The snow fell from the ominous grey sky, coating the cobblestone in pure sheets of white. The cold wind caressed my (s/c) cheeks like a ghostly hand. I released an inaudible sigh as I looked around at my surroundings. The usual sight greeted my (e/c) orbs; the streets were cluttered with mangled, dead bodies and the ill who were too far gone for any type of rehabilitation. This is what has become of the once proudly blossoming and evergreen country, England. Oh, my sweet England... I never would have thought the flu would cause you to lose your wit and integrity. I grimace slightly at the thought as I continued my journey to my small, but wholesome home. The keys jingled melodically in the pockets of my tattered dress. The dress was once (f/c) but it has faded since I bought it. Looking around, I noticed the weathered sign of The Turquoise Turtle. The once bustling pub that echoed with laughter and joy is now quiet and eerie. The owner, Tom Watts, has always been such a nice guy, despite the rumors of manslaughter. It seemed that everyone who lived in London had a major flaw. A good friend of mine, Dyson Delaney, was outside of the pub, drunk as always. I heard a burp escape his lips as he stumbled around carelessly. His brown eyes trailed to my small figure and a grin formed on his lips.
"Out so late, (Y/n)?"
"I could ask the same, Dyson."
"C'mon, you know I'm always here, drinking my life away," he laughed.
"You must take better care of yourself. I worry about you."
"Don't worry about me," he said, taking a swig from a bottle, "You should get home. Things have been unpredictable in these parts of town."
"Yeah, you're right. I'll see you another time, good friend," I smiled.
"Be careful. See ya."
After saying goodbye to Dyson, I continued my walk to my home. I longed to get under the warm covers of my bed; to relax. As the days go on, my body aches more from work. Working alongside Camellia is enjoyable, yet dangerous. Whitechapel was no better than The Docks; there was more sickness and corruption. I grew a variety of flowers in my home but my favorite is the (favorite flower). It is almost impossible to grow flowers outside due to the erratic weather conditions. I turned the corner and heard a shrill screech. Whipping my head in all directions, I tucked my (h/l), (h/c) locks behind my ears. In the middle of the street was a creature, not a man. It was a humanoid. The creature was crouched down in front of a body; a mangled, mutilated corpse that was half-eaten. Bloody flesh was in the creature's hands as it screamed at the top of its lungs. Biting my lips nervously, I took a step back to take another way home. Something snapped beneath my foot, catching the creature's attention. My heartbeat raced anxiously as fear coursed through my veins. It stood up menacingly and stared at me with an unreadable expression. The creature appeared rotting and unnatural. Open flesh wounds coated its body, as well as bruises. A vile, piercing howl escaped its decaying lips. There was only one thing to do; run. My feet did a pivot turn and carried me as fast as they could. Shaky breaths escaped my lips, as well as cries of help.
"SOMEBODY, HELP ME!!"
My cries were heard by none and ignored. I looked over my shoulder to see the creature running after me at a non-human pace. It was almost at my neck, reaching its arms out to grab me. A burning sensation greeted my arm, followed by a groan of pain. It had scratched me but not too deep. Luckily, I still had enough stamina left in me. Dodging it's attempt to grasp me, I pushed my legs to run faster. Tears pricked the corners of my (e/c) eyes. Was this really going to be my death? Why must it be me? Disregarding my thoughts, I focused on the route ahead of me. It was blocked off. My heart sank immediately at the unfortunate sight. Priwen guards had locked the gate for 'our own protection.' It wasn't the real reason; they wanted to imprison us in one area to flaunt their power. Reaching the gates, I bang on them desperately and scream for help.
"SOMEBODY! ANYONE! PLEASE HELP ME! IT'S GOING TO KILL ME!"
