Untold Attraction

Charles Bromley's Office, Bromley Marks

The very first thought that sauntered into her mind, was that she felt cold. Every single hair on her body had risen into goose flesh and truth be told, she didn't enjoy the sensation. What made the entire situation more severe in her clearing head was that she only ever found the temperature to be so low in vampire housing.

Her eyes were open before she could even feel the rest of her limbs coming back to awareness and she saw exactly what she had feared. But in the following seconds, she realized that she had expected nothing of what she found in front of her. The room screamed expensive from the spotless glass table to the straight-backed sofas that illuminated the room with white leather. This was the last place she'd anticipated herself to be when she came round. Chained up, drugged to the gills and hooked onto a machine would have been a more fitting picture.

Straining herself into an upright position on the edge of the uncomfortable piece of furniture, she turned where she sat, taking in the rest of the ethereally lit office, noting how there were no wooden objects whatsoever. Not that she had rationally expected to find any, but a glimmer of hope never hurt. It had kept her alive for the past few years.

Her gaze drifted around the room in a few frenzied heartbeats but failed to spot the camera, carefully concealed in the neon lighting of the walls. Her chances had already been slim when she'd regained consciousness and now they had diminished into nothing. Painfully unaware of this as she was, she followed her resurfacing instincts as her eyes landed on the objects, carelessly left on the sheet of glass in front of her. Barely an arm's reach away, laid the weapon she had immediately been seeking out.

It was nestled innocently between the untouched marble ashtray and a letter of bulging content, to which she paid no attention. She knew she didn't have long to ponder her decisions and her fingers clenched around the icy handle of the letter opener as though they had been molded onto it. Her only protection in the world right now. She'd tried to desperately to evade this and simply ended up sucked right into the eye of the cyclone.

She was on her feet now, her cells tingling with need to be active in this hostile environment. She kept the weapon securely tucked against her side as she dove for her belongings. Of course, that was the moment the doors on the opposite side of the polished room had to slide open, bathing the setting in more unnatural light. Her breath hitched in her throat as she saw him step out.

Her first reaction was not even provoked by his frozen appearance; he had looked just the same when she had fled as a young teenager, almost a child. So immature and yet she had refused to accept the life he had chosen for herself, knowing the evils it brought upon the soul. Even though she was too young to comprehend the entire meaning of the disease, she'd known it the second her father had set those golden eyes on her. She could never be the daughter he wanted. She would never let herself be filled with the bloodlust that made him into the man he was now.

Those eyes were set on her again, judging, calculating and assessing her disheveled appearance. Disapproving. That part of him had obviously not been erased by his vampirism. Groomed hair, stainless suit, clean face; yes, her father had definitely not ceased from being his old perfectionist self. Just the way he looked her up and down made a sensation of inadequateness roll down her spine and she could not help but sneak a glance at her very ragged, rumpled clothing.

Unfortunately, as her gaze briefly drifted down, so did his, and landed on the reflective object in her fist. His head tilted slightly as he clicked his tongue, almost as though he was tutting at her five-year-old form for naughty behavior and his eyebrow rose as though to mock her, Do you seriously think that will get you anywhere?

Then his voice cut the simmering silence hanging over them, the gruff tones smoothed out into a reassuring drawl, "You don't need that"

Not even his voice had changed a fraction, excluding the simple, clipped words that he used in her presence instead of the fatherly warmth he had once exhibited. Not in his new life. Eternal life apparently didn't require much emotion. The way he gestured to the object in her hand made her feel put on the spot and she cursed herself for not hiding it in her sleeve while she had the chance. He had vampire senses; of course he would pick up on the tiniest detail.

Her head slumped on her shoulders and she stared at the makeshift knife with something akin to shame. Had she really been naive enough to assume this piece of sharpened glass would get her out of the building alive? Save her from possibly hundreds of vampires infesting the rooms. Stupid. She didn't even know what floor she was on, what building she was in, couldn't even comprehend how she had gotten from the caravan to…wherever here was. A city? Her hometown? Her father's workplace? His new mansion?

So many unanswered questions that she had not been able to consider in the few short seconds of her reawakening. All she could focus on was the fear that was striking her to the core that the once so familiar, comforting image of her father had been distorted right in front of her and she was now being told by an absolute stranger, "You are safe here, I promise."

But fear needed to be harnessed. She could not afford to show her terror in front of the perhaps only trustworthy person she would find. The only one she knew. Her trembling hand clenched around the opener as she raised her gaze back to him, goose bumps rising again as her tangled hair brushed over her exposed collarbone. It was so cold in here. Her look of inquiry signaled nothing of her discomfort though as she straightened her shoulders, "Where are my friends?"

