* Emanuel is a tomb vampire that I had created based off of one of the nameless tomb vampires. He isn't a main character in the entire story, but he does play a rather important role. And as I've said before, there is swearing, and the story is dark at times.

Chapter 2

Emanuel was one of the first vampires to awaken. The first was Pearl. After a witch had opened the tomb, she perished. Thus breaking all spells she had made, including the one sealing the tomb. Thank God for Anna, Pearl's daughter, who had ran in with fresh human blood. Not long after being made a vampire, Emanuel was sorely convinced that his beliefs and faith had forsaken him, turning him into this demonic beast. But when Anna and Pearl began sharing blood that was stored in clear, small bags, he was certain that the crimson liquid tasted like Heaven in those moments.

And for this, being freed from desiccation in a dusty tomb, he was infinitely grateful. His mother had taught him to always be courteous and loyal to those deserving of it. After being fed and freed, without question or thought, he swore loyalty to Pearl. So he easily brought up the task of helping her and her daughter awaken the other vampires, er, a select few, that is. Not everyone was given blood, only the few that Pearl deemed trustworthy.

So it came as quite a shock to him when Pearl rejuvenated Frederick. Pearl, however, seemed oblivious to Emanuel's questioning, as did Anna who was busy helping another vampire named Harper. After awakening the rest of Pearl's vampires, Anna had told them of a safe place they could stay and regroup. Some vampire protested, saying they didn't need help from a little girl. But then Anna mentioned the current year, and it left them all speechless.

They now had only two homes to choose from; Anna's safe-house, or the tomb. Pearl smiled with pride as her people followed her daughter. Emanuel was more than happy to follow, ready to start a new life in a new year. Then, Frederick pulled him from ear-shot. With trembling breath, Emanuel nodded and followed the rest of the vampires.

Along the way to the house, they crossed over streams and wooded forests. Emanuel smiled, glad that Virginia's land hadn't changed too harshly years later. Questions were spoken back and forth between Anna and the vampires, everyone eager to learn of the current decade. The only ones who were quiet were Pearl and Frederick.

A sweet, enticing aroma stopped them dead in their tracks. Eyes darkened, veins appeared, lusts roared.

"We can feed when we get to the house," Anna assured. "I put together a stash of blood. There's more than enough."

Frederick shook his head briskly. "We'll feed now." He took a couple steps in the direction of the human who was located somewhere beyond the break of the trees, most likely taking a walk on the nearby road.

Pearl put a hand to Frederick's shoulder. "We just woke up," she reasoned. "Perhaps now isn't the time to be drawing attention to ourselves."

"She's right," Anna said. She turned to look him in the eyes. "Mystic Falls has changed Frederick. The whole world's changed. Humans have gotten wiser, technology has gotten bigger. It's become harder for vampires to stay hidden." Anna looked to her mother. "We have to be careful now more than ever."

Pearl nodded, and Anna continued to lead them. Emanuel gulped at Frederick's expression, or lack thereof. Frederick's face remained stoic as he kept his gaze to the tree line. It was his eyes that shifted, a hungry darkness making them flash red before turning back to the group.

Not counting the sleep in the tomb, Emanuel was a rather young vampire, impulsive and inexperienced. Frederick, who had turned Emanuel out of boredom, never had nor desired to take the time to teach him. He had to learn on his own and fast, lest he run into the wrath of the Founding Families. There were times where he thought being trapped in the tomb may have been a dodged bullet, a blessing in disguise.

However, this time it was not his immaturity nor his naïveté. The scent of the human may have been making him hungry and lustful, but it wasn't blinding him, as it seemed to be doing with the others. There was a tinge to the blood, a hint of familiarity that sparked something raw inside Emanuel. Curiosity made him sneak away from his friends to find the human, hoping that the anger boiling in his belly was an overreaction, or a result of shock from finally being awoken.

When he got to the road he heard a distant rumbling, and then he began gagging on the fumes of exhaust. He wasn't a fan of cars back then, a he wasn't a fan of them now. He took a step back, further into the cover of night. And when he caught his breath and cleared his watering eyes, he looked up to the car that had stopped several dozen feet away from him.

The boiling had risen, rushing to his brain in searing-hot fury. A snarl ripped from Emanuel's chest as he watched Katherine enter the vehicle with two adult humans, and take off down the road.

Emanuel followed, not wanting to let the betrayer out of his sight. As he sped alongside the car, hidden in the woods, he watched and listened intently. He chuckled darkly. Nothing about her had changed. She might be wearing modern clothes and straightened hair, but her features remained. Even her simpering voice as she talked to the humans in the car was unmistakable. She was speaking calmly, trying to quell the adults. Or maybe she was trying a new form of compulsion. Emanuel was sure of it. It's who Katherine was.

