Weeping Willow was a vampire dominated city, almost everyone was a vampire. Human settlements were really few due to the lack of communication with the outside world. It was wanted that way so that we could survive without worrying about the human government. It was the same way in every state and country, there was always a vampire territory for our kind. In Sydney it was Weeping Willow for us, the high order had given it to us. Yes there were lycans in weeping willow but they stayed just beyond the Crescent forest, the forest that served as fortress to us in case of emergency. I lived in the slums of weeping willow, a small village just before the Crescent forest named after the forest. Crescent village. I had never been to a different country but I could swear that I wasn't a native of mine. I was different. 

Ralyne was lucky though, her boyfriend wasn't from the slums. He was from Crimson Lake named after the red lake in the city, the home of the elites of the city. I didn't have much encounters with the elites per say except for a few good raids or during assemblies - an occasion of gathering before the council in city hall to discuss policies or new laws or to address issues - so I didn't really know how they acted. 

As Ralyne and I walked home, I decided to pay Philip a visit. 

"Try not to irk him, he's a lot grumpier these days." Ralyne advised. 

"Like I wouldn't know that from your constant reminder." I iterated. She had been sending words of warning all through our journey there. I wasn't a child. 

"Just...shut up." 

My eyes narrowed at her retort but I let it go. If we continued we would end up rolling in the snow - no, not in that way. 

We were deep in the village now, her house was just around the corner. 

Kids were playing in the snow and families were preparing dinner or having some different kind of intimate moments. I felt out of place. She sensed it and took my hand in hers, Ralyne just always understood. It was her gift, sensing human-like emotions. Just then a few kids started to wave my way. I recognized my favourite in the tiny mob of firecrackers, a freckled green eyed girl. Rania, Ralyne's sister. I waved back and she ran my way, throwing herself in my out stretched hands ready to catch her. I lifted her. 

"Emmy." She cooed. I hated that name. But I smiled at her warm face. 

"How's it going, chip?" I tickled her a bit resulting in a series of childish laughter. 

"What happened to your hair Emmy?" She asked in between laughs. I hated that name. 

I smiled. "Umm, this?" holding a lock, "well I just need to bleach it again." I frowned realizing that Ralyne didn't tell me my original ginger colour was beginning to show among the platinum blonde hair strands. 

"Don't, I like it ginger." She gave a gummy smile. I felt something warm in my chest. A feeling I hated. 

"Well Chip, I have to go. Your sister and I have to go run some errands for Philip okay?"

She smiled and nodded, then ran off in the same direction she emerged from. 

My eyes narrowed as I turned to face Ralyne. 

She held her hands up. "Hol'up," her eyes were round now, "I did call you ginger, that was enough information in my defense."

That didn't even make any sense but I guess it also did. I should have realized it at that point. Typical Ralyne. 

We arrived at their little cottage, it was pretty unkempt. Ralyne sensed it. "What? I'm too lazy to clean." She huffed in defense as we walked in. 

We hadn't gone in far before choking sounds echoed in the house. Maybe Ralyne wasn't exaggerating his illness. We found him coming out of his bedroom, he looked faint. His skin was wrinkled, and his bones were beginning to show, the skin underneath his nails looked dead. 

He noticed us, slow for a vampire. I placed my most convincing smile on as I went in for a hug. "Hello Philip."

It was weird. The feeling of his body against mine. I was worried he was going to snap in half. 

"Emelda, Tiberius was just here." His husky voice came. It sounded like a broken discord, like nails scratching against wall. I felt bad for his throat. 

But I smiled. I didn't let it show. "I know, I can still smell him."

But I guess I spoke without thinking. 

Ralyne and Philip frowned. I bet they couldn't smell anything. Philip's was normal, since his senses were deteriorating but Ralyne could sense something -probably the skip in my emotion. I brushed it off. 

"He must have told you about the healer he found just beyond the border, I hope she's good." I cheerfully made an attempt to disuade the suspicion Ralyne had her head on. 

She did. She helped Philip move -and I followed- to the living area to sit. His body was in a fragile state. 

He waved his bony looking hand in dismissal. "I don't care much about healers these days," Ralyne gazed at me, "I just want peace."

"Don't say that father," Ralyne was out of her seat. I could hear the anger in her voice, she must have kept it in for too long. "That's all you do. Push everyone away and get mad when we actually leave you alone." 

I got up to hold onto her. "Rae."

"No." She wasn't having it. "Even if you don't want to live for yourself at least live for your children." She stormed out in anger. 

"She hates me for being weak," he coughed out painfully. 

I hated moments like this. To be honest, I hated a lot of things, but I always found myself tolerating them for some reason. 

I shifted to sit beside him and took a hand in mine. 

"She doesn't, it's the opposite in fact. But can you blame her? All she wants is for you to give the same amount of love to yourself and want to live so much. You rejecting help makes her question why she wants to help anyways since you don't want it." I didn't know how I managed to even spit all that out. 

"I just don't want to give her hope and then die on her hope," he coughed, "it's wrong." Another cough. 

"If not her then Rania."

His eyes welled up. And then he broke into a fit of violent coughs. 

"Philip." I called out. 

Ralyne rushed in now, she must have been listening. 

"Dad?" She panicked. 

I sped off to the kitchen and hurriedly returned with some water. Ralyne yanked it from my grip to give him, but immediately she put some water in his mouth, he retched. Blood came spilling all over Ralyne's hands and to the floor. 

"What the-," I was cut off by another cough which was followed by him barfing blood all over. His body was rejecting blood. Ralyne's panic stricken face met mine. 

This was bad news. 

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