"Didn't anyone teach you not to play with your food?" a male voice said.
Tawny froze, as did I. One of the 'statues' moved and stood infront of Tawny. His tall, skinny frame towered over her and made her seem like a child.
"She smells good. Very... fresh," he said, licking his lips, "Mind if I join you?"
"Ofcourse you can smell fresh blood on her, she just fed" Tawny said defiantly.
"She fed in the mansion? I hope you stuck to the rules".
"Didn't spill a drop".
The tall man turned his head towards me. His face was still silhouetted, as if he was wearing a thick black veil.
"No, that... that can't be freshly consumed blood. It couldn't have gotten into her veins that fast. You're up to something, Tawny".
"Is your nose not working, Kyo? You must be able to smell the venom on her".
The man leant forward, craning his neck over Tawny's shoulder.
"I think she got her priorities mixed up. It smells like she was trying to turn them, not drain them. So who is she anyway?"
I could see his face now. His hair was dark violet and longer on one side. His eyes were purpley-blue and by generic standards he was pretty good looking. He wasn't too thin and his jawline was beautiful. He could easily have made a model. What am I talking about? He said I smelt fresh. That sounds kind of pervy. What does that even mean anyway?
"She's my cousin. From another clan" Tawny said.
"How can you be sure she's your cousin?"
This guy seemed to be nothing but questions. And he made Tawny nervous. If he made Tawny nervous, how was I supposed to feel? Tawny stood up against Ayumu the serial killer while I lay helplessly asleep. For the most part anyway.
"I can smell Colette's venom on her".
A look of understanding spread across this guy's face. It then changed to a look of almost sympathy before he said "Nice".
Tawny made an effort to duck past him with me in tow but he stepped infront of her.
"It's nearly dawn, Tawny".
"I'll be fine".
She pushed past him and led me out of the front doors. Thick, oak double doors, I might add. Didn't that guy say it was nearly dawn? Oh no, Dad's gonna kill me! Wait, what day is it? Thursday. That's okay, then, calm down Hallie. Dad will still be at the hospital. He probably wont be back home till saturday. Evidently Tawny had been through my stuff because she seemed to know where I lived. That's a pretty big thing since nobody knows where I live. Sometimes I even forget where I live. I let her drag me along, clutching my clothes and bag 'til the sun crept up over the horizon and the brilliant sunlight slowly filtered through the tall trees.
Tawny had pulled me to my door and was sat on the doorstep with her hands clamped over her face.
"Are you okay?" I asked, unlocking the door.
"I'm... I'm fine, I just... I just need to get out of the light".
I pushed open the door and she scurried inside like a cockroach. It's not so nice calling someone who saved you life a cockroach. Wait, when did I decide she saved my life?
She opened the closet under the stairs and slipped inside, shutting the door behind her to seal off any light. I waited a few minutes but she didn't come out so, even though it was way too early, I started getting ready for school. After a couple hours Tawny's voice came quietly out of the closet.
"Hallie, do you have any sunglasses?"
"Just... can I borrow them?"
I ran upstairs, grabbed my shades from my desk and sprinted back down to Tawny. She put them on and slowly came out of the closet.
"Some ice would be good too".
"What do you want with it?"
"Just the ice".
I gave her the ice cube tray from our ancient, barely works anymore freezer and watched her slip a cube under the shades.
"I don't do too good with the sunlight. You don't want to see what's under here" she said, putting a half-melted, bloodied ice cube back in the tray.
"I don't think I do. Why did you stay out there if you knew that was going to happen?"
"I had to get you home safely. If you didn't live in the middle of nowhere it wouldn't have taken so long".
"Oh. I'm sorry".
"Don't apologize. It's not your fault. I just didn't think the sun would rise so fast".
Tawny had taken another two ice cubes and they'd both been returned to the tray, half-melted and covered with blood.
The journey to school was a lot more interesting with Tawny tagging along but the shades stayed glued to her face. She complained about my wearing of stripes; a black and white t-shirt, and kept talking about 'Fang' and 'Lille'. She mentioned Morrigan and Ayumu a couple times but what she said didn't make any sense to me. By the time we reached the main part of town it was half-full with the daily routiners. I could reel off each and every one but there was one that always intrigued me. His name was Nate Rutherford, and each day he would change one part of his routine. Monday he would buy a donut instead of a pancake, Tuesday he'd walk to wherever he went instead of taking the bus, Wednesday he always wore a red tie and a black shirt, Thursday he always wore surfer style jewellery and gave a smile to anyone who took the time to say "hi" and on Friday he'd be a bit of a recluse. Saturday I had labeled Mystery Day because each week he would change a different thing and it seemed to be like a regeneration process. Then on Sunday the whole regime would start again in the form of a pancake eating, pinstripe suited young guy. His skin reminded me of Tawny's but hers was definately paler. He turned his mousey-haired head and I waved at him. He smiled back and I heard Tawny laugh.
"Aaw, is that your boyfriend?"
"No!" I shouted, feeling the blood rushing to my cheeks.
"Well I wouldn't give him a second thought. He's way out of you're league. Even with the stripes".
