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Is That a Piece of Wood in Your Pocket?

I gratefully accepted Aric's help getting to my feet.

My chest felt like it was on fire, every breath was agony. Moving slowly, he led to into the bathroom and carefully lifted me so I sat on the counter.

I tried to lift my sweater over my head, but no matter how I positioned my arms to grab it, I ended up moaning in pain.

In the end I had to let Aric try and take it off instead.

As he lifted the knitted fabric, it seemed to catch on several spots on my chest.

"Stop!" I screamed, almost unable to catch my breath it hurt so badly.

"Oh god," I breathed, fighting back the blackness that clawed at my eyes.

"Okay," Aric said, stepping away. "I think I'm gonna have to cut it off. I don't think there's any other way."

Seeing he was right I nodded, wanting nothing more than for this whole nightmare to be over.

Aric stepped back to me, his index nail growing several centimetres.

Knowing, from personal experience, how sharp vampire's nails were, I knew he would have no trouble cutting open my sweater.

He seemed to be waiting for my consent before he would cut, so I nodded, praying he wouldn't slip and cut me too.

Starting at the collar, he held the garment away from my skin as he ran his nail lightly over the threads, cutting through them like a hot knife cuts through butter.

Reaching my sternum, he stopped when I flinched away.

Retracting his nail, he gently ran his hand along the inside of the fabric until he found where it was catching before he started cutting the shirt again.

Finally reaching the bottom, he took great care as he pushed first the right side, then the left side of the sweater off my shoulders leaving sitting in only my bra.

I could see the look of concern on his face as he surveyed the damage.

"How bad is it?" I asked, not wanting to look for myself, especially if it was as bad as it felt.

"I can't tell yet," he said, looking up into my eyes. "We're going to have to take your bra off to see."

"I can't every have anything nice," I joked lamely, trying to find anything to think about besides the pieces of wood that were stuck under my skin.

Sighing, I nodded for him to cut it as well. I mean, he saw me naked the night he caught me in the woods, and several time since then, why should today make any difference.

As he pulled the lacy fabric away I felt several slivers go with it.

Looking down, I saw several small beads of blood begin to grow on my chest.

Slowly I looked up at Aric, afraid the sight or smell would make him attack. Instead of looking at the blood, he was staring at my breast, a hunger that had nothing to do with blood on his face.

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