Foto bij Chapter 9 — Don't look back

Krystal had listened carefully, following the sounds Amber's feet made on the wooden floor. She held her breath to concentrate to the fullest. The footsteps continued to what seemed like the living room, then they stopped. Krystal would've felt her heart beat loudly in her chest if it hadn't died decades ago. It made the moment even creepier.
Careful footsteps again. It seemed like Amber had turned around, maybe? Krystal bit on her lip and listened. She just wanted to get out of bed when she suddenly heard a second pair of footsteps. Alarmed, Krystal jumped out of bed. She knew it was a bad idea to let Amber go on her own, she should've come with her, or not let her go at all. The bump of Amber's back hitting the wall was mixed with the thud on the floor when Krystal got out of bed and sounded therefor even louder to Krystal's sensitive ears. She opened the door and ran towards the living room. Her eyes were widened of fear, and her head turning from left to right, desperate to see everything that was going on in the room. She saw how Sooyeon had pressed Amber up against the wall, her delicate fingers wrapped around her girlfriend's neck, pinching hard enough for Amber to have trouble with breathing. Her heart dropped at the sight of her relative, choking her girlfriend to death. And she didn't even bother to look up to her, until the moment Krystal screeched her name. Sooyeon turned her head around, without taking her hand off of Amber's neck.
"Oh, Soojung. What a surprise to see you here. I hoped you wouldn't be around, but maybe it is better if you see this."
"See what?"
Krystal sneered. Her voice had dropped low, and an intense hate started to form in her belly for her sister. Sooyeon just chuckled, and signaled back to Amber, who was now clawing at her hands, desperate to get them off her throat.
"K-krystal," she managed to get out, in a voice that was barely audible because of the lack of oxygen in her lungs. Krystal hadn't noticed before, but her lips started to turn blue. In horror she watched how her girlfriend started to breathe faster and faster, hoping to get a little bit of extra air that way.
"She calls you 'Krystal'? What a stupid name," Sooyeon laughed. In a fit of rage, she lunged forewards and grabbed Sooyeon by her shirt. She pushed her away from Amber, and slammed her body into the wall a few metres from her, out of her reach. Amber fell on the ground, panting and coughing and desperately clawing for air. Krystal cringed at the sounds. Sooyeon only smiled, even though it must've heard when Krystal had pushed her away from Amber, but she showed no sign of uneasiness. Instead, she seemed to be pleased with the way Krystal was acting. She hadn't noticed that she had her upper lip pulled up to reveal her fangs, like a wild animal would do when it was about to attack, only when Sooyeon's eyes fluttered down to her mouth to look at the result of her actions. Krystal clutched Sooyeon's blouse between her fingers, lifting it up a little bit. Sooyeon did not attempt to make her let her go, but instead leaned in.
"What are you going to do, Soojung?" she asked.
"You shouldn't mess with me right now," Krystal hissed. Her breathing had speeded up, and her exhales slipped through her teeth like angry sissing.
"Or what? You're going to kill me?" Sooyeon asked innocently. She started to laugh and shook her head. "You don't have the guts to do that."
"You don't know what I am capable of," Krystal growled. Sooyeon laughed again.
"I know what you are capable of when you're angry, Soojung. Did you forget I know you the best? We have been together for so long, I know every little piece of you. Or, perhaps, should I be afraid now? Are you willing to hurt me?"
Her flat hand made contact with Sooyeon's cheek before Krystal even knew she had raised it, and slapped her. Sooyeon's head flung to the left. Her sistérs eyes grew back when the pain started to spread through her cheek, all the way up to her skull. Both sisters were panting
"Yes."

