Story by T.Charters copyright (C) 2017. firstname.lastname@example.org
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, Gods or Demons, living, dead or imaginary is purely coincidental.
Jessica reluctantly returned home two days later. She was upset about having to leave but it wasn't because Amanda had sent her away, on the contrary Amanda enjoyed having her around and would have liked her to stay, nor had her father called to order her home to deal with the fallout of having missed so much school, in fact Bob could care less about that, he wanted Jessica to spend time with other Fey, no, instead, she claimed she was leaving for purely selfish, pragmatic, biological reasons. Food! Due to her limited diet Amanda's apartment contained very little which a young vegan yeti could eat. She always had tea and coffee, powered milk as well as a packet of ancient, possibly mummified, nondescript biscuits just in case some normal person came to visit, though none ever had. She'd even offered to go shopping to get Jessica whatever she wished but she wouldn't hear of it. Jessica didn't want to impose any further or seperate Amanda and Jane for even the shortest time possible. She felt uncomfortable like she was imposing in something very private. The apartment seemed larger with her gone.
"What are we going to do now?" Jane asked.
"We are going to have a shower," Amanda replied, playfully screwing up her nose at the imaginary smell. "Then later we're going shopping."
"We are? What for?"
"Clothes," Amanda replied, smiling. "I can't have you wearing my hospital scrubs all the time."
"But I look good in them," Jane joked, her hands on her hips.
"Yeah," Amanda agreed. "You do." She wondered if she would ever need them again.
Jane's smile faltered. "You don't need to do this," she said. "I have no way to pay you back for everything you've done."
"You don't need to," Amanda replied, "and I would never ask. You just being here is payment enough."
"Well, I'm going to," Jane responded, sounding a little more sure. "One day! When I remember who..." she paused. "If I remember," she said glumly.
Amanda tried to smile.
"You don't think I will?" Jane asked.
"It seems unlikely now," Amanda replied being completely open. "Too much time has passed. You should have remembered something by now if you were ever going to. But hey," she said, as she took Jane in her arms and pulled her close, "it doesn't mean we're going to stop trying to find out who you once were."
"You're not afraid of what we might find?" Jane prompted.
Amanda shook her head. "No," she said firmly. "We'll face it together."
"With clothes," Jane quipped.
Amanda laughed. "That's right," she confirmed. "Clothes!"
"New clothes," Jane clarified.
"With lots of pockets for things," Amanda suggested.
Jane frowned. "Pockets?" she said, sounding a little confused.
Amanda shook her head. "Yeah it's a nurse thing," she replied. "Don't ask."
Allegra called one of the palace guards to her private study. Unlike Marshall before him he seemed perfectly calm and not nervous in the slightest.
The princess looked up from the desk where she was sitting. "Have you found the doctor?" she asked.
"I'm sorry your highness," the guard replied. "It appears that he has left the palace, maybe even the capital."
In the evening Amanda and Jane prepared to go shopping. Amanda didn't have a great selection of clothes, mostly jeans and t-shirts over anything more feminine. She'd never seen the point. Until now scrubs were all that she'd ever really needed. Both herself and Jane were about the same size and of a similar build so apart from a brief light-hearted scuffle, over who got the most attractive t-shirt, they were soon dressed. Afterwards they almost looked like a pair of identical twins or a like minded couple. Amanda was clearly hoping for the later. She had never really been interested in clothes shopping before and she wondered why she now was. She tried to imagine if it was out of necessity or a more selfish desire to want to show Jane off.
Jane was both nervous and excited at the same moment.
Over the last few days her scars had faded to the point where they were now almost invisible. Her hair was a different matter. Amanda spent some time brushing and styling it so that it might appear like any trendy hair cut, which was shorter on one side than the other. Her own hair was another problem. Like Jane's it was short and blond but had a longer fringe so that it hung down in front of her face. She always kept it messy as she preferred that more tousled look. She didn't really have bad hair days but neither had she ever had a good one.
She stared at her self in the mirror.
Jane snuck up behind her and ruffled Amanda's hair from behind. "You're beautiful enough," she said hugging her tightly. "I don't want someone to steal you from me."
Amanda smirked. "Possessive much?" she joked.
They bundled into Amanda's small car and drove into the city.
Amanda seemed a little quiet. "When I first met Damian he was much like you," she abruptly started to explain.
Jane turned and stared. "You don't need to do this," she said.
"I know," Amanda replied, "but I want to. I think you should know what truly happened. He was badly injured," she added. "Burns like your's but to almost eighty percent of his body. I was a nurse in the burns unit at the time. It was a different time and a different city. No one expected him to survive so my job was just to make him as comfortable as possible. One night he lunged up and bit me on the arm."
"He turned you?" Jane prompted.
"Is that when you ran?"
