Gabby’s screaming thoughts tell me just how rejected she feels, her regret for rushing into the lifestyle and how she thinks I think of her as a stupid little kid. Which I do, but that parental sting is nagging at me again and I end up just hugging her. I don’t know why. She stiffens, surprised. I hold her a second longer and pull away.
‘Sorry.’ I mutter, cursing myself for giving in to the instinct. Damn fatherhood. I slump in my seat and stare at the back of the chair in front of me. Gabby stares at me, and I hear her voice vaguely talking at me, but I can’t hear her, all I see is my daughter, my precious little girl. In my mind she’s smiling up at me, but all I can think about is just how good she smells. I swallow awkwardly, blinking back stinging tears. I try to shut out the rest of the memory, but it plays out in the back of my mind, pulling me under. I growl at myself, the three parts of me conflicting. The front, the father and the beast. They all hate each other. I laugh through the tears at my own stupidity, doubling over and hitting my head on my knees in an attempt to stop the memory from playing back.
Hunger overrides my emotion quickly enough, the recollection so powerful it sets me off. I feel Gabby tapping my shoulder, her voice still there. I tune into what she’s saying, finally able to ignore my own mind.
‘Jesse? What’s wrong? Helloooo?’
‘Hungry.’ I barely recognise my own voice. I know I have to wait though. I haven’t been in a confined space with humans for a long time, though, and I’m finding it hard to ignore the thirst. I try holding my breath for as long as possible. Konrad looks over at me and sees my eyes have gone red. He frowns and his lips for a concerned line.
I notice my hand has come out of my pocket. The sun tingles. The thirst burns worse than any numbers of suns could. I bite on my lower lip and slip my hand back into my pocket, around that blessed blob, inhaling slowly with relief as the thirst falls away from me.