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Right I've got to explain, this is going to be very confusing to anyone who doesn't understand. This is a story I'm writing with my friend Kitala on msn and we each write a piece and then send it. We each choose either a different persons perspective or just do a 3rd person view.  The point of view switches around alot but if you can get your head around it it should make sense and make for good reading. The different parts are marked in different colours so it shouldn't be too hard. There are no chapters so its one big block of writing but I'm sure if you can handle the way its written you can handle its layout.

 

Back

3 year old Jade sat in a couch near the fire, playing with a doll enthusiastically, bringing it to her chest before throwing it, giggling as Leila's friendly older dog that had somehow got in the woman’s good graced brought it back to the girl, gently placing it in her lap. The child had white blonde hair that was wavy, the occasional curl appearing before it stopped at her mid back while her amber eyes looked at the doll with amusement dancing in them. 

Her life was so simple, she knew nothing of the world, she was young, and I loved her. She was my daughter, how could I not. It didn’t matter how she was conceived, she was still my baby, and she was beautiful. We often sat like this at night, her playing by the fire and me...well I just watched. She was an extraordinary child, loving and gentle, but so solitary. Just like I was. 

She looked up to Leila, eyes the color of the sky...the same color as her own, looking up at the woman with plaintive innocence. 

She looked like myself, I never knew what her father looked like, but she got very little from him, and it would appear nothing at all sometimes. I hated her father for doing what he did to me, for giving me her, but I also loved him for it, for giving me this wonderful daughter. Words cant describe the mixture of emotions I felt when I learnt I was pregnant. But I hate dwelling on the past. Looking to the girl in front of me I smiled "Yes? Are you ok?" 

"A man was in my room last night" she giggled, "he said not to tell you though" she said, taking on a more serious tone. 

I smiled at her "It was probably just a dream dearest" She had such and active imagination sometimes, it worried me at points, but I knew she would grow out of it.

   "But he said he was my daddy" Jade said, widening her eyes earnestly. 

My breath caught in my throat and the blood drained from my face. It was imposable, wasn’t it? I got up and walked across the room, staring out of the window I talked to my daughter "You shouldn't play tricks on me, Jade" 

"I'm not!" she protested, "his hair was long and nearly white, like mine, and he had red eyes and was wearing black pants and a red shirt." 

I almost screamed, I recognized that description. Spinning round I caught my daughter by the shoulder "If you see this man again you come straight to me, you hear? Don’t let him touch you or say anything, just run to me!" I demanded, my voice rising slightly 

"Mommy?" she asked, clinging to her mother in fear of her voice. 

"Are you listening?! Come straight to me! Tell me you understand!" I was almost screaming. The description told me it was a vampire, but to which vampire was anyone’s guess. 

"Okay!" she said, "I promise!" 

I breathed a sigh of relief and brought her into a hug "Good girl" I muttered. 

Jade ran upstairs and got dressed in her pajamas, running back down to her Mother. Her pajama top was sloppily strewn on, her pants on backwards and twisted...as a 3 year old she did not yet have 'dressing skills'. Holding a book out to Leila she asked, "story? Before bed?" 

I grinned at the book my daughter had chosen; it was one of my own. "Ok, but just this once" I opened the cover of the black book and began to "read" I put it into fairy tale mode for my daughter "There was once a brave hunter called D, and he went in search of the beautiful Charlotte Elbourne, who had been kidnapped by the dreaded Meier Link..." 

"Why did he kidnap her?" she girl asked with wide eyes. 

I sighed, she was too young to understand, I knew, but she loved to hear it anyway "Because he loved her, and would have done anything to have her,” I said in a spooky voice.

 Jade nodded, her silence an indication to continue with the story. 

I read long into the night, not aware of the time. Jade stayed awake until the end of the story "...And D watched as they flew away together" I always got teary eyes when I remembered when I had watched as Meier and Charlotte fly away together. It would have been beautiful if I hadn’t known that there were only two dead people on the shuttle. 

Jade heard a light banging upstairs as her window opened and a vampire with white hair stepped into her room and left a pendant for her on her desk. Unbeknownst to her, the sound was too soft for human ears. 

"Oh would you look at the time, Jade you'd better get off to bed" Once I saw her climb the stairs I grabbed my pen and began to write a letter.

Once Jade got upstairs she spied a forest green tear shaped stone on her desk with a note underneath. Excitedly running downstairs she handed her mother the note to read her that said, 'the gem that is your namesake, sweetest daughter, enjoy it well.' There was no name signed. 

I stared at the note curiously, it was definitely written by a vampire, and an old one most likely. The fact that it was written in blood told me so. "Jade you are not to wear this unless I say you can, ok?" I had to make a compromise, I had already shouted at my daughter once, at least if I said she could where it when I said I could avoid a tantrum. 

"Can I wear it now?" she asked innocently, holding it up as if to put it on. 

"Yes, you can wear it now, but you must take it off tomorrow night, is that alright?" I figured that the vampire wouldn’t be back tonight so it seemed ok. I don’t even know why I didn’t want her to wear it, probably just me being suspicious. 

"Yay" the girl giggled, setting it around her neck. "Do I look pretty?" 

"Absolutely beautiful" I said with a grin, she looked like a little princess "Now off to bed, or I wont let you wear it tomorrow" 

"Okay!" she yelled, running upstairs into her room. 

I shook my head and began to write again. I found I could hardly keep my eyes open and wondered why I was even attempting to write whilst I was so tired. I dragged myself up the stairs and was asleep before I hit the pillow. 

Jade ran into her mother’s room that morning, green pendant swinging from off her neck and looking ridiculously large on such a small child. 

I groaned as my daughter jumped on me. I opened my eyes slightly and tried to remember what happened last night. I finally remembered when I saw the large gem hanging from Jades neck. I gave myself a couple of seconds to figure everything out when I finally remembered the note. "Daughter..." I muttered. I was suddenly wide-awake as I began getting flashbacks. 

"I'm hungry,” the girl chirped as she pulled on 2 of Leila's fingers to get her downstairs to make breakfast. 

As my flickered through random images my mind settled on the most traumatic experience. I could almost feel it as I saw myself slammed against a wall. A flash of white hair, a red eye, a pointed tooth, all I saw before the blackness enveloped me. I also remembered waking up in a dark alleyway, my clothes torn, alone, but I wasn’t alone, there was something growing inside me. My eyes finally cleared 

"Mommy?" the girl asked, her voice softer, fearful, "mommy what's wrong?!" she asked as her mother became distant. 

I was brought back as my daughter talked to me. I was vaguely aware of the tears on my face but concentrated on Jade "I'm ok, mommy's ok" I allowed her to pull me up and watched as she ran down the stairs ahead of me. I had no idea how to explain to her what she might be half of. 

"I can't reach it!" the girl exclaimed, reaching for them. 

I reached for the can and made the soup quickly. We ate and talked about the usual stuff, nothing too interesting, until Jade mentioned something about vampires, and I decided it was now or never. 

"Are vampires like the Meier Link man in the story all bad?" she asked innocently. 

"No" I said quietly "Not all of them, you know D was part vampire too, and was he a bad man?" 

"No, he was good" the girl said, grinning mischievously. 

"Yes he was! He was very good,” I laughed, but then my face turned serious "The man that comes into your room is a bad man" 

"But he hasn't been mean to me" she said seriously. 

"Well Meier Link wasn’t bad to Charlotte was he?" I tried to get her into a frame of mind where I could tell her what she was, but I couldn’t find the right time. 

"But you said he was bad" the girl retorted.

"But he loved Charlotte." 

"Yes" I was finally getting her to understand "And your father loves you, but that doesn’t mean he's a good man." I was sure the vampire in Jades room was her father. 

"But why do you think he's a vampire?" asked the girl innocently. 

I brought Jade onto my lap and began stroking her hair "I don’t think Jade, I know, and I also know that it makes you half vampire" I could see the tears well up in her eyes and had to think quickly "you're just like D, his father was a vampire too" 

"But you used to kill vampires. You promise you won't ever kill me?" the girl asked her, leaning her head against the woman’s chest. 

"I wont kill you, I didn’t kill D" I smiled "Although a few times I came close" I laughed it off and prayed D would come quickly. 

"Why?" she asked, starting to play with a button on the woman’s shirt. 

"Why what?" I questioned, I was still slightly sleepy, my mind was weary but my body felt alive with energy, just like it used to be.

