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Destinies Unraveled (Edited and Continued)
The fragrance of roses enveloped me as I stood, eyes closed and facing the sun. Becoming antsy, I shift back and forth on my feet and my fingers fight amongst themselves. Somewhere I hear the brush of feet against grass, hands on bark. But that’s miles away. The sound that really sets my senses alive is the breath of the person somewhere around me. I can’t pinpoint his exact location, but he’s close and as long as he is, the beating of my heart won’t cease. Amongst us, it’s a phenomenon. Unexplainable in science.
He glides closer, his heart evidence of the rare occurrence happening between us. I fight the urge to surrender my eyes to his figure, even though it’s a close battle. I freeze, the smell of him growing closer. A woodsy scent intertwines with the aroma of roses. I can feel him, lingering somewhere inches maybe a foot around me. My heart rate spikes and a heavy chuckle in my right ear tell me just how close he is. I feel myself tense, suddenly defensive; the animal instinct locking into place.
“Natalie? Isn’t this what you want?” he whispers in my ear, his arms snaking around my waist and holding me tight. The sigh that falls from my lips should be enough for me to turn to him and walk into my destiny. But it’s not.
“Damien, you know under any other circumstances, this would be more than what I want. But the war is still raging. How can we do this, when we are needed?” I ask, stepping away from his grasp. My eyes remain closed, the very sight of him enough to change my mind. He lets me slide away, knowing that it’s no good fighting against me. Even in this state, I am stronger.
“We’ve been given a gift, Natalie. One we should use. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve felt so…,” he trails off. Felt so human was his unfinished question. How could he want this, and not care for the rest of them?
“What about Sophia? Frankie? Your mom? Damien, you’d leave them behind. We couldn’t be a part of this world anymore. Could you live without them? Or worse, could they go on without you?” my questions filled the air, as if drifting away to a much more desirable time. A hand cups my cheek, the thumb brushing my cheek. How can I want this and want nothing to change.
“We may not understand this, whatever this is but we never will if we don’t explore it. Come with me, be with me. We can do this together,” the words spill into the silence. His thumb brushes my bottom lip and I tilt my head upwards, knowing exactly where his eyes are. My lids flutter, but the world comes out as a blur as I snap them closed.
Suddenly his warm breath overwhelms my face, and even though I can’t see him, I know he’s hovering right in front of my face. The tip of his nose brushes against mine and I sigh.
“Open your eyes,” his heavy breath blows out over my face. My eyes flick open and I have no doubt in my mind that going with him, being with him his perfectly right. He pulls my hands up to his shoulders and I don’t fight him. He wraps his hands back around me and pulls me close into him. He smiles, and then his lips feather against mine.
The kiss is short and sweet, nothing compared to others but it still takes my breath away. I risk another look up into his eyes, smooth chocolate brown eyes that can read every thought, feel every emotion deep within me. I’m torn, if ever a time I needed a flat line, I sure as hell needed it now. All of these emotions, since being dulled a hundred years ago, ripped my heart in two. I give humans credit, they go through a lot of emotional distress, unnecessary anguish, but still I give them credit.
For the first time in a hundred years, tears spring up into my eyes. Then an overpowering feeling of rage overcame me. Rage at his asking me to choose him over my family; for this stupid curse, or “gift”; and pure, raw rage at myself, here crying like a stupid emotional human. I pull away, half expecting him to pull me closer, unwilling to let me be alone. But he doesn’t. I look at him and see so many emotions flick through his eyes, his face. He nods, and looks away from me towards the warmth of the sun.
And suddenly I am flying.
I knew immediately after crossing the boundary that my powers were gradually coming back to me. A boundary set up in the unclaimed field between mine and Damien’s clans’ territories. Suddenly I could see, really see everything around me again. I’d missed being able to see the beauty through these eyes whenever I went to see Damien. I felt the tightening in my muscles, as they grew firmer; more structured to better suit the lifestyle of our kind. I could hear the stirrings in the village, where others were murmuring about me. My trips were not secret, as well as the fact of impossible bond between me and Damien. The murmuring died down as they heard my approach.
What I didn’t like about returning from the field, was the moments of pain. The prick in my gums as four of my teeth elongated. Two top and two bottoms, the canines before the molars. I couldn’t recall anytime, before the bond, in my one hundred years where I had felt pain like this, besides the thirst. And of course the pain that burned my throat.
