Loved, p.3
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       Loved, p.3

         Part #2 of The Vampire Journals series by Morgan Rice
Chapter Three

  Caitlin and Caleb walked slowly along the bank of the river. This side of the Hudson was neglected, littered with abandoned factories and fuel depots no longer in use. It was desolate down here, but peaceful. As she looked out, Caitlin saw huge chunks of ice floating down the river, slowly separating on this March day. Their delicate, subtle cracking noise filled the air. They looked otherworldly, reflecting the light in the strangest way, as a slow mist rose. She felt like just walking out onto one of those huge slabs of ice, sitting down, and letting it take her wherever it went.

  They walked in silence, each in their own world. Caitlin felt embarrassed that she had shown such a display of rage in front of Caleb. Embarrassed that she'd been so violent, that she couldn't control what was happening to her.

  She was also embarrassed by her brother, that he'd acted the way he did, that he was hanging out with such losers. She had never seen him act like that before. She was embarrassed she had subjected Caleb to it. Hardly a way for him to meet her family. He must think the worst of her. That, more than anything, really hurt her.

  Worst of all, she was afraid where they would go from here. Sam had been her best hope in finding her dad. She had no other ideas. If she did, she would have found him already, herself, years ago. She didn't know what to tell Caleb. Would he leave now? Of course he would. She was of no use to him, and he had a sword to find. Why would he possibly stay with her?

  As they walked in silence, she felt the nervousness well up, as she guessed that Caleb was just waiting for the right time to choose his words carefully, to tell her that he had to go. Like everyone else in her life.

  "I'm really sorry," she said finally, softly, "for how I acted back there. I'm sorry I lost control. "

  "Don't be. You did nothing wrong. You are learning. And you are very powerful. "

  "I'm also sorry that my brother acted that way. "

  He smiled. "If there is one thing I've learned over the centuries, it is that you cannot control your family. "

  They continued walking in silence. He looked out at the river.

  "So?" she asked, finally. "What now?"

  He stopped and looked at her.

  "Are you going to leave?" she asked hesitantly.

  He looked deep in thought.

  "Can you think of any other place your father may be? Anyone else who knew him? Anything?"

  She had already tried. There was nothing. Absolutely nothing. She shook her head.

  "There must be something," he said emphatically. "Think harder. Your memories. Don't you have any memories?"

  Caitlin thought hard. She closed her eyes and really willed herself to remember. She had asked herself that same question, so many times. She had seen her father, so many times, in dreams, that she didn't know anymore what was a dream and what was real. She could recite dream after dream where she had seen him, always the same dream, her running in a field, him in the distance, then his getting further away as she approached. But that wasn't him. Those were just dreams.

  There were the flashbacks, memories of when she was a young child, going away with him somewhere. Somewhere in the summertime, she thought. She remembered the ocean. And its being warm, really warm. But again, she wasn't sure if it was real. The line seemed to blur more and more. And she couldn't remember exactly where this beach was.

  "I'm so sorry," she said. "I wish I had something. If not for your sake, for mine. I just don't. I have no idea where he is. And I have no idea how to find him. "

  Caleb turned and faced the river. He sighed deeply. He stared out at the ice, and his eyes changed color once again, this time to a sea-grey.

  Caitlin felt the time was coming. At any moment he would turn to her and break the news. He was leaving. She was no longer of any use to him.

  She almost wanted to make something up, some lie about her father, some lead, only so that he would stay with her. But she knew she couldn't do that.

  She felt like crying.

  "I don't understand," Caleb said softly, still looking out the river. "I was sure you were the one. "

  He stared out in silence. It felt like hours passed, as she waited.

  "And there is something else I don't understand," he said finally, and turned and looked at her. His large eyes were hypnotizing.

  "I feel something when I'm around you. Obscured. With others, I can always see the lives we've shared together, all the times that our paths have crossed, in any incarnation. But with you. . . it's clouded. I don't see anything. That's never happened to me before. It's as if. . . I'm being prevented from seeing something. "

  "Maybe we never had any," Caitlin answered.

  He shook his head.

  "I would see that. With you, I can't see either way. Nor can I see our future together. And that has never happened to me. Never - in 3,000 years. I feel like. . . I remember you somehow. I feel I am on the verge of seeing everything. It's on the tip of my mind. But it's not coming. And it's driving me crazy. "

  "Well then," she said, "maybe there's nothing after all. Maybe it's just here, now. Maybe there was never anything more, and maybe there never will be. "

  Immediately, she regretted her words. There she went again, shooting off her mouth, saying stupid things which she didn't even mean. Why had she had to say that? It was the exact opposite of what she'd been thinking, was feeling. She had wanted to say: Yes. I feel it, too. I feel like I've been with you forever. And that I will be with you forever. But instead, it came out all wrong. It was because she was nervous. And now she couldn't take it back.

  But Caleb was not deterred. Instead, he stepped closer, raised one hand, and slowly placed it on her cheek, pushing back her hair. He stared deeply into her eyes, and she watched his eyes shift again, this time from gray to blue. They stared deeply into hers. The connection was overwhelming.

  Her heart pounded as she felt the tremendous heat rising up all throughout her body. She felt as if she were getting lost.

  Was he trying to remember? Was he about to say goodbye?

  Or was he about to kiss her?

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