Amanda shook her head. "No," she said, sounding as though she'd wished she had. "Not then! At that time I didn't know what he'd done. The doctors treated me with antibiotics and cleaned the wound but by then it was already too late. Luckily they didn't suspect anything. They believed it was just a normal bite mark. They didn't blame either of us, instead they claimed he was delirious with pain and hadn't known what he was doing. Later I returned to see him."
"You went back?" Jane said surprised. "Why?" She didn't understand. Had it have been her she would have run in the opposite direction as quickly as possible.
"I'd started to notice changes," Amanda revealed. "I felt stronger, more focused. I was, intrigued. Somehow I knew I wasn't the same person anymore. I wanted to know what he'd done."
Amanda had previously found shopping a bit of a chore. Jane, she found, actually made it fun. Jane insisted that they both try on everything even if it was just something as simple as a pair of socks. It frustrated the sales staff no end but Amanda found it rather amusing. Strangely she thought Jane's choices were not as dark as she would have expected, going by her previous comments. She clearly had an eye for style and they were soon carrying a huge collection of bags. Had it not been for their supernatural strength Amanda doubted they would have even been able to move let alone carry everything from the store. Money was no object. In all the time Amanda had worked at the hospital she had barely spent any of her human pay. There was no need, the Fey provided almost everything she needed and in that time it had grown into a not inconsiderable sum.
They stopped at a coffee shop for a break. Amanda ordered two small cappuccinos which they had no intention of ever drinking. It was all for appearance sake. Just like Amanda, Jane screwed up her nose at the rather acrid coffee smell.
"So what happened next?" she asked.
"He was expecting me," Amanda revealed.
"He was?" Jane said.
Amanda nodded. "He looked at me as though I was something less than worthless," she explained, "then he ordered me to get him blood. He obviously thought I'd be under his control."
"Did you?" Jane asked quizzically, already knowing the answer.
Amanda shook her head. "No," she said, "but when I refused he seized me and threw me across the ICU like I was nothing." She actually winced recalling the unpleasant memory. "He repeatedly grabbed me then punched and kicked me over and over, flinging me from one side of the room to the other just because he could. Any security guard who tried to stop him were just as roughly cast aside. He was incredibly strong. It had all been act, he wasn't really hurt in the slightest. He was only there to, recruit. Before I lost consciousness he showed me something that scared me more than anything."
Jane stared in dismay. "What?" she asked, her voice barely more than a whisper. She hadn't realised it had been so bad. She reached across the table and gently squeezed Amanda's hand.
"His fangs," Amanda revealed. "I'd read horror stories as a girl. Most human teenagers would have. I'd even seen some of the better movies. I think he wanted me to believe that I was turning into a monster just like him."
"Where did he go?" Jane pressed.
"Apparently he just walked out of the hospital and disappeared," Amanda replied. "No one was able to stop him. When I woke two days later there was a police councillor waiting beside my bed. He informed me that my family had been murdered and the person they were looking for was the same man who had attacked me. Damian was punishing me for disobeying him. It was all my fault."
"How so?" Jane asked. She sounded a little confused. She didn't think that Amanda had done anything she needed to be sorry for. Far from it!
"I didn't realise that when I was caring for him," Amanda continued, "he was constantly asking questions about me and my family, who and where we lived. At the time I didn't think anything of it, it was just idle conversation." She was struggling and reached up and wiped a tear from her eye. "I told him exactly where to find them," she said quietly, bitterly. "That evening I left the hospital and ran. I never even went back to my apartment. I just drove. I've never been back. I can't!"
At about the same time Jessica and her father were just sitting down to a late dinner. Roast, green lentil pie and steamed cauliflower in a white, vegan cheese sauce. It was Jess' favourite.
Bob looked at it disapprovingly.
"Don't do that," Jessica scolded. "You know mum said it would be good for you to eat less meat."
"Less, not none," Bob retorted.
Accompanied by Bob's frequent gagging they ate silently.
Jessica looked up seriously. "Amanda had a relapse," she announced.
Bob nodded. "I know," he replied sounding as worried. "I assumed she would tell me when she wanted."
"You know?" Jess said surprised. "How?" She'd never phoned her father and couldn't remember Jane or Amanda making any calls. Not that Jane would probably have even known how.
"I'm a Watcher," Bob replied smugly. "I know everything."
Jessica cocked her head to one side and stared.
"Her human supervisor at the hospital informed me he'd mistakenly revealed Amanda past," Bob related, growling in the back of his throat. He obviously didn't believe it was a mistake. He sounded angry, not with Amanda but with the hospital itself. "I'm her emergency contact," he explained. "They were worried when she just left."
"Ugh," Jessica said. "That'd do it! Amanda doesn't even like to think about her past, she'd hate everyone else knowing what had happened. Are you going to remove her from The Watch now she's not working there anymore?" she asked worriedly. She didn't want Amanda to be any worse off because of it.
