I really hadn't meant for it to happen, but I couldn't help myself.
I'd seen Nathan many times since the day he rescued me and Brian, but it always took all of my self control not to shrink away from him. I knew Brian looked up to him as a hero, so I'd always tried to hide it. To be honest, part of me thought of him as a hero too, but... the memory of his feeding off the guy was carved just too deep into my memory. And this time, all three of them had seen my reaction.
Brian and Jack looked puzzled, but Nathan clearly knew. But the expression on his face wasn't one of anger or annoyance, it was one of pity. Without a word, he pulled the curtains shut around us and looked down at me with sad eyes.
"You saw," he said in a quiet voice, "I'm so sorry."
Brian stared from him to me with a look of confusion on his face. "Saw what?" he asked finally.
Naturally I couldn't answer, but Nathan could. Although his voice was heavy with regret as he did so.
"The same thing you did," he told Brian. "The time the two of you were abducted by that sex trafficking bunch, and..."
"You came for us," my childhood friend finished nodding his head. I could see the memory was still fresh in his memory. A faraway haunted look crept into his eyes. Then he turned to me and said, "But, I thought I kept you from seeing anything. I was holding you to my chest."
He had, but even with his arms covering my head I'd been able to see through the crack between them, and wished I hadn't ever since.
"I wasn't exactly quiet," Nathan said, breaking the moment, "And of course you saw what happened, Brian. I suspect your guard might have dropped enough for her to get an eyeful. Am I right?"
At that point, Jack came forward and pulled out his stethoscope. "I'd like you to listen to something," he told me and held out the ear pieces at me.
I wasn't sure what he had in mind, but I nodded and allowed him to gently place them in my ears. Then he turned to Nathan who he instructed to open his shirt.
"Hey... when did this place become Chippendale's?" Nathan protested, but opened his shirt anyway. Then he leaned forward asJack placed the other end of the stethoscope on his chest. "Woo... that is cold. Do you keep that thing in a freezer or something?"
"Shhh... let her listen," Jack replied while I did as he instructed.
The sound of a healthy beating heart came loud and clear through the instrument.
"An undead creature, wouldn't have a heartbeat like that would it?" Jack asked me.
I wasn't really sure. After all, a stake through the heart killed vampires didn't it? So I merely shrugged.
Undaunted, Jack moved the diaphragm of the stethoscope to the other side of Nathan's chest. "Hear anything?"
"Nathan, would you move your heart to where I'm positioned?"
I don't know who looked more puzzled, me or the man I was still trying to figure out. But after a moment, he nodded.
After a few seconds later, I heard the pulsing heart just as loud as before. But even more importantly, I actually heard its approach just before it... got into position. Torn between horror and amazement I just stared at the two men.
Still I was afraid and Jack knew it. He asked Nathan to leave and wait in the hallway, which he did.
After he left Jack turned back to me and smiled. "I know you think he's a vampire. That's why I asked him to leave. That way you can be sure that he hasn't hypnotized you into believing what Brian and i are about to tell you. In a way, your suspicion is partly correct. But I want to ask you, could such an undead creature physically move the location of its heart?"
I thought about all the movies and stories I'd read. If vampires could do such a thing, killing them would be much harder, nearly impossible. Finally, I shook my head.
Jack smiled reassuringly. "But what about a man who never died, but wound up sharing his body with a life-form which requires him to take in blood as part of his nutritional requirements?"
That made me raise my eyebrows as I found my thinking in terms of science fiction instead of horror stories.
As I did so, Brian chimed in saying, "The life-form also allows him to alter his shape and even move and change his organs around."
What followed was the most amazing story I'd ever heard in my life. I won't go into details here, because I know others in Nathan's 'Extended Family' have already shared it more than once. And they, and their descendants will be the only ones to read this, so I don't need to go into things further. Besides, I'm here to share my experience.
After Brian and Jack finished telling me all about Nathan and some of the things he could do, I simply lay there for a few moments taking it all in. If just half of what they had told me was true, then he might be able to help me once more.
"Should I ask Nathan to come back in?" asked Jack after a few moment.
I nodded ever so carefully. My heart beating with anticipation.
TO BE CONTINUED...
TO BE CONTINUED...