Warmth. I felt it. Ambrosia, the nectar of the Dark Gods sliding down the back of my throat. The numb tingling in my fingers and toes began to fade; I was being revitalized. Before I could gain control of myself I was lapping it up like a panting dog. Delicious Blood. This blood tasted different than any blood I have ever fed from before in my life. All blood varies in taste depending on the life of the human its being taken from. What makes for the best blood is a human that is young, healthy, and fit. Someone who follows the food pyramid to the T, exercises daily, and is disease free. But that combination is nearly impossible to find. Practically no one’s blood is that pure. Well, that’s what I thought until now. This blood was the most delicious blood I have ever tasted. As I swallowed the last drop it was only then that I realized I was being fed… and held.
I opened my eyes to see I was in a cabin’s living room. Snug couches were placed not far from where I was. Pictures of unknown faces hung on each wall along with the heads of hunted animals. Whoever this place belongs to for their sake better stay away or they just might find themselves on the other side of the table. That’s when I took notice of the fact that my clothes had been changed. Gone were the bloody tattered rags and in their place were sweat pants and a white tee. I smelt the burning of the fire before I seen it; its heat was welcoming. Its orange glow bouncing off my caramel brown skin. I took a moment to soak in as much as possible and that’s when I discovered him looking down at me, my head laying in his lap. His expression was soft and warm; which was definitely a new one for him. Determined and at times cold were what I was used to getting from him but this new side of him really threw me through a loop. The softness of his eyes made me take notice of the depth of their color, a rich brown, just like his hair. The gleam of his smile had me thinking about just how perfectly it complimented the rest of his olive toned face, which was actually easy on the eyes. He looked as if he had been turned in his late teens or early twenties, I say that because from the looks of it he had to be around my age. Now that I think about it everything about him was beautiful. Why hadn’t I noticed it before?
Oh, wait, I don’t know…maybe because he was trying to KILL me! I shot up out of his lap and away from his alluring embrace. The fog faded and reality finally began to set back in as I remembered who we were to each other. My body began to tense up preparing itself for another fight. I felt energized ready to pounce any minute.
“I’m not going to fight you Talon, if I wanted you dead than I wouldn’t have brought you here.” He said as he tossed the empty bag of blood to the floor. “Please, clam down and sit with me. There is a lot that I have to say.” He patted the ground in front of him all the while never taking his eyes off me. Still his face sustained the same amount of tenderness and softness I had witnessed just moments ago. I approached him very slowly at first, afraid that he might be trying to pull something. I had my eyes on the door behind him the whole time. The closer I got to him the more I found myself being sucked in by him. It was as if he had his own gravitational pull. Needless to say that my curiosity was playing a major part in it as well. Could you really blame me though? All of a sudden it was as if my life took a 180 and the impossible became reality. The same guy who has been hunting me for months trying to put a metal stake through my heart is now the Same guy who for some reason is beckoning me to sit close to him; so please excuse me for wanting to find out why.
I found a spot far enough away from him to give me a sense of security but close enough to satisfy him as well. “What game are you playing at? Is there something you want from me? This whole Dr. Jackal and Mr. Hyde complex has me feeling like I just stepped into the twilight zone. You hunt me for months only to spare my life… why?” His look of softness began to fade but was replaced with one of deep contemplation. I could tell he was trying to find the best way to explain all of this. After all that’s happened I don’t imagine it will be easy for him.
“I know this is completely insane and you’re not going to believe me but everything I have done since we met has been to protect you.” He must have seen the look of retaliation on my face because before I could object he followed it up with saying “The people I work with and for want you and everyone like you dead. When your name appeared on the list fortunately and unfortunately I just happened to be the one who was assigned with taking you out.” The anxiety and tension present in is voice had also reached his body causing him to shift his position. “I say unfortunately because out of all the Hunters in the vampire world you got me. . . In these few months I don’t think you have ever figured out my name have you?”
I wasn’t until he actually said it did I realize that he was right. I had no I idea who he was besides the fact that he’s a hunter. “Well honestly I didn’t get the chance to ask you between dodging your blades and running for my life. Another fact that I am dying to hear you explain. So how exactly is getting cut up part of keeping me safe?”
