Chapter 1: A new beginning

Hmm...I really do look like a moon, I thought as I stared at my long, curly night black hair falling in tumbles down my back to the middle (I barely cut it) and my pale porcelain features with a hint of rose, pretty much my mom's features. The features of a vampire, I thought grudgingly. I was beautiful, there was no denying it, perfect, flawless skin, hypnotically ice blue eyes, and perfect body with all the right curves. I was supposed to be, most of us are. A new school. I've been moving around every four years since elementary school. Not because of military family, but because my parents are both turned vampires who are frozen at 17. Things could be weirder, but I haven't found that situation yet. I have a twin brother, Gabriel, who is probably the exact opposite of me. My mom's dark blonde hair, my father's perfect pale features, and ever changing blue-green eyes of my mom's as well, we were both good-looking, I'm not being self centered. It's just a fact. Not that I really want it to be this way...

"Luna, get down stairs before you miss the bus," my mother, Ashley, called up to me, scurrying around the kitchen at the speed of light.

This was my first year of high school. My dad, Seth, and my mom are going to pretending to be sophomores, and my dad is going to be my older "brother" and my mom his girlfriend whose parents are both in the military and she had nowhere else to go. We've changed the story a dozen times, I'm surprised I can keep up.

"Hey lazy bones," Gabriel said from the door, then was behind me in the next second, and on my bed on another. "Mom's going to throw a fit if we don't get down stairs in time. Grandmother and Grandfather can't take us today, they're in Italy. Come on." My grandparents are originally from Italy but our name Montgomery is of England origin, but that was pretty much the only not Italian dude in our family till my mom. My Grandmother, Rosetta, my grandfather Antonio were with my aunt Rayne and uncle Damien for some business thing. The grandparents thing is a little complicated though...

I glared at my brother, but that soon melted into a smile. I loved my brother, he was my best friend, probably my only friend, since I know by the time I make a friend, it will be time to leave them.

"Carry me?" I laughed, jumping on his back without waiting for a response, knowing he would. We were in the kitchen in the next second, our mom and dad waiting at the table.

My dad was getting his stuff together. Barely looking at us he said, "Grab something quickly. Thank god by next year we can get our license's again and won't have to wait around for a bus." He was wearing a blue t-shirt and black jeans, and my mom had her dark blonde hair flowing down her back, a black tank and jeans and my dad's old Letterman jacket from his first high school where they met, her blue-green eyes covered in a light eyeliner like she always has. It's kind of weird that even though they've been together for 15 years they still look at each other like it was still first love, which makes our stories a bit more believable sometimes.

We bustled around the kitchen, grabbing bottles of warm blood (yes we drink blood, but I don't have to feed on anyone, and I don't want too,) and Gabe made us his famous sandwiches (I'm serious he's a genius when it comes to the kitchen, unlike me who can burn water.) With our mom pushing us out the door, we got to the bus right on time. Everyone was staring at us, I mean I've gotten used to it over the years but it was still annoying.

Once we got on the bus there was a problem. My parents took up the last full seat and that means my brother and I had to separate. I glanced at my brother, but he just shrugged and gave me a sympathetic smile and sat down next to a pretty red head easily falling into a conversation with her. I, on the other hand, was like my mom who hated to socialize and that's why I depended on my brother. I grimaced, biting my lip, deliberating. I decided not to look and just sit down anywhere.

"Hi," a boy who was sitting next to me said, holding out his hand. "I'm Austin," he added.

I looked at him, he had a nice face, clean cut features, no signs of baby fat, light blonde hair, and a tan face, with dark blue eyes. I caught my breath as my eyes stared into his, not sure what to say for a second then shaking myself, I took his hand and said, "I'm Luna," but once I did something happened. I felt a static shock zing through my hand, electrocuting it, but not in a bad way. I suddenly felt...different, whole, like I was broken before, and there was no hope but now I was full and complete, just by looking in his eyes. I think he felt the same way too, because he was looking at me the same way I felt. We just...looked at each other, like that was all we had to do for the rest of our lives.

But then reality came back. "Luna!" Gabriel called, coming back to me as everyone got out.

I was shocked out of the stare and ripped my hand away from his, grabbed my stuff, and ran off the bus, avoiding both pairs of eyes.

What just happened in there? I've made a connection with someone I barely knew? Even better the only thing I knew about him was his name. It doesn't matter. I can't start a relationship with him, one day I'm going to be a full vampire, the whole stop aging and everything. Travel with my family for the rest of my life, with Gabriel, my parents, my grandparents, and my aunt and uncle. For eternity...

I found my first period class. World History, I thought dully, as I took a seat in the back row trying to avoid as many eyes as I could. It didn't work. Trying to ignore them, I kept my eyes buried in my book, Romeo and Juliet, my favorite.

When I was at the part where Romeo climbs the balcony I heard a familiar soft voice, "Hey," Austin said, taking the seat next to me.

I couldn't look at him, I couldn't, if he has some sort of power over me I couldn't let him distract me. I tilted my head a little in his direction, said, "Hey," and went back to my book, focusing much more on it than before.

"What book are you reading?" he asked, moving closer to me. Too close, I could feel the blood flowing in his veins, hunger overcame me. His neck was right there...I could feel my eyes filling...warming with blood, my veins darkening under my eyes, teeth sharpening. This cannot be happening, I've never felt this way before. The undeniable draw of blood that he has over me. How can I...but soon my thoughts clouded and thinking became impossible.

He was waiting for my answer, thank goodness he wasn't actually looking at me. My eyes were zoned in on his neck, and I was in full vampire mode. I closed my eyes, took deep soothing breaths, and felt the hunger recede.

"Romeo and Juliet," I whispered, pulling away slightly.

He looked up at me and I realize that the connection between us would never leave, just strength whenever my eyes met his. What is going on?

Then he said, his voice filling with bliss, loss and truth, drawing me into him, "There's something about you..." he breathed, coming closer to me, so close...

