''You have to come to the bonfire," Kimberley grabs my hand and jumps up and down while walking beside me. Her light purple eyes glowing compared to the darkness of her gown.
Ahh, Kimberley McWitch. Smart and good with potions, spells and making people fall in love. She's a witch, yes, but she looks nothing like a witch. No crooked nose, ugly moles or green skin. She could be the definition of beautiful itself but of course, she denies it. But who am I to criticize my own best friend on her perfection in being beautiful? Kim and I have been friends since kindergarten, through elementary and high school and now college.
I shake my head, sigh and adjust my backpack strap on my shoulder before speaking, "I've never been to any bonfire and I will never go to one," I gaze at her, she looks back at me with a look I know too well; her '' You've got got to be kidding me" look.
"Jessica Van Helsing,"
"Oh no, she's using her stern voice! What did you do?" Jacob laughs while wrapping an arm around my shoulder and I roll my eyes before shrugging his arm off.
Jacob Scott, my other best friend who happens to be a werewolf. Smart too, great in sports, good looks but constantly smells like a dog. Strangely, most girls at this Monster-rific school likes it for some reason. Jacob has been my best, and only male, friend from before kindergarten. Our mothers were in the same book club before the bloodsuckers moved back to Transylvania.
"I just said I don't want to go to the bonfire tonight," I shrug and once again, for the second time today, Jacob stares at me with the same look plastered on Kim's face.
"You never go to the bonfire," Jacob frowns and pushes a hand through his pitch-black hair, "Which is why I'm standing with Kimmy on this and saying you should come with us tonight."
Kimberley speaks before I get the chance to even form a coherent thought," Jessi, we just graduated from college. Tonight could be your last chance to go to the biggest party of the year, have some fun before you go on your training to become the next great Vampire slayer."
I almost consider going, but then we walk past the bloodsuckers and I can already feel the fuel lighting in me as their blood-red eyes linger on me, an Van Helsing - their sworn enemy. No doubt in my mind they're planning on killing me and my family.
"Ugh, human." Cody Dracula, son of Count Dracula, spits.
"Ugh, bloodsucker." Jacob snorts and Cody stares at Jacob a second too long, his red eyes glow, and then he snaps his head to me.
Under his gaze, I feel pressured and unsure about a lot. But then I also feel hatred, pure hatred and by just staring into his demon-like eyes I know why my great, great times six, grandfather killed the first Dracula that killed innocent people. Vampires are like demons walking the earth and my family has sworn to slay if necessary. That has been the family tradition, generation after generation.
"I would tell your dog to keep it to himself, we wouldn't want to find another drained pup, would we," The blood-fucking-sucker smirks at me. Cody and his friends laugh, knowing well that I can't do shit to hurt them without ending in prison.
"Let's just go, I don't want to be in these bloodsuckers presence much longer," I grab hold of Jacob's wrist and drag him away from the Vampires. But I have to turn back around to get before Kim before she puts a spell on them, or worse, curses them.
We continue walking away from the building we spent the last four years of our lives in, and at the end of the road, by the gates, awaits a sea of people. I scan the crowd of monsters and humans, in search of my family and easily spot them casually talking to the Dean just outside college property. Everyone could spot them as easily as I did, with that much pride and class radiating off of them like that; but this was just my family.
Between the three of us, Kimberley is the first to say goodbye but not after saying I should consider the bonfire tonight and soon enough she's disappearing into a cloud of black smoke. Jacob leaves me with a bear hug before running off to join his pack, and I continue my lonely walk to join my parents.
"Jessica, I'm so proud of you!" My mom gushes the second I stop beside her before she throws her arms around me and embraces me in a heartfelt hug, pressing her warm lips to my forehead in a motherly kiss.
"I know, mom," I chuckle and gaze over at my dad. Despite the darkness and chaos lurking behind his dark blue eyes, he wears a big grin as he opens his arms and I eagerly step into his embrace and wrap my arms around him.
"My baby girl graduated from college, I don't know what could make me more emotional than this," My dad chuckles and pushes a hand through his sandy blonde hair.
"Dad," I warn him and gaze at my mom, who's fanning her tears away, "Mom, if you start crying, "I warn her as well. My parents may be known for having pride and class and for being Van Helsing's, but they got as emotional as every other person.
"Is that Jessica Van Helsing?" My eyes widen as the voice fills my ears and I spin around on my feet. Eyes quickly searching for the idiot I haven't seen in what feels like centuries.
