Evermore 25

My name is Ever Moore and I died four years ago.

But even in death, I was able to keep everything I cherished the most. An annoying but loving mother. A fiercely loyal brother. An old and dear friend. And the love of my life and undead counterpart, Aiden.

28

I’m happy to say that I’ve learned a lot about peace and letting go within the last year. I know I’ll never be the person I was before because in a sense, that part of me is buried in a shallow grave in my Mama’s backyard.

29

Unfortunately I do still occasionally lose control but I have Aiden as my guide to keep me on a straight and narrow path. There hasn’t been an incident like Danielle or Lance in a very long time (who both eventually made their way to the bottom of our freezer with the rest of the frozen “goods”.)

30

Aiden and I may be monsters but we’ve dedicated ourselves to only picking off the truly despicable scum of society….and their numbers just keep on increasing. It’s like a buffet that never closes. When we first started hunting people down, I used to feel guilty for taking a life but I’ve come to accept that this is what we have to do. This is who we are.

Plus a girl’s gotta eat.

The End.

Evermore 24

I wandered around aimlessly for a while not knowing what to do with myself. Eventually I ended up at Aiden’s house. I went down to the cellar and curled up in his bed, wrapping the blankets around my body. They still smelled like him. I laid there in a heap of misery for who knows how long…then suddenly I had an idea. I jumped up and ran to the odd circle Aiden had drawn to bring me back to life. There was a stack books next to it. I grabbed the first one from the pile and turned to the page that was dog-eared. It was in another language but still I tried to chant some of the words out loud. “I don’t understand any of this!” I cried out in exasperation then threw the book across the room. It landed near a box I didn’t notice before. Inside of it was the outfit I’d been buried in.

Without a second thought, I put on my old dress then turned off the lights as I left. I made my way towards the house on the hill that overlooked the town…the one that Aiden wanted to buy for us. I climbed the stairs all the way to the top of the tower and went out on the balcony. It had started snowing. A little white flake landed on my nose but I was unfazed by it…I felt hollow inside. I gazed at the ground and contemplated how far down it was. 20 feet? 30 feet? And if I jumped would it even kill me? Or would I just get back up like nothing happened? “Am I going to live for eternity?” I whispered and wiped away a tear. “Alone?”

25

The door creaked open behind me. “Somehow I knew I’d find you here.” I whirled around and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. “Aiden!” I flew into his arms. “But how?” I looked up at him expectantly. “I’m the same as you, Ever. Dead…but not really.” I gaped at him. “Why didn’t you tell me?” He chuckled in response. “I tried, really, but there were more important things going on. I thought there would be time to discuss it later.” He cupped my chin and stared into my eyes. “And now we have all of the time in the world.”

“I’ll never leave your side again.” I swore.

26

“I wouldn’t say that just yet.” I furrowed my brows in confusion as he talked. “I started dabbling in the dark arts while I was boarding school. I wasn’t having the best time there…in fact, I was being terrorized. I only wanted to protect myself but that spell was way over my head.” He shook his head in shame. “It didn’t happen until after I finished there and came home. I went to your graduation to watch you walk across the stage then I heard about the after-party at Lance’s. I was on my way there when a car swerved off of the road and hit me. I woke up in the woods three days later…and I was starving. I killed my parents, Ever.” I gasped but remained where I was. “Their bodies, for the most part, are in my deep freezer. They didn’t deserve what happened to them but I’ve come to terms with it. I didn’t know what I was doing back then…I do now.”

“Is this also why you stayed away from me for so long?” I asked. “Yes. I couldn’t control myself. And the last thing I wanted to do was hurt you.” He embraced me tightly. “I understand that. But did you really think your secrets would change the way I feel about you?” He gave me a small smile and shrugged. “Maybe.”

27

“Is this the life I imagined for myself? No…but I want it. More than anything. I love you, Aiden.” I stood on my tiptoes and kissed him tenderly on the lips. “And I love you.” He declared. “Always and forevermore.”

Evermore 23

“Ever…” Aiden struggled to speak. I crawled to him and pulled his trembling body into my arms. “Shh…I’m here.” I whispered soothingly and pushed his hair out of his face. He gazed up at me and smiled then closed his eyes. “I didn’t think it’d hurt so much.” He moaned. After examining the gaping hole in his chest, I was shocked he was still alive. “I have to use someone’s phone and call for help…but I don’t want to leave you alone out here.”

He coughed and shook his head. “Don’t. There will be too many questions. An investigation. The cops will go to my house. They can’t.” He was growing weaker by the minute. “What am I supposed to do then? I can’t just let you die!”

