Bloody Roses

Bloody Roses

A private RP between 4ever_dreaming and RainWish. London, England, 1889. A vampire begins to find himself fascinated by a young, human girl. Will he be able to fight his instincts, or will temptation win?

334 readers have visited this universe since RainWish created it.

Introduction

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London, England, 1889, the ending of the Victorian Era. It is the city of life, well known for its lavish parties hosted by the rich and the urchins that scramble the streets. It is a time of wealth and dignity, where proper young ladies are required an escort and young males come to court those they desire. Fun and games, fun and games.

What many people leave out about this regal period was the creatures that also dwelled with the humans, the creatures that still roam on the earth till this very day. There is a secret society of a race with an unknown origin. They allow few outsiders into their secret world, and those that are enlighten are fated to die. It is their blood, human blood, that has allowed this race to survive throughout the years. Unknown to much of England, Vampires roam the streets.

Many wonder how this ancient race is able to function from the shadows. The Vampires have taken precautions to secure their identities. With their age and time, they have secured a small, or large, fortune for themselves allowing them to join the elite in London society. To remain hidden, many of them also have multiple estates that they relocate to with every new generation to conceal their ageless virtues. They attend the lavish parties and are familiar with the proper protocols of society to appear nothing more than a member of the elite: money, manners, and morals.

Many have come to respect the humans, some come to laugh at them, thinking of them as merely entrees to hunt and enjoy. Some feel that eternal life is a gift, others believe it to be a curse. The Vampiric society has its own system of government located beneath Big Ben where the Elders give their word. And their word is law.

All of the vampires know that they walk a fine line between the shadows and the light, one wrong move could set everything ablaze. What will happen if one of the vampires of the elite begins to feels drawn to a human girl? Will he sacrifice the balance and reveal himself to her? Or will his bloodlust win control of his actions in a senseless slaughter?


The Elder's Laws
• Humans must remain ignorant to our existence.
• All disputes will be brought before the Elders for a civil trial.
• You may not, under any condition, create a new vampire without consent from the elders.


Vampiric Nature
• Some vampires live together in "Families" or covens to give a sense of community. Others prefer to live alone.
• Holy water, fire, crosses, silver bullets, and sunlight may harm a vampire.
• Many vampires are gifted with supernatural abilities. These tend to increase with age.
•A vampire will have heightened senses, speed, and strength.
• They do not necessarily sleep in coffins. Beds are preferred.
• Vampires can consume mortal food, but many tend not to since it provides no nutrition. Alcohol, however, is a good way to "fit in" with the mortals at a party. It is very difficult for a vampire to become drunk, but it is possible after an excessive amount.
• A vampire must consume blood a minimum of once every three days. If they do not, they will slowly begin to decay.
• To create a new vampire, the human's blood must be drained completely. In the moment of their death, the vampire must feed their own blood to sire the new creature into the world. Most of the Sire's blood must be feed to the vampire in order for the exchange to work properly. More times than not, the timing is missed and the human dies forever. This process is extremely painful for both the human and vampire/


Roles
Human (Female)- Emmaline Hallows played by RainWish
Vampire (Male)- Samuel Ephraim Lawton played by 4ever_dreaming

Name:
Age: (Actual and Apparent)
Appearance: (Any type of picture, words, or both)
Personality:
Likes:
Dislikes:
Biography: (Include brief mortal life and how he was turned.)

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The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 2 authors

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[[Sorry for such the long absence! My teachers decided to pile on a ton of homework and tests right before Spring Break. But thankfully, I am there now! So I'll be posting a ton(: Also, I plan on Emmaline soon finding out of his nature. Is that alright? I just feel as if it would move the story along even faster, and it'll be more fun for the both of us :D And sorry about this post: it's a bit dark. . . and disturbing haha]]

After he had spoke those words that had slipped out from betwixt his lips, Emmaline took his hand gently, a bright smile plastered to her face, and laced her fingers through his.

What have I done. . .? What he had said was only partly true - he had, in fact, felt very happy playing that piano with her, but not happier than he had been in years. His vindictive nature caused him to revel in the pain and blood that came with being a vampire. He had always been rather cruel, even as a human. This insignificant little girl could do nothing to change his heartlessness - but. . . somehow. . . - NO. He would not give in. He could crush this tiny human in a matter of seconds, and no one would be the wiser. And yes. . . he could still smell the blood that ran thick in her veins - just a few centimeters beneath her skin.

And he wanted it. He wanted to kill her. He wanted to hear her scream when he ripped out her throat. And most of all, he wanted to see the brightness of her eyes dull as he sucked the life out of her.

With a sigh - a bit of hatred, and a bit of despair - Ephraim began to feel the warmth of her hand seep into his skin. Oddly enough, it calmed the festering emotions in his mind that thought of killing her. He chucked bitterly under his breath - what a terrible creature he was.

And yet, I can live with myself.

Her soft voice broke through the silent battle he held with himself, and he looked up to see her lips begin to move as the sound of her voice slowly creapt into his ears. "I am glad to hear that," she said softly. "We play well together; I would be delighted if you ever decided to come back and continue our tun. But Samuel. . ." The girl paused, her gentle voice hesitant when she spoke next. "I will not press you for your tale, although it seem that even my wildest imaginations would not be able to create such a tragedy as yours. But know that hiding them deep inside you will only last for so long. These tender creatures may appear tolerable in the beginning, but it does not take much for your attention to be diverted as they begin to fester and grow. No heart is susceptible to such darkness, no matter how strong the mind may be. Do not loose yourself, because it would be sad to see such a magnificent creature disappear."

He laughed, a bit of humor actually changing his expressionless features. "I do not believe for one second, my dear Emmaline, that there is any chance you could be susceptible to such darkness that poisons my mind." His tone, as he spoke the word 'dear', was black and sarcastic. "And as for losing myself," he said, finally calming enough for his voice to be soft and heartbroken. "How do you know that I haven't already?"

As she stood, continuing to smile at him, Ephraim saw it falter slightly with the harsh tone he had spoken in. "I will be here if you ever do need someone to share your story with." Moving toward the back, Emmaline rested a hand on his shoulder, a bit of hesitation in her movements. "We have many more songs to play togethr, I am sure," she said, resting her hand on his shoulder, " let us not waste them all in one night. I just have to clean the tables before I am dismissed for the night and we can begin our walk."

Ephraim watched as she slid away from him, into the back for a few moments, then to grab a cloth and begin work on the tables. In his cold, dead heart, he began to feel the guilt of his actions. True, no one would know. But this family - they would realize the pain that he felt constantly at the loss of his life. It was all one and the same. . .

And yet, he would still kill her. After all, people had called him Death, itself.

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[[ Haha. Stop apologizing, it's perfectly okay! I'm not worried. RPing is meant to be fun, not stressful. And do what you would like with my little Emmaline. This is character driven, do what you think is best. It makes it more interesting when the other player adds their own twists into the game. Looking forward to how he tells her, lol. And yes, it will help things move forward. ]]

Emmaline sighed softly as she left Samuel, her mind heavy with thought. His demeanor seemed to be constantly changing. One of a light and kind man, and another of a man that Emmaline could only wonder about. His words were spoken with good intentions, but she could not deny the shiver that occasionally rippled up her spine as if his meanings were laced with. . . Darkness. Yes, that is what it felt like. She had sensed his many shadows from the beginning, but either they haunted the man greatly or . . . He embraced them. Emmaline could only see the world through roses, her mind fell naively to her first assumption. "And as for losing myself, how do you know that I haven't already?" Emmaline shivered involuntarily to the memory of these words, unsure why her mind had dragged them back into focus. And still, she would not believe his words were anything more than their flirtatious child's play. A game, 'twas all. An innocent game.

Without looking back at him, although her desire to do so was strong, Emmaline slipped into the back room to gather a cloth to clean the front portion of the tavern. "That was a new song you played tonight. Glad you had so much free time," a voice sneered from behind.

