- Leah, Clearwater
I awoke lying on the couch in my apartment, my head propped up by a few flattened cushions. “Well at least you didn’t kill me while I was asleep, now that would have been unfair,” I hissed, pulling myself up on my elbows flinching when my back felt tight.
Daniel walked from the kitchen carrying a steaming cup of coffee, he was only wearing a pair of old ripped jeans. “You make assumptions too fast; I was simply aiming for a shock not for the kill. I was angry.” He paused in mid-stroll and angled his body away from me.
“And still are angry. No cup of coffee for me?” I asked, breaking the frightening silence. How could I have imprinted on him? Daniel seemed so frigid and human, but he can turn into a panther? – A living, breathing, panther with jet black fur and green fathomless eyes. He reminded me of Jacob (after he had first turned and wasn’t allowed to see Bella Swan) somehow; cut off and angry with the world for making him different.
His figure seemed to glisten in the dim light of the apartment. I rubbed my eyes compulsively to see if it was my throbbing headache but it wasn’t. Daniel was thickly outlined what could only be described as raw sunlight bursting through the windows for the first time on a morning – it was like a hydrogen bomb exploding on the sun. It must be an imprint thing.
“Why did you imprint on me?” he questioned, his hands shaking faintly hysterically. When I didn’t answer he repeated the question harshly, adding quietly, “I didn’t want this.”
The Leah I knew would have retorted back sourly and it would be like my head unscrewing from my neck in anger and frustration; but I understood him to some strange extent. “I didn’t want to imprint either. I was happy with my life and finally starting to feel human again.”
“This is your entire fault,” Daniel shouted, punching the wall with his clenched fist. The cup of coffee fell to the floor staining the light carpet, a black stain against white. Pollution against purity. Human against the super-natural. I was neither, but rather half of each, a cross-breed. “We can never be fully human,” Daniel continued, biting his lower lip.
“Did you really think I wanted to imprint as well?” I cried hoarsely, tears brimming in my eyes. “I hate myself for it. I came here to get away from all that but here you are. So don’t say this is my fault, Daniel!”
He recoiled at the use of his name. “How do you break an imprint?” he stuttered.
“Dammit, there has to be a way,” he yelled turning around fast on his bare heels and was standing in front of my face; his eyes were sad and conflicted. His hands were trembling as they grasped my arms tightly and shook me ferociously, my head hitting into the wall occasionally.
My heart was hammering; I clutched my own fist and slammed it against his face so hard he fell against the coffee table – snapping it in two. I muttered a quick curse – ‘crap! That was the only table I had!’ – Then I stepped towards him on the ground and growled at Daniel as I pulled him up. “Don’t you dare touch me again!” I touched the skin on my arms, letting out a tender yelp when it stung. “Do you understand? You may be my stupid imprint; but, you have no right to hurt me in my own home.”
I let go of him. “Oh god, I’m sorry,” he stumbled as he sagged against the wall and fell onto his knees in a horror-struck silence. My hormones were raging – not in a sexual way, jeez! But in an adrenalin type of way – I pulled my arms around my chest and sat by him. Even just sitting there with Daniel I could read him like an open book; so for the next couple of hours I sat cross-legged next to him and waited for him to snap out from his own personal up-in-the-clouds situation. For a second, I even found myself staring at his face in dismay and stroking his cheekbone where a solid purple bruise was forming.
In was hours before he broke free of his reverie, it was almost midnight: the moon hung half-crested in the midnight sky, the stars glistening like individual shards of glitter, the backdrop of North Vancouver a silhouetted shadow and the sounds that came out at night were dreadfully loud but muffled by a quiet rustle of bushes and the crunch of twigs outside. It was stupid not to take attention of this but I felt calm and tranquil – my head having found itself in the arch of Daniel’s neck.
Daniel mumbled something about ‘paying a debt’ almost sleepily, as if he’d fallen into a deep slumber, and then he was twitching and slowly opening his eyes groggily. I moved my head instantly and felt color flood my cheeks. He started by making quiet mumbles and grunts and then he leaned his head against the wall and looked at me, his eyes widened with a new sense of familiarity and understanding. He pulled my arm from where it was resting on my knees and stroked the band of red skin where his hand had grabbed it. “I truly am sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I was just so shocked and angry, Leah…”
“Be still,” I put my finger to his lips. “I forgive you.”
He heaved a deep sigh of relief, I felt the brush of his lips against my fingers and I pulled them back embarrassed. The imprint connection felt more natural more than forced right at that moment. I felt as if Daniel was chosen for a reason but there was an insatiable twitching at the back of my mind saying there was something or someone else.
He pushed his dark hair away from his eyes. “I was just a normal boy when I changed; I had no idea what was wrong with me. I was in the house with my family when it happened; I had been adopted when I was three years old after I was found on the door-step of the adoption building you see,” he stated fairly coldly.
“You don’t have to tell me,” I whispered.
“I do. I was in the family room with my adopted mother, father and my six year old sister. They thought I was faking when I said I was feeling like I was burning and that I was ill – they thought I was trying to get off school tomorrow because I had an exam (he snorted). My father shouted at me and that started the change off, next thing I knew was that I was some massive panther in the living room. They screamed and ran off. I left and found myself here on the streets. Here is now where I live.”
My heart throbbed for him. “Oh god, I’m sorry. My change couldn’t compare to yours.” I distracted myself by watching my hands. “My father’s death triggered off my change. He was killed by a…”
I nodded stiffly and gulped down a large blockage in my throat. “Yeh, that’s it.”
“Filthy bloodsuckers they are; can’t help but kill an innocent man who most properly was…” he ranted on.
My heart stumbled in its frantic beating. “Please don’t. I really don’t want to talk about it and its past midnight, do you want to stay here the night?”
All of a sudden, fear and anger filled Daniels face. He threw himself up and ran to the door, pulled it open, scanned outside, shut it again and looked at me with frighteningly. “Why didn’t you tell me its past midnight?” he barked.
I scowled at him, “I didn’t think I needed to.”
“Stupid girl! Now we’re both going to die! They’ll come for me and find you here, and you’re going to die because of me. Stupid, stupid and more stupid. How could I have come here and put you in danger?”
I pulled myself up, strolled towards him and grabbed his flaying hands, “What is going to happen?” I demanded.
Then, out of the blue, the windows were smashed and glass shattered everywhere. The door was blasted open and through them came loads of vampires – their coal black eyes hungry and focused on the kill.
“That’s going to happen,” Daniel said.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter: HERE