This is Part 6 of the 12 Part Vampire Serial “Addicted to the Abyss.” You can read part 7 here: http://www.bloodywhisper.com/addicted-to-the-abyss-part-7-recovery/
Mallory’s apartment is compromised, and he and Jonah are taken to an underground science facility for observation and study. Who are these scientists, and just what are they planning to do with them once they’ve broken the vampiric genetic code?
I liked comic books.
I was picking up the place and under the couch was an old ragged copy of a Batman graphic novel. You know, the one where he’s like sixty and comes back for one more round of vengeance and all that?
I sat there, staring at it, flipping through the pages, remembering how excited I was when I first got it.
“It’s been a while,” Mallory said.
“Since I’ve seen you smile. It’s been a long time.”
“Oh,” I said and absent-mindedly flipped through the pages.
“What were you thinking about?”
“Nothing, just remembering buying it,” I said.
Mallory sat next to me, close but not close enough for skin to touch. He was still a little shy since our last “incident.”
He scooted over to the opposite end of the couch and leaned against the arm rest.
His hand was wrapped up. Bandages covered the multiple thin slits I had cut into his skin. He was still taking morphine. Not as much today as the past couple. But still taking it. All my fault, that.
The way he sat there, cradling his hand. Was he doing it on purpose?
I wanted to ask him how his hand was healing up, but I thought better of it. I was the one that cut it all to hell. I had no right to ask about it. At least, I didn’t think that I did.
“Jonah, there’s something you need to know.”
“Oh? What’s that?”
A thousand pissed off hornets buzzed in my head. My vision when black and white: gray-scale. Like those old crappy cathode ray TVs. Hissing white noise in my ears, voices came at me from all directions, loud then soft, like a train speeding past.
Your soul, what’s left of it anyway.
He’s trying to bring it back.
He’s trying to cheat death.
SHE won’t have that.
SHE won’t have any of that.
SHE is coming. SHE will soon be here.
Those eyes. Those red, bleeding eyes with pits as black as death incarnate, staring at me from the darkness of my mind’s eye. That thick oil sludge for blood, being forced into my mouth. She pried my lips open with ragged clawed fingers, pinched my nose shut. Made me swallow it.
I wanted to throw up.
A warm hand on my shoulder.
“Jonah? Are you alright?”
“Fine,” I grunted and slapped the comic book down on the coffee table. He jumped. Gun shy. I eyed him, said nothing.
“What?” he asked. “You were talking to someone. Just then. Someone you could see, but I couldn’t. Who was it?”
“Don’t want to talk about it. You’re better off not knowing.”
“I can’t help you if I don’t know what is wrong.”
He was right.
“We shouldn’t stay here too long. They’re looking for me.”
“Who’s looking for you? You were followed the other night when you went out, weren’t you?”
“No. I wasn’t. I would’ve smelled them if they were that close. They weren’t.”
“Yeah. I’m sure. I might be crazy, but I know when a predator is stalking me. I haven’t lost all of my senses yet.”
“Good to know.”
“The ones I was talking to…they’re the Others.”
“Broodlings. The Others. They’re coming. They don’t like what you’re doing to me.”
“Others, like me. But, not like me. They…” How the fuck do I even know this? “They obey her. She tries to control me too, but it stops after I feed. Not sure why. Don’t really care. As long as it stops.”
“There’s more out there, like you? More…vampires?”
Is there more of us? Is that what I’ve been hearing? Their whispers? Gnawing at my ears with tiny little needle teeth?
I sighed and rubbed my eyes, tried to focus. The voices were getting so loud now. They were talking over Mallory. I didn’t care for that. Not one bit.
“Yes. There’s more. She’s making them and sending them to fetch me. That’s why…”
That’s why I’ve been on the move for so long. I’ve been running from them. From HER. I was a mistake. I’m like SHE is, more than I am like them. They’re worker ants, I’m a what? What the fuck is the word for a male ant? Drone? Ugh. Who cares.
