwise. It was like this little voice in my head was telling me she was lying and she was different.
“It’ll get better,” Pidge chipped in. Romelle’s sobs slowed down. After a while of crying. “Let’s watch a movie.”
Pidge stood up and ran to her movie rack. “What movie do you guys want?” I knew she was mostly asking Romelle because Pidge always chose and it’s always some horror film and Romelle hates horror movies.
“Let’s watch ParaNorman,” Romelle said. Her voice was soft and weak but she still carried a smile on her face. “I can make some more popcorn. Lance, can you come with me?”
Me? I looked at her and then nodded we both stood up and went to the kitchen. I went over to the cabinet and grabbed a popcorn bag. When I turned around Romelle was staring at me with hollow lost eyes.
“Lance,” Her voice was a whisper. “They’re coming for you. He remembers you from years ago. They need you.”
She stepped forward. “Rome-” She cut me off by showing me a bit lower on her neck.
“They killed me, Lance. They killed me and turned me to this creature our parents hid from us. They gave me this ring and told me to wear it at all times. The suns became a pain and food’s become disgusting. I’m always hungry.” She showed me the detail I missed earlier. “My family trusted them just to find out they’re liars. They lied and your family, the holts, a-and the garrets they’re next. We can’t trust them, Lance. W-we can’t!”
Her voice echoed through the quiet kitchen. Her face was pale and more panicked than out there. I stood frozen scared of what to say next. “There’s one here. They already know about. They’re planning to kill them. They’re planning to kill all the creatures including me. ME! The one they turned because of you!” I jumped back.
What was she talking about? Why was this my fault? I wasn’t even there. She can’t be dead because she’s right there. Alive and warm. I looked closer at her ring. It looked more like Keith’s. Why would they have the same ring when his was a family heirloom.
A sharp pain went through the back of my head. “I-I don’t understand,” I whispered and she began laughing. It was a dead type of laughter that brought chills to my skin. It came to a sudden stop and she looked at the kitchen door where Shiro stood.
“You two okay in here?” His voice was cautious and he looked more over towards me than Romelle. Romelle stared at him in disbelief. I looked between the two. What was she talking about?
“Get out, Shiro.” Romelle’s voice was tight and held this different tone. This wasn’t Romelle. She was always kind and happy. This person was angry and slightly crazy.
“Romelle if you’re not feeling well I can drive you home.” She came closer towards her and she stepped back. “I can help you understand.”
He whispered the last part trying to make sure I couldn’t hear him but I heard everything and I had questions. “You’re like me. I can see it. Your pulse is slower, weaker. Not fully stopped. How is it moving? How?” Her voice wasn’t calming it was slightly raised.
“I can teach you but you need to stay calm.” He rubbed her arm. Shiro glanced at me with a nervous look. “Lance, maybe you should get home as well. It’s getting dark and night brings danger.”
His eyes darkened and held a bit of knowing. Knowing that I wanted to question but all I could do was swallow and nod. “Come on Romelle let’s get you home.” They left the kitchen. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes.
Once I opened them. I told Pidge and Hunk that my mom wanted me home since it was getting dark. They looked confused since my mom never really said that before but said their goodbyes.
I got ready to cross the street when I notice Lotor and Acxa leaving my house with some other people wearing uniforms. They brought feeling to my stomach. Why were they there? I’ve seen them before. That voice came again.
Something was going on and I needed someone to explain to me and something to pour this onto. Someone who might understand. All these questions but now answers but the first question was directed to one person who I knew couldn’t avoid the answer.
Being a vampire means you’re immortal and you’ll never age. That’s a cool idea and a funny lie. Being a vampire only means you age slower and you’re forced to drink human blood and stay inside during the day because you’ll burst into flame once the sun hits your skin. Witches and their curses.
Since I am a vampire there’s a lot I believed I saw already, but there’s always something that’s like hey look at me it’s fun I promise. My evening was perfect. I was laying on the couch next to Kosmo scrolling on my phone, drinking my fifth pack of blood because I was bored and a little hungry. Dad was at work or at least that’s what he told me when Shiro did the dumbest thing he could ever do. Bring a fledgling to our apartment.
Now I never met a fledgling because vampires don’t really like turning people because they become weird or too much. I was born a vampire and so was Shiro and every other vampire I met in my life. I’ve heard stories about them. They’re hard to teach and are major threats.
He shut the door quickly and the girl, wait no, I know her. Romelle hugged her sides. She was pale and I couldn’t hear a heartbeat. Shiro glanced at me. “Where’s dad?” He walked toward the kitchen that was connected to the living room.
“Out.” I walked over towards Romelle but stopped when I realized her eyes held this look. Look of loneliness and hate. Fledglings had no control. Especially when starved. They were still adjusting to their new body and it's needed. They had no control. “Who..”
She moved at vampiric speed and pinned me to the ground. Fledglings were also incredibly strong for the first two weeks of its transition. They had a week to feed or they die. Her fangs poked out at me and she began hissing.
I felt my fangs pull out as I hissed back and threw her off. I jumped up quickly but she was already back on me. She slammed me against the wall and bit into my neck. I screamed out in pain. “Romelle! Stop!” I screamed at her trying to push her off. I felt a hit of dizziness. How was she drink so fast? She was going to get full off of me. Vampire blood doesn’t fill because it’s dead blood.
I could feel my eyelids drop. I’m dying. My stomach growled. I’m also hungry. My arms felt weak and I couldn’t move them anymore. Where was Shiro? Was he just going to let me die? Where’s Kosmo?
Then I fell. My body dropped to the ground and my sight began to become less blurry. I could make out Shiro. He was saying something but I couldn’t hear him. I was leaning against his chest and then I tasted blood. I reached out and grabbed the packet.
“I’m so sorry, Keith. I didn’t think she would attack you.” Shiro’s voice was an absolute mess. I glared at him while he handed me another pack. I felt my strength come back and I saw Romelle sucking on pack after pack. I could slowly hear a heartbeat begin in her body.
“Shiro,” I said slowly my voice coming out weak. He leaned in closer. “Have you lost your fucking mind?”
I sat up now and looked at the mess of the girl in our living room. Kosmo was hiding under a chair in the dining room. When her heartbeat became steady and strong she gasped. Looking up her eyes looked more human-like. She looked at us. Her eyes feeling with tears.
“I-I didn’t mean to.” she stuttered using vampire speed as she moved in that spot trying grab onto her body. “What’s happening to me?”
“I couldn’t just leave her, Keith. You didn’t hear her at Matt’s she sounded so lost and confused. No one helped her and she needed help.” Shiro continued to watch Romelle carefully.
“Dad’s not going to like it.” I stood up and stared at her. “Mom’s going to kill her. She’s going to kill and then I’ll have to explain to Lance hoe his friend died- No wait maybe lie instead because explaining is not an option!”
“Please don’t kill me.” Romelle shrieked and we both ran our hand through our hair and I buried my face in my hands. “I don’t want to die.”
She was sobbing now. “They’re going to kill me first. I’m good as dead.” she became hysterical and began mumbling to herself.
“Romelle!” Shiro patted her shoulder. She looked at him and stopped rambling but her heavy breaths didn’t stop. “We’re not going to kill you. We…”
Shiro pointed to me and then himself when he emphasized we. I shook my head as she looked at me. Then pointed at the bite marks on my neck. Shiro don’t drag me into this.
“Are going to help you and make sure you end up all right. I also have some questions about these people. Now we’re going to move to the dining room table and I’ll explain to everything you want to know and you’ll tell me about these people who did this to you.” She nodded and stood up. She was at the table in an instant.
She needs to control her speed and strength and hunger. That’s a lot of things to control. This is why it’s an overload for fledglings. Too much at once.
We sat at the table facing her. She was rapidly tapping her fingers on the table. “Romelle, breathe, your nerves are hyperactive and new. When was the last time you ate?” Shiro was calm and gentle. I’ve seen this Shiro many times in my life. When I fell off my bike and scraped my knee or when we were getting attacked by vampires.
