5. Caleb Danvers
For five whole minutes we just stared at each other. Not a word was said and all attempts of trying to communicate the flurry of thoughts that filled our minds were ending abruptly. Caleb's hands trembled. I could feel his heart racing; it was like an unwavering time bomb that kept ticking faster and faster. I drew a deep breath, but something about his scent cleared my mind. At first it was an intoxicating drug, but now it was my antidote to the confusion that wrapped itself around my mind. I closed my eyes a moment and then stared at Caleb with as much intensity as possible. When I looked at him again his eyes were different … they had changed, but only for a brief moment. They were black as coal, but the moment I blinked, they were back to their warm, brown. My concentration broke and speech faltered.
"W-what happened to your eyes?" I asked in a low voice.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he frowned, but did not give me a moment to rebuke his statement. "How about you start giving answers, such as how is it you're able to move so fast? How did you know I was dialing 9-1-1? Why are you so fascinated by me?"
We both needed answers, so the best way to solve this was to compromise.
"I will answer a question, then you will. I want nothing but the truth," I continued in as mellow a tone as possible. "Since I was the one to act out of fashion first, I will reply first." I sighed. "I am not what you think I am. But I have a feeling you are not what I think you are either."
"That's not an answer," he shot. His heart raced.
"I can feel your pulse increase," I gave a slight grin, but not wide enough for him to see my entire set of impressively sharp canines. "I can feel your pulse, I can hear your heart, I can smell your scent the moment you walk in the door." I would not go any further until he gave up some information.
"Is that all you're going to say?" he grunted in frustration.
"Your turn to tell me something," I lifted an eyebrow.
"Why would I tell you anything? I don't know you, and you don't know me. Besides, what make you think that I have anything to say to you?" he frowned.
"You would not be sitting here if there was nothing on your mind."
He sighed and took a sip of coffee. Setting the cup down, he leaned forward. The smell of coffee tainted his citrus and honey scent. I wrinkled my nose instinctually, but immediately returned to normal before he realized a change.
"My name is Caleb Danvers," he said in a low tone. My heart melted again and I could listen to his voice all day. "I don't come here often, only when I … when I feel compelled to."
"Like last year," I alluded to our encounter almost one year ago. "I apologize for scaring you. I, um, have that effect on people sometimes … I speak too quickly or move to fast. It is something that I keep under control unless something clouds my concentration." I looked at him intently. "You cloud my concentration, Caleb."
"Why?" his voice cracked in shock.
I shrugged. "You are not like others that I have met. You are … different. You remind me of Douglas."
"Douglas," Caleb muttered the name and then I felt a wave of realization pour from him. "That's the name you called me last time. Who is he?"
"More like was," I muttered. "He is no longer in my life, but when I saw you I thought for one moment he had returned to me …" I shrugged. "Of course I was wrong, but there was something else that drew me to you."
"I do not know," I was truly confused and this frustrated me. I was always so sure of myself and sure of my decisions, but this Caleb threw a wrench into my entire existence. "You are different in some way that I cannot put a name to it. There is something almost supernatural to you that I can feel."
It was then that his feelings shifted from wonder to anxiety. His heart began to race and his muscles tensed. I could see the veins in his neck become more pronounced as he clenched his teeth, trying to sound as normal as possible.
"And what would ever give you the idea that I was linked to something supernatural? Am I that amazing looking as Superman?" he tried to deflect my attention with humor.
"Better," I grinned, again, not showing all my teeth. That would send shivers down his back within moments. "So do I lie? Are you linked to something supernatural?" I leaned forward. "Your eyes do not lie and neither does your heart rate."
I could see him weighing his options.
"Yes. There is something different about me," he replied solemnly.
"Then I am willing to concede the same information." I looked down a moment, and then back at Caleb. My once green eyes were now bright blue – a natural reaction that occurs when I go into, as I call it, 'alert mode'. This time I smiled all the way, exposing my razor sharp teeth, which were meant for only one thing – puncturing human flesh, digging deep into the arteries. Under normal circumstances they are sharp looking, but when in 'alert mode' they grown half an inch.
He froze and his heart rate doubled. I made to go for his hand; he tried pulling back, but I was faster than him. I held on to his wrist and refused to let go. My ice-cold hands wrapped around his pulsing arm. After thirty seconds he began to calm down. He realized that I was not going to harm him, at least in public.
"You're a …" he trailed off, not sure if he was caught in a bad dream or not.
"Yes, a vampire," I said softly and then closed my eyes and drew a deep breath. I inhaled his scent and let it cleanse my palate. When I opened my eyes, they were back to their original green. "We come in different breeds. People don't know this because the ones that hide in the shadows and murder all in their path are nomads, wanderers of the earth. They travel from town to town in packs and kill any and all in their way.
"Then there are those like me that look like a human. If you passed me on the street you wouldn't know better unless I told you or bit you. I am the most common breed of vampire, but lethal nonetheless. Those like me have the ability and the conscience to govern self-control and make rational decisions. I choose to drink from blood bags supplied to me from the hospital … I find wasting human life is a sin, for which I will pay for ten fold in Hell once I finally depart from this earth …" I paused. "Why were your eyes black, Caleb?"
"I don't know what –"
"Let's agree to be honest here, and know that my reflexes are exponentially faster than any human's, and I saw your eyes change to pitch black a moment ago. So again, I ask, why were your eyes black, Caleb?"
He balled his hand into a fist. "I can't tell you."
"Of course you can. I just confessed to being a blood drinker, and yet you cannot tell me why your eyes are black? That seems unfair," I still held on to his wrist.
He somehow saw the logic in my argument and sighed. He stared right at me and in a moment that occurred faster than any human could ever see, his eyes flashed a bright gold fire that started at the pupil and extended outwards. As soon as the flame had dissipated into the whites of his eyes, the coffee in his cup began to boil. Ah, it was magic. He was a … witch? I frowned and looked up at him. The liquid stopped boiling and now sat as a steaming cup of coffee as if it had just been poured.
"I do not understand," I frowned. "You are magical, yes, but how? What is this power you possess?" I looked at his wrist that I held in my hand and the horrid thought of biting it and draining all his blood in one gulp filled my head. If he was talking to me, I was not listening. All I could think of was drinking his blood and receiving answers. Upon taking a bite I would have all the answers I could ever want from Caleb, but I would also not be able to stop myself.
"It's complicated," he finally answered after a minute of silence.
"I have until forever," I said dryly, despite the humor in it.
"Not here," he shook his head.
"Then we will take a walk," I rose in one fluid motion, not even thinking of what his reaction would be. Everyone else's attention had been diverted due to the lack of heated argument they all expected. Our conversation was so low and secluded that they did not have a prayer's chance of figuring out what we were saying.
"Fine," he shrugged, becoming a little more indifferent. I looked over my shoulder to see if he was following me and noticed his eyes return to their dark brown.
"Have a good evening, Mark," I smiled as if nothing had happened.
"Good night," he waved. "Will I see you back here tomorrow?" I knew what he was alluding to. The seat had been filled, but was my life not complete?
"I am not sure," I replied softly and turned on my heel and was out the door with Caleb trailing quickly behind.