I stuck to Edward like glue for months after the New Year’s Eve party. Staying with Edward made it difficult to build on my relationship with Ian. When Edward was asleep Ian would often slip into my room through the window. Mother would just die if she knew I had male company in my room at least four nights a week, not that I ever intended to tell her about Ian. We never did anything inappropriate (other than a few erotic kisses but we never went further) normally we would just lie on the bed, spooned together while we had whispered conversations. Ian told me about his very long past, he was even older than Carlisle. He’d been changed in 1558 when he was nineteen; he only knew the year because it was when Mary Tudor died. He had a gift; he could shoot fire from his hands. He had been born in England and moved to America in the 1600’s
   “When I was alive, my father made me marry a young girl of just fourteen,” Ian told me one night. We were lying on my bed, he was lying on his back and I’d laid my head on his chest awkwardly at first but then I’d relaxed. I had one arm across his waist and was looking up at him. My other arm was trapped under my body he had one hand behind his head, completely at ease; the other was around my upper back holding me to him, “He wanted an association with her family because they were rich. She was their only child and so it was my responsibility to marry her being the eldest son. I had argued because I didn’t believe in marrying someone you didn’t love but in those days a love marriage was not common. In the end I had to do his bidding, our marriage was difficult though. Neither of us particularly lusted after the other,” he took a deep breath. I could tell it was difficult for him to tell me these things plus recalling human memories is difficult for vamps, “She fell pregnant and was five months pregnant when I was changed. I didn’t care much for Brianna but I loved the child I never had the chance to know. I went back after two years to find out what had become of them,” he stopped
   “What happened?” I whispered
   “They died,” he answered. I squeezed his waist with my free arm. He held me closer, “They both caught a fever and died. The baby had been a boy and lived for three more days after Brianna died. I had longed for a baby and now I can never have another one. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t relieved when I was turned, to escape the arguments Brianna and I had, to escape my father’s control, it was a great relief. I often hate what I am but I’m starting to be grateful, after all, if I’d never become a vampire I would’ve never met you.” When I thought about that, thought about how my life would have been if Ian had never been a vampire… I shuddered. Ian smiled at me, I loved seeing him smile, and bent down to kissed me, it went on and on until I broke away to breath. We had an intense relationship, both physically and emotionally, but we would never be blinded by our love and we also knew the limit. After I regain my breath and sanity I continued the conversation
   “After you became a vampire, did you ever find someone?”
   “Other than the gorgeous person I’m lying with now?” I tried to hit him on the chest and he caught my wrist and laughed, “C’mon, Will, you can do better than that!” I narrowed my eyes at him teasingly
   “Don’t tempt me,” I warned, “Are you trying to avoid the question?”
   “Why would I do that?” he murmured. The arm that had been around my back moved and his hand began to trace my side, stroking it gently, “I saw many women – human and vampire – that I found attractive and I lusted for them. Sometimes I resisted the impulse and sometimes I didn’t and bedded them. There are few vampires who sleep with humans and even fewer with the self-control I have. Now, I hardly ever hurt a human during sex. There haven’t been any that I’ve loved though; you are the first I’ve loved.” It was the first time one of us had actually admitted they loved the other, “Of course,” he added with a boyish grin, “I lust after you as well as love you, just in case you’re wondering,” that time I really hit him moving with unnatural speed so he couldn’t stop me. He laughed softly, “Fast you may be, Will, but strong physically you are not.” I rolled away from him off the bed and glared at him. He just looked amused
   “I am strong, thank you very much,” I snapped
   “Really? Hm,” he said scanning my body from head to toe, “I’ll just have to put that theory to the test,” He, too, stood and made a grab for me but I ducked out the way. It took him a full five minutes before he pinned me down in the corner. He had a hold of me, one hand on the small of my back the fingers of the other twined in my hair. His lips had silenced my protests and struggles. At first, his kiss was gentle but when I made no more attempts to pull away any more he kissed me harder. My hands snuck up around his shoulders, wrapping around his neck to hold him to me. His hand holding my head to his untwined from my hair and moved down my back and back up my side. We were as close as we could be; his hands were moving over every inch of my body, he started to pull up my nightgown and my hands moved to undo the buttons on his shirt. Suddenly we both stopped and stepped away from each other. Both of us were breathing raggedly
   “I think it is best you leave now,” I whispered shakily
   “I think so, too” he replied, none too steadily himself, “It’s not that I don’t want to but…
   “I know,” I cut him off, my voice more level, “ I want to as well, but I’m not ready yet. I want to wait at least until I’m sixteen and even more preferable when I don’t live in this house anymore,” I smiled at him and winked, “Less chance of interruption,” I was serious again, “Also I don’t want to be one of those women who are unmarried when they… you know. I’m not an angel but I’m no whore either”
   “That’s a wise decision,” he did up the buttons I’d undone and kissed my cheek briefly. He opened my window and slipped out silently. I heard his feet hit the ground, a muted thud, and then I walked over to the window myself to close it. I leaned out to see if I could spot him
   “Ian?” I called softly and then I spotted him in the shadows, “I love you” I pulled back inside and shut the window. I climbed and settled into the bed. I fell asleep after a long time, with Ian’s smell lingering around me.

