The Vampire Next Door - 1He had been my best friend for the longest time. He was only a year older than I am, but we were inseparable. We lived next door to each other. When we were younger, we cried when it was time to come in from playing Cowboys and Indians. We literally did everything together. If I was being picked on by bullies, he demanded that he be picked on as well, which normally scared the bullies away. If he was being swarmed by girls, I made my way into the throng and pulled him away to safety, but that normally only made the girls come back in stronger numbers and pelt me later with questions I had no answers for.The Vampire Next Door - 13 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
We stuck together all the time and that didn't change as we grew up. As we got older, we studied together, making our parents act strange. What, haven't they seen two best friends help each other out before? It was like they were expecting us to fall in love or something. But it never happened; it would have been just too weird for the both of us.
Besides my best friend wasn't the type
The Vampire Next Door - 2I wiped away my tears and stood up, angry now. "Why the hell did you do that?"The Vampire Next Door - 23 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Reginald took a step back; a confused look crossed his finely chiseled features. He frowned. "Pardon me?"
"Why the hell did you leave me here to suffer while you were gone? Do you know how much that hurt when you left and didn't bother telling me where you were going or how long you were going to be away? Did you bother to even think about me while you were gone?" The anger came out and I couldn't stop it. I tried so hard to pull back on the words that were coming out, but they wouldn't slow. "I went to college while you were away, I graduated while you were away, and I am having a hell of a time trying to find a job that will take me for what I teach! It hasn't been easy for me! I've cried myself to sleep countless nights since you left. And now you just come up out of nowhere and expect everything to be okay and things to go back the way they were! Just who the hell do you think you are?"
Reginald just sto
The Vampire Next Door - 30"Hey, Reguine " I stammered out.The Vampire Next Door - 303 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"My Goddess, dear! I never thought you'd call back! You had me so worried," In an instant, Reginald's voice went from worried to relieved.
I sighed, "I'm sorry. I was just so overwhelmed by the prospect of meeting your family so soon, plus what happened this past week"
Reginald interrupted me, "What happened last week? Are you okay? Why didn't you tell me about this sooner?"
I let Reginald berate me with questions and scoldings for a minute or two before I interrupted him, "Reginald, calm down. I'll tell you about when I see you. It'll be easier to explain everything that way. And, yes, I'm alright. Nothing happened that I couldn't handle." Except that night I can't remember I thought, but didn't mention.
"Even if it took you a couple of days," Ioten yawned. I shot him an angry look, but didn't respond.
"So, when can you leave?" Reginald was speaking again.
I turned my attention back to him, "As soon a
The Vampire Next Door - 11I shuddered involuntarily. I nodded in response and watched him as he left the room. I picked up the book I had abandoned moments ago and tried to keep reading, but my eyes kept gliding over the same words over and over, and I wasn't taking in of the material in. I replaced the book and headed up the stairs.The Vampire Next Door - 113 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I entered the room I was staying in and laid down on the bed. Reaching inside my duffel bag, which was laying on the floor next to the bed, I grabbed the pencils and pens I had brought. I grabbed my composition notebook as well and laid them on my bed.
I starred at the blank pages I had opened to, frowning at my pens and pencils and the lined pages. Words failed me at this time, so I grabbed a pencil and began sketching wolves and other dog-like creatures. Human faces, expressions, and bodies came next. After a while, I began experimenting putting the two together. They weren't nearly as good as I would have liked, but as I drew on, they began looking much better.
The Vampire Next Door - 36I took the package and frowned. "And how much longer until then?"The Vampire Next Door - 363 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Only about an hour and a half," the older man replied.
I raised an eyebrow, but didn't say anything. Either I had slept longer than I had meant to, or Essence and I had talked longer than I remembered. I stood and stretched, trying not to yawn as I did so. Grabbing the package, I headed towards the plane's bathroom.
I frowned once I reached the bathroom, unsure if it was a bathroom or a bed room. It was larger than a normal plane bathroom, but then again, I was on a Vampire plane, so why should the bathroom be any different than the rest of the plane?
I closed the door behind me and locked it. Setting the box on the counter, I gently pulled at the strings, seeing the bow come undone. Pulling off the top and setting it aside, I gasped as I saw what awaited me inside.
