Trust (Part 41)

Candle, Meditation, Hand, Keep, Heat, Confidence, Rest

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…

Trust (Part 39)

Candle, Meditation, Hand, Keep, Heat, Confidence, Rest

Fern tried not to hold her breath as she watched Raphael staring at her.

‘Where’s the red dress?’ he asked slowly.

‘It didn’t fit. Sorry,’ Fern replied in a soft voice.

‘Really?’ Raphael uttered.

Fern opened her mouth then recalled Ollie’s words and even though she felt herself wanting to resist, she went along with it.  She smiled and said, ‘I thought this looks better.’

Raphael nodded, but didn’t move out of the doorframe. His eyes roamed the room then came back to her, his face blank and unreadable.

‘It doesn’t matter anyway,’ he said, ‘the Princess is not coming back tonight.’

‘Oh?’ Fern cut in, ‘why not?’

‘She’s been delayed. I don’t know the details. I thought I’d show the house anyway.’

Fern nodded as she wrestled her mouth closed.

Raphael turned and walked out the door, waving at her to follow him.

Fern hurried out, closing the door behind her out of habit. They were in a narrow corridor with no windows and the bare wood of the attic showing. She walked past Ollie’s door and looked at the rough, unpainted surface. She counted two more doors then there was a flight of steps.

Raphael’s shoes and clothes made soft rustling sounds as they went down. Fern watched the back of his head and wondered what questions she could ask. Many had come to her mind, but she wasn’t sure the time was right to voice them. She stole a last look up the stairs and corridor as they reached the bottom.

‘You cannot really get lost in this house,’ Raphael stated as if he had noticed her lingering, ‘It has a square design. Every floor, beside from the attic makes a square within a square.’

Fern joined him by the railing and looked down. She counted three floors including the one they were now on and the ground floor. She saw what he meant straight away, as the staircase formed the inner square which led off to each floor. She felt the smooth banister under her fingers and looked around. There were maybe ten doors leading off the third floor square.

‘I get it,’ Fern said.

‘You are not allowed to enter any rooms on this floor or the next. They are private. On the ground floor are the common areas; the living room, kitchen, dining room, parlour, library and the conservatory. You can go into any of those any time you like,’ Raphael explained.

‘So, what’s in these rooms and the ones below then?’

‘Bedrooms, studies, bathrooms. Which reminds me. This is your bathroom.’

Raphael opened a door right next to the staircase and Fern peered in. There was a large white iron bathtub, a matching sink, a toilet, a towel rack and some cupboards.

‘You’ll be sharing it with Ollie. He has the room next to yours.’

Fern nodded.

‘I shall introduce you later. Now, downstairs.’

He began walking away, but Fern did not follow him. Her eyes were looking around at the other doors.

‘You will get use to it and you will like it. And in a few months, I can see that you get moved to one of those rooms, but only if you behave. I think you are going to be quite a challenge, Fur.’

Fern turned, mouth opening, ready to spit out words. She caught the soft hint of a smile on Raphael’s lips and changed her mind. She fisted her hands, grounding her anger into them.

Raphael hummed and turning back started to walk down the stairs again. Fern had no choice but to follow him. They crossed the first floor and went down to the ground. She listened as they walked, but heard nothing as if they were the only ones in the house.

The staircase led to a large open hallway with a glass double front door standing before them. Fern moved before it and looked at the rain tapping against the glass. Outside lights give some illumination and she could make out a driveway stretching away from them. Small trees stood either side of the door and more could be made out lining the road. Fern couldn’t see anything further and she wondered how far away she was from Brook.

‘You are not allowed outside without me. In time, I might give you permission to go with someone else, but for now you will have limited access. It’s for your own safety,’ Raphael tagged on.

‘And if I try to leave?’ Fern asked.

‘You’ll be punished, however I see fit or the Princess. That all depends on what you do and how you do it. I’m sure you do not want to go down that road, though. We have to make it fair for everyone,’ Raphael added.

Sweeping his hand first to the left of the door then the right, he pointed out the two rooms,

‘this is the parlour and the living room. Down here…’ he continued, walking along the hallway with the staircase to his left, ‘is the dining room, which we use for meetings,’ he indicated the next door on the right.

Fern looked around the halfway opened door and saw a long table laid out with twelve chairs around it. There was a large vase of dried flowers in the middle, a long cupboard against the back wall above which hung a painting of a young woman in a crushed purple silk seventeen hundreds style dress. The beautifully modelled white face framed by a waterfall of golden curls. Haunting blue eyes stared down at them and the lips though flicking in a smile, seemed to be mocking.

‘Who’s that?’ Fern asked.

Raphael looked at the painting, giving her a few moments to take in the painting fully, before replying, ‘the Princess.’

Fern swallowed and searched for the right words, though nothing seemed to be coming out.

‘She is quite something in person too. Here is the kitchen, though we do not use it for much. Then…’ Raphael trailed off and stepped over to the glass doors at the end that mirrored the front door.

Fern remembered the conservatory well enough and turned to look at the other door which was opposite the kitchen one.

He followed her eyes and instead, opened that door, ‘the library. There are many different books. Some you can take to your room, others you cannot.’

