Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence and mature content.
My senses came back to me with an almost physical force. My mind felt like it had been covered beneath a blanket of snow and I was too weak to clear it away. I blinked a few times and glanced around the unfamiliar room. The only light came from two generous windows on one side of the room. They were partially covered by heavy velvet curtains. Through the gap, I watched wisps of snow dance their way to the ground. A voice called my attention back into the room and I shifted my gaze to meet icy blue eyes. I tried to recognize the man before me, but his face was foreign to me. Everything had become foreign to me. It took a moment for me to hear his words.
"What is your name?" his voice was even and patient.
"Ellora." As I answered, I wondered if it was really my name or merely the first one that had popped into my head. He smiled and a silver ring on his bottom lip caught the light. He told me his name was Ithicus and I was sure at least one of us was lying about our names.
At that moment a sharp pain shot through my head and I placed my fingers over my temples. my hands were cold and help to ease the aching. I jumped when I felt Ithicus's hand rest over my own. My eyes had been closed and I hadn't heard him step forward. I quickly drew back from him, letting my hands fall away from my face. I saw the concern in his eyes and he seemed to wince with me when another flash of pain shot through my temples. I allowed him to gently guide me to a sofa at the corner of the room so I could sit. I let my eyes rest and when I opened them again he was holding out a glass of water for me which I refused. After a moment the pain subsided and a calm fog resettled over me.
He sat down beside me and after a moment he reached over and took my hand. I thought is was odd but I was too tired to remove my hand from his. I sat motionless watching the snow fall outside. He turned my hand palm up and I felt his thumb run gently over my wrist. After a moment he bent forward and his lips brush lightly on my skin, sending a chill up my spine. Just as I started to pull away, his grip tightened and he bit into my wrist. I gasped in pain and tried to free myself, but struggling only worsened the pain and I felt very weak. I watched in horror as my blood ran down my arm and dripped off of my elbow. The next instant my vision went black.
"Ellora, do you want to live?" The question was being shoved at me before I had even fully gained consciousness. "Ellora?"
I moaned and sat up, "What?" I looked down at my wrist, which throbbed with pain, and saw that it had been bandaged. I looked up, expecting to see Ithicus, but it was someone else. His hair was messy and auburn. His eyes were a light hazel. He repeated his question.
"What do you mean?" I asked, "I'm not dying."
"Yes you are." He said, and I detected a hint of sadness in his voice.
I looked down at my wrist again, ignoring his question. "That man...." As I remembered, a look of shock came over my face, "Is he deranged?"
"No," He answered, then he laughed softly, "Well, perhaps he is, but that has nothing to do with him biting you." He paused, and when I didn't respond he shook his head. "Surely you are simply stubborn and not as stupid as you make yourself seem. He's a vampire." He said stiffly.
"Don't play jokes on me." I said, my anger rising. "Where am I?"
"Ithicus calls it his palace." He said. "But Ellora, " He paused, looking into my eyes. "I promise you that you are dying."
My heart skipped, even though I was not convinced. I felt weak, but it didn't seem so serious. "Of course I want to live...." I said skeptically. "But-"
He stood up and left the room, leaving me puzzled. I stood slowly, teetering a moment before regaining my balance. I walked to the window and pushed the curtains aside. The snow had gotten thicker, and the wind blew it a harsh angles. I heard the door open again and turned to see the man from before, accompanied by Ithicus. In his hand, Ithicus carried a small silver cup.
"What's going on?" I asked.
Ithicus's expression was grim as he said, "Vampire saliva is toxic to humans. If it gets into you bloodstream, you will die within four hours or so." I narrowed my eyes, but remained silent. "You say you want to live?" I nodded slowly and stepped away from the window.
He approached me cautiously, as if I were a wild animal that would panic and crash through the window if startled. He held the cup out to me and I took it, my hand trembling slightly. I peered into it but in the dim light I could not tell what it was.
"This is you antidote. Drink." he commanded me softly, and I did. I had not wanted to and yet I did. As I guessed, it was blood. I dropped the metal cup and it clattered loudly, splashing the contents across the white marble floor. My stomach twisted in revulsion and fell against a small table, knocking off the glass vase that sat onto of it. It crashed and the floor, its shards scattering across the floor. My head was now spinning and with a moan I collapsed. I felt the vase shards beneath me dig into my skin as I began to lose consciousness.
When I awoke, I felt gentle hands picking the small pieces of glass from the side of my face. I opened my eyes, relieved that the eyes I met were hazel again.
"How are you feeling?" he asked when he saw I was awake. I didn't answer him, instead letting my eyes focus on the ceiling. His hands moved to my shoulder where the glass was more abundant. I cringed against the sting of the tiny wounds.
"My name is Eden by the way." he said after a moment of silence. I shifted my eyes to his, then back to the ceiling.
"What does Ithicus want with me?"
He measured his words for a moment before he said, "I'm not sure. He doesn't always share these things with me."
I closed my eyes, emotionally exhausted.
"We've had a room prepared for you." He said. "I'll take you there so you can get some rest." He lifted me off of the sofa and carried me up a couple flights of stairs until we reached the room which was to become my only sanctuary. My eyes remained closed as he gently placed me on a soft bed. I listened to his foot steps and did not let myself give into sleep until I heard the door close behind him.
In my dreams, a voice spoke to me. The words were like soft wisps of smoke that I could not grasp, but their sound clung to me and soothed me. I slept for what felt like days. I regret that I eventually woke up.
*Note-I realize that the whole vampire thing is rather over-played. I was even considering scraping this entirely for that reason but decided that, hey, I'm writing for fun, not to make money. So I apologize for the cliche but I hope I can make the story unique enough to compensate.