I first pulled out a gold chain, punctuated with diamonds and rubies. I lay it on the lid and turned my eyes to the glittering cloth that was still w
The Vampire Next Door - 35"Name's Essence, what's yours?"The Vampire Next Door - 353 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
For a moment I was speechless at the friendliness of the woman. I gave a timid grin back, "I'm Michaele."
Essence grinned, "Nice to meet you, Michaele! So, why are you going to Romania?"
I couldn't keep my own smile back as I saw her grin. "I'm off to see one of my friends and his family. I'm kind of nervous."
She laughed, and I thought I heard a howling sound deep in her voice. "Aw, congratulations, then," she said, "When's the big day?"
I frowned, confused for a moment. My eyes grew wide as I realized what she was talking about, "Oh, no, we're not getting married. It's more complicated than that."
Essence frowned. "Really?" she asked, "How so?"
"Well," I hesitated, unsure of what to say.
Ioten, who had taken Ty's vacant seat looked at me and sighed, "Really, Meisha? You can't tell that she's a Lycan as well?"
I raised an eyebrow at him. Seriously? It was more of a thought than a question, but Ioten nodded as if he had heard me. Of course
The Vampire Next Door - 17"Nonno said he would," Reginald began, but shook his head. "No, I can't tell you about that just yet. You have to find out what you are, exactly. After all, we can't go around calling you 'partial-ling,' that just wouldn't make any sense."The Vampire Next Door - 173 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
He said it with a sad smile on his face that instantly disappeared. I dismissed it from my mind. It wouldn't do any good dwelling on it, yet I was wise enough to store it in the back of mind.
When are you going to tell me then? I asked, getting frustrated, I don't want to have another run in with your cousin and be caught off guard by something he knows that I don't.
I must have struck a nerve mentioning Josiah, but it had to be done. I, of course, had my guesses, but I wanted, I needed, to hear the right answer form someone I trusted. With my grandparents dead, I couldn't go to them, and my parents would only tell me I was making these things up, and the voices in the forest I heard, well, I didn't even know where to star
The Vampire Next Door - 37I gathered my skirt and stood, but paused when she raised her eyebrow at me. I sighed and knelt down and picked up the heels. "Better now?" I asked.The Vampire Next Door - 373 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
She nodded and led the way to the bathroom, holding the door open for me. I noticed my clothes had disappeared, due to Alexander's influence, I'm sure. She motioned me to sit on the toilet, so I did, trying not to fall on my face as I did so.
"How often do you wear make-up?" She asked, standing behind me brushing my hair.
I twisted my face as I pretended to think about it. "Never?" I replied, though it was more of a question than a reply.
Essence looked at me, astonished. "You're kidding?" After I shook my head, she rolled her eyes, "Who is going to look after you when you meet this boy of yours?"
"Probably the servants," I muttered, too low for her to hear. Louder, I said, "I can try."
She shook her head and chuckled. "Oh, Mickey, I'll do my best for now, and show you how it's done as I go."
We spent the next twenty minutes putting me tog
The Vampire Next Door - 34"Oh, hun, I'm sorry." The woman laughed. "I understand your confusion. Not many Lycans still have their soul loose when they travel. It's rather uncommon."The Vampire Next Door - 343 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I blushed slightly. "What would be the cost of him coming with me?" I asked.
The woman shook her head, "No charge. He's part of you, after all."
I smiled, thanking her quickly. "What about my brother?" I ventured, hoping it would be alright for him as well.
She looked down for a moment and smiled again. "You're in luck. A passenger couldn't make and there's an open seat." She rattled off a number and I sighed, pulling my card from my pocket.
After paying the fare for Ty's ticket and luggage, we headed off towards our terminal, assuming we'd have to wait for a couple of hours. As we arrived, Alexander was standing near the windows, looking towards the airfield.
"Alexander!" I called as we approached.