He stood aside and let her in. Fern stepped slowly in and looked at the floor to ceiling bookshelves. All four walls were covered by the heavy dark cases. Some had glass panels or wire mess locking the books of the top shelves away. A number of sofas, arm chairs, tables and chairs were gathered in the centre and lamps both small and tall were also dotted around. The carpet underneath was a deep plush red and the room smelt of old leather, inky pages, vanished wood and adventure.

Fern went to nearest bookcase and looked down. Someone had handwritten little labels indicating what books and authors were on the shelf. She pulled out a book at random and saw it was an old world atlas. The book was heavy in her hands. She slipped it back in and looked further down the line.

‘The Princess likes her books. I have no time for them. Though, you might need them, if you care for them.’

‘Why?’ Fern asked looking up.

 

‘No modern technology is allowed here. We have some music players and a few old radios. But there are no phones, TVs or computers.’

Fern’s fingers pressed down on the spine of a book she had been about to lift out.

Raphael give a gently shrug before answering the question on her face, ‘the Princess thinks it’s for the best.’

‘But how can you survive without knowing what’s happening in the world?’ Fern forced out.

‘Humans are nothing but food to us. We don’t care about their short useless lives,’ Raphael snarled.

Fern looked away, his fierce gaze burning into her. She took her fingers off the book, the top of the spine digging in too painfully for her to hold on. Footsteps on the stairs then the corridor drew her attention and she looked over at Raphael in the doorway as a young man came into view.

He was short and had soft waves of chestnut hair tied back. His face was too round and soft, his eyes large, steady and watchful. He was wearing a black shirt and old jeans with grey trainers. He shot Fern a smile then turned to address Raphael, who beat him to speaking by announcing him, ‘this is Ollie. Fern.’

She nodded, not trusting herself to speak.

‘I’m going to get drinks. Why don’t you get to know each other? You shall be working together soon enough,’ Raphael added then walked away.

‘Don’t say anything,’ Ollie hissed.

Fern pursed her lips and swayed slightly, unsure if to get closer to him or more away.

‘Don’t drink anything they give you from a glass or bottle,’ Ollie continued, ‘they put something in the blood. Herbs or something that affect your mind and body. Just pretend to drink it.’

‘How do you know?’ Fern muttered.

‘I found out. I overheard Zara and Ike talking about it.’

Fern eyed him and pulled a face, ‘how can I trust you?’

‘Because we are each other’s tickets to getting out of here,’ Ollie stated.

 

To Be Continued…

Trust (Part 6)

Nervously, Fern stepped out of the mausoleum and into the night as a new-born vampire. All around she could see, hear and smell so much it was over welling. Holding tightly to Brook, she looked around and saw that the night was full of colour. The headstones were not just grey or white or black, but a whole range of different shades. The trees that were dotted around were a multi-colour of greens and browns. She could hear the wind rustling the leaves and branches as if she was standing right under the trees.

Beyond, she could hear the town singing with never sleeping noise. She listened harder and could hear voices and the sounds of cars. She felt a whole range of emotions and wasn’t sure what to do first. Looking at Brook for some sign, she noticed that he was distant again, but this time he seemed to be listening to something she couldn’t hear.

‘What is it?’ she asked.

‘Nothing, but we can’t hunt in that town tonight. It took me long enough before and the humans have become restless. I’ll take you somewhere else,’ he answered seriously.

Leading her away, Fern followed Brook through the cemetery and to the fence. On the way there she recalled how only the night before, Brook had wiggled loose some of the metal fence poles and guided her through. She had trailed after him, half stumbling in the dark and scared she’d loose him.

She thought about how she hadn’t been sure that he was going to do it. Maybe they were just going to have sex and he’d take a little of her blood, like he had been doing over the last five months. Or maybe, he was actually going to kill her? Fighting down her fear, she followed him to the mausoleum. After that her mind drew a blank.

Frowning over the lost section of her memory, she came back to the now and realised they had stopped before the fence. She watched Brook easily scale it and jumped down the other side. Worriedly, she eyed the metal spikes that topped the poles and wondered if she could make it.

‘I’ll give you a boost,’ Brook said and put his hands through the fence.

Trying not to think about it, Fern curled her fingers around two poles, put her right foot in Brook’s cupped hands and pulled herself up. The fence shook beneath and caused her to quickly scramble over. She tried to rebalance with her hands, but she tumbled over the other side.

Brook caught her in his arms and tipped her to the floor. Gasping, Fern grabbed him as she almost fell over. Brook laughed loudly. Fern shoved him away hard, anger flashing on her face. Brook slipped off the pavement, but kept his balance.

‘I guess I’ll have to teach you to climb too,’ he squeezed out in-between laughs.

‘Fuck you!’ Fern screamed and went to push him further away.

Brook caught her wrists as her hands pressed into his chest and stopped some of the force.

‘Calm down. You don’t get magical vampire powers straightway. You’ve got to grow them,’ he clarified.

Fern wiggled her wrists free, ‘You lied to me again. First it was the death thing, now this…’

Brook rolled his eyes and put his hands into his pockets. He turned and walked away from her. His boots scuffing along the road and he kicked a stone before him. He knew Fern was watching him, but he didn’t glance back.