My cries only greet the ears of the deaf. I heard the creature screech behind me. Looking behind me, I saw it was only a couple feet away. Its sharp teeth were blood-stained. Soon, they would be stained with my blood. My body shivered from fear as I cowered near the gate. I was overpowered. This is my end. Closing my eyes, I prepared for my untimely death. A sturdy grip was placed on my shoulder but it soon retracted, followed by a blood-curdling screech. I could hear sloshing noises, as well as grunts. Something dripped repeatedly onto the road and smelled awful. I opened one eye curiously. Blood soaked the cement and a mysterious man held the creature by its neck. The creature was unresponsive and made no noise. Aggressively throwing the creature to the ground, the rather handsome man wiped the creature's blood from his lips. Opening both of my eyes, I gazed at him in wonder. This stranger was abnormally handsome. His clothes appeared to be well-refined, as well as his appearance. He must be a wealthy man. Why is he in these parts of town? He extended a helping hand toward me. Questions raced through my mind. Should I trust him? Does he want to mug me? Who is he? Why would a stranger save me? Why is he even here?
The man interrupted my thoughts, "My lady, are you injured in any way? Do you require medical assistance?"
"W-Who are you?"
"Excuse my informalities, I am Doctor Jonathan Reid. I heard you crying for help. I couldn't let you get butchered mindlessly by that creature."
"Oh... Thank you, Dr. Reid. I am not sure if I need medical assistance," I replied, taking his hand.
"Are you experiencing any form of pain?"
"Well, I think the creature may have scratched me."
"Let me take a look, please."
Nodding, I pulled up my sleeve to reveal five gashes. Fresh blood was collecting in each gash. He examined my arm inquisitively. His expression was unreadable. His blue eyes were filled with hunger and self-discipline. He seemed to be holding something back. Biting his lip slightly, he pulled out a small, medical kit from his bag. He applied a light blue serum on my wounds, causing me to wince in pain.
"W-What did you do?"
"It's rubbing alcohol combined with neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B sulfate, and bacitracin zinc. I used this on my wounded allies in the War."
"I see... you fought in The Great War?"
"Yes, that's where I acquired most of my medical skills," he replied, bandaging my wound in gauze.
"Thank you, Dr. Reid. Thank you for saving me and tending to my wounds."
"You're welcome. Please let me know if you need assistance at any time. May I ask why you are roaming the streets at a late hour?"
"I was working overtime today. I was heading home until I was attacked by that creature."
"I see," he said, thinking a bit, "I can accompany you to your house if it is fine with you, my lady?"
"I would appreciate it," I smiled warmly.
Pulling down my sleeve, I walked in the direction of my house. He followed beside me quietly. I glanced over at him and admired his features; his luscious lips, his mystifying eyes, his mysterious attitude, his abnormally pale skin, his tailored outfit, his well-groomed beard, and his fashionable haircut. It is almost strange how such a dashing, young man saved me at this dangerous hour of the night. He was practically my savior.
"If you do not mind me asking," he interrupted the silence, "Where do you work?"
"I am a florist in Whitechapel. I work with Camellia if you know her. She is mute but I communicate with her through body language."
"Being a florist must be a tough job during these times, I assume?"
"Yeah. I still enjoy it. Botany has always been a field of interest."
"It's our passions that push us through these rough times. How did you meet that creature?"
"I was on my way home. I wish I could've defended myself... I never felt so helpless. There was no weapon in sight. All I have is a bunch of (favorite flowers)."
"It is not your fault. Don't worry about it, you are safe now. May I know your name, my lady."
"(Full name). Most people call me (nickname) but I prefer my first name. Please, address me by my first name. I do not mind at all, Dr. Reid," I said in a slight whisper.
"(Y/n), what a lovely name," he said.
"T-Thank you," I replied, slightly blushing at his compliment.
We walked in complete silence after our small conversation. Dr. Reid seemed like a humble and mysterious man so far. His kind is very rare. If it were to be somebody like Clay Cox, he would leave me for dead. Better yet, he would sacrifice me so that he could protect himself like the selfish, foolish bastard he is. My hands shivered a bit from the cold. I rubbed them together to generate warmth but it wasn't sufficient. I felt the heat from Dr. Reid's gaze as I sighed inwardly. I had barely enough money to afford a nice winter coat during this time. Clearing his throat, he took off his long trench coat. I looked up at his large stature curiously. His facial expression appeared emotionless but his eyes held a hint of emotion; care.
