“You haven’t slept in three days, Evan.” Jon told me as if I didn’t even know. “Don’t you feel even the slightest bit tired?”
“No,” I told him with a shrug. Director Croft had my room changed to one that looked more like an apartment. There was still an observation room off of one side, but Jon had demanded that there be curtains put in place to protect my privacy. I didn’t understand why they had given me such a large room, but I didn’t complain. There was a large flat screen television mounted on one wall of the room and at my request there was a PlayStation 4 sitting on a shelf beneath it. “At least I have video games to keep me occupied.”
Jon had gone to a local mall and had purchased me different books and games to keep me entertained throughout the long days and night spent at the facility. My Uncle Mason had gone to the mall with him to buy me different clothes to wear.
“You’re completely different than any vampire before you, Evan.” Jon told me as we raced each other around the track in the game.
“We’ve been over this,” I said as I rolled my eyes. Jon beat me across the finish line, and I dropped the controller onto the coffee table in front of my leather couch. “Can we go out tonight? I’m kind of tired of being stuck inside, Jon.”
Jon shrugged his shoulders.
“Maybe,” he said with a shrug. “I’ll ask the Director and see what he has to say about it.”
“Good,” I said as I started the next race. “I’m starting to feel like a prisoner.”
An hour after sunset, Jon and I were making our way out through the tunnel doors and into the falling snow. I smiled as I felt the flakes drifting down into my hair. Jon led the way as we headed off towards the north.
“Where are we going?” I asked curiously.
“There’s someone that wants to meet you,” Jon told me.
I just nodded as we ran next to each other. I didn’t feel like pushing myself and I was unfamiliar with the territory, so I kept pace with the werewolf. It didn’t matter to me for some reason if I was going to meet somebody new. I sort of figured with all of the differences between myself and normal vampires that there would be some curiosity throughout the different species. My skin was tougher than a normal vampire’s skin and it almost had a shimmer to it that I could barely detect when I was standing under the fluorescent lights of Section-9. My eyes had silver streaks in them, and I could see the tiniest details from over one hundred yards away. My night vision was impeccable and even Jon couldn’t see as well as I could. The biggest difference between myself and other vampires was the fact that I didn’t need to sleep. I was a new species. I was the perfect example of evolution.
We were nearly a mile from the strange house when I noticed the light of the front porch through the trees. I raised my guard and paid attention to my surroundings as Jon ran towards the house. I didn’t feel comfortable with idea of visiting a strange building in the middle of the night, and I was damn certain that I wasn’t going to let anyone catch me by surprise.
Jon stopped at the edge of the yard and a woman stepped out onto the front porch. She had long brown hair and she was wearing flowing robes that clung loosely to her body. Her blood red eyes gazed at me for a moment before she motioned us forward. Jon nodded and I followed behind him as he walked up to the house. The woman was beautiful, and she continued to watch me as Jon stepped onto the porch.
“It’s so good to see you again, Jon.” The woman greeted Jon with a brief embrace.
“You as well, dear sister.” Jon replied. He stepped back and motioned to me. “Lusindra, I’d like you to meet Evan Bentley.”
“The Chosen One,” Lusindra stated with a smile. I growled lightly when she embraced me and Lusindra giggled. “It’s an honor to meet you, Evan.”
“Evan,” Jon continued. “This is my sister, Lusindra. She is one of Vampire Elders.”
I looked at the woman in shock before I remembered my manners.
“It’s nice to meet you, Lusindra.” I told her.
“The Mother has spoken highly of you,” Lusindra said. Lusindra stepped to the side and motioned for me to enter the two-story home. “Please, come in, Evan. I won’t bite.”
I chuckled lightly as she smiled at me. Then, I took a step forward and entered the middle-class style home. The front door entered into the living room that was decorated with two sofas and a reclining chair. On one wall was a large flat screen television that was playing the news without any sound. Lusindra moved to one of the sofas and motioned for me to join her. Once I was as comfortable as a vampire could get, she began with the questioning.
“How long was he in the change, Jon?”
“Eight days,” Jon replied as he sat down in the recliner and kicked the footrest out. “Not nearly as long as most vampires.”
“That’s very surprising,” Lusindra said with a smile without taking her gaze off of me. “I can see glimpses of great power within him, Jon.”
“You should see him when he goes running, Lusindra.” Jon said with a chuckle. “I could barely keep up with him.”
“He passed you?” Lusindra asked with a smirk. “Nobody has ever been able to outrun you before, dear brother.”
“I know,” Jon’s grin turned to a scowl. “I think he was holding back, too.”
“I didn’t know where we were going,” I told them quickly. Both Jon and Lusindra busted out laughing. If I were still human, I would have been blushing at their laughter. Instead, the monster within me growled slightly. Lusindra reached out and squeezed my leg.
“I meant you no disrespect, Evan.” She reassured me. “It’s just surprising how strong you are compared to everyone else.”
“Well,” Jon cut in. “What do you expect, Lusindra? Evan’s a mix of three different creatures.”
“Five,” Arella stated from the front door. Her sudden appearance made me jump in surprise and I was across the room in the blink of an eye. My back was against the wall and my body had already lowered itself into a defensive crouch. Arella smiled at me while Lusindra and Jon both looked surprised.
