Faith's new schedule revolved around her books and the order in which she wanted to read them. As a birthday present, Morand had gotten her a membership to the local book club, which put her in heaven as a freshly printed book (some by local authors!) arrived in the mail every week.
In addition to her mass amounts of reading, there was also homework to be taken care of. Having been tested out at genius levels doing her homework didn't take very long, but there were certainly worse places she could be doing it than on her private balcony overlooking the ocean.
She also enjoyed spending time in the newly renovated study, surrounded by her father's awards and trophies. It gave her a sense of pride to sit in among his accolades, providing her with inspiration to make the same kind of success for herself, whatever field she ended up in.
Morand responded to the day's emergency like it was any other, until he heard a familiar voice yelling from inside the house. It wasn't quite the same tone as he'd last remembered it, but he knew as soon as the screams reached his ears who it was.
"Cheri," Morand muttered to himself. The mother of his son. The abandoner.
He hadn't seen Cheri Cornwell since she unceremoniously dumped Cecil in his arms, shortly after he'd moved to Harmony. He'd heard that she ran off to Bridgeport to try and make a name for herself musically, but apparently she was back.
Morand fought his way inside the building and made his way to the petrified woman. Upon seeing his face, Cheri immediately avoided eye contact and sheepishly allowed Morand to lead her out of the burning house.
"Stay here!" Morand commanded, "I'm not through with you."
The overdressed woman was still hysterical, "Save him, please! You have to save PeeDee!" she screamed at him.
He ran back inside and forced the panicked man away from the flames. Once his hypnotic stare was broken from the fire, he fled. Her taste in men still ran towards the nerdy, Morand observed.
Once the fire was out, he ran outside to confront Cheri. All he caught was a glimpse of her backside, once again running away from him.
Damn that coward, he thought to himself.
Seeing Cheri again reminded Morand exactly what he had gained in life, not what he missed, so a new tattoo was emblazoned on his body. A design encompassing four stars, a symbol of the four members of his true family; himself, Faith, Cecil, and Dixie, in Dixie's favorite color.
Faith had signed up through the school to be a tutor on the weekends and was caught off guard when Drake Dracul appeared on her doorstep at twilight. Her dad had mentioned something about the "dark society" in Harmony, but had never met any of them. She wasn't even aware that he attended her school.
"Thank you for meeting with me, Faith," Drake said to her.
Faith had to admit to being a nervous around the boy. She had heard some pretty scary stories about their kind - using mind control on people, their mental prowess, and of course there was the sucking of blood, even a couple cases where that had lead to death.
"Uh, yes," Faith said, withdrawing her hand from his, "Why don't we get to work?"
She sat down on the porch, purposely not showing him in, as she had heard that once you invite in one of their kind that it was basically giving them permission to come and go as they please.
She worked him through his homework quickly, yet still trying to answer his questions and not let him see exactly how nervous he was making her.
Once they were finished, she jumped up and quickly thanked Drake for coming and wished him a good evening.
"I am sorry if I have offended you. I can sense your fear. You have nothing to be afraid of from me."
Embarassed, Faith could only apologize, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be rude, it's just... Well, I've never met any of you before. By 'you', I mean a..., you know. You, blood suckers," she practically whispered the last two words, clearly flustered at the vampire's presence.
To inform you, not all vampires enjoy having to drink from humans. Personally, I abhor it. I have had to drink the blood of dozens of humans to stay alive, whether I wanted that fate or not, it is mine to bear. If there was another way for us to live, I would gladly partake, however at this time we have no other choice!" he finished, fuming. This was clearly a very touchy subject with the pale man. And he wasn't quite finished.
Faith's attention was piqued, "and what rumors would those be?"
"Unfortunately they are," he continued, "you possess a mind power that humans your age are not usually gifted with. I was hoping we could work together, but genius or not you are just another simpleton!" he raged.
"I apologize. I did not mean to get so upset. If you will forgive me, I will be on my way. I am just sorry that you are not the one I thought you were."
With that the vampire turned and left, in all but a blur.
She wanted to learn more about the history of the vampire people and their struggles. It didn't sit right with her that she had a misconceived notion about them and that her thoughts were based off of rumor and not fact. Something else had struck her as well, the idea that Drake didn't enjoy feeding off humans. If there was a way he could still get the nourishment he needed without having to feed, Faith wanted to help him find it.
"Not much," she replied, "just trying to help out a vampire."
Morand almost choked on his waffle.
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