If I was counting right, five nights passed. They went much the same. A tray of food was left in the room three times a night, and a change of clothes early each morning. I ate every bit of the food. Gradually, my stomach didn’t ache so much after eating, as though it were adjusting to the new volume of food.
The days blurred together, and it became easier to move around. My door, as it turned out, was no longer locked, allowing my frequent trips to the bathroom. Those, and eating, were the only times I wasn’t curled up in the bed, stuck in a state between sleep and consciousness.
On the sixth night, upon awakening, my door was already opened. There was no food on the dresser, and I hated the pain of hunger I felt as a result; meaning I’d gotten used to the feeding schedule. I slid to the side of the bed, angling my head toward the doorway, trying to see out. I didn’t see him, but Lukas spoke.
“Come in here, human.”
I didn’t hesitate when standing up, despite the instant dread that bloomed in my chest. I tread as silently as I could, crossing the hallway and into the bathroom where the vampire had called from.
Water in the shower began to run as I entered. I couldn’t help the scowl on my face at the sight of the doctor, who one again paid me no real mind.
A firm hand on my shoulder prevented me from flinching away when Markus appeared in front of me, slicing the bandages around my torso open at my side with a loud rip. I was then subjected to being bathed by the doctor, who also examined my healthier looking, scabbed over and only slightly pink wounds. After the bath, I was redressed. Instead of the plain pants and shirts that left my back exposed, I was dressed in a long black dress, soft and cotton, but with thin straps instead of sleeves. Much of my neck, shoulders, and chest were left exposed.The whole process reminded me of the grooming that I and all the other cattle had been subjected to before the auction, only a week prior.
My growing suspicions were confirmed when Lukas and Markus led me further down the hall and into a new room. This room was large and looked to be a study of sorts. The walls were covered by bookcases, filled with all kinds of books. A large wooden desk sat toward the back of the room. A fireplace was nestled in between the bookshelves opposite the doorway. And I was left standing on the threshold, suddenly alone.
I glanced around several times, but I did not see him, or anyone for that matter. So I took a few steps further into the room, gripping the soft fabric of the dress tightly with my hands. The newness had triggered something inside, and the anticipation was beginning to grow again. My breaths were tight and my heartbeat in my chest was slow and hard. I stepped closer to the small fire, slowly and quietly, unsure if I was doing something wrong. But no one stormed in to stop me.
The warmth from the flames just barely reached my chilled skin. I dug my toes into the plush blue rug in front of the mantle. It was a nice reprieve from the cold, hard flooring all throughout the rest of the apartment.
A voice in the hallway broke the silence, and I turned around. The blood coursing through my veins was all I could hear. My heart beat faster and harder the closer the voices got to where I waited.
When he appeared in the doorway - the original - his eyes found me immediately. He didn’t stop walking as he narrowed his gaze, seeming to inspect me.
Whoever he’d been speaking to didn’t follow him in. Instead, the door closed softly.
I stared at the closed door as the original approached me. Involuntarily, I tried to take a step back, but he grabbed my arm firmly. He used the hand holding my arm to spin me around so that I was now facing the shrinking flames, almost like a dance. With his other hand, he swept my hair off of my neck, pushing it over my shoulder.
“The infection does seem to be gone,” he muttered, and I wasn’t sure if he was talking to himself or if I should respond.
My voice would have failed me anyway, so I kept quiet.
He lifted my hand up in the air, near his face, and then bit into my wrist.
I gasped and instinctively jerked away, but his grip on my hand was stone. I looked up, shocked at the sensation of his fangs tearing into the tender flesh on the inside of my wrist. He wrapped his other arm around my torso to hold me still, pressing my back against his chest as I thrashed, trying to fight him off.
He was bent over only slightly, his eyes closed, and other than restraining me, he seemed to pay my reaction no mind. He just continued drinking, an animal-like grunt coming from somewhere deep in his throat.
It was disgusting. It was a thousand times worse than anything I’d pictured. His fangs themselves burned and itched my skin like poison, and every time he took a drag, I could feel them twitch in my skin. I could feel every drop of blood in my body being drawn to him, flowing up my arm- toward my wrist. It was wrong in a million different ways.
I blinked in surprise before closing my eyes at the tears. I hadn’t expected tears. After a long while, I began to feel light and dizzy, and it didn’t hurt so much. My breathing seemed to calm within a matter of seconds after the dizziness, the pace at which my chest rose and fell slowing dramatically.
I opened my eyes again, and the flames from the fire swayed at my feet. I couldn’t feel their warmth anymore though. The darkness was closing in on me. I let it come, welcoming it as it finally swallowed me up. Finally, I felt nothing.