• chapter five: country-fied creetens.

    i woke up in shock, my torso dragging upward, like it was being pulled up by some unknown force, my eyes popped wide and i gasped for air."sophia!" i rasped, my voice barley audible.i rasped her name over and over again as my heart pumped harder and my blood burned through my veins."she's awake!"someone screamed. i didnt pay attention to them. the blood rushed to my head as i hopped down from the metal table i was laying on, steady hands held me up as the walls around me spun in weird ways. i was going to be sick. "sophia," i hissed again. my voice was getting stronger. "hey, calm down now, she's fine. y'all need to lay down and sleep it off. Y'all died, thats not somethin' y'all get over quickly." the country twang confusied me. i couldnt think straight. the room was still spinning. "bring her to me." i slurred. "naw darlin', she's real gentle right about now. ya know?she's delicate mentaly and things like that." the spinning was slowing and my vision was clearer."who are you?"i said, studying her face. she was blonde, the lightest and sweetest gold you could find, her eyes were baby blue, they sparkled with kindness and light. she was innocence in the flesh."my name is rosabell, but you can call me bell, stranger." this girl was no country hick, she was kind and sweet and down right country. i smiled weakley and nodded."so your alive?" blake asked, cocky. i frowned at him,"where did you come from?" i retorted, ignoring his question.his face was sober and serious again." down the hall. i was watching over sophie while you were, uh, unconsious." this new information brought my attention to a hault. "what?is she okay? how is she? where is she? does she know what happened? does she think im dead?" blake smiled slightly at the innane questions and he ignored them altogether." ah...i dont understand. you died. i checked your pulse myself. you should be dead." his eyes caught mine and held."how?" he asked again. "i- i dont know. im not sure." i stuttered, i ran through the day in my mind. how strange, i thought. suddenly, a very importent detail flashed into my mind."she was bitten!" i screamed. i jumped up and started for the main room but blake caught me and held me down. "shhh!" he shushed me. rosabell was gawking in my direction. she pulled blake off me. "what do y'all me she was bitten?who?" she asked. i panted as my head spun, i couldnt make sense of all the pictures, they blurred together. "suzanne! theres a bite mark on her arm!" i recalled the black oozing wound with more clarity then necassary. i blanched. blake and rosabell shared a loaded look. "we know," rosabell said softly, "it happened before we got here..." blake said. he cleared his throat and sat down, beckoning us to join. i rested against his shoulder and sighed, trying to block out the images that threatened to overtake me. "it was about six weeks ago, suze had a daughter, except she was pregnant. like, she had just had the baby. so, as time came and went, suzanne began to notice that there was something not quite right with her baby girl. something was off. she studied how her skin was not a beautiful color, but pasty and gross. she was shocked by how her eyes were not blue ,green or brown, but flat black. how when her child cried, her tears were a deep red, how when she would scream, her screams horrified the lot of us. suzanne first realized the baby was infected when it would not speak her name, it wouldnt say momma, whenever she picked her up, the child would thrash around and wail," i couldnt belive it. i wanted to cover my ears and hide. i didnt want to hear any more." rejected by her own child," i whimpered."yes, exactly. so one afternoon, suzanne was watching abigail, she named her abigail, learn how to walk, she was slow. well, she could crawl fine, and eat fine, but she wasnt eating right, if you know what i mean. it wasnt fruits or vegatables abby craved. it was human flesh. or flesh in general.anyway, abby wandered off and suzanne went looking for her and found her feasting on the corpse of a rat. as she went to rip the disease fled vermin out of her hands, abigail turned on her and bit her. exactly where you saw. outrage and understanding took over,this child, or thing, wasnt the baby she carried in her womb for nine months, and she grabbed abigail up in a pillow case, it sounds horrible and abusive but this child was not her flesh and blood, it wanted to feast on just that alone, and hauled her outside, grabbing a shotgun in her advance. suzanne took the tiny baby outside and emptyied the pillow case. the child hissed and screamed. moving toward her on all fours, her mouth drooling some black liqued. suzanne took aim, cocked the gun, and fired.-" i couldnt handle anymore."stop!" i shrieked, curling into a ball and covering my ears." i cant hear anymore of that. stop!" i felt the anguished tears flowing now, pity weighed strong in my heart, grief was there as well.
    "its pretty crappy 'aint it?"
    i lifted my head and stared at suzanne.
    "is that why you want sophia? because you lost your baby?"i whispered.
    she lifted her head higher and straightened her shoulders.
    but nodded once.
    "no." i said simply.
    her face scrunched up in disgust and she turned away.
    "your aware that you do not belong here?right?" her voice was thick with implacations. "what makes me any less human than you?" i countered. she laughed, hard and mean. "please," she spit. "i know your not human, humans dont just come back to life. humans dont spit fire. so your not human."she concluded. i chuckled and drew in a shaky breath.
    i turned towards blake." let me see sophia. now." i demanded. they stood up and blake took my hand.i blushed.
