English vampires. Need I say more?
Jacob opened his eyes, and then closed them again, not believing what he saw. He repeated this many times, until finally he sighed, and opened his eyes, and looked around him. What he saw did not look anything like his Grandmother’s house back in England.
“I’m going insane, I am.” He muttered to himself. In front of him was a school, a high school. The only thing moving in the darkness was a stray cat, which darted into the bushes. Cats did not like his kind.
He started walking down the sidewalk, looking for a clue as to where he was. He did not have to walk long, as a billboard at the very front of the high school appeared. It read:
@ 10:00 A.M.
Jasonville. There was no Jasonville in England, as far as he knew. He shook his head and continued to stare at the sign. He was so engrossed that he did not noticed the red-haired, petite teenager come up behind him.
“Looking for something?” she whispered in his ear from behind. Jacob whirled around, eyes wide. What he saw only made his eyes widen further. A small girl, about 4”7, with intense red hair and wild, sparkling green eyes. She wore a white skirt that went to her knees, and a light blue t-shirt from a brand he did not recognize. She was definitely not from England.
“Who are you?” he asked, his voice harsh. Her eyes widened in surprise.
“No need to rip my head off.” She laughed. “I’m Kate. Kate Whitney. Short for Kaitlyn. What’s your name?” He tried to smooth his face over, to cover the fear and curiosity he felt. He stuck out his hand.
“I’m Jacob. Not short for anything. Jacob McIntyre.” She took his hand, and shook it, her breath catching in her throat as she looked into his eyes. They were a bright violet, that seemed to collect what little light there was, making them glow in the darkness.
“What are you doing out on the streets alone, Kaitlyn?” Her mouth twitched.
“I could ask the same of you. I haven’t seen you around town. Are you new?” Jacob noticed the way she avoided his question, but decided against pressing further.
“Yes, I suppose.” If she wasn’t going to answer his question, then he wouldn’t answer hers in full.
“Hm,” she paused. “Are you staying with relatives, or do you have a room at the inn?” He sighed inside, and decided to stop playing games with her.
“I just got here. Can you tell me where the inn is?”
“Tell you? I will show you.” Before he could utter another word, she had turned around and was flouncing down the street. He shook his head, and ran to catch up with her.
* * * * *
I turned around and tried to walk lightly down the street, to show him how not scared I was. The truth was, he scared me badly. Those eyes, those eyes… they looked like they could lash out lightning, if they wanted to. Just being around him made me feel uneasy, but I also felt as though all he needed was a big hug and everything would be alright. I wondered what he had gone through in his life, to make him so… tense. I made a silent pact to myself, that whatever it took, I would make him loosen up.
* * * * *
I ran to catch up with her, wondering exactly who she was. Any normal human would have some sort of instinct to be wary of me. She had shown no fear to me. We walked in silence. Maybe people like me aren’t uncommon in Jasonville. Light, I hoped not.
She turned abruptly and I followed. As I looked up, I saw a sign that read All Kings Inn. Despite its name, it did not look like an inn that a king would stay at. It was small, and had perhaps 20 rooms, by the look of it. The common room was near empty, as it should be at this hour, and the furnishings were definitely not lavish. Still following Kate, I took in my surroundings, noting the possible exits. I was ready for anything, I had thought.
“Uncle Harn!” Kate ran up to the main counter and embraced the man behind it warmly. I was shocked. This human led me to her family? She should be screaming at him to run, to hide, from the inhuman being that is Jacob.
“This is Jacob. He needs somewhere to stay.” She continued. The man, Harn, was looking me up and down. Wary, apparently. Good to know at least one person in Jasonville had their head on tight. I decided that now would be a good time to speak up.
“I don’t have much, but I can do chores for payment…” my voice drifted off as Harn started nodding impatiently.
“Yes, yes. Kate, show him his room. 107 should be good,” Kate nodded in consent and gestured for me to follow her. “and for god’s sake, Kate, go to bed!”. Kate laughed. Another surprise for me. Not only did Kate show me her family, but also where she lived! She was truly unbelievable.
“Do you normally take strangers off the street to book them a room in your inn?” I asked while we walked. Kate glanced back with a grin on her face.
“Pretty much.” She laughed.
“Do you live here? In the inn?” I questioned. There was something about her… I wanted to know everything.
“Yes, actually. In 106, next to your room. Don’t get any ideas.” She winked at me. She winked at me! There was something in that wink that made me want to… want to… I don’t know. But I’m sure it wasn’t good. I tried to ignore it and pressed on further.
“Where are your parents? Do they own this inn with your uncle?” for the first time I caught a glimpse of sadness on her face. It was only there for a moment, but the pain in it echoed in my mind.
“No… they died when I was little.” I opened my mouth to apologize, but she cut me off. “It’s okay. I don’t remember much of them.” We were both silent for a moment while I repressed the memories that wanted to emerge. We finally reached a door with 107 written on a sign on the door. She tossed me the key.
“Here’s your room. Remember, I’m next door, and you can hear everything through these walls…” with a final wink and a laugh at my expression, she bounced down the corridor, opened her door with a different key and slammed it shut. I didn’t hear the key turn. Fool girl, leaving her room unlocked. Why, I could just stride in there and… I stopped myself, shaking all thoughts out of my head. I wasn’t going to play any games. I unlocked the door, entered then locked it again. I spotted a bed and wasted no time flopping myself on it and falling asleep after a long day.