Waves tore her body in different directions, at the same time as something pulled her down beneath the surface. She saw everything as clearly as if she hadn't been under water, and the tingle in her eyes from the saltwater was missing, something was clearly wrong. Vampires wouldn't die from drowning immortal as they were, but it could still be experienced as unpleasant if not terrifying. Then suddenly, just as the blondes body had started to seize due to the lack of oxygen the scene changed and a mirror came in to view. The reflection was familiar a long slender body and long blonde curls, the face however was odd Serena's usually kind green eyes were replaced with a predictors her teeth were sharp, long and cover in blood. Voices whispered monster.

 Serena knew it was a dream she'd been having this weird dream every time she closed her eyes the past weeks. The doctor's eyes flew open she awakened from her nightmare. Her breathing and pulse was elevated but after focusing on slow even breaths both went back to normal. When she'd calmed down she glanced over at her nightstand watch. 15 minutes she had only been able to sleep for 15 minutes again. A sigh escaped her lips and she rose from the king sized bed. No point going back to sleep it would only result in going back to drowning. Am I losing it? The  female asked herself as she stared at her reflection, this time her kind but tired eyes were the ones she meet. If she hadn't known better she'd seen these sleepless nights and almost panic attack things during the day as signs that the work at the hospital had made her burned-out. Was it even possible? 

Serena was well read, and had even bothered to research it further for more information. Exercising was suppose to help, it hadn't so far. Losing control at work was a concern, this new side of herself she didn't trust and especially not  when voices in her head cheered for her to fail. What was wrong with her? Could a vampire be burned-out? Insecurity, doubt and self loathing was a part of life, but it had never been this bad before. 

Another reason for the madness could be loneliness according to the websites. The surgeon lived a lonely life but had never had a problem with it and didn't most vampires prefer being by themselves? Her empty life was self chosen she didn't hate other people or even disliked them she just never had time to bond with people, and once she had time she was to shy and afraid to disturb anyone to approach new people. 

One person might have some answers to the questions swirling around in her head but it would feel like she'd lost a battle if she had to ask him for advice, The vampire king Mr Gideon Ashworth. Serena was already an outsider in the vampire faction, a freaky  person without social competence. 

"I am sure he won't mind" Her soft melodic voice said trying to be convincing. Quickly before she could change her mind she turned away from the mirror and out of the room. On her way to her car she braided her hair and got properly dressed in jeans and a white blouse.  

Her ruler was most likely at the coven castle were many of the faction members had their permanent residency, so that was were she was heading. "What will I even say to him? Hello my mighty leader I am sorry for disturbing you in the middle of the night but I have gone mental" she blurted as she drove through the dark. 

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His brow furrowed at her answer, his dark hazel eyes leveling on her face as he weighed her words with the way it all made him feel. Not condemning their species or her fellow vampires was progression, those sentiments had sent a spear of hope hurtling through his system only to have it shatter the moment she spoke about herself. The female was either holding herself to a high standard or one much lower than the others. Neither case spelled out anything positive for the future and the King would need to make sure that she understood that or brace himself for the inevitable.

“Serena, you are a vampire.” He said the words slowly and clearly, his gaze never wavering from her own. “I will say it again you are a vampire. I’m sorry if it is not the life that you would have chosen for yourself but it is your reality. Accepting the species as it is promotes a healthy outlook on vampires within your mind but you still see yourself as something dark and disgusting. You haven’t accepted that you are a vampire.” Gideon was truly concerned about her, about the way she perceived herself and her apetities. Once more he had to deal with the very real possibility that she might one day snap, her hunger overwhelming her to the point of no return. Hunting her down would break his heart but it would be a duty he would fulfill nonetheless.

“I cannot express to you how dangerous it is for you to not have accepted who and what you are. If you keep ignoring this, holding yourself to a higher standard, you will fail. You will kill. And then you will end.” He let that sink in, searching her pretty face for some sort of understanding or at least acknowledging the gravity of the situation. Her question had a deep and heavy sigh issuing from between his lips, “The only thing I would request from you is to take some time off and search your soul. Dig down deep in your heart and find it within yourself to accept what you are. Accept yourself as you are now….before it’s too late.”

Hope sparked in the males eyes as she spoke, she didn’t know what had triggered it, which was unusual she was fairly good at reading people. However the ancient king had had years of practice hiding his facial expressions behind a mask of nonchalans. The twinkle of hope faded, replaced by a darker firmer version of her ruler, reminding her of how ruthless the vampire could be if he thought it was necessary to protect his kingdom, quickly almost before she could detect it and way before she could identify what had sparked it. It felt like she had failed a test she hadn’t predicted and disappointed her leader.

The blonde could observe Gideons hazel eyes, that had held her blue captive the last moments, shift as he made a decision. As he told her the young doctor didn’t shrug with fear. Her rulers promise to terminate her if she lost it, something he was confident she would if she continued on the way she did, didn’t scare her. Keeping people from passing over had been her hobby for years, and when she failed it heartbreaking but okey. Also her best friend happened to be the aspect of death.

”My lord, I appreciate your concern” Serenas soft blue eyes caught her kings again trying to make him understand her truth. When she impulsively had driven to seek answers from him in the middle of the night, or day for vampires, she didn’t believe it would come to this. At most she had hoped he wouldn’t laugh at her struggles. That the conversation had took a turn and now evolved around potentially assassinating her if her self-control failed was nothing she could’ve foreseen if she had she probably wouldn’t have come. ”If I would kill I wouldn’t want it any other way than for you to end me, I couldn’t live with that” Her voice was even and soft, as if they were discussing which food to get. ”I confident it won’t, I won’t you Gideon, I will find balance maybe not the expected way” 

Gideon nodded at her response, the thought of having to hunt her down and destroy her made his heart heavy. Doing away with Rogues was the single blackest part of his position as King, having to look his own kind in the eye as he took their lives from them. Most, were flooded with fear and contrition, begging for him to either wait or simply repeating please over and over again. Very rarely had he dispatched with one that presented an angry or vindictive front, though it wasn’t unheard of. Having to destroy a woman who had dedicated her life to saving others would tear him apart, especially one as sincere as Serena.

