Fate’s Heartblood – Chapter 5 & 6
Jay pulled into the front of a tiny, neat bungalow and set the brake. He walked to the passenger side, and assisted Sachin out of the car. His breathing seemed a little easier, and Jay they didn’t cause any additional injuries getting into the house. He wrapped an arm around the manager’s waist and draped an unresisting arm across his shoulders. Together, they hobbled to the front door.
Sachin wanted nothing more than to relax into the warm of the young man at his left side, but resisted. Soon he will weaken with the sun’s rays reach the top of the mountain, and he had little time to spare. He reached in his front pocket with his good hand and pulled out his keys.
“Use this one on both locks,” he said, as he held one of them up to the young man. Jay leaned him against a column and reluctantly released him. After making sure Sachin could support himself, he opened the door, and helped the injured man in. A beautiful light brown dog came bounding up, but a sharp command from his owner had him sitting on his haunches, watching the pair make their way into the living room.
There was little furniture in the house. A large sofa in a brown weave sat in front of a widescreen television set; a desk in the corner housed a laptop and printer. There were dark, multi-layered curtains on the two front windows. A galley-style kitchen with white enameled cabinets completed the main part of the house; there were few knick knacks or clutter in the area. The only color came from a tufted Kazakh rug in reds and browns on the floor, and a blue pad with a few dog toys on it. A double door in the back of the living room blocked the rest of the house from view.
Jay eased his burden onto the couch and straightened up; he went back to the front door and closed them inside. The dog whined a little as if seeking permission, then padded over and put his head on Sachin’s knee, his tail waving slowly. Sachin laid his hand on the head and stroked it once, then dropped his hand as if it was too heavy. The dog gave it a lick then turned and looked at Jay, returning from the front door. Jay knelt down and allowed the dog to sniff his hand.
“His name is Asha,” Sachin said from the couch.
Jay nodded. “Hindi for ‘hope’.” He looked the dog in the eye. “Hello, Asha.” The canine looked back, seemed satisfied with what he saw, and walked over to his bed, where he turned around a few times before settling back, his eyes on his owner.
Jay straightened out and walked back to the couch. He sat down next to Sachin. “What can I do for you.”
Even in pain, Sachin appreciated the picture Jayanta made. He was steady, dealing well with the situation, and was still willing to help. Sachin hoped that the young man would remain calm in the face of his dark secret. Suddenly realizing that the young man was waiting for a reply, Sachin nervously licked his lips and decided how he was going to explain things.
“First of all, some of what I’m going to say will sound like a fantastic tale, but it is my reality. Please believe me: If you are willing to help me, I promise to give you the entire story. Right now, I need immediate help. I need to get to the back of the house; I cannot be anywhere where the sun can reach me, and the doors have a seal that will protect me from that.”
Jay’s mind whirled with the information. Stay out of the sun? Did his manager have some type of disease? A thought entered, and Jay tried to push it out of his mind, but it stubbornly held there.
“I need some assistance with my leg to make sure it heals correctly, and that has to be done quickly. Once I am able to rest in darkness, I should heal within a day.” Sachin paused for a moment, and then seemed to make a decision. He took a deep breath, and said.
“I’m different from you. In fact, I’m not entirely human. I have certain, food restrictions. But…” He seemed to have difficulty completing his thought. “But I’m not a monster.”
The last was said quietly¸ and Sachin put his head down as if he was ashamed.
Jay thought about everything he knew of this person in front of him; his professionalism at work, gaining him the loyalty of everyone who worked under him, stories from the other workers where, in times of hardship, a generous but anonymous donor would succor them. Children’s gifts, handymen who would repair their homes without payment, and financial assistance had all been rendered. Jay thought back and realized that these events only started when Manager Kumari started working for the resort.
At that realization, Jayanta’s heart fluttered, and the admiration he felt slid a little more into warmer, softer feelings. He nodded as he made a resolution and looked directly at his friend.
“Are you a vampire?”
Sachin expelled the breath that he had been holding as his heart stuttered, then began beating faster as despair gave way to a cautious elation. There was no fear in the young man’s voice, and that alone gave Sachin a feeling far deeper than the original attraction he felt for his coworker. Still, tonight was going to be rough, and he hoped they were both up to the task.
“Some people would call me that. I will explain more fully, but my leg must be addressed soon if it is to heal correctly.”
Jay stood up from the couch and reached out a hand. “Let us move you to the back of the house then.”
Sachin reached out and pulled himself upright, balancing on his right leg, and turned slightly so he could put his left-side weight against Jay. Asha hopped out of his bed and trotted over to the double doors. Pushing them open with his head, he led the way to the dark recess of the house.