Fate’s Heartblood – Chapter 11 & 12
Jayanta looked at his wrist and saw that the puncture wounds were barely noticeable. He frowned as Sachin’s words registered, and dropped the hand that was caressing the vampire’s head.
“Nothing that I know of. What do you mean?”
Now it was Sachin’s turn to frown. “I don’t know. Something’s just not right.” He relaxed against the couch cushions and tested his extremities. The earlier weakness was gone; he felt strong and well again. “I think you should get a physical.”
Jay all but rolled his eyes. “I feel fine, do not worry.” Sachin did not want to press this issue; this feeling he had was too fragile and new.
“I don’t know what to say to you,” Sachin began, slowly, “You have done more for me today than anyone in my memory.” The rest was said in a voice of puzzlement. “Why did you help me?”
Jay thought a moment before answering. “Do you remember the first time you spoke to me?”
Sachin thought for a moment. It would have been about five months ago, when the chauffer began working at the resort. “That would be at your orientation.” Jay nodded.
“The first time I saw you, I felt a flutter”, and he put his hand over his heart, “here”.
Thunderstruck, Sachin could only stare at the young man for a moment. He recalled his own visceral reaction, but at the time it had been several days since his last blood meal, and he thought it was his hunger that caused that feeling. He cleared his throat.
“Why did you never say anything?” Sachin asked.
Jay quirked a brow and said, sardonically, “You are my superior, and my direct report. How could I do anything?”
Sachin shook his head at the strangeness of it all.
Jay moved from the kitchen chair to couch as Sachin moved over to make room for him. Once there, he looked at his boss and licked his lips, unaware of the hot stare his unconscious movement had evoked.
“You were always professional with me, and a bit intimidating. I would come in early just to make sure that everything in the fleet was perfect for your inspection. I wanted you to notice me.” Jay gave a short laugh. “So when you called this morning, I was surprised.” He put a hand on Sachin’s arm. “Can we talk about your condition?” Jayanta was burning with curiosity. He had no fear of the being in front of him, even before this strange night, and now he wanted more than ever to understand his manager and friend.
“I…I’ve never spoken with anyone regarding what I am,” Sachin spoke haltingly, “Are you sure you want to know?”
At Jay’s encouraging nod, Sachin gathered his thoughts before beginning.
“As far back as I can remember I have been like this. I was raised in an orphanage nearby in Rasayani, where I was told they found me after the Patalganga River overflowed its banks. Until I reached puberty, I was able to go out in the sun, although I burned easily and avoided going outside as much as possible. It became much harder to hide my sickness from the dadi that ran the orphanage.
“I ran away from the orphanage when I was 17. I started hiding during the day in rubbish mounds or in abandoned buildings, always avoiding the rays of the sun.” Sachin paused for a minute.
“About a year after I ran away, I visited a fortune teller.”
And Sachin shared with Jayanta the vision of the gods the oracle had chanted. After a moment, he continued with his life’s story.
“After speaking to the seer, I decided to make something of myself. I started going to night school, under a government 10+2+3 program, paying for it with odd jobs that could be done after the sun went down. Eventually, I passed the entrance exam to college, and entered the Prabal HOCL Hotel Management program.
“And I have been working for the resort ever since.”
After telling everything, he felt strangely calm; his shoulders unknotted themselves as Jayanta stared at him, neither condemning him nor showing any pity or revulsion in his eyes. After a moment, the younger man spoke.
“Have you ever spoken with a temple priest about the vision?”
Sachin shook his head. “I haven’t dared, for fear they would know what I am.”
Asha stood up from braided rug in front of the fireplace and padded over to the couch. He leaned against his master’s leg, and Sachin scratched him between the shoulder blades. Jayanta also reached down to rub the soft fur between his ears. Asha thumped his tail twice and then stilled.
Softly, Jay asked another question. “Have you ever met any more of your kind?” Sachin shook his head.
“Never.” He looked towards the outside wall. “We will both need to be at work before long.” After givng the dog a final pat, he stood up. “I’ll take you home.”
Jay suddenly felt sad that this strange, magical time was coming to an end. They both had lives, and an existence beyond the intimate environment of the house. He lifted his arm to Sachin, who easily pulled him up, and then, even further into his embrace.
Jay closed his eyes and breathed deeply, inhaling the scent of the man that enclosed him within strong arms. He willingly leaned back as Sachin slanted his firm lips along Jay’s jawline, wandering back to trace his tongue along the seam of his mouth. He willingly opened up, thrilling as the sharp incisors grazed his lower lip.
All too soon, and with a final stroke of the hair, Sachin pulled away and wordlessly handed Jayanta his coat. Together, hand in hand, they walked to the outside door.
In an attached building, a silver Tata Indica with darkened windows popped its locks when Sachin approached. Jayanta looked up at Sachin. “How did you do that?”
Sachin grinned, his pronounced canines gleaming in the dark, and held up the key fob, his thumb still on the door button. Jayanta sheepishly slid into the passenger seat, his face burning. Sachin chuckled as he fastened his seatbelt, but quickly sobered as the vehicle trundled out of the garage.
He turned to the young man sitting next him.
“Sukriya bahut dhanyavad, Saathi.”
The rest of the trip was spent in companionable silence.