“Is that why you ran off? I looked for you for months you know.”
Did I know that?
I did. I could smell him. That’s why I kept running. I didn’t want him to find me because I wanted to eat him. Not in the sexual way, in the feeding way.
Once I craved pleasure from his flesh. But now, now the only urge I have, is to eat. I missed the other urges, the animal ones. The lusts, and desires, the blissful feeling of flesh pressed up against flesh, of shoving things into warm, soft, wet cavities and pumping away until I blew a load in him.
We did that?
Don’t know. Don’t care.
“What is it? Why are you looking at me that way?” he asked, rubbing his wounded hand.
“I want to know something.”
“All right. Ask away.”
“Who’s that guy in the picture with you? The one that was in your wallet, that picture. Who is that?”
“The picture in my wallet…” He frowned and looked at the floor. “Jonah, that’s you.”
“No way. I look like shit.”
He chuckled. “You hated having your picture taken. You always said that.”
“I never could figure that out.”
“So… you and I? We were—”
I was right. He did love me. That’s why he was still here. That’s why he came back for me. And that’s why I can’t bring myself to just kill him and move on with it.
“Yes,” he said. “We were. Once. You and I. But that was quite a while ago. Then one night, we had an argument, you went out by yourself and you never came home.”
He was waiting for me.
Oh my God. That’s why I remembered him. That’s why I first approached him after I was made like this.
He was my…
I loved him.
He loved me.
God damn it. He fucking loved me and I could just rip his head off, fill several empty milk cartons with his blood, and leave his corpse to rot.
Maybe you should. Or you could make him like us.
I stood up, paced the small apartment. Clenched and un-clenched my fists.
It’d be easy you know. Just grab his head, slit your wrist and make him drink until he can’t swallow anymore. He’ll die, and come back, and he’ll be just. Like. Us. Then, you won’t be alone. You’ll be together forever. Wouldn’t that be nice?
No. No. Nononononononono. No. I won’t. I won’t. I won’t do it. I won’t!
You know you want to.
I couldn’t stop pacing, muttering things to myself under my breath, biting my nails off and making my fingers bleed, oozing that nasty black sludge that filled my veins now.
“Hey. Are you all right?” He’s sitting there, scared, hurting. And yet, still caring about me. The dumb ass. “Jonah? Speak to me. What are you thinking about?”
“Nothing. It’s nothing. Just,” I waved the voices away, like annoying horse flies buzzing around my head. “They won’t shut up.”
“Mal…I can hear them.”
“Hear who?” He got up, looked out the window in the kitchen, then through the peep-hole in the apartment door. “There’s no one here. Just us.”
“I know. But that doesn’t stop them from talking to me. We’re…connected. Somehow. Through HER.”
“You keep mentioning a woman. Did a woman do this to you?”
“Yes…I think so. Maybe? Fuck, I don’t know.” I could feel the frustration building. I wanted to punch a hole through the wall. I wanted to rip the place apart. I wanted to kill anyone that got in my way. I just wanted to HURT something. And hurt it bad.
Mallory kept his distance, moving out of my way as I paced circles around the couch.
“They’re following me. That’s why I’ve been on the run. All this time. I knew it, and yet, I didn’t. How does that work?”
“They don’t like us being together Mal. They don’t like it.”
“Because you make me feel alive. Don’t you get it? I can’t feel alive. I can’t keep parts of myself. If I do, I won’t fully turn into a broodling. I won’t be a worker ant. I’ll be my own self. I won’t listen to the Queen. I won’t obey. I’ll do what I want. I’ll put their nest in jeopardy. SHE knows this. That’s why she sent the warriors to get me. We’re like fucking ants Mallory.”
“Are you 100% sure of this?”
