Another night. Yulia paced slowly and ended up sitting on a bench. At night, the park was spooky, without the little kids running around and playing. But no, maybe children running around the park at night would be scarier. Shrugging, Yulia began her smoking routine; what people did at daytime was none of her business now. Little kids' blood sounded sweet, but in the park there were just some old vagabonds and tramps.
She had just taken care of one a minute ago. She had killed him, and was in that delicate moment which reminded her of being drunk. Her cheeks were flushed and hot as if she had a fever, but it was the blood of the man working inside her, always making her stronger.
The delicate, golden moment passed, and she felt like going into a bar in search for trouble only to communicate with someone. In a rage, that was what she did. She sped into the first bar she found and squinted. The same boring customers, either dancing or whispering to each other. Why couldn't they talk to her, relate with her? She felt the need of grabbing a stool and coiling its iron legs around someone's neck. That would be crazy, she knew, the easiest way to get her killed. No one could fight each other inside the bars or near the building.
Mortals had to ignore what was going on inside; that was the rule, and she didn't want to break it and get killed by the owner of the bar and his two hundred bouncers. The only thing she had to do was angry someone and go outside to "discuss it". Her insides were burning with desire for a real fight with someone her kind, not just a weak human.
Smiling dangerously, she walked to the bar and asked for a rat. The bargirl grabbed one and was about to slit it's neck, but Yulia stopped her. She didn't want it in a glass. This was common; it was the vampire version of drinking directly from the bottle. Yulia bit the little animal's neck and drank slowly, scanning the clients.
Finally, she found someone she wanted. It was a young boy-vampire that looked the nervous type, the jumpy kind that got provoked easily. His hair was dyed all kinds of colors, and he wore boots, jeans, and piercings.
"Another rat" Yulia whispered to the bargirl, giving her the useless carcass of the first one.
This time she didn't drink it. She held the furry animal between her hands and scratched its head.
<<Hello, little friend>>, her mind said to the rat's. <<I want you to do something for me...>>. She concentrated completely in the simple, little brain of the animal, going over and over the instructions until she was sure it understood. Then, she opened her hands and freed it. The rat jumped and scurried around the place, nearing the vampire-boy until it got his attention.
The kid smiled and lowered his hand at his highest speed, but he still couldn't catch the rat. Yulia smiled too, because that way she had learned that she was a bit faster than him. The rat paused in front of him, sitting on its rear and waiting. Of course, he rose from the chair and dove on the floor to catch it, but the little animal ran away.
Yulia crouched and grabbed it easily, caressing its fur and waiting for the boy to come up to her.
"Hey", he said "I saw it first."
"No way", Yulia murmured "This rat is mine."
"Don't you play with me, girl..."
<<Oh, but that's what I want>>, her mind slurred to his, emphasizing her dare by cruelly slashing the rat's neck.
They went out without another word, Yulia walking in front, guiding him to a street with no exit. She knew that the excuse of the rat was stupid, but she didn't care much about the means, just the ends.
The boy jumped on Yulia when she hadn't even turned around, but he needed to do a much better job to surprise her. She grabbed the back of his shirt and threw him over her head, making him crash against a group of trashcans. The boy got up furiously, kicking at the trashcans and waste bags, and provoking that a herd of a thousand terrified rats scattered in all directions. Of course, Yulia couldn't keep quiet... she pointed at the rats and couldn't stop laughing. He wanted rats and he got rats!
"Shuttup!" he yelled.
Why? Just because he couldn't make her shut up? Come on! She laughed in his face, harder and louder, until the broken glass on the floor began to rattle. Frustrated, the boy grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her to the floor, kicking her stomach and ribs, trying to get at her face. Yulia savored the pain for a while, and when she got tired of that, she grabbed the guy's ankle and he couldn't kick her more. With a twist of her wrist, she made his ankle snap and break.
"God!" he screamed "Shit!"
The girl let him go and observed how he panted and stared at his leg before placing the bone in its place and waiting for it to heal. She stood up, knowing that whatever wound his boots had caused in her face was already cured.
"Want more?" she asked.
Answering with a savage snarl, he embraced Yulia's skinny body and tried to squeeze her to death. Idiot. Yulia laughed again and slammed back her head, crashing it against the boy's forehead. Dizzily, he let go of her and stumbled backwards. Now... She grabbed him by the collar of his shirt to keep him from running away and, just using one hand, broke first his right shoulder, then the left one, and then both his legs.
What could she do now? Abandon him in that state until the sun rose and his body was reduced to ashes? How philosophical, a pile of dust... dust to dust. Yes, she would do exactly that, the moment she thought about it she knew it was perfect. Using her fingers, she combed her hair backwards and was about to leave when something called her attention. A little stream of blood was running out of the corner of the vampire's mouth. Vampire blood... she hadn't tried it since, since... since she was made.
