Chapter 9: Acceptance

 

Vamp managed to get my home in time to say good morning to my parents, who didn’t notice anything different about me, and get me to school. I basically drifted through the day not paying attention or really caring. This Window business had affected me. I fell asleep in three of my classed and was yelled at by all three teachers. I saw Blake for a little in the hall way. I think he noticed I was out of it and left me alone about a short conversation on certain people in the school.

When I got home all I wanted to do was sleep, but Vamp was in my room waiting for me when I got there. He was flipping through my Anne rice book scoffing at some of its contents.

“Do I really have to go now? I’m tired.” I whined.

“Come you can sleep back at the Elders Building.”

Vamp helped me through the window then scooped me up so we could get there faster. When he set me down, I smoothed my hair and just automatically went to my room to fall asleep. Vamp looked worried as if my late night battle had damaged me but I didn’t have the energy to comfort him. I fell in a deep sleep as soon as I laid down. My night mare began appeared then:

I was on the cold stone floor of a cave. Outside it was dark, but there were bright blinding light coming from the west on the cave. Flares of light burst in the sky and broke into several smaller steams on fire. I broke through a small underbrush where all of hell broke loose in my sight. The forest was crowded with fighting from all creatures in the window world. Werewolves, witches, warlocks, pixies, giants, goblins, elves, vampires, I even think I saw a Bigfoot somewhere. There was slaughtering every which way you turned.

What stood out the second I set foot in my worst nightmare was Matt and Vamp. They were in the middle of the battle facing at each other attacking at one another. They were fighting! How could they?! I stared scared sick at them. I knew Matt was no match for Vamp. Just at my thought Vamp clawed at Matt’s shoulder taking a softball size chunk out of him. Matt let out a snarl and pounced on Vamp. Vamp pinned him before Matt made contact.

“NO!!” I shrieked. I was running in straight through the battle.

I knew I wouldn’t make it in time. Matt was helpless. I looked up and what I saw horrified the last of my pathetic attempt to stop them. I stopped in my tracks staring at Mat. He wast lying still and paler than ever. Mat was getting farther and farther away from my reach. I couldn’t save him.

I fell to my knees crying. I gazed at the ground and gasped again. The slaughter had stopped but the dead were still there. Till I realized that the dead were all women staring to the sky with a smile. I sniffed and approached the nearest one and realized that she was human. Why was a human here? All I saw were six dead women around me all laying crumpled on the ground looking…well dead, but they were all smiling. Confused I walked over to another woman and saw a necklace on her neck.

I held the small pendant on the gold chain in my hands and read the inscription on the back.

 

                    Friends Never Forget

 

I gasped. It was the same inscription on my necklace I was wearing. I looked back at the girls face and screamed. The face of the girl was me.

I abruptly woke up gasping. A fresh layer of sweat covered my forehead and that was when I heard the voices outside my door.

“What exactly happened?” The first voice said harshly.

“She made a… blood promise.” The second voice was Matt. He fell silent.

There was a pause and some deep breathes.

“Why?” The first voice demanded. I’m guessing it was Vamp.

Matt went and explained the entire talk we had and the blood promise which he made it sound like was his fault. I knew he was doing it for me.

“You know what has happened now, right?” Vamp spat trying to contain his voice.

“Yes.” Matt whispered.

What had happened? What did we do wrong with our promise? I thought hard back to what had happened that day and nothing seemed wrong.

“What do I do?” Matt pleaded.

“You can’t do anything.” Vamp roared lowly. “All you can do is prepare yourself and take care of yourself or tell her and have her help you. Your mistake isn’t my problem. As her protector I can only protect her from what she wants to be protected from now.”

“When will she wake up?” Matt sighed.

 “Soon.” A wind breeze through the room and Matt walked in.

I closed my eyes enough to seem like I was asleep.

Matt sat at the edge of the bed and stared at me for a while before he whispered. “I can’t tell her. Not yet at least.” Matt out his head by my feet and fell asleep.

What couldn’t he tell me? I wouldn’t force him to tell but I will ask.

 When I was sure that it was safe I yawned, sat up and rubbed the sleep from my eyes.

Matt was sitting in the corner of the room staring at the wall leaning back in the chair that was there.

 “Hey, where’ve you been?

“No where special. The room looked empty so I went and picked you some flowers.” He pulled his right hand in front of him. He held the most extravagant bouquet. It looked as if to have a million different types of flowers. The scent filled the room with burst of thousand of aromas I didn’t know.

“Oh my, where did you get those? They’re beautiful.” I grasped the empty air like they were there. Matt handed them to me and I stuffed my face in it. “They smell wonderful…” I trailed off.

“What is it?” Matt demanded anxiously.

“Nothing, put then on the table over there I’m gonna sketch them. Bring me the paper and charcoal, please.”

Matt walked over and placed them gently on a table in the corner of the room. “Is that good?” He asked delighted to help.

“Perfect” Matt grinned and crossed the floor bringing me what I asked for and sat at the edge of the bed.

I took the pencil like stick and began to trace the out line of the flowers and the table. Then I began to put details into the petals and stems and the table. Before I knew it a picture of the flowers were before me. I held it out.

“Done,” I huffed.

Matt was next to me turning his head this way and that in a sarcastic tone he was making Ahh’s and Oh’s. He once whispered Claire the Master Artist. I laugh quietly.

Finally Matt smiled and announced “I like it.” I giggled at his pathetic attempts to be funny. “I would have really missed you if I had actually left you back in Seattle.”

“Me too,” her sighed then lifted his head as if he heard something.

Matt frowned and slipped out the window before I could ask what was going on.  A slight knock came on the door and Vamp walked in. He looked at the flowers and shook his head but coughed back a laugh at the same time. He looked back at me and gave me a forced smiled.

“They want an answer, don’t they?” I asked bluntly.

“Yeah, they’re waiting.”

Once we were to the giant arched door and he didn’t delay waiting this time. Cosmin was in his chair as well as Emil, Evgeny, and Iustin. I was sat in a chair in the middle of the room I folded my hands in my lap and waited patiently. Cosmin raised his hands and spoke.

“Claire Woods!” He bellowed. “We have summoned you for the ceremony of Window Keeper acceptance. You have been chosen by the Window to protect our world from evil and to keep your world from discovering our existence. You have been able to discover this existence earlier than most of the others but you have shown great maturity…” I coughed back a laugh that was about to escape. Cosmin eyed me and continued.

“As I was saying, you have a decision. Either you accept or decline. If you declined you will be ejected from the world and be forbidden to return.” Cosmin eyed me down making sure I understood clearly.

I did Emil did come to me explaining and his words did change my perspective but I would have still answered the same if I wanted to keep my promise to Matt. I turn to vamp and faced each elder and stared at them all for a brief moment.

“You have given me a night to think this over. I took it wisely and came to my decision.” I pause for a dramatic effect, “I accept. I realize my duties and will try to my best to continue them.” I spoke confidently.

I looked at Emil for a moment and all I saw was defeat and despair. He didn’t look like he would be able to bear another minute in the chair as an elder. I would have given him a hug if I could.

“After you train, of course,” Iustin pointed out.

“Ah, yes, of course.” Cosmin agreed. “So with that this is done, time to celebrate!”

“What?” I stressed.

Before I knew it there were seven tables that rolled out and Vamp help me find the correct seat. He and Emil sat by me and Cosmin, Evgeny, and Iustin sat on the other side. Then six neat plates of food were suddenly steaming in front of us. How they got there was a mystery to me, but the food look delicious.

The food looked like grilled fish and steamed rice covered in thick white gravy. I hadn’t eaten since this morning and this looked like the most appetizing meal I might ever eat. I stare wide-eyed at the dish. I look up and see every one stared at me.

“Uh…” I stuttered.

“Go ahead eat. You are probably starving.” Cosmin urged.

I took my fork in my fingers and pick a piece of the fish off and slid it in my mouth. It literally melted in my mouth washing away in a sweet sensation. I moaned as what must have been brown sugar mixed with the salted fish.

“Do you like it?” Cosmin asked.

“Yes. I love it.” I replied in a heavenly voice.

Emil coughed in raspy whispers. He seem like he was choking on air. His face was just as distraught as earlier. I carried on with eating as did every one else. The meal filled my hunger up quickly giving me a satisfied stuffed feeling.

“Well, thank you very much for caring for our world Claire.” Cosmin thanked and dismissed us.