“I promise I will explain everything but first things first…my name is Helix. With that being said you’ve probably heard of me.” I instinctively jumped back, awe struck. My eyes darted towards the door once more. My heart was beating itself into a frenzy and my body went on high alert as my brain readjusted the danger level from moderate to Run Like Hell! Did he say HELIX?! I kept having to remind myself to breath and I swear if any more blood rushed to my head I was going to pass out. He hadn’t moved a muscle since he last spoke, obviously prepared for my reaction. He must get this a lot.
“Talon I already said I’m not going to hurt you. I know how it sounds but you have to trust me, I’m not sure if my plan worked so I don’t know how much time we have. In just a few hours the sun is going to come up and we will go into the deep sleep.” His voice was calm and leveled. His eyes were pleading with me, begging me to hear him out. Even with all of this I still didn’t back down, at least not completely. I let some of the tension in my body go but if anything were to happen I was going to let my instincts take over.
“You’re a boogie man. And your one of the scariest, because people know for a fact that you exist; unlike some of the other nightmares who became myths that no one has seen in years. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, if you’re a vampire you’ve heard stories about Helix. You are just as deadly as you are renowned.”
When I get nervous I have a tendency to ramble and that’s exactly what I was doing now. “They say that every Hunters record is impressive but yours is staggering. You are one of the Elders favorites… no one can do what you can do. Your extra is so unique in fact that unlike all other Hunters, One of the Elders themselves approached you and asked for you to join their ranks of “justice” dealing assassins.”
“Actually that last part isn’t true… One Elder didn’t approach me to be an assassin, all of them did. People know of me because the Elders want it that way; fear is a very powerful weapon. At first I always got tasked with killing the most dangerous and out of control vampires. The ones that destroyed everything in their path. These kinds of vampires made spectacles of themselves. They thought just because they were immortal it meant no rules and regulations. They wanted attention and power and to be surrounded by people who feared them or worshiped them. So naturally when their time came there were witnesses and then people whispered in the streets about a powerful hunter who killed the strongest vampire they had ever seen.”
“But people even know your name. This world is filled with Hunters and I can count on one hand how many I’ve heard of. And don’t be so modest it’s not like you were standing around with a megaphone shouting your name to whoever walked by or stayed around for drinks after a kill. But people still figured out who you were regardless though. That’s how much of an impact you made.”
“You see the name Helix isn’t a name I gave myself. When I started out I didn’t even have a name. All I did was serve a higher purpose. I was a tool to order around when seen fit and nothing more…so why would I need a name? Nobody was going to stay alive around me long enough to use it anyway. Actually people just started calling me that.”
“But why Helix? It has nothing to do with your extra.” I wasn’t EXACTLY sure what his extra was because I had never seen it. I know hard to believe since he has been chasing me down yet I have never seen his real power. I have only heard whispers and rumors about what it may be. But I did know what a helix was and I don’t see how someone could come up with that name based on an extra. And even if they did, his extra sounded like it would be a pretty lame one to me; definitely NOT Elder worthy. My curiosity was peaked once again, so once more my body made its way back to the vacant spot on the floor next to Helix.
“Have you ever seen a helix? Its shape is a spiral, it almost looks like a mini tornado. People started to compare me to that because where ever I went death and destruction followed. “He may have been just a couple of feet away from me but he was somewhere else completely in his mind. Where ever he was I could see is wasn’t a good place. Then again I wouldn’t think it would be.
“Is it easy for you? Being a Hunter I mean… from the little I know about them they don’t ask questions when they get assigned to kill. You don’t care if the person on the list is good or bad. Their just a name, just a job.” Helix couldn’t look me in the face he was obviously feeling uneasy about the question. Even though I found it a little odd I changed the question to spare him. “Do you like being a vampire? I mean you have so much power and prestige as one; that’s a lot more than the rest of us have.”
“I may have accumulated status because of what I do but my life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. Even in the beginning when I crossed over, the man I looked up to, my sire tried to kill me. In our world not all of us are lucky to have people lookout for us and care for us when we crossover. Some of us are used, mistakes, or abandoned afterwards. But that’s really not all that surprising; us vampires are usually solitary creatures by nature. Sure you’ve heard of underground organizations but they are all made for the sole purpose of gaining power and maintaining power. It’s truly rare to find a group of people who share a bond beyond anything other than business. In this life friendship is a rarity and love is just a fairytale made for humans. The fact is that all of us are boogie men. I mean look at what we are… blood thirsty monsters.”