Desire. The smell of that blood was getting into her and calling her, pulling to the still alive body. It took more than a few broken bones to kill a vampire. Sun or fire could do the job, no garlic but, if the creature was young (in vampire age terms, not the age in which he died)... draining all the blood from him would sure kill him too. This boy-vampire was younger than Yulia, younger than a year.
And his blood kept calling her. The exquisiteness of human blood was undeniable, but the memory of her making kept coming to her. They said everyone's born with the sin, and she was born to darkness with the biggest of crimes. No one could even imagine... And she was falling for it again. Vampire blood was indefinable, like all the real good things in the world. Before she knew what she was doing, her knees buckled, and she sat on the cold floor.
Her finger trailed in the air and collected a drop of blood from his mouth. It glowed like a ruby. And it tasted... A cyclone of shivers rushed through her body, and she found herself grabbing the vampire's head and biting her way to a big artery in his neck and drinking, and gulping, and swallowing. There was no time and space, just blood filling her up of strength, like a magic potion. Just the color red...
And suddenly, he was dead and dry as a stick. Yulia disentangled herself from his body, which now was a skeleton with skin and hair, and covered her mouth. God... God... She had killed him, she had drank his blood out of gluttony, desire and wanting more strength. God knew she didn't need this blood, but she had taken it anyway, without a right to, just because she was stronger. And this... this was too familiar, too similar to that terrible night in which she was made a vampire.
She scurried away from that street, just running and running as fast as she could, not caring if someone saw her whiz by. Her mind wasn't focused on where she was going either, all the streets looked the same. And she didn't care! All she could see was her animal hunger, her animal lunge, and her animal bite... Was she this girl, this monster? Her real nature was showing through and it was this? Bloody hands, bloody fangs?
No, this couldn't be. But it was the second vampire she killed, and for the same unreasonable reason! Plain gluttony and hunger of power. Power... Yes, she was powerful now, ferociously dangerous, and completely destroyed. She was broken down inside, even if her powers were stronger than ever.
Her hair rumpled and fell all over her face, distorting her vision, but she didn't care. She tripped with something and fell to the floor. It didn't matter. She would crawl like and animal, which was what she was. Her nails dug on the cracks between the stones and helped her move forward, but there was no knowing where to. Her eyes filled with bloody tears, and she hurriedly wiped them away.
This was a park, but not the one she had begun the night in. It was a beautiful and peaceful place, and she was sorry to disturb it with her stupid sobs and dramas. Trying hard to stop crying, she huddled in the space between two benches on the floor, hugging her legs and rocking back and forth. Her eyes glowed in the dark because she was a monster, yes, a monster, now she was sure of that. The movies were more true than what she had thought.
Just a monster without mercy even for her kind.
Yulia was so absorbed by her thoughts that she didn't notice that there was someone else in the park that hour. Or maybe, she noticed but she didn't care. She knew that there was almost no one capable of harming her, so that wasn't her biggest problem. Her problem was in herself! Still, there was someone approaching her, someone getting very near, closer than what she normally allowed people to be.
"Are you okay?" a voice asked.
It was a human voice. A girl's voice. Her scent floated towards Yulia's developed senses, and so did her thoughts. Nineteen-year old girl that thought that Yulia was another person which maybe was feeling sick. She wasn't a person! But how could she explain that to the girl without terrorizing her? That was impossible, she was made to cause terror among everyone, wasn't she?
The girl was escorted by a fluffy-looking dog. She had been giving it a walk. And now, look what Little Red Riding Hood had found: the wolf. Yulia hugged her legs harder and closed her eyes, which made her almost disappear into the dark, but the girl didn't move from the spot. In fact, she sent her dog away to play and crouched down, knowing that Yulia was still there.
"Hey", she whispered "do you need help?"
Her hand took out something from one of her pockets and pressed a button. Oh, no, it was a mobile phone. What was she going to do, call the police or an ambulance? No way! The glow of the phone gave the girl an eerie, almost an angelic radiance.
"Don't call anyone" Yulia muttered with an extremely deep voice.
She opened her eyes again and saw that the girl was nodding. Yulia sighed with relief and thanked her. What was she doing? Talking to humans? Well, that was the best one yet. The girl seemed at ease when she saw her bright, blue eyes again, maybe because she could know where she was looking to. Yulia just marveled at being so close to someone and not faking a thing, but also marveled at the girl's beauty. She had dark, red hair, long and curly as hell, white freckly skin, and deep green eyes. Incredible.
"Wouldn't you like to come out of there? Whatever happens, you aren't going to feel better if you stay there."
Yulia's arms loosened the pressure on her legs and slowly fell to her sides. She should get out of there fast and she knew it, but there was something that told her "no", as if she had to obey this girl. Without an effort, she found out that her name was Elena, although she was called Lena by most of the people. But why that need of obeying her?
