Chapter Two: So Much Sorrow
And I knew you could never love me
I had so much sorrow inside you could never reach
But can I still keepa place in your heart
There is somethingI want you to know
I think you know exactly what it is
I didn't want to save you
I set our house on fireto watch it burn
But I couldn't just leave you
Silverstein Feat. Lights - The End
I didn't open my eyes when I awoke. Instead, I slowly took in my surroundings without the use of sight. I was lying on silk. A silk mattress, no doubt, and silk sheets covered my body. I could hear a reporter's muffled voice speaking through a television set and the sheets smelled like musky cigarettes. I was still fully dressed, thank God. The only items missing were my shoes but my jeans and top still remained exactly where they had been the night before. That was good. At least Jerry hadn't raped me or anything...and if he did; what dickhead puts a girl's clothes back on after he's done the unforgiveable deed?
My memory had not been tampered with due to the whole 'blacking out' thing. I remembered all the night prior's events perfectly. I remembered the fear that had boiled in my veins; the slicing pain when he bit into my neck and the way his eyes had darkened so suddenly. I knew that I wasn't at home. I was a student; do you really think I could afford silk sheets? In fact; I had never led on a silk bed before. I had absolutely no clue where I was...and when you know that without even opening your eyes; you know you're in trouble.
My eyelids fluttered open and I confirmed the fact that my surroundings were completely unfamiliar to me. I was in a bedroom; a beautiful modern bedroom with cream walls, black furniture and a thick golden carpet. The bed I was in was absolutely huge! I looked like I was drowning in the black silk sheets that were wrapped firmly around my body. The only window in the room had what appeared to be black spray paint preventing any light from getting in; the only light source in the room being the black bedside lamp to the right of where I lay.
Ever so carefully and quietly, I sat up and scooted myself off of the bed and tip toed towards the oak wood door in the corner of the room. I said I silent prayer before turning the knob and clicking the latch open. After pausing for a few moments to check that there were no repercussions to the noise I had made, I gently opened the door and slipped out of the beautiful bedroom. I was in a house. A minimally decorated modern house located God knows where. Creeping down the stairs, the television grew louder and louder until I peeked around the corner and saw the woman in blue talking about some sports crap on a flat screen plasma television set.
Jerry was facing away from me. He was sat in a leather armchair, his feet crossed before him on an oak coffee table and a bottle of Stella clutched in his hand. I could hear his soft and husky chuckle every now and then as he found whatever the hell he was watching amusing and I rolled my eyes; what vampire found humour in reality TV? It was now or never; I bolted towards the front door, careful to keep up my stealth the entire six feet that it took me.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you." The voice interrupted my celebratory thoughts just as I was an inch away from turning the door handle and escaping back to my freedom. I turned around quickly and saw that he was leaning against the wall next to the stairs directly behind me, his television programme long forgotten. He saw from the expression of sheer terror on my face that I wasn't able to form word and assumed that I would want to know why I was trapped in the dark and dingy apartment. "The sun's out and in the state you're in; the second those rays hit you, you'll burst into flames." He took a bite from his apple nonchalantly and I envisioned ramming it down his throat.
What he said suddenly dawned on me and I clutched at my stomach to try and stop the horrid pain that was building there. "D-Do you mean?" I stuttered, unable to say the impossible word. "Am I...?" My eyes grew as wide as saucepans and he chuckled at my reaction, insensitive prick.
"No...not yet, anyway." He did his weird 'curl back lip' smile. I furrowed my brow in confusion and he sighed, running a pale marble hand through his dark and beautifully unkempt hair. "You've been fed from once, which means that you're in the transitional stage. Just one drop of my blood..." He smirked, "and the transformation would be complete."
I didn't understand. Why hadn't he just turnedme? Or just killed me? What purpose did I possibly have for him? He took another bite from his apple and swallowed slowly, eying me carefully the entire time. "Why didn't you just kill me?" I whispered, my vision dropping to the oak hard wood floorboards. I needed to know, needed to discover the truth behind his obviously devious motives.
"Because, Violet..." He leaned closer as if about to reveal the biggest secret known to mankind "Where would be the fun in that?"
"What are you going to do to me?" He chuckled lowly again.
"Nothing at all; unless you want me to..." He cocked his head suggestively.
"What does that even mean?" I squinted my eyes at him in a confused manner.
"Why all the questions, Violet? I thought it was 'all about perception'?" He quoted what I had said the previous night in the bar and I cringed at the memory of a time when I had looked at him with desire and lust. He saw that I wasn't going to answer him and he shook his head, smiling to himself. "What it means, Violet...is that whatever you want; you will receive."
