Saturday, June 27, 2015

3.1 Young girl, don't cry

While Christina soon took up a business job, hoping that this was where she would meet the most successful and attractive men, Britney decided to stay home and pursue her writing career from there. After she had given up her job in their old home town, she desperately needed tasks to get her through everyday life. Deciding not to stay with all of her children, she had deprived herself of busy days, and she partly regretted it now. She felt empty. Her oldest daughter spent many hours at work, and didn’t come home straight afterwards, either, therefore Britney was in the house all by herself most of the time. Cooking, baking and cleaning were all nice distractions, but they couldn’t keep the loneliness from occupying her heart.

She didn’t understand why Christina wasn’t willing to spend more time with her mother. After all, it had been her who had provided this new place in a promising town, and it had also been her who had saved her daughter from a supposedly wrecked life. She knew Christina, and she knew that her eldest couldn’t have made it on her own. The girl with the body as big as her imagination was not independent enough to represent the family appropriately, but she would have ended up a failure instead. Britney had worked long and hard for her family to gain a good reputation, after her somewhat strange mother had stranded in Appaloosa Plains many years ago. The early death of her beloved husband had made her a comparatively young widow, which meant she was the talk of the town. Everybody believed that she would cave, and she had heard rumours about her abandoning her children more than once. People talked loudly when they thought that no one else was listening, and she therefore knew what they thought of her. She was not going to let those rumours destroy her life. It had been a better choice to move to Moonlight Falls with her entire family, and to stay with the eldest to make sure that she didn’t screw up.

Christina usually didn’t get home before midnight, spending most of her free time in shady bars. Alcohol was not the best solution, but it kept her head from exploding. Ever since her mother had told her that the main reason she was the family’s heir was that Britney wanted to stay in control, Christina had not talked to her at all. Having been a journalist for so long, Britney was a smooth speaker and therefore had been able to hide her true colours behind nice phrases and complimentary descriptions. She wanted to be there for her daughter, she said. She wanted to provide support now that she had lost a part of her family when Karim died. She wanted to make sure Christina used her full potential. Lies. All lies. When Christina sat at home late at night, gulping down whatever food was left over, she thought about this discussion a few weeks ago. Her life was so messed up she didn’t even know where to begin, and she sought comfort in the men she encountered. 

Argus Brown was a doctor with a very dark aura. She felt that there was something dangerous about him, but that attracted her even more. They often hung out in the bar where they first met, drinking and talking. His yellowy eyes seemed to glow when she started talking of her messed-up family, and whenever he pulled her into his strong embrace, she felt protected. 

She spent some time at his place, where he lived with two roommates who she didn’t meet for quite some time. There they hung out, talked, laughed and got to know each other better. He was not quite what she had been looking for in the first place, which was physical closeness. The other men she surrounded herself with seemed more mellow, and interested in her body instead of her mind. Since it had taken her a long time to come to terms with her outer appearance, Christina greatly appreciated the desire those men expressed, and didn’t say no to a flirt or more. However, when she was with Argus, she felt different. He seemed to get her, but at the same he seemed distant, like there were two souls in his body.

One night, close to the full moon, she understand the full extent of this thought. Right in front of her eyes, Argus transformed into a wild animal with burning eyes and teeth so strong they could rip a raw steak into pieces in a heartbeat. Although she had felt that there was something dangerous about them, she was shocked that he had revealed the truth about himself without a warning. Was she strong enough to be around the beast inside of him? Was she able to accept his true colours, the part of his existence that he tried to hide in everyday life? She had to make a decision, and quickly. 

Christina took him by the hand and led him into the living room, where there was more space for the two of them. Then she took a deep breath, stretched out one hand and tickled Argus’ tummy. He giggled like a small child, dropped down to the floor and allowed her to continue. She started laughing. A werewolf was not that different from a dog, after all, and if this was the extent of this transition, she could easily deal with it. When both of them were tired from laughing, she helped him get up and explained what thoughts had been rushing through her mind. A moment later, she regretted this decision.

The wild expression in his eyes, the one that she had witnessed right after the transition, was nothing compared to the fire that was burning inside of them now. He stretched out his claws and growled in a terrifying volume, causing her to let out a shriek of fear. This, he explained then, also was a part of his nature. Having been hurt by women before, he advised her to leave if she was not able to handle this, because it would be even harder to do so once they had gotten closer. 

Right when Christina opened her mouth to say something, a snort made them look towards the door. One of Argus’ roommates, Dante, had just come entered the house and was watching her with blatant antipathy. Confused about why he would be mad at her, Christina introduced herself and expected him to calm down. 

He didn’t. Instead, he stepped forward, scowled and slapped her hard. For a moment, Christina couldn’t see straight. Black and white dots were dancing in front her eyes, lowering her vision and clouding the man who was still looking like he would literally kick her out of the house in a minute. He shouted at her, demanding that she left immediately and never returned. In his eyes, she was nothing but a girl looking for an adventure with a bad guy, and he didn’t want his best friend to be hurt by one of those once again. Too often he’d had to witness Argus sitting at home, weeping on his shoulder and complaining about a girl who had broken his heart by leaving. Christina stood there in shock and asked Argus to say something. She was not some floozie to him, was she?

Argus had turned away from the scene. The girl he had started to fall in love with and his best friend were eyeing each other suspiciously, and to see that broke his heart. It broke his heart because his friend was always right. Ever since he had found out Dante was a vampire, he had made use of his mind-reading abilities when it came to women, and that’s why he most certainly was right now, too. Dante had never let him down, and he trusted him completely. His friend was always going to look out for him, no matter what. He couldn’t say anything right now. Christina took the hint, walked past the furious Dante and went home alone. Somewhere, deep down in her soul, this felt like a déjà vu. A guy protecting his best friend from throwing away his life for a woman… it felt like she, or one of her ancestors, had been through this before. 

Author's Notes: Christina dives into the world of a grown-up, and experiences disappointments from the start.  Her mother doesn't seem to trust her abilities to lead a life on her own, and the man she falls for doesn't stand up for her when she needs him to. Poor girl. It's easy to understand why she is losing her faith in men.

Bonus picture of Dante Morganthe returning from the summer festival, because he just looks so darn cute (have you seen a vamp-bunny before? I haven't) :