"Just come out..." Lena whispered "Don't be afraid."
How could she know so little and so much? Yulia was trembling and terrified of herself, and she couldn't understand why didn't this girl feel that way. After all, she was a vampire, a strange creature, and if she wasn't afraid, she should be.
"Move away, please", she told her.
Lena nodded and stepped back a couple of paces, waiting patiently while Yulia pushed herself up. She was still in the shadows, and knew that her eyes were still the only visible thing. There was a streetlamp at her right; if she gave a few steps it would shine on her, and the girl would see her almost perfectly. She knew that was something she shouldn't allow, but did it anyway, and saw herself as the redhead saw her: a little girl with crazy, black hair and blue eyes, that looked as if someone had beat her badly because she had blood streaks smearing her cheeks. But how could she know that those weren't wounds, just monster tears?
The fluffy dog returned to her owner's side and sniffed the air to smell Yulia. The dark-haired smiled and waited. Soon enough, the dog began growling and crouching on the ground menacingly. Most cats and dogs reacted like that in the presence of vampires, but this one looked very funny, as if being mean was unusual.
Not understanding why the dog was in that state, Lena pulled its collar and told it to hush, but it wouldn't. So Yulia found the animal's afraid eyes and ordered it to calm down, which it did, very against its will. She even made it sit down.
Now Lena was looking at her, asking if she was sure about not needing help. Again, she was confusing the blood on her face with wounds. To prove that there was no injury, Yulia wiped her face with one of her sleeves and stared at the redhead, with all the distinctive whiteness of a vampire. And she walked nearer, letting the full yellow light of the streetlight cover her. The girl began to say something and then caught herself, but Yulia, the thought-reader, knew what it was. She had been close to commenting on the whiteness of her skin and the brightness of her eyes. Those blue eyes specially puzzled her. How could... how could they shine so much?
"And you haven't seen my fingernails..." Yulia found herself saying "If I didn't paint them they would shine like glass."
Puzzlement inside Lena's head. She didn't understand. Why? Why the whiteness, the brightness? <<Because you have no idea of what I am>>, her mind said to Lena's. Without surprise, she watched the redhead back up from her and cover her ears. Again, she didn't understand. If Yulia hadn't spoken, how could she hear her?
<<That's only because you don't know what I am>>, she repeated, <<this is normal for me>>. Then, she found herself smiling guiltily at the girl's confusion. Look what you've done, can't you touch anything without scaring it away? Now was the moment for sneaking away, but her feet were stuck to the ground. She couldn't leave this poor girl like this, wondering who or what was that strange girl. Still, she knew that she should do it. Maybe the rule about not letting humans know about your real nature was useful, not so much to avoid them hurting you, but to keep you from hurting them!
To hell with the rules! <<I'm like this. My kind... we do these things>>, she found herself explaining.
"Your...? Your... kind? Please, don't talk to me like that! With that... without words..." the girl clutched her head "What... what are you?"
The question seemed to give Lena extra strength, and she stopped whimpering and holding her head between her hands. She stared directly at Yulia's eyes and repeated the question, but with her mind, knowing that the dark-haired would hear it. Yulia sighed. Now she had to explain, but she thought about it and decided that she wasn't going to use words. There would be no proper words for explaining... how should she start? Hey, you know what? Vampires exist and I'm one of them! No. So, feeling sorry for the girl's mind, she began to send images to it, different shots of her life as a vampire, from the moment she woke up (sleeping in a coffin!) to the vampire bars; from her unnatural speed and strength to the innocent victims... She sent a specially explicit image in which she was stinging her fangs into someone's neck and clearly swallowing his blood.
"Stop!" Lena was swaying from side to side, gasping and panting.
How was this possible? But the moment she had received the first image, she had known it was true, because Yulia had included her feelings and thoughts. She had been there while Yulia woke up and opened the lid of her coffin, felt her rage towards all the other vampires, and enjoyed the hunt and death of someone. Still... vampires? Real vampires, the kind that lived forever? She turned around and walked away, not knowing if she should laugh, cry, or escape. She had been trying to help a vampire, and now that girl was going to kill her, wasn't she?
<<No>>, Yulia's mind told her. She wasn't going to kill her, no way.
"Shut up!" Lena screamed, twirling around and jerking her arms in all directions, trying to fight Yulia's powerful mental voice.
"Okay" the dark-haired said, and slowly began to leave.
<<No>>, she heard Lena sobbing, <<No, don't run away. Don't! You can't... just reveal this to me and then disappear!>>
"Can't I?" Yulia asked, in her normal, menacing voice "What do you want?"
She wanted to talk to her, to learn... something. How dare she give her such a revelation and then escape? But Yulia corrected her; there was no revelation. She could explain everything about vampires and herself, and no revelation would appear. That was the cruelty of it. They were just creatures, with an instinct to kill whatever they felt like. There were no special feelings or second thoughts, just blood and them. The dog sitting beside her was much closer to a person than her.