Emmaline turned and smiled to her aunt, not allowing the woman's wicked tune to damped her emotional high. Her thoughts were now focused upon her walk with Samuel. He wanted to show her the stars. Where would they go? What would he show her? Such thoughts waltzed about her mind, building a barrier from Tabitha's foul mood. "The customers enjoyed the music," Emmaline said simply. "And I was keeping a customer pleased by playing with them."

"What?" Tabitha said, her brows knitting together.

At this moment, John entered the room and sensed Emma's free spirit. He glanced out the doorway to see Ephraim's shadow and frowned, unsure what to think of this. "So, he's still here," John mused casually.

Tabitha's frown increased, angered by the secret between husband and niece. "What? Who?" Tabitha crouched around the door, her eyes blinking quickly. At first she assumed Ephraim to only be a shadow, blinking in surprise to realize differently. "Who is that?" she questioned, facing Emmaline. "Why is he still here and sitting at my sisters old matchbox? That thing should be burned."

Emmaline cringed at Tabitha calling the piano a matchbox. She was accustomed to such threats by now and knew that John would not allow his wife to harm the piano especially since its true owner was Emmaline after her mother's passing, but the disrespect and cruelty in Tabitha's voice wounded Emmaline. The piano was her one escape from this life. And, it had belonged to her mother. Never did Emmaline feel closer to the woman than at the very instrument she had learned to play on.

"His name is Samuel Lawton," Emmaline informed them gently. "He was playing a duet with me. He is quite good and has offered to come back occasionally. The other customers enjoyed it also."

John blinked in surprise although he remained silent to the news. Tabitha did not share such restraint. "No. I am not paying for an instrumentalist. This is a tavern not the opera house, he can take his music and--"

"He is not looking for pay," Emmaline cut in before Tabitha could finish. "He is wealthy himself. He just enjoys the music."

"Then what is he look for, exactly?" John inquired, standing up tall. He did not want a repeat of the prior nights events. "Come on, Emma. Just finish your chores and I'll walk you home."

Emmaline smiled, her eyes warm as she looked to her aunt and uncle. "Samuel has all ready offered to escort me. Do not worry, I'll finish first," she said, grabbing her cloth and slipping from the room before they could respond. She grinned to herself, twisting the cloth about her hands as she walked to the front, warmth spreading inside her.

Emmaline worked quickly on the tables, knowing that Tabitha would check every one carefully and make her redo the task if she was not satisfied in the morning. Her ocean eyes would drift to Samuel occasionally, watching as he sat upon the piano bench encased in shadows. It was just a natural occurrence, not a response to their conversation, she had to remind herself carefully.

Emmaline sighed softly and placed her hands upon her hips to survey her work. Each table had been swept and cleaned. Tabitha would find no complaint tonight. Returning her rag to its home, Emmaline draped a shall over her shoulders and returned to Samuel's side. The air was still cool and rain threatened the night as if the previous downfall had not drained the heavy clouds completely. "I am yours to escort for the evening, Samuel," she said, smiling coyly down to him.

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Whilst she was in the back, Ephraim listened absentmindedly to the soothing lull of her voice as Emmaline talked to her aunt and uncle. . .

"And I was keeping a customer pleased by playing with them."

"What?"

"So he's still here. . ."


Mindless babble that he could have cared less for. . .

"Why is he still here and sitting at my sisters old matchbox? That thing should be burned."

He could practically see Emmaline cringe at the words of her darling piano being threatened.

"His name is Samuel Lawton. He was playing a duet with me. . . . He is quite good and has offered to come back occasionally."

Silence.

"No. I am not paying for an instrumentalist."

"He is not looking for pay - he is wealthy himself. He just enjoys the music."


It's true - Ephraim had quite a bit of fun listening to the beautiful music his fingers had created. . .

"Samuel has all ready offered to escort me. Do not worry, I'll finish first"

With that, the girl came quietly out of the back and began her work on the tables. After a few moments of looking to see that they were quite perfect, she set the rag down in the back and headed back toward Ephraim. Flashing him a coy smile, she spoke. "I am yours to escort for the evening, Samuel."

Repressing his dark emotions that swam beneath the surface, Ephraim rose and gave her a small smile as he gently took her hand and lead them both out of the tavern. Emmaline pointed in the direction of her lodgings and they began to walk down the street in the cool air. As they walked, there was no conversation between them. The only sounds that could be heard were the wet drops of a slight drizzle that had begun to take over the town. And, of course, the beautifully disturbing melody that escaped from his lips - Ephraim humming under his breath.

When his voice finally broke through the harsh silence of the night, it was low and ominous. "Tell me Emmaline, what is your greatest fear?" Ephraim realized she had begun to feel that something had changed in him - he had felt it himself - and yet, he had no control over it. The longing to feed on her grew in him and threatened to overwhelm his remaining humanity. He was incredibly thirsty, and the tempting blood of the girl beside him was doing nothing to help his dwindling self-control.

And so, he gave up.

Wrenching her toward him, Ephraim backed up into an alley to his right. He pushed her roughly against the wall and pressed against her, placing a leg on either side of her body. Gripping her wrists in one hand, he brought them to the brick above her head and held them there. Now, she couldn't move.

At this time, his fangs had slid out of his mouth and he bared them savagely at her, a low growl building deep in his chest. Though the poor, terrified girl may not have noticed - or understood - the vampire had no restraint over this part of himself. It was simply his nature. Right then, he had lost himself - utterly, and completely. A wild glint in his eyes, and knowledge of his previous behavior, were the only hints at this horrid turn of events. It was as if all sense of descency had left him, and he was now an animal. No, not an animal -

A Vampire.

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Emmaline smiled softly as Samuel escorted her homeward. She held his arm tenderly, her eyes gazing warmly forward. She felt as if the sparse rain did not dare to touch her. Even if it did, there was no dampening of her mood.

The silence between them grew stiff and uncomfortable. Emmaline pondered what subjects to bring up, but the thick cloud was too strong for the girl to penetrate. She decided to remain mute, enjoying the soft patter of the rain and the lull of Samuel's hum. "Tell me Emmaline, what is your greatest fear?"

Emma brought her eyes up to Samuel hesitantly. Such a strange question to ask in the middle of the night. She looked to him deeply, frowning. Something was suddenly wrong. Or, perhaps, it had always been wrong and she had been blinded to the truth.

Before the young girl could answer the question, Samuel grabbed her wrist tightly and pulled her against him while backing quickly into an ally. Emmaline's eyes flashed with confusion. "Samuel. . . " she joked, not realizing the danger she was in. Emmaline tried to struggle playfully away but he was too strong for her lithe body. She released a terrified screech but was silenced when thrown back against the wall and captured between his body. She whimpered softly, realizing this was not a playful game.

Emma attempted to struggle but was caught completely by him, her body and neck exposed as if nothing more than prey. His wild eyes brought tears trickling down her cheeks, mummers of freedom babbling from her stumbling lips. She did not attempt to scream again. She could feel his strength and knew that she would be dead before her cry would capture any attention. Her hands ceased in their struggle bound above her head, her body growing limp. If he had not been supporting her now, Emmaline would have collapsed to the ground from terror and exhaustion.

Emma turned her head away from Samuel, unable to bare the site of him as his fangs loomed closer and she could see the bloodlust clouding his beautiful eyes. She could feel the chill from the stone creeping into her back and consuming her body heat. What else of her would be consumed? Emmaline could not be certain. Or she simply did not want to know.

Her glittering eyes caught sight of the moon he had judged so harshly only the night before. Even with this, she still found it beautiful. However, it was not the last sight she wanted to see. Emmaline considered if she should count the remaining breaths that he allowed her to take. Such strange things people thought of when the chance of death grew so close.

Her frightened tears streaked her pale cheeks, all color lost from face. She swallowed, her face turning towards him again. "Is this why you helped me last night? So you could kill me yourself?" Her voice was weak from fear but also void of accusation. She had, it seemed, forgiven Samuel for his actions. She simply wanted to know if he had been planning for this all along.