    "no!" suzanne yelled. "if you take her anywhere near soso i'll kill you."she threatened."soso?'' i asked. she turned her glare on me."yes. thats my knickname for her." i laughed again, even though there were shivers running up and down my spine."listen you cow," i hissed "her knickname isnt soso, its sophie. shes my little sister! im her only family! you dont fit into that picture. sorry." i said, my voice seething. suzanne turned away with a dainty sniff and strutted down the coradoor. "whats with her?" i asked blake. he smiled and shrugged."maybe she's crazy."i laughed because his assumption was dead on. "i'll go get sophia." blake whispered. i grinned happily and hugged him."thank you blake!" i squealed. he shushed me and disapeared around the corner. " what a beautiful young woman!" a male voice appraised. i turned towards bell, my face a question mark." thats roger, our docter." i nodded and looked in the direction the voices were coming from. "my god!" he exclaimed. the docter was maybe fifty, or his late forties. his hair was a dark brown, but graying at the temples. he had smile lines. "hello my dear, im roger clayton, its lovley to meet such a fine young lady." roger said with a laugh. he took my hand and kissed it. i laughed nervously, "im sophia's big sister." i said. understanding washed over his expression."ah...i see." he muttered. blake walked into the room just then, towing sophia behind him. she peeked under his elbow and stared, wide eyed, at me. "zoey?" she whispered. i nodded and opened my arms. she ran toward me, smiling . "oh sophia," i murmured, pressing my face into her curls. she was crying, of course. my adorable little sister. blake folded his arms across his chest and smiled.
    "now thats beautiful."he whispered to roger. roger nodded and stared at both of us. i held sophia at arms length."how old are you now hunny?" i asked her. she laughed,"im thirteen."she whispered. "im sorry i was gone for so long,"she nodded and tried to control her sobbs."im alright, see? perfectly fine." bell walked over and patted sophia on the back. "its time for bed, sophie. y'all need to hit the hay." sophia wiped at her eyes, but nodded. she jumped up and wrapped her little arms around my neck. i held her close, trying to comfort her he best i could. "goodnight sis," she whispred. i hugged her tighter. "goodnight sis." she let go and i kissed her forehead, her cheeks and the tip of her nose."love you," i said. she smiled and murmured, "love you too." bell took sophia, who was looking drop dead tired, poor baby, she had had a long day, and left the room. "so are we staying here forever?" i asked, directing my question at blake. he shook his head and glared morosley down the coradoor where bell and sophie had just left. "no, in fact we shook be moving some time soon, we just havent found a place to move into." an idea struck me."i bet i could find us a place." i said excitedley. "why?" roger asked me. "i will not have my daughter growing up in some crap heap like this." i waved my hand around the dry sewer. roger nodded but said nothing else. "thats not a half bad idea. where did you have in mind?" blake pressed excitedley. "maybe hoquiem,if not there then seattle." i whispered as if i was confiding a great secret. blake smiled grimly, "its funny you mention those places, quite funny." roger guffawed. "what do you mean?"i asked, confusion sweeping through me. roger laughed again."its nothing, nevermind." blake whispered, facing away from me and keeping his eyes to the ground. "ugh..."i groaned. a woman in a long white sundress entered the room just then, her eyes were a striking gold, contacts, i presumed. "roger! blake! we're almost out of food..." her sentence drifted off as she caught a glimpse of me, her golden eyes widened. "ah...lizzie? this is zoeth, she's killed off many of the creepers." roger informed her. lizzie smiled politley and i grinned at her. something about my smile must of scared her because she gawked and trembeled, whirled in a circle and fled from the room. "what did i say?" i asked. both blake and roger were staring, open mouthed at my mouth. "what?!" i demanded. i felt around my mouth with my tounge, something sharp and pointed...
    "i have fangs!?" i groaned, slapping my forehead and smacking my head down on the ground. not smart. "Ouch!" i howled, i shook my head and sat up straight, ignoring the throb in my skull. "so i suppose we need to go out and get more food, right?" i asked. blake and roger shared a loaded look. "what?" i questioned, i was getting tired of asking all these inane questions. "well..." blake started, rolling his eyes towards the ceiling, clenching his jaw tight.
    "we're not ready... meaning that if we happened by those monsterous creetens...we wouldnt stand a chance. ultimatley, we would die." roger answered instead, crossing his arms tightly across his chest. "i have a theory for what you are..." roger said, rubbing the stuble on his chin and changing the subject. "something other-worldley, something we arnt quite familier with really..." his gaze stopped on me and he smiled.
    "a vampire." he whispered.
    a terrible shudder ran through me. a sharp pain sliced through my mind just then, like a blade being dragged against your skull.
    i screamed, clutching the sides of my head and curling inward. i screamed, blake and roger moved swiftly to restrain me."whats wrong!" i heard blake yell, a strange screetching noise was burning its way up my throat and out. there was a high peircing blood-curdling shriek that filled my ears, with a shock, i realized it was my own. i did the best i could to calm my system down, but there was just so much in so little time...panic ,surprise ,shock and confusion swarmed my body and controled all other movements. i heard the quick gasp gasp gasp that dragged through my teeth. moisture filled my eyes and the back of my throat burned. blake and roger were still holding me against myself, talking quietly in panicked voices, a strange noise escaped my throat. i felt one set of hands release me and i struggled for freedom, the other set grabbed on to my free hand and held me still while my head rolled and my breathing quieted. i heard blakes voice protest something but rogers booming voice over powered blakes, startling me. i felt the air whistle by my head, like someone had thrown something at me, blake released me. "get out of here!" blake and roger both bellowed, i pryed my eyes open and peeked around, i was curious what they were talking about. or rather, who they were talking to. i stared at the young man, maybe fourteen. his exspression was murderousley angry, his infuriated gaze rested on me."mitchell! get OUT!" roger ordered. his dark blue eyes shifted to roger, he shook his head slowley, the shaggy hair on his head falling in his eyes. "your fault," he jabbed a finger in my direction," it's all your fault." mitchell muttered. i felt the confusion wash over my features, irritation bubbled in my chest. "whats my fault? i dont even know you."i gasped weakley, Mitchell didnt even look like he was listening, he just stared at me like he might take a swing at me.
    it was obvious that he very much wanted to.
