Chapter 1 - Part 12: Hot Blooded

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.

Drake began to lose his composure, "Is that what you think I am?  A 'blood sucker', that all I want to do is open up your veins right here and now?"

Faith had clearly upset him and wasn't sure how to handle this creature's anger.  "I'm sorry, I just don't want to be bitten or killed," she pleaded with him.

"It is no wonder 'us people' try to avoid contact with 'you people' whenever possible!  It is ideas like yours that have created a fear and hatred where none is needed.

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.

"Just to let you know, Miss Cagley," he spit her name out as if it was a venom, "I did not need to come to you for tutoring.  I am older than your grandfather by many years, and infinitely more wise.  However, I needed to see if the rumors about you were true."

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.

"And you're just a scaaaary vampire!" Faith mocked him, finding a bravery she didn't know she possessed.

Whatever her intention had been in making fun of the man, it worked to break the tension and Drake had to force himself to not laugh.

"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.

Faith woke up early the next morning having not slept well after the conversation with Drake.  She stopped by the library to pick up a couple books and went to the only place she knew she'd be able to concentrate.  The Butterfly Pavilion.

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.

Being surrounded by the trees and flowers she was hit with inspiration.  She raced home and began to study plant matter, making the comparison between a fleshy fruit like a mango, with actual flesh.  The spark of an idea was there, but it certainly required more research.

"You've been awfully busy lately," Morand mentioned to Faith as they sat down that evening for some leftovers.  "What have you been working on?"

"Not much," she replied, "just trying to help out a vampire."

Morand almost choked on his waffle.

Title / Foreigner



    When Cheri was actually involved in the fire emergency this time, I knew I just had to use it in the story. Unfortunately I couldn't get any shots of the two of them talking, since you can't interact with anyone during the emergency and she promptly took off after it was over.

    Also, I wasn't really sure about introducing any of the occult characters into the story, but when I started designing the look of the vampires, I liked them too much, so we'll see how big of a part they play. =)

  2. Loving this! Your pictures are so clean looking! xD

  3. Great update!
    I love the look of your vampires. The last pic, of Morand choking on his waffles, was hilarious.

  4. I love Drake already! Hope to see more of him and Faith in the future!

    And don't get me started on Cheri. I hope karma gives her a swift kick in the ass.

  5. Haha oh poor Morand. Can't wait to see where this goes :]

  6. Cheri is such a coward!

    It's kind of fun to see vampires in the story, though. I haven't come across too many legacies that incorporate them (mine included).

  7. Ugh, Cheri. I sort of want to kick her in the face. Lol. Oh a happier note, I REALLY like Drake so far. I hope he reconsiders working with Faith. Poor Morand....he doesn't seem to happy about his daughter working with vampires. I can't say that I blame him though.