Adam plucked the note off the front door and read it.
'I'm sorry, my darling, I had to step out for a while. Make yourself at home and I'll be back as soon as I can.
Adam sighed; after travelling for four nights, thanks to being delayed by an ash cloud, he was starving but more than that, he wanted to see Eve. Although they had spent a few weeks together, usually Eve visiting him, they had been living apart for over five years.
Still, with any luck he could find her blood supply and quench at least one of his thirsts.
The front door was locked so he looked under the doormat, where he found a key. It was hardly secure, he thought as he stepped inside. It felt very odd to be entering her home without her here but he supposed he did have an invitation, of sorts.
The Victorian villa was lovely, decorated with a mixture of period features and modern furnishings. It was not Eve's usual taste but it was nice. Far nicer than his last home; he hated decorating.
He put his bags down by the front door and looked around as he headed deeper into the house, looking for a kitchen, the most obvious place to check for blood.
Human blood had become harder to come by in recent years. Not only was there more disease, such as Hepatitis E and, HIV type II and III, there were also a lot more drugs, both legal and illegal. If that wasn't bad enough, human, had now developed synthetic blood, so blood donations were almost a thing of the past. Unfortunately, synthetic blood was useless to Adam's kind, having no nutritional value. It would be like a human eating cardboard as a replacement for food, it might sate hunger for a moment, but would eventually result in starvation and death.
He found the kitchen and looked inside the refrigerator, surprised to see it had real food in it. No blood though. A quick look in the freezer compartment showed no frozen blood, although given how cold and wet the Edinburgh climate was usually, that was hardly surprising.
He closed the door and looked through the cupboards, which were filled with more food stuffs. Opening a door off the kitchen, he discovered a small utility room with some white goods in.
"Who the fuck are you and what are you doing in my house?"
He turned to see a redheaded woman standing in the kitchen doorway, a gun aimed at his chest. She was scantily dressed, some kind of yoga gear, minus underwear.
"Put that away," he told her. "You might hurt yourself."
She raised a haughty eyebrow. "Answer my questions."
"Why? Your gun doesn't frighten me."
He saw her look to his hands, which still were still covered with his black driving gloves.
"I'm an excellent shot and the bullets in this gun travel at 500 meters per second. You're fast but are you that fast?"
Adam shook his dead in derision and she smirked.
"Did I forget to mention, the bullets are also made of wood."
His expression hardened, as did hers.
"You must be Eve's familiar." He stated.
"I'm Eve's friend."
"Whatever you call yourself, this isn't your home, it's hers, you're nothing but a guest here, for some strange reason."
"Really? That's odd, because it's my name on the deeds. In fact, this house was built by my great-great-great something or other grandfather. Now get the fuck out before I drastically shorten your so-called eternal life."
"Eve lives with you?" he asked, confused by this turn of events.
"Yes, she does, you however, don't." She fired a shot that embedded itself in the doorframe, level with his head. "You only get one warning shot; time to go."
He was hungry and not at all in the mood to play nice with a zombie but he supposed if he had to…
Hesitation showed on her features.
She examined him for a moment more, then lowered the gun, although she didn't put it away.
"What are you doing in my house at five o'clock in the morning?"
"She didn't tell you to expect me?" He asked. "She knew I was coming."
"I've been away for a few days. I only got back last night so we haven't had had much time to talk."
"She left me a note on the front door."
She went to the refrigerator, which he now noticed, was adorned with magnets, and pulled a folded piece of paper out from under a magnet.
"Looks like I got one too," she said as she finished reading. She stepped closer and looked at him. "You look hungry."
"I don't suppose you brought any with you?"
"No. I was looking for her supply when you walked in."
She brought the letter in her hand up and looked at it briefly, then back to him.
"Wait here." She told him, turning away.
"Where are you going?" he asked.
"To get you what you need."
He made to follow her and she turned back.
"You stay here."
"I have a right to know where she keeps it."
"You're a guest in my home, you have no rights here."
Faster than she could blink, his gloved hand was around her throat he she was pressed up against the wall.
"Don't tell me what to do, you pathetic zombie." The calmness that said the words with made them all the more threatening. He could feel her pulse racing and smell her fear but she didn't answer. Probably frozen, he decided; zombies were such useless creatures, easily subdued.
"The only reason I haven't pulled the trigger, is because I care about Eve and I know how devastated she'd be."
