I was lying on Micah’s bed, with him sat on the edge looking at me with worry in those alluring eyes of his. Now was the time for him to explain everything, right from the start. I only knew one thing and that was why he decided to turn me. But the rest was left mysterious and unsolved. Another thing I couldn’t stop thinking about was what he said to me right before Luka had arrived, he loved me? Love was a pretty strong word. I didn’t understand how he could have fallen in love with me in such a short space of time.
It hasn’t been a short time, really.
‘What do you mean?’ I whispered out loud. He sighed and looked me in the eyes and when he spoke his voice was soft and low.
‘I’ve been watching over you for quite a while now. To make sure you’re safe. Luka’s been following you for ages and I just had to make sure you’re okay. That night when you had an intruder in your house...it wasn’t me; it was Luka. The note on your bed was from Luka. I got there in the nick of time, he was so close...’ he stopped talking. His eyes were on me, assessing my reaction. I just nodded to show him it was okay to continue. I’d deal with it all later.
‘So I chased him out of your house, just in time. I wanted to check if you were okay, but I couldn’t risk it. I was aware that he had left a note in your room, but there wasn’t much I could do about that so I had to leave it.
Gabriel then informed me that Luka was planning to join your school to get closer to you and manipulate you. I had to do something; I couldn’t just let him do that to you...’ He hung his head, almost as if in shame.
I couldn’t help but reach out towards him, to comfort him. My hand stroked his cheek and he looked up at me slowly.
‘You did all you could...’ I whispered. ‘I don’t blame you... but why Nadia? Why did you kill her?’ Even saying this out loud, I could pretty much guess the answer, but I still needed to hear it. I couldn’t believe it until it came from Micah’s lips.
‘She was working with Luka...’ he spoke very gently; his eyes were filled with sympathy. ‘She was evil.’
‘But she was still human.’
He hesitated and got up off the bed, crossing the room to stand next to the window with the bright sunlight pouring in. It lit up the blonde highlights in his hair and as he turned to face me I gasped aloud. His eyes were gorgeous in the sunlight. They were like two jewels, the violet had intensified and the light amongst them were glittering and dancing away, eager to hold my gaze and full attention.
‘Not entirely, Alex.’
‘What do you mean?’ I demanded.
He seemed to have trouble saying the next bit.
‘She was human...once. She was just like you were, before you became a vampire. She had a family; mum and dad, two younger brothers. That all changed after she met Luka.
She fell head over heels in love with him, with the help of his powers of course. He didn’t love her back; he was using her to get to you. He knew you were friends with her and so he tricked her into thinking he really liked her.
I managed to get her on her own; away from Luka, but by this point he didn’t really care for her. I think he knew I was going to kill her but he didn’t stop me; he’d got what he wanted.’
‘Poor Nadia...’ I couldn’t help saying. But then I remembered something, something very significant about Nadia’s death. ‘You say she was a vampire...but I saw you kill her? You drank her blood.’
‘I didn’t,’ he replied, sheepishly. ‘That was an act; I killed her beforehand. I had to make you think that I was evil.’ He turned away from me and faced the window.
I sat up, still quite weak and went to join him. Without thinking, I took his hand in mine and looked up at him, expression sincere.
‘Micah, you saved me. You’re not evil, I know you’re not. You did all this to protect me and I’m so grateful for it. I really am.’ I smiled at him. And it was the truth. I didn’t care that he’d changed me into something unnatural, some mythical creature that wasn’t supposed to exist; he’d saved me and for that I would always be thankful.
He looked down at me, smiling back. He kept one hand still in my hold, but moved the other hand slowly up my arm, my neck, the side of my face. I felt tingly at his touch and closed my eyes. He slowly lowered his head, his lips inches from mine.
‘Hello?’ a familiar voice shouted from downstairs. Micah sighed in frustration and let go, heading towards the door.
‘Who’s that?’ I questioned, mildly annoyed.
‘Come downstairs and you’ll see.’ He went off downstairs. I followed him, intrigued.
‘Micah what...’ I stopped dead as I saw the person in the doorway, eyes wide with terror and curiosity. It was Nate.
‘So after I saw you in the park, I knew you were hiding something from me. I felt...betrayed that you couldn’t trust me with whatever secret you had. But I couldn’t do anything because I didn’t see you after that.
I didn’t sleep for nights; I kept thinking what could be going on. You took off with incredible speed when you helped me up and there was something different about you, something was off. But I couldn’t put my finger on it.’ Nate’s nose scrunched up as he relived the memory.
‘So how did you get here?’ I enquired, curiously.