Bob shook his head. "A Fey took everything from her," he replied seriously, "but she has given even more back to us in return. I think she deserves some time to rest."
"What?" Bob said.
"You're just like a big teddy bear aren't you?" Jessica joked. "All soft and cuddly in the middle."
"Yes, well," Bob stuttered, stammering with some more fatherly embarrassment which Jessica seemed to be able to easily elicit, "don't say anything or everyone will want one."
"So what's this Jane like?" Bob asked while leaning back in his chair in an obvious attempt to avoid eating any more lentil pie.
"She's nice," Jessica replied. "Completely innocent about everything though, they really love each other. But still," she said, frowning, "there's something about her."
"What?" Bob asked his tone a little darker.
"Well," Jessica replied while shaking her head and sounding not at all sure about anything, "I don't know, she seems familiar."
Amanda and Jane returned home then after stuffing the closet to almost overflowing collapsed on the couch.
"So when did you meet Jessica?" Jane asked. After she'd got over her initial dislike she'd started to enjoy Jess' company.
"After her father found me," Amanda replied quite simply, "but how I met him is a mystery."
"What do you mean?"
Amanda shrugged. She didn't really know. "When I ran from the hospital I just drove," she explained. "I never chose a direction or knew where I was going. I just wanted to get as far away as possible. If I was turning into a monster I didn't want to be close to anyone I cared about."
"Have you talked to any of them since?" Jane asked.
Amanda shook her head. "What would I say to them?" she said.
Jane smiled and nodded sympathetically. There was nothing she could add.
"I was starving," Amanda continued. "I'd driven for so many days and hadn't eaten anything at all. I didn't know if I could or even how. Somehow I found myself outside of a strange all-night butcher. Bob found me convulsing in my car. By that time I was almost dead. He carried me inside and he and his wife nursed me back to health. I became part of their family." She smiled. "Bob saved me," she said. "He taught me what I was and how to survive. In time he found me this place and a position with The Watch. I own him everything."
"Then so do I," Jane replied.
"What do you mean familiar?" Bob asked.
Jessica again shook her head. "I don't know," she replied. "It's almost as though I've read about her in a book."
Jessica just shrugged. She had no idea. She glanced across the table. "You're not having any pudding until you've eaten all your vegetables," she said.
"Perhaps I don't want any pudding," Bob suggested stoically.
Jessica immediately laughed. "Eat your vegetables," she said.
Bob glared, glowered and stared across the table. Reluctantly he picked up his fork then continued eating.
Amanda smiled. "You'd like Bob," she suggested.
"I'd love to meet him," Jane said. "If only to say thank you."
"Thank you?" Amanda asked sounding a little confused. "For what?"
"For getting me out of the hospital and..., well..., for you," Jane explained.
Amanda blushed. "You're welcome," she said.
They fed together then collapsed into bed. Amanda was completely exhausted. She was asleep before her head even touched the pillow.
Jane smiled at her. "Sleep well my little princess," she whispered.
They slept until late the following morning.
They woke feeling hungry but refreshed. Amanda was at first a little concerned to find that Jane was not still resting beside her. She quickly searched the apartment and found Jane staring at the toilet with a very confused look on her face. Amanda normally kept the door shut and had the room stacked with empty boxes. To her it was just another closet. She barely even knew it was there.
Vampires and their like didn't require the bathroom for such needs. Their superior bodies were capable of extracting one hundred percent of the nutrients from the blood they drank. Some pure-bloods saw humans as something less than primitive because of this.
Jane tilted her head to one side and frowned. She twisted her body from one contorted position to the other as though trying to work out what the strange, immovable, water filled seat was for. "What is this thing?" she asked innocently. She had clearly never seen one before.
Amanda smirked. "It's a toilet," she explained.
"A what?" Jane asked sounding as puzzled as she looked.
Amanda leant over and whispered in Jane's ear.
Jane's mouth fell open in shock and her eyes widened in horror. "No!" she blurted out. "Really?" she asked. She turned and stared. "With paper?" she said aghast. "Ewwww Gross!" She shivered in some considerable disgust.
Amanda laughed. "You really didn't need to know," she said.
Jane nodded silently.
Amanda went to the kitchen and poured them two cups of blood then they sat together on the couch.
Jane still looked a little troubled and tentatively sipped at her drink as though there was something else on her mind.
"Is anything the matter?" Amanda asked.
"I was thinking about Damian," Jane explained. "Do you mind?"
Amanda shook her head.
"You said he had burns like mine," Jane said. "Does that mean no vampire can go in the sun?"
"Even you?" Jane asked.
"Even me," Amanda confirmed sadly. "Though for me it's not quite so severe," she said. Before the change she'd enjoyed jogging and bike riding both of which activities she still greatly missed.
