Raven woke up.
And he was hungry.
The room was dark.
He sniffed the air for her scent.
He was alone.
He got out of the makeshift bed and rubbed his neck.
The hunger pinched and hurt his stomach.
He pressed his hand against his abdomen and growled softly.
Raven stumbled out into the hall, hoping to catch her scent. Hoping that she would be randomly passing by.
Hoping that he wouldn’t have to hunt her down.
She was nowhere in sight.
Her faint scent beckoned to him.
He followed it without question.
Her scent led him into the library.
He licked his lips in anticipation. “Missy.”
She didn’t respond to his call.
He followed her scent past so many aisles.
He found her.
She was sitting in an aisle that was a dead end. If she wanted to escape, she would have to run past him.
He licked his lips again. “Missy.”
She looked up at him. “Hi, Raven!”
Raven walked over to her and sank down to her level. “What are you reading?”
She frowned. “Danger.”
She stood quickly. “Why are you making my danger alert go off?”
He stayed on the floor. “Am I?”
He laid his white gloved hands on his legs. “Probably because I’m hungry, miss. And you are here. Trapped. There is only one way for you to go and that would be straight through me.”
“I’ll burn holes in you if you try anything.”
“I am aware of that. That is why I am down here instead of inside your neck. If you come closer, I will make you an offer that will satisfy us both.”
“I can’t. My mind is telling me danger danger danger danger. I need to escape. I need to get away from you. I need to change. I need to—”
“Very well. Then, stay over there. I will not bite your neck.”
He smiled despite his hunger. “I see. You know how to play that game.”
“The ‘I will not do this if you let me do that’ game. I’m happy you know it. My ‘if’ is this: If you let me bite your wrist.”
She cradled her hands up against her chest and backed up against the wall. “What if I say no? Will you bite me anyway?”
“No. I will leave and find someone else I can say sweet words to.”
“But you want to bite me.”
“It would be convenient, miss. You are right here and it can be so difficult to find a good scent to pursue.”
“It will hurt, won’t it?”
“Unfortunately, yes. It will hurt. But I know how to soothe it.”
“Yes. What is your answer, miss?”
“If I offer you my wrist, will you try going for my neck instead?”
“No, miss. I will keep my word. Only your wrist will be bitten.”
“You won’t change me?”
“Only a bite to the neck can change a person. I will not do that to you. To be honest, I’m not even sure if I can change you.”
“Can I trust you?”
He thought about May Rose. “Let’s put it this way, miss. I lived in a household of humans after my change. They all had wonderful scents. Tempting scents. I never touched them. I never changed any of them. Not even her. So, yes. You can trust me.”
She stayed in her corner.
He waited on the floor.
Hunger wracked havoc on his stomach.
But he stayed still and patient.
She walked towards him.
He resisted the urge to lick his lips again.
He resisted the urge to spring upon her and knock her flat.
She looked down at him.
He raised his hungry gaze to her.
A moment of uncertainty passed between them.
She offered him her left arm.
“Are you certain, miss?”
He took her hand and turned it to just the right spot.
He bared his fangs.
She scrunched her eyes and turned away.
He sank his fangs into her skin.
Her fire-hot blood poured into his mouth. It was too hot to swallow.
He swallowed it, anyway.
The blood high came on too fast and all too soon.