WARNING: This chapter contains brief sexual references and strong language. Several upcoming chapters won't feature anything too adult-rated due to point of view switches. You'll see what I mean!
Five years later…
There were several options for them to move to, but they finally settled on a town called Morningside. It had plenty of open space for running and hunting, and Allanna and Xavier bought themselves an extravagant house in the country. It even had a pool house, which worked to their advantage so they could go swimming or take a dip in the hot tub without having to worry about the sun. The house's three bedrooms were very fitting for their family as well, since Linley wasn’t their only child now.
Not long after they bought the house, thanks to the even hotter sex (and rougher since Allanna’s bones didn’t break as easily now), they welcomed twin boys into the world. Braden and Jaden were now three years old while Linley was eight.
For Allanna, the hardest part about being a vampire was not being able to walk in the sun. Even shitty vampire movies and TV shows had some trick to living in the sunlight. But oh no, not in the real world. Not in the world where even a touch of sun would severely burn you to a crisp.
Linley, on the other hand, was fortunate. Since she wasn’t a full-blooded vampire (unlike her brothers, who both were since Allanna and Xavier were both vampires when they were conceived and born), she could walk in the sun unscathed. She hadn’t transformed into a wolf yet, though her parents weren’t entirely sure that she would since she was only half werewolf. Linley also had urges to drink blood, and unfortunately for her, human blood was far more appealing. On the plus side, she preferred meat more than blood most of the time.
One benefit she didn’t have was the ability to read minds. That hadn’t been passed down to her from her father. When her parents had explained to her the possible abilities she may possess in the future, she inadvertently discovered that she couldn’t hear the thoughts of others. She could, however, turn off her own mind so that her father or any other vampire couldn’t read hers.
For the most part, Linley lived a pretty normal life. Moving to Morningside was a new beginning for the entire family, but so far, things were going good. Still, Linley surprised her parents one day when she announced that she wanted to attend public school.
“Other kids my age go,” she said diligently, her hazel eyes hopeful. “Why can’t I go?”
“We can teach you whatever you need to know here,” her mother insisted.
“It might be dangerous for you to go out there,” her father added.
“It is not! I can walk in the sun, I don’t need to drink blood all the time, and I don’t turn into a wolf.”
“Why do you want to go to school so badly? Most kids would much rather stay at home like you do.”
“I’m lonely. I don’t have any friends. I want to be normal.”
“Well, honey,” Allanna said gently, “I understand that, but the fact is, we don’t know how you’d react around other kids. What if you get a craving? We don’t want anyone to get hurt.”
“I know I’m not normal! But I won’t get any cravings! I don’t want to be cooped up in this house all day, clear out here in the middle of nowhere! I want to be normal!”
Allanna and Xavier exchanged glances. They’d had a feeling something like this would transpire as Linley matured. She’d frequently told them that she was so confused, because in actuality, she didn’t even know what she was. She wasn’t a vampire or a werewolf. She was both, caught in the middle, and most likely the only one of her kind in existence.
And yet, she was bound and determined to go to school. She was very intelligent for her age, able to read books like a teacher and she was great at all subjects with the exception of the dreaded math. But even then, she persevered and got through it. The only thing Allanna and Xavier had against their daughter going to public school was their fear for the safety of everyone else inside.
“Please?” Linley begged in a last-ditch effort to sway her parents. Xavier sighed before saying, “Tell you what. Why don’t you and your mother go check it out tomorrow? It’s summer now, so there won’t be any kids there yet. Enrollment doesn’t start for a couple of weeks. You go check it out and see if you’ll like it, and we’ll go from there.”
“Thanks Daddy!” Linley strode toward her father to give him a big hug. Xavier stood up and returned the embrace.
After they parted, Linley shuffled off to her bedroom. Allanna stood up and looked at Xavier.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?”
“It’s what she wants, and if she’ll be happy, that’s the important thing.”
“Why don’t you come with us? Don’t tell me it’s because of the boys.”
“No, it’s that I’ve never been to school, remember? Vampires never send their kids to school. Linley might be different, plus you’ve experienced it. I wouldn’t know if it was good or not.”
“Fine, I’ll go. But I’m still worried sick about the cravings she might get.”
“I’ve got an idea for that. We’ll get her a plastic cup if need be and put some blood in it. In fact, get her a red or black plastic cup that isn’t transparent, add a straw, and then she can drink when she needs to.”
“God, I hope she doesn’t spill it.”
“She’s not clumsy. I’m sure she’ll be fine, Allanna. I trust her.”