“No. Honestly? It feels like I’m going insane. I lose huge chunks of time. I forget where I am, what I’m doing, why I’m here. Who you are…and, I’m afraid that one of these days I’ll wake up, and I won’t even be able to think anymore. I’ll lose all my words. I’ll lose myself to this abyss that is growing inside me. There’s a blackness in my heart, a wild, nasty, horrible monster, and it’s devouring me from the inside out. Eating my memories, eating my soul. There’s not much left of me. Not much at all. What am I going to do when I lose myself Mal? What’s going to happen to me? What’s going to happen to you? I can’t bear it. I can’t.”
“Well, you haven’t lost yourself yet. In fact, the longer you stay here with me, the more you act like your former self.”
“Don’t just say things to try to make me feel better. I hardly feel anything anymore. Just hunger, fear, and sadness. I know you think that you can help, but this isn’t temporary. This is permanent. What’s wrong with me, isn’t a disease with a cure, and you know it.”
“I do. But–I have to try.”
“Aren’t you afraid that I’m going to kill you?”
“Well, that’s fucking stupid.”
The sun rose two hours ago. No wonder I was so agitated. It was getting hard to focus.
My body started to feel heavy. Arms and legs like lead. It was like I was about to collapse right then and there.
I stifled a yawn.
“You’re tired. You should rest.”
“Yeah…You gonna be okay?”
Mallory shrugged. Non-committal. No eye contact. No words.
“Maybe you should tie me up. Just in case I wake up, you know, hungry and out of my mind? Like last time?”
“Last time you did that, it was because you severely injured yourself. You aren’t a threat unless there’s something seriously wrong with your body that needs healing. That’s my observation at least.”
“All right. You sure about that?”
“Yes. Get some sleep. I’ll be fine.”
I sighed and wandered off to the bedroom, shut the broken door best I could, curled up in a ball on the bare floor and closed my eyes. The still cold darkness enveloped me and I drifted off to sleep.
Whispers, half-remembered dreams, a knocking on the door.
Who is knocking?
What time is it?
I got up, peeked out the door. It was still daylight. Mallory was sleeping on the couch, dead to the world. Whoever was knocking on the door, wasn’t going away. They were just getting louder.
“Mr. Mallory? It’s your boss, Doctor Graves. We’re here because we’re worried about you? Hello?”
The knocking continued. Intensified.
I closed my eyes and focused. One heart beating. Two. Three. No. More than that. Six men outside the door. I could smell gun-metal. They were nervous, agitated. Breathing fast, shallow. Ready to fight.
“Open the door Conrad! We know you’re in there! Don’t make us use force to get in.”
I crawled over to the couch and shook Mallory’s shoulder.
“Hey, get up,” I whispered.
He murmured something and swatted my hand away. I could smell the morphine in his system. He had taken a lot. I guess he just wanted to sleep. But…the door.
There was no easy way out of the apartment. We were on the second floor. No place for me to hide, either. Nowhere that they wouldn’t find me fast. It wasn’t exactly a very big place.
“Mallory, come on. Get up!” I hissed and shook him vigorously.
His eyes fluttered open and he looked at me through a lazy haze of painkillers. “Mmm?”
The apartment door shattered under the force of a metal battering ram. I grabbed Mallory and dove behind the couch as the men rushed in, guns raised. One of them was barking orders, telling them to spread out. I didn’t have much time. I had to move. I had to get us out of here.
KILL THEM ALL.
Rip off their heads, drink your fill. You know you want to. You know what you have to do to survive. To keep your precious Mallory safe. So do it.
I smiled, felt my teeth grow longer, sharper. Felt my nails extend and form into thick claws. The muscles of my body tightened, coiled like rip-cord and ready to release in a flurry of action. I felt. ALIVE.
The first one came around the side of the couch and I grabbed him by the leg, lifted him straight up off the floor– holding him upside down by one ankle. I tore off his free leg, like pulling a turkey leg out of it’s socket. The man screamed. A fountain of fresh, warm blood sprayed all over my face, my body, the floor. I licked my lips and shuddered at the taste. His fear was delicious.
