"Thank you, Katherine." I smiled up at the young woman, wiping the last drop of her blood from my bottom lip. She returned the smile nervously, obviously flustered. Still smiling, I pulled the recently cleaned, crisp white linen bandage from my back pocket, and proceeded to wrap her wound.
"It should heal quickly." I reassured her, "The venom on these bad-boys..." I tapped my front two teeth, "...simulate cell regeneration in the skin and muscle fibers, poor irony isn't it?"
She laughed nervously, "Yeah, I guess it is."
"It's how we remained undetected for all these years," I continued. "After feeding, their body would still heal after death- so, when they were found, there were no suspicious bite marks. There! All done." I smiled back up at her, having finished the bandaging.
"You killed people before then?" she asked quietly, her eyes suddenly having gone wide.
"Only bad people, Katherine." I clasped my hands around hers. "I've only ever fed on two types of people: The worst of Criminals, and Volunteers."
"Do you get lots of Volunteers?" she relaxed some, leaning back and rubbing her bite, her hands ran up and down the inside of her forearm, almost exactly halfway between the wrist and elbow. Good place to get a decent feed fast, far enough away from the arteries to be in risk of doing very serious damage.
"You'd be surprised." I laughed, "Before the war, there were these groups of people, humans, who'd run around pretending to be us. They were always fun, practically worshiped you once they found out you were really a vampire."
"That's crazy." she whispered, gazing off.
"Anyway Katherine, thank you." I lent in, and pecked her on the forehead, causing her to blush. "You were delicious." I smirked, before turning and walking away. Ignoring the accusing stares of Sophia and Susanne.
Passing one feeding-couple, as they'd come to be called, I tapped the vampire on her shoulder. "I think that's quite enough, friend."
She jumped at my touch, but immediately drew back. "Sorry." she said quietly to me. I nodded at her human and she instantly turned, apologized and began with the bandaging.
Pausing for a moment, I inspected the scene before me. It was the first morning after the group had voted in favor of the feeding system, and already the dynamics within the resistance were completely thrown on their heads.
Human trusted vampire, and vampire respected human. There were more conversations between the previously segregated groups. I myself felt more of a connection toward the humans, they were brave beyond measure offering their wrists to us. And the vampires were doing remarkably in their self-restraint and I guessed the Humans must have sensed that.
Making my way through the old warehouse, I found a small circle of Humans all with Bandages on their arms, and Jared sitting rather comfortably with a girl snuggled up beside him- Kate, I think her name was.
"How're you all feeling?" I asked, with a friendly smile, gesturing to their arms.
Everyone responded with smiles, nods and affirmative answers which made me feel even better about the whole situation. "Jared, could you come with me?" I grinned eagerly.
He stood up gingerly, smiling at the girl. "Sure thing. Uh, I'll be right back."
As we walked away from the group he grabbed my arm and spun me around. "Whats this about, Antonius."
I grinned back at him. "We're going to gather up the rest of us Vampires. It's time for some high-speed combat training."
He grinned back. "And it's about time. Whats the plan?"
"We all gather up the far end of the Warehouse, and I teach you all a few tricks."
"You go get ready, I'll get them, and meet you up there?"
Before I could respond he was off, full speed between the groups. I turned and slowly made my way down the far end, running backwards through my memories. Through the centuries and centuries of fighting off other vampires, eventually landing back to a moment I'd all but forgotten.
My first day in the officers academy in Rome, the old Scholar out front had started with a single line. "Moralis et Disciplina.
Moral and Discipline. The necessities for a Victorious Army.