Chapter 6Mature

“Give her back!” Lukas snarled, launching himself at Sapphire. She laughed, jumping away from him.

“Give who back, Lukas?”

He stopped, looking at her lips, stained with blood. “What have you done to her?” He yelled.

She smiled, looking around the room, at the other vampires, all fighting. “All this, Lukas, for a human. Why? What is it about her?” she took a step towards him. “Come on, there are so many other humans out there, just let me have this one.”

She slapped her, sending her flying backwards, on to the stairs. “She is mine.”

“Not any more.” Sapphire chuckled, sitting on the steps. She sighs, her eyes lightening to a vivid pink. “Why Lukas? Why couldn’t you love me, rather than a stupid human?”

He looked from her to the surrounding vampires, his eyes grey and unforgiving. “You want answers? Fine.” He jumped on a table and whistled loudly. “Stop!” he shouted. The few ‘Pires that followed him looked up briefly, but couldn’t stop fighting the other side.

“Stop, now!” Sapphire yelled. Instantly, every vampire froze, dropping pieces of wood they were fighting with. She turned to Lukas. “See who they listen to me? You are not a leader, Lukas.”

“Maybe.” He jumped down and sat on the table. “Sapphire here wants a story. And I think you should all hear it. So all of you- I don’t care who you follow- sit down and shut up.”

Every vampire looked at him, eyes glittering slightly in the dark with shock, then slowly walked over to him. Lukas’s eyes flickered to Daniel’s, where he was stood at the back, and then to the stairs. The young vampire slipped up the stairs, and Sapphire watched him go.

“What is he doing?” she demanded.

“Finding Sophia. Problem with that, Sapphire?”

She scowled and shook her head, waiting for him to start speaking.

“You know the reason why Witches are the only thing with second names? Not even vampires or ‘Wolves have them. Shall I tell you why?” As he spoke, he stared at Sapphire, watching her every reaction. “They think they are better than us. I remember when I was human, the Witch Coven that was around my village. This village, to be precise. They were known as the Riddle Coven, and a Persephone Riddle was the leader, alone with her daughter, Sophie Riddle.” He sighed, his eyes glazing over into the past, his voice softening slightly. To Sapphire, he almost sounded like the boy she first loved. “No one could deny, Sophie Riddle was beautiful. Tall, dark hair, dark eyes, and always smiling.  Everyone who saw her wanted to catch her attention even though she was a witch.”

“Lukas…” Sapphire whispered, taking a step towards him.

He put his hand up to stop her. “I haven’t finished, Sapphire. Everyone wanted her. Everyone, except me. When I was human, I was in love with some one else.” His voice grew colder, and Sapphire shivered. “ Someone with a heart. She was funny, sweet and lovely. And because of this witch, this Sophie, she was ripped from me!”

“I didn’t know!” Sapphire screamed at him. The vampires’ heads whipped round to look at her, confusion written all over every one of their faces.

“I think Sapphire wants to tell you her side of the story.” Lukas said, the slightest sound of a threat in his voice. Sapphire knew what it meant. That she had to tell them.

“For years, you have all known me as Sapphire. But that is not my real name. My name was Sophie. Sophie Riddle. I was the one who chose Lukas, and my mother cursed him for refusing me. Because as witches,” she shook her head. “We were like vampires. Humans were just tools for us. I chose Lukas because I loved him. But I never thought he would love another.” She looked him in the eyes- his grey with hate and hers pink. “I’m so sorry, Lukas.”

“No!” he snarled. “Its not enough. It never will be enough you want answers? Here they are. I never loved you, Sophie Riddle. I never will. You may have been beautiful on the outside, but on the inside you are rotten to the core. Evil. And I won't love that.” With every word, Sapphire flinched back, the pink in her eyes turning to dark purple. “But Sophia?” He sighed. “ I drank her blood and I saw her soul. And that was beautiful. Of course I love her.” He took his eyes off Sapphire, looking round the others. “You know the real reason she split up the nest? Because I told her this when I found out who she really was. I love that human more than I will ever love her.”