She caught up with quickly and walked beside him. They turned away from the town and strolled along an empty dual carriage way, before heading up to a bridge. There Brook stopped and crossed his arms on top of the railing.

‘I don’t get you,’ Fern started, ‘It’s like there’s two sides to you.’

‘You’ll feel the same way soon enough,’ Brook counted back, ‘you’ll get torn between lust and guilt. You’ll want to hold on to your old personality, but the blood won’t let you.’

Fern brushed her hair back behind her ears and studied him.

‘I told you it wasn’t what you thought it was,’ he carried on, ‘you can’t blame me.’

‘What do we do now?’ Fern whispered after a few moments and the wind snatched her words away.

Brook shrugged his shoulders, ‘do you still want to go on?’

Fern twisted her hands together and squeezed her fingers. She nodded her head and looked at the ground thoughtfully. She felt Brook’s eyes on her and decided she had no choice but to keep trusting him, ‘I feel so mixed up,’ she blurted.

‘You’ll feel like that for a long while. But I’ll help you through it. You have plenty of time now.’

Fern moved towards him and linked her arm through his. She pressed her head to his shoulder and looked out across the seemly endless strip of road. She felt Brook kiss her head, then he was pulling her away.

‘Let’s go,’ he murmured.

They walked off and Fern couldn’t help her thoughts turning over what was going to soon happen. She wanted to voice some of those thoughts, but in the end she stayed quiet and let Brook take her to the edge of a seaside town. She thought she half-recognized the place, but so many towns on the English coastline looked the same.

Slowly, they drifted through the buildings and towards the beach. Fern got the impression Brook was looking for someone, she guessed she should be too, but for an odd reason all she could think about was seeing the sea. They arrived at a low brick wall and Fern looked over it at the tumbling waves. The tide was in and tapping against the wall. Dim lights shone out across the surface, but after that all Fern could see was darkness meeting darkness.

‘Someone’s coming,’ Brook hissed, ‘They’ll have to do.’

Fern swallowed her fear and went to grip the wall, but instead her finger nails scraped across it. She kept her eyes fixed out to sea, but only for a moment longer as she become aware that Brook had left her side and gone forward to meet the person coming towards them.

Gradually, she turned and watched Brook speaking to the person. They then hurried back to her and Fern wondered what was going on. Brook and the middle-aged man came to stand before her and it was then that Brook wrapped his hands around the man’s neck and smacked the side of his head against the wall.

Fern gasped and stepped backwards. She went to spin away and run, but the scent of blood yanked her back. Hands over her mouth and a sick filling feeling her stomach, she watched Brook biting into the man’s neck. Transfixed, she stood there, still caught at a cross roads.

A few moments later, Brook broke off and came over to her. Fern stumbled backwards, but he caught up with her and dragged her back. She tried to push him away, but felt like she was battling a large rock. Brook shoved her harshly on top of the slumped man and the scent of blood was too strong for her to turn against.

She felt her teeth tingling and before she fully realised what she was doing, she had her mouth to the man’s neck and was sucking at the wound Brook had made. She shut her eyes and felt lulled by the blood.

Brook’s right, she thought, I’m torn between lust and guilt.

Brook and Fern will be back. 

Trust (Part 5)

Brook woke with a heavy weight on his chest and arm. Sliding Fern off him, he struggled out of her arms and eased himself up. His hair was a mess. Smoothing the sticking up parts down, he ran his fingers though to untangle the knots and glanced down at Fern. She was sleeping deeply and looked a lot calmer then he had seen her in months.

Stretching and flexing his numb arm, Brook thought about lying down beside her again, but changed his mind at the surging hunger. Quietly, he got out of the sleeping bag without unzipping it and dressed in the darkness. Behind him he heard Fern moan and roll over. He glanced over his shoulder at her then slipped on his t-shirt.

She could still die, a voice in his mind whispered. Or we could just kill her now and be done with it, another voice suggested. Brook shook his head and pulled on his boots. Locking the voices out, he made his way to a hole in the bottom corner which was close to where he had sat and stood last night. Side stepping through, he entered a larger chamber and went towards the back wall, opposite the stone slab doorway. He hurriedly removed the bricks, whose mortar had crumbled over the years, and let the early night into the tomb.

Without looking back, he stepped outside. Warm summer air touched him and wrapped around him. He breathed deeply allowing the tastes, smells and feelings of this new night inside of his lungs. He could hear the soft calling of birds as they nested for the night and noise from the town next door.

He replaced the bricks back in place to avoid human suspicion and set off across the large cemetery to one of the back corners. Following a path that had been marked out by gravediggers, he ignored all the crumbing headstones and tall grass. He climbed over the black rusty fence with cat like grace and jumped down to the pavement. From there, he hurried into the town and searched out an easy source.

The eagerness to get back to Fern kept tugging at him, but he knew she would need human blood also. Walking passed a burnt out factory, Brook cast a quick look through the building, but couldn’t see anyone in there. Pressing on, he peered into alleyways and other abandoned buildings, feeling the hunger growing stronger and the edges of desperation seeping in.