 "Did you come close to killing him? 

"Because he was quiet" I knew it sounded stupid as soon as I said it "And because he was annoying, like you!" I began tickling her mercilessly. 

She tried kicking the woman off before simply falling into a fit of giggles. 

We ran round the house taking it in turn chasing each other, it was fun, I hardly ever got time to play with my daughter like this. 

Jade lay in her room after the events of the day, bone tired. Turning she saw a man with white hair and aristocratic features before screaming, doing as her mother told her. 

I heard the screaming and was running towards my daughter’s room, gun in hand. I smashed through her door and saw a figure, seemingly waiting for me. His hair was long and his clothes more simply, but there was no mistaking him. "M-Meier?" 

~~’~~,~@@~,~~’~~

 3 years later found D walking through woodland, his parasite nattering in his ear about sunstroke...not like HE had a choice of where to be. "Hey, what's that? Isn't that that big bird you gave that woman?" asked the parasite. 

I looked into the sky, but found nothing but the blazing sun; looking to the floor I saw a bedraggled bird hobbling towards me. It was the raven but it was dying. Getting off my horse I picked the bird up and saw the note attached to its back. I placed the note in my armor for later reading whilst I placed the bird on the floor. It walked towards we and laid its head on my foot.

 "Well...it is, isn't...what was her name again?" it asked, almost trying to reminisce.

 "Leila" I muttered, I was back on my horse now, the bird had died and I left it where it had fallen, such was nature. I was reading the letter she had sent. I could smell her on it. My eyes glazed over the text and I knew where we were heading.

 ~~’~~,~@@~,~~’~~

 6, almost 7, year old Jade ran loudly down the stairs, pausing at the pantry long enough to get a package of crackers.

 "Jade don’t run down the stairs sweetie" I warned my daughter for the millionth time. 

I stopped, looking back at mom before grinning amusedly, she was FAR too cautious; I wasn't about to fall... I drew my face seriously, "okay Mommy, I'm sorry,” I told her sincerely.

 "You’d better be young lady!" I told her with mock anger, shaking my finger in a comical way.

 I raised an eyebrow in amusement, looking at her like 'what ARE you doing?'

 "Don’t you raise you eyebrow at me!" I said, poking her face, I was feeling in a most childish mood.

 Shaking my head I turned back, loping into the kitchen.

 I followed my 6-year-old daughter into the kitchen "Are you hungry?" I grinned looking in the freezer and finally bringing out the ice cream.

"Mom...it's lunchtime, how about he have some sandwiches first" I suggested, used to moms antics. What had gotten into her? I wondered to myself as I went to the fridge to get some bread.

 "Ok" I grumped, I felt like a child that had been told off. Truth be told I was just trying to lighten the mood, for almost 4 years I had been waiting, and I was so sure he would come.

 "Um...bologne or grilled cheese?" I asked, holding up both containers.

 "Grilled I think" I said, turning the serious whilst I made dinner. I kept gazing out the window like I always did, watching and waiting.

 "Can we go out into town after lunch?" I asked, I was SO bored cooped up in the house all the time...we hardly ever went out anymore.

 "Maybe later" I told her quietly "Be a good girl and play outside for a while, you can take the dogs if you want" I smiled at her.

 Dragging along the energetic dog...twice the size of myself, actually...by the scruff of the neck away from the food I grabbed a cookie and watched as he ran ahead of me, narrowing my eyes and chasing him, finally managing to get past him and running backwards, teasing him with a cookie before I ran hard into something solid, losing my footing and hitting my chin hard on the sidewalk.

 I stared down at the small figure, it was almost comical, she hadn’t even seen me. I smelt blood and had to turn my head away. My bloodlust was under control but I still hated the smell of it, too many memories.

 "Owie!" I yelled, cupping my chin in my hand and blinking back tears, sniffling softly.

 I heard my daughter yelling in pain and instantly began panicking. Running outside I saw my daughter on the floor before running into something black and falling to the floor. Placing me much in the same position as Jade.

I saw my mother and ran up to her, "Mommmmy!!!!" I whined, showing her my cut, "it's bleeding" I cried out worriedly.

 I looked down at the woman, holding the child, she had changed, not a lot, but I could tell. She had no fight in her anymore, the hunter was gone. I offered my hand to her.

 "Mommy?" I asked as I watched my mother move forward toward the man, as if entranced.

 I watched as she accepted my offer and I pulled her to her feet. We locked eyes for a second before I found myself being embraced. It was an unusual feeling and I did not know how to respond. I looked to the girl and saw her signaling to me what to do. Cocking my head she giggled and grabbed my arm, pulling it around the woman, who was this girl? 

"I thought you wouldn't come" Leila said, suddenly sounding wearied, "it...it's been 3 years...I sent Hermes out to give you the message...but.." 

I stayed silent, 3 years, it wasnt that long, not to me. 

"I was afraid...afraid he would take her... I cannot fight anymore D. It's gone, I've lost it" I told the man sincerely, fearfully, "a few years ago he never would have been able to come into the house, a vamprie wouldn't have gotten near...and here I let one into my daughters room..."

 "Who?" I said simply, her letter had said nothing of who the vampire was, looking back to the girl I found she had gone, the front door left wide open.  

"Meier...it is Meier who is continually entering this house without my knowledge" Leila told him, looking downward.

 "Leila," I told her quietly crouching down and grasping her shoulder "Meier is gone, you saw him fly off, we both did" I stared into her eyes, I disliked having to say so much, it felt like I was opening up too much. 

 "Trust me, he's back, I have seen him many times,” she said seriously.

 I shook my head, partly through disbelief, and partly because I could feel myself getting hotter. Looking up I noticed it was midday, I should be resting, or at least in the shade.

 "I...he...he keeps visiting Jade, though he hasn't harmed her yet" I told him, looking into his eyes and willing him to understand what I was telling him. I couldn't say it...I couldn't...not after that one conversation years ago

 "Leila..." I wished to talk more but my strength was failing, I was still crouching down and found myself more leaning on Leila than just reassuring her "I need to find some shade" I got up and began walking towards my horse. 

"Come inside, please" I implored him, guiding him inside and tying his horse in the garage.

 I wasn’t looking where I was going and banged my head on the doorframe, my hat fell off but I caught it midair and slammed it back on my head. Once inside Leila led me to the kitchen. 

"The sandwiches!" she exclaimed, running to the sorely burnt food. As she was doing this Jade reached up to flip them, pulling back with a sharp, short exclamation of pain from the burn.

 I winced twice as the two females shouted. Following the sounds I saw a lot of smoke coming from the cooker and Jade holding her hand. I saw her looking at me with an odd expression on her face. I stared back blankly.

"I'll go back and get the stuff for the burns" Leila announced swiftly, running upstairs. Though it wasn't a particularly bad burn it did sting and Jade sat squeezing it with her other hand in a cold cloth. 

Silence...I was used to that...but the child was only 6, she should have been talking my ears off by all rights. There was something not right about her. 

I rubbed my chin, feeling the cut minimalized and no more blood coming from it. "A little good news" I muttered sorely to myself. 

Staring warily at the girl I took off my hat and sword and sat down on one of the stools. Leaning over I could see her from the corner of my eye, but using my hair as a curtain so she couldn’t see me. 

I jumped off the stool as mother once again entered the room, "it's mostly healed now" I told her, holding out the finger, "but it still hurts a bit...I was only trying to flip the food, not touch the pan." 

There was something wrong with the girl, nothing should heal that quickly. The cut on her chin had almost disappeared and the burn was going. I refused to believe what my mind told me. 

As Leila put the ointment on Jade's finger the girl ran over to turn off the burner that was still on. 

The girl came and stood before me and I pretended not to notice her, the last thing I needed was an annoying child asking me questions, sometimes they were worse than insults. 

I looked scrutinizingly at the man who had come to our house, taking my first good look before sighing and shrugging, going to sit on the couch. Leila brought her daughter a large glass of water and asked if D wanted anything. 

"Nothing" I said before adding "Thank you" I never stopped watching Leila’s daughter. She acted like any other child, if not a bit quieter. I sighed and closed my eyes; I usually did this when there was nothing that caught my attention. 

As the girl finished her drink she ran to the freezer, now in the mood for the previous ice cream and held it to her chest, retrieving a bowl, placing it in front of her at the kitchen table. 