He realised that the barrel of the gun was pressed against his chest. He must really be starving for him not to have noticed.
Nothing he did could kill her quickly enough to stop her pullingthe trigger, and he couldn't dodge a bullet moving at five hundred meters a second when he was at full strength, let alone in his weakened state.
"What do you want?" he asked.
"I want you to get the fuck away from me, sit at the kitchen table and wait patiently for me to return." To most, her voice sounded strong but Adam could detect the quavering that was a sure sign of her fear. Still, he needed blood and she knew where it was so he was at her mercy, for the time being.
He stepped away and bowed his head in acquiescence, then took a seat at the kitchen table, as she had told him to. After a moment's hesitation, she hurriedly walked away, the gun clutched tightly in her hand.
Adam waited and waited, wondering what was taking her so long. Was she perhaps too frightened to come back? Had she left the house?
Either scenario would upset Eve but she would forgive him eventually, she always did. What worried him was the idea that he might not get the blood he needed. He could feel the lethargy seeping into his bones.
How long had it been, he wondered as his eyes grew heavy. Five minutes? Ten? Hours? He couldn't tell but if he didn't rouse himself soon, he would be reliant on Eve to save him. He hadn't gone this long without blood since travelling to Tangier with Eve, some thirty years ago now.
He hauled himself to his feet and made his way to the stairs in the entrance hall, clinging to the banister as he listened intently to the sounds in the house.
It was exceptionally quiet, so he closed his eyes, focusing, until he could discern the tell-tale sound of breathing. He followed the noise upstairs, the lure of blood giving him a second wind, although it wouldn't last for long. He stopped outside a door and listened, until he was sure that she was inside. Then the scent of blood hit him and his fangs ran out.
The door was locked but he barely noticed as he pushed it open, his hunger creating an intense need within him. What he saw stopped him dead in his tracks. The woman was giving him her own blood, the Tourniquets, blood collection needle in her elbow and clear tube attached to it, were ample evidence of that. The blood bag had been separated from the tube and lay empty and discarded on the table, the blood instead trickling into an oversized hi-ball glass, which was almost full.
"Jesus Christ, don't you knock!"
"You're giving me your blood?" he sounded incredulous.
His shock momentarily drove his hunger from his mind. "What is this, the fucking dark ages?"
The dark circles under her eyes, probably from being awoken so early, looked worse on her pale face now, which in itself seemed even paler in contract to her vibrant, red hair.
Her blue eyes turned cold and flinty as she pinched the end of the plastic tube closed and removed it from the glass.
"Well if you don't want it…" She grabbed the glass, stood up and headed towards another door.
"Where are you going?" he demanded.
"To tip this down the sink."
Using his vampire speed, he ripped the glass from her hand, causing her to cry out in shock and pain as the force and speed jerked her body around.
"How do I know this isn't contaminated?" he demanded.
He could see her eyes shining with tears, but her expression was venomous, not sad.
"You don't. Now take your contaminated blood and get the fuck out of my house." She ran at him, pushing with both hands.
It didn't have much effect but he went anyway, and she slammed the door closed after him. It wouldn't stay shut, thanks to his breaking the lock, so she dragged something in front of it to keep it closed.
It took every ounce of willpower that Adam had, not to down the contents of the glass in one gulp but as the seconds ticked by, his resolve rapidly left him. So what if it was contaminated, it was better than nothing and the chances were, whatever it was contaminated with wouldn't actually kill him.
He gave in and drank the glass. His hunger was soon replaced with a feeling of euphoria and combined with his lethargy, he fell to the floor where he stood, which just happened to be the hallway outside the woman's bedroom.
Eve sighed as she took in the scene before her. Gloves still on, Adam lay sprawled on the floor, the large glass of blood he'd been drinking from leaking it's dregs onto the cream coloured carpet, not to mention the splashes from when he dropped it.
The door to Lilith's bedroom had split along the grain of the wood, near the handle, so clearly their meeting hadn't gone well.
Judging by the blood residue on the walls of the glass, Adam had drunk enough to recover from his journey and was still out of it, so she left him where he lay and tapped on Lilith's door.
"Lili? Lilith, darling, are you awake?"
"Come in. You might have to push."
Eve did so and was greeted by a pale and pasty looking Lilith, lying in bed.
