Odessa I screamed.
I shouted rather loudly, causing Fluffy and Creed to look at me with uneasiness. Creed ran over to me, covered in blood spatter from the cute animal. I should have seen it coming; I mean, he clicked his tongue, and Fluffy went and caught dinner.
My breathing was ragged, but I waved my hand in the air. “I’m fine, really; I wasn’t expecting it.” Part of me was, but I let it g 0. Creed looked back over to the animal; the head was lying in a bucket while the blood drained.
I’ve seen a lot of blood in my time in this land, but not so much as this. It flowed heavily into the bucket while I looked away. Fluffy was utterly troubled; he hopped up on the bed, despite Creed growling at him putting his head in my lap. Covering my mouth, concentrating on Fluffy, Creed sighed and continued to empty the remnants of the animal.
“It had such pretty fur, I thought you were going to keep it as a pet.” His lip curled, starting to strip the animal of its beautiful coat. His hands worked quickly, pulling off the skin like it was nothing. It came off in one swift piece and held it up in the air. Pride beamed from his chest; he almost stood a foot taller.
The bits of blood stained the neck area, but he brought it to m e, holding it out for me to touch. My fingers groped the fur, and it was the softest material I have ever felt. Creed’s hands pushed it closer to me, laying it on my skin stretching it across my leg.
“Clothes? I can make clothes with this?” Creed nodded his head excitedly. As cute as the little animal was, the weather outside was getting colder, and the thought of this fuzzy fur o n my skin sounded perfect. I didn’t have the luxury of sweatshirts, sweatpants, or jeans. I was stuck with this thin tunic that was barely doing enough to keep me warm.
Creed’s eyes widened; he was expecting me to say something. What do I say? “Thanks for killing that animal that I thought was so cute?” I bit my lip, trying to hold back the funny thought, and finally gave his hand a squeeze. “I love it, thank you.” Creed’s chest rumbled; his eyes flashed from his normal dark eyes back to the red several times before he stretched it across a sizeable easel-like stretcher stretching out the fur tight. Moving it close to the fire, he sat it here as a prize.
I giggled at him. Creed went back to carving up the meat, probably for our large meal of the day.
Creed spent most of the day making sure I was fed and rested. He fed me every two hours like a newborn baby, even waking m e from my nap to shove more of his stew into my mouth. Finally, I had to swat his hand away and tell him I couldn’t possibly eat any more. The dragon growled underneath his clothes and continued to point at the food.
Creed wouldn’t let me leave the cave to go to the ladies’ rest area like the day before; he had compiled a ‘restroom’ like area behind a cloth that led to the back of the cave. There was running water, a hot spring that I couldn’t wait to jump into once my ankle was healed. The steam kept it warm, so going t o the bathroom outside was but a distant memory. I was back t o going in a bucket again, but it didn’t bother me or degrade m e this time. I was allowed my privacy and well thankful for it.
The night was approaching; you couldn’t see the light at the end of the cave any longer. Fluffy came prancing in with his own food and gnawed on the leg of some other animal. Creed wrapped my ankle again, putting on the stinky salve causing m e to gag. He’s pointing and rubbing on the cuts left no room for argument.
All day, Creed watched me when he thought I wasn’t looking. I could feel his stares, but they did not bother me like those with the Vampires. He was checking if I was still here, still safe and sound. I had worried him a lot when I left; I knew how he was caring for me. It was almost too much that he put in so much effort to make me happy. He had no reason to; he just
Where did this kind of dragon come from, and what was his story? Why did he not have a family of his own?
I really wished he could talk, but asking him to use that harsh voice gave him pain. I wanted to know what he was thinking, what he thought of me staying in his cave, his bed? Why did he even have the heart to take me into his cave when he could have left me out there for the vampires?
What if he could get his voice fixed? There was magic here, surely some healing spell? I’m sure he would have thought of i t; he would want his voice wouldn’t he? Then again, if he was alone, why have it fixed?
“Hey, Creed?” Creed looked up from the fire; he sharpened his blade he kept at his side most of the time. “Can, someone heal your voice? Like a witch or something? This place seems so magical, and my mother was a witch, I suppose, could they use their magic?” Creed sighed, his head tilted backward, his eyes closed. I felt guilty for asking. I just wanted to hear his voice, t o hear how smooth or rough it would be when he said my name with his own vocal cords.
Creed stood up, walking to the bag on the table. Shoveling around the clinking noise made my ears perk up in interest. He held out two gold coins. “Money,” I spoke. “It costs a lot of money?” He nodded again, pushing the coins back in. Where did he get those? Could he make more? Could I make money?
I laid back into the bed, my eyes fixed on the same cave walls h e was looking at before. “I’ll earn you some coins,” I spoke adamantly. “You helped me; I’m going to help you.” The stool made a harsh sound against the floor; Creed was by my side in an instant, shaking his head.
