THUNDER ROLLED while lightning cracked the sky open, the storm glaring down at the city below. Dark angry clouds move about in the sky, becoming restless and anxious to release their wrath upon the people below. The rumble of thunder continued to echo all around, people among the streets and sidewalks picking up their pace so they wouldn’t be caught in the middle of the brewing storm.
The wind howled with its alliance to join, bringing forth its frigid air that would have the people below shaking in their fur coats, clawing for warmth. Clouds skipped across the dark night sky, the moon’s light shining through windows left uncovered. In a dark desert, street walked a young man— no older than his early thirties.
His shoes struck against the ground, alerting the creatures that roamed the streets aware of his presence, they scattered and fled in fear as his shadow stretched and folded over the area; claiming everything in its path. His eyes scanned the empty sidewalks and streets, knowing there would be someone lingering where they shouldn’t.
Red orbs reflected against the windows of the closed stores as he strode by, shining against puddles on the ground he walked by. The sky gave its final roar of warning before it began to unleash its terror, a shower of the world’s misery and misfortune washing down the dark streets of New York City. The man was drenched within seconds, his suit sticking to him like a second skin and revealing what is hidden underneath, his dark tresses sticking to his scalp and his face.
His gums ached, the fangs that reside within them, slowly retracting and gleaming with the hunger that gnaws at his stomach. The smallest of whimpers reaches his ears, bringing his attention to a side alley behind a street light, his direction changes as he strides to the alley where the noises grow and the beat of the being’s heart thuds louder in its chest.
Something was drawing him near as he gazed down the darkened alleyway, the area narrow and tight between two buildings, a small silhouette of a figure quivering deep inside the alley as the rain pours down upon it. His feet brought him closer, his eyes adjusting to the darkness, something he has been used to over the centuries he has roamed the earth; he takes in the small figure of what seems to be a child.
His or her legs are bare and wet from the rain that continues to spray down, bruises littering the skin of the child’s legs, his gaze slowly rising higher up its body. The soaked t-shirt he or she was wearing has risen up from the bottom, revealing larger bruises on the hip and stomach.
He shouldn’t care, he tells himself as he moves closer, the sight of the bruises causing anger to rise— something he hasn’t felt in years. He shouldn’t be angry, this was nothing more than a mere child he’s found on the street. Yet, he still stalks toward the body that breathes life, his fangs digging deeper into his lip as more bruises were displayed with each step he grows closer.
He crouches down for a better view, a head full of dark curls standing out against the pavement, wet from the rain and framing the child’s face to shield it away from the world that cast it aside. The man’s hand reaches out, brushing a thick strand of hair from the child’s face, his eyes drinking in every feature given to him, the bruising worse on his or her's face.
He shouldn’t care.
He shouldn’t care.
He shouldn’t care.
But the vampire continues to watch the unconscious being struggle to breathe, hanging onto the threads of life. Before he knew it, he was gathering the half lifeless child in his arms. A growl shouldn’t have reverberated from his chest at the simple physical contact of their skins: an unknown feeling overcomes him as he stands to his feet and turns away from the alley, his grip on the child tightening.
There was no going back now.
The forest always gave him a sense of comfort, his only solitude from the world that still changes around him, it was where he belongs, deep in the shadows and beyond the grimy hands of society. The critters in the trees and on the ground scatter away at his presence as he walks down the path he’s so familiar with. His path was covered by rows of trees, no sight of the other side seen, but really it was an illusion that soon wavered and disappeared, revealing a mansion too big for one man.
The doors opened at his arrival, this child still in his arms, seeming more at peace than it was on the streets. The front doors widened at his approach and at the threshold stood his maid greeting him with a bow.
“Welcome back, my lord,” she speaks, her voice pleasant and soothing.
“Hello, Merida, I need a favor from you,” he starts, the deep sound echoing in the luscious entryway.
“Of course, my lord.”
The child in his arms begins to shiver violently, no longer in the shower of the rain but now in an enclosed space where the temperature has dropped farther more and can’t be felt upon his own skin.
“Can you please tend to this child’s health?”
The maid finally lifts her head, her eyes widening by a fraction at the sight of the said child in his arms. With a peaked interest and without hesitation, she nods and steps forward to take the child out of his arms all while calling out to her underlings; she kept her face passive but couldn’t help the small shock when he was a bit reluctant to hand the child over.
Stop this nonsense. He tells himself as he places the child in his maid’s arms and watches her scurry away with her assistants at her side. He shouldn’t be feeling a small ball of worry forming in his stomach as he walks the opposite way into another wing of the manor, ready to get rid of his soaked clothing.
This was nothing more than him being generous, as soon as the child is healed he’ll take him or her to an orphanage where they'll be cared for properly. He continues to tell himself that until he meets with Merida again. They stand outside the room the child occupies, speaking of her condition
“There was little I could do,” Merida says, “You can tell someone has beaten her with the intention of leaving her to die.” she finishes sadly.
Merida frowns, “Yes, the child is a female. You couldn’t tell, my lord?”
An image of the child’s form flashes in his mind, he really couldn’t, her body was too tiny and skinny to identify the gender.
The smallest of smiles graces Merida’s lips before it’s gone. “She is going to have to heal on her own. The bruising is too severe and we don’t want to cause any more discomfort.”
The vampire nods, “I see. Thank you for your hard work, you may head in for the night.”
“Anything for you, my lord.”
With a final bow, she goes on her way as he steps inside the room, closing the door behind him. The lamp beside the bed was on, giving the room a soft glow as the storm rages on outside, his eyes are immediately drawn to the bed, the girl bundled under the mountain of covers. He could tell the maids changed her out of her wet clothes and used one of his shirts to dress her, a dark part of him found satisfaction in it.
He moved closer, seeing her hair pushed away from her face and the feminine features he couldn’t detect. The bed dipped under his weight, the girl nothing but a few inches away from him now, his gaze scans over her face and body; she seemed to be having trouble breathing, small wheezes exiting her body.
He didn’t understand the feeling he felt with seeing her in pain, he would take it away if he could. There was one way, and it was unheard of between humans and vampires, and it was completely reckless as he didn’t know what the future would bring. He reached out and runs his knuckles down the side of her unbruised cheek, and she whimpers, the sound striking his unbeatable heart, the longer he stared, the more he leans towards that option.
A big part of him was hurting to watch her in this state, he couldn’t explain anything yet here he is. His eyes travel down to her neck, her pulse loud and flowing with blood, her heart beating a rhythm. Finally, he decided as he brings his wrist to his mouth, fangs extending.
This will help her.