Drew’s thoughts are not on the exam, nor his prison-like existence.  Instead, his mind wanders to his last encounter with a mortal, a day student who stumbled into his life through sheer co-incidence.
Her name was Dylan. A vivacious redhead who discovered a note written by Drew and carelessly left in the day school library. Her fascination led to a planned encounter with her mystery author that went horribly wrong. Karl, in a rare psychotic break, attacked Dylan as she waited for Drew, and feasted on her.  An old-night vigil by Dr. Murdoch and the others, and some powerful ancient remedies prevented Dylan from ‘turning’ and becoming one of them; but not before Drew felt a soul connection with Dylan that could only be described as infatuation, or maybe something more.
Their relationship was cut short when the elders ordered Dylan’s return to the mortal world, but not before Essie erased Dylan’s memory of these events with her trance-inducing voice – a skill that had served her seductive nature extremely well for centuries.
Once returned to the land of the living, Dylan continued on with her studies as part of the Mansbridge day school none the wiser. Fortunately for her, for if she had turned and become one of them, Vackal would have ordered her immediate death.
Merrill is watching Drew, her oval eyes sad with the fact that he is thinking of Dylan and not her. She is convinced that Drew is “the One” as prophesized in her dreams, but he refuses to acknowledge it. Drew’s destiny, he devoutly believes, lies with the mortal world, a life he aspires to, and craves for. He wants out of this perpetual darkness and yearns for the light, and that deep ache that twists your insides and makes you scream from the sheer exhilaration and torment of knowing that you love another.
Merrill knows love, feels it for Drew. She doesn’t need the experience of mortals to understand its power. Drew is her destiny, and she will never disavow it. Nor will she ever let another, Vampire or mortal, come between her and her true beloved.  She swore that to herself, and heaven, or hell, help the one who tries to steal her Drew away.
Her wistful contemplation is interrupted by Dr. Murdoch’s first summons to the oral exam – Karl.

7
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Mark Shekter & Garry Blye
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