I woke up in a bright room with a television and sofas. My hands were in handcuffs and though I didn't appear to be tied up, I couldn't move. I felt a sudden dread as I knew my time as an independent vampire was coming to an end. Yeah, Matt might have kissed me back in that meadow but that didn't change the fact that he wanted to make me his vampire and have me fully submissive with no free will.
Matt walked in, frowning.
"What happened out in that field?" he said, obviously talking to himself. "I don't love her; I just want to own her."
"Er, I am awake now," I said.
Matt chortled. "Of course you are. I woke you up."
"I notice there must have been a suggestion involving not being able to move."
Matt nodded. "Well done. Do you like the handcuffs by the way? I think it sort of hints at cops and robbers."
"Why would I like them? And surely someone as malicious as you would be the robber rather than the cop?"
"Fair points. So, um, how do you think we do this, then?"
"If I knew, would I really tell you?"
"Oh, I don't know. You might want to be mine after the field incident."
"I think that would be in a different way. As it is, I don't want to be yours at all. Like you said, I was just inspired by the moment."
"I' m not too sure you were, you know. Your disappointment seemed awfully convincing."
"I don't love you. It was probably a continuation of my act since you were going to change me. Since the change is inevitable now, I may as well drop it."
"Inevitable? I like your thinking."
Matt crouched down, his hair losing the brown colour in the light and looking dark red. Once again, I was enthralled by the beauty of his eyes.
"I think I'll do a blood exchange with you. That might work."
He tilted my head to the side, being surprisingly gentle. I was alarmed to find myself quite unwilling to resist him as he leant down and bit my neck.
It was painful, but strangely... relaxing. His rhythmic lapping up of my blood lulled me into a false sense of security and I felt oddly calmed by the sensation. I rested my chin on his hair and found myself imagining him as a decent person.
Even though I felt dizzy and light-headed, I didn't want him to stop when he extricated his fangs from my neck with a delicacy I wouldn't have believed he was capable of.
Matt sat down and looked at me as if I was puzzling and strange. "You're very weird, you know. No one's ever enjoyed having their blood drunk before; unless they're the nice ones who feel good about sustaining someone and what you were feeling wasn't quite the same."
I shrugged. "This evening's been very strange as a whole. It doesn't mean anything."
"I'm glad. You'd lose that wonderful decency you have if you fell in love with me."
"You want to own a decent person?"
"Well, sort of. I like the way you're always criticising me. It's hilarious because, really, there's nothing anyone can do about the way I am. My character is set in stone."
"Oh, I'm so glad you find my disgust at your amorality amusing."
Matt grinned. "I'm almost considering not having you fully submissive. You're great fun."
"Just get on with the exchange. I'll be as boring as possible if you're too nice to me."
"What? You want me to be nasty?"
"No, I'm just saying that if I had the choice, I'd rather you were annoyed than amused by me."
"Okay, then. Enjoy entering a new realm of submission." Matt bit his arm and offered it to me.
I drank it, wondering if I was going crazy. I had to stop after a few seconds. I pulled my head back, reeling from the intoxicating sweetness.
"Whoa, your blood is... too much!"
"I beg your pardon?"
"It's too sweet. It's ... horrible. Like melted chocolate mixed with jam and extra sugar."
Matt snorted. "So, you're not going to have any more?"
"Definitely not, unless you want me throwing it up."
"Nah. I guess that'll have to do, though you'll have to drink it a bit later on to complete the exchange."
"Ah, that's really too bad," I said grinning.
"Oh, I thought you wanted this. You didn't try to resist me at all."
"To be honest, I just wasn't in the mood to be hypnotised. I would never want you to own me."
"Right. Okay, then. Well, I'm going to pop out to have another drink and we'll finish the exchange when I get back."
With that, Matt stood up and walked out. I felt strangely glad that I wasn't his yet, though I suppose it was still going to happen.
I drifted off to asleep.
I awoke to the sound of banging. Someone was knocking loudly on the door.
"Open up, this is the VRS! You've been found guilty of endangering vampires' lives. Open up!"
No, I couldn't be that lucky. Could I?
"Help," I shouted. "HELP!"
There was a louder bang as the door flew off his hinges. I was astounded to see Daniel standing there.
"Taylor?" he asked.
I nodded. "Yeah, Matt hypnotised me to not move. He's going to make me his!"
"Could you stop it with the belonging to people, thing? I'm getting a bit fed up with it."
"But, don't you see? If he wants to make me his, there must be something in it. I'm sorry, Daniel, but it's real."
"I don't know what this vampire was going to do to you and I still don't believe vampires can belong to each other. Let's get you out of here."
"You'll need to hypnotise me or something," I said. "Or you'll just have to carry me home."
Daniel came forwards and squatted before me. "I don't want to do any hypnotising."
"Well, how else am I going to leave this apartment?"
"I ... don't know. But I've never controlled someone before."
"Daniel, I can't move. You have to."