I did notice the girl run into the kitchen, but paid no attention. To anyone watching it would have looked as though I was sleeping, but I was fully alert to any dangers that may have arisen. 

Leila stepped in closer, sitting across from the silent hunter worriedly. 

There was a presence; I could feel it, Leila. She seemed to be just watching me. Why? 

As Jade left the kitchen Leila spoke up, "I know it's Meier whose been here...I think I know his aim...on Charlotte, to get revenge for her. He's been leaving Jade 'gifts'." 

My eyes flickered open at the mention of Meier. "Leila, are you certain its him?" I still didn’t want to believe it. We both saw him and Charlotte fly away. 

"I...he left Jade gifts and was visiting her, he left letters signed by him, and catching him in her room one time...I saw him, with my own eyes. Believe me, I wouldn't imagine something like that" she said clearly. 

I nodded submissively, I would have to take her word until I saw him with my own eyes "What do you intend to do?" I asked, I knew it was my job to hunt and kill him, but it would be interesting to see if she had any ideas. 

"I...it's gone...the hunter in me, I would have dealt with him. If I could,” she said, lowering her voice. 

I heard the door slam and both of us looked up. It was still around noon and the sun was blazing through he window. Leila left me on my own as she went to retrieve her daughter. 

I had a headache but kept playing, it was so nice outside! The headache got progressively worse as I felt myself become hard of breath and cried out in pain and fear as I fell against the side of the house, barely hearing my mother calling for me. 

I raised my head as I heard a cry and Leila shouting. I was on my feet and attaching my sword to my back in a manner of second. Walking swiftly from the house I placed my hat on my head and followed the sound of sobbing, which led my to Leila...and Jade. 

Leila sat by Jade asking what was wrong while the girl was writhing on the grass her eyes closed and breathing labored and choking. 

I recognized it instantly; I had felt it so many times myself. Heat syndrome. It could have been mistaken for heat exhaustion except for the fangs, which I could see every time Jade gasped for air. There was something Leila hadn’t told me. Detaching my cloak I covered the girl and took her inside the house. I told Leila to draw the curtains as I laid her on the sofa. I turned to Leila angrily. 

"I couldn't...I...I'm sorry" she said simply. 

"You should have told me,” I hissed. I was unused to the rush of emotion and couldn’t handle it. Slamming my sword and hat down I walked into the hallway a leaned against the wall, breathing slowly, calming myself down. 

Leila approached him softly, "I was afraid to tell you, I don't know why" she looked away, "I...just..." 

I couldn’t talk, I just gritted my teeth and shook my head, causing my hair to cover my face. I couldn’t believe Leila could be so cruel, didn’t she know the type of life Jade would have? 

"Meier...he raped me...that's how she was conceived,” Leila told the man before her. 

I calmed down slightly, so it wasn’t her fault "I-I'm sorry" I stuttered, it seemed like the best thing to say. 

Leila looked down, nodded softly, "I didn't know...not until she was already 3." 

I didn’t know what to say "She's going to have a harsh life" It wasn’t comforting, but it was a start. 

"I know" Leila whispered. 

 

(Rewrite)

We decided we didn't like how it was going so we tried it again

 

 

I recognized it instantly; I had felt it so many times myself. Heat syndrome. It could have been mistaken for heat exhaustion except for the fangs, which I could see every time Jade gasped for air. There was something Leila hadn’t told me. Detaching my cloak I covered the girl and took her inside the house. I told Leila to draw the curtains as I laid her on the sofa. I turned to Leila angrily. 

I turned to him, staring him down, "it was only supposed to be between her and I" said Leila in apologetic tones covered up by the same tone she had used so often as a hunter, "how could I have told you...after our conversation so long ago?" 

"I think I had a right to know,” I said calmly but angrily "When did you intend to tell me? Or were you hoping I wouldn’t" I stared her in the face. Jade had passed out and so I had no problem speaking my mind. 

"She wasn't even supposed to be!" argued Leila, "I didn't know...not until she was 3 years old and it was too late to do anything about it." 

I was angry with her, angry because she withheld information, and angry because she had placed Jade's life in danger "You knew she was susceptible to the sun, why didn’t you tell her to stay in?"  

"It had never happened before really" I said hesitantly, "not more than ordinary heat exhaustion." 

"How could you risk it though?" I knew it wasn’t out of plain ignorance, she knew about heat syndrome, after all she had helped me when I fell foul of it once. 

"I...I didn't want you to know" I said, feeling myself briefly faltering, "especially after all you'd said before..."

"I felt bad...guilty in a way, about having her this way" I confided in him. 

I stared at the floor, I couldn’t think of anything to say. My mind was in turmoil, all I had strived to do, to prevent another dunpeal being created, and one of the few people I would have considered a friend destroyed it. This girl would have a hellish life, living forever, despised by all, excepted by only a rare few, it was not a life worth living, not without a purpose. 

"She's Meier's...D, he...he raped me to get her" I told him, pressing my lips together tightly and balling my hand into a fist. 

"You can’t let him have her,” I told her quietly. If all she said was true then Meier had to be destroyed, and I knew I was the only one who had have a chance.

 "I know that!" I protested rashly, "that girl means the world to me...he isn't touching her."

 My eyes flicked up as her voice got suddenly louder. Maybe I was wrong, maybe she still did have some hunter left in her.

 I remembered flashes of pain and white light as I opened my eyes, immediately noticing my mother wasn't there, and the tall hunter in black was, staring out the window. I watched his profile in silence, wondering what would happen next.

 Leila had gone out and I prayed the girl wouldn’t wake up; I was not in the mood for games, not now, not ever. I closed my eyes in defeat as I felt her eyes bore into my back.

 As I didn't notice him turn I rolled over onto my stomach, kicking my legs against the armrest as I looked at the numerous storybooks mother had gotten me since my childhood, nonchalantly glancing over the covers.

 She appeared to not want to talk, which I silently thanked for. My eyes followed hers to the bookcase, some were Leila’s own and others were simple child’s books. My eyes stopped on one in particular and my brow creased as I read the title. Vampire Hunter D. Leila had written it, but why would she write a book about me? 

Sighing I pursed my lips...not this...not this...so bored... Sighing I stood, wandering over to the stairs.

 I watched as she left the room and then walked purposely to the bookcase and picked up the book. I smiled slightly as I began to read.

 After a few seconds I walked back down puzzeledly, "excuse me,” I asked politely.

 I looked up from the book "Hmm?"

 "Do you know where Mommy went?" I inquired of him, tilting my head to the side.

 "Town" I said simply and began reading again, hoping she would get bored and go upstairs, or whatever children of her age did.

 I nodded, sitting down beside him on the couch, eager for some company and looked over the book that he was reading. It was one of my favorites, after all, Mommy WAS in it.

 “Can I help you?” I asked the girl. 

"No" I responded, looking at the book intently. 

I eyed her suspiciously before trying to resume reading, which I found exceedingly difficult with her looking at me "What do you want?" I said quietly.

 "I'm reading mommy's book" the girl said innocently.

 I sighed and gave the book to her, leaving it open on the page i was reading. getting up I walked to the bookshelf and got another book and walked with it to the kitchen, praying Leila would come back soon.

 I watched him leave, sighing. Getting up I followed him into the kitchen silently, wanting company, unused to nobody being there. 

I frowned as she followed me, didnt she realize i wanted to be alone. Sitting down i watched her closely.

 I ran to the freezer, getting the tub of ice cream and, unable to reach the bowls, started eating it out of the carton.

 I grimaced, that was disgusting, did the child have no manners? 

As she finished the ice cream, all that was left being a thin layer in the bottom of the carton, she put it up on the sink ledge, trying to get it inside but unable to reach in. Wiping her face with some nearby paper towel she sighed, taking a look at the stoic and uninviting hunter and sulking upstairs. 

She had finally gone...Reaching over I picked up the book I had been previously reading. I read it intently. Leila had kept true to what had happened, wrote it as it was, and for that I was glad. 

I ran upstairs, turning on the water for a bath and slipping in, closing my eyes.  Leila walked in several moments afterwards, noticing D and nearing him, smiling when she saw him reading the book. "Is it to your liking?" she asked, coming up behind him. 

"It all true" I said simply, not letting her know my opinion, it didn’t seem necessary. 

She nodded, suddenly becoming worried, "where's Jade?" she asked, becoming worried. 

 I nodded my head upwards, annoyingly causing my hat to fall off, and seeing as my hands were preoccupied with the book I had to leave it that way. “She’s in the bathroom,” I muttered. 

