The lights were out when Emily got back to the apartment which hopefully meant Andrew was in bed, and fingers crossed, asleep. Letting the door close behind, she took off her shoes. Seeing in the dark was no problem, but being quiet in heels was next to impossible. She was still bleeding from the knife wound and all wanted to do was get cleaned up and go to bed. She didn’t particularly want Andrew to know she had been hurt as it would be really difficult to explain how the wound had healed in less than forty-eight hours.
Dropping her coat on the table in the hallway, she walked towards the kitchen where she stood there in the darkness, stunned and unsure what to do. Andrew was sitting at the kitchen table, an open bottle of wine and an empty glass on the table in front of him. Silently she entered the kitchen and sat down opposite him keeping her still bleeding hand out of sight. Her healing abilities were running on the slow side probably due to the fact that she hadn’t taken any blood for almost four days and that was perilously near to the limit of her tolerance.
Andrew scraped his chair back and walked across the kitchen to flick on the light flooding the kitchen with harsh light. Andrew sat down again but still didn’t say anything. He merely pushed the wine glass across the table to her. Emily looked at him. It wasn’t a bottle of wine that Andrew had opened, it was a bottle of type 0 blood.
'Would you care to explain this?' He spoke calmly.
Emily looked at the glass. 'Its blood.'
'I know that,' Andrew still spoke softly. 'What I want to know is what it's doing in our fridge.'
Did he know that it was human blood? 'It lasts longer in the fridge.'
'These aren’t the answers that I’m looking for Em.'
Emily pushed the glass away, her mind grasping for a satisfactory explanation but the smell of the blood was making her hungry and the loss of her own blood was making her light-headed. Her control slipped another degree and she took a deep breath before answering Andrew’s question. 'I don’t know what kind of answers you are looking for but that bottle of blood is part of my current research work.'
Andrew looked relieved and then suspicious. 'So why is it in our fridge?'
'I don’t have a fridge in my office.'
Andrew appeared to be thinking that over. 'What’s the research about?'
'Oh Andrew,' Emily wished that he would go to bed. 'It’s both technical and boring but I’ll show the research tomorrow if you like.'
He nodded absently.
'What did you think that I doing with the blood? Drinking it like a vampire and then flying off into the night?'
Andrew smiled. 'Sounds kinda silly when you put it like that.'
'I’m sorry Andrew,' Emily returned his smile. 'I should have told you about the blood in the fridge.'
Andrew got up and walked to her side of the table. 'I’m sorry too. I guess I just jumped to conclusions.' He kissed Emily on the top of her head. 'Are you coming to bed?'
Emily nodded. 'I’ll be there in a minute.'
Andrew left leaving Emily remained thinking that she hated lying to him but what choice did she have? She could hardly have confessed and admitted that she was a vampire and had been for the last two decades. As she reached out for the glass, it slipped through her fingers shattering on the table. Blood dripped onto the table as without thinking she ran a finger through the red drops before licking it. Instantly, everything suddenly looked sharper and clearer as her vampire side kicked up. She picked up the glass.
'I hope that you’re not going to drink that.'
Emily turned sharply at the sound of Andrew’s voice. 'Are you alright?' He touched her shoulder gently and she quickly closed her eyes willing them to change back. Andrew couldn’t see like this, not now, not ever.
'Oh my God Em. You’re bleeding!'
Emily opened her eyes and stared at the table. The clarity had gone, her eyes were back to normal. Andrew took her hand and gently probed the wound. 'We need to make sure that there’s no glass in this.' He helped her to her feet and took her over to the sink, forcing her hand under the cold running water. The blood was mixing with the water forming swirling patterns that circled around and around… Emily felt her head start to spin and darkness touched the edge of her vision. She was only vaguely aware of Andrew guiding her to a chair.
'Em? Can you hear me? Emily. A doctor needs to look at this, I can’t stop the bleeding. You’ve probably cut through a vein.'
Emily managed to shake her head. 'It’s not that deep.'
'I'll take you down A&E…'
'Honestly, I’m fine. Look the bleeding is stopping.' She held her hand out and willed Andrew to take her word for it.
'OK, but I want you to go and see a doctor first thing in the morning.'
Emily nodded as he set about cleaning the wound and dressing it. She didn’t deserve to be with someone so kind and good.
'Are you OK?'
Emily looked at her bandaged hand. It was still bleeding and the only thing that she needed now was to drink at least two pints of blood of fresh human blood and sleep for several hours. Then she would be fine.
Andrew led her to the bedroom and helped her to get undressed before covering her with the quilt. As she lay waiting for Andrew, she knew that blood had soaked through the dressing so she carefully slipped out of bed taking care not to wake Andrew.
Emily went straight to her study and locked the door. She sat down at her desk, unlocked the bottom drawer and with a shaking hand took out a chilled bottle. She put the bottle to her lips and drank heartily and greedily not stopping until she had emptied the second bottle. The effect was instantaneous, she could feel it within her as her senses came alive. She vowed not to leave it until the last minute again and particularly not to keep any more bottles of blood in the kitchen fridge. This time when she changed the dressing on her hand, the bleeding had stopped and it was starting to heal. She slipped back into bed just as the first rays of light were touching the sky. Andrew murmured something in his sleep as she cuddled up next to his warm body. As the sun came up, she closed her eyes and surrendered to sleep.