Daniel cringed. "Okay. I'm sorry."
Daniel's face took on a look of grim determination. "Taylor, you are now able to move."
I smiled as I was able to stand up, with Daniel's aid. He freed me from my handcuffs.
Daniel was frowning as I walked out with him.
"Hey, Daniel, why don't you hypnotise me to tell you if the ownership concept's real?"
"It's a belief, not a fact. Besides, I wouldn't do anything like that again."
"You know, I'm hurt that you thought I could cheat on you," I said, feeling frustrated.
"What?" Daniel stopped and looked at me in disbelief. "You did not just say that. You were kissing Darren and it was obvious that it was a kiss."
"I was also trying to push him away. Did you never think that was odd?"
"All I saw was the girl I wanted to be with kissing someone else."
"Do the eyes never lie then?"
Daniel looked perplexed. "Look, if you were hurt that I thought you could cheat, think about the hurt that I felt thinking that. I didn't want to believe my eyes, but there it was - the scene I wanted to run away from and pretend I'd never seen."
"Daniel, I love you. I don't know how to make you see that I would never cheat on a guy, least of all the one who stopped my vampirism being so horrible. You know, I'd experienced suicidal feelings before I met you."
"Please just drop the subject. I haven't gotten over you yet."
"Then don't! Let yourself love me! I want us to be together too."
"Taylor, I can't trust you and that's that. I'll take you back to the apartment so I know you're safe but other than that, I don't want to see you again."
"I hate Darren," I muttered.
At the apartment, I strode to my room in a mood. I was reminded of my hate for Darren as I saw his surprised face.
He knocked on the door and asked, "What happened? Where's Roger? Why did Daniel bring you home?"
"This will never be my home!" I shouted.
"Tay, please tell me what's wrong."
"Okay, if you really want to know. Everything's wrong, okay, everything!"
Darren pushed open the door and came in, looking concerned. "Why? What happened?"
"Matt kidnapped me, Daniel rescued me and Roger was hypnotised."
"Matt?" Darren's eyes widened in shock. "Oh no! Is it too late? Are you his?"
"Fortunately, I doubt it. I couldn't stand the taste of his blood. But I came awfully close to that fate."
"Oh, Tay, I'm so sorry." He put his arms around me. I violently shoved him away. He fell to the floor, looking startled.
"You should be. Daniel still thinks I cheated on him!"
"Oh, but of course!" Darren jumped up. "Do you want me to go get him back?"
"Why?" I asked slowly and suspiciously. "What good would that do?"
"I could display my ownership of you."
"Really? You'd do that?"
"Of course I would. I love you, Tay. And it really was stupid how I reacted."
"Go on then. Quick!" I was excited. Were things going to finally change for the better?
Darren sprinted out, disappearing in a blur of motion.
A few minutes later, a bemused-looking Daniel walked in, followed closely by Darren.
"Why've you asked me back?" he was asking. "I don't want to see Taylor anymore."
Darren came and sat next to me. "Um, what shall I get you to do?" he asked.
"Anything that would make Daniel believe I wasn't lying," I replied eagerly.
"Taylor, this is really too much," Daniel said, crossing his arms.
"Um, wait," I said, suddenly thinking of something. "Darren, won't it just seem like verbal suggestion?"
"Oh, yeah," he replied. "Um... Maybe Daniel can suggest something that will make him believe you."
I looked at Daniel. "Yeah, Daniel. What would make you believe me?"
Daniel crossed his arms. "Nothing, Taylor. I'm not in the mood for this. I have to track down that vampire whose house you were in."
"Come on," Darren said. "Look how desperate she is for you to believe her."
"She's obviously deluded then, isn't she?"
"Oh, I have an idea! Tay, d'you mind if I hypnotise you to act like you did in your after-death phase?"
"Oh, not at all," I replied. "That's a great idea."
"Okay then. Sleep."
The world dissolved into darkness.
I woke up feeling a familiar sense of alertness and hyperactivity.
Daniel was looking sceptical.
"Now, listen to her thoughts," Darren instructed him.
"Okay. This is bound to be some sort of set up, though."
I watched Darren as he made himself more comfortable on my bed. He tried to meet my gaze, but I looked away, not wanting to challenge him.
"There, did you feel that?" he asked Daniel.
Daniel was frowning. "But... how? How did you produce that level of submissiveness in her? No amount of hypnosis does that. It's as if..."
"As if it were her purpose to submit to me," Darren finished. "You see? She wasn't lying."
Daniel looked as if he needed to sit down. "But... that can't be possible... The will is stronger than that. This can't happen. No!"
He collapsed to his knees. "That means... Oh no..."
Darren went over to him and crouched by him. "It's okay."
"No it's not," Daniel said quietly, looking up at Darren. "It definitely is not okay."
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"Oh, Tay; let me get you out of that state."
Darren stood up and walked over to murmur "Sleep," in my ear. Once more, I was entranced.