FY 50


FY 50

Two months later…
With the changing of the seasons also came the news that the bodies of two notorious criminals had been discovered. All of the details weren’t revealed but the reporters on tv were calling the people behind the murders something I wasn’t quiet expecting…vigilantes. I jokingly told Ruby that we were known as superheros now and when she gave me a confused look, I knew it was time to bring out my box of comic books that was stowed away at my mom’s. Speaking of my mom, our relationship was doing pretty great. I guess dying was what it took to make me grow up and finally act like an adult. When Ruby and I moved back to the city, Ma told me that she couldn’t stand the thought of me being so far away. I figured it was just empty nest syndrome speaking but I was wrong….very wrong. Imagine our surprise when Ma knocked on our door a few days later and happily told us that we were going to be neighbors. She’d bought the penthouse on the top floor of our apartment building. Just in time for the holidays…

“And we’re all done.” I told Ruby as I placed one last ornament on the tree. We both took a step back and admired our handiwork. We’d been decorating our small apartment since sunset. We were expecting company later that week. Shannon and her family along with my mom were all coming for dinner on Christmas Eve. It was Ruby’s first “modern day” Christmas and I was trying my hardest to make it a special one for her. “How lovely.” She murmured as she gazed up at the tree. “Yeah, we make a good team.” I winked at her. “Do you think Quinn will like it?” She’d taken a real shining to Quinn while we were living in Willow Creek. And because of that, we were thinking of adopting one day. Maybe having a little one around wouldn’t be so bad. It was definitely something to consider. “Of course! But I think she’ll be more concerned about what’s under the tree.” I chuckled. I glanced up again and realized something was missing. “Oh, one last thing!” I said as I rooted around in the cardboard box on the floor. “I almost forgot it.” I reached up and placed the star on top of the tree where it belonged. “What do you think?” I asked with a big grin. “It is beautiful, my love.” She nodded her head up and down approvingly. “Not as beautiful as you are.” I told her as I took her by the hands and kissed them.

We sat on the couch in front of the fireplace sipping on eggnog and discussing where we wanted to live next. People would eventually notice that we weren’t aging so every decade or so we would have to move on to somewhere new. There was a whole big world out there ripe for the taking but I wanted to start with Romania and see where Ruby grew up. I’d keep in touch with my family by writing to them…until I either became a distant memory or they passed on. I put my arm around Ruby and kissed her on the forehead. She smiled up at me with those big yellow eyes of hers and I sighed in content. It didn’t matter where we went or what we faced in the coming centuries. We’d always have each other.

The End.


FY 49


Ruby and I planned to elope immediately but after a bit of thought, we decided that it would be fitting to get married in the town where we met…Forgotten Hollow. So on a dark and stormy night towards the end of October, we found ourselves in front of the altar. It was a private ceremony for just the two of us because some things were better off left unexplained to the members of my family.

As I watched Ruby walk down the aisle, her eyes shining with love for me, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. Once she reached me, I grabbed her by the waist and pulled her close to my chest. Then I bent down and placed a gentle kiss on her hand. She giggled and lifted her hand to cup my cheek. “You look wonderful.” She told me as she gazed at me. “As do you.” My eyes traveled up and down her body, lingering on the intricate lacing on the bodice of her dress. “But I think I’m gonna have trouble getting that dress off of you tonight…all these ribbons and bows…looks kinda complicated.” I waggled my eyebrows in jest. She let out a hearty laugh and she looked so friggin’ adorable when her fangs peeked out over her bottom lip. “Oh do not worry, my love. I will help you rip it to shreds if that is what we must do.” She teased in that husky accent of hers.

I coughed and straightened up with a serious look on my face. Ruby followed suit. I took our rings from my pocket and as we exchanged them, we spoke our eternal vows to each other. Then with a passionate kiss we sealed our fates…forever.