"Something..." he whispered, his lips an inch from mine...my world was falling around, making everything unreal and distant.

"I..." I couldn't speak, couldn't breath, everything around me was going fuzzy, dimming and turning into something else.

His lips touched mine, and for just an instant I gave in. Taking all of my fears, and of the pain, and threw it away, only reveling in this. But then I remembered and the blissful feeling was gone. "What are you doing?!" I almost screeched, pushing him away, yanking my backpack back on and going to sit somewhere else not looking at him for the rest of class.

I'm going insane, I thought trying to shake the feeling away. I just...I don't want to think about it. My first kiss...I thought irrationally, but then threw that one away too. The teacher just came in, and I focused on him the entire time while he went through all the rules and regulations.

I ran out of the room once the bell rang, hoping for all that's good that he doesn't follow me. "Hey," Gabriel said, smiling and coming to my side. "What's wrong?" he asked, sensing my distress.

I usually tell Gabriel everything. "Gabe-" I started to say.

"Luna!" Austin called, catching up to where we were.

"Whose that?" Gabriel asked, now looking back down at me, a foot smaller than him.

"Uh..." I couldn't think of any explanation, for anything.

"Hey Luna," Austin said looking from me to Gabe, deliberating on what he should say I guess. Then as his eyes settled on mine he said, "I'm sorry, I-I didn't mean too..."

Peeking at Gabe from the corner of my eye whose eyes were clouding with confusion, I whispered, "Um...it's okay?" making it sound like a question.

"Can we- can we go somewhere we can talk?" he stammered.

"Um..." looking at Gabe once more, then I sighed and said, "Sure."

He started walking towards the garden and after a second I followed him, glancing at Gabe, who was still looking confused. He sat down on the bench and waited for me to sit next to him. Sighing I leaned against one of trees and said, "What's this about?" I asked not looking into his eyes, afraid to.

He came right up to me, without a pause, right into my eye line, so close... "I'm sorry, I-I don't know what came over me, kissing you like that...I mean I hardly know you. I swear..." he kept talking but after that I couldn't hear anything...see anything, because I met his eyes. He was looking at the floor avoiding mine but that didn't stop the sensation that washed threw me. Everything changed in that moment and I realized...I feel something more for him, I love him? I can feel it. My undeniable love for him. Yes it's impossible to know in one second, only knowing each other for an hour, but I don't care what anyone says or thinks. I do, with every fiber of my being.

When his eyes met mine they were struck by the same awe I was experiencing. I didn't care that I was different, I didn't care about anything else in that one moment other than him. I wrapped my arms around his neck, smiling, I brought his lips to mine, and kissed him. Call me insane, call me anything you want but he's my life. Hunger flowed threw my veins, making me kiss him harder, stronger, full of life and realization. Soulmates, a voice said. All I have, all I need, he's the air that I'd kill to breath...

Laughing. I heard a pealing giggle flow through the empty hallways. "Where are we going?" someone said, still laughing.

"It's a surprise," a guy said to her, then another giggle.

"We're going to get in trouble," she said, but didn't sound like she really cared.

"We can get into a lot of trouble," his voice deepening, I could even hear the sensual smile in his voice.

The clacking of footsteps coming closer and closer. I should be letting go of him, distancing so it looked like we were just talking, but...I couldn't. It was like some metal chord was wrapped around us, not letting me free until the two were right in front of us.

"Luna!" Seth yelled, spotting both of us.

I pushed Austin away, finally able to, and said, "D-Seth," almost forgetting my dad's real name in that one moment.

Austin looked up to him then to me, his eyes becoming confused. "Uh, hi I'm Austin," he said to my dad, dazed from our kiss.

"Seth, don't," Ashley said, holding my dad back who was probably about to pound Austin in.

"Austin," I said to interrupt the mood, "This is my brother, Seth and his girlfriend Ashley."

Austin definitely became worried then. "Uh, I got to head to class. I'll see you later Luna." He glanced back at me, his eyes warm and reluctant, a smile forming his lips when he caught my eye, a smile of...but before I knew it he was gone. Cold, did it just get colder? I started to shiver, feeling ice flow into my veins.

"What were you thinking?" Seth asked, trying to calm himself.

"Seth-" Ashley tried to say.

"No!" he barked, his eyes darkening to red, too angry to speak.

My mom looked at me, like she was seeing the future the way she usually does. Then she held her head, shaking it back in forth in confusion, then doubled over and collapsed to the floor.

"Ashley!" he exclaimed, catching her instantly. His eyes started filling and his face crumpled in pain, the way it always did when my mom's visions were this strong.

"Mom," I whispered, shaking her arms, trying to wake her up, remembering the first time I saw her like this. . .

I was five and Gabe and I were playing in the backyard. My mom suggested this one game to us that she used to play with her friends when she was little called The Game (they weren't very creative.) Gabe was pretending to be sucked into a deep hole, going into our mission. When I looked back at mom, smiling happily as I saw her glowing face watch us with adoration. Then something came over her, her face went blank and she fell to the floor, her glass of blood slipping out of her hand. I remembered screaming, crying, begging her to wake up, thinking that my mother was dead. Gabe saw me and rushed to our side, and buried my face in his chest as he cried as well. I called for my dad, for anyone to help. My dad had appeared in a flash, looked at us and explained what my mom was capable of. That she could see the future, and sometimes this happens. Right after he was finished, as if to prove his point my mom woke up, standing up in a flash looking away from us. Before I could get worried she looked back at us with a smile and said, "Who wants something to eat?" erasing all of our worries, but she had shared a look with my dad that I couldn't understand. . .

My mom woke up glancing at my dad and burying her face in his chest as he held her.

"What's wrong?" I asked, trying to understand and failing.

Ashley looked back at me, her voice hollow, she whispered, "We should get back to class. We can discuss this later."