“I’ve been eating food since the attack but this was the first time...first time I drank blood.” She whispered. She was looking at the floor eyes shifting back and forth.
It’s surprising that she made it this far without losing it. She’s strong. Maybe she’ll get through this. She needs to for her brother.
“What’s happening to you is a transition. Your body is adjusting to the supernatural changes. It’s stuck between life and death. You’ll have super speed, strength, and you’ll get hungry for blood. You’re becoming a vampire.” The room was dangerously quiet. The only thing I could hear was Kosmo chomping on his food in the kitchen.
Then she started laughing. “You mean those creatures with the pointy teeth that Pidge forced me to watch on tv with her for marathon week.” She continued laughing.
“Those shows ruined the ideal vampire,” I muttered and she looked at me now very serious. “Yes you’re a vampire, a fledgling to be exact, we were born vampires so these changes didn’t affect us the way they are doing to you.”
“It’s very different but very close to the ones on tv.” Shiro smiled at her warmly. “We don’t live forever. We just have a longer lifespan than humans. We can have children and families and be normal citizens of this society. The vampire gene is dominate though. The sun is a big no-no. We wear rings giving to us by witches to protect us from the sun. We’re fast healers and can be killed by decapitation, losing our heart or, stake through the chest. There are people who hunt us and try to eliminate our species but most of us are great at hiding from them and living a peaceful life. We can help you.”
Romelle’s breathing slowed and she stayed quiet as she processed everything. “That’s a lot to take in but I-I think I understand.” She was going to make. Calling it now. She was way too understanding about all this.
“Now what happened?” Shiro leaned in closer. I stayed still but saw her body lightly tremble.
“I just got home with my younger brother, Bandor, and something felt off. My family was friends with these people that wear these purple uniforms. They’ve been around since I was a child. My family, the McClains, the Holts, and the Garrets. My family made deals with them I believe. They were in the house when we came in and it got oddly quiet. One of them approached us and my mother began screaming.
“Don’t hurt my children. They aren’t of this deal. This is between us and the galra.” Tears were running down her face. “We’ll have the money by the end of the month.”
The man with one eye smiled. “This isn’t about money. We’ve wanted something for a while now and we’ve finally seen a way to accomplish that.” The man was tall and seemed to have one arm.
He ran at me with incredible speed. Grabbed me from behind and laughed. “Fragile girl. I remember you from many years ago. I know you may not remember me but you were always such an active brat.” The other two guys smirked at me and then one grabbed Bandor.
The guy who held me brought a knife down on his hand. I screamed as I watched the blood drip from his hand. He laughed again. “This is a warning to the McClains, a message. We’ve found something in that boy's blood that’ll benefit us.” He looked at my parents who stood up but the last remaining person pulled back down.
The guy holding me tightly whispered in my ear. “Drink my blood or we’ll kill your brother.” I looked over towards Bandor and the guy was sucking his neck. My brother’s eyes were half opened and seemed calm.
I didn’t even my mother's screams until I heard the other guy tell her to shut up. “Drink up my girl.” He slid his hand closer to my face and I drink. I couldn’t lose Bandor I’m his older sister. I’m meant to protect him.
The blood was salty and warm. I felt sick but he pressed my head down to drink more. Once I lifted my head up everything went black. A snapping noise filled my ears and I could see my body lying on the ground. I saw the guy who held me step back and look at the boy who held Bandor.
“Haxus, that’s enough.” The man released Bandor who dropped to the floor as well. I ran towards him but he slipped through my hands. I didn’t realize it then but this was the afterlife I was trapped in. He snapped my neck and I was dead.
I began screaming but no one noticed me. Haxus and no name went back over towards my parents. “Girl, I know you can hear and see me. When you wake up take your brother to the McClains and tell them these monsters attacked you and your brother. That they killed your parents.” The words slipped like soap through my mind.
My parents? They’re right there. Then the guy that sat between them bit down on my mothers neck and drained her of every drop of blood left in her. I screamed as her body went limp. Next was my father and this time I turned my head because I couldn’t watch. I could hear his body dropped and a slow whimper left my lips.
They were gone and I couldn’t do anything about it. Then the one who drained my mother came over to me and began drinking my blood. I moved to shove him off but all I could do was go through him.
“Thork, that’s enough. We leave the girl and the boy and see if this will work. Zarkon will be proud.” The bigger one said. Then they left. My parents laid on the couch and Bandor on the floor next to me. I don’t know how much time passed but I woke up in my actual body.
It felt horrible. My neck hurt the most. I looked around slowly and prayed that what had happened was just a nightmare but it wasn’t. I ran to my parents first and they weren’t breathing. I remember panicking and realize everything was real.
“Ro-romelle?” I heard Bandor whimper from the floor. I ran to him and held him in my arms. He was pale and his eyes weren’t open. His body was shaking and I let out a low cry. “I-I don’t f-f-f-feel…”
“Shhh.” I rubbed his arm and then the doorbell rung. I looked up scared to open it. What if it’s them? What if they changed their minds and decided to kill us anyway.
I walked over and answered and it was Acxa. She looked at us and groaned. She explained that we need to go to the McClains and that’s all she said. I was too stunned to question her and so I just let her take me and Bandor.
When we got to the McClains, everything became chaos. I didn’t tell them much just that my parents were dead and they took care of me for the night. Later on, Rachel came down and talked to them in the kitchen while I sat in the living room. There was a lot of yelling and shouting but I think it was about something much different.
Early the next morning Coran came and picked us up along with Allura. They’ve been taking care of me since the attack. But I’ve been throwing up the food they gave me and I’m always hungry until now but you already explained that. I can barely remember what happened at the Holts. I hope I didn’t hurt anyone.”
When she finished her story I looked at Shiro. Those names didn’t sound familiar and the whole conversation was bizarre. I knew for sure the three mean were galra at least but why would they be vampires and what does the McClains have to do with any of this. Shiro was quiet and was clearly thinking.
“We need to tell dad about this,” Shiro muttered. “Somethings not right and he’ll know what to do.”
“But Shiro, what if he makes us move again. I don’t want to move this time or any of those other times.” Shiro avoided my eyes and looked at the table. “Why can’t we just live peacefully here? Why is it always a mess? This is complete bullshit. It’s come to the point where we aren’t even living anymore we’re just hiding and surviving. What’s the point of going to school or living every day if just can’t-”
“Keith!” Shiro yelled slamming his hand on the table. I stopped rambling and now we were staring at each other. “We’ll figure this out but I promise you, we aren’t leaving again.”
It was later in the evening now and I was washing the dishes while rinsed them. Rachel was placing them in the dishwasher. None of them asked why I left Pidge’s early they just continued their day.
I felt my stomach drop. I stared out the window at the backyard. Something was happening. “Lance, pass me the dish already.” Veronica shoved me playfully. I smiled picking up the dish but then a sharp stabbing pain hit my neck. I began screaming. I grabbed at my neck but the pain continued to grow.
I could hear my sisters yelling my name. I fell to my knees and felt a small pulse on my wrist. I looked down at Keith’s name and it was bleeding. “Keith?” I whispered weakling. I screamed again as my neck began bleeding. It was warm and hot.
I felt Veronica grab me and let me lean on her. Rachel grabbed my wrist and said something to Veronica that I couldn’t understand. But I did hear her yell Mama and Papa. I started crying and Veronica started whispering to me softly but it didn’t work. The pain would stop. It only got worse. This was definitely Keith. He was dying, I could feel it. I’m going to lose him. I cried harder and gripped my wrist. Please don’t fade, please don’t.
Then it stopped. I felt my breath hitch as I could felt completely fine. “Lance, hablar a mí bebé. Estás bien. Por favor, estar bien.” I can hear my mother whispering to me. She was staring at me and I was now lying on the couch.
“Mama, I’m alright,” I said softly. I looked at my wrist and Keith’s name was still there, it was no longer bleeding. “Somethings wrong with Keith.”
She rubbed her hand through my hair. “You’re so pale, mijo. You need to rest. I’m sure Keith is fine but you need to sleep and get ready for school tomorrow.” I tried to protest but she said no. I looked at Rachel who’s face was pale. Dried tears were staining her face while Veronica was crossing her arms. She looked pissed. Their faces slowly became blurry and then darkness.