Sooyeon raised her eyebrows. The smug grin on her face hadn't faltered and turned brighter. Her sister leaned in some more, until their noses almost touched. It made her cringe. She was usually only so close with Amber, and to have anyone else do it besides her was uncomfertable, even when it was Sooyeon. Krystal's eyes were piercing in hers, not wanting or willing to look away. This would be a mental battle, and she knew it. Who would look away first would loose. Even though her heart ached because she couldn't help Amber, it was too dangerous to let her sister go now.
"Can I tell you a secret? I am, I am scared of you. And so will Amber be," her sister whispered. For a split second, Krystal's eyes widened. She recovered quickly, but Sooyeon had already seen it. Her sister started to laugh again, and bowed back. Krystal could literally slap herself. Of course this was exactly what Sooyeon had wanted.
"Don't listen to her, Krystal, I am not scared of you."
Amber's voice sounded hoarse and croaked when she spoke. It was painful to hear her speak, but she couldn't look around to check upon her just yet. She pretended her sister's words didn't hurt her, but they had. Sooyeon indeed knew her, because she hadn't told her that her worst fear was to be feared by Amber. Sooyeon only had to take a look at her once to know that that thought was the fear that had been occupying her for months. Amber also knew her, perhaps less good than Sooyeon, but she knew her too, because her girlfriend felt perfectly that this affected her in a bad way.
"You don't know her. And you don't know me anymore," Krystal said coldly. "And I don't know what you tried to accomplish tonight, but it isn't working, Sooyeon. Go home."
Sooyeon laughed. It sounded hollow to Krystal's ears. Lonely, almost. Krystal almost felt sorry for her. Almost.
"And what? Stay there, and wait for you to come back so we can fight again? You know that when it comes down to a fight, one of us is going to loose, and no matter who it will be, I will take Amber with me."
Krystal's fingers curled firmer around Sooyeon's shirt. Her eyes had widened in utter disgust, her nose pads widened. She had trouble breathing evenly, and often held in her breath to not spew out every curse word she had in her vocabulary.
"You're sick," she eventually managed to get out, with just enough self control to not say anything else.
"No, Soojung, you are. Dating a human? What were you thinking? You know it's going to go wrong some day. Better to be it today, and return with me, before I leave you."
"Y-you leave me?"
Krystal breathed. Her voice was light and airy, out of pure anger. Her whole body was shaking of wanting to hurt her sister. She wanted to slap her, and hurt her as much as she hurted her for the past few months. She didn't want to kill her, but if she should have been given the question whether to stay with Sooyeon or with Amber, she wouldn't think twice.
Sooyeon smiled. She brought up her hand and touched Krystal's cheek, charassing it. Krystal took her head away and shook her hand off, not in the mood to be touched by Sooyeon. She was able to rip her hand off, instead of lean into her touch.
"Yes, my dearest sister. What are you going to do if I am not with you anymore to support you?"
"Live a happy life,"
she spew to her, accompanied with a few drops of saliva. Sooyeon whiped her face, still smiling. It drove Krystal mad that she couldn't whipe her sister's smile off her face. Wasn't there something she could do to hurt her equally, like she had hurt her?
"I am not going to let that happen."

Krystal's raised her eyebrows.
"You are not going to let me be happy?"
"I am not going to let you be happy with
her," Sooyeon replied. Her voice had dropped a little, her eyes became darker. She nodded towards Amber, who still was having diffeculty breathing. Or maybe she just didn't know what to do and pretended to, not wanting to get in between the two heated vampires. Krystal wished she'd just leave, this was something between her and her sister. And she was ashamed of how Sooyeon behaved.
"I really don't get why you're such an asshole,"
Krystal huffed. "What did she ever do wrong to you? If humans are so annoying to you, nothing more than an ant under your shoes, then why do you even care about her? Let me be, let us be. I am not holding you back from your own happiness, Sooyeon."
Sooyeon's grin faltered for a moment. The corners of her mouth lowered until they barely formed a smile on her face. Krystal watched her, not quite understanding, because this had been more of a plea than something to bring her down.
"You really don't know, do you?"
Sooyeon said, softer than before. Krystal stayed silent.
"Did you even think about me when you were with her? Did you even consider coming home to spend time with me when it wasn't completely necessary? Did you realize how lonely I was?"
Krystal's eyes widened, first because she didn't understand, but while Sooyeon talked and talked, it hit her.
"We used to do everything together. Spend our days together. Hunt together, eat together, go to the cinema together, buy hordes of new magazines to read all at once together just so we could see the employees stare at us with confused gazes. We were sisters."
"We are sisters,"
Krystal corrected her. Sooyeon looked up to her with a gaze of sadness. She chuckled for a moment.
"We are not, and have never been. I made that up when I found you, because we looked alike enough to be family."