*  *  *

   It was the first time I was celebrating my actual birthday. Mother had permitted me inviting Frannie round for the night. I woke up quite late on May 28th with a peculiar excitement. I was sixteen today – I was coming of age among my Wiccan circle. There was going to be a special casting tonight for me. I would get my full powers the minute I turned sixteen, and considering what my powers were like now, I was tingling with anticipation at seeing what they would be like tomorrow. For today though, I was going to act normal; I don’t know why but I was in a good mood. I bounded out of my room and ran to Edward’s one. I knocked on the door
   “Come in,” Edward’s voice floated to me, confused. I open the door and walked in closing it behind me. Edward couldn’t have looked more shocked but then looked amused, “Hello, sis, I know you said you were going to stick to me but this is ridiculous”
   “I’m not concerned with your safety – for the moment at least”
   “Why are you here then?”
   “Didn’t I tell you?” I asked horrorstruck, “Today’s my birthday, Edward! I’m sixteen today!”
   “You are not!” Edward jumped up, “Today is your birthday?” I nodded vigorously, “How could you not tell me?” he scowled and I glanced down ashamed of myself, “It’s just as well then,” I looked up at him sharply. He was grinning, “It’s just as well I checked with Momma a few weeks ago”
   “You horror,” I gasped, “You did know it was my birthday”
   “Yep,” he beamed at me, “I just wanted to make you think I didn’t. Your reaction was very gratifying.” I grabbed a pillow on his bed and threw it with amazing accuracy at Edward. He avoided – just – laughing hard. He pulled from his desk a small, wrapped present and gave it to me. We sat on his bed next to each other. I untied the ribbon and tore off the paper, inside was a small box. I cast a look at Edward with open curiosity
   “I bought it myself,” he said, he was antsy. I tugged the lid to the box off. Inside was a beautiful bracelet. It was a thin gold band intricately designed, with a single small diamond in the centre of a silver star that was settled onto the gold band. I couldn’t speak, it must have cost him a fortune
   “Oh, Edward,” I breathed, “You shouldn’t have spent so much on me.” I felt him shrug uncomfortably
   “It’s nothing,” he mumbled, “I just wanted to get you something special since I could tell that your sixteenth was important to you. Plus, if you’re going to leave like you’ve been hinting, I wanted you to have something to really remember me by.”
   I kissed his cheek, “I could never forget you, lil bro,” I slipped the bracelet on my scarred arm, “Thank you, it’s beautiful,” Edward flushed
   “No problem,” he said, “Go get dressed. I’ll see you downstairs.” I did as he said coming out in a casual dress simply because I liked it. It was short sleeved dress since it was a warm day and it showed off my new jewelry. I had on the locket Fran gave me (of course). I was in a truly good mood when I entered the dining room; I even gave Mother a small smile and nod instead of ignoring her. She seemed astonished momentarily before hurriedly returning my smile
   “Happy 16th Birthday,” Mother said almost tentatively. She noticed my scar and frowned briefly, like she always did when she saw it. I ignored the frown – for once
   “Thank you, Mother,” I responded agreeably. I glanced at the clock, Frannie would be here soon. Jenny came in with breakfast and I wolfed it down hungrily. I requested that we go out to the garden and Mother agreed the day was too beautiful to stay inside. She was eager to keep me in my good mood and was pleased that I wasn’t ignoring her today. I read that she thought I’d be bitter today because it was my first birthday since discovering the truth before I pulled from her mind. Don’t go there, Will, keep in your own head I chastened myself quickly. Mother pulled out a chair and sat in it with a book, Edward and I played chase for a while, I had to keep check on my speed in case I went really fast in my excitement. We did this for half an hour before Frannie came, brought round by Sophia. I greeted Frannie with a hug and kiss on the cheek. I also hugged Soph. Frannie gave me two presents, one from her and one from Carlisle. Her present was some miniatures of Ian, Edward and Carlisle, small so I could carry them with me when I left. I intended to leave with Ian when his contract expired, Frannie asked if she could come too and I permitted since she is a powerful Wiccan and I’d be around vamps other than Ian occasionally. Carlisle had given me a small book with compositions for me to learn on the piano. The Brigants came around in the afternoon; they didn’t know that it was my true birthday today. It was a fun gathering all the same. We played football, Frannie too (honestly she is such a child at times). I was on a team with Felix and Fran against Edward, Vi and Thomas. Okay so Fran and I cheated just a little bit by using mental communication but it was my birthday and I wanted to win which we did
