Jason emerged from the bedroom, wiping his bloodied hands. He knelt before Robyn and gently tugged at the antler.
“Jason! What’re you--” I began to argue, when he held a hand out to stop me. I quieted and watched. Bruno’s skin had started to heal, but it was a slow process. Far slower than when he had touched that silver knife back in San Mateo.
Jason continued to pull the antler until it was entirely free. He set it aside and took care in lifting her to a sitting position. I was in awe to see she was still alive! She looked woozy, as her lids hung low and she winced at her pain; but with any normal person, shoving a sharp object directly through their heart out the other side would surely put them to death. He undid the necklace she wore and tucked it into his side pocket as he bit into his wrist and held it to her mouth to feed her.
“Chris is alive. As alive as a member of the undead can be, at least.” Jason reported, while Robyn’s wound closed before my eyes. “He’s suffered sustainable damage, had he been human, he surely would have died. As for my child, he was foolish in his attempt to reach you before dusk.”
“You mean...the sunlight did this t-to him?” I stammered quietly, as I held him closer. The charred black scaly parts of his skin fell like flower petals, revealing supple, butterscotch skin underneath...inked with tattoos across his arms. He still laid his head upon my shoulder, his eyes closed.
Jason nodded in reply, “When one is incapable of withstanding the sun, it can do damage unlike any other...with the exception of a true death of course. It’s unfortunate that I am unable to transfer my abilities unto my creations; but I’m genetically capable of walking in daylight.”
“How?” I asked.
“Even I cannot answer that. Scientists are still searching for answers to why some of us can stand it. Had my child called me, I would’ve been here in an instant. I am lucky I got here when I did, you almost killed your friend and the demon would have travelled.” Jason finished healing Robyn and picked her up in his arms as he stood up. “But as for my child, he is young, there are many things he still must learn. Learning comes through experience.” He turned to leave, but I called out to him.
“Jason.” He glanced over his shoulder at me, “Is it...the demon...is it gone?” Unknown tears crept at my ducts, causing my throat to hurt from my attempts to hold them back. I was afraid deep down inside. I had a front as if I could handle anything, but I was truly scared.
“Yes. I don’t suppose her grandmother is at peace, but she’s sealed away in a distant world; never to return to ours again.”
“Can I live my life in peace again? I-I just want to be with Bruno and j-just...” I looked down and wiped my tears away, “I just want to marry him...and have a family...and live as an artist.”
“I’m sorry, Roxanne.” Jason replied solemnly, “But I’m afraid it will be many years before you can have any semblance of normalcy.” He left us there, maybe to return to the hospital for Robyn, maybe to go somewhere to heal her magically. I had no idea, but I didn’t care.
I was being selfish, but I couldn’t give a shit anymore.
I wanted this to be over. I thought this was the end. But then I recalled that memory of Jason asking Bruno to fight alongside him if anything were to happen. I knew he was foreshadowing something ominous.
I hugged Bruno tightly, and I felt, for the first time that evening, his arms enclose around me too. It was comforting. “I love you.” He finally spoke.
“I love you too Bruno.”
I was alone for the first month of my tour. Bruno and his crew wouldn’t be joining me until it was time for me to wrap things up in Tokyo. For now, I had to perform in Germany and Russia.
It was the first time since his death, that we had been apart for such an extended period of time. Of course while he was alive, we were both busy in our own respects; but after going through so much trauma with someone, it’s like being in the Twilight Zone when you’re sitting in your hotel room at night, alone, hugging your knees to your chest as you listen to “Blackout” by Hybrid on continuous repeat with so much liquor at your disposal.
I wish I could say I was alright; because my fans assumed I was. I put on a show with a smile and danced my ass off. They paid good money to come see me, they deserved that much. I even endured long lines and encountered many a fan in the streets who wanted a photograph. Not once did I frown, sigh, whine, or complain.
But I came back to the hotel and slept with nightmares. I would awake from them, in such a state of disarray that I needed to turn the lights on just to feel halfway decent. The six hour time difference made it difficult to speak to Bruno. In the daytime he couldn’t speak; but I was performing and making attempts to rest whatever chance I got in the evening.
We ended up communicating through spaced out texts. He finally had a constant phone number I could reach him at. A simple ‘I love you’ would come in at 1am my time; only to receive an ‘I love you too’ at 11am his time.