Numbly I got off the floor and followed them out, then went to find my third period class, missing my second one. Algebra, I noticed walking into the room and finding Austin once more. When my eyes met his all of my worries disappeared, and a smile formed my lips. I didn't know what this was, but some part of me told me to enjoy it while it lasted.

I walked to his seat, but before I knew a girl plopped on his lap and kissed him. My heart fell into my stomach, crashing the happy memory, leaving only black rage. I wanted to go and tear out that girl's throat, throw her on the ground, and crush my bloody lips to his. I shook off the dark thought and took a seat in the front. Numb i stared at the teacher, coldness seeping into my skin, leaving me shivering for warmth.

I ran out of the classroom once more, feeling totally and completely embarrassed of thinking I was special to this guy. He must have tons of flings. I'm so stupid, and I actually thought I loved him. I was probably just caught up in the moment. I'm so...When I couldn't run anymore, not that I wasn't capable of it, but because my throat was closing, and I realized I was about to cry. Finding a hiding space, was my only thought as everyone was walking to there next class. I ghosted through the hallways, waiting, until the last door closed to the classrooms and I bolted to the bathrooms and let it all out. I cried, heartbreakingly sobs building, cutting off my breathing, making it labored. Everything dimming around me, only leaving behind pain and misery. When I finally could contain myself, I walked out of the bathroom, not planning on going to class, to depressed to-

And that's when I bumped into someone, spilling over all of there stuff in the process. I sighed and bent down to help them pick it up until I saw who it was. Austin. How does he keep finding me? I stood there for a minute just staring at him while he got all of his things together then I turned around, the sight of him killing me inside, more tears filling my eyes.

"Luna," he said, his voice close to my ear as he grabbed my arm. I shivered, but my anger outdrew my desire, and I tore my arm away from his.

"Leave me alone," I hissed, walking away, hiding my tear streamed face.

"Luna, please," he said, practically running to catch up to me.

"I don't want to hear it!" I couldn't contain my anger now, it was rushing around me like an arctic breeze, cold and harsh. I knew my eyes were now filling, but now with anger other than desire. I had to closed my eyes to contain the rest of the transformation from happening, I was trying so hard it was almost painful to resist the bloodlust and have it recede.

He was taken aback but he didn't let that stop him. "I know what you saw back there. You don't understand."

I couldn't listen to him right now, I was too upset to. Out of the corner of my eye I saw he stopped when I did. His face was crumpled in pain, pleading with me. I said what I should of said from the beginning, maybe it wouldn't have hurt so much if I had, "Look, I don't want this. I don't want a relationship," then added, venom streaking my words, "Especially if I'm going to be in a competition for it. I'm sorry." And with that I sprinted to the door, not caring about my other classes, just needing to go to the one place I can give in. My room.

In an inhuman speed, I ran to the house disappearing, becoming completely invisible to the human eyes. As I ran, I couldn't help it and the tears came free. Sobbing I finally found the house and crashed into my room, jumping on my bed, and cried. I've never felt this way before. I wish we had never came here. Never have met him. Never have...

When I knew I couldn't cry anymore, I searched for Gabriel's mind. Distance didn't matter when you were searching for a family member. Based on familiarity or blood, I don't know. He should be coming home now, he was close enough that I could almost hear the bus around the corner.

Gabe was listening to music, totally rocking out to his new songs, coming home on the bus. He could hear his parents in the front making out, gross. Seriously they will be one of those couples who will never get sick of each other, maybe even after a hundred years.

"Excuse me?" he heard someone say, but also put his hand on his shoulder as if he couldn't hear him. He looked up, and there was that guy who wanted to talk to Luna earlier. I wonder if he is the reason she disappeared.

Anger was seeping into him, he was glad he had his sunglasses on because he knew they were blood red. "Yes?" he said, brusquely, taking out his headphones.

"Can I talk to you?" the guy said, a hint of urgency in his voice.

Gabe rolled his eyes, scooted over, and said, "Nothings stopping you." What did this guy want? If he hurt Luna...

The guy took the seat and said automatically, "I need to talk to Luna."

Now he was confused. "And you need me to...?"

"Can you get her to talk to me?" he specified.

Gabe looked at him like he was crazy, "Look if she doesn't want to talk to you-" he started.

"Please," he begged.

He's actually begging me. I could make this...but Luna would probably kill me. Well, if he actually, what, cares about her then he should have his say. He does look pretty upset, I wonder what happened with them. Oh well, I guess I will find out. My parents would sense if I probed his mind to get the truth and I would be grounded forever.

"Alright," Gabe said, as the bus stopped at our block. "Come on," he said impatiently to the guy, who started trailing after him. Being polite as they walked together he said, "By the way, I'm Gabriel. Luna's twin brother, if you didn't already know."

He looked surprised, and worry crossed his face. "Really you don't look a lot alike. Actually you kind of look like Shane's girlfriend."

God, that would have been a better story, but our's was already set in place. "Interesting, haven't heard that before," he said, even though he heard a million times when he was little, and his mom was playing the part of a young mom. Yeah we've definitely had a million different stories.

"I'm Austin," he said after a second, a little awkwardly.

"So what did you do to piss her off?" Gabe asked curiously.

He looked away, "My ex girlfriend, still thinking we were together, kissed me. I had pushed her off, but Luna didn't see it. Anyway, I think we were about to be together...or maybe not...I'm not sure of anything anymore."

Gabe laughed, he knew he shouldn't find it funny, but it was to him. "Well your going to have to go through hell and back for her to get her to forgive you. She has a bit of temper."

"I've noticed," he said quietly, probably thinking I couldn't hear him, but I laughed anyway.

They were at the house now, just rounding the corner...

I snapped out of Gabe's head, and ran to the bathroom, splashing water on my face to get rid the tears. I brushed my hair, furiously, trying to get it to be smooth after laying on my bed all this time.

"Luna! There's someone here to see you," Gabe called.