FY 48


“Luke! You came!” Quinn cried happily as she opened the door to let us inside. “Of course I did! And I hope it’s okay that I brought a date.” I motioned to Ruby standing behind me. “Oooh…she’s really pretty.” Quinn stared up at her in awe. “And so are you, sweet girl.” Ruby flashed her a winning smile. “Come on, we’re about to blow out the candles!” Quinn grabbed me by the hand and tugged me to the kitchen where our whole family awaited. I gave my mother a quick kiss on the cheek and introduced Ruby to everyone. When I saw Shannon, I asked to speak to her privately for just a moment. After we returned to the kitchen, I sat down next to Quinn at the counter. Ruby furrowed her brows and cocked her head to the side. I’m sure she was wondering what my conversation with my cousin was about. I winked at her and shrugged. She’d find out soon enough. I stifled a laugh when I noticed how big Quinn’s eyes grew as we watched Kolt light the candles on her cake.
Everyone gathered around us and broke out into the chorus of the birthday song. “Happy Birthday to us!” I sang loudly as I grinned at Quinn. Her lips formed a perfect o as she leaned over to blow out the candles. “Wait! You have to make a wish!” I nudged her playfully with my shoulder. “Okay! Let’s make one together!” She said excitedly. “My wish already came true.” I met Ruby’s eyes and we beamed at each other. “So how about you make two wishes?” I offered. “Yay!” She squealed. She closed her eyes and whispered her wishes then finally blew out the candles. Kolt sliced the cake and handed everyone a plate. Then Ruby sat in my lap and we shared a slice while listening to my family catch up with one another..
“Happy birthday, my love.” Ruby told me later when we finally had a moment alone. “Thanks, babe. I look pretty good for 24. And in 100 years, I’ll still look good for 24.” I smirked. “You sure will.” She teased back. “By the way, thank you for bringing me here. I am so glad I got to meet everyone. Your family is lovely.” She smiled at me and kissed my cheek. “Not just my family.” I bent to the floor on one knee and pulled out the ring Shannon had given me earlier. “Our family.” Ruby gasped in surprise. “Will you marry me, Ruby?” Her large eyes twinkled with delight as she took it from my hand. “Yes, my love!” She slid the ring over her finger and embraced me tightly. “I’m forever yours.” She whispered into my ear.

FY 47


Since we were stuck in the warehouse until sundown, Ruby spent the whole day teaching me everything she knew about our kind. Most of it was common sense…we couldn’t stay out in the sun too long, had to stay away from garlic, and wooden stakes meant true death. Then there was the fun stuff like being able to cast hallucinations and compel humans to do our bidding. I was amazed by how strong I felt and how sharp my senses were. It was like I was finally seeing the world for everything it had to offer. There was just so much to learn and Ruby was more than happy to show me the ropes.
As soon as night fell, we took my mother home and put her into bed. Ruby promised that she’d wake up by morning and wouldn’t remember anything about being kidnapped. She’d wonder how she got the black eye, for sure. I’d have to come up with some kind of story to tell her. And in a few days, the whole city would know that Joey Hunter was no longer a threat. There would be peace and life could return to some kind of normal. Well for others at least. Life would never be normal for me again…
Through Ruby I learned that there was one more stipulation before my transformation would be complete…I would have to drink blood to remain a vampire. Human me would have been appalled at the thought…but vampire me was pretty excited about it. We took a stroll through the nicer part of the city and looked for a victim. When we came face to face with Jett and Bree, I knew it was fate…
“Luke, is that you, man?” Jett squinted up at me. “You look so…different.” He squirmed uneasily under my expressionless gaze. I noticed their expensive clothes and jewelry right away. “You both look like you’re doing pretty well for yourselves.” I narrowed my eyes. “Hey man, I’m sorry. I wanted to cut you in on the money but Bree said we needed someone to take the fall.” I felt Ruby stiffen next to me once she realized who they were. “Don’t you dare try to blame me! You’re the one who said he was a spoiled rich boy who needed to be knocked down a few pegs!” Bree glared in Jett’s direction. “You seem to be doing okay though, right Richie Rich? You have a pretty girl hanging off of your arm and you look happy. So some good came from this mess, huh?” Jett gave me a hopeful smile. “Oh, I only died. Nothing too serious.” I snapped. “Come on, man. Don’t be so dramatic.” Jett looked down at his feet. I could tell Ruby was growing impatient. She let out a low growl. “My love…I am starving! Can we eat now?” I nodded my head. “Yes.” I hissed then lunged at Bree’s throat. It was all over in a matter of seconds…and revenge has never tasted so sweet. “Mmm, we should get takeout tomorrow night too.” Ruby giggled as I kissed her under the streetlamp. “Rain check, babe. We have a party to crash.”