That, he held no answer for. Or if he did, he chose to ignore the question that shakily passed her lips. His response was to step into the expanse of the four walls enclosing her, advancing towards her with slow steps as though he was approaching a timid animal. Was that what she was to him? It wouldn't even surprise her if he thought that of her. Fragile. Weak. Human. Her breathing grew rapid again and she instantly moved away from the narrow space between couch and coffee table to distance herself. He let it pass, though it didn't go unnoticed. He had her terrified and struggling to swallow her fear and he knew it.

His surface expression remained melancholy though and a fleeting ripple of gentleness passed over the stony features as he closed in on her. She could have sworn those frozen gold eyes were glassy. His eyes roved over her with something that reminded perhaps of faint fatherly admiration as he whispered, "You look so beautiful. You've grown up so much"

Many, many months ago, an entire lifetime ago as it felt to her, she would have received that look gratefully, knowing her father was pleased with her. However, given the situation she had been stranded in, she was simply petrified by the surrealism of it all. Her body responded with adrenalin kicks as a result of her increasing fear. Her chest heaved with rapid breaths and her blood ran cold in her veins. Her body practically sizzled with the desire to flee as he strode closer to her with every word. She was backing away, even though she tried to stand her ground but the supernatural vibe had her struggling, despite his reassuring words.

He stopped his advance mere inches away from her, squaring his shoulders and gazing down upon her in a manner that may have been protective but only sent chills down her limbs. She knew she had to calm herself and hear him out, keep him centered on his apparent joy upon seeing her. Her face morphed into an expression of desperation as she pleaded with him.

"Dad, please" Her voice was steady and any tremor in it would have been justified as worry for her fellow humans. Most likely, there weren't many left to worry about.

She could almost feel his body sigh at her request but once again he avoided her question and instead searched her face with those unnaturally stark iris' of his and continued to declare his stirred up feelings to his daughter. His act was spot on, she noted, so exact that it almost seems genuine.

"I'm so happy to see you," he paused as though struggling to breathe normally through his emotion, "I never thought I'd see you again, sweetheart"

It was too much. That face, the movements, that voice but all of it a façade. She allowed his hand to curve along the back of her skull, allowed him to press her close to him in a gesture of comfort but really, the tears flowing down her cold cheeks to soak his suit were not those of relief at their reunion. They were traces of regret that he had ended up this way. That she would never have her true father back, holding her like this, telling her, "You're safe now, you're safe" in that cool but always reassuring deep voice. Most of all, it was regret that he had chosen to be this way.

The Vampire in him was evident, not only in his eyes. She knew she was making the right decision all along but when his fingers glided over her tangled strands and he whispered the words into her ear, she felt that he next move was perhaps the most appropriate thing she had ever done to her father. His cold flesh brushed past her neck as he finished his sentence, "But your friends…there's nothing I can do. I'm sorry"

It was enough to make her pull away.

She locked her wide eyes on his visage, drank in every aspect of his carefully placed features of misery that failed to impress her. This was how she wanted to remember him, to remind herself that she had made the correct choice every time somebody tried to convince her otherwise. Emotionless. Bloodthirsty. Undead. Then she hurled all her anger out in a single sentence and shoved him away as she yelled, "You're not sorry!"

She didn't even turn to look at him as she ran to the elevator he had entered from, did not listen to his gasp of surprise as he felt the wound she had ripped into his eternally preserved vampire flesh and saw the spreading red blotch on his shirt. Only when she tightened her grip on the dripping weapon and turned to ensure he did not make a move to restrain her, she met his disbelieving face. She could not help but embrace the smugness that rolled through her at the sight of him - finally caught off guard and by his own very human daughter at that. He was frozen where he was, pressing a hand to the wound, even though it could not be deep enough to prove fatal.

The blow was all that mattered. She may not have been attracted to violence in the way other humans were in order to survive but this felt like a victory. It was written all over his face as he realized, she would never believe another word from him. A crazed smile began to form on her lips. She heard the soft noise of the elevator doors gliding open and saw the light spill over the stained carpet in front of her. She would escape. He still didn't move. Almost like he was too stunned to comprehend what his own flesh and blood had done.

She whipped around on the spot, leaving the sight of the graying man behind her as she headed into the elevator. She should have known there would be more resistance than her father to face. She barely had time to blink at the armed soldier before her as his weapon descended on her and hit its target with a precision that left her on the ground, out cold for second time in this day.