Before I knew it, it was the next day and I actually felt great. Like nothing happened yesterday. I could hear everyone moving around outside my room. I got up and prepared for school.
It was lunch and I pulled Keith to an empty hall. He looked tired, very tired. Bags under his eyes and his skin was paler than usual. I didn’t see any marks though on his body. It was like that pain I felt yesterday never happened.
I haven’t been alone with all day until now and I really wanted to make sure he was okay. “Lance, are you okay? You’ve been weird all day. Is this because we-” I pulled him into a tight hug. He stopped talking and from for a minute before returning the hug.
“You almost died yesterday didn’t you,” I whispered and I felt him tense. I sighed and slowly pulled away from him. “I need answers, Keith. I’m sick of people treating me like I’m clueless. My family has been weird lately and Romelle… She was saying these crazy things that I didn’t understand. Then my soulmate mark almost left me. That pain in my neck...I know you lied about the ring but why?”
I stared at him and I saw that look. That one look that I've been seeing my whole life. “I’m sorry.” He whispered looking at the ground. He was running his finger over his ring.
I grabbed his hand and he looked back at me with shame and guilt. “Don’t be sorry, Keith. I just want to know the truth. I’m not mad at you.” I said softly and he smiled a bit. He looked a little less tense.
“Can I explain everything after school? There are too many people here.” I nodded and felt relief pass over me. I was finally going to answers.
“Thank you.” I finally said. “Let’s go get lunch, mullet.”
I pulled on his hand down the hall. When we entered the cafeteria, I saw her instantly and felt my legs freeze. Romelle was there. She was laughing with Pidge and Hunk. She was okay. She looked across the cafeteria and met my eyes. I looked down and pulled Keith towards the lunch line.
I felt her eyes watch me. She was blaming me for everything. I didn’t understand and now she’s here. Now she was here. How should I apologize? What am I apologizing for? Why should I apologize?
I smiled at the lunch lady and grabbed a burger and fries. Keith didn’t grab anything but I could feel his eyes on me. He was watching me. “Hey, Lance, are you okay?” He asked softly.
“Just peachy,” I mumbled and paid for my food. We made our way over to the table. Pidge and Hunk were deep in conversation while Romelle was drinking Gatorade and was staring at me.
“What took you two so long?” Pidge grinned at us. “Were you guys hiding from us and making out somewhere?”
“Pidge.” Hunk playfully punched her and they both started laughing. I felt my face flush.
“Ha ha very funny, Pidge.” I mocked her. “I needed to talk to a teacher and Keith came with me.”
I lied because it wasn’t really Pidge’s business to know every single detail of my relationship. I waved a french fry at her before it was snatched by Keith. “It’s very rude to play with your food, Lance.” Keith then ate the fry.
Romelle burst out laughing along with everyone else. I rolled my eyes. “Hey, guys.” Allura came and sat next to Romelle. Lotor right next to her. “We have not hung out in a while.”
“That’s because you and my sister decided to be best friends,” I said and she rolled her eyes. She then bit into her chicken sandwich. “But how was your weekend? Did you hang out with your fellow seniors?”
I wiggled my eyebrows and I heard Pidge snort. “Stop, Lance, or she’ll go back and join my brother and her lame group.” Allura smiled at Pidge.
“Lance won’t scare me away and I didn’t hang out with them this weekend. I spent time with Lotor and Romelle.” She smiled and Lotor smiled.
“Okay, we get you two are in looooove. I emphasized on love. Lotor glared at me while blushed. “Oh did I introduce you guys to Keith? I mean since I haven’t seen you in a million years since you are so very busy and-”
“Lance, we haven’t met Keith.” Allura smiled at him. “Nice to meet you, Keith.”
There was an empty silence before a huge gasp. “Wait a minute,” Lotor said.
“You’re the Keith.” Allura practically screamed. She pulled on my arm and looked at my wrist before pointing rapidly. “The one that’s labeled here.”
He nodded and I just kept grinning. “Allura check his wrist. He may be lying.” Lotor leaned over to Allura. He eyed Keith oddly. I’ve only seen that look on Lotor once and that was when Acxa mentioned his parents. We never really hear about them. We don’t really hear much about Lotor. He mostly keeps to himself and is mostly a mystery.
Allura grabbed Keith’s arm and checked. “Oh my god, Lance why didyou wait so long to tell me this.” She squeezed my hand tightly. I grinned.
“What, Veronica didn’t tell you?” I teased and she rolled her eyes.
“Ronnie or Rachel didn’t tell me.” She said I nodded to myself.
“But aren’t you all like buddy buddy friends?” I smiled and she rolled her eyes. Everyone slowly began to break into their own conversations with each other.
The bell rang and we all got up and went to our classes. I stopped by my locker at first to grab my math book when I heard voices. Familiar voices around the corner of the hall. I pulled my earbuds out and pretended to listen to music in case they notice me lurking.
“He’s not good for Lance. This is against everything we grew up to know.” I heard Rachel say. They were talking about Keith.
“I know. He’s happy though and you know what losing a soulmate can do to you. If it were me and Acxa was that …” She sighed.
“But you didn’t see the bruises, Veronica. He’ll hurt him and he’s too dangerous. I rather Lance be safe than in danger the rest of his life. He’s already been through so much with the incident that happened when we were younger.” I tensed. It’s not like they could erase him out of my life. How could they even think about this? Keith would never hurt me anyway. He’s not abusive. What incident? What happened?
“I know, what happened last night was too much. When the Galra finally decide on wh-”
“They already have, V.”
“Lance will be miserable.”
I felt my heart drop. Galra. I’ve heard that word many times in my life. It’s never used for good. The final bell rung for class. “Shit, we’re late. I’ll see you after school.” Veronica and Rachel dashed through the halls to their classes.
I leaned my head on my locker and groaned. They can’t separate us and they can’t kill. They have so many secrets. Ugggh.
I felt a tap on my shoulder causing me to jump. “Sorry!!!” It was Romelle she was moving weird. Was it my eyes. She was kinda blurry but moving quickly and then it all stopped and she was back to normal.
“I really needed to talk to you.” She mumbled looking at my math book.
“Can we wait till after school? We're late for class.” I mumbled. I hated this awkward tension. It felt wrong but I no longer got that cold feeling from her.
“Okay. Yeah. Right. I almost forgot about class. When after school?” She spoke pretty quick and that’s her tell-tale sign for being nervous. She was never nervous around me before.
“After I talk to Keith. I’ll text you is that okay?” She nodded. “I’ll see you later. Bye Romelle.”
She didn’t seem mad. She has a different feeling but she seemed more herself. I hope our talk is okay. I hope our friendship isn’t destroyed and she doesn’t blame me anymore.
Sorry for the wait my new updating schedule will be starting now so every Saturday and Sunday I'll be updating and maybe Fridays.
Follow my Insta @mellownighwriter
Sorry for the late update. I've been really busy lately but I hope you enjoy the chapter and I'll try to get the next one out soon.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Today was the day that determined my future and why I was even still here in one piece, unlike others. Why do I have to do things I don’t even want to?
I tapped my foot on the bleacher bench. He wasn’t yet which I couldn’t tell if that was a bad thing or a good thing. Him not showing up puts off my truth and his disgust and the end of the beginning. But if he’s late it just gives me more anxiety about what he’s going to say or how he would react or… Just so many different ways this could go.
What was taking him so long? I played with the strings on my black hoodie and sat down on the bleachers. Calm down, Keith. Your fangs are beginning to show. I’ve faced worse and it’s nothing compared to-
“Heeeey Lance,” My voice came out awkward and shocked. Lance glanced at me and raised an eyebrow. He looked very confused by my tone.
“Heeeey Keith,” He mocked me before sitting next to me. We sat in silence for what felt like forever. “Your nervous aren’t you?”
He wore an amused look as he waited for me to respond. “What? Me nervous? Never.” He laughed and grabbed my hand.