Lena shook her head, and Yulia could see her red hair scattering in all directions and then falling back over her shoulders. They couldn't be "just creatures" without feelings or guiltiness. Oh, couldn't they? Smart little human, why the hell not? She could prove it anytime. Did she want to presence a kill? Because she could take her and show her that there was no mercy in the world.
"Then why don't you harm me? Why do you tell me that you aren't going to kill me?"
<<I can still do that, so don't push your luck.>>
The redhead sighed. No, this vampire-girl was wrong. If she didn't feel guilt, why was she staying with her and explaining? And if she didn't possess feelings, why did she find her huddled and sobbing on the floor? What had happened to her, why was she destroyed?
"Now you are the one who should shut up! Stop the damn questions! Stop thinking, damnit!"
"I... I only was trying to understand..." Lena muttered.
Oh, so she wanted to understand! How cute, how very brave of her. When someone was willing to understand, that person should receive an answer. She wanted to know what was this all about, didn't she? Okay, but that didn't mean necessarily that she would understand! In a second, Yulia was standing right in front of Lena, barely a few centimeters away, allowing her senses to become intoxicated with the redhead's smell.
Having Yulia so near terrorized Lena, who tried to back up a little, but the black-haired shot out a hand and grabbed the girl's wrist, keeping her that close. <<Look at me>>. And she did; she forced herself to look at the vampire's face, taking in the light blue color of her eyes and the firmness and whiteness and coldness of the skin, but Yulia didn't let go of her until she was happy with Lena's scrutiny.
<<Enough, or do you want more?>>, Yulia asked her.
<<More>>, was Lena's answer.
Fine. Then she should go home, leave the dog and come back. Watching Lena run down the street, pulling at the poor chow-chow, made Yulia feel a mix of emotions. What if she didn't come back? Well, then she would feel in the mood of killing... maybe provoking something that would appear in the news, maybe just getting into another fight. Her thought only proved more that she was a monster that would never learn the lesson. She was feeling so bad that she wanted to die, and her body was pleading her to kill again! And once she started, there was no going back.
She could still feel the boy-vampire's blood circling inside her, blending with her own blood and working on her body, making it tougher. And still, she wanted more? Yes, she did, she would've killed that bastard over and over again. Who did she think she was to do that stuff? That proved she really had no control over herself... she wasn't able to imagine what could she do to that poor girl. No, it was better to leave. She would come back and find the park empty, as it should have been in the first place, and maybe she would think that it was all a dream. And she would be safe.
Yulia gave a leap and found herself at the top of a three-story building, sitting there with her legs dangling. It had been hard, but she had figured out what was best. With her life she could do whatever she wanted, but mixing an innocent human was so wrong... She watched the little redhead figure of the girl returning to the park and looking around. <<Now she's wondering where the hell I am>>, Yulia thought, not bothering to read Lena's mind. The little figure shook her arms in frustration, walking around the park. Why didn't she just leave?
"I hate you!"
The dark-haired's eyebrows shot upwards in surprise. Even if she didn't want to, that damn blood had made her senses a lot more accurate and she listened to Lena's voice as clearly as if she had been beside her. She hated her; okay, fine, good for her. But why did it hurt to hear that?
"I hate you, you hear me?" she screamed "I know you're here, somewhere... How dare you! How?"
What the hell did that redhead want from her? What did she want to understand? Yulia was the devil, trying to avoid tempting a human. This had to be the right thing to do. For once.... she was going to do something good for someone that wasn't herself, saving Lena from her. Unfortunately, that meant someone else had to suffer, but she didn't seem to care much about that.
"Just leave, damnit, and be happy about not knowing me", she whispered, just before jumping down from the other side of the building.
Again, she ran away from something, desperately. Her legs randomly zigzagged streets and more parks, jumping over buildings and cars with a will of their own. Yulia didn't know where she was going, but apparently her legs did; they took her back to her building. Slamming the window shut, she got into the living room and dug her fingers into the sofa's cushions, using her nails to rip out all the stuffing.
Why was she like that, so mad and desperate? Before she knew what she was doing, she opened the window and went out again, jumping from rooftop to rooftop, trying to locate that peaceful park again.
It took her a long time, but she made it. Of course, there was no trace of the redhead. What did she expect? She stood still in the middle of the place, closing her eyes and listening. Maybe she could do this if she tried hard enough... Voices, thoughts and dreams came to her from all around, intoxicating her brain. Slowly, she began discarding them: a little baby's tears, an old woman's screams, a young boy's wet dreams... Finally, some time later, the thoughts of a girl came to her, chaotic and angry.