Then I heard voices downstairs. "What the hell are you doing here?" Seth asked, anger filling his voice.

"Seth, please," Ashley's calming voice said. "Let's give them some time alone."

"Gabe," he added.

"I'll stay here," he said reading his thoughts.

There was the close of a door, my mom scoffing my dad, then silence. I took a deep breath, and slowly walked downstairs. I peeked through my lashes, saw Austin, then hide my eyes again. Even without looking into his mind, somehow I could feel that it hurt him when I did that.

Gabriel then said awkwardly, "Um...I'll be upstairs." Then in my head he added, Why does dad hate this guy? What did he do to you? Do you want me to kill him? Now a smile in his voice. I smacked him as he passed me on the stairs, and he gave me a shove. Then as he left my eyes met Austin's. It seemed like all my anger, all of my sadness disappeared in that one moment, just by looking at him. What is wrong with me?

"What do you want?" I asked in a soft voice, walking to the couch, running my fingers through my hair, looking at the ground.

He sat down next to me, so close..."I came to apologize. That girl..." he shock his head, exasperated, "Was my jealous ex-girlfriend. She saw us...well you know...and she wanted to make her claim. I had pushed her away automatically, but you didn't see. I'm-I'm sorry."

Speaking in a weak voice, registering this information, I said, "Thank you for telling me," still avoiding his eyes.

He was moving closer to me, I could feel the heat flowing through him. "Luna..." he sighed, taking both of my hands away from me, holding them in his. Then with his other hand he turned my face to his, stroking my cheek. In a whisper he said, "There is no competition. I don't know what this is but...I- I think I'm in love with you."

Breathlessly, "You just met me," my voice shaking.

He smiled slightly, "I know. There's just something about you, some connection we have, I can't explain it, but I know."

I couldn't think, my mind was swimming, his intoxicating breath swirling around me, making me dizzy. "Austin-" I started to say.

But I was cut off with his lips touching mine, so gently, but in that one touch I was taken to another world. A world of warm, bright, and...oh I should just admit it to myself, love. I am in love with him. Heartbreakingly, illogically, impossibly, but I am.

Without thinking about it I answered, "I love you, too." With that a smile so beautiful crossed his face, giving me the entire world's pleasure in that one moment. He crushed his lips back to mine, covering me with his body, protecting me from the world and all of its evils. This kiss was...passionate, loving, joyous, and full of recognition and togetherness. I felt like I could kiss him for hours, days, weeks, as long as I could stay here...with him. To think, this morning I was just another...girl, but now, now I am in love. Everything, everything in the world was right, and perfect. Just me and...

Ring, ring, ring, was what I first heard, as the fog lifted away, leaving me drowsy and disoriented from Austin's kiss, and coming back into the real world. I checked my phone, but it wasn't mine. "Austin, your phone," I told him. Groggily he got off of me, and answered his it.

"Hey Dad," he asked a strain in his voice, flinching a bit.

"Where are you?!" someone asked, angrily, his voice having a slight slur to it.

Austin sighed, "I'll be home soon," glancing at me...

"Hurry up," he added, his voice becoming savage.

Austin hung up his phone, worry all over his face. He sat down, grabbing all of his stuff, and said, "I have to go."

"What was that about?" I asked, pretending I didn't hear the whole conversation.

"Nothing," he said, avoiding my eyes, "I just have to get home."

Breathless, feeling his lie and knowing he won't tell me, I whispered, "Okay."

He looked back at me, his eyes shining, and then he smiled brilliantly, sat back down, and kissed me, his lips soft and gentle. "So..." he said between my lips, "Are we...?" his lips turning back into a smile again, his eyes melting me.

I smiled back and crushed my lips to his as an answer, throwing my arms around him, prolonging the moment.

Too quickly though he said, "Okay, I really have to go."

I pouted, and he laughed, but I said, "Okay."

He kissed me once more, then left, a worried expression crossing his face as he did. As he left coldness seeped into my veins, making every part of me shiver. Distracting myself I went upstairs to Gabe's room.

"Ah," Gabe said, smiling amusingly, "Have fun playing tonsil hockey with your new boyfriend."

I threw a pillow at him, "He's not my boyfriend," I said, but added to myself, Yet.

I heard a door opening and a rush of wind going upstairs, and mumbling on the phone.

…And my mom laughing. "Oh my gosh, seriously! I can't believe little Sammy did that!"my mom was saying to the person on the phone, Ally I realized, my mom's best friend. Little Sammy was her son with my mom's other best friend Cam. I haven't seen them since I was six, not able to anymore since my mom couldn't ever pass for over twenty five, even in our wildest dreams. So we had to leave, saying distance and prices are what kept us apart. We could send them pictures, after photo shopping them a bit. They couldn't ever see us again, though my mom talks to them whenever they call, giving them that much.

Another stream of giggles then, "Oh the kids are fine. They are just starting high school, and from what I know Luna had a very good day."

"Mom!" I whined, before she went into the details. She didn't keep anything from her friends, well except for the supernatural stuff.

Then after awhile I heard a soft, "Yeah I miss you guys too," in a guilty, upset voice.

My mom gave up a lot for our family, her dreams of being a marine biologist, or a writer, all of her friends and family. It takes a toll on her, but I know she would never have changed her mind no matter what it cost. She loves my dad, more than anything, and she loves us.

In a second I was with her, holding her as the tears fell from her cheeks. Then with a smile, "Can I talk to Aunt Ally?" I asked.

She smiled at me, and said, "Hey Ally, Luna wants to say hi."

"Oh yay, I haven't talked to her in forever, give her the phone!" Ally exclaimed.

My mom held out the phone to me, rolled her eyes in amusement, disappearing in a flash to find my dad.

"Hey Aunt Ally!" I said to her, laughing.

"Hey sweetie, oh I've missed you! How's school going?" she asked me then I heard a mumble of, "Sammy don't touch that! Let go! Cam help me!" she was saying and I laughed even more.

