Story by T.Charters copyright (C) 2017. firstname.lastname@example.org
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All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, Gods or Demons, living, dead or imaginary is purely coincidental.
When Amanda woke in the morning she was surprised to find Jane asleep on the bed beside her.
Jane opened her eyes at almost the same moment.
Amanda smiled. "Getting a little lonely were you?" she joked.
"And maybe you as well?" Jane replied raising a quizzical eyebrow.
Amanda immediately blushed. She hadn't really slept very well and had been worried about the kiss for most of the night.
Jane laughed. Her voice was light and sweet, lacking any of the darkness and pain it had so frequently held. "Don't be embarrassed," she said. "I enjoyed it."
"You don't think it was too forward of me, do you?" Amanda asked nervously.
Jane shook her head. Even after only two days she already looked so much better. She still had the scars but now they simply looked red and raw, not at all like the gaping, bloody wounds they'd been previously. She moved closer and kissed Amanda full on the lips. It was both passionate and long, and in the end neither of them seemed disappointed with the result.
For a time they just stared at each other then they were in each other's arms.
Amanda picked up the blanket then threw it over them both. "You know," she said as Jane snuggled closer, "if you going to be up and walking about then maybe we need to find you some clothes. We can't have you always looking like a reject from an Egyptian tomb."
"Why not?" Jane quipped.
She playfully poked Amanda in the ribs. Amanda screamed and buried herself beneath the blankets.
"Ahh," she squealed, "ticklish!"
"Good to know," Jane replied devilishly as she quickly followed Amanda beneath the covers.
There was the sound of muffled screams and giggles from them both.
A key suddenly scrapped in the front door lock, muted light fell into the hall then a shadow appeared in the doorway to the bedroom.
"So," Jessica joked, "this is what dad meant when he said you had your hands full."
"We should do something for her," one of the ER team suggested.
"What?" David said, shaking his head. He sounded more than a little serious. "You know how private she is." He glanced around the room. The entire team had stayed after their shift apparently to discuss what the administrator had so unexpectedly revealed. David felt a little uncomfortable even thinking about it. "I really think we should stay out of it," he advised.
A short while later Amanda and Jane joined Jessica who was now waiting in the lounge room. She had wisely retreated from their bedroom while Amanda and Jane had finished playing their, game? Jane was now dressed in a pair of Amanda's cartoon printed, full-length pyjamas, and in her mind she thought Jane looked rather cute.
Jane wasn't so sure. She frowned at them. They were a riot of pink and pastels and were festooned with images of popular cartoon characters. She thought the colours were a little too bright and didn't really suit what she believed was her darker nature. "Why do I have to be the girly one?" she asked grumpily.
"What?" Amanda said while grinning with her hands spread wide and trying to sound as innocent as possible. "At least you no longer look like an unwanted extra from the set of The Mummy Returns." Her pyjamas were dark and plain with just a single image of cartoon mouse printed on the breast pocket. She was nuts for cartoons but couldn't remember the last time she'd even watched television.
Jane glared at her but without any menace.
Amanda had removed most of Jane's now useless bandages and had carefully brushed her hair so that the scar on the side of her head was less visible, but even so she still nervously hid behind Amanda as they stepped into the lounge.
"Shouldn't you be at school?" Amanda asked. She still had no idea why Jessica was even here. She didn't sound angry, maybe a little annoyed as she'd been having fun after all.
"Dad knows," Jessica revealed.
"Really, how?" Amanda responded sounding quite disappointed. "We were so careful." It had been a long running joke between them. She was a little saddened to learn it was finally over.
"I caught him going all Yeti on some guy," Jessica explained. "I think he guessed something was wrong when I wasn't surprised."
Jane poked her head around Amanda's shoulder. "Who is she?" she whispered nervously.
"Oh!" said Amanda. She sounded excited. "Jane this is Jessica. She's my..." She floundered. She'd never had to explain it before, in fact, other than Jessica and very rarely Bob, Jane was only person who had spent any time at the apartment at all.
"I'm her sister," Jessica completed. "We adopted her actually," she explained, joking a bit, "after, well, you probably already know what happened to her." She seemed a little more sombre than she needed to be.
"Is something wrong?" Amanda asked. She sounded concerned.
"Dad told me about Rachel and when the change will happen," Jessica revealed sadly.
"So?" Amanda said, shaking her head. She still didn't follow.
"I don't want to change," Jessica replied angrily sounding as frustrated as she appeared. "I like being me." She again sounded a little afraid.
"Is she the same as you?" Jane asked, turning to Amanda.
"No," Jessica scoffed while shaking her head and sounding quite disgusted. "I'm a Yeti!"
"Well, I'm a vampire," Jane revealed sounding equally repulsed.
