After Andrew’s friends had left, Lydia sat in the lounge and watched television. For once it wasn’t the news she was watching; after the last few weeks she felt the need to unwind and she’d found an old episode of Star Trek playing on one of the more obscure channels.
She looked up as the door opened and her father came in with a mug of hot chocolate, which he pushed into her hands. â€œYou look like you could use this,â€ he said. â€œHopefully things will calm down for a bit now.â€
â€œHopefully,â€ Lydia agreed. She glanced to where Draylian was lurking outside the door and back to her father, who was looking slightly tentative. â€œWas there something?â€
â€œMaybe,â€ he said. â€œDraylian wants to ask you a favour.â€
â€œHmm?â€ Lydia looked back at him. â€œWhat is it, kid?â€
â€œAh, well, I have an idea. I told Sarah-alra about it and she doesn’t think it will work but it won’t do any harm and I think it will.â€ He shuffled nervously. â€œIt’s okay if you say no.â€
â€œWhat’s the idea?â€ Lydia asked.
â€œOh! I didn’t say? Sorry, I’m nervous. I’m ready to finalise my transformation â€“ well as ready as I’ll ever be â€“ and I’d like to feed on you to do it if you don’t mind.â€
â€œOkay, that’s a request I wasn’t expecting.â€ Lydia took another sip of her hot chocolate. â€œWhy? You said you had a theory?â€
â€œYes, I think because I’m half-made and my energy is still in flux I might be able to use your energy as a template to fix my own.â€
Lydia blinked in surprise. â€œInteresting theory. Aunt Sarah thought it wouldn’t work?â€
â€œShe says that most of the damage is already done,â€ he said.
â€œShe’s probably right,â€ Lydia said. â€œBut I think you’re right to think it’s got to be worth a try. You want to do it tonight?â€
He nodded. â€œBefore I change my mind.â€
â€œOkay, let me finish my hot chocolate and finish watching this Star Trek episode and then we’ll do it.â€ Lydia looked over at her father. â€œYou’d better stick around as well, in case he tries to frenzy, and to feed me afterwards because whether it works or not I’ll be hungry.â€
â€œOf course,â€ Matthias sat down in one of the armchairs. â€œThanks for doing this, Lyd. He’s a good kid.â€
â€œHe is.â€ She turned her attention back to her mug and drank down the warm, comforting chocolate. She put down her mug just as the episode ended and held her hand out to Draylian. â€œShall we do this?â€
Draylian nodded and knelt down by her, taking her right hand in his and holding it to his forehead. A moment later she felt him began to draw on her energy gently; he was being hyper-cautious and she had to resist the urge to push more at him. If she understood the process correctly, he had to do this himself.
â€œYou don’t have to be quite so delicate, kid,â€ she said instead.
â€œI don’t want to hurt you,â€ he said but she felt him start to take more. After a moment he gasped and she felt his transformation start to finalise as he collapsed forward unconscious into her lap. She laid a hand on his head and scanned him but while she could sense something was happening, it was impossible to tell if feeding on her had had the effect he hoped.
Her father picked Draylian up and laid him on the other sofa. â€œLet’s get you fed and then I’m calling Sarah to look Draylian over.â€