But she’s wearing a turtleneck.
HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO BITE HER WITH ALL OF THAT BLASTED MATERIAL IN THE WAY?
Ambrose grabbed the ribbed material and was about to tear it off her neck.
He saw his father’s face.
His stomach growled.
He saw his father’s fear.
His stomach growled even louder.
He saw his father die.
“All I do is take and take. I never give back. I destroy. Every women I get too close to, I hurt. I kill. I ruin.” He stood and paced the room. But what am I supposed to do? Live in a state of constant hunger? I can’t. Not again. Not ever again. But what am I supposed to do?
“Mmnn” She sat up, rubbing her eyes.
He stopped and looked at her. I don’t want to hurt her the way I’ve hurt others. The way I hurt Elsie.
She lowered her hands and saw him standing there. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” But his voice was too sharp.
“I don’t want to hurt you.” Even standing on the other side of the room, he could smell her scent. “I have to go.”
He turned to leave.
“Are you hungry?
“What can I do?”
He laughed, a harsh, angry sound. “What do you think?”
She didn’t say what she thought.
“That’s what I expected. Good night.”
He kept walking.
“Wait!” She ran after him.
Ambrose spun around and grabbed her wrists. “You want to dance, Barbara? If you do,” He forced her to take two steps back. “I’ll do it. I’ll dance with you.” He twirled her and pulled her into his tight embrace.
He swayed her to the music inside his head. “It will hurt and it will make you mad with hunger and you will never be that person you were before.”
Ambrose put his mouth close to her ear and said softly, “You’ll try. Every morning, you’ll try to wake up with the sun, but you’ll be too tired. Exhausted. And, if you haven’t had anything to eat the night before, you can’t even function.”
He stopped moving. “You’ll think of me and hate me for what I’ve done to you.”
She leaned her head back against his chest. “Does it have to be like this?” There was no anger in her voice. Only sadness.
“I’m hungry and you smell so good. I’m hungry.” He nuzzled her collar down. “Hungry.”
“I don’t want to die.” His breath was warm against her skin. She cried. “Please! I don’t want to die.”
“I could change you.”
Laetissa’s voice sounded in his head. “No one should undergo a change like that against their will.”
And no reasonable person would willingly choose such a change. But what am I supposed to do? She’s here. She’s right here and I’m so hungry.
“Couldn’t…couldn’t you just bite my wrist? Wouldn’t that be enough for you?”
He thought of Elsie.
The feel of her skin.
The taste of her blood.
He released her. “I’ll find someone else.”
She turned and looked at him. There was no anger.
He frowned. “Don’t look at me like that. I’m not pitiful.”
Laetissa’s words spoke again in his head. “But vampires…We never ask, do we? No, we never do. We always take and take. Kill and kill and kill. Just a whole lot of mindless, heartless, soulless killers.”
“I’m just a monster.” He turned around and left.
“No, you’re not.” she said softly.