09 January 2017 @ 09:27 pm

Ask Arianna Cromwell how long she's known Constance Wood, and the young girl will say: a little less than a year. Ask her how long that year has felt to her and she'll respond: forever. While Arianna didn't physically live with the 'forever seventeen' vampire, it sure felt like she did with how much time she spent at the Wood's home in Sydney.

      With her mum, Alena, always either 1) not having any time for her or 2) talking non-stop of ways to bring the Cromwell name up among the vampire council families, and using a six year old Arianna to do just that. How exactly, Arianna had no idea. But she could have sworn she heard her mother and Uncle Isaac Wood mention a marriage between herself and her cousin of similar age, James Wood.

     "Yuck," Arianna muttered to herself as she eavesdropped on their conversation the other day. But assuming this would never happen based on how ludicrous it was, she put the thought out of her mind.

      Various friends of Alena's would always fawn over Arianna whenever they saw her. "She's getting so tall!" Beatrice Quinn said, as she patted Arianna's golden locks. "With those beautiful eyes and cute little smile of yours, you're going to have all the boys lining up outside your door," teased Caroline Lockwood. Whenever any adult would flutter these remarks her way, Arianna would just nod and smile in agreement. She was just a kid, why were all the female adults talking about boys? What was so special about them? The only thing she witnessed James and his half-brother Ben do was play-fight, get themselves covered in dirt and eat way too much food.

     The one time Arianna always looked forward to was when Alena would drop her off at the Wood's; which was at least once a week. Her mother always had some meeting with the women on the Vampire Council that she just had to attend. Alena also figured that Arianna and James could get to know each other better by doing this. "We're cousins; we already know each other really well!" Arianna and James always said to their parents. Besides, the only current interests that filled James' and Ben's heads were sports, and a game similar to humans' version of 'Cops and Robbers' called: 'Humans and Vampires' (humans try and kill vampires, pretty self explanatory). Ben tried to get James into Pokemon, but alas it had no effect. He vowed to find someone that adored the show as much as he did - one day. No, who got Arianna all excited to visit the Woods' was the lovable Constance. 

     The second Arianna's feet jumped from her Mum's Volvo to the black asphalt, Constance was always waiting for her with open arms and a giant bear hug. 

     "Hey Annie!" Constance yelled with glee at the first sight of the little blonde vampire.

     "You're only calling her Annie cause I came up with it!" an annoyed little Ben said, tugging on Constance's navy jumper to both get her attention and show his frustration. 

     Constance just patted the younger Wood brother's head as a way to appease his little mind.

     Ben rolled his eyes and ran after his older brother who was prompting him to a game of tag.

     Arianna wrapped her arms around Constance's torso, out of both sheer excitement and comfort. The older vamp was more of a mother figure to her then her own Mum. She looked up at the seventeen year old in admiration. Throughout their visits, Constance had tried her best to instill all the right morals and ideas in the young six year old as opposed to what her Mum was probably brainwashing her.

     "Arianna, you're going to mess up your beautiful curls!" Alena yelled to her eldest daughter as she tried to pull her away from Constance.

     Constance and Arianna shared looks of annoyance. The amount of times she heard Alena telling something was wrong with her physical appearance was appalling. There wasn't a moment where she wasn't fixing Arianna's outfit, posture, manners, etc. She's six! Let her be a child, Constance always thought to herself.

     The joyous mood between the two girls was halted when Alena loudly cleared her throat. "I should be back around 5pm tonight," she explained. "Is Isaac home or are you the closest thing to an adult that's present in the house?"

     Constance tried to hide her distaste for this woman in a smile. "Technically, he's here. But he's on a business call with Blake Lockwood, so we're not going to see him much."

     Arianna glanced between her Mum and Constance. She wondered if they would ever grow to get along. Right now, it didn't seem possible.

     It didn't take long for Alena to quickly kiss her daughter goodbye and drive away to do whatever it was that couldn't involve Arianna.

     The entire day consisted of all of the kids' favourite activities - Constance always made sure of it. From watching their favourite television shows, to going on hikes (or adventure walks as Ben called them) in the nearby woods by their house; no one seemed to get tired of each other or in what they were doing.

     Even though being a vampire had obviously never been ideal for Constance (nor her living situation most of the time with the insufferable Isaac Wood)- she wouldn't trade being a sort of mentor to these kids for anything in the world. 

     While she loved each child equally, it was Arianna she shared a special connection with. It's not like Arianna had many friends to call her own. She blamed her mother for not feeling public school was necessary at her age. 

     Constance always made sure that the two girls in the house had special time dedicated to just the two of them.

     Today they had decided to continue watching Constance's favourite show, Friends, while dressing up Constance's stuffed penguin, Hugsy, in adorable outfits. 

     "Aw, you made him look so handsome, Annie!" Constance told the young blonde. She peered over at the other end of the living-room couch to where Arianna sat to get a better look at Hugsy's fashion ensemble. Hugsy was sporting a black tuxedo and black formal shoes. 
Constance even noticed that a tiny bouquet of violets was resting in the penguin's suit pocket. They were both Arianna's favourite flower and color; plus always the easiest thing to find on hand.

