500 words exactly "... there are others that are frightened of you..."
Charlie blinked, shocked, and for a moment tried to imagine a universe in which monsters of unbelievable strength and speed were afraid of a tiny human girl like her. The idea was ludicrous! She snorted derisively, her absolute disbelief momentarily distracting her from her fear.
"Frightened of me? I can't see why. Who exactly am I going to tell? My mother is a self-absorbed nitwit, all my real friends were apparently werewolves and vampires anyway, and anyone else would just think I'm certifiable!"
"Besides, I can't imagine one of you couldn't... take care of me should I pose too much of a threat," she added quietly. "Truthfully, that's why I thought you came- I wasn't aware there would be any other option." Charlie watched his face carefully for any sign of trickery, though she couldn't figure out why it would be necessary. As previously stated, she was only a human- there wasn't a whole lot she could do to stand in anyone's way. Was he then telling the truth, and really not here as her executioner?
To her surprise, though, it was Noah who answered her, turning around to take her hand in both of his. "Charlie, I told you, no one wants to hurt you," he chided gently. "We all love you, me and Dayle and Tanya and even Doc."
It was a touching thought, if naive, and Charlie managed a smile for his benefit. "Thank you, Noah. I love you too, but you know it's not just up to you, or any of them, really. It's bigger than-"
"Oh, good afternoon Charlotte dear!"
Charlie jumped, startled, and spun around to find one of her neighbors paused on her way up the stairs. The elderly woman smiled and waved at the collective group of young people. "Deary, my son wanted to say thank you for taking care of little Roxy last month. She's back to eating her normal kibble and hasn't been throwing up at all!"
With an effort, Charlie tried to switch her mind from the magical world to the mundane one. Mrs. Nettle lived on the floor above with her son, his two daughters, and their eight year old poodle, Roxy. Treating Roxy's stomach worms was one of the last tasks she performed before the day her world turned upside down.
She forced a smile on her face and waved weakly. "Glad to hear it, Mrs. Nettle. Tell the girls I said hi."
"I will, deary, I will." Noticing the handsome stranger standing outside Charlie's door, the woman's smile widened. "Well then, you young folk have a nice day."
Mrs. Nettle resumed her journey upstairs, leaving an amused vampire, a confused vampire, and a horrified Charlie in her wake. Her implication was clear. Too embarassed to meet his eye, Charlie quickly stepped back inside and pulled Noah with her, holding the door open in invitation.
"Please," she begged, staring at the floor, "before someone else gets any ridiculous ideas."