Leila nodded, "She didn't cause you any trouble I expect?" she asked briskly, "she really is a nice girl and she's usually pretty mellow.” 

"She wasn’t too bad" I replied, closing the book and placing on the shelf, disregarding my hat, feeling it unnecessary anyway.

 "That's good" Leila said in relief, "well...I brought home dinner for everyone...spaghetti." 

I almost grinned childishly as I heard what was on tonight’s menu, but instead I got away with a brief smile. 

"You like spaghetti then I take it?" inquired Leila with a brief amused smile. 

"You could say that" I muttered, trying to mask my happiness with a somber tone. 

"Well that's good then" Leila responded as the bath water upstairs was heard running through different tubes as it drained. 

I glanced out the window; it was almost night, time for some fresh air. I searched for my cloak but could find it nowhere, last time I looked it was on the sofa, but it had disappeared. Growling quietly I stepped outside in just my skintight suit, leaving my hat where it fell. 

Leila sighed as her 6 year old clambered down the stairs, swathed in an oversize comfy nightshirt and a pair of pajama pants 

The night air was cool and refreshing. I breathed in deeply before settling myself down beside a tree, gazing contently at the stars, forgetting entirely why I was at Leila’s house in the first place. 

Jade walked into the room, long white hair wet and starting to loosely curl. 

I smiled at my daughter "We have spaghetti for tea tonight, once your hair is dry go tell the nice man it will be ready around 7ish" I pulled out the hairdryer and quickly got most of the moisture from her hair, disregarding her complaints. 

I shook my head annoyedly and ran outside and looked at him. "Um...hi" I introduced to him shyly, seeing him outside. 

I awoke from my doze to see a figure standing over me, "Yes?" I said quietly, keeping my eyes only slightly parted. 

"Dinner will be ready at seven" I told him, smiling, before running quickly back up to the house. 

I yawned widely, not bothering to cover my mouth, and was about to rest again when suddenly there was a weight on my chest and I was getting a face-full of dog drool. I cried out in surprise 

"Jared!" I gasped loudly, pulling the red-coated dog away before falling atop the deck, him pinning me to the ground and me simultaneously giggling as he licked me, trying to get my face away and his weight off my body 

I wiped my face on my sleeve, but to no avail, the shiny surface did nothing to mop the slime up. I frowned as I saw the mutt run off and that the girl was giggling insanely, apparently because she too had been attacked.  

I got up, chasing him inside until angrily gaining a hold of his collar, "bad Jared!" I scolded enthusiastically, "bad boy! You KNOW you aren't allowed to do that,” I reprimanded, locking him in our shoe room before going into the bathroom to wipe off the slobber 

I wiped it off with my hand and then wiped that on the floor. Deciding against lying back down I sat propped against the tree and pulled my legs up to my chest. Laying my chin on my arms I stared into nothing, letting my mind fall blissfully unaware of anything. 

Leila came out a while later and stood, watching the hunter sleep. She had had SUCH a crush on him before, though she would never have admitted it. A little bit of color drained into her cheeks even as she reprimanded herself for acting like a giggly and obsessive teenager. 

I knew Leila was there but she didn’t know I knew. Choosing to remain still I observed her actions, listening to her footsteps 

She frowned as she noticed some hair over one of his eyes before smiling softly and moving it away before standing, putting her usual 'tough facade' on. "D, wake up, dinner" she said casually, standing over him. 

I felt as she moved my hair, not the actions of someone just telling me about dinner. "Alright" I sighed as I got up, I was quite a bit taller than the woman but looked back as she gazed up into my face 

"Sorry to wake you" she said a little jokingly as she led him into the house and pulled out a chair for him beside her and Jade, who were sitting across from each other. 

"It's not a problem,” I said, smiling as I spotted the meal.

 "Well...help yourselves everyone she invited as Jade starting piling the pasta on her own. 

I was instantly unsure of myself, 1/2 of me told me to dig in, the other 1/2 told me to use manner, I chose to go in between and eat quickly but keeping as much dignity as possible, which was exceedingly difficult. 

"There's sauce on your shirt" I giggled, looking at the tall man then at mom, who was keeping her head down out of politeness. I then looked at my own shirt, no sauce...there was only a little on my chin though... 

I glanced at my shirt; I had removed the top half of my armor before dinner and was regretting wearing a light gray shirt. I smiled sheepishly, wiping the sauce off slightly. I reddened considerably when I saw Leila trying to stifle her laughs. 

"Like pasta?" she asked halfheartedly, managing to keep it down to a smirk. 

I narrowed my eyes, but did not reply. Finishing it as quickly as possible I excused myself to the bathroom. 

I giggled lightly, slapping a hand over my mouth to be as quiet as I could while grinning. 

I stared at my dimmed reflection in the bathroom mirror. I could pick out numerous red spots on my shirt and found that there was no way to get them off manually. Unbuttoning it and letting it drop to the floor I decided to ask Leila if she would wash it. I looked back to the mirror and wiped the sauce from my face before going back downstairs 

Leila's breath caught in her throat as she saw the dhampire come down...stained shirt gone and stared across his body before realizing her eyes were wandering snapping them back up to his face. Jade kept eating...completely unperturbed. 

I looked at Leila then to the floor. It felt weird having to ask her this "Erm...Leila? Would you mind...err" I found the words really difficult and must have looked like a complete moron. 

"The clothes...washing...thing" she said slowly upon trying her voice, which was weak and faltered at first before she grew bolder. 

I nodded before shivering, it was only then I realized I was still half naked! I almost chocked as I made some sort of strange sound and rushed out of the house and into the stable. After retrieving a black shirt from the bags set down near my horse I returned to the house. 

Jade watched the goings on with a look on her face that plainly and utterly said 'adults are WEIRD.' 

I felt slightly embarrassed to face the two females in light of what had happened but knew it had to be done. Taking a deep breath I walked into the living room, almost tripping over Leila in the process. 

I watched the proceedings, what now? Sighing I went back to my food...albeit eating a little slower so as not to miss anything...entertaining. 

"I-I'm sorry" I stuttered as I pulled back at the last minute, just avoiding hitting the woman in front of me. 

"It's no problem,” Leila said graciously, inviting him to sit down. 

I took the invitation gladly, happy not to be making any more problems. 

Jade peeked at him trough her hair, then spared a glance to Leila. 'Why aren't they saying anything?' she wondered to herself, looking back and forth between the 2. 

We both felt awkward, although I wasnt entirely sure why, we were both adults, why then was it so damned hard? 

"So...is the meal good?" asked Leila slowly. 

I dont know why I laughed, it just seemed like such a silly question. All I knew is that one point I was sitting feeling rather silly and the next I was trying in vain to suppress the laughter. 

Leila's face expressed complete shock. "Are you okay?" she asked in slight concern. 

"I...I'm f...fine" I said between catching my breath. I hadn’t laughed like that in a while, in a long while actually. My mind drifted back to a time at my father’s castle. My family, my mother, my sister. My laughter ceased as quickly as it started. 

After dinner Jade jumped up, quickly doing her part by rinsing dishes then running outside again, noticing the sunset. 

I watched as Jade ran outside and observed the worried look on Leila’s face. Getting up I looked through the window as the woman ran outside, dragging her daughter back to the house. 

"You don't let me out for long in the sun, only an hour or 2 and then I can't go out at night either!" Jade said in loud angry tones, stomping her foot. 

I knew what my daughter said was true, but it was too dangerous for her. In the day she would suffer from heat syndrome, and at night...I couldn’t risk loosing her. I begged with jade to not make a fuss. 

I glared at her, why was she being so unfair?! "I don't want to be inside all the time!" I told her, "all you do anymore is act worried and we can barely do anything anymore because you're always looking out the window or pacing back and forth." 

"Do you want the bad man to take you away, do you care so little about yourself? About me?" I asked her. I didn’t know what I'd do if Meier ever got her. True the risk was minimal, I had seen very little of him in the last 3 years, but the threat was still there. 

"You haven't seen him and neither have I!" I argued, running upstairs. 

I sighed, letting my daughter run to her room and slam the door. Turning to D I apologised for her behaviour, and my own. I said he could leave for a while if he wanted to, "It's probably just me being paranoid,” I told him. 

I nodded, I was surprised, quite frankly, that she'd acted as mature as she did until this point, which was normal behaviour for a girl of her age. "How long has it been since you last saw Meier?" asked the dhampire. 

