Hey people! Whoa its been a while huh, my bad. I blame my short attention span ^^ So the beginning of this chapter is a dream/memory. The rest is a couple different scenes. I ran out of ideas so smushed some stuff together. Apologies if it sucks.
Her hands scratched into my shoulders trying to push me off. I couldn't hear her. Couldn't feel her. All I could do was taste. I bit down harder, tearing her skin between my teeth in my rush to get more blood. She cried out and bucked beneath me.
"K-Kel..." Her voice was losing strength. It sounded less of a demand to be released and more of a plea for me to finish. And it was tempting. Very tempting. She whispered my name again and that was it. Like all rational thought left me. I wasn't Kelly anymore. Or Clara. I was the monster.
My hands tightened on her, teeth sinking deeper into her main arteries for more. Blood burst into my mouth and spilled out over my lips. I smiled, knowing I'd nicked just the right place. It was like a private fountain. I started swallowing faster with a smiling groan at the warm sweet taste washing over my tongue. She tasted so damn nice.
Her heartbeat slowed right down. No longer beating rapidly in fear against my lips but thudding dully under my mouth. The flow of blood was slowing and I growled impatiently when it started to trickle into my mouth, forcing me to suck to get it out. I pulled myself away from her with a loud groaning gasp while I swallowed the last of it, smiling to myself. After all that waiting and starving myself for months I could easily say that had been the best blood I'd ever had. I was breathing heavy with the rush of it racing inside me and I loved it.
I squeezed her hand in thanks and looked down at her, smile dropping the second I realised what I'd done.
"Polly?" I shook her. I could hear her heart slowing some more. Stuttering. Dying.
And I panicked.
"Polly?!" I shouted gently slapping her cheek to rouse her. When it didn't work I froze. I realised nothing I could do would work now. Nothing could save her.
What have I done?!
"What have you done?!"
I looked back at the door. Eleanor had found us. She rushed over before I could speak and shoved me off Polly. Ella crouched beside the pale girl and grabbed her arm, gently pulling her into her side. The force of her push had shoved me onto the floor. I should have been mad at her. Should be furious she'd treated me that way. But I wasn't. I couldn't think long enough to work past all the guilt folding into me.
Ella was talking to me, begging for help. I was shaking my head. I was staring at the vacant blue in Polly's eyes, the blood on her neck smeared into her skin. I was watching what little flick of life I'd left her gently fade away. I wanted to throw up. I wanted to stop looking at her. Waned to stop myself wondering if I could get more. I wanted to take it back. I was disgusted. I'd killed her.
I'd killed Polly.
"Clara you need to-"
I stood up and backed away from them. I couldn't. Eleanor ignored me with a deep frown and stabbed her own wrist hard, letting it drip with blood. I watched her press it to pollys lips and I felt like an idiot. I should have thought of that! I watched El press her wrist harder against pollys mouth, parting her lips and sneaking the blood in. I was locked in fascination. I knew it wouldn't change her, I was doubtful it'd even save her, but it'd maybe keep her alive for a while. Like a blood transfusion. It would have worked better coming from me, I was older after all. And much stronger. But I still couldn't think long enough to consider it.
We both waited with held breaths for polly to start swallowing. She wouldn't realise what it was. To her right now it'd taste like what muddy water does to a dehydrated man; heaven. Survival.
Except she wasn't swallowing.
El was going to give up after a few minutes of nothing. I could tell by the slump in her shoulders and the tears slipping down her cheeks. I wanted to tell her to keep going. To not give up. To never dare giving up. But I couldn't. I couldn't say anything. I just carried on watching and willing and praying for Polly to come back. She had to come back. We needed her. I needed her.
Eleanor's hand started to move away; the final T.O.D move. A few tears fell down my cheek and I bit my lip to stop the sob, hating myself even more when I reflexively licked more blood off it. El was about to remove herself from the body altogether when it grabbed her. We both jumped. El gasped. I stared and started breathing heavy again. She was alive?!
