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.He put his hands on my shoulders to stop me, and the strength of his touch made me shiver.His face was very close to mine now and against my better judgement I found I was looking straight into those vivid eyes.‘Elinor,’ he said my name again, so softly, yet it sounded loud at the same time.I wanted to cover my ears.‘You have to help yourself a little here, you know.’I shook my head slightly, still mesmerised by his eyes.‘I’m cold.’ Even to my own ears, I sounded pathetic.He stood then and lifted me to my feet at the same time.‘That feeling will soon pass once you have fed,’ he assured me.‘But I will get you something else to wear for now.’Then he was gone again, and I was left alone in the middle of the dank, dark room.He seemed to be gone only for a heartbeat, and then he was back with a dark-blue sweatshirt, which he handed to me.‘Put this on.’‘How can I be cold if I’m dead? Am I really dead?’He sighed.‘Just humour me and put the sweater on.’I obeyed almost without thinking, and he looked pleased.‘This is your last night off.Tomorrow night you will have to feed in order to survive.’I wasn’t sure whether that was a threat or another statement of fact.‘I don’t understand,’ I said bleakly.‘As I have already told you, the Thirst will become more ferocious with each night you refuse to feed.’I shuddered at the thought of the pain becoming any worse.‘Why can’t you make the pain stop?’‘I have told you before that I can remove your pain.’‘I don’t believe you.It’s probably just a pathetic excuse to touch me.’‘If you truly believe that, then you could not be more wrong.I am not suggesting anything untoward.I have no need to make excuses for anything, pathetic or otherwise.There are plenty of women who would be more than happy for me to touch them, if I so desired.’Arrogant, sexist and a bully.‘So go get one of them and leave me the hell alone.’ My petulant remark caused him to laugh aloud.‘It is not that simple, child.’He eyed me sardonically, almost as though he could read my thoughts.Didn’t he say he could? I pulled the sleeves of the sweatshirt down over my hands and revelled in the warmth of it.He watched my every move with those expressive eyes, causing me to send him a reproachful glare.‘Why?’‘Why, what?’‘Why isn’t it more simple for you to just go and find some woman who actually wants to be with you?’He sat back down on the bed.‘My duty, first and foremost, is to you, my little fledgling.I made you.You are mine.Deny it all you wish, but you cannot alter the fact.’ One of his hands was already up to stop my protest.‘It is imperative that I get you feeding,’ he continued, ‘although, I have to confess, I have never come across a more difficult fledgling.’I felt a small flare of satisfaction at that.‘So I’m unusual?’‘Difficult,’ he corrected.‘Please let me go home.’‘I am afraid that is not an option.’ His voice was firm, and with that parting shot, he stood and left the room, taking the only source of light with him.And just like that I was alone again, alone with the terrifying darkness and the intolerable pain of the Thirst.13 FebruaryAt least the fledgling and I are now conversing, albeit not exactly in a friendly manner.I am certain our rapport will improve eventually, but it is going to be a slow process.I admire her spirit, and I hope that once she accepts the inevitable, she will accept me too.I suppose I could have saved myself much angst by explaining how I came to bring her over to vampirism, but something has prevented me.Pride? Fool-hardy arrogance perhaps? I know I do not want merely her gratitude for preserving her existence.Ultimately, I want her to love me for myself.I cast my thoughts back to an evening last summer when I had gone to watch her dance in Chicago, a fairly modern musical by my standards.Her vivacity had shone then, too.I had been amazed that the producer had cast her in the chorus rather than in the role of Roxie Hart, although I suppose she was not well known enough to take a main role.I still love the theatre, I always have.I love the atmosphere, the tangible air of expectation just before the curtain rises, and, of course, the performance itself.I am rarely disappointed.Elinor danced beautifully that night, and I was entranced.So much vivacity emanating from one so fragile.I went back night after night to see her perform.She always gave everything to her performance, and I suspected she would give her all to anything she was passionate about.Someday, I hope she will be passionate about me.Chapter FourThe ThirstWhen I found myself still in Will’s cellar the following night, I had to finally admit that this was no nightmare.At least not one I could wake from.I still couldn’t remember how I came to be here, and for the life of me couldn’t begin to understand what Will was hoping to achieve.With his looks, I didn’t think he’d ever have a problem getting any woman he wanted, so what was the big deal with me? I had no illusions about myself, being in any kind of show business will do that for you.Constantly surrounded by taller, slimmer and more beautiful people doesn’t do a whole lot for one’s self-esteem, believe me.I’d failed many an audition because of my height – or lack of it, and sometimes because of my red hair too.My stomach felt as though something was stabbing me from the inside, and the searing intensity of the pain made me gasp and double over each time it flared.But I refused to sit and feel sorry for myself.Forcing myself to stand, I went towards the door, or where I imagined the door should be.I hated the dark.I’d told him that, the bastard.Did he get some kind of kick out of keeping me locked up here in the dark? Despite his protests to the contrary, he had to be some kind of pervert.I felt my way along the damp, slimy wall until I found the door.Metal.Perfect for a prison, I thought bitterly.I kicked it in frustration and was gratified when it made a loud noise that reverberated around the walls.I pictured Will upstairs somewhere entertaining and having to explain the noises coming from his cellar [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]