What to do from here?

Chapter 8: Sleepwalker

“GET OUT!” Vamp’s snarled.

“Uh…” Matt frightened by the sudden rage.

“NOW!” Vamp launched himself full speed at Matt.

Matt dropped my hand and back out the window too quick for me to see. Vamp landed neatly next to my bed crouched. He pulled out of launching position and turned to me. His eyes still full of fire. What just happened?

“What were you thinking?!” He hollered.

“I-I can’t remember,” I stuttered. “Can you calm down you’re scaring me.”

Vamp hissed. He shut his eyes and sighed heavily. “Okay, I’m calm. Now…tell me what happened?” his voice still harsh.

My eyes widened. “Uh…” I couldn’t just tell him about the promise. Then Matt would hide forever in fear of being killed by the Elders or maybe worse.

“Out with it!” He pressed.

“Well Matt was on the bed…” I paused.

“I know that.”

“…And I came in.” I paused again.

“Stop procrastinating!” Vamp rubbed his eyes.

“We talked and I started to felt tired. So I asked him to read to me….I reached over for a book on the shelf.” I pointed to the shelf with the candle on it. “…And I got a paper cut…”

“So it was his fault?” He was getting mad again.

“NO! no… it started to bleed…a lot. So he took my hand and licked the blood off….saying that would heal it.” I looked up hopefully Vamp would accept the story.

“Let me see your finger.” He reached for my hand.

I pulled it back reflexively. Vamp grasped it though.

“Which finger?”

I flexed my index finger. Immediately vamp stuck the finger in his mouth. His tongue was cold on my warm finger. He pulled my finger out with a POP!

“You’re lying.” He growled.

“Well I can’t tell you what did happen.” I shouted.

“What if Matt’s life depended on it?”

I gasped. “What kind of father are you?” I was horrified.

“One doing his job!” He snapped at me.

“I need to know. He endangered you and himself.”

   Vamp surprised me. Matt said he wasn’t endangering me.

“How?” I demanded. “How does it affect us?”

“If Matt started on your blood it would be like addicts drugs to him. Once a vampire drinks a human’s blood they will need to feed more often because they like it so much.”

“But you said vampire could live off of any blood for a long time.” I questioned his statement.

“It’s different with this. Matt’s young and doesn’t understand everything. Please watch out for him when he’s with you.”

“Okay.” I assured him. “Umm…do you think you could bring Matt back? It could get boring in here.”

“No. It’s best you leave Matt alone for now.”

I sighed and let my head fall on the pillow. A gust of wind came through the room. Vamp I guess left. I looked back up and the familiar face I wanted to see was at the base of the bed.

“Ma…” My cry of joy was muffled by Matt’s hand.

He put his finger to his lip signing to be quiet.

“I thought you ran away.” I whispered.

“I never left. I was just out the window.” He smiled.

“Come here…” I grinned. He crawled next to me on the big bed.

 I wrapped my arms around his thin waist in a tight hug. He hugged me back and surprisingly for a vampire he seemed warm. I missed him. I could have stayed there for a while but Matt mumbled something.

“What?” I asked unmoved.

“Uh…nothing, don’t worry about it.”

I let my arms fall from him and turned to look at him.

“What did you say?” I asked annoyed now.

“I-I asked to… lick your finger.” Matt gave a look of uneasiness.

“Did you hear Vamp? You can’t.” I hugged him again but I let him go just as quick as I hugged him.

“I know. It was a stupid question. I’m sorry.”

I felt sorry for the vampire next to me. He was without a real mother and a father that did very little to raise him.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

He had gotten really quiet.

“Yeah, I was just thinking about how you are going to keep your promise. What are your possible routes?”

“I don’t know either.” I said dryly.  

I put my head on Matt’s shoulder. What could I do for this boy…er…vampire? My thoughts got tiring and I fell asleep on his shoulder. A dream began there:

I was standing in nothing. I was standing nowhere I’ve ever been. I mean I was literally in darkness. I felt around to find that there were trees around. It’s so dark. Where am I?

 Claire…

“Huh?”

What was that? I heard the wind shake the air, but where was the voice coming from.

Where are you? It sang through the wind.

“I’m right here.”

The wind blew harder tangling my hair into a mess.

Clair, I love you. The voice sang louder.

“I love you, too.” I don’t even know who this voice belongs to.

That was when the wind wrapped around me waist. Yank. Yank! The yank got harder till it whipped me off my feet into the air.

“Where are you taking me?” I asked calmly.

Somewhere you can stay with me forever. The voice got deeper and sounded some what evil.

“Who are you?”

Your worst nightmare! The voice was deep and gruff. It gave a malicious laugh that echoed in the darkness. Defiantly evil though.

I screamed. I griped at everything trying to grab hold of emptiness. The wind yanked me full force wrenching me toward the ground. I was faster than sound as I hit the ground with shatters and cracks coming from my body. The ground began to shake and open.

I screamed again only to find my scream lost and unheard.

I bolted awake. I looked around and gasped.  I wasn’t in the room anymore. I was hanging over a cliff by one arm. I looked down into a bottomless pit of black. I shut my eyes tight. Oh my God, I’m going to die. I looked back up and I saw Matt struggling to keep me from falling in to what was my death. I started breathing faster.

“Oh my God, Claire, you’re getting heavy. Can’t you like call for help.” Matt grunted struggling to keep his grip.

“I don’t know!” I yelled.

I frantically searched the cliff wall for something to grab on to. Nothing. I searched the edge for a vine or something to hold. Nothing! What do I do? Concentrate! I yelled at myself. What or who can save you out here? I didn’t care really. While my mental panic was taking place Matt was losing his grip.

“Claire! You’re slipping!” Matt panicked.

“Don’t let me go!” I cried.

My hand grasped air when Matt’s hand slipped.

“NO!” Matt’s eyes widened as he were about to explode.  

Time stilled and Matt’s face grew farther away. I gasped. It’s a weird feeling falling into nothing. Nothing to grab hold of and nothing to keep you steady as you flail wildly. Any feeling of hope leaves as soon as you are swallowed by emptiness. At least that what I felt when I fell maybe three feet when something hit me from the side. “Oomph,” I grunted and I was on the ground next to Matt. Wide eyed I took in what saved me.

A cluster of golden sparkles zipped and buzzed in front of me. The tiny sparkles had wings that looked like flower petals. If you looked really closed you could see their round bodies that had an ever tinier round head on top. None of them strayed from their little swarm. They gave off a sense of pureness and light. I’m not sure what they were but they saved my life. There were thousands of them dancing in the air and through the forest.

“Thank you…um…pixie fairy things,” thankful and confused at the same moment.

The pixie like creature buzzed off and everything was silent again except for the heavy breathing of Matt and me.

“Can you tell me what just happened?” Matt broke the silence with his petulant question.

“I have no idea. I wasn’t even awake.” I was as confused as he was.

“You were asleep on my shoulder-which wasn’t so bad I might add- and then you were off walking around the room and out the window. I followed you through the woods to the cliff. I kept thinking that you were playing a joke, but then all of a sudden you jumped and I grabbed you before you could fall all the way. Next thing I know you’re saved by sparkles and awake. You might have been sleep walking, but I’ve never seen you do it before.”

  “Let’s just get back to the room before Vamp finds out or I will never see you again.”

  Once we were in the room and settled, I lay down on the bed and got under the covers. I knew it was late in the night I was getting tired.

 “Are you tired? I’ll lock the window if you want.

“I guess, I’m a little cold actually. Can you get me a quilt from the closet?”

“Sure. You want me to read to you, too?” He grinned.

“Shut up!” I grimaced.

Matt chuckled and spread the blanket over me.

“You really should rest. You have to go to school tomorrow remember. I’ll stand guard at the window.”

Now that he mentioned it I forgot about my mom and dad. I forgot about Blake and Stella; all my teachers, even about placement at school. So much had happened I forgot about time.

“What time is it?” I wondered aloud.

“About three,” Matt answered.

“Really?”

“Yeah,” He sighed.I pondered this a moment and started to nod off when there was a knock at the door.

“Can I come in?” It was Emil.

“Uh…” I looked around. Matt was gone and everything was fine. “Yes. Come in.”

“I came to talk to you about the Window Keeper thing.” Emil grimaced at the word thing.

“What about it?”