"5, maybe 6 months" I told him, my voice getting quieter. 

I nodded, "I should check around the house at nightfall and see if there is any sign that he is still around" I informed her, "but you know a vampire's habits as well as I...and I doubt he would give up on the child so easily." 

Nodding sadly I walked him to the door. He still didn’t have his hat or cloak, not that I was complaining. He looked so much more...normal...in just the shirt and trousers. I thanked him as he walked away before shutting the door. Walking into the kitchen I made myself a cup of coffee and sat at the table, allowing my thoughts to wonder to a certain hunter. 

As the sun went down Meier sat deep in thought, his mind focused on a 6 year old dhampire child and her protective mother. Glaring abruptly he stood, resolving to make his way to the house. 

I heard a noise upstairs, probably just Jade throwing a tantrum. But then I heard another, quiet but noticeable. There were voices. One was of my daughter, the others was deeper, that of a man. My breath caught in my throat as I grabbed my gun from the top shelf of a bookcase and ran upstairs. 

I stood near to Jade, bowing on one knee. "I have a gift for you,” I told her as I placed the golden necklace that had once belonged to Charlotte Elbourne over the child’s head. She smiled amiably as she received the gift and hugged the man, "thank you!"

As I looked into her face many things went through my mind. Those eyes...eyes the colour of the sky, they didn't belong there, neither those nor the hard yet graceful and smooth features she had inherited from the huntress. "Would you like to take a walk with me?" I offered, extending my hand as she shook her head and I felt my heart drop. "Mommy will-" "You're Mother will see you again, wouldn't you like to know your Father?" I asked her gently, lifting her chin gently with one forefinger so her eyes met mine. 

I kicked the door open, and saw the vampire looking into the eyes of my child "Jade!" I screamed as I fired. I wasn’t away if I hit him or not, only that I had to get him away from her.

As I saw the hunter burst into the room I shifted, bringing Jade in front of my chest and vital areas so as to make sure Leila didn't shoot. I squeezed her hand gently, hoping to reassure her as I heard her cry out in shock 

My head whipped round as I heard Leila scream. Running as quickly as I could I leapt from the ground straight into Jades room. As I did so I saw Meier holding Jade in front of him, but his back was unprotected, I drew my sword and raised it over my head but was stopped as something hit me in the stomach. I doubled over and cried out in alarm. Leila was shooting! 

Meier snarled, turning and slashing, exposing his back to Leila as he slashed D across the stomach, fleeing with Jade into the night. 

I tried to follow, and got as far as the window before collapsing on the floor, I was bleeding profusely and could hardly stay conscious. Meier’s claws had ripped through a few vital organs. 

I ran up to the bleeding dhampire, vaguely aware of the tears running down my face. As I helped him sit up I looked out the window. "Jade" I whispered lightly, "oh my god...no..." 

The feeling of my stomach slowly healing itself was disgusting to say the least. I fixed my slightly blurry vision onto Leila "I'll find her" I said, attempting to get to my feet. 

"But your stomach" I said, "no...I want her back...but neither of us will be any good the way we are" she said, looking at the bullet wounds, "I'm so sorry..." 

"It's fine" I told, pulling myself up, using the windowsill as leverage "It will heal in time" I placed one leg on the sill and got ready to jump, aware that if I slipped I would fall quite a way before landing on a spiky bush. I took a deep breath.

 I watched him, god...to loose him too... "Please...be careful" I told him, "and go kick Meier’s ass" I told him, smiling ruefully. 

I nodded, smiling ever so slightly, before jumping. The jump was fine, I got good distance, but the landing...not so graceful. I put one leg down and felt it give under me. The sudden strain on the less-than-healed slash wound caused me great pain and I almost fell. Catching myself at the last second I walked off, holding my stomach slightly. Reaching to pull my cloak round me I realized I still wasn’t wearing it. Cursing under my breath I carried on, though my body protested against it. Drawing my sword I tried to locate Meier and the child. 

I looked around at the huge castle then back at the white haired man, drawing my eyebrows up in worry while twirling a lock of hair around my finger tentatively. 

Smiling at my daughter I squeezed her hand reassuringly. "Do you want to see your room?" I asked kindly. I had waited for this moment ever since I first me my beloved Charlotte, to finally have a child, MY child. 

She looked at him nervously, wrapping my small fingers around his hand, feeling insecure and a little frightened, "okay..." 

I led her to a room that was connected to my own. It had a gothic look to it and was not originally designed for children. "We can change it to however you want" I told. My eyebrows suddenly creased together, the hunter was here, I had not expected him to find us so quickly. Kneeling down by the child I stared into her eyes. "Will you stay here for daddy? I have to go for a bit" 

"Okay" I agreed, watching him apprehensively as I sat on the chair in the corner, wrapping my hands around my knees. 

Flying down the stairs I smiled as I saw the hunter stumble through the door. Landing neatly in front of him I cocked my head "Lovely entrance, hunter D, I must commend you also for your...incomplete attire" I laughed at his obvious discomfort. "I suggest you turn back now and return when you are...better equipped for the task" 

I narrowed my eyes, "I suggest you return the child Meier" great...how was I going to win this one? 

I chuckled, he was in no position to make commands "My dear hunter, am I to expect YOU to take her from me? You who ca hardly stand on your own feet, I think not" 

I scowled, grasping my sword defensively, "I have bested you before in battle, I will not hesitate to repeat my actions.” 

"Need I remind you that last time you were at full strength? And I was still grieving. You will not be able to have a repeat" My hand went unconsciously to the shoulder the hunter had skewered before. 

I glared, taking a slash at him sideways, "just return Leila's child."

"Your petty revenge has no wisdom beneath it...you raped a woman, nothing rights that." 

I stepped backward as he slashed, smiling pitifully, that was until he carried on talking, growling I brought my cloak up and hit him across the face, sending him flying into a wall. "You're pathetic" I spat "Since when did you become her lapdog? Or is it more than that? Eh?" I smiled viciously. 

I glared at the vampire, wiping blood nonchalantly from my mouth. Growling I launched myself at the 'man', the fury of my blow outdoing his and stabbing him through the side, bringing the sword upwards to his stomach yet being without the strength to slice through his ribs. 

I grinned despite the pain "What’s wrong hunter? Feeling a tad weak all of a sudden?" I grabbed his face, bringing it an inch from my own before throwing him towards the door. I clutched the wound and felt it heal slightly. 

I felt my vision blacken slightly at the edges and willed myself to stay awake as I felt myself slip into unconsciousness. 

I walked swiftly over to the hunter who was swaying dangerously; it was time to finish him. "Goodbye hunter" I sneered as I pulled him out the door and pushed him from the cliff on which my castle was situated. I watched as his black figure got smaller and smaller and finally came to a stop.  

I felt my body hit the ground somewhere in my vague consciousness...luckily I felt no more pain. 

My grinned at my own sinister decision as I flew down to collect the body of the hunter. Checking it for any life signs I found none and proceeded to pick him up. He was surprisingly light and I found no problem carrying his body to the desired location. 

I looked up sharply as I noticed the loud thump outside my front door, gasping when I saw the state of the hunter. "D" I said, shocked as I noticed the injuries he had sustained...I knew who did it. Growling loudly in the back of my throat I grabbed my gun, proceeding to find the location, stopping short as I heard a voice coming from D's left hand. 

"You may wanna stop your little tirade and ... oh I don’t know...maybe Give Me Some Help!" The symbiot yelled. 

"What the-" I said, stopping, amazed. THIS was something new...

I gazed at the closed door for the longest time yet nearly jumped when it reopened, revealing the white haired man once again. My Father? Really? 

"Hello darling, have you been ok here?" I asked my daughter, she looked scared and I was totally at a lost of what to do. But I would cope; I had to, for Charlotte. 

I nodded, "where's mommy?" I asked, looking at him, aware of my lip quivering, why was he so mad at her?

 My breath caught in my throat. I had to make her forget about Leila, she may have given birth to her, but Jade would always be mine and Charlottes daughter, as it should have been. "Mommy's not here" I told her, giving her a smile. I had to take her mind off that subject "I bet your hungry aren’t you? Come on, we'll see what the chef can make for you"

 I glanced up at him uncertainly before getting off the chair, "okay" I agreed, going to him and grasping his hand tightly.