Polly leant heavily into Els side and whimpered in pain. Ella looked relieved and hopeful again when she glanced back at me for permission. I was too frozen to do anything. So she went ahead and gave the girl her blood, soothing and encouraging her to drink it.
Eleanor let Polly grip her arm, let her drink deeply while some strength returned to her. I stared at them both. I felt disgusted. Because this shouldn't be happening. This should never happen. Eleanor's eyes watched me worried, knowing what I was going to do but begging me not to. I did anyway. I couldn't stay here and watch Polly do that. I couldn't watch her become a shadow of us. Eleanor knew that. She understood that. And still she begged me to stay.
But I couldn't.
She called after me when I bolted from the room. Her desperate voice echoed down the halls after me, screaming over the rain and wind when I eventually made it out to the grounds. I had to get away- far away- but I had a horrible feeling I wouldn't be able to outrun this one.
My eyes snapped open. I was covered in sweat and my shaking body told me I was breathing heavily. Polly shifted a little on my chest, mumbling softly in her sleep. I let out a long breath. It was only a dream. An old evil memory. I could still taste the blood on my tongue though and when I glanced down at her pale neck I was half tempted to lean down and bite. I squeezed my eyes shut and told myself to calm down. But I couldn't. I couldn't sit here with Polly with that memory playing out into head. I was too guilty.
I gently pulled Polly off me and slipped out of bed to pull some clothes on. She shifted a little behind me and I stood watching her a moment before I moved out of the room. The school was silent, gently sighing to itself with everybody's sleeping. I slowly walked up to my room and opened the door, smiling down at my daughter sat peacefully by herself writing on my bed.
"I thought you weren't writing that story anymore?"
She looked up at me and shook her head, "It isn't your tale I write, Clara"
I closed the door with a frown and moved to sit beside her, tilting my head so I could read her elegant writing.
"It's your story" I realised with a surprised blink. She nodded and I smiled, "Am I still the villain in this one?"
"You never were the villain, Clara. To me you were always the life hardened heroine"
"Just without a Prince Charming, eh?" I joked bumping her shoulder. Eleanor's eyes watched me carefully and my smile dropped a little, "And what about now? Still the heroine?"
She didn't answer me. Instead she closed the book and placed it on the desk with a heavy breath. I was pulled into a sudden hug and I smiled at her. I understood.
"Why aren't you with Polly?" She whispered shyly into my shoulder.
When I looked down I noticed the blush in her cheek. I rolled my eyes. I wondered when the prude little girl would become the mothers daughter. Then I realised I really didn't want her to become like me. At all.
I weaved my fingers through her soft hair and twirled a strand around them to stall an answer before I let out a long breath of resignation. I couldn't lie to her. Even if I tried. So I told her the truth,
"Bad dreams" I mumbled. She just nodded. Eleanor understood completely.
She was quiet for a moment and I let the silence take me further into her hug before I heard her voice singing. I smiled when I recognised it. She was singing me her lullaby. I squeezed her and sank back on the bed and pulled her with me, singing with her to the song.
"What was the dream about?" She asked once we were laid comfy on our sides. I kept singing, tucking her up against me. She sighed when I wouldn't tell her and simply closed her eyes to it. I stopped singing after a while and I took a deep breath.
"Polly. I was dreaming about Polly"
I knew she'd still be awake despite how relaxed and heavy her body had become on mine. I had half hoped she'd fallen asleep. But Eleanor wouldn't do that. Not when she knew I was upset about something. I rarely opened up to her so she'd definitely be awake still.
"When we turned her?" She asked after a moment of silent thought. I shook my head and cringed a little with that memory too. That had been just as bad.
"When I-," I choked up and clenched my teeth. Bloody human emotions, "When I bit her"
Eleanor looked back at me and I knew she was looking at me shocked. But I wouldn't meet her eyes. That blue gaze of hers always made me question myself. And I'd rather not have that on top of the guilt. She tucked herself up beside me and cuddled into my arms, soothing me with her warmth. I smiled and kissed her head.
