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Aric awoke to the smell of dried blood itching at his nose.

Blinking the sleep from his eyes he looked around for the source of the stench trying to remember if he'd left a cup of blood out too long.

As his eyes came to rest on the cage Aric sat bolt upright, the memory of the hunt coming back to him in a flash.

Looking closer he saw the cage was in disarray, the bed smashed, the mattress ripped apart, the smell of blood was everywhere.

Jumping off the bed, he ran to the cage and unbolted the door kicking aside a piece of bloodstained wood.

His pet sat curled up against the bars on the far side of the cage, her legs and hands covered in blood and mattress stuffing.

Grabbing her by the shoulders, Aric was surprised when her head snapped up, her brown eyes boring into his.

Without a word, she threw her arms around his neck and pulled him to her, the move cracking open her injured palm.

"You're alive," she sobbed into his neck, her body shaking with relief.

"Of course I am," he said, not sure what was happening.

Gently pulling, he managed to get her to let him go, her hand leaving a bloody smear on his back.

"What happened?"Aric asked, indicating the havoc she'd created in her cage.

"You were dead," she breathed, touching his face reverently with her sticky hand. "I didn't want to be blamed. I tried to get out to help you."

"I'm not dead," he assured her, moving away from her touch, feeling uncomfortable with the way she was looking at him and the hunger the smell of her blood was waking in him.

"Then what happened?" she sobbed, her hands falling to her lap, light glinting off of her blood.

"I fell asleep," he assured her. "When the sun rises on the Day of St. Januarius vampires have no choice but to sleep, and we sleep as if we're dead."

His pet laughed, giving in to hysterics that had been threatening since she saw he was alive.

"Oh God," she laughed, hiding her face in her hands.

When she took them away, she left blood on her cheek.

Unable to control the hunger any longer Aric grabbed her hand and pulled it to his lips.

Too hungry to care he sucked at the wound, ignoring her cries of protest and pain.

It wasn't enough. The blood wouldn't flow fast enough to ease the ache in his stomach.

Pushing her hand aside Aric moved from her hand to her wrist burying his fangs deeply into the flesh.

His pet hit him over the shoulders, kicking and screaming as he drank his fill.

Sated, he finally released her, falling back onto the floor licking the blood from his lips, not wanting to waste a drop.

It wasn't until the girl stood, clutching her arm to her chest, and ran out of the cage that he came to himself, realizing what he's done.

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