I'm beginning to get a headache from the thirst. It goes beyond just the headache, too. It's like having a migraine combined with hunger pangs. I don't realise that I've curled up on my side until Maxxie says my name. I open my eyes, seeing Maxxie looking at me all concerned.
"Seriously, Alex. You need something," he says unhappily. I shake my head stubbornly. I don't want to drink blood. Just the thought of it brings up a bunch of conflicting thoughts. The repulsion, the hatred and then the want, the need. The craving for something I've never tasted before. The disgusting desire that's been nagging at me for the last few hours.
"I can't. I won't," I snap. I sound like a little kid being asked to tidy his room or something, I know that, but I just... Maxxie gets up and disappears into another room for a moment. I watch the doorway warily until he walks back in. In one hand, he's holding a kitchen knife and the expression on his face is determined. For a moment I think he's about to stab me, but then I realise what he's doing.
"No!" I try to sit up, but the hunger pains have me stuck to the sofa. Maxxie kneels beside me again and lifts his arm. I slap it back down, glaring at him. I'm half shocked that he would do this to me, and half angry that he's being so persistent.
"Alex," he snaps, "I'm not going to have you in pain like this just because you're being a stubborn little shit, okay?" I'll tell you now, Maxxie rarely snaps. That's why I ended up friends with him, because his temper is always so even and calm that he doesn't stand up for himself. So for him to be glowering at me, the determined look stronger in his eyes and a muscle in his jaw jumping irritably isn't what you would call normal.
I don't say anything, my gaze distracted from his face to his neck, the artery pulsing there so tempting. The veins strung along his arms are sticking out a little and straining in his hand around the knife. I get the violent urge to rip them out and drink from them like straws in a fizzy drink.
He doesn't wait for me to say anything either. He doesn't hesitate as he pokes the tip of the knife into his thumb, drawing out a bead of blood. The smell when it's out in the open is almost impossible to bear. Stiffening, I try to hold my breath, but it's hard and I can't take my eyes off the blood.
I find myself taking in a deep breath, savouring the smell, wanting more.
Maxxie pushes the tip of his thumb between my lips, forcing the blood onto my tongue. I try to push him away, I don't want this. But I end up pulling him closer, taunted by the appetising, but tiny amount of blood I get from his thumb. His pulse gets a little faster as he smiles nervously, withdrawing his arm from me. A low growl rumbles in the back of my throat as he pulls away but it dies as he twists his arm so that the inside of his wrist is pointing up at the ceiling.
My eyes follow ravenously as he pushes the blade into the pale blue veins there, though I want to scream at him to stop. Except I've lost control of my own body.
Blood leaks out of the wound and he extends his arm back towards me. I grab it and drink from the split in his skin like there's no tomorrow.
For something that seems so repulsive to me, his blood is the best thing I've ever tasted.
This can't be good.