When I next opened my eyes I suddenly realized I wasn’t breathing. I don’t think I had been for a while. I gasped, panicked, thinking that I might be suffocating. Did a bullet puncture a lung? I was pretty sure it had. I panicked some more.
Then I saw the angel again. My eyes locked on her perfect form and my libido gradually overwhelmed my panic attack. “Am I dead? Are you an angel?” I blurted out.
“No,” she said to both questions. She smiled slightly.
I thought I’d been forgiven my since at my last confession, but to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if I was standing on the threshold to hell.
I realized also that I was very, very hungry. Yet the thought of food made me feel ill.
“What’s happened to me?” I asked.
“I saved you, Detective. I’ve given you another chance.”
“I thought there was no way I’d survive that.”
She presented that almost-smile again. My God, it was sexy. I had a vision of kissing her, showing her how much I appreciated her saving my life.
She brought me to another room. There I saw Deacon Steve. He didn’t look so good, but he was defiant as ever. Even though he was chained to a wall, he was still defiant.
I looked back to my hostess. “Who are you?”
“My name is Sonja, Detective Brody.” She swished the contents of the large goblet she had in her hand. I hadn’t seen where she picked it up.
“Where are we?”
I looked at Steve. I thought I had questions for him, but they’d already been answered. Yet, I couldn’t take my eyes from him and my hunger grew. Confusion clouded my mind. I couldn’t think.
Then Sonja said, “No more questions.” She poured the contents of her glass all over Steve, then walked to the door. She closed it and I heard the lock click.
I couldn’t tear my eyes away from Steve. I couldn’t stop thinking about how hungry I was. And then I smelled blood.
God help me. I don’t know exactly what happened next. I think I lost my mind. I was so hungry, I couldn’t stop. I just… killed him. I killed him for his blood. I wanted it all, every drop.
When it was over I wept. I was Damned now, and I knew it. Sonja hadn’t saved me from death after all. I was still here, of course, but I was changed. I stumbled away toward the door and tripped over something. It was Steve’s head. I looked back at the corpse, unable to believe what I had done, but it was true. Somehow I’d summoned the strength to rip the head from a man. The room should have been awash with blood, but there wasn’t nearly as much as there should have been.
A while later I got cleaned up. Sonja had provided fresh clothes. She somehow knew my size and had them ready. I was in a haze, but Sonja began to talk to me. She told me a great many things, most of which I’m still trying to wrap my head around. The short of it was that I’m a vampire now. Damned, true. But still in control of my destiny. She told me that although we might be damned, we could still have faith. We still had the capacity to guide our path. We can learn control.
What happened to Steve was bad. Horribly bad. It was murder, plain and simple. As bad as he was, it didn’t justify murder. But we could still ask for forgiveness. We could still try to do better. My God, I hoped it was true. She told me that the first time was the worst. I had been starving, and it happened often that a starving Childe (as she called me), would lose control and kill their first victim. But it didn’t have to be that way. She told me I could take just a little from each person. If I didn’t let myself get so hungry, I wouldn’t be as likely to kill.
She told me a lot of other things, too. About how our powers work. How we weren’t alone. There were many different kinds of creatures of the night, more than what I had experienced, suspected, or doubted. She told me how she and I were different. She told me everything.
Sonja and I talked deep into the night. When morning came I lay on the bed in the room she provided. It felt like dying again.
The next night I must have awoken the moment the sun disappeared below the horizon. I didn’t know what to do next. What kind of life is this? How would I… eat?
But Sonja was preoccupied with some project of her own. She told me to investigate a traffic accident where there was an apparent fatality. The coroner’s car reported later, however, that the deceased got up and left.
I knew what Sonja intended. She needed an ally, not an added responsibility. I needed to learn to make my way through this … life. So I picked up and headed out to ask that driver some questions.
I checked out the area, but that kid had been scared witless. He didn’t know anything. However, I’d found a card, dropped in the mud near the location of the accident and did a bit or research back at my office. It’s funny what you can learn on the Internet. In this case, I was able to put a street address to a name and phone number, even though the number was unlisted.
I decided to drive over and see what I could find out. I figured it out immediately.
See, when two vampires meet for the first time there’s like a test. A battle of minds and wills. A sense of who’s stronger, weaker or who is of like strength. Melvin Alucard was like me and felt just as strong as I. After a moment of really stiff nerves, we got past that and got to talking. Someone had done this to him, but it wasn’t like it was with me. He’d been seduced and murdered, a by-product of a lust-filled moment of passion and left. He didn’t know what was going on. He’d panicked at the accident, but he hadn’t killed anyone. He’d already figured out he needed blood and all that, but he was a step ahead of me. He hadn’t murdered his first victim.
After our meeting, I went back to my office to think. I’m not sure what I’m going to do now. I think Sonja has some kind of plan, but I don’t know what part I’m to play in that, if I even have a part in it any time soon. I need to figure out what to do with my business, my home. Most of all, I have to figure out how to forgive myself for what I’ve done. Then maybe I can ask God.