    "it's your fault she's dead!" he howled, i flinched back at the pain in his voice, unwilling to have it mirror my own.i hid the pain well and let the fury become the dominint emoition. "oh shut up!" i yelled, making the lot of us jump.
    "you little drama queen! i've never taken a life! aside from those creepers, and i was doing you a favor you ungrateful brat!!!" i tried to take a step toward him and in seconds, rogers arms were shackled against my body and blake was holding my face in his hands."calm, he doesnt know what he's talking about." blake told me, i growled agrily. the look on mitchells face was a strange one of hatred and defience. he turned on his heel and left. "people get cranky...wild when they're not fed. we have to go...tonight." roger whispered, i nodded. "but what about sophia?"i asked, they contemplated my question."we'll leave her with bell and louie, bells brother. she should be safe with them." i nodded again, i trusted bell enough.
    i just hoped this wouldnt backfire.
    suddenly, i had a terrible clenching in my stomach, like the after shock of catching a punch in the gut. i bent at the waist and moaned.
    "whats wrong?" blake asked worriedly.
    "bad feeling, very bad feeling." i replied.
    he helped me up and slung my arm over his shoulder, wrapping his arm around my waist.
    "i-im okay to walk." I protested. blake shook his head sternly and walked forward,towing me along side him.
    i elbowed him slightly and, with a sigh, he let me go.
    "im fine." i said again. Roger led us around the corador and through some huge tube shapped hallway that split into many little rooms. "tony, carmen," roger called, opening the blanket that was a makeshift door. i peeked in and stared in awe, the little circular room was painted a pretty dark blue, many candles were lit in the room, a young man and woman were lying down on a twin matress, reading. "yah?" they said at the same time. carmen smiled and sat up straight. "we're going for a little hunt for food, we need some back up, so you'll have to come with us." Roger told them. tony sighed and jumped out of the bed, pulling Carmen with him. "are we gunna bring erin and francis?"Carmen asked, her eyes alight with curiosity. carmen pulled her dainty hands behind her back and smiled, her white teeth bright against her russet skin, her dark brown eyes glowed. "maybe, i dont know where they are..." blake answered them. they nodded, looking very much like twins, and walked with us to the farthest room. "erin?francis?" Roger called, stopping in front of a room with a small red door protecting the patrons privacy."what up!" the two male voices yelled. the door sprang off the concrete wall and two huge men slouched through the opening. "whats up?" they asked, they're deep voices loud, humor touching they're hazel eyes."we're running out of food," Roger repeated. "so were going on the hunt. " Tony told them with a wicked smile. "whoo!" erin and francis yelled, banging eachothers fist. "shhh!" i protested. they stopped and stared me down. "why is it coming?" the one i assumed was francis asked, i growled and they're fist clenched. "she has an acute sense of smell and she can control some elemental stuff,"Blake told them, his voice restrained. they contemplated that, then they seemed to nodd slightly and stalked away from us."lets go," blake said, his voice edging towards excitement.

    We crept along the city streets, quiet and lethal. adrenaline pumped into my veins and made my heart race. i listened closley to the sounds of the city, stopping once or twice to let my ears range outward and focus on a sound, figure out what it was. there was no talking amoung us, we were connected by a chain so that if one of us heard something, we would tugg on the chain. i sniffed at the air and my nose wrinkled. the chain jerked. i turned around and stared at my group, each carrying a huge backpack that looked like it could fit three normal sized teenagers. "what?" i hissed. blake was the closest to me, he shrugged and i looked at the others.roger was behind blake, francis and erin were next, then carmen and tony. nobody said a word. i sighed quietly and walked onward. the chain jerked again, i spun around just in time to see erins hand on the chain, his bright eyes were sheepish, his smile sarcastic. "knock it off!" i told Erin, my voice too loud. there was a loud clang, like someone was rifling through a garbage and dropped the lid. we all held perfectly still, gaudging the reaction, holding our breath. i help back the whimper of terror that was stuck in my throat. i listened carefully and dragged in a stuttered breath through my teeth. "we're good," i whispered, barley audible. we moved forward, even more carefully now, knowing that any noise could provoke any kind of thing that wanted to feast on our flesh. i stifled a giggle, i sounded like a bad horror book. Blake's hand clamped down on my shoulder and let led us to the right, guiding me through the darkness with his hand. he stopped me just short of the sliding glass doors of a walmart, i narrowley avoided smacking into the glass. "here?" i asked, my voice incredoulous. he nodded solemnly. i gaped, "why couldnt you have picked a target or something?" i fumed, erin and francis chuckled. Blake pulled out a crowbar and shoved it into the little opening, i bit down hard on my lower lip and held my breath. he jerked the crow bar backwards and, mercifully, it only made a tiny squeak of protest.i let out my breath in a long gusty sigh, sending a silent prayer to whoever was listening. i squeezed through the door and unlocked the chain clamped around my waist. "i got female duty, you guys go get what you need." i whispered, inching away from them. they nodded and Blake handed me a can of pepper spray, why he thought i would need it was almost comical. i held back the laughter that threatened to explode out of me. i walked silently towards the feminine side of the store, shining the flashlight up onto the guide's indicating that i was on isle three, i creeped down the isle, grabbing the toiletries and some essentials.i stopped to smile at the twilight shirt when i passed the teen isle, i snatched two and walked into the isle to find sophia some clothes. i ended up with ten pairs of pants, seven pairs of socks, ten t-shirts, three long sleeved, nine packages of underwear and two pairs of shoes that looked sturdy enough, and a cute stuffed bunny with the letter "S" printed across it.
