"Come on, Annie. Just give it a try. What could it hurt?" Mitchell was pitching his voice in a way that made Annie shiver inside and remember what it was like to be alive and feeling the little thrill of being chatted up by someone. He was very sexy for a vampire, she supposed, and probably for a man. If you liked that type. That tall, dark, slightly dangerous type. Skinny but muscular with thick, dark hair, and... yeah....

Annie blinked several times and stared across the tiny kitchen table at Mitchell. There was a mug of coffee in front of him -- sweet and milky, the way he liked it. He picked it up and turned the handle toward her. "Try one sip. Just tell yourself that you can do it."

"But what if I can't?"

He smiled reassuringly. Alluringly. "Annie. You can be seen when you feel confident enough. You can cook and clean and touch things and be touched yourself. You have to believe you can drink this."

Her forehead scrunched and she twisted her fists inside of her sweater. "What if I can't swallow it? Or what if it just dribbles right through me like one of those dolls that wee themselves?"

"If you can't swallow it, just spit it out into the sink," he said and tried very hard not to laugh. "If it dribbles right through, I'll mop it up for you. Just try it, Annie. Please." He offered her the mug again, with another nearly-seductive smile. "For me?"

Annie's hands trembled just a little before she reached for the mug. She grasped it in both hands and stared at the contents. "I much prefer tea," she said, trying to offer Mitchell the mug.

Mitchell laughed and leaned back in his chair, hands folded behind his head. "If you do this, I'll make you tea. Promise."

Annie lifted the mug to her lips. You used to do this all the time, she reminded herself. Remember how the mug felt in your hands and your lips. The flush of the coffee when you took that first sip and when it was too hot it could almost take your breath away. It's just coffee. Just take a sip.

She put the mug down quickly and raised her hands. "I can't. I'm not ready. What's the point, anyhow? It's not like I need it."

Mitchell picked up the mug and took a long drink. He sighed in satisfaction and leaned back again. "I don't need it either, but it does feel really good."

Annie took back the coffee, raised it to her mouth, and drank. The sensation of coffee flooded her memories -- the sugary, creamy taste and the underlying bitterness and the sort of smokey feeling it always gave her in the back of her mouth. She had done it! She'd had coffee!

And then, eyes wide, she realised that she had forgotten how to swallow. Or she couldn't make herself do it. She really didn't want to wee herself. She lurched for the sink and spat out the tiny mouthful. Well at least that mechanism worked.

Mitchell laughed and applauded. He was behind her patting her between the shoulders. "See? That wasn't so bad, was it?"

"Oh my God," she giggled. "I can't believe I forgot how to swallow."

"But it was good though, wasn't it." Mitchell was practically beaming.

"It really was, yeah."

"Want to do it again?"

"I think I need to work on the mental part of it before I try that again, but yeah, I do! It was fantastic. Oh, thank you so much for making me try it."

George paused at the front door with his hand on the wall. "Whatever you two are doing in there, I really don't want to know."