“Mullet, don’t be nervous, I’m not that intimidating of a person.” His blue eyes watched mine. I swallowed. “Just talk to me.”
His voice was soft and kind. His heart lied. I could hear it beating a little quicker. A lot than earlier. I was making him nervous. He’s expecting the worse and here I was giving him exactly that.
“Lance,” I started looking at my shoes. “I’m a vampire.”
There I said it. The end. There’s no going back from here. He was quiet. It was like his thoughts were racing. Of course, they were. It was a weird thing. An unnatural thing, not many people go over this in therapy or on the internet. His heart slowed down and gathered a normal pace and I could feel my vision grow blurry.
“Keith,” Lanced started, his voice quieter. He sounded like he was questioning his next words. “I believe you.”
I felt the tears running down my cheeks. I continued to look at my shoes. Why were you crying, Keith? Stop it. He took his other hand and brought it to my face. He lifted it to face him. He had a small reassuring smile.
“Aren’t you scared at me? Afraid I’ll hurt you.” I whispered and he shook his head.
“I trust you, Keith. You. Your more than you lineage and not all vampires are mean, right? If you wanted to hurt me you would’ve already. You’ve had so many opportunities.” He paused and his smile grew. “Even that day in the hall when you grabbed me. You grabbed me so hard that you released instantly. You’ve been careful with me, Keith. I trust you.”
I stared at him and more tears traveled down my face before I pulled him into a hug. A hug that was needed. I felt his arms hug me back. This was not on my list of many ways. This was something I could ever think of and Lance so much better than what I took him for.
Lance trusted me. Keith Kogane. The last person to ever know anything. Lance trusted him. I sobbed into his shoulder. He accepted me for who I am and that was better than anything else. All my excuses were meaningless and unnecessary now. Because Lance McClain trusted me.
Sorry, it was kinda short but the next one will be longer.
My head was pounding while I waited for Romelle. I’ve had a headache since he told me what he was and for some reason, I felt a deep comfort from it. No panic or anything. It was like deep down I already knew but then my head began to hurt and it hasn’t stopped.
It this giant unneeded pressure pushing down on my head that was growing worse and worse since I saw Keith and it wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t tell if I were imagining it or it was real.
I waited for Romelle with a heavy doubt in my gut. I was sitting in a booth at a neighboring dinner. She was running a little late which gave me some relief. If Keith was a “vampire” than was Romelle. The things she said are now slowly coming together like a puzzle. Everything was different now and it was a lot to take in but it all felt familiar at the same time and I don’t know if it was a good familiar or a bad one.
I knew something was wrong when I got to the bleachers. Keith didn’t even notice me walk up. He was obviously nervous would mad extremely nervous. He was a little awkward which I have to admit was kinda cute. But when he told me and he couldn’t look me in the eye hurt. That’s how I knew he was serious. That’s how I knew Keith was scared that I’d reject him and be afraid of him. But how could I ever be afraid of Mullet?
But Romelle, on the other hand, had me a little scared because of that look in her eyes at the house and her weird neglectful behavior at lunch. I heard the door open and saw Romelle walk in and look for me. Here goes nothing, she finally saw me and came over to my booth.
I could feel the awkward tension she brought in as slid in on the opposite side to face me. She looked nervous and a little pale. “Hi.” She mumbled and gave a small smile.
“Hi.” I returned. Her bruises were no longer there. Like magic, they were all gone. She placed her hands flat on the table and sat up straighter.
“Lance, I’m sorry if I did anything that was out of line earlier this week or whatever. I wasn't myself and a lot has happened to me.” Her voice cracked slightly. “I can’t really remember what I did or said to you but I didn’t mean it. I want us to still be friends, Lance. I don’t like how today was between us and I want everything to be back to the way it was before…”
She paused tears filling her eyes. I reached and grabbed her hand. She gasped before looking at me as I gave her a small smile. “I forgive you. I thought you were mad at me or something. I was slightly scared and very worried, Romelle.” Tears began to roll down her cheeks slowly.
“Thank you, Lance. I’m so lucky you as a friend.” Her smile was brighter now and full of hope and joy. “I’ve gotten better with everything. Help. I found some people to help me.”
“Keith’s family,” I muttered and she slowly tensed. “It’s okay. He told me somethings today and understand. I don’t know exactly what happened to you but I know you’re different.”
This time she was quiet but her face was turning red and tears were filling with tears quicker. She began sobbing and I rubbed my thumb on the back of her hand. “Thank you.” She whispered. We sat in a comfortable silence before breaking into a conversation like everything was normal.
It felt nice. Better than the last couple of days. I missed this. It would only be better if I didn’t feel like someone was watching us or the banging pain in my head wouldn’t stop.
I was flying. I’ve never felt this happy before in my life. My heart was jumping for joy. I couldn’t seem to stop smiling. The weather was perfect and all that anxiety from earlier seem to just vanish. What was I even worried about? Lance isn’t cruel. How could I ever doubt him like that?
I walked up the stairs to my apartment, swinging the keys on my finger. Dad and Shiro should be home already unless Dad was “out” again doing whatever. Romelle should be here as well. Who knows? Dad wasn’t really pleased with the mess he found in the living and dining room. He screamed at both of us but mainly Shiro. Romelle didn’t really get yelled at and dad made a promise to help her out through her transitions. They also discussed somethings that I wasn’t allowed to hear. Nothing new.
Maybe it was about those vampires from Romelle’s house. She said they were galra but it didn’t make sense. The galra were vampire hunters, not vampires. I unlocked the door and opened it to hear Dad and Shiro talking at the dinner table.
“Keith? Why are you home late?” I turned and saw my mother sitting at the table with them she looked worried and that’s the first time my smile fell in hours. If she was here it was rarely a good visit. Her black hair was pulled into a ponytail and she was wearing a black shirt with a golden necklace that carried her wedding ring on it. I wondered if she wore it at work.
“Uhh, Mom… Hi…” I said awkwardly and slipped off my shoes. “I was out with Lance and then went to the park.”
I was telling the truth. I wanted to go to the park for a bit and think. Lance couldn’t hang out long. I looked from Shiro to Dad. They both had relief wash over them. “Who’s Lance?” She raised an eyebrow and I tensed. I looked at Shiro who was staring at the table.
“My...boyfriend,” I said and raised up my wrist up for her to see as I slowly walked over to the table. There was no point in lying to her. Her face was unreadable and she looked at dad.
“Why didn’t you two tell me?” She sounded upset as she looked between Dad and Shiro. I looked down at the table. I couldn’t tell if she was upset or happy. Well obviously she was upset but I couldn’t tell about what. Lance, not being told, whatever they were talking about before I showed up. “Nevermind that, is he…?”
I shook my head and sat at the table. “He’s human,” I mumbled now staring at my hands. Mom sighed before speaking again.
“Does he know?” Now I could feel Shiro’s eyes on me. Mom couldn’t hear my heart beat but Shiro and dad could. If only she showed yesterday then I wouldn’t feel this nervous about her knowing this.
“Adam knows,” Shiro spoke up staring at me. He was defending me. “I told him this morning.”
I glanced up and saw mom eyes closed. She was thinking. “Lance knows as well. We talked after school. He had questions because of last night when…” I stopped abruptly and my eyes widened. I looked at Shiro and his eyes were also wide. Dad doesn’t even know Romelle attacked me. I don’t even mom knows about Romelle.
“What happened last night, Keith?” This time Dad asked and his voice was stern but wasn’t calm.
“Romelle attacked me and almost killed me and Lance felt it as well and he was worried and scared and-”
“Damn it!” Dad slammed his hand on the table and we both flinched. “Why didn’t you two tell me this?”
Shiro and I didn’t say anything we stared at the table in silence. “Kenneth, calm down.” Mom’s voice was calm. “It’s done and over with. Keith is alright.” She glanced over at me. “We just need to focus on what to do next?”
There was a growing silence. “Let’s lay all our information out first,” Shiro suggested. Mom and Dad nodded in agreement.
