I readily admit I’m a wuss when it comes to pain. Give me ordeal after ordeal of terrifying events that could turn my hair white from shock and horror, but show me a needle for a shot and I turn into a whining, weaselly wimp. So when I groggily woke up to a searing, sharp pain in the bend of my left arm, I let out a cry and tried to jerk my arm away.
First rule of having a vampire’s fangs buried in a vein: don’t jerk the limb containing the vein away from the vamp. Not only will you rip the skin and flesh, but you’ll piss off the vamp that’s feeding on you.
Agony tore up through my arm, and Mignonette hissed in irritation at the disturbance of her blood meal. I pushed myself backward from her, as I was apparently resting somewhat on her lap, and fell to the floor from an old, staid Victorian era couch. As I lay on a cold, stone floor, bleeding not a small amount from the crook of my arm, Mignonette tried to catch my eyes to put me under again. I scuttled backward and away from her in an incredibly poor imitation of a crab, until my back hit a wall so suddenly I almost brained myself. I kept my eyes downcast, but unfortunately it didn’t stop me from catching a look at the rest of the room.
It was some kind of sitting area whose decorator was going for 19th century England meets a BDSM dungeon. The couch sat in front of some kind of wooden, x-shaped structure that boasted more chains than a prison, and with nothing left to me but a sudden burst of coherence, I could only think; well that is a tad excessive. Behind the chain-covered oddity was a wall full of devices and implements I didn’t want to think about, as I could only readily identify a very few, and my imagination might break under the strain of devising the use of the others. The far wall across from me was, thankfully, bare, but behind the couch was a four-poster bed, stripped bare of any comfort save a mattress, and had restraints at various locations.
My breathing was ragged from the pain, which burned through me like scalding hot water, and at the sight of the room. Mignonette had taken the time to stand during my inspection of the area, and though I was avoiding her gaze, it was impossible to miss the cruelty of her model-worthy smile. Though the effect was somewhat ruined by my blood around her mouth, or at least it was for me, but maybe I was just being biased. Maybe being blood-smeared was exactly what made her look so stunning in that moment.
“You were not supposed to wake up, little freak, but perhaps I got carried away by the deliciousness of your blood,” she said, her voice husky and low, the way a woman’s could get before, during, and after some great foreplay and/or sex. It also sounded a touch crazed, like a junkie who’d taken a hit but had the rest of their drug removed to just out of reach and still in their line of sight.
This was not good. I’d been told that Mids tasted good to those who enjoyed human snacks, but I’d only heard whispers that we could be addicting. As in; “I’ll gorge on you until I burst or you die,” type of addiction. Guess which usually happened first?
My back to the wall, and no abilities to make me the faster person in the room, my choices were run-and-die, or sit-and-die. Oliver won’t be able to save me this time, the random thought floated through my brain, and I almost laughed scornfully at the realization. No white knights for me this time. Never one to not fight, I dashed for the wall behind the x-shaped implement, my earlier reservations about it gone if I could find anything to defend myself with. Of course, the chances that a vampire would keep anything here that could hurt them was laughably illogical on the part of my hope.
I didn’t have to worry about that, however, as she caught up to me just as I reached the chain-covered device, and I slammed into all those excessive chains. Blinding pain shot through me as my mid-section took the brunt of the impact, however we’d been going too fast to save my face from hitting the metal as well. Blood poured into my mouth and down my face, and I idly wondered if all my teeth would survive the night. Hell, I wondered if I’d survive the night.
Whatever the contraption was, it was built sturdily enough, and merely groaned irritably at the impact. I guess when you make things for creatures that can bench-press small elephants, you need to make them to withstand some brutal treatment.
Mignonette laughed, and turned me around. Dazed, all I could do as she licked my face clean was push weakly against her. When she went for my mouth with hers I tried to turn my head, but she gripped my hair as she’d done in the bathroom and yanked me back around to face her. Before she could put me under again I closed my eyes.
