I knocked twice on the tall wooden door to a small suburban cottage, with flowers lining the garden path and a lawn with a great need for a rake. I was under its overhanging porch, and I felt nervous having my weight supported by the rotten looking wood.
I didn’t have to wait long, as the door swung open moments later to reveal a rather pleasurable picture. He was human, if the beating heart was anything to go by, and had dark brown curls framing a perfectly masculine face. He wasn’t bad, for a human, and a charming smile that made his face even more breathtaking welcomed me.
I blinked, and then said in an uncertain voice, “Tristen I presume?” No, I had no idea who this Tristen was and why he knew Kaya’s or my own names, but I was here to find out. I could hear half a dozen other beating hearts inside the innocent looking house, and I felt my face stiffen. Even if they were humans, if they had guns with silver bullets or many sharp wooden sticks, I didn’t have a chance.
“Yes, Tristan would be I, my dear relative. Care to come inside?” His voice was as pleasant as his face, and I was starting to think he was almost too good to be true. “I can warm up a bottle of lamb’s blood especially for you, while I explain the rather... abrupt call.” I glanced over his shoulder, but couldn’t see anything but a long hallway covered in rose wallpaper. Maybe later I would doubt my sanity when I decided to enter, but the one small word ‘relative’ had transfixed me beyond return.
“I expect you plan to explain the ‘Relative’ part in that sentence as well.” I tried to make my voice indifferent, but I don’t think I quite pulled it off. Right after I had received the phone call from Kaya about her intruder, I had found a small letter with an address on it outside my door. The fact that had brought me running had been that it was the address of my old home, the one I had been living in when I was alive. He was either very lucky or knew a bit too much about me for my liking. Not to mention he knew about vampires.
He smiled and said matter-of-factly, “of course.” He led me down the narrow corridor and then turned into what I guessed to be the living room. Just before I walked through the doorway I hastily dropped the mobile I had been clutching to when I had run over here. The overly expensive lump of plastic hit the floor with a thump, and I immediately bent down to pick it up. That evasive move was probably the most basic to make when walking into a room of people who may, or may not want to kill you, but from experience it actually worked. None of the six lounging people moved as the impact seemed to echo in my heightened hearing, and no knives flew overhead in a flashing blur. Ok, so they didn’t want to kill me or capture me without a little chat first; that was always a plus.
I gave my mysterious ‘relative’ an apologising half smile before shoving it into my pocket. I kept my hands loose at my sides in case things got active, and didn’t blink as all six pairs of eyes fixed on me. If it was true that eyes were windows to the soul, then some came with tinted glass. You know the annoying type that lets the people inside see outside, but doesn’t let you see them as they spy on you. I had come across this ‘blankness’ in most vampires’ eyes, but these were the first humans that I had ever encountered with it. Unease spread through me as I met the eyes of two small women and four men. They were all within twenty to forty and relatively good looking, but were normal as far as I could tell.
I felt oddly vulnerable as I stood under their scrutiny and switched to staring at a deformed painting on the wall instead of their eyes, trying to decipher whether it was a tiger or a face. I mutely nodded to each of them as Tristan told me their names, not even remembering the last one.
Once he finished I gave him a meaningful look and said dryly, “well, as much as I enjoy being introduced to your delightful friends, I would like you to explain why you need help, and why you consider yourself my ‘relative’.” He glanced around his group and then met my steely grey stare with determination.
“Well... my full name is Tristan McFuller, and my mom is your sister’s daughter. Meaning you’re my grand aunt.” I blinked. I really should have checked up on my family tree sooner rather than later. Now that I looked closely, he was very similar to my dear little sister. From when she was younger that is. His glossy, curly brown hair was just like hers, and his chocolate eyes just as beautiful. I felt a sharp stab of pain at the memory and grimaced.
I tuned my face into an expressionless mask again and said in a voice just as unreadable, “ok, so say I believe you and was willing to help you, what do you want and why do you know about vampires?” I wasn’t going to take it at face value though; some very hard core research was needed.
“Because we aren’t human either; we’re Werewolves.”