"Do you regret it?" She whispered quietly, nervously. I nodded.
"Every single day" I sighed
"And me?" I looked down at her and kissed her head again.
"Never. I don't regret keeping you. I don't regret changing you. You're my daughter, Eleanor. My little angel. Why should I regret something as perfect as you?"
"Because it brought you all this trouble" she mumbled guiltily.
I shook my head at her and smiled a little to myself. Ever the little self blamer. I wrapped my arms more securely around her and squeezed her tighter
"I brought me all this trouble. And I'd take a thousand times worse than this if it meant getting to keep you"
She nodded and sighed against my shoulder as she tucked her face into my neck. I smiled and kissed her head again, closing my own eyes. I felt like a great weight was lifted off my chest. I guess I just needed to finally tell somebody I hated my life, I hated what I did. I'd been lying so long. This must be what relief felt like.
Eleanor let out a content breath against my neck and I whispered a thanks before letting her settle down.
"Love you mum" she mumbled kissing my cheek before she slipped off into her dreams.
I grinned. I seldom ever heard her tell me that, because of course I never deserved it. But when she did tell me it was like flicking a switch. I could be happy for hours knowing everything in the world could be absolute shit, but it wouldn't matter. Because the one person who mattered most still loved me despite everything I did wrong. She honestly was an angel.
I hummed Eleanor her lullaby and listened to her slowly drift away to sleep while I thought over everything we'd talked about. I couldn't stop coming back to her question of regret.
I closed my eyes after a few torturous hours and kept humming to myself. Trying to lure myself into sleep. And when that don't work I focused on studying Eleanor's face as she slept, working out which parts of me she'd inherited and which ones she hadn't. I tried to stay quiet. I tried to stay still. I tried my best to ignore the rapidly loud beating of Annabelle's heart echoing out of the dorm.
"Oh, I'm sorry! I thought nobody was up here"
Footsteps started to retreat off the roof and the door reopened. I frowned to myself and looked up from Polly's drafts on the theft plan. I stared up at the ceiling. I'd been reading notes and listening to Eleanor up on the roof for the past few minutes, smiling a little at the continuous soft scratching of her pen touching her notebook. I heard her sit up straight before she spoke back
"No need to leave, Annabelle. I'm sure you're trying to hide from the others?"
I smiled even more then. So kind and gentle. I don't know where she gets it.
Fritton laughed a little nervously and moved back onto the roof, gently pulling the door shut behind her.
"You're... Eleanor, aren't you?," she asked stopping by a chimney. I could just imagine her nervous smile while she asked the question.
Eleanor must have nodded because Annabelle carried on, "You look like that head girl" she blurted.
I sat up straighter on my bed then, trying to get closer to their conversation. Eleanor's laughter reached me and I smiled some more,
"Yes, I know"
Fritton took a nervous breath again, "You're related?"
"She is my cousin" Little bitterness there. She really didn't like lying.
"And how does that go?" My brow rose with the teasing tone. Fritton could do joking? I could just picture Eleanor's smile while she thought out her answer.
"Very very difficult" she replied after a while. They both chuckled. I grinned up at them and shook my head as I told myself to focus on Polly's notes.
"I'd imagine as much," Belle commented. The springs on the sofa squeaked a little as she sat down beside El, "What're you writing?"
My head went on overload with her gentle voice. I was imagining what she must look like, what she felt like, sat there asking my daughter about her writing. She'd be sat on the very edge of the sofa, hands under her thighs so she could push herself up quickly if needed. Her head would be tilted to the side so she could read Ella's handwriting. She was starting to wear her hair down now so it'd be splayed across her face until she reached up to tuck it behind her ear. And she'd be smiling. Gentle and friendly. Like she did to Celia and Polly, and all the other girls who were nice to her. But never me. I'd never get that smile. I'd never feel her sat next to me. I'd never get those warm hazel eyes focused on me entirely. I suddenly felt very jealous of Eleanor.
