Chapter Two

Rescue

The pain was more than anything Gabriella had ever experienced. It coursed through her body, making her involuntarily cry out. Her body- her vampire body- was demanding to be fed, a demand that she had denied for three weeks. She knew that she would die- there was no way her weakened body could heal enough to go out and feed. Then she felt something wet drop on her lips, and her tongue automatically licked her lips, and a surge of warmth flooded her body. Warm flesh pressed against her mouth, and Gabriella- hungry, weak and dying- gave into the primitive urges to feed. Her eyes flew open when she tasted the strong, sweet blood; it was another vampires! Caldorien sat beside her, holding her up and smiled when she looked up at him. "Do not fight me. Feed," he ordered softly, and Gabriella obeyed. After a few minutes Caldorien eased her back. "Enough cherie. Rest now," he whispered, and as she sank into the healing sleep his blood had induced, Gabriella managed a question. "Why?" she whispered, eyes closing. Caldorien smiled as he covered her sleeping form with a blanket and walked towards the door. No answer was needed when he turned back and smiled before softly shutting the door behind him.

Gabriella felt the shock of cold trail over her face, soothing the fire that burned within her, and a small sigh escaped her. She struggled to open her eyes and when she did she was greeted with a smiling face- Caldorien's smiling face.

"Aha! Sleeping beauty awakes! I was beginning to wonder when you were going to wake up," he said, helping her into a sitting position. The room spun and Gabriella closed her eyes against the wave of nausea that washed over her.

"Whe…where am I?" she asked, looking around. Caldorien put another pillow behind her back to support her, and then spread his arms out.

"Forgive me. Welcome, cherie, to my humble home," he said. "It is a safe place, I assure you. I did not want anything- or anyone- to harm you while you slept a healing sleep," he explained, his deep voice soft and melodious. Gabriella looked into his deep green eyes and then quickly looked away again.

"You saved me," she began, halted, and then began again. "You gave me your blood, made me stronger than I could ever achieve on my own. Again I ask you why?" she said softly, searching his eyes, but like a cat's, they gave away nothing.

"Was I to let another of my kind die, when I had such a simple cure?" he retorted, knowing that the pat answer wouldn't convince her. He was right- she wasn't.

"Then why your blood Caldorien? Why didn't you bring in a human for me to feed on? It would have been enough," she replied. Caldorien stood up, trying to think of how he could answer her without scaring her. Then he spun around and looked straight into her strange eyes- one violet, the other a dark blue- and answered. "Because cherie, without my blood, it would not have been enough. You would have died."

Caldorien watched her eyes widen in surprise. "So she is a new one," he thought. He read the question in her eyes and answered her before she could ask. "You had denied yourself for too long. It was a foolish thing to do." Here her eyes narrowed and Caldorien sensed this was dangerous territory. "The only way to save you was to give you my blood," he finished.

"And in doing so made me stronger, so much so that I am just beneath you in status now!" she cried, confused and still dealing with the fact that she could have died. "You, Caldorien Shannan, confuse me to no end. Any other would have simply let me die, feeding off me and making themselves stronger in the process," she whispered, knowing she was right when he looked away. "Answer me Caldorien, I want to know." The look he suddenly got in his eyes scared her, and she pushed away from him. He looked at her, his stormy green eyes dangerously glinting.

"Then tell me why you denied yourself for three weeks, knowing that it would weaken you and leave you open to attacks. Tell me why you healed the coffee shop owner and almost killed yourself in the process!" Gabriella shrank back from his anger and looked at the floor, tears threatening to spill. A finger went under her chin and she was once again looking into his eyes, only this time the anger was replaced by a sad, knowing smile.

"I thought so. When you answer my questions cherie, then I will answer yours," he whispered, his eyes softening until he finally turned away and once more left the room.