“Why not? You have helped me. I want nothing more to make you happy and to hear you say my name on your own.” The sexy curl of his lip had now reached his cheek. “Come on, Prince Charming, when I get better, I want to help.” My heart raced, feeling the heat of his body next to mine. He was still a good few feet away, but I sensed it. His body stood over mine, forehead kissing my cold forhead. It was intimate; he stood there while I smelled the smoke of the fire and the hint of lavender radiating off his tanned skin.
His hand was cupping the back of my neck while his forehead sat there, his eyes closed, breathing in powerfully. My heart was doing summersaults in my chest until he pulled away. Partly disappointed, partly relieved, he grabbed a few furs and gestured for me to sit on the bed to carry me.
Wrapping my arms around his neck, he pulled me past the cloth and into the back where the hot pool stayed, but he continued. There is another room across from the pool with a long fur draped across the opening. Walking inside was another bed of furs, just for my height. A fire at the far side of the room was blazing with several logs beside it. Creed sat me down gently, covering me with the new furs he had gathered from outside.
He gave me my own room.
As simple of a room as it was, it was my own room. Creed must have made it while I was sleeping. He was giving me the privacy I so desperately wanted when I was captured, made to
be humiliated in front of all the vampire demons. My eyes watered; it was such a sweet gesture for a man or dragon who didn’t have many guests.
I pulled the fur up, grateful for what he had done but a little disappointed. I had enjoyed our night before; he was close and made me feel secure and safe. Now I was behind the cloth in the back of the cave with no one here. I was being selfish; he made this for me to be comfortable. This was something I
couldn’t deny him; his face was lit up brighter than the fire itself.
Looking up at him, I spoke the only words I could say. “Thank you, Creed, this is sweet,” my voice cracked. His hands came back to mine, forehead touching mine again, but just as before, his warm touch retreated, making me feel the coldness of the cave.
He walked out, giving me one last glance before the cloth
shimmied back into its place.
“Walk faster,” Master Enoch hissed. His arm clenched tightly against my bicep. He no longer pulled me by the rope around m y wrists; the Duke’s favorite place to feed was around my wrists and forearms. The Vampires enjoyed my legs, my thighs, and the occasional backbite, which was uncomfortable with their large jaws extending not far enough to get a good grip.
‘I winced, feeling Enoch throw me into the cage. It was nothing but a 4×4 cell initially, but I was upgraded two months later to a 6×6. The mattress on the floor was an inch thick, a rag for a blanket and a small bucket in the corner. Some humans threw menacing glances at me, the ones that had been here the longest. They had been stuck in the same small cages and never got the “special treatment.” I never asked for any special treatment; they just stuck me in here one day when the Duke said to treat me better. Most vampires didn’t listen; the Duke thought I was sleeping in one of his private rooms.
The female vampires that made sure we were fed and producing enough blood wouldn’t have that. I was a pathetic human, the dirt under their fingernails. I kept my mouth shut, not wanting to stir up any more trouble. I made not one human friend in the entire basement, just the occasional joke I would laugh at.
My wrists were bleeding; the Duke had been rough with me tonight. He was testing me, testing me to see if I would cry or beg for mercy. I never did; I never would. That’s what they wanted; they got off on that. Tonight, the Duke was extra happy as he trailed his tongue across my arm. I shivered in disgust until his fangs plunged into my forearm.
I sighed, rubbing the opened wound. They could heal us, but they preferred to make us suffer, to feel it heal slowly, or only t o be plunged into the same area the next day. They could be so much gentler; their venom could numb the area, on top of it all, seal the wounds. They snuffed out the little hope we had to be free of the pain.
My heart sunk heavily while I sat on my mattress. “Psst,” Pulling the ragged blanket closer to me, I leaned my head forward to the sound. No one dares to talk to me; who would start now? “Psst,” the sound became louder.
Everyone was asleep; the swinging dim light shook above the rest of the cages. My hands gripped the bars. “Hello?” I whispered, only to have my arm ripped from one of the bars. Deep red eyes shone back at me. They were hungry, starving. M y heartbeat erratically in my chest, dropping into my stomach.
Not a second later, fangs plunged into the same holes the Duke had left. The re-entry was more painful than the initial. My mouth opened for a silent scream, still not wanting to let them have their satisfaction. The gulping noises were heard from their throat, the constant swallowing, the grip on my forearm tightened.
He reused the holes to go undetected that someone else had used me. No one was to use me anymore, only the Duke.
My vision darkened, my skin tuned cold as my body slummed t o the floor. I no longer held my arm in a tensed fashion; it was now limp. He had gone past the usual feeding; he had been starving. He was the second vampire I had fed today, my blood already low. I no longer had the will to live; I had hoped he would drain me to end the suffering.
He let go quickly realizing he was taking too much, my body collapsed on the damp floor. There was no energy left to crawl onto the mattress; I laid there until the last light of the basement went out.