A quick look around revealed drops of blood on the floor, leading towards the en suite bathroom, then a pool of more blood, which had been mopped up with a shirt of some description. Eve hurried to Lilith's bedside and sitting on the edge of the bed, cupped the redhead's cheek. The poor girl had a bundle of blood soaked gauze clamped to her elbow with her hand and faint bruiseson her neck.
"Oh, my darling, what happened?"
"You have shit taste in men," Lilith answered, finding a weak smile for her.
"Let me see." She gently pulled Lilith's arms out from under the covers and removed the blood soaked gauze pad, to see that the vein at her elbow had a ragged tear. "What on earth caused this?" she asked, pressing the gauze back over the wound.
"Adam came in while I was bloodletting and we got into an argument. He swore and asked if I was from the dark ages or something, so I went to tip the blood away. The needle was in my right elbow, so I pinched the tube off with my left hand and picked the glass up with my right hand. I knew he'd stop me, I just didn't know he'd almost dislocate my shoulder and as my right arm was jerked away, the needle was torn from the vein."
"Why haven't you dressed it properly?"
"Because he's still out there," she nodded towards the door.
"Did he frighten you?" Eve trailed her fingers over Lilith's neck.
Lilith nodded. "I shouldn't have provoked him but he swanned in here, all high and mighty, like he owned he place and-"
"Hush," Eve placed a finger over her lips. "No amount of provocation makes what he did all right. Understood?"
"Now, tell me what happened?"
"The silent alarm went off, so I pulled some clothes out and got the gun, like you told me. I found him in the kitchen, looking for blood. He wouldn't tell me who he was, and I hadn't seen your note on the fridge, so I fired a warning shot into the wall beside his head. He didn't like that but he told me who he was, and I asked his surname, just to check he's the same Adam you talk about."
"Well done. What happened then?"
"I checked the fridge and found your note. I could tell that he was hungry, I've never seen your eyes that bad before, so I offered to get him some blood."
"You didn't tell him you were my donor?"
"No," she shook her head. "He grabbed me by the throat and demanded to know where you keep the blood."
"What did you do?"
"I held the gun over his heart and said I'd shoot him. I wouldn't have, I couldn't do that to you."
"I think you handled that remarkably well." Eve smiled. "I would just ask one thing though, please don't judge Adam on what he did tonight; we're never more feral when we're hungry and he's gone a day longer than most without eating, he was probably a couple of hours at most, from falling into a coma. He's usually the most placid man you could hope to meet, with nothing more dangerous than a passive aggressive attitude."
Her teasing elicited a smile from Lilith, as it was intended to.
"Have you eaten anything or had any juice?" Eve asked.
Lilith shook her head. "I just want to sleep. I'd only been in bed an hour when…"
"It's all right, you stay here while I get the first aid kit and something sugary."
Eve placed her Lilith's hand over the gauze again, and left the room.
"Adam? Adam?" she called, tapping his face.
"What?" he asked, opening his eyes.
"Come with me." She took his hand, helped him to his feet and led him back to the kitchen before rounding on hm. "What the hell did you think you were doing?" she demanded.
"I'm sorry if I offended your pet zombie."
"Offended? You nearly killed her!"
"Don't be over dramatic."
"Adam, you tore the goddamn needle from her vein, her room is covered with blood and she'll need a transfusion!"
He frowned and looked contrite. "I didn't realise. How long was I out?"
"How should I know? Anyway, make yourself useful, pour a large glass of orange juice, make some toast with butter and jam, then wait here."
Eve turned to leave.
"How am I supposed to make toast?"
"You're a clever boy, you'll figure it out."
Eve retuned a few minutes alter with a medical kit, to see Adam trying to toast bread on the hob.
"Stand back," she told him, turning it off and puting two fresh slices in the toaster.
"Do you want me to go out and find blood for the transfusion?" he asked.
"No. The good thing about this new artificial blood, is that it can be stored at room temperature for up to two years. After that happened to Derek and Ian and Ben, I thought it best to keep a supply handy, so I have enough to completely replace the blood in an adult human."
"You think of everything."
"Evidently not," she said, her tone dark.
"Why do you use a familiar?" he asked.
"Because in the wake of artificial blood, it's getting harder and harder to source good blood."
"But what about contamination, doesn't that bother you?"
"With someone I don't know, yes, but Lilith doesn't take any medications if she can help it, not even paracetamol, and she eats a totally organic, homemade diet, nothing preprepared or laced with chemicals. Trust me, her blood is as clean as a baby's."