Suddenly, the woman in the front seat of the car screamed in Emanuel's direction. Maybe it was the sloppy remains of the blood bag on Emanuel's face that frightened her, maybe it was the inhumane speed he was travelling that got her spooked. But now everyone in the car was on alert, unsure of what the hell was going on or what was wrong with the woman. Emanuel came to a halt so he wouldn't fall into the river in front of him. However, the car was careening out of control, swerving this was and that. The vehicle and its inhabitants finally met its abrupt end when it sped over the bridge and dove into the river.

Back when Emanuel was first learning to be a vampire, death of one's prey soon became common. And although he respected life, he knew what he was and there was no changing it. It was the lustful demon inside who allowed Emanuel to often embrace his embrace his nature, and tonight was no exception. The humans in the front of the car would die, and Emanuel saw it as a mercy. Better drowning than dying at Katherine's hands. And there laid the problem. Katherine was a vampire and would obviously survive.

"Like hell she will," Emanuel whispered, and jumped from Wickery Bridge.

The nose of the car was now touching the bottom of the river, the rear still hovering awkwardly with the current. The occupants within the car were unresponsive. Emanuel swam to her door and rolled his eyes. He should've known better. Of course, Katherine would know if he was near or not. But it still confused, even rattled him.

There she was in the backseat of the car, as lifeless as a ragdoll. Why didn't she bail from the car at the last second? Why wasn't she acknowledging Emanuel's presence? What was she playing at? He took the car door from its hinges and tried shaking her shoulders, his dirty nails puncturing her skin. His frustration mounted, and he ripped the seatbelt away. Taking her elbow, he dragged them to the surface, and more or less threw her onto the shore.

Fire roared in his ears as he circled her body. His ragged voice came out breathlessly. "Wake up, Pierce." She didn't move. The veins under his cheeks and the reddening in his eyes had appeared before jumping into the river. Now, his features were only darkening. He kicked the side of her leg. "I said, get up!"

There was no movement from the girl. Emanuel straddled her ribs and grabbed at her soaked hair so that her closed eyes faced him directly.

"Playing possum, Katherine," he sneered disgustedly. "Afraid to face me? Why? I'm younger than you. Nothing but a godforsaken insect. I know how scared and how weak you truly are, but even I know I would lose against you. So, what are you waiting for!" His shouts ripped away at the night, echoing over the river.

"If you and your girlfriend start fighting, I'm going to have to ask you to leave the bar."

Emanuel shot to his feet to face the intruder, a tall, well-toned gentleman wearing nothing but black and bloodstains. Emanuel almost heaved. The stranger reeked of bourbon and overindulgence of blood. His gaze flicked to Katherine. This man wasn't a vampire from the tomb, therefore this wasn't his business. It wasn't his fight.

"Don't suppose you have somewhere better to be, friend," Emanuel bit out as politely as possible.

The stranger seemed to think long and hard for a moment before responding with a wide grin. "Nope. And I should be asking you that question."

"How so?"

He scoffed haughtily and spread his arms out. "I own this town!"

Emanuel groaned with impatience, unsure whether this man did in fact own the town or if he was a drunkard. "Look, I don't have the time nor the energy to deal with a fucking Founder right now. Perhaps we could chat later," he added honestly, but sharply. "But for now, I have to kill someone who should've been dead centuries ago." He moved to kneel next to Katherine's unmoving form.


Emanuel snapped his gaze back to the man, watching as he descended from the road, scaled down the ditch, and make for the shoreline. He was walking stiffly to the girl's body. Emanuel stood and put a hand up to block him, but the stranger treated him like he wasn't there.

"You need to leave," Emanuel spoke dangerously, vampiric instinct telling him to protect what's supposed to be his kill. The stranger sank to his knees beside Katherine, lower jaw slowly parting his lips. His black hair had been messily tussled from that night's drunken escapades, so Emanuel couldn't see into his eyes to gauge an expression. "What are you doing," Emanuel snapped as the stranger's hand reached to Katherine's face. Right before he brushed his fingertips against her skin he abruptly recoiled, but didn't move from his position.

Without looking away from the body, he emptily asked, "Where did you find this one at?"

Emanuel blinked at the way his questions was worded, but still answered him. He told him about seeing her and the humans drive down the road, watching them sink into the river, and then pulling her out. He asked about the adults and Emanuel nodded to the river. The stranger made no further comments, too lost in thought to worry himself with anything other than the girl in front of him.

"By the looks of it," Emanuel started slowly. "I take it you know Katherine?"

He let out a breath. "Sure," he said simply." With the shake of his head, the stranger snapped out of his trance and stared at Emanuel. "How do you know her?"

"Again, we'll chat soon and I can tell you more, because it's a hell of a story, but right now I need to finish this." Emanuel reached up, grabbed the nearest branch, and broke it until it had a long, pointed end.

The stranger scowled. "So you save her from drowning in a river and now you're going to stab her?" He shook his head. "You do know that's what fangs are for, right?"

Emanuel nearly dropped the stake in astonishment. "I'm not going to drink her blood! She's not human!"

The stranger slapped his forehead. "Check again. Listen and smell."