 Smiling I grasped her hand back, she was so small. I led her down the stairs and into the kitchen.

The symbiot was having a go at a half conscious D whilst Leila sat watching uncomfortably. She had managed to drag D inside and bandage his wounds before the parasite had started his verbal war. D just lay there muttering random obscenities. 

Leila ran quickly to the kitchen, getting a glass of cold water, quite unsure what to do and wanting to do SOMETHING helpful. 

I rolled my eyes as the parasite wouldnt stop. I saw Leila come back into the room and silently pleaded with her to shut it up. Had I the strength I would have simply closed my fist but I could feel I had numerous broken bone, many large cuts that were bleeding all over the carpet and most likely many other injuries I didnt even know of. I was surprised I wasnt dead. 

"Shut up your not helping!" Leila said frustratedly as the symbiot started yelling for her attention and she grabbed a cloth, tying it around the entities mouth, moving some of D's broken hand bones, not that she noticed. She helped D up to a sitting position, helping him drink the water, "I TOLD you not to go" she growled at the hunter before shaking her head, noting the extent of his injuries. 

I would have laughed, if not for my posistion. It was hardly the time for "I told you so's". Gritting my teeth against the pain I allowed her to get me sititng upright. I grimaced as I drank the water, it had a horrible metallic taste.

I clang to my Father fearfully as I saw several monstrous looking servants walk by, grasping his hand tighter. Though I walked silently I felt like running to the front door or breaking down crying, I missed my home! I missed Mother! 

Frowning down at the child I muttered for my servants to leave. "Jade? Are you ok?" I asked her, concerned, she looked scared to death "There's nothing to be afraid of" I knelt down beside her "The monsters wont hurt you"

"Can I go home soon?" I asked, "I wanna see Mommy." I was vaguely aware of tears clouding my vision and rubbed my eyes, feeling my cheeks wetten with the salty water. 

I turned my head away from her; I didn’t want her to see the anger on my face. "You want to leave me?" I asked pathetically, filling it with mock sadness "I thought you would like it here" I over-dramatized it by standing up and placing my hand on my forehead, glancing quickly to see the girls reaction. 

I looked down at my shoes, sniffing nonchalantly, "I'm sorry" I said, noting the flash of anger, "it...it's okay..." 

She definitely had vampire blood, no human could have spotted the anger enough to believe it, most would have dismissed it as a trick of light. Smiling down I offered my hand again "Maybe some other time, but now don’t you want to spend some time with me?" 

"Okay" I said softly, placing my hand in his larger one, staring down at my shoes. 

I mentally ordered my servants to stay out of our way if they looked...less than human. I sensed many growls and hisses but I knew none would dare disobey. "So what would you like to do?" 

I shrugged, "whatever you want to" I told him. 

Rolling my eyes I stared at the ceiling, great...how the hell should I know what to do! "You cant play that on me" I said, slightly mockingly "No, you have to decided"

 "I want to sleep...it's past my bedtime" I told him plaintively. 

"Oh dont be such a spoil-sport!" I laughed, I couldnt have her sleeping at night, thats when I was around "There has to be something you want to do!" I said folding my arms and cocking my head.

"Can you read a story to me?" I asked, thinking quickly of something I loved doing, I loved hearing stories.

 I frowned slightly "A story" I repeated. I was thinking furiously of what book I could read to her. I had a vast library, full of historical and rare books, but nothing worthy of a child’s ears. I sighed in defeat; parenthood was proving to be exceedingly difficult.

 I looked down, what now? "Yes, I love stories" I said earnestly.

 "Well what stories do you like?" I asked, thinking that maybe I could make something up.

 "Mommy's story, the one she wrote,” I told him.

 Frowning, I stared at her "Excuse me?" I never knew Leila had written a book, and I had a horrible feeling I knew what it was about.

 "Her story!" I said, starting to become frustrated, I was starting to fuss, and I knew it, "Vampire Hunter D she called it."

 I almost choked "What?" I spat, she had written a book on that...that...abomination?

 "She called it Vampire Hunter D" I repeated, "and she's in it."

 Of course she would be and I knew who else was in it, I wondered what kind of filth and lies she had invented about Charlotte and me.

 "Could you tell me the story?" I asked slowly, looking up at him, "it's my favorite."

 Of course I could, and I would tell it the way things really happened. "I could give it a go,” I said distantly.

 "Thank you" I said, chewing my bottom lip.

 I felt like I was going to be sick, Leila was bandaging a cut on my stomach it kept moving. I groaned, leaning against the cold leg of the sofa. I was still on the floor. I had ruined two shirts and almost got myself killed, all in the same day. I cursed the house for not having central heating; I was freezing whilst Leila tended the cuts on my upper torso, that and the fact I kept blacking out.

 "Okay, done" I sighed, checking the wounds and bandages before covering him with a blanket. "Is there anybody else you know...anybody who could help us" I pleaded with the lethargic dhampire, pleading he was 'with it' enough to understand and answer.

 ”No, don’t worry. You’re doing fine anyway” I smiled pathetically.

 I scowled, "D...I need Jade back...he's taken her, PLEASE, is there anybody you can think of?" she asked as she noticed him asleep. She bit her lip, willing herself not to cry as she clenched her fists and made her way upstairs.

"That wasn't how the story went" scoffed the 6 year old to the vampire whose lap she was currently snuggling into.

 "Was,” I said indignantly, my temper had subsided and I had "sweetened" the whole story up slightly, I didn’t realize her mother had given her the real, undiluted version.

 "Was not" she insisted, a hint of a smile touching her lips, finding the bantering amusing.

 "Was too" I retorted, I could hardly believe I was having an argument with a 6 year old.

 "Was not was not was not!" I said, grinning now.

 "Was too was too was too!" I was staring my daughter in the face, smiling despite myself.

 "Nu uh" I shook my head.

 "Fine" I said standing up and holding my head high "How did it go miss know-it-all?"

 I told him the differences in Moms story than in his, realizing later that most of the changes were because they were in his point of view. "THAT'S how it went,” I told him satisfactorily.

 I shook my head amused, could it really be I had just been scolded by a child? "Well you are a little smart ass, aren’t you?" I laughed picking her up.

 I remember my shock, mother NEVER swore to me, sure she swore, but not to me.

 Something had changed, something in her mood. I mentally kicked myself, what had I done now?

 "Does that mean I'm allowed to swear too? You did,” I pointed out with wide eyes.

 I gazed confused, smart-ass? No way could that be considered a swear. I would have to watch my language from now on. "No it does not, young lady,” I told her. I gazed out the window; it was about an hour till sunrise.

 "Aww" I said, "but you- you" my tirade was interrupted by a wide yawn.

 "Some ones tired" I pointed out.

 "You're the one who kept me up past bedtime" I pointed out grudgingly.

 "Yes I suppose I am,” I admitted, little did she know this was how I planned it.

 "Can I go to bed yet?" I asked with a frown, yawning again.

 "Are you sure you want to? I'm giving you the chance to stay up late" I tempted; I myself would be withdrawing to my coffin soon so it mattered not whether she chose yes or no.

 I shrugged, "Mommy's going to be mad at me for staying up" yawn, "late."

 "Mommy doesn’t need to know,” I whispered in her ear before hoisting her up onto my shoulders. I was lucky I had high ceilings and doorways, I could imagine myself walking her into any low surface and having to deal with an unconscious child.

 Gasping at the sudden movement I leaned forward, grabbing onto his forehead to keep my balance and leaning my head on top of his, closing my eyes lightly.

 I stared at the hand that was partially blocking my vision "Jade?" I questioned, "Have you ever flown?"

 "Flown?" I asked, as if that was absurd, "why would I have ever FLOWN?"

 I smiled "Hold on tight,” I told her as I extended my cloak and jumped into the air.

 I was aware I shrieked lightly as he took into the air and I tightened my grip, my eyes widening before I began to really enjoy it, closing my eyes softly as I felt the wind racing through my hair.

 I flew through my castle, getting ready to catch the girl should she fall at anytime. But she didn’t and I landed lightly in front of her room, aware that the sun was about to come up.

 I felt darkness engulf my mind as we descended and I fell asleep, clinging to him.

 I looked at the girl who had literally fallen from my shoulders, she was quite asleep. Walking into her room I set her under the covers and went into my own adjacent room. As I undressed and got into something more sleep worthy my mind flickered to the nights adventures. I had my daughter, she was here and she liked me. It was almost overwhelming and I was asleep before the door slammed close.

