- Leah, Clearwater
It was like one of them freaky programs you see on television where it documents out-of-body experiences, except it was completely wrong. I had always suspected those ad show narrators had no idea what they were talking about – it’s like telling a child that a baby is born by pressing the belly button, a lie. They had no idea what it was like because they had never experienced one and it’s not like you can take a camera with you – if you could the next thing you know, your Fuji Finepix S1500 will be floating in the air while it records.
It was so much different. I wasn’t just a semi-translucent body pined up in the tree watching the scene before me, it was like I was magically enhanced to see everything around me in a different light. I could see very color of the spectrum – red, blue, green, yellow, violet etc – through my eyes. I could even notice were each color started and stopped within the space we were in. I could see everything like the whole world was being monitored for a new season Big Brother and there were camera’s everywhere.
To be more simple, it felt like there were thousands of pairs of the eyes in the sky that observed everything – and I had control over them. And if that’s not strange enough, I still felt in control of a body: I could still feel my fingers and toes; I could even hear the thudding of my heart-beat in my ears.
“Bloody hell,” I murmured internally. The words didn’t escape my lips, but I could still feel my mouth move along with the sound of the words I had created.
I could see my body sprawled out across the grass, except it didn’t look like me at all. My arm and T-shirt was painted with dried blood, fresh drops pooling in the grass which was now stained as crimson as Julian’s eyes. My hair was tangled and knotted around my bruised face – my features swollen; I could make out a burst lip, badly bruised cheekbone and maybe even a black eye if I was right. “How in the world could I have looked that bad? Would I not have felt the pain?”
I felt myself tilt towards the lingering shadows in the trees; there were three vampires with their teeth exposed with a vicious hungry look in their eyes. One had long blonde hair with green eyes – she kinda reminded me of Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Don’t get me wrong about anything, she just reminded me of her. I wouldn’t give up my vampire kicking-ass skills to become an immortal with their creepy scrunched up, hungry faces.
Her name was Lily, I could tell. She turned her face to her colleague, “Wanna go eat some residents?” she taunted.
“Sure, let’s start with this prophecy girl first. I would just love to rid me of another rotten shape-shifter,” he sneered indignantly. He had chestnut brown hair with stiff cardboard features.
I wasn’t afraid of him, or Lily. I knew they wouldn’t come close to touching my body. That reassured me because in my mind I was trembling with apprehension. “She’s nothing but a worthless disease in this world, we vampires will purify this planet soon enough.” She laughed manically and they started to advance.
I moved again so suddenly without notice that I now felt Julian’s presence by what I believed to be my left shoulder. He noticed the three leeches’s approaching footsteps before I could become accustomed to my new surroundings. Before blinking, Julian already had the chestnut haired male held up in the air by the neck of his T-shirt and was sneering something low and violent at all three. “Don’t you even think about coming to touch that girl; otherwise I will personally behead you myself, understand?”
Julian threw him through the air where he landed with a hard thump against the tree – its trunk now looking permanently dented where the crash landing had taken place with the dummy. The boy parasite jumped up and all three went running off – probably off to drain some blood donation bags from the health clinic.
“She’s quite popular with the undead it seems,” Daniel added in. My heart raced when his voice sauntered to my ears. It soothed the coiling pain in my chest which reaped me of my staggering breaths.
Julian ran his fingers through his dark hair and stepped over towards my body; again I moved within a flash and I found myself lodged in-between Daniel and my body in which Julian was kneeling over – his long pale fingers tracing my cheekbone. Even in my spiritual, thousand eyes type near-death experience I could feel tingles trace over my face where Julian’s fingers lingered on my skin. It made me shiver. “She’s so beautiful and exotic; she’s defiantly the girl-of-my-dreams from the prophecy.”
Daniel clenched his fist at his sides and his brow furrowed, “Come away from her and I’ll get your money,” he growled protectively over my lifeless body.
“Oh no no,” Julian uttered shockingly. “Forget the money; you’ve given me something much better. My soul-mate. This is a completely different payment, your debt is over-ruled.”
“You think I’m going to give my imprint to you?” Daniel shouted angrily, the ground looked like it was shuddering from the tension between the vampire and shifter. They were actually fighting over me? Huh, figures. “To hell I am. She belongs with me, no-one else. You can’t have her!”