“There’s no way you can say no to this, but if you listen to the history majority of the Window Keeper died a painful death. Especially in the third…Never mind. The point is when you do this you must train if you wish to be like Beth Ann. She trained more often than the other and that’s what kept her alive. So far you’re not off to a good start.” He glanced at the patched cut on my forehead.      

“The antidote you heard about if almost complete. I’ve been waiting for this so I can stop the deaths of the keepers that the Window selects. I can’t bear another loss.” Emil’s eyes seemed far off. “I’ll do what I can to help you, Claire, but I make no promises.” With that Emil left.

On his way out the door he mumbled something I didn’t catch completely. “…sleep walking…death…Grave…” was all I managed to catch. What does that mean? Matt only shook his head.

My life was a mess. I’ve never sleepwalked before in my life! So why would I do it now. What was I to do if I did it again? I couldn’t ask Matt to do it. He’s already done too much. If I told Vamp then He would be a freak about it. Ugh.

Chapter 7: History

The sweep from my bed was quick and unpleasant. Vamp rushed me down the hall to a set of whopping double doors. They were high about ten feet and were intricately carved with animals and plants. At the top of the door, right where the two doors met was a window. It was the window in my room. A tiny brown carving at the top of the door, that all that could make me want to go home and forget everything that had happened. I stared at it for a moment unaware of the event around me. I was still in Vamp’s arms but he wasn’t moving. He was staring at something. I followed his gaze to where I was staring before.

“What is it?” I asked.

“The frame of the door tells the history of the window world.” He whispered softly. His voice sounded lighter as if he were remembering something.

“Wow,” I breathed.

Vamp looked as if he were ready to go in now.

“They’ve invited us now. You ready?” His eyes seemed dark. I nodded stiffly.

“I guess.” He didn’t wait for my assurance. He pushed the doors open and he walked me to the middle of a large rounded room. The walls were a plain white but filled up with cloth banners of multicolored fabric. In the front center of the room was a long desk that you see in a court when on trial for a punishment. Seated at the desk were four men that looked like something out of a super old black and white film. Except these guys seemed more old than anything from the 1940s, they all had pale white faces as if they had been drained of all blood. One man had a hat on that looked like one a which would wear but less girly. Vamp directed me to sit in chair brought by one of the servants. It was a hard wooden one unlike the ones the men in the desk had, but who’s complaining.

“Vamp…Claire. I’m very pleased you are able to meet our wishes, and Claire I see you’ve been up and about.” The man in the middle nodded toward me.

YEAH RIGHT! You actually thought I wanted to come to this. I was having a peaceful talk with…Ow! I mentally shouted as Vamp bumped me lightly with enough force to make focus. He gave me a look that said Focus and something told me these guys are who my life is going to depend on.

 “Well I suppose I shall start. Claire, I’m sure you plea for answers to you queries. Am I right?” He proclaimed.

“Yes, uh… sir,” I wasn‘t really sure what to call him since, I assumed, he wasn’t human.

At the corner of my eye I saw Vamp sigh and smile. I guess he was expecting something rude. I probably would have but this man gave off an incredible vibe that sent the word authority surging through my mind. I cringed a little. I never liked power even though it seemed I had it thrown at me in site of the fact I don’t want it.

“Well what is your first question, and we’ll take off from there.”

“Well…” I paused wondering if what I asked would be rude. “Do you mind if I ask to know your names, so… I can address you properly.”  That came out a lot more formal than I expected.

The frown on the man’s face twitched a bit then he burst into a fit laughter. The other four joined in as if my question was a funny joke. Vamp was chuckling next to me a bit too. I wanted to hit him but I knew it would be unbeneficial. So I waited for their spasm to stop.

“Oh…goodness,” He sighed. “Child you are certainly different from the others. Oh my, Emil what have you brought us here?” He started laughing again, but not as uncontrolled.

Then I realized that Emil, I was guessing, was the only one staring unchanged and me. I smiled thankful. He nodded at my acknowledgment. I had a feeling I was going to like him.

“Alright…yes I will answer your question. My name is Cosmin-Elder Cosmin,” He said gaining his composure back. “And to my right is Emil-Elder Emil-and to my left is Evgeny-Elder Evgeny- and next to Emil is Iustin-Elder Iustin- and next to you is Vamp-Elder Vamp. His job is to protect you as well as to be with us to make decisions.”

I sighed and glanced at Vamp who was standing in one of those military positions. Hands behind his back and legs spread apart in a forty-five degree angle. He shot me a quick grin. I shook my head nothing seemed remotely normal about all of this. This led me ahead to think if this is what I really wanted. Did I really want to be part of this world?

“Well I guess we will cite the history of the window world; Elder Evgeny will you start with the first century of our world?” He said it more of a demand than a question.

“Yes.”, He cleared his throat and stood up. “Before you knew it time had begun. No one knew how or when we were created all we knew was that we were unlike anything else in the human world. We the Five Elders stood there in the clearing, realizing that we were stronger, smarter, and faster than any human you would ever meet. We knew something else though. Emil felt it too. He led us to Alanna…our first window keeper.”  Evgeny bowed his head then went on to continued. “She was not like the others in her world and she knew it too. She followed us till Elder Cosmin found us our home…The Window.

“Alanna came to the window where we built her home. She lived there protecting our world from human eyes and letting ours world into hers. She was unbelievable. She did her job as best she could till…Sterling!” Evgeny shuddered. “Discovered us and there was where the war began between Good and Evil. Thousands die. The many we discovered and breaded in our world. Most were destroyed some extinct. But we vampires still remain. Alanna fell in the battle along with the others trying to save the life of another. Sterling thought she had won, but the spirit of the Window Keeper went on to find itself a new host and finish its duty.

“Emil led us or Vamp really to the next keeper named Elizabeth…Elizabeth Smits. She was another extremely gifted woman. Had a good sense that girl she could tell you the difference between good and bad even if they were trying to fool her with a corny show. She was not as easily convinced as Alanna. She was brought here though and did her job as well as Alanna. But she was lost to a rare case of influenza after twenty years.

“Elizabeth’s death was unfortunate and a short time for her. This worried us. We didn’t know how long each Window Keeper would last. Cosmin sent a request to find an antidote for an eternal life just as we live. The person could go on forever looking young and beautiful. It was kind of related to the fountain of youth except this one is real.” A wicked smile whip across his face he almost looked evil.

“The Window Keeper’s has that choice to drink it right?” I gulped.

“Well the thing is we haven’t found it. Well we have found it but it’s not perfected.” Evgeny explained. I let out the breath I had held for a moment longer than necessary.

“But just because a person is given the ability to live forever, doesn’t give them invincibility, does it?”

Cosmin took this in as if it had been brought up before and all he said was, “Baby steps, young one, baby steps,” and waved his hand through the air to continue.

Evgeny continued with the reading, “As we sent out to look for this antidote. Emil got that suspicion that there was a new window keeper. Knowing this, Vamp and Emil set off. His led us to Elmwood, Illinois to a beautiful young lady named Alexandra Hart.  She was brave but weak. She didn’t bear to leave her sick father home alone. There was no way to pull her away from her father without force.

“Unfortunately her father died and she committed suicide. Very weak….we returned home with no keeper. As for the other they returned with flower petals that they theorized to have the needed chemical to make our much-needed antidote.

“We managed for decades till Emil felt that pull again toward something new something big too. Vamp set off with him again this time up into Canada. We found Griet Walsh about to die in the corner of a hut. She was beaten badly by an unknown predator. We help Griet escape and brought her to the small house built for the keeper. She gladly accepted our facts on us finding her and she protected us as we protected her. She was forever grateful for us wanted to repay us.

“She learned swordsmanship quickly. Naturally she became a good fighter and was a deadly weapon. Sterling learned quick and prepared for another battle to be fought against us. Her hatred toward the council was and is inert and has undiscovered motives, but we made Griet stronger and fought.

“Sterling’s army outnumbered ours greatly from the last war she place on us. Griet slaughtered any who came near her, but the real challenge was presented by Sterling in a hand-to- hand combat. The battle was sword against magic. Unfairly Sterling defeated Griet with an attack from a werewolf.”

“Evgeny, do you mind that we skip the next hundred years for Claire’s sake, I mean.” Vamp presented.

I whipped my head toward him surprised. What happened in the third century that he didn’t want me to hear? I hate it when people leave you hanging on things like this. “That’s not—”

“Claire, be quiet, please,” Vamp’s eyes grew dark and weary. His voice was hushed but there was no doubt of the pain laced in each word.