"Oh, pretty good. Classes are boring, but that's a given," I replied, rolling my eyes.

"Your mom told me about your knew beau," she laughed.

"He is not!" I exclaimed, reflectively.

She laughed even more, "Oh of course not..." We talked for a few more minutes than I gave the phone to Gabe and went on the computer.

Hours later I was surfing the web when my mom came downstairs, "Sweetie you need to get to bed," she scoffed, practically dragging me upstairs.

A few minutes later though when I was dressed for bed I heard a rapid knock at the door. I looked at the clock, 2 am. Who would come at this hour? Of course the whole house was up now, all wondering the same thing. It was raining buckets outside; I could hear it, also someone pacing outside the door. I was the fastest though and got to the door first, and saw that it was...

...Austin. "Austin what are you doing here?" I asked, a little self-conscious of my black nightgown, but not until I saw his expression.

He was soaked, completely drenched, but that didn't stop me from realizing he was crying. His face was so vulnerable; I don't think I've ever seen a guy cry that much before. Without a second thought I brought him the house, and threw my arms around him as he sobbed. He kept saying, "I can't go home, I can't go home," into my neck as he held me tighter.

"Gabe get me some of your clothes," I called, knowing he was watching us from upstairs. He did as I said, throwing me some. "Austin, we need to get you dry," I told him. He nodded slightly, and I pointed out the nearest bathroom. When he was back, now dry, I could really see him. His eye was swollen black and his arms had cuts, like he was...

"Who did this to you?" I asked, infuriated, having the feeling of wanting to tear out their throats again.

He just looked away, and said softy, "No one," he put his head in his hands, hiding his expression, sitting on the couch.

"Austin..." I breathed, trying to loosen his hold without showing my real strength.

He snapped, "It's my fault," he cried. "I should have been home on time, but no, and..." his voice faltered, and he just sobbed.

"Austin," I said, now tears filling my eyes, holding him closer, putting the two pieces of the puzzle together. "Shh, shh, it's going to be okay," I kept whispering to him, and I could feel he was soothed by my words, and he relaxed. Then I realized something and said, "I need to do something," then after a second, "Are you going to be okay? I'll be right back." He nodded slightly, putting his head back in his hands. I hated to leave him, but I needed to talk to my parents.

I ran, at human speed, up to my parent's room. "Mom. Dad," I whispered, knocking on the door.

They came out, with a wondering expression of what was happening. "Mom, please. Austin can't go home. Can he stay here? Please," I looked at both of them, my expression young and hurt.

They looked at me for a long time, deliberating, but they went to the top of the stairs and saw Austin. They nodded and I threw my arms around them, thanking them, and went back downstairs.

"You're staying here," I said to him.

"What?" he asked confused. "No you don't have to do that-"

I cut him off, putting my finger to his lips, "I want to, and I'm not taking no for an answer. So I'm going to get you some sheets, and you'll be sleeping down here, until I can think of somewhere else you could be." After I did all that, and Austin was sound asleep I made sure everything was human appropriate. No bags of blood, thrown carelessly in the fridge, I put them all in a big, unclear containers, which took forever. Sunglasses for everyone, to make sure that when drinking said blood, Austin won't see our eyes change colors as the hunger fills us. Everything vampire related went into whoever it belongs to room. By the time I was done the whole house was vampire free to the human eye. To tired for words I collapsed on my bed, falling into a deep slumber.

When I woke up, it was just before eight. I rushed to get ready, throwing anything on, and went downstairs. Then I saw Austin, sleeping peacefully, and I knew he shouldn't go to school today. When I saw my parents, I asked them if I could stay home with him, they reluctantly said yes. With that, I just watched Austin, his slight smile on his lips, dreaming happily, so different from last night. I ran my fingers through his ash blonde hair, not even fazing him. He's a heavy sleeper, or he's just really tired. He has such vulnerable mouth, but strong, tan features, my fingers tracing his skin ever so slightly. He is beautiful, I thought over and over again.

As I did this though, I must have been so tired that I fell asleep right then and there. I woke up to someone stroking my face. My vampire reflexes wanted me to get out of the way as fast as I could, that something foreign to me was near, but I kept a firm grip, knowing it was Austin. I slowly opened my eyes, and they met Austin's sapphire blue ones.

"Sorry," he whispered, "Didn't mean to wake you."

I laughed softly, "It's okay."

"Have you been here all night?" he asked.

I smiled, "No, I got here a few hours ago. It's almost noon," I told him.

"We missed school?" he smiled slightly, not sounding like he really cared.

I sighed, looked down, and breathed, "I couldn't let you go after what happened."

His face fell in pain, and I threw my arms back around him. He responded slowly, but soon he was holding on for dear life. After a minute I whispered, "How long has this been going on?" I couldn't think of it...Austin getting hurt, being kicked and punched, until he begged them to stop.

He didn't say anything for awhile then he mumbled, "Ever since my mom left."

"Oh Austin," I whispered, holding him closer. "I'm so sorry." I couldn't think of anything else to say. Without the whole vampire stuff I have to deal with, I've had a pretty good life, and a great family. I couldn't even think that my mom or dad would leave our family. It never came to mind that those things actually happen. I've lived in a world where there is love, and sacrifice, people willing to do anything for their family. I guess I can't relate because I don't really spend much time with humans, and I never see their tragedies and sadness.

"It's okay, it happened two years ago," he said, now trying to comfort me.

"No it's not, she's your mother, and your dad is doing this to you."

He pulled away now. "I understand, I piss him off, he has no control, he drinks a lot, it's my fault," he was trying to reassure himself more than me, again tears filling his eyes.

I shook my head, "No," I grabbed his face, forcing him to look at me as he shook his head. "You don't deserve what you are going through. No one should ever hurt you..." but as I was saying this my eyes found his neck. His pulsing heartbeat was the only sound I heard, the only thing I could see. Hunger filled my eyes.

