This was the first time I’d ever fed on blood, human or otherwise. I was not prepared for the glut of sensations, for the flash of memories this awakened. I don’t mean my memories, I mean Marisa’s. Her blood fairly sang of her human life.
I saw Marisa at age five, running wild through a field of sunflowers. Her crimson hair flapping behind her like a flag.
I saw Marisa at age eight, taking her first communion, wearing a demure white veil and kneeling before a cross.
I saw Marisa at age sixteen, walking down an aisle wearing a similar veil, only this time I was there, too.
It was the sight of me in her memories, the sight of my watchful predator’s eyes staring back at me that severed the need. I pushed her gently away with a broken sob and sat down in front of the bed. She fell onto my lap and lay there as if sleeping.
After a long time had passed I raked a hesitant hand through her hair, uncovering her face. Her eyes were looking up at me, unblinking, full of questions.
“Marisa,” I breathed.
“How can you still call me that, after what I have done to you. After what you know me to be.” I groaned and put my head into my hands, reliving the last painful hours. “I could have killed you,” I muttered.
I felt a soft hand on my shoulder. “But you didn’t. I’m still here. Only better than before. I can feel the strength flowing in my veins, your strength.”
I felt Marisa pull away from me. I looked up and saw her standing over me like a beautiful statue, pale and strong. I’d never seen her emerald eyes sparkle so brightly.
“I am yours forever,” she said simply.