May 1st, 1997
I should’ve written this a few weeks ago, since it was the anniversary of her death, but I didn’t have a blog then. That’s probably a good thing because I tend to get extremely cranky on that day. Shit, last year I had a damn angel watching over me. Talk about fucking annoying.
Piper … It was a long time ago, as you can tell from the date above. My twin and I were not long out of the military and into some other heavy shit that I’ll save for another time. She was beautiful and petite and perfect. Long black hair and bright green eyes … damn. We both tend to fall for the dark-haired ones.
Trent and I both fell in love with her. It happened not long after our transformation—after Cianán turned us. We fought over her, tearing ourselves apart, shredding her heart into a million pieces by making her choose one of us.
She couldn’t make the choice, so I made it for her. I tried to turn her, make her like us. I figured that way she could choose and it’d be easier. Only problem was, I didn’t know what I was doing. It went horribly wrong, and Trent tried to help, but it was too late.
The thing about changing someone, especially turning someone you love, is that it’s a very delicate process. If it goes wrong, a number of things can happen, one of which involves the person turning into some fucking zombie-like creature. Talk about your walking dead.
That’s what happened to Piper. Her body couldn’t handle the change, couldn’t handle the blood transformation. We watched her die. There were a few moments of silence; nature stilled around us as though it knew something was off, something unnatural had occurred. Then she woke up, eyes glazed over in a milky film. The sound that came from her throat was a hollow groan.
I remember Trent jumping to his feet and stumbling backwards, saying, “What the fuck did we do to her?” I didn’t have time to answer as she bolted upright, scenting the air. I knew what she wanted. Vamp or zombie, the first thing you want is to quench your bloodlust, except that zombies are more interested in flesh. She was out of my reach before I could grab her, and she ran out of the room and down the hall. We were living with Cianán then, and all I could think was, “Shit, if Cianán sees her, we’re dead.”
Trent and I chased after her as she sought out flesh. There weren’t really any humans in the castle except for a few servants, and that’s straight where she headed, to the lower part of the castle. However, along the way, she found one because Trent and I came upon the gruesome scene when we rounded a corner, careful not to let anyone else see us because the other vamps only knew about Trent.
“Oh my God!” Trent yelled as Piper hunched over the now dead servant girl. “Fucking do something!”
“What the fuck should I do?” I returned. Shit. This was a bad situation. Before I could react, Piper jumped up and ran down the hall. “When the fuck did zombies start running?”
“Don’t call her that!” Trent leapt over the dead girl and she moved right as he landed on the other side of her.
“Oh shit, she’s one now too,” I said as I skidded to a halt in my Roy Rogers on the stone floor.
“What?” Trent craned his head back, looked at the servant girl, and a terror I’ve never seen on his face hit him full force. “Fuck. Kill her or something.”
“I don’t know, remove her head, I guess,” he said before looking back down the hall after Piper. “I gotta go stop her before she bites someone else.”
“Good idea,” I said and grabbed the girl. I figured maybe I could just take her back to my room and kill her there, but that’d be a bloody damn mess, so I phased outside to the edge of the cliffs. She fought against me, growling and scratching, trying to get away so she could go find human flesh. I was already dead like her, so she had no interest in consuming me. That’s when I realized I didn’t have a weapon on me. “Shit.” I looked into Trent’s mind to see where he was and phased to a dark corner nearby just in case any of our brothers or sisters were around. It wouldn’t have mattered because the racket the servant girl was making easily gave away my location as Trent turned on his heel.
“Damn it, Shawn, don’t do that!”
“Sorry,” I said and stepped out of the shadows. “I don’t have a weapon to kill her with. Where’s Piper?”
Trent pointed down the hall and my ears twitched, listening for the sounds. Groaning, flesh tearing, a slick smacking that sounded nothing like the way we fed. “That’s at least two now. We have to stop her.”
A roar came from the top floor, wings flapping, footsteps thundering as he made his way down the three flights in record speed. Trent and I both froze.
“We’re dead,” Trent whispered.
Cianán turned the corner, eyes red and flicking from me to Trent to the servant girl struggling in my grip. His lip curled up as he stalked toward us. “What have the two of you done now?” He glared at me. “You are not to be seen in the presence of your brother!”
“I … yes, master, but we …”
He snatched the girl out of my hands, holding her by one arm and gripping her face at the chin with his other hand. He turned her head side to side, forced her mouth open, and inspected her eyes.
“Well now, this I have not seen in some time,” he said. “I see no fang marks on her neck. How did you turn her?”
“We didn’t turn her,” Trent said while staring at the floor. “We tried to turn Piper.”
“I tried to turn Piper,” I corrected. “Trent had nothing to do with it.”
Cianán grinned ever so slightly. “Taking accountability, Shawn. Very good.” His long strong fingers slowly wrapped around the servant girl’s neck. “You never were one to allow others blame for your actions. It is an admirable quality in both of you and part of the reason I chose you.” Fingers squeezed and bone cracked, but she still moved. That’s when he ripped her head off as Trent and I stared. “We must find Piper before she turns all the servants.”
Trent and I turned to head down the hall. “No, Shawn, you dispose of this one. Burn her below.” I was pretty damn certain this wouldn’t be the last of menial duties for me.
I nodded and took the girl’s limp remains, picked up her head, and disappeared from the hall while Trent and Cianán searched for Piper. Once I’d placed her body in the fires below the castle, I located Trent in my mind and phased to them. Two more had been turned, which Cianán quickly decapitated with his sword. Without even a second order, I took them below to the fires. Upon my next return to Trent, they’d found Piper.
“Hold her, Shawn,” Cianán told me as he shoved her forward.
I grabbed her arms and stood behind her where I couldn’t see her face, the milky haze in her eyes, the raw hunger. I could still hear her teeth clacking as she opened and closed her mouth, as though biting was an automated response or some shit. It was fucking creepy. Cianán’s sword was long, and in my opinion, he was entirely too close to remove just Piper’s head. If decapitation was to be my fate for disobeying a direct order not to turn anyone, and for creating a zombie, then so be it. I’d accept my fate. I raised my chin and waited. Trent’s eyes were wide, knowing the thoughts in my head. I told him to just continue on inside my head, and that I was sorry. He nodded once. No more words needed to be spoken between us.
Blood splattered across my face in the next second. When I opened my eyes from blinking, Trent had dropped to his knees, blood tears in his eyes as he reached a shaking hand toward Piper’s head that lay on the floor.
“Dispose of her and meet me in my bedchamber,” Cianán commanded. He turned swiftly and marched down the hall as he slid his sword back into its sheath.
I carried her body and Trent carried her head, and together we tossed her into the fires. I don’t know how long we actually stood there staring at the flames while she burned, but it couldn’t have been too long because Cianán wouldn’t wait.
“Never again,” I whispered into the flames. Trent, at my side, nodded and repeated my words.
We returned to Cianán, who gave the dead servants’ chores to the both of us, but I took the brunt of them. I spent a few years doing those chores before he decided to find new human help.
The words float through my mind often. It wasn’t that we would never try to turn someone again. It was that we would never fall in love again. I’ve kept my word for the most part, but I don’t think Trent saw Thalia coming. That girl just hit him something fierce. If it hadn’t been for Rayven trying to kill her, Trent never would’ve admitted how much he cared for Thalia.
Oh, and I know what you’re thinking. I’ve mentioned Nico a couple of times here and there. She’s a totally different story, that one.