Fern’s heart raced and her breath caught in her throat. For a second, her human mind tried to trick her into believing it was just the shadow of the tree, but her vampire sight and smell knew better. She glanced at Brook, who had frozen by the open front door, allowing the wind to drive the rain into the entrance way.
Without looking back, Fern turned and walked over to him. Together they stepped inside and Brook closed the door behind them. Looking out, they saw the shadow figure casting off the darkness and taking a visible form.
‘Daican,’ Fern whispered, making the name sound forbidden.
‘I wonder what he wants,’ Brook sneered.
‘I don’t know…maybe to talk to you? I think he said something about that…’
Brook scoffed and his hand tightened on the door handle.
‘What are you going to do?’ Fern asked.
Brook turned and went to the elevator. Rain dripping off his clothes as he went and creating a trail on the too clean floor. He hit the button and waited, his head slightly turned to watch Fern. The elevator whirled into life, a tiny noise against the now raging wind and rain outside.
Fern’s fingers twitch, she desperately wanted to open the door and let Dacian in. She could see him still leaning against the tree, watching them. She couldn’t make out the expression on his face through, the torrent of rain was making it blurred. Why is he here? She thought, did he want to check I was okay? Did he sense something?
‘The lift’s here,’ Brook called as the doors opened silently.
Fern nodded and walked over. As she came closer she saw a flash of anger on Brook’s face then heard a loud tapping behind her. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw Dacian knocking his knuckles on the glass door. Pursing her lips, Fern turned and without waiting for Brook, rushed back and yanked open the door.
Brook was beside her in seconds, hands pushing the door closed. The door locked back into place and Brook, grabbed Fern and pulled her away.
‘At least ask him what he wants!’ she shouted.
‘No. He’s uninvited and I don’t want to talk,’ Brook yelled back.
‘Please! It could be important.’
Brook paused, ‘I doubt it,’ he said softer and let her go.
Fern went to the door again and opened it, ‘Daican,’ she said and gave him a quick hug.
Brook glanced at the elevator then back again. He flicked out his fringe and went for his box of cigs. Briefly his eyes met Dacian’s, then he was pulling things out of his pocket and lighting up.
‘What is it?’ Fern asked Dacian.
‘I wanted to check on you…something was telling me too…are you okay?’ Dacian asked in a soft breathy voice.
‘I’m fine, now,’ Fern replied, she glanced at Brook and saw him take a long first drag on the cigarette.
‘Can I come in?’ Dacian called over to Brook.
‘You want an invite this time, huh? Sure you just don’t want to break in again,’ Brook responded, icily as he blew out the smoke.
‘I didn’t break in. Fern invited me…she said she lived here too and she needed me,’ Dacian pointed out, ‘I only stayed because of her. I didn’t want her wandering around alone.’
‘So, you came to lecture then?’ Brook jumped on, ‘tell me how to raise my fledging?’
Dacian opened his mouth then closed it again. He gave a shake of his head then stepped away from the door.
‘Don’t leave,’ Fern rushed out, a small tremble in her voice.
‘Its fine,’ Daican said, he half raised his arm in the gesture of a wave then began walking off.
Fern shot a look at Brook before darting after Daican. She caught Daican’s hand and yanked him to a stop. The wind drove the rain hard around them, but they both ignored the cold water whipping against their clothes and skin.
‘Why did you come really?’ Fern asked in a quiet voice, hoping Brook wouldn’t hear them whilst at the same time knowing he would do.
‘I know he tried to kill you,’ Dacian stated.
Fern’s eyes widen and her mouth dropped open in a large ‘O’.
‘I sensed it because we switched blood…’
‘And how long is that going to last for?’ Fern questioned.
‘I don’t know. I never give my blood to anyone but the one I made,’ Dacian explained, ‘I guess it’s weaker though, so maybe it will wear off soon enough.’
Fern pulled a face, looked at the floor in thought then back to the apartment block and Brook. He was still smoking where they had left him. The elevator doors were slowly closing in the background.
‘I want you to come in,’ Fern shouted above the wind.
‘Not without his permission,’ Dacian said back.
Fern grabbed his hand and took him back to the door. She knocked on the glass and waved Brook over to them. For few seconds, Brook turned his head, eyeing the elevator, then he walked over to them. His fingers touched the door handle slowly and he had a grim expression set on his face. As he opened the door, Fern also pushed it and squeezed through the gap, just so Brook wouldn’t change his mind.
‘I want us all to be friends,’ Fern spoke as she led Daican behind her.
The two males eyed each other carefully.
‘So, let’s set our differences aside and start over,’ she continued.
‘What you’re asking is dangerous,’ Brook stated, flicking ash away.
Fern frowned and looked at both of them in turn. Dacian was fully fixed on Brook, who was leaning casually against the wall with his left foot up against it. They both looked to be wrestling with themselves as they edged closer to starting a fight.
‘Why?’ Fern demanded when either of them replied.
Dacian turned to her and explained, ‘vampires fall into two categories; Loners and Brooders. A brood is a family of vampires who try to live together. Often there’ll be one leader, sometimes they’ll have a mate though, and they keep their fledglings and the ones the fledglings make together. Sometimes another vampire might join them and they become a big family. I knew of one in Liverpool for a while, but with the way the human world is now it’s hard to live in a brood.’
‘I wasn’t asking you to move in,’ Fern pointed out.
‘We don’t have friends. We have lovers and enemies,’ Brook cut in.
He finished his cig and dropping it to the floor, crushed it under his foot.
‘Friends are very uncommon,’ Dacian muttered, ‘and two lone male vampires becoming friends with no other intentions is extremely rare.’
‘I don’t understand,’ Fern growled.
Brook rolled his eyes, ‘and this is why I didn’t want to talk. This isn’t something that can be explained easily, Fern. It’s experience and instinct.’
‘Think of it like tigers,’ Dacian put in, ‘they live almost solitary lives, only coming together to mate. Then the females brings up the cubs for a couple of years before forcing them away. All tigers are territorial and will fight to defend their home.’
‘So, we are like tigers?’ Fern clarified.
Daican nodded, ‘and now I should go.’
‘I’ll see you again though…won’t I?’
‘Maybe,’ Dacian responded softly, glancing at Brook, ‘bye.’
‘Bye,’ Fern muttered back as she nibbled on her bottom lip.
Dacian turned and walk out of the door, leaving them and a cold windy blast alone.
To Be Continued…