He turned around, a smile spreading on his face. "My dear, it's good to see you again!" He looked down at Ioten and then back up at Ty,
The Vampire Next Door - 16When I woke up, I was back in the bedroom of my apartment, alone. Reginald had returned me to the one place he swore he would keep me from until Josiah was gone. I tried to sit up, but I realized that I didn't have the strength to do so. I leaned my head back against the pillow and closed my eyes.The Vampire Next Door - 163 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
As I listened to my surroundings, I noticed I could hear a little better than I used to, though the sounds were still hard to distinguish. I could hear music in the next room, through the closed door. I also caught sounds of murmuring. I could make out Reginald's voice, but the rest of the voices were jumbled together.
"No, no!" I heard Reginald growl above the rest of the voices, "I won't let you!"
Something was going on, and I had to be there to help him, with whatever it may be. I tried to sit up again, this time managing to sit upright in my bed. That was as far as I got before I ran out of breath and felt like falling back down.
Reginald was at my side before I could blink twice. Was my
The Vampire Next Door - 9He smiled, "Of course, boy. Relax. I will teach her, since you have other matters to attend to." He raised an eyebrow, and even I could tell that was a clear dismissal.The Vampire Next Door - 93 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"I did take classes in Romanian and Italian while I was in college, so I sort of know the languages," I shrugged shyly, "It's just that I have a hard time understanding it when you talk so fast."
Reginald's grandfather looked at me, a brief flash of emotion across his face showed that he was surprised and impressed, if only because I took the initiative to learn them when Reginald was gone. Reginald raised an eyebrow, his way of showing his surprise. I blushed slightly; suddenly glad I had taken those classes.
Reginald walked over to me. "Meisha, I'll have to go for a bit, I've got to find Josiah. Nonno will play nice, alright? By the way, his name is Alexander. It's Romanian for defender of mankind." He gave me a quick hug and bolted out the door.
Alexander smiled ruefully. "He's always been like that." He walke
The Vampire Next Door - 8Reginald stepped outside of the truck, grabbed my bag, and opened my door, just as I finished unbuckling my seat belt and reached for the door handle. Was it just my imagination, or was he getting faster? I shook it from my mind as I stepped out of the truck and followed him up to the door.The Vampire Next Door - 83 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
He didn't knock, but he just walked in the house, calling out "Nonno?" as we entered. It was dark, but somehow, Reginald managed to walk to the living room and set my belongings down.
"Sit here," he said, pulling me to the couch. "I'm going to look for my grandfather."
I nodded and sat on the edge of the couch, nervous for entering into this strange house. I heard a noise soon after Reginald left and I looked towards the sound, trying to see through the darkness.
"So, I see my foolish grandson has brought you here. It seems that he still won't listen to me." The voice came out of the darkness.
A light came on and I was blinded momentarily. I blinked the spots away and saw, for the first time,
The Vampire Next Door - 6Reginald was interrupted by a knock on the door. I looked up and frowned. It was well after midnight by now, and a glance at my watch confirmed that. No one made social calls to my door, mainly due to the fact that I had few friends, but none that would knock at my door past midnight. I stood up to unlock and answer my door, but Reginald grabbed my hand and held me back. I gave him a questioning look, but he didn't respond. Instead he pulled me back down on the couch and stood himself.The Vampire Next Door - 63 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Oh, bloody hell, Reginald. Answer the damn door. I know you're in there." A male voice that I didn't recognize called out. "Come on, stop hiding behind women, you wimp."
I gave Reginald a questioning look. He muttered something that I didn't quite catch as he stood and walked to the door. He unlocked and opened the door to reveal a handsome tall man. His dark hair was cropped short-ish, and his deep dark hazel eyes seemed to stare into my soul as he looked around.
"Mm, oh my, Reginald, isn't she a tasty
The Vampire Next Door - 7"Josiah." It wasn't a question, it was a statement. He knew who I was talking about now, and worry quickly replaced the comprehending look. He left my room only to return seconds later. He shook his head.The Vampire Next Door - 73 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Put on something warmer." He demanded.
I looked at him in shock, "What?"
"You're not going to stay here. Put on some warm clothing and pack a bag for a couple of days."
"Where are you going to take me?"
He paused, "While he may not like it, he'll deal with it," It was muttered to himself. He turned to me, "We're going to my grandfather's house, seeing as he's conveniently moved near this city for a while. You'll be safe there until I can find someplace " He trailed off as he disappeared from my room again.
