"But Elissa was changing as well."
"She awoke, having been completely changed. Her transformation from human to vampire had only taken a few hours. Only a few people know what happened to her after that."
"It was said that she left her home and met a boy that she soon married, and with whom unwittingly had children. Some carried the gene for being a vampire. Some were born fully-fledged. And so life went on."
"As for Damian, we are not so sure. It was rumoured that he married again. Like Elissa, he also had children, who all were already fully-fledged vampires."
Ian finished talking, and the room was silent. My thoughts raced through my head, and I remembered one thing in particular that Ian had said.
"The most dangerous thing of all was that he could no longer control himself. He had intense mood swings and severe headaches......"
I had mood swings and headaches also....did I carry the vampire gene? I came back to earth as Ian said,
"Erika? You still here?"
"Yeah," I said, taking a deep breath and looking at Ian. "How do you know all that?"
"Research," said Ian, laughing softly. I glared at him. How was I supposed to know that? At that moment, my stomach gave a huge growl. I hadn't realized how hungry I was. I couldn't remember the last time I had eaten.
Ian smacked himself in the forehead, and I tried hard to supress a giggle.
"I'm sorry!" he said, looking pained. "I forgot...."
"Smart." snorted Loretta.
After I had eaten, I fell into bed, exhausted. As soon as I fell asleep, dreams entered my consciousness and haunted me. They were so bad that I awoke, shaking, several times.
One of them was of a forest clearing and a battle. Then it flashed to me in a car, unconscious, with Ian holding me. Then it changed to me sitting up in a bed and Ian kissing me.
I awoke breathing heavily. Sunlight was filtering through the heavy drapes and stinging my weary eyes.
I slid out of the bed and pulled on my other clothes, which were stiff but dry. I found the bathroom and scrubbed my face to wash off all the old makeup, then shook my hair out of the pigtails.
"Hey, Erika!" Loretta grinned at me from the table. I smiled back and slid into the chair beside Ian. "We've been talking." said Loretta, propping her chin on her hands and looking at me.
"Yeah?" I said, slightly aprehensive.
"Just about you." she replied chipperly.
"Because that really make me feel so much better." I said sarcastically. Loretta got a fit of giggles at that.
"Well, we were thinking," said Ian, turning to me and ignoring Loretta's look of exaggerated superiority. "That your mother is probably worried sick about you." I winced. Yeah, she probably had the entire police force out looking for me now.
"I should probably go back, shouldn't I?" I said. Ian nodded.
"But we'll visit you!" piped up Loretta, grinning. I turned back to Ian. "You will?"
"Of course," said Ian, looking surprised that I had even thought that they wouldn't.
After we had trekked throught the snow again (well, at least I did), we arrived at my house.
"I don't know how to do this." I said nervously, standing in front of the door.
"I do." said Loretta brightly, brushing past me and opening the door.
"Erika!" my mom cried, hugging me so tightly I couldn't breathe. As she drew back, I could see that her cheeks were tear-stained and she was in only her pajamas.
"Mom, I'm sorry." I said sincerely. "I don't know why I did it....I was just so mad..." It was a lame ending, but I meant it. I hadn't realized how much I had missed my mom.
"It's okay, honey. I remember what it was like to be your age and having my mom baby me. I'll try to improve, okay?"
"Sounds great," I said unsurely. Was that it? Was I really getting off the hook?
"But who are they?" she suddenly asked, noticing Ian and Loretta for the first time.
"Oh, this is Ian and Loretta," I explained. "They brought me in and helped me warm up." It was a bit of an understatement, but she didn't have to know that I had slept in a house of vampires.
Loretta stepped aside as my mom stepped in front of Ian.
"Thank you very much for keeping her safe." my mom said to Ian. "I was really worried, and I kept thinking how flightly hormonal teens can be."
"Ah, yes. That is something I have noticed, as well." Ian said politely, grinning at me as my cheeks burned.
"How old are you?" asked my mom. "Nineteen." Ian replied smoothly. I highly doubted he was.
I almost burst out laughing as I looked over at Loretta and saw her miming falling asleep.
Loretta jumped and composed her face as my mom turned to her.
"Thank you, Loretta, for putting up with her." And I thought I was off the hook.
"Oh, it was really cool, I didn't mind at all." said Loretta, smiling at me.
I returned her smile and then turned towards the stairs. A clean pair of clothes sounded really appealing right now.
"Mind if I follow you?" A velvety voice asked. I turned to find Ian behind me.
"Um, no. But I'm going to change...I'll call you when I'm done."
"Okay." Ian agreed, turning back to my mom and Loretta with a small smile on his face.
I ran up the stairs two at a time, flinging my dirty clothes in the hamper and yanking out a new pair.
On a second thought, I grabbed a tube of mascara and touched up my eyes a bit. I turned away from the mirror and hollered "Ian! You can come up now!". Before the words had completely left my mouth, he was there.
"Gah!" I gasped, stepping away instinctively, stepping on my shoelace and falling onto my sofa.
Ian snorted as he sat down next to me. I rolled my eyes, shoving him playfully. He didn't budge.
"Vampire, remember?" he teased.
"Whatever." We sat in silence for a few minutes.
"I like your hair." he said.
"That was random." He shrugged, looking embarrassed. "But thanks."
Just then, Loretta bounded into the room. "We should go," she said breathlessly.
"You're right." Ian said, getting off the sofa.
"Already?" I asked pleadingly. "We'll visit tomorrow." Ian promised.
And they did. Ian and Loretta visited me almost every day. Loretta had become like a little sister to me. And Ian? I didn't really know. I think I loved him. I wore my hair in braids almost all the time, because he had said that he liked it. I didn't know what to think.
Almost a week after we first met, Ian came over again.
"Loretta couldn't come." he said apologetically. "She, uh, was hungry." I knew what he meant. I had learned last visit that all vampires have to succumb to thirst once in a while. And that meant blood.
"Tell her it's okay." I said, not really minding that it was just me and him.
He smiled at me. "I will."
I shifted my position on the couch, and my hand brushed his. My heart sped up, as it always did when he touched me.
The next thing I knew, his lips were on mine, and everything around us disappeared; there was just me and him, our passionate embrace.
But the next instant, Ian had pulled away. I stared at him, feeling disappointed.
"Erika," said Ian, breathing slightly heavier than ususal. "I'm sorry. I should have controlled myself."
"Um, I don't exactly mind." I said tentatively. His lips twitched in amusement.
"I know. But you have no idea how dangerous this is."
"What do you mean?"