• “Caroline Bonnet?”

    The man nodded and scratched at his red beard. “Yessir. Ben’s lovely wife. Though I reckon he and the boys are out, delivering tobacco.”

    Klaus kept the look of sympathy frozen on his face. “And she’s home alone? With a fever?”

    “Unfortunately,” the man sighed, staring down the dirt road. It seemed to stretch for miles. They were both silent for a moment until the bearded man spoke again. “You’re not from around ‘ere, are you? You sound like you come from the north.”

    Klaus grinned now, careful not to show too much teeth. “From the east, actually.” The man seemed confused, but when his mouth opened, Klaus continued. “Well, thank you for the chat, sir. But I must really be on my way.”

    With that as his final few words, Klaus turned and made his way down the dirt road, leaving the man staring curiously after him.


    The sun was low in the west, and it stretched Klaus’s shadow over the dirt road, onto the green grass, and just to the tip of the tobacco field. There were about eight slaves working. At least, they were until they all stopped to take a look at the visitor. He was well aware of the sudden converse between them and the curiosity and fear flooding through their bodies. An older woman seemed to murmur a prayer to her god, and, although he didn’t make a show of it, Klaus smirked.

    He continued the rest of the way to the house that Benjamin and Caroline Bonnet were said to live in. There was no doubt that whoever owned this home also owned the field of slaves. They were still watching him as he knocked on the front door. It was a nice place, he had to admit. It was large, much like the homes in England. It was just made out of wood instead of brick and stone. And there was a large tobacco plantation behind it.

    Klaus turned his attention back on the door and knocked again. When no one answered, Klaus sighed and pushed the door open himself. “Hello?” he called. It wasn’t like he could walk in uninvited.

    “’E-ello?” A younger slave, maybe only twelve, stood in the room. His chocolate eyes were wide with worry and curiosity.

    Klaus forced on a warm smile. “Is your master home?”

    He shook his bald head and glanced around. “N-no, sir. The mistress is, but she’s in bed with a fever.” His African accent was thick, but his English wasn’t all that bad.

    “Well that’s fine. I’m the doctor.” A perfect lie.

    A look of realization and relief swept over the boy and he smiled now. “Oh. Forgive me sir. Um, come on in,” the boy stammered, stepping to the side and gesturing into the house. “Do you know where her room is? Or would you-“

    Klaus raised his hand as he stepped in. “No, that’ll be fine. I know where to go. Why don’t you just head back outside?”

    The slave swallowed once and nodded before walking by the older man and leaving, closing the door behind him.


    Klaus took his time, wandering through the home. Each room was decorated with great antiques and fine silk. In the dining room, a crystal chandelier hung above the table. Impressed, he let out a low whistle and managed to stumble across Caroline’s room.

    She was sleeping alone in a bed made for two. The expensive quilts and sheets were sprawled about, like a tornado flew through the room. Her black hair was sticking to her sweaty forehead and her breaths were shallow and quick. She was clearly in pain, and yet Klaus didn’t even feel a pang of sympathy. Instead, his mind wandered. She could certainly use saving.

    “Caroline,” he cooed. “Oh, Ms. Bonnet. Caroline Bonnet, I’m talking to you.” He rested his hand on her forehead and couldn’t believe how hot she felt against his cool skin. He laughed softly and pulled his hand away.

    Finally, her eyes opened, revealing them to be a bright blue. Even against the pale contrast of her skin, a strong fire could be seen in them. “You don’t want to die,” Klaus realized, scowling when he said it aloud. She shook her head desperately and he sighed before he kept talking. “By the looks of things, you only have a few hours left to live. If you can call this living.” His nose wrinkled as she let out a whimper.

    He could give her forever to live, he knew it. He’d have a traveling companion though, and he wondered if he’d be able to deal with that. And then there was her family. Humans and newborns could be so sentimental: would she even be able to leave them? Klaus looked back to those bright, fiery eyes. There was quiet an abundance of life. It would be a waste to let her die now. So young. He drew in a deep breath and made a decision.

    “What if I told you that I could save you?” he asked. “But you’d have to leave everything you love behind?”

    Instantly, she nodded. Either she couldn’t think straight, or she really would do anything to keep living. Klaus nodded as he parted his lips, eyes locking onto Caroline’s neck. “Brave woman,” he admitted before striking.

    His sharp fangs cut into her flesh like a hot knife to butter. Her body jerked in surprise at the sudden attack, though that was just about the only fight she had to offer. Immediately, the blood started flowing and he started drinking. With each swallow, he could feel what little energy she had drain away and give him strength.

    Even after two thousand years, it was still hard to pull away before killing a human. But it wasn’t just the taste of blood. It was the strength and life force he ganged from the being. It was almost like a drug, without the nasty side effects.

    With a great deal of concentration, he finally spulled away, wiping his mouth free of the mess. She was even paler than before and her breathing was slower.

    This was it. His last chance to change his mind. You could either let her die or turn her, he thought to himself. It would be the first human he had ever turned, and it would be quite an interesting experience. Then again, it was like taking care of a child. Would he be up to that?

    With a sigh, he calmly bit into his own wrist and pressed the wound to Caroline’s lips. Instantly, she started drinking, gorging herself on his blood. Dimly, he found his mind wandering back to when he was turned. The only difference between his birth and Caroline’s was that he didn’t have a choice or warning before it. Then he was bound to the monster that had turned him…

    He blinked a few times, being pulled, along with his blood, back to Caroline’s attention and he felt oddly faint. Cursing under his breath, he yanked his arm away from her. She gasped and shot up into a sitting position. This was the first being he had ever turned, yes, but it certainly wasn’t the first newborn he had ever met. There was no doubt she was assessing her new senses, adjusting to her new body.

    While Caroline did that, Klaus tore a piece of his shirt off and started to wind it around his wrist, keeping his brown eyes on her. When it finally appeared that she was done adjusting, he spoke. “Congratulations, Caroline. You are now a vampire.” It was stated awfully dramatic, but she didn’t mind apparently. In fact, she didn’t even seem surprised, and that irked him. What was even more annoying was what she decided to say.

    “And you?” she questioned, tilting her head to one side, allowing her bangs to fall over her eye. “Are you one too?”

    He didn’t show it bugged him. Instead, he nodded and put on an amused smirk. “How else do you think you’re one?” She drew in a breath, but he shook his head. “Rhetorical question. I’m Klaus. Just Klaus,” he continued. “No, it’s not my real name, and no, do not ask because I won’t tell.” In the back of his mind he decided to continue his rambling just to get Caroline back for being so calm.

    “And you’ll have to change your name too.” It was true, yes, but it wasn’t urgent. “Something short and simple. Easy to remember.”

    He had the perfect name in mind, but he pretended to think about it. He grinned and snapped his fingers, pretending to decide right then. “Mira!”

    She blinked once. “Excuse me?”

    “Mira, your new name,” Klaus explained bluntly. “Now that the simplest things are out of the way, let’s talk about the more… important things.”

    Klaus could remember being bound to the vampire that turned him, like a slave. Being looked down on and forced to do as he was told out of fear. But he also remembered looking up to the guy in a strange, twisted way. He wondered how what Mira would think of him, and decided she would need an open (and very tolerant) mind.