At last he found someone, an old man closing his shop of the night. Brook wavered, but decided he didn’t have any choice. Approaching quickly and covering himself in shadows, he rushed the white haired and stooped figure. His hands bound around the man’s neck, pulling his head up and exposing his neck. Brook bit down deeply, knowing that in seconds the shock would hit and the victim would fall unconscious.

Blood flooded his mouth and he swallowed greedily. The old man tasted different from Fern’s blood, more salty and thinner. Images also drifted into Brook’s mind and in a matter of moments he had seen the old man’s whole life and knew he couldn’t kill him. Swallowing his last mouthful, Brook pulled back and caught the man in his arms. Brook licked at the bite mark to stop the blood flow, before lowering him down. Brook wiped his mouth and glanced around.

The street was still empty, but passed that he could clearly hear humans moving and talking. Licking his lips, Brook started walking away then picked up his pace to a run. He turned the street corner and almost slammed into a phone box. Jerking open the door, he picked up the phone and listened to the dial tone before punching in the numbers.

‘What’s your emergency?’ a soft female voice sounded in his ear.

‘An old man has collapsed on Tomson Street,’ Brook replied rapidly.

‘Do you know what’s happened?’

‘No. But I think he’s dying. Can you send an ambulance? He’s outside Bob’s Super Supplies,’ Brook explained then hung up.

He dashed out of the phone box and towards the crumpled form of the old man. He was still breathing. Stepping around him, Brook whispered, ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t have any choice. Help is coming though,’ before disappearing into the night.

He headed back to the cemetery with the sound of sirens following him. He felt little reassurance from the noise and could only really hear the guilt swirling inside him. He reached the cemetery’s chained gate and climbed over it. A few minutes later, he was standing at the back of the mausoleum, checking that the bricks hadn’t been disturbed. Letting himself in and sealing the hole back up, he wondered back to Fern.

She was still sleeping on the air bed, but looked at lot more tousled. He gripped her hand and kneeled down beside her. Kissing her forehead then her lips, he called for her to wake.  Fern’s eyes peeled open and she frowned up at him.

‘I dreamt you left me,’ she mumbled.

Brook squeezed her hand, ‘I didn’t. I wouldn’t.’

Fern swept her hair back and got up. She rubbed her face and sniffed, ‘you’ve been outside. I can smell it.’

‘I had to get us both blood,’ he explained.

Fern hummed and laid back down, ‘I thought I’d feel better when I woke.’

‘You’re still tried. It’s okay, here,’ Brook said and offered her his wrist.

Fern stared at his hand, not feeling any pull towards taking his blood and trying to remember how she did bitten him last night.

With a little shake of his head, Brook removed his hand, made the bite himself and placed his wrist against her lips.

The smell of blood called to her immediately. She cupped his hand and pressed her lips to the blood. Her tongue licked out and at the first taste, she fastened herself on to his wrist and sucked. Her eyes flicked up to Brook’s and she saw him looking very distant and almost sad. She shut her eyes and concentrated.

‘We’re not crazy killers,’ Brook sighed aloud after a few moments, ‘We should only kill when it’s completely necessary and if the human wants it.’

Fern swallowed and released his wrist from her mouth, ‘what’s got into you?’ she questioned.

‘Nothing. I’m trying to teach you how to be a good vampire,’ Brook snapped.

He pulled his wrist out of Fern’s hands and lay down on the bed. He licked at the still bleeding wound before putting his arm over his eyes.

Fern lend into him, watching him closely as her tongue roamed her mouth lapping at the blood still lingering there.

‘You have to know these things,’ Brook said gently.

He dropped his arm and pressing his hands to her cheeks brought her face down to him. Slowly, he licked her lips and around her mouth. Fern shivered slightly and brought her own tongue out to meet his. They brushed against each other before Brook pushed into her mouth. Their lips met and Brook pulled Fern closer. His hands skimmed across her t-shirt and at the bottom, he tugged it up.

He broke the kiss and Fern moaned loudly as his hands across her stomach and worked their way upwards. Fern pressed her head to his neck as he repositioned himself and she began to plant kisses along throat.

‘After this,’ Brook breathed, ‘I’ll teach you how to hunt.’

To Be Continued…

Trust (Part 4)

Everything seemed to settle around them. Fern studied the ceiling, letting her new eyes adjust and not quite believing she could see in the dark. She spotted the smoke trails from the candles fading away against the bricks. The air smelt heavily of wax, liquorice and blood. Rolling over, the air bed creaked and she could hear the shifting of the sleeping bag loudly.

Getting comfy, she tried to empty her mind and go to sleep. From next to her, she was aware of Brook moving around in his sleeping bag and making a pillow out of his arms. Rolling back towards him, she made out his face and decided she was too awake.

‘How do you live, then?’ she whispered, ‘do you have a house?’

‘Maybe,’ Brook’s muffled voice answered back.

‘Then why did you bring me here?’ Fern pressed.

‘In case you died,’ he replied simply, ‘I could bury you in the church’s crypt like the last two. Also, if you went rouge on me afterwards. The blood can do different things to everyone.’

‘Like I could have lost my mind?’

‘Yeah and tried to kill me or turned into an unstoppable monster. All that’s rare though and you’ve more chance of dying then that. I could do without the responsibly too.’

