There is a point when the line becomes so blurred that you no longer see it. You need the passing of time, a time to reflect, a moment to step back to catch your breath, and then you’ll see that line again. I see the line. Tears escape my tightly shut eyes… I see the line.
The first thing I remember, clear as day, is my mother. I see her beautiful, light brown hair blowing in the wind. I see her smile, bright and warm. And her eyes, as green as the hills behind her. I smile at this memory. I remember her passing. I was young when she told me to run, hard and fast. I did and I never looked back as they tore her to pieces. I hid in the woods for days until my father and his men found me. My father vowed that day that he would honor my mother and never let me out of his sight.
I grew older. I learned the ways of my father. I carried the sword and crossbow. I hunted.
We were not merceneries. We were not for hire. We hunted them because they were a threat. My father and I hunted them because we hated them. When a lord offerd us a bounty for a vampire who had stolen from him, my father told him we would do it for free.
Zara, the thief.
My father and I split up. He went west. I went east. It was after sunset when my party found her. After sunset, a vampires play time. She killed my men, quickly, with relative ease. They were inexperienced. They were dead before they knew it. I proved difficult for her but still, I was alone and soon I was helpless. She was on top of me, pinning me to the ground. She looked at me as if I were some alien object, scanning my face for some unknown reason. I spat on her face and cursed her. She did not like that. She bit her lip and spit back. Blood and siliva landed on my left cheek. I did not like this. I screamed in disgust, struggling to free myself from her grip. When I finally did, she was gone. She fled into the night.
My father sympathized but I knew he was disappointed. Perhaps he had hoped that I too had fallen instead of being made a fool of. But I would not be made a fool of.
A few months later we met again, this time in daylight. This time, I was not alone, but niether was she. We fought hard. Zara and her lover managed to kill off half of my men. She managed to stay in the shadows of the trees, away from the sun. She managed to take my weapon, and to add insult to injury, she managed to shoot me with a bolt from my crossbow. I pulled the bolt from my side and responded by chopping her lover’s head off. She did not like that. Still, she managed to get away. I was once again the fool.
A year passes. A year of constant fear. A year of looking into the shadows and seeing her face when it wasn’t there. It was a year of waiting for her to exact her revenge. And when she did, it was nothing like I would have ever imagined.
Zara slipped into the camp and killed off the sentries. She went into my tent and just sat and watched me sleeping. She must have been there for hours before she decided to wake me with her blade on my throat. Her gray eyes were unmoving, staring deep into mine. I laid there, frozen and quiet. She leaned in and kissed me. I gave in to the kiss. I had wanted to for so long. And when we explored eachother’s body, leaving every square inch touched, I realized she had gotten her revenge. But I did not care.
I woke up the following morning believing that it was all a dream. But the cuts on my back where she had dug her fingernails in told me otherwise. So did the severed heads of the sentries laying next to me.
I was obsessed afterwards, waiting for her. Her touch, her smell, her deep stare that penetrated my soul,. I waited a whole year before she once again slipped into the camp and into my bed. And once again, we repeated that night. And soon afterwards I was left alone to wait.
My father walked into my tent in the morning and sat on my bed. He asked me if were going to spend all day sleeping. I told him I was just about to get up.
“I saw her leaving your tent, Marco.” he said. His face was washed with shame.
“Who?” I asked him, trying my best to sound innocent.
He looked at me with disgust. “That vampire!” he responded, coldly.
“There was no one here, father. I don’t know what you’re-“ I would have said more but he hit me, knocking me to the floor.
“Don’t you ever forget what you are!” he said standing over me.
I could not look at him. I was caught, I was guilty. I dishonored him and my mother. I dishonored our way of life and the people we vowed to protect. I slept with the enemy.
But I no longer cared.
Zara kept visiting me. She followed the camp to wherever it would move. Some nights she came only for passion. Other nights she came just to hold me until sunrise. She would tell me that she wished she was able to walk out into the sunlight and lay in the grass with me. I told her that I wished I was able to follow her into the darkness and look up at the night sky with her. But we never said I love you. That was forbiddened.
For two years, our secret affair lasted. The moments she wasn’t with me were unbarable. All I thought about was her. And when we were together, I cried because she would soon have to leave again. She told me not to worry. “Just as the sun always rises, it also sets,” she would say. “And when it does, I’ll be here.”
Ocassionaly, she would give me information about other vampires, her enemies I’m sure. I would hunt them just to show my father that I hadn’t gotten soft. I hadn’t. I still hated them, I just didn’t hate her. And when she told me that the lord who had placed the bounty on her head had hired others to kill her, I took it upon myself to kill him. She never asked me too but I couldn’t let anyone take her away from me.
I had settled with what I had. I could have ask for more but I wouldn’t get it. We were different and the world would have never understood this. As much as I wanted to declare to the whole world that the woman I love is a vampire, I couldn’t. If I did, they would take her away from me. And when my father walked in on us, we saw just how much the world would not understand.
He let his crossbow do the talking but she was too quick and before he knew it, she was on top of him, her blade to his throat. I pleaded with her to let him go. “As long as he lives,” she said, “we will never be able to be together.”
She was right. Fuck the world and what they thought of us. My father was the only one who would be able to do anything about it and I couldn’t let him take her away from me.
“Let’s go,” I told her, “Let’s runaway. You told me about Ravenblack. Let’s go there, together.”
Zara looked up at me with tears in her eyes and nodded. She lifted her blade off my father’s throat and hit him on the head with the handle, knocking him unconscious. “That will buy us some time,” she said. We dressed and gather what little things we could and fled. I followed her into the darkness.