   “That’s it,” Vi puffed, “I’m beat. Miss Marksons and Will are just too good. It’s like they can read each other’s thoughts, they always know what the other’s going to do! Felix by himself is difficult to beat but with those two backing him it’s impossible.” Fran and I grinned at each other
   “You’re right, Violet,” Edward wheezed, “How about different teams and we split the terrible two up.” Fran and I protested but in the end we agreed. The new teams were Fran, Vi and Felix against Edward, Thomas and I. I soon discovered why Felix always won, no one had the guts to try and get the ball from him. Hm, I’d soon see to that. Felix headed for the goal and preparing to shoot when I came and tackled him from the side. He was so startled by my attack that I managed to get the ball from him and pass to Edward. My team cheered and Mother and Mrs. Brigant laughed at seeing the star player losing to a girl. He gaped at me before grinning
   “You asked for it,” he laughed and we began a game of chase. I shrieked and skipped out of the way as he made a grab for me. The others shrieked and laughed and we were all running around dodging and tackling one another. Finally we all slumped on the grass, panting. I rolled my head back, smiling, soaking in what was left of the fading sun. I was apart from the rest of them and so Felix came over to sit beside me. I looked at him questioningly as he seemed awkward. He shifted uncomfortably
   “Are you courting Papa’s employee?” Felix asked, “Ian O’Callaghan?” It was my turn to be awkward
   “Sort of,” I mumbled in reply, “We’ve been together since your party new year’s eve. We don’t particularly want people to know because they may not approve but we’ve been going pretty strong.” Felix had started to like me and I him, I owed him the truth
   “I’m not jealous if that’s what you think,” Felix smiled, “I did have a crush on you but I’m over it now. Are you happy with him?”
   “Yes,” I smiled too, “He treats me well. And he cares for me.” We sat in silence for a while until we were called inside. The Brigants left. I played chess with Edward and Frannie until Momma told us we should go to bed. Frannie and I changed swiftly and went to the coming of age ceremony in the woods. At 23:59, the minute I turned sixteen, I felt a huge swell in my power as it rushed into me. I almost collapsed from the intensity. The whole circle gasped as they too felt my power; my right shoulder blade burned. I gasped in pain, Sylvia closed the circle and came to ask me what was wrong; when I explained she pulled down my dress and informed me that I was indeed meant to be a powerful leader for my shoulder had the inscription niger nox noctis on it in black
   “Only powerful Wiccans were branded with such markings,” Sylvia babbled on cheerfully, “It is your magic which brands you”
   We were hovering around until there was only Frannie, Sylvia, Red and I left. We were just talking when I had an out of body experience. I was in Edward’s mind; he was wandering the streets – lost – after trying to find his way home. He’d spotted me leave with Frannie and had followed; he’d been terrified by what he’d seen and fled. I snapped back to my present just as quickly as I’d left it
   “Excuse me,” I said, “Frannie go back to my house. I’ll see you there,” I turned and ran, really ran, faster than I’d ever moved before; my hair trailed behind me, now a very dark brown, almost black, with only hints of its bronze color left. I melted into the shadows barely thinking about it. Edward’s panic slammed into me making me skid to a stop. I closed my eyes and thought hard about the place in my vision, I willed myself there so I could protect my brother. A strange sensation came over me and I opened my eyes. I was in a dark alleyway, the same one from my vision
   “Stop!” I heard Ian’s voice shout. I absorbed my surroundings; the three vamps that had been feeding on Edward were on all sides. One was a blond female; one was tall with brown hair and the other short with brown hair. I spotted Edward lying, barely conscious, behind me. He’d been thrown by the vamps and had a bad wound was on his head it was bleeding a lot. Ian had been trying to stop the other three but was now struggling not to attack my brother. He was protecting my brother by resisting the blood himself. The other three vamps were hungry and the most tempting target was my weak, bleeding, little brother – and I was all that stood between them and him.