She could feel her heart pounding inside her chest, her breath quick and shallow. One breath, two breath… Three…. Four…

“Thank you for playing the piano with me,” she murmured, her gaze clouded with fear. “It was lovely to hear you play. I just hope that eventually you can be free from this darkness.” Emmaline lifted her chin and pressed her eyes closed, not wanting to watch his feral features any longer. She was ready… As ready as she ever would be.

Five. . . Six. . . Seven. . .





[[ WOW! You did that well. Hope you like Emma’s reaction. Me? I would have been scared senseless. Lol ]]

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[[Haha same here! Pretty darn terrifying. . . And thank you ^.^ Oh, Emmaline's reaction was perfect! I can definitely work with that ;) ]]

As he dragged her toward the alley, Ephraim faintly heard her scream, but the horrifying sound was soon lost in the devistation of his vampiric self. It had finally overcome him, and the man was no longer Ephraim. . .

~_______________________~*~______________________~

The girl struggled feebly in its stony grasp, begging for her life to be spared. But it was hopeless - the words could not even reach the consciousness of the former inhabitant of this heartless shell that held her. The man was simply too far gone. It brought her head back and inhaled the scent of the scarlet drug that ran thick in her veins. An animalistic cry escaped from its lips and it growled once again at the girl. Bloodlust clouded all other thoughts from its mind - that is, if it still had possession of one - and its fangs were exposed, extended fully and glistening a pearly white in the light of the moon. They were like tiny, shining daggers that pulled out from its mouth, awaiting the blood that would feed its insatiable hunger.

As the fangs neared her neck, it indistinctly heard the girl speak. "Is this why you helped me last night? So you could kill me yourself?" Her voice was filled with fear, yet free of allegation. This small realization slipped past the dark wall that kept captive the former man; a small spark of life alighted in its eyes.

But then, the beast heard the wet pounding of her heart - a low thump that reverberated madly in its mind - and the spark faded as the beating continued to echo through its simple thoughts.

The girl's pale eyelids closed softly, her lips gently forming the words in succession: One. . . two. . . three. . . four. . .

"Thank you for playing the piano with me," she murmured, her gaze clouded with fear.
At these words, a tiny hint of recognition fought weakly to the front of the creature's mind. "It was lovely to hear you play. I just hope that eventually you can be free from this darkness."

Five. . . Six. . . Seven. . .


The vampire reared its head as the man - held in the shadowy prison of his other nature - ripped free of the cruel chains that pulled ruthlessly at him. Blood bound the vampire, and it struggled to fight back against the clear mind of its human counterpart. In a matter of seconds, crimson bands overwhelmed the demon and the man broke free.

In the eyes of the girl, it must have seemed as if the creature attacking her had simply gone mad as it thrashed its head wildly from side to side, tripping over itself and falling painfully to the ground. But soon, it managed to stop twitching and seemed to kneel regally to her, as if asking for forgiveness, with its head hung despairingly in failure.

After a moment, the. . . thing in front of her raised its head.

~_______________________~*~______________________~

Ephraim's eyes were clouded and dull in the heat of the battle he had endured. His dark hair hung messily in his eyes and the glistening fangs still protruded from his lips. As he brought his head up - a weary and dazed expression flashing across his face - he faintly grasped the predicament that he was in. A slight feeling of guilt flickered in his mind and he stood, swaying unsteadily on his feet. Gathering the courage, he willed his eyes to look upon the face of the girl that he had attacked -

My dear Emmaline. . .

The memory ignited in his thoughts. Ephraim began to feel the strength flowing back into his battered body and he stood tall in the rain. Staring quietly at Emmaline, his lips parted and he spoke, his voice heavy with sorrow. "I am so sorry. . ."

At this, he turned quickly and took a step in the opposite direction, preparing to leave. . .

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Emmaline's body quivered softly, lost in fear and confusion. She could feel the rumble from the beast's chest pressed against her bosom. This was it. Her mind was blank, unable to think of anything besides fear.

Emma felt the ivory daggers scrap against her neck, ready to take hold of its prey. All it would take was one pin prick for it all to be over. She drew her breath - her last breath - in slowly, savoring the taste of the damp, London air on her tongue mixing with the fallen rain and tears. Instead of pain, however, a ferocious rumble rippled through her body. Emma's eyes opened, confused and curious if she had all ready died. What she saw was even more terrifying. The beast appeared to turn against itself, growling and moaning in angst as if trying to tear itself in two.

Emmaline watched in horror as it drew its attention away from her, thrashing its head and moaning like a feral wolf trying to tear itself in two. It collapsed suddenly to the ground, beaten and winded. She could see its back move as if gasping for empty air. Its body stiffened and stilled. All Emma could hear was the roar of the rain. Slowly the creature lifted its face towards her, sorrowful eyes dark and broken. She watched silently as he rose from the ground, gazing into her eyes with a mixture of regret and forgiveness. "I'm so sorry. . . "

She watched helplessly as the beast turned to flee, her mind clouded and unable to sift through what had occurred. Without Samuel's body pressing against hers, Emmaline felt her knees grow weak as she slid slowly to the ground unsupported. Her sapphire dress billowed around her figure as if trapped inside an ocean of tears. Emma swallowed hard, her hand drifting slowly upward to rub her unmarked neck. She blinked slowly, her mind still deciphering that the air was still passing through he lungs. He had. . . Spared her.

Emmaline turned he head up to him, blue eyes watering. Her golden curls were plastered against her shoulders, heavy from the rain. "Samuel. . . " she whispered, unable to believe that Samuel, her Samuel, could be such a monster. Her breath and pulse slowed to its normal pace, but her mind still whirled with fury. Emmaline scrambled forward, tripping first before managing to settle on her feet and stumbled to his side. He continued forward and turned into the street, either not hearing or ignoring her plea.

Emma shuffled forward as quickly as her terrified body would allow. She knew that she was a fool, that she had escaped the monster and should be thankful that he decided to spare her. However, her dance with Death only served to confuse her more. "Samuel!" she cried again, standing behind him. She trembled softly but her eyes held strength. "Why. . . " Emma paused, gasping slightly between sobs before she could bring herself to continue. "Why didn't you kill me? Why did you spare me when I could feel your breath and teeth against my neck?" She drew a deep breath, shaking her head softly. Her knees trembled and she found the need to lean against the wall for support. There was something else she needed to know. She knew the answer, but wanted to hear it from his - its lips. "What are you?"

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He moved slowly away from the girl - afraid that he would never see her again, yet terrified that he would. Around him, the rain fell steadily from the dark clouds above, filling the air with tiny crystal tears. The shuffle of movement behind him made him hesitate as she moved toward his ragged figure.

"Samuel. . ."

The sound of his 'human' name caused him to turn, and he saw her stumble on the stony road.

"Why. . ." She gasped, a sob breaking free from her lips, as if it was all too much. "Why didn't you kill me? Why did you spare me when I could feel your breath and teeth against my neck?"

Ephraim stared at her, his features stoic and non-expressive. At the sight of the strength in her eyes, despite all that had happened to her, he cocked his head curiously to the side and continued to look on in wonder.

Taking a deep breath, she spoke once again, her knees tremling slightly. "What are you?" Her voice was soft, and he understood why she asked.

In a low voice, just barely heard over the patter of rain, he started," I am. . ." He broke off suddenly, almost ashamed to admit to her what he was. But seeing the determiniation in her eyes, he finished. "I am a vampire."

[[Short post = dramatic! Haha Now, I was planning on this being the end of their conversation and our next posts being those "2 Weeks Later. . ." type things (basically, he left after telling her and she moved on with her life) - I had a sort of plan for how Emmaline begins to trust Ephraim again, then their whole "Forbidden Love Story" can start. That good with you? If you have any other ideas, pray tell (: ]]

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Emmaline focused only upon Samuel. Her eyes glistened softly as he spoke; it was as if she was unable to accept what he told her. This could not be true. And yet, she had seen it with her own eyes. The bloodlust would forever be engraved into her mind, fearful of when it could strike again. I am. . . I am a vampire."