<<...Fucking unfair...>>, she was thinking, <<...want her, don't know why, but I... want her! And I won't see her again, I'm sure of that... What do I do with this I know? ...can't forget!>>
"...Can't forget?" Yulia echoed.
So... she had done it, finally. She had managed to destroy someone's life and then ran away like a disgusting coward. It seemed that running away was all that she knew how to do well. Well, fixing this was impossible. And she realized that she wanted to make it worse. Something inside her was pulling her to the origin of those thoughts.
Towards Lena. Once she located a thought or a voice, finding the exact house and window was an easy job. Soon, she was looking towards her window, which was dimly enlightened. The redhead was hugging some stuffed animal, rocking back and forth in a chair beside the window. From the street, Yulia's eyes could make out the silhouette of her cheekbone and red hair. Sneaking into her mind like a thief, Yulia "saw" her getting up from the chair and sprawling on her bed. God, at least she wasn't crying.
Unconscious of Yulia's presence down there, Lena kicked off her pants and turned off the light. Who could sleep now? She was also unconscious of Yulia's guiltiness. The dark-haired girl was swearing to herself and pacing up and down the street. A young man approached her and flipped open a blade, asking for her money, but Yulia was so concentrated in her thoughts that she grabbed the blade from him and broke it in two, then she slapped his face as hard as she could and sent him a couple of meters away.
God... come on, there had to be an answer to this. Could someone please tell her what was good and what was bad? Okay, she would just take a peek of her and then leave. Yes, that was what she was going to do. Jumping to the right flat, Yulia balanced herself, stabbing her nails in the building's brick covering and kneeling on the window sill.
The redhead was lying on the bed, with her back to Yulia. Her hair was spread out on the pillow, and she looked immensely cute just wearing a t-shirt, her underwear, and socks. Like a little girl. <<Yes, very cute>>, Yulia thought, looking at her naked legs.
Yulia's hand went from the bricks of the building to the window, her palm gently pressing against it. The redhead was awake, trying to remember all the details of Yulia's face and appearance, recalling her as a skinny girl with wild hair that shoot in all directions, incredibly enormous eyes and so small that she felt like having her there and hugging her.
"Hearing" this, Yulia sighed nervously, her breath clouding up the glass. Her nails softly tapped the window. Lena didn't notice at first, but then, her head shot up from the pillow and turned around, rewarding Yulia with a delicious questioning frown. She recognized her at once, and wasn't scared or impressed, only surprised. Her first reaction was to cover her body with the bed sheets, but then she considered this stupid and gradually got up and walked to the window.
<<I'm sorry>>, Yulia's mind said. The girl nodded and opened the window, sitting on the bed while the dark-haired climbed inside the room and smiled nervously, slapping the sides of her legs. There where more people in that house: she felt the presence of a man, a woman, and two little girls. Oh, and the chow-chow dog, of course. But everyone was completely asleep.
"You found me", Lena whispered.
The vampire nodded. <<But I don't know why I'm here, or why did I talk to you before.>> The redhead rose from the bed and stood very near to Yulia, not terrified like before. She had been stupid before. Carefully, she rose a hand and touched the cold, hard skin of Yulia's cheek, and told her that she wanted to know what this was. And the vampire answered that she wanted to tell her.
"I'm afraid that someone might wake up... Not my mom or her stupid boyfriend, but I have two sisters..."
The girl-vampire nodded again, instantly knowing what she wanted to do. Her hands were dying to circle Lena's waist and take her away, to someplace they could talk. God... to have a conversation with someone! To explain... anything! Lena would ask her questions about her vampire nature, and she would answer them, explaining her with words and mind-images, and maybe, together, they would understand... The redhead was nodding silently, and then she mentally told Yulia that she wanted to leave with her. Yes, that sounded totally thrilling.
To think that she would've missed this... Yulia smiled, mocking herself. Had she been serious when she had nearly given up on talking to Lena? The image of the redhead lying in bed was a vision, and she was a vision now too, close to her, walking around in her socks, underwear and t-shirt. That's right, she was an angel with her hair burning like fire, burning through her. She would never hurt this girl, as simple as that. Not after climbing the wall to her window like Romeo.
"Where are you going to take me?" Lena whispered, not being able to get her eyes off Yulia's incredible face. It was simply something she had never seen before, totally new.
"Nowhere" Yulia smiled, adventuring to lean her head and whispering into the girl's ear "Nowhere until you put your pants on."
Oh! Lena giggled, covering her mouth, and quickly slid on her pants and sneakers. Now she was ready. Walking back to Yulia, she opened the window and looked down at the four flats' fall. What was she doing, didn't she trust her? But Yulia's doubts were dust: nothing. Lena was enjoying herself.
"How are we going... What are you going to...?"
Very cautiously, without her eyes leaving Lena's, she got out of the room and sat on the window sill, as if that was the most common thing in the world. Then, she told Lena to hold on to her neck, which the redhead did, feeling a bit odd because she was bigger and taller. But she obeyed, closing her fists on Yulia's black t-shirt.
