A few months passed, and I was eventually strong enough to walk around the village and do shopping, just like I used to do, before I was beautiful. I was grateful for being able to be so strong, so quickly.
I knew then that I was strong enough to live with my Mum, and so packed all my things up from inside my cabin, and surprised Mum at home.
When I got back inside my familiar room, it was just the way that I had left it. I sat on the bed, when all of a sudden, there were hands around my waist.
I spun around, and saw that there, sitting on my bed, looking as beautiful as he always had, was Joe.
“I never stopped loving you.” He said.
“Then why did you leave?” I whispered.
“Because I was making you unsafe” He said.
“No, you were keeping the Vamdeveri from murdering me. It was only because I was brave that I’m alive at all.” I said, and I read all sorts of remorse in his thoughts and in his eyes.
“Can you still love me?” He asked.
“Of course, as long as you promise never to leave me again” I whispered.
“I won’t need to now; I’ll keep you safe. I won’t let you or me break the rules.” He whispered in his hypnotic voice.
“There is just one problem with that.” I said.
“What’s that?” He asked, his eyebrows furrowing.
“I’ve already broken both of them.” I whispered.
“What?!” He screeched.
“Ssh! I told Zach, about the Vamdeveri. Only because he knew about vampires and I was so scared. Plus, Zach became a unicorn soon after I became a vampire, and so I hung out with him, not thinking anything of it, and then bam! I realise that I just broke both of the rules.” I whispered giggling.
“And they don’t mind?” He asked, astounded.
“I told them that I didn’t know the rules, so they explained them to me, and I promised never to do it again, so they let me off with a warning.” I giggled.
‘I love you so much.’ He thought.
‘And I love you.’ I thought.
‘You’re so beautiful.’ He thought.
‘I wish – I’m now both ugly and the beast; ugh, I was so messed up before.’ I thought, remembering the searing pain in my chest every time I thought about him.
He grimaced at me, and I grimaced back and then we were both laughing.
“You make a beautiful vampire you know.” He whispered in my ear, stroking my jaw line.
“Do I?” I asked.
“Yes. Would you marry me?” He asked, suddenly serious.
“Don’t be silly; that’s ridiculous!” I exclaimed, colour rushing to my cheeks, even though that’s difficult to do, not having a pumping heart and all.
“What?!” He asked, his eyebrows furrowing.
“I’m scared of marriage.” I said, and he couldn’t help but laugh.
“What are you laughing at?!” I demanded.
“You; you’re scared of marriage, yet you can stand up to the Vamdeveri with no fear!” He said, and burst into a fresh set of giggles (which sounds quite funny on him; he’s not the giggling type).
After a while, we were both laughing.
“You know what? I’ll take you up on that.” I decided, suddenly serious. “All I want is forever, so getting married seems sensible.”
“Yeah, we ought to do things properly, so everything makes sense.” He agreed.
“Oh, and by the way, can you keep an eye on me, in case I get any ‘cravings’, because I still want to live here, and I don’t know how strong I am.” I said.
He hugged me, and told me that I’d done very well, and normally we can’t interact with humans again until at least a year later.
“Does it mean that I’m abnormal?” I asked.
“No, it means that you’re special.” He said.
“What do we do on an evening?” I asked.
“Pretend to go to sleep?” He offered.
“That could be boring. Eight hours of pretending to do something I’m not.” I said.
“We could always hunt at night so you know that you’ll be strong in the morning. I’ve always found they smell tastiest, early in the morning.” He said.
“When do I go back to school? I have a whole term of school left until graduation.” I said, biting my lip.
“If you don’t feel strong enough, you don’t have to go.” He said.
“I feel strong enough, it’s just that I don’t know what to do, what to say about my absence, or anything really.” I said.
“Tell them that you went camping with the McIvor family, and needed a break because you were stressed.” He said.
“Yeah, but they knew that you broke up with me and left.” I pointed out.
“They are so picky; tell them to mind their own bees wax.” He said, and we both laughed.
We talked until Mum went to bed, and then we went out to hunt.
I bagged an elk (my favourite), and Joe bagged a badger, as he wasn’t that thirsty. We laughed and had a mess about, outrunning the rabbits and the squirrels, and then when I looked at my watch, I saw that it had turned 4:00am, and we decided to head back, so we ran, hand in hand, at vampire speed, back to my house, and in through my open window.