No one seemed to mind that he’d all but kidnapped the girl. He wasn’t even questioned as he carried her kicking and screaming from the Prosecutors building. His colleagues were so sure of his methods that they didn’t blink twice as she’d all but begged to be released, they’d just returned to their cubicles as if a petite American wasn’t slung over his shoulder. He couldn’t begin to tell you how he’d gotten her into his car; she was three times as strong as the average man and her hunger made her even more powerful, but he’d managed it. They made it halfway across town without incident and surprisingly she’d fallen silent as soon as he turned the radio on, like a child lulled to sleep by the motion of the vehicle and the soft classical music that filtered from his favorite station, she’d drifted off beside him. But the moment he’d pulled into the parking garage and climbed out of the car she’d bolted, throwing open her door and running for the exit, a scream tearing itself from her throat. He’d been forced to chase her down, throwing her over his shoulder as she struggled with all her might to get away from him. By the time they made it to his apartment they were both physically and mentally exhausted.
Tae Yeon dropped her onto the carpet, slamming the door behind himself and locking it tight. Instantly she was on her feet, flying towards him with tiny, furious fists. He held her at arms length, a martyred sigh escaping him as he finally pulled her flush against his chest, his arms locking around her tiny frame and pinning her arms at her sides.
“Calm down. No one’s going to hurt you.” He told her as she struggled in his arms, her exerted pants falling against his ear as she growled.
“I don’t believe you!” She kicked at his shins petulantly and his grip tightened. Tae Yeon held her until her energy was spent, finally letting her slide to the floor in front of him, curls falling into her eyes red with hunger. He left her there to sulk as he made his way into his expansive bedroom and over to the walk in closet. Choosing a light blue t-shirt and a pair of sweats he hoped wouldn’t be extremely large on her, he slipped back into the living room to hand them to the seething woman. She hadn’t moved an inch, not looking up until he was looming over her.
“Go and bathe, I’ll have Jung In bring you something more suitable to wear tomorrow.” He told her and she huffed, blowing an errant curl out of her face before reaching up to take the clothing he offered her. She climbed shakily to her feet, her movements somewhat reminiscent of newborn Colt standing up for the very first time. Tae Yeon pointed her to an open door at the end of the hall and she hesitated, trepidation and indignation flashing across her face. “I’ll wait here.” He reassured her and after another second of hesitation she finally made her way into the bathroom, torn between a need to be clean and self preservation. He wondered briefly if he was finally getting through to her, but the sound of the door rattling on its hinges as she slammed it with all her strength had him believing otherwise.
Tae Yeon heaved another sigh as he made his way over to to the bar that lined the far end of the living room, carefully skirting the long marble coffee table before reaching for a bottle of brandy. The moment his fingertips brushed the glass his cellphone rang from his front pocket, the stacccato beeps signaling that it was someone from work. Sighing yet again he snagged it and flipped it open. “This is Min.”
“You really expect me to believe that cock and bull story you fed me, Min?” He sighed.
“Yes, Detective Hwang, your friend, remember? You’re not supposed to lie to your friends Min! Or did you forget that?” The detective grumbled, “Look, I know there are certain…circumstances that can’t be helped, but I know something strange is going on with Kyun Seung and I deserve the truth. If not as your friend then as your partner.”
“It’s not a matter of friendship. Things are just…complicated.” He told him, listening to the shower turn on behind him, the water hitting the bottom of the tub hard before a petite body stepped underneath the stream. He wanted to tell him everything, to be open and honest with the only one who knew about his…oddities, at least to a certain extent. But how could he tell his friend that he’d murdered a young woman, turning her into South Korea’s first female serial killer?
“Things are always complicated where you’re concerned. Just tell me, is she really a survivor of that new serial killer?”
“…You could say that.”
“That’s not good enough Min!” He hissed, “If she really went through an ordeal like that she should be in counseling or something. Why did you just whisk her out of here? Why did you stop the questioning? What are you hiding?”
“I could fill an encyclopedia with the things I’m hiding Hwang.” He said and the man sighed. “You’ll just have to trust me on this. If I could tell you I would.”
“I know, I trust you. I just wish you would let me help you Min. On top of this case with Jae Ki we’ve got killers running around eating people…drinking blood and who knows what else. Everyone needs help from time to time, even you.”
“The bodies were bloodless?” He played dumb, “Has Jo taken a look at any of them?”
“Just one. It was an older guy, Dong Han Shik, mid fifties. He had his head bashed in after he was bled almost dry. There are bite marks on his face and neck, Min, like some animal attacked him. But there’s the strange part, the bite patterns were reminiscent of human teeth.” Tae Yeon remained silent, he just didn’t know what to say to that. “If you know something, tell me before its too late alright?”
“I’ll do my best.”
“I don’t believe you…But as I said, I trust you so I’ll drop it for now.”
“I appreciate it.”
“Look, I’ll call you if I get any more information, alright?” He asked and Tae Yeon nodded even though the man couldn’t see him. The call ended without another word and he dropped his phone onto the bar, once again reaching for the bottle of brandy.
“I didn’t know undead monsters could drink alcohol.” He turned to stare down at Kyun Seung who stood just inches away from him, her dark ringlets dripping onto her shirt, completely soaking the shoulders. Her eyes were back to their normal color, except for the flecks of burgundy that marked her barely leashed hunger.
“They can’t, I’m just very fond of the taste.” He said, slipping onto a barstool as she moved closer to him, reaching over to fondle his cellphone.