 Opening my eyes and crying out softly I realized I had been crying in my sleep and recognized my surroundings quickly...the castle... Fearfully I made my way to the room of the vampire who claimed to be my Father. Opening the door swiftly I looked around for him, seeing him nowhere. "Hello?" I asked timidly, hoping this was his room and I was not mistaken.

 My eyes flickered open, I frowned, sunset was not for 5 hours yet, something had awoken me. I listened again.

 I ran to the door, pulling it open yet seeing nobody and becoming fearful.

 I could hear movement and my eyes narrowed, someone was in my room. I listened again and realized the footsteps were small, that of a ... child. I suddenly remembered, Jade! I opened the coffin door a slight bit and saw Jade standing in the center of the room looking fearful but, thankfully, it was not directed at me. She looked lost.

 I remember turning and seeing him...from a coffin? I remember thoughtlessly running to him and throwing my arms around him, "I had a nightmare" I cried out fearfully into his chest.

I hugged her tight, nightmares? I would have scoffed if it had not been for the fact she was only 6. "It was only a nightmare,” I told her "It's not real"

I sniffled a little, wiping my eyes on my sleeve. "Can I sleep with you?" I asked him, feeling very small and afraid.

 I rolled my eyes slightly before smiling "Ok then, if you want" I said lying back down, it was a good job I liked roomy coffins, unlike some vampires who preferred to sleep it what seemed like a body bag.

 I laid down beside him, noting the tightness of 2 of us in there. Turning onto my side I snuggled up to him, collecting a handful of his shirt and balling my hand into a fist with the material within it.

 I smiled happily as she settled down "Shall I close the lid?" I asked her. It only seemed proper to see what she wanted.

 I looked up, shaking my head no, "then I couldn't breath" I pointed out.

 Not that'd I'd tested the theory but I guessed she may have been right. "Ok then" I said bringing my arm down around her. I started to drift into oblivion and noted that the girl was no longer shaking. I fell sound asleep quickly.

 I woke up some hours later, not liking how I couldn't tell in this place whether it was night or day and looked up, straight into the crimson eyes of the vampire who had his arms wrapped around me comfortingly. He was watching me and I tried a small smile as I watched him.

 I had been watching her for 1/2 hour. I woke naturally when the sun went down and was afraid to move in fear of disturbing her. She looked so peaceful. Pulling my arm back I sat up quickly, causing the girl fall forward. I laughed lightly but was stopped when I realized that tonight was the night I had to feed, meaning I would have to leave her or bring dinner here.

 I noticed he stopped laughing abruptly, "What's wrong?" I asked him, looking into his eyes questioningly.

 I breathed in, unsure of what to tell her. "Um…nothing" I shook my head. There was no maybe about it, I HAD to feed or I would become unpredictable, and I could risk it, not with Jade.

 "Liar" I told him blatantly, becoming a little worried at his serious demeanor.

 "It's nothing, really, I just have to ... go out a bit later" How would she react if I told what I was going to do? I had horrible images of her throwing a tantrum, scared witless, or worse ... I couldn’t tell her.

 "Can I come too...please?" I asked him, I definitely did NOT want to be left alone in this freaky castle.

 "No!" I said quickly, too quickly, and I could see she may have twigged something; I looked at the ground, slightly ashamed of my sharp answer.

 "Are you getting tired of me?" I asked him, having enough room now that he was sitting to wrap my arms around my legs.

 "No, Jade, No, I love you. It's just...I have to attend to ... some things" I wrapped my arms round her, bringing her closer. What could I tell her?

 "But you're going to leave me" I said, looking at him mournfully.

 "Only for a little bit!" I was beginning to get frantic. I couldn’t lose her trust, not now, not now she was so close, I couldn’t lose her now, I couldn’t, for Charlotte. I wasn’t aware of the tears until they slid down my cheeks, I wiped them away quickly.

 "Please don't leave me alone here,” I pleaded with him fearfully, "please?"

 "Jade, you don’t understand, I have to, but it wont be for long." I pleaded with her. My mind kept telling me just to bring my prey here but what if she walked in, or heard anything, I would never forgive myself, and neither would she. I brought my legs up to my chest and sat very much like the girl. Burying my head in my knees I screamed silently, this was so frustrating!

 "Why do you have to? Mom didn't keep secrets from me...the rare times she left me she was able to tell me where she was going and what she was doing!" I cried out.

 What could I tell her? Jade I'm going into town to drink the blood of some helpless human and leave them dead in some dark alleyway? I think not. I just shook my head, keeping my face hidden behind my legs.

 I hugged myself tightly, eyes shut as I rocked back in forth, "I wanna go home" I said forcefully, "I don't wanna be alone."

 "Jade" I begged, why did she have to make it so difficult.

 "If you insist on me staying here why can't you at least bring Mommy to be with me?" I asked scornfully.

 "It isn’t that simple" I almost hissed, raising my head so I could look at her. What could I do?

 "Please stay with me,” I pleaded, "the castle's too big and I'm afraid!" I cried out in alarm as he shifted, thinking he was getting ready to simply leave.

 "I-I-I'm not going yet silly!" I laughed slightly, just to lighten the mood.

 His laughing at me made me start to cry, sniffing lightly and burying the palms of my hands into my eyes.

  “Darling, don’t cry,” I said placing a comforting arm round her and lifting her from the coffin. “I’ll get one of my servants to look after you, a nice one, I promise” I smiled at her reassuringly.

 I looked at him, "I don't want you to go away, don't be long!" I insisted, wiping the wetness from my cheeks onto my sleeve.

 "I wont be long, I'll be as quick as humanly possible" As vamperically possible I thought wryly to myself. "Now shall I call up someone to keep you company, maybe you can get to know them a bit"

 I sniffled lightly and nodded, "okay" I pouted sullenly.

 I smiled, I knew whom to call up. She was a young vampiress, only recently changed, not by me, but was fortunate to fall under my care. I heard that she had had a child before being turned but it had died, probably from the unhygienic conditions she lived in. I had no worries about leaving Jade with her, I trusted all my servants. "I know who to call, you'll like her, I promise"

 "Promise?" I asked, looking at him and holding out my pinky, "you have to pinky promise" I said seriously, "then you're not allowed to break the promise."

 I snorted, pinky promise? How ridiculous! I considered refusing but seeing the hurt look on her face I realized I really didn’t have a choice. "I promise" I sighed, linking "pinkies" with her before mentally calling Clarissa to my room. "She's on her way,” I told my daughter, nodding reassuringly.

 "But you never talked to anyone!" I scoffed indignantly.

 I tapped my head knowingly "I don’t need to" and as if to emphasize my point there was a knock at my door.

 "Wow" I said, grinning in admiration before going and sitting down on the side of the coffin.

 Letting Clarissa in I quickly explained the situation. She nodded in understanding and asked no questions, it was how I like it, even though it was slightly strange to see a woman of so young, only 19, so quiet. It guessed it was because of her traumatized background. I watched as she waved to Jade and introduced herself.

 I looked up to her; she was really pretty and nice. I smiled and jumped off the side of the coffin, introducing myself in turn.

 I told Jade I was departing and asked Clarissa to take really good care of her. I hadn’t planned on going so early but the sooner it was done the sooner I could get back.

 I heard Father in the background but Clarissa seemed really nice and open and I was intent on meeting her now. I raised a hand and said 'bye' nonchalantly before looking up at her. She was really pretty, I thought, with blonde hair and soft brown eyes.

 I slipped from the room, glad Jade hadn’t made a big deal, but feeling slightly unappreciated now she hardly noticed me going. Walking solemnly down the stairs I stood in the front doorway and targeted a nearby victim, a beggar, no one that would be missed. I swooped down and completed my business quickly, not enjoying one second of it.

 I looked at the young girl before a sudden thought came to my mind... "You aren't going to be my new Mommy are you?" I asked, stepping backwards, "he took me away from mine..."

 "No" The woman said quietly, softly, as though she was unaccustomed to speaking loud "Even if master said I was to be, I could never be your mommy" She smiled kindly "I'm here to be your friend"

 "Really?" I asked, my eyes shining with happiness before dimming, "I wasn't allowed to have friends at home..."

 A flicker of pain crossed Clarissa's face "I know how you feel" She told the girl "But I will be your friend now. Tell me, why weren’t you allowed friends?"