The toast popped out of the toaster and she spread it with butter and jam, then cut the slices in half and prepared a tray.
"Take the medical kit up, would you?" she asked as she headed out, tray in hand.
Adam followed Eve up the stairs and waited just inside the bedroom door as she approached the woman, who he gathered was named Lilith.
He quickly saw that Eve was right, she had lost an astonishing amount of blood and her sheets were covered in it. He also saw that she was now holding her elbow over a bowl, which the blood trickled into.
Eve put the tray down. "Give me the bag," she said, and he handed the medical kit to her, following her around to the empty side of the bed. "Lili? Wake up, darling. Lili?"
Reluctantly, the girl opened her eyes. "I'm tired."
"I know, but we have to give you a small transfusion."
"What's he doing here?" she spotted Adam. "Make him go away."
"I can't, I need his help but it's okay, he won't hurt you, I promise."
Lilith didn't look convinced.
"Do you trust me?"
The girl nodded.
"Then trust me to keep you safe."
She nodded. "I saved some?" she said as her eyes drooped. "Seemed a shame to waste it. Should keep you for a day or two."
"And that's very considerate of you, darling but how We have to dress your wound so it heals."
"Make sure that blood doesn't spill," Eve told Adam told him, directing him to take care of the bowl.
He did as she said. "Do you want me to dress the wound?" he asked.
"Please." She was inserting a needle into Lilith's arm, which was attached to a bag of artificial blood.
They worked in silence and Adam began to feel awful for the way he had treated her. Sure, she was only a zombie but clearly, she loved Eve to think about saving some of her blood after what had happened. He should not have been so rude, to her but even after he had been, and had threatened her to boot, she was still going to give him some of her blood.
Partly, it wasn't his fault, when he was that hungry, he couldn't control himself as well as usual, but he could control himself with effort, and the fact that he hadn't was his fault.
"Why didn't she just tell me that she fed you?" He asked Eve. It would have made things easier.
"Because she knows how scarce good blood is these days. Given how you'd treated her, I would presume that she was worried you'd tell others, or perhaps even try to sell her on the black market. She wouldn't be the first human to be trafficked among vampires as a blood slave."
"You've told her a lot about us," he observed, bandaging her elbow to keep the dressing in place.
"I had to. Our kind are getting desperate, so it's only fair that she knew the risks she was taking."
"And what if she'd told on us."
"Adam, I've known her for over 15 years and in all that time, she has never threatened to reveal my secret."
"Why not? Did you buy her silence?"
"No." Eve gave him a sharp look. "I earned her loyalty."
"By saving her life when she was a teenager."
Adam frowned as he tried to recall their previous discussions. "Is she the girl you told me about during the media riots? The one who was about to be…" he lowered his voice below human hearing range, in case she was still awake, "gang raped?"
"She is," Eve confirmed.
"I thought that happened in London?"
"It did, she'd just started university there but we kept in touch ever since."
"What happened to her attackers?"
"I left them alive but they'll never walk straight again. There's a few things they won't do again, actually."
"So what, you and she just kept in touch?"
"Why not?" she asked with an amused smile.
"If I'd known you were that desperate for company, I'd have come sooner."
"Don't be unkind. I know you dislike humans but some of them have a lot to offer, like the scientists you loved spending time with."
"So what is it about her that makes her so special?"
"Well to begin with, I hung around because I needed to make sure she wouldn't say anything. I discovered she was studying music so I told her a little about your interest and we talked about it quite a lot; we have similar tastes. She dropped out of school a few months later and returned home, so we mostly communicated by letter and email. After a few months, she sent me an audio file, put together by of one of her former class mates, she said, asking for my opinion on the work. It was a mixture of genres; opera, an original composition, rearrangements of pop songs, even two rock songs, as well as a classical hymn."
"I remember that, you sent me a copy. You never would tell me who the artist was though."
"Because she wouldn't tell me who the singer was. I had my suspicions but it wasn't until a year later, she finally confessed in a letter that it was her."
Adam looked at the figure in the bed. "Does she still sing?" he asked.
"She does, but she doesn't perform often. What happened that night traumatised her and it took her many years to get over it, and left her with a lasting dislike of crowds and too much attention. She still writes music though, that's how she makes her living. There's a studio in the basement that you will love, she has all the toys."
"And how did you come to live with her now?"