“Adam and Lance know. Romelle was turned and attacked by galra sent by Zarkon. They want something from the McClains. Acxa knows something. Lotor may know something since his father is Zarkon.” Mom listed each one nice and slow not caring that I was still which I didn’t care to bring up. They weren’t sending me to my room for the first time they discussed problems. They knew things I didn’t which weren’t that surprising and I'm guessing dad and Shiro informed on Romelle who still hasn’t returned. “Is there anything else to add?”
“The families are all tied together,” I mumbled. “Romelle’s family, the Holts, Garrets, and McClains. They all know something and Lance told me his family doesn’t seem to like me much but I’ve never met them. I also met Lotor and he’s a little weird.”
Lotor’s Zarkon’s son. Zarkon is a leader of vampire hunters. This really wasn’t good and he probably knew who I was. That’s why he was giving me those weird looks at lunch today. He knows. No no no no. He can’t. Maybe he won’t tell. He wouldn’t. I barely know the guy and he doesn’t seem to be a fan of Lance. He…
“This would be so much easier if we could move.” Mom sighed.
“But we won’t.” I looked up and she wore a small smile on her face. “We can’t.”
Dad reached and grabbed her hand. “We’ll figure it all out Keith but for now we need to stay low and not expose ourselves any more than we have. That means more blending in. Practice things like breathing and since we know there are more vampires who aren’t on our side and can hear heartbeats. Avoid Galra. I would say avoid those families but Lance and Adam are close with them it would be impossible. Just be careful around them.”
We all nodded in agreement. “If things get too bad… we may need to leave but that will be our last option, understand?” Mom said this time. Her voice stern.
“We understand.” Shiro and I said at the same time.
“Now let’s go over emergency situations.”
“Romelle!” I ran into my room screaming my friend's name. She was laying on the floor, rubbing Kosmos belly. She lifted her head and stared at me. “I need your help.”
She jumped up quickly and gave me a cautious look. Her hair was pulled into a ponytail sprinkling just behind her shoulders. Her pink sweater was loose around her torso but matching her white skinny jeans.
“What happened?” She asked in a high pitch voice. I took a deep breath before explaining everything pretty quickly.
“Lance asked me to have dinner with his family Thursday night.” Romelle’s frown grew into a smile. “But I can’t eat normal food. I really suck at it especially when I’m nervous … and-and what am I going to wear. All I own is black and nothing formal. I’m not usually the one to attend social events. And how do I talk to his family? What do I say? How do I act? What do I do? Maybe I shouldn’t go and pretend to be s-”
Her hands slammed on my shoulders. Her eyes held mischief. “Keith, stop thinking about it. I’ll help you with everything. With eating food better which is great practice for me.” She dropped her hands and grinned.
“What about my clothes an-” She covered my mouth with her hand.
“One thing at a time, Keith. I’ll help you with the clothes. We can go shopping right now.” She jumped at and down with excitement. “I can ask your dad and Shiro if we can go to the mall and … oh my god this will be so much fun.”
In a blink of an eye, she was gone and then back. “They said it was fine. Let’s go.” she grabbed my wrist and the next thing I knew we were in my dad’s truck.
“How are you so fast?” I asked staring at her in amazement. She shrugged her shoulders.
“Maybe it’s my body adjusting.” I turned the car on and we drove towards the mall. Entering that place was when I began to regret allowing this to happen in the first place.
I’ve never really been to a mall. My parents that it was too much of a risk and could set off some panic in me. Now I’m beginning to believe they were right. People were everywhere. It was like school except it was all ages and I could hear children crying, kids laughing and screaming from the play area. To much was all around me. If this was overwhelming my sense I knew for sure it was with Romelle.
I turned to look at her but she seemed fine. Her violet eyes bright as she clutched her phone in her hand. “I’ve missed this,” She whispered, her eyes roamed every each of the room.
She grabbed my hand and began to pull through the crowd of people. “So fun fact, I’ve never been to a mall,” I said awkwardly as I squeezed between a woman and a man who glared at me as I passed by.
Romelle gasped, “How could you never… you know what, I’m glad you haven’t because I’m the one who will teach you everything about this place.” She said dramatically now as the crowd became smaller. I couldn’t understand how she kept calm around so much blood.
I listened silently to her explain everything about the mall and her experiences here. Then we stopped at a store called Buster’s.
“This is where…,” her eyes seemed to drift. “We’re buying you a proper shirt for meeting the parents.”
Before I could respond she yanked me into the store and began searching the racks. “Romelle, what are you looking for?” She glimpsed at me for a second before looking back at the clothes.
“Clothes, Keith,” She continued to look, “I have a perfect outfit you in my head and I need to find it.”
I raised my hands up in defense and backed away. Guess I’ll look around for a bit. “What do you think she’ll like man,” A familiar voice came from a rack behind Romelle.
We both looked up to see Rolo and Matt looking through some clothes. I didn’t really talk to them much. Matt seemed nice but we really didn’t have time to talk. Rolo and I both have P.E. together and we talk here and there.
“Dude, honestly I have no idea,” Rolo responded, his brown eyes glued on his phone. Matt placed the shirt back down and glared at his friend.
“I should’ve invited Nyma instead, she’d be a lot more helpful than you.” Matt looked up and smiled once his eyes met Romelle’s. “Hey Romelle, long time no see.”
I watched as a faint red flushed her cheeks. Was she blushing? Did Romelle have a crush on Matt? “Yeah, it’s been a while.” She seemed nervous. I could see her fingers begin to move unnaturally fast. Didn’t they see each other a week ago?
“I was beginning to think you were avoiding me,” Matt chuckled and now he seemed to be nervous. “Anyways, wanna help make a very life changing decision?”
He wiggled his eyebrows and Romelle nodded and walked over towards him. I watched as the two talked for a while and then he finally left along with Rolo. Romelle walked over to me with a sweater in her hand.
“Try this on,” She shoved it into my chest. Her eyes looking down. “I don’t know you’re size but this looks right.”
I steadied the way her energy seemed to have left. I nodded and changed into the dressing room. The sweater fit me perfectly and felt nice. It was a dark red long sleeve that looked nice.
Romelle didn’t have the same energy as before but she smiled when I told her I liked it. After looking around some more we purchased the sweater and got back in the car.
She leaned her head against the window and sighed. “Are things suppose to be so...much.” She looked at me.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I left the parking lot.
“All my emotions and feelings seemed to be enhanced and everything I felt before has become stronger.” She whined rubbing her hand over her face.
“I don’t know, maybe it does. I was born this way so I don’t really know what it’s like to be human,” The car was followed by silence. “Do you have a crush on Matt?”
She groaned and leaned down in her seat with her face buried in her hands. “Was it that obvious? I have a crush on Matt since my family moved here years ago but he had a soulmate so I knew it could never happen but the crush never left. We use to hang out a lot but then he met her and I decided to avoid him and be happy for him. I hate it and I hate being born blank. We use to be close and I believed once that he liked me back but today all he could talk about was her and ughhh, it was horrible to listen too. Why did I have to be born blank?” she explained and I sighed.
“I think he likes you too,” I mumbled to low for any regular human to hear but I forgot Romelle could her the tiniest of sounds. She shot up and looked at me. “He watched you with joy and love in his eyes. I know he has a soulmate but I’ve heard of soulmate bonds breaking when one turns to a vampire and sometimes it finds someone to match their change-”
“No, I wouldn’t do that. Not even if there was a chance, Keith. I wouldn’t destroy his happiness for my own. I-I couldn’t even put him through that pain and terror I went through.” She spoke quickly and I could hear her heart racing. She was using it but I was more shocked with myself for even suggesting that insane idea.
“I didn’t mean for you to do it. I wouldn’t even want you to do that. I’m just saying someone could get turned and one day you would have a name on your wrist.” I smiled and she smiled back.
“That would be nice.” She whispered, “That would be nice.”
She repeated and the car ride was silent on our way back home. Once we got back to my room she smiled. “Now we got the clothes, so let’s work on eating.”
Chapter 14: Chapter 13
Avoiding my sisters was harder than I expected. Throughout these last few days, I’ve been hiding from them. Veronica was harder than Rachel because Rachel wasn’t in much of a talking mood since our small arguments.
