Passing through the living room, a delicious smell surrounded me. I took a deep breath as I walked into the kitchen. Chris sat at the breakfast bar with Luca drinking coffee while Freya was making breakfast. Once she saw me she greeted me. Both men glanced at me and greeted me too.
"How are you today Reine,” Chris asked me sipping his coffee.
“I’m good thank you” I replied politely.
Luca noticed me standing in the kitchen awkwardly. He walked over to the kitchen counter, poured coffee into a mug and handed it to me.
"Here..have some coffee," he said, grinning at me showing his pearly white teeth.
I blushed but quickly look at the floor trying to hide my shyness. Taking a sip of the coffee my face scrunched, my eyebrows furrowed and my eyes squinted. I let out my tongue after I tasted the bitterness. When he saw my grimace, he tilted his head and laughed loudly. Chris and Freya looked in our direction. Both seeing my facial expression they joined Luca.
“Oh dear, you never had coffee??” Freya said after she calmed down. She grabbed sugar and milk and headed towards me. After putting a bit of sugar and milk into my coffee and I tasted it. It was much better.
“No never tasted coffee. We were always given the bare minimum.” my face was scarlet red from the embarrassment.
“I’m sorry this happened to you. I mean the whole slavery thing” Freya said sadly.
The redness left my face when I recognised the sadness in her voice. “It’s fine, you have nothing to be sorry about.” I said and smiled at her.
“So Reine, I know you only arrived yesterday" I glanced at Chris as he continued. ”To be able to function as a member of this camp, you need to pick a profession. Everyone has to contribute. Have you thought about it?”
"No, I haven't” I replied. “What options are there?” I asked feeling dumb.
"We basically try and make everything ourselves. We venture into vampire cities only when we have to, for medicine, hygiene products and things we can’t make ourselves.” Chris said.
“Why” I blurred out, raising an eyebrow.
This time Luca answered “Safety. It’s dangerous to go into those cities, that’s why we go only when it’s necessary. ”
“Oh” was my only reply.
“Back to my question,” Chris said. ” You could choose to be dressmaker, baker, butcher, hunter, you could help with the vegetables and fruit crops”
Then Freya added all excited with high pitched voice ”or you could be a doctor, I could teach you... I am the only one in this whole camp and it gets pretty busy. I could do with someone to help me.”
I looked at her with a smile “I’d love that."
Then I turned to the two men in front of me "I don't know if it would be possible, I was thinking I could learn how to hunt and defend myself. Is there someone who would want to teach me?"
They both looked surprised. “That’s settled then. Freya will teach you all there is about medicine and Luca” he glanced at him ”can teach you how to hunt and defend yourself.” Said Chris as he picked up his plate of scrambled eggs and left the room.
Weeks went by quick, summer was slowly going to an end. My days were filled with medicine and reading books about human anatomy. I spend a lot of time with Freya, when she had patients I was there helping her. Medicine was hard work. She also thought me certain herbs that were useful for certain illnesses.
In my spare time, Luca and Thomas were teaching me how to hunt. Well, first how to use bow and arrows. At the start, they had lots of fun watching me struggling with it. I was sure I would be laughing at myself too if I saw myself.
According to Luca, Thomas was better at hunting so he had him teach me how to hunt. Luca was there just for the ‘fun’. After about a week of struggling with the bow and arrow, I started getting better at it.
And after about three weeks of practising on bullseye Thomas finally took me to hunt.
I stood in the forest behind a big tree. Thomas and Luca were standing a few feet away behind me, watching my every move. It was nerve-wracking. I was concentrating, standing still holding my bow and arrow aiming at the doe making sure we didn’t make any noise to startle her. She was alone munching on grass oblivious of her surroundings. I patiently waited for the right moment. The sun beamed through the thick tall trees and the wind stopped flowing. This is what I was waiting for. I slowly exhaled concentrating on my aim. Then I let go of the arrow. It went flying passing through the trees, penetrating the doe’s flesh in the neck. I heard a thump, the dead animal collided with the ground.
I squealed, jumped up and down and clapped my hands in happiness. A wide smile appeared on my face.
“You’re getting good.” I heard Thomas as he patted my shoulder and I quickly turned to face them.
“Yeah..soon you’ll be better than me,” said Luca smiling with playfulness in his eyes.
"One day I’ll get there” I blushed at the compliments given to me.
With that, all three of us walked over to the doe. I pulled out the arrow from the animal's neck. Thomas and Luca both took the doe, then we started walking back to the camp.
Freya sat on the stairs in front of their house. She was waiting for us. Once she noticed us getting closer she stood up, her eyes shot to the dead animal then looked at me.
"Did you do it?” She pointed in the direction of the dead animal. Her eyes wide and her eyebrows high on her forehead.
“Yep,” I said popping the ‘p’ feeling proud of myself.
"That’s pretty impressive,” she said smiling, then she glanced at Thomas.
He smirked at her ”What can I say..... I’m a good teacher.” Well, he was a good teacher, he was patient with me even though he did laugh hystericaly a few times.
She giggled ”I never doubted you ” she stood on her toes, gently pulled his face lower to kiss him.
The next day it was late afternoon and I just finished helping Freya with her patients. As I was walking home I met Luca on the way in.
”Are you still interested in me teaching you how to defend yourself?” He asked with a smirk on his face.
“Ok. Back garden in fifteen minutes.” He said and before I could even say anything back he was gone.
I changed into a comfy white plain t-shirt and sweatpants. Brushed my hair and braided it to keep it out of my face.
When I got into the garden he was already there waiting, sitting on the garden benches. His gaze met mine then he smiled “are you ready?”
