Richard Crenshaw was possibly the most annoying creature on the planet. More annoying than the fly that you can never see but constantly flies past your ear. He had the attention span of a three year old and didn’t take anything seriously. He reminded me of my best friend Jacob.
“Jake, calm down for five seconds” I said, watching him bound around for no apparent reason.
“One, two, three, four, five. Okay, come on, let’s go!” Jake shouted, his tongue practically hanging out of the side of his mouth.
“Where are we going? Seriously, calm”.
“Fletch, it’s your twenty-first! Where do you think we’re going?”
“Yeah, only problem is you’re nineteen. If you get into a bar it’ll be a miracle”.
“Aw, c’mon, man! Just buy some beers from the store and we’ll drink ‘em at your place. I’ll only have a couple, scouts honour”.
I sighed. When Jake wanted something and he was this excited, there was no stopping him. We headed to the store and bought some beers. Jake had always been a hit with the ladies. At that very point in time he had two Sophomore girls flirting with him. He always said it was his shaggy brown hair and his hyper personality but we both knew it was his athletic build. We got back to my place and had a beer each. Jake had a few too many and ended up snoozing on my couch. That’s the last memory I have of Jake. It’s the only memory I have of Jake. And no matter what I refuse to forget him.
“Fletch, come on, man. It’s time to go” Richard said.
Richard was the spitting image of his sister, apparently. He had a soft heart shaped face and fair hair. I looked at myself in the mirror again. The suit Lilith had supplied was a perfect fit and seemed familiar somehow. Richard or similar and hovered by the motel door impatiently.
“Don’t… Don’t call me Fletch, okay?” I said, the name bringing up the pains of missing memories.
“Kay, man. Big day, huh? I gotta say, I thought Pop was gonna marry Ells off to some rich square but you’re pretty cool”.
I sighed again. The idea of killing an innocent sickened me but I had to do it for Hallie’s sake. The fact that Richard reminded me of Jake made it all the worse. I felt if I spent enough time with Richard I’d remember something about Jake. I’d be happy with his last name or even the colour of his eyes. Each time I thought of Jake his eyes were a different colour. I couldn’t remember what colour they were to save my life, pardon the expression. Richard drove me to the small chapel. Elli and her friends had arranged everything and her father, Henry, had saved no expense. The friends and relatives started to arrive and Richard stayed by me the whole time. I caught sight of Hallie but was led off to meet someone by Richard. He was a stout gentleman with a shining bald head who just so happened to be Richard’s uncle, Alfie. Began asking me a series of uncomfortable questions but was cut short by the sound of an organ. Richard dragged me back to the altar and hovered next to me as a best man should. I stood in thought for a moment and the next thing I knew Elli was stood beside me, a shy smile pressed on her lips. I took in her face. Personally, I would say she looked more like Richard than he looked like her. The vicar spoke in a dry monotone and I couldn’t pay attention to him. Being in such an enclosed space with so much fresh blood… I cleared my head, focused on the vicar. I listened to him drone for a while and realised it was my time to speak.
“I, Fletcher Thomas Pope, take thee, Elli Adeline Crenshaw, to be my lawful wedded wife”.
Saying my old name in full seemed familiar somehow. The whole event seemed familiar. I spoke my vows with precision, as did Elli, and I was married.
The reception passed as a blur. Various Texan men slapped me on the back with the strength of a vampire and I began to wonder. The sight of Hallie, however, was enough to wash away all my suspicions. I could see she had been hurt but she was coping well. Either that or Ren had doped her up on pain medication. She sat at a table with Ren’s blonde assistant. I found myself walking over to them.
“Hallie, would you like to dance?” I asked, holding out my hand.
“Whatever. I don’t care. Just don’t make Ren mad” the blonde said with utter disinterest.
I led Hallie to the dance floor. She leant her head against my shoulder as we began to dance. Something smelt different about her. For starters, her scent didn’t mess with my venom glands. But there was definitely something different.
“How are you?” I asked, still wondering why everything seemed so familiar.
“I’m fine, you don’t have to kill her, you know” Hallie said. Her voice was as soft as I remembered yet it didn’t hold the sway of before.
“Unfortunately, if I don’t the twins will kill you. If you die as a human you wont come back”.