Whenever I looked at them I got angry and I didn’t want them to know that I knew. I was beginning to think that I shouldn’t invite Keith over for dinner but mama was bugging me about it and I already agreed and when I asked Keith I thought his eyes were about to pop out of his head.
I wondered if I should tell him about what my sisters were talking about or just wait till after so he would be so anxious not that he already was. Keith has been acting strange since I first asked him. He’s also been hanging out with Romelle more and they’ve been eating lunch at school which I found quite funny. They looked miserable when doing it but their fake smiles were hilarious but I did worry for them.
I fiddled with my fingers as I paced back in forth in the living room. Today was the day and I was nervous. This feeling of something bad kept creeping around my mind. Tonight would be fine, this was probably something Veronica felt when she waited for Acxa to show up for the first time.
“Hey Lance,” I turned and saw Rachel standing in the hall leaning against the wall. “Luis and Lisa are here and they need help with the groceries. Ven.”
I walked to the front and was slammed into a giant hug, “Mira a mi nieto. Lance, te has vuelto tan grande.” I looked down at mi abuela. She slapped my arm. “¿Por qué no me llamaste en un rato?”
I rubbed my arm and smiled. “I’m sorry haven’t called in a while abuelita.” I smiled and she rolled her eyes.
“When you're done with whatever your doing, come talk to me and your abuelo. I’ve missed you nieto,” Her voice held a heavy cuban accent when she spoke which is one thing I loved about our family. There was always an accent of cuba in our voices. She smacked my arm one last time before walking inside. I caught Rachel grinning at me from the side.
“What,” I asked rubbing my arm and she began laughing. The first laughs I heard from her in a while.
She mumbled something in spanish. I playfully shoved her and she shoved me back. She stopped walking and looked at me, “Look, I’m sorry that I’ve been very different these last couple of weeks since… and I’m sorry I’ve been disapproving of Keith. I promise to be nice when he gets here and make him feel like he’s at home. I just want you to be happy hermanito,” She shoved her hands in her pockets and looked at the ground.
I pulled her into a tight hug. “I missed you.” I breathed and she laughed, “I don’t like it when we fight.” She nodded. I reached my hands down to her sides and began to tickle her.
“No Lance, tú demonio niño,” She laughed before pushing me off and tickling me back. We laughed going back and forth tickling each other until mama came out and yelled at us for not getting the groceries yet.
A while after we finally got them I chatted with mis abuelos who seemed to be enjoying my company. The doorbell rang and anxiety ran through my veins but t was just Axca.
“So, nieto tell me about this Keith that’s written on your wrist,” My Abuela grinned at me and I saw Marco sit up straighter and I could tell he was now listening. “Is he handsome, tall, nice? Tell me everything.”
I could feel my cheeks heat up as she smiled, “He’s very handsome abuelito, but not muy alto. He just moved to town about a month or two ago with his Dad, his mom, and his brother Shiro. He’s a good listener and I like hanging out with him and-” I realized I was now rambling and stopped talking abruptly. I could hear Marco snickering and I glared at him.
He put his hands up in defense and was full out laughing now. “Ronnie, do you see Lance and Keith at school?” He called across the room.
“When do I not they’re always together. It’d be a rare sight to see them together,” Veronica joked right before she and Marco began laughing and I felt my face turning red.
“Oh shut up, Ronnie, it’s not you and Acxa are any different,” I said but it didn’t stop them from laughing. “Ugh, you guys are so annoying.”
“Veronica, Marco, leave your brother alone. Can’t you see he’s nervous,” Mama piped in from the kitchen and looked at us from over the counter. The two lowered their laughter but I rolled my eyes and stood up.
“I’m gonna go wait upstairs,” I said ignoring them as I went towards the stairway. Then I felt it the bond. He was here. I froze in place before turning around.
“Lance, qué pasa,” I heard Veronica ask but then the doorbell rung and I heard the doorbell ring. “Oh is Keith here?”
She smiled and I stuck my tongue at her before opening the door. Keith stood awkwardly and clearly nervous. I felt myself smile as I notice he finally wore something other than black for once. His eyes went wide when he saw me, “Hey Lance, I-” I shut the door behind me and hugged him. I buried my head into his neck and wrapped my arms around his arms.
“Thank god you’re here, my familia is driving me demente,” I felt him hug me back. “My grandparents are also here and everyone will ask you a bunch of questions but I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable. Just go along with and over time you’ll get used to it and if yo-”
“Lance, slow down. I’ll be fine okay,” I pulled away. He looked at me with a small smile. “Now, let’s go inside and meet your family.”
I squeezed his hand smiled, “Okay let’s go.”
Chapter 15: Chapter 14
Lance’s family seemed to like me more than Lance let on. They were very friendly and I felt a lot more relaxed than he was prepared to be. It was strange sitting at a table full of this many people. I’m only used to it just being three or four. Sometimes only two when it came to dinner.
The room was also loud with a lot of chatter and laughter. Not much fear or serious conversations. Peace and happiness filled the air and a small part of me was jealous that they could have that.
“So Keith, are you liking this area,” Lance’s mother asked.
“It’s pretty nice. A lot more places to go,” I smiled at his mother. She seemed very nice and obviously care for her family very much. “It’s better than where I use to live.”
She nodded, “Who all do you live with?” she continued and I could see Lance’s eyes shift to his mother before looking back to his food.
“My dad and my mom,” I took another bite of food before continuing. It was really good but eating it almost made me gagged. My stomach was screaming me to stop filling it with waste and find it fresh blood. “My older brother, Shiro, and my dog Kosmo.”
I wasn’t going to tell her about Romelle because that would be too confusing and I wasn’t good at lying off the bat. “Oh, I think I know who your brother is,” Veronica added herself into the conversation from the other side of the table.
“You should, I believe he’s in a few of your classes,” she began nodding.
“Yes tall, muscular. Black hair and he always has the correct answer. Takashi Shirogane. Why do you two have different last names.” She was blunt and I could hear Lance choke but I just smiled. At least, she didn’t mention his missing arm.
“Oh, Shiro’s adopted. He’s been part of the family since before I was born.” Veronica nodded and I could see Acxa staring at me. She seemed surprised by that. Whenever I looked at Acxa I got this cold feeling from her. She never really said anything to me but I could tell she was watching my every move.
“Where did you guys move from,” Lance’s mom jumped back into the conversation.
“Mamá, ¿por qué haces tantas preguntas?,” Lance asked his mother and she smiled at him before rolling her eyes.
“Shush mijo, sólo estoy tratando de conocer a tu novio,” She said quickly in Spanish before looking back over at me. How’s Krolia? She always seems so tired when I see her at work.”
“She’s doing fine. My mom’s just a busy person-,” I stopped mid-sentence and stared at her. “How do you know my mom’s name?”
The table slowly grew quiet around us and I could feel the tension begin to build. “We use to work together years ago before she switched units.” She continued eating.
If they knew each other at work than that means she was a hunter of some level. I looked at her and to her husband who wore a blank expression on his face as he looked at me. “Oh,” I didn’t say anything to continue the conversation. The mood shifted and I could tell they all knew now or at least a few at this table do.
Silence carried through the room and I could hear their steady heartbeats, all except Lance’s. Lance’s heartbeat was going haywire and so was Acxa’s slightly uneven. I looked up at her to catch her look away quickly.
I began to eat some of what I think they called Chicken Fricassee. It looked pretty good and my body wasn’t going to last much longer if I didn’t eat some more meat. It had chicken, rice, and some vegetables. It looked good, I wish my body would agree with it. Instead, the taste of it began to burn my throat.
I could feel it travel through my body as it burned down my throat and into my stomach. I saw Lance grab for his neck out of the corner of my eye. “Lance are you okay,” Rachel asked from across the table.
I looked at Lance and his eye began to water, “My throat it...” Then I felt the burning worsen in my body. I could feel parts of my body bleeding and I began choking. A sob left my lips as the pain grew larger.