I blushed a little bit, I found him very attractive and I was crushing on him a bit since I first saw him. Well, nearly every young woman found him attractive in the camp, from what I heard from Freya. I felt a bit nervous being alone with him. Thinking about it, I was never left alone with him, we were always with Thomas, Freya or Chris. Never only me and him.
"Yeah, I am,” I answered nervously biting the corner of my mouth.
He noticed it “don’t be nervous, I’ll take it easy on you” he stated calmly as he walked over. I nodded and with that, he started teaching me the basics of fighting.
With every training session, I began getting enamoured more and more by him. I couldn’t get him out of my head.
Quit thinking about him. It’s never going to happen. He can have any woman in this camp, why would he want you?
Being enslaved for as long as I have, it would do that to a person. I never thought of myself as pretty. Since being in this camp and seeing all the beautiful and confident women, I envied them.
“So” Freya's voice snapped me out of my thoughts. “How is it going with you and Luca...I mean the training. ” she looked at me, curiosity was written all over her face.
“It’s going good, well, it’ll take ages for me to be able to successfully defend myself. Practice makes perfect” I said smiling at her.
We were in the ‘surgery office’ and had about ten minutes break before another patient was due to come in.
"What do you think of him?” She asked with a cheeky smile on her face.
"Who?" I raised my eyebrows and tilted my head to the side.
"Luca, who do you think I'm talking about?" She rolled her eyes at me.
“What’s up with you today. We never talk about him.” I said nervously. I glanced around the room hoping she wouldn't notice my uneasiness.
I didn’t want to tell her about my attraction to him. She was his sister, she would tell him. I didn't want him to know anything. I wouldn’t want to get rejected by him and have an awkward relationship with him. I still lived at his house and no matter how much I would try to avoid him, I would end up bumping into him.
“I think you two would be cute together” she stated grinning with a mischievous glint in her grey eyes. She was teasing me. She knew something. Seconds later a patient knocked on the door. Thank God. I thought to myself as I let out a deep sigh.
The rest of the shift went by quick. When we arrived home, Luca was already waiting for me to have our training session. At this point, he trained me nearly every day.
When he first started training me it was only about three times a week, the next week he added two more days and this week he added an extra day. I trained with him six days a week after work. My body was exhausted and my muscles were in pain. But I got to spend some time with him and learn how to fight. I couldn’t complain about that.
I changed and went into the back garden with him, our usual spot. At this point, I was getting better and better every day. My body got stronger too.
“Ready?” He asked as we were both in our offensive stance and ready to fight. I just nodded.
He moved towards me sending a punch and I successfully dodged it. I tried to throw a punch at his torso but he blocked it. This went on for about fifteen minutes, him throwing punches and kicks, and me dodging it or blocking it. He did hit me a few time but nothing major. And I was returning punches and kicks the same way he did. I didn’t hit him once.
Then he managed to get me in the hold where he was standing behind me. My back was leaning against his chest, his arm was around my neck and he whispered into my ear. “What you going to do about this?”
This sent my body into panic mode. Memories flooded my mind, reminding me of my raping. The Alpha used to hold me like this when he forced himself on me and whispered nasty things into my ear.
I struggled for a bit in Luca's iron hold on me. Then without thinking I stepped on his leg roughly and heard him hiss, once he loosened his hold on my neck, I managed to hit him in his balls. He cried out in pain and let go of my neck. As I turned around, he laid on the ground holding his balls cursing. Shit! What have I done?
I ran up to him, kneeling beside him. “Oh my god... I’m so sorry” I said. His face was red and his eyes closed. A few seconds passed and he calmed down. My eyes never left his face, his eyes locked into mine and when he saw the regret, his face softened and he scoffed trying to light up the mood “That was a good move. Where did you learn that? I never thought you that.”
“I don’t know...I just kind of did it. I panicked.” As I said it I broke the eye contact. Uneasiness filled my body.
“Why did you panic...you knew I wouldn’t hurt you” his eyebrows furrowed.
“Um... It reminded me of something. Old memories.” I said truthfully. I began to fidget with the hem of my t-shirt.
Silence filled the space between us and I felt his gaze on my face. He tried to read my face to see if I was lying. I hated it. Every time he looked at me like this I felt naked.
“What memories” I heard him say and looked him in the eyes. His intense gaze never left my face.
I looked away again. I didn’t want to tell him. I wanted to put my old life behind me. I wanted to forget, not dwell on it.
While being drowned in my thoughts I felt his hand caressing my cheek, then gently taking a hold of my chin to make me look at him. His facial expression was soft and there was something in his eyes I’ve never seen before.
His face moved closer to mine, his nose nearly touched mine and he was looking into my eyes. His eyes went to my lips and then back to my eyes. He was so close I could feel his warm breath on my skin. I was drowning in his beautiful silver-grey eyes. Then he gently brushed his lips against mine.
The second that happened, I heard Thomas's voice thundering through the kitchen calling out for Luca. I pulled back quickly, my eyes widened and my mouth was agape as I realised what just happened. Luca watched me, a hint of annoyance flashed in his eyes.
When I got to my feet Thomas stood in the garden door oblivious of what happened. I began walking away from Luca when Thomas looked at me, then at Luca, and then back at me “am I interrupting?” he asked noticing Luca's facial expression.
I smiled at him ”no, we’re just finished” I felt heat rushing to my cheeks when I passed him walking through the door. Once I was out of sight I ran up the stairs into my room closing the door behind me. Oh my god, what just happened.
Joy filled my body. I was excited like a small child getting a present. He kissed me, I couldn’t believe it. I leaned against the door huge smile appear on my face as I thought of the kiss.