"I'm a big lumbering beast," Jessica added.
"I'm a monster!" Jane retorted.
They sat together on the couch and cried on each other's shoulder.
Amanda grimaced. She shook her head and slapped her face in her palm. Of all of them she should be the one suffering culture shock after all the change had been forced upon her. She collapsed in a chair pulled out her mobile phone and called Jessica's father.
"Okay," she said sounding completely lost, "now I have both a vampire and Yeti here who don't want to be what they are. What would you suggest?"
Amanda left the others crying on the lounge. She wasn't completely convinced that Bob's suggestion of just letting them get over it was the best solution, but she trusted him more than anyone she knew, including herself. She drove into the city and pulled to a halt in the hospital staff carpark. She'd come to realise that two days wouldn't be anywhere near enough time to return Jane to full health or to teach her all of the things she needed to survive. Before she'd left home she had made both of them promise that they would not go outside. For Jessica it wouldn't be a problem, but for Jane in her already weakened condition it would be fatal. Even Amanda found the sun at this time of the day almost too much to bear. Under normal circumstances she'd already be at home hiding in bed. She wondered if and when her life might return to normal then she completely amazed herself by suddenly realising that she didn't want it to. The last few days had shown her that there might be more to life than just hiding from the world and as such she wandered into the staff break room in a bit of a daze. She had planned to just grab a couple of things from her locker then see HR and inform them that she needed to take some more time off. She never expected the room to be full of people though.
Instantly all the conversations stopped and everyone just stared at her in what could only be described as a mixture of sympathy and shock.
"What are you doing here?" David finally asked. He sounded surprised as well as a little uncomfortable.
"I could ask you the same," Amanda returned glancing around the room. She felt a little worried. From what she could see the entire night shift had remained behind rather than going home as soon as they were able. It was completely out of character for all of them.
One of the other nurses abruptly rose from her seat then stepped over and hugged Amanda as though they were the dearest of friends. She looked as though she'd been crying.
"Okay," said Amanda, feeling somewhat repulsed, "what's going on?"
David swallowed nervously. "The administrator told us about your family," he revealed.
"What about them?" Amanda prompted sounding completely emotionless.
"What do you mean what about them?" David said aghast. "They were murdered by the same man who attacked you!"
"Do you think I don't know that?" Amanda responded while sounding just as detached.
David and everyone else just stared. They all looked rather bewildered at Amanda's less than emotional response. It was apparent that they were all, maybe a little ghoulishly, expecting a different reaction.
"How can you be so cold about this?" David asked. "Don't you have any feelings?"
"No," Amanda replied, shaking her head. "I don't. Not for this! If I did I might disappear into a hole from which I could never climb out of. I won't give him that satisfaction." She turned to leave. She didn't want to talk about this any further and was beginning to get a little angry by being questioned.
"What are you going to do now?" David asked. He didn't know what to feel other than some considerable shame for prying into something that for Amanda must be terribly private.
"Well, I'd like to murder that fat bureaucrat for revealing this," Amanda replied, shrugging, "but no," she said, "I'm going home."
"What are you going to do then?"
"Stay there!" Amanda replied.
David followed her from the room. "Will you be back?" he asked trying to sound hopeful. It didn't really work.
Amanda quickly turned and glared. "No," she said. "Why would I?" She pointed back into the room. "Do you think I constantly want to be looked at like that?" She sounded bitter. Betrayed. "I don't need or want anyone's pity," she said. "What's done is done! It was my mistake."
David watched her leave. Afterwards he caught the elevator to the administration level. He threw open the administrator's office door and strode in without once checking to see if the other man was free. He was angry and it showed.
"I think you have a problem," he said.
Amanda drove home in a daze. She felt numb. She had spent years hiding what had truly happened even from herself. To now have it so unexpectedly revealed had forced her to recall the unpleasant memories for the first time in years. It was like having to live through it all over again. She had no idea how she drove home without causing an accident. She could barely even remember returning to her car. She stumbled through the front door, slammed it tightly shut then slumped against the wall where she sank to the floor and began to sob uncontrollably.
Jane and Jessica were still sitting on the couch. They both looked angry with the other as well as themselves. They were at Amanda's side within seconds.
Jessica stood back and stared. "Oh shit!" she said.
"What is it?" Jane asked frantically, looking up. "What's the matter with her?"
"Oh..., nothing, nothing at all," Jessica replied, lying unconvincingly. "Come on," she said, "help me move her."
Between them they gently picked up Amanda and carried her into the bedroom. With Jane's vampire strength she could have easily done it on her own. She carefully stretched Amanda out on the bed and gently pulled a blanket over her.
Amanda refused to be consoled and buried her head beneath a pillow. She was embarrassed by letting it get to her and didn't want to look at or be seen by anyone.
