Henry frowned at the knocking on his door. At three in the morning, not many people should be showing up at his door. In fact he could count on one hand the people most likely to be calling on him at this hour of the night and they all had other places to be. The sharp rapping hadn't stopped so he went to answer it. On the other side stood a completely drenched and miserable looking Goth. "Coreen?" Henry asked.
"I am having the worst night ever," she stated with a defeated sniffle.
"Come inside, get a shower and then we'll talk," Henry stated.
Coreen did as he asked. Henry waited until he heard the shower running before going around picking up the dripping clothes and setting them in places to dry where they wouldn't trip anyone up. He clicked up the heat a few extra notches to make sure Coreen would be warm when she came out of the shower. Then he set a robe inside the bathroom for her. Twenty minutes later, a fresh faced Coreen appeared wrapped in the deep red robe Henry often wore to bed. "Thank you," she mumbled mournfully.
Henry gestured for her to come join him on the sofa. "Tell me what happened," he prompted softly.
Coreen launched into her semi-woeful tale of a night from hell. Being yelled at by everyone she knew, getting caught in a rainstorm, losing her key and feeling the entire time like her senses were on hyper overload. "I didn't even get dinner," she whined.
Henry pulled her into hug. He remembered those awkward days from when he had first been turned. Trying to fit his new powers into his old lifestyle had been very trying. Coreen was learning quickly but there were still bumps in the road. And sometimes you just needed the familiarity of being catered to by your Sire to make everything seem like it was going to be alright again. "Here, drink this," he ordered, cutting his wrist open.
Coreen seized on the bloody wrist and drank deep. With Henry's blood spreading through her body, everything seemed like it was really going to be okay. She was safe here, secure. Nothing could touch her while Henry protected her. "I seem to be saying thank you to you a lot tonight," she murmured, as she pulled back.
Henry smiled fondly at her. "You don't need to thank me, Coreen. I'm your Sire. That means it's my duty to take care of you."
"Guess I'm just not used to that sort of thing," she admitted. "I'm sorry for barging in on you tonight. Do you still have the key to my apartment?"
"I do," Henry confirmed. "But you'll be spending the day here."
"Are you sure about that?"
"Of course I'm sure. I wouldn't have offered if I wasn't." Henry grabbed a blanket from his spare closet and tucked it around her. "Settle yourself here. I'll be over at my drawing table until dawn if you need anything."
Coreen curled up deep into the blanket. Warm blood was in her stomach and the whole world was taking on a pleasantly hazy quality. Henry wouldn't let anything happen to her while she slept here. And tomorrow night she could take care of all the problems that had been bubbling up all day. Maybe it wasn't' such a bad night after all. "Night, Henry," she murmured as she started to slip off.
Henry smiled but didn't look up from his work. A good day's rest in a secure place was just what Coreen needed to restore her bright outlook on the world. That was the best thing he could provide her with right now. He remembered Vicki once asking about the strange bond between Sire and Childe. Henry had answered in the only way he knew how. "With your Sire, for that first year, it's like utter peace. They're like your parent, you're best friend, and even your lover on occasion. There is no safer, more secure place than to be in their presence and know you are deeply cared for." That was what Coreen was feeling right now.
Henry finished up his work just before dawn. Stretching, he glanced over to where Coreen was still dozing on the couch. He got to his feet with a paternal smile and paused to kiss her forehead before retiring for the day. His little Chile would be just fine in the morning.