"I wrote telling her that I was moving again soon, she knows we can't stay anywhere for very long, and she wrote back suggesting Edinburgh, offering me the chance to stay with her, at least while I got settled."
"What about her family?"
"She's been unlucky there. Her mother died of cancer when she was young, and her father died in a car accident eight years ago."
"So you moved in and stayed?"
"We just got on so well. In many ways, she reminded me of you, your passion for music and art. She even shares some of your passion for technology, as far as it relates to her music."
Adam contemplated her words for a long while, watching silently as Eve changed the blood bag for the second time.
"All right, I was a pompous ass," Adam finally admitted. "As well as the inconvenience of travelling and the hunger, the delay made me even more bad tempered than usual. That's no excuse though, I treated her badly, and I'll apologise for it when she wakes up."
"Make it good," Eve implored. "Her home is her haven."
With a forth unit of blood just begun, Eve shook Lilith awake but as she pushed Eve's hands away. Adam could see already that she looked better; not yet healthy, but improving.
"I will, darling, once you have a drink and something to eat. Please, for me?"
Lilith sighed in defeat, an emotion Adam was familiar with; Eve was impossible to resist, no matter how much one might wish to.
As Lilith pushed herself up in the bed, Eve fetched the tray and Lilith watched Adam closely. He moved away, until his back was to the wall, trying not to frighten her, although he might have been more successful if he hadn't kept staring at her.
He considered apologising but now, when she was weak, only half awake and dependant on them, wasn't the time. He would wait until she was more recovered, then she could decide for herself whether to accept or not.
Eve forced the juice and one slice of toast on Lilith, then allowed her to rest.
"Now, come and greet me properly," Eve said, once her charge had drifted off to sleep once more.
Adam approached her slowly and wrapped her in an embrace, drinking in the feeling of her in his arms, before he kissed her. He lost track of time in her arms, as often happened.
"The sun will be up soon," Eve told him. "You should go to bed, you must be exhausted."
"Come with me," he asked.
"I can't leave her alone; what if she pulls the other needle out?"
He looked over to the girl. "She shouldn't sleep in that blood," he noted. He had considered suggesting changing the bed linen and her clothes, but he knew the mattress would also be saturated and the blood would only seep into the freshly laundered sheets. Besides, she didn't need to be disturbed too much. "We should bring her with us, we'll both watch over her."
"I'm not sure she'll appreciate that," Eve said, a rather delicate way of reminding Adam that Lilith was afraid of him.
"But she trusts you," he reminded her. "As long as you're there, she'll sleep well."
Eve considered his suggestion for a moment, then nodded. "I should change her clothes as well, or the scent of drying blood will soon be overpowering."
Adam nodded. "You take her to bed, I'll take care of the mattress."
"Are you sure?"
He nodded. "It'll give you time to change and wash her."
"Okay, baby." She gave him a long, lingering kiss, then approached Lilith. Placing the blood bag on her stomach, she gently lifted the girl into her arms and carried her from the room.
Adam was glad the blood was drying because if he was honest, he already craved more. That wasn't unusual, of course.
Rather than deal with the bed immediately, he looked at the bowl of blood which was about half full, a third of a litre maybe, and he took it to the kitchen, before the air could spoil it. All he could find to house it was a small thermos flask but it would do, so he poured most of the contents into it, leaving enough for a treat when he was finished. Getting a shot glass, he tipped the rest of the blood in; it would be his reward. Given how he had behaved however, he needed to earn it, which he proceeded to do.
First he stripped the bed and stuffed everything in the washing machine, then he took the mattress out to the garden, which was walled and relatively private. It would need to be dumped, or preferably burned but in the meantime, he doused it in bleach which would hide the blood and destroy the DNA.
Returning to the house, he mixed carpet cleaner and a small amount of bleach in a bowl, with warm water and taking a scrubbing brush, began to clean the blood out of the carpets. Luckily, he had some experience cleaning up blood over the centuries and was fairly successful. He used towels to mop up as much of the water as he could, then placed them in the washing machine. Adding a large measure of detergent and more bleach, he turned the machine on for a long wash on a cool setting.
Thanks to his speed, it didn't take him anywhere near as long as it would most people, but he had righted almost all his mistakes tonight. Tomorrow he would see about repairing her bedroom door and ordering a new mattress but for now, he had done all he could.