"I want to leave!" I hissed at him and he raised his eyebrow in a warning manner. I backed down immediately.
"When the concept of what you want disagrees with what you need; I will make the judgement call." He leaned back against the wall and folded his arms. "You go outside that door and you die."
"Why do you even care what happens to me?" My jaw locked while I spoke and I acted as though I was still fighting my case but I slumped my shoulders against the realisation hit me that I couldn't win.
"Like I said... you interestme." He said it like it was the most simple explanation in the world.
"Interest you? How? I'm like the least interesting person in LA!" I swallowed down the lump in my throat. I refused to cry; no matter how dire the situation was. Crying connoted vulnerability and weakness; two traits I sure as hell would rather die than possess.
"That's an answer I'm still figuring out for myself..." He trailed off and observed me for a few moments, a faint smile tilting his lips slightly upward. He stayed that for a while before suddenly snapping out of his reverie and standing up straight. "You must be hungry; I left a couple of take away menus on the counter in the kitchen. You can have anything you like,"
"Really?" I feigned enthusiasm. "You're so generous?" I looked at him with distaste but that only caused to amuse him further. He wasn't going to hurt me...or at least not for a while. That meant that I could be as bitchy to him as I wanted. I was going for super bitch.
I ordered a plain cheese and tomato pizza. Well, I say I ordered it but Jerry wouldn't let me use the phone so I simply pointed to what I wanted with a sour expression on my face. He left the room in order to place the order; probably so I wouldn't know where the apartment/prison was located. That had been over half an hour ago, and Jerry had since disappeared to God knows where. I didn't really care though; fingers crossed he'd accidentally slipped into a large spot of sunlight.
I currently sat on one of the large black leather armchairs that were a part of Jerry's little furniture collection. He was like the poster boy for the term 'minimalist'. His refrigerator contained nothing but beer and all of the cupboards were completely empty. The open kitchen was more of an ornamental feature rather than an actually room with a function. I had explored the small apartment and discovered that it was a one bedroom, one bathroom deal. It went without saying that I would not be sharing a bed with the likes of Jerry. I'd rather sleep on top of the cold breakfast bar than share a mattress with a murderer.
It was obvious that the sun had gone down as Jerry had exited the apartment through the front door with no reservations as he locked the door behind him. I had spent a good six minutes attempting to pick the lock but to no avail; it was pointless. It was quite clear that I would not be leaving the apartment until my captor saw fit and not a second sooner. I was still extremely wary of Jerry, and I despised him with all I was worth...but somehow I was no longer reserved around him. He had made it quite obvious that he had no intentions to hurt me, he didn't want me dead and he didn't want me turning into a...a...into whatever he was. So I saw no danger in telling him exactly how I felt about him at every occasion possible.
He laughed at all my snide remarks and cruel scowls and either hit me back with a witty retort or used his curl back smile and stared me out like I was a feature in a museum. That only caused to piss me off further and so the cycle repeated itself over and over again until I felt like tearing my hair out and spitting in his face just to get a decent reaction from him.
I had felt disgusting after spending almost two days in the same clothes so after Jerry was gone; I discovered the shower and put it to good use. Not wanting to clean myself only to put back on my vile clothes, I stole a grey button up shirt and a pair of black boxer shorts that hid me mid thigh. I didn't care if Jerry would mind or not; I figured it was the least he could do after drinking my blood and locking me in his apartment. I had always been the type of girl to make the best out of any situation that life threw at me.
The television was on and I was staring at the moving images but I wasn't really watching them. Nothing was registering in my mind as I stared blankly; my thoughts lost in my own misery. I had pulled my knees up to my chin and my arms formed a cage around them making me look like a pathetic and broken mentalist. I hadn't cried once, though and as long as that factor remained the same I didn't care how crap I looked. I heard the key in the latch before the turn of the door handle but I pointedly didn't look towards the oak wood door as it clicked open.
"Food's here," Jerry announced and I threw a slow cursory glance in his direction. As soon as I caught sight of him, I couldn't help but stare. He was holding a pizza box in one hand as promised but that wasn't what bothered me...it was the blood around his mouth and on his shirt that made my eyes bulge out of their sockets and my heart beat speed up noticeably. He looked down and seemed to realise what I was staring at and smiled a neighbourly smile. "Sorry about the mess, I just thought you'd want your pizza before I went and cleaned myself up."
"Oh, don't worry about it..." I remarked with sarcasm drenched in my voice "Did you kill them?"
"You should always kill them if you're not going to turn them; otherwise people start talking." He spoke to me like a teacher to a pupil as he placed the pizza box down on the counter. "Of course, people will just think they're crazy but if too many people suddenly start spouting off about Dracula; someone's going to notice eventually."