‘Micah,’ he gestured towards the waiting vampire sitting next to me. ‘He came to find me. He saw how determined I was to find you, how much I missed you. You’re my best friend Alex. You’ve been there for me through thick and thin and so I’m going to do the same for you.’ He smiled warmly and I felt my heart should be swelling with gratitude and happiness, I felt like tears should be pricking my eyes and I should dramatically cross the room and envelope him in a massive hug. But I didn’t do any of this, I didn’t even thank him.
‘You can’t,’ I whispered instead. Both he and Micah looked at me, puzzled. ‘You can’t do this Nate. Don’t you see how dangerous this is?’
‘Alex...’ Micah interrupted.
‘No Micah. This is final. Nate I miss you and I appreciate how much you want to help, but I can’t let you. I can’t just throw your life away like that.’
‘Alex, he doesn’t mean help you like that,’ Micah hissed. ‘He doesn’t want to become a vampire; he just wants to be there for you, like a good friend is supposed to be.’
‘I know he doesn’t mean it like that,’ I snapped back at him. ‘I just can’t have him around when Luka is so hell-bent on killing me. He’s human...’ I glanced at Nate. It appeared he was well informed on all the details, he didn’t even flinch when Micah said the word ‘vampire’. He was taking this surprisingly well.
‘Alex,’ Micah took both of my hands and turned to face me. ‘You dealt with Luka fine. We don’t know how you did it, but you did.’
‘Yes but...’ I hesitated. I had the strangest feeling that Luka wasn’t the biggest of problems we had to deal with. My intuition was telling me he was just the beginning.
‘Alex I hate to butt in, but I’m helping you whether you like it or not.’ Nate sounded overconfident and I didn’t like that, I didn’t want him hurt.
‘Fine, but stay away from Luka okay? Just pretend you don’t know what he’s really like.’
‘No way, if I see that bastard I’m kicking his ass.’
‘Nate! Don’t you dare! Do you even know how powerful he is?’ I shouted at him.
‘To be fair Alex, you did manage to knock him out, he’s obviously not that powerful,’ Micah scoffed. ‘The only thing he did was hold a wooden stick above my heart and that hardly requires skill does it?’
I wasn’t convinced. Luka could have been pretending, making us underestimate him so he could get the upper hand in the long run.
Maybe so, but then again we might have the upper hand. Don’t be so pessimistic.
I frowned at Micah. ‘Oh I’m sorry that I’m a little worried that we have a psychotic...’ I stopped short. What exactly was Luka? He obviously wasn’t human but I didn’t think he was a vampire either... I would have sensed that.
‘I’m not sure what he is either.’ Micah answered, reading my confusion.
‘Well I have a theory,’ Nate piped up. ‘You know if vampires are real, doesn’t that sort of make witches and wizards real too? And all those other mythical creatures we read about as children?’
‘You’re saying Luka’s some sort of warlock?’ Micah’s voice was filled with uncertainty.
‘What else do you suggest?’ Nate asked politely. ‘You said it yourself, he’s not a vampire. What else is there, really?’
‘He has a point...’ I mused, biting my lip. Micah’s eyes were full of doubt and I could tell he still disagreed.
‘Why are you so dubious about the existence of warlocks?’ I questioned him. ‘Vampires are real, doesn’t that sort of prove that nothing is as it seems?’
‘Yeah but come on, warlocks?’ Micah scoffed. ‘Well it doesn’t matter right now. Nate, won’t your parents be wondering where you are?’
‘Sod that. We have more important issues to deal with right now.’ Nate dismissed. Micah’s expression became amused.
‘Nate, you can stop with the brave act. There had just been a murder, courtesy of me and you’re off out gallivanting god knows where. I think your parents might worry a little bit, don’t you?’
‘They can wait a little longer.’ Nate turned on Micah. ‘You can’t stop me from talking to Alex you know. She’s my best friend.’
‘Physically, I could stop you from talking to her,’ Micah pointed out.
‘Yes but you wouldn’t do that, would you?’ Nate questioned him. ‘You’d be too afraid of hurting Alex.’
‘He has a point,’ Micah admitted, facing me. I sighed. I wanted Nate to stay, I really did. I needed to talk to him, I missed him so much. But I knew that Micah was right, Nate had to go.
‘Goodbye Nate,’ I whispered, hugging him hard.
‘Alex…a little…too hard,’ Nate choked out. I instantly let go.
‘Sorry, guess I don’t know my own strength,’ I replied sheepishly.
Just then, the door crashed open revealing someone’s figure silhouetted against the evening glow. At first, I didn’t recognise them and thought someone had got the wrong place, when they stepped into the light and their distinctive features came into view.
The lean, muscular build of his body, those extraordinary blue eyes set among a face that looked like it was carved by the finest Italian renaissance artist. His high cheekbones, the hard line of his jaw and his wavy pale blonde hair, reaching near his shoulders.