Krystal's mouth dropped by hearing those words. Her grip at Sooyeon's shirt loosened a bit, and she almost took her hand back. Confusedly, she stared at her sister, who couldn't look at her of shame. Krystal shook her head in disbelief.
"T-then what about the stories of our parents? You said you remembered them, you told me so much about them,"
she managed to get out.
"I knew my parents, not yours. Everything I told about them is true, but they just aren't your parents, and I never saw them. I sought for your relatives, to get height of what kind of girl I transformed. But they didn't even once looked for you, and I never found them,"
she said. Krystal started to feel so light-headed that she could faint.
"Y-you ca-can't remember them. We don't re-remember anything when we are transformed, you are wrong," she stuttered. Krystal's grip strengthened again. This could not be true. They were sisters, and her parents were not some sort of story to console her freshly transformed self. That couldn't be. Sooyeon's face turned darker than before. Her eyes were almost lit with fire now.
"Who said I remembered them? I was told about them by the person who changed me."
"W-who changed you?"
Krystal blurted out. She had always thought that she and Sooyeon were transformed by the same vampire at the same time, and that they therefor found each other when they woke up. Now that she knew that wasn't true, she didn't know what to think. By now she was so confused that she could barely think. She didn't want to believe just yet that Sooyeon was right. She couldn't be.
"I was part of another group once. Eight other girls, just like us. Their leader changed me. But a few decades after I was transformed, they kicked me out. You remember what you were like, only 30 years old, right? I was young and hopeless and desperate for someone to help me. Then I found you on the streets, lost, sick, about to die of starvation. And I did it..."

