Greg’s scowl deepened. “I’m not…cannibal.”
Raven did not look amused. “I did not mean it quite like that.” He set the heavy bag of books on the floor. It sat there like a big old sack of bricks. “You are a vampire, sir, and you need to drink.”
Greg shook his head. “I’m fine. Not hungry…anymore.”
“Perhaps that is so. Yet, trust me, sir. You will feel much better after you drink.”
He shook his head again. “Not hungry.”
Raven shrugged. He took the young woman’s right hand and raised it to Greg’s eye level.
His scowl did not lessen one bit. “What—”
Raven extended one of his claws and sliced her wrist.
Greg’s heart seemed to go still as her blood rose to the surface of the scratch. Her blood beaded along the edge before trickling out. He moved without thinking — scrambling and tumbling out of bed. Even though his fingers were bent and twisted out of shape, he took her hand from Raven.
His mouth watered. The unnamed emptiness inside of him raged with the need to be filled.
Her blood was beautiful. So red. So tempting. So alluring. It smelled so good.
He couldn’t resist it.
He licked the blood trailing off the side of her wrist. His pupil widened at the taste. Yes, it tasted like blood. There was no getting around that. But it tasted also like caramel. Decadent caramel lying thick in the bottom of a coffee cup.
He needed more of it.
He bared his fangs and sank them into her wrist.
Her arm became slick with her own blood and his saliva.
“Close your mouth, sir.” Raven said. “You will find it a great deal more difficult to draw in her blood when your mouth is open.”
Greg took his advice.
Raven’s voice was calm and soothing as he continued his instructions, “Now, hold still, sir. Keep your mouth still. You do not want to shred the lovely young lady’s arm. Take a deep breath. If you are doing it correctly, you should feel her blood fill your mouth.”
Greg took a deep breath. As promised, the young woman’s blood flooded his mouth.
Horror and revulsion gripped him. He wanted to spit the blood out, but he also wanted to keep it in his mouth. He wanted to swallow it. He wanted to…needed to keep drinking.
“The first meal is always the most difficult. For it forces you to face your new reality. You are still you. Yet, you are…”
Raven’s voice fuzzed and blurred out of focus.
He kept drinking. The unnamed emptiness inside of him gradually filled. And it was such a relief.
It felt so good to no longer be empty.
Raven watched over Greg as he drank from the young woman’s wrist. He was ready and set to run interference if he felt the need to do so.
But there was no need.
Greg released her arm as he slipped easily into a blood high.
Raven gently guided him onto the bed and covered him up. “Sleep now, Gregory Innoway.” He laid his hand on the side of Greg’s head. “I will return shortly.”
He picked up the heavy bag of books and led the young woman out of the room.