Letters to Elise: A Peter Townsend Novella / Page 18

Page 18


Let me be clear – I was certain he was dead. His heart wasn’t beating, and when I listened for his breath, there was none. But Mae was sobbing, begging me to save him. She hadn’t meant to hurt him, of course, but had merely gotten carried away.

She looked so stricken and heartbroken, and I knew that I had to do something. Ezra wasn’t here, but I’m not sure that any real life saving measures could be taken. I would’ve driven him to the hospital if I thought it would help, but as I said, I was certain he was dead.

The only thing I could think of was turning him, but even that seemed like a terrific long shot. I’d never turned anyone, never even seen it done, and Ezra had told me it only worked on the living. Once the dead were dead, there was nothing that could be done for them.

With Mae pleading with me to save him, I went ahead it with it. I tore open my wrist and pressed it to his mouth. He didn’t react or wake, but I held the wound open, letting as much blood flow into his mouth as it possibly could.

Eventually, I had to pull my wrist away. Mae sat next to him, clinging onto him as if that would help, and I began pacing the room, trying to think of what we should do with the body. Perhaps a river or a lake would be a good place to discard him…

Then he started to cough, like he was choking on my blood. Mae turned to me, hoping I would know what to do, but I was stunned. I hadn’t thought it would really work, so I hadn’t thought about any of the ramifications of turning another human being into a vampire.

It wasn’t a decision I would take lightly. I hadn’t done it in over one hundred and fifty years of life, and Ezra himself had only done it the once when he turned me. Cursing another human to this existence is a cruel thing to do, especially without asking for the human’s consent.

But this human was alive, swallowing down my blood, and I had to do something. I carried him out the back door of the club, with Mae still crying as she followed me. She kept apologizing for what she’d done, but I didn’t blame her. She’s still too young to completely understand how frail humans truly are.

At home, I took the human up to my room to get him comfortable. We don’t even have a spare room at our house, so we’re going to have to move soon. I can’t share a room with him long term, that is for certain.

Ezra helped prepare us for the transformation, while Mae did most of the hands on care. Her maternal instinct is unparalleled in any human I’ve ever encountered. She sat by the human’s side, unwilling to move, even though nothing much happened the first twenty-four hours. I feared he might be in a coma, because he didn’t even move.

Then the transformation took hold, and it’s almost as horrific to watch as it to experience. His body actually contorted. It moved about, as if there were creatures under his flesh, as he changed and grew. His screams were agonizing, and his vomiting seemed endless. Though Mae did her best to catch it and clean him, my bed was destroyed by black vomit.

The thing I was most unprepared for was the transformation in me. Somewhere in the middle of his change, I began to feel one myself. Something inside me wanted to be near him, pulled towards him. When he was in great pain, I felt it too, although on a much smaller scale.

I was paranoid and nervous when I was away from him, as if I thought he would perish if not under my watchful care. I took over his care completely before his transformation was finished because I couldn’t stand to be away from him.

I imagine it was much like a mother might feel leaving her newborn child with a strange babysitter. Panicked and apprehensive and somewhat obsessive.

When he finally awoke once it was all over, I was sitting at the side of the bed. I hadn’t moved in nearly a day, terrified something would happen as soon as I did.

“Where am I?” he asked, sitting up a bit. He was still pale, his hair was a fright, and his eyes were bloodshot, but he was on the mend. Physically, his body had completely made the change, and he appeared stronger and healthier than he had the club.

“You’re… you’re at my house,” I said, unsure of how exactly to the answer him. “Do you remember what happened to you?”

“Not really.” He shook his head and furrowed his brow in concentration. “I remember going to a club with a couple of hot girls… but that’s all. What happened?”

“I don’t know how to tell this to you, but you’re a vampire,” I said, and he stared blankly at me. “You were bitten at the club and lost a lot of a blood. To save you, I had to turn you.”

“You protected me,” he nodded, as if it that made total sense. He mulled it over a minute, then nodded again. “I believe you.”

At first, I didn’t understand how he could be so trusting, but I remembered the way I felt about Ezra after my own transformation. Or even the way I felt about the newly turned vampire now. He knew I would protect him, just as I knew that I would do anything to protect him. He was a part of me now, my brother, bonded to me for life.

“Who are you?” he asked, turning to face me.

“My name is Peter,” I said.

“I’m Jack,” he smiled and stuck out his hand. “Jack Hobbs.”

“It’s nice meeting you,” I said and shook his hand.

“So…” Jack said, looking around the room. “I am really, really hungry, like starving.”

I got him bag blood, since it’s much safer to learn that way than on humans. Mae came in with me when I brought it back, and they took to each other right away. She loved the childlike innocence about him, and how needy newly turned vampires are. He liked the affection, I think. There was something strangely lonely about him.

Jack didn’t speak much of his family, but when I suggested that he moved in and cut ties with them, he didn’t seem to mind. He said that they wouldn’t even miss him.

So far, he’s been sleeping in my bed, and I’ve been sleeping on the floor nearby. I could sleep on the couch in the living room, but if I’m being completely honest, I don’t really want to be away from him.

I haven’t bonded this intensely or quickly with anyone since I’ve met you. It’s not romantic, not like with you, and I assume it’s something close to parental. But it is bizarrely consuming. I worry about him constantly. I don’t even like leaving the house for work.

But on the positive, there’s a new joy to my life. I don’t know how to explain that either. But with Jack, I’m feeling emotions I’ve tried to stifle for the longest time. His laughter is so contagious, though, it’s impossible not to have fun with him.


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