Fern rolled her eyes and muttered his name.

‘Go to sleep,’ he suggested and rolled over to her.

He put his arms around her, drawing her into a hug and Fern sank against him. She rubbed her cheek across his hair-less chest and listened to his heartbeat. Brook mused into her hair and pressed his lips to the top of her head. She felt him drifting off to sleep.

‘Brook?’ she whispered.

‘Mmm?’

‘Why did you pick me?’

‘I was bored. Now, be quiet,’ he hissed.

Fern made a fist and knocked it against his shoulder, ‘liar!’

‘I’m tired. We’ll take about it later,’ he explained and held her tighter.

‘I don’t feel sleepy,’ she murmured.

‘That’s probably my blood. Just try to rest. We don’t fall instantly to sleep when the sun rises. The day doesn’t control us like that. That fact about us being ‘undead’ is completely wrong.’

Fern pressed her head to his throat and thought about that. Brook rested his head back and she listened to him fall sleep. She ran her tongue over her teeth carefully and thought about things. Strangely, she recalled the first time she had seen him. She hadn’t give much thought to the background details of that night, but everything came back to her now as if she was there.

The hotel was in night’s grip and she had been standing by the small window looking out on the rolling Lake District landscape. She should have been happy, but the double bed behind her was empty. The only reason she had still come after breaking up with her boyfriend was because she had part paid for the week holiday and hadn’t been able to get a refund. She couldn’t afford to waste money.

Hugging herself, she remembered screaming down the phone at him and him not caring. You’re sick and crazy, he had said, you need help.

Fern touched the window, feeling the coolness of the glass. The thought about jumping out of it out it came to her strongly. She opened the window, letting in the smell of grass and earth drift into the room. However, the gap was too small and she wouldn’t have gotten her shoulders through.

She felt the urge to go outside for a walk, even though it was two in the morning. Getting dressed again and putting on her hiking boots, she left her room. Creeping through the hotel, she almost wanted to be caught. At least then someone else could talk her out of this weirdness, but no one stopped her. The warm breeze wrapped around her and tugged through the outskirts of the town. Not caring where she went, she just walked and soon found herself on the grassy shore of Windermere Lake.

The sky was a rich velvet black coated in white winking stars. There was no moon, just the outlined big dipper opposite her. She watched the water lapping at the tips of her boots and wondered why her life had gone so wrong. She had heard him then through the gentle movement of water, but thought it only some animal.

Studying the lake, she watched transfixed as a man like shape swim towards her and climbed a shore. He was naked, but he wore the night like a cloak. Fern pressed a hand to her mouth, trying desperately to think of something to say. She fixed her eyes to the ground, so she wouldn’t be caught staring at his well-toned body.

‘We meet at last,’ he whispered, though the stillness made his voice painfully loud.

‘Huh? I’m sorry?’ Fern gushed.

‘You’ve been looking for me, haven’t you? Or one of my kind.’

Fern gasped and looked at him more closely. Still the darkness hid him, so she could only make the build of him and his violet eyes.

‘I left my clothes somewhere…’ he hummed and faded away.

‘Wait! Wait! I’m sorry!’ Fern yelled after him.

She stumbled forward, clutching nothing but air. Turning, she looked all around her, but couldn’t see anything. Spinning back, she walked on trying to see him again, but there was only the lake and the starry night. Fern wasn’t sure how she had ended up back at the hotel, but she woke up in the early afternoon believing it all to have been a dream.

It hadn’t been though, she said to herself as she lay in Brook’s arms and moved her head slightly upwards to look at his face. Did you take me back to the hotel and put me to bed? Or did I make it alone? Deciding to add that question to her list of many, she snuggled back down.

Brook moaned and mumbled something. Fern paused wondering if he had been saying something or if it was just sleep. Putting her head back onto his chest, she shut her eyes and from somewhere deep inside her, she knew she had made the right choice. She wasn’t sure her destiny had always been to become a vampire, but that was the path she was now on.

Feeling waves of sleep coming over her, Fern wondered what was going to happen next.

To Be Continued…

Trust (Part 3)

Remaining there, Fern watched Brook put his back to the wall and draw the lighter and a packet of cigarettes from his pocket. Clearly, the cold damp wall touching his bare back didn’t bother him. She watched him light up and take a long drag.

‘I guess we can’t die from cancer now,’ she called over.

Brook blew out the smoke, ‘only if you drink from someone who has it.’

Frowning, Fern sit up and swung her feet off the bed.

‘Same for any killing disease. It mutates the blood cells. What? You thought you were immortal and invincible now?’ Brook asked seeing her face drop.

‘I thought…’

‘Sweetheart, forget everything those romance novels taught you. We are vampires not Gods.’

‘So, I can still die?’ Fern said softly.

‘One hundred and one percent, yes.’

Brook placed one of his boot covered feet on the wall and bent his knee. With his free hand in plucked at some loose threads in the small hole at the knee. Fern hugged herself, her thoughts tumbling around in her head like a circus show. She blinked away the sharp light from the candle flames and took in a deep breath of liquorice scented air.

‘I trusted you,’ she whispered.

