Safe Place: Gabriel's Story.
Author's Rant: I think I'm going to go insane with ideas before I get them all out. Anyway, I know that I said I wanted to tell Ramah and Nessa's story first, but I had a brilliant idea to leave their story for another time, but I will start introducing characters to the world from Gabe's book. Anyhoo, let me get started.
Austria, summer of 1545
Everything felt…different. Looked different, yet, still somehow the same.
The dark night sky twinkled with countless stars, each one flickering like light reflecting off polished silver. Vibrant, more alive than he ever seen before. The summer air coming from the window smelt of dew and fresh rain. He could even smell the night blossoms that grew around the keep, their sweet fragrance mingling with the cool night air.
"Are you still in much pain?"
The young man slowly lowered the hand he had been intently examining for the past few minutes from his field of vision, casting a glance at the woman who walked into his chambers. He didn't answer her vocally; instead he just shook his head on the cushions behind him.
The woman cast a small smile at him. "That is good. We all were worried since your conversion took longer than most. My own conversion only took a very short time."
Conversion-that's right. Everyone was watching…
The man watched the dark green silk of her dress sway with her walk. The light from the many candles and the roaring fireplace reflected off the gold embroidery of her bodice and the few pieces of jewelry she had about her neck and ears. The colors seemed to dance against the flawless creamy skin of her ample breast and neck, the dark mahogany of her carefully coifed and curled hair, her ample lips. Even from across the room he could smell sweet honeysuckle and the faint trace of cinnamon.
The smell of her blood.
The woman knew what he wanted even before she seen his light blue eyes flicker and turn into a pale silver, his long incisors visible through his parted lips. "I have come here to give you sustenance. It has been nearly a full day since your conversion, and tonight there will be a ceremony held in your honor, so you must be strong. It would not fare well if you are not able to stand on your own feet."
The man cracked a small smile at her retort, but stopped short once he felt his lengthened canines, reaching up and touching the sharp points tentatively with a finger.
"Those will take some time to get used to, but it is perfectly normal. You must be careful when you talk so as to not bite your own tongue. I have seen this done quite a few times." She made her way over to the spacious bed he lay in, taking a seat near him. "My name is Selene; do you remember me from before?"
"Yes." His voice sounded strange in his own ears, even more so since his fangs made him lisp. Everything around him sounded strange, yet familiar. More amplified, though with clarity. It was all just so strange.
"That is good as well. Do you remember where you are?" He watched her place a hand over the one he had been examining not long ago, giving it a gentle squeeze. Selene's hand was warm and soft as the silk of her dress.
For a moment it seemed he didn't comprehend her inquiry; the sound of her blood pumping just underneath the delicate skin of her throat called to him, her heartbeat thudding in his ears. Her being so close made his skin feel prickly and hot, his stomach clenching painfully in spasms. When her brown eyes met his questioningly he numbly nodded his head, his eyes drawing back down to the line of her neck once again. He could swear he could see the vein at her neck throbbing, making his mouth feel dry…
"Go ahead, take what you need." Selene's soft words brought him out of the trance-like state he was in, casting his gaze up to her face. "I came here to give you nourishment, though I started with my ramblings. Forgive me for that, sir."
He watched her pull out a small leather-sheathed knife from the inside of her right dress sleeve, removing it from its scabbard. She lifted her arm up to chest level, and then in one deft movement she drew a line across her small wrist, bright red blood welling up from the wound. She didn't even flinch and seemed undisturbed by her action. The man barely registered the hiss that came from his mouth, the very smell of her blood filling his nostrils and drove his senses into an unfamiliar fury.
"This is what you want; I can see it in your eyes. Please, drink."
He didn't realize he had sat himself up until his mouth nearly met up with her offered wrist, crimson droplets dripping down onto the white linen bed sheets and heavy duvet. He was being driven crazy between trying to be polite to the woman, partial revulsion to his newfound hunger, and clamping his mouth down on the dark liquid dripping from her wrist. She made it easy on him and brought her offered flesh to his mouth, making his eyes go wide.
That first taste of her blood drove all logical reasoning out of his head.
The taste that was on his tongue was nothing he ever thought he would experience, and it drove his hunger mad. He licked greedily at the gash before biting down, puncturing her flesh with his fangs, making more of the crimson liquid gush forth. It was by an unknown animal instinct he knew what he was doing, taking long pulls of the hot, rich blood from her vein.
He reached up with both hands and held onto her arm tightly, cradling that precious fount to his lips. Selene tenderly circled her other arm around him and held him like a newborn babe, stroking his long golden locks away from his forehead.
"You have such lovely hair, even more so now." The man could feel the affection in her touch, her fingertips gingerly combing through his mane, tickling his scalp, sending warm shivers down his spine. He was no longer greedily sucking at her wrist, having calmed the spasms and hunger in himself, though none the less kept his hold on her arm.
Her blood made everything around him fade into the background, and for the time he lost himself in the sensation of the thick liquid running down his throat and her free hand in his hair. He knew she was whispering to him quietly, but he didn't pay to much attention. Her wrist was drawing most of it.
"I am not supposed to tell you this, but tonight you will receive your new name as custom with our coven. It is to mark the start of your new life. The Regent confides in me, and he told me the name he has picked for you."
The man looked up at her from the corner of silver eyes though his mouth didn't leave her arm. The smile she gave him made his own blood grow warm. She had such a beautiful smile, he mused.
"Your new name is to be Gabriel. The Regent said he picked it because of your features: your fair mane and bright eyes are truly angelic. And I think he picked a fine name for you."