“” I lowered the phone slowly, then dropped it onto the receiver. It landed with a heavy clunk somehow, the sound seemed symbolic of how I felt just then. I slumped back into the chair, a strand of my ebony hair falling in my face. I didn’t bother to tuck it back behind my ear hair out of place was the least of my worries right then.
That call. Scott Dolph he was dead. The ship he’d been on had been sunk they wouldn’t tell me any more than that. I could learn just what had happened, but I wasn’t thinking enough right then to even ponder that. I was still reeling in shock from the news I bit my tongue with the tip of my fang. The familiar metallic taste filled my mouth, but even blood did nothing to help ease my shock.
And then, she came in. I snapped my head up, then quickly looked away as she entered. I’d have to be the one to break it to her, wouldn’t I? It might as well be me, anyway she trusted me
She knew something was wrong as soon as she came in. I don’t know why I even bothered to try and act like everything was normal, everything was okay her father had just died. It all seemed so ominous, somehow perhaps I was just being too paranoid.
I looked back to her slowly, then with more effort than should have been necessary, pushed myself up out of the chair. “Helena-” I started, then stopped. How was I going to say this?
She tensed, her eyes boring into me. I bit the tip of my tongue again and took a few steps towards her. “I just got a call. Scott- your father- he the U.S.S. Discovery went down. Scott- he went down with the ship- no one survived-” I cut myself off, suddenly aware how faltering my speech was.
Helena just stared at me blankly for a moment that stretched on forever. “” she finally whispered, the words seeming to barely escape her vanilla-colored lips. “No” She shook her head slowly, her face tilting down slowly to look at the floor. “Dad! no”
She lifted her head again, fixing me in the gaze of her pale blue oculars. I tried to speak, to say something reassuring, but my voice died in my throat. I could only watch as her soft eyes glazed with tears. She fell as silent as I, just gazing up into my face hopefully, as if waiting for me to tell her this was just a sort of joke
A single drop of clear fluid spilled out of her left eye and tracked down her cheek, and she suddenly flung herself at me, burying her face in the shoulder of my coat. I curled my arms instinctively around her. It was all I could manage to do, as useless as I was at the moment. A soft sigh escaped my lips, and I embraced her tighter.
The faint stinging of tears gathered in my own eyes, taking me by surprise. I hadn’t cried in years but I’d never had reason to. “Helena” I murmured softly, shutting my eyes to block myself from crying. “Dear Helena I’m still here for you” I held her against me, feeling her thin body wracked with silent sobbing.
* * *
“I know what I’m going to do.” I knew whatever she had planned was probably not a very good idea. But she had that look on her face I knew that look. Nothing was going to stop her now.
“What are you planning now?” I warily watched her pace the carpeted floor, sitting up on the leather sofa.
“I’m going to join the military.” Helena stopped in her tracks, eyes flashing. I knew this wasn’t going to be a good idea, but I also knew better than to try and talk her out of it. That would accomplish nothing more than angering her.
“I’m going to make Dad proud” She cast her gaze downwards, then glanced at me almost shyly. I found the gesture endearing, but “I’ll go in and fight. I’ll do good that would make Dad proud, right, Vamp?”
My heart twitched in my chest. I couldn’t look at her as I answered; instead I took to carefully examining the stitching in my clothes. I didn’t like the thought of her going on out a battlefield, and I knew Scott would never have approved of this either. I tried to see it from her stance, though if she did do well in battle I answered honestly, at least. “Yes, I think Scott would very proud”
A faint smile curved her pale lips. It was the first time I’d seen her look happy in the last month. She stepped towards the couch and took my right wrist firmly in her grasp, pulling my hand up. “Thank you, Vamp”
I looked up at her, struggling to produce words. I wasn’t often speechless. “Good luck” I said lamely. Her smile faltered suddenly, and she gripped my hand in hers. Her warm skin made a heavy contrast against my cool, pale fingers.
“You don’t like this, do you?” She stared hard into my eyes. She had her father’s eyes the same ice-blue oculars that could look so soft and loving, yet quickly shift to steel determination
I stood up slowly, holding eye contact with her. “I don’t know how this will turn out. I’ve already lost Scott, I-”
“You think I don’t miss him too?” Helena let go of my hand suddenly, her eyes blazing with anger. “He was my father!”
“I loved him too.” I stated simply, my face expressionless as I watched her. She flushed faintly with embarrassment, then nodded slowly.
“I’m sorry Vamp but I think he’d be proud of me for these. Please try to understand.” Helena gazed at me almost suspiciously, as if I might still prevent her from joining. “You and Reginald are the only ones I have left”
I took a hold of one of her hands, feeling her lithe fingers on my palm. “” I looked down at her. She was beautiful much like her father in so many ways “What does Reginald think?”
She looked a bit surprised at first, then determined. “He said he’s behind me all the way” She smiled again. Hopeful. I rubbed the pad of a finger over the back of her hand, feeling taut tendons under her silky smooth skin. Helena withdrew her hand from mine, and with one last little smile, she turned and left the room.
I watched her go in silence, then exhaled slowly. Although it was not cold in the room, my breath froze in midair, a thin cloud of mist drifting from my lips. “Good luck, Helena” I whispered, knowing she didn’t hear me.