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Doul found himself laying in the bed on his stomach when he woke up, the sunlight filtering through the tall, narrow windows.

Now it's day.

He leaned up on his elbows slowly, the scabs on his back aching, and he hissed. He felt thick and sick as he thought back yet to what had happened last night.

He sat up, and examined major wounds. Doul was surprised that his wounds had got treated and covered with ointment.

Did the Brucolac do this? The man who imprisoned him, tortured him? Had he realized his terrible mistake?

No. Impossible. Doul looked down at the shackle around his left ankle. Still, he was being held. The vampir was not here only because it's day.

He stood up, very slowly, staggered towards the table in shackle. He grabbed a glass of water and took a long swig.

Then he moved to the doorway, but was stopped by the shackle at half of the distance. He could only roam in barely three meter radius.

Doul returned to his bed, feeling worn and grim, the welts on his back aching endlessly. He wondered when the Brucolac would show up and if the Lover had felt something wrong.

He was incapable of escaping. He had to wait.

It's night when he wake up again. He saw someone in the room from the corner of his eye, then after a second, he sobered.

The Brucolac stood a little away. Doul had no idea when he came in and how long he had been there.

"Take your cloth off," the Brucolac said.

Doul didn't move. He couldn't understand what the vampir was trying to do. He was clad only in his smudgy trousers and boots now.

"Do you want me to do this?" the Brucolac said again, "take it all off."

Doul stood up, nibbling his lip. He popped off the button, slowly pushing down his trousers and shorts, and pulling off his boots. Because of the shackle, left leg of the trousers wrapped around his ankle. The Brucolac cut away the fabric and kicked them aside.

Doul kept his eyes on the floor all the time. He didn't wince or cover his private part. He didn't want to appear wan and weak.

"Sit," said the Brucolac, pointing at the chair in front of the table.

Doul looked at his face, too impassive to tell what he thought. He sat on the chair, feeling the Brucolac approaching. He tensed and held his breath and waited the torture that followed. Lash, or something else.

When finally the vampir's cold hand touched his back, he couldn't help the tremble. But instead of hurting him, that hand rubbed his skin slowly and softly, spreading the ointment on his wounds.

Once finished, the vampir treated the cuts on the chest. At last the Brucolac handed him a clean cloth. "Dress," he ordered.

It's a black linen shirt, long and loose, the shirttails covering his lower belly and thighs. But only a shirt, there were no underwear, trousers, or coat.

When Doul's eyes searched his face in questioning glances, the door suddenly opened and an underling set a big tray on the table before leaving, without looking at him even once, as if he didn't exist.

Seeing the Brucolac ready to leave, Doul knew he need to say something.

"Brucolac," he stopped him, "you can't keep on doing this to me. Someone will realize what are you up to."

The Brucolac turned to him. "In fact, the Lover just got here tonight. I'm sure he has a clear idea of what's happening. I will not allow our people to offend Garwater as long as you stay here. He accepted it."

A cold smile began to germinate at the corners of his lips. "Uther Doul, you are part of the deal, you are my prisoner. No one will come to save you."