You’re in a cold house, a cold metal knife clutched tightly in your palms. He’s in the living room, humming to himself as the fireplace crackles. You’re barely breathing, shivering, skulking across the glossy hardwood in the darkened hallway. The butchers cleaver is grasped close to your body, the blade trembling as you do. One foot slides forward, and then the other. Silently, you drift towards the room in which your captor resides. You don’t know if you can kill him, you don’t know what he is, but you’re damned either way. It’s better to have your life end this way, in a fight to the death, rather than being sucked dry until youre nothing but a lifeless husk-
You pale at the noise underfoot. You shake violently as he stops humming. The room ahead becomes nothing but the crackling of tinder and the whispers of the flame. Maybe it’s too late, you can turn back, drop the knife, go back to your room and wait to be devoured.
A shiver runs over your skin and your stomach flops.
No, you think. I will not be made a meal for a monster. If I die, it will be vengeful and bloody.
You will yourself forward, knuckles white and teeth grating against each other. Your heart is in your ears, thumping wildly and tripping over itself. You turn into the room, knife held out in front of you meekly and you are surprised- and thankful- that you dont see him. There are crumpled papers on the artfully crafted side tables, and a quilt thrown over the cushions of the plush velvet settees that huddle the fireplace. The fire is warm, and casts an inviting light over the bookshelves and display cases lining the walls.
A hand clutches your wrists and you scream.
Dan turns you around and you struggle fruitlessly, caught in his frightening strength. As you snarl at him and try to pull yourself free, he gives you a tired look and easily prys the blade from your grasp. He turns it over, examining it before sighing. “Really?” he says to you, solid as stone as you lean your weight backwards. “You’d really try to kill me?” Your reply is a seething glare and he looks hurt.
After staring each other down for a moment, he sighs again. “I’m gonna let you go, okay?” His hold gently starts to release and you steady yourself. Once his hands fall from your wrists, you back away a few steps, grasping the tender area protectively. He’s turning out of the living room now, knife loose in his grip. “Please don’t play with these anymore,” he calls. Once you hear him in the kitchen, you drop your glare and massage your hands, afraid his tight grip might have caused some marks.
You don’t know why it had to have been you. You don’t understand what led you here. That night, you had been walking home from a friends house, and you had assured her you’d arrive safely. Your eyes had been on your short path, or down at your phone, or over in the street. Why did you have to look down the alley? You could have kept walking, but you looked. Why did you look?
The next morning, you woke groggy. You hadn’t been sleeping well the last few days. The room was comfortable enough. The bed was warm and the air was clean, but your kidnapping didn’t allow you to rest easy. You’re stomach grumbles, and you peel the covers off of you, deciding to head downstairs for breakfast. Last time you were in there, you only saw some old cheese and the remainders of some chinese food your captor had gotten you. Ten-thirty was as good a time as any for lo mein.
Padding down the stairs and down the hall to the kitchen, you see Dan at the white counters and stop. The hair on your arms bristles and he looks lost in thought, looking down at a glass tumblr in his hand that holds a very small amount of liquid. He looks over his shoulder at you lurking in the doorway. “Oh, good morning! I got donuts, they’re on the island there,” he says, giving a polite smile. You’re eyes glance at the cranberry substance in the glass and notice an empty jug accompanying it on the counter, the same color liquid staining the inside. You hold back your shiver at the realization of the substance, and continue towards the pastel box on the island. Opening the lid, you find a small variety, but recognize your favorite and dig into that one first. Savoring the sweetness, you wipe crumbs from your lips and Dan clears his throat.
“I’ve also got orange juice, if you like that stuff,” he mentions. You nod groggily and hear him make a move towards the fridge. You go for an eclair this time around and he sets the glass on the counter next to you. You flinch away from him.
He shuffles to the other side of the island, lifting his own glass to his lips and letting the dark nectar slide down his throat. You watch with a little disgust, the chocolate and cream in your mouth turning a bit sour. Avoiding his gaze, you go for your juice, lifting the glass to your lips and taking a few swigs. His tall frame bends forward to rest his elbows on the counter, a hand going into his wild hair and he begins watching you. You lick your lips and pretend not to notice, but the weight of his gaze is suffocating.
Grabbing another donut, you nervously begin pulling it into pieces and slowly eating those. You bravely lift your eyes to his, and his eyes dart away, his lips pressing together. This makes you feel a bit triumphant.