"Adrian!" I squeal and run to him once he comes into view. I jump onto him like a hungry lion and he catches me a little too late, sending the two of us spiraling for the ground.
My arms tighten around him as we lay on the grass and I bury my face in his chest to stop my tears from spilling, "You said you couldn't come!" I say against his chest which rumbles as he laughs, his arms around me tighten before I feel him press his lips to my head.
"There's no way in hell that I would ever miss my favorite girl's graduation," Adrian says and I have to gaze up at him to see his face splitting grin, "Can you get up now, I can't feel my legs." I roll my eyes before standing up and hold out my hand for him.
Adrian stands up, without my help, and after ruffling his hair, we walk to where my parents await us. Adrian speaks so casually with my parents that you would think we are family,
Us Van Helsing's are known to not mingle with anyone except family, but Adrian isn't family.
Adrian has always been that one guy I could go to for anything, he may not be family but he acts like it and I've considered him as family a lot of times. To the public, he has always been my "distant cousin" that visits every chance he gets but he's actually my "destined mate". Our parents had made a family deal bond before Adrian and I even knew, and this family bond meant that Adrian and I would be married once I turn twenty-five.
I hated the thought of getting married, I've always despised marriage. I tried seeing past my hatred towards marriage for his sake, his family needs this bond but I just couldn't. I spent more time with him, learned a lot about him and he's become like my best friend but that's it, he's just a friend. The more I tried to focus on the good in this bond, the more marriage felt like a forced arrangement between two souls, binding them for life without a way out and divorce was just too expensive, for most people but not my family.
Which is why I've scraped up the biggest, fake smile and happiness I could muster and played along, for Adrian's sake.
The car drive from Transylvania University to the Van Helsing mansion is a good hour and no one speaks in the car. Mom's busy staring out at the passing trees and Dad is busy sharping his wooden stake, for if we get attacked. Adrian left, saying he had somewhere to be but that he would come by the mansion later before his flight back to NYC.
The Van Helsing mansion is all but modern, it resembles a castle in the late 1800s; with long endless corridors, dark walls and an endless amount of rooms and paintings of our family that, unfortunately, passed away hung upon the longest corridor. Even though the kitchen, living room, dining room, and the bathroom gets remodeled each year, the place still has that vintage style and feel. My bedroom might be the only modern room in the entire mansion, besides my parents' room of course.
As always, I make my way up the dark tiled staircase and walk down the corridor, greeting my late family members in the process before stopping by my grandfather.
I shudder at his nickname for me but still smile while making my way around his bed, to where grandfather Van Helsing sits with a hardcover book in one hand and a glass filled with red liquor in the other, I assume it's red wine or grape juice.
"Pride and Prejudice?" I nod to the book I have read many times and my grandfather grins as I sit beside him on the old leather couch.
"As always," I watch him as he closes his book, places his glass on the small table beside him before turning to face me and takes my hands in his, "Tell me, how'd the graduation go,"
"It was long and boring, grandpa would've fallen asleep," I smile and he laughs.
"Those bloodsuckers didn't try anything on you?" Grandpa raises a thick, grey brow and I shake my head.
"No, they didn't." I spend the next hour or so talking to my grandfather and he ends up telling me a story about how he met my grandmother. I've never met her, she died when I was really young but it feels nice to hear stories about her and to see the smile grandpa wears when he talks about her. My mom has never really spoken about her mother and every time I bring her up, my mom gets upset and says I should drop it.
After dropping my backpack on the floor beside my bedroom door, I walk to my reading area and pull out the book I haven't finished reading yet, and yes it's a Jane Austen novel. Emma.
I've always had a liking to old, classic novels and I prefer any Jane Austen novel over some lame romance book. There was a time in my life where I picked up one of the Twilight books but I couldn't finish it. Knowing the girl ends up with a vampire sickens me, I mean who would want to spend the rest of their life with a blood-sucking demon? Surely not me.
I shake my head and continue reading and just as I reach the last page, Kimberly appears in my room, with the cloud of black smoke. I've become so used to her just appearing everywhere that it doesn't scare or surprise me as much as did back when she had just started doing spells and creating potions.