    and my backpack still wasnt full.
    i started to get bored, walking to the book section and grabbing a few on my way, i looked at some tea light candels before deciding on nine huge clean linen candels, sophia's favorite scent. my backpack was finally getting a little heavy, with a sigh, i stalked off to find Blake. i walked around to the electronics, expecting to find them jabbering about some kind of technical crap that i was sure i would need an extra "Y" chromasome to understand. i heard blakes voice and smiled, rounding the corner to find him staring at a music c.d, talking to roger. "hey guys!" i whispered enthusiastically. blake dropped the c.d and it clattered to the floor, even in the darkness, i could see him blush. "whats going on here?" i asked, eyeing them both. they looked at me and roger smiled, "your bag looks heavy, let me take that for you." he offered, roger to my backpack and slung it over his shoulder with ease. i smiled at them both and suddenly remembered something "oh! i almost forgot, i need to go back and get some scented shampoo for everyone!" i remembered, they looked at me strangley and i sighed and rolled my eyes. i lifted my hand and closed my eyes, imagined water pooling around they're feet...
    "Hey!" Blake protested, i opened my eyes and smiled, just as i had imagined, water had pooled on the floor and soaked their feet. "there, automatic shower." i said with a smug smile. i turned around and walked towards the shampoo isle place, halfway there, i heard a noise. my heart accelerated and i spun, twisting in a move so fast it turned everything into a incomprehensible blur. "who's there?" i asked, another noise answered my question, i let my ears range outward and track the noise, fabric, brushing against itself...moving closer with every turn...
    a horrible shriek of rage broke my consentration.
    with a gasp, i opened my eyes and stumbled backward, a black shape flew into me, knocking me breathless. i pushed at the form, the thing snarled tearing and ripping whatever clothes i had on. with a terrible scream, i tore back, ripping pieces of its flesh away.
    it wasnt having that.
    it roared and slammed its hand across my face, beating into me like a punching bag. i screeched and wondered why no one had come to my rescue. fury reigned in my head, making me stronger. i flexed the muscle in my arm and, with a blood curdling shriek, hurled the creature off of me. i jumped up and wiped the blood from my face, i could now see, from the beam of the flashlight, that it was a creeper. big and strong looking. oddly, its black souless eyes reminded me of a mammoth. my jaw set and i inhaled deeply, feeling the heat crawl up my throat. i imagined a dragon, the fire burning out its mouth. the creeper must have sensed what i was about to do, because it blurred right out of my sight, slinking back into the darkness. i jerked downward and held the flashlight securley in my hand, willing my hands not to shake. "blake! Roger!" i screamed, no answer. "erin! francis!" this time i heard talking. i looked around me and realized i couldnt see my nose, i looked down and became paniced when i saw that i had become transluent, invisable. i closed my eyes and whispered, "body come back to me," and when i opened my eyes, i was visable. i screamed their names again and sighed in relief when they answered. "watch out! theres a-" something warm and long smacked into me, knocking me breathless once again. i gasped and tried to right myself, finding it hard to do so,in the middle of all of this, i heard a gun shot.i gasped. the human that was carrying me, i say human because creepers are ice cold and they would have finished me off by now, shushed me quietly. he ran into the dressing room and sat me down on the long bench.i waited for my eyes to adjust, eager to see who he was."who are you?" i asked, finally adjusting to the darkness. "jacoby, quiet." he told me. i smiled and ran through my mind, i had never known a jacoby before. "im zoey." i told him quietly. a small voice in my head warned me that i was dangerousley close to snapping from the stress. even in the darkness, his wide grin was visable. "i know." shock swam through me, not enough to make me ask though. i stood up and listened to the others call my name, sure now they were worried. i grabbed jacoby's hand and pulled him along with me, he tried to pull away but i wouldnt let him, my grip held firm. "Blake! Roger! Erin! Francis!" i called. i heard a familiar sigh of relief and felt warm arms wrap around me.
    i blushed.
    "b-blake?" i asked. he chuckled. "nope, just me." erin said. i groaned and pulled away. "you creep." i scolded him. suddenly, all the lights turned on, brightening the walmart's pale white walls. i squinted against the sudden brightness.
    we all stopped our complaining when all of the sudden, there was many horrible screams of agony. i twisted around to see the many mounds of flesh falling and burning from the metal banisters they were purched on.
