Hi, this is Kaya. I realize the post title probably seems like an overblown metaphor, but it isn't... there was a literal storm. It started around midnight last night with ice pellets and high wind, then it turned into a blizzard by early morning. Before long the roads were covered, and we were snowed in. There was no school for anyone today, and most of the non-vital businesses were closed, because the city officials wanted as many people off the road as possible so they could just send the plows through without anyone in the way.
We were all home, and we enjoyed an unexpected break and playing in the snow. Afterward we came in for hot chocolate (for the non-vampires, at least) and plopped down in front of the television to watch the local news. Maybe it's geeky, but when we have a big storm, we always find it interesting to see on the news what other areas of town look like all covered in snow, because we won't get out to see it in person.
They showed footage of a few different parts of town, then they cut to a shot of the reporter standing in front of Gia's apartment complex. Apparently during the storm, some limbs had come off the nearby trees and broken windows in a number of the ground-floor apartments, letting in a bunch of snow.
We didn't mean to snoop on Gia. We honestly and truly didn't.
We were trying to help - since we didn't know when she'd be getting back from her sudden trip to Italy, we didn't want her to return to a ruined apartment. Maia has a key to her place, and since as far as we knew she wasn't home, we decided to go check on her apartment and make sure it wasn't her window panes that were broken. If it was, we would clear out the snow and the debris and put boards over the windows like the other tenants were doing, so her place wouldn't be totally wrecked before the building super got a chance to fix it.
By this point the roads were pretty well clear but there wasn't much traffic, so we walked over and let ourselves in with Maia's key. The windows weren't broken.
And Gia wasn't in Italy...
We hadn't even thought to question whether she'd really left or not. When we tried phoning and knocking on the door, there was no answer. She had told her boss that she was leaving the country for an undefined absence. Maybe we're naive, but we just assumed she was actually gone.
Gia was in the apartment, huddled in a nest of blankets in the corner of the living room, between the arm of the couch and the wall. She was shaking like she was cold, but the heat was turned all the way up, and she was burning up with a fever. We eventually talked her into letting us look at the bite injury on her arm, and it seemed a lot worse. It was swollen and looked infected.
She wouldn't tell us what was going on, though - she only answered our questions with a nod or a shake of the head if at all. She refused to let us take her to see a doctor. Fortunately, Gia did agree to come stay with us until she's feeling better, though. We couldn't have forced her, but I couldn't imagine leaving her alone and sick in her empty apartment.
Kiwi and I helped her up the porch steps and into the house. Clare took one look at Gia, and hissed at her. We all stopped what we were doing and froze, shocked.
I've never heard Clare hiss before. Now, Tabitha does that stuff all the time. (Sorry, Tabs, but you do!) Practically whenever she gets frustrated or irritated, or feels remotely threatened, Tabitha will hiss or growl or snarl. It's a new-vampire thing, and Inna says she'll "grow out of it." Clare has been a vampire for over a year now, and she's mostly over those animal-like reactions.
"What was that?" I asked Clare quietly.
Clare shrugged, clearly embarrassed. "I don't know," she said. "I just lost it for a minute. Something about her... I don't know. It's probably nothing."
Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions, but I think it must have something to do with Gia's illness. A couple of days ago Gia played games with us, and Clare seemed to have a good time. There was no hissing. Not even any sign of discomfort. The only thing I can think of that has changed are the bite and the fact Gia is sick. Something about that has to have triggered a vampire reaction in Clare.
I'm not sure what will happen now. Gia is sleeping on the couch. Most of us kind of hovering, especially Maia - but Clare and Tabitha are giving her a wide berth, and neither of them can explain why. Marie-Grace and Cécile don't seem to be having a problem, for some reason.
I wonder what's going on? Hopefully when Gia gets better, things will go back to normal.