“Why didn’t you tell your friend the truth? If he were really your friend he wouldn’t mind the fact that you’re a monster.” She said, turning to glare up at him, “Tell me Min, do you murder nurses for fun or for sport?”
“Neither. What happened with you was a mistake. One I won’t be making again.”
“A mistake huh? So my life meant absolutely nothing to you?” She asked and he frowned. The woman was shaking with unspent rage, and justifiably so. He’d robbed her of her life, of her innocence and mortality and he deserved nothing more than her ire.
“I don’t have the answer you’re looking for, Kyun Seung. I was dying, I could feel my life fading and I couldn’t allow that. You’re a nurse, you saw my wounds. Even as a vampire I wouldn’t have lasted very long without–” He paused as her gaze dropped to the bar.
“Without my blood. So, you murdered me to save yourself? I was nothing more than convenient cattle.” She said and he felt as if he’d been slapped. He wanted nothing more than to reach out and touch her, to offer her some comfort where none else could be found.
“You saved my life.”
“But at the cost of my own.” She growled, her control snapping as red encroached on her irises. “I had a family, Min. I had friends and a job that I loved. And all of that’s gone now.” She trembled next to him, tears threatening to fall. “I was finally happy and it was ripped away in the blink of an eye. And the worst part is, I don’t even know how I should feel right now! I should hate you, I should be absolutely livid! But I am– was– a nurse. It was my job to save lives and I can’t bring myself to begrudge you yours.” She lifted her head to stare up at him, looking every bit like a lost child. “In all honesty, I’m terrified. I’ve never been this afraid in my life.”
“You don’t have to be afraid. I’m going to take care of you Kyun Seung, I will offer you the support I never found in my own sire. It’s the least I can give after what I’ve done.” He told her, somehow hoping to chase away her fear, to reassure her that she wasn’t alone and never would be. He owed her more than just his life, he owed her everything he’d stolen from her and so much more. She didn’t say anything else but scrubbed angrily at her face to rid herself of her tears. He reached out to her then, lightly caressing her damp shoulder as she turned to stare back up at him. “You should get some sleep, it’s late.” He stood, “I’ll sleep on the couch, the bed is yours.”
“But–” She caught the tail of his shirt as he moved past her. Tae Yeon paused, staring down at her in question, watching her gaze grow dark. She didn’t need to say a word, he could feel her hunger, it hummed deep inside of him as if it were his own.
“You’re hungry.” He said, sighing lightly as he reclaimed his seat on the stool and pulled her in front of him. Rolling up his sleeve he offered the inside of a pale wrist.
“I…I don’t want to hurt you like I hurt those people.” She shook her head, taking a step back until he caught her hand and pulled her back to stand before him. “I didn’t want them to die…I was just so…”
“I understand. It comes along with the territory of being a newly awakened vampire. You’ll learn to control your thirst in time.” He reassured her, even though he, himself couldn’t be completely sure. He’d never known another vampire, and it wasn’t exactly if his own sire had stuck around to teach him anything. He wasn’t even entirely sure if giving her his blood was safe, but it would have to do until he could wean her off the live blood she’d taken and onto the blood packets he used.
“I don’t know how…to do it.” She said, frowning deeply. “The men I killed–”
“Don’t think about them.” He cut her off and her eyes snapped to his. He was protecting her, sheltering her, something she hadn’t expected. In her time on her own she’d completely villainized him for what he’d done to her. And now, here she was, standing in his apartment, dressed in his clothes with his wrist just inches from her lips. “Don’t bite directly into the vein, it will only tear it and force your donor to bleed out quickly. You won’t have time to drink and before you know it, they’re dead. Puncture the flesh around the vein instead.” He instructed her, surprised at his own knowledge. It just felt…natural. Was this how all sires felt towards their sirelings? Protective? Dare he even say nurturing?
“You’re…actually trusting me with this?” She asked, “What if I…Killed you by accident?”
“We both know it wouldn’t be an accident if you did, we weren’t exactly on the best of terms an hour ago. I would very much appreciate it if you abstained from draining me dry.” He told her and to his surprise she smiled up at him. That smile did things to his stomach. “Drink.” He ordered and she gave him a slight nod before lifting his wrist to her lips. He watched them part, her canines elongating as they sank into his flesh. And he was instantly on fire. He could feel every pull, every vital cell flowing from his body and deep inside her own. He’d never felt anything more arousing, more erotic. “Kyun Seung.” He growled out her name but she didn’t appear to hear him, tightening her grip on his arm as she pulled harder and harder, her mouth shifting until she’d nicked his vein. Tae Yeon’s mouth fell open in a silent gasp, every muscle in his body tightening in pleasure and pain, the euphoric feeling blurring the very thin line between both. He pulled her even tighter against him then, crushing her against his chest until he was certain that, had she still be human, she’d be laying in pieces at his feet. Before he could stop himself his mouth sought her throat, sinking his fangs deep into the tender flesh. She was stunned into releasing him, a startled moan escaping her lips as he reclaimed what he’d offered. Kyun Seung placed her hands against his shoulders, pushing slightly as she whimpered. Reluctantly he released her, pulling away as the high they’d shared faded. Tae Yeon stared down at her, watching her lift her tiny hand, her thumb wiping away a trickle of blood that escaped his lips before bringing it to her own. His hand shot out to grab her wrist, stopping her. “You…” He started, his voice an octave lower than it should have been. He cleared his throat, pulling himself away from her and moving towards the couch. “You should get some sleep.”