Dan clears his throat and straightens, making his way towards the fridge. “Can I ask you something?” he says casually. You shrug. “I guess” you mutter after a moment. He becomes quiet, silently searching through the fridge and you can feel the nervous energy blossoming from him. He taps his thumb on the door, prolonging the silence. It starts worrying you and you can feel the weight of this question before he closes the fridge and turns to you abruptly. His mouth is open and his chest fills with air, there’s anxiety in his features. But he looks at you and down at the glass of juice in your hand, and the still air in him is released. “Are you gonna finish that?” he asks, a hand lifting gingerly to point. You look down at your glass of vitamin C. “Um. Probably...not?” you reply. You didn’t know he could drink things other than...well.
He gestures for it and you comply, lifting the glass towards him. His hand meets yours and he looks almost sad for a moment. His other arm lifts to come around your waist and a sudden electricity flashes through your body and steals your strength. You’re eyes roll back and your knees give out, but he’s there to catch you, muttering an apology. He places the glass on the counter and hoists you into a more comfortable position for him, cradling your body in one arm and gently moving your face to the side. Your weak hands try to bat him away, but he gently deflects as he tucks his face into your neck.
“I’m sorry, I’m really sorry,” he mumbles, lips parting to graze his teeth against your skin. You gasp as his tongue presses against you, moving against your neck until he finds the pulse under the shallow surface. You feel his canines scratch as he moves, wetting your skin as he tries to find the proper spot. He pauses over a certain area and lines up two sharp points.
“Noo,” you moan softly. You’re body feels wrong, like your nerves are confused. Your heart beats slow and steady, but it feels like a horse behind the starting gates, ready to gallop out of your chest.
He hovers, contemplating, then harshly buries his teeth into your neck. You cry out, and he grips you tighter, letting loose a guttural groan that tickles your skin. Your heart flies out of the gates, thumping wildly and the adrenaline allows you to regain some strength. His teeth slid out of your skin but his lips attach and his tongue swirls along the wound and it burns. You can feel your neck become slick with blood and he laps at whatever dribbles down, huffing through his nose as he goes back to suckle the wound.
You grasp at his hair, tugging as hard as your body allows, but the he only grips your body tighter, the hand on your jaw moving down, and then up your back to squeeze your shoulder. “Ah-ah! S...stop,” you plead, but he doesnt hear. Slowly, your strength is sapped away and you become weak again.
Eventually, he seems satiated. He doesn’t slurp, his hold is more supportive instead of capturing, and anything he misses is cleaned up. Running his tongue one final time over the wound, he pulls back to take in your groggy face. “I really am sorry… I didn’t have anything else,” he whispered. You tried to spit an insult at him, but couldn’t find the energy. He supports your weight and walks you out of the kitchen and into the living room. Gently, he picks up your legs and lays you down on the settee to rest. He covers most of you with the cool cotton quilt that lies around the space, and kneels down to observe you.
You’re groggy, but strong enough to not fall asleep. You wish he would’ve done this later, if he planned on doing it at all. Maybe then you could get some rest, but right now, you just wanted to be able to move again so you could kick his ass. Dan honestly looks worried as he assesses the damage, the corner of his mouth quirking down. He reaches out and brushes his knuckle against the site of injury. You consider biting his arm but instead reach up to knock his hand away. If your eyelids would stop fluttering so much, you would glare.
He gives a short chuckle, reaching into his own hair to ruffle his curls. “Wow, I-uhh… really went to town on you.” He sounds embarrassed. “Guess I’ve got to be more careful,” he adds quietly, catching your attention.
“You’re not doing that again,” you mumble, missing a commanding tone.
“I’m probably going to have to,” he says, lowering his eyes and leaning back to sit on his heels. “But I’ll keep you comfortable. I swear. You can make a grocery list and I’ll get all of it, anything you want. You have your own room and bathroom, and free reign of the house…” He pauses, looking for another positive.
The tingle in your face starts to dissipate, and your able to hold his gaze. “Yeah? I get groceries? Gee, thanks, that’s all I’ll ever need. You’re a gracious host, really,” you mumble, raising a chuckle from him, but it falls flat when he sees your face.
“Look, I’m sorry this is happening to you,” he starts “but… I can’t just… let you walk out, ya know? I mean, shit, who would believe you? And what would happen to me if they did?”
You pout. “Probably what you deserve,” you reply. He looks troubled by your answer and then runs a hand through his hair.
“Yeah… maybe… Hey, I have a buddy. I’ll talk to him about it, okay? I’ve never had this happen and I realize that… you have a life- shit. Um, lemme just talk to him, okay? We’ll get it figured out.” He looked hopeful, and he gave you a promising smile. It surprised you that he was so casual about this… and that he had friends. Still, the promise had an effect on you, and you felt that small glimmer of hope.
Realistically, you were totally dead, though.