I looked around my room. All that was left was for me to load what I had into my car. I wasn't particularly attached to the room or the house itself. I'd moved around so much that no place held any real sentimental value for me. My car, on the other hand, meant more, and that would be going with me. As a sky blue 69 Charger, it wasn't exactly nondescript the way I was supposed to be, but my Dad and I rebuilt together, so it held a special place in my heart.
It wasn't much to look at when I got it. In fact, my Mom didn't even have to compel the guy into letting us have it. She could have, and she would have if he hadn't been amenable, because even though she thought it was a piece of junk, I wanted it, and she'd make sure I got it. We'd been searching for a car for me since I turned 16, and despite me, through her abilities, being able to walk away with absolutely any car I wanted, I hadn't been able to connect with anything we saw, whether it was a Porche, Jaguar, BMW, or Mercedes, but when I saw the forgotten Charger on cinder blocks out in some guy's car, I just knew I had to have it.
When I showed her my find, she wasn't exactly impressed, but I was smart enough to bring my Dad too, and when I mentioned the two of us fixing it up together, his eyes lit up before he helped me talk her around. He even gave her the challenge of not using compulsion to get it for me, and with that, my Mom squared her shoulders, turned like the force of nature she was, and walked up to the man's door. I remember Dad elbowing me with a grin and telling me to 'watch this,' like I was about to see something special, and I did. She was amazing. Somehow she even got the guy to pay for a truck to bring the car around my Dad's house later that night.
Just thinking about that day brought conflicting emotions to the surface. Normally, I tried to keep them buried, but I was so going to miss my parents. I did miss them, and I hadn't left yet. The reason the day I got my car always stood out to me as a reminder of them was because my Dad hadn't looked at my Mom the way he did that day since she'd made the choice to turn. I guess when you're a vampire hunter and the mother of your child decides to become a vampire, it wasn't exactly the easiest thing in the world to accept. I saw less of him after that, but he was still a huge presence in my life. He just didn't stay over any more, preferring to have me stay with him or coming over to my house to train early in the morning or right after my Mom finished my lessons for the day. I was home schooled, so I guess you could say that my parents were my whole world, I knew I was loved . . . by both of them.
My Mom was different, sure, but for the most part she was still the same Mom who raised me. She was strong, fearless, and oh so incredibly intelligent, but what really dwarfed those qualities was how much she loved me. That didn't change after she turned. In fact, it's why she turned. It was the only way she knew to protect me from what was coming, and while it was certainly an adjustment for me seeing her become a creature of the night and then day when she got her daylight necklace, I was never afraid of her. Irritated with how possessive she got of me sometimes when it came to my Dad or overprotective when it came to other people talking to me or looking at me, and maybe disappointed sometimes when she just couldn't seem to help herself if someone insulted either of us, but I never felt afraid of her or ashamed. Even when I walked home one night and saw the remains of a man on the floor, blood coating the kitchen surface, and dripping down her chin, like I'd caught her . . . well, I guess I did catch her red handed . . . I wasn't angry, afraid, or embarrassed by her antics. I knew she had to feed. If anything I felt guilty, because I knew she was only doing this for me, so I helped her clean up the mess and listened while she explained why she'd chosen this man.
Let's just say he wasn't a good person, and the world wouldn't miss him, especially not the schools he wasn't allowed near, and see, that's the thing. Maybe it was as a result of her rationalizations, or maybe I just had a different sense of what constituted justice, but the way my Mom picked and chose her victims, I really didn't see the killing as a problem when she got a little over-zealous and lost herself to the blood lust. To me, vampires had the ability to be the exterminators of the vermin that infiltrated the human race. Thanks to my Dad, I knew it wasn't that simple, that vampires could and most often did kill completely innocent people that never did a bad thing in their life, but from what I'd seen, that wasn't my Mom. That wouldn't be me if I chose to turn. I guess that's what this whole trip was about . . . deciding what I would do when the time came. I knew what my Mom wanted. I knew what my Dad wanted. Now it was up to me to decide.
No not really. I slumped, and I knew my Mom could hear my heart rate pick up at the thought of leaving. I'd really been quite sheltered, and now I was being thrown in the deep end. It doesn't matter if you grew up believing in the supernatural and experienced it on a day to day basis with occult lessons from Mom long before she turned and vampire hunter training from Dad since you were 5, it was everything else, like everyday life that I was going to have to do on my own now. I wasn't ready. With a smile, I turned and looked at my Mom. "Yeah. I just need to put these in the car, and then I can hit the road."
Her brow furrowed, and I knew she didn't believe me, but neither one of us would say it. Instead, she ran through her list of motherly concerns one more time. "You remember the address of your apartment?"
Pulling my phone out of my pocket, I lifted it for her to see. "Check, and the route there is programmed into this as well."
"And you're just going to observe."
I nodded. "Until the time is right."
"And that will be?"
"I'll know it when I see it, but you can't tell me now, because you can't see into the future and predict what exactly it will be."
"And the vervain - "
"Is in my locket, my anklet, and will be in my water every day just in case, so I have it in me and on me at all times."
She smiled before stepping forward to gather up my hair and push it behind my shoulders. "And who is the smartest, sweetest, most beautiful girl in the world?"
I rolled my eyes and ducked my head. "Mom, stop it."
Her finger went under my chin, so she could gently lift my face to hers. "Eve?"
Her eyebrow arched, and I sighed. "I am."
Her smile returned to her face. "And don't you forget it."
"How can I? It's the only way I'll be able to convince anyone I'm her."
There went her smile. "Honey, we talked about this."
Yeah, we had talked about it for years and years and years . . . pretty much for as long as I could remember. I didn't want my Mom to feel bad, so I gave her a soft smile and said, "I know. It's just nerves. All the talking in the world didn't really prepare me for this moment. I just - " Leaning forward, I embraced her and whispered, "I don't want to leave you."
Returning the hug, she rubbed my back comfortingly and whispered, "I don't want you to go, but we all have to make sacrifices for this to work, and know that I love you. No matter what happens, never question that." I felt tears well in my eyes but blinked them back before nodding. Stepping back, I took a deep breath to calm my nerves and gave her another nod to let her know I was ready. She focused on fixing my hair again while she smiled sadly and said, "I can't believe how fast you've grow up . . . I'm so proud of you." Looking me in the eye, she added, "You've got this," before she went to my bed to grab my heaviest suitcases, so she could load them into the car, and like a flash she was gone. I knew she wouldn't be waiting for me when I got outside. Saying goodbye right now in my room, she could do. Watching me drive away, would be too much. She'd probably kill the post man or the nosey Mrs. Blevens next door if she was here when I really left.