"Then why haven't you turned me?" He was contradicting everything he was saying by keeping me alive and keeping me human. He turned to look at me and his face had lost its usual smirk and had grown completely serious.
"Is that what you want?" He raised one eyebrow.
"No!" I spat out without hesitation as if the mere idea burned my tongue. He chuckled.
"And that's why I haven't done it." I hated how cryptic he was; almost like he needed to know that I was thinking about it.
"Forgive me if I'm wrong, but you don't exactly seem the type to let someone go just because they don't want it?"
"You're right; I'm not," He picked up an apple and took a bite from it, the juice making his lips shiny and moist. "But you're different." He walked closer to wear I was sat and crouched down to my eye level. "You see, one day, you're going to beg for me to change you. You're going to plead for this life and only when you ask me to do it straight out, will I grant your request."
"You're going to be waiting a long time." I meant every syllable.
"Who needs time when you've got forever?"
Jerry's words haunted me as I sat on the bed later that night. The concept of forever had always terrified me. Everything needed to have its end; everything needed to move on. But not Jerry. And not others the same as him. They were frozen. Unmoving; neither progressing nor retreating. They would never grow, would never change and would never move onto whatever the afterlife was. They were hopeless. There was no light at the end of the tunnel, no chance of a future; just a constant state of being that defied all possible laws. They would stare at the world through a window as it changed and revolutionised, would see countless generations live and die and would see humanity at its highest and at its lowest. Their existence could not be called a 'life'. They could see life and would see life over and over again but they could never and would never be able to reach out and touch it.
Along with the pizza, Jerry had brought me back a bunch of things that I would need throughout my 'stay' with him, as he said it. I had to admit, it really was hard keeping a sour face when I saw that he had brought shampoo and conditioner, my hair had practically turned into oil and I put the items to use immediately. Along with other toiletries such as a toothbrush, toothpaste and moisturiser (something I absolutely could not manage without), he also brought back some magazines, some films and a boom box for my iPod which I had forgotten was in my coat pocket. Jerry, the ever considerate, had managed to grab my parka from the floor in the club and bring it back to his prison. He told me that the stereo was only available to 'good music only'. I almost smiled at that, almost.
I had been sat in the bedroom for a while reading a magazine. Jerry hadn't bothered me for a while so I assumed that he had gone out again; probably to kill some innocent bystander who in no way deserved the terrifying and gruesome end that they would meet. It was funny; I could think about Jerry's nature without feeling sick now. It wasn't like I wasn't completely against killing people or anything, believe me that was not the case at all. It's just that after coming to the realisation that Jerry was not going to hurt me, it sort of made the whole thing a lot less frightening, no matter how selfish that made me; it was the truth.
In some ways Jerry did terrify me...but not as much a fear of whether he would hurt me now. It was more a fear of what he was going to do when I was back to normal. Would he bite me and start the whole process again? Would he change his mind and suddenly rip my throat out? Would he ever leave me in peace? I highly doubted it. Something made me feel that Jerry was going to be a part of my life for a very long time. And by 'part of my life' I mean the annoying fly that follows you wherever you go.
Sighing, I flicked over the final page of the magazine before kicking my legs over the side of the bed and padding along to the door. It was only when I neared the kitchen that I heard that the television was on. Hesitantly, I slowly peeped my head around one of the many columns in the apartment and saw the back of Jerry's head as he watched some trashy reality TV show. I could hear him chuckling to himself and once I again I found myself melting into the sound before mentally slapping myself and walking towards the other armchair.
"I thought that you'd gone out?" I inquired as I plonked myself down on the arm chair, my legs automatically tucking up beneath my chin.
"Sun's up." He didn't even take his eyes off of the screen. For some reason, that fact alone bothered me far more than it should. I didn't make a snarky retort (although it was killing me not to). If he wasn't even going to look at me then I certainly wasn't going to try and keep up conversation with the ignorant bastard. Instead, I lifted my back up from the chair and dug around until I pulled out a cigarette and a lighter. If he wasn't going to let me leave, he'd have to accept that my filthy habit would be entering his home. I placed the cigarette in between my lips and attempted to light it. It was clear that somewhere between being mugged and having my blood sucked; my lighter and committed suicide. If only my situation was that easy.
"Here," I turned to see Jerry looking at me with a lighter in his outstretched hand. I saw that he too had sparked up a cigarette and rolled my eyes knowing that I should have known that the route of all evil had a nicotine addiction just like the rest of us. I took the lighter and lit up my death stick and reached out to hand it back to him.
"Thanks," He grabbed the lighter and the tips of our fingertips grazed each other and a sudden wave of desire struck me literally out of nowhere. He wore his curl back smile as he saw my wide eyed reaction. That dick head knew what had just happened. "What have you done?" I hissed.
