“What did you have in mind?” Jeff asked
Raven hesitated. He calculated the odds of Jeff agreeing to his plan.
The odds didn’t come out all that great.
But it is all that I have to offer.
“I am a vampire, sir.”
“Yes. I am aware of that fact.”
Push the fear down.
Do not let him see it.
Do not let him know.
“I could enter her mind and ask her.”
Jeff adamantly shook his head. “I don’t want you to mess with her mind. Besides, how could I trust you to tell the truth?”
Raven’s expression hardened. “I consider myself to be an honorable man, sir. If she refuses resuscitation, it would sadden me, but I would tell you that is what she wishes. I would tell you the truth.”
“Even at the risk of your own heart?”
“And I can trust you?”
“Yes, sir. You can trust me.”
The doctor folded his arms across his chest. “I am not comfortable with this situation. It feels wrong. It feels like a breach of trust.”
“Well, what are we supposed to do?” Desperation cracked Jeff’s voice.
The doctor exchanged a look with his nurse.
She shrugged. “It’s your call.”
He nodded. “I will have to talk to my Integrity Officer to decide on the best course of action.” He patted Jeff’s arm. “Just stay here. I’ll be back.”
The doctor and the nurse left the room.
A heavy silence fell between the two men.
Raven was the one who broke it. “Will you never trust me, sir?”
“She is my daughter, Raven.”
“I know, sir.”
Sarah returned to Raven and hugged his arm.
Raven smiled at her, but it wasn’t a happy smile.
She hugged his arm even tighter.
“I don’t want you to break into her mind and bend it to your will.”
“Sir. You know what manner of man I am. You know—-”
“I know how you bullied Antioch to get what—”
“I would never do that to her! I never have and I never will.”
“But you are a vampire.”
Raven’s mind was a twisting kaleidoscope of fear and anger merging and blurring into each other. “So? You are a human. What point are you trying to make, sir?”
“Vampires are vampires are vampires.”
“That may be so, sir.”
“They can’t be trusted. It’s stupid and foolish to try. They’re all the—-”
“Sir! What have I done to merit this?”
“My daughter is unconscious because of you.”
Raven scowled. “I saved her life. I ran into a burning—-”
“And what was she doing there? Huh? Why was she there, Raven? Why?”
“Because I spoke of Miss Farlington. She became jealous. She ran away from me. She.” Understanding hit him with all of its might. “You are correct, sir. It is my fault.”
Sarah released his arm and pulled on his sleeve.
He looked at her.
She drew a circle in the air, pressed her fist against her chest, and then pointed at him.
His smile became more genuine. “Thank you, Sarah.”
She smiled at him.