Birdie’s face screwed up in confusion. “Is it not to spread vampirism?”
Zac muttered under his breath. “Shit, I thought they would’ve told you by now.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m so sorry I asked.”
“Tell me what?”
He gathered his thoughts. “Ok…Ok… I know what you’re thinking and you’re not wrong but… vampires already produce offspring.” He continued, “Why would there be a need to transform people into vampires? It doesn’t make sense. There’d be no food and more mouths to feed.”
Birdie’s stomach acid bubbled with dread. “Then why?”
“When food supplies are short, you either ration it or find a way to make it last longer. If blood from a human is like… grape juice, blood from beta vampire is like wine.” He said. “It’s not the best analogy but it’s how vampires survived in the initial period after the eruption of Satan’s volcano. The population was decimated and there weren’t many people to bite.”
She pulled her gaze away, listening to the ticking of her watch on the chest of drawers. “Something isn’t adding up. Isn’t it better if the prey remains weak? Being a vampire makes a person stronger. “
He frowned. “Being transformed into a vampire doesn’t put you on equal footing with a natural-born vampire. Not for about five years.” He said. “There’s a reason why fangs come in last and why it’s so difficult for you to drink blood. You can subsist on less simply because you are a beta vampire.” He paused, his tone of voice firmer, “Gabriel did this to you because he wanted to feed on you more than he was already. As a vampire, you won’t faint and you take longer to die.”
She pursed her lips and gripped the edge of the bed. Oh god.
He stood up and sat next to her. “I’m sorry he did this to you.” He went to place his arm around her but she stood up.
She leaned against the opposite wall. Her eyes widened. “Your job is to guard me from other vampires, isn’t it?”
“All this time I thought…” she laughed. “Fuck. I’m nothing but food. I’m not a real vampire.”
“Birdie, it’s not like that.”
“Why don’t other humans know about this?”
“People do. It’s not openly talked about, that’s all. Like the plethora of things humans don’t talk openly about.”
He tilted his head and grinned. “Sex, sexual kinks, masturbation, porn…”
Her cheeks turned a furious strawberry.
“Every beta vampire we’ve had here has been told about this when Electra thought they could handle it psychologically. I’m breaking rules by telling you now.” He then added, “Me, asking for your blood, is also considered improper in some circles.”
There was silence between them.
“Zac, I need some time alone.”
“Sure. I understand.” He closed the door behind him.
She glanced at the vampirism pamphlet. She knew how she was going to get out of here.
It was just going to have to be sooner rather than later.
Yvette sat down in Leah’s office. She still couldn’t lean back in the chair.
It was in the heart of Vampire Town, about ten minutes vampire flight north of the Argent Vampire Caves. Below was a quaint little restaurant, specialising in Romanian cuisine. Traditional vampire food. Sounds of knives and forks hitting plates were muffled beneath the floor. The smell of plum brandy wafted in through the window.
The clock on side table ticked over. It was 12:30am.
“It’s been a while since I’ve seen you.” Leah crossed her ankles. “Have you had any thoughts about my suggestion for regular visits?” Her fangs retracted, giving a controlled human smile.
Yvette had put this appointment off as long as possible. “I’m only doing this because I have to.”
“That’s where you’re wrong. No one has to do anything. Everybody has choices.”
Yvette finally met her gaze. “Some choices have consequences.” She countered. “Like, I’m required to get counselling after the last victim’s report I turned in.”
“Because it was deemed an adverse event.”
“Yeah.” She shifted her eyes away, seeing a framed picture of Leah’s psychology degree on the adjacent wall.
Leah flicked through her notepad. “This would be the eighth ‘adverse event’ I’ve seen you for. And…” she went through her notepad again, “I’ve seen you ten times over the last two years.”
“So? If I don’t do this, I won’t be allowed continue going on rescue raids for the VVVC.”
Leah leaned forward. “Would that be such a bad thing? You’re already on leave.”
“I hate it.”
“But you haven’t ‘fucked up’, there hasn’t been another adverse event. That must relieve some stress.”
Yvette stayed silent for a moment. She had messed things up with Electra. She hadn’t meant to kiss her. “Sure.” She mumbled. “Can we get on with it?”
“Hmmm. Ok. You know I’ve read the report but I want you to tell me what happened. What’s bothering you?”
She peered down at her knees.
Leah allowed the silence to sit before trying another tactic. “It must’ve been frightening to see Gabriel again.”
A jolt went through her body, creating tension at the soles of her feet. “I was angry.” She growled. “Not frightened.”
“Because he’s an asshole.”
She sputtered, “What? I shouldn’t have to. You know why.”
She tilted her head, her dark 3c curls bounced with the movement. “Yes, I’ve read your file. I have yet to hear it from you, in your own words.”
“What if I don’t have my own words? What if I don’t want my own words?”
“You still can’t talk about it?”
“I can’t talk about it.”
“Fuck. I meant won’t.”
“Because it will hurt, right?”
Tears welled up in her eyes. Goddammit. “Talking about him is only going to bring up shitty, unnecessary feelings.” She sniffled. “Can’t you just say I’m psychologically fit for service?”
“Not this time, Yvette.” She jotted something down on her notepad. “In the beginning, I could see it was a constructive outlet for your rage. Right now, it’s exacerbating your trauma. I think Electra made the right choice to put you on leave.”
“But I’m fine!”
“I didn’t want to do this. I was hoping you would come to the conclusion yourself. You’ll now see me every week for the next twelve weeks. Then, I’ll re-evaluate you.”
Yvette grabbed the ends of her hair. She whispered, “Fuck.” Then once more, “Fuck!”
“Have you ever questioned why you can’t talk about it? About what happened between you and Gabriel?”
She put her head in her hands. Her body trembled. Her work with the VVVC was a raft among her turbulent sea of emotions. What was she going to do now?
“It’s shame. Uoy’re eflinge tiensne amehs. It ndese to be ipckd aptra…”
Yvette wasn’t sure what Leah just said. She had collapsed in on herself but watched it happening from a bird’s eye view.
To be continued in mid August 2022
Still dealing with my personal stuff so I haven’t had a lot of time to work on this part so that’s why it’s a bit late. Thanks for your patience. I’ve decided to put the story on a short hiatus until mid August. Rest assured, it will return. I thought it might be better to do this considering I’ve taken longer to get this part done.
I changed the numbering scheme because it was getting hard to keep track. I also know now, as opposed to when I started, each chapter has 5 parts (except chapter one). So, yeah, this is the 1st part of 5 that will make up chapter 4.
Vampire Town is something I came up with when I thought of the concept of Chinatown. I’ve been to the one in Sydney and I’m aware there’s other ones around the world. Then I thought, why not have a place called Vampire Town in the same way? And then I decided to look up Romanian food (because you know, Transylvania home of vampires). It said they specialise in plum brandy. So I thought, fuck it, let’s add the detail. By no means am I an expert on Romanian anything (I have readers from Romania, according to my stats so they would know). My research only touched the surface.
Thanks for reading!