We reached the school in no time. Tawny was surprisedly fast for someone who's eyes had just been bleeding. Our entire town seemed to stick to one theme. The town was called Apollo's Arrow, the private school was Apollo Academy and my school was simply Apollo High, 'the place of learning for the descendants of Apollo'. Somebody should really tell the mayor that Apollo was a Greek god, Greek being the main theme there. Apollo High was the much less desirable little sister of Apollo Academy. The school gate seemed to lack in existance. What was left of the gate was simply a couple hinges and a tiny piece of iron framework. The building itself was small, shabby and tired out. Since Apollo High was opened in 1873 it has patiently sat on the original frame, the orignal stone and the original everything. Everyone in Apollo High knew the school sucked and quite frankly, so did the teachers. Hey, at least we're not snooty about our school like the Academy kids.
"I'll be hanging around later to take you home” she said.
"You've got yourself a bodyguard for the moment. Morri should watch out for you during the day. That is if she's listening to Fang at the moment. He was kind of disappointed with her last night".
Tawny waved and sauntered off, leaving me stood at the front of the school looking very confused and slightly lost. I walked into the school and was instantly spotted by Morrigan. She sort of grunted and I took that as my cue to be her tag-along. Morrigan insisted I continued my day as normal so throughout the day I could feel Morrigan's piercing gaze coming from the back of several classrooms.
That lunch the whole school watched in awe as THE Morrigan Gray made an appearance at lunch for the first time in three years and sat with a nobody. The table we were sat at cleared immediately and refilled with the 'cool' kids. They all tried to start a conversation with her but her mouth was practically wired shut. The self-proclaimed king of the cool kids, not easily defeated, attempted conversation three more times before Morrigan snapped. She clamped his mouth shut with a vice like grip and exhaled sharply.
"Leave me alone" she said quietly but menacingly and let go of his face.
The king, clearly insulted, signalled to the rest of the cool kids who hovered off like flies. Morrigan picked upand apple the king had left behind and bit into it. Her canines poked out of her mouth and tore through the flesh. She put the shining red apple back on the table.
"Damn," she said with a smile, "It's not poisoned. I always wanted to be like Snow White".
She stood up and pushed her hair back. She pulled me up by my arm and started to lead me out of the cafeteria. The dress she wore today was not one of her best. It was black, relativelt tight fitting and was covered in about ten zips. I've been told it's like Kairi's dress in Kingdom Hearts 2. In any other colour it would have looked quite feminine but colours don't seem to suit Morrigan unless they are accompaminied by black.
"I know a place away from the watchers" she whispered and whisked me outside. "They piss me off so much" she said sourly.
"Those manipulative sheep inside".
She threw herself into a sitting position in the middle of a thick circle of trees. Besides the wall of forest my house was behind, I'd never seen so many trees in Apollo's Arrow. Apollo's Arrow was like a backseat New York except we didn't have huge skyscrapers and all that jazz.
"And his God damn royal highness, thinking he can tell me what to do. Some days I swear I could wrap my hands around his scrawny little throat!".
It didn't look like he did that to me. He just wanted to chat, right? Unless she didn't mean him.
"And Tawny, flitting around like a little pixie. Always going out of her way to be helpful. Always there when you need her. It's so frustrating. Everyone's taking it out on me because I slipped up once. I don't get why you're so special anyway. I mean, you have no specific talents, nobody seems to care about you and you're blood doesn't even smell that good. I don't even know why I'm listening to Fang. Maybe I should start my own gang. Yeah, and we'd feed whenever we wanted and I wouldn't give hour long disciplinaries. And we'd destroy the two Majors and go down in history, even more famous than the Ancients. I like the sound of that".
Majors? Ancients? What was she talking about? It sounded like crazytalk. Mayeb she and Tawny were members of some devil worshipping cult that drinks people's blood. No, Tawny's too nice for that. But isn't it normally the nice ones that massacre their whole family and then put a bullet in their own head?
"And you could be our little human pet".
The saddened look in Morrigan's eyes betrayed the sinister edge to her voice. Sadness rarely presented itself on Morrigan's unblemished face but when it did it gave her a new kind of beauty. It was the strange beauty of a tortured soul. The strange human attraction to misery and mystery tumbling in around Morrigan, bombarding her with popularity and attention she clearly didn't want. She sighed and beckoned to me to sit down.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have snapped at you. When I drink stored blood I get a bit... cranky. See, it doesn't taste as good as fresh blood. It... it just doesn't taste right" she said, looking down at the grass.
"It's fine. In all truth, I have no idea what you're talking about. I heard something about Majors and Ancients but I really don't get it. But if you're in some kind of cult or something that drinks blood then that's fine with me" I said with a smile.
"I wish it were that simple," she sighed, "There are things you should probably know and will most likely end up needing to know. Things I'm not allowed to tell you. Don't bother asking Tawny or Aya because they'll say exactly the same thing. Fang wants to tell you himself when the time is right. Unless, of course, you work it out for yourself".
She flashed me a look that suggested she was going to be of minimal help and started looking through he bag. The bell screeched its warning just as Morrigan found what she was looking for. She stood up and pushed down her skirt. She started walking off but remembered the thing she got out of her bag.
"Take this. It should help" she said and passed down a tatty book.
She sauntered off and I looked down at the cover. Well, the lack of cover.
"You didn't think I'd make it that easy. You have to read at least some of it!" she laughed.
I flicked through the book, expecting to find the title of the book printed at the top of each page but discovered it was an unmarked copy. I put the book in my bag and stood up. Morrigan was still faintly visible so I followed he image back to the school. And, just as she said, Tawny was hanging around after school, sunglasses still attached to her pale face.