Excited because of Lena's touch and body leaning into hers, Yulia stood up. Being shorter didn't matter, the redhead was like a feather to her. Then, she turned around, facing the building's front and Lena's legs went around her waist. <<Now hold on tight.>> She stuck her fingernails between the bricks and began climbing up, enjoying Lena's gasps of mixed pleasure and fear when she looked down. Falling was impossible, she had done this stuff thousands of times, but not with someone, and specially, not with someone that depended on her. It was an extra kick.
Some minutes later, she arrived and leaped to the top, making Lena squeal as if she had just gotten off a roller coaster. She crossed her arms and grinned while she watched the redhead jump happily up and down, pretending that she was flying. If she closed her eyes she could very easily feel Lena's emotion and share it.
"Super! That was... incredible!" the redhead blurted out "Absolutely!"
Yulia's grin grew deeper. Sharing this was priceless. She looked up at the sky and thanked whoever was there, whoever brought Lena, her angel, to her. Then, she crouched and sat down on the cold floor. The redhead stopped her little dance and sat down beside Yulia, blushing a little.
"Thank you", she said.
"Why?" Yulia asked.
"Why?" she shook her head incredulously "I told you, it was incredible! Unbelievable. Everything... has been unbelievable."
"Then I better thank you too. For me it has also been unbelievable."
Lena cocked her head. If she had the power of doing what Yulia could do she would spend the whole night jumping from here to there, peeking into people's houses, learning secrets. But then, she realized, that Yulia had already done all those things, that she did them all the time, but always alone, by her self. That was very sad, and she ended up feeling sorry for a vampire.
And now... what? Yulia's gaze went up to the sky again, closing down all the voices that came to her from that same building and the others around her. Why should she care about anyone else that wasn't Lena? She felt very tempted to touch her skin, which seemed very warm, soft, and now it was reddening with the night cold. God, was she inconsiderate or what? No, she simply had forgotten that she was far more resistant than mortal girls, that she felt things differently now. Smiling apologetically, she took off her black leather jacket and handed it to Lena.
The redhead began shaking her head, but then was conscious of the temperature and accepted it. She was going to wear vampire clothes... cool! Reading this, Yulia couldn't keep quiet, and laughed a good-natured, tranquil laugh, which Lena timidly shared, while putting the jacket on. It was a little tight on her, and weird-looking with the t-shirt she was wearing, but at least it kept her warm. On the other hand, Yulia wore a scarce t-shirt with almost no sleeves.
"Aren't you cold?" Lena asked, wanting to touch Yulia again.
It was impossible to explain why other than with the word "curiosity", but Lena could only think about feeling that skin, so different to human one. It was like soft-looking marble, if that was possible of imagining.
"No, I'm fine. The cold... I don't like it much, but it doesn't affect me" she paused for a moment and then whispered, "You can touch me again if you need it."
Yes, that was what Lena felt. She needed to touch her, maybe to confirm that this was real, maybe just to know more. Her hand went slowly to Yulia's naked arm and caressed it with her thumb.
"So... why am I here? Why do I want to be with you? I tried to leave you there, but you saw I couldn't" Yulia was amazed at her own speech, of having spoken so much.
"You don't want to be alone" Lena ventured, peering at Yulia's profile and removing the hand from her arm.
Yulia felt coldness on the spot where Lena's hand had been, and noticed that she wanted it back. But now, the redhead was inspecting her hair, which also had a different texture, and then she wanted to look into her eyes, and touch her fingernails. Amused, the dark-haired allowed the inspection like a puppy that likes to be touched. Then, came the questions. What part of the stories was true and what was false? It depended..., but Lena couldn't wait, and began shooting out questions with could be answered with "true" or "false" answers. And all the while, she kept blushing deliciously.
"So, nothing happens with churches, crosses, or holy water?"
"That's right" Yulia slipped her hand inside her t-shirt and took out her golden necklace "Look, I'm wearing a cross right now."
The irony of that hit Lena and she began laughing again. No crosses, no garlic... Sun and fire?
"Yeah, that's true... unfortunately. We are... vampires are... rather inflammable, you know? I guess you don't want to kill me, do you? Because right now you could be my worst enemy, 'cause I told you all."
"No! I would never do that! But tell me more things! What about...?"
Blood, of course. She wanted to know if that was all she could eat... drink. Yulia answered affirmatively. How did it taste? It wasn't about the taste, really, but about sensations that went with the blood. You saw images of that person's life and feelings, you absorbed his life and his warmth. And, for a while, you felt human too.
"Person..." Lena echoed, becoming serious for the first time.
Of course! What did she expect her to be, a moralist vampire? Like Louis in 'Interview With The Vampire', the vampire that drank dog and rat's blood? My God!