   I crouched and growled the vamps froze momentarily when they really noticed I was there. I called on my powers to me and my eyes burned that familiar burn. I called shields to surround my brother so they couldn’t reach him. Three vamps growled in response and one - the short, brown haired one - lunged at me. I casually held up a hand. He flew back just like William Liades had all those years ago. He crashed down but leapt up quickly he tried to attack again but Ian was suddenly there between us. Ian began to speak quietly to him when he had his attention, Ian was trying to reason. While he kept that one engaged I turned to the other two who were hesitating
   “Leave my brother alone,” I hissed at them
   “You don’t tell us what to do, witch,” the blond vamp retorted
   “Don’t push me, vamps, I will kill you if I must”
   “Back off for a minute, guys,” came Shorty’s cold voice, “I just found out something very interesting. The witch here, it seems our boy Ian has feelings for her. She is his, curious, no?” The vamps hooted with laughter but quickly realized Shorty was serious
   “No shit?” Tall muttered
   “No shit,” Shorty confirmed
   “That… changes and complicates things,” Blondie said weakly, “If she’s Ian’s, then as he’s our coven leader we can’t hurt her and if killing the boy hurts her we can’t do that either. We can’t just let them go though! If the Volturi find out that we let some humans know about our secret they’ll kill us!”
   “I know,” Ian murmured, “This is why I tried to keep her a secret from you.” The four of them fell silent. I had more pressing matters; I crouched by Edward and ran my hand over his wound. My hand glowed as it healed, he remained unconscious however. I checked his breathing and pulse. They were strong he’d be fine
   “I can take care of my brother knowing,” I said and straightened. I faced them, “I can erase his memories. He won’t have any recollection of this night. So that’s him sorted, what are you going to do about me?” might as well know
   “Good question,” Shorty said, “We can’t let her go, Ian. She’s a Supe but she’s still human and she knows about us.” I didn’t tell them about the other Wiccans and their knowledge of vamps; I knew Ian wouldn’t either
   “What if we changed her? You could do it, Ian, you have the control to - ”
   “No!” Ian shouted. The other vamps regarded him before turning to me contemplating. I was contemplating too. Why not? I could be with Ian forever and I would still be strong and fast, I might be able to keep at least one power with me. I didn’t have to feed on humans either, I could be like Carlisle. I could leave here… it didn’t seem such a bad idea to me
   “Why not?” I asked, “Seems logical to me. Give me just a few more months to prepare myself and then change me. Problem solved”
   “See, she’s willing too,” Blondie said, “It does make sense. Plus if you truly love her you can keep her forever.” Ian looked at me for a long time before moving in front of me. He examined my face
   “Are you sure?” he asked, “Are you truly willing to give up everything? Your brother? Frances Marksons?”
   I’ll have to tell Frannie. I don’t know how it will affect the blood-tie. Please, Ian, I love you, they know I know about vamps. This will keep us all safe and we can be together, I sent to him mentally.
   “Alright,” Ian conceded. He kissed me, “I have something to ask you though”
   “It’ll have to wait,” Tall called, “We should leave tonight if we’re going to take her away”
   “What?” I asked startled. I could see what he meant, “Oh, I need to go home first, grab a few things, erase Edward’s memories and write some notes. I’ll be quick,” I promised. The vamps nodded their consent. I kissed Ian, bent to pulled Edward up, I put his arm around my shoulder and mine around his waist picking him up slightly I ran home. I sneaked back inside and put Edward in his room on the bed. I erased his memories swiftly, not just memories of tonight though but all his memories of me. I then fled to my room.
   On my bed was Frannie fully dressed and carrying a packed bag. I raised an eyebrow.
   “I know you’re leaving, I caught most of what happened. So I went home wrote some notes for my parents and Sylvia and gathered necessary things. I’m going with you, whether you’re going to become a vamp or not, I’m sticking with you, my sister. And if you are becoming one of them then I am too. We’re bound, Night, I’m not leaving you”
   “You sure?”
   “Well then, I’m glad you picked up on my private business and are ready to go. Let me just…” I faltered. Frannie had packed for me too, “Right, let me just write some letters, then we’ll go. Did you pack the paintings you gave me?” Frannie assured me she had. I pulled out some paper and began to write my first letter;

