Chapter 5 - Quench My Thirst
He sat in silence for what seemed like hours, not looking at me, not talking to me, just sitting there staring at the black TV. I moved to get up off the sofa and he dived backwards as though I was about to shoot him. I put my hands up in surrender before returning to the fridge, "Do you want anything? A sandwich, a drink?" He just shook his head solemnly, I could tell he was hungry and by now it was getting on for five p.m. So I dug into the back of the fridge, pulled out a bottle of beer and one of blood and put some fresh bread in the toaster. Humans are so naive; they think that just because we are dead that we can't eat human food, but the truth is, the connection to our old human life is the only thing that keeps us partly human. The toaster dinged and I saw Matt jump from his seat, he was on edge constantly around me and just moving too quickly would set him off. I buttered the pile of toast, picked up the plate, the beer and the blood and scooped up a stake for good measure. I placed them all down on the table, the toast in the middle and the beer directly in front of him; then I held out the perfectly carved stake. Light wood with an inscription up one side, that read something along the lines of, "May this always protect you, against the creatures of the night" but I was never any good at Latin, so I hadn't translated it properly. He tentatively took it from my hand as I reached for a piece of toast, but he never took his eyes off me, a questioning look on his face.
"What is this for?" He flashed his eyes between me and the stake.
"You're scared of me, and I get that; so I wanted you to have something to protect yourself." I removed the cap on my blood and watched him cringe as the liquid sloshed up the sides leaving them stained red, so rather than watch him throw up I darted back to the kitchen and picked up a large stone wear mug and poured the contents of the bottle into it before putting it into the microwave. "Better?" I asked as I sat back down again with the mug, he nodded numbly before diving for the toast.
Another two rounds later and he was finally full, "Can I ask you something?" He turned on the sofa to face me, his legs crossed in front of him.
"Sure" I did the same keeping my warm mug close into me as it radiated heat.
"Why did you collapse? I collapsed because I felt a....." I cut him off.
".....you collapsed because you felt a burning sensation around your waist, as though someone had tied a rope around you and pulled so hard that you collapsed in agony before Chasity brought you downstairs" I didn't take my eyes off the mug, watching as the contents swirled in circles.
"Yeah, how did you know?" He was watching me intently but I couldn't keep his gaze; he was the only person in the world who made me feel nervous, even after death.
"Because that's why I have this...." I lifted the hem of the huge varsity shirt up to my middle revealing the band of burnt flesh that had only just stopped seeping blood. He didn't cower as I had expected him to, instead he lifted his own shirt and I saw the identical scaring and his amazing six pack. And then I saw that he was wearing the same clothes as he was yesterday. "Why did you help me?" I blurted it out, not thinking.
"Because you needed it..."
I looked up at him with a face that said 'I don't believe you' and then looked back down at my swirling mug of blood.
"Because you were the only real person at that school, you were always you, very shy, very Ruby. And because of that you were hated, but I never hated you, so I helped you" I looked into his bright green eyes and saw sincerity behind them, he meant what he was saying and that brought a real tear into my eyes. I had never cried since I was killed, but Matt was bringing the emotion back into the world.
"You had better get going, It's going to get dark soon and it's not a good idea to be out after dark, especially you being a hunter and all" I gave him a stern look with a smirk; I had to protect him now that he had protected me and he gave me a nod in agreement before gathering up his stuff and turning to head for the door. He opened it, and looked back into the apartment before closing it and heading down the corridor.
Only minutes after he left I felt the pull begin again, only slight at first as though a plaster was being pulled off and then I felt a yank that left me breathless and bleeding again; drops of thick vampire blood were falling in a circle around me, and lifting up the hem of the varsity shirt again I could see new burns beginning to form; it was starting again. And then when I thought the pain may have gone away slightly, the fierce burning returned. I screamed out in agony as blood began pouring out of my wounds and I fell to my knees clutching my head as though it would help....It didn't. The pain never went away, it never subsided and the tortured screaming began again in earnest. I heard a crash come through the doorway and heard someone hitting the floor as they scrambled to get in and then a wave of calm flow over me.....