New Parents

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It had been raining non-stop for weeks. The streets had turned into rivers and were lapping dangerously at the sidewalk. Lights from windows glowed dully as if struggling to remain lit against the deluge of water.

Eve pulled her coat tighter and tucked her chin against her chest. Her auburn curls stuck to her cheeks and neck, and her clothing was soaked through. Each step, her socks squished in her shoes. High heels would have kept her toes dryer.

Her companion, Adam swiped his ebony hair out of his emerald eyes. He scanned the deserted street. "I think the humans have holed up for the night."

Eve's plump lips parted slightly and a hint of fangs flashed. "Maybe we should follow suit. A good hunter follows the prey."

Adam chuckled. "I was thinking of getting out of the rain."

"So eager to give up for the night? How boring." She smirked.

Adam wrapped his arms around her. He growled softly in her ear. "Is that a challenge?"

The rain fell heavier and thunder grumbled in the distance. Eve waggled her eyebrows. "Maaaaaybe."

Adam twirled her around. She let her head fall back, raindrops catching in her eyelashes. Their laughter rang out.

"But seriously," she said when they stopped, "I think you're right and we should head home. No point in hunting where there's no prey."

Arms around each other, they ducked down an alley.

Eve hoped the rain would let up soon. She was as tired of it as the humans. The weatherman had been promising sun and warmer weather, she reminded herself.

But then again, when was the weatherman right? It was a wonder humans tolerated weather forecasting. It was too unpredictable.

A soft whimper drew Eve's attention. She halted, Adam stopping with her. He cocked his head, questions in his eyes. She ignored him and closed her eyes to listen.

Three heartbeats thumped weakly, and under the smell of rain, she caught the scent of human. Hunger growled in her belly.

"Eve?" Adam called after her as she followed the smell.

Eve crept back the way they had come. Her fangs fully extended as she approached a rusted dumpster. Something shuffled inside. Dumpster divers perhaps. She wondered what sort of desperate human would be trolling through garbage in this weather.

She grabbed the lid, making eye contact with Adam. He counted down with his fingers. Three humans to two vampires meant one had to be incapacitated quickly. The last thing they needed when feeding was a human witness.

On one, she threw the lid back. Adam sprang onto the edge, his teeth bared and claws out. They both froze. The snarl faded from Eve's lips.

Three human children were huddled among the garbage. The boy and one of the girls looked about ten years old. They had the same hazel eyes, full lips, and slender nose. Twins, no doubt. The third child was no more than four years old. Her eyes were wide as saucers. Their hair looked black, dampened by the rain, but Eve imagined it was the color of dark chocolate when dry. All three shivered and their clothing clung to their blue tinged skin.

Adam sighed and jumped down, turning toward home. Eve grabbed his arm. He winced. "Ouch. Nails."

Eve didn't release him. "We can't leave them."

Adam blinked. "What? Yes, we can. They're almost dead and won't be able to tell anyone."

"But their children."

Adam shrugged. "Human children die all the time. It's sad, but there's nothing you can do about it." He extracted his arm from her grip and walked away. "I'm tired of being wet and hungry. Only one I can fix right now."

Eve remained motionless, staring at Adam's back. At the mouth of the alley he stopped. His hands turned into fists and he hung his head. He turned and marched back to her. "This is insane," he grumbled. "We don't need pets."

Eve grinned. She climbed into the dumpster. The three children scrambled back. The boy positioned himself in front of the girl, fists up. He screwed his face up in an attempt to not look afraid, but Eve heard his pulse racing.

Eve crouched so she was eye level with him, palms up. "I won't hurt you."

Outside of the dumpster, Adam snorted. Eve ignored him. "You look like you need some warmth and food. Come with me and I'll make you some hot cocoa and get you out of those wet," she looked the children up and down, "an dirty clothing."

The youngest perked up. "With marshmallows?"

The older girl slapped a hand over her mouth. "Shhh! She's not––"

"Telling the truth?" Eve asked. She shifted so she was sitting. God, she didn't dare think of what was soaking into her behind. When she got home, she was going straight to the shower. "Of course you have no reason to trust me, but I swear, I mean you no harm."

The boy's eyes narrowed. "We're fine."

Eve sighed. "No, you're dying. Your bodies are failing to keep you warm. If you stay here any longer, you won't last the hour."

The twins watched Eve skeptically.

The youngest looked between the two then to Eve. Tears pooled in her eyes. "I don't want to die."

Eve took the child's hand. The skin was icy cold even to her. "Come with me and you won't. You have my word, no harm will come to you under my watch."

"But you're a monster." The boy pulled the little girl away from Eve, pushing her behind him.

Eve didn't try to hide her fangs. Even retracted they stood out. She scooted closer to the boy. "May I show you something?" He let her take his hand and press it to her chest. She felt her heart beat against his palm. His eyes widened. She smiled. "That's my heartbeat. No, I'm not human, but I'm not a monster. Please," she offered her hand again, "let me help you live."

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