    "common light does that to them?" i asked, bewildered. erin shrugged and turned his head slightly, shifting his gaze to francis, who was carring a more than twelve large plastic things. my brow furrowed, and, after what seemed like a while, i understood what he was carrying. inflatable matresses. i giggled, noticing how three pairs of eyes judged my sanity. four people were suddenly absent.
    "oh for craps sake! wheres carmen,tony,blake and roger?!" i nearly yelled, just then, roger jogged up, carrying a pale and bleeding blake on his back.
    "lets go!" he said. i snagged my bag and his from him and ran away from whatever terror had injured blake. "where's carmen and tony?!" i asked loudley, roger was gasping for air, no way could he answer me. the night engulfed us just then, darkness cascading around us like a black velvet curtain. i skidded to a stop and grabbed rogers arm.
    "let me carry him, im stronger than your average human." i gave roger a weak smile. he nodded and handed blake off to me, placing him on my back and taking the bags of stuff i was carrying. i could smell the heated blood pulsing from blake, it made my mouth water and my heart sing. i shook away the pleasent thoughts and focused on getting us home. i turned to roger once more, asking a vital question "what happened to carmen and tony?", roger sighed and his gaze touched on every one of us. "we heard you screaming and we tried to run to your rescue, but we saw tony's lifeless body being dragged away. so we ran to try and help, but we were too late. blake got enraged and attacked the creeper, thinking that maybe he could kill it i suppose, but the thing overpowered him and...i - i - i -..."he sighed again and pulled a gun from his pocket. " i killed it," he whispered. i stared at the gun for a long time, wanting to come to terms with what my mind wouldnt accept.
    "and...and carmen?" i asked, my voice shaking. he shook his head again. "there was no sign of her, im thinking she ran away..." i felt tears well in my eyes, i blinked hard to keep them at bay. i nodded and mourned silently for the loss of my friends. blake didnt come around until we were back at the sewar, i had laid him down in his room, the walls painted white, a light tan carpet laid down in the room. i shushed him gently and waited for erin and francis to finish blowing up the matresses. i laid him down and hated the way his body jerked when my touch left his body. "zoey..." he whispered, i sighed, feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders, and whispered, "yes? im here," he didnt reply, but it didnt take me long to figure out he was sleep talking. i sat there, waiting for him to say something else.
    he twitched restlessley and, with a sigh, he said, "i love you," i leaned away and blinked a couple times before i could manage to get up and walk from the room. i had only made it a few steps before i smacked into Jacoby, i only heard the silent whisper of my name before my head snapped up and smacked into his chin. "ow!" i whispered. he grunted in what i assumed was guy-english for agreeing with me.
    "i was looking for you," he said. i barked out a laugh and rubbed at my head. "well, you found me." i whispered.
    roger came by just then, looking tired and sad. "tony and carmens room is empty, so if you sophia and uh..."he tried to finish.
    "jacoby," jacoby introduced himself.
    "right, jacoby, if you guys want to share a room, go right ahead."
    i was eternally gratefull that it was very dimly lit, because i blushed a bright red and scowled.
    "i am not comfortable with that at all." we heard blake say, his voice weak but somehow managing to sound cold.
    "blake!" i said in surprise. he was limping towards us, his face still gaunt and pale. "oh my goodness! what are you doing out of bed!" i fretted, running towards him and slipping my arms around him to hold him up better.
    "i would prefer zoey and sophia stay with me, or alone." he said, i saw his eyes flicker towards jocoby, then away.
    "oh would you?" jacoby said, the testasterone was practically tangible in the air.
    "oh for craps sake! your both idiots!" i said humoressley. they slouched and muttered their "sorry's" i sighed and made a split second decision. "if your both so friggin fond of me, why dont we all share a room?" i smiled triumphantly, there was a uneasy silence, i was testing the air, the emotional climate. "look, jacoby, i barley know you, so uh, we'll see. blake, i know him from junior high," blake looked at me, his eyes sparkled. "you remember!" he said happily before a wracking cough overtook him. i gasped worriedly, "alright, im taking him back to my room, no questions asked," and with that, i walked a limping blake towards our new room.
    when i entered my room, i was surprised to see sophie making three beds, i paused to smile at the candles and book case she had single handedly set up.
    "oh sophia! you did a beautiful job!" i praised her. she smiled and jogged over to me, helping me with blake. we laid him down and he smiled at the both of us. "thank you," he whispered. sophia thanked him and walked over to the bookshelf and started to pick out a book but blake stopped her, "if you dont mind, sophie, i'd like to talk to your sister alone please." sophie spluttered and walked away. i didnt want to have this converstation. i was a big girl though, nineteen was a big girl right? i could deal with what ever he wanted to talk about.
    "stop worrying." blake told me. i ripped myself out of my rutt and smiled weakley, "i wasnt worrying," i lied.
    he smiled and shook his head, "you were biting your lip off with your eyes glued to the floor, you were worrying." he concluded. with a sigh, i sat down next to him and placed my hand on top of his.he twined our fingers together. i pinkened.
    "so what did you want to talk about?" i asked tentivley, trying not to let my voice quiver.
    blake smiled and the cocky grin i remembered from grade school spread across his face.