At that moment I didn’t know what to say because somewhere deep inside I knew he was right. When I was human I thought one of the toughest things to do was make it to work on time, make time for my family and friends, and figure out what I wanted to be “when I grew up”. I remember fearing rejection and how scared I was to give my heart away, each time I did I did so on a whim daring myself to make the ultimate leap. But this was a much different world. My time in darkness has taught me that all the problems I thought were problems in my human life were nothing. At least when I was human dating around was easy because being human was easy. I miss the days when it was easy to weed out the bad guy from the good guys. Flaws like selfishness, conceitedness, and arrogance; were easy to pick up on. If a guy just didn’t do it for me that was okay because there were plenty more fish in the sea. But now I wish a few select personality flaws were all I had to worry about.
I don’t know what it is about us humans and vampires but power doesn’t sit well with us. We crave it and as soon as we get it we hold on to it all the while trying to get more. It corrupts us. Power is one thing that can turn an angel into a devil. The worst part is that all the change from human to vampire does is feed that darker part of our nature we always try to resist. When were humans we do everything we can to deny that we are capable of the feats which come so easy to us now as vampires. We would watch the news and hear about horrendous crimes and murders and gasp, thinking how could someone be so malicious? All the while keeping the animal with us all at bay. The truth is the people who sit in their homes shaking their head watching the six o’clock news are no different than the ones committing the crimes. Calling someone else evil doesn’t make you any holier, just like wearing clothes and acting civilized doesn’t makes you any less of an animal. The point is we are all capable of great evil as humans and as vampires most of us give into that darkness and don’t look back. With each dark act we commit we lose a piece of ourselves; our humanity. It’s some vampires like myself, last saving grace that we try to hold onto as we stain our souls red with blood.
If Helix was right that at the end of the day we are all monsters than how long could I hold out for? Sure I’ve killed, I have too in order to stay alive but I only ever hunt the scum on the bottom of the barrel. But is even that okay? Could there come a time when that changes? A time when I kill indiscriminately because if being alone is where it starts then I’m in trouble because I’ve been alone for some time… I don’t have a family or best friends to watch my back. No, that’s not completely true… I had someone I could call a friend once. And now because of me, because I got him involved he’s dead. I’m all by myself now and I know I will do anything to survive! I have a purpose, a mission and I’m going to see it through. I have to live in the daylight at least for one more day. If I don’t get that than who knows pretty soon I could end up like the vampires I despise… a true killer.
“A penny for your thoughts?” I was called back to the world of the living, this time I was the one staring off into space. Helix moved himself closer to me. I couldn’t tell if it was the heat from the fire making me hot or if it was how close our bodies were.
“It’s just that even though a part of me admits your right another part of me won’t accept it. If what you say it true then I should have been transformed into a monster a long time ago but I’m not. I won’t give in, I won’t let this power corrupt me. Yes, most of our kind act like demons but some of us don’t. Some of us don’t want to lose ourselves in the chaos and instead choose to fight an internal battle every day. Don’t we get some credit for that? Don’t we earn a pat on the back and a gold star for the day? It would be so easy for me to let loose and murder, HELL! I would probably enjoy it too! It takes nothing to let yourself become a creature of pain and pleasure but it takes so much more to be one of compassion and humility. If there was ever proof of hope existing in the world wouldn’t this be it?”
I was desperately hoping he would agree with me. He had already been through so much. If someone like him could agree with me than that would have to prove me right. I may have talked a big game a minute ago but that’s all it was, talk. I needed him to validate my feelings. For so long I’ve been on my own, my thoughts have been mine and mine alone. So I didn’t know if my thoughts were even rational ones. For all I knew they could just be optimistic hopeless ramblings of a lost soul. And a part of me wanted to save him. I was hoping that my words could reach him. I know how cliché and ridiculous it sounds but tonight I shared things with someone I never even dared to say out loud and to my surprise the flow wasn’t only in one direction. I missed connections and moments like this. I forgot what it was like to really open yourself up. I guess after I crossed over I seen heart felt moments like this as a humans need not a vampires. He said he was protecting me and after seeing his face as he let pieces of himself go tonight, I believe him. Why would he lie about trying to save me? He’s a hunter, what could he possibly have to gain by toying with me now?