Returning to the kitchen, he picked up the shot glass of blood, sat at the table and this time, took his time. His hunger had kept him from noticing the taste the first time but now, he savoured it. Her blood had a slightly sweet, nutty taste, meaning that she ate well, lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, but she also had a sweet tooth. This was the nicest blood he'd had in decades, far better than the processed and filtered blood he got from bribing researchers, (they were pretty much the only people who worked with blood these days, those who studied it).
Her blood was like the difference between a meal replacement bar, and a sirloin steak.
He was sorry when the small glass was empty but given how much blood Lilith had lost, he daren't take any more of the small stash they had. He was still feeling euphoric however, and made his way upstairs. It was easy to find Eve's room since she had left the door open. An added clue was the front of the house faced north and vampires usually chose the darkest side of a house for their beds.
Lilith lay on her back in the middle of the bed and had been changed into a white vest and black shorts. The bag of artificial blood she was being infused with was handing from the headboard.
Eve lay naked on the far side of the bed, cuddled into her side and an arm flung over Lilith's abdomen.
Adam stripped down to his boxers, feeling that Lilith might freak out if she found him naked beside her. He would have pulled a robe on but it was late, he was tired and his clothes were still by the front door.
Eve opened her eyes and held a hand out to him.
"Darling," she purred.
Since there really was only room for him on the other side of Lilith, he climbed onto the bed and laid on his side. He reached for Eve with his top hand. Worried that Lilith would either move and pull the needle out, or he would catch the tube and do the same, he entangled the fingers of his free hand with Lilith's, holding it tightly.
"Thank you, my love," Eve said to him.
Adam didn't know what she was thanking him for and honestly, he was too tired to ask.
Lilith felt exceptionally tied when she awoke, her limbs felt leaden and true consciousness proved elusive. It was rather like she used to feel after doing a marathon. She trained prior to the race but a marathon or half marathon was always taxing.
She couldn't remember which race she had run in though. Race for Life? The Great Run? The Edinburgh marathon? The Moonwalk marathon? She'd done them all in the past, and some others she couldn't recall. Sleep claimed her again before she could remember why she felt this bad.
The next time she awoke, she had a little more awareness and realised that Eve was cuddled against her. That wasn't unusual, Eve didn't enjoy sleeping alone and usually joined her in bed a few times a week. She seemed to have more limbs than usual though, but perhaps she was just holding Lilith closer.
Feeling secure in Eve's loving presence, she drifted off to sleep once more.
The third time she roused, she had more presence of mind and memories from last night began to trickle into her consciousness.
Adam, the fight, the bloodletting, the needle being ripped out, Eve taking care of her. No wonder she felt so knackered. Her left elbow itched and she reached over with her opposite hand to scratch it, and that was when she realised that she and Eve weren't alone in the bed.
Carefully, almost as if she was worried the action might wake him, she opened her eyes and looked to her left side. Adam lay beside her, dressed only in his boxer shorts; her hand was entwined with his, his cheek was resting against her shoulder and one of his legs was slung over hers. Eve, who was nestled on her other side, seemed to be as naked as the day she was born but Lilith was used to that; Eve was about as shy about nudity as your average cat was. Adam and Eve's clasped hands rested on her stomach.
She was literally the human in a vampire sandwich, which wasn't exactly a comforting thought.
A glance to the window showed her that it was getting dark, so they would be waking up in an hour or so.
Rolling her eyes up, she followed the tube in her arm to the headboard, where an empty blood pack was hanging from the wrought iron ornamentation. How much blood had she lost? Her memory was a little fuzzy anyway and unless she was bloodletting into a container, it was hard to judge. It looked like a lot though, and she had grown so tired that she had almost resigned herself to death.
How did this even happen? Eve was such a lovely woman and even on the few occasions when Lilith had seen the other side of her nature, Eve had always been in control and Lilith had never felt personally threatened. She couldn't imagine her being with someone like Adam, who was brusque, rude, patronising, intimidating and violent. Eve had said he was prone to depression but to Lilith, it looked more like psychopathy, although granted, she was no psychiatrist.
What was going to happen when they woke up?
She trusted Eve but she had never seen her around another vampire before. It was two against one now, would Eve take his side? She had known and loved this man for 400 years, after all.
She looked again to see if there was any way she could disentangle herself from these two and although it looked impossible, taken one step at a time, maybe not.
First, she reached over and carefully withdrew the needle from her arm. A drop of two of blood would pool there but her injection sites usually healed very quickly. Next came extricating her hand from Adam's.
