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On Her Knees By Chyna McCartney Characters: 21393

Updated: 2018-07-27 09:57

I could hear his voice on the other side of the door, his anxiety staining his usual velvet smooth baritone.

"Raphael, " Giovanni announced.

"Lord Moretti, " came another voice, its accent an even thicker version of my vampire's Italian tongue." I assumed that this-- Moretti was his surname and only then did occur to me that I had not known that until now; that there was quite a great deal that I still did not know, despite my love for him. In fact, it made that love seem a bit more irrational.

"It is rather unusual, " the other man continued, "to have you request my services. The last time you called me was when your dear Christa still roamed these halls. Still, my heart bleeds for you at her untimely passing."

Again, there was the mention of that girl again; Christa, Giovanni's human ward. It would seem that everyone was aware of her existence. In fact, the way in which she was referred to seemed also reverential and in truth, it bothered me to some negligible degree. Who had she really been and was there a reason that she was so important to him beyond what he has willingly revealed to me?

There really wasn't an answer worth speculating on and there wasn't a single cell in my body that possessed the energy for such pondering either; not at this moment when every inch of me was in such intense pain.

I had estimated that it had been around fifteen minutes before my vampire had returned. It would only be an estimation since there were no visible clock or mode for which time was kept in the entire expanse of his room. I suppose time was a trivial matter for men like him; after all, an infinite amount was afforded to them.

But the room truly was large, about twice the size of any hotel suite I'd ever been in. To the far left, there were the doors to the balcony, concealing their beautiful view of what lay below. I assumed that what would be behind the door just adjacent to the balcony was some kind of a walk-in closet since I had already discovered that the only other aside from the entrance was to the bathroom.

Nearly everything was white from the bathroom fixtures to the wallpaper, save for its intricate gold detailing to the plush carpet. The chandelier above was made of pure, polished gold with hanging crystals and aside from that, the only other color seemed to be deep rich shades of brown: the rich, earthy brown of the mahogany doors and the coffee colored linens on the large four poster bed on which I know perched.

A gramophone graced the one desk to the right of the bed along with a stack of leather bound books. All and all, the space boasted of elegance; of cultured and cultivated beauty like the man to whom it belonged. Yet also like Giovanni, there was still an air of absence that lingered here. A noticeable emptiness that reminded me of the way people described the difference between a house and a home.

A house or really any space was your home because no matter how clichéd it sounded, it held your heart. In it, you found solace because somewhere, somehow, that space held all your hopes, your aspirations, your best and worst memories. It made you feel safe because everything about it accepted and amplified every quality that was unique to yourself.

This room that should have been more of a home for Giovanni than anywhere else in this grand mansion had no heart, for lack of a better word. Sure, it resembled him; it paid due homage to the caliber of creature that he was but I didn't get the feeling that it was a fair representation.

Or maybe it was. Maybe its emptiness alludes to his own. Really I felt stupid trying to decipher all his deepest secrets based solely on the state of his most personal space but, I had nothing else to go on.

He was a businessman in every sense of the word; a dignitary, a diplomat. From his dress to his unwavering determination and zeal. Sure, his goals were just and good and in that respect, he seemed like a decent man but, his passion and the emotions from whence these aspirations sprung up were still such a mystery to me.

"I have since come to terms with that loss, " Giovanni replied, an undeniable solemnity to his voice. The meaning behind those words resonated with me. No amount of time is sufficient to erase the pain, it just becomes easier to ignore. The loss of my parents taught me that above all else.

"But there is someone I wish for you to meet; someone's whose death would even be far more devastating for me and her present condition makes me fear that such a fate might soon befall her."

My heart swelled within me at his comment; that I meant so much to him.

The other man, the one named Raphael chuckled. "In all your years, in all the years that I have known you, you have boasted so strongly of not being one of those vampires-- those who had found the one whom fate had bound them to. You always made it seem as though it was something of a curse. How is it that you have become one of such vampires?

The man in question sighed heavily, obviously exasperated. "You can berate me to your heart's content, Raphael but after you have seen to her."

"Berate you? Heaven's no, Giovanni. I would never do that. Yet, I would be remised if I did not admit to being a little bit curious but..." he trailed off.

"But that will have to wait." The handle of the mahogany door turned and I adjusted my posture on the mattress.