I called Ashley, she was a morning person; and it was 9am there, and 3am here. When I first arrived in Berlin, I made it a point to call her and relay everything about Robyn to her. I could tell she took it pretty hard, she was still trying to avoid the supernatural world as much as she could; but she didn’t leave me to be alone and suffer, she would listen to me and that was all I truly needed.
Someone to listen.
However, she didn’t answer her phone; which really sucked because I needed something to get my mind off of the madness. There was a knock at my door that jolted my nerves and I clutched my phone as I stood up. “Who is it?” I called.
“Your favorite person.” I heard a female voice that threw me for a loop. Was it...?
I swung the door open and there stood Ashley, grinning ear to ear. I lunged at her and nearly toppled her petite, frail frame with my overexcitement. “Oh my God, oh my God I can’t believe you came all the way here! Why?” I sputtered as I brought her into my room and closed the door behind her.
“I can’t have my girl on tour and mentally unstable. I can’t stay more than a week, but I’m sure that’ll be more than enough time for me to whip you back into your proper mind!” She giggled.
“Why do they want to see me?” Bruno asked, straightening his tie as he walked briskly down the hall of the Chateau Marmont alongside his creator.
“It’s highly important when they call you to their attention. Especially with her. I need you to agree with everything they tell you. I mean it, child, you will understand when this is all over.” Jason knocked upon the door where the meeting was supposed to be held with the Commander of the Elitists.
“It’s open, please come in.” A sultry feminine voice purred. Jason pushed the door open and gestured for Bruno to head inside alone. He stepped back and watched his child enter the room, before closing it.
“Please listen to me Bruno, please.” He quietly murmured under his breath as he turned and walked away.
Bruno was completely thrown out of his element and he had to admit, he was a tad bit shaken up. He had been rehearsing for his upcoming tour, his re-debut onto the music scene; and that was enough pressure as it was. Would his Hooligans still love and admire him the way they did when he was human? Would they love his new music? Or cast hatred toward him because of what he was?
These questions aside; during the rehearsal, he received an important call from Jason, instructing him to dress impeccably and meet him as quickly as possible. Bruno had to rush home and get dressed in vampire speed, which wasn’t the difficult part.
It was taming those godforsaken curls atop his head. He didn’t know his way around beauty products to save his life; but after growing up watching his sisters flat iron their hair, he figured he could put the darn thing into his hair and make it look as beautiful as his stylists often did before events and shows.
No, he couldn’t.
He struggled with the flatiron and continuously burned himself. Not only were the plates of the iron piping hot, but they were silver. He became so frustrated that he hurled the thing at his wall, forgetting his supernatural strength that sent the iron straight through the thick plaster and now he had a hole in his apartment wall.
He ended up having to call Urbana, Phil’s wife, and ask her to help him out; which she did happily, although it was last minute.
So here he stood; dressed sharp, smelling fresh, and hair in a brilliant bouffant. Yet he felt shaken apart inside. Of course with his stunning smile and kind eyes; nobody would know his true state.
The woman, who sat in a victorian-style chair that almost appeared to be a throne, was thin and brown skinned with ridiculously long crimson colored hair that was in a braid, falling over her right shoulder. Her eyes were hypnotizing and yellow; not hazel, but an unnatural bright yellow. “You must be Bruno.” She said, “Please, make yourselfcomfortable.” She gestured to the seat across from her. He wondered, if she was the head of the Elitists, why she had no security.
He was unaware, however, that she was plenty thousands of years old, and plenty powerful. Far more so than his Creator, who was a god in his eyes. “I apologize if I’ve disrupted you from anything, my name is Orielle, and I am the commander of the Elitists.” She smiled, her teeth white and flawless.
“It’s an honor to meet you.” Bruno politely responded, flashing his own equally amazing smile.
“Why thank you.” She placed her hands in her lap. “I’ve called you here because I have heard many pleasing things about you since you’ve been turned, dear Bruno. You see, words of praise rarely make it up to my ears; and when they do, I make it a point to get to know the vampire in particular.”
He didn’t know how to respond, so he just nodded.
“You have an unusually high amount of courage and loyalty; not to mention I’ve recently been shown that you were vastly talented as a human as well.”
‘Please don’t mention Little Elvis...’ He thought to himself, as he wore a poker face.
“That being said, courage can result in foolish decisions, with loyalty comes betrayal, and musical instrumentation is worthless to our kind.”
‘Well damn.’ He thought again at her instant shut-down.