“They wont kill me. They said themselves that they need me alive because I’m the only one who can take down The Union”.
I sighed. Was all this about The Union? Lilith had always had a strange way of thinking but this was a little extreme.
“I feel like I’ve robbed something from you. This should be your wedding” I said softly.
“So marry me later. When I’m like you”.
“If I could marry you, I would”.
“Why can’t you?”
“Who do you know that will marry the dead?”
I didn’t pay attention to Hallie’s response. Everything seemed so familiar because I’d been here before. Not this exact location but marriage. It was the second time I’d spoken my vows and it was the second reception I’d attended as groom. At least this time it seemed to be more in my favour. First time round I had found my best man, and best friend, sharing saliva with my bride in plain sight. Jake. Shaggy brown haired, green-eyed Jake stole my wife on our wedding day. On the day of my death. I sighed again.
“Hallie, you smell different today”.
“It’s just the vampire in me”.
“No, you smell different. I…I don’t love you today” I said and broke away from Hallie as the song ended.
The only thing in the room that I loved at that point was the scent of my new wife’s blood. Perhaps killing her wouldn’t be so difficult. I headed over to her, a slight spring in my step, and wrapped an arm around her waist.
We stumbled into a luxury hotel suite, the scenery a blur around us. We kissed countless times. Passion raged through her blood, strengthening the scent of it. It was all I could do not to rip out her throat and gorge myself on her blood. The next thing we knew, we were on the bed, a mass of kissing and undressing. And that’s when I saw it. The animalistic glee in her eyes at the thought of a feast. She was no innocent human girl. She was a vampire, and an old one at that.
“I understand you’re here to kill me” she said, determination heavy in her voice.
“And you’re here to kill me”.
“So we make a deal. Neither of us leaves until the other is dead”.
“Have you ever been in love?” I asked. Ignoring an Elder was madness in its own right but the heady scent of the fresh blood pumping around her was making me arrogant.
“Once” she said, slipping out from underneath me and sitting on the edge of the bed. She was utterly distracted.
“Then you know what I’m going through. I’m only here because of love”.
“Vampires can’t love”.
“Yes they can. That girl I danced with at the wedding, I’ve been in love with her for about half a year”.
“You’re just in love with her blood. We are a hollow species, we do not feel. That is what makes us such efficient hunters”.
“If I was only in love with her blood would she still be alive? And I’d have nothing to gain by drinking her blood. She isn’t exactly human”.
This seemed to catch Elli’s attention. “Is she a wolf? I was in love with a wolf but Daddy and Richard weren’t too happy about it”.
“Is Henry really your father? And Richard your brother?”
“Yeah. Daddy was turned by Massia so he has a regal bloodline and Mother was turned by a pureblood. Turns out if you have a pure enough bloodline you can still have children”.
“A pure bloodline…”
“Why do you ask? Your girl’s not a pureblood, is she?”
“I…I’m not sure. Her mother was bitten by Azarius and as a result Hallie was born a half-blood”.
“Azarius, that’s Massia’s brother, isn’t it?”
“So the legend says. It’s purely legend, though. I’m rather acquainted with Massia. Azarius is her husband, not her brother”.
“Your girl Hallie must be around eighteen by now” Elli said, casting her gaze out of the window.
“Yeah, in a couple days”.
Something outside had her even more distracted than our conversation. She was facing on a cluster of trees. Whatever was there had really caught her attention.
“Love is a lie.” She said as I was about to stand up, “It’s not the tender feeling we’re led to believe it is, it’s the fear of someone dying. In a few minutes it’s going to snow. You’ll pull yourself away from this room, after taking some blood from me, and will make it to those trees in time to see her die” Elli said without looking at me.
As if on cue, a light dusting of snow drifted down the window. Elli held out her arm for me to drink from. I latched on to her forearm but didn’t take much. I wasn’t hungry.
“Mother was a witch princess and a prophetess before she was a vampire. I guess I inherited some of her gift. You’re wondering why you’ve been starving yourself this long. It’s because you really are in love with Hallie. You’ve forged a bond so strong that you can subconsciously predict her future. Her body knew she was going to die, as did yours, and your body began to punish itself for letting that happen. Now, get out there and save her” Elli said, and I jumped through the window.