The sky was clear, the twinkling stars and bright full moon casting shadows across the ground below. Lamp posts lined the sidewalks, illuminating the pathway in a soft yellow light. The numerous brick buildings were dark, classes having ended a few hours ago. Outside, everything was still, not even the chirping of crickets could be heard. Inside the dormitories, however, it was a whole different story…

Laura Hollis lay awake in bed, unable to fall asleep. She could hear yelling and laughter from across the hall—most likely, another frat-boy party.

Laura groaned and rolled over. She gazed at the unoccupied bed across the room—unmade, with sheets rumpled and clothes strewn across it.

Laura sighed. It wasn't the drunken numbskulls that kept her awake. It was the absence of her vampire roommate. Carmilla had been gone for five days now. "I have to take care of something," she'd said. "It won't be long."

On the second day, Laura had moved back into her old dorm room. Perry and LaF had already moved back into theirs about a week prior. Danny and Kirsch had gone with JP and Mattie to a secluded cabin in the woods (20 or so miles from campus) to train. As newborn vampires, they needed close supervision and as little contact with humans as possible. Carmilla had offered to help them, but Mattie had declined, saying that "someone has to watch the little cub reporter"—meaning Laura—"to make sure she doesn't get herself into even more trouble."

Laura liked this arrangement, even if it did involve her being deemed a "cub reporter."

Anyway, with Perry and LaF back in their dorm and Danny and Kirsch off at "Vampire Boot Camp" with JP and Mattie, Laura was left all alone in the Dean's old apartment. It was creepy, even with other people there. Laura was afraid the Dean's ghost would suddenly appear and scoop out her eyeballs to serve them in Martinis.

She wasn't going to stay and find out if that could actually happen.

So, Laura had returned to her and Carmilla's room. She had found it in the exact same state it had been in when they had left all those months ago. Except, there'd been a thin layer of dust covering everything. Perry, being the Mother hen that she is, had come over and helped her clean up.

Now, three days later, here she was—tossing and turning, unable to sleep. Laura sighed and turned to face the wall again. She closed her eyes. All she could do was wait, and hope that Carmilla would return to her soon.

Hours later, Laura had finally managed to fall asleep. But the peace was short-lived because she was startled awake by the sound of the window sliding open. Laura's body stiffened, her heartbeat quickening.

Could it be? Was Carmilla finally back?

Laura head the window slide shut. Then footsteps coming towards her. She felt soft lips brush her ear, warm breathe tickling her cheek.

"Laura."

Slowly, Laura turned her head. She was met with intense brown eyes and a soft smile.

"Carmilla."

She flung her arms around the vampire's neck, pulling her close into a tight embrace. Carmilla chuckled softly before wrapping her arms around Laura's waist. She buried her nose in the girl's honey-blonde hair and smiled.

"I missed you, Carm."

"I missed you, too, Laura. But I'm back now. It's okay. I'm here, Cupcake."

Laura tightened her arms around Carmilla's neck, pulling the girl even closer. She closed her eyes. "I love you, Carm."

Carmilla kissed the top of Laura's head. "I love you, too, Laura. Always."

Laura fell asleep with her head on Carmilla's chest. For the first time in five days, she slept in peace. Her dreams were full of stars and candles and waltzes in the moonlight; of black cats and cupcakes. And of a pale, raven-haired girl with eyes full of love and a smile that shone brighter than all the stars in the sky.

Carmilla.