Emmaline cringed to these words, her body loosing control as she slumped softly against the brick wall of the building. Her mind was an impenetrable haze, unable to understand fully. He turned to leave, but Emmaline refused for it to end here. She stumbled forward and called out his name again. . . But he was gone.

With a moan of angst, she slid down to the cobblestone road and sobbed from fear and loss into her hands. In the dead of night, no one noticed the weeping girl. That is, no one human. For unknown to the pair, ravenous eyes had watched since the beginning. A small street urchin in the form of a young boy stood from its hiding place, scratching its head in confusion. It had expected an easy mean from the lovely girl after the elder vampire had his fill. It could not understand the mercy Ephraim showed and slowly slid back into the shadows, contemplating if it should just attack the girl itself. Instead, the urchin vampire grinned, knowing it had seen what should not be seen. Quickly it picked itself up and scampered down the street, plotting how to use this information.


*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_* Two Weeks Later *_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*


Emmaline sighed softly, her golden curls falling lazily in front of her eyes as she drifted about the tavern. It was empty now, silent from everything besides the chirp of crickets searching for warmth as the nights lingered slowly in their shift from winter to spring. She had begun staying later every night at the tavern. It would do her good to loose her dreams and settle down with reality. One could not travel the world as a pianist. Then again, it was not long ago that she had also claimed that one could not exist as a vampire.

"Emma, go home."

The girl looked up slowly to her aunt drying her hands and nodded her head. "Yes, Auntie. I am just finishing up here," she said quickly.

Tabitha nodded but frowned to herself. She was not one to get in her niece's personal life, but she was concerned none the less. There had been a sudden shift in the once lively girl. "You haven't played any of your songs lately." As much as Tabitha would never admit it, she missed the music flowing about the tavern.

Emmaline paused to this, her eyes drifting over to her beloved instrument. "No, I have not," she agreed. She had not played since. . . That night. She had lost the motivation and the joy. Her last memory of the piano was playing with the monster Samuel. Is he a monster? This question bounced endlessly in her mind and dreams as she had nightmares about the attack. Every part of her being wished to answer yes, and yet. . . He had spared her. She could not forget the look of regret that he held in his eyes. Would a monster truly look that way?

"Well, I should be going. Good night Auntie," Emma cooed, kissing her aunt upon the cheek as she disposed of her rag. Tabitha nodded, remaining silent as Emma claimed her shall and swept from the tavern.

Emmaline shivered as she stepped into the night's air, her eyes wandering about slowly on her journey home. It had taken many days before she could do this alone. She had not seen him since the lat night. Occasionally her mind played tricks upon her eyes, but before she could call out-- He was always gone. Emma sighed, closing her eyes as she walked slowly home. Since that night, she always used a different path to avoid the ally.

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[[I know I posted super late, but after I wrote all of this - it was 900 words long - I tried sending it in and it deleted EVERYTHING. I had to rewrite ALL of it. . . I swear, I started crying. It was super awesome, too. . . Ah, well. Now you get to read this haha. Hope you like it.]]

The streets were silent as Elizabeth strode through the town. It was late, and only the truly mad roamed the deserted roads. Her midnight hair and deep navy-blue dress blended perfectly with the shadows, and she crept through the city unnoticed.

Sniffing delicately at the air, the smell of a human drifted toward her, and Elizabeth swiftly stalked toward the mortal. She rounded the corner and her eyes beheld the image of a young girl walking the quiet path of stones, casting nervous glances toward the towering buildings around her. A ghost of a smile whispered on Elizabeth lips as she moved quickly to the girl's side, gripping her firmly around her throat and pushing her against a wall. Hissing terrifyingly in the girl's face, her fangs jutted out from her lips. She raised a finger to her neck, tracing a line down the her jaw. Ruby beads of blood trailed behind Elizabeth's fingernail, staining the girl's blonde hair.

Her sharp teeth were only a few inches from her neck, and she bent her head down further, bloodlust taking over her thoughts. . .

~__*__~__*__~__*__~__*__>*<__*__~__*__~__*__~__*__~


Ephraim sat silently on his bed - his eyes out of focus, staring blankly at nothing. His vampire colleagues had realized that his normally expressionless features were even more - if it was possible - stoic. Faintly hearing the howl of the wind outside, he lifted his head to look out the windows, an emotionless expression plastered on his face.

With a low sigh, he rose from his perch and pulled a dark jacket from off the coat-hanger that stood near the front door. He slid a faded-grey pocket watch inside the folds of his vest and left his home, locking it securely behind him with a large, rusty key. As he exited the building he had temporarily rented, he breathed in the cool air of the night. The moon hung low over the city, slowly descending from its normal place in the night sky, getting ready for the morning.

Lately, Ephraim hadn't been feeding very often, and he was beginning to grow weak. Though he didn't particularly want to, he had gone out for the sole reason to hunt. And so, he sniffed the air curiously, hoping to find something quickly. The distinct scent of a fellow vampire caressed his nose -

Elizabeth

His nose furled in distaste until the smell of the human with her reached him -

Emmaline

Ephraim's eyes widened in anger and he moved swiftly, arriving on the street where the two resided. Peering through the inky darkness, he saw Elizabeth holding Emmaline against a wall, her fingers wrapped securely around the girl's throat. A growl reverberated from deep in his chest and he flashed to her side, thrusting a hand toward her. Grasping her forearms, he threw her roughly away from him with enough force to break the crumbling building that she hit, and Elizabeth fell hard to the ground.

Stepping forward, Ephraim crouched a few feet in front of Emmaline, feral snarls ripping from his throat as his fangs extended fully from his mouth. His defensive stance showed clearly that he would let no one hurt the cowering girl behind him. . .

~__*__~__*__~__*__~__*__>*<__*__~__*__~__*__~__*__~


Suddenly, Elizabeth found herself flying threw the air until she crashed into a stone wall, the weak structure crumbling easily beneath her. Dazed and annoyed by the slight pain in her side, she pushed herself up from the wreckage.

Across from her, Ephraim was bent low to the ground in a protective stance in front of the young girl, a hideous sound tearing from inside his body. Moving toward him, she stopped a few steps away, cocking her head curiously to the side at the site of him - protecting a human.

Baring his fangs at her, the horrifying noise he made grew louder and he spoke. "Touch her, and I will kill you." His voice was cold and dangerous, fury unfurling from every word.

This irritated Elizabeth to no end, and she took a few more steps forward. In a matter of seconds, Ephraim was grasping her willowy figure, his fangs glistening a bloody red in the light of the rising sun. Elizabeth gasped only moments before he bent his head low over hers, and his fangs grazed the smooth skin of her throat. A dark mass of raven locks fell to the ground, and he dropped her body in disgust - a pale, headless corpse. Ephraim had bitten clear through her neck, and Elizabeth's head rolled sickeningly on the cobbled street, trailing behind it a scarlet tendril of blood.

Turning toward the girl behind him, Ephraim knew that Emmaline would no longer trust him - if she hadn't already made the decision not to. Keeping his head down - only leaving the light of the moon to just barely touch his dark eyes - he moved slowly and cautiously toward her, his arms safely at his side - clearly conveying the message that he meant her no harm.

Blood still flowed from the deep cut on her throat, and his fangs refused to slide up into his mouth. As he met her gaze, he looked away out of guilt and instead rested a hand against the stone of the wall above her shoulder and bent his head over hers. A quick dart of his tongue and he had licked the blood from her neck, effectively closing the cut. As he leaned away from her, he watched it heal.

Stepping swiftly away, he stood and looked wistfully at the girl, waiting for her reaction to the night's occurrences. . .