Evgeny look sideways at Cosmin who nodded in approval.

“A wondrous start to after such disastrous event, we had our last window keeper, Beth Anne. We will not reveal her last name due to her dying wishes. She led some of our greatest packs of werewolves to uncharted grounds where the set up new colonies into our world which surprisingly has much more to be discovered. She built with them setting up nymph huts in the trees and caves for giants that roam the lands. She was our most liked Keeper in a world of hostility, but as you well know there are spies in every world. They snuck into our packs and once sure about what our intentions were, left to tell Sterling’s Husband, Grave was the name given to him. The many lives he’s taken.” Evgeny sucked in a sharp breath between his clenched teeth.

“Calm yourself Evgeny it was not your fault what happened that day,” Iustin reassured.

  Continuing Evgeny rose to his feet and spoke, “Grave was displeased hearing our quick growth and our growing troops. He planned a surprise attack that went disastrous. The giant that he enslaved from Tall Hill Battle launched whatever they got their hands on. That was when one of the giants flung Grave over the mountain hoping that if Grave were to die they could be free but instead the giants were executed by Sterling. Grave was killed by Beth Anne. She became a legend among the Window World

 “Beth Anne died of old age many years ago. No wars were brought about since then and no other Window Keeper has been till now. Our ways of authority have change and we have no control over anyone anymore. Every creature goes about on their own free will. We simply watch over everyone, and you protect us from the outside world and help protect us from those who are evil. Your job is dangerous and short-lived but worth the risk.”

Cosmin and the others nodded with agreement but I didn’t. How is it up to these … monsters to determine my fate or who I’m going to be? What if I don’t want to dot this? What were they going to do?

“Wait a minute!” I raised a hand as if stop his words from reach me any further. “What about me? Do I have a choice in this?” My anger was obvious.

Vamp tensed beside me. Cosmin and the others gave a look of confusion on their faces. “We assume that you already agree. You came to through the Window didn’t you? Of course you can refuse but I would advise you think about it before you do otherwise your admittance to the Window will be shut off.”

A humorless laugh erupted from my throat. “Listen up nobody makes decisions for me, so, yeah I can in here willingly, but you are acting as if I should be happy that I’m risking my life to save your hide.”

“It’s a great honor,” Cosmin says in a matter of fact tone.

“Cosmin, please leave her to think about this before you upset her further.” Vamp pleaded calmly.

“Very well, take her back to her room to get to rest, I mean just look at her. Meeting Adjourned!” Every nodded and murmured about how dreadful I looked.

“Do I really look that bad?” I whispered to Vamp.

He muffled a laugh and shook his head. Vamp led me out into the hall and walked me back to my room. He stopped me outside my door.

“I wanted to tell you it’s about one in the morning back in the human world. So you’ll need to get back in time for you to go to school tomorrow.” Vamp sounded like some responsible parent. I huffed in frustration. 

“The bus comes about eight, but is it really necessary for me to go to school tomorrow.”

“Yes, don’t worry though you have to come back tomorrow to accept your position.”  I shifted nervously.

“I don’t know, Vamp. What if I can do this?” I bit my lip and stared at the floor. This wasn’t pressure I was use to.

Vamp put a comforting hand on my shoulder. “You wouldn’t be here if you couldn’t do this.”

I opened the door to my room to find Matt sitting on my bed fiddling with the sheets. Vamp sighed and shook his head.

 “Don’t let anyone see you and be quiet.” Vamp said sternly.

Matt grinned and nodded. “Thank You.”

Matt scooted to the end of the bed and I sat down on the bed and propped myself upon a few feathery pillows. I gazed at Vamp for a moment. He looked older and some what depressed.

“Are you okay?” I asked worried.

“Yes. Please don’t stress you need to sleep.”

“Sure,” I said unwillingly.  

Vamp left the room cautious of what was out the door. Matt was just staring at me smiling.

“What was it like in there?” He urged.

“Boring but interesting,” I confirmed. “They told me the history of this place and gave me a night to decide it wanted to be the Window Keeper.”

“You have to do it!” Matt jumped up. “This could be my way out of hiding and be with Vamp again. I’ve had to hide for fifteen year!” 

“Shush!” I warned him.

“Sorry, it’s just hard.” He hung his head so I couldn’t see his face.

 “Are you crying?”

“No.” He looked up with disgust. “Why would I cry?”

 “Why are you crying I should be crying!” I whispered loudly.

“I’m not! You’re so pushy!” Matt smiled at me and smacked my foot. I giggle quietly and laid my head down on the pillows.

 “Matt do you know anything about the history that Vamp might not want to tell me?” I mused remembering what he had requested earlier.

“No why?” He moved closer to where I sat for the story.

“During the meeting Vamp asked Elder Cosmin to skip a section of the history. He said it was for my sake but it didn’t look like it had anything to do with me?”

“I don’t know I’ve never heard the history before.”

Matt turned and faced the window he came in earlier.

“Do you ever wish you were human?” I blurted curiously.

“Yes all the time. If I can’t be known to those I want to be with how can I belong to some place that doesn’t know me. I want to be here but I know I can’t.” I looked at Matt as he stared aimlessly.

“I want to promise you that I will do what I can to help. You deserve that much.  I will blood bond it or something if I have to.” I stuck out my thumb.

Matt looked disgusted at me. “Don’t make jokes. You know I can do that”

“Do I? I‘m trying to make a promise between the Window Keeper and my vampire friend so he can live in peace, isn’t that why I’m here…to make peace in two worlds?”

Matt eyed my thumb. I jammed it father out at him.

“I can’t… believe I’m doing this. You can’t tell anyone about this or it will never work. Our promise will be meaningless.”

 “I’m ready.” I said taking a deep breath.

Matt took his thumb and allowed his tooth engraved a “W” on it. Blood spilled from the letter. I shuddered. Cautiously he grasped my hand now looking at me as if to make sure I haven’t changed my mind and pulled it toward his fang. His tooth slid smoothly over the surface of my thumb engraving an “M”. Blood bubbled up and spilled slowly over the side of my thumb thickly. The pain wasn’t bad it felt like feather going through my skin. I flinched when his cold breath wash over my finger. He took my thumb and pressed it against his own mixing our blood. A stinging sensation over came my thumb and it began to glow with light. I closed my eyes. What have I gotten myself into? I will not regret this.

“Relax, it’s over.” He brushed a strand of hair out of my eyes.

 “It wasn’t so bad.” I examined my thumb sounding breathless. There was a bloody “M” on my thumb but that was it.

He laughed. “Your blood taste good. I’ve never had human blood.”

I grimaced playfully at him then asked, “You want more the engraving hasn’t healed.” I stuck my thumb about half way between us.

Matt reached out but put his hand down. “No I can’t I would be wrong.”

“Does it do anything to my health?” I ask encouragingly.

“I wouldn’t know,” He sighed.

“Then take some, I’ll be fine. Think of it as an experiment. You always had a knack for science.” I stuck my hand out farther.

Matt gave me a look of uncertainty and hesitantly reached out grasping my wrist. I reached with him making sure he didn’t back down. I was just as curious as he was. The palm of my hand reached his mouth when the door swung open and Vamp’s eyes furiously appeared in the door way.

Chapter 6: Truth Be Told

I awaited some impending death but nothing came except the fait steps of Sterling feet as she dance round me like a harsh wind. Sterling’s excitement suddenly dispersed so fast that she pounced on top of me, but before anything could happen she was gone.  I rolled on my side and gasped. Sterling was crouched in an offensive stance about ten yards away but what surprised me was that it wasn’t Vamp who had saved me. There defensively in front of me was…Matt.

Matt my only friend that I left behind in Seattle, the Matt that had given me the charm necklace I wore now. How could that be? How could he know about this place? By now, something stop surprising  me, but this…whoa.

His lips were curled back over his teeth. A low hiss escaped Sterling’s scowling lips. Then they were gone. A wild flurry or attacks and counter attacks stirred in a circle where I lay sore and unable to move. Between the shock and pains I wasn’t going to last much longer. Sterling paused when she landed on a branch in the tree above me. Matt stayed crouched on the ground next to my head.

“You won’t be able to protect her forever. I’m going to have the Window in my control someday and not only then will I have the Window World but I’ll have your pathetic human one as well,” Sterling growled and was gone. All that was left was the terrible chaos she caused.