"My story" I heard Eleanor reply in a distracted voice. I blinked out of my thoughts and looked up again listening to her scratching away again. I bet fritton was confused.
"What's it about?" Annabelle shyly asked, heart thumping her nervousness.
"It's about me" Eleanor replied gently. She must know how scared Annabelle was. My eyes hardened up at the ceiling plaster though, warning her to be careful with the conversation.
"There's quite a few pages there. It must be long"
"It is long" I held my breath, silently praying El left it there. We couldn't afford to drop clues for the girl. Thankfully for us both Annabelle had something else in mind to chat about.
"The other girls say that the school is closing" she breezed casually, leaning back on the sofa.
"Unfortunately they are right" Eleanor replied.
"Aren't you worried?"
"No. I'm positive it won't. Not with Kelly in charge" I smiled then, truly touched by her sincerity. But I also felt ashamed. How could I save this place? What would she think of me when I couldn't do it? Because I honestly knew I couldn't.
"Is Kelly..." I looked up again with her frantic heartbeat. Why did it sound like she'd been wanting to get on that topic for a while?
"Yes?" Yeah, is Kelly...?
"This is probably going to sound rather intrusive but is she usually..."
Oh just spit it out! It was hard not verbalising that. As it was I was biting my lip to stay quiet. I stretched up some more, eager to know what she wanted to say. Eleanor gave it a couple of seconds before offering her own suggestions;
"Rude? Arrogant? Completely-"
"Yes" Annabelle laughed in relief, glad El had answered for her.
I'd narrowed my eyes up at the ceiling. El knew I was listening didn't she? I rolled my eyes with a smile. That daughter of mine. I was wondering which of those Annabelle had been thinking of. Maybe all of them. Still, I want to know which.
She stayed quiet, breathing slow and calmly, but like always her heart betrayed her. There was my little hummingbird. I smiled. I hadn't heard it all day. She'd been fairly calm all week really. Annabelle must have given Eleanor some sort of look because I heard her familiar sigh before the sofa cushions shifted a little under her moving weight. Maybe she'd taken Annabelle's hand. Maybe she was looking at her seriously. She was smiling though. That I could be certain of.
"I think she likes you, Annabelle. She just doesn't want to show it"
"Yeah right" I muttered under my breath. I didn't like the brat. I liked that red stuff inside her. That was it.
Keep telling yourself that, Clara.
I glared at myself and focused back on the girls' conversation.
"Why would you think that?," Annabelle asked in a surprised-shocked even- voice. I just smirked, "So far she's been rather horrid to me"
She had a point. Between letting the girls terrorise her and bombard her with their pranks I was either avoiding her fully or dropping my own sarcastic comments whenever she was around. What could I say? I didn't want her liking me. I didn't want to give her a reason to be near me. I didn't want to give me a reason to be near her.
El stood up and I heard the roof echo with her quiet footsteps before she opened the door. I can just see her holding the door open and looking back at Annabelle with a soft smile,
"Sometimes hate is the only way we show love. Perhaps if the two of you shared a conversation you'd see it"
"See what?" Annabelle and I said together. Eleanor didn't answer. Just walked away.
Annabelle started pacing the roof when Eleanor left. I smiled with her slow rhythm of steps. They no way matched the speed of her heart. I wondered then if it was just me that made it go like that or whether it was vampires in general. I'd have to test it out. I turned my gaze to my door when Eleanor opened it and we both smiled up at Annabelle quietly muttering under her breath about us.
"She likes you too" El whispered to me. I glanced back at her and shrugged.
"I don't care" I turned away from her and crept around the bed towards the door. I could feel her eyes follow me.
"Where are you going?" She asked worried.
I smirked a little to myself and rolled the itch out of my shoulders. I was aching to bite again. That heartbeat was pounding temptation into me the longer I stayed here. And I wasn't so sure I could trust myself not to act on impulse today.
I opened the door, not bothering to even turn around to answer her. She didn't need to ask. We all knew where I was going.
"To find Polly"