Melissa awoke the next evening to find James was already standing over her. When she opened her eyes she jumped, moving back against the wall. "Good evening." He chirped, "sorry to scare you." He reached out a hand, offering to pull her up. Melissa nodded, placing her hand in his. He pulled backwards instantly pulling Melissa to her feet. "It's...okay." She moaned.
"You drank lately? You are looking really pale." He placed a slender hand on her cheek, moving her head from side to side, examining her.
Melissa shook her head, somewhat embarrassed so she did not speak. "Who is Lazarus?" He asked, "you called for him in your slumber."
Melissa's eyes widened. "He is...was... my." She sighed, shaking her head slightly, clearing it. "He was my lover, my..." A tear formed in her eye. "But... I think hunter's caught him." She did not say how she had belief's that he had left her. She couldn't face it.
"Ahh... is he your sire? If so, he has done a terrible job at teaching you." He smiled, trying to change the subject.
Melissa shook her head. "No, he is not. My sire is dead. He never really taught me much. I'm a pathetic vampire." She laughed weakly, trying to cheer herself up.
"Maybe so, but you are beautiful. If you want, I could teach you some things. You are young after all, so these skills will be necessary." He walked to the window and opened the curtains. Allowing the moonlight to stream through.
"I'm sorry. I hardly even know you, yet you speak as though I have known you all my life. How do you know how old I am?" She queried, walking over to the window next to him. Life below seemed simple, a few humans walking around drunk. A car, here and there.
"Because I am an elder... well, I'm old. Put it that way. I know a lot and I have quite a few powers you couldn't even dream of." He smiled, Melissa thought just how old he was, and so James continued. "To save you asking, over 1400 years old. Telepathic." He laughed, tapping his forehead.
Melissa stepped back. "What else do you know?" She growled instinctively. Although, she thought this was rather rude as James was being friendly.
"I know that you are extremely weak, but extraordinarily fast." He disappeared, reappearing behind her. "And that you are battling with the shadow. Here." He reached a hand over her shoulder, touching just above her heart. Melissa froze.
"So... it's not just a myth?" She mumbled.
"No. Tis a powerful thing too. But it can wait, you need to feed."
Melissa shook her head. "No, I cannot... I can't drink from humans. I cannot kill them."
"Kill them? You need not kill them to drink from them. Simply control the beast, take only what you need. My. Your sire was an evil one, wasn't he?" He smiled again, grinning so that his fangs were clearly shown. He held out his hand again. "Come. I will show you."
Melissa nodded wearily, taking James' hand. Together they traversed the streets of the lowly town, until they came across a man, sat alone on a bench. He wore a long furry jacket and looked rather rich. James pointed to him. "There. Show me what you know. Drink from him." Melissa shook her head, "no. I can't. He's an innocent waiting for his wife." James stopped, "How did you know that, are you telepathic too?" Melissa shook her head simply. "No. I hear their memories, only humans, I cannot read their thoughts, only images, memories of times before." James nodded.
"You must work on that, it could be a powerful skill. But now, go. If the wife comes I shall distract her. I will communicate to you via my telepathy." He pushed Melissa towards the direction of the man. Almost instantly she could hear the blood rushing through his veins. "Excuse me?" She smiled, sitting down beside him.
"Yes?" The man shook, he was not cold, possibly he was aware of the high crime rate around. Or maybe, Melissa didn't look human.
"I'm sorry, did I scare you?" Her voice was soft, alluring. She lowered her eyes slightly, as if she were upset. Her brown curls fell from her shoulders, framing her face.
"No...why, you're beautiful." The man spoke in a monotone, as if possessed.
"Thank you." She smiled, leaning towards him, the man lifted his head as if turning to kiss her. Melissa kissed his lips, before moving her own down to his neck. There she found his vein and sunk her teeth into his flesh.
"Good." James spoke, in his deep, soft tone. "Now. Listen to the beast, hear it's calling. When it stops, you need not take more. Be not gluttonous." He smiled as he watched Melissa drink from the man.
Melissa could hear the growl of the beast dim as the warm blood brought colour to her cheeks. She stopped, when the beast stopped growling. Not a drop of blood stained her mouth. She pricked her finger with her tooth and placed two drops of her own blood on each puncture wound, instantly they healed and the man came round. "I'm sorry." He shook himself, "what did you want?" Melissa smiled and shook her head. "Nothing. Thank you."
She got up and walked over to James. "Feeling better?" He almost jested, staring at the deep red her eyes had turned. Melissa nodded. "I feel, stronger." She paused. James laughed. "Yes. Well, the stronger the human, the stronger the blood. That would explain why you're so weak." He placed an arm round her. "Come, let us go back, I believe we need to talk about your shadow."
Snow began to fall around them, creating a white blanket around them. Melissa couldn't help but think about Lazarus. How warm she would be wrapped in his arms, she wouldn't give up on him. But for now, she had the chance to learn more about her vampiric self and she was going to take it.