The Vampire

"Thirst tells you when to go, where to go, how to go and even who to go with... This is the most exciting and scary time in any vampire's existence, and it's where I'll begin my story."

Cia craves for blood in the streets of New York, under cover of the darkness she's forced to live in. She's perfectly clear on what she is and how she must take care of her own needs. And to help her, she has her Mentor, the grumpy Lacien. The two of them exist together, do everything together, and it's driving Cia crazy. Until she meets a human, who seems to pop up out of nowhere, knowing all there is to know about what she is and how she manages to remain undead.

And for a while, everything's good. Until things start twisting in directions Cia had never foreseen, which forces her to reconsider everything.

WARNING: Due to request of some readers, there is no age line. However, the story does contain certain elements that younger readers might consider offensive.


11. The Reaction

The streets of Brooklyn were dark when I came across the bridge. It made it even harder to navigate, as the lights of Manhattan and the bridges had been my way of finding my way through blurred darkness. Somehow, though, I found my way back to the building where I lived and flew up the stairs, almost knocking in the door as I connected with it, panting and feeling wrong . Not just sick. Just completely wrong. Like someone was writhing my intestines in an attempt at turning me inside out.

I almost fell inside, tripping over the doorstep and slamming into the wall opposite the entrance. Lacien wasn’t there, I realized with some disappointment. He’d know what to do, I was certain. But he wasn’t there, and my throat filled with the sour taste of panic as my body started shaking uncontrollably. What if I was about to die? What had happened?

One minute I was just fine, having made the discovery of my life, and the next I was freezing, though I felt much like I was on my way down the steep steps to Hell. This was probably what the purgatory felt like, I imagined as I let myself fall, sprawled on the living room floor with a view of the night sky through the window. I was still breathing hard, and my heart was speeding up. I didn’t know it could, but clearly that was the case.

Could vampires die a natural death? Could we decease? I was trying to recall when I heard footsteps and a loud gasp for someone who never made any unintended noises. Without another word Lacien crouched beside me on the floor. I couldn’t really see him, or the night sky. Not at the moment. But the figure that sat beside me smelled exactly like my Mentor, and it erased some of the panic.

Suddenly there was a faint tearing sound, like the sound of skin being broken, and I could smell the scent of blood. But not ordinary blood. Blood like my own, with the tinge of poison at the edges that had made me go a large circle around the snake at the zoo. Somehow Lacien’s blood did smell a lot more tasty than that of an animal. Even if it was Lacien.

“Drink,” he commanded, gathering me up from the floor so I rested in his arms.

I felt like a newborn baby, searching blindly for a nipple to suck nutrition from. My fangs worked on their own account, digging deep and hard into the soft flesh, resting in a pool of a liquid I knew very well. It flowed easily through my mouth and down my throat, which had started throbbing again somewhere in the middle of the purgatory.

My heart slowed again, and I regained the normal sense of nothingness regarding the temperature in the room. After a while my eagle-sharp vision returned, and I could see Lacien’s black hairline outlined sharply in contrast to the white skin of his neck. Even his earlobe I could focus on now, and the veins underneath the skin.

Slowly, I tried to draw back, but strong arms kept me exactly where I was, and I was unable to move my head as much as one tenth of an inch.

“A little more,” he pressed with an uncharacteristically soft voice.

I did as I was told and closed my eyes again. The nausea was on retreat now, and the instant I felt it disappearing completely, Lacien let go of me. I drew back and sat awkwardly on the floor, not daring to look him in the eyes, knowing he’d get really angry if I so much as tried to thank him for what he’d just done. Whatever that was.

Suddenly he reached out and mussed my hair while he rose without putting pressure on my head.

“You little fool,” he said, walking around me. “You were out with that human again, weren’t you?”

I nodded shamefully, not wanting to say anything.

“Hmm,” was all he said for a while as he let go of my hair and started pacing the room with long, slow strides.

I stole a look at him. His figure stood out strongly against the lighter dark outside the window. The sky was brownish with snowy clouds, and the streetlights illuminated the buildings behind him. So he appeared like a black shadow in a white T-shirt in the darkness.

He caught me looking at him and sighed loudly before sliding into a kneeling position across from me. I knew he wanted to look me in the eye, but I was unable to face him out of sheer embarrassment. Not only had I just fed on another vampire, I had also enjoyed the taste of my Mentor’s hard-earned blood. Now he would have to feed soon, even though it was clear that he’d just returned from preying on someone. The scent of human was still on him.

“Hey,” he said gently, “You’re okay now.”

I nodded, still not looking at him. I wanted to cry. In a minute he was going to scold me. If I’d get that long to recover from the shock of the experience and his gentleness.

Lacien looked very young when I glanced up through my lashes. His cheeks were clearly flushed, and his hair was tousled, an ivory dark mess. His red eyes were paler than usual, probably because I’d just sucked out a lot of his blood. On the side of his neck, right above one of the large arteries that carried blood to the brain, was a rather long gash, punctured in two places from where my fangs had dug in. Blood was circling the area where his skin had parted, red against the white of his neck and the black of his hair.

I couldn’t imagine Lacien feeding on elderly people, even though I knew he did that once in a while, when he felt like we were taking a little too many young people for prey. He was the epitome of timelessness, so old, yet still young-looking and very spirited when it came over him. His looks changed very little when he fed on elderly people, even for a period of time. The reason for this was that he had preyed on young people for so long that it would take a long time for biology to alter his structure.