Tears had formed in Sooyeon's eyes, and she so desperately tried to hold them in. It was in vain; a few moments later they spilled over her cheeks. Krystal could just feel the love and bitterness because of her old friends radiate off her; she had never stopped loving them. Sooyeon bit her lip not to sob. Krystal's eyebrows furrowed and her throat clenched. Suddenly she understood her sister, and her everlasting need to be with someone, to be consoled and cured of the loneliness by someone else, whether it be her former group memebers or Krystal. She had been so lonely that she ripped Krystal's life from her, and transformed her, told her lies to keep her with her, and was now so desperate again to do whatever it took to let Krystal stay with her, even if that meant killing Amber. Krystal couldn't believe her ears.
Her anger turned in compassion, even when she had been threatened several times this night, even when Sooyeon had almost killed her girlfriend, even when she had discovered that her whole life had been a string of lies.
She hated her, yet she loved her. Sooyeon had been so long part of her life and they had gone through so much together that it was impossible to get mad at a girl who was so desperate for love, yet was left by the people she loved every time. She was lonely and had a large heart, but didn't know how to act accordingly. Sooyeon didn't know how to love, and she didn't have a person like Amber to teach her. And even though they had just gone through hell Krystal couldn't just put her sister aside. They were family. You didn't need to be biological relatives to be siblings.
Krystal let Sooyeon's blouse go; it let creases behind in the form of her hand in the silky fabric, and placed both of her hands upon Sooyeon's cheeks, to make her look up to her. Her eyes were still wet, and so were her cheeks. Her lower lip was trembling of the sobs that she tried to hold in. She noticed that her sister shook. Never before had she seen Sooyeon so sad, so helpless. It scared her a little bit. Sooyeon had always been the greater one of them two; she was the person who consoled Krystal, not the other way around. It felt weird to reassure her this time. But it felt better too, much better. Maybe, for once, she'd be treated as an equal.
She whiped the tears off her face with her thumb.
"Look at me," she said, because Sooyeon still turned her gaze away. She looked up to her little sister, with those big puppy eyes which were almost identical to Krystal's. The pain in her eyes was almost perceptible.
"I am not going to leave you. You are my sister. And you'll stay my sister, no matter what," she said. "Even after all the shit you pulled out, I would never leave you. Family always stays together."
Tears started to roll down her cheeks again, and Krystal whiped them away as much as she could. A small smile appeared on the younger sister's lips.
"But I am not going to accept how you behaved to Amber. I want us to start over again, a new life, a new chapter in our story. And I want Amber to be part of that."
Sooyeon gulped audibly, and moved her gaze away. She bit down on her lower lip. Krystal lowered her hands, and ran with them through her hair for a moment.
"Those are my conditions, Sooyeon. Please accept them. Please accept us."
Sooyeon sighed. She brought up her hands to whipe her face. Krystal knew it was a way to get control of herself, and of the situation if she had a chance, again. After taking a few deep breaths and adjusting her hair and blouse, she turned towards Amber. Her girlfriend was still scared, yet didn't avert her eyes.
"Because of Soojung, I will accept you now. But that doesn't mean I like y-"
Before she could even finish her sentence, Krystal lunged herself at her, and hugged her tightly from behind. Sooyeon made a suffocating sound, and tried to pry her sister's arms off her waist, but Krystal just hugged her tighter. She placed her head upon Sooyeon's back, and closed her eyes.
"Don't worry, that'll come."
"I don't want it to come,"
Sooyeon sighed, eye rolling. Krystal chuckled.
"Do you think I wanted it to come? She just has a charm you won't be able to resist."
"Oh, don't you worry, I think I can contain myself,"
snickered her sister. Krystal laughed too. Both sisters sighed. Sooyeon didn't try to beak the hug anymore, and just let her sister hug her. A relieved feeling spread through Krystal's body. She couldn't help but to feel at least a little bit happy. This whole night had been one rollercoaster of emotions, but in the end, she found herself not minding it. Everything was alright again, and everything was going to be better.

That proved in the months that followed. Sooyeon, Krystal and Amber became closer with every day that passed. At first, her sister had to get used a lot Amber and Krystal's relationship. They mainly kept their distance, because the sisters were still trying to settle for a life without lies. But their lives soon turned back to the old, and Krystal spent — to Amber's disliking — more time home again, so she could rebuild her relationship with Sooyeon. Now that the lies were cleared out, Sooyeon seemed to have lost a burden. She laughed more, and it did Krystal good to see her so happy.
Krystal slowly brought Amber into her life. They at first had only stayed in the dorm, because that was the most safe place to go. Now that Sooyeon didn't form a threat anymore, Krystal decided to bring her over to their house once.
Sooyeon had been very tense the first time, but she hadn't leashed out at her girlfriend. She was allowed to sit on the couch, albeit with her legs crossed over each other and her hands placed on her lap. Whenever they'd touch, even if it was simply holding hands, then she'd shoot them a warning gaze. Krystal rather didn't provoke her sister any more, and just took her hand away. They had to take small steps. Holding hands was too much just yet..
The first time had been uncomfertable and uneasy, for all of them, but in the end, Krystal couldn't be prouder of her sister who had basically accepted Amber into their home. The couple still decided that they should meet up in the dorm the greater deal of the time, but that it was good if Sooyeon could get used to her. So they came over together more and more. First only once a month, then once in a fortnight. Eventually every week. More than that wouldn't do, because Sooyeon was already snippy as it was. She didn't like it that Amber came over a lot, but Krystal caught her sometimes laughing at her jokes or her comments she made about the movie they were watching, or the game they were playing. It was often only a small smirk, because she so desperately tried to keep a straight face, but clearly noticable when you paid attention. When Krystal would smile back, she would roll her eyes.
They were allowed to hold hands, eventually. And when they stole a kiss from each other when Amber left to go back to the dorm, Sooyeon didn't stop them, even though she had defenitely seen it.
"You know, that girl is a good kid. I'd still rather have that you didn't hang with her," she once admitted.
"And why not?"
"Because I say so."

