Calliope Burns crashed through the increasingly thick undergrowth of the forest. Her eyes focused on her prey ahead, a short, dreamy eyed vampire by the name of Juliette Fairmont. Juliette used her inhuman speed to run as fast as she could, but Calliope was and born and bred hunter, she was conditioned to match the ferocity of her vampiric enemies in most ways. Juliette didn’t know how this would end; she’d defend herself but at what cost. She won’t hurt Cal, but Cal would hunt her. Despite everything Juliette had done in the months following that night on Cal’s front lawn, despite her descent into blood, death, and darkness, she wouldn’t hurt Calliope. But Calliope will hunt Juliette, she wouldn’t die but this fight was necessary. It was their destiny to end up like this. Vampire and Hunter, a war that has been waging since the beginning of time. Juliette was a monster and she deserved to pay for everything she has done. She deserved to pay for killing those people, and most importantly, for turning Theo. Adrenaline surged through Calliope’s veins as she inched closer to Juliette, and that was all the incentive she needed to launch herself forward. Calliope tackled Juliette who let out a cry of surprise as they hit the ground. Calliope was mentally preparing herself to swiftly recover her stance, but she failed to notice the drop of a hill that the two girls now tumbled down. Calliope and Juliette both grunted as they fell down the dirt hill in a roll, bark and rocks scratching at their skin.
Calliope tried to grip on something that would help her slow her roll but to no avail as she eventually landed at the bottom of the hill, but not before hitting her head on a rock. Calliope swore colourfully as she quickly staggered to her feet, blood trickling down from the side of her forehead. Juliette soon fell to the bottom of the hill as well, with a shout. Calliope swung her head towards her, unsheathing her silver stake from behind her back. Juliette struggled to her feet, spitting dirt out of her mouth, and throwing her hair out of her face. Her eyes eventually landed on Calliope, stake in hand and eyes cold and determined. Juliette’s breath hitched in fear and shock, not because Cal was about to try and kill her but because, in that moment, a terrible realisation had dawned on her. Calliope too had fallen on the same dark path that Juliette had. Blood and darkness. Calliope tightened her grip on the stake, the three arrow tattoos on her arm flexing at the movement. Juliette swallowed dryly as she noticed these tattoos.
“Cal?” Juliette whispered hoarsely.
“You can’t stop this,” Calliope stated definitively. Juliette clenched her jaw, her tongue soothing her aching fangs that hid behind her closed mouth.
“I won’t die,” Juliette rose to her feet. Calliope shrugged.
“But you’ll hurt,” Calliope seethed before charging at Juliette. Juliette only just managed to dodge Calliope, who moved exceptionally quick for a human.
“I didn’t want to hurt those people,” Juliette tried to tell her, but her distressed voice fell on deaf ears as Calliope slashed her stake at her again. Juliette blocked Calliope’s arm and shoved her away with a grunt.
“Cal, please, I don’t want to hurt you,” Juliette begged. Calliope scoffed.
“It’s too late for that,” Calliope snarled, once again furiously punching, and slashing at Juliette who could only dodge and block. However, Calliope managed to land a blow with her fist, making Juliette hiss in pain, before slashing a gash in the vampire’s chest, making her scream in pain as silver pierced her skin. Juliette staggered back, trying to distance herself from Calliope.
The hunter breathed heavily, anger and adrenaline coursing through her veins.
“Why aren’t you fighting back?” Calliope taunted Juliette, who said nothing as she gripped the wound on her chest.
“I thought you were a big bad monster?” Calliope mocked again.
“I am! You made me one!” Juliette finally snapped aggressively; her fangs bared. Calliope was taken aback by Juliette’s nerve.
“You were always one!” Calliope shouted back in frustration. Juliette met Calliope’s gaze and growled before surging towards the hunter, she felt the stake pierce her ribs, but she didn’t care as she slammed Calliope against the nearest tree, her hands holding Calliope’s upper arms and chest securely.
“I didn’t want to be! I loved you, I wanted to become human for you, but you decided to hate me, you decided that I was a monster!” Juliette was crying as she screamed, tears streaming uncontrollably down her face. Calliope’s face was stoic, the might hunter not wanting to chink her own armour, but Juliette could hear her heartbeat skyrocketing.
“You wanted me to become a monster so bad that I did. And a part of me thinks that you always wanted me to be so you wouldn’t have to admit that you still love me,” Juliette said quieter, whimpering as Calliope held the stake firm in her side.
Calliope opened her mouth to speak but couldn’t find the words. Somehow, Juliette still knew her better than she knew herself. Calliope wanted to argue, wanted to scream at Juliette but she couldn’t, because deep down she knew she was right. Juliette only looked at her sadly, not wanting to move from their current position, because if she did Calliope would try to kill her again, and Juliette didn’t know how much control she had left. Calliope tried to speak again but shut her mouth, Juliette watching her intensely. Calliope was too prideful to admit anything, and even if she did, would it matter? After everything they had both done, could they still be together. At an impasse, their breaths mingled in the silence, neither of them wanting to continue the trajectory of the path they were currently on.
