Slowly my eyes open only to be met with bright lights. I blink hoping that the lights would dim down or my eyes would adjust but neither happen. “Am I dead?” I think to myself. I slowly try sitting up and cry out in pain. I look down at the source of the pain to see that the spot where the knife was is now covered and clean. I continue to try to sit up but slower and more carefully this time. Pain still fills the area and I notice a reddish pink color starting to fill the once white bandage. I look around noticing that the room I’m in is pretty bare of anything. All it has is a twin bed that I am laying on and a chair that is pulled up right next to the bed. I try moving off of the bed and manage to get to the edge and stand up but with shaky legs supporting me. I try making my way to the door slowly and carefully leaning against the wall as I make my way there. I reach for the door handle hoping that it’s unlocked and when I try to turn it, it opens. I look out into the hallway noticing that I’m not in Eric’s house or at least any parts that I have seen before.
I take a few steps into the hallway but lose my balance from my shaking legs and end up on the ground clutching the stab wound with one hand and holding myself up with the other.
“Hello?” I call out hoping that someone could hear me but my voice just disappears into the silence that already filled the room.
Suddenly I hear footsteps heading this way and sigh in relief. The steps seem rushed like they are in a hurry but they are heading right toward me. When I finally see who the steps belong to my body tenses up.
“Edlynn, what are you doing out of bed? Oh, my you are bleeding again.” I get cut off as the figure before me starts to worry and help me up to my feet. “Edlynn, I’m so sorry I didn’t mean for that to happen.” He says as he pulls me to his chest wrapping his arm tightly around me but not too tight to hurt.
“E-Eric, what h-happened?” I say with a shaky voice as I hide my face in his chest. I wince as the pain starts getting worst on my side. Eric pulls away from me looking down seeing the blood beginning to seep through the bandage.
“I’ll explain later, okay princess? Right now, I need to re-bandage your wound.” He says softly running his hand carefully through my hair. He picks me up like you would a two or three you old on your hip. I wrap my legs around his waist and my arms around his neck as I lay my head on my shoulder. I was so small compared to him that I don’t even think it’s difficult for him to carry me.
“Thank you,” I whisper as I close my eyes and smell in the soft scent of cologne. I’m not scared of him right now. He’s the one who just saved my life.
We reach the room that I woke up in and he lays me back down on the small bed. He walks over to a different door on the other side of the room that I didn’t notice before. He opens it and disappears behind the door. He comes back with supplies to bandage the wound on my side.
He comes over and sits on the edge of the bed and carefully pulls the old bandage off. He cleans it with a cloth before putting the new one on. Once he’s done he puts all the supplies back and comes back into the room and sits in the chair that’s next to the bed.
“Thank you,” I whisper looking at him with a small smile. I feel like I look like a mess but ignore it for right now. “Eric, now can you tell me what happened?”
He nods his head. “One of the men I had over for a business meeting hurt you and stabbed you with a knife. I took care of him. I brought you to my lake house to protect you from anyone. Edlynn I don’t want anyone else to hurt you.” He says sounding sincere but I look at him skeptically.
“Why are you being n-nice to me?” I ask looking down at my lap scared of angering him. I hear a sigh escape his lips as he thinks of a way to respond.
“I’m sorry for being mean to you before. I turned into the one person I didn’t want to be like. I really do care about you but my past has made me into someone I didn’t want to be.” He says softly as he reaches for one of my hands. I move it away from him not believing him.
“You’re lying, you don’t care you just want me to think you do so you can use me.” I snap out pushing myself up even more on the bed.
I whimper in pain and he shoots to his feet and helps me back down. “Edlynn, sweetheart I truly do care. If I didn’t and just wanted to use you I could have left you there on the ground until you actually needed my help to stay alive. I didn’t. I brought you back here and helped you and re-bandaged your wound. I also brought you somewhere safer than my other place. Edlynn I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t actually care.” He sits down on the bed next to me taking my hand and rubbing his thumb across the back of it.
I just stare at him not sure of what to make of this new Eric. Part of me wants to believe he’s changed but a small part of me thinks it’s all an act.
He sighs and pulls his hand away from mine running it through his hair. “How can I prove it?” He mumbles to himself. I just watch him closely noticing the bags under his eyes and how much of a mess he looks like.
His eyes were dark like he hasn’t slept in days. His hair is a mess and clearly, hasn’t been combed through in a while. He’s wearing a t-shirt and sweats.
“Eric, how long was I asleep?” I ask.
“3 days.” He replies looking up and I notice his eyes are brown. They are actually brown and not the usual red color.
I smile softly seeing that he wasn’t angry at all right now. He seems worried and like he truly does care and his eyes just told me that he is true in what he said.
“Did you not sleep or take care of yourself while I was?” I ask wanting to confirm what I thought.
He shakes his head at me and a small frown appears on my lips. “Eric you need rest. Please go lie down.” I softly say giving him a small, weak smile.
“No, what if something happens to you.” He says worriedly and a little bit defensively.
“Then stay here with me.” I saw moving over and giving him space to lay down. It was a very small bed but we can make it work.
“Are you sure?” He asks hesitantly. I only nod and he lays down next to me. He wraps his arms around me and pulls me to his chest. I snuggle into his chest and close my eyes. “I’m so sorry this happened to you, sweetie.” I hear him whisper into my ear as his head rests on top of mine. A few moments later and I can hear the soft snoring sound telling me that he fell asleep. After knowing he’s asleep I finally give myself the okay to sleep too.
Hours later I wake up to the sweet smell of pancakes filling the room. I sit up carefully noticing that Eric is gone and that my stomach is growling at me from the sweet smells.
Eric walks through the door with a tray with pancakes, orange juice, milk, and some fruit on it. He sets it down on my lap and carefully sits on the edge of the bed making sure not to spill any of the drinks sitting upon the tray in front of me.
“Eric you didn’t have to do this. Thank you so much.” I smile taking in the smells of the food.
“I did. You need your strength. Now eat up.” He says stealing a strawberry off of my plate. I look at him confused but shake it off and begin to dig into my food.
“Eric, that was delicious. Thank you so much.” I say as he takes the almost completely empty tray off of my lap and sets it on the wooden chair that’s pulled next to my bed.
“You’re welcome sweetie.” He smiles leaning down and kissing my head.
“Eric? Can I ask you a question?” He nods his head at me and I hesitate afraid of his reaction to my question. “H-how were you able to eat a strawberry? I thought vampires could only drink blood.”
He looks shocked at my question but takes a deep breath and looks down trying to figure out how to say it. “We can eat normal food, but we can’t survive on it. We need blood to survive.” He says softly while looking at me closely watching my reaction.
I just stare blankly at my hands unsure of what to think of the words he just said. “S-so can you only drink human blood?” I ask lifting my gaze to meet his. My eyes showing worry while his are still that calm brown color.
“No, we can survive on animal blood but many vampires prefer human blood.” He watches as I fiddle with my fingers out of nervousness.
“Which do you prefer?” I ask waiting for the question that scares me to ask. I watch him waiting for a response.