Chapter One: It's all About Me: Kathros

Vampire. Vampyre. Lamia. Blood drinkers, even ghoul or demon. I'll bet that you're heard of them. Here's a new one for you. Me.

Allow me to begin by clearing up all the lies that you may have been told about vampires. Yes, we have fangs, and yes, we can be
killed by a wooden stake trough the heart, but then again I doubt many, if any, humans could survive that either. We cannot take the shape
of animals, though we have amazing senses and reflexes, and we do have reflections. Running water? We can cross it, but it does give us
this twang inside. Crosses don't bother us in the least, which is a good thing, considering a large population of the town where I'm
currently residing in wears them. I'd go mad from hunger or have to move. Oh, and about our teeth, they're a lot like human canines, only
extremely sharp when we get hungry. One graze with these babies and your blood is a first-class meal ticket (if you're sober, I don't like drunks).

Now that you've been corrected about vampires, allow me to fill you in on my background. I'm originally from Greece, but that was
about 800 years ago. I had to leave pretty quickly because I have dark red hair and there was this teeny superstition about red hair back then-
they thought you were a vampire. I was human then, see, and that brought about a bit of trouble because they wanted to kill me. Now, that may
seem fair to some people, but not to me, I kinda wanted to do this little thing called live so I hauled my butt out of there the first chance I got!

I keep my hair long, even now, I just like the way that it looks on me (so do the girls). I keep it clean and tied back in a low, wavy
horsetail. My violet eyes get me strange looks sometimes, and when I don't want to especially be remembered, I put in colored contact lenses.
If you'll allow me to say so loosely, I look a bit like Brad Pitt in 'Interview With a Vampire', except with a tan. Vampires can have tan skin.
Over all, I look about nineteen and stand at five foot nine.

I've lived in America a long time- I don't count single years, so I don't remember exactly. I was already a vampire when I first
came over here to a little island called Roanoke. It was a nice enough place. Then one of the humans' leaders, I forget his name now,
had to leave. When he returned, no one was there and there was no sign of the civilization. In truth, they didn't disappear. They were
first stricken by illness, which of course couldn't affect me, and then attacked by Native Americans who claimed it as their Holy Land.
I do try not to love any humans too much- they always die and I continue on, but I did have some friends in the colony. Those Indians soon
after disappeared without a trace. Gee, I wonder what might have happened to them?

If you can't tell by now, I'm a bit of a smart-ass with an attitude. I get by. It doesn't bother me much if I go friendless. Like
I said, they just die anyway. Come to think of it, I've never made a friend though I came very close to it on one occasion. Never mind that
now. Anyway, that's my story. With the exception of how I actually became a vampire, I don't talk about that too much, so don't ask.

Now I live in this little town in Clark County in the State of Ohio. It's a little hick town called North Vienna, but it's close to
Springvalley, a sizable city with some decent nightclubs. I've enrolled, for the heck of it, as a senior at the local high school with the
name Ross Drake. I figured that Ross was close enough to my given name of 'Kathros', Greek for 'pure.' I picked the name 'drake' just because
I like dragons.

Of course, such a small high school didn't offer my preferred languages of Greek or Latin, so I settled on French of the choice between
Spanish and French. It didn't really matter, because I knew them all. I've lived in Russia, all over the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, and France.
I'd been there and done that. Hell, I even was fluent in several Native American languages.

North Kenton High. Dumb name if you ask me. Dull, ugly, and un-exciting. But what can you say for a school who has 'Farm Week' including
'Carhartt' and 'drive-your-tractor-to-school' days? Honestly, it was a queer little school, but better in materials and literature than 600 years
ago. They're more comfortable too- carpet, heating and air-conditioning and such.

What were kids wearing to school these days? I took a walk around the Springvalley Mall. None of the clothes were my taste. The T-shirts
with obscene symbols and words printed on them, and blue jeans that would sag to half way down the thighs and were wide enough to fit around the
columns of the Parthenon were for the scrubs. Then the preps wear polo or nice shirts and light or tan colored pants. Personally, I prefer natural
fibers like cotton or leather. If that was what kids wore in school, hey, it's their funeral.

I don't care much for funerals; the blood's all gone from the bodies. Too bad they don't let vampires drain them- I'd have a steady job
and a full stomach. But no thank you, I prefer pulsing blood to a dead, bloodless pallor any day.

That reminded me. I was hungry. I hadn't eaten in days. Checking my watch, I concluded that I should be able to get a decent meal in
at a club before all the got chicks plastered and like I said, I don't like drunks, they taste rancid.

Exiting the mall, I got into my red cobra and drove to the Dark Moon, a newer club. Entering, I saw a few motley couples on the floor
and a few sat around. A girl sat along in the back. I smiled a hunter-cat's grin and slowly made my way back to her in the shadows.

"Hey, babe, mind if I sit down?" I purred, already moving to do so before she gave me the discreet nod of her head, permitting me to
do so. "Are you waiting for someone?" I noted that she was cradling a carryout cappuccino cup in her hands, and her breath smelled chocolate-y
and mint-y when she exhaled before answering.

"No, my boyfriend and I just broke up. This place just makes me feel better, and I guess I was hoping that maybe I could find a new guy."
She spoke at a moderate speed, but heavily, as if carrying a great weight on her shoulders.

"Well, then it's just lucky I came along. I'm Ross Drake." I reached out in a gesture of politeness to shake her hand and seal our acquaintance.

Timidly, she stretched her arm so that her hand met mine and took it as gently as a trained royal lady, pumping it once and releasing her hold
quickly. "Katrina Lea, but my friends all call me Pristine since it means the same as my first name." She brushed some auburn hair back from her
green-hazel eyes, tucking it lightly behind her ear, only for it to fall back again because of the layers cut into it.

Smiling, I moved my chair closer, she was so innocent and trusting- the perfect prey. Though her name was a funny coincidence, and it gave me
a funny internal feeling, I just mentally shrugged it off. "You know, I bet you were the one that dumped your boyfriend. And if it was vice-versa,
it just goes to show that he was an idiot and worth absolutely nothing at all if he didn't see all the wonderful qualities that I can see just by
glancing at you, Pristine. May I call you Pristine?"

Her eyes softened with each complement, bringing down her slight guard, and she nodded slightly and curtly in response to my inquiry. Over
the years I've learned to use my persuasive vampire's gifts- tone control for my voice, persuasive eyes, and mind control if I had to. I rarely
used mind control though; it seemed like a waste unless you're keeping them silent while you feed, which we must do every few days, though I prefer
to everyday. This was too easy. I slid a bit closer still until I'd come almost 180 degrees around the table and I was right next to her warm body.
I could sense more than hear, but I heard the beating of her heart in her ribcage.

"Pristine, you look so nice, and sweet, I just want to kiss..." My voice trailed off as my lips neared her soft throat and I bit her, sinking
my razor sharp teeth into her flesh. Letting her blood run into my mouth, I mentally willed her silent, as sometimes their screams ring true for half
a mile or above the din of a club. Her blood was the sweet sustenance that I called 'life for the dead'.