Logan shook his head, then looked down at his bare feet and sighed. “You’re right.” He said. “I just wish I was more useful here and getting her back.”
“I understand that.” I told him honestly. “I want to be able to be the one to save her, and I want to be able to take some revenge of my own.” I sneered, not realizing until right then how much anger I’d been harboring deep within me. “There are better reason for me to be turned, and it just doesn’t make sense for you.”
Calvin slammed his hand down on the table. “Neither of you are being turned, Rachel.” He said evenly when I turned to look at him. “There is no good reason for you to be like this, one of me…You deserve more than this kind of life.” He snapped.
“Never taking Rose to the park again, never not noticing that her blood smells pretty appetizing. You’d have to feed, Rachel. That’s not something that you want. That isn’t how you want to live.”
The door opened behind me and I only turned slightly to see Pedro walk in, his eyes still swollen, but he was narrowing them at Calvin. I turned back to face him and I could see in his eyes how badly he wanted me to drop this, but I couldn’t. I had reasons, and I was ready.
“Calvin, what happened to you not telling me how I feel about things?” I asked and he sighed, looking down at the ground and groaning. “I thought I could make my own decisions, and my decision is that I want to be changed.” I said again. “I want to be like you.”
“You don’t want to be like me!” He said painfully.
I wanted to angrily rip the blankets off of the bed or something, but I knew that would be silly to do in front of everyone. “I don’t care about going outside or if I have to feed, Calvin!”
Pedro put his hand on my shoulder and I took a few deep breaths. Pedro looked away from me and back over to Calvin. “You haven’t told her, have you?” He asked pointedly and Calvin glared at him.
“Told me what, Calvin?” I asked, crossing my arms over my chest and my face getting hot. “I thought you were done keeping things from me too.”
Calvin continued to glare at Pedro for a moment who only looked narrowly back at him, and then he finally sighed and walked towards me. I backed up and he shook his head at me as he reached for me. “It’s not what you think.” He huffed. “I never had any reason to mention it to you before.” He
said. “I mean, that whole declaration of your newfound love for the vampire life wasn’t exactly something I saw coming, Rachel.”
“You’re evading the point.” Pedro quipped and I nodded with him.
The others in the room tried not to look like they were paying us any mind, but it was obvious that they were. Calvin leaned his head back and looked up at the ceiling. “Rachel, why do you want this?” He sighed then lowered his eyes back to mine, his expression softening. “I can understand you wanting to help us get Rose back, but just think what you’d be giving up.”
“I have thought about it.” I snapped back, then lowered my voice. I didn’t want to fight with him, I only wanted to make him see that I was sure that this was something I was ready for.
“Honestly, Calvin.” I sighed. “Where else could things really go for the two of us without me changing eventually?” I asked him. “Were you still going to want to be at my side when I was grey haired, wrinkly, and using a walker?”
“Of course.” He replied without a second’s thought. “I love you.”
I shook my head. Of course he was going to say that. “Calvin, I want this.” I told him again. “I want to be with you…forever.” I whispered. “The only way for us to have forever is for me to be like you.”
“Rachel, I-.” He tried to say but I quickly inched up and kissed him on the lips, throwing him off for a moment.
“I know all the reasons you’re worried, but I promise, I want this.” I told him. “I’m not making a rash decision, or not thinking clearly.”
Calvin stepped back from me so that I couldn’t distract him again and he ran one hand through his messy hair. “If it isn’t a rash decision, then why all
of a sudden?” He asked. “You’ve never mentioned anything about wanting this life to me before, and as a matter of fact, the only time we’ve discussed it, you are the one who told me that you don’t want to be a vampire.” He pointed out.
Pedro stepped forward. “Why don’t you stop fighting it?” He asked Calvin. “The sooner she is changed, the sooner we can go after these bastards and get revenge and Rose back.”
Calvin’s eyes flared black for a second before fizzling back to a dark grey. “This conversation doesn’t concern you, Pedro.” He said angrily. “I don’t know why you are encouraging this, but that’s enough!”
Pedro looked angry, but he bowed his head and leaned against the back wall, keeping his head down. “She’s a big girl, Your Majesty.” He mumbled under his breath.
Calvin was still glaring at him, and I caught Octavia glancing over with her mouth hanging open before she noticed me and turned back to the seemingly blank piece of paper in front of her that she and Logan were pretending to be really interested in looking at.
“Calvin, I know it sounds strange, and before, sure I didn’t want this, but now.” I sighed. “Now I know what living without you is like, and I know what feeling helpless feels like, and I don’t want those feelings anymore.” I tried to explain. “I want to be able to live as long as you so that we never have to be truly apart again. I want to be strong enough to protect myself and the ones I love. I want to help rescue our daughter. I want to be like you.” I said quickly, one thing after the other. “I am telling you that this is what I want.”