  Matt slowly rose out of his crouch. I tried to sit up but I didn’t try for long because then an arm was around my waist helping me up. I stared at Matt with a curiosity and surprise that never left my face. I took his support and we got back to where I’d fallen off the small hill. Now that I’d seen it I almost felt like a retard. The hill must have been only a six-foot roll that wasn’t very steep.

Vamp was at the top of the hill thanking the fairies for whatever fight I’d missed up there. Then he was next to us taking me from Matt. Where was Vamp when I needed him?

“Are you okay?” Vamp croaked.

“Yes,” I said glaring lightly at him.

Vamp and Matt both raised an eyebrow.

I sighed heavily, “I’m fine for just facing the witch that wants to kill me and destroy the existence of well…basically everything. Not fine for feeling as I was just about to die then have the shock of having my best friend save my life when my protector didn’t. But other than that, everything is just peachy.” I scowled at the dirt.

If Vamp reacted to what I said I didn’t see. Matt held on to me so I wouldn’t fall. Like the time in second grade when I sprain my ankle. I huffed and looked up at Vamp who was glancing between me and Matt nervously.

“Oh, just hand me over to Vamp before he has a melt down!” I spat.

 “Nice to see you again, Claire, I guess” Matt smirked as he gently hand me over to Vamp, who scooped me up into his arms.

“Uh… yeah….how and why are you here?”

“I can leave if you want. Really I’m not supposed to be here anyways.”

“Uh, huh,” I stared at him suspiciously.

 Matt opened his mouth but shut it when Vamp waved him to be quiet. The bruises surrounding his eyes have deepened. The purple was almost a dark navy blue. I reached up to touch under his left eye. His skin felt normal except for the lack of warmth coming from him. Vamp closed his eyes allowing me to graze his skin. I gasped when the bruises started to fade away.

 “My Apologies for letting you down, this is entirely fault. I should have known something like this was expected. You seem to know that more than I did.” Vamp’s rant seemed to address not only me but Matt as well. “We must get to the Council Building and report everything that’s happen tonight.”

I felt Vamp’s body stiffen as if he were about to take off running but I struggled against him causing him to pause.

“Wait, what about school and my Parents? Am I going home tonight or …” I shook my head.

“We’ll take care of it.” Vamp assured me with a nod.

 “My father is right though. We need to go.” Matt froze after that.

Oh my God…

My mouth was open a few inches. Vamp stiffened but then acted like nothing had happened and took off at blinding speeds. I didn’t care though. Father? Did Matt just say father? That would explain why they looked so much alike. I still can’t put it together. Why would Matt live in the human world if Vamp lived here, and who in the heck would be willing to give birth to a vampire baby? No human I know would for sure.

He kept running for another ten minutes till he stopped after we had past the window. I jerked forward when Vamp made an abrupt halt in front of a building that looked like the local town hall or court-house. Vamp walked up the steps into the building as if it were home. Matt didn’t follow. He hid in a bush about fifteen yards from the building.

“Why isn’t…” Vamp covered my mouth.

“Not now; I’ll tell you later.” He removed his hand as we walked down the corridor in the building.

We walked straight into a room that looked like it was from an 1800s style hotel. The bed was made and it had a silk cover on it. There was a desk with paper and a quill with ink jar. The floor was made of a polished oak wood it seemed. It was more beautiful than any painting or picture you saw.

“Wow.” Was all I mange to say.

“This is the spare room. You will be staying . I will send Vladimir to come and tend to your wound. After, I will bring you to meet the elders. Don’t worry about being in trouble. That is not your place to be the trouble.” He sat my on the bed. It was soft, and the silk felt like water.

“Um…is Vladimir a vampire?” I gulped.

“Yes, but he is well controlled in his blood intake. Don’t show any fear though. He will manipulate that into something to humor himself.”

“I have one more question before you go. Why did the fairies help us back there?  Did I do that or was it some coincidence? ”

Vamp blinked pondering my question a second. When he finally answered, his voice seemed to be covering the real answer. “Coincidence, I hope?”

I nodded but he continued. “Something to remember is that all creatures here are different.”

“What do you mean?” I angled my head confused.

“Well it goes like that for all species in this world. Some are bad and join Sterling or they are good and join the elders and myself. Or they are neutral,” Vamp scoffed at the word neutral. “The fairies that help us today were luckily good in our favor, thank the lord; otherwise today wouldn’t exist.”

Vamp left the room and not even a minute later Vladimir came in with the supplies to treat my wounds. After various pokes and stinging, my legs were rested on a pillow and a tray of food was on my lap. It was some type of fruit that I didn’t know of and a glass of water. I gulped down my glass of water but cautioned myself on the fruit. I nibbled the fruit for a moment till I realized it taste sweet, so I ate it.

Vladimir had bandaged the cut on my forehead first using a piece of cloth and surgical tape you found in the hospitals. He rubbed some salve on my ribs under my shirt because my lower right ribs were severely bruised thanks to a certain someone. I had scrapes covering almost every inch of my body but Vlad had said they would be fine.

My blast from the past room had a quaint charm to it that I liked. Next to my bed was a window where I could see the forest and sun through. Everything seemed more joyful here. I definitely liked this better. I was at peace till I heard a thump on the window. I glanced out the window where Matt was smiling happily like when we use to hang out. I nudged the window open. The spare room door was closed, so no one could see him. He hopped through the window, lightly landing to the floor.

“Hiya,” I whispered.

“Hey, about everything today; sorry,” He apologized.

“For what?”

“For not telling you about my real dad or not telling you I’m a Vampire.”

“You’re a vampire?!” I didn’t know that much.

“Oh, so you don’t know that. Well… yeah, Vamp is my Dad and he is a vampire so I’m a vampire. That’s how it works.” Matt said it like it was the most obvious thing in the world. I smack his arm and he continued, “But the thing is that the elders don’t know about me, so I’m really not supposed to be here.” He shrugged it off.

“Who is your mom, then?”

“Uh…I don’t have a real mother. Sterling killed her when I was younger. She found out about me and was…curious. When she came over my dad was out and my mother got defensive or something. They got in a fight and Sterling won. My mother was another vampire.”

“So you’re a whole vampire.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

Why was he passing this off as normal? Everything for me had changed the day I set foot in Atlanta. Matt didn’t even seem to care that his own mother was killed by an evil overlord. Was it possible for someone to face so much terror in one life that you stop caring about even those you should love most? I shook my head and continued with the million questions I had left.

“Then why were you in the human world?”

“My dad was hiding me there till I was fully grown. That way they couldn’t do anything about me. He couldn’t watch me or they would have found out. I was just easier to have me raise but a brainwashed family than in a cave by some troll with low pay.”

“You mean the elders. How did you get here?”

“Portal. Your window isn’t the only way here. There was one back in Seattle.”

 “Well how weird is it that I lived in Seattle at the same time?”

“Not very weird, my father already knew you were the Window Keeper before you were born. One of the elders has the gift to tell which person is special and will be our Keeper. My father has connections all over the country to get the Window Keeper to the window.” There was a pause.

So, not only was I being forced into this window war because my destiny was decided before I was born, but I have been stalked since I was in my mother’s womb. Great…

Matt Bit his lower lip. It began to bleed a little. I opened my mouth to say something but I just shut it. He wiped his hand over the blood ridding it from his face. I knew he had a question. Of course I did too, but it would wait.

“Claire… when you found out you were the Window Keeper at such an early age, what did you think? Normal Window Keepers don’t find out till they are about to graduate.”

I pondered this a moment. What did I think? What it the helpless creatures or just the sudden familiarity with everything here. Being here now felt normal, like I’d been doing this since I was two. Probably because I grew up with Matt being one of my best friends, but you never know. Or do you?

“I…I think I was worried and I cared about it all but I never thought it was impossible. I’m not sure. The fact that I’m wanted dead doesn’t help with the pros of it all, but keeps me here more out of superiority.” I answered.

“Good. All the Window Keepers that came before you found my father insane apparently. I wasn’t alive for any of the other Window Keepers besides you and Elaine. She was a nice lady.” Matt smiled.

“How did she die?”

“Old age…She was fortunate for that. The best you can wish for other that is to die of disease.”

“Oh.”

Then what was the worst way to die? Be killed by a maniac witch that wanted your head on her mantel…could be worse.