‘Well then, you can’t exactly blame me, can you? It was your mistake,’ Brook shot back.

Fern jumped up and quickly covered the distance between them, ‘Do you know how long I spent searching for you?’ she yelled.

Brook tipped the ash from the cigarette and put it in his mouth, ‘no idea.’

‘Ten whole years! Every waking second I was searching and researching and asking. Do you know how many goths and fake vampires I’ve hung out with?’ Fern screamed into his face. Brook pushed her away with one hand and blew the smoke off to the side. Fern tripped backwards, but stayed up right. She clenched her fists and thought about punching or slapping him.

‘There’s not many of us in England now,’ Brook said calmly, ‘it took me awhile. But that’s no excuse to get pissy at me.  And I had to make sure you really wanted it and could handle it. Not like the wannabes.’

Fern stared at his body, watching the rise and fall of his muscles. The shadows were still underlining them. She unclenched her fists, suddenly feeling all the anger leaving her and sadness taking over. She put her arm up to her face and covered her eyes. She couldn’t think clearly, she was still changing.

‘You should count yourself lucky,’ Brook’s voice came to her, ‘my last two died.’

‘Huh?’ Fern responded.

‘Sit down.’

She felt Brook take her elbow and move her arm. He guided down on to the camp bed and she realised he’d gotten rid of the cigarette. She spotted it still smouldering on the floor and a line of smoke twisting upwards. Brook let her go and placed his arms behind him as he rested back on his hands. The camp bed sink under their weights and Fern noticed how uncomfortable it was becoming.

‘Can’t we go out and find some other place?’ she asked.

‘The sun is rising. It’s too late. We are sensitive the light and not just the sunlight, other human made light can also affect us, but you won’t die from that. Just the sunlight. That’s one of the things fiction got right.’

‘Why? Is that what happened to those others…?’ Fern probed.

‘Our blood and skin are photosensitivity. It was some genetic condition The Parents had. No one knows way,’ Brook explained, ‘my last two died in transition. They weren’t strong enough.’

Fern rubbed her hands in her inner thighs.

‘Why do you care anyway?’ he cut in.

‘Just…you must have felt…bad,’ Fern said slowly.

Brook lay down and put his hands behind his head, ‘nope. And nor should you, or you wouldn’t be here right now.’

Fern pushed back her fringed, then tucked the longer strands back behind her ear. She turned to Brook and looked at him. He had shut his eyes and his face was unreadable. She thought about the first time she had seen him. He had been swimming in a lake, naked.

‘You brought me to you that day. Didn’t you?’ she asked carefully.

‘Of course. No one ever ‘stumbles’ across a vampire. We wouldn’t be very supernatural if that happened. Did you believe those ten years had finally paid off?’ Brook added with a chuckle, ‘you know, there are so many humans who spend their whole lives looking for us and never find us.’

Fern nodded, ‘you all ready told me that, in our first conversation.’

‘And I give you too many chances to get out.’

There was a pause then Fern said in soft voice, ‘you’ve always known haven’t you? Why I wanted this, why it had to happen?’

Brook cracked open an eye and looked at her, ‘yes. Your heart told me. You were dying and completely alone in the world. You wanted to cheat death.’

She bit her lip and tasted blood instantly.

Brook sat up and cupped her chin. He pulled her forward and kissed her. His tongue tip pressed over the tiny cut, catching the next drop of blood.

‘You must be careful. All your teeth are slightly sharper now,’ he explained, ‘we should rest.’

‘There’s not enough room,’ Fern said eyeing the camp bed.

‘I’ll find a coffin. Might have to empty it first though…’ Brook said as he got up and stretched.

‘Wait!’ Fern grabbed him, her fingers digging into his pocket, ‘that’s…not true is it? Do we have to sleep in coffins?’

‘No,’ Brook burst into laughter, ‘not unless you really want to. I prefer a feather bed, myself and some matching pillows.’

Fern’s fingers slipped from him, ‘you’re such a dick.’

‘Have you only just figured that out?’ he shot back with laughter to his words.

Fern dropped her head and gritted her teeth.

‘I got an inflatable mattress and some sleeping bags.’

She half raised her head and watched him pulling a large hiking rucksack from the back left corner. He tossed her a sleeping bag then a second one. Fern put them on the camp bed and listen to him dragging the air mattress out.

‘Is this how you live? Like a homeless person?’ she inquired.

‘Not really. Help me with this, will you,’ he asked.

Fern got up and helped him spread the air mattress across the floor. It was a double and took up the rest of the space. Brook showed her the foot pump and they took turns in pumping the bed up. On Fern’s last turn, Brook blew out most of the candles and unfurled the sleeping bags. He lay them on top of the bed, before taking over the foot pumping for a final time.

‘It looks all right,’ he announced.

Fern took off her shoes, jeans and bra before getting into a sleeping bag and laying down. Sighing, she rubbed her face and watched Brook take off his jeans and blew the rest of the candles out. He got into the other sleeping bag and they lay together in the darkness.