The other man, Raphael stepped in first. He was tall, though still a few inches shorter than Giovanni who entered after him. His skin was a creamy ivory-- smooth and appearing soft to the touch with waves of inky-black hair fanning out behind his shoulders. The features of his face were soft but still angular yet his expression somehow managed not to seem stern. Rather, he gazed at me with the gentlest of looks that reminded me not of pity but of some platonic or maybe even fatherly-like tenderness. It seemed most apparent that this sense of calm was most easily read from his eyes that were a strikingly deep, cobalt blue; an identical color to the dress shirt he wore tucked into his black trousers.

He slinked casually into the room, his shoulders slumped if only fractionally and in the left hand, he held a worn, brown leather medical bag, like the one you would imagine a doctor making house calls in the mid 19th century might own, that swung at his side. Raphael seemed utterly at ease with

r expose his kindly face.

I wouldn't attempt to call his features plain; really that would be rather insulting. It was more that his features were subtle, like the gentlest of strokes of a paintbrush on a canvas. Less striking but in no way any less beautiful.

There was an unmistakable warmth about the even expression on his cold skin and though I couldn't necessarily grasp the concept of a vampire doctor, I could see why he might make a good one.

"I could tell you my story if you wish to hear it, " he continued, unfolding and spreading out several towels on the bed sheets. "Perhaps, that would make the concept easier to digest if you understood from whence it came. You can lay here, " he suggested, gesturing to the area of overlapping towels which covered a portion of the mattress.

I did as I was told, shimmying out of the bodice of the dress again and laying on my stomach on the towels, despite the obvious knot that was building there. I suppose, after all, we didn't want to stain the bed linens with any of my bodily fluids or organic matter.

Yet, I still felt awash with a strange sense of dread, the origins of which I could not truthfully identify. I suppose I was warier of being alone with a strange vampire than I thought. "The story of what?" I tried to further the conversation but even to myself, my voice sounded hollow.

"I would suggest that we anesthetize the area. I cannot guarantee that it will make you completely immune to any discomfort but it will afford a certain degree of numbness to it. Are you alright with that?" Came his even tone; the tone that oozed professionalism and to some degree, emotional detachment.

I nodded, resting my head on my folded arms. "Sure."

My mind and responses were steadily flitting from his work to the question at hand; from practiced apathy when he spoke of my condition to an almost unwarranted animation when I brought his thoughts back to the bit of philosophy I thought he might be trying to impart to me. In fact, I could feel his fingers prodding gently at the skin around my wounds while attempting to answer my original question.

"Well, certainly not the complete story of my existence. I have known you for all of fifteen minutes; I doubt that you wish to be burdened with such a tale." There was a momentary pause before he switched over to the role of the never overly emotive doctor.

"Just an injection of lidocaine, " he seemed to warn me before I felt the prick of the needle under my skin.

"Good girl, " he murmured when I didn't seem perturbed by the sensation.

I scoffed. "I am not a dog or some other pet. Nor am I a child. You don't need to coddle me. I have survived far worse than a subcutaneous injection after all."

"I do not view you as a child, " Raphael refuted strongly, coming around the side of the bed to give me the full intensity of his deep blue stare. "Or a human pet. I happen to think that you are brave. Incredibly brave, dare I say brazen even, to use your wit the way that you do especially in the presence of men such as myself who might easily overwhelm you. Extremely brave to have survived this, though, if what I know of the vindictive nature of my kind is any indication, what I can see cannot even be half of what you have endured. Is that such a terrible light in which to view you?"

"Well, it's a little generous, " I murmured back, taken aback by his response. I wondered if I was really that easy to read or had I simply surrounded myself with creatures who were more perceptive than was healthy.

The doctor laughed, assuming his position behind me and out of my line of sight. "Well, I have a tendency to be just that, among other things."

"Hence, the motivation to be a doctor?" This was feeling like a mystery that I had just enough curiosity to want to solve.

"Not necessarily." I could hear the clink of the metal instruments against each other as he spoke. "But does that mean that you wish to hear what those motivations might be?"

It was my turn to laugh now. "I get the feeling that you talk while you work. Would it be in my best interest to cultivate the conversation?"

"There are patients of mine who would so readily affirm that notion. So, a conversation on butterflies it is then?"

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