My chest clenched and the coil tightened. It felt as though I couldn’t breathe. Julian leapt up with passionate grace and forced Daniel against the dented trunk of the tree. He made a quick yelp when his arm was twisted behind his back. Their faces were inches apart and Daniel was already trembling and half-changed. His eyes were a piercing green – like the glare of a cats eyes at night – it was eerie and frightening. More eerie though.
I yelled helplessly for them to stop but all I could hear was their snarls at each other and the rustle of the leaves. Tenderly, the words stuck to my lips. “You two are crazy! Stop fighting!”
“Don’t you ever tell me I can’t have her,” he twisted Daniel’s arm further and he whimpered in pain. I forced myself to move and I found myself by Julian. Feeble and powerless I went to grab his arm, however, my hand went straight through it. It was like moving your hand through a thick vicious honey. It slowed me down and the movement of my arm felt sluggish until I drew it back harshly, cradling it to my chest in the sheer horror of the moment.
“I have searched far-and-wide for the scrolls containing the prophecies just so I could find Leah; it has taken hundreds of years. I have dedicated my small insignificant life to it and even if she doesn’t take me, I’ll still protect her and be there if she ever needs me. You don’t understand the extent of what I have done to find her!” Julian barked.
Daniel flinched away when Julian released his grasp on his arm. If they had any idea I could see and hear them right now, would they act differently to what they are now?
Daniel then turned and, with horror painted on my face, he passed straight through my body leaving me feeling sick to the core. My whole body felt as if it was simmering with a tingling energy, as if Daniel had touched each and every single of piece of me when he passed through me. Creepy, I know.
“Tell me honestly, to your extent, what you have done for her?” he spat, pacing back and forth. “You’ve only just found her after I told you she was my imprint. Is this a game to you? Just a way to get back at me since I don’t have your money. Let’s just play with poor Daniel’s mind,” he mocked.
“Have you ever heard of the forgotten library, pup?”
Daniel snapped back a hysterical snort, “Of course I have. I’m not that stupid, leech. But it’s never been found, it was rumored to be in Egypt but no-one has ever unearthed it because they died before they could.”
While they were talking it out, I felt my astral body being tugged towards my real limp body in the grass. I found myself kneeling by it within seconds of a breath.
Julian was close by, “Don’t be too sure. It took years of research and information, which I persuaded some people to give me to find it. It was in Egypt, but it was a lot harder to find than I thought. In the library, it contained thousands of unread books and scrolls but I was only in search of one. When I retrieved it, I brought it back and had it deciphered. That was where I found out I would find my soulmate imprinted to a lone shifter,” Julian gave a cruel smile and my heart leapt into my throat.
He couldn’t have, that’s not possible. Oh god.
Daniel was trembling in a fierce rage – his eyes panther green again, hands pulled into fists and his breathing was strenuous and labored. “You found me on the streets and you offered me the money, you played me? You did that just to find Leah! Just to find out if I ever imprinted!”
“Well, when you put it that way,” Julian ridiculed, picking dirt out of his nails with a bored expression on his face.
“You’re a self-concerned bloodsucker, that’s what you are,” Daniel half-screamed into the night. Running over to my body he ran his shaky fingers over my face where they stopped at my dry cracked lips. Strange as I thought it was, he was sitting right next to my spiritual form as if he knew I was there. I tried to place a hand comfortingly on his wrist but it moved through it like water. “We have to help her, she’s been unconscious for such a long time,” he stammered uncertainly.
“There is going to be only one way,” Julian interrupted.
Daniel looked up at the vamp hurt and alarmed, “Tell me. I can’t lose Leah; she’s the only good thing that’s happened to me in ages. I need her.”
“One of us has to kiss her,” Julian stated truthfully, he walked over and stood a few steps behind Daniel. I could see his brows knitting tightly together.
“What? I doubt the True Love kiss crap from Disney movies is going to help! She’s unconscious.” He started shaking my body by grabbing my shoulders. I could feel it fiercely tug on my astral state to help wake me up but there was something blocking my way. I couldn’t get back in.
Julian pulled him back forcefully, “That isn’t going to help,” he said bitterly. “One of us has to kiss her; it’s the only way to bring her from the shock she has endured.”