FY 46


The lights went out and daylight streamed into the building. Then the sound of someone running across the roof echoed throughout the room. “Go check it out!” Joey yelled at his lackey. The guy didn’t make it very far because an ash-covered Ruby dropped from the rafters and latched herself onto his neck. Once he was down, she darted to Joey and firmly grasped his neck in her hands. The loud snap that followed filled me with complete satisfaction. “Finally.” I let out a ragged breath. I could hear my mom crying. I’m sure she was terrified. Ruby walked over to her and compelled her to forget what she saw. “Now rest.” My mom slid down to floor with a soft sigh.
“It is best if she does not remember.” Ruby explained as she dropped to her knees by my side. I tried to roll onto my back to get a better look at her and was met with agony. “It’s bad, isn’t it?” I motioned towards my wound. “Hmm.” She glanced down at it. “Just try not to move so much, my love.” She told me as she cupped my cheek. “I apologize for being late. I do not know my way around this city very well. I got lost.” She gave me a sheepish smile. “Don’t apologize. I’m just glad you showed up when you did.” I reached for her hand and brushed my fingers against hers. “I didn’t mean all of the awful things I said to you before, Ruby. You’re not the monster I made you out to be…you’re just as flawed as I am. And you didn’t have to come here for me…especially after the way I treated you. But you did. You just keep saving my life.” I rasped. “I guess what I’m trying to say is I love you, Ruby.” She wiped a tear from her cheek and nodded. “Luke…my heart is yours. Forever.”
I was beginning to feel weaker and weaker by the second. “Am I going to die?” I asked bluntly. “Just tell me the truth.” She struggled to keep her face neutral. “Yes, Luke.” I shivered at her words and realized how cold I felt all over. I knew she wasn’t lying. “What’s it like?” I mumbled quietly. “It is a bit like going to sleep. You just drift off. There is no pain. Only darkness.” She was right. The pain was already beginning to fade…it was replaced by numbness. “So this is it, huh?” She placed her hand over mine and squeezed it gently. My lids grew so heavy that I finally had to close them. She then pressed her lips against my ear and began to whisper. “During our night of passion…we shared blood, my love. It was by accident but a happy one at least. Because I am saving your life, one more time.” I tried to listen to what she was saying but it was hard to focus. “Everything is going to be okay. Just give in to the darkness, Luke.” Her voice was growing further and further away but still, I heard the last thing she said to me.
“I will be right here when you wake up.”

FY 45


I struggled against the chair I was tied to but it was no use. I looked at my mother next to me and tried to tell her how sorry I was with my eyes. She looked resigned to our fate, whatever it was going to be. But I wasn’t ready to give up. We could hear Joey and his goon discussing what to do with us over a game of poker. His henchman made the remark that they should probably feed us to the fishes which Joey found pretty amusing.
Several long hours passed before Joey finally came over and cut us loose. My hands had begun to lose circulation and my butt was numb from sitting there so long. And where the hell was Ruby? “I’m going to give you once last chance to accept the offer I gave you. Either pay me the money back in full or work off your debt.” I rolled my eyes. “I don’t know how many times I have to tell you before it sinks into your daft head…I didn’t steal from you. But I know who did.” He raised his brow. “Who?” He demanded. “Their names are Jett and Bree. And I’ll kill them myself if I find them before you do.” He smiled at that. “And why should I believe you? Aren’t they friends of yours?” I glanced out the window and noticed it was nearly dawn. I guess that meant I was on my own. I spit on the ground in response. “Not anymore. And you can bet your ass I’d sell them out in a heartbeat to save our lives.” I motioned to my mother and myself. “Say I were to believe you…then you’d still have to stick around until you help me find these “friends” of yours. And you might as well work while you’re here. I’m a businessman and this is purely business. Nothing personal. Capiche?” He asked if I understood. “No! I’m done! I don’t owe you anything!” I screamed lividly. He was a bit taken aback by my anger but he quickly recomposed himself. “Come on boss! Let me shoot him!” His goon begged. Joey silenced him with a raised hand.
“Nah. I’ll deal with him myself.” Joey laughed heartily. “I think the boy wants to go a couple of rounds with me. Don’t ya?” I glared at him without speaking. But he was right. I wanted nothing more than to knock that smug look off his face. “So how about this? If you win and knock me out cold, then I’ll let you and your mom go free. Fair and square.” He told me with a slimy grin. Joey was a big guy but I was betting he moved slow. I liked my chances. I nodded my head and put my fists up in front my face. “Okay. Let’s do this.” I ducked as he swung his big mitt at my head then I quickly popped him in the nose. “You little shi-” I hit in him in the mouth before he could finish swearing at me. That just made him angrier. His arm snaked out and I felt a sharp pain in my gut. I suddenly felt lightheaded. “Hey…” I looked down at the knife that was embedded there. “That’s cheating…” I slumped down to the floor as he pulled the blade back out and cleaned it off. “Well that’s too bad, boy. Life just ain’t fair.”