"Your eyes," he said, horror filling his voice.

I looked down, wiping my eyes, "I'm sorry, I think I got something in it. Excuse me," I said, ducking my head, and walking to the bathroom.

And there it was. My eyes blood red, veins black, teeth sharpening, I moaned in pain. It always hurt a little when the full transformation came out and the bloodlust was this bad. I'm hideous, I thought, tears falling to my cheeks. How can I even think that I am good enough for Austin? All I will end up doing is hurt him...literally. I say that he doesn't deserve to be taken advantage of but...that's exactly what I want to do. Just to taste his blood...I moaned, the pain in my teeth increasing. He smells so wonderful, so...Stop it. Austin needs you! Ignore all of your...cravings; this is about him, not you. He needs a place to stay, and you are going to give it to him. He's in pain. He needs you. Just like that the hunger receded and I was back to normal, and walking back out to Austin.

"Got it," I said, lamely as I sat back down. "Sorry about that," I added. Then closing my eyes I said, "Austin, I want you to have the best, you deserve that."

He looked away for a minute; his face lost for words, then softy, "You really think so?"

I wrapped my arms around him, "Yes," ignoring the pain of the bloodlust, and leaning against his shoulder.

He leaned into my neck, and whispered, "Thank you."

We stayed like that for awhile, just holding each other, when the door opened.

"Hey kid!" Aunt Rayne said, her words slurred, she's been drinking. Uncle Damien came in after her supporting most of her weight, nodding to me. They both froze when they saw us together. I bit my lip, we hadn't thought of this side of the story.

Quickly though I said, "Um Austin, this is my sister Rayne and her boyfriend. He was...adopted by my parents as well. He lost his family in a fire, but, like the good people my parents are, they took him under our wing." I smiled sadly, trying to go for an academy award winning expression, while filling in Damien and Rayne. Rayne was my brother's sister, who looked like a miniature version of my grandmother, right to the tee. Damien is my uncle who, no joke, has golden eyes, not those fake yellow ones, the real golden color, with light blonde hair, and of course pale.

Then I heard more footsteps, and added just as they came through the door, "And these are my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Pierce." They both looked at me surprisingly, but only I could see that since they were so good at hiding their expressions that you had to know them for a long time to actually see that.

"Oh, hello Austin, Luna has told us all about you," Rosetta said. See here's the thing with my family, my grandma was really about only twenty-five, but she could pass as our young mother for awhile, at least until we graduate. She has my father and I ice blue eyes, but perfect brown hair flowing around her, of course, pale face. My grandfather, also really only looks about twenty-five or so, but is still able to pass for older because of his stern and perfect gentlemanly manner, had my dad's features and our black flowing hair, but with piercing green eyes.

"Yes, a wonderful delight to meet you. Sorry we weren't able to be here when you arrived. We had some business in Italy that we had to take care of." His smile was genuine but, again, if you knew him, that he was completely at a loss for words. My grandmother knew how to act because well...she could read everyone's mind without having to be invited in to do so. Our kind can pick up the tenor of others thoughts, mostly some words, but she saw it all. It made me a little jealous, but she usually shared her information, since we were also able to open our minds completely to others, except humans...well unless you are sharing blood with them. Even the thought of it made my mouth water.

"Um...it's nice to meet you too," Austin said, confusedly, and added, "Italy wow, I've never been farther east then Maine. That's awesome."

I smiled up at him awkwardly, "You know you guys should get upstairs and get your stuff settled," adding extra emphasis at the end.

"Uh...we'll see you later," Damien said, scooping Rayne into his arms, and carrying her up the stairs.

"Oh Damien, how weddinish!" Rayne squealed, laughing, but after that I didn't hear anything else, thank goodness.

I sighed and sat down, almost collapsed, too happy to have that over with. "Um, wow, you have a big family," he said, shaking his head.

I laughed. "It only seems that way because we all live together, compared to others mine's pretty small."

He laughed, not really believing me, "I guess so."

"You know..." he said after a second, "You're different with your parents."

I tensed, but said, trying to be clueless, "What do you mean?"

He shrugged. "I don't know it just seems more formal. If I didn't know any better, I would think that they weren't even your parents." He laughed, but his voice had a serious undertone to it, that I completely froze. Please just be joking, he can't know the truth...

I laughed too, trying to be carefree, without the hysterical edge that was trying to come out. "Well...my parents aren't really even home that much, I guess my brothers and Ashley have become more close to me," I said, trying to show most of the truth, without actually giving the truth.

"Oh, that makes sense," he said, trying to read more into it.

In a feeble escape, I said, "Well I'm going to take a shower, and get ready. You can use the one through that hall right there," I backed away, reluctant to leave, and pointed down the hall. He nodded, an unreadable expression crossing his face, and turned to leave.

With that, I left for my bathroom upstairs. When I was there I cranked the music up and let myself drown in it. Stripping down I got in the shower, and let the hot water soothe my tense nerves, and relax my muscles, letting the conditioner smooth my already smooth black hair. Our kind doesn't really need showers since our body is always clean, but it's pretty much the only way I can calm down sometimes and they also make us seem more normal. When I was done, only thinking of the music playing, I wrapped myself in a towel and proceeded to go back to my room.

And as if this couldn't get any more awkward I ran right into Austin. I tried not to look at his flawless, tanned chest, and him only wearing a towel, but I couldn't help myself and was blushing furiously. We both seemed at a loss for words, and totally and completely embarrassed.

"Uh...I was just going to ask where I can get some clothes?" he asked, his embarrassment almost as worse as mine.

I laughed nervously. "Gabe's room is right through there," I said, pointing down the hall, across from my room.

"Thanks," he said, as we both left into different rooms.