Jane turned to Jessica and glared. "What's the matter with her?" she quickly repeated. She was almost distraught. "I know you know something."
Jessica nodded glumly. "I've only seen this once before," she said.
"And?" Jane prompted impatiently.
"I assume you know about Damian?" Jessica asked.
"Amanda was his first," Jessica explained. "At the time he wasn't aware that the person must want to be turned for him to have any control over them. When Amanda refused to do what he asked Damian went crazy."
"What did he do?"
Jessica shook her head in disgust. "He beat her then killed her family as punishment," she revealed. "The only person he left alive was her fiancé because he knew she didn't really love him at all. She's never dealt with any of it."
Jane stared. After a long moment she quickly turned back to Jessica. "Fiancé?" she said frowning.
Jessica smiled. "It was an arranged marriage," she explained straightforwardly. "Amanda parents were very strict and really couldn't cope with her being the way she is."
"And she agreed?" Jane said aghast while glancing at Amanda's muted form hidden beneath the blankets. "She would willing gave up her own happiness to make someone else feel more comfortable?"
Jessica nodded. "She's like that," she said. She actually sounded humbled.
"She won't be if you two don't shut up and go away," Amanda suddenly mumbled from beneath the pillow.
Jessica shook her head toward the door. "Come on," she said, "we should let her sleep."
Jane nodded. "And I thought I had problems," she said unhappily but with a new-found love and respect.
"Yeah," Jessica agreed feeling equally upset with herself. "Makes us sound a little selfish doesn't it?"
"Well, Doctor," Allegra asked, as she again stepped into the dungeon like chamber, "have you made your decision?"
The small man glanced up uncertainly. "I'm..., I'm sorry Princess," he started nervously, "but I will not help you abduct the Queen. She has been good for the Fey."
"And you're implying that I would not be?" the princess suggested, for the moment being unnaturally nice.
"But you are not the heir to the throne?" the Doctor replied. He didn't immediately understand.
Allegra nodded. "That's quite true for the moment," she agreed with some small amount of anger colouring her voice. "My mother might threaten to give power to another family rather than me, but should she disappear, or suddenly die without nominating an appropriate heir, then by council law their only option is to choose another member of the ruling family."
"And with your older sister now gone," the man added, sounding even more uncertain and nervous about everything, especially his future or possibly the lack of it, "they would have to select you." He was unable to keep the displeasure out of his voice.
Allegra smiled ignoring the tone. "You told me that the serum requires a pure blood?" she inquired, changing the subject.
"It does," the Doctor confirmed frowning as he did.
"Are you yourself not a pure blood?" Allegra prompted.
The Doctor slowly nodded.
"Maybe you should consider that as an option," Allegra suggested then she turned on her heel and strode away.
"Why are you doing this?" the Doctor asked. "Why do you care about human money or whether they live longer or look a little younger?"
"Because," the princess replied as she spun about and stared, "when the Fey retake this world we will need humans who are loyal to our cause and would gladly sell their souls for just a little more life." She stormed back and glared. "I suggest you reconsider your decision," she instructed, with all of the fake servility now absent from her voice. "It wouldn't be difficult to find enough evidence to implicate you in the death of my sister. I very much doubt the enforcers would treat you so kindly as I."
In the morning Jane lifted up the corner of Amanda's pillow and peered underneath. "Hey sweetie," she said, sounding worried. "Are you coming out from under there?"
Amanda's eyes were red and puffy, the sheet beneath sodden with tears. She'd been silently crying for most of the night. Had she'd been wearing makeup it might have looked like her face had melted. Luckily she wasn't so it didn't.
"Do you need to feed?" Jane asked.
Amanda tried to grin. "I thought you were supposed to be the patient?" she said.
Jane laid down beside Amanda and rested her head on a pillow. "I'd say we're both broken," she replied with some clarity, "but together we make up a whole person."
Amanda smiled. "I like that," she said.
They fed together then made love until late in the morning.
"Where's Jessica?" Amanda eventually asked.
"Probably watching us from the doorway," Jane quipped.
Amanda promptly sat bolt upright and stared.
Jane laughed. "She's sleeping in the spare bedroom," she said, while pulling Amanda back down on top of her.
Amanda relaxed. The last thing she needed was to get on Bob's bad side by corrupting his daughter, as if that hadn't already happened. She certainly wasn't going to take the blame. "What did you two get up to last night?" she asked sounding a little sorry that she'd sent them away.
Jane frowned. "Jessica showed me something called reality TV," she revealed.
"Oh," said Amanda, rolling her eyes.
"I don't understand it," Jane added now sounding completely confused, "what's the point of sitting in a house watching people sitting in a house?"
Amanda smiled. She could completely understand. She didn't get it either.
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