3. The Gift of Life

"Igor, take her to the machine over there! We´ll start another try!", the man in black ordered. A creature, much smaller than he was, rushed over to me and pulled me out of the metal I had been thrown into. Wincing at the pain he carried me over to a table-like instrument.

The creature looked like already dead. His white hair hung in thin strands into the yellow skin of his face.

I watched him chain me down to it at my wrists and ankles. The chains were like ropes made of metal and slowly lifted me into the air. I couldn´t feel the table under my body anymore. All that held me were the chains. In pain and panic I struggled to get free but I was far too weak to regain my freedom. I closed my eyes as the chains twisted and brought my body into a painful position. A sound of something tearing made me cry out.

My upper and lower part of my body were forced into opposite directions and tore the tender skin of my waist. But that wasn´t enough. More and more the chains twisted and ripped my skin open. Blood stained my shirt and the floor under me. The pain was unbearable. Why couldn´t I just bleed to death and the pain have an end? Why could my body stand this torture without losing consciousness?

"Enough!", the powerful voice of the man in black echoed through the dark lab. With that the chains lost hold of me. I fell three meteres down and landed on the ground with a cracking sound coming from my ribs.

I could barely see the man walking over to me through my tears. With almost disgust he looked down at me and commanded his servant to check how much power he had gotten out of me. With a kick he rolled me over on my back. I looked up at the man, my eyes widened in fright and pain. All of sudded his expression changed. "Titiana?"

His face that had shown this anger once was now full of confusion. He bent down, placing his hands under my arms, and lifted me up.

I wanted to struggle but I was still far too weak. I had to watch him lift me into his arms and hold me close to him. Like a doll or something he held me and I didn´t know why. I didn´t even know him. At this time I didn´t understand what that meant but I was soon to find out.

The man probably didn´t care that I was staining him with my blood and still he held me like a baby.

Burying his face in my hair he softly whispered: "I´m sorry. Please, forgive me, Titiana." That was the second time he had said my name. I didn´t no from where he knew it but that barely mattered to me. I was hardly able to think from the pain.

"This mortal is special and has much powers but not enough to let the children live for more than two days!", I heard the ugly servant shout. But the vampire didn´t care. He loosened the grip on me a little and looked into my eyes. With one hand he stroked my cheek while his other supported my back. My wounds started to heal by a kind of magic.

By then I felt strong enough to ask the question that burnt in my mind for too long, though my voice was shaking: "Who-who are you?"

The man shook his head. "No... This can´t be... Titiana, don´t you remember me? And what we had?" A look of pure sadness appeared on his face. I didn´t know what to say. I remembered everything of my life. He probably thought I was someone else. But how did he find out my name?

I just looked at him with disbelief. "What..." I didn´t say anything more.

He picked me up bridal style and looked once more closely at my face. "It has to be you. Nobody else has such eyes!", he spoke this softly but soon it turned into anger. "Why are you doing this to me!? Longer than four centuries I have waited! I have hoped for you to come back to me and to give my life a sense again! And now death finally brought you back and you don´t remember!"

His screaming scared me so much that I had closed my eyes while he did. As I opened them again he looked so pained. Tears streamed down his face. Slowly he started to walk, carrying my in his arms.

"You´ll stay here and be mine. You won´t leave this castle anymore. I won´t lose you again." But my soul already left my body. The wounds had been too much and death called for me again. Perhaps I never was his love. But I feel his pain and guilt all the same. I have reminded him of love again. And that´s all that counts.