I quickly stuffed a couple shirts and jeans into a duffle bag along with my Italian and Romanian dictionaries. I also grabbed a couple of books and placed them carefully into the bag, not wanting to damage my precious friends. Several pens, pencils, and composition notebooks f
The Vampire Next Door - 4He glanced at the ground, put his glasses back on and turned to walk away. "I see this isn't going the way it probably should," he paused, looked at me one last time, and walked away saying, "I'll find you again when you're more open to what I have to say."The Vampire Next Door - 43 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
With that he disappeared. I got in my car, shut the door and began crying again. It wasn't planned, but you know how things "just happen"? Well, this was one of those times. I just happened to start crying when he left, and I don't know why. I was still mad at him, wasn't I? Or was it the "inner" me that was crying out, wanting to know why he didn't just hold me like the child I felt?
It was a while before I finally could turn on the car and head home. By then it was dark and raining again. I entered my shabby apartment and crawled into my bed. I hid under the dark blue blanket and curled up as tight as I could. I barely took up any of the bed when I did this, and it used to make Reginald laugh. This thought only triggered the tears
The Vampire Next Door - 3I walked into the forest, and took the well-worn path towards a series of caves that I used to call home when Reginald and I would run away from home, only to return later that night or the next day. I chose a cave close to the ground, spread my blanket out, and tugged on my hoodie.The Vampire Next Door - 33 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I leaned against the cave wall and closed my eyes. I sighed as my thoughts began crowding my mind now that it was quiet and there was nothing but the sound of the woodland creatures to interrupt them.
Why did he finally come back now? Why not sooner, or later? And how did he know where to find me? My parents would have called me once they knew that he was in town, even if he told them not to. I yawned slightly as my thoughts turned to the events that took place at the shop.
Why was I so mad at him? I should have been excited to see him, thrilled even. Ugh, this isn't right! I should be wilting at his smile, dying for him to hold me, or something! Why can't things just go back the way they were?
The Vampire Next Door - 45I sighed again, trying to clear my mind. I opened an eye and glanced at Ioten. He was no more than a shimmer in the dim light. Just a few more days and I'd be "whole" as Ioten liked to call it.The Vampire Next Door - 452 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Eyes closed, Meisha." Ioten warned, showing his teeth.
I followed his instruction immediately, shutting my eyes. Taking a deep breath, I tried to refocus on what was supposed to be our final lesson. But as I was close to refocusing my mind, a sound distracted me and I groaned.
Ioten sighed. "Meisha, this isn't working."
"I know." I opened my eyes and fell backwards so I was lying on the floor, staring up at the ceiling of the library.
"I don't know what to do with you, dear," Ioten groaned as he flopped on the floor.
"Take her into the forest," a voice suggested from the library's door.
I tilted my head back and grinned at my brother. "Hey there, Ty," I waved up from my spot on the floor.
Ioten tilted his head, "That isn't a bad ideal, Tysander. Thank you."
The Vampire Next Door - 44Victor chuckled, "Years of practice." His eyes seemed to glow red as he spoke. "Makes it easier for me as a Hunter."The Vampire Next Door - 442 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"I knew that there was something about you I didn't like." Reginald's voice was almost too soft to make out.
Victor glanced down at Reginald's arm still around my waist, but otherwise didn't say anything on Reginald's comment. Instead, all he did was snort at the jibe. He raised an eyebrow at my brother, who moved over so Victor could slide in next to him. Once he was settled, Victor turned his gaze to me.
"How much longer is he going to follow you around?" Victor asked, his hands folded in front of his face as he leaned on his elbows, which were propped on the table.
I felt Reginald tense, but ignored it. "He's teaching me rather quickly," I responded, "As fast as he can in fact."
The waitress came back at that time, frowning when she saw Victor sitting across from me. Reginald waved her off once she had set our food down, dismissing her with ease.
"It seems you have th
The Vampire Next Door - 13My eyes shot open. "Who's there?" I called out, looking around from my seat. "Reginald, is that you?"The Vampire Next Door - 133 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Awaken thine soul, Meisha, and call upon us.
It wasn't a voice so much as the wind blowing. But the wind was still and as far as I could tell, I was still alone. "Who is there?" I called out again.