“It is your untapped abilities as a vampire that I find valuable.”
“I’m sorry, my untapped abilities? I have no idea what you’re talking about.” He lifted a brow. He honestly had no clue what she meant.
Orielle smiled, “Bruno, you mean to tell me your Creator hasn’t said anything to you about it? My, what an untapped well of energy you are.”
If he had a working heart, it would be racing. “Wh-what?” He asked.
“Bruno, dear, sometimes when a vampire is turned, certain chemicals within the body dramatically alter the original DNA. This can result in daywalking in some, abilities to reproduce in others, telepathy is another. These are all very,very rare. And with the rate that young vampires die, most never get to hone their craft.”
Bruno wanted to rush her in this extensive explanation, because if he had an ability to reproduce, he was royally fucked six ways to Sunday because “contraceptives” wasn’t even in his vocabulary once he realized he couldn’t contract diseases anymore and couldn’t get anyone pregnant.
“Do me a favor, Bruno.” She said, reaching over and picking up a piece of plain paper. She held it up. “Focus on destroying this paper. Stay seated.”
He gave her a confused look, “I can’t do it from here.”
Still thoroughly confused, Bruno stared the paper down, feeling stupid as he concentrated on destroying it. He halfway thought he was going to grow another arm out of his head and rip it or something; anything was possible after the experiences he’s had.
Frustrated at the fact that he probably just was looking constipated; he began to get upset, and the stress of his career was probably a factor too.
However, as soon as his emotions began to bubble to the surface, the paper spontaneously combusted into a bright blue flame and the ashes fell into Orielle’s extended palms; some of them floating down to the floor.
He jumped back in his seat at what had just happened.
“Just as I hypothesized; Bruno, you have the power of psychokinesis.”
It was another night, another successful show; and afterwards, Ashley suggested we go find a diner somewhere, since it was so late. These past few days; she’s been an amazing presence in my life and my mood did a complete 180 flip.
As we sat down and ordered (the poor waiter barely spoke English); we took off our jackets and settled into our seats comfortably. “So this new album, what are the songs sounding like? I never got a sample yet!” Ashley asked.
“It still needs a lot of mixing down; and then the label has to approve it. But...this time I have a lot more live instrumentation because I’m working with Bruno; so it still has that poppy synth style that I produce, but you can so tell that he was a major force in it. I feel like...it’s more vulnerable you know?” I explained, and Ashley nodded.
“I think your fans like that, I know I do.”
“Yeah...I don’t do it often but I’ve just gone through so much that these songs reflect my growth and journey. I’m really excited.”
“You should be! You deserve all the success you get.” Ashley mused, lifting her hot cider to toast my milkshake. “Seriously, I don’t know why you’re so crazed all the time.”
“I’m telling you, it’s nothing but the supernatural. My human life is just fine and dandy.” I sighed.
Ashley gave me a look, “Uh oh.”
“You don’t sound like your human life is fine and dandy. I know you sweetie, there’s something your not telling me.”
“You’re gonna think I’m stupid.”
“Really? Me? C’mon Roxy...seriously.” She rolled her eyes and the waiter set our plates of food down in front of us.
I looked down at my eggs and pushed them around on the plate. “Ok, so I was like thinking about my future and stuff...and like...I’m wondering what it’s going to look like.”
Ashley shrugged, “Easy. You’ll be in a mansion somewhere with Bruno, married, sickeningly in love and with a big family and a successful career.”
I chuckled, “Not so easy.”
“What? You think you’ll be fighting evil your whole life?”
“No, it’s not that.” I paused, “Though that sounds plausible too.”
“Then what is it?”
“Well, first of all I can’t have kids--”
Ashley gasped softly, “Are you--are you...infertile?”
“I’ll never find out because Bruno can’t make...children, you know.”
She frowned, “Wait, what? Why can’t he?”
“Well he’s like...dead, Ashley.”
“Oh...” She tried to understand, “So when you guys...you know...does he...you know...?”
Oh my God.
I totally didn’t expect this conversation to go in this direction.
“Yes.” I cut her off before she could insinuate any further. “Yes he does; but you know, I don’t know the science of it but he’s technically dead so nothing is alive. This is not where I meant to go with this conversation Ash.”
She blushed, “Right, right.” She ate some of her food and so did I. “But anyway, you act like adoption isn’t an option. There’s plenty of babies that need homes and loving parents.”
