Pedro smiled at me. “I want you to be around forever too.” He said genuinely even though there was still lingering sadness in his heavy eyes. “I’ll turn you myself if he won’t.”
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I gasped slightly at his words, but Calvin reached out for my hand. “That won’t be necessary.” He sighed to him, then he raised my hand to his
mouth and kissed it gently. “You can’t change your mind afterward.” He warned, looking down at me seriously. “And it’s going to hurt like hell.”
“Nothing can hurt worse than not being able to save my daughter myself.” I said confidently, amazing myself that I kept the nerves out of my voice even though I could feel them swimming in the pit of my stomach. “This is what I want.”
“Ok.” Calvin whispered.
“Ok?” I repeated him, the slightest of a crack breaking into my voice. He acted like he didn’t notice it.
He brushed my stray hairs away from my face, his cold hand leaving a trail on my skin. “I just want you to be happy, Rachel.” He told me. “Whatever you want to do.”
I took his hand in mine and held it to my cheek. “All I need to be happy is you and Rose forever.” I whispered. “Even eternity isn’t enough time with you.” I sighed.
Calvin smiled deeply, his dimples forming and I couldn’t help but smile in return. “Now who is the cheesy one?” He asked quietly. “I love you.” He whispered.
“You’ll still feel the same…after?” I asked carefully.
Calvin laughed at me and kissed me hard. “Nothing could change that.” He whispered before he leaned in to kiss me swiftly.
When he leaned away I winked at him. “I guess you’re stuck with me forever now.”
He chuckled and yanked me forward into his chest and he held me tightly. “Not nearly long enough, but I’ll take it.”
Cromley smiled at us. “This is good.” He nodded. “If she goes with us, that’s one more person to fight with us.” He said happily.
“We should re-work the plans with her in it now.” Renard said, ripping off a little piece of paper to represent me and adding it to the blueprint. “How many you think you can take alone, Rachel?” He asked. I dropped my jaw and looked up at Calvin and he patted my back. “I’m only kidding with you.” Renard laughed.
“But you will be helping fight, won’t you?”
“I don’t know if I’ll be any good, but of course I’ll be helping.” I said quickly. “Should I go over the plans too?” I asked, walking over, but Calvin caught my hand.
“It would be better to look at them afterward.” He shrugged. “You’ll have a stronger memory for that type of thing, and they need to work you into the plan first anyhow.”
Calvin took me by the hand over to Pedro. “Are you sure you can do this?”
Pedro asked Calvin softly. “I can come with you.”
Calvin shook his head. “I can do it.” He nodded. “This room is a little crowded though.” Calvin hinted and Pedro smiled, reaching into his pocket to fish out his key.
He handed it over to Calvin and then looked down at me, pulling me over to hug him. “I hope you are still just as much as a pain in my butt
afterwards.” He winked, trying to seem ok, but I could tell he was still really hurting.
I leaned back and reached up, tapping Pedro on the nose with my index finger. “I’m always going to live to annoy you.”
“Welcome to the family.” He smiled and then I followed Calvin out of the room and down the hall to Pedro’s room.
Now that I had talked everyone into it, the nerves kicked up. I knew this was what I wanted to do. I needed to be stronger and I didn’t want to grow old and leave Calvin behind, so the only answer was to become the thing I used to hate so much.
I sat down on the foot of the bed and looked up at Calvin. He looked just as nervous as I was. He chewed his lips as he looked down on me, his eyes searching mine, probably waiting for me to scream that I’d changed my mind and go running from the room, but I knew I wasn’t going to do that. As much as vampires have taken from me over my short lifetime, they have also given me so much, and if someone like Calvin can be raised this way and still be so perfect, then I’m sure I can do some good too.
“I’m sure.” I whispered to him again and he nodded as he looked down at me.
He reached forward and took the bottom of my sweatshirt in his hands, lifting it up and off of my body slowly, laying it on the bed beside me. “Lay back.” He instructed me and with a racing heart and heavy breaths I scooted back on the bed and laid down on my back. I felt Calvin’s cool hand on my foot, but I couldn’t look at him, or anything at all other than the ceiling above me. I focused in on it, reminding myself over and over of my reasons for why I was doing this.