When thou art ready, Meisha, we shall come for thee.
It was silent then, as if the voice, or wind, had never come. I looked down at the words written in my notebook and my eyes widened again. Not Michaele, but Meisha. Even my great-grandparents had called me that.
I spelt out Meisha on the paper and translated it to what my great-grandparents had mentioned. It spelt out blood of wolves and blood of angels. Reginald had said Lycans had wolf blood as well as the DNA of another species. Could that include angels? I shuddered.
Then, with curiosity taking over, I spelt out Reginald's name. It was nothing more than light in either language. I tried Reguine and ga
The Vampire Next Door - 12"Of course," I replied. "Be safe yourself, okay?"The Vampire Next Door - 123 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
He nodded. "Of course, anything for you, Meisha."
I listened to his footsteps as he walked down the hall and then down the stairs. I didn't move from my position on the bed, half afraid I would run after him and try to convince him to stop looking for Josiah. Yet, while I thought that, another thought told me he wouldn't listen to me until Josiah was dead or gone for good.
As he left, I looked down at my rough sketches. Were these creatures real, or were they simply a myth that I had begun to take an interest in? And was it possible for them to have the blood of other creatures as well?
My eyes widened in shock. The thought brought back memories long forgotten of my great-grandparents. They were always speaking of blood, although they referred to it differently than I was thinking of it now.
"The blood of wolves," my great-grandfather smiled proudly, "That is the blood you carry in your veins, young one. Be proud of this forever more
The Vampire Next Door - 10As I ran down the stairs, I nearly ran into Reginald, who happened to be going up the same time I was going down. He caught me as I began falling backwards, trying not to bump into him.The Vampire Next Door - 103 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
He smiled, "In a hurry this morning?"
I nodded, my head moving rapidly, "I have to get to work." I began to disentangle myself from his arms and headed down the stairs.
Reginald shook his head, "No, you don't. I called in for you already. I told your supervisor that someone had broken into your apartment last night and that you wouldn't be making it in to work this morning. And that you're staying with a friend out of town until the repairs can take place. They've given you as much time as you need off."
I starred at Reginald, my mouth open in shock. "You didn't-"
"Actually, I did. I need you to stay here with my nonno, I don't need Josiah to find you and" He didn't finish his sentence. Instead he looked away and walked back down the stairs.
I followed behind, slower this time, and frowned.
The Vampire Next Door - 14"You will let her go, now, Josiah," a second male voice growled. I turned my face to look at him and nearly cried out with joy.The Vampire Next Door - 143 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Josiah laughed. He tossed me to Reginald saying, "Finally, the hero shows up. It's about time, cousin. I was afraid you weren't going to come and all my waiting had gone to waste."
Reginald caught me and held me close. I closed my eyes and inhaled his musky scent. I cried tears of joy and pain as Reginald held my hurt body. I knew that I hurt all over, but I wasn't sure how much was broken.
"Why didn't you come sooner?" I whispered through my tears.
"I tried, but I couldn't hear you, Meisha. I'm so sorry. It won't happen again, I swear." He murmured back to me.
I gave a weak chuckle, "Well, I'll keep you to that if you can manage to keep us both alive."
Reginald smiled down at me as he sat me down on the ground gently. "Call for Alexander. I'll need his help, and so will you."
"How do I do that?" I asked.
"With your mind, the same way you did with me." Reginal
The Vampire Next Door - 56Within seconds I got a response, Meisha, is that you?The Vampire Next Door - 562 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Yeah, I said, blushing, Sorry it's been so long since we've talked.
Silence answered me. I was afraid that he was angry with me. Could he be that furious that there were no words to express his disappointment and anger?
Where are you? Why has it taken you so long to talk to me? You were supposed to be back in a week, and it's been over two months! He went off in this vein for a few minutes, cussing at me and about his parents. They think I've brought you here to have the Lycans attack us! They want to hunt you down!
After a few more moments of this, my own anger broke through, Reginald, enough! I snarled at him.
I felt a stunned silence answer my fury. I grabbed the moment before he could continue his rant,
Look, for over a month I was stuck in between life and death. My Fitting with Ioten was only supposed to last a week, but something happened that kept me there for much longer. I didn'