To Be Continued…

Trust (Part 2)

She felt a pull towards him, the urge to snatch his wrist and drink the blood. She reached out to drag him closer, but a small voice uncurled from the back of her head and told her not to do it. She paused, caught in limbo for a few frantic seconds before Brook pressed his wrist to her lips. Then there was no denying the urge. She wrapped both her hands around his wrist and sucked at the blood. She glanced up at him and saw his calculating eyes, before she shut her own and concentrated.

Fern swallowed, savoring saltiness and sweetness together. That small voice whispered that she should be disgusted and repelled. She should stop. Fern felt something else pushing her forward, a greedy and desperate need. Brook’s blood tasted good and she could feel the flu like sickness passing. Her tongue pushed into the cut he had made, searching for more as the blood seemed to slow. She heard Brook moan and flicked her tongue harder, which reward her with more blood.

She slid her thumb up into his palm and felt him close his fingers on top of it. His head touched her’s and he mused into her hair. She wanted to kiss him, but that would mean letting go of the blood. She sucked harder and swallowed quickly. She could hear his heartbeat and her own beside it. Brook mumbled something into her hair and she took it as a sign. Drinking faster, she tried to bite into him. There was an odd tangling in her mouth, she thought she felt her teeth moving. Her lip moved back and she felt her new fangs piercing into his flesh.

Brook laughed lightly in her ear and his hot breath tickled her, ‘bite me if you think you can handle some more,’ he whispered giddily.

She did so, letting her fangs sink downwards. Blood pooled in her mouth and she swallowed. She moaned in pleasure and took another mouthful. Brook was saying something, but she couldn’t hear his words. His arm draped over her back and his fingers started to rub gently across her skin. He slid his hand further down and paused at the base of her spine there for a few moments. Fern sucked guiltlessly at his wrist, feeling completely consumed by the taste of blood.

‘You need to stop,’ Brook demanded.

Fern flashed her eyes at him and tried to fasten her mouth tighter to his skin. She felt Brook place a hand on her hip and start tugging his arm away. She wrapped her fingers firmly around his hand and refused to let go. Brook however, but more pressure on her hip and in one shift movement ripped his hand out of her grasp.

He stood up and walked back to the corner, drops of his blood splashing the floor as he went. Fern watched him disgustedly before settling back on the camp bed. She licked her lips and as far as her tongue could reach around her lower face. Swallowing that little bit of blood, she searched the inside of her mouth for more. Looking up at the ceiling, she wondered where they were.

The roof was arched bare bricks and looked very old. Fern could see cracks and moss. It reminded her of Victorian swear tunnels or a side room in a wartime public shelter. She went to ask Brook, turning her head down to him. She could see him clearer them before. He was slumped against the wall, head thrown back and legs sprawled out. He was breathing deeply and Fern could still smell his blood.

‘Where are we?’ she asked loudly.

‘It’s safe, don’t worry about it,’ he replied.

‘That’s not what I asked.’

Brook opened his eyes and shuffled his legs up, ‘we’re under a mausoleum. I didn’t have enough money for a hotel room,’ he tacked on as a joke.

‘What about my clothes?’ Fern requested as she sat up.

Brook climbed to his feet, using the wall for support and walked over. From the other side of the camp bed, he picked up some discard clothes and dropped them onto her feet. He straightened and stayed there.

Fern sorted out her clothes and dressed quickly, feeling Brook’s eyes on her the whole time. She got up from the camp bed to put on her underwear and jeans. She felt the cold and damp floor clinging to her skin. Sitting down, she brushed her feet before putting on her socks and pink trainers. She went to get up again, but Brook pressed a hand to her shoulder.

‘What?’ she questioned.

‘I’ve to drink from you,’ he stated.

Fern’s face twisted up in puzzlement, ‘but why?’

‘Because you’re had too much and the Ancients claim the repeated exchanging of blood makes for a better baby vampire.’

‘I’m not a baby!’ Fern snapped.

Brook shrugged his shoulders. He took both her hands in his right hand and with his other hand he pushed Fern back down onto the camp bed. She struggled against him, but he lent his body weight into her and pinned her legs in-between his own. He sat on top of her lower stomach and placed her hands above her head.

Fern wiggled under him, trying to get comfy, but falling to do so, ‘why are you so heavy? You don’t look it.’

‘Vampire power,’ he simply replied and dropped his head to her neck.

Brook moved her hair back and turned her face to the side. He kept his hand there and Fern could feel his fingers on her cheek and nose. His breath rushed against her, then she felt the soft kiss of his lips. She shut her eyes and relaxed. Fern felt Brook kiss his way slowly up her neck then the tip of his tongue trailed back down to the base of her throat. She shivered with delight and pressed her legs together.

Brook’s tongue made a slow circle around the same patch before Fern felt the press of his teeth. His fangs pieced her skin, slipping so easily in. She felt a pin prick of sharp pain which was quickly replaced with the feeling of ecstasy. Fern moaned and felt Brook letting go of her hands. He guided her arms around himself and Fern hugged him.

She could feel him pulling blood inside his mouth and swallowing her. Her thoughts became hazy and she felt like they were floating. Brook broke away with a large gasp of air. He wiggled out of the hug and got up. Fern fluttered open her eyes and watched him wiping his lips with the back of his hand.