"Hey, it's not my fault that you find me incredibly attractive." I scoffed.
"No, really?" I was not amused. He sighed and rolled his eyes before leaning back in his seat and taking a drag from his cigarette.
"You're in the transitional stages." I moved my hands to show that he needed to emphasize. "If you were to drink my blood now, you'd become like me. Your body knows that; it craves that." I raised my eyebrows in disbelief and he shook his head, his dark hair glimmering softly in the lowly lit room. "This isn't me just saying that you want me, it's your body's natural reaction to being drunk from: it needs to replenish the loss and since my venom is now in your veins; your body knows that I can give it what it needs."
"What, so every time I touch you it'll feel like that?"
"On how often you'll be touching me and what we'll be doing." He smirked. "I can promise you that I can make you feel a whole lot better than that." He grinned devilishly.
"Is it so hard to believe that maybe I'm not considering having sex with you?"
"You'll give in; your body knows what you need." He took another drag and flicked the ash in the glass circular dish in the middle of the coffee table.
"You're unbelievable," I shook my head and made a play of disgust.
"That kind of comes with the territory of being one of the 'undead'." I couldn't help but laugh lightly at his words; no matter how badly I wanted to remain cold and emotionless.
"You look beautiful when you smile." Jerry's voice took on a serious note as he stared me down. I would've taken it as a compliment if he wasn't practically glaring at me. "You should do it more often." He took another drag of his cigarette, his eyes never once leaving mine.
"I smile all the time normally." I reasoned.
"No you don't." He changed the television channel as he spoke. "You turn your lips upwards but you don't really smile. The happiness doesn't reach your eyes."
"And you'd know that how, exactly? It's not like you've been watching me," I muttered the last part knowing that he would hear the words loud and clear. He raised his eyebrows and the penny dropped. "Oh my God, you've been watching me? For how long?"
"It'll be three months in two days since the first time that I saw you," What the hell? Jerry had been watching me for all that time? I flashed through every memory I had of the past few months searching for his face but there was no hint of him anywhere. I should have been angry, but instead I felt suddenly self-conscious and utterly befuddled.
"But...how?" I whispered, my mind still crawling through possibilities. "How can you have been watching me for so long without me noticing?"
"Sweetheart, I'm a vampire. Stealth is my job description." The moment he said the word 'vampire', everything else blurred out. I hadn't heard him say what he was until then. Hearing him calling himself out suddenly brought my world crashing down around me as the line between reality and fairytales disappeared.
"You really are a vampire aren't you," It wasn't a question; it was a statement. He nodded. "Tell me more about you: what are the rules? How old are you? How many...vampires are there?"
"Whoa there, take it easy. One question at a time." He smirked.
"Okay...what are the rules?" I inquired eager to learn about this whole new species.
"There are no rules; only common sense." He flicked the butt of his cigarette in the ash tray and leaned forward so his elbows rested on his knees. "Kill who you want to kill, but tidy up after yourself. Two hundred years ago, things were different. There were no DNA tests or forensic scientists but now...now it is a possibility that the humans could realize what was going on. Basically, the only law is that the existence of vampires must remain a secret from the humans. You have to be careful not to get arrested too 'cause as soon as they take your photo, they'll realize you're something else entirely."
"You don't show up on a camera?" I didn't expect such an old stereotype to be true.
He shook his head. "Technically, we're dead and therefore we don't exist. We don't have a reflection, either." If he had no reflection, how the hell did he manage to look so good all the time? I scolded myself mentally and reminded myself that he was a murderer. "To answer your other question; there are considerably less of us than there are of you but that doesn't matter...we could destroy all of you in a heartbeat if we didn't need your blood to survive." He spoke as though he wasn't even listening to his words; as if he had grown disinterested in the turn of conversation.
"And...how old are you?" I asked in a timid manner due to his new arrogant side.
"I've lost count...but I'm past four hundred." He shrugged nonchalantly and took a bite from his apple; his eyes glued to the flat screen. Four hundred years old! The things he must have seen! The places he must have been! I had to remind myself that he was an evil murderer just to stop the intense swarm of jealousy that was swelling inside of me.
I didn't say anything else to him. We sat in a comfortable silence for half an hour before I un-tucked my legs from beneath me and retreated back to the bedroom. I assumed that the bed was for me as Jerry never said one word. It was only when I led my head on the silk pillow and turned off the bedside lamp that I realised something: although I was scared of Jerry, I hadn't felt threatened by him. The memory of the brutal murder of the mugger no longer seemed to bother me. That realisation terrified me to the very core.
Please Review and let me know what you thought!