"So this is the clearing?" breathed Linnea, her eyes wide as she looked about the simple, two lane backroad.
I nodded, watching her curious, frightened face. "You've never left the woods before?" I asked gently.
Silently, she shook her head, still absorbing the newness and the strangeness of it all. A noisy old pick-up whizzed by, and Linnea screamed, clutching at my arm as she hid behind me, peering over my shoulder in terror. "It's alright," I soothed her, not sure what else to say or do. Something crunched in the woods, and I peered over my shoulder, watching.
Linnea looked at me curiously, but didn't say anything. I was glad she did. "We should start walking. A town should be near somewhere-I am not exactly sure where we are right now." I quickly said, beckoning for us to start going. I was anxious-we had spent enough time already.
"Okay," she said, still uneasy as she followed me up the side of the road.
"Would you rather walk in the edge of the woods instead?" I offfered, looking towards the sinking sun. It would be dark soon, and I was getting hungry.
"No, no, no," urged Linnea, her curiousity obviously getting the best of her.
I looked at her warily, but continued walking, the dryad-girl still close by my side. Another truck passed, yet Linnea didn't react as badly as the first time, only flinching slightly as it drove by. "Are humans in those odd machines?" she asked, her pretty voice rich with interest and intrigue.
"Yes," I explained. "They direct the machines on where to go and how fast to go. It's called driving."
"Oh," she gazed at the road, amazed.
There was silence for a moment, crickets humming in the woods. It seemed to calm her, her eyes closing for a moment and her cherry red lips turning in a smile. She opened her eyes, the green in them especially brilliant, as she grinned happily at me.
I returned the smile as we continued to walk briskly. "Have you ever seen a human before, Linnea?" I asked after a few moments.
Her eyes darkened, as if storm clouds blurred her vision. The smile slipped from her face as she turned it away from mine. "Once before." she whispered so quietly I barely heard.
I decided not to prod, looking over my shoulder as a sleek black car was speeding up the road like a racecar behind us. I quickened my pace as it was slowing down up by us, it's tinted windows hidding the driver's face. "What's going on?" Linnea hastened her speed to stay at my side.
I didn't reply as the car came to a stop by our side, the driver's side window rolling down. "Where a you headed?" a smooth, musical voice inquired, vivid and rich like a well tuned instrument.
"Not sure," I replied curtly, looking into the face of a striking, youthful man with odd, mystifying bronze eyes. "Where's the nearest town?"
"Your heading to it-StillWaters," he answered slyly. "That's where I'm heading. Need a ride? It'll take you all night to reach StillWaters by foot like that, you know."
I could feel Linnea close behind me, glancing over my shoulder again. "Thank you, but no-," I began tersely, looking further down the road. My heart lurched into my throat. A tall, dark shadow stood at the end of it, and I knew exactly who it was.
"C'mon, I don't bite," urged the stranger playfully, his strange eyes twinkling as if something was incredibly funny.
I looked anxiously at the shadow of the vampire, starting to sprint down the street. My heart was thumping in my head and I could feel the jewel in my fist bizarrely pumping in my hand as well. I took a quick glance at the bronze-eyed man and his speedy sportscar. I didn't like the feeling about him. I didn't like this.
But it was our only choice of getting away. It was our get-away car.
"Alright. Linnea, get in," I said, anxious, opening the back door for her. The unusual man seemed suprised at my change of attitude and answer, but I didn't care. Linnea paused, looking at me, incredulous. "Come on, Linnea, please. Trust me." I pleaded softly. I was asking her to trust me, and at the moment, I didn't trust myself with this choice.
Apprehensive, she did as was told, her eyes still met with mine as she crept into the backseat of the strange car. Still watching the vampire bolting up the road with amazing speed, I shut the door behind her, running to the other side of the car, and sliding in myself.
Before I could snap my seatbelt on, the stranger hit the gas, lurching Linnea and I back in our seats. Carefree, he turned to look at me, with his charming, yet freakish, smile, "To StillWater, then?"
I just then realized what he was. His ageless face, his handsome, bizarre bronze eyes, and just about everything else about him.
I felt like screaming.