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[[Awwwe. I'm sorry. I HATE when that happens. I try to type everything in a word doc because I have lost so may ny posts on here. you did better than me, I usually give up after loosing a post. -__- ]]

Emmaline wandered the streets alone, a soft sigh escaping her lips. She had not realized how late it had become this evening. Every day she seemed to dwell later and later to her home only to walk in pure stillness of the empty streets. It was said that only the fools ventured outside these evenings into the darkness of night, especially with the ramped string of murders. Perhaps Emmaline was the largest fool of them all; she knew the what creature it was that caused the horrid deaths. And yet, Emma felt drawn to the night. Samuel may have spared her life, but he imprisoned her soul. She could not dream one night without him appearing nor could she walk alone without the thought that he would be there, waiting to retrieve the life he lost. Her mind constantly flickered to him in fear. . . And hope. Emmaline begun to secretly wonder if she continued her midnight walks for the chance to see him again. What she would do if the opportunity came, however, Emmaline did not know. He was a monster, a beast, but Emmaline had recognized the grief in his eyes. He was a prisoner inside his own body. She felt herself clinging to that thought, for that was the only reason that she could still be alive.

A gasped escaped her lips as Emmaline felt the abuse pushed forward upon her fragile body. Samuel! Her mind shouted this single word, her eyes closed as a heavy hand was forced against her vocal chords and cut off her supply of breath. She could feel her head grow dizzy as she was smashed against the wall by her captor and her head lolled incoherently. "Come on and scream, girl," a seductive voice whispered in her ear as the pressure was released from Emma's throat to allow in a rush of breath. Emmaline winced as a razor nail cut through her skin, but she refused to scream. She was, however, surprised that her first assumption had been false. Then again, of course there were other vampires inside the city. "I said scream!" Elizabeth yowled, slamming Emmaline farther into the wall, angered that the girl ignored her request.

Emmaline swallowed and shook her head softly. "I will not allow you that pleasure," she murmured, closing her eyes softly, waiting for the pain to come. Elizabeth's eyes flashed with rage at the insolent human and hissed in her face before bending down to force her fangs into the girl's soft flesh. She was already imagining the rush of warmth.

There was a low growl in the distance, a curious distraction that caused Emmaline's ocean eyes to flutter open. She barely had time to understand what she saw before Elizabeth was ripped away and thrown into the opposite wall. To this, Emmaline screamed. Quickly she buried her mouth into her palm to silence herself, wide eyes watching the new arrival. "Touch her, and I will kill you."

Emmaline's gaze was transfixed as the two danced, hissing and flashing their razor fangs. At Elizabeth's movement, Emmaline turned away in horror to Samuel's retort, her eyes tearing at the sight of the headless corpse. She whimpered softly as Samuel came forward and bent over her; with short breaths, Emmaline turned away waiting to see if he had tired for a third time to claim his prize.

Instead of pain, she felt a tingling sensation run down her neck as the dark shadow stepped away. Her hand drifted slowly to her neck as if surprised to find herself intact. Emmaline murmured softly upon realizing the wound had been closed, her blue crystal eyes flickering up to the creature that haunted her dreams. She could tell from his eyes that he was waiting for her response.

Emmaline swallowed, her slender fingers catching in her golden curls as she tried to meet his gaze. "You are executioner. . . But you are also a healer," Emma said softly, her fingers traveling over the smooth skin where her flesh had been torn only moments ago. "It appears I have escaped death for the second time. In both situation, I know that it was only because of luck. And, because of you." Emmaline watched him carefully, her mind unable to process her thoughts on this matter. She was a fool to stay and attempt to talk with it.

"You waited two nights to walk me home alone and, when you had the chance, you were unable to harm me. I saw the way you fought against yourself, as if the darkness you speak of has control over your actions. Now, for the second time you have defended me, first against a human and now you have defied your own race. Now I must ask this, and please do not lie to me Samuel. Do you intend of finishing what was started the other night? Are you finally here to kill me?"

Emmaline looked away, her stomach churning at the sight of the corpse as she raised her hand to cover her mouth again. She could not bring herself to look at it any longer. "I am terrified by you, Samuel," she said, closing her eyes. "But I am unable to stop thinking about you."

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As he stood watching her, the girl's eyes widened slightly in shock as her finger brushed the smooth surface of skin on her throat, not finding a hint of the cut that had ruined it just moments before.

Glancing up at Ephraim, she tugged on her curls nervously. "You are an executioner . . . but you are also a healer," she murmured softly. "It appears I have escaped death for the second time. In both situations, I know that it was only because of luck." She paused momentarily, then continued. "And because of you."[i] She watched him from the corner of her eye, a bit of a quizzical look on her face, as if she couldn't believe what she was saying.

[i]"You waited two nights to walk me home alone – and when you had the chance, you were unable to harm me. I saw the way you fought against yourself, as if the darkness you spoke of has control over your actions. Now, for the second time you have defended me – first against a human, and now you have defied your own race."


All the things the young girl said were true, and yet they shocked Ephraim has he listened quietly, captivated by her small rant. He had betrayed the other vampires – though he didn't particularly care for them, anyways – and all for this human girl that stood in front of him. She was small, rather insignificant, and yet she constantly haunted Ephraim's thoughts. He had never believed in the premise of love, but wasn't that exactly what he was feeling? The lure of this girl, at least, was there. He had the urge to protect her from anything, no matter how small, because if he didn't. . . If he didn't, he felt that the world would fall apart. . .

He shook his head from side to side, as if attempting to push these thoughts from his mind. No, he did not love her – there wasn't even the slightest possibility that he did.

Or was there?

Unaware of the feelings he endeavored to whisk away, the girl continued on. "Now I must ask this, and please do not lie to me Samuel." Her voice was still wavering, but a hint of chastisement was hidden under her tone. "Do you intend of finishing what was started the other night? Are you finally here to kill me?"

At these words, he looked up sharply at her, slightly frustrated that she believed, after he had spared her twice – a difficult feat for a bloodthirsty vampire – that he still wanted to kill her.

She raised a hand to cover her mouth after a glance at the corpse of the vampire behind him. "I am terrified by you, Samuel," she said softly as she closed her eyes. "But I am unable to stop thinking about you."

Staring at her as she stood only a few feet away from him, terrified of his very name. . . Ephraim could not form a thought of what to respond to her confession. And so, the word came from his lips, without thought, just reflex:

"Ephraim."

His voice was low and rough, practically a part of the night, itself. The confused expression on Emmaline's face caused him to elaborate.

"My name is Ephraim. Samuel was my father's name." His tone suggested that this was something he told very few people.

A few more moments of silence and he spoke again. "I have no intention of killing you, my dear Emmaline. I only wish to protect you." By now, his fangs had slid up into his mouth, and he looked as he always did – though his dark hair fell messily into his eyes, and he kept them facing down to the ground.

"I am a vampire," he added quietly. "And thus, I am ruled by my insatiable thirst." Looking up to meet her eyes now, his voice was filled with passion as he tried to convey his true nature to her. "I do not want to kill you – but bloodlust will continue to control me. And though I may contain it, I need blood to survive."

He stepped forward, then hesitated as he realized what he had done. "On my life – this horrid life that I lead – I will never hurt you, Emmaline. And I will let no one else come close to hurting you, either."

[[I'm super bored and am SOOOO curious as to what's gonna happen next!! Oh gosh, I pray that you post soon haha ^.^]]

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[[Ask and you shall receive. ^_^ ]]


Emmaline blinked softly to the confession of his name, that what she knew him by was all a lie. But now, under this moon, he was only honest with her. Together they seemed to share no secrets or harvest ill intentions towards the other. Both were bathed with confusion and innocents; young in the world with matters of the heart. "Ephraim," Emmaline repeated softly, looking to him with a new curiosity. Yes, this name seemed to fit him better. She gazed to him after this, her eyes searching his face as he continued to speak.