22

“My parents. The freezer. No one can know.” I stared at him in confusion. “You’re not making any sense. Please look at me.” He was so still. I leaned down and rested my head against his chest. I couldn’t hear a heartbeat. “Stay with me, Aiden.” I shook him gently. “You brought me back to be with you. I’m here now. And I love you. Please, stay with me.” I begged.

23

There was a gnawing emptiness in the pit of my stomach…I was ravenous. “Not now.” I growled at myself irritably. Then I looked down at Aiden’s blood on my hands. I was appalled at the thought that I might begin eating him but after taking a sniff of the red liquid that pooled around us, I was revolted. “What are you?” I wondered aloud. “Dead.” He uttered faintly. “You can’t seriously be joking at a time like this, Aiden!” I huffed. “Aiden?” I repeated. “Talk to me!” I checked his pulse. Nothing.

He was gone.

24

I began to cry hysterically then I realized Clay was next to me. He put his arm around my shoulder and held me close. I buried my face into his old varsity jacket and tried to calm myself down. “I can’t believe this is happening.” I wailed. “I’ll bury them.” Clay offered. “If anyone asks, we’ll say that Dani and Lance eloped. And Aiden moved away.” It was good enough as far as plans went. I staggered to my feet. “That makes sense. Thank you, Clay.” I murmured as I walked away unsteadily. “Where are you going?” He called after me. “I need some time alone. To think.”

Evermore 22

The sky grew darker still and the rain started coming down harder and harder. It felt as if it was a warning that something unpleasant was on the way. Mama glanced up just lightening struck a tree in the front yard. “Looks like there’s a bad storm coming. Let’s go start up a fire and have a bit of tea.” We began follow her in but then a ear-splitting shriek cut through the wind.

19

“Where is he?!” It was Danielle. She was covered in dirt and her eyes were wild. There was a loud click as she cocked the shotgun in her hands. “I won’t ask twice, Ever! I know you’re the reason he didn’t come home. Did you tell him to leave me?” She whimpered. “Of course not.” I told her gently. “I haven’t seen him since I left your wedding.”

“You’re lying to me!” She snapped. “Tell me the truth!”

20

While Dani had all of her attention focused on me, Aiden was able to get everyone inside. Once they were all locked up safely, he came to stand next to me. “What are you doing?” I hissed at him. “I’ve got this under control…run.” But it was too late at that point, Dani had already noticed him. “Isn’t this the weird guy that was always following you around? He was so obsessed with you and I can’t understand why.” She curled her lip in disgust. “Lance hated him.” She thrust the shotgun into Aiden’s chest and turned the safety off. “Ever…tell me what really happened to Lance or the freak gets it!”

21

“It was an accident!” I blurted out. Her eyes bulged as she stared back at me. “You killed him? The only man I’ve ever loved?” She whispered in horror. “It only seems fair for me to repay the favor.” She pulled the trigger. “No!” I cried as Aiden’s body crumpled to the ground. Then in a blur of movement, I had Dani pinned down. She screamed in pain as I dug my fingernails into her face and then into her chest. I ripped her heart out and threw it into the woods.

She wasn’t even worth eating.

Evermore 21

I’m not sure what I was expecting but I didn’t think Aiden would be taking me back home. At least being there gave me an excuse to change into my own clothes. I bundled up in my winter coat while he leaned against the wall and waited patiently for me. “So where is everyone anyways?” I asked him through pursed lips.

“They’re outside. Waiting for you.” He replied with a smile and took my hand. “Are you ready to go see them?” I raised a brow and slowly nodded my head. “Okay…but what’s going on?” I followed him down the stairs and out into the backyard. “It’s nothing to worry about, Ever.” He whispered as we came upon my mother, brother, and Whitney all gathered around my tombstone. “We have a memorial for you every year on the anniversary of your death. Except this year, of course…there were things that delayed it like a shoddily planned wedding and your unexpected return.” He joked weakly.

16

“We usually go around in a circle and we each tell a funny story that we remember about you or we express something you used to say or do that we miss.” Mama explained to me in a gentle tone. “But this year, the circumstances have changed quite a bit.” She chuckled awkwardly. “You can say that again.” I buried my face into Aiden’s chest to hide my tears. “Don’t cry, dear.” Mama moved in behind me and began stroking my hair. “You’ll have to forgive me if I end up saying the wrong thing from time to time…but I’m just so happy that you’re back in our lives.” She told me soothingly. “Me too.” Whitney stepped forward and put her hand on my shoulder. “You have no idea how lucky we all feel.”

17

“This is what I meant, Ever.” Aiden whispered in my ear. “They need you. Just like I do.”

