January 15, 2010

Artwork by Lauren T. Hart

Room service arrived a short time later. David had ordered one of everything and the room was littered with carts full of food. Eventually the shower stopped and David emerged from the bathroom wearing the over-sized hotel robe.

"Come and eat," Anna ordered.

David silently obeyed.

"My name is Anna. Anna Dimon," she said as he shoved a piece of pecan pie into his mouth. "I've been using Miranda Grant lately, but that will have to change, as will yours."

David's head was turned toward the window, but she could tell he was keeping her in his sights, and that this was just an act of defiance.

"David, look at me."

His face was stern, angry and defiant, but he obeyed.

"You're angry. That's understandable, and afraid. But you will have to get over that. We are going to be together for a very long time, you and I. As long as you are loyal to me, you need not fear me and for as long as you live I will watch over you, and keep you safe."

"Why? Why would you do that?" he said.

"Because that's how it's done." She offered him a roll, which he reluctantly took then set down, opting instead for a leg of chicken. "Most familiars are groomed over time, years sometimes, but I don't think this has to be an issue for us. I trust my instincts about you. Besides, you had nothing before me. No home. No family. I'm not much of a family, but I can give you a home, an education, a better future than the one you were headed toward.

David wiped his mouth on the sleeve of his robe.

"There are more than a dozen napkins within your arms reach David. Manners." She scolded as she handed him a napkin.

"Sorry." David took the napkin from her, eyed it briefly then set it down beside the discarded roll. He chanced a brief glance at her then asked. "What... What are you?"

"I... I am an immortal," she said.

"An immortal? What does that mean?"

"Immortal means-"

"I know what it means," he countered, "But what I mean is..." He took in a long breath. "You're a vampire aren't you? Not like the ones in books or films, but a real one. A real... vampire." He looked like he was going to be sick.

"I am not a vampire," she said. "I am... something else. My mother was a human, my father was... not," she said.

"You're father was a vampire?"

"Vampires are monsters. My father was... an immortal."

"Do you- do they drink blood?"

"Many do. I don't. Well..." she stabbed at the steak in front of her. "No more than humans, anyway."

"But you have fangs."

Anna nearly choked on the piece of steak she'd just put in her mouth.

"And your eyes, they turn weird."

Anna covered her mouth with her napkin and swallowed the bite whole. "I'm sorry you had to see that."

David contemplated with a chocolate chip cookie. Carefully dabbing his mouth with a fresh napkin he'd picked up when he finished. "How old are you?"

"I'll be thirty-one in the fall."

"You're only thirty?" David made a face.

"I'm sorry to disappoint you."

"It's not that. It's just that... How do you know you're immortal if you're only thirty?"

Anna took a long drink of orange juice. She could tell it was going to be a long night. "Well I guess I don't. Not really anyway. But I dare say I don't look thirty. I stopped aging years ago but since I am half human I suppose only time will tell, although I did manage to survive being shot."

David had many more questions for her and she answered them all as best she could. Still, it was quite clear that David didn't entirely trust her. His guard was up and she could tell that when exhaustion and a belly full of food finally overtook him he would do his best to sleep with one eye open. And she would have to keep her senses up too, just in case he decided to attempt an escape back to the slums.

It was nearing three o'clock in the morning, and David's blinks were growing longer in duration every time his eyes closed.

"It's time for you to sleep now." Anna commanded. "For both of us to sleep," she corrected. "Tomorrow we'll get you some new clothes, shoes, a toothbrush..."

David nodded, then quickly sat upright, alert. "Can you hypnotize people? Into doing what you want?"

Anna smirked. "If I could do that David, you'd have been asleep hours ago."

She pulled back the covers and fell into bed. The pillow was soft and filled with down, but it brought her no comfort. Her thoughts were heavy with the events of the day. Betrayal. Exposure. Responsibility. Reprisal.

"Anna," David whispered.

"Yes, David?"

"I'm sorry about what I said... about your eyes. They're not weird. They're kind of... nice actually." He yawned. "Like tiny Christmas balls."

She listened to David's breathing, to his heartbeat, become slow and constant and hoped that exhaustion would overtake her giving her at least a momentary respite from her torments.


Chapter 3 - Myths, Legends & Monsters

(c) copyright 2010-2016 Lauren T. Hart