 “Uh…You don’t have to answer this, but I want to know if you’re like the stories. Do you …drink blood?” I asked my voice dropping below a whisper.

A small moment of hesitation lingered in the air. My heart began to speed up allowing me to hear the blood pump in my ears. Mentally I was yelling at myself to stay calm when he answered.

“Yeah I do.” Matt smiled revealing two tiny inch and a half fangs, “The day my brought me to Seattle to live with my human parents he told me that it’s different there. They won’t accept our ways that I had to hide my abilities till he came back for me.

 “I lived off the blood of animals most of the time but I became equip with eating the food there, too. I learned fast it didn’t taste that well all the time. Like when your mom cooked that turkey and gave us the gizzard and…”

“Ew! I remember, stop!” I cut him off. Matt snickered at the wall for a moment. It felt good to have him around again. “By the way, thanks for saving me earlier.”

“No problem. It was oddly fun. I should be saying thank you.”

Seconds later, the door opened and Matt froze where he sat at the end of the bed. Vamp peeked his head around the door narrowing his eyes at us on the bed. Vamp entered the room and shut the door quickly behind him. He stared angrily at Matt.

“Damn you, boy. If they know you’re here they’ll have not only your head but mine as well.” Vamp chastised.

Mat hung his head and slip out the window silently. The face he made me want to laugh. It looked like he knew he was supposed to be apologetic, but hints of smugness dance around his lips. I wanted to giggle but I knew it wasn’t appropriate for my situation.

“It’s time to meet the other elders.” Vamp muttered.

 Unhappily, I swung my feet over to the ground but before I could stand up Vamp had scooped me up into his arms. Obviously we were in a hurry.  I yelped.

“Sorry.” Vamp muffled a laugh before he took off and out the room.

Chapter 5: The Meeting (bac 2 Window Keeper)

I snuck into the kitchen before I left for night into the alleged world in my window. My stomach grumbled quietly as I quickly grabbed a snack before I snuck out. Taking two apples from the basket I thought of Vamp but remembering he was a vampire made me suddenly wonder  if he drank blood or not. Oh well, I guess I would bring it anyway. I tiptoed back to my room while eating the first apple. Next to the window, I slowly reached for the handle before a freezing hand caught mine.

“Not yet.” Vamp was behind me. He looked younger now. His face seemed to glow in the heavy moon light that leaked through the window pane.

Silence hung in the air between us. Not the awkward silence you usually might feel but more of a thoughtful peace. In my head, I was replaying today’s event from Stella to Sterling. I thought of Blake briefly and his sudden change in attitude, but mainly of Sterling’s Placement. Questions stirred round my brain racking it for answers I just couldn’t figure out.

“Vamp,” I whispered.

“Hmm,”

“Can’t I ask something?” My memory brought back a statement Sterling had mention to me.

“Go ahead.” He encouraged.

“When I was in placement at the school, Sterling brought me into a room and told me something I’m sure I believe. She said you killed the past Window Keepers. Not her.” He grimaced at the thought.

“She is a true witch to believe that I would even hurt the any Window Keeper. I couldn’t do that I…wouldn’t live to see the day.” It sounded like he whispered something else but I didn’t want to probe for more.

“I also have another question.” I paused. “Do you drink blood?” I grimaced that time.

I closed my eyes not wanting to see if his reaction was bad. I heard a faint chuckle. When I finally opened my eyes, Vamp was smiling kindly.  I stared at him confused. He seemed at ease, more so that I was.

“You’re different. The others all assumed that I drank the blood and passed it off as normal. You’re the only one to ask, and the answer to your question is no.” He paused but I leaned in to signal to him to keep going.

“I don’t drink the red wine that’s supposed to be good for my kind. The Elders drink the blood of the evil every once in a while. One person’s blood is long enough to keep us going for months. I was forced as the Window Keeper’s protector to give up that aspect of being a vampire. Now I don’t eat or drink anything. It does weaken me from the other elders but I’m still strong and fast.” Vamp looked up at the moon. I stared at it too.

It was a full moon tonight. The moon was yellow and looked like cheese but it also looked like a beautiful flower that could never die. I always enjoyed looking at the moon. It was a way of speaking to me. My breathing even and my heart beat slowed a little. A calming feeling rolled over me almost like I don’t even care

“I want to name it.” I confessed.

“Huh?” He didn’t hear me.

“I want to name the moon. Today shouldn’t be forgotten… by me at least. ”

“Okay. What are you going to name it?” He stared at me for a moment.

“I think I’m going to name it the White Rose or the Bloody Rose depending on what happens tonight.” I wished I could have rephrased that better but the damage was done.

“What do you mean about tonight? You think there is going to be a gory war here!” He gave me a hurt look and frowned.

“Sorry.” I hung my head a little not willing to look at him. Quickly glancing sideways at the clock once more, it was 7: 58pm.

I shuffled over and picked up my book Blackwood’s Farm. I leaned against my bed flipping the pages not really reading. My attempts to speed time were becoming an epic fail, so I put down the book.

“So when do we go to your ‘realm’?”  Putting quotes around the word “realm”. There still part of me that isn’t entirely convinced about the whole Window World thing, but hey.

“Soon,” He mumbled closing his eyes.  

Plopping on my bed with my hands behind my head, I started to think of home. Seattle was only what… three hours behind us? I wanted to talk to Matt.

“Can I make a phone call?”  I didn’t care what he said I was going to call Matt whether he let me or not.

“No.” he whispered sternly.

I got up and left for the door, and then a sharp wind shut the door. Why was it every time he is around some form of wind blew to my disadvantage?

“Hey!” I complained.

“I said ‘No’!” He enforced such authority I said nothing.

“Besides…It’s time.”

  Vamp help me stepped through the window after I’d opened it. Once outside Vamp pulled me aside to a bush where he told me to wait, but before he asked me something.

“Where did Sterling approach in your dream?” he asked urgently. I had butterflies now.

“Uh…at the north side of the forest, I think. Why?” I searched my thoughts.

“You think or you know?” Vamp raised an eyebrow to me.

“Yes it was the north, but why?” Remembering Sterling from the dream was like reliving my life as a nightmare.

“Just intuition, hopefully I’ll explain later.”

The sky was an eerie grey while the trees swayed to a cold wind. The field was empty of everything. Nothing moved, nothing breathe almost like the entire place was holding it’s breath awaiting the meeting to the two bitter enemies. Gasping, I realized I was doing the same. I took two deep breaths trying to get back to normal.

“Claire…” Vamp breathed.

He waited for me to look at him. When I did I noticed the deep purple bruised that circled his eyes. My eyes widened.

“Promise me something.”

I nodded softly.

 “If I am in trouble… do not come for me. You seem like the kind of person to do that. Plus, Sterling is an extremely selfish creature. She only wishes to kill you.” He locked his hand on my shoulder.

 I nodded, blinked and Vamp was standing stiffly in the middle of my so-called “backyard”. It took me to minute to see that my “backyard” wasn’t there. There was no neighbor’s yard or houses for that matter. They were gone. The back yard pool next door and nice grass were engrossed in a think forest. All that stood was my shack like house and my window.

Ten minutes of waiting got boring and being me, I’m not the most graceful person. It’s not that I trip on air but if there is a pothole or trash can I’ll manage to find it and fall or at least stumble. So, it didn’t shock me when I sat back on my butt and fell over. What did shock me was the small hill behind me and when I started tumbling head first to the bottom. I rolled backwards into a huge tree splitting open my forehead near the hair-line. Blood dripped hastily down the side of my face on to the spinning earth. It all happened so fast I barely had time to react. Even if I saw everything that still didn’t help me.

When the blood hit the earth it made a sound that was louder than what would be thought to be a bomb. It sent a deep shudder through the earth almost as if a category twelve earthquake had erupted havoc upon my window world. This cause obvious notice in my positioning, when vamp burst through the bush where I once hid was about the same time I cried out in mercy. My shoulder felt twisted and out-of-place. When I moved a sudden snap occurred and the odd feeling was relieved as my shoulder moved back into place but the pain came in paroxysm and I cried out again and again begging it to stop.

 All I could remember for a second was the forceful pain that was causing me to lose consciousness, but I pleaded with my self that I need to stay conscious for Vamp. I didn’t want to leave him alone with Sterling. I knew that part of my dream was about to come true. Vamp was going to have to fight Sterling, no doubt. I could already see Vamp on the ground with his eyes pleading for me to run.