"Please wear my coat, (Y/n). I don't want you to suffer from hypothermia."
"It's okay, Dr. Reid. Don't wo-"
"I insist that you wear it," he cut off my words.
He slipped the trench coat onto my small figure. His warmth was still radiating in the long article of clothing. I embraced the warmth, as well as the welcoming scent of his cologne. In the distance, I saw my small, quaint home. I pulled out my pair of house keys. Dr. Reid heard the jingle of the keys in my hand and glanced down at me.
"Are we near your home, (Y/n)?"
"Yes, that is my home. It's nothing special really," I said, pointing toward it.
"I see. It is a nice, small home; perfect for a small family or individual."
Nodding, I replied, "Yeah, it's just hard to upkeep during these dangerous times."
He nodded slightly and remained silent. As soon as we reached my porch, I inserted the key into the lock and turned it. The lock clicked loudly and I opened the door. My living room was dimly lit by a single oil lamp that glowed sinisterly. Grabbing the box of matches on my dining table, I lit one and ignited another oil lamp in the kitchen. I blew out the match quickly and threw it in the garbage can. Dr. Reid looked around curiously.
"May I sit down on your couch, my lady?"
"Of course. Please, call me (Y/n)," I smiled.
"My apologies, (Y/n)," he said before sinking into my couch.
I set my bag down in a dining chair and pulled out a small vase of (favorite flowers). Originally, I planned on keeping them in my room. However, a pang of guilt tugged at me. How could I ever repay Dr. Reid for saving my life? I do not have money but surely he will appreciate these flowers. Walking toward the couch, I set the vase on the end table. I was about to open my mouth before he asked a question.
"I was wondering if I could ask you a few more questions, (Y/n)? I am interviewing people about their thoughts on the plague."
"Yes, I see no problem," I said, sitting beside him.
Looking into my eyes, he sternly asked, "Do you know what creature was chasing you?"
His words seemed to ring in my ears as I responded, "No, I have no idea. It could be... a vampire? I would have never imagined a vampire to look like it though."
"What image comes to mind when you hear the word 'vampire'?"
"I think of Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula. Stoker described them to be enticing, human-like creatures of the night. They had the wits of humans, maybe even superior. Also, they are known to be immortal and thirsty for blood. It's all they feed on."
"Ah, Dracula is a great novel. I read it while serving in the war. Stoker is a very detailed author. His work is quite admirable and... truthful," he said, whispering the last word.
"Stoker was a genius, indeed. If you don't mind, Dr. Reid, may I know what part of town you are from?"
"I have lived in the West End for a large portion of my life. Often times, I visit Pembroke hospital to aid the doctors and patients for medical assistance."
"Ah, you're a wealthy man like I had suspected. That explains your refined appearance."
"I maintain my appearance the best I can. How is your wound now? Is it painful at all?"
"It is a bit painful," I replied, touching my bandaged arm.
"May I check it?"
"Sure. You are the doctor."
He gently grasped my arm and pried the bandage off with a swift movement. The gashes had not healed over yet since the fresh air caused blood to form again. He made the same facial expression from earlier; as if he hungered for something. Skeptically, I watched him as he cocked his head to the side to avoid the scene. Surely, doctors would be able to handle the sight of blood, right? What if... he is a vampire? No way. I shook my head at the absurd thought. It cannot be possible, he acts nothing like a vampire. Vampires are vicious, vile creatures; Dr. Reid is not one of them. He is a human.