After a few seconds, my nerves made it hard to even look at the ceiling, so I closed my eyes tightly as I felt Calvin’s hand slid slowly up from my foot and trailed easily up my leg as he climbed onto the bed. My heart seemed to go impossibly faster when he continued to drag his hand up my body, leaving chills behind, until his had was at the side of my neck and I could feel that he was looming over me, watching my face. “Open them.” He whispered and I fluttered my eyes at his command. I marveled again at his beauty. His dark brown hair hanging down, his strong jaw, his dimples that were visible without even needing to smile, his perfectly straight nose and his pink lips, but those eyes…those smoky blue eyes that I could live in forever.
He carefully held my face in both of his hands and came down slowly, kissing me with parted lips. He held me in place as he pulled back slightly. “I love you, Rachel.” He whispered, then his mouth was suddenly at my neck, and everything blacked out.
So dark. I hate the dark. I always have, so why am I here? What is that feeling? It’s all over my body, burning in my veins, tearing me apart, or maybe freezing my blood into solid stone inside of me, making me ache. I don’t know what’s happening. I’m conscious. I was just with Calvin, and now I’m here. My body seems to fall away from me, I’m nothing but thoughts anymore, yet pain is still in them. How can I hurt without a body? It didn’t make sense, but that didn’t stop the freezing pain from turning to the pain of being burned alive or pressed with a trillion red hot coals over and over. My mind is coming and going. I remember Calvin was here. Calvin was with me, kissing me, and then…The bite. That’s right, he bit me. God, it hurt, but then I was here. I can’t feel him anymore and that terrifies me. I can’t feel me either. Did something go wrong? Oh, god. Did he accidently kill me?
Was the bite too much for him? “Calvin?” I try to call to him, but I know it wasn’t loud enough. “Calvin!”
“Calvin!” My voice, it’s real now. It came out of my throat and mouth instead of just echoing around in my head. I noticed how different my voice sounded to me now. I heard the pitch in a new way, every dulcet tone standing out to me in my mind. I realized I have a very modulated voice, even though before I’d assumed my voice too pitchy to be thought attractive.
At the same time as I was thinking of my voice, I was noticing the smell around me. Definitely mildew, and moth balls, and some kind of cheap cleaner that doesn’t have nearly enough bleach in it. The smells were weirdly vibrant to me. The sounds were everywhere too. Someone laughing raucously, a TV humming, a man’s nasally snores.
I knew the different sensations all taking place in my mind, none taking a bigger precedent over the other, instead just intermingling and processing through without confusion should have alerted me. I knew my reaction should be fear of what was happening to me and why I was able to think so quickly, but I wasn’t afraid. I was too busy immersing myself in it all.
I sensed someone near me, and I knew who it would be. I braced myself, taking a voluntary deep breath that did nothing for me other than make me feel slightly more normal after I realized I hadn’t taken a breath in a solid minute and a half. I continued the influx of air, manually filling and then dumping my lungs as I opened my eyes.
The light was brilliant even though it was just a small red and green lamp beside the bed that threw all of the grandiloquent light across the room. Grandiloquent. I didn’t even realize I knew how to use that word. I’d seen in in books before, but now it just popped into my mind, eloquently
describing the way the warm, brilliant golden light fanned across the sparse and tiny room.
I moved my head slightly, and there he was again. “Rachel?” He whispered my name, his singsong voice like music in my ears. I wanted to hear him repeat my name over and over, and I found that replaying that memory in my mind was much simpler than it should have been; it was like he really was repeating it even though his face was completely still.
“Beautiful.” I whispered as I looked up at him. As much as everything else looked, sounded, and smelled different, it was like Calvin couldn’t be touched by anything, not even heightened vampire senses.
Holy shit. Is that what this is? Heightened senses? Am I really a vampire now?
“That’s funny.” He whispered, his eyes playful as he looked down at me, and then I did notice something different. His eyes, those perfect smoky blue eyes that I never dreamed could be more beautiful had little tiny flecks of silver in them right outside of the irises that I’d never seen before. “I was just thinking how beautiful you are.” He smiled, the light shimmering off of his pristine teeth. My husband is the most beautiful man in all of creation. I’m certain of it. “How do you feel?” He asked carefully and I sat up slowly.
