“Blood type O positive. Donor number XZ-09-2024.”
The Master of the Vitalis House tapped a finger on his right temple as the butler servant recited.
Sitting on his throne-like chair fronting the grand hall never had been this painful. Parched, very hungry, and almost at his limit, he waited for his servant to finish. The wine flute that contained the delicious crimson liquid was just within his reach.
Just. Within. His. Reach.
Yet he didn’t move a muscle and just waited for the servant to hand it to him.
“Milord, this is the blood that you have been waiting for,” the butler noted, lifting the silver tray nearer.
Amidst seeing nothing other than entire darkness in his front, a small smile grew on his lips.
“At last,” came his reply and with ease, he straightened in his seat and managed to take out the flute from the tray without tumbling it down.
The cold contact of the glass against his warm fingers was a great welcome. It reminded him of the feeling he had in a similar wintry season last year when he held the same container with the same blood flowing with life.
As much as he wanted to drink such precious liquid every day, he couldn’t as the supposed donor opt a yearly donation only, in a blood bank where his butler gets to purchase it. He doesn’t even know whether the donor, who stayed on the opposite side of the world, was a male or a female, but as if that mattered to him.
He smelt it first, tipping the rim of the glass close to his nostrils and instantaneously caught the faint smell of the jasmine leaves mixed inside.
Ahh, what an aroma, his mind confessed and right then and there, ghosted another smile.
He, of all the living and nonliving beings under his wing, was the only one who preferred to have his meal like this - in a wine flute and mixed with jasmine leaves. Atypical for a dark creature like him, yes, but this was the only leisure that he ever preferred since he disliked feeding directly from the humans.
“As indicated in the Red Cross database, the donor decided for two bags this time so you have two days’ supply of the blood Milord,” informed the butler as he watched his Master sip leisurely. One hand was now on the forehead of a fully grown black panther, making doodles while the big cat purred and nudged its cheek against the armrest.
“Good to know, Jerome,” the Master stated with a small nod; his voice in equal parts soporific and velvety. “At least I have two days before my fasting begins again.”
"Right, and I believe you are doing that on purpose?” came out a male voice behind the throne. Immediately, the panther stood on guard, hissing, and growling as it locked its feline eyes on the trespasser.
To give some privacy, the butler dismissed himself, walking out of the dais into a closed door where it led to a huge kitchen.
Though it was without warning, the Master wasn’t at all surprised. He knew exactly who the trespasser was just judging on the sound of his gravelly voice and the foul-stench of dried up blood in the corner of his mouth from a very recent feeding.
“I don’t need to explain myself to you,” was his cool and composed answer. He continued sipping and acting nonchalant all the while his cousin snorted and inched forward in his side.
“Of course, you don’t need to. You are too high and mighty for that,” the man replied, not scared with the black beast at all. He scrunched up his nose and bared his teeth towards the cat momentarily.
The panther didn’t budge. It stayed in a guarded posture and remained standing on all fours.
“You are the Master of the House oh my dear cousin, and I, just your lowly relative,” he continued with a tight smug on his face. “But from what I heard from the rumors, you hate biting the humans. You prefer to drink from blood bags ever since that was invented.”
He paused and strolled in front, waving a hand near the blindfold-wrapped eyes of the Master in the process. When he got no response, he let out another arrogant smug.
“And not only that, you seem to favor one certain source. That makes me wonder why?”
From beneath the blindfold, the Master felt the initial process of regaining a precious faculty owing to the blood he had just ingested. He felt tiny pinprick sensations in his eyelids and then a sharp shooting pain in both the back of his eyes.
Although his cousin couldn’t see, there was a blue glow in his eyeballs that appeared, followed by flashes of gold. By the time it subsided, the Master of the House of Vitalis was restored of sight, but he chose not to pull his blindfold out.
What for when the effects of the miraculous blood wouldn’t last anyway? Why bother fancying oneself of borrowed sight when it was just only temporary?
“Go and wonder other things, Trace. Don’t include me with your childish agendas. I’m not in the mood for that,” he answered coldly just as he usually does to all those around him.
The man named Trace grinned and wrinkled his nose. “Oh, but you are always not in the mood cousin,” he rebuked.
The Master, through the black silk cloth, shot his cousin a murderous glare. “Get out or I’ll throw you where the hellhounds dine,” he ordered whilst curling one fist on the armrest.
The panther growled louder, feeling the Master’s burst of anger.
“Huh,” Trace scoffed. “As if you can do that oh Unseeing One.” He climbed down one step from the dais and gave the Master and the pet a wide grin.
Definitely, it was a mock of the Master’s dire situation but as if that would get him to start a fang fight with his cocky cousin. Instead, he just ignored him and continued on sipping the honey-like blood - a perfect blood he first discovered six years ago.
Luckily, Trace left after a long silence, and with that, finally, he was able to dine in peace - a much-awaited moment indeed.