The pain flared up again.
Ambrose pressed his hand against his neck.
The pain faded, but it took a lot longer than last time.
It can’t be the hunger Sammy warned me about. It can’t be. It’s the cold. It’s too cold out. I need heat. A cup of hot water. And I’ll feel better.
I want one more night. One more day as just me. Before the hunger grabs me.
That’s all I want.
The pain surged back and his body heat increased.
Maybe I’m sick. It’s a rare vampire flu. Maybe I caught something from that caith girl. Some sort of cat flu or—
He shivered again. His stomach clenched up on him.
Ambrose sank down to his hands and knees. The snow on the ground melted fast from his touch.
He gagged and retched, but nothing came up. He panted in hard, raspy breaths.
no one’s around.
what am I supposed to do?
His stomach tightened.
Ambrose couldn’t feel the cold anymore.
He stopped thinking.
He rose to his feet and put the black box in his slacks pocket.
He went hunting.
A man sat inside a tent, talking on his cell phone. “Look. I’m just saying. No. No! You listen to me. I didn’t sign up for anything like this. What? Oh, is that what you really think?” He unzipped his tent and stepped outside. “Oh, yeah? You wanna know what I really—”
Ambrose grabbed him and sank his fangs into the man’s neck.
“No! No!” He struggled to escape.
Ambrose dug his claws into the man’s arms.
The cell phone fell into the snow.
Blood poured into his mouth. Barbeque sauce scented blood.
But it didn’t fill him. Nor did it send him into a blood high.
He sank his teeth deeper and drank longer.
The man died.
Ambrose was still hungry.
He growled and threw him into the snow.
Anger pulsed through him. He needed to lash out at someone.
He extended his claws and attacked the tent.
In a matter of seconds, the tent was nothing but a pile of scraps. But Ambrose wasn’t satisfied.
His neck still hurt.
And he was still hungry.
He ran through the snow without a particular destination in mind. The hunger stayed with him and drove him onward. Steadily, thoughtlessly onward.