"Dr. Reid, is every-"
Suddenly, I was cut off by his sapphire orbs locking with mine. His gaze was so mesmerizing; it was like staring into the vast ocean. I opened my mouth to say something but nothing came out. His hand snaked up my hand and to my waist. There wasn't anything I could do. I was paralyzed for an unknown reason. A sense of fear ran down my spine, causing my breath to hitch. He brought his face closer to mine while keeping the intense gaze. My vision gradually began to blur. I saw him open his mouth to reveal his teeth. His canines appeared to be large and sharp. There was no other evidence needed; Dr. Reid is a vampire. I tried to release a scream but nothing except a slight gasp escaped my (s/c) lips. My nerves were filled with terror. A reassuring thought lingered in the back of my mind. Perhaps my vision is tricking me. Dr. Reid may have applied a medicine that instantly causes these effects; shock, blurriness of vision, and anxiety. I shouldn't jump to conclusions. A cold hand caressed the back of my neck and his face came closer to my neck. His finger traced my jugular vein in such a sensual way. Two sharp objects grazed the surface of my neck, eliciting a wince from the sudden sensation. Dr. Jonathan Reid is a vampire. There were no doubts in my mind now. All I can do is await on my impending death. Suddenly, he pulled away from my neck. The room seemed to come to light again as my vision began to adjust back to normal. Blinking rapidly, I looked around the room in confusion. What just happened? Was I daydreaming?
Dr. Reid bandaged my wound back up, ignoring my question. I was a bit irritated by his sudden change of attitude. What happened to his gentleman manners. I inwardly huffed in agitation as I repeated my question.
I caught Dr. Reid's attention successfully this time. His curious, blue orbs held contact with my (e/c) hues. A pale, cold hand caressed my cheek and pulled me closer. The sensation of his hand felt so welcoming. His thumb grazed against my lips as I continued to stare into his eyes. They seemed to be... reminiscing something... but what?
"You remind me so much of my Elizabeth; your attitude, the fierce look in your eyes, your kind heart, and even your scent."
"What are you... talking about, Jonathan?"
"(Y/n)," he intertwined his fingers with mine, "Are you... the same as I?"
"I... I don't know... Dr. Reid, you are a... vampire. I am a human," I whispered a bit fearful.
His eyes widened at my statement and he quickly retracted his hand. My eyes scanned his body curiously. He seemed a bit shocked and tense. Did I unveil his secret? Dr. Reid swiftly stood up and grabbed his bag. A bit of fright was in his blue orbs. Does this confirm his status as a vampire?
"Your wounds should clear up within a couple of days. They seem to be healing just fine."
"I must go," he cut me off while putting his trench coat back on, "I will come back soon to check on your wounds."
"W-What did you mean about Elizabeth? How do I remind you of her? Who is she?"
"I apologize, (Y/n). I was mumbling about nonsense. The lack of sleep seems to be affecting my ability to speak."
"Before you go, this is for you."
I walked toward him and set the small vase of (favorite flowers) in his hand. He looked down at it in awe and examined the flowers. Clearing his throat, his gaze shifted toward me.
"Thank you, (Y/n)."
"You're welcome. It's the least I could do to repay you back honestly," I whispered as my cheeks began to heat up in a bashful manner.
"See you soon, my lady."
Dr. Reid quickly exited my house, prompting me to go after him. I swung the front door open in an erratic manner but saw no sign of him. Where could he have gone so quickly? Who is Elizabeth? Why did he touch me in such... an affectionate way? I pushed the thoughts to the back of my mind as I looked around. There was no sign of the gentleman. Sighing, I went back inside and locked the door. Dr. Reid... who was he really? Why was his presence so enticing; so seducing? My heart and mind longed to know more about the mysterious man. What mystery could he be harboring? Is he really a creature of the night? A vampire? Why is my mind so set onto this gentleman? Am I infatuated... with an immortal? What kind of woman am I, to have an interest in a blood-sucking creature? Shaking my head, I walked into the kitchen to prepare my supper for the night. The thoughts of Jonathan did not cease to escape my mind. Could he possibly be a vampire? What is he? What did he mean by seeing me soon? Am I his chosen prey? I can't be prey... He did mention an Elizabeth. Was she his lover or another victim? Eventually, time will unfold his secrets. Then, I will know who and what Jonathan really is.