Brooke stared at the text book in front of her. “I’ll never get this!” she moaned.
“What is it? Maybe I can help?” Elizabeth looked over at Brooke’s homework notes.
“You know, I cannot even remember the last time I did homework!” Caleb laughed.
He’d come by for Elizabeth’s training. She needed more advanced techniques now that she was also training the younger members of her coven.
Caleb, Lilith or Vladislaus himself would come over every evening. This evening was Caleb’s turn.
Brooke looked up and into Caleb’s gray eyes. He smiled at her encouragingly and she immediately put her head back down into her book.
“It’s math Liz.” Brooke snapped.
“Oh,” Elizabeth looked a bit nervous and cleared her throat. “Well, let’s hear it then!”
Brooke sighed and slammed the book closed.. “You won’t know how to do it Liz! They probably didn’t even do this math in the late 1800s!” Brooke’s eyes were flashing.
Brooke saw Caleb catch Elizabeth’s eye and nod in the direction of the other room.
“Ok then, I see when I’m not needed!” Elizabeth said throwing up her hands.
“I’m going to meditate. I always feel a bit drained after our training.” She moved gracefully into the living room and glided up the stairs to her bedroom.
“So what’s really going on kiddo? You’re pretty good at math. I’ve watched you do these problems before.” Caleb began gently.
Brooke got up and crossed the kitchen angrily.
“I just don’t get it! I don’t understand anything right now!” she gritted her teeth and leaned forward as if she were barely able to contain her anger and rage.
“How can I help Brooke?” the older vampire stood and walked toward the teen nearly in a single motion and asked soothingly, “what do you need help understanding? Is it the life? Is it something with boys? Is it something at school? Talk to me kiddo, I want to help!”
Brooke paused. She looked down at her sneakers and noticed one of the laces was a bit frayed. Finally she lifted her head and looked at Caleb. “It’s the life,” Brooke said just above a whisper. The relief was palpable after she said it.
“Ok, Liz said you’ve been a vampire a little over a year right?”
“Yes,” The girl looked down and frowned. “Sometimes I dream I’m still human, I’m with my family. We’re having Sunday brunch. Mamma made buttermilk pancakes and we’d have a tin can filled with thick maple syrup! I laugh and tease my younger sister. I pour the syrup and it’s not golden brown and buttery smelling. It’s red, and it flows thick and runs over the pancakes! I wake up with the sheets in a tangle. I’m hungry, but I don’t want pancakes…I want blood! Then when I feed, I have these stupid urges. I want something but I don’t really know what or how to satisfy that, and I… I just don’t know what to do!” the girl finished trying not to whine.
Caleb reached for Brooke’s bicep and connected with the teen. “It takes about a year or so … sometimes a little longer before those dreams start to fade away Brook,” he said softly. “Did you know I don’t drink human blood?”
“What? Ever? I didn’t know that was possible!”
“Ever!” he said defiantly. “It’s more than possible young one.” Caleb held Brooke’s chin when she tried to look away. “It’s how I live my life. I’ve lived this way for over fifty years. My last human feeding was so long ago,” Caleb absently wiped the corner of his mouth. “The urges you speak of are far less when you’re not connected to a human.”
“You mean I wouldn’t have to feel … the way I feel when I feed on a human?” Brooke’s eyes were wide.
Caleb chuckled a little uncomfortably and shook his head.
“You can drink the plasma packs as well as do dark meditation to restore you almost to the point that human blood would.”
“I’m not very good at dark meditation yet,” Brooke confessed. “I cannot clear my mind very well. Stuff always pops in.” She didn’t dare say that the older vampire was often one of the thoughts that distracted her meditation.
“The concentration for the dark meditation will come in time Brooke.” Caleb promised.
“Caleb,” Brooke began hesitantly. “Do you ummm,” the girl paused.
Caleb leaned in toward the girl, “I’m your friend Brooke, you can ask me anything. I’ll always answer you honestly.”
She closed her eyes and let her breath out in a big gush, “Do you think that I will ever find the love of my life?”
“What!” Caleb’s eyes were big as saucers. “Brooke, darling, you are seventeen years old! You don’t need to rush anything. You have plenty of life ahead of you.”
“Sometimes I feel like everyone is so much older and sophisticated,” the girl said with a sigh. “I just want to catch up!”
“Well, being in love, or sex, or marriage, or any of that stuff Brooke, it can wait until you’re ready. You’re a beautiful, smart, special girl and you need to be ready in your heart. Love will come when you’re ready for it to be there.” the vampire smiled softly and held out his arms.
“Thanks Caleb.” the girl stepped willing into a friendly hug.
“Now, get to that math homework young lady. I know you can do it!
Later that evening, Brooke was at her desk in her bedroom. Her notebook page didn’t have the required homework on it.
It was now covered in several different ink colors and in several different swirly handwriting styles:
“I’ll be ready soon Caleb.” Brooke looked at the calendar near her desk and marked off another day to her birthday.
|BtB: 07 – Not much Longer|
A/N: Credit to Pammiechick for her Jackson Day and Llama Kings posters in Brooke’s room. I’m so excited our stories exist in the same universe!