18

“Isn’t there anything you want to say to your sister?” Mama prompted Clay. He swallowed loudly and shrugged his shoulders. “I guess.” He finally mumbled. “I’m not really sure what to say…except that I’m terrified.” He met my eyes and didn’t blink. “I’m terrified that it’s all just a dream and I’m going to wake up to you being gone again.” I’m not sure if he came to me or if I went to him but somehow I ended up in his arms. “Dammit. You better not die on me again, baby sister.” His voice was strangled as he squeezed me even tighter. “I don’t think I’ll be able to get through it a second time.”

Evermore 20

The next morning I woke up before Aiden. He looked so peaceful that I decided to let him sleep. I stretched then put my borrowed robe back on and soon after, I felt a gnawing pang of hunger. I would have to eat before long…but what? “Or who?” I muttered to myself uneasily. Then I thought that maybe if no one had found Lance yet, I could go back to where I hid his body and get myself a snack. But I already knew that I couldn’t risk it. To get my mind off of chowing down on body parts, I busied myself by exploring my surroundings.

In a dark corner of the cellar, there was a crude drawing with odd symbols on the floor surrounded by lit candles. It gave me a very bad feeling.

13

“Ever?” Aiden called out sleepily. I didn’t answer at first. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the circle in front of me. “I’m over here.” I replied hoarsely. “Oh shi-” He swore then ran his fingers through his hair nervously. “This is what I’ve been trying to tell you about.” He mumbled. “It was me, Ever.” He declared suddenly. “I brought you back.”

“How?” I choked out.

14

“With a reanimation spell. It didn’t work the first few times and I actually didn’t think it would ever work but then your body disappeared the last time I tried. I thought I’d lost you forever…but then you came back to me.” The wheels were turning in my head at this point. “You dug me up and brought me here to experiment on.” With each word my voice grew louder and louder. “And you’re the one who stole my wedding dress and put it on me like I was to be some sort of undead bride for you. Now I’m stuck like this for eternity.” I shook my head in disgust. “You should’ve just left me in the ground! Where I belong!” I shrieked. “I couldn’t bare living without you. I love you so damned much.” There was nothing but sincerity in his eyes and truth be told, I felt the same way, but it was wrong. It was all so very wrong. “If that’s really true then I want you to do something for me.”

15

“Anything.” He promised. “I want you to undo it.” I told him flatly. “W-what?” He stammered and fell to his knees. “No! Anything but that!” He pleaded. “I’m a monster that eats people! I killed Lance!” I admitted tearfully. “You need to put me down before I hurt anyone else!” I cried. “I can’t do that. I won’t.” He refused. “I can help you live a normal life, Ever. You can be with me and your family.”

“They don’t even want me here!” I sobbed and shrank to floor next to Aiden.

“That’s not true. Not in the least bit.” He put his arms around me to comfort me and even though I was still as furious as hell with him, I let him hold me. He lovingly kissed the top of my head then he whispered in my ear. “Let me prove it to you.”

Evermore 19

When I showed up outside of Aiden’s cellar door crying and covered in blood, I almost expected for him to turn me away. Without saying a word, he let me inside and motioned for me to follow him to the bathroom. He kept his eyes on the floor as I stripped out of my ruined dress and muddy heels then I stepped into the shower. After lathering myself up with half of a bottle of scented body wash, I scrubbed at my skin vigorously. Then I just happened to glance down and see a clump of Lance’s hair circling the drain. A small wail escaped my lips. “I’m a monster.”

“Ever…are you okay?” Aiden’s muffled voice came from the other side of the shower curtain. I cleared my throat and lied. “I’m fine. I’m almost ready to get out though.” He clattered around noisily as he tried to exit and give me some privacy. “I’ll be right outside if you need me and there’s something clean for you to wear hanging on the back of the door.” I took my time toweling off then I put on Aiden’s robe and went in search of him. I found him pacing back and forth near the stairs…he smelled like smoke.

10

“I burned your clothes and checked the news…no one has been reported missing yet.” I walked up behind him and wrapped my arms around him. He stiffened at my touch then seemed to relax. “I really don’t deserve you.” I whispered into his ear. “Do you want to talk about what happened?” He sounded concerned. “No. Just hold me. I don’t want to think about anything else right now besides being here with you.”

11

He turned around so that we were facing each other and his dark eyes searched mine. “Do you know how long I’ve waited to hear you say something like that?” He asked in a husky tone. He ran his hands through my hair then his mouth was on mine. Then I bit his lip too hard causing it to bleed. “Sorry.” I mumbled. Aiden winced in pain but didn’t jerk away from me, instead he led me to the bed and pulled me on top of him. I was worried that once I tasted him I’d crave his flesh but as I devoured him with feverish kisses I realized I didn’t feel hungry at all…the only thing I felt was arousal.

