Warning! This is a horror/dark fiction story so may be disturbing to some. There is strong language and sexual situations.
“What do you think, honey?”
Summer sipped at the thick pink mixture in her glass and made a face. “Well, it tastes pretty awful,” she said. Actually, the taste was worse than awful and she felt her stomach churning around the bright, hard knot of fire that always signaled the onset of the hunger. Bobby was watching her closely and she took another brave little sip of the horrible stuff, praying that it would work.
They had left the motel early, driving through the steady rain to a large echoing room filled with books. There Bobby had searched the shelves, shuffling fruitlessly through a bewildering array of volumes before finally confessing to a helpful lady that he was trying to write a term paper on blood. To their delight, the lady had led him to a section in a different part of the place and pulled a single book from a high shelf. The Properties of Human Blood had provided all the information he wanted and he had spent a long time laboriously copying down a long list of chemicals and nutrients from a page near the beginning of the book.
Leaving the library, they had gone to a vast shopping mall which contained a place that stocked nutrients. Bobby had wandered the aisles for several minutes picking up bottles, matching the labels to his list. Another human, a healthy male with bulging arms and shoulders, had intervened and, after some discussion, suggested that a thick brown powder used by people who wished to gain extra weight contained most of the ingredients on the list.
They had bought two large containers of the stuff before driving to the coffee shop where Bobby had mixed a small portion of the foul smelling powder into the strawberry milkshake he ordered for her.
“Do you think it’s working?” He was looking at her like a mother bear hovering over a puny cub, his own food growing cold on the plate before him.
Summer nodded queasily. Her stomach did feel fuller than before. “You must feed too,” she said, reaching out to push his meal closer to him.
“Damn, Summer,” he said, “how can I eat if you’re going hungry?”
She forced herself to smile. “I will be fine Bobby. Please eat.” She felt the wonderful, tight ache in the back of her throat again; an ache she had felt several times recently.
That was what Bobby called it. Love. She practiced the word silently, testing it on her tongue. It was a soft word. A wonderful word. “I love you, Bobby.”
His face brightened and he leaned across the table to kiss her. “I love you too, Summer.”
She smiled and sipped her horrible milkshake, wondering why her race had no word for love. The thought brought an image of the cruel prince into her thoughts and she felt the fear rising within her. Fear for Bobby. “Eat your food so that we can go,” she said, anxious to leave the city far behind them.
“We have to make one more little stop.” He looked suddenly worried.
She wrinkled her brow. He had used a telephone at the mall to speak with the people at his workplace and his school, telling them his grandmother was ill and that he had to travel far away to visit her. “I figure that’s safer than the flu,” he had explained to Summer. “This way they won’t come around to the apartment checking up on me.”
“Why must we stop again?” she asked. It was growing late in the day and still they remained in the city, within easy reach of the prince.
“It’s snowing in the mountains. I want to buy some chains for the car and some antifreeze.”
“Oh.” She did not know what those things were for, but if Bobby said they were necessary then it must be done.
“Don’t worry,” he said, squeezing her hand and eyeing the level in her glass, “it’ll only take a few minutes then we’ll be on our way.” He grinned. “I’ve never been in the mountains before. Am I going to like them?”
She nodded enthusiastically. “The mountains are wonderful. The air is fresh and cold and the water is clear.”
“Good,” he said, digging into his eggs and bacon at last. “We’ll make us an igloo in the snow and live like a couple of Eskimos.”
Summer hadn’t the slightest idea what he was talking about but she was happy nonetheless. Bobby was eating now and it seemed as though the hunger was beginning to subside a little, the hard, burning knot in her belly dulling around the edges.
They would be safe in the mountains. Up high among the rocks and the trees she felt certain she would be able to protect herself and her mate.