"I have no intention of killing you, my dear Emmaline. I only wish to protect you." Emmaline's breath froze inside her bosom, her eyes watching him carefully. She found his words difficult to accept, and yet she knew they were true. He had become her night angle, a protecter from the dark that always seemed to come to her rescue. am a vampire," he added quietly. "And thus, I am ruled by my insatiable thirst." Looking up to meet her eyes now, his voice was filled with passion as he tried to convey his true nature to her. "I do not want to kill you – but bloodlust will continue to control me. And though I may contain it, I need blood to survive." Emmaline watched as he stepped forward, her eyes locking with his. She waited in silence for him to begin speaking, her words frozen in her throat in deep desire to hear his voice continue on.

"On my life – this horrid life that I lead – I will never hurt you, Emmaline. And I will let no one else come close to hurting you, either."

Emmaline's eyes grew wide to this statement, her body still in thought. Ephraim's face had lost all traces of his true nature. He appeared as human as her. Emma could see the truth inside his dark eyes, even if it was all a lie Emma would not be able to believe differently. She blinked softly and then dashed forward, her small body connecting with his as she buried her head into his firm chest. "I was so scared of her before you came," the young woman whimpered softly, closing her eyes. "I did not think I would survive her attack. My greatest fear was that I would not be able to see you again."

Emmaline muffled her sobs, her strong shell crumbling now that she knew she was not alone. For once in her life, Emma felt as if she could lean against someone. She frowned softly and stepped away, embarrassed by her dramatic display as she attempted to dry her leaking eyes. "I am sorry for this. I just. . . I do not know how to react." She looked up to him and took his hand, her fear of Ephraim slowly drifting away. "Thank you, Ephraim. I am glad I can finally call you by the proper name." She smiled softly before frowning, her eyes gazing off into the horizon. "It will be dawn soon. Are . . . Are the legends true? Will you be harmed by the sun?"

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[[Aaah >.< Thank you so much! Now I can post :D]]

As he promised to keep her safe, the girl's eyes grew wide and looked upon him as if she believed him. Inside him, Ephraim felt something alight at the trust in her eyes, and it slowly grew until he shined with a strange happiness that he had not felt in centuries. She blinked once, then closed the few feet that separated them and buried her head in his chest. Surprised at the sudden touch of her body, Ephraim looked down at her in shock, his hands held awkwardly in the air beside her small figure. But his rigid stance soon softened at the warmth of her touch, and he rested his hands gently on her shoulders as she spoke.

"I was so scared of her before you came," the young woman whimpered softly, closing her eyes. "I did not think I would survive her attack. My greatest fear was that I would not be able to see you again."

Again, the spark inside him flared at her words. As he registered this fact, he laughed inwardly at himself. What had he become? Cuddling with a human instead of feeding from her. But the thoughts quickly left his mind as he heard her cry softly against him.

Emmaline frowned and backed away from him, a look of embaressment flashing across her face. She wiped her face and spoke once more. "I am sorry for this. I just. . . I do not know how to react." She grasped his hand in hers and glanced up at his face. "Thank you, Ephraim. I am glad that I can finally call you by the proper name."

She smiled soflty before frowning, her eyes gazing off into the horizon. "It will be dawn soon. Are. . . Are the legends tue? Will you be harmed by the sun?"


Ephraim brought his hand up and cupped her face, brushing his thumb along her cheek to rid her skin of the few tears she had missed. "Yes," he responded sadly. "The sun burns me. I must leave before light fills the air."

Pulling her gently down the road beside him, he began walking in the direction of her home. On the days after the - "incident" - he had followed her as she went home from work. Dimly remembering the way, he spoke quietly to her. "The Elders - they are the watchers of all vampires. Their one rule is that humans may not find out about us." Turning to look at her, his voice was dark. "I am a member of the Elders, and they are not forgiving. No one must find out that you know of our existence, or they will find you and kill you."

As they arrived on her doorstep, he hooked a finger under her chin and met her eyes. "I will do everything possible to protect you if they do, but I am not nearly powerful enough to stop them." Letting go of her face, he stepped away from her, and instead grasped her hand in his, bringing it slowly to his lips. "Please stay safe, Emmaline - remember that I cannot protect you in the sun." He released her hand and waited quietly for her to enter her home, glancing absentmindedly at the rising sun.

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Emmaline took his arm as he led her home, her mind not questioning how he knew the way. To question everything about this man would end her life before she could hear even half the answers. Her mind was heavy with thought, her eyes watching the night sky. The hum of life was beginning, worrying Emmaline how late they would be in returning Ephraim to the safety of darkness. "The Elders - they are the watchers of all vampires. Their one rule is that humans may not find out about us."

Emmaline turned to Ephraim as he spoke, her lips pressed tightly together. She had never heard of these Elders before, and something told her that she should never attempt to meet them. "I am a member of the Elders, and they are not forgiving. No one must find out that you know of our existence, or they will find you and kill you."

She latched on to the darkness in his voice, knowing that the essence he spoke about were meant to be feared. Not only by herself, but by Ephraim. She was no fool; Emmaline realized the danger he had put himself in by allowing her to live. She had now been dragged into a wold of darkness that her race should never know. And there was only one way out. Emmaline sighed softly and turned her head towards Ephraim. His eyes were turned forward, focused upon their destination. They continued on in silence. Even if she attempted to speak, Emma knew her tongue would betray her. This was all too new and too fast. She wanted to trust him, but there was still a part of her that feared him. Her mind raced forward, heavy thoughts clouding her expression. In her cocoon of doubt, Emma did not realize they had reached her home until Ephraim slowed and turned towards her. She did not resist his movement, her body melding as he commanded her to meet his gaze. "I will do everything possible to protect you if they do, but I am not nearly powerful enough to stop them." Letting go of her face, he stepped away from her, and instead grasped her hand in his, bringing it slowly to his lips. "Please stay safe, Emmaline - remember that I cannot protect you in the sun."

Emmaline was chilled slightly by a gentle breeze and shivered as he stepped away. She could see the anxiety in his dark eyes as his gaze flickered to the horizon. With a soft sigh, Emma stroked his forehead to push aside the dark strands of hair that had fallen into his face. "I will not keep you long, I know that you must seek shelter from the dawn. But, I must say this. You are warning me against these Elders, but I cannot help but think that because of this you have also endangered yourself. You killed your own kind, someone you knew. I could see that she recognized you; will they not realize who killed her and come after you?" Emmaline looked away, her eyes clouded with fear. "No, do not answer that. Just please, Ephraim, keep yourself safe also."

She attempted to smile as she stepped closer to the door and pulled her shawl tighter over her shoulders. "Tomorrow is Sunday and so the tavern will not be open. Will you meet me in the park? I want to see you again." She met his gaze but turned away before he could answer, slipping into her house. "Go, Ephraim, do not let the sun catch you," she whispered, closing the door behind her. Emmaline did not want to hear if he denied her request. She would be waiting for him either way.

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Emmaline sighed softly and brushed away the strands of hair that fell messily in his eyes.

"I will not keep you long, I know that you must seek shelter from the dawn. But, I must say this. You are warning me against these Elders, but I cannot help but think that because of this you have also endangered yourself. You killed your own kind, someone you knew. I could see that she recognized you; will they not realize who killed her and come after you?" Emmaline looked away, her eyes clouded with fear. "No, do not answer that. Just please, Ephraim, keep yourself safe also."

Forcing a smile, she entered the house and asked, "Tomorrow is Sunday and so the tavern wil not be open. Will you meet me in the park? I want to see you again." The girl began to close the door without waiting for him to answer - out of shyness or fear, he could not say - but lastly said, [i]"Go, Ephraim - do not let the sun catch you."

The door closed on him as he stood there, and Ephraim backed away from it. The sun had risen and the only thing protecting him from its unforgiving light was the dense layer of clouds that hung lazily in the sky. He ran quickly to the alley that hid Elizabeth's decapitated corpse and quickly flung it across his shoulders, grasping the head in his empty hands. In a few moments, he arrived at the River Thames and dumped the lifeless parts into the coarsing water.