Oh, so now she didn't like it so much. When the happy part ended and it came to facing down to Earth facts (vampires drank blood) it wasn't so much fun, wasn't it? But she couldn't help being what she was -whatever she was-, monster, animal, creature. Try asking the lion to please stop hunting all those beautiful zebras! If it could, the lion would give you the middle finger. How dare she defy her nature, the only thing she had.
Without noticing, Yulia discovered that she had stood up and walked a few meters away, and she was kissing and sucking on the cross of her necklace. Lena was telling her that she couldn't leave again, using all the conviction she had inside to plead. She said she was sorry, but she was only a human, and it was hard for her to accept that there was something in this world that could kill people like her, and no one knew about it. The chameleon with fangs.
Typical. Human beings thought that they were the strongest and best species of the planet and outside of it, that nothing could kill a person... except another person. And they felt proud of that! Maybe she was a monster taken out of fairy tales and bedtime stories to make little children tremble at night in their cozy beds, but most of the time she killed to feed herself. She was far away from religious affairs, political matters, and social commandments. She was apart from the world, but deep inside it. If her nature told her that she had to be the cancer of humankind, if she had to feed on humans... why should she disobey? The ones she killed hardly meant a thing for her, someone would feel the loss, but once the body was cold it wasn't her business anymore. At least she knew what she was here for, what was her purpose and function. But human beings... did they know a thing? Did they know how or why? To destroy the planet? To kill each other?
The redhead covered her mouth and dropped her head on her knees, begging Yulia to stop. She understood now, Yulia needed to be patient with her, she couldn't understand everything at once. The dark-haired turned around and returned to Lena's side, her mind screaming that she was sorry.
"I wasn't judging you" the redhead sobbed "I just got a little scared."
No, please, now she was scared. All that trying not to touch her to keep her from being afraid had been useless. And this conversation? Just a dream! They could try to ignore the fact that Yulia drank human blood, but every night she would return alive, warm inside, and stronger, and that would be due to what? To blood-drinking, of course!
Okay, she would never hurt Lena, but each night she killed one of her fellow friends of species. Lena would be enjoying the conversation with her thanks to some guy or girl who died... practically using the guy's tomb as a sofa! Absolutely unfair, she agreed. The redhead felt guilty because she wanted to go on seeing Yulia, talking to her, and learning things.
"Who..." Lena began mumbling "Who was it tonight?"
The dark-haired shook her head. No. No, she wasn't going to go there. She wasn't going to describe the poor, innocent person that died each night; that was too cruel and so wrong. And it was no one's business.
"Okay, I think you're right, curiosity is a bad thing. I'm sorry, I don't want to lose you now. I think I'm feeling guilty because all those people are dead, and I care more about seeing you than... than about them."
She wanted to see her, to go on with this? Yulia stared at her boots and thought hard. To go on with this... even if she killed. Wow, so unexpected.
"Aren't you afraid?" she asked.
Lena told her "no". In fact, her mind was telling her that she felt safe, guiltily safer than any other person in the whole world. Was that something bad? She had a supernatural protector and... friend?
A friend. well, wasn't that what Yulia had been wanting? There they where, talking about dead people and calling it a conversation; but, nonetheless, it was a conversation. The redhead touched her arm again, trying to prove that she was over the fear, and Yulia gladly accepted it, but the girl was wrong if she thought that everything was over. There were still dark things lunging between them, and Yulia was sure that it was impossible to protect Lena from them because those dark things were within herself. But Lena didn't know that, and felt safe and optimistic.
"Why were you in that state when I found you?" she asked.
God, not that. She didn't want to explain it the first night they talked. What if Lena was horrified and didn't want to see her again? If she told that story, she would also have to go back and tell her the other one, and there would be no way of justifying either of them. Killing vampires wasn't nature, and she knew it. It was the dark part of herself.
"Lena, I'd prefer if we talked about other things. Maybe tomorrow... We'll have more time then."
The girl nodded, and then stopped in mid nod. Lena? How the hell did she know her name, her nickname? A mind reader! How unfair was that? The whole time that girl-vampire had known what she had been thinking and taking profit of it. Incredibly offended, Lena stood up and tried to walk away, but she could go nowhere. She circled the rooftop several times and glared at Yulia. All those marvelous powers... but reading minds was simply scary. The things she told no one wouldn't be secrets anymore, and the vampire would simply know everything about her. She had always thought of her mind as a safe box, a place where she could hide the real Lena from everyone else. But only God knew what kinds of things had Yulia found out. Feeling violated, she took off the jacket and threw it to the floor, in rage.
"It's not like that" Yulia announced, feeling the need of a cigarette, even if it had no physical, calming effect over her.
"No? You've just read my mind now! How can you do that and then use it? It's terrible, terrible! I want to leave. How dare you?"