   Dear Edward,
   I’m sorry for what I’ve done and what I’m going to do. I’m leaving. You got in too deep and came close to death, all because of me so to prevent that happening ever again I’ve erased all your memories of me. I didn’t want to leave you without anything of me though so I am writing this and enclosing a picture of us together.
   Stay safe, Edward, do well in school and be something great. You will always be in my heart and I will never forget you.
   All my love
    Your sister,

I found the only picture I had of Edward and me together. Suppressing tears and tucked the picture and note in an envelope. I took it to Edward’s room and put it on his bedside table. I kissed his forehead and hurried back to my room. I sighed and began to write my next letter, with Frannie watching me calmly

   Dear Mother
   I’m writing a brief note to tell you that I’m leaving and have no intention of returning. I also have to warn you that Edward will not have any memories of me so don’t be alarmed.
   Be a good mother to Edward. Give him the love you never gave me and cherish him. Please tell him every day that wherever I am, I am thinking of him. Give him a hug for me every day too.
   I hope that one day in the future, I will forgive you, I don’t know when or if I ever will but I hope I do. Tell Sophia I said goodbye for me, I’m trusting you with that.
   Be happy and safe, Mother
    Your daughter,

   After sealing that letter in an envelope I snuck to Mother’s room and put it on her dressing table. For the final time I returned to my room and wrote my final note, knowing when I left it again I would not return.

   Dear my father, Carlisle
   I’m leaving with the other vampires. Frannie is coming with me and both of us are going to become vamps. In your honor, we will be as good as vampires can be. We’re going to feed on animals just like you do. I hope very much I never kill a human; I’ll try to be good, for you.
   Please watch over my brother, Carlisle. He won’t remember me and he’ll be vulnerable. Protect him from any harm and keep him safe. I’ll try to come back and check up on him every so often but I’ll keep my distance.
   Thank you so much for everything
     Will Night

With this letter in hand and a final glance around my room, Frannie and I departed. We took a detour to Carlisle’s house and I posted the letter through his door and we moved swiftly and silently on. We reached the four vamps; they said nothing about Fran although Ian frowned. I moved to his side and he tucked me under his arm, trapping me firmly to his side. I studied the other vamps
   “You know,” I said conversationally, “I don’t believe I introduced myself. I’m Will Night and this is my sister Frances Marksons. May I have the honor of your names?” being polite was the best course, I figured. They glanced at one another before nodding at Ian and fixed their vampiric stare on me again
   “The tall one is Tom. He doesn’t know his real last name so he calls himself Tom Cole. His mate and wife is the blond woman, she’s Bethany Cole. Last but not least is George Adams,” Ian introduced them. The blond – Bethany – waved at me and smiled, her partner Tom gave me a grin. George just inclined his head slightly
   “Let’s get moving,” George said, “Ian you carry your girl – Will – I’ll carry Miss Marksons. It’s dawn soon but if we move quickly we can be out of the city.” George helped Fran onto his back and Ian kissed me before swinging me onto his. Tom took Bethany’s hand. The vamps began to run. Everything was a blur at least would have been a blur if my eyes weren’t adapted like a vamp’s. I noticed Frannie had squeezed her eyes shut tight. I closed my eyes and rested my head on Ian’s shoulder.  Enjoyed the feel of the wind whipping my hair back, it felt almost as good as the surge of freedom I was feeling, freedom from escaping the house that had been my prison for many months.

The End

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