Chapter Two: The Ethereal Beauty
THE TRUTH WAS, ALUCARD MISSED HAVING COMPANY. Sure, the last time he harbored strangers was quite disastrous, to put it lightly, but if Adrian Tepes sucked at anything, it was being a loner. It was quite easy to put on the lone wolf persona, but Alucard longed for companionship more than anything. Truth be told, he was secretly jealous of the intimacy his friends Trevor and Sypha shared. Not that he would ever admit that.
He found the strange woman who had stumbled into his castle intriguing. She had peculiar features that gave her sort of an ethereal beauty. Abnormally high cheekbones, Ivory skin that flushed green, ears that end in a slight point, pierced with a myriad of stones, an untamable mane of loose, midnight curls, and a body that was a tad too long, making her much taller than the average human woman.
Due to both the location of her wound as well as to ensure there were no other wounds, Alucard had to strip her of both her cloak and gown, leaving her naked. Alucard quickly covered her with a thin bed sheet to protect her privacy. Using a dagger, he cut a large hole so he could tend to her arrow wound. He prepared a dish of alcohol, several rags, and a needle and thread for sutures. Her wound was already beginning to fester so he knew it was critical for him to remove the arrow immediately.
With steady and confident hands passed down from his mother, Alucard carefully removed the arrow out of the woman’s flesh, hoping on his lucky stars it hadn’t hit anything vital. The absence of the arrow caused green blood to gush from the wound. Alucard knew it was important that he quickly disinfect the wound and stitch it up, but the vampire in him couldn’t help but be fixated by her blood. Without even thinking about it, he reached down and dragged his finger through some of the blood that had begun racing from her wound, and licked it off his finger. It was delicious.
Jesus Alucard, snap out of it. Alucard shook his head to clear his thoughts and quickly began cleaning and disinfecting the wound. He kept a concoction of anesthetic herbs nearby in case the woman began to stir, but thus far she was dead to the world. He pressed a dry cloth to her wound and held it there until her bleeding halted before applying her sutures. After stitching her up, he wrapped a sterile cloth around her waist to protect the sutures from tearing.
Alucard did a quick examination of the rest of her body, applying pressure on certain areas to check for internal damage. The only other wound the woman seemed to have was a fractured ankle, likely from a fall, that already seemed to be mending. He checked to make sure the fracture was healing correctly before wrapping it tightly with bandages.
Finally done with his examination, Alucard wrapped the woman in a fresh sheet and left her on his childhood bed to rest.
Alucard periodically checked on the unconscious woman, changing her bandages, checking her ankle, and bringing a fresh glass of water in case she woke up. Several days had passed and he was beginning to wonder if she would ever wake up. Her wounds were healing nicely and the color had begun returning to her flesh, so Alucard was sure she was improving.
In the meantime, Alucard was combing through every book in his father’s extensive library, trying to figure out what the hell this mystery woman was. He’d never seen anyone like that before, and his parents never taught him about any such creatures. His father’s library, as vast and wonderful as it was, yielded no answers. Frustrated, Alucard slammed the book he had been perusing and pinched the bridge of his nose, the beginning of a headache manifesting. “What the fuck are you?” he grumbled, more aggravated at the fact that his father would have likely solved this puzzle by now. A sharp reminder that he would never live up to his late father’s potential, not exactly that he wanted to, as his father quite literally tried to destroy the human race, but he longed to be as knowledgeable as his father and as resourceful as his mother.
With a long, exasperated sigh, Alucard decided he would check on the mysterious woman once again before he would go to bed. He slid the book back into its place on the shelf, making a note to himself to dust later. He strolled down the long corridor, lost in thought. He wondered if his mother and father had finally reunited in the afterlife. Alucard wasn’t sure if the afterlife truly existed, but it was a nice thought nonetheless. His thoughts wandered to Trevor and Sypha. The drunken oaf and the know-it-all sorceress. What an odd pair, he mused. Odd as they were, they had each other. Who did Alucard have? A fucking pair of handmade dolls that vaguely resembled the pair of misfits he called friends.
Alucard gently pushed the door to his childhood bedroom open, he had finally brought himself to repair it, which was indeed a great feat for him, considering all that had happened there. Alucard had come to hate being inside his childhood bedroom. Every memory that took place there, from playing with his mother, to killing his father, often rushed past his eyes everytime he stepped through that damn door.
However, it was better than keeping the woman in the guest chambers, as those were in a completely different wing of the castle. The master chambers and his own childhood chambers were just a few meters apart, it would have been silly for him to put the woman anywhere else.
Alucard sat down on the stool he had placed at the woman’s bedside and began checking her bandages. He almost didn’t notice the flutter of her eyelids, as his mind was elsewhere. His attention did, however, immediately snap to the woman when she bolted into an upright position. Wincing in pain, the woman instantly cupped her stitches and leaned back against the headboard. She was naked, but to Alucard’s relief, her long hair covered her chest.
She looked at Alucard with wide eyes. “You’re Dracula.” Her accent was a hodgepodge of British, Scottish, Irish, and likely others.
Alucard scoffed. “Not quite.”
“Then who are you?” she asked, looking at him through slitted eyes.
“You barged into my house, bled all over my floor, and stayed as an uninvited guest for four days, it is only polite that you introduce yourself first,” Alucard retorted. He seemed annoyed, but the truth was, he was utterly enchanted by this peculiar woman.
“You’re right, pardon my poor manners,” the woman replied, her cheeks and ears flushing a soft green, “I am Annberilyn, Princess of the Seelie Court.”
Alucard was taken aback. “A faerie?” he asked. He had grown up believing that faeries were nothing more than a fairytale. “If you don’t mind my asking, aren’t faeries supposed to be tiny?”
Annberilyn laughed. It was rich and Alucard thought it sounded pleasant. “I’m not a pixie or a sprite, silly. Faeries come in all shapes and sizes.”
Alucard gave her a reluctant smile and stood up. “You must be ravished, Annberilyn, let me fetch you something to wear.”
“Please,” the Princess gave him a genuine smile, “call me Anna.”
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