I closed the door behind me and let out a big sigh. This was going to be more complicated than I thought, I said to myself, shaking my head, and going to look for something in my closet. I decided on a deep blue dress, putting on a small amount of eyeliner and darkening my eyelids just a bit to show off the brightness of my ice blue eyes. Gabe told me that the family was going out to dinner, and I had reminded Austin a moment before, after our embarrassing incident. I'm pretty sure we were celebrating everyone coming home, but going out to a fancy restaurant could happen at any time in the Montgomery family.

I left the room and went to wait downstairs, when I saw Austin sitting on the couch. He wore a simple silk dark blue shirt, and black pants, but he looked absolutely marvelous to me. He smiled as he saw me, a look of love and innocence in his eyes. If he only knew...

I smiled back, trying to show the same in my eyes, and failing miserably. He didn't seem to notice though, and he took my hands into his own.

"You look great," he whispered, coming closer to me, leaning his forehead against mine.

"So do you," I breathed, my mind losing a hold on itself as his warm breath washed over me, leaving it blank.

"Oh my God," I heard from the bathroom. My mom.

"What's wrong?" I heard my dad ask her, probably just hearing her.

"Austin, I'll be right back," I said to him, then went upstairs.

"What's going on?" I asked them, Gabe right behind me.

I looked at my mom; her face was filling with worry and confusion. "Um..." she said trailing off.

"What is it?" I asked, more worried now.

Seth was looking at her, his confusion turning to more and more concerned, trying to see what she was trying to hide.

"Uh..." she bite her lip, not wanting to tell.

"Ashley..." he said, bringing her into his arms, trying to soothe her.

She was looking at all of us, hers eyes wide, lips shaking, as she finally said, "I'm...pregnant."

Seth looked back at her, as if she was playing a joke, but when she wasn't he smiled brilliantly, but then realization came into his face and he knew what would happen. He held her as close as possible as she started to cry. I just stared in horror; I knew how this would play out before it would even happen. She would go through the rest of high school as that girl, and our whole family will have to go through that as well. I mean, if Austin wasn't here we could just move away, my parents could drop off the radar and Gabe and I could go to school. Since he is though...

"What's going on?" Austin asked coming into the bathroom where we were all huddled.

"Um..." I started to say, looking at my mom, who was nodding her head, saying I should tell him. The problem was I didn't want to tell him, at all, but he's going to notice eventually. "Ashley's is...um," I paused, trying to clear my head, "Pregnant."

"Oh," he said, looking at my mom and dad, having the perfect look of young kids, who are scared and worried. We were all at a loss for words, we would be excited, but...Austin. We have to stay here, I'm not leaving him behind, so...

"It's all going to be okay," Ashley finally said, getting off the floor, walking away, and waiting for no one.

"Uh...I'm going to see if she's alright," Seth said, passing through us, me smacking him in annoyance. How could he do this to us? When I finally found true love? Now because of me, my mom has to go through high school being that girl who got pregnant. Of course my parents have already been married for 15 years, have two children, and a family, but no one can know that.

"Hey," I heard from the other room.

"No, Seth, we've messed up everything," she was saying, near tears again.

"Shh, it going to be okay, this child is going to be loved by our family. I'm not going to think otherwise." I could see Austin was listening to their conversation too, a look of wonder on his face. Probably because he was noticing that "my brother" was a really good guy that he's not like others who would act like a jerk, or leave.

"I love you," she said to him.

"I love you," he said, kissing her cheek.

I closed my eyes. I want what they have, complete and undeniable love. Do I have that yet? I just met the guy...yesterday. I don't think I'm even close to that. Sighing I gave up, and said in my head to them, Okay this is how it's going to go down. You guys have to have a fake fight with "our parents", they need to be angry but at the end understanding, no one will know about the pregnancy, just where baggy clothing. It's not going to be impossible to hide it. No one will tell anyone...GABE...and nothing will happen. After high school we will leave, I will make sure Austin gets a scholarship, and that will be the end of it. Okay?

I looked at Gabe; he nodded slightly, not enough to catch Austin's attention. My parents both nodded as well in the same fashion. Okay then this is how it's going to be. Now to get Austin on board, with what he could know. I took his hand, and lead him downstairs.

"Whoa," he said as he plopped on the couch, and added, "Heavy stuff. I have really bad timing don't I?" he smirked, expecting me to laugh. When I didn't, his expression softened, "Hey...I'm really sorry about your brother, but he's a really good guy. It's going to be fine."

I looked him straight in the eyes, so intensely but not using compulsion...yet. "Austin, you can't tell anyone," I said, trying to show the truth, almost.

He laughed lightly, but still caught in my gaze, taken aback. "Luna it's going to be pretty hard to hide-" he started to say.

I interrupted him by putting my finger on his lip. "Promise me," my voice having a little hysterical edge, not wanting to use compulsion if persuasion doesn't work."Please?" I breathed, in a last attempt.

His eyes widened under my gaze, and he whispered, "I promise."

I sighed in relief. "Thank you," I said, bringing him into my arms. "I'm scared," I admitted, only to him, but probably the whole house could hear, tears falling on my cheeks.

"It's going to be okay," he breathed into my neck, holding me close, "Everything's going to be fine." I let him comfort me, even though I wasn't scared for what he thought.

"Promise?" I asked, not sure of anything anymore, just needing it to be guaranteed by someone.

"I promise," he said to me, kissing my cheek.

"What's wrong?" we heard from upstairs, making a conversation loud enough so we can hear. It's time for the fireworks. Obviously my grandparents already knew, but now they are going to have the "argument" for Austin. Here goes...

"I-" Ashley choked up unable to say.

"Seth," Rosalinda said, now probing.

"Uh...mom, dad..." he couldn't finish. I nodded to Austin for him to follow me upstairs. I wanted to see the show first hand.

What I saw was something to see. Grandmother looking at them wonderingly, grandfather suspiciously, mom huddled on the floor, curled into a ball sobbing, dad holding her in his arms also crumpled on the floor. If I didn't know any better I would have assumed that it was another tragic tale. They were good.