At least I tried to sit up slowly.
I was upright without even really thinking about it and I nearly knocked my head into his. He laughed, but I felt a little strange. I am still sure I wanted this, but I guess he’d been a little right when he’d said I didn’t take the time to think it all through. I never even thought about the speed I’d have now. Now that I remembered though, the temptation to test it out was too strong.
I shot off of the bed and did a lap around the room in a mere second and was back entirely in the exact same spot as if I’d never left it. It was amazing how even when moving so lightning fast I could still pick out every single detail around me.
“I take that as you are feeling well, then?” Calvin chuckled and I wanted to melt in the sound of it.
“I am feeling…” I sighed. “I’m feeling everything .” I giggled, covering my mouth with my hands to contain it.
Calvin’s smile was infectious. “It can be quite jarring at first.” He amended, and then he narrowed his eyes slightly. “That was really fast.” He said suddenly.
“What do you mean?” I asked, running my hand through my hair and marveling at how silky it felt.
He looked deep into my eyes and shook his head, smiling slowly. “Most people are in the changing process for hours, to days sometimes.” He said.
I raised my eyebrows and shrugged. “How long did I take?” A short moment of panic as I started to think maybe I’d taken weeks or something and missed the entire saving Rose mission.
“Less than twenty five minutes.” He told me and he pointed over to the clock even though it didn’t mean anything to me since I hadn’t even bothered to check the time when we came in here. “You feel ok?” He asked me again. “It obviously worked.” He mumbled to himself, furrowing his brows. “You’re hearts not beating,” As he said it a small panic rose again and I put my hand to my chest until he pulled it down. “Which it isn’t supposed to be doing anymore.” He laughed then went back to his serious face. “You’re awake, and you’ve got the enhanced speed, and I’m assuming
strength too.” He smiled. “So I guess that everything went as it should, I’ve just never heard of someone turning so quickly.”
I shrugged it off and grinned at him. “Does it make you feel weird that I’m as strong as you are now?” I asked him and then winked. “You aren’t afraid I’ll take advantage of you, are you?”
He narrowed his eyes at me and shook his head, holding back his smile.
“Eternal life made you cocky, didn’t it?” He smirked.
“Too bad you still aren’t stronger than me.”
“And why not?” I countered. “I’m a brand new vampire, shouldn’t I be stronger than you?”
Calvin rolled his eyes and sighed. “You read way too much vampire folklore.” He told me. “You’re stronger than a human for sure, but you aren’t stronger than me.” He laughed. “You’ll still need to pick your battles because each of us have different strength levels depending on what we started with when we were changed, and I’ll have you know I was very physically capable before I was turned, so I am positive I can still take you.”
I giggled at the thought that popped into my head. “I have a hard time picturing you hitting them gym.” I admitted and Calvin burst out laughing with me.
“You still just say whatever comes to your mind, don’t you?”
I shrugged. “I guess I do.”
“Good.” He smiled and I couldn’t believe the feelings inside me. Feelings that have no words to describe them, no matter how hard you try or how many dictionaries you search relentlessly. My love for the man who was sitting in front of me wasn’t something definable, it was perfection in the
truest of forms and I wanted to bathe myself forever more in the warm glow I feel inside of me every time his eyes meet mine. No decision was better made than this one that would keep me with him for the rest of time. My one, my love, my Calvin. “What are you thinking?” He asked me, tapping his finger to the center of my forehead and then trailing it down my cheek to dip it under my chin and tilt my face up as he leaned in and kissed me.
I sighed into it, the feeling of his lips against mine. They weren’t cold anymore, they were just the same as me. “Cheesy things.” I whispered to him. “I’m forever thinking cheesy things when I’m around you.”
He leaned his head against mine and grinned. “At least I’m not the only one.” He laughed. “Do you have any idea how much I love you?” He asked.
“As much as I love you.” I answered him. “Which is a lot.”
“A lot is not nearly a big enough amount.” He laughed.
. ANYTHING FOR RACHEL