12

Several hours later, I was drifting off to sleep in Aiden’s arms. The sound of his soft snores were soothing to me and the way he rested his hand over mine filled my cold dead heart with joy. I knew my troubles were far from over but at least now I wouldn’t have to deal with them alone.

Evermore 18

I heard footsteps pounding against the pavement to catch up with me as I walked aimlessly to the edge of town. I didn’t know what to do or where to go from there so whoever was chasing after me was a welcome distraction. Or so I thought.

“Hey, Ever! Wait up!” It was Lance. The last person I wanted to see. “Don’t you have a wedding to get back to?” I crossed my arms and turned away from him. “Besides I’ve already said everything I needed to say to you and your murderess bride.” Guilt was apparent on his face. “Please…just listen.” He begged. “You’ve got five seconds then I’m leaving. I’ve got to get out of this town. There’s nothing here for me anymore.” He let out of shaky breath. “I didn’t know, I swear. Dani said there was nothing we could do when we pulled you out of the water…you were already turning blue. I believed her. I’m sorry.”

7

“Your apology means nothing to me!” I whirled around and moved so close to him that our noses almost touched. “Look at me, Lance!” I hissed. “Really look at me!” He stared back at me in such terror that I almost felt bad for him…but for the most part, I liked it. My stomach growled loudly in approval. “My life is ruined! What am I supposed to do now? Live in a cave for the rest of my days…however long that will be?” He bit his lip and looked away from me. “I don’t know. I’m so sorry though, Ever.”

8

A bitter laugh escaped my lips and I shook my head in disbelief. “You keep saying that but tell me this…did you ever love me?” His eyes blinked rapidly. “I-I think I did. At one time. Yes.” He stuttered. “Oh Lance…you sound so unsure. Is that your final answer?” He squared his shoulders and nodded his head more confidently this time. “Yes.”

“I don’t believe you.” I whispered before I pounced on him and knocked him to the ground.

9

His face was twisted up in confusion as he struggled against me and screamed like a stuck pig. I bit into him over and over again while blood spilled out on the leaves around us. Then finally Lance was quiet and for the first time since I woke up…I was full.

Evermore 17

I made my dramatic entrance right as Lance and Danielle were preparing to say their vows. I slowly drifted down the aisle in my new white dress which caused an eruption of whispers and an occasional snicker from Whitney. I smirked when the music came to a full stop and the happy couple turned to face me. “Ever?” Lance gulped loudly. “I heard you were back…but I thought it was just an awful rumor.” He shook his head in disbelief. “But we saw your body…you were dead. You really were.” His last sentence came out in a whisper. “And I still am.” I chuckled to his horror. “This can’t be happening. Not today. Not today. Not today!” Dani began repeating like a broken record.

4

“Bet you thought you’d seen the last of me, huh?” I narrowed my eyes at them and smiled deviously.

“This is going to be bad.” I heard Clay groan from behind me. He staggered over to me and I could smell the stink of the bar he’d been in all of the night before. “Come on Ever, let’s get you home.” He pulled my arm and tried to drag me away but I stood my ground. “You look a little under the weather, big brother. Maybe YOU should go home and sleep it off.” I hissed at him. “Now, shoo. I’ve got something to say!”

5

“No, I will not stand for this!” Dani stomped her foot and whined. “Dead or alive, you’re not going to ruin my wedding day!” I gasped in mock surprise. “Your wedding day!? Out of all of the days of the year, you chose this day? It would’ve been our three year anniversary if everything had gone as planned.” I glanced over at Lance and saw that he was turning a bright shade of red from embarrassment. “It was his idea! A tribute to you.” She sniffled. “Tribute?” I spat. “You could’ve saved me instead. You know…that day at the bluffs? Instead of breathing on each other all hot and heavy and leaving me to my doom.” The wedding guests gasped in shock. “It wasn’t like that!” Lance insisted. “Wasn’t it, though? You said you were going to end it with her that night! Because you finally figured out who you were really in love with…me!” Dani cried out. “We’re finally getting somewhere.” I muttered darkly. “Please. Just go!” Tears streamed down her face, ruining her perfectly winged mascara.

6

“Fine…I’ll leave. But only under one condition!” I whirled around and focused my angry gaze solely on her. “Admit that there was something you could’ve done after you pulled me out of the water…like CPR! You were a lifeguard in college for crying out loud!” Clay stiffened next to me at this tidbit of information. “But all you cared about was getting me out of the picture…even if that meant my death!”

“It’s possible.” She whispered hoarsely.

“And that’s all, ladies and gentlemen!” I announced as I walked away. “Enjoy the refreshments!”

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