I gained back full consciousness in enough time. Vamp was in front of me hovering over me, but what I didn’t see was Sterling. Where was she? I lifted my hand to my forehead where the shallow gash was still seeping blood.

“Ugh!” I grunted.

“Lord! You definitely know how to draw attention to yourself. The devil himself showed up or rather his pets.” At that moment a flicker of realization came across his face, “She knew? How? Why didn’t you tell me?” He was angry now.

“I don’t know! I didn’t say anything!” I was scared now.

“Dammit, Claire,” Vamp snarled.

“What are we going to do?”

“We… I am going to need help and you are going to need medical attention if we get out of this.” He shifted to the left.

I tried to scoot back toward the tree that I tumbled into earlier so I could sit up. I needed to think. This dream the other night was coming true. I use to have a lot of déjà vu’s when I was a little younger but I thought nothing of them. What if my dreams were some form of seeing what would happen next? Could I do if I was daydreaming? Could I do it now? What if it was just a silly faux hope? I closed my eyes concentrating on some unknown force. I have to try. Maybe I could help? I thought about Vamp and Sterling fighting in my dream. A tugging in the back of my brain started and I thought it was from the loss of blood but the tugging started to get harder. I thought of the switch even harder when a flock of what looked like an assortment of flowers with wings. Fairies?

“Incredible…Our odds are turning.” I heard Vamp over my deep concentration.

“Wait… Are you doing that?” My guess is that he looked at me but my eyes were closed so I couldn’t tell. Vamp started humming and my thoughts of fairies were changing. They were starting to assemble into an….Army! We had a fairy army. I don’t know how they could help but if Vamp said our odd were turning than that must be good.

My thought became clearer and clearer till a sharp sudden pain engrosses my arm. I screamed as my eyes flew open to find two big clawed hands dug into my arm with more blood was running down my arm. I was starting to get sick. I jerked my head one way then the other. I stopped on the other to find Sterling with a satisfying smirk on her pale face. The joy in her face as she watched the steady flow of blood down my arm and as my pain intensified was horrifying, when I suddenly screamed again as she ripped her hands away whipping my blood around spattering my face and clothes. Her smirk transformed into a triumphant grin as she let loose a cackle of almost delight.

Sterling grabbed hold of my arm and slung me around so I slammed my back against the tree from earlier causing the wind to be knocked out of me. I lay on the ground trying to gasp for breath but nothing was coming. I flopped around a bit when I felt an abrupt pain in my chest and all at once the air rushed back. I gasped sucking in several shallow breaths. Where’s Vamp? He’s my protector. Why isn’t he saving me?

“You thought with your power you would win this time, but now… today the window world is mine.” She crowed again with triumph.

“Vamp!” I screeched.

 “He can’t help you.” She danced around the tree I was laying limp by. Her laugh filled my ears like an annoying buzz form a fly except ten times worse.

That was it. I was going to die.

Srry!!

Srry if I havn’t written anything in a while. I’ve been busy this summer with skool work, vacation and other things but I’ll try to post something as soon as i can. Thanks for reading!

~Musicluvr06

Reminder!!

Just a reminder there are TWO stories on this blog! The Window Keeper and Man’s Best Friend. You can see the two catagories at the top of the page and to stay with one story click it… 🙂 thanks!

Chapter 4: Addie

    Peter cut the engine and my heart pounded in my chest. I gave an uneasy glance in the back seat where Jack lay so helpless.  I’m so sorry, I thought to him. Jack gave me a pained look that said I’m okay… just bleeding.  I chuckled to myself. Then, Jack’s eyes darted to peter then to me in a pleading glance as if to say make up so I can get to the vet. I nodded dully then turn to peter hesitantly. Peter had his eyes closed and was leaning against the driver seat window. I sighed heavily and apologized.

“I’m sorry…” Peter opened his eyes into narrow slits glaring at me, but I continued anyways. “I over reacted, it’s just that…you said something that….brought back a painful memory.” I grimaced then turn my head to stare out the window.

Peter rustled in his seat then opened his car door. My head snap back as begun to open the back seat door where Jack was. I jumped out to help him but it was too late before Peter had him and was briskly walking to the door. 

The vet’s office is called Skylark’s. It’s located in the middle of town in the plaza. It’s a small building painted blue and white with big front windows where you can see the lobby and front desk. Right now a middle-aged woman with dark brown hair was behind the desk reading a magazine. The area around the office was covered by a small grassy area where dogs can piss.

A bell jingled as we hurried in the front door. If the nurse was surprised to see two teenagers and a dog wrapped in a blood soaked jacket, she didn’t show it. She pressed something under the desk and immediately two men rolled out the on the side of desk with a metal table. Peter placed Jack gently on the vet’s version of a gurney and we were wheel into a checkup room so we could explain what happened. I told them about going to the pond, Mr. Burnett chasing us, and getting shooting at and how one hit Jack. The men nodded and conversed to themselves then began to roll Jack away.

“Wait!!” I cried out, grabbing hold of one of the men’s jackets.

They stopped and the man explain to me that Jack would be okay but they need to get to the OR to clean and stitch the wound before it got infected. I still didn’t let go. Jack was strong but I wasn’t and I need him with me. I felt the tears rim my eyes and I felt mad at myself for being so soft. But before I could break down two hands grabbed my shoulders and pulled me away. The Men and the gurney left and Peter whispered soothingly me. I hadn’t notice that my face was now covered in tears. I wasn’t’ sobbing or anything tears just… fell.

 I wiped my face after staring at the door for five minutes. My brain started to turn and I realized I needed to call Dallas to tell him what happened, but before I could ask Peter if he had a phone I could borrow he asked me the same thing as earlier.

“Are you okay?”

I gave him the same answer. “No…but I’ll live.”

We both smiled. “This is a good time to talk.” Peter said trying to draw an explanation out of me.

“About what,” I raised an eyebrow.

“Everything… What upset you in the truck or why this freak, Mr. Burnett, was chasing you?”

I shook my head. “No it’s not. This is the opposite of a good time, but another time maybe.” I put my chin on top of my knees as I sat on the bench across form Peter.

“Good,” Peter smiled. “That means I’ll get to see you again.”

“I don’t know…” I hesitated. Did I really want to see Peter again? Yes.

“Ah, come on. You said your brother worked on my dad’s farm. You can come to work with him one day and I can show you my father’s land. Have you ever ridden a horse?” Peter asked excited.

I thought about this for a minute till it reminded me that I needed to call Dallas. Ugh…he would probably be so mad. I’m gonna be in huge trouble, again. I hit my forehead against my knees and exhaled dramatically.

“Do you have a cell phone I can borrow?” I asked tired all of a sudden.

“Yeah, who do you need to call?” Peter asked taking a phone out from his back pocket handing it to me.

“My brother, Dallas,” I answered while dialing.

“Dallas? Your brother’s Dallas? He’s probably the coolest guy that works on my dad’s place. He’s nice. You’re lucky to have him for a brother?” Peter suddenly frowned. “Is it true that my dad doesn’t pay him enough to live on?”

The ringing tone buzzed in my ear and I looked at Peter and thought of how hard my brother worked on the farm and his shifts at the family owned restraint in town. I gave one sharp nod as a frantic “Hello?” came through the phone.

“Hey…It’s Addie.”

“Where the hell are you? I come home and you’re gone. I figured you went into the woods but when you didn’t return after three hours!! Three hours, Addie!! Do know how worried I was?” Dallas screamed through the receiver into my ear.

“Dallas, calm down—“

“Calm down! You want me to calm down? Dammit, Addie, are you at the police station?” He accused.

“No! Jack got shot! Will you shut-up and listen?! I’m at the vet and Jack’s in the OR right now.” Dallas was silent. I could hear his breath trying to calm down.

“How did you get there? The vet is a ways away and Jack can be really heavy.” Dallas interrogated.

“I got a ride—“

“You hitchhiked!” He cut me off.

“No…well, yes I guess, but it was with Mr. Anderson’s son.” Dallas was silent again.

“Okay, let me get this straight. You are at the vet with Peter Anderson because Jack got shot. By who?”

“Mr. Burnett.” I whispered.

“Oh, please Addie! Not this again!” Dallas groaned.

“I’m not lying!” I growled at the phone.

I looked at Peter who stared at me curiously from the bench on the other side of the small room.