     "He's gonna look so nice at the Vampire Ball!" Arianna giggled, moving the penguin to and fro as if he was fully trained in the art of ballet.

     "The what?" Constance had just gotten used to the idea of drinking blood; she didn't know there was an actual ball for beings like her.

     Arianna let out a gasp so loud, Constance thought she had stopped breathing. Her mouth in the shape of a ginormous 'O' and "deer in the headlights" eyes completed the young girl's shocked expression. "You've never heard of the Vampire Ball?!"

     Constance slightly shook her head at the question. 

     Arianna fell backwards on the Wood's couch in dramatics, arms sprawled out at her sides. "It's only the most magical night of the year!" She gently lifted her head off the couch to share eye contact with Constance briefly. "At least that's what my Mum tells me."
    Closing her eyes, she could only imagine what the ball would look like. "I can't wait to go to one! I hear there's dancing, fancy blood cocktails-"

    "What do you know about blood cocktails, young lady?" Constance interrupted, playfully kicking Arianna's foot.

     "Nothing!" Arianna giggled at the silly questioning. "I just know my Mum always talks about them is all."

     "Oh I see," Constance replied.
     So as not to let this moment become tense or awkward,  Constance found it best to change the subject - she would wonder about Alena Cromwell's parenting later. "What else do you know about this Vampire Ball?" 

     "I know that Uncle Issac wanted to host it this year, but nobody will let him for some reason." 

     Constance bit her lip so hard at this that she thought blood was going to draw. She knew why Issac couldn't host the ball and had basically been shunned from the Vampire Council overall. It was all because of her. The fact that she was turned into a vampire, that Issac was forced to take her in; it was all her fault. Speaking of, she wondered how his call with Blake was going. 
     Just thinking of Blake Lockwood sent a shiver down her spine. 

     "What did you do to me?!" a newly turned Constance screamed. Her hand clutched her neck, where her two puncture wounds remained. Tears from both the pain and shock of it all just kept streaming down her face. 
     As she looked around her bedroom, she saw that he had left her. 

     "What's going on?" 
     Constance snapped out the flashback. "What?" It's okay, she would just have a nightmare about it in the middle of the night. 

     "In the episode, Connie. What's going on?" Arianna asked, pointing to the flat screen TV. 

     "Oh right," Constance smiled at the six year old, returning back to reality. 

      The episode they were watching was of Ross' ex-wife, Carol, marrying her girlfriend Susan. The pair were currently seen standing at the altar, about to say their "I Do's".

     Constance explained that the two women were getting married to each other, awaiting the confusion on Arianna's end. 

     "So," Arianna stared at the TV, now watching the reception of the wedding, "does that mean they love each other? Like you and I do?" she motioned to herself and Constance for clarification.

     "Hmm..." Constance tried to think of an example of two people in love in Arianna's life to explain further. Unfortunately, she knew that Arianna's parents, Alena and Marc, had been separated for quite some time now. It's doubtful that Arianna would even remember the pair as a couple together. She would just have to be as general as possible. "Love comes in many different types," she started to explain. "It doesn't matter if they're a boy or a girl. Love is love." 

     Arianna's expression contained both wide eyed wonderment and confusion - as shown by the head tilt. 

     I should just quit while I'm ahead and have her Mum explain this to her later, Constance thought to herself. 

     Arianna looked at the pretty dresses the two women were wearing as everyone watched them dance. An adorable smile spread across her face. Being in love with a girl looked like fun.
     Turning to Constance she asked, "Do you think they have never-ending sleepovers, spa days and fashion shows with each other?" She picked up Hugsy in all of his tuxedo glory to show off the fashion aspect.

     The brunette mentor laughed, "I suppose so."Okay, this is going better then I expected, she thought.

     "That sounds like fun!" Arianna squealed. "I can't wait to be in love!" 

     Constance noticed Arianna became very quiet, looking at the beige carpeting in the room as if deep in thought. 

     "Maybe one day when I'm older, I'll attend the Vampire Ball and meet my soulmate! Then I'll be in love, just like them!" 

     "You're a little hopeless romantic, aren't you, Annie?" Constance teased, playfully tapping the girl's knee while saying so. 

     "You know it!" Arianna giggled in response.

    "Good. Don't ever lose hope in finding love. Or be ashamed for who you love. Ever."


Hope you guys enjoyed the first chapter of School Friends...Or Foes. I'm going to be completely honest. This chapter was one of those types of chapters where it worked much better in my head versus on paper - so I'm sorry for how all over it is. (I'll probably re-write this in the future). Plus I wanted to finally give you SOMETHING. I know you all have been waiting forever for this. The next chapters should be published a LOT sooner then this one. 

Next chapter, you guys finally get to meet Clarissa! GET EXCITED! 

Next chapter, you guys finally get to meet Clarissa! GET EXCITED! 

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