I tossed the meatbag aside and threw its leg at the next one closest to us.
There was a barking of gun fire. Bangs and flashing muzzles and hot gun powder and bullets whizzing straight through my flesh and embedding into the wall and floor behind me. Mallory staggered forward, looking around, dazed. Unsure what was happening, if it was even real at all.
I shoved him behind me, let them fire more rounds into my flesh. Bullets tore ligaments, muscles, a hole ripped through my cheek, air on my tongue and teeth where it shouldn’t ever be. It pissed me off. I growled and lunged at them, tearing through uniform fabric and his bullet proof vest with my claws, biting deep into him, ripping a chunk of flesh off the front of his throat., blood spilling everywhere.
It smelled so good. I couldn’t help it. I had to eat my fill. And I did. I didn’t just drink the prey’s blood, I was eating its flesh like raw steak. Gobbling it down. It was…satisfying.
Warmth grew in my belly, spread through out my body. I could feel myself growing stronger, faster. More alert. Maybe I should eat them whole more often. This was fantastic. I felt like I could run and leap across rooftops, no problem.
In fact, I really wanted to do that, right then.
“Honestly Conrad,” the boss man said. “You brought that thing here? What were you thinking?”
“I don’t…How did you find me?” Mallory slurred. He held himself up with a hand on the couch, trying not to sway as he looked around.
“My God. Look at you. You’ve been feeding it? What’s that you’re taking? Are those bottles of morphine? Unbelievable.”
“Get out. Of my. Home.” He was having trouble with his words. The drugs did that. I knew that it was like, not being able to think straight.
“You’re a mess Conrad. You stopped answering your phone. You never replied to text messages or email. I was dispatched to see if you were even still alive. And here you are, on death’s doorstep, living with a wild, uncontrolled animal.”
“He isn’t an animal. That’s my–” The big man slapped Mallory. The sound of his head snapping back from the force of the blow got my attention. I glared at the man, from where I was crouched over a meatbag. I swallowed the muscle I just tore off its shoulder.
That man. He was in charge. He was the dominant predator. He was the threat. The others, the ones that didn’t enter the apartment were standing in the hall, waiting for him to tell them what to do. I am going to kill them all. No one hurts him. No one. That’s MY Mallory.
“Open your eyes and look,” the boss man, Graves, grabbed Mallory by the chin, forced him too look at me. “See that? That is not a person any more Mr. Mallory. That is a vampire. It’s a creature to study. Nothing more, nothing less. Understood?”
“Yes,” he mumbled. Cowed.
“YOU,” I said. My voice, guttural, deeper, more sinister. Almost not-quite human anymore. Sharp teeth cut into cheeks and tongue. The hole in the side of my mouth sealed back up as I stood. Bullets pushed out of the holes they made in my skin and fell to the floor in a rain of tiny thumps.
“Cute. You taught it how to speak. Maybe you can tell the boys at the lab how do managed to do that while you detox and go through quarantine hmm?”
“No. You can’t. Don’t take him there. They’ll kill him!”
“My dear. That thing is killing you. It took out half of my men with its bare hands. I really wouldn’t worry over much about it.”
I stalked towards him, ready to pounce.
“I’m going to rip your head off, tear your heart out through the gaping hole in your throat and eat it while it’s still beating.”
The man laughed. He was terrified, yet he was laughing. Why?
Something wasn’t quite right…
I had forgotten about the last man who entered the room with him. He hadn’t attacked, so I ignored him.
That was a mistake. And a deadly one.
I heard his booted feet move towards me, I turned to attack and was shot point-blank in the chest. Metal spike. Through the heart. A jolt of pain ran through me. I screamed and fell. I tried to pull it out but my arms weren’t working quite right. They flopped around, my hands spasmed as my whole body went numb and stopped moving in one shuddered gasp of movement.