Groaning again Dallas said, “Stay put, you hear me. I’ll be there in thirty minutes.”  And the phone went dead.

I shut the phone and had to refrain myself from throwing it across the room in anger. I handed it quickly back to Peter’s awaiting hand and covered my facing with my hands and mentally screamed off my head.

Chapter 3: Peter

 

     The blast of the A.C. was almost never enough to keep the heat from taking over the truck anymore. Plus, the fact I’d been working on the farm all morning didn’t help. I kept a steady hand on the steering wheel using the other to turn up the air conditioner one more notch. The tree’s tumble by as I head out to town to run an errand for my father, James Anderson. That’s right, James Anderson of the local known horse farm owner and known to other as the “rich bastard that lives on the fancy farm”. My father’s a good man with some good intentions but some of his priorities are messed up and in the wrong place, but I won’t try to change him. That’s not my job.

Turning my attention back to the road, I kept going until I saw her. Suddenly, sprinting from the woods came a girl waving her arms frantically trying to get the attention of the passing cars. I would have kept going but before I could pass she suddenly jumped in front of my truck making me slam on my breaks. My tires screech to a halt in front of the girl with her arms extend out toward the car as if she we going to try to stop it.  She looked up with hysterical eyes full of fear and worry.

I open my door to get out when she practically screams at me, “You have to help me! My Dog is back there and this crazy man is after me.”

In the distance I could hear the fait echo of a gunshot that had just gone off. “What happened?”

“No time! Please, you have to hurry! My dog was shot in the leg. I need to get him to an emergency vet.” I could hear the desperate edge in her voice.

I gave one small nod and she took off back toward the forest. I quickly pulled my truck over into the grass and followed her back into the woods. Stealthily, I followed her deeper into the woods. Soon she slowed and was peeking around a tree as if to check for something or someone. I watched curiously as her face seemed to relax the tiniest bit.

“Jack!” she called.

No answer.

“Jack!” she cried. Her face tensed up again.

This time a small whimper came from the bushes a few yards away from a tree with two bullet holes in it. Before I could say anything, the girl hurry over to the bush where she’d heard the dog. I followed quickly to where she kneeled down tear at some leaves revealing Jack. Smiling, I thought this was an accomplishment till I saw the girl’s face flush of all color. Looking once more at the dog, I realized his back leg was soaked in blood and he was seriously hurt.

Suddenly, the girl started to sob. Her whole body shook as she muttered to herself, “I can’t lose you.”

I thought of my horse back home when she had gotten front legs scratched up from racing in the wooded are behind the barn. I’d watched as the men worked on her wrapping her legs in gauze to stop the bleeding. I didn’t have any gauze with me so my jacket would have to work. Carefully I put my hand on the girl’s shoulders to move her back but she just repositioned herself to hold Jack’s head. Gently feeling the dog’s hind leg for the wound, my fingers felt sticky with his warm blood. When the dog suddenly let out a yelp of pain I knew I’d found it and quickly put pressure on the wound with the jacket winding it around the leg like a bandage. Thankfully the dog didn’t move so I got the job done neatly.

Quickly, I gathered the dog up in my arms to carry him back to the truck. The girl was about to protest but she stopped and just followed behind me back to the main road.

Once we’d gotten back to the truck and loaded her dog into the back seat, I noticed the girl looking at me with still a few tears in her eyes. It was the first time I’d actually notice her appearance. She was about sixteen, a year younger than me. Her hair was deep red-brown color that looked really pretty with the sunlight glinting off it. Her eyes were swollen and red, but I could still see the hazel color as they darted from appreciative glances at me to worried looks at Jack. The clothes she wore were tattered and soaked in sweat from running I assumed. But overall she was good-looking.

“Are you okay?” I asked when I found my voice.

She frowned and said, “No…but I’ll live.”

I ran my hand trough my hair trying to think about what to do next, when the girl cut in. “I need to get him home so I can get him to a vet.”

“I can take you there. To the vet, I mean.”

“I’ve already taken too much of your time. I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done, but you probably were doing something important before I jumped in front of your truck.” She shook her head as if to realize her suicidal efforts to save her dog.

I remembered having to run errands for my dad earlier, but there was no point now. I shook my head too. “Right now you need to get him to a vet as quick as possible. I’ll take you there.” I started the truck and pulled back onto the road.

She nodded as if to just accept this, “Thank you.”

I smiled, “No problem. By the way, my name is Peter Anderson.”

Her eyes widen a little, but she only said, “Addie Hall.”

Hall? Where have I heard her last name before? I often worked with the workers on my dad’s farm for spare money. I remember one guy’s last name was Hall. “Do you have a dad or someone who works at my fathers’ horse farm?”

“As in the Anderson Farm?” Addie asked staring out the window. She was tense and looked like she was about to punch a hole in my window.

“Yeah, hence my last name.”

Addie whipped around and glared fiercely at me. “Don’t talk to me like that, you spoiled rich brat!”

“Whoa! What’s with you?”

“What’s with me? What’s with you?! Yes, my brother works on your father’s farm in back-breaking labor because your father doesn’t pay his workers enough to live. And you act like everything is all fine and dandy when it’s not. My dog is in your back seat dying and you’re trying to make small talk?” Addie was flushed a deep red that matched her anger.

I took a deep breath between clenched teeth. “Sorry, that your life sucks.”

“Yeah, well I’m sorry yours doesn’t.”

We didn’t exchange another word the entire word till I parked at the emergency vets.

Chapter 2: Jack

Ah… the cool water felt so good on my skin. The day had been so hot, just like that day almost three years ago. All I remember was that Addie was screaming and that meant she needed help. I comforted her for days. So many days that I thought I would never get the same Addie back again. In truth, she never became the same Addie but slowly she started to regain her normality back falling into a routine of walking me, eating, going to sleep, getting up for school, etc. It wasn’t until she met Erica she started get some personality back. One of the main reasons I was nice to her, and growl at Mr. Burnett.

He is bad, bad, bad and dangerous at that. So, when I heard his footsteps it made me nervous. Addie is in Danger. She needs to get away. I whimper and growl in his direction warning Addie, but she can’t hear him. RUN! Run, Addie, RUN! BARK! She doesn’t understand. That’s when the gunshot goes off and then she understands. I sprint back to her nudging her to move forward toward the forest where we can hide. She picks up this and runs away. Faster, faster, come on Addie! I make a mad dash next to her as we enter the tree line. BANG! BANG!! Addie screams.

I knew that the main road was another three-quarters of a mile from here. If we could get there fast enough we’d be home free. The land over the road didn’t belong to Mr. Burnett. BANG!! Oh, no he’s getting closer. BARK, BARK!! Help us! Addie was screaming at the top of her lungs in the hope someone would hear us. It’s was unlikely with the main road so close but we had to try. I have to save Addie or my promise to her means nothing.

The night I found her in front of the burning house crying and scream for her Mom and Dad. The fire was getting bigger and I knew Dallas was on his way; I could hear him.  Before he came, I whispered an unheard promise to her and myself. Nothing would ever hurt Addie. I’d always protect her from danger. Not even Mr. Burnett could make me abandon her.

BANG! AHH! I’m hit!

Tumbling to the ground, I letting out a loud yelp to let Addie know she has to keep moving, but she taking this as “Turn around so you can get shot too”. Stupid girl, keep moving!! Addie looks me over finding the wound near one of my hind legs.

A tear was escapes her eye as she mumbles to herself, “No, no, no, no, no, I can’t leave you. You have to live. What will I do?”

BANG!

Addie looks over her shoulder. Mr. Burnett is getting closer and she knew it. At first, Addie tries to pick me up to carry me, but we both knew that I was too heavy for her to carry. There was no way she would be able to run and carry me at the same time. So, she compromise to carefully, but quickly pushing me under a bush to hide, concealing me behind leaves and branches. She gives me one last look and says, “Be quiet, I’ll be back. I love you, Jack.”

With that, I watch her sprint faster than ever to the main road leaving me to hide from Mr. Burnett and endure the pain in my leg. It wasn’t more than a few minutes before the old geezer came hobbling into sight with his shotgun in hand. He was going after Addie! A few more seconds and I let out a soft whimper to get him off her track. Mr. Burnett whirls around aiming his shotgun at a tree a few yards away. BANG! BANG!! Mentally, I’m laughing and crying all the same. Addie will be okay…but will I?

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