“So do I. I’m just worried.”
“In my experience, mothers do tend to worry more than fathers.”
Allanna playfully rolled her eyes. Just then, they heard a shrill cry from upstairs where the bedrooms were. She and Xavier both hastened up there to see that Jaden had awoken from his nap, and he needed changed.
“Why don’t you try to potty train these two tomorrow?” Allanna suggested as Xavier picked their son up out of his crib. “That would certainly help.”
“They might learn as fast as Linley did. I’ll give it a shot.”
As Allanna changed Jaden’s diaper, Braden woke up and he wanted fed. Xavier took him to the kitchen. Though they were in two different rooms, both Allanna’s and Xavier’s thoughts were synced – their twin sons were full vampires, just like their parents. But Linley was half vampire, half werewolf. What was she? What exactly would happen to her? Fear of the unknown was a prominent thing in their lives these days. But what could they do to find out more about their own daughter?
The next day, Linley woke up bright and early. Her stomach churned with anticipation for what the day would hold. She was probably the only kid in the world who was actually eager to attend school.
Rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, Linley staggered to her window and looked out. Her parents had bought a house that was pretty isolated from the town, and it was secluded by a lot of trees. Her mother had told her that someday, she’d most likely transform into a wolf, and those trees would shelter her when she felt the urge to run. Her parents ran quite a bit at night, although they were always blurs so it was hard to see them after a few seconds.
Linley wondered if she actually would turn into a wolf, and if she did, what it would be like. Her mother had told her that she wouldn’t be able to control that first transformation, which would be painful, and any transformations on a full moon. Sometimes she felt so different. Essentially, she was different, but she didn’t know how much. She’d never heard of anyone being half vampire, half werewolf. She’d only known of someone to be one or the other, but never both. Her parents had told her that she was special, since her mother had been a werewolf when she and her vampire father were married, thus resulting in her different birth. But her mother had been turned into a vampire later, which is why her brothers were full-blooded vampires.
Linley hated feeling like the odd one out. Her parents lived as though they were humans so they could coexist with them peacefully. She hoped to do the same by going to public school. It shouldn’t be that hard, considering she could walk in the sun without any issues and she didn’t turn into a wolf involuntarily except at night (when and if she ever phased).
At last, Linley opened her dresser and pulled out some nice clothes. She brushed her hair and stuck her feet into some dress shoes. Then, she headed toward her parents’ bedroom. She opened the door without knocking and saw that her parents were still in bed.
“Wake up!” she exclaimed, jumping on their bed and jostling its occupants. “It’s time for school!”
“Ugh,” Allanna moaned as she shielded her eyes. “You won’t be that thrilled about getting up early when you actually have to go five days a week.”
“I want to go! Come on, get up!”
“All right,” Xavier grumbled as he sat up. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, which grossed Linley out.
“Daddy, put on a shirt! Yuck!”
Xavier chuckled and said, “Well, I can’t get out of this bed with you in here, because I’m only wearing my underwear under these blankets.”
“Why don’t you wait for me in the kitchen?” Allanna suggested. “Get yourself some breakfast, and I’ll be down in a minute.”
Linley didn’t argue. She bolted out of there as fast as she could (which was pretty fast, confirming that she inherited her father’s speed).
Once she was in the kitchen, she pulled some milk out of the fridge and poured it into a bowl of cereal. She sat down at the table and took a bite. Thankfully, she was able to eat whatever she wanted and it would taste good. She didn’t have a thirst as strong as her father, so luckily she didn’t require as much blood as he did, either. She considered this to be a good sign since she wanted to pass as being as normal as possible.
Finally, her mother came downstairs. Linley slurped the last of her cereal before tossing the plastic bowl into the sink. “Let’s go!” she said excitedly.
“Can’t I eat first?” Allanna teased.
“We’ll go, I promise. Just give me a minute.”
Linley didn’t want to give her mother even a second, but she did anyway. Finally, her mother’s cereal bowl was also empty, and she grabbed her car keys and the two shuffled out the door.
With their expanding family, Allanna and Xavier had invested in a second car, a family-friendly minivan. It looked better to drive kids around in that instead of their trendy sports car.
The ride to the school seemed to take forever, but finally, Allanna pulled to a stop in front of a three-story brick building. Allanna ushered her daughter inside quickly so she wasn’t exposed to the sun for too long, and they followed the signs to the administration office. Allanna introduced the two of them to the secretary behind the desk and explained that Linley had been home schooled but was interested in attending a public school. The secretary buzzed one of the third grade teachers, which is the grade Linley would be placed in, who gave them a tour of the school.