“If you let me in, I can take the pain away,” she whispered seductively in my ear, and I shivered. Not from the sexual heat radiating from her voice, but from the offer for her to stop the pain.
As though the mere acknowledgement of its existence made it worse, the pain redoubled and my knees collapsed beneath me. Only Mignonette’s grip on my hair, body shoved against mine with her thigh shoved into my groin for support, and keeping me well and truly pinned between her and the chains, kept me upright.
In a moment of torment-fueled delirium, I nearly said yes, then the sound of a door slamming against a wall reverberated through the room and Mignonette jerked away from me in surprise. Next thing I knew I was sliding to the floor, as though all my bones had abandoned me along with my resistance. In my blurred vision as I stared at the floor in front of me through blood-matted hair, only able to sit up with the help of the contraption, Mignonette’s cruel features had been replaced by two impeccably polished, black shoes.
“You have made a fool of yourself and me for the last time, Mignonette,” the rich, cultured voice of a man washed over me like an angry tide, hot and full of fury.
Mignonette whimpered, and in some small, dark part of my mind, I couldn’t help but be pleased by the sound.
“But master–” she began, and I heard more than saw him give her a hard shake. Then, he threw her toward the door that must have been in the same wall I’d backed up to.
“Take her to the punishment room. I will deal with her later.”
“Yes, master,” another, male, voice said.
Mignonette screamed and struggled as the–likely–other vampire took her away. That was the problem of not being the biggest, baddest, or strongest in the room; all your supernatural abilities meant nothing when someone had the same power, or more.
Either the man who had pulled Mignonette from me was fast, or time was skipping like a bad dvd, because next thing I knew he was kneeling in front of me. I’d never met a vampire who wore jeans before, but this one did, and the dark blue of the material stood out in a stark contrast against the light grey of the stone.
He made a disgusted noise in the back of his throat, and then a single, pale, curled finger hooked under my chin and slowly tilted my head back to look up at him. I made a small sound of protest, though it was equal parts from the pain and not wanting to be put under again, and then I met his eyes.
They were the most brilliant shade of emerald green I’d ever encountered, as though someone had taken a pair of jewels and fashioned them into eyes. However, they were his normal shade, and not his vampire, pulling out my powers one, which meant he wasn’t trying to force me under. At my sharp intake of breath, the man smiled, just one corner of his mouth lifting up in amusement or satisfaction, or both, but it didn’t show his teeth. The nostrils of his refined nose were flared, likely from the scent of my blood, and his ivory skin had the paleness of a vampire who hadn’t fed for the day.
“As it was the transgression of one of my progeny that has left you in this state, I offer you healing,” he said, his dark voice matching the dark, coppery brown of his softly curling, shoulder-length hair.
“What–” I started, and had to swallow the pain down to finish my sentence, “–does that entail?”
“You may drink some of my blood, which will heal you, but not completely. I assume you do not wish to be bound to me, and drinking enough to fully heal you might have some metaphysical consequences,” he finished, laying out the option for me.
My eyes searched his for any ulterior motives, since he was a supernatural, and a vampire at that, so there generally was one. But his bland, almost bored expression gave me nothing, and I was going to have to take the offer at face value. I thought some of my bones might, at the very least, be cracked from the impact, and the bones in my skull felt like they were sliding around each time I moved.
“Okay,” I said, and closed my eyes against the transition from dazzling green to hellfire scarlet that always happened when vamps went vampy. No need to add to the rising panic in my chest, or to the saner parts of my mind screaming how bad of an idea this was.
Being a Mid meant I had no extraordinary powers of healing, like certain supernaturals, and I didn’t have any insurance to be laid up in a hospital for days or weeks as I recovered. Not to mention if a disaster was going to hit the city, I needed to be able to run away, and in my current state the best I’d be able to manage was a slow crawl.
Plus, drinking the blood of a hot vampire wasn’t a fate worse than death, right? All I could do was hope against hope I’d never have to find out.