    "oh nothing really...just my undying annoyance with you." i could read in his eyes that he hoped i didnt notice the pause between his word undying and annoyance. it was clear in his eyes that he wanted to say something else, something quite the opposite of annoyance. i chewed on my cheek and cast my eyes downward. "zo?" he asked.i continued to stare at the floor like it held all the answers. he surprised me by taking my chin in his hand and lifting my face up so that i had no choice to look at him. my face felt really really hot.
    "your blushing fire, zoey, whats wrong?" he asked.
    "i heard you say you loved me in your sleep!" i blurted before slapping my free hand over my mouth and gasping.
    blakes face whent absoulutley white and then burned a brilliant scarlet. i almost laughed.
    why oh why, did he among other men, have to make things way more complicated than they needed to be? it was completley unnecassary for him to feel strongly for me. i mean, what had happened to make him see me in a different light? what had i done to make him supposedly love me?
    nothing at all. maybe it was just men in particular, always going for the female with the most to offer. then again, maybe it was my personality, the kind, big hearted, protective, artistic, strong, loyal person i was. my mom had brought me up right.
    a sudden pang of saddness had my eyes watering and my heart sore with grief.
    "um, i didnt know i talked in my sleep," blake said. he was staring at our inter twined fingers.
    "i wasnt the only one who heard you," i whispered, defensive. his eyes widened with shock and he grimaced.
    "who else?" he asked. i chewed on my lip, considering on whether to lie and tell him just sophie, or tell him that maybe it was obvious to anyone with two eyes and a brain.
    with a dramatic sigh, i told the truth.
    "well, blake, i dont mean to be rude, but its kinda obvious to anyone with a brain. and if thats not enough clarifacation for you, ask sophia, she heard you." i sucked in a huge breath and held it. i felt disconnected with my body, like my head was floating above my body, there was just too much going on to be worried about relationships.
    "do you love me?" he asked tentavly, unsure whether or not the question would provoke another episode of weirdom.
    i let my breath out in a gusty sigh and met his steady gaze.
    "i dont know," i told him honestly, my voice strong and sure. did i love him? i honestly didnt know. did i want to love him? again, i was unsure. i felt my brow furrow and my eyes drift towards the ceiling.
    Blake inhaled in a sharp gasp and i whipped my head around, prepared to comfort him or knock him out.
    he was closer than i expected.
    his face was no shorter than a centimeter from mine, his eyes were magical in the candle light. he breathed in slow and strong, his scent tainting the air around us. gently, he placed his hand on the nape of my neck and drew me closer, his lips parting ever so slightly.
    my breath caught in my throat, my heart kicked into fourth gear inside my chest, jackhammering until i was sure it would beat right through my chest. i tried to control my erratic berathing, i tried to look away, but my gaze was trapt inside his, a bird locked in the eyes of a snake.
    then, with the slightest touch, his lips met mine.
    he was still for a nano second, before pressing me closer and wrapping his free arm around my waist. there was the sweetest taste in the air, like something so delicious, it sang for you, i tried to think around our moving lips and figure out what that amazing scent was. i placed my hand on blakes neck and felt a warm wetness that instantly had all of my attention. i broke away from blake in a sharp gasp, falling backwards on my backside. i blinked, shocked and examined my hand.
    immediatly, i knew, that the hot, wet liqued on my hand was blood, blakes blood. it held a sweetness, a desire that was red hot, it made my vision blur and my heart sing. there was a hint of something nice and comforting in the blood, something i couldnt quite make out, something that, not normally, was tangible. i had the strongest urge to taste it.
    while i was oogling my bloody hand, blake had sat up straight and a dazzling smile had lit his face.
    he watched me stare at my hand, bloody and delicious, until realization sunk in. his face went somber, calm, he took the hand that was not bloodified and drew me up onto the air matress. i sucked in a stuttered breath and met his heady gaze.
    "you want it," he said simply. unable to speak, i nodded. he did not look repulsed, instead, he looked calm, deciesive.
    blake smiled, a gentle smile that met his eyes and broke my heart. "alright," he whispered. my body locked into place, freezing like an ice cube. i tried not to breath, knowing that if i inhaled i would be drawn to the magical scent enaminating from him. he didnt notice my hesitation, he only took my hand and unfroze me.
    "drink," he ordered. i couldnt help it, i exhaled and the amazing scent filled my senses. i touched the tip of my tounge to the scratch on his neck and he shuddered. his arms locked around my waist and pulled me closer to him. i enveloped my mouth onto his neck and drew my tounge along the length of his wound, immediatly, more blood started to ooze into my mouth, the taste was like fire, a delicious fire that exploded in my mouth. waves of pleasure washed over me and pulled me closer to him. i drank in an eager rush, moaning in joy when he pressed my head closer to his neck. i tried to pull away, but he held me closer, rocking against me. i felt warm, like i was taking a long hot bath. i pulled away with much more force than necassary and landed on my bottom, again. blake slumped and fell back onto his bed, his body going limp.
    "blake!" i squealed, jumping up and holding his face between my hands. i could see that i had taken too much from him, his face was pale. it was then that i noticed how his heartbeat mirrored my own, we breathed in at the exact same moment, i could feel the love he had for me, how it made his heart beat strong, how i alone willed him to live.
    tears watered my eyes. i was with him now? like, bonded? we were bonded. the happiness that broke my dark cloud, felt like nothing else. i smiled and bent down, and gently kissed blake on his forehead.