It burned. The metal burned me. It hurt, almost as bad as the pain that caused my entire body to go rigid. I was paralyzed. Frozen in a grimace of pain and rage. I couldn’t even close my eyes. They were stuck open.
The man stood over me and smirked.
“They always fall like that. Every time. It’s the damnest thing,” he said with a laugh. “Shoot it in the head. Let’s get this over with. We need to bag and tag it before we can transport. The sun will destroy any usable tissue if we don’t cover the body first.”
They picked me up. I was screaming in my head, but no sounds escaped. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t do anything as they shoved me in a black body bag and zipped it up. Sounds were muffled. It was dark. So dark.
Mallory was yelling. I couldn’t make out the words, but someone hit him and he shut up. Then I was carried out.
Blackness came and went.
Saw things. Sometimes. Back of a truck. Metal operating table. Body cut open, skin splayed apart. Muscle separated. Black sludge blood drained, human blood put back in. Woke me up. Healed me. They cut me again. And again. And again. And again.
Woke up naked on the floor. Cold ceramic tile. Cement. Basement. Chained now. Not ropes. Chains. Metal collar on neck, metal cuffs on ankles and wrists.
Not sure. Don’t know.
Back of truck. Strung up like meat on hooks. Hosed down. Needles, sensors, flashing lights. Holy water. Garlic. Silver crosses. Different types of steaks shoved in my chest. Someone making notes of results.
Covered in scars now. Some fresh with black crusted scabs that reek like tar, some healed over silver skin on pale flesh. Naked. No clothes. Cold. So cold. So HUNGRY.
Door clicked open. Boots walked over. Ball gag in mouth now. Teeth growing. Sink into the rubber like it’s butter. About to bite right through. About to attack and get food.
“Behave or no dinner.”
I looked up.
Not brown eyes. Not HIS eyes. Not at all.
“You’ll do as your told or no dinner. Understand dog?”
Cold blue eyes. A nasty scar curling up the side of his mouth, another on his neck. Short hair. Lots of little silver rings on his ears. Knew a kid with a lot of those once. Snapped his fucking neck clear off his shoulders and practically drowned in the shower of his blood. He tasted good. He was the first. There were so many others after that. But you always remember your first. Kind of like sex.
The man made a disgusted sound and raised a shiny boot.
“Drool. No one told me that your kind drooled. That’s disgusting.”
He pulled off the gag and stepped away quickly. Like the zookeepers that fed the crocodiles. Fast so you don’t get bitten. Fast so you’re not next on the menu. Fast so you can live another day.
Life. What a joke.
I didn’t have that anymore.
Slapped, hard. Not with fist, not with hand. With black hard stick. Teeth cut inside of mouth. Black sludge blood oozes into it, tastes like shit. Spit it out on floor. Oil slick puddle near his boots.
“Get that shit on me, and I won’t feed you. Understand?”
Nodded my head.
“Good. All right, bring them in.”
Door buzzes, clicks open. Bare feet on the floor. Tilt head, looked up. Scared little rabbits, lined up in a row. Naked. Shivering. Cold. Scared. Hearts beating so fast.
The man left the room, there was another clink sound. Something behind me unlatched and I fell forward onto ground. Cold, hard. concrete. Metal collar on neck. Held up on the wall, but not now.
Now let go.
Rushed up, grabbed the first kid. Skinny. Not much meat on him. Balls hadn’t dropped yet. He whimpered, fainted. I deep into this neck and drank, and drank and drank, but didn’t get full.
Something was wrong. All these people tasted the same. They weren’t supposed to taste the same. Was like eating lab rats.
Hard to focus. Too much the same. Not good. Not what I need. Don’t need lab rats. Need real live blood. Real people. Real problems to spice up blood. Not this shit.
Tossed the kid aside. The limp body hit the shatter proof glass window. Left a nice person-sized smear of blood on the glass. I licked it off. Heard others on the opposite side of the mirror make sounds of disgust.