The clouds had begun to part and small rays of sunlight struck the ground. Ephraim rushed to his home and swiftly closed the door behind him, moving toward the curtains and pulling them shut. Bringing his arm up to stare at curiously, the skin bubbled sickeningly. He watched as it healed in front of his eyes - a few minutes, at most - then sat on his bed, contemplating what had happened that night. It was too much to process, however, and he unbuttoned his shirt, draping it on the arm of a chair that stood by a mahogany desk in the corner of the room. Lying back on his bed, he fell asleep quickly. . .

~__*__~__*__~__*__~__*-The Next Night-*__~__*__~__*__~__*__~


Ephraim's eyes flew open and he bolted upright in his four-poster bed, breathing heavily, a wild look in his eyes.

Just a dream. . . It was only a nightmare. . .

How odd to think that even vampires - the very things that induced nightmares, themselves - could indeed have them also. . .

Ephraim arose from his bed and began to dress, pulling a jacket from the large armoire that sat near the curtain-covered window. He once again tucked his faded-grey pocket watch into the folds of his vest. Remembering Emmaline's request to meet with him, he fed before traveling to the park in order to meet her.

Better safe than sorry. . .

He stood beside a large oak, admiring the crystallized dew that clung to its emerald leaves. The stars shined brilliantly above and he glanced toward the pale moon, basking in its cold light and waiting for the girl to arrive.

[[Not much creativity today. . . Bad day:/ But I'll be better soon, hopefully ^.^ ]]

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Emmaline stirred slowly from her cocoon of warmth, her mind slow to awake and reenter the world. She had struggled to find sleep upon returning to her home. Visions of murder and monsters haunted her dreams in spite of the secret world she had been allowed into. Emma wondered if she would ever be able to sleep soundly again. Surly she would, but that seemed to be only a distant hope in her mind at the moment.

Emma brewed herself a cup of tea and gazed into her wardrobe longer than it typically took her to choose an outfit. This was because today was different. She had never dressed to please a vampire before.

Emma sighed softly and settled in her chair, remaining in her nightgown as she picked at a magazine to skim. Her thoughts skipped past the meaningless words as she recalled her last wish to Ephraim. Would he respect her request? Would he come? Or would he disappear once again and leave Emma behind with this heavy secret? Only time could tell. Part of Emma wished to remain here so she would not need to find out. The rest of her found that idea atrocious. Emmaline finally settled upon a white dress with powder blue trim. It suited her well, the dim moonlight reflecting off the material as she began her way down the street. Her mind tingled with excitement and worry. What would she do if he was there?

Emmaline found her way to the park, realizing that this had been a foolish meeting place. With its vast size, he could be anywhere. And yet, Emma's eyes instantly drew to a figure encased by the night's shadows standing by a large oak tree. He came.

Without thinking her plan through, Emmaline swept closer to him with bright eyes. "You came," she said simply, watching as he admired nature's beauty. She did not say it as if she expected him not to come. She was simply presenting a fact. Emmaline leaned against the tree, realizing that she had no plans of what they could do once reunited. She just wanted to see him again. She needed to see him again. She signed softly and gazed up to the moon, her blue eyes wide and thoughtful. "Have you feed recently? Or are you still . . . hungry?" she asked softly.

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[[I'm SO sorry for such a late post! I've been extremely busy lately, so my post may be a bit short :/ My weeks are opening up, though, so I should be able to post more next time! Thanks for understanding ^.^ ]]

He heard her arrive before he saw her.

"You came."

She said it simply as a fact, not as if she had ever doubted him. A small smile crossed Ephraim's face as he turned toward her. She leaned against the tree, her slender figure enveloped in a clean white dress. She sighed softly and looked up to the pale moon that hung in the dark sky.

"Have you fed recently? Or are you still - " She hesitated then, almost as if scared to say it. " - hungry?" she finished softly.

He glanced at Emmaline, a hint of sadness in his dark gaze. He paused, then answered quietly, "No, I am not thirsty. I fed before I came." He was terrified of scaring her. Ephraim realized the delicate situation that stood in front of them - at any point, the girl could become afraid of his monsterous self and run, screaming, from his presence. He stayed feet away from her, disgusted at the thought of moving any closer.

The thoughts in his mind were beginning to scare him, and so he spoke - attempting to chase them from his attention. "Did you have any plans for this evening? Or would you just like to walk?"

At the shake of her head, he began to walk in the direction of the bridge and silky stream that flowed just yards away. Looking back, he politely inquired for her to follow, still careful not to come too close, and led her toward the stream. He kept his eyes forward, almost afraid to meet her eyes, and said, "I can only imagine how many questions that you may have for me." Ephraim shyly -a vampire! shy! - stared into her ocean-blue eyes. "Feel free to ask them."

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The young woman remained posed against the tree as Ephraim spoke, her eyes held captive by the moon. She wanted to turn her gaze toward him and say everything would be all right, but she could not bring herself to utter the lies. Her blonde hair cured softly and drifted in the mellow breeze; with quick, fragile hands, Emmaline played with the golden strands and pulled them like a curtain to protect her ivory neck. He claimed to have fed all ready, but Emmaline was unsure of how that would lessen the danger she was placing herself in.

Death and life were two separate creatures of existence, Emmaline should know better than to get herself tangled within this web of sorrow. She did know better. And yet, as Ephraim cast a glance over his shoulder, pleading her with his eyes to follow, Emmaline found her feet had an agenda of their own as they followed him. Even so, Emma did nothing to stop herself.

Emmaline's eyes flowed from the ground beneath her feet, the stream they were approaching, and the vampire. From this view, he appeared innocent. A mere mortal leading a young lover into a secluded escape from the world. A shiver ran down her spine, chilled by the memory of the previous night.

"I can only imagine how many questions that you may have for me. Feel free to ask them."

Emmaline looked up and found his eyes locked upon hers. She could see the fear and restraint he held himself in, mirroring her own emotional turmoil. There was no simple way to handle this, there was no right or wrong answer. There was only life and death. Except, Ephraim managed to hang in the balance between the two. It was still difficult for Emma to understand this simple fact.

Emmaline sighed softly and looked away, tugging at her golden hair for comfort and shield. Emmaline had no reason to fear he would harm her, but her mortal fears would not allow her to relax around him. Not yet. "I do not even know where to begin," Emmaline admitted, meeting his gaze again softly. "I suppose, the beginning would be best. I do not even understand what a vampire is, I only know the legends and what I saw." Emmaline shivered, rubbing her arms as if the wind chilled her soul. "How... How did this happen to you?"

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[[Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry! I had an AP Exam a week or two ago, then finals came and I was just so busy, I completely had no time. I hope this didn't ruin the story :( But I'm on Summer vacation now, so if you're still up for it, I will have plenty of time ^.^ ]]

The girl looked as frightened as Ephraim felt, and he looked away - but continued to listen to her smooth movements.

"I do not even know where to begin," she said quietly, "I supposed the beginning would be best. I do not even understand what a vampire is, I only know the legends and what I saw." He heard a shiver disrupt her graceful stride. "How - how did this happen to you?" she stuttered.

Ephraim sighed, sadness and disgrace evident in the short exhale of breath. "It was many years ago - during the war." He paused for a moment and peaked at her from the corner of his eyes, still apprehensive to tell her the whole truth. "I was a soldier - and a very good one at that - but I was much too conceited, overconfident. One night, I was in charge of manning the guard - with a few others - to watch for attacks during our only rest periods. It was much too quiet, but I was caught up in my thoughts and didn't notice." His voice was soft with the slight inflection of remembrance. "A woman appeared from the trees, and though I should have killed her on sight - something about her made me stay my gun. . . Before I knew it, she'd bitten my neck, draining me completely. I had blacked out then, but I know that she fed me her blood as well." Ephraim broke off, the silence hanging heavy in the air. "When I awoke," he began once again, hesitantly, "The woman was gone, and I was lying in my camp, all my comrades dead around me. . ."

