I didn't know if I liked this Marc guy or not yet. I had just told him what happened and I had confirmed that he was a vampire. And he wasn't evil or anything.
Now it was my turn to listen. He hesitated, like he didn't want to tell but he had to.
"It started when I was born."
"Doesn't everything?" I said with a smile. He gave me a Look.
"Yes. My mother wasn't ever really, a, well, mother. I went away when she got too horrible to bear. I learned many things while I was away and then she found me. And locked me in a house in France. For thirty years she locked me up and tried to get what information I'd learned out of me by torturing me endlessly. She was a psychopath and she would go on mad rants around the house sometimes and shoot guns wildly and she used wood." It seemed like everything just whooshed out of him at once. I sat stock-still in shock at what all he'd said.
"She used wood." I saw tears leaking from the corners of his eyes. He turned his head away, a feverish red blooming all over his face, crawling up from his neck. Wood was poison to us and hurt worse than any human poison. For a vampire to use this poison on another fellow vampire was utterly unspeakable. Beyond comprehension.
"Your own mother?"
He nodded. Acting on an impluse, I wrapped my arms around him. He made extremely quiet sobbing sounds. I wondered how hard it must have been for him to keep this in for so long.
"Thirty years." He whispered against my neck. His breath was cool, like all vampires'.
Suddenly I made up my mind about something. "Nothing is ever going to happen to you again. Ever. From now on we're sticking together because I think the last thing you want to be is alone. I promise I will not leave you."
He looked at me, wildly surprised. "Really?"
"Yes." I said fiercely. "I won't let anything happen to you." He withdrew from my protective embrace and smiled.
"It won't be fun." He warned grimly.
"I don't care. Running isn't ever fun. But who says it doesn't have to be?" I grinned.