Negative Space Ch. 03by_bloom_©
Theo's eyelids jumped, something fantastic happening behind them, and I knew he was asleep. His eyelashes had blond tips, and the skin surrounding his eyes creased gently, showing his fondness for laughter. There was a small scar cutting through his eyebrow, a gap where the hair didn't grow. I brushed my fingers along his eyebrow, testing that spot, and following the scar down to its end above his eyelid. What had I gotten myself into? His nostrils flared softly as he breathed, the hairs that stuck out below his lips wavering slightly at each breath. I lifted one hand, lightly tracing a fingertip along his bottom lip, its softness surprising me. His mouth fell open, and as his breath warmed my hand, the arousal I had been containing so fiercely in order to massage him broke free. I gasped, the tingle from his breath spreading quickly up my arm, down into the core of my abdomen. I held myself still, letting the aftershocks of that single breath run up and down my legs, radiate to every corner of my body.
With more curiosity than self-preservation I touched my finger back to his lips, prepared for and accepting the rush this time, feeling my nipples harden and something between my thighs quiver. I slipped my finger between his lips, fascinated by the sensations he caused in me, gliding it to the tip of his tongue. The warmth and the wetness against my finger had me nearly jumping off the bench, each new flash of excitement pounding through my body. As he exhaled I lost my control, jerking my finger slightly, catching it on something infinitely sharp. A pinprick of blood slipped from my finger into Theo's mouth, and suddenly my world was a blur of motion and I felt my back slamming into the cement. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't move. All I saw were metallic silver eyes staring at me from inches away. I struggled to pull in oxygen, managing to wheeze feebly, and something changed. The weight that had held down my chest disappeared, and I could feel my arms again. The silver eyes closed and turned away from me.
I heaved and coughed, turning onto my side to pant heavily, touching my ribs to see if they were broken. I pressed my fingers to the back of my skull, finding gravel pressed into my scalp. I picked it out and sat up, looking for Theo. He sat, head in his hands, on the bench across the path from where we had sat earlier. He rubbed his chin, looking up at me wearily, sighing.
"I'm sorry." His voice was haggard, his breathing labored. "I--" he stopped. "You just surprised me, is all. I didn't mean to hurt you." He seemed resigned to something, I just wasn't sure what. His eyes were wide, terrified, and yet the rest of his body betrayed a deep exhaustion. I didn't know what to say.
"How did you do that?" I asked, getting up from the pavement. Theo looked at me sharply, suspiciously.
"I told you. You surprised me." His voice became hard and cold.
"Right, I get that. But you moved so fast, and your eyes..." I trailed off, looking to him for answers. His confusion was clear, and yet his suspicions overrode anything else.
"Training, I suppose. What were you doing with your fingers in my mouth anyway?"
"What were you doing falling asleep on my lap?" I countered.
Suddenly his entire face changed, his lips tugging upward in a smile he could not contain, his eyes surrounded by wrinkles as he let out a barrel laugh, his entire body shaking. He laughed so hard tears welled up in the corners of his eyes, and he fell carelessly to his side on the bench.
"Oh jeez, Lana. Oh boy." He could barely get a sentence out without stopping to laugh. "I just," and he started laughing again.
Now I was slightly annoyed. I had been quite patient with this bizarre man, and now this?
"Alright Theo, enough."
He settled down and sat himself back up, apologizing to me. "You see, Lana, you were just so earnest, and affronted, it was adorable! I haven't fallen asleep on anyone's lap in centuries." He stopped suddenly, nervous, but continued quickly. "I mean, it can't have been since I was at most 5 years old."
"And this gives you lease to laugh at me why?"
"I wasn't laughing at you! Just at the situation." He looked at me very seriously, suddenly. "Honestly, it is amazing I was able to. That is the type of leisure I thought I had entirely given up."
"Well it's clear that you take yourself entirely too seriously." I glared at him, touching the back of my head gingerly. "That really hurt, you know."
Theo stood up quickly, crossing the path in a stride and kneeling behind me. He took a sharp breath, and began puling my hair away from the spot that had become sticky with blood. I felt something cool, and wet, and a tightening of the skin. I heard him exhale, and realized he had been holding his breath.
"There," he said, combing my hair back down. "It should be fine, just don't touch it for a little while."
"What'd you do?" I asked, putting my hand up to touch it as he caught my hand and brought it back down again. The cool skin of his hand shocked me again, and I shivered as the lust from earlier began burning between my thighs again. I leaned my head back against his shoulder, breathing deeply. His smell was fresh and clean, but distinctly male.
"I just cleaned it," he said, his facial hair scratching my cheek as he talked and his breath warming my neck. I hummed slightly, rolling my head away from him and exposing my neck just a slight bit more, unable to control myself or the warm rushing flooding through my body from each point of contact. I heard his breathing deepen and quicken, his head shift to press his nose into the depression behind my ear, inhaling deeply. He groaned.
"You smell so good, Lana." He wrapped his arms around me and kissed my neck. My skin screamed at the touch and I felt every nerve in my body pulsing with need. My nipples tightened impossibly, the brush of his scruff on my neck tingling throughout my core. He opened his mouth, breathing onto my ear and gently nipping it, the sharpness of his teeth surprising me as I gasped for breath, my chest tightening inexplicably with passion. I pressed back against him, my breath coming so fast now I was almost whimpering for more from him. He pressed his hot open mouth down on my neck and I moaned out loud as he sucked and nipped the skin pulled tight there. At the sound of someone on the path he quickly stood up, pulling me up with him, and walking me forward so fast he had to carry me as my legs dragged behind. When I was able to register what had just happened, I began to walk next to him, staring at him. His face was determined and hard and he didn't even look at me. I pressed my hand onto his chest and stopped walking.