Kimberly doesn't speak or do anything except for hopping onto my bed and I finish reading the last page before putting my book down and gaze up at her, "I didn't know you were coming over,"
"You didn't? Well I'm here anyway and now I can help you fix your outfit for tonight," Kimberly grins and clasps her hands together before another cloud of black smoke surrounds her and she's gone again, only to step out of my closet moments later, "Come on, we've got two minutes before sunset and that's when they start the bonfire."
There's no point in arguing with her now and after a long, painful, groan, I stand up from my seat, drag my feet across the carpet to Kimberly, who's grinning from ear to ear. Kimberly gazes down at my black dress and sneakers and with a flick of her wrist, I feel higher.
"No heels, Kimberly," I say and after she rolls her eyes, she flicks her wrist again and I gaze down at my new outfit; plain jeans, T-shirt and sneakers. Sometimes I like the fact that my best friend is a witch, especially on occasions like these. She's like my own fairy godmother except she's a witch and we're best friends and I'm no Cinderella.
"Okay, my turn," She grins and turns into another cloud of smoke, except this time it's not black but a bright red and I have to shield my eyes. Her laughter fills my ears and I remove my hands, only to gawk at how beautiful she looks. I've never seen her wearing a white dress, until now and it's definitely her color, "Stop gawking, Jessi, and take my hand."
I do as told and wrap both my hands around her and screw my eyes shut, knowing what's happening next. If I count the times I have teleported with her, I end at four. Two out of four from my home to hers, once from our high school to the mall and once to Jacob's home. Today makes it five times. And I'm still scared.
"Release the death grip please," Kimberly says and I open my eyes, gaze around us and sigh when I realize we're a few feet from the bonfire before releasing my grip on her hand, "Thank you. Now I'm gonna go get a drink and I'll see you in twenty minutes," She smirks at me before running off to her fling of the night, Jo, who sends me a nervous smile before hooking his arms around Kimberly's waist and pulls her in for a kiss.
I roll my eyes at the two, who are obviously going to be fucking later somewhere in the forest and start searching the place for my other best friend, who hopefully won't ditch me to be with some fling. I find him leaning against a tree and talking to a girl, who's not as beautiful as the girls he normally dates, and I divert my gaze when he wraps his arm around her small waist and kisses her.
Looks like both my friends are ditching me. Sigh. Sucks having not a lot of friends and not being as cool as they are. I mean, I just graduated from college but I'm still a virgin and I haven't even had my first kiss. But that's just what being a Van Helsing is like, no one wants to be with a descendant of a Vampire slayer.
"Jessi, over here!" I turn around and look at Jacob, his fling is nowhere to be seen and I pull a smile on my lips as I walk over to him and his pack, "Did Kimmy abandon you already?" He wraps his arms around me and I lean into his side, embracing his warmth.
"Yeah, she's with Jo." I smile and wave at his friends, who's names I barely remember.
"Which Jo?" Jacob quirks a brow and gazes around the bonfire spot.
"Football Jo," I nod and he visibly relaxes before resting his head on top of mine and rubs his hand up and down my arm, "Are you gonna be abandoning me too?" I look up at him and a cheeky grin appears on his lips.
"Do you want me to?"
"No, not really, "I roll my eyes, only to meet the gaze of someone I've never seen here, never even met. But there was something about him, something fascinating and pulling me towards him. I can't see him clearly but his eyes are a bright yellow, golden almost, and a strand of dark brown hair falls over his eye line, out from under his hoodie, but his face is cold, hard features and he looks older than most of us.
He's the first to break eye contact when someone walks up to him and he says something, his gaze meets mine again and a shiver runs down my spine. His friend turns around and Cody Dracula looks around the place before he turns back to the strange yet so handsome stranger, who grins, exposing his sharp fangs.
Fuck. He's a vampire.
"Jessi, did you hear me?" Jacob waves his hand in front of my face and I snap back to reality, "Are you okay?"
"Yeah," I shake my head and force a smile, "I just need a drink,"
"Then let's go get you a drink," Jacob wraps his arm around me again and I gaze back at the stranger, and he's staring at me but he looks away and I lean into Jacob's side while walking beside him around the massive bonfire.
I gaze at the burning wood and high flames to rid his bright yellow eyes burned into my mind, but I still see it. I still feel the intensity and darkness that lurked behind them and I wonder who this stranger is and why he's watching my every move.
* * *
Question: Can you guess who this handsome stranger might be? And what do you think of the first chapter?
And please, no hate. If you do have some dislikes towards my book, go complain to someone else, please?😁
Love you and spread as much love and fantasy as you can💕