Slowly and gently, she began to slip her fingers from his. He groaned softly and she froze, her leaden muscles screaming in discomfort at her rigidity. He remained quiet for a few moments so moving even slower than before, she again tried to slip his grasp.
This time his moan was louder but he dropped her hand. For a second she thought that she had been successful, until he slipped his now free hand under her back and gripped her waist.
"Just a little longer," he drawled softly, rolling on her slightly more and cuddling in so that his head rested on her breast.
Her right hand was free but now, the arm was trapped under Adam and the only place her hand could go, was around him. She left it on the mattress.
How was it possible that she was spooning, or whatever the fuck this was, with two vampires? Even worse, why did she like it? She enjoyed cuddling with Eve because of the intimacy. There had never been much affection in her life. She hoped that her mother used to hold her but she had died when Lilith was three and while Lilith didn't doubt her father's love, he was a cool and distant man, who was uncomfortable with displays of affection. Her boyfriends liked to touch but she always felt as if they had an ulterior motive; they put hugs and kisses in, they get sex out, like she was a vending machine or something.
Eve had shown her the pleasures that could be achieved with a simple, innocent touch, and how it could create a bond that was infinitely more special than sex.
Her enjoyment of feeling Adam pressed against her though, was anything but innocent. His head was resting on her breast, after all, with only a thin vest between their skin. She could feel his stubble, and she knew that his lips were just millimetres from her nipple, because she could feel his gentle breaths, arousing her further.
His soft hair ticked her chin as she remembered seeing him in her kitchen. Once she knew who he was, she realised that she'd seen pictures of him before, but they didn't do him justice. He was, without a shadow of a doubt, beautiful. That wasn't a word she'd use for a man usually but he was different. He wasn't feminine looking, she didn't mean it in that way, it was more that he was an artwork, as if he were perfectly crafted to be ascetically pleasing.
Still, it didn't matter how handsome he was, she didn't want to feel that way about him, not after what he had done last night.
Lilah had more than her share of demons and they had caused her to all but give up on relationships. They were pointless and usually, she felt worse while with someone than she did when single. Especially since Eve had been living with her, she had no need of male company and if she was honest, she was better at pleasing herself, than most men were at pleasing her.
Maybe her feelings now were just because Adam was the only guy she'd been this close to for ages. It was a strictly physiological reaction to his proximity and desirability, not any real desire on her part to fuck the man who had almost killed her. Hell, even if she did want him in that way, she couldn't allow herself to act on it.
Her house was her safe haven, the one place where she didn't have to look over her shoulder, or walk with her keys between her fingers, or try to remember which order she had been taught to strike an assailant in.
Now someone had invited one of the enemy into her home. Her refuge was tainted. He had to go. Eve would go with him, she was sure, but it had to be that way. Eve was like a mother slash sister to Lilith and she was going to miss her like crazy, but no one was worth living in fear for.
She continued to lie there, resigned to the fact that she wasn't going to escape without waking them. Soon the lethargy overtook her once more and although she was in the arms of a predator, well two actually, she couldn't stay awake.
Eve smiled as she took in the scene before her. Adam was curled around Lilith, holding her almost possessively. Lilith for her part, was also unconsciously clinging onto Adam, one arm curled around his neck, her hand on his hair, lightly stroking it.
Adam had even removed his gloves. Her kind had a very slight psychic touch and were able to tell things about any object or person they came into direct contact with. Eve's ability was more developed thanks to her age, but all vampires had it. That was why they asked permission before touching another vampire, and why they didn't remove their gloves in another vampire's house without permission, because they too would begin leaving psychic impressions that would linger long after their departure.
Although his sense was dull compared to hers, Eve couldn't remember the last time Adam had touched a human, skin to skin, unless it was to feed.
She had made a good choice.
Eve and Adam were like darkness and light but Adam's bouts of depression were getting worse and sensing that something bad was coming, she worried about Adam's ability to cope.
Fire created light too but fire isn't passive, as light and darkness are. Fire ignited passion. She had begun to think that fire might suit darkness more than light after all, light and dark just cancel each other out.
People think that fire consumes but it doesn't, not really. Fire changes things, it clears away the old, the dead things, the things that suffocate and smother, and it provides a nutrient rich environment for new things to grow in.
Lilith, wither fiery hair to match her fiery personality, was a good match for darkness.
