A Midnight Meeting a Forever Fey Story
Ashleigh felt the walls closing in on her. She had to get away from everything and everyone... at least for a while. She pulled on black leggings, a snug black tank top and her thigh-high black leather boots, as she had countless times before. An outfit perfect for blending into the shadows. She took her cloak from the closet and walked out the door.
Ashleigh gathered her long chestnut locks forward over her shoulder, settling her cloak around herself and pulled the hood up. The fur trim tickled her face. That small reminder of days gone by only served to depress her more. She stepped off the porch and into the night.
Her mind wandered back in time to when she lived with her friends, Malcolm and Kaitlin, people she cared about, and who cared about her. She stroked the soft pelt of the badger and thought of the farmer who had gotten angry after a badger almost killed his hound. He had poisoned the female and her kits, leaving them to rot.
Malcolm had skinned and tanned the badger hides. Doing what he could to make their deaths more meaningful than just letting them decay. He had given the pelt of the female to Kaitlin to use on the cloak she was making for Ashleigh. Her friends were part of a local lycan pack. The pack was not happy about the badgers being poisoned. They did a few things to drive the farmer from the area. No one told her exactly what they had done to make him leave, no matter how many times she asked.
Thoughts of Malcolm, Kaitlin and their children brought tears to her eyes. She missed her dear friends. They were the closest thing to family she’d had since being turned. Sadly, the kids became ill one day after ingesting tainted meat and did not survive. They had been out playing, slipping the watchful eye of the mother, and found what appeared to be a recently shot deer. In truth, it was a tainted carcass that had been placed out to decrease the local wolf and coyote population. Malcolm and Kaitlin were never the same after that, and had moved away to start over. They had asked Ashleigh to go with them, but she had insisted it was time for her to head home.
And now here she was, in Chicago, where it had all started for her so long ago. She had been walking aimlessly, when she paused to get her bearings. She noticed she was just outside what is now Burnham Park. Many things had changed in the eighty-seven years she’d been gone. She remembered when single dwelling hovels covered the area—the park was a great improvement.
Casting about, she spied an alley and slipped into its shadows. It didn’t take long to find one of the city’s many homeless people. She fed quickly, taking just enough blood to stave off the cravings. She left the man lying as comfortably as she could; he would be a bit weak, but he would live.
Straightening her cloak, Ashleigh glanced around to make sure no one was watching before heading into the park across the street. Choosing a bench under a burnt out lamp post, she sat down, letting her mind wander through old memories.
There were many things and people that she missed from her past. Now there were others, new friends, new things, that she would miss just as much when they too were gone. So deeply lost in thought, Ashleigh did not sense, or hear, the person approaching her until she spoke.
Varruka stomped down the hill with the ferocity of one wronged, mumbling to herself incoherently. She was in the mood for the park’s serene solitude tonight, so she'd taken a taxi from the library to the park—only to be ripped off by the taxi driver. She was certain his meter was rigged. She should have just run. It would have been faster, but she missed doing mundane human things. Hell, she missed being human.
But she was here now and made her way down to the lake's edge when she froze, sniffing the air. It was definitely not human, not musky enough to be any sort of were-creature; it was sweet and sour at the same time and impossibly familiar... vampire. Varruka paused long enough to focus on where the scent was coming from. A moment later she saw it, a female, sitting on a bench right by the lake. Annoyed that someone was sitting where she wanted to be, Varruka started walking again, stopping just beside the bench. She stood there glaring at the girl, taking in the perfect porcelain face. Her irritation spiked.
Shifting her weight so she stood with one hip cocked and her arms folded across her chest, she growled, “Do I know you?”
The question was meant as a conversation starter, but the girl really did look vaguely familiar to her. Where had she seen her before? Chicago? Surely not. She would remember a face so annoyingly perfect. A picture somewhere? The newspaper? Nothing seemed to match up, but it didn't matter. Varruka refused to let down her guard until she knew beyond all certainty that the vampire she was looking at was not a threat to her.
Ashleigh blinked as she brought herself back to the here and now. She turned her head slightly to look at the woman standing near the end of the bench. As she considered the slightly acidic question she noted the torn jeans, over-sized t-shirt under a denim jacket, the sneakers that had seen better days. Shifting her body sideways, she draped a slender arm over the back of the bench and laced her fingers together, looking directly at the woman. The stranger appeared to be around eighteen or nineteen years of age, but Ashleigh knew that was false, since the stranger was a vampire like herself.
With a slight look of annoyance, Ashleigh raised her perfectly groomed brow.
“I don’t believe so. I at least would remember the sound of your voice, if that is how you always speak to others.” Ashleigh sniffed and wondered what it was with the female vamps here? She had never met any as rude as the ones here in Chicago. They all seemed to be snotty little wenches that didn’t know how to get along with others. While Ashleigh preferred not to make a habit of associating with other vampires, she didn’t mind the occasional social interaction.
Turning back to the water, she inquired, “Have you been having a bad night or did someone have garlic in their veins?” She didn’t want to deal with someone else’s drama, especially someone that she didn’t know. The girl was here and did not seem about to leave any time soon. She shifted her gaze back to the girl.
“Neither. Not that it's any of your business.” Varruka tightened her arms around herself, raising her own eyebrow in response. She didn’t know exactly how old, but she could sense the other woman was at least twice her own age from the power that pulsed around her. This meant she was also twice as strong and fast. Perhaps treating this vamp the way she normally treated others would not be her wisest move.