Hours rolled into days. Days rolled into weeks. Weeks rolled into months. Before I knew it, two months had gone by. Each day my relationship with Aya got worse until it got to the point that the two of us in the same room for a prolonged period of time was almost a death sentence. A death sentence for the people around us. Aya wasn’t the thing pressing on my mind today, though. Today, October 5th, meant it was exactly three months ‘til my eighteenth birthday, three months until I would forever be a vampire by no choice of my own. None of the vampires knew the exact date of my birthday, just that it was in January. Sure I’d told them when it was but none of them had been paying much attention at the time. At least, not as far as I knew. They all seemed pretty calm about what was happening to me. My dependence on food had lessened during the last two months and I’d had to partake in a few feeding sessions with Tawny and Morrigan. It wasn’t the thought of surviving on blood that chilled me. In fact, I’d always had somewhat of a fascination with blood. While everyone else tastes iron and sourness in their blood, all I ever tasted was salt. Perhaps salt is all vampires taste in blood, not a series of pleasurable tastes like the movies and books say. There would be no point asking any of the others about it, they all managed to dodge any questions I asked with the same line. “You’ll find out soon enough”. It was the thought of having to kill another person to survive that chilled me. But I suppose over the years I could learn to live with it, harden my emotions against things like that.
I sat at the dining table, feet on the table, fingers tapping against the smooth wooden arm of the chair. I tilted my feet slightly and glared. Sat opposite me through “sheer accident” was Aya, discontent playing across his face. Today was the day the vampires and I shared a meal of real food to keep up the façade of being human in front of the hermit. If the hermit was happy, surely I should be happy too. The vampires, excluding Aya, ate meekly and in silence. Tension between Aya and myself gathered like thick storm clouds above our heads. Even the air was charged, sharp as a knife and I could feel it prickling against my skin. I moved my feet to cover his face again and the tension seemed to die down a little. Morrigan put down her knife and fork and licked her ruby lips.
“Hallie, why don’t you eat something?” she asked nervously.
“I’m not hungry” it came out cold. I hadn’t meant for it to sound like that.
“She’s hungry for something else” Aya said almost smugly.
Before anyone knew what happened, I was stood on the table. Then I was marching down the long panel of wood. I stood in front of Aya.
“Something you want to say?” I said. It wasn’t a question.
“Ooh, I’m scared. What are you going to do to me, human?” he asked sarcastically. Lately, if ever we had to address one another, I became “human” and he became “you”.
An evil smile spread across my face. Aya had no idea what I could do. My right hand grabbed his throat. He looked puzzled and laughed. The joke was on him, though. He laughed until he realised he was suspended in mid-air.
“I’m getting stronger each day. So in three months time you better watch out because on January 5th, my birthday, I am going to rip you to shreds” I said and dropped him.
Unfortunately I hadn’t been able to lift him high enough to cause any physical damage when he landed but his confidence must have taken a beating. After all, I wasn’t Hallie the weakling human anymore. I was Hallie the half-blood, who got stronger every day and could probably have taken on a vampire in a month or two. Whether she’d win or not would be a whole other story but that was who I was now.
“Hallie, can you come down off the table” Fang said calmly.
I looked round at him. He was standing, offering a hand up to me. I ignored his hand, making my own way down, and he led me out of the room.
“Hallie, is there something wrong between Ayumu and yourself?” Fang asked.
“So you’re finally picking up on it, huh?”
Fang sighed. He was always so calm about everything. It was almost annoying that he was so calm.
“Let me guess, you’re going to tell me to apologise and make up with him?” I asked a little too rudely for my own liking.
“No. I want you to ignore him. Everyone’s a little jumpy around you anyway but it doesn’t make things any better by almost starting a war when you’re in the same room as Ayumu”.
“Why… why is everyone jumpy around me?” all the anger drained out of me. I was right. They were afraid of me.
“Well, I don’t know how to put this lightly but… Lately, and we think it’s as an effect of the change happening to you, you’ve been having mood swings. It’s mainly anger we see from you now. The smallest little thing seems to set you off” Fang’s voice was calm and gentle.
He was trying not to provoke me. And that hurt me. That the person who loved me feared me at the same time was too much. It was all I could do to break down and cry. I clung to Fang like some kind of human octopus. And it was all he could do to hold me, comfort me while the tearless sobs rattled through me. And when my absent tears were done he calmed my nerves with his soothing voice. His scent washed over me and I found myself stood on my toes. The top of my head could just about reach his jaw. He really was tall. He had me in a hug, still trying to make me feel better. And then I kissed him.