The fires' glow cast her reflection into sharp relief. A single tear rolled down her cheek into the puddle. A spot of black in an ashy pool. She remembered what she had been told. She could see Vlad's face as clearly as she had that fateful night, his dark eyes gleaming. "Never read from the book. No matter what happens to me, don't call forth what lies within." He turned and leapt across the railing. She reached out a hand to stop him, and the sting of flame brought her back to the present.
I finally found him in the summer. I was in the field, at the tree where we had played as children. With nowhere to go, I laid on the grass and began to drift to sleep under the stars. As my vision began to blur under the veil of sleep, a star disappeared. My muscles tensed, and my consciousness roared back to life. It seemed such a small thing, but to the animal within, the absence of a star on a clear night bodes ill. As I watched, more stars vanished. y heart beat faster and I tensed to run. But I needn't have worried. The stars never left, they just became hidden behind something grander, something more than they could be. He alighted next to me, smiling. Without a word he reached out his hand. I took it, and we began to rise. I didn't ask where we were going. It was enough to know it was away. Together.