Everything seemed to settle around them. Fern studied the ceiling, letting her new eyes adjust and not quite believing she could see in the dark. She spotted the smoke trails from the candles fading away against the bricks. The air smelt heavily of wax, liquorice and blood. Rolling over, the air bed creaked and she could hear the shifting of the sleeping bag loudly.
Getting comfy, she tried to empty her mind and go to sleep. From next to her, she was aware of Brook moving around in his sleeping bag and making a pillow out of his arms. Rolling back towards him, she made out his face and decided she was too awake.
‘How do you live, then?’ she whispered, ‘do you have a house?’
‘Maybe,’ Brook’s muffled voice answered back.
‘Then why did you bring me here?’ Fern pressed.
‘In case you died,’ he replied simply, ‘I could bury you in the church’s crypt like the last two. Also, if you went rouge on me afterwards. The blood can do different things to everyone.’
‘Like I could have lost my mind?’
‘Yeah and tried to kill me or turned into an unstoppable monster. All that’s rare though and you’ve more chance of dying then that. I could do without the responsibly too.’
Fern rolled her eyes and muttered his name.
‘Go to sleep,’ he suggested and rolled over to her.
He put his arms around her, drawing her into a hug and Fern sank against him. She rubbed her cheek across his hair-less chest and listened to his heartbeat. Brook mused into her hair and pressed his lips to the top of her head. She felt him drifting off to sleep.
‘Brook?’ she whispered.
‘Why did you pick me?’
‘I was bored. Now, be quiet,’ he hissed.
Fern made a fist and knocked it against his shoulder, ‘liar!’
‘I’m tired. We’ll take about it later,’ he explained and held her tighter.
‘I don’t feel sleepy,’ she murmured.
‘That’s probably my blood. Just try to rest. We don’t fall instantly to sleep when the sun rises. The day doesn’t control us like that. That fact about us being ‘undead’ is completely wrong.’
Fern pressed her head to his throat and thought about that. Brook rested his head back and she listened to him fall sleep. She ran her tongue over her teeth carefully and thought about things. Strangely, she recalled the first time she had seen him. She hadn’t give much thought to the background details of that night, but everything came back to her now as if she was there.
The hotel was in night’s grip and she had been standing by the small window looking out on the rolling Lake District landscape. She should have been happy, but the double bed behind her was empty. The only reason she had still come after breaking up with her boyfriend was because she had part paid for the week holiday and hadn’t been able to get a refund. She couldn’t afford to waste money.
Hugging herself, she remembered screaming down the phone at him and him not caring. You’re sick and crazy, he had said, you need help.
Fern touched the window, feeling the coolness of the glass. The thought about jumping out of it out it came to her strongly. She opened the window, letting in the smell of grass and earth drift into the room. However, the gap was too small and she wouldn’t have gotten her shoulders through.
She felt the urge to go outside for a walk, even though it was two in the morning. Getting dressed again and putting on her hiking boots, she left her room. Creeping through the hotel, she almost wanted to be caught. At least then someone else could talk her out of this weirdness, but no one stopped her. The warm breeze wrapped around her and tugged through the outskirts of the town. Not caring where she went, she just walked and soon found herself on the grassy shore of Windermere Lake.
The sky was a rich velvet black coated in white winking stars. There was no moon, just the outlined big dipper opposite her. She watched the water lapping at the tips of her boots and wondered why her life had gone so wrong. She had heard him then through the gentle movement of water, but thought it only some animal.
Studying the lake, she watched transfixed as a man like shape swim towards her and climbed a shore. He was naked, but he wore the night like a cloak. Fern pressed a hand to her mouth, trying desperately to think of something to say. She fixed her eyes to the ground, so she wouldn’t be caught staring at his well-toned body.
‘We meet at last,’ he whispered, though the stillness made his voice painfully loud.
‘Huh? I’m sorry?’ Fern gushed.
‘You’ve been looking for me, haven’t you? Or one of my kind.’
Fern gasped and looked at him more closely. Still the darkness hid him, so she could only make the build of him and his violet eyes.
‘I left my clothes somewhere…’ he hummed and faded away.
‘Wait! Wait! I’m sorry!’ Fern yelled after him.
She stumbled forward, clutching nothing but air. Turning, she looked all around her, but couldn’t see anything. Spinning back, she walked on trying to see him again, but there was only the lake and the starry night. Fern wasn’t sure how she had ended up back at the hotel, but she woke up in the early afternoon believing it all to have been a dream.
It hadn’t been though, she said to herself as she lay in Brook’s arms and moved her head slightly upwards to look at his face. Did you take me back to the hotel and put me to bed? Or did I make it alone? Deciding to add that question to her list of many, she snuggled back down.
Brook moaned and mumbled something. Fern paused wondering if he had been saying something or if it was just sleep. Putting her head back onto his chest, she shut her eyes and from somewhere deep inside her, she knew she had made the right choice. She wasn’t sure her destiny had always been to become a vampire, but that was the path she was now on.
Feeling waves of sleep coming over her, Fern wondered what was going to happen next.
To Be Continued…