I was excused from school halfway through the day by a note from my parents. I figured it was either for a pity party over me not making it (Bloods were known for rejecting one person every so often to keep the others in line,) or for me to prepare for my ceremony.
When I got home I saw a beautiful red gown, only a shade or two lighter than darkest blood, and I knew that I would have no pity party.
"Go try on your dress," My dad said, "you know your lines right?"
"Of course 'Blood of others, blood of mine..' I've known them since I could talk!" I exclaimed.
"Good, now go try on that dress!"
The dress was silky and soft against my skin. I could wear it and picture myself as a princess. It was a perfect fit, and the most beautiful thing I had ever worn. It was only when my dad yelled up the stairs at me that I realized that I had been daydreaming for almost ten minutes. I walked down the stairs slowly, as to not trip on my dress. When I got to the bottom, I could tell from my parent's faces how happy they were to see me like this.
That night at the ceremony, a blood cup with the ceremonial knife inside was passed around at dinner. Each one there, including my mom and dad, put a few drops of blood into the cup. When Colin, the oldest vampire known to us was given the cup, he stood." I am proud to make this girl my sister." The others nodded agreement. The ecstasy of the moment overpowered me. When it finally got back to me, I got up in my red gown and splendor, and chanted softly at first, then louder, until I was almost yelling. Suddenly Colin rose, silencing me. He said the words only once, but it carried the power of ages beyond any of ours.
As he finished, I could my fangs filling in, from the child ones that I had once possessed into full grown slightly retractable adult fangs. I looked around the room and I saw everything in a new light. I felt that my powers had grown, but I knew, as always that practice would complete what had started tonight. The ceremony ended slowly that night, and I fell into a dreamless sleep.
I went to school the next morning like nothing had happened. Lee and Andrea both asked what happened, and I gave them the details that day.
The rest of the year went pretty much was uneventful, but high school was anything but.
I started high school the next year. The typical troubles of being a teenager were confounded by troubles of being a vampire. My social group got only slightly bigger with the addition of two new vampires discovered: One half-blood who had been accepted into blood society, and her twin half-blood who had not. I made the mistake of asking her once, why she was not accepted. She muttered something about terrible brutality, and I agreed saying "Bloods can be cruel, but not all of them are." She looked up at me and just nodded. I made friends with Mandy, the one who had not been accepted, faster that Sarah, who seemed be slightly caught up in a 'bow down to royalty' attitude that came so often and so quickly to bloods. She seemed to want nothing to do with Mandy, and it hurt me to see the hurt in Mandy's eyes when Sarah pretended she wasn't there. Sarah seemed to think that she and Lee were rulers over us, but Lee wanted nothing to do with that.
That year, looking around at all the cute couples, I realized that while so deeply involved in my 'culture' that I never had been in a relationship. I couldn't even think of a time that I had been kissed, with the exception of the one time with Jason; which to this day still repulses me. I wanted to pursue a relationship. I talked to Mandy about it, and she voiced a concern: Suppose something happened, would you really want to get caught up in a relationship with a mortal?
I wasn't sure what to do, but there was only one male vampire my age that I knew, Lee. I asked him a couple of days later if he wanted to go to a movie that was coming out. He replied with a casual "Sure."
"No, I mean like really go to the movies together."
He gave me a weird look then decided to humor me. "As couple? … I guess so, sure."
On impulse I hugged him and thanked him. It took me a minute to realize that I just hugged the guy I was going to the movies with, I blushed and walked away mumbling "see you later."
That Friday, we went to go see 'Mystery Abound', a movie about 'unnatural' phenomena. We got in and sat down. I didn't dare look at him, so I just stared at the movie, which turned out not to be that interesting. It wasn't long before I heard his voice in my head.
"So why did you want me to come here? Really."
"I'm not sure, I just… I see all the relationships around and I guess I feel left out."
I could feel him send me warming light in return. "I dunno, I just want a relationship and I don't know anyone as well as I know you." I sent back.
"I'm willing to try, I guess."
I left that movie feeling better than I had in a while. Lee walked me to my house, and I just stood there. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight." Lee walked off.
No kiss? I was disappointed, yet I understood. I wondered if I had made a mistake in trying this. He only saw me as a friend. I took a deep breath, and headed in, determined to try.
I told Mandy the next day and all three of them knew by lunch. I could tell when the only spots they left were right across from each other. We sat down, and tried to act as normal as possible.
"I can't believe he'd do this." I heard Sarah mutter under her breath. The next second, I heard a tiny squeal of pain as Mandy kicked her. I had to grin.
We started out only going out every once in a while, and keeping our 'status' low, but when Sarah started talking about Lee could do better (When she though I didn't hear her) Lee stood up for me. I was surprised. Maybe his caring for me had grown. I asked him later and he said calmly, "My caring never had to grow, it only evolved." That day I received my first heartfelt kiss.
It was only three months later that my parents gave me terrible news. We had been in the same town for sixteen years, and the neighbors began to notice that my parents never aged. We would have to move.