Eve couldn't have imagined that their first meeting would be quite so tempestuous, but the change in Adam was undeniable already. She could see no signs of the cruel depression that had once again threatened to overwhelm him, not even given the guilt he felt for hurting her friend. Already, her fiery spirit had chased away some of his melancholia, at least for a time.
It was more than an hour after sunset now but the others hadn't awoken. She wasn't worried; Adam was exhausted from travelling and Lilith was recovering.
Already, Lilith's colour looked much better, and she must have awoken briefly, as she had removed the transfusion needle. She would need to be taken care of for a while, to eat lots of nutritious and carbohydrate rich foods, and take it easy for a few days. She would give Adam the task of caring for her, where possible.
It would probably be at least three days before she could donate blood again. The artificial blood in her system would make it less palatable and nutritious than usual, but that would fade in a week or so, since as well as carrying nutrients around her body, by then it would be infused with her essence, her life force, the force that Eve survived on.
Luckily, unless something untoward happened, she and Adam didn't need much blood to survive.
Lilith stirred then, and Eve pushed the hair out of her face, brushing her fingers over the girls brow.
"It's okay, darling, you're safe now."
She opened her eyes.
"You're safe," Eve repeated, worried that's he might be frightened by finding herself in Adam's embrace.
She looked flummoxed to see Adam snuggled into her, but she didn't jerk away from him. Eve didn't know if that was a desire not to wake him out of fear of him, or consideration for him. Probably the former but Eve chose to take it as a positive sign.
"How do you feel?"
"That will probably last a few days, but you should be fine," Eve told her. "Adam cleaned everything up last night, so the house is as good as new."
Lilith nodded. "I should check."
"Of course." Clearly she wanted to be away from Adam. Eve squeezed his hand. "Adam, darling, time to get up, my love."
With reluctance, he roused himself and opened his eyes.
"Come on, darling." She coaxed.
He seemed to come to his senses in an instant and realising the rather intimate position he was in, sat upright and turned to Lilith, who was pushing herself up to sit with her back to the headboard her arms crossed over her breasts.
"I'm sorry, that was a terribly inappropriate of me. Please forgive me."
"It's fine," Lilith answered.
"Thank you. When you're feeling a little better, I'll apologise properly for everything I did last night but for now, let me just say, it was inexcusable and I am truly sorry to have abused your generosity in that way."
"Thank you." Lilith nodded. "I light of your apology, I almost feel bad for saying this, but I have to and I don't believe in keeping things in and letting them fester. I can't let you stay here, Adam." She turned to Eve. "I'm sorry." Lilith looked genuinely pained by the admission.
"Oh, my darling, I understand, believe me." Eve reached out and cupped her cheek. "This is your home and you need to feel safe here."
"I understand if you want to go as well, Eve, but you're always welcome here, honestly."
"Thank you. I would just ask one favour of you though."
"You want him to stay until you two find somewhere?" Lilith wasn't slow on the uptake.
"It would mean a lot to me, especially as I don't want to leave you alone, not for a few days, at least."
Lilith looked from Eve to Adam, who looked contrite. "I suppose a few days can't hurt."
"Thank you," Adam said sincerely.
"I, um," Lilith swallows. "I'm going to take a bath."
"Good idea," Eve smiled.
Somewhat self-consciously, she got off the bed but paused by the door and turned back. "Thank you, Eve, for saving me."
"What else could I do?"
With a shy smile, she left, avoiding looking at Adam.
"Can you handle cooking?" Eve asked Adam.
"It's not exactly my forte," he said drolly.
"Think of it like some of those experiments you used to do in the Victorian era, heating protein to find the temperature at which it's denatured."
"The process begins at 41 degrees Celsius, 106 degrees Fahrenheit or 314 Kelvin."
"Good, then you shouldn't burn anything. But look a recipe up online just in case; something simple and nutritious, like eggs."
"I think I can manage that."
"Good. I'm going to see if I can convince Lilith to sleep with us, for a few more nights at least."
"Why?" he asked.
"Because I love her and I love you, and I want you both to love each other. In order for that to happen, she has to trust you."
"What about me?" he asks, sounding amused.
"I already know that you'll love her, if you give her a chance," she answered, as if it should be obvious. "I'll stay with her while she bathes, just in case she gets dizzy or something, so you've got about half an hour to and prepare something delicious."
"I make no promises," he warned.