Krystal had snickered and rolled her eyes.
"You just don't know a good argument why I shouldn't date her. She's very nice, just admit it," she laughed. Sooyeon shot her a gaze.
"I don't like it because you're my little sister. And if anyone is the best person for you, then it's me, and not Amber. No one is good enough for you," she said. "Oh, and I will never admit that she's nice. She'll stay forever a cheeky brat."

It took a while, but eventually their lives settled down again. Amber promoted Shake that Brass, and was gone for almost a full month, so Krystal had to miss her for a while, but during the time she was at the dorm for a few hours of sleep, Krystal noticed how happy performing made her. The fans were more enthousiastic, and she had to be more careful entering the building now, but that was worth it to see her girlfriend happier.
And with the regularity returning into their daily scedules, they were able to get used to a life of three, instead of two. Sooyeon accepted Amber more and more, until a point where her hatred for humans was decreasing. Her sister used to have this burning passion to hate everyone on the world, except herself and Krystal. No, that wasn't entirely true, she reckoned; she hated everyone except Krystal. And she had passed that idea onto Krystal herself, until the moment she had met a certain girl that hadn't been scared of her, and looked past all of that, deep into her soul. From that moment she realized her sister had been deeply wronged too many times in her life, making her bitter, lonely and paranoid. Perhaps it was jealousy the most that drove her mad and angered her about the world. She wasn't able to live a normal life like humans anymore, she wasn't able to die anymore, and all she wanted was to get rid of those terrible feelings that haunted her when the sun went down.
Krystal never imagined that Sooyeon found someone to take care of her too. A human, in fact. He was a handsome gentleman that she once met whilst strolling through town, actually hunting. They had met eyes, and Sooyeon had sweared that her heart had exploded from all the fireworks in her body. He was a man that was exactly her sister's style; handsome and chique, looking the best in suits and tuxedo's, liked to drink a glass of whiskey at night, so that there was a hint of alcohol on his lips that was addicting. Always a little bit of scruff on his face, with dark eyes that could gaze deep into your soul. Black hair combed back, with the sides cut short. He was a smooth talker, had a lot of social skills and was quite intelligent. But most of all, he made my sister laugh. Krystal didn't think she had ever seen her sister laugh so richly ever before. His name was Hyde.
Krystal didn't like Hyde, for the exact same reasons Sooyeon didn't like Amber. But Hyde and Amber seemed to get along very well. Amber brought up the dorkiness in him, and Hyde made Amber look even handsomer. A series of double dates were born, which were sometimes hard to cope with. Amber and Hyde were the kind of significant others that loved to surprise their women, and did quite a lot. One time, Hyde had secretly taken Amber out to shop for clothes. They turned up in equal suits, both fitting perfectly to their body. The sisters had reacted equally enthousiastic, and they made sure they were alone for the rest of the evening after the movie had ended. Those suits were just too hot to let Amber and Hyde wear.
Krystal didn't like to see Hyde in their house, but to see Sooyeon happy was enough to make up for it. In the mean time, her sister was less bothered when Amber came over too. The sisters had finally found peace in their lives, together with their lovers. It had taken a while. A full year since Krystal met Amber, and decades since Krystal met Sooyeon. But the waiting had been worth it.
And for now, it was enough. Living their lives together, all four of them, with nothing in particulair to worry about, at least, not when they were together. They hadn't felt as good in their whole lives than they did now. Krystal couldn't be happier.

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