Chapter One Part Two
Leisa had been dreaming when the young hunter started to pick the lock on her door, but she was already awake by the time he entered the kitchen. You didn’t survive nearly eight centuries without waking at the slightest sound, and he had made quite the racket.
From the way he blanched whiter than a hungry vampire and the wildness of his sea green eyes, she could tell he was used to dealing with young ones and revenants. If sheâ€™d wanted, she would have had plenty of time to incapacitate or kill him before he managed to pull out his silver crucifix, but she forebore. She wanted him to understand his mistake, hurting him would only support his prejudices. Perhaps she should have taken his crucifix off him like she had the knife, but he didn’t look like he could take any more shocks at the moment.
She did give him a taste of the mind powers which experienced vampires enjoyed by making him stop and look at her. When she tossed his knife back to him, he fumbled the catch and left a small pool of blood on the stairs, which was very considerate of him.
She climbed the stairs, dabbed some of it up, and tasted it. It was sweet and untainted by the chemicals that marred the taste of so many of her meals. She used the bond formed by the taste and reached out to touch his mind. The grief and turmoil she found made her recoil. Sheâ€™d upset him that badly? No, it wasn’t her, at least not entirely. He’d had some bad news. She started to push into his mind to investigate but pulled back. It wasn’t related to his hunting and was none of her business.
She turned her attention to the parts of his mind that did concern her and discovered sheâ€™d unsettled him more than sheâ€™d intended. There was the beginning of a compulsion to return to her. It wasnâ€™t strong enough for him to notice yet, but it would grow if not stopped. But why? She hadnâ€™t intended any such thing.
While she waited for him to sleep, she fetched herself a glass of preserved cow blood and puzzled over this mystery. She didnâ€™t have to wait long.
She dressed swiftly in an outfit far more normal than the average human would expect a vampire to wear – jeans and a pale blue blouse. Opera capes were all very well, but black didnâ€™t suit her and dressing like something out of a horror movie attracted attention and scared off the type of people she preferred to feed from. Even without a theatrical outfit, the kid would be scared out of his mind when he saw her, and he was going to see her.
She followed the touch of his mind until she reached his home; then, transformed herself into mist, slid through the crack under the door and up the stairs to reform at the foot of his bed. He was fast asleep, but she could see the tracks of tears on his face.
Poor kid looked like he needed his sleep right now, but she steeled herself and brushed his mind again to lift his name.
â€œDavid,â€ she called softly, with both her mind and her voice. He stirred but didnâ€™t wake, so she called again more firmly. â€œDavid!â€
He came awake with a start and stared at her in horror. â€œNo, you canâ€™t be here.â€
â€œObviously, I can.â€ She sat on the edge of his bed and smiled at him. The scent of his blood was overwhelming. â€œSince I am.â€
â€œYou left some of your blood behind.â€ She touched his bandaged hand with a fleeting fingertip. â€œWe donâ€™t need an invitation if weâ€™ve tasted your blood – didnâ€™t you know that?â€ She gave a low, mocking laugh. â€œObviously, you didnâ€™t. Ah, poor David, you actually thought you were safe here didnâ€™t you?â€
He whimpered; his eyes clouded with terror. She didnâ€™t even have to touch his mind to know he thought he was about to die. Part of her wanted to reassure him that he wasnâ€™t, but then heâ€™d assume she was going to turn him,which would just scare him more.
She smiled at him again, and her fangs slid out of her gums.
He gave a soft, terrified cry and cowered.
â€œReally, a nice tall lad like you shouldnâ€™t be scared of a little thing like me.â€ She grabbed his hand and sank her fangs into his wrist. As his blood hit her tongue his panic left an acrid aftertaste that made her cringe. She pushed an instruction to be calm into his mind.
That was when she saw it – an alien trace in his mind that rose up and resisted her command. Someone else had been here first. Someone whoâ€™d pushed him towards her in an attempt to kill her. It wasnâ€™t the first time. This same other had been trying to kill her for centuries. It was starting to get annoying. She pushed past the other’s defences and ejected them from Davidâ€™s mind, before drawing back physically and mentally.
David was starring at his wrist. â€œIt didnâ€™t hurt?â€
â€œI didnâ€™t want it to,â€ she said. â€œGo back to sleep.â€ She reinforced the command telepathically, and he immediately flopped back onto his pillows. She spent a few minutes laying some mind traps, in case her unknown enemy tried to use him again; then, rose to her feet. Remember this only as a dream until youâ€™re ready to accept it, she commanded and left the way sheâ€™d entered.
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