A dry moan escaped Fern’s lips and she was faintly aware of something wet on her face. Darkness bubbled around her and she couldn’t decide if she was floating or flying. For a few moments she balanced on the edge of consciousness and unconsciousness. A part of her was half tempted to stay dead, yet the other part fought to live.
Slowly, her mind came to and she began thinking again. There was nothing coherent at first, but then she began questioning dying; did it really happen? Is that what I dreamed, only it wasn’t a dream? Maybe this is a part of it? Can vampires come back as ghosts? Aren’t ghosts people who have unfinished business or seek revenge? Can I haunt Brook? What is that wet stuff on my face? Tears?
Fern pressed her tongue against her teeth then her lips. She drew some of the wetness into her mouth and tasted blood. Swallowing, she greedily seeked more and found it willingly being given to her. Opening her mouth, her tongue lapped against cool skin and drew more blood in. Instinct took over and she felt the vampire part of her demanding more. It wanted to live.
After swallowing three mouths of warm, salty blood, Fern’s eyes flashed open. She knew it was Brook sitting next to her, feeding her. Further questions, circled her thoughts and pushed away the ones about dying. She took another mouthful of blood then pushed his arm away. The hungry gone and the beast inside her stomach temporally tamed.
Staying still on the floor, she watched Brook raise his arm and lick the rest of the blood away. She wondered what to say, before deciding her mind was too muddled to speak clearly. Without a word, Brook put his arms around her shoulders and chest then pulled her up. Fern moaned and felt pain shooting into her head and back. The fresh blood chased after it and the sensations vanished just as quickly as they appeared. Taking in a few deep breaths, Fern got her bearings then aware Brook had stood up, glanced after him. He was holding a hand out to help her off the floor.
She took it and he pulled her to her feet in one swift movement. Fern stumbled into his arms and he quickly caught her and held her up. Drawing her into a hug, she felt his fingers stroking her hair. Fern rested her head on his shoulder and shut her eyes. She could feel the blood racing through her and though she felt almost back to normally, the chill off Brook kept her on edge.
‘Do you want some more? You didn’t take a lot,’ Brook’s voice brushed passed her ear.
‘No,’ she muttered.
‘It’s too late to go out now. Let’s go to bed. Maybe you’ll feel better after sleeping.’
She nodded, suddenly realising how tried she actually was.
Brook eased off the hug then supported her to the bedroom.
‘I feel dizzy and sick and so…’ Fern mumbled.
She stopped and bent over. Her hands flying to her stomach as she felt her insides churning up. The floor swim before her and she couldn’t clear her blurry vision. Sweat broke across her palms and face. She panted and let out a long painfully moan.
‘It’s okay,’ Brook said gently, ‘returning back from death never gets easier.’
Fern felt hot tears prick her eyes and desperately, she wanted to slip to the cold floor and just lay there. Instead, she felt Brook’s hand circling her lower back, whilst he’s other hand was mildly pushing her onwards.
‘Bathroom,’ Fern gasped, ‘I’m so going to…’
‘You’re not going to throw up,’ Brook stated, ‘you can’t reject my blood. It’s just a side effect. Lying down will help. Come on.’
Unable to stop him, Fern allowed the move to the bedroom and collapsed on top of the unmade bed. She lay face down, feet off the edge, breathing deeply. She felt Brook drag her upwards before flipping her over. Her head sink into a pillow and she looked up at the ceiling. Brook wrestled her jeans and trainers off then pulled the duvet over. Fern rolled and curled up into the foetal position. She watched Brook opening the window then closing the curtains against the coming dawn.
He joined her in the bed and propped his head up on his elbow to stare down at her.
‘Why did you do it?’ Fern forced out.
‘Kill you?’ Brook asked.
Fern give a little shake of her head, ‘bring me back.’
Brook’s eyes flicked upwards, ‘I guess, I just really like you…’
Fern opened her mouth then closed it again, fearing to give voice to her thought of; Bastard, you really don’t mean that, do you?
‘What? Don’t believe me?’ Brook questioned as he stroked her cheek with one finger.
‘It’s hard too,’ Fern breathed, ‘I betrayed you.’
Brook shrugged, ‘so have many others.’
‘That you aren’t going to tell me?’ Fern mumbled.
‘Probably,’ Brook whispered and tapped her nose.
Fern sighed into the pillow and shut her eyes. Darkness was tugging at her again and though she feared giving into it, she knew there was no choice. She could sense dawn touching the night sky and time moving forward. Sleep was summoning her and there was nothing she could do to resist the comforting embrace of unconsciousness.
‘Are you feeling better? Less sick?’ Brook muttered.
‘Yes,’ she replied.
‘Then try to sleep. We’ll go out first thing. You’ll feel a lot better after you’ve fed.’
Fern forced open her eyes and looked at him, ‘and then?’
Brook looked away from her, over her shoulder at the wall, but not before she caught the flash of anger on his face. His fangs pressed down into his moist bottom lip as if he was determined not to answer.
‘Just go to sleep,’ he said at last.
Fern shut her eyes and with a shuddering breath allowed the darkness to claim her once more.