Fern stared into the large crystal goblet that Raphael had just handed her. The dark ruby liquid was speckled with tiny flicks of dark green. She sniffed gently and smelt warm blood mingled something herby. She weighted the goblet in her hand, noticing how heavy and thick it was. Feeling Raphael’s sharp eyes resting on her, she raised the drink and wet her lips with it.
‘You should find it very refreshing,’ Raphael purred.
Fern lowered the goblet and pressed her lips together. On the tip of her tongue she could taste the blood and something grew inside of her, beckoning for more. She looked at Raphael, who’s lips were twisted up in the corners in a strange smile as if he was hiding a secret. He was holding a small golden goblet loosely and seemed transfixed on watching her.
Then Fern’s eyes glanced at Ollie. He was standing still, a matching crystal goblet clutched in his hand, staring at her. His face was calm, but underneath, Fern could tell he was pleading with her. Finally, he glanced down and took a sip of the liquid. He swallowed and looked around the library.
‘What do you think?’ Raphael asked.
‘It’s nice,’ Fern replied carefully.
‘Beside we should sit down? Most of the others should be returning shortly and I’d like you to meet them.’
Fern glanced at the arrangement of furniture then walked over to a large deep sofa close by. She peached on the edge and took another pretend sip of her drink. Her lips and tongue tingled at the touch of silky warmth whilst her stomach let out a little growl. She avoided looking down into the swirling liquid and willed herself to be strong.
Perhaps, Ollie is wrong? the vampire voice whispered in the back of her mind.
She peeked at him as he came over and joined her, sitting on the opposite side of the sofa and leaving an empty space between them. He stole a look at her, before turning his head away and allowing his hair to fall over his face. He balanced his goblet on the arm of the sofa and fell silent.
Why would he lie to me though? Fern questioned, we’ve only just met, what’s he got to gain or lose?
Who knows. Drink the blood, the voice hissed back at her.
The sound of Raphael sitting down in an old Victorian broad leather arm chair opposite them drew her attention. Fern looked at him and watched him take a few sips from the golden goblet. She could smell it was different to what she and Ollie had in their glasses.
‘Why are you not drinking the same as us?’ she asked.
Raphael smiled over at her, ‘because every vampire has their favourite blood. You shall see in time.’
‘What’s in this?’
‘Hasn’t she got such an inquisitive mind?’ Raphael cried, looking at Ollie, who gave him a hard stare back. ‘It’s nothing to worry about. Just some dried herbs and honey. It makes the blood richer and helps to relax you.’
‘I thought we couldn’t…we can only have blood…’ Fern trailed off.
‘There are ways to do things and we are lucky to have a scientist in the family. He has perfected throughout the years combinations of ingredients that have been found to benefit us greatly. You shall get to meet him later, no doubt.’
‘Sounds interesting,’ Fern responded and took a sip of the blood.
Raphael nodded then turned to Ollie, ‘what are you brooding about?’
Ollie shook his head and took a drink, remaining silent.
‘You are no longer the baby now. You should be grateful,’ Raphael continued.
Fern looked up at Ollie shyly, biting back the words that were dancing on her tongue. She wrapped her fingers around her goblet and felt the tension rising in the room.
‘I am grateful,’ Ollie snapped as he stood up swiftly, ‘I don’t have time for this.’
He swept in-between them, crossing the library in a few steps and flinging open the door. Fern listened to his footfalls outside in the corridor then as they raced up two flights of stairs. A female voice seemed to call out his name in the distance before being sharply cut off by the slamming of a door.
‘And here’s me thinking you would get on…’ Raphael uttered.
‘Beside, he just needs sometime? It must be difficult having someone new show up,’ Fern spoke into her goblet.
Her eyes had fallen on the ruby blood and she couldn’t seem to focus on anything else. The scent was so over powering and she felt…so hungry.
‘Perhaps,’ Raphael whispered, ‘drink up.’
Fern nodded and brought the goblet to her lips. Opening her mouth she drank deeply.
To Be Continued…