Lance was choking as well but not as bad as I was instead his eyes were wide as he stared at me. “Keith, what’s wrong,” I could hear Acxa ask but things around me began to fade. The room becoming blurry and moving on it’s on. My hearing slowly became disorientated and everyone’s voice became distant.
Then everything went dark.
Lance age- 6
Rachel age- 6
11 years ago
“Ronnie, give me back my shark,” I chased my older sister through the house as she giggled. Veronica was about to run upstairs when Rachel came running down screaming. Veronica moved and started screaming as well and I saw Marco standing at the top with a mask on. I started screaming and began following my sisters as we ran through the house.
Marco chased us around the living room. He grabbed Ronnie causing her to drop my shark. I ran towards it and snatched it from the floor just to be picked up by Marco as he growled in my ear and began tickling, “Ayudame, hermanas.” I laughed.
“Leave him alone you master,” I heard Rachel yell. She attacked Marco from behind and he began screaming. The room was filled with laughs and giggles until the doorbell rang.
I could hear movement upstairs of someone coming to the door. “I’ll get it,” Marco announced. We all raced to the door but mama ran down and blocked our way.
“Get upstairs now,” She said in a strict tone. “Marco, asegúrate de que tus hermanos no entren hasta que yo lo diga.”
Marco pulled the three of us upstairs while Luis walked down beside us. I watched carefully as my oldest brother seemed extremely nervous and so did mama. I wanted to know who was at the door and why they were so scared.
I could hear Veronica complaining about stuck upstairs, “I’m older than these babies so why can’t I go.” She asked Marco who rolled his eyes and turned on his tv.
“Yeah by a year, Ronnie. You heard mama, whoever’s down there right now are very important and mama doesn’t want us down there,” He turned on the Wii and pulled out a video game. “If anyone should be down there it’s me because I’m seven years older than you.”
“No,” Veronica shook her head. She began to count on her fingers before giving up, “Whatever.”
She snatched up a Wii remote and watched as Marco put in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He handed Rachel and I a remote before turning it one. “Just follow the rules like the twins who have been so good so far. I’ll tell mama you’re being bad.” He teased and her eyes went wide beneath her glasses.
“You’re so annoying, Marco,” she whined and he laughed.
“Let’s play already,” Rachel shouted. “I wanna be princess…”
She looked at the two different characters and began thinking. “Well, I wanna be Mario,” I announced and when I moved my control nothing happened. “Marco, my controller isn’t working.”
He grabbed it and aimed it at the tv but nothing moved on the screen. “Hmm, maybe the batteries are dead. You’ll have to wait till mama says we can go downstairs.” He handed me back the remote
“That’s no fair. I wanna play now,” I glared at him and could feel the anger building up. Marco rolled his eyes.
“Lance, do you want me to tell mama you’re being difficult.” He said and taunting tone. I shook my head. “Then you’ll wait like you’re supposed to.”
I threw my controller on the bed and crossed my arms, “I’m going to my room.” I announced and stormed out of the room. I could hear Veronica mocking my words as I went across the hall to the room that I share with Rachel. I walked to my bed and laid on my side.
Marco always cuts me out. He isn’t fair. I just wanna play with them. He probably didn’t even turn the controller on and thinks I’m too young to understand but I understand. Mama says I’m very smart and I am very smart. Soy muy inteligente.
I’ll get the batteries for myself. Mama won’t see me. I slid off my bed and passed the bedroom hearing them cheering as they played the game. I stood at the top of the stairs and looked to see where they went. The batteries were in the kitchen cabinet and they were probably in the living room.
I was about to step down when a hand tapped my shoulder causing me to jump. I saw Rachel looking at me with bewilderment. “What are you doing, hermanito?” I hated when she called me that. She started ever since I scraped my knee and Luis called me his hermanito. Now everyone did and it made me feel so little.
“I’m going to get batteries. Wanna help,” I asked and she nodded. “We need to sneak past Mama and Luis. If they see us we’ll get in problemas. It’s a super secret spy mission.”
I whispered and she laughed. “I don’t like playing with Marco and Ronnie anyway. They’re mean.” She whispered and then we began to creep down the stairs. I could hear muffled voices but I couldn’t tell from where in the room.
We crawled across the hall behind the couch. “Who do you think came,” I whispered to Rachel who was behind me.
“Maybe it’s Lisa’s family.” She whispered back and we crawled through to the end of the hall that entered the kitchen. I looked to the entrance on my right and saw no one so I rolled by as Rachel followed my lead.
“Which cabinet is it,” I looked at each one realizing that there was a lot. We searched around each cabinet. After a while, we decided to grab something out of the fridge and forgot that we weren't supposed to make noise.
Rachel popped open a bag that crackled that followed with a gust of air. I sat in front of her on the floor criss-cross. We both started giggling at the noise. She reached her hand into the bag and handed me some chips. I didn’t notice the big man standing behind her until I bite into a chip.
He was tall and wore this purple shirt and his grin was wide and friendly. “Who are you,” I looked up at him not knowing whether to be scared or excited.
He crouched down and looked at my sister now grabbed my hand. She was scared. “Well, Lance, I’m Sendak. I’m a friend of the family.” His smile grew and I felt myself smiling.
“Are you here to talk to my mama and hermano,” Rachel asked but I could see the small shakes throughout her arm. The talking from the living room got oddly silent but I didn’t focus on it.
“Yes,” he said before standing up, “Your mother wants to see you both.”
We stood up and followed him to the living room where I watched mama’s eyes widen from where she sat as she saw Rachel and I enter. Luis sat behind her and his eyes were wide as well. There was another man sitting in a chair across from them. He looked at us and didn’t smile.
He was bigger than Sendak and his eyes seemed to burn into my sister and I. The room was oddly quiet and I could slowly feel the fear seep into my body. “Look what I found?” Sendak pulled us into full view.
The other guy turned and looked at us. “Are you two twins,” He asked and we nodded at the same time. “How old are you two?”
“We’re six,” Rachel said quietly as she squeezed my hand. I looked at mama who’s eyes were now watery.
“Zarkon, I-” I felt my body move and the next thing I knew I was with the man my mother called Zarkon. He was holding my arm tight. I looked for Rachel who was with Sendak. My mother began crying while Luis watched carefully. His eyes studying my sister and me.
“I honestly don’t know what to say, Rosa. I gave you and your family protection. All of us. I pledged for your family. Do you know how much they didn’t add another problematic family but I believed yours would work,” His hand tightened around my arm and I tried pulling away and cried out in pain. “You lied to me. For six years. You told me you lost the twins and the experiment didn’t work but here they are both alive. Why?”
“Zarkon, please, you must understand I didn’t want you to hurt my children… remember I-I was raised with different beliefs than you and vampires are a- there dangerous a-and letting you take my children for your own type blood lust was something that didn’t… it didn’t sit well with me.” Her voice was tight and desperate. I was sobbing not understanding what was going on. My mind was too little to understand and the pressure on my thin arm made my body ach all over. “Dios, Zarkon, how do you even know if it worked… por favor, no lastimes a mi hijo o mi hija. Lance sé fuerte. Rachel, por favor, no llores, cariña. Son sólo bebés.”
My mother began muttering in Spanish. I felt a slow release on my arm as I was pulled to sit on the man’s lap. “Rosa, you know I hate it when you begin muttering in Spanish. I don’t understand most of what you’re saying when it’s that fast and that low.” I felt his finger run along my neck and I squirmed. His hand grabbed my shoulder to stop me from moving.
“I’m sorry. Don’t...please don’t,” My mother's voice was weak and the man ignored her and looked to Sendak.
“Drink,” I could feel the way the room tensed at those words. I could hear running upstairs from mi hermanos realizing we were downstairs. I looked at Rachel who was also squirming as much as me as she cried, for our mama. I couldn’t see Zarkon’s face but I heard the sound of something being torn through. It was too quiet and fear crept all throughout my body.
“Wait,” A loud yell ripped through the room. Silence followed and all you could hear were my sobs and Rachel’s. All eyes shifted to Luis who was staring at Zarkon. His eyes held an emotion I didn’t know. “Drink my blood, please, don’t hurt the twins.”