I was a circus act. The Geek that ate the live bats on stage.
Someone, no several someones were watching me. These kids weren’t the only lab rats here.
Three. No four people. Four. Three guys one gal. Gal’s not bleeding. Hasn’t for a while. Not pregnant. Just too damned skinny.
I punched through the mirror. They started screaming. I hopped over the wall, through the broken two-way mirror.
They were shouting to each other as I headed towards them.
They will taste good. Except for the gal. Save the gal for last. She’ll taste the worst.
Someone dropped from the ceiling onto me. Bolt of white-hot pain through chest.
Fell down. Couldn’t move.
So close. So close. Door was right there. Right there. Could’ve walked right out. Could’ve gone and found Mallory.
Moved. Moved! They moved me.
Cold steel table. Restraints on wrists and ankles. On neck, in mouth. Eyes pried open. Lights too bright. Makes eyes water. Can smell them. All of them. Sweating, stinking men. Food. Right there. Hungry. Can’t break free. Need to eat. But can’t reach it.
They shoot me up with things. Inject things. All sorts of things.
You killed them. You killed them all. Sucked them dry and for what? Five minutes of warm blood in your veins? Five minutes of your heart pumping again, moving that black oily sludge around giving you a chance to pretend you’re not dead, even though you are? Is it worth it?
In hell with no way out.
One of the damned now.
One of the damned.
Welcome it says.
The void answers,
echoes my screams.
Everything was cold. Eyesight blurred. Muscles too stiff. Couldn’t move. Just stuck, sitting on a hard tiled floor.
Voices beyond the door.
“Let me see him! He’s my patient for Christ’s sake!”
“Conrad.” A woman’s voice. A scuffle in hallway. “No! You can’t he’s not stable.”
“Let me see him or I’ll call the Board of the Health and get them on your ass! I have a right to check on his condition! Do it or I’ll call.”
She sighed. “Please. You don’t understand. He’s not stable. He’s not human any–”
“Shut the hell up before you say anything that you’ll regret. Open this damned cell. Now! I didn’t authorize his movement to this detention center. I know what you people do here! You all are sick! You know that?”
Door opened. Light in room. Can’t lift head to see. Faces blurry. Bodies blurry. Everything blurry.
“Oh my God. What have they done to you?”
Can’t see. Can’t talk. Can’t move. Only thing can do is hear. Can’t even smell them.
“Get this off of him this instant or I’m calling the authorities. You have no right to do this! Not to anyone, not even him.”
“Conrad. He’s a murderer. A serial killer the likes of which the world has never seen before. He killed and devoured what, thirty, fifty people in one day? He has to be studied. We have to know what’s wrong with him. What’s driving him to kill.”
She was a blur of blond hair and white lab coat.
He was a blur of brown hair and white lab coat.
A gentle hand on shoulder.
Hand so hot to touch it burned.
He jerked hand away.
“Jesus! He’s an ice-cube! When’s the last time you fed him?”
No answer. They stood there, over me. Angry blurs pumping blood through their veins.
“You have to understand. He killed fifteen of our guards. Ten lab assistants. Three doctors. This was the only way to keep him from harming anyone.”
“By not feeding him? By freezing him solid? That’s cruel, inhumane!”
“So is he. You weren’t here. You didn’t see what he did to those people. How he killed them. I can’t even sleep through the night anymore.”
“Join the club,” he muttered.
Did I know that voice?
Can’t focus. Can’t see anything more than blurs of color and shape. Can’t move. Can’t feel legs. Can’t feel anything. Just cold.
How long been here? Days? Weeks? Months?
Don’t know. Not sure.
“I’ll get you out of here. I promise,” he said, then left with her so that they could scream at each other out in hallway.
More lights and beeps and things pumped into me. Screamed.
Am screaming. World is on fire. Body shakes, seizures? How many now? Five? Six? Twenty?