FY 44


The warehouse by the docks were easy enough to find. Deep down I had a feeling I’d end up at this place one day. I glared up at the security camera and flipped it off before entering the building. Now Joey Hunter could say that he had me on tape…the real me. I stealthily ducked in and out of dark corners until I finally found my mother crouched down on the floor with her hands over her eyes. “Ma!” I cried out and ran to her. “Oh Lukas!” She sobbed and threw herself into my arms. “I’m not unhappy to see you but why did you come here?” Her lip trembled as she looked up into my face. I frowned at her words. “How could you even ask that? I had to Ma. For you.” I insisted. “Are you hurt?” My eyes traveled to the display of sharp knives on the wall. “Are you bleeding?” I moved her hair out of her face…one eye was black and almost swollen shut. “I can’t believe hit you in the face again!” I growled angrily. “I’m going to kill him this time! I swear! Where is he? I demanded. “Shh. No need for that, son.” She tried to calm me down. “There are two of them and I haven’t seen them for several hours now. Let’s just get out of here before they return.” I lead her back the way I came in and as we reached the door, we were promptly blocked by Joey and one of his henchmen. “Where do you think you’re going, boy?” Joey snarled at me menacingly.
Of course it was a trap. Because escaping without a fight would’ve been way too easy…and nothing is EVER easy for me. I protectively stepped in front of my mother and put my hands up in surrender. “Look…all of this happened because of big misunderstanding. I was framed for something I had nothing to do with. I trusted the wrong people and I’ve been living my life in fear every single day since then. I’m tired of looking over my shoulder, man. So how about just put the guns away and let’s talk about this like grown men?” Joey made eye contact with his minion and they both broke out into laughter. I thought I’d sounded pretty reasonable…but apparently Joey had other plans seeing as he tied me and my mother to a chair.

FY 43


After a mediocre day at the deli, it was a relief to be on the way home. I hated my new job but there was no way anyone would recognize me there. Plus it was money in my pocket…couldn’t complain too much about that. I thought back to my days as a DJ and sighed. I missed the city. And the clubs, the bright lights, my friends- “What friends?” I muttered angrily to myself as I walked up the path to the porch. The wound that Bree and Jett had left behind from their web of lies was still pretty fresh. I shook my head and looked up. I was quickly jarred back to reality when I realized the front door was left open. “Ma! I’m home!” I called out as I stepped into the foyer. “Are you here?” I stood and listened for a moment…there was nothing but silence. Maybe she went somewhere? I shrugged and shut the door behind me then I made my way to the kitchen to find something to munch on. That’s what I noticed a small notepad on the kitchen table. There were a few sloppy words scribbled on it.
Midnight. You know where.
And no cops. Or she dies.
I sat down heavily and stared at the note until my vision blurred. I should’ve known that something like this was going to happen sooner or later. And I guess I really didn’t have a choice except to show up alone. And try not to die. I glanced at the clock hanging over the china cabinet…I would have to head into the city soon and I didn’t have a whole lot of time to waste. I threw my apron down on the table and pulled out my cell as I walked down the steps to hail a taxi. “Hey. It’s me. You said I could call if I ever wanted to talk.” I spoke softly. “Well, I want to talk. And it’s about something important.” I listened to the reply on the other end. “Yes. I miss you too but we’ll get into that later. Look, I know this is short notice but can you meet me somewhere? Please.” I added. “I need your help.”

FY 42


A couple of days after I got settled into my mother’s new house, I received a strange envelope in the mail. It had no return address. I ran upstairs with it and sat on the edge of my bed. My fingers trembled as I tore it open…who would know how to find me here? As I pulled the single page letter out, I realized it smelled of a perfume that I remembered all too well.

My love, 
I have not been able to rest easy since you have been gone. I wonder if you even miss me at all. I know you are wondering how I found you. It was easy for someone like me. I am glad you were reunited with your mother. And I hope you are on the right track to a happy life now. But I admit that my thoughts keep taking me back to the night at the manor. If only I had not been so foolish to take you there. Maybe our lives would have turned out differently…and we would be together now. I amended my mistake the only way I thought I could…Two nights ago, I went back there and waited for them to wake. I drove a stake through my sister’s heart as she rose from her coffin. Then another through the chest of my creator. Momentarily I wondered if I would even survive his death. But I was not afraid. It was merely something that had to be done. And still I stand…stronger than before. But killing them was not enough. I set fire to the manor and cleansed myself of the evil that came from that place. I am not seeking your approval, Luke. I just wanted you to know that they will never hurt anyone again. That very same night, I abandoned my lair and made my way to city that you spoke about. It is as beautiful as you said it was. I only wish you were here with me. I am sad to say that my heart aches a little more each day of your absence. I now have a cellphone if you should ever wish to talk to me. The number is 1(270) 301-5797 
May we meet again.
Forever Yours, Ruby

I folded the letter back up and tucked it into my wallet. I felt the urge to call her right that moment…but it would have to wait. I needed to sleep, I was starting a new job in the morning at a deli down the road. But I badly wanted to pull out my cell and dial her up just so I could hear her say my name in that throaty accent of hers before I fell asleep.

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