Moon Island (Chapter Thirteen)

Allison was still asleep.

I could smell the barbeque cooking.

The smoking meat triggered a primal hunger in me, a hunger that I couldn't feed.

I hadn't brought any of my own nourishment with me. Allison had volunteered for the job. Fresh blood. Her blood. Smelling the meat now triggered a hunger in me.

A hunger for her.

Jesus.

I found myself pacing inside the small bungalow. The floorboard creaked beneath me. I always paced at this time of the day, medallion or no medallion. When the sun was about to set, that thing which was inside me awakened.

Awakened to the night.

I paused at the open window. The sky beyond was purplish – and filling up with low-hanging clouds. So much for the sunny skies. This was, after all, the Pacific Northwest.

And just like that, the first drops appeared against the big window, splattering, collecting, sliding.

I continued pacing.

As I paced, both a sadness and an excitement filled me. Excitement for the coming night. Sadness for what I was.

After all, just when I would think I was feeling normal, or feeling human, this would happen: the day would merge into night. And, when that happened, I would feel anything but normal. Anyone but myself.

I felt on edge, anxious, angry.

This would be when I would snap at Tammy and Anthony – and even more often at Danny – more than enough times for them to know to stay away from Mommy at this time of day. Of course, back in the day, my kids didn't know the reason why.

Now they did. Now they knew everything.

They knew Mommy was a freak. They also knew that they were pretty freaky themselves.

Not my fault, I thought, as I shook my hands and continued pacing. I didn't ask for this. I was only out jogging. Jogging as I had done many times before.

Hundreds of times before.

Had the bastard been watching me seven years ago? Or had I simply crossed paths with him unexpectedly? An unfortunate crossing of paths?

I didn't know…and perhaps would never know, unless…

Unless I talked to the vampire hunter who'd killed my own attacker. The vampire hunter named Rand.

Then again, wasn't there another who knew the answers? My guardian angel had been neither a guardian nor an angel.

Ishmael had, apparently, orchestrated my attack. How, I didn't know, but I was going to find out. What strings had he pulled? In the least, what did the son-of-a- bitch know?

I shook my hands again.

Good God, when was the fucking sun going to set?

Soon, I knew. Soon. I could feel it out there, beyond the forest of evergreens. Its rounded upper half was still above the distant horizon. I couldn't see it but I could feel it. Every ray. Every particle of light. Every fucking photon.

Screw Fang. He didn't have to push me so hard. I might have come around. I might have fallen in love with him, too.

Screw Detective Hanner, too. Whatever her game was, I didn't know, but I did know one thing.

She wasn't going to win. Not if she came up against me.

And by stealing Fang from me – my very best friend – well, she made it personal. Very, very personal.

I accidentally elbowed the corner of the kitchen. Plaster exploded and the whole house shook.

Easy, I thought. Calm down.

I thought of Danny and Kingsley. Two cheaters. Two bastards, and I nearly drove my hand through the front door as I passed by it.

That's not calming down, I thought.

I thought of my kids and took a deep breath. I thought of Detective Sherbet and smiled. I thought of Allison snoring in the room next to me, and almost laughed.

I was calming down. Good. Willing myself to calm down. Yes, good. But there was another reason for why I was finally relaxing. Oh, yes, another reason, indeed.

The sun was slip, slip, slippin' away.

I paused by the big window and breathed in deeply, filling my worthless lungs to capacity with useless air. And by the time I had filled them completely, the anger and hostility had disappeared.

I felt like a new woman. Or a new vampire.

The sun, after all, had set.

And I was alive again.

Truly alive.

I turned around and saw Allison watching me from the shadows of her doorway, her hair mussed. "Feeling better?" she asked.

"Very," I said.

"Hungry?"

"Very, very hungry," I said.