His lips pressed into a thin line at her explanation, shaking his head as he got a better view of her reasoning. “You are no better or worse than any of your other people Serena. Feeding is a part of your biology and expecting to rise above the hunger would be like a fish believing she can rise above breathing water.” He didn’t know how else to get across to her that drinking blood was part of her survival and expecting that one day she wouldn’t need to feed was folly. Part of him understood her reticence, the foreign concept was grisly to someone who had dedicated her life to healing and stopping the flow of blood. However it was a reality that she would need to come to terms with.

His features softened with a smile at her offer, his head shaking slowly. “The only thing I would have need of you is to promise that you will try to take better care of yourself. Try to come to terms with what your body needs and see that those needs are met.” Or the consequences could be dire.

Gideon let that thought drop unsaid between them, knowing that she had received his message loud and clear. There was nothing else he could do, nothing else he might be able to say to convince her that her bodily needs were more important than her pride. She would either heed his warnings or she wouldn’t. Rising from the bench he once more offered her his elbow, “Allow me to escort you back to your vehicle. As always I have enjoy the pleasure of your company.”

Serena wasn’t the one who could perceive others feelings, she had gotten fairly good at reading others but couldn’t understand most of the reasons behind them, but anyone could’ve read the kings face as he revisited an old memory. His features changed as his mind went to a dark place. It was scary to see someone so mighty suffer from an invisible cause and the blonde wondered what horrible memory had triggered that look, but she was way to polite to ask if her her king wished to share he would and most likely it would only make things worse. That she was somehow responsible for his suffering pained her and once again she wished she could erase his concerns as was her normal instinct.

As Gideon spoke again she understood that she had been right. He was still stuck in thinking of the senario where she lost it and he had to eliminate what was left of her, and for a second she could visualise it , how her sharp teeth cutting through the flesh of someones neck to reach their goal the carotis artery, her shame afterwords and her rulers regretful but determined eyes as he… She forced the images out of her head again focusing on the goal as she had been thought to do. Only seeing the goal.

She rose after him accepting his elbow as they strolled through the gardens once again. It was an old fashioned costume nowadays mostly used among royals. In her own family they were still disagreeing on wether the gesture was to far from modern to use or not.

”Likewise, I might have a better idea tho, if you have time of course” To be able to have a more experienced mentor like her king was invaluable and she was grateful for his advices. Maybe a greater understanding  and mastering all their skills would help her find her place in the vampire world. 

Silence dropped between them, the only sounds that of their feet crunching on dried leaves and nearly frozen brown grass as they strolled back through the gardens. Lost in their own thoughts her quiet voice drew him back to the present, his gaze meeting her face. His expression was questioning, her statement not leaving him much to go off of.

“Oh?” It wasn’t often that the blonde spoke up, idea or otherwise. It seemed their night together was going to be a night of firsts. “I always have time for my people Serena. What have you got stirring in that brilliant mind of yours?”

Nothing had changed much since before the evening of Serena’s turning. Her routine was still the same as before. The blonde didn’t hang out with others from her own species, or other species for that matter. Basically everything except her heightened senses, which she hadn’t bothered to try and refine, that and her burning throat. The young vampire hadn’t exactly embraced her new identity but rather trying to ignore it and just go on as before, which clearly didn’t work. The surgeon never practised her new gained skills as she didn’t find a use for it in her everyday. Working so close with the human race she had focused on blending in and be as human like as possible, tuning down the supernatural aura that subconsciously told humans and animals not to get to close. Maybe that had been her downfall.

The fledgling was willing to explore if so was the case by doing a 180 degree turn, at least for some time, and open up to all new things that came with being a vampire. The change might silence the voice in head waiting for her to misstep. If she got greater understanding and mastered the new talents more instead of denying them her fear of losing control would vanish. At least that was what was taught to patients, CBT, to face their phobias.

”Acceptance comes with understanding” Serena begun her soft voice clear but quiet. Having the attention wasn’t her thing, she hated to think that she was taking up time that could be given to someone else but she knew she couldn’t do it alone. And who was better at developing her vampire side if not the king himself. ”Would you consider helping me take in my supernatural side and refine my skills?” She asked avoiding the word vampire.

Acceptance comes with understanding.

They were the last words that he had expected from her and yet it seemed the appropriate thing for someone of her intelligence to utter. She had spent every moment since her turning fighting against what she had become, suppressing it all much to her detriment. Perhaps understanding was the true answer to her problems, being properly taught her strengths and abilities. Much like a warrior, she would hone her abilities until control was the only option. Her request humbled him and made him feel immensely proud.

“It would be my honor. We can take your training as far as you wish to go. When I was a fledgling we were not given a choice, we were put into training for the safety of all. Battle training, how to feed safely, how to manage the other aspects of our abilities; it was required and necessary. Perhaps I need to enstate some training program for young fledglings such as yourself.” The Ancient smiled down at the lovely blonde, her plight one he had seen many many times over the course of his life and yet he was still astounded by the resilience and ingenuity of his own kind.

Vampires were like no other species, strong and deep, their abilities were akin to none and yet each member somehow found the strength to know and control themselves. Even those who didn’t put up a valiant fight, the instinct to live unparalleled and beautiful despite the danger they presented.

“When would you like to get started?”

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