Blood Rose: Ch. 8

Several seconds of silence spaced out the moments after Keira and Iris left. I was still trying to wrap my head around the fact that they had exited the room by opening up a section in the cave walls with just a simple touch of Keira’s hand. I know Jay had explained that vampires were granted certain abilities that allowed them to do such crazy things, but it was still too unreal to believe. I still felt like I was living inside a terrible dream.

I could only hope I would wake up soon.

Jay cleared his throat, ending the silence. “I do apologize for them. They mean well. These are very difficult times for us as well, and tensions are a bit high at the moment.”

I didn’t respond. What was I supposed to say? That I don’t blame them? That I understand? I didn’t know if I blamed them or not for what was happening, and I definitely didn’t understand.

“I just realized…are you hungry? Thirsty? I think I can scrounge up some resources for you.”

At the mention of food, my stomach clenched up in protest. I didn’t know how long it had been since I’d eaten, but I knew I couldn’t imagine eating anything with the gory images of my family members still fresh in my head. My mouth was unbearably dry, though, so the least I could do was have some water.

“Water. Just water please,” I said.

“Of course,” he said. He got up and walked over to a little mini-fridge that sat next to a desk across the room. I wondered how the mini-fridge was powered, but didn’t have the energy to ask. Probably more magic vampire abilities.

He handed me a water bottle from the fridge, and watched me as I drank the entire thing in one long gulp. I didn’t realize how parched I’d been until the water slid down my throat.

“Are you sure you aren’t hungry, love? Food isn’t as easy to come by as it used to be, but I’m sure we have some to spare somewhere.”

I shook my head. “I can’t eat right now. Not after…what I’ve seen.”

“I truly am sorry about your family, love. If I could have spared you that, I would.”

I felt tears creeping up my throat, threatening to spill out over my eyes. I swallowed. I wasn’t going to cry in front of him. No way. 

“There is something I need to ask of you, love. You can refuse, of course, and I will honor what you choose, but it would be a tremendous help.”

“I’m not ready to become a vampire.”

“No, of course, I understand. It’s not that.”

“Then what is it?”

“We have reason to believe there will be an attack on London next. We are doing our best to take the necessary precautions to lessen the threat, but as the Commander of the Paris headquarters, I’m afraid I’ve been a bit preoccupied. You must know, I would never ask this of you if it wasn’t absolutely urgent. I understand how this might sound, and it might be frightening, especially after everything you’ve been through, but you must know, I would never doing anything to hurt you. In fact, I can assure you it won’t hurt at all. I can make it quite pleasant for you actually.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I need to drink from you, love.”

I felt like the air had been sucked from my lungs. He  couldn’t be serious. He couldn’t actually think I would agree to this.

I thought of my nightmare, of the frozen, blood-drained faces of the people I loved. No. Absolutely not. He couldn’t.

“No,” I said. “No.”

“I understand if that’s truly what you wish, but love, please think about it for a moment. I promise I will keep you safe. I have been putting the fate of my own kind in jeopardy to do so since I found you in the hotel. I won’t take too much, and you won’t feel a thing. I just haven’t fed in a while, and drinking from a Blood Rose is much more effective than anything else, and, well, I’ll need the extra strength if I’m going to spare London from the same fate as Paris.”

Again, I thought of all the lifeless bodies of my family members. I thought of Grandpa, the flesh torn from his neck, his blood sapped from his body. Then, I imagined some other young girl having to go through the same horror as me. How many people lived in London? How many of them would die the same way Grandpa did? How many could be saved if I agreed?

“Okay,” I said. “You can drink from me. Just please stop them.”

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