Calvin was suddenly right in front of me, our chests almost touching and he was looking down into my eyes seriously.
“Rachel, if that’s what you want, can’t you just wait and think about it a while first?”
“No.” I groaned and he grabbed my face in his hands, leaning closer to me.
“Rachel,” He whispered softly. “I’m not trying to make you angry, I just want you to be sure.”
I rolled my eyes at him dramatically. “I am sure.” I sighed. “And another thing,” I thought of suddenly. “Look at what happened to Lexton.” I pointed out. “She turned and was no longer eligible to be the queen, so if I get turned too, then people would be able to get over it for why I need to leave.” I said hopeful. “It could be possible for me to go back to Rose if they don’t want me anymore, and you wouldn’t have to take another wife because the council hightailed it anyway so no one can tell you what to do.” Calvin looked like he hadn’t thought of it like that before, which made me happy. At least he hasn’t thought of every angle to talk himself out of doing it. “If the people still insist I stay, then fine, but if not, then I can be with Rose and you will call me every and come see me as often as vampirely possible.” I smiled. “I’m not giving up.”
“I see where you’re coming from, Rachel, you just need to be sure you’ve thought it through entirely.” He told me.
I nodded my head to him and he frowned. “I am sure, Calvin.” I promised. “Now tell me whatever it is that you kept from me.”
He almost smiled like he was surprised that I didn’t fall for his plan to get me distracted from my mission. “I told you, I didn’t keep it from you, I just didn’t think it was something to bring up with you.”
“Just tell me.” I shook my head.
Calvin shrugged and bit his lip. “A while back, before I even met you, I financed some scientific research.” He said casually. “It was before I was turned.” He explained. “I hired them to look into creating a synthetic blood that could be used in place of human blood.”
“What?” I asked, genuinely confused since that hadn’t been at all where I thought this conversation was going to go. I noticed Renard and Cromley both snap their heads over to look at Calvin too and Octavia furrowed her brows.
“Why didn’t you tell me about that?” She asked and Calvin sighed, glaring at Pedro again.
“I never told anyone.” He sighed. “Pedro only knew because he was in charge of my financial obligations as hand of the king.”
“And?” I asked. “Were they able to do it?”
Calvin shook his head at first, but then tilted it back and forth. “They haven’t yet, but they’re extremely close.” He muttered.
“They also in more recent years, since I met you, have been working on a chemical to add to our blood that would guard against our aversion to the sunlight.”
I widened my eyes at him. “So you’re saying that a vampire will be able to not only not need to feed from humans anymore, but they could be outside in the daytime?” I asked.
“In theory.” He nodded, then held his hands up and looked around the room. “None of this has been finalized, they are still working out the kinks,
but they’re close.” He told everyone. “This is also not something that is to leave this room.” He said firmly. “Should the synthetic blood work out, it is something I plan to share with the world and shut down the use of feeder schools.”
He said and I couldn’t help loving him even more for looking out for all of the human girls like the one I was back then. “The day walking though is not something I want to share with everyone.”
He explained. “Even with synthetic blood, there is still going to be plenty of vampires who don’t want to change and them being able to be a danger to humans twenty four hours a day is not ok.”
“Wow.” Octavia whispered, looking down in amazement. “That would be…”
I stood amazed for a moment. Everything I thought I knew about vampires could possibly be changing in the future all thanks to Calvin.
He looked over at me, narrowing his eyes slightly. “But I don’t want this to bare on your decision.” He told me. “It’s possible that it would never happen.”
I shook my head at him. “I told you I was sure before you said any of that, Calvin.” I reminded him. “It’s still what I want, and the idea of the blood and the other research coming to fusion is just a bonus.” I smiled. “I’m sure this is what I want.”
Calvin frowned deeper, small lines forming around his mouth.
“And what about until then?” He asked. “How are you going to eat?” He raised his eyebrows at me. “Are you going to use a blood slave?” I could tell
he was trying to scare me out of it, but I wouldn’t let him. “What is Rose going to think when you are asleep all day and up at night?”
I shrugged at him, smiling slowly. “I was pretty much nocturnal before, Calvin.”
“That’s true.” Logan chimed in and I grinned at him. “Also,” He said awkwardly. “I’d be willing to give her my blood for as long as she needs it.” He told Calvin. “She’d not have to worry about killing anyone, using tainted blood, or some random blood slave.”
Pedro looked back up, as if he was just now joining the conversation. “Rachel?” He said softly and I turned to him. “Are you sure about this?” He asked me. “You want to be like us?” His eyes hopeful.
“I’m sure.” I nodded. “I want to be useful here, and I want to be with Calvin forever.” I sighed, knowing how deeply true it was. Even when he gets on my nerves or won’t listen to me, he’s the one I love and I’ll never stop.
ANYTHING FOR RACHEL