“Christ, Cia, you scared me,” he said suddenly.

At that I looked up, and he smiled shortly, his eyes gleaming in the dark with the passion behind the smile. I felt my heartbeat speed up again, and blood rushed to my cheeks.

“I scared you?” I repeated dumbly.

“Yes.” He ran a hand through my long hair. “It’s been awhile since I last saw someone like that.”

“You last saw someone…?”

“What are you, a parrot?” he snapped, then shook his head and let his hand drop to the floor. “It’s not uncommon for new vampires to try out animal blood after they redevelop their consciences.”

I was so surprised he knew what had happened that I tipped my head back entirely, looking him directly in the eyes. He didn’t sound like he was annoyed. Actually, he sounded more like a doctor screening a patient after treatment.

“So animal blood did that?” It was actually a rhetorical question, but I asked anyway, just to have him confirm what he’d just said.

“Animal blood does that,” he corrected me. “Always. To all of our kind.”

“If you hadn’t come, would I have died?” I asked anxiously.

A snort of quiet laughter escaped him as he pushed the black strands of my hair out of my face. “Of course not. You’re immortal, right?”

“But you were scared,” I reminded him. He made a face.

“I came home and saw you lying like a dying fish on the floor,” he said. “Did you expect me to start laughing?”

“You’re never scared of anything,” I told him childishly, unable to help myself.

He shook his head. “Only a fool is never scared.”

“Well, then I’m definitely not a fool,” I said slowly, pulling my eyes away from his again.

He said nothing, but I could tell that he didn’t disapprove of my comment. For a moment longer he lingered in front of me before rising elegantly to his feet. I sat back against the wall and watched him as he leaned out through the window to take a look. When he was like this, Lacien was just as nice to be around as any other person might be. I didn’t even know he could be considerate and kind. Somehow he managed to show me all his grumpy and angry sides all the time.

Maybe it was my mind playing me for a fool, but I thought he seemed almost affectionate toward me, acting the way a brother might act toward his younger sister. I didn’t exactly complain, but I’d hoped to someday stop looking like a child in Lacien’s eyes. If he treated me like a younger sister, I would never really be able to fully get out of that hierarchy.


“Cia,” he replied as he turned, leaning his lower back against the windowsill.

“What would’ve happened if you hadn’t come?”

He thought about it for a moment, then shrugged.

“Well, when I tried it -“ He paused at my puzzled expression.

Or… puzzled is probably not the word for it. I was staring at him with large, expanded eyes, my jaw dropped almost to the floor with shock.

“Why are you so surprised?”

“It’s just… Have you really fed on animal blood?” I couldn’t quite believe it.

“I’ve tried most of the things I’m telling you not to do,” he told me quietly.

“And still you call me a fool when I do it!” I exclaimed with a sense of having been seriously wronged.

“That’s because you still do it after I’ve told you not to,” he explained. “That does make you seem rather foolish.”

“Okay, let’s get back on track. What happened then?”

“I was on my own, so what I did was wriggle and squirm and gasp for air until it stopped after a couple of days,” he explained.

“And you decided it would be a bit too annoying if I kept doing that for days?” I asked rather bluntly, wondering if he’d slap me for that question.

He looked like he wanted to. But there was also something else in his face. Something I’d never seen before this clearly. Something I couldn’t quite define, yet it seemed as familiar to me as the night sky. I should recognize the emotion he allowed himself to show me, I knew. But for some reason I just couldn’t combine it with something I’d ever seen before. Like a distant memory.

“You really do think I’m that horrible,” he concluded matter-of-factly, all back to his usual dark, sulky self. “Did it ever occur to you that maybe I just didn’t want to see you like that, knowing how it feels?”

No, that hadn’t crossed my mind, I answered inaudibly, feeling extremely guilty for expressing my dark expectations of him. Somewhere deep down I knew he wasn’t as bad as I made him seem. He could even be very, very kind. Clearly. But things were much easier if I expected him to be cruel. That way I wouldn’t feel sad when his mood changed back to normal, and I wouldn’t search for that faint hint of happiness in his eyes that I could see burning brightly right at that moment.

I couldn’t think that way about Lacien, I told myself sternly as I got to my feet. It would be much easier to just take him for the simply strict Mentor, who never allowed me to do anything without his approval. The kind of Mentor that would put me in a cage if he’d had one that was large enough to keep me in. The kind of Mentor that would never in a million years tell me that he just didn’t want to see me hurting. Whatever that guy had been doing while I was gone, he had left the real Lacien there to rot in his own sourness. Because this person could not be the Mentor who’d been constantly nagging at me for decades in a row.

“How did you get into your head that preying on animals would be a good idea?” he asked.

“Well…” I didn’t want to admit how little I’d fed the last couple of days, but what other choice did I have? I couldn’t lie to Lacien. “I was Thirsty. And Aleksander was right there… It was just so tempting. And then he suggested that I could try with an animal, and I was just -“

“You’re babbling,” he interrupted. “Still, I guess that was just a matter of time.”

“What was?”

He looked like he was about to say something. Something I didn’t want to hear, judging from the look on his face. But only the sound of an escaping breath came out of him as he bowed his head and shook it slightly.

“Never mind. I’m going to hunt again,” he announced, walking toward the door, staggering just a little bit. “Don’t go out, okay?”

My eyes went after him, until he was about to cross over the threshold to the hallway. “Okay,” I agreed. 

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