There was a light breeze brushing along a woman's lightly tanned skin as she walked through the gardens of a long abandoned estate. She shifted her almost glowing auburn eyes to the despicable state the gardens were in due to lack of care and love over the centuries. Her eyes turned cold as she noticed the corpses of small animals and rodents scattered throughout the overgrown grass and brush. Tucking her long straight black hair behind a slightly pointed ear, she sighed and approached the decrepit manor house, pulling a key from the tiny silver purse that hung at her hip. She fought with the rusted lock for about five minutes, twisting and turning the key every which way before the completely oxidized deadbolt gave way, and the handle and lock fell completely out of the door. As the woman stared in disbelief, the rest of the door crumbled into tiny shards of wood when she gently pushed it to open it, having been destroyed by termites and mold over the years.
"Damn it all to Hades!" the woman growled under her breath, flashing a set of pearly white teeth, including a pair of elongated canines that indicated her vampiric nature. Stepping over the rotted pile of wood that used to be the door,she swept her eyes around the front hall and grimaced, hoping nothing else had been defiled by age or nature. As her eyes adjusted from the evening sun to the darkness inside the manor, she smiled, seeing that the spells from the witch had indeed help up for at least the inside of her former home. A rush of wind came through the front doorway, causing her knee-length blue and green sundress to fly up. Huffing out a breath, the woman smoothes out her dress and continued farther into the manor.
"Katarina!" the woman called out, hoping that her former nanny was still around. "Katarina, I'm home!"
There was a loud THUD from the second floor, resembling the sound of a door slamming open, followed by hurried footsteps to the front hall dual spiral staircase. A small woman, no taller than 5' 1", leaned over the dark oak railing, her vivid red-orange braid falling over her pale, slender shoulder. Her steel grey eyes widened in disbelief and joy as tears started to form.
"Alicia?" the woman with the red braid whispered, tears trailing down her cheeks. "My dear child, tis it rally ye? Can ye finally 'ave come back to me lassie?"
"Aye, Katarina," Alicia replied as tears filled her own eyes, overflowing down her smiling face. "I have returned. For good this time, as I intend to fulfill my parents roles within the Counsel of Elders."
Katarina sprinted down the stairs, nearly tripping over her floor-lengthy black dress, that was protected from dust and grime by a crisp, white apron, and slammed into Alicia. Wailing like a child who had missed their mother for being away too long, Katarina enveloped Alicia in what would be a bone-shattering hug for any mere human.
"Oh how I've missed ye, lassie!" Katarina blubbered, planting kisses all over Alicia's face. "Why did ye nah tell me ye were coming home child?"
"Because I didn't know myself until I got here Kat!" Alicia giggled, wrapping her arms around the woman who had raised her from age nine. The two women stood in each other's embrace for several long minutes, letting the tears splash down their doll-like faces until they stepped back, sniffling.
"Where did ye come from? Italy?" Katarina queried, looking over Alicia's lightly tanned skin.
"The Carribbean, actually Kat," Alicia replied, twirling around for the older vampire. "I see you still tend to stay out of the sun, you ghostly woman!"
Katarina scoffed and turned her nose up at the heating insult.
"I'll have ye know that most upstanding men prefer a woman with lighter, blemish free skin!" Katarina retorted, a small smirk forming on her pouty pink lips. " I am a vision of true beauty! "
"Yeah, yeah!" Alicia snickered, hugging the woman again, smiling. "Perhaps 400 years ago, before I was born!"
Both women burst into giggles, turning to head through a doorway into the kitchen.
"Ye must be famished lassie," Katarina assumed, rummaging through the sleek silver refrigerator. "What'll it be, mah dearie?"
"The usual breakfast, and AB- please?" Alicia requested timidly, looking through her full eyelashes at Katarina, who shook her head and chuckled, pulling out a dozen eggs, sausage patties and links, a large slab of bacon, and a loaf of Italian Ciabatta bread. After placing everything on the black granite island in the center of the kitchen, Katarina pointed Alicia into the pantry. Alicia immediately turned and ransacked the aforementioned room for the spices she knew Katarina was asking for.
"Lassie, do I need ta thwack those hands like when you were young?" Katarina scolded while waving a wooden spoon at the younger woman. Alicia immediately withdrew her hand from the steaming bowl of eggs that rested on the counter an hour later.
"But I'm hungry!" Alicia whined, pouting at Katarina, who chuckled and shook her head as she placed the steaming plates heaped with meat onto the table next to the sliced loaf of Italian Ciabatta bread. Alicia followed after her, carrying the bowl of eggs and two giblets of microwaved AB- blood. a the two women sat down on opposite sides of the circular taken said their own silent prayers to their respective dieties, before loading down their plates with the delicious food Katarina had prepared.
"Oh sweet Hades! I've missed your cooking mum!" Alicia exclaimed, her eyes rolling back in her skull as she swallowed her first bite. "I'm in heaven!"
"Don't ye go exaggerating, lassie," Katarina muttered as a light blush crept across her cheeks. "Yer nah dead. Not truly, anyhow!"
"Yeah, yeah!" Alicia giggled, swallowing another bite of Katarinas amazing cooking. "You are still the best chef in all the world, Katarina. I mean that. I've traveled the globe, and nothing compares to your cooking. You spoiled me rotten as a child!"
"Had to keep mah girl home, din' I?" Katarina joked, sipping on her goblet. "So have ye found 'im yet?"
Alicias face fell as she set down her utinsels and sadly shook her head in disagreement.
"No," she whispered. "I'm beginning to wonder if I even have a fated blood-partner. Most have found theirs by age 50! I'm almost 400!"
"Lass, all born day-walkers have a fated," Katarina assured her softly. "Ye just h avent looked in the right places!"
Alicia raised one eyebrow at Katarina skeptically, then shook her head in disbelief.
"Alright mum," Alicia caved to Katarinas hopeful stare. "Tomorrow you can stay me to town to look over the new boys...."
"Good!" Katarina squealed, turning her attention back to her food. "There's a fair few who might grab yer critical eye, lass."
The two women finished their meal in silence, and retired to bed.
'Maybe, just maybe, Katarina is right? ' Alicia thought before she drifted to sleep in her old room.