Emanuel was frustrated and so far gone in his impatience that he ignored the stranger. He walked closer to the girl's body. Using speed much faster than his own, Emanuel suddenly came face to face with the man. He was failing to swallow his cowardice as he was being loomed over, but squared his shoulders nonetheless. "I have to kill her," he ground out.

"I'm not Katherine's number one fan either," the stranger spoke evenly. "In fact, I'd be helping you right now. But check again," he repeated.

Knowing that he wasn't going to get anywhere if he didn't do as told, Emanuel stepped away from him and took a deep breath. The anger didn't leave, but the deafening in his ears faded until he was able to once again tune into the environment. Between rustling leaves, lapping water, and the occasional air bubble rising to the surface above the sunken car, the night was rather undisturbed. There were a few woodland creatures scurrying about, but they instinctually stood clear of the two men. Even so, there was a heartbeat close to them. Emanuel looked down at the girl's unwavering body and gasped. Though it was slow, the girl did have a heart beating in her chest, and breath huffing through her lungs. For further proof, her skin was starting to redden in order to warm her soaked, chilly body.

"Human," Emanuel whispered. The stranger nodded casually, trying to hide his own confusion. "How did she become human again?"

The stranger took a long pause before speaking. "Even with the whole murderous vengeance thing you got going on," he quipped, still fixated on the human's body. "You seem like a nice guy, maybe even new to the whole vampire thing. But I've got to tell you, you are one of the dumbest vampires I've ever had the displeasure of meeting. Were you this gullible as a human, too?"

Without waiting for an outraged comeback, the stranger continued quickly. "She's not Katherine. Looks like her, and maybe even smells like her a little, but it's not her."

"How do you know?"

This question made him finally look at Emanuel's eyes. The stranger didn't stutter, stumble, or speak petulantly. Emanuel was surprised and almost felt chided when he answered. "I just do."

"It has to be her ancestor, then," Emanuel offered.

The stranger shook his head certainly. "Katherine didn't have any descendants. Didn't even have any kids when she was human." This time, Emanuel didn't try and fight the man when he came near the girl to sit on the ground next her. He was about to question him further until sirens began sounding in the distance.

Emanuel spun around. "What is that?"

"Ambulances," the stranger murmured. "by the sounds of it." He looked up at Emanuel. "You can stay if you want. I'm sure they'd love to meet the family's murderer," he said with a smile.

Emanuel cringed. "I didn't exactly mean for this to happen!"

"Explain that to her." The man slowly reached out again, this time to stroke the girl's hair back. He looked to the river. "I'm sure she's going to be so happy to hear about this when she wakes up." The sirens were blaring closer. The man chuckled. "So I take it you're not going to eat her, then?" Whenever he turned back to the spot where Emanuel stood, the only thing left in his place was the clatter of the wooden stake hitting the ground.

He exhaled and tucked another strand of hair behind her ear with a feather-light caress. "Looks like I've got to clean up the kid's mess," he smirked jokingly before sobering. "Who the hell are you?" His voice came out so quiet that he almost startled himself when it appeared to sound gentle. He was further surprised when forced breaths and coughing began rising from the young lady's throat. "And she lives. Yay," he cheered bluntly.

When the coughing wouldn't subside, dark, chocolate eyes tried to force themselves open an effort to get her bearings. Tired and battered, she moved to prop herself up on her elbows. She was by herself along the bank of the river, almost under Wickery Bridge. Panicking, her head swiveled this way and that, desperate to locate her parents. "No..." she rasped. She tried to get up, only to have to lay back down when another coughing fit consumed her. "No!" She cried out, tears running down her face as her cheek pressed into the dirt.

She had no idea the shadows were watching her. Actually, just one shadow. The strange vampire dressed in black and bloodstains stayed hidden where he was, watching anguished sobs wrack the young woman's body. His interest soon flashed to the bridge, where EMT's and police parked their vehicles. With all the commotion, a crow that had been perched by the roadside, snacking on roadkill, took off into the woods.

The vampire gave a predatory grin. "If you're looking for a feast," he said, gazing up at the bird. "I tossed some corpses into the river not too long ago. You might find some leftovers." The crow cackled irritably at him and deliberately turned its sleek body away. He smiled. Even a bird had enough sense to show respect for him, much less some rookie vampire.

Inhaling and relaxing his eyes, he situated himself to full face the direction of the crow. With all the blood he'd consumed that night, this trick would be easy. "Look at me," he whispered quite clearly. The crow snapped his attention back to the speaker and stared at him, transfixed. "Start a commotion," the vampire said calmly, unwaveringly. He pointed to the direction of the sirens and lights. "Get their attention until they find her." He then pointed to the crying young woman. "I have to go, but I want you to come find me later and let me know of her condition. If another vampire goes after her, get me immediately."

The crow tilted its head, confused as to why this predator wanted to help its prey, but, enslaved by the vampire's will, he did as told.