When the sun rose I had to shuffle the chair into a corner. Bastards. I didn’t get a chance to do anything as they untied my hands because as soon as my hands were free a heavy object came smashing into my skull. When I came round yet again I was in a dark room – not alone. I was in the basement, I could smell it. I remembered the steps they took from my room to here, but I had no idea how to place them into context with the rest of the place. I would have to figure out the floor plan later, till then there was something dark and rasping in the corner of the room.
“Hello?” I murmured, to be met by a low snarl. I was free to move this time and I moved ever so slightly forward, it was no werewolf and that’s what scared me, “hello?”
The creature moved forward to meet me, golden eyes and silky, jet black fur. A panther, a gorgeous, rippling muscled, large fanged panther; he changed back before me, sleekly and without pain like a werewolf’s change. “Vampire. Blood... weak,” his eyes were still molten gold but his skin was white, with similar coloured hair. My heart stopped.
“Shifter, an animal shifter: I specialise in big cats and carnivores...you are?”
“Melissa, Melissa Rose. You already know who I am.” I looked at his torn clothes and wondered what he had been through, he had no scars but I felt so sorry for him. I played on this emotion; it made me override the fear.
“Jackson... Adrian Jackson,” he held out his hand and I shook it, odd he was so polite despite our predicament, “I know my manners,” he muttered as he read the confused look on my face, “but I am strong and destructive only when I need to be, I follow nature and her example: I am nice to those that are nice to me.”
I nodded, I would have to keep that in mind he would be a valuable ally... I looked at him, his eyes were not looking at me. I followed his stare to a pile of bones in the corner, their fangs still sat in their mouths. How did I not see the fang marks on his neck? I was put down here to feed on him... so they clearly want me alive... don’t they? They must know what this guy does when the vampires feed on him... maybe this is a test? I shook my head to clear my mind. “I will not feed on you; you are too beautiful for that.” I almost felt guilty. I had forgotten about Lazarus, in that moment when Adrian and I met I completely forgot about Lazarus.
“I will not say I trust you... but thank you all the same.”
“I am not a domesticated dog, I do not play dead on command,” I was being serious, but it made him laugh.
“I don’t think you need anyone telling you to play dead...” Oh, captured by hunters and locked in a cell and he’s being funny. I suppose, it’s the only way that he keeps sane, my face didn’t change from the scowl that was painted a few moments ago, “about thirty years here, moved from place to place. The thing that hurts most is the fact I’m never allowed outside. I can no longer hear the song of the trees, or the way the birds sing in a morning...” his gaze faded out and he turned to move back to his shadowed corner.
I caught his arm and he instinctively turned round with a snarl, turning the moment into his favour as he pulled me round and thrust me to the floor with my hands behind my back, “Adrian...I was only trying to comfort you...” He eased up, eventually standing up.
“Don’t, you can’t afford to get soft,” he muttered in reply becoming cold in an instant.
“I always was,” I laughed, “guess I’m screwed,” he let out a short swift laugh in return and I figured I’d gotten somewhere. Now all I had to do was stop myself from drinking from him... they way he made my heart thump in my chest I figured it wouldn’t be hard.
I sat on the opposite side of the room, to respect him. But I didn’t want to be alone, not when I knew there was someone else here. I hid my head in my knees, pushing my hands to my ears as the pained howls of the werewolves upstairs echoed through this building. I sniffled, tears rolling down my cheeks as I heard the pain echo through the halls, the wretched song of their hearts beating in my ears. It was in the midst of my tears that Adrian made his way over; he pulled my hands away from my ears and tilted my head up. He was crouching in front of me, his hands reaching out and cradling my face, wiping my tears away.
“Don’t cry...” I stared into his eyes, but they were too cold to find anything in them. “You’ll waste your blood.” Okay, he was trying to help me keep as much blood in my body as possible, so I didn’t bite him... but I relished the feeling, of his hands on my face like that. I placed my hands over his and nodded, trying my best to halt my tears. “Be strong,” he smiled, showing two cute, tiny fangs. I couldn’t help but smile back.
“Where are you, are you okay?” Wait... that wasn’t Adrian... that was...