I didn’t get to see who kissed me. Before I could feel the soft kiss against my lifeless lips I was already being pulled back into my body. I don’t know how to describe what coming back into my body felt like – it was almost the light at the end of the tunnel stuff you get told – only reversed. I was moving away from the light into the fathomless dark. I leapt up onto my unsure two feet, “Cinnamon,” I shouted excitedly.
The person who kissed me tasted like cinnamon.
Daniel and Julian were on either side of me like I was in the middle of a tug of war game. They were both pulling on each side to win me, or break me. With a hissing snarl I jumped away from Julian and stood by Daniel, putting my neck in the arch of his neck. It felt so familiar. It felt like home. “Go away! I don’t ever want to see you again!” I screamed towards the parasite. “I can’t believe you used Daniel like that, just to find me as well. How dare you.”
“How did y-” he didn’t get to finish the question; instead I walked up towards him and whispered low in his ear, my heart fluttering uneasily in my chest. “Go and hide. Otherwise, if I see you again I will be one unhappy shifter. And, I’m not your girl. Daniel is my soulmate.”
Julian’s face fell; it was almost as if his features seemed to sink half-way down his face. His skin even looked paler than the moonlight, as if it had been leeched of any color it once held. “As you wish; but I will protect and watch over you regardless. Take care, my Leah.” He lifted and kissed my hand before departing into the shadows. I felt like I was about to sink into the ground, I felt weak like jelly.
Daniel caught me in his arms before I fell, his arms wrapping around my waist while he held me comfortingly. “It’s alright, I promise I won’t let anything ever harm you again,” he crooned.
“Thank you, thank you,” I repeated, holding him as close as we could get. There wasn’t even a breath between us. “Thank you for bringing me back, it was awful. I could see and hear everything, it was just torture,” I sobbed uncontrollably.
Daniel fell ridged in his grasp and his arms fell from around me. His expression was blank. I grasped his face with my fingers and with worried eyes I asked, “What’s wrong, Daniel? Did I say something wrong?”
“I-I..” he stumbled. “I didn’t bring you back.”
Everything stopped: time, the world, even my breathing. Bloody hell! “You what?” I hesitated. “You didn’t bring me back?”
“Then who di-” I didn’t need to finish to the question. I already knew and I was regretting everything. He had kissed me. The leech. His lips had kissed mine and they had tasted of cinnamon. If I could have fainted for the third time that day and return to my astral form, I would have! “Oh god. Daniel I’m so sorry. Are you okay?”
Daniel threw up his arms frantically, “Okay? Of course I’m not okay. That vampire kissed you and brought you back and I couldn’t. What does that mean? Does that mean you love him more than me? I’m your imprint after all.”
“No, no. Don’t think that. How could I love an undead leech when I have you? Don’t you ever even think for a second that I don’t love you, do you understand? I love you, Daniel. You!”
He pulled away from me acidly as if I was some sort of traffic hazard, “I can’t. Not now. It’s just not right.”
My heart thudded but it was slow and lingering making the pain more intense. “You don’t want me now?” I wept.
“I’m sorry, I just can’t.” He started to walk away from me and to advance into the shadows.
I ran up to Daniel and grabbed a hold of his arm. “Daniel please,” I pleaded. “Stay with me, I need someone to protect me. I need you, don’t you know that already. Please.”
He pulled his arm away from my pleading grip, stepped towards me hesitantly and his fingers grasped my face. He kissed me forcefully at first but then it became soft and his lips molded with mine and bliss radiated from both of us as we were entangled together. When Daniel pulled away he kissed my forehead. “I’m so sorry, Leah,” he murmured and then he walked away from me, leaving my heart with an open void.
“Daniel,” I screamed uselessly from my frozen spot. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t think. Everything was black. In the back of my mind I registered how I now understood what Bella Swan went through when Edward Cullen left her – nothing mattered and all you had to do was clutch your chest and push everything away. I had lost both of the them and now I was on my own again.
Later that night; all I could remember was pulling myself back to my crash-test destroyed apartment and curling up on the couch where I cried myself to sleep soundlessly. I had to be strong and to continue my life regardless of my loss, I could work around it. A small sentence suddenly lodged itself in my brain and for a moment it made me lose focus before finally giving me a reason to try hard to get what I wanted. To have a normal life.
“Forbidden to remember, terrified to forget.”
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