His voice faded away, and his gaze saw something much farther away than the space in front of the couple could hold. In that moment, time was of no matter to Ephraim – he began to remember everything about his life since that moment, and it was as if past and present were one. . .

After a moment, the vampire seemed to regain his composure and realized that Emmaline was patiently waiting for him to continue. He looked up at her, strength flowing into him at the thought that, now, he could keep this human girl – who, for reasons unknown to the usually-terrifying vampire, interested him greatly – safe from anything and everything. Why he wished to keep her out of danger, he did not know, but he would continue to watch the girl during the night in order to ensure her safety.

With their eyes met, an odd thought crossed his mind, and Ephraim blinked in confusion. His dark eyes briefly glanced down at the girl's lips, and the man unconsciously stepped toward her. This surprised the vampire to no end, and he quickly turned away.

His voice was strained when he spoke again. "Do you have any more questions?" And yet, he already knew the answer.

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[[It is fine, I have been super busy also. I'm okay with a slow pace if you are.]]

Emmaline watched Ephraim closely, her ocean eyes wavering with both fear and curiosity. She listened to every word he spoke as if afraid she would miss some important detail. As he told the tail of his rebirth, Emma wrapped her shall tighter around her own body and shivered from the cool dusk air. So that was how it happened.

Emma sighed softly and pressed her eyes closed in thought and regret. She could tell that the tale was difficult for him to recount and was a memory that belonged into the grave. Much like the bodies of his fellow soldiers.

Emma opened her eyes slowly, her lids heavy with the intent of sorrow when hearing of his story. She found that her eyes locked with Ephraim's and saw that he took a small step forward before turning his back upon her. Emmaline's hand lifted to reach out toward him, but she pulled back as he spoke again, words choked with emotion: "Do you have any more questions?"

Emmaline opened her mouth and then pressed her lips tightly together. Her mind was brimming with unanswered tales of his life and death, secrets that mortals only found in their nightmares. Most of all, Emma's tongue desperately wanted to form the question of who was the final murderer of the platoon? The witch... or himself?

Atlas, the air between them remained unbroken as Emma watched his dark cloaked back. She would be a fool to not know the answer. She had pained him enough with the first question and had already seen how violent a blood frenzied vampire could become. She did not need his words to reconfirm her beliefs. And even if her thoughts were wrong, would it change anything in the end? Be Ephraim a murderer of friends or simply a victim, he would always be a vampire. That would never change.

"Just one," Emma whispered after a long pause. She stepped forward and extended a delicate hand towards him, allowing it to rest on his shoulder. She watched him intently, forgetting about the rest of the world. "Why do you keep turning away from me?"

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[[I'm cool with that ^.^ ]]

He felt her deliberate silently behind him, and Ephraim listened as the girl answered him, "Just one."

Emmaline stepped toward him and extended her small hand, leaving it to rest lightly on his shoulder. "Why do you keep turning away from me?"

He sighed quietly under his breath and turned back to face her. Her gaze was kept earnestly on his dark figure, eyes shining in the moonlight. Her countenance was set, and she had an air of incredible strength about her – so much so, that Ephraim knew he had no need to worry if she would be scared away.

His features softened and when he spoke, his voice was calm. "I was frightened that I would upset you with stories of my past life – but I see now that you would need to hear much worse than this to spook you, if only a little." He met her eyes. "You are very brave, my dear Emmaline."

Stepping forward, Ephraim carefully reached out and took her hand. He brought it slowly to his lips and bowed his head in respect for the young girl who seemed to know much more than he had ever dreamt of. "I promise to never let anything come near you – while you are under my protection, you shall not be hurt." His words were grave, his voice solemn, and he straightened, freeing her hand from his light grasp. "So please, do not fear me – I have no wish to harm you." He looked sadly at her. "I am a killer, it is true, but it is in my nature, and no matter how far I try to run from it, I cannot hide forever."

He desperately hoped that the girl would understand, that she would see how tight his hands were tied – it wasn't something he could control. No, it was beyond his control.

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Emmaline watched Ephraim closely, waiting for his reaction to her question. She, of course, already knew the answer to it. But she wanted him to say it anyway. Perhaps then he would realize that he had nothing to fear. If she did not want him near, she would have never agreed to this meeting. He had to know and understand this. Emmaline wanted to be able to trust him more than anything in the world.

She smiled as he took her hand and listened mutely as he spoke to her. His promises of safety and protection brought a grin to her features. As he rose, Emmaline chuckled softly to herself. "Bravery? That is not what many would say about me. Foolery on the other hand... That sounds more like it." She smiled, meaning no harm in her words. She wanted him to understand how ironic their situation was and that she had accepted this. She always would accept it. She was his prey. A mouse could never live a normal life once it befriended the cat.

Emmaline's expression did not falter as he spoke. In all, she only radiated compassion for his words and a desire to make his pain disappear. Yes, that is what it was. She wanted to show Ephraim that there was still some goodness in life despite what he was. For the first time, Emmaline realized what he had been missing when they first met: hope. In some strange twists of paths, Emma had taken it upon herself to restore this feeling back into the man. Somehow, she had all ready accepted that it would bring the end of her and yet, she felt no fear from this. She embraced it as she carefully sculpted her next words.

"You do not need to explain the danger I am putting myself in," Emma said softly, holding onto his gaze tightly. "I understand this well. It is because I know this that I must be a fool. You do not want to harm me, but we both know that cannot last forever. If you grow bored of me or if you smell too much of my blood, I accept that you will loose control of your actions. But I cannot let fear govern my actions because then the monster inside you would win. We would both be alone. No," she said taking his hand and pressing it tenderly against her cheek as she closed her eyes to speak. "I want to enjoy the time we can be happy together. When we can sit and play the piano or just stroll on the bay. If we can find the strength of that, then we can beat this."

Emmaline opened her eyes slowly, looking at him deeply. The cool, lifeless hand pressed against her cheek sent a chill down her spine. "I am afraid of you, Ephraim. But I do not fear you. I never will."

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As the girl spoke, Ephraim listened carefully to the passion behind her words - he knew that she meant to help him, but he wasn't certain if she could.

Sighing quietly, he focused on the small figure before him and smiled sadly as she smoothly ranted on: "You do not want to harm me, but we both know that cannot last forever. If you grow bored of me, or if you smell too much of my blood, I accept that you will lose control of your actions."

If only it were simplier. . .
he thought dismally to himself.

At the warm touch of her hand on his, Ephraim looked down in surprise at the young girl and relaxed considerably as she pressed it against her cheek. Emmaline closed her eyes as she spoke next, and he continued to gaze fondly at her. "I want to enjoy the time we can be happy together - when we can sit and play the piano, or just stroll on the bay. If we can find the strength of that, then we can beat this."

He listened hopefully to her strong words, but the feeling soon left him as he recalled the past centuries of his life. You cannot save me, Emmaline - though if anyone were able, it would be you.

Emmaline opened her eyes and met his. "I am afraid of you, Ephraim, but I do not fear you - I never will."

Ephraim smiled sadly down at her and gently stroked her cheek. "I wish that you weren't afraid of me, but you have every right to be. I hope that someday, you will no longer be afraid."

As he said this, his eyes once again flashed to the girl's lips, and the desire to kiss her flared inside him. He looked up at the sky to distract himself, and noticed the dark red that had begun to stain the sky. Meeting her eyes, he spoke again. "The sun is rising - I must get indoors. Would you like me to walk you home?"

Ephraim took her hand and began to lead her out of the park, onto the streets of the large city. They walked in silence, and he listened calmly to her slow breathing. When they stood in front of her door, he paused and turned toward her. Reaching up, Ephraim hooked a finger under her chin and gently tilted her face up to look at him. He bent slowly, as not to alarm her, and pressed his lips to her cheek.

Ephraim quietly stepped back from her, saying, "Good night, Emmaline," and turned to walk away.

[[So very cheesy. . . hahahaha]]

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