I sighed, “I mean yeah I know that; but every girl who wants a family is excited to have that experience of carrying life inside of you, even if some of it is hell on earth. I want to see what my genes and his genes can make, and I never will.”
“Hey, you don’t know that.”
“Did you not hear what I just explained?”
“Well, in my movie, Bella just so happens to get pregnant by Edward even though it was thought to be impossible.”
“Ashley, Breaking Dawn is not fucking real!” I exclaimed.
“We thought vampires weren’t real either.” She challenged.
I wasn’t going to have this argument with her.
I just knew I couldn’t get pregnant.
And I knew I was upset about it.
“I’ll tell you how your kids would look...freakishly white teeth that look unnatural, and a head full of impossible-to-manage hair.”
“Ah ah.” She shook her finger at me, “I’ve seen your hair when it’s wet and without extensions.”
I ended up giving up my defense and just laughing because honestly...she was right. And the idea of giving some baby without a proper home a place to stay did make me feel warm inside. Of course, I had no time for a child. I’m twenty two years old and in the middle of a tour and an album. But I most certainly had caught baby fever out of nowhere.
“But another thing I worry about is...I’m aging Ashley. I’m going to get old.”
“Hm.” She pondered, “I didn’t think about that...”
“Ugh.” I clutched my hair and groaned, “I will stop attending events with him once I turn 40. I’ll start looking like I’m his grandmother or something!”
Ashley rolled her eyes. “You will not look like a grandmother at 40, stop that. You know he would turn you in a heartbeat if you asked him to.”
“Yeah but...should I?”
Ashley pointed her fork at me. “Now that, is a decision that I will not make for you.”
“I’ve kinda thought about it lately, and with Jason saying how it’ll be years before I can be normal again...if I had all this strength and speed, wouldn’t that make things easier?” I wondered my private thoughts aloud to my bestfriend. I needed someone else’s input and I felt like she was the only one left unscathed by this supernatural curse.
“Maybe for those years, and then when you want to be normal but you can’t go out in daylight...then what? There’s no going back from death sweetie. I will say, however, that you should really really think about this seriously. I’d love you if you were a wildebeest, sometimes you eat like one--”
I reached across and shoved her and she laughed. “But anyway, I would love you regardless because you’re my best friend; but that’s something that would affect your lifestyle forever, and you also have to be sure you want to be with Bruno for the rest of your life.”
“Of course I do, he’s perfect.” I shrugged. That wasn’t an issue at all.
“Yeah but if that’s the case, where did Rupert come from?”
For once, I was quieted.
I mean, she had a point. There was that time where I had issues with what Bruno was, and I thought about my future and ran the other way, into the arms of the completely wrong man.
“I don’t know...I have to think about all this, it just feels good to get it out in the open. He said he wanted to marry me, after the tour.”
“And what do you think about that?”
“I’m going to say yes of course...I mean, he hasn’t mentioned it since so I don’t know if he still does or if he’s been so thrown by this whole ordeal that he forgot.” I frowned, my insecurities surfacing yet again.
“Stop that.” Ashely slapped my wrist. “Now I see how your mind works, you don’t think you’re good enough for happiness!” She shook her head as she continued, “No man who’s in love will forget they want to marry someone, no matter what happens in their life. You didn’t even ask him again.”
“I don’t want to, I don’t wanna push him, y’know?” I shrugged.
“You’re one of those females, I can see it now Roxy.” Ashley waved her fork around as she spoke. “The ones who get all up in arms thinking their man is cheating on them or doesn’t love them, so they pack all their bags because they decide in their heads that a woman should leave before she gets left...only to find he’s been gone so much because he’s been designing the house they’re gonna move into, or he’s gonna propose or something.”
I let her rant, listening.
“You’re thinking like this because you haven’t talked to him properly in nearly a month now. Here, let me sum up your brain for you....1. You will probably adopt children, but you don’t have any time for children right now; 2. You have a good ten to fifteen years before aging even hints at showing anywhere on you, so you have a good ten to fifteen years to think about being turned; 3. If he’s mentioned marriage, he hasn’t forgotten it. You didn’t even give him a chance to wait till the end of the timespan he gave you!; 4. You’re with an amazing man who’s sacrificed hislife, literally, for your happiness, if he’s dumb enough to fuck that up for some unearthly reason, he’s the one who’s stuck being a vampire, not you.”
“Checkmate,” She said with a wink to me before holding her hand up, “And, check please!”