I could see the water gather in his eyes as he stared at the man. A moment went by and then I felt it. A pinch sinks deep into my neck. A scream escaped my lips and noise came from all around the room. I could feel blood move from my neck and the overwhelming need to sleep fell over me as I screamed at the man who held me down. Then the room grew very dark.
I jumped up opening my eyes as my head pounded with pain. Sweat covered my body. My body felt cold and hot all at the same time. The room was slightly blurry as the images around me began to come into clear sight.
That dream was real. I ran my fingers along my neck. It was real. I felt a hand grab my arm causing me to jump. I turned and looked to see Rachel sitting beside me. She had a small smile on her face as she stared at me.
“Finally you wake up,” She pinched my arm. “How are you feeling, hermanito?”
I looked around my room and felt overwhelmed. “It’s hot, extremely hot. What happened? What day is it?” I tried to remember how I got to my room or what happened the night before.
“It’s Friday morning. Very early,” She kept smiling but I couldn’t tell why. It’s been a while since she smiled just because. “Almost time to get ready for school. Nothing happened it just seems you got a little hot.”
I looked her over once and then pulled her close to me so I could get a look at her neck. A scar from bite marks. She pulled away from, “Lance, are you okay?” She asked looking at me carefully. I felt myself swallow hard.
“Yes,” I got out of bed feeling my legs become extremely weak, I stumbled but quickly gained my balance. “I’m just going to get ready for school, okay.”
Throughout breakfast and our way to school. Something felt off. My body was thrown entirely off and my family seemed super friendly today than they had been in the last month. Something was wrong. Mom even drove us to school and she seemed different and she kept talking to me. Veronica was silent and looked at how I felt. Rachel was the only one who laughed during the car ride.
When I got out and waited for my friends and Keith, my body felt overheated. Sweat was gathering under my clothes and the need to vomit was pulling at me. “Lance,” I turned and saw Pidge walking with Hunk.
“What happened to you? You look like shit,” she sat at the table beside me.
“Pidge, be nice.” Allura came from behind me with Lotor. He stared at me. “Lonce, are you feeling alright?”
I shook my head silently focused on the table. “I-”
“Don’t tell me you started doing drugs. I knew Keith was a dealer. Lance, you look like someone who’s struggling with heroin withdrawal.” Pidge cut in again.
“Keith doesn’t do drugs. I would know if he did,” I could hear my voice slur. “Something’s wrong. I-I…”
I felt a hard grip press on my hands. When I turned around, my eyes met Romelle’s, “Where is he?” She asked looking me over. “Where’s Keith? He didn’t come home last night.”
“I don’t know. I thought he was at home,” I could feel everyone’s eyes shift to me.
“He had dinner at your house last night, Lance. You literally wouldn’t shut up about it yesterday.” Hunk grabbed my arm.
“He did? I-I can’t remember anything from yesterday or the past week or so,” I felt Hunk pull me up.
“Let’s get you into a quiet area, Lance,” He whispered and we walked into an empty hallway. “Now, what happened?”
“I don’t know,” I looked at him and the rest of my friends. Romelle began to pace. Her arms were moving faster than they should and I could tell the rest of my friends saw it.
“This isn’t good. He’s not picking up his phone and you can’t remember,” she mumbled. Then she froze and looked at me. “Shiro’s coming.”
Pain rang through the back of my head as I slowly opened my eyes. The room was dark and hot and the smell of sage burned through my nose. My skin was hot and clammy and the insides of my body felt raw and sore.
I could feel my blood slosh around as I sat up from where I was. My wrist throbbed with the movements and a soft whimper left my lips as I moved it. I turned to see my wrist chained to the wall. Panic surged my body as I saw the mangled skin of wrist hang against the metal.
My mind began to race. I need to get out. They were going to kill me. The events of last night played in my head. I played right into her hand and now I was going to die here. I glanced around the dark room. A door sat in the corner and seemed to have no knob on my side.
“Keith,” a voice whispered. That’s when my eyes finally noticed the girl sitting across from me but she was hidden more in the dark. She wore the same outfit from last night and her arm seemed to be chained against the wall behind her by her wrist but it still seemed to be in one piece.”Are you alright?”
Her voice was now louder. I heard desperation as she talked to me. I stared at her and felt cold chills run through my body as the smell of her blood hit my nose.
“What are you doing here,” My voice was hoarse and it burned to talk. She leaned forward as she gazed at me.
“Because I wouldn’t let them take you,” She said slowly.
“Why not? I barely know you and you barely know me,” I began to cough because of the roughness of my own throat. I could feel the blood leave my mouth. “Shit.”
I mumbled as I continued to watch her. She looked at me carefully, she opened her mouth to speak but I could see her hesitation, “I couldn’t let them kill you or torture you or take you to the galra. I couldn’t just let them take you, Keith.” She rambled pulling on the chain.
“Why,” She was holding something back. I could tell. If she knew what I was already and was trying to save me she wanted something. “Why risk your life for mine? A vampire who caused more trouble than needed his whole entire life. Aren’t you scared of me?”
“Well judging by your current situation no, but I was never scared of you.” She gave me a small smile. “How could I be scared of someone who’s my…” She paused and looked at me carefully. “She really didn’t tell you.”
“Acxa, who are you talking about and tell me what?” I whispered and leaned back against the wall.
“I’m your older sister,” She said loud and clear. “Krolia is my mother and Kenneth is my father. I was born a year before you were, but Krolia gave me away without a second thought.”
I’ve never heard someone say my mother’s name with as much venom as Acxa did at that moment. “Your lying. My mother… she would’ve...no…” My words drifted. My mother wouldn’t do that abandon her own. She wouldn’t leave. I looked at Acxa.
“I grew up wondering who she was and why she -they- abandoned me. Was I not good enough? Were they dead? Why was I different from others? I found her photo in my foster mom’s room when they were out. She looked just like me and I got so excited because I had a mother and maybe, just maybe if I found her she may want me. So I found her name and searched for her.” She paused. “I was fourteen when I saw you all for the first time.”
I looked at her and watched as she smiled. “You didn’t see me and which is what I wanted. I didn’t know for sure if you were my brother. I just wanted to talk to Krolia. I just wanted to see if she recognized me or... just anything. But she looked me in the eyes and there was no recognition in her eyes, but she did know what I was. A vampire. She leaned down in my ear and whispered, the hunters are coming. It’s not safe for you here.” I stared at her as she sighed.
“But you’re not a vampire. I would know if you were.” I whispered as my throat screamed for me to stop. She smiled a small sinister one as she looked at me and then I saw her fangs poke out. “How?”
“I grew up on my own as this creature I didn’t understand but then I found a witch. Someone who could cloak me from hunters and walk without fear of being killed.” Her fangs retracted. “Only she knows what I am and now you. After I met her I joined the Galra learning about them from Ronnie. I wanted to find her again and that was one of the few ways. I saw her again, but she still didn’t recognize me so I kept quiet. When I saw you at school, I got scared. I didn’t understand why you were there, but I made sure you were safe from a distance and last night when they… they poisoned you, I couldn’t let them take you. So they knocked me out and put me in here with you.”
I stayed quiet and watched as her brown eyes held mine. I coughed harder than earlier and blood fell from my lips. Pain burned like fire through my veins. “Shit,” I muttered as my wrist leaned on the chain. “Can we discuss this more when we get out of here?”
I heard a grunt followed by a pop. I looked up to see Acxa free from her chains, a hole replaced the spot where they once were attached. She stood and rubbed her wrist. “There’s no going back now.” She mumbled to herself as she popped each chain that wrapped around her wrist.
She walked over to me and popped the chains around my sensitive wrist. She placed her hand on my forehead. “You’re burning up.” She whispered and picked me up bridal style. “Don’t worry, Keith, I’ll get us out of here.” The room was so quiet with those words and the world around us started to blur.
I couldn’t tell what was going on. The world around us began to turn into shadows and no sound came to me as I laid helplessly in Acxa’s arms.