Maybe gave me the Chair and just lying in a coffin somewhere, waiting for lid to decay so can claw way out and begin feeding again.
Water dripped down cheeks.
No. Not water.
Black tears. My tears. Am crying.
Woke up. Not on bed. Not on metal table. Not on cold cement floor or ceramic tile.
No. No! Shit! Don’t bury! Don’t bury! Not dead! Not dead!
Zippered roof opens and pulls down. Fuzzy face above.
“I told you I’d get you out. Sorry about the body bag. It had to be done.”
He help me sit up.
Stiff. So stiff. Cold. HUNGRY.
Grabbed him, shoved him down, sank teeth into his neck. Blood. Sweet. Blood. So good. Flows down into stomach, so hot. Liquid gold. Fills me up fast. Starts to thaws me out.
I licked his blood off of my lips. Delicious. My favorite flavor.
I know this taste. I know it.
I shoved him away and scurried to a corner of the room and pulled into a ball and shivered. Cold. So damned cold. I looked over at him. He was slowly getting to his feet. His breath rapid. He was excited. I could smell it. Blood flowed down his neck from where I bit him. It seeped into his shirt.
“It’s all right. I know what you want. I know if you have a constant supply you won’t be forced to kill. You told me that yourself.”
He walked towards me, arms out to his sides. He was defenseless. Totally unarmed. Completely naked to me. I could kill him in a heart beat. But I didn’t want to for some reason. I didn’t want to hurt him.
“Come. Drink your fill.”
Warm glow from food gone fast.
Hunger burning hole through stomach, but didn’t want to hurt him. Hunger tearing me apart. Soon, would not be able to fight it.
“It’s me. It’s Mallory. Remember?”
Eyed him closely. Still couldn’t focus to get good look at his face. Eyes hurt. Couldn’t blink the blur out. Too dry. They’re too dry.
He kneeled by the bed. Face near mine. I pulled away.
Don’t want to kill anymore. Don’t want to kill anyone anymore. Just want to die. It hurts so much. The cold. It hurts. So hungry, but don’t want to kill him.
Made noises. Mewling sounds. Like sad baby kitten.
“Shh…It’s all right. No one’s going to hurt you. You’re safe now.”
He picked me up, walked me to a bed, and lay me down. Threw a comforter on me.
“I’ll put on a fire. It’ll help raise your body temperature. They kept your room at ten below zero. The bastards.”
Nodded and closed eyes and sank into warm bed. Felt good against stiff body.
His hand on my head. Could hear the blood pumping through his veins. The familiar woosh, woosh woosh sound. Like a lullaby.
“It’ll be okay.”
A scar on his palm. A jagged one made by a knife. Right through the center.
He crouched down so that his face was eye level.
I knew those eyes.
His blood was warm. Sweet like chocolate. Like love?
I reached out a hand. My fingers were blue and numb, but I managed to touch his face.
I went to speak but no words came out. Like they cut my vocal chords.
“Once you warm up your voice will work again. Just relax and let the fire warm you up. I had to dig but I found your belongings. The stuff you were wearing when they took you from me. I’m so sorry about that. I was hurt and wasn’t thinking clearly.”
He sat down in the chair next to the bed.
“I hope you can forgive me.”
His voice. So soothing. Not harsh like the sound of that saw cutting through my bones, or my teeth chattering so hard that they shattered. Nothing like that at all.
“They didn’t believe me. That you have an addiction. Not a normal one by any standards mind you. But it’s still one all the same, save yours isn’t at all found in nature. I stole all of their notes. I wanted to know what sick studies they performed in the name of science and research. I wanted to know what they did. So that we could get our revenge.”
I closed my eyes.
Revenge. I liked that word.
Listened to the fire crackle. Let it lull me to sleep. Not afraid to sleep anymore. Not afraid of anything. Not with him right here. Watching over me. My guardian angel.