“This is my classroom,” the woman who introduced herself as Mrs. Kirkwood said as they entered a brightly colored room. “This is where you’ll stay if you decide to come to public school. I know you’ll be in my class because I have more empty seats right now than the other teachers.”
Linley looked around the room. There were several tables set up in rows while a large desk for Mrs. Kirkwood was nestled in the corner. A large green chalkboard was on the front wall, and there were several books, globes, pictures, maps, and other learning items throughout the room. There was also a small corner in the back of the room with carpet and a castle-like bookshelf, which Mrs. Kirkwood said was the reading corner. Linley found herself fascinated and even more excited about the prospect of attending Morningside Elementary School.
“Where do I sit?” Linley wanted to know.
“You’ll find that out on the first day,” Mrs. Kirkwood explained. “When I get a list of all the students in my class, I’ll make little name tags and put them on the tables so everyone will know where they’ll sit. But don’t worry, no matter where you end up sitting, I’ll do whatever I can to help you. If you ever have a question, feel free to ask. In my classroom, there’s no such thing as a stupid question.”
Linley nodded eagerly. They hardly needed a tour of the rest of the school, which included the library, cafeteria, and of course the playground outside. Thankfully, they didn’t actually go outside, so Allanna didn’t have to worry about the sun burning her skin.
When the tour concluded, Linley’s response was predictable, and it would have been even if Allanna hadn’t been able to read her daughter’s mind.
“I want to go here!” she declared.
“I’m glad to hear it,” Mrs. Kirkwood replied with a smile. Allanna got some information from her about enrollment, and the two finally went back home. Linley eagerly told her father what had happened, and Xavier explained that they’d get her a solid plastic cup just to be safe. She’d also take her own lunches rather than pay for the school’s, considering she’d be on a “special diet”.
“Are you sure about this?” Allanna asked Xavier skeptically later that evening.
“Of course I am. You said yourself the place looks good, the teacher’s nice, and Linley’s thrilled about it. She’ll be fine.”
“I just wish we could know 100 percent what’s in store for her. And I don’t just mean with school; I mean with everything.”
“I did some research while you were gone.”
“Research? What about potty training?”
“No such luck, but I’ll keep working on it. Anyway, I checked the Internet, and it turns out that, several centuries ago, there were creatures just like Linley that existed.”
“No, I’m serious. One hasn’t been seen for so long because it was so rare, and it’s been unheard of ever since. But a long time ago, back when werewolves and vampires first came to be, there were a few rogues of each species that bred children. No one ever knew about this, at least no one I knew, because that species died out before any of us were even born.”
“Wouldn’t Mortius have known?”
“I’d imagine so, but obviously he didn’t tell anyone because he assumed they were extinct forever. No wonder he was so adamant to get rid of Linley.”
“What were these creatures?”
“They were called hybrids. They possessed the abilities of both werewolves and vampires with a few exceptions. For instance, they crave blood but usually prefer flesh. They have the speed and strength of a vampire but can transform into wolves. In fact, they can fully control their transformations. They don’t uncontrollably change on the full moon or even when they’re angry.”
“You mean, if there’s a full moon, Linley won’t change unless she wants to?”
“Exactly. Hybrids also have all the heightened senses, but they can’t read minds. They have the quick ability to heal, and of course they can walk in the sun and shut off their minds so that other vampires can’t read them.”
“Wow. So, essentially, she’s stronger than a vampire and werewolf by herself.”
“I’d say that’s pretty accurate.”
“This is amazing. I’m so glad we know more about her. It’s like a huge weight’s just been lifted from me.”
“I know the feeling.”
Allanna suddenly had a thought. “So, if your mother had survived, her and Savek…”
“Their child would have been a hybrid, yes. I realize now that that’s another reason Mortius killed her. He didn’t want her to bring a hybrid into existence, especially since one hadn’t been heard of for centuries, because they’re more powerful than both species.”
“And that’s why he took Linley away from us when she was a toddler. He…”
“Yes, he was going to ensure that no more hybrids existed. Because, if it weren’t for me and that stake, a hybrid would be the only thing that could have taken him down. We were very fortunate.”
“Well, that proves it, then. Linley is the only known hybrid in existence.”
“Yes, so we have to be very cautious. We’ll protect her at all costs.”
“Of course we will.”
Finally, a great worry lifted from their shoulders, Allanna and Xavier retired for the night. In one month, Linley would be starting public school for the first time. They both hoped it went well.