Jane frowned. "How is something like that even possible?" she asked. She clearly didn't understand any of it.
Amanda smiled. "Do you want the scientific or fantasy version?" she inquired.
"The real one," Jane suggested.
"Medical science likes to call it polymorphic light eruption or sun poisoning," Amanda explained, quickly stepping back into her role of ER nurse as easily as she'd stepped out of it. "It's a severe allergy really," she added, "even some humans have it though it's very rarely fatal in them."
"And the fantasy version?" Jane prompted.
"Apparently," Amanda began, while trying to recall some of the vampire lore she'd read and enjoyed as a teenager, "thousands of years ago a man made a deal with the Devil. He became the first true vampire and was cursed by God to never walk in the light again." She smiled. "So if you want to believe that then that's where we all come from," she finished.
"Do you believe it?" Jane asked.
Amanda chuckled. "No," she said, shaking her head. "It's a good story though, nothing more."
"So what do you believe?" Jane pressed.
Amanda shrugged. "I think that vampires are just another species which evolved on this planet the same as everything else," she replied. "Like the rest of the Fey they are genetically different from humans and those differences make us what we are. Why should humans be the only intelligent species the planet can support?"
Jane smiled. "Pragmatic," she said.
"If you'd like to know more about vampire lore you should talk to Bob," Amanda suggested. "I think he knows everything about everything."
"Then lets go now," Jane said excitedly while leaping up from her seat and almost spilling her drink.
Amanda laughed. "Maybe we should wait until it is a little darker," she proposed.
Jane's face immediately fell. She hadn't even considered that. "Is this what it's always going to be like?" she asked. She sounded disappointed, even more frustrated with what she was. It was clear that she didn't want to be trapped inside for half of each and every day.
"In the human world, yes," Amanda confirmed.
"But not the Fey?" Jane said.
Amanda shook her head. "Most Fey live in cities hidden from humans," she explained. "Underground so they don't have the same problem as we have here."
"So why don't you live there?" Jane asked. She sounded a little confused. To avoid the sunlight she thought it would have been obvious.
This time Amanda's expression turned upside down.
"What's wrong?" Jane prompted, noticing immediately.
Amanda smiled thinly. She sighed. She really hadn't wanted to reveal this. "I'm a familiar," she replied. "A slave really," she explained. "Without a sire I would be killed on sight. Bob protected me by finding me a position with The Watch. In a Fey City I wouldn't be treated so kindly."
Jane sat on the couch and stared. "Why didn't you tell me?" she said.
"Because it disgusts me," Amanda replied angrily. "The way my kind is treated."
Jane shuffled along the couch, wrapped her arm around Amanda's shoulders and pulled her close. "I would never you treat like," she said.
Amanda smiled. "I know," she replied. She hadn't spent much time with any Fey. She silently wondered if Jane would really have a choice if they were ever to go together.
Allegra called the same guard back to her chambers. "WELL!" she snapped. "Have you found him?" She was beginning to sound desperate.
The guard shook his head. "No, your majesty," he responded, ignoring the tone. "There's been no sign of him."
Bob was sitting in his usual place behind the counter when Amanda and Jane arrived. He immediately stood up and stepped around the counter. "How are you doing?" he asked Amanda, looking at her seriously. He sounded worried.
Amanda smiled. "I'm okay," she replied unconvincingly. "How did you know?" she asked. She assumed that Jessica must have said something when she returned home.
"Your supervisor from the hospital called," Bob explained.
"I bet he didn't enjoy that call," Amanda suggested while trying to grin.
"Let's just say," Bob replied, smiling ironically, "if he'd been here he wouldn't be able to sit down anymore."
Amanda smirked. She turned to Jane. "Jane," she said, "this is Bob, Bob, Jane. We like to call him Bob the butcher," she explained. "It's a bit of a joke."
Jane shook her head. "I don't get it?" she said, sounding confused.
Bob immediately laughed, a huge booming laugh which rattled the window panes at the front of the store. He almost leapt at Jane and lifted her from the floor before hugging her tightly. "I really like you," he said with some obvious relief in his voice.
They retreated into the back room and sat around the table. Bob poured himself another huge mug of coffee as well as cups of blood for both Amanda and Jane. A short while later Jessica came running into the room to join them. She seemed very excited about something and was carrying a large book which she opened with some ceremony before placing on the table. They were presented with a large full-colour picture of an old painting depicting a young woman with short blond hair and a quirky smile which to all of them was uniquely memorable.
Amanda, Jane and Bob stared at it in surprise.
Finally Amanda glanced up and looked at Jane across the table. "Is that you?" she asked.
Jane shook her head. She looked as shocked as everyone else and even more confused than normal. "I..., I don't know," she replied.
If you feel like donating to Trig to help fund her continued writing or to download her other books then. Visit Here.