"Again... this is what I am, okay Lena? I understand the offence and I'm sorry, but I'll take you back to your bedroom if you wish. Or... I can teach you how to hide your thoughts from me and everyone else."
Lena stopped pacing around. If this was a joke... but it wasn't. Now that she believed in vampires, everything was possible. She watched Yulia walk towards her, pick up the jacket, dust it off, and place it over her shoulders. <<I don't want you to be cold.>>
"I'm sorry", Yulia repeated, as sweetly as she could "Are you ready?"
The redhead nodded impatiently and sat down. Her beautiful smile had returned to her flushed face, and she was ready to do anything that Yulia told her. She was so excited with learning "vampire stuff" that she forgot all her previous irritation. What did she have to do, close her eyes and concentrate? What, what? Just.. what? About to die, her eyes begged to Yulia's impassible face.
Okay. Yes, she needed to concentrate. But no, her eyes had to be open. Using her voice as a calming tonic, she purred the instructions to Lena, and soon she noticed that the redhead was getting it. She had to imagine some kind of barrier: a brick wall, the door of a safe box... But there had to be a barrier surrounding her brain. Very well. Now, without letting that image go, she had to think of something, and Yulia would try to read it. They practiced for a while, until finally, the vampire bumped against that imaginary brick wall every time she tried to listen to Lena's thoughts.
"Wow" the redhead gasped, feeling powerful "This is incredible."
"I'll welcome anything that protects you from me. Let's face it, I'm dangerous" Yulia commented, stubbornly colliding with that wall again and again.
"Don't say that... I didn't mean it that way. Too often I feel that the only thing that's really mine are my thoughts. So I felt a little harassed when I saw that I could lose that privacy if I talked to you."
"Now you aren't losing a thing" Yulia sighed.
She didn't know how to feel. Maybe happy because she had taught little Lena to protect herself from any vampire that wanted to read her thoughts. But she feared that the damn brick wall fell between them.
"No" Lena also sighed "But specially... I don't want to lose you over this reading-minds thing."
No, she wouldn't lose her. No way. Like a faithful dog she would come back to that window, capable or incapable of knowing what the redhead thought. So, she would have to talk to her to know her thoughts, was that bad? No, just uncommon for her. In a year she had hardly spoken to a soul, much less to a human being's soul. All this she told Lena, with words, trying to get used to it.
The worst thing was that the dangerous hour was deadly near, and she still had to get home.
"The sun... For you it's dark, but I feel it coming."
She picked up Lena to bring her back to her room, and was surprised at how confidently the redhead cuddled against her. Her arms were so soft and tender, so human...
"Alive" was the word that popped into her head when she looked at Lena. The redhead was the representation of everything that was alive in the world and far away from her. She had spent a whole year lurking with dead things, and only approaching the alive to steal their life out. But it was different now. Now she had this living skin so close to her... The plumpish, soft arms of the redhead were around her neck, and she dared to lean her cold cheeks on those warm, living arms.
They went down the building's front, Yulia trying to go very slowly, enjoying the moment and knowing that Lena's eyes were closed, but also suffering, because she could almost see the sun.
She found the right window and slid the girl inside her room, as carefully as she could. Then, she watched her as she tumbled to her bed and sat down. And Lena's eyes also dug into her. The vampire was sitting on the window sill, like marking the differences between them: Lena belonged to that cozy, pink room, and Yulia didn't, she was like the dog that can't go in the house for fear of desobeying. At least, her light blue eyes were the ones of an animal.
<<Goodnight>>, said Yulia's mind.
<<Goodnight>>, answered the other.
With that, the dark-haired disappeared from sight, and Lena quickly rose from the bed and walked to the window, expecting to see a shadow flying away or something of the sort. But no, there was nothing. Suddenly, Yulia's head appeared from nowhere and went nearer as ever to Lena's. The redhead could see that there was no imperfection or pore in the white skin of the vampire. And the vampire, on the other hand, couldn't stop staring at the little lines on Lena's face, on her freckles, and the thousands of colors that made her blush.
Going as slowly as ever, Yulia kissed her forehead. The slowness was a warning: if Lena wanted to move away, she could and she should do it. But she didn't, she closed her eyes and accepted the kiss as the most amazing thing she had ever experienced.
Then, when she couldn't stretch the instant more, the dark-haired really left, running as ever, jumping at speed light, trying to get away from the deadly light. Damn, the birds were singing already! Her acute senses "saw" other vampires doing the same as her, trying to find a place to hide. How completely irresponsible of her, where the hell could she hide? Was it possible to reach home? Yes, maybe, if she jumped harder and ran faster...
Her limbs straining and complaining, she arrived to her building. She could hardly keep her eyes open, and she had to use her special sense to locate the window, open it, and run to her room, where she threw herself under the bed and into her coffin. At once, her eyes closed and she fell asleep.