 "Mommy said they'd hurt me,” I said, looking at my socked feet, "so we could only go into town a little and I couldn't make friends cuz they didn't like people who weren't like them."

 "Why weren’t you like them?" The girl’s curiosity got the better of her. She could sense Jades blood but wondered if the girl knew herself what she was.

 "Well mommy said I'm not really human...but that I'm not inhuman and that I'm something in between, called a dhampire" I responded, thinking back and trying to remember all my mother had told me...it had been when I was 3...afterward we rarely talked of it if at all... it made Mommy sad...I could tell...

 The girl seemed taken aback that the child should know "Yes" She muttered simply, before changing the subject "Do you want to go to the garden?" She asked Jade. Clarissa knew how to treat children, she had once had her own, and was not so uninformed as Meier.

 I looked up, smiling broadly and nodded my head, I loved flowers!

 As I flew home I could sense that Jade and Clarissa were in the garden. I swooped down onto a wall that surrounded it and silently watched.

 "Who takes care of all the flowers?" I asked, sniffing tentatively at a rose.

  “Your father” Clarissa said quietly “Sometimes he spends hours just sitting here”

 "Really?" I asked, looking at the assortment of colored roses, "but how're some of them blue, and purple and black?" I asked her.

 "I'm not really sure" the girl said honestly, she glanced behind her to a wall that was covered by shadow and smiled slightly "He never tells us" She knew Meier was there.

 Jade looked at the wall in confusion then back at Clarissa questioningly.

 I grinned, Clarissa obviously knew I was crouched on the wall and I cursed myself for not masking my presence. I got ready for her to call me over but to my surprise she simply turned back to Jade "How about a game?" She whispered to my daughter.

"What kind of a game?" I asked excitedly, being lonely...I missed home; I missed Mother playing games with me and reading bedtime stories.

Clarissa put on a thoughtful look and then snapped her fingers, as though she had an idea "How about hide and seek?"

"Okay!" I yelled out enthusiastically before allowing a thoughtful look to cross my face, "can I hide first?" I pleaded.

The girl laughed, I light sound that could have been lost in the wind "Ok then, I'll count to sixty" She turned round and walked to the shadowy wall, turned her back to Jade and counted loudly.

I grinned ruefully, running to a nearby copse of bushes and creeping amongst them, trying to match the color of my clothes amongst the branches and leaves as best I could.

I stared confused at the two females, Clarissa was counting loudly and Jade was creeping among the plants, what was going on. I tried to mentally talk to Clarissa but she appeared to be ignoring me. I growled under my breath and kept watching.

Sneaking under roots and branches I hid, waiting with slight impatience for her to finish counting...couldn't she go any quicker than that?!

Clarissa finished her counting and turned round, instantly spotting Jade as she tried to camouflage herself. Instead of going right to her she went the opposite way, pretending she couldn’t find the girl.

What was she doing? It was painfully obvious where Jade was so why was she going in the opposite direction, it didn’t make sense...

 Jade giggled, stifling it by slapping her hand over her mouth as she went in fits at Clarissa's 'confusion'.

 “Ja-a-a-ade" Clarissa moaned, "Where are you? I cant see you, you're too good" She was deliberately throwing her voice as she snuck up on the girl. "Got You!" she yelled as she picked Jade up and swung her round. Clarissa caught a look of total confusion on Meier’s face and laughed.

 Jade shrieked as she was jerked upwards before falling into giggles again, gripping Clarissa tight so as not to be let go of and when she was brought back to the ground she grinned at Clarissa toothily.

  "Are you hungry?" The vampiress asked "'cos I sure am" and to prove it her stomach rumbled noisily and both females started giggling uncontrollably.

 Jade nodded seriously, "uh huh" she said, grasping her hand tightly.

 "Lets see what we can rustle up then,” the girl said as they walked back into the castle "what kind of things do you like?"

I followed them closely as they walked to the kitchen. Once they were inside I followed them in and positioned myself on a rafter so I could watch what they did.

 She thought back to her evenings at home with Leila, "grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup!" she said insistently.

 My face crinkled at the food, as it was prepared. It smelt terrible! I looked at the "grilled cheese sandwiches" and wondered why I had the ingredients in my house to make such foul food.

After Jades food was done Clarissa glanced up to the ceiling and called out "What do you want Meier?"

 I looked around as I lowered my sandwich...'he wasn't here...he was out on his errand!' I thought as though the idea of him lurking around was absurd.

 I smiled as I swooped down "Just the usual will be fine" I told Clarissa before turning to my daughter "I said I wouldn’t be long"

 I grinned seeing him and running up excitedly, "Clarissa and me had so much fun!" I exclaimed, "First we saw the garden then played hide and seek..."

 "Really?" I asked, surprised, as though I hadn’t seen "You didn’t ruin my flowers did you?"

 She shook her head no emphatically, eyes growing wide.

 "Well that’s good then!" I laughed. I waited until she finished her sandwich and soup before thanking Clarissa and sending her away.

 I ran after her, "will you play again with me soon?" I asked, looking down and shuffling my feet with a dim hope.

 The vampiress looked to me, awaiting my approval. I nodded and watched as Jade jumped up and down happily, she was so young.

 I grinned, unabashed, and hugged her around the waist before waving goodbye.

 Eating my food quickly I looked to the window, it was later than I thought. The sun would soon me rising and I would have to be in my coffin by then. I frowned, the nights went so quickly.

 I looked up at him thoughtfully, the lull in activity making me remember my unhappiness, "can...can Mommy visit yet?" I asked shyly, hesitantly.

 Gazing wearily at her I sighed, when was she going to forget about asking me that? "No, not yet" I said before getting to my feet. "I think its time for bed"

 "But it's almost morning...not my bedtime now...that was in the evening!" I piped up instantly.

 "But this is my bedtime, Jade" I smiled down at her, my eyes slowly closing as the sun almost peaked over the hills. "Come on, I think I'm going to collapse" I grasped her hand "Pull me along" I begged her, pathetically.

 "But it isn't my bedtime" she said, grinning secretively while watching him on the floor with an odd expression.

 I sniffed “Please” I whimpered. As she leant over me I jumped up quickly, grabbing her round the waist in the process and running up the stairs, laughing as she struggled.

 I shrieked as I felt myself grabbed around the waist, yelling louder when he didn't let me go. He was grabbing me too tight! I screamed more for him to let me go as I became short of breath.

 I grinned as I reached her room and placed her in front of the door. Instead of walking in like she should have done she just stood there. I gazed at her, confused "Jade?"

 I looked down, holding my stomach and looked up to him, eyes watering slightly, "you really hurt me. You were gripping too tight."

 Too tight? I couldn’t have been. Kneeling down beside her told her to lift her top slightly, and sure enough a dark purple bruise was already forming. I stuttered in surprise "J-Jade, I-I-I'm sorry, I'm s-so sorry" I looked at the floor in shock.

 "You have to be more gentle, remember, she's only a child" said a gentle voice behind him. It was Clarissa, who had witnessed the goings on. Her voice was gentle, not reprimanding, just guiding.

 I nodded, Clarissa would have to help me, I didn’t realize how inexperienced I was.

 Clarissa went over to Jade, "it's okay sweetheart, you're okay now" she said softly, opening the bedroom door and beckoning Meier in as well.

 I felt humiliated but still followed Clarissa in. What was she going to make me do?

 "Now, sweetie, why don't you go and get ready for bed while I talk with your Father" offered Clarissa while she turned back to Meier.

"Master Link...I must intervene, and question your way of handling the child. Do you honestly know anything about someone of her age?" asked the vampiress critically.

 I felt awkward "Not...exactly" I said hesitantly.

 "Then why did you take her...she is an immortal, would it not have been beneficial to wait?" I asked him, knowing this was no time for sugar coating my harsh words.

 I looked at her sternly, I would let no working class vampire speak to me in such a way "I would watch your tongue Clarissa" I warned her "If I had left it any later she would have started to believe the lies her mother told her and I would never have known her." I told the vampiress.

 I narrowed my eyes slightly, "I apologize, but I must step in." I indicated to the shirtless Jade, where a large dark purple bruise all along where the arm had been was covering her chest, "before you accidentally do more than that to her."

 "You are threatening me with my own daughter, bold word from a servant" I lowered my head hiding my eyes and mouth so she could not see the ashamed look on my face, I knew what she said was true but I would never tell her it "I must depart now, we shall resume this tonight"