Part 1

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I knew I was dead from the moment I was born. Or reborn. Whichever way you prefer to look at it. My former life is but vague shadows, all memories replaced with new ones. New smells, new tastes, new habits, new likes, new dislikes. Everything was made new the day I was turned. But that was many, many years ago and this was the here and now.

My focus was drawn back to the object of my attention. The girl walked across the tree lined campus cutting in and out of sight as trees obscured her from view. Her ebony hair whipped into her face as the wind picked up. Her scent wafted upwards lingering in the air, surrounding me in its embrace. I'd never smelled anything so tempting, so delicious in all my days. But I must remember why I'm here.

She swiped her hair away from her face as her pace picked up

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She swiped her hair away from her face as her pace picked up. Most nights, she walked the twilight darkened paths on her way home from a late class and on those nights, I watched her. I'd been drawn to her from the first moment I'd spied her while scouting for my evening meal. But something was different about her, something drew me in just as I was supposed to draw in my prey.

"How long have you been tracking that one, Nikolai?" I heard the thump from behind me as my brother landed on the rooftop. I grimaced. Leave it to him to follow me today of all days.

"It's not like that, Armand."

"Oh? But isn't it?" I heard the humor in his voice just as another thud sounded behind us. And there's brother number two, I thought gloomily.

"What's this? Hunting party? I thought we usually stuck to the east side."

"No," I answered a bit too loud as Armand was sure to point out the girl still walking through the trees. I knew she would soon turn off the main path and cut across a couple blocks to her house. I'd followed her too many times not to be familiar with her routine.

"Niko has taken a fancy to the girl down there."

"Oh, really? You know relationships with their kind never work out, Nicky," Vincent teased. "What are you planning on doing? Slink around the shadows hoping she eventually notices you and falls madly in love?" I listened to my two brothers, or as close to brothers as one of my kind could have, jest at my expense. I rubbed a hand down my face in frustration. Armand quietened before the ever-fun-loving Vincent did to which I was grateful.

"If you're serious then you need to do it right. Court her for goodness sakes."

"That's not how they do things these days though, is it?" I asked, wondering why I was listening to them still.

"Not at all

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"Not at all. I don't know. Get some books on the subject, something. Whatever you decide, stop all this cloak and dagger non-sense. Nothing good will come of it," Armand advised with a shake of his dark curls. That might work. All I needed is a plan and some modern advice. With a nod, I left the two of them standing on the rooftop as I rushed to fulfill this new purpose in life... or death... whichever way you choose to view it.

A few nights later found me back in the same spot but this time I was much more prepared. I had spent the last few nights researching. I made use of everything ever related to the topic, movies, books, vlogs. I read and watched it all. My head was filled with how to woo the girl who wouldn't leave my thoughts. With my plan in place all that was left was to set it in motion. Easy. Step one... get her to notice me. Step two... get her to fall in love with me. Step three... spend eternity together. What could go wrong, I thought leaping from the building.

I fell into step behind her hoping to catch her attention and have the opportunity introduce myself. From what I've read, girls really like broody vampires. Am I broody, I wonder. I think so. I mean, I can go a long time without speaking to someone. I never smile when approaching others. Mostly because my fangs would frighten them away before I had the chance to catch them, but that's another story. I try to look both brooding and nonchalant as I walk the shadowed path behind her.

After the third day, she ventures off her routine, keeping to the better lit, more traveled route although it was the longer way to her residence

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After the third day, she ventures off her routine, keeping to the better lit, more traveled route although it was the longer way to her residence. Maybe she had an errand to run, I reasoned.

Days four through ten went much the same. Obviously, I was going to have to step up my game plan. The strong, silent type wasn't working. So, it was back to the book. After some more reading, I realized two things. A dramatic entrance was needed... and the hair. Fabulous hair was a must. Not being able to see myself in a mirror, I turned to my brother's for make-over advice. Not the best option but I had no choice. After much primping and prodding, they assured me my brownish-gold locks were flawless. Coifed with that just rolled out of bed tousled perfection. How could I not succeed?

 How could I not succeed?

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