“You turned Theo, and you killed all those people,” Calliope finally said, trying to find a way out of admitting her true feelings, trying to avoid the fact that Juliette was right.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t…I didn’t want to, I just…” Juliette’s speech stumbled as she tried to find the words, but she couldn’t say anything that wasn’t already said, she couldn’t say anything that would make it better. Juliette sniffled in melancholy as she realised that there were no words left for her to say. Juliette released her grip and slipped away from the stake in her side. However, before Calliope could step away from the tree, Juliette grabbed the hand that held the stake, hovering it over her chest, where her heart was thundering. Calliope looked at Juliette puzzlement.
“What are you doing?” Calliope questioned. Juliette bit her lip, wiping a tear from her cheek.
“You really hate me? You really think I’m a monster? Then you can do it,” Juliette gestured to the stake that lingered over her heart.
“But…it won’t kill you,” Calliope mumbled, looking from the stake above Juliette’s pale chest to her girl’s woeful eyes. Juliette nodded, letting out a laugh of disbelief as she internally cursed herself for what she was about to do. Juliette exhaled sharply before speaking.
“You need a stake fashioned out of the wood of a tree that grew in the Garden of Eden.” Juliette sulked away from Calliope, observing the hunter carefully as her face contorted into understanding and bewilderment.
“Juliette, why…why would you tell me?” Calliope asked, a hitch of panic in her voice that Juliette didn’t fail to notice.
“Because I love you, and I know you love me. But if I’m wrong, if you really do hate me and if you really think that I am a monster, you can kill me. Some part of me knows that I don’t deserve to be loved after what I’ve done, some of those people may not have been innocent but it doesn’t make killing anymore right. I am a monster, Calliope, so you can kill me if you want but I just wanted you to know that I never stopped loving you, and that I never wanted to hurt you.” Juliette wept as she let the shadowy darkness of the trees consume her. Calliope’s mind raced so fast she started to feel sick. All she knew is that Juliette willingly told her how to kill Legacy vampires, and still loved her even though some part of her was aware of the very real danger she had just put herself, and her family, in. Calliope dropped her stake and let out a breath she didn’t realise she had been holding. No matter how many times Juliette had apologised and had told Calliope that she loved her, Calliope never believed her, never stopped for one second to think that not all monsters do monstrous things, and that some are capable of love. But in that moment, actions spoke louder than words. Proof that Juliette never wanted to be a monster in the first place, proof that Juliette’s love for Calliope was so unwavering and that she would give up her life if it meant easing Calliope’s pain.
“Juliette!” Calliope shouted.
Juliette turned around, not expecting to see Calliope striding towards her. Calliope crashed their lips together and it felt like two stars had collided. Their kiss felt cataclysmic, like they had triggered the end of the world as their fates solidified themselves into reality. Juliette immediately surrendered herself to Calliope, her heart and soul rejoicing as she had been aching for this moment for months. The kiss was sloppy and passionate and hungry. They needed each other like plants need sunlight. Calliope pulled Juliette into her, groaning into the smaller girl’s mouth as she revelled in the feeling of having Juliette’s body pressed to hers again. Juliette’s hands clung to Calliope’s jaw as if she would melt away at any moment, and she kissed her as if this would be their last moment on earth. Juliette moaned as Calliope introduced her tongue, eager to kiss Juliette the way they had kissed before. Juliette reciprocated, deepening the kiss by wrapping her arms around Calliope’s broad shoulders. Calliope let out a grunt of pleasure and practically lifted Juliette against another tree in response. This allowed Calliope to break the kiss momentarily, enabling her to speak.
“You’re not a monster, Jules,” Calliope huffed as she gazed into Juliette’s blue eyes, the girl’s pupils dilated with desire as her chest heaved.
“You don’t need to say anything, Cal,” Juliette explained, trying to kiss her again but Calliope but a finger over her mouth, halting her movements. Juliette eyed her endearingly, waiting for her to speak.
“Yeah, I do,” Calliope exhaled before continuing, resting her forehead against Juliette’s.
“I’m sorry too. I’m sorry for making you feel like a monster. You’re not, you never will be, okay? Your heart is compassionate and…there isn’t an evil bone in your body,” Calliope let a tear fall down her cheek as she apologised, the guilt of hurting Juliette finally overwhelming her.
“I love you too, Juliette, I never stopped loving you, and I never want to be apart from you ever again,” Calliope finished, her voice strained with emotion as she finally admitted her true feelings. Juliette smiled through her own tears and pulled Calliope towards her. They kissed again with a fierce passion, not wanting to let each other go.
“Your heart is safe with me, Jules,” Calliope muttered between kisses.