He didn’t say he agreed with me or disagreed with me, he just remained silent. For right now I took it as a mini victory because if he had such a pessimistic view of life he would have no reserves about telling me I was wrong. So his silence came as a reminder that even this life in darkness wasn’t without its dim rays of light.
“You said that unfortunately I got you as my executioner but you also said it was also fortunate…what did you mean by that?” Up until now Helix exuded an aura of confidence. When he talked he did so matter of factly and even when he moved himself so close to me that we were only inches apart, he held no constraint. But for the first time since I opened my eyes to find him holding me did he lose some of his oh so precious cool and falter. He pulled away and straightened up his back. While running his hands through is hair he gave out a long sigh.
“That first night after I was assigned to you I read up on you, studied your background and your picture. I must have looked at that picture a thousand times. I kept telling myself the only reason I was studying it as hard as I was, was to make to make sure that if I needed to I could pick you out of a crowd I easily could but… I knew that wasn’t the reason why. The first time I saw you, you were walking out of a shelter. You had just finished bathing after a night of feeding. When I saw you I…”
He looked from my eyes to floor and wouldn’t look back up to meet me. My heart was pounding at a crazy speed while my mouth went dry. I needed to hear where he was going with this. I needed to hear him finish. I could feel the blush creep into my cheeks. “Go on, when you saw me what?” I felt my lip quiver in anticipation. My body began to tense and stir.
“When I saw you I thought that you were the most beautiful person I had ever seen.”
Thank GOD I’m Immortal because if I wasn’t this is when I definitely would of DIED! Here I was sitting a foot away from the most dangerous, beautiful, bad boy the vampire world had ever seen as he poured his heart out to me and I couldn’t think up one Damn thing to say or do! I know you can be tongue tied but can you also be body tied? I had to check myself to make sure I wasn’t drooling, I wouldn’t want to ruin his perfect image of me!! I know it sounds shallow but right now I really don’t give a damn!
I don’t know how long we had been each other’s company since I awoke but I’m sure it wasn’t long enough to justify what was happening between us. I kept trying to remind myself that this was the same man who had been chasing me for months! Who I thought was trying to kill me! But no matter how much chastising I did it just wouldn’t sink in. It was like having your parents tell you they hate your boyfriend and you should break up with him. You’re not actually going to listen to them. If anything it just makes you want them more. And if he had been protecting me it would all make sense. All my close encounter where I thought I was getting lucky and barely escaping, were actually him letting me go but then why did I need all the cuts and bruises then? That part still didn’t make any sense to me.
“I learned to turn my emotions off a long time ago. I thought like my body, my heart was dead, I was wrong. In all my years as a hunter I have never once failed to complete a mission. You were the first. . . I knew I couldn’t kill you so I had to make sure I kept coming up with good excuses. I don’t know how much you know about us hunters but when were assigned a job most of the time were not given a deadline. It’s just understood that the mission be done in a timely manner. Tonight I had a fellow hunter of the Elders follow me. He didn’t know I knew he was there. My inaction caught his eye. He and I have been working together for many years now so it was no surprise he would get suspicious when I wasn’t acting like myself. He cut me a lot of slack at first because were friends but even he nor the Elders could turn a blind eye any longer when I just happened to keep “loosing track” of you. I really did everything I could think of to keep everyone’s attention fixated somewhere else. For a while I told them my team that I had to study you to know the extent of your powers because anyone with common sense knows you never just jump blindly into a confrontation without knowing exactly what cards the other player holds. I even tried to persuade the Elders that having you serve them would strengthen them. I reasoned that if your extra was the reason they wanted you dead then that would mean you were a threat. And threats only become threats when they can’t be controlled. But that only bought us a little time because soon after another devastating attack happened and the Elders deemed it too high a risk. This is when the time of the Crisis began and I had no choice but to hunt you down.”
“Wait, STOP!” this didn’t make any sense. Why did he say the Elders were after me? Because of my extra? I….I thought it was because… “You were sent after me because of my extra? So it hasn’t been because of what I’ve been doing?”
Helix looked confused, again he shifted his sitting position. “What you’ve been doing…? No, you and others like you are being picked off one by one because your extra has been deemed to destructive.”
My head was being filled with so many thoughts and questions. This whole time I thought I knew why they were hunting me. I thought it was because of what I was trying to do. I had no idea it was because of something as small as my abilities! “Helix, please you have to explain this to me! Start from the beginning, why am I one of the Elders Most Wanted?”