To Be Continued…

Trust (Part 1)

The many candle flames flickered against the shadowy walls and sent halos of light along the low curving roof. Fern opened her light green eyes slowly and a moan escaped her lips. She felt dizzy and nauseous as if she had the flu. With her right hand she felt for the edge of the camp bed she knew she was lying on and tightly gripped the metal frame. Fern rolled over and hung her head off the side. Breathing deeply, she stared at the wet, dark grey flagstones and wondered where she was.

Her head pounded with a headache, so Fern moved it slightly back and rested her forehead against the metal bar. Her dark blonde hair bunched up around her and her sweeping fringe fell back into place just above her eyes. She could hear her pulse and heartbeat in her left ear and noticed how loud and fast they both seemed to be beating. She was also naked and her skin was damp with sweat. She felt extremely hot.

I’m sick, I’ve got a fever, she thought, but where I am I? Maybe, I’m a hallucinating. Those candles are so bright.

Fern groaned and tried to move onto her back again, but her body felt too heavy and resisted the command. Struggling against it, she brought up her other arm and placed her hand over her eyes. Willing her body to fall back, her ears heard the clicking of a lighter. She paused, not sure if she was alone nor not. She casted her eyes about as the clicking continued. Far below her, Fern saw a new flame spring up. It appeared blue at first, but then settled into an orange glow.

The lighter was brought up to a cigarette, which quickly caught the flame. Fern held her breath and watched a thin trail of mist curl towards her. She heard the intake of breath and the exhale which caused a cloud of smoke. She could make out the outline of a person now. They were leaning against a moss covered wall, Legs drawn up, feet flat on the floor and the head tossed back. An arm stirred to remove the cigarette then put it back against the lips, in a slow almost thoughtful gesture.

She had the urge to cover her nakedness. Fern tried to shift again, but her body started shaking badly and she retched in the back of her throat. Dropping her head over the side, she went through the motions of vomiting without bring anything up. Tears sprung in her eyes and she could do nothing but ride out the pain in her chest and the heaving. She felt a trickle of something at the corner of her mouth and her tongue lapped at it automatically. She threw herself backwards, tasting stomach acid in her mouth.

‘You’re dying. But it’s alright. Don’t fight it,’ a male voice drifted out of the darkness. His words were slow and touched with sadness.

Fern swivelled her eyes down to him, but couldn’t make anything out further. He seemed dressed in shadows. She focused on the glowing end of the cigarette instead.

‘You won’t remember it anyway,’ he continued, ‘just like your human birth.’

She tried to question him, but couldn’t get the word out of her month. Instead, there was a groan in the sound of the letters. She wanted to move to see him better and ease the cramp in her back, but she didn’t have any energy to do it.

The ash fell from the cigarette and the lighter began clicking again. The flame sparked into life and Fern tried to focus really hard on his face, but still she couldn’t make it out. The lighter dipped and lit the wick of black candle. For a few seconds there were two flames entwining together, then he killed the lighter and the remaining flame became stable.

‘Your death stinks,’ he whispered and took a long drag on the cigarette.

Fern sniffed and desperately wanted to wipe her face. She brought her arm up with some difficulty and pressed her hand to her face. She heard him shifting suddenly, jeans scraping the flagstones, as if he was standing up. She rubbed her palm and wrist across her face, then dropped her arm across her breasts. She searched him out of the darkness again and saw that he had indeed stood up. His violet eyes were frozen on her face and she knew he was watching her closely. Fern could see him better now. He had shocking red shoulder length hair, which was cut in a punky style. His plum lips were in a small frown and Fern could see his pointy cheek bones and chin. He was topless and the shadows give added definition to chest muscles.

He came towards her slowly, finishing off his cigarette. Fern took in a deep breath and smelt liquorice. Puzzled, she smelt the air again and forget everything else. It was defiantly liquorice, underlined with anise and cloves. She took a few deep breaths enjoying the scent, but still mystified by it. She shut her eyes, but then opened them seconds later as she became aware that he was standing in front of her.

She looked up and watched him flick the butt away. Now, he was standing in the blazing light of the candles, she recognized him, ‘Brook?’ her cracked voice croaked his name.

‘Yeah? Who were you expecting, Dracula?’ he sniggered as he rolled the name off his tongue in a fake Transylvania accent.

‘No,’ she slurred and rubbed her aching head across the rough canvas of the camp bed.

‘The worse has passed,’ he explained calmly.

Fern groaned loudly, wondering how he could say that when she clearly so unwell. She felt his fingers touch her bare shoulder and watched him kneel beside her. Her eyes meet his violet ones and for a few moments she was lost in the amazing colour.

‘You could use a little more,’ Brook spoke.

‘Wh-at?’ Fern stuttered as she tried hard to remember what was happening here.

‘I couldn’t make you too powerful,’ he explained, though it was more to himself and he seemed unaware of her confusion.

Blinking away the candle light, she raised her head and looked at him. However, Brook had now removed his hand from her shoulder and placed it on the bed. He brought his other arm up between them. Fern watched him studying his wrist as if there was something there. Before she could ask him, Brook opened his mouth and pressed his wrist inside. She had a flash of déjà vu as Brook held his wrist out to her and she saw a well of blood.

To Be Continued…