    "i love you," i said, affection saturating my voice. with a sigh, i scooted him over gently and lay down beisde him. i wrapped my arm around his waist and smiled.
    before i succumbed to the sleep that wanted to overtake me, sophie walked into the room. she gasped and i opened my eyes, she had placed a large black door over our hidey hole. she jumped over to me and smiled hugley.
    "oh my goshness! are you two like, together?" she asked, i chuckled softly and carressed her cheek.
    "your big sis finally found somebody." i told her simply. she smiled and blew out all the candles before hopping into her bed and falling asleep.
    i took a deep breath and closed my eyes, thinking of how the glory of first love, sometimes led to greater things.

    my eyes fluttered open and i sighed, there was no sign of what time of day it was, only the little fixture of candle light sophia had lit. blake was still asleep, his breathing was slow and even. i snuggled closer to him.
    "goodmorning," he whispered. i let out a unattractive yelp and jumped.
    "you scared me!" i told him. i seen him smile in the weak light. i studied him carefully. not wanting to jostle him in the slightest, i shimmied out of the blow-up-matress and chewed on my lip, was he well enough?his smile grew larger and he sat up, wincing ever so slighlty."blake! stop! you need to heal..." i said softly, my hands fluttering around like an imbecile. he tugged his shirt down and showed me the puckered pink line that was all that was left of the wound the creeper had inflicted on him. i gasped and stumbled backwards."your...your healed!" i sputtered. he smiled gently and carresed my cheek. "because of you, you drank from me and it healed me." he said indifferently. i frowned and stood up straight, aggravated with myself, i left the room. "zoey!" he called after me, probably getting up to chase after me, instead of confronting him and being a big girl, i picked up my pace and flew down the hall/sewar. a sudden though and impulse had my hands on the wall of the sewar and my mind conjuring up any kind of earth spirit thing i could think of. i thought of a room, filled with the beauty of the earth,, flowers springing up and greeting you with their bright colors. i mentally shoved and there was a loud groan, coming from the earth.
    the wall in front of me moved.
    so i did what any teenage girl would do, i let out my best scared-out-of-her-wits- girl scream and jerked backwards.
    "whats wrong!?" i heard many voices yelling, "what was that?" someone else asked. i was panting, my heart was like a jackhammer inside my chest, beating like helicopter blades.
    curiosity led me forward, leading me back to the dent, pressing my hands against the wall. i mentally shoved again and was prepared for the wall to move.
    the shift was bigger, it was like i had taken a wrecking ball and pounded right through the concrete, there, in its place, was a huge room, decorated in smiling daisies.
    "daisies?" i whispered to myself. i shook my head and pushed the curiosity away and consentrated.
    i thought of fire and let my mind reach out, picking the right spots to let wood jutt through the earthy wall and burn, instead, several mounds of wood sprouted up from the ground and caught fire, igniting the room in a glow that could only be described as nautral.
    i heard several gasps of wonder, someone took my hand.
    i glanced up and was shocked to see jacoby, looking strong and fierce, shocked into silence from what i'd done. i was focused on his glorius face, now visable in the light, he had dark brown hair, medium length, wavy, his eyes were a dark brown, they reminded me of chocolate. his skin was a healthy peach, the muscles in his torso were greatly visable thanks to the wife beater he wore. i had never seen anyone more handsome in entire life. he turned towards me and a smile lit his face."you did this?"he asked, curiousity and enwonderment filling his exspressive eyes. i nodded and he grinned, squeezing my hand gently. "what is this!" i heard a shrill voice demand. i immediatly knew who it was, suzanne. "who did this s**t!" she shrieked, her voice sending an automatic wave of irritation through me. with a sigh, i turned around and faced her.
    "i did," i said proudley. her eyes narrowed and she scowled in real hatred. "i should have known," she hissed seethingly. i payed no attention to the way her thin lips moved or the way her fishy green eyes examined mine, i focused on the pulsing black ora enaminating from her, lifting her hair slightly and making her eyes glow. there was a loud murmur growing within the crowd, suzannes eyes narrowed and her hands balled into fists. "silence!" she yelled, her voice a splintering snarl. the entire room quieted and there was a slight movement, like someone was trying to get through the tightly packed crowd.
    "liam?" suzanne asked softly, her voice saturated with a kindness that i had never heard before in her voice. she turned expectantly towards the gap forming in the crowd and beckoned the man named liam forward.
    then, with a fluid movement, the blonde man was through the crowd, his bright blue, like highlighter blue, eyes examined me and studied my body.
    i felt ice pool in my stomach.
    i knew him, i swear, the sense of familiarty was so strong i couldnt bear it. i stared at him, puzzling over who he was...
    "hello, zoey." he murmured. the ice locked around my heart. suddenly, the room around me started to blurr, like an earthquake was rumbling inside me. i felt my heart stop beating...the memory hit me so hard it knocked me over, smacking my head aginst the hard floor and making the room go black.