There was a bang from the top of the stairs. Daniel appeared, holding Sophia’s limp body, his eyes bright yellow as he forced away every instinct to drink. “Lukas?” he called

Lukas gave Sapphire one last look of hate before flying up the stairs and taking Sophia. “Thank you, Daniel.” He said quietly, before running out the house, holding her close to him.

He ran down the road, but stopped as he got to the end. Where could he take her? Not the graveyard. He would have taken her to Dimitri’s, but didn’t know where it was. But then he had an idea. Her familiar.

“Hunter!” He called loudly, his eyes bright with worry. There was a beat of wings, and the raven landed in front of him, his head tilted to the side, his beady eyes trained on Lukas. He sighed. “Hunter, where does Sophia live?”

The bird flew off down the road, landing on a fence and looking back towards the boy. Lukas hurried after it, holding Sophia close to him. As long as he could feel her heartbeat, feel the slightest warmth on her skin, he would keep running. She couldn’t die, he wouldn’t let her.

He followed the raven across the village, stopping in front of a small house, where the raven flew up and landed on his shoulder. He tapped lightly on the door with his foot.

“Come on, answer.” He muttered, kicking it harder.

“Do you know what the time is?” an angry voice shouted as the door opened. The woman on the other side froze as she took in the scene on her step. “What have you don’t to my daughter?” she whispered.

“Nothing. It wasn’t me. I wouldn’t hurt her like this.”

The lady snorted. “Right. Of course you wouldn’t.” She held her arms out. “Give her here.”

“No. I’m not leaving her. Let me in, or I’ll take her somewhere else.”

“I am not letting a vampire into my house!” She shouted.

Lukas shrugged. “Okay. Ill take her back to the graveyard and look after her there.”

He could see her mother arguing with herself about it, whether she should let a vampire into her house. “How do I know you won't hurt her?”

“I give you my word. Its all you can have.”

After a minute she opened the door wider, allowing him access.

He smiled briefly. “You need to get rid of that charm.” He muttered, nodding to the flowers on the door.

“Right.” She took the flowers off and locked them back in the cupboard. He walked in, the raven flying in front, guiding him up the stairs. He walked into her room, putting her carefully on the bed, pulling the covers over her. He sat down on the edge of the bed, taking her hand and stroking his thumb down it.

“Sophia. What did she do to you?” He said quietly, pain in his voice.

There was a creak behind him. “Why do you care?” her mother asked quietly, walking in to the room and sitting down on a chair. She looked between him, his eyes dark, clutching Sophia hand, and her daughter, motionless on the bed.

Lukas didn’t take his eyes off Sophia when he spoke. “For three hundred years, I thought I couldn’t love anyone. I thought it was part of the curse- that I couldn’t love. But I was wrong. I could love, but everything I love, I would end up hurting.” He carefully stroked the hair off her face and neck, touching the two marks from the first time he bit her. “I don’t want to hurt your daughter. I don’t want to loose her.”

“That’s all very well, Lukas, but it doesn’t answer my question. Why?”

He looked up and smiled. “How could I not love her? She’s beautiful, brave, and strong. I can’t not care about her.”

Her mother smiled back, standing up. “I hope you are telling the truth, Lukas. I am trusting you. Hurt my daughter- in any way- again, and you will regret it. Understood?”

He nodded. “Understood.” He watched as she walked put of the room, then turned his attention to Sophia again. He put his finger on his wrist, checking her pulse. It was there- slow, steady, but quiet. He sighed, putting her hand back on the bed. He blinked slowly, and did the thing he did best. Waited. He became as still as stone, his eyes fixed on Sophia’s face for any sigh of change.

Every few hours, Sophia’s mother would walk in to the room, to check on her daughter and the vampire she still didn’t trust. The first time she went in, she took a small glass of water. She went to carefully dribble some into Sophia’s mouth, but Lukas stopped her, grabbing her arm.

“I’ll do it.” He said.

“She’s my daughter.” Her mother snapped.

“And I am looking after her.” The boy said bluntly. Her mother sighed, but handed him the glass, walking out the room. After that, she came in, but told Lukas how to check what the unconscious girl needed.