“He’s faster than you said, Mother Arella.” Lusindra stated with a giggle.
“I haven’t gotten to witness his full potential yet, my dear daughter.” Arella explained as she watched me. I forced myself to relax and I moved to sit on the other sofa that was across from Jon’s position. He hadn’t even moved out of the recliner when I had reacted. “You’re very amazing, Evan.”
“Thanks,” I said sheepishly as I forced myself to relax. “I think.”
“He’s very beautiful, as well.” Lusindra observed.
“He’s too young for you, sister.” Jon chided the Elder with a grin.
Lusindra rolled her eyes at her brother before she turned her attention to Arella.
“To what do I owe the honor of your company, Mother Arella?”
“I’ve come to see how the newborn is doing,” she replied with a smile.
I smiled at the woman.
“I’m doing alright, Lady Arella.” I told her with a shrug. “I still haven’t slept.”
“You don’t sleep?” Lusindra asked in shock. “That’s impossible!”
“It’s true,” Jon stated. “I had to go out and buy him some video games and movies to keep our new friend here entertained.”
Arella smiled again.
“We learn something new about him every day,” Arella stated.
“I can’t wait to see what his ability is going to be,” Lusindra added with curiosity in her voice.
“I’m certain it’s going to be something amazing…”
“I have a message for you, Evan.” Arella changed the subject quickly, and I looked at her in confusion.
“For me?” I asked dumbfounded.
“Yes, young blood.” She said with a smile. “You have some difficult decisions coming, Evan, and I think that it’s important that you remember the Greater Good when it comes to making those decisions. Don’t be selfish with your Gift, either. You need to take care of your family. Sometimes, the Gift may be the only way to save someone from the cold embrace of Death. Always remember to truly give the idea of giving someone the Gift some deep consideration before you actually do it. It’s the most difficult thing that you will ever have to do.”
“What do you mean, Lady Arella?” I asked. Her words confused me. Why would I want to ever give this nightmare to anybody?
Arella refused to answer me.
“The sun will be up in about two hours, Agent Wells.” Arella informed Jon. “You need to get Evan home.”
I frowned but said my goodbyes. I didn’t even see the point in trying to ask Jon for any answers, so we ran back to the Section-9 Headquarters in silence.
I had been alone in my apartment for nearly five hours when I heard the door between the corridor and the observation room click open. I turned to see my uncle pushing a wheelchair into the observation room. In the wheelchair was my near-death cousin – Tatum Bentley. His eyes are a pale blue in color and the bruises under his eyes looked even darker than my own. Tatum’s cheeks were sunken inwards, and his flesh was so pale that it was nearly translucent. I could see the blood as it heart struggled to keep it pumping throughout my cousin’s veins. The weak sound of his heartbeat over the speaker didn’t make me thirsty.
I only felt pity…
He looks so close to death, I thought sadly.
Every breath appeared to be a struggle for my younger cousin and his chest barely rose with each one. I frowned and glanced at my uncle. His eyes were focused solely upon Tatum and his expression was filled with worry.
“Evan,” Uncle Mason’s voice came over the speaker and I could even hear the concern in his voice. “Tatum was hoping that he would be able to spend a little time with you, today.”
I glanced down at my cousin whom appeared worried as he awaited my response.
“That wouldn’t be a problem would it?” Uncle Mason asked.
“Not at all, Uncle Mason.” I replied with a brief smile. “I promise that there won’t be any issues.”
Tatum giggled and I glanced at him to see that his pale lips had broken into a small smile.
“I’ve missed you, Tatum.” I told my cousin.
“I’m sorry,” He said in a weak voice.
“Don’t be, Tatum.” I reassured him. “It’s not your fault.”
“I’ll be back later, Tatum.” My uncle stated as he bent over to kiss Tatum’s bald head. My uncle then looked at me. “If anything happens, Evan, dial 9-7-3-0 on the keypad. It will signal the medical team to respond to this location.”
I nodded in understanding as Uncle Mason left us alone.
“How have you been, Tatum?” I asked him softly.
“I’ve been better,” he said with a shrug. “Yourself?”
“I’ve never been better,” I told him with a shrug.
Tatum giggled at me and I couldn’t help but laugh along with him.
“How long do you have, Tatum?” I was surprised that I had even asked the question. Tatum glanced down at his blanket-covered knees before he replied to me.
“The doctors say I only…” Tatum had to stop to catch his breath. “I only have about a month. I don’t think I have that long, though.”
“How long do you think you have, Tatum?” I had no idea why I felt like I needed to know his answer. Only he knew how strong he was.
“Maybe a week or two at the most,” Tatum said sadly. He was on the brink of tears as he spoke. “I feel weak, Evan. Every day is a struggle for me to even wake up anymore.”
“Isn’t there anything the doctors can do?”
“No,” he said with a slight chuckle. “All they can do is make the rest of my time on this world more comfortable. You could help me, though.”
My jaw dropped in surprise at his statement. Tatum wanted me to change him into a vampire.
He wanted me to turn him into a monster just to save his young life. Was I willing to do that to Tatum?