    i walk down the left side of the apartment buldings, my favorite side because of the scenery. i humm maddona's like a virgin to myself and snap my fingers.the smell of apple pie is heavy in the air, it smells like home. my grandma used to make me a coconut cream pie every birthday and she would by these special candles that never blow out. she used to tell me, "life is a gift, you can never fail at it, even if you mess up, it doesnt mean your a failure, we're human, we are bound to mess up, thats why god loves us." thinking of her makes my heart throb, i miss her so much. i stumble, loosing my balance and falling over. "ow!" i say, sighing and looking up at the starry sky. i see a bright twinkling star and think its my grandma, smiling down on me from up in heaven or the sky. there is a slight chuckle from my watcher. i inhale in a gasp and clutch my throat with both hands.
    a long white hand reached out in help.
    "need a hand?" a sensual voice asked. i shiver in response and take the hand, he surprise's me by jerking me upward and pulling me into his body.
    "oh!" i gasp, the cold chill oozing from his body enveloping me in a cold mist. i shudder and try and move away from him. he only clutches me closer, my stomach squeezes painfully. he inhales deeply and his nose trails along my neck. "you smell...lucious...almost like...an ocean breeze, or japanese blossoms..." he whispered. there was a strange feeling in my veins, like the adrenaline wants to pulse through but there is no fear. i close my eyes tightly and pray to whoever was out there to save me. i hear him inhale deeply and his mouth open. i whimper when he kisses down my neck, i do not want this. his mouth opens wider and i feel a slight p***k on my neck. the pain is bewildering, i spin around and run, hauling a** in the direction of the confusing greely forest. i can hear him following me, im faster than him though, my feet are like air, blurring with there speed. i break into a long oval shapped field and inhale in a shocked gasp.i trail my fingers over the high swaying grass, the dew dampening my hands and the moon's pale light washing over my skin. i look around a smile to myself gazing around at the jade oasis. how beautiful, i think to myself. suddenly, i hear a twig crack behind me. i gasp and spin around, facing the unknown threat.
    dammit, i think to myself. my heart is crashing in my chest. i hear the bushes behind me move then a silent breathing.i cant think, i cant breath.instinct takes over, i burst into a flat out sprint, shooting across the field in a blur. i can hear the strangers fast following footsteps, i push my self faster in response.
    "wait!!!" he calls, i shake my head. is he crazy?does he really belive im going to wait?god no. not another loon.im slowing, my legs ache and my lungs begg for a break. i groan and let the thrill of adrenaline and life preservation push me to my limits. but it just isnt enough. he grabbs my shirt and tackles me to the ground, pinning me there. "no!"i shriek. i strain my neck just far enough and digg my teeth into his hand. he let out a howl of pain and releases my torso. i squirm and writh for freedom, jerking around while he struggles to hold me down. i wouldnt allow it. i scream in defience and his bright blue eyes stare down at me, their depths full of emotion, im blown away by the brightness of his eyes until he draws his hand back and shoots it out across the right side of my face. im shocked by the blow, at first there is no pain but then i feel it, pulsing waves of fire shooting across my face.black circles are filling my vision, i still struggle, feebly, weakly to hurt him,to make him let me go.he knows im slowly going under, yet there is a sharp pain on my neck, like being pricked with a needle, my head swims. "im sorry..." he mutteres. those are the last words i hear before i succumb to the blank nothingness.

    there was talking, voices whispering in the background of my mind. i try to push them away and keep my mind blank. the horrorfying thoughts were still swarming in my head like a bunch of angrey bee's. i try to consentrate on the voices, matching the words and sound of the voice with my memory of the people i know. i heared sophias voice, loud and clear, then blakes, jacoby, bell, erin, francis, suzanne and...
    theres one voice that i couldnt match, llike my head refused to build it up, put the last puzzle peice together.
    i recalled my dream in a sudden blur, the voice, the chill, the hands, the scent...
    liam was the one who turned me.
    a wave of sensual pleasure washed over me just then, so strong that i had to pry my eyes open and gasp aloud.
    "zoey!" i heared multiple voices start in surprise. i sat up and rubbed at my temple, i could feel a serious stress head ache coming on. my friends were chattering, sounding more like bee's than people. i opened my eyes and my head spun, the room around me swirled. i groaned and stood up, pushing away any hands that tried to help me up. when i opened my eyes, i saw only one face. his blue eyes held mine with a gravitational pull, i felt my feet move forward without me willing them to do so, they walked steadily to liam, my gaze never leaving his. i was not two inches from him now, i couldnt feel my heart in my chest. there was no pulse to guide me. we stared at eachother, i could feel the happiness enaminating from him, like a tangible smile.
    "i didnt know if you had made it." he whispered before pulling me into a tight hug. i did not pull away, the instinct was to strong. my arms wrapped around his cold broad shoulders and held him tighter. he picked me up and swung me in a circle. i could feel the icy stares like daggers in my back, bringing me back from cloud nine and into the present. with a sigh, i turned around and walked back to the group. the weirdest stares came from jacoby and blake, both looking kinda mad but utterly defeated. i walked over to each of them and hugged them tight, kissing their cheeks and holding both their hands in my own. they stood strong and tall by my side, unworried and un afraid of the future that awaited them. the crowd began to dispurse and leave, going their own way. i squeezed blake and jacoby's hands and smiled, "im going to go wash up, ill be right back." i whispered. they nodded and i walked away, feeling their worried stares on my back like a "kick me," note.