"What is it?" Rosalinda asked kneeling on the floor in front of her.

"I- I- I'm so sorry," she sobbed, hysterically; putting her head into her hands, avoiding the contact grandmother was trying to achieve.

Without another thought, Shane brought her closer in her arms, tears falling on his cheeks, he finally said, "She's..." swallowing, "Pregnant." With that my mom broke into harder sobs, she should be an actress, letting dad comfort her.

Grandmother Rosalinda was something to behold. Tears filled her eyes, and she threw her arms around them, broken sobs filling her voice.

When she pulled away, she asked in a soft voice, "Are you going to kick me out?" not looking at them.

"No," I inserted into the conversation, my voice hurt and young, meant to be so.

"Luna, what are you doing here?" Grandfather Antonio asked.

I didn't answer; I just looked at mom, my eyes filling with fake tears.

"Ashley, please don't go," I whispered, shakily.

She just looked at me, like it might be, her eyes filling even more.

"We wouldn't do that," Rosalinda said, looking to Antonio who was nodding numbly. "We'll deal with this. We won't tell anyone, not till it's completely unable to avoid. We'll go shopping tomorrow for bigger clothing," she added after a moment.

"Thank you," Ashley cried, falling into Rosalinda's arm, more sobs breaking free.

"Why don't you go lie down?" she said to her. Ashley nodded numbly, getting off the floor, and passing through us, about to go after her, but Rosalinda said, "Just give her a few minutes alone," patting his shoulder. He stiffened under the hand, but did as she said, and went to his room (actually Gabe's room, but we put in another bed when Austin got here so it looked like they shared a room) and closed the door.

"He'll be fine," Rosalinda said to us, "Why don't you guys order a pizza? I don't think we should go out tonight." Placing her hand on my shoulder for a second, then leaving with grandfather following her. The perfect play, I thought grudgingly, and I can see our audience enjoyed it. Austin was looked like he was just hit by a bus, his face torn between sadness and pity.

Bravo, I said in my head, and I heard a chorus of laughs. "I'll..." I said after a minute, "go order the pizza. What do you want?" I asked, taking out my phone.

It took him awhile but he said, "Uh...just cheese or pepperoni is fine." I grabbed his arm, and helped him up, I could carry him if I wanted, I'm way stronger than him, but that would just cause more suspicion that we don't need.

"Gabe?" I said, not needing to repeat the question.

"Mushrooms," he called from his room, talking to my dad, joking about how if he was going to have to share rooms he gets the corner.

"Seth?"

"Peppers," he said in a dejected voice, matching the tone of what just happened. Oh course we didn't need to eat, but food still tastes the same to us, but it's not a necessity. We just like to be normal, and do normal things.

I called it in, already knowing what everyone else wanted. Gabe and my dad always liked to switch it up, and try different things, while the rest our family kept it simple and continuous which made it so much easier sometimes. I went back downstairs with Austin following.

A hour later we were all stuffed with pizza, Seth bringing it up to Ashley, but she refused saying she wasn't hungry. He stayed at her door until finally she let him in and they've stayed up there since. I didn't want to think of what they were doing, but I couldn't help listening in every now and then.

"It's going to be okay you know?" he said to her when he came in.

"No, I ruined everything. I was barely acting in there, Seth. How are we going to deal with being that couple? It nearly destroyed us when people thought I was fifteen years ago when we wanted to get married. Now it's true, and...I don't know if I can survive that." When my mom was turned in their senior year after Seth was, they had wanted to get married and start a family, but they wanted that already anyway. It's a long story.

"We can always drop school for awhile, until it's over."

"What will that look like? I don't want to hide, I didn't before and I'm not going to now," now a determined edge in her voice.

I could hear the smile in his a he whispered, "My brave girl." Then after a minute, his voice now softer, "Everything's going to be alright, you know? I won't let anything happen to you, and neither will Gabe or Luna, and now I guess Austin. We're a family, and we will always be one. We will protect you in whatever the cost."

"I love you," she had sighed.

I stopped listening then, tears filling my eyes, and Austin had taken me into his arms, expecting another reason. I let him comfort me even though I shouldn't. I've pretty much pulled off the biggest lie in the history of time, and I felt sick about it. All of the lies, the deceit, but if I told him the truth...he would never believe me...well unless I went full vamp on him...but then he might need therapy or worse. Is it better that I'm keeping it from him? I guess I'll never know.

That night we all just fell asleep wherever we were. When the alarm went off we all got ready for school except for Seth and Ashley. They had some things to work out before they went anywhere and Rosalinda and Antonia stayed with them too. We got ready and headed off for the bus; now getting even more stares with my hand in Austin's, and of course Gabe being Gabe. School went by slowly; it was probably because I couldn't wait to get out so I could see what the plan was at home.

When we got home we were in for something we didn't expect at all, finding my mom in the living, a wedding gown on, while grandmother buttoned it up.

"Oh, Ashley you look so beautiful!" Rosalinda cheered.

"What going on?" I asked as we all came in.

Mom looked at us, smiling hugely, "Seth and I are getting married!"

What? I asked in my head to everyone.

My mom was the one who answered, It's the perfect cover, and it was about time your father and I renewed our vows.

We all gasped, and it was all for different reason. I was impressed, Gabe was still getting up to speed, and Austin was surprised.

But he smiled and said, "Oh wow, congratulations!" in a way that made me love him even more. Always looking at the good things, and not bothering to ask questions.

"Can I come out yet?" I heard a voice from the bathroom.

"No!" Rosalinda called back, still making the last touches on the dress.

Then my mom added, "Of course it's only family and friends, no one else, no one will know from school. Right?" she asked, looking at us.

"Of course Ashley," I said automatically, giving both of them a look that said, I swear to god if either of you blab..., the threat trailing off but perfectly understood.