I remember when I had first come into this world. I’d been left, abandoned by my creator. I’d woken, with all these changes in my senses, scared and utterly alone. I could hear all the people in their apartments around me; every whisper, every breathe. I could hear the honks and swearing from the cars and people in the city, which was over twenty miles away.
But the worst part, above all was the flames licking at the insides of my throat. I was thirsty, immensely so. I had tried water, taking it in gulps. But it came back up, suddenly like acid in my stomach. I searched trying, to no avail, all kinds of concoctions to drink. I remember the doorbell ringing. I could hear the music coming from the man’s earphones, loud as if it was playing in the apartment building. I could hear him scratching at his clothes, growing impatient with me. I could smell the cologne he was wearing, the cheap brand you could buy at the nearest convenience store.
But the smell that had my mouth watering, had me loping towards the door was some fragrance on him. The beating of his heart, made my gums pinch and a part of me tried to pull back and stay in control. But the instinct to chase down the smell was to overpowering. Whipping open the door, I stared at him trying to locate the smell. He smiled and handed me a pile of mail, then turned to leave. I snatched at his arm, pulling him back into the apartment. Before he knew, even before I knew, the door was slammed shut and my mouth was at his neck. His mouth opened, attempting to scream. My teeth chomped down hard on his neck, piercing the peachy flesh. The sound from his throat was gargled, as if he was choking. The rush of warmth flowed through my lips and down to the roaring fire, soothing it instantly.
Too soon, the warmth ceased and the man fell to the ground. No sounds coming from him, the very source of him gone. I knew immediately that what lay before me, was nothing but an empty corpse. And the first moments spent when Damien and I discovered our bond, were feelings of fear and anger at what I had become. Sure I’d felt anger in my new life but never as strong as when I became human again.
Shaking off the memories, I enter the main clearing in our village. No one speaks as I slow to a walk and enjoy the slight breeze on my skin. I follow the path towards my house. Taking the steps two at a time, I fly through the door and don’t spare a glance to my mom and dad. Or rather the people who had become my mother and father; the people who took me in when the clan had happened upon me.
Closing the door softly, I plop down on the bed and pull out my notebook. I date the corner and write about meeting with Damien today. Since discovering him and what happened to me and him when we are together, I’d kept a journal. I wouldn’t forget the human emotions and memories.
A creak in the floor boards announced someone coming towards the bedroom. I looked up watching the door, waiting for the knock. But this time it didn’t come. I could hear the breathing on the other side. I finished my journal entry, stashed the notebook, and then crept up to the door. My hand paused on the doorknob, a sense of unease settling in my stomach. Surprised, I pushed away from the door. If there’s one thing I learned from this life, it was to always trust your gut.
And for the first time after arriving home, I realize I had detached myself from the world. I pushed my mind and senses out, expanding over the village. Silence; complete and utter silence. Something was wrong, the village was never this quiet unless…
I hissed under my breath, my teeth elongating. At the sound the door burst open, revealing a large man. His skin was tinged red and his entire body shook with anger. I felt myself fall into a defensive crouch and I willed my, usually well taken care of, nails to grow longer; my only defense against this creature. His wild eyes targeted me, and an angry smirk grew on his face as he took in my position.
In numbers my kind, Vampires, could take this beast. But alone. I gulped, fear clenching my stomach. I was dead. Silently I curse myself for disconnecting my mind. I let a few scenarios run through my mind, anything to figure a way out of this alive. I have three choices. One, to escape through the window. I’d have to distract him somehow so I could easily squeeze out. Two, to somehow get him where I am, and me where he is so I could easily escape out the door. Three, stay and fight.
I couldn’t think straight. Every fiber in my body wanted to stay, to fight my mortal enemy. But my heart, it pushed to getting through that door, to escape alive. To escape and run to Damien.
“Escape is not an option, Natalie,” the man growled. I stilled, my body becoming like a statue. How the hell did he know my name?
“How the hell do you know my name?” I screeched, through clenched fangs. My hands balled into fists, ready to strike. I had to get him talking, to get his mind off my escape points.
“You’d be surprised how much I know about you, about your clan, about Damien,” his eyebrow raises when my mouth drops, but he continues, “And trust me, I’m not going to forget your feeble plans for escape.”
A smirk settles temporarily on his face, as I blanch. Several seconds pass before I understand just what I am standing in front of. I growl. Of course they’d send him. We’d heard rumors of their secret weapon, but we never really believed it.
“Mind reader,” the words escape through my lips in a hiss.