This went on for three days. Sophia’s mother crept around the house, silently helping her daughter as much as she could. Lukas was getting more worried. Sophia- although he could tell she was getting strong- had not woken up. And he was getting weaker. He had not slept in the time he was in the house, and he had not had blood either. His eyes were almost black with the pain, worry and hunger. He wouldn’t be able to last much longer.

Luckily, though, he didn’t have too. In the evening of the third day, as the sky was fading from red to purple, Sophia woke.

Her eyes fluttered open, and she squinted in the fading light, to see the boy sitting next to her on the bed, his eyes shut. She looked down, seeing him holding her hand tightly. She squeezed it, watching as his eyes snapped open.

“Sophia…” he breathed.

She smiled weakly. “Hey.” Her voice croaked, dry after the long sleep. He wordlessly handed her a glass of water, and she sipped it, her eyes still on him.

“I was scared.” He admitted. “Scared you wouldn’t wake up. Scared that Sapphire had killed you.”

She emptied the glass and dropped it on the floor. It made a muffled sound as it reached the carpet, and she sat up in the bed. “You don’t have to be scared. I’m here.” She rested her hand on his chest, where his heart would have been. He could feel the heat, the blood, through his shirt and flinched back, away from her. She dropped her hand, a hurt expression on her face.

“No.” he picked up her hand and held it between his. “Don’t look like that, Sophia. I just don’t want to hurt you.”

“You won't. I trust you.” She lent forwards and kissed him lightly, but he pushed her away.

“Don’t, Sophia. I cant…I cant control myself.”

Her eyes lit up with understanding. She stroked the skin under his dark eyes lightly. “Your hungry.”

He nodded, dropping his head. “I cant. I don’t want this.” He muttered, ashamed for the first time about what he was.

She pulled her hand away from his and put her hair up in an untidy bun. “But it is a part of you. You have to. Come here.” She tilted her head to the side, exposing her throat.

“No!”

She smiled softly. “You have to.” She put her arms round his neck, pulling his face down to hers, stroking his hair.

He stayed there, resting his skin against hers, the draw of her blood strong. He felt his resolve weaken. But his still heart was stronger than his hunger. He kissed her skin, then detached himself from her hold, walking across the room to the wall. He lent against it, his eyes never leaving hers.

“I will not hurt you, Sophia.” He said, his eyes turning silver as he smiled. “Never again. I will not lose you.”

She smiled back, standing up to walk over to him. But before she could, Lukas’s eyes widened, and he gasped, a painful sound.

“Lukas?” she said, running over to him, catching him as he fell. He looked up at her, his sliver eyes filled with terror. “Lukas, what’s wrong?”

“It hurts.’ He gasped, closing his eyes. He groaned, and then let out an agonising scream.

“Lukas?” Sophia cried, still holding him. “Mum. Mother?” She shouted, hearing the door behind her open as her mother came running in.

“What is it?” she said.

“I don’t know” He just…fell.’ Sophia whispered, holding the boy tightly as he shook in pain.

It lasted for only minutes, but Sophia felt like it was hours. She and her mother watched as Lukas shook, then slowly stopped, gasping. His eyes still shut, he reached for Sophia.

“Don’t leave me.”

“I won't, Lukas. I won't.” Sophia whispered. She frowned, feeling his chest rise and fall quickly. She trailed her hand up to rest again on his chest and gasped, feeling the fast heart beating strongly underneath. “Lukas?” She said, shocked

“Sophia, what is it?” He mother asked, concerned.

Sophia shook her head quickly. “Lukas, look at me.” She commanded.

He slowly opened his eyes. Expecting the silver eyes she had got used to, a small shiver went thought her body. Sparkling bright green eyes looked back at her, and she saw colour rise to his cheeks as her looked into hers.

“You know your blushing, don’t you?” She stuttered, not knowing what else to say. He put his hand on his cheek, feeling its warmth, then smiled.

“It’s…broken.” He whispered. “I’m human.” He laughed, and held Sophia tightly, small tears rolling down his face. “You broke it.”

“No, Lukas.” She said softly. “You broke it. You. Because you didn’t want to hurt me.”

“Because I love you.” He lent forwards and kissed her, resting his forehead on hers.

“As I love you.”

The End

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