I watch all the children go from house to house trick-or-treating. Each one looks cuter than the last in their Halloween costumes. My heart aches with longing as their round cheeks turn pink from the slight chill in the air. As I sit on the bench I see moms and dads holding hands as they follow behind their children, smiling and taking pictures.
When I died I didn’t mourn the loss of my life. I mourned that I would never become a mother. I guess that means in the end he won. He’s told me I’d pay, but I had no idea the price would be so steep. I should have listened better. I was always terrible at that because I’m too strong-headed for my own good. People warned me about him, telling me to stay away. I fell for him at first, but it didn’t take long to see what was beneath his charming exterior.
He’d said all the right things to lure me in, like wanting a family and a white picket fence. I was an easy mark for him when all he ever really wanted was to own me. His goal was to control me and keep me like I was some prized possession. I don’t think he was capable of loving anyone but himself. He zeroed in on me when I started to see who he really was and I rejected him. That’s when his ego couldn’t take it. He told me if I wouldn’t be with him then I wouldn’t be with anyone. That was the last thing he said before he stabbed the knife into my stomach.
My hand goes there at the thought and I swear I can still feel some sort of phantom ache. Bishop found me bleeding out in an alley that night. Jarrod left me there like a piece of trash to die alone. Not that I wasn’t used to being alone. I lost my parents when I was young, and I was too scared to get close to someone else after that. But in that moment, when I thought I was going to die, I’d never felt so alone in my life.
I don’t know why Bishop chose to turn me, but when he did, he gave me a family. One that isn’t easy to kill. I don’t have to be so scared about losing them like I did others in my life. It may not be the kind of family I’d dreamed about all those years, but it’s still more than I thought possible. Maybe that’s why I’m so protective of them.
It’s still a shock to me that Kane found his mate. Our family is growing, but for some reason it feels as if I’ve lost something. Kane was always the one who needed me the most. He was like a little brother that I took care of, even if he was decades older than me. But I know a mate is better for him. She’ll give him everything he ever needs, and I can see it in the way he looks at her—he’s finally happy. She makes him smile and even laugh. It’s something I never heard come from Kane before.
I’m so happy for him, but I can’t help the bitterness and jealousy I feel about him getting his mate pregnant. He’s going to have a baby and that’s something I’ll never be able to do. Female vampires aren’t able to get pregnant. The ache in my stomach starts to throb and I feel tears on my cheek. I angrily brush them away because I can’t cry about this anymore. I’ve cried too many tears and I should be thankful I’m even alive.
I stand up because I need to get out of here. I shouldn’t even be out alone, but my house was starting to suffocate me. I’m not sure how a house as big as mine could do that, but sometimes I think the size of it only makes it that much lonelier. It’s just another reminder that I’ll never be able to fill it.
I slip into the shadows and go the back way home. I don’t make it more than a few feet when I pause as a tingling sensation hits the back of my neck. Turning around, I look behind me, but I don’t see anything. I stand there for a moment, but all I can hear is the sounds of the children. I knew I shouldn’t have come out here tonight. I don’t even listen to myself.
I nearly jump when my phone vibrates in my back pocket, catching me off-guard. I take a deep breath to get myself together. I already know who it is without even having to look.
“Bishop,” I say calmly as I answer the phone.
“You’re not home.” I can hear a hint of anger in his voice.