"Theo. Wait. What are you doing?"
"We've got to get out of here. You've--you've got to get home. This has been fun, but I'm not sure it'll work." He kept pushing me forward, and when I refused to walk he picked me up again, carrying me forward at an alarming speed.
"Whoa, hold on! Theo, stop!" I pressed against his chest, trying to get him to let me down, but his grip was like iron. I decided to change my tactics. I leaned close to his ear and whispered, "But we were just starting to have some fun," and ran my tongue along the edge of his ear, biting it lightly. He stiffened, but kept carrying me forward.
"It's not going to work, Lana. I have things to do, and this is simply not important right now."
I kept at it, though, breathing and licking and nibbling down his neck, ending it with a sharp bite to the base of his neck. I could feel his hardness growing against me, and at the sharp bite he gasped out loud, turning to press my body up against a tree at the side of the path. He held his face close to mine, breathing heavily. I could see the anger in his eyes combating with his desire.
"Lana..." he moaned, his forehead sinking to lean against mine. I turned my head slightly and leaned forward, catching his lips in a kiss. He froze for a beat before his self-control disappeared, and he sucked at my lips passionately, hungrily. I kissed him back, wrapping my legs around his waist and pulling him towards me. My dress slid up and his erection pressed directly into my cotton underpants. I groaned and threw my head back, letting him suck and kiss my neck and chest. He pressed his body into mine needily, pulling my lips back towards him to devour them. Suddenly he froze.
"She smells delicious, Theo. Sort of like night-blooming flowers. Like jasmine." It was a woman's voice, so close to us she could whisper and we heard her clearly. She stepped forward and leaned her face in close to my neck, smelling me. I pulled away from her, confused, and she grinned, showing the same peculiarly pointy teeth that Theo had.
"Truly delightful! Where ever did you find her?" She was stunning, her pale white skin glowing in the darkness and her golden blond hair shining in the light from the city around her. Theo disentangled himself from me, making sure I had both legs on the ground before he stepped back, but kept his eyes focused on the woman the whole time.
"Lana, allow me to introduce you to Mariella, a friend I hadn't expected to see this evening." Mariella nodded towards me graciously, her eyes trained on Theo's.
"It's true, this is an exciting surprise, Theo, but it's not for socializing. Your sister sent me." The atmosphere suddenly changed, the tension dropping out and an anxiety setting in.
"Why? What's the matter?" Theo's voice was strained, and his body poised as if to set off running if need be.
"Well, she told me to tell you not to worry, but she thinks she's in labor."
"She thinks?" Theo's voice started to get louder. "She thinks?" He was yelling now. "How can you not know?! Not to worry? Well what the fuck does she want me to do?!" I took a deep breath and allowed myself to slip into emergency mode. I put a hand on Theo's shoulder and turned to Mariella. "Mariella? Were you with her when she told you she was in labor?"
The woman turned to me, surprised, as if she had forgotten I was there. "Yes, I was. What of it?"
"Can you tell me how she was acting? Was she having contractions?"
"Yes." The woman looked at me closer now, a crease growing between her eyebrows. "They were coming every five minutes or so."
"How long are they lasting?"
"Well, when I left they were lasting for about a minute each, but I couldn't be sure." She paused, glancing at Theo, who I saw shake his head slightly from the corner of my eye. "Who are you now?"
"I'm a family practice physician. I did most of my fellowship on the Labor and Delivery hall at Columbia University Hospital. Does she have an Ob-Gyn or a midwife?"
"No, she hasn't found anyone to...suite her needs. We had assumed she could do this on her own."
"Ok, well, women give birth at home all the time, but without a midwife there, she needs to go to an ER to make sure everything is going smoothly. Where's your car, Theo?" I began walking up the path again, only to turn and see the two staring at each other intently. "Look, this may be a surprise to you, but we need to get to her quickly to make sure that everything is ok, and after that we can all calm down and make decisions about where she'll deliver and so on." Neither of them moved. Mariella lifted her hand up and touched Theo's face, her anxiety beginning to show through where before she had only seemed relaxed and disinterested. Theo pulled his head away, shaking it.
"No. She won't be able to help us," he said to Mariella. "This is not the moment." He turned to me. "Thank you for your help, Lana, but I'll go see to my sister myself. I'll call you later."
I didn't even mention the fact that he didn't have my phone number, and just stared at him. "Theo, I get that you don't know me very well, but I am a physician, and your sister needs someone, even if you won't take her to a hospital."
"No. Thank you, but my sister has quite a few...complications that would make it difficult for you to care for her." His voice was steel cold and I felt a shiver go down my spine. "I appreciate your offer, but now you have intruded too much into my personal life, and I need you to leave." He made as to turn back to Mariella, but now I was mad. I didn't care what the state of our relationship was, I wouldn't let him endanger a woman and her baby like that.
"You just quit it right now, Theo. You may think I'm some dumb cunt you can seduce and leave whenever the fuck you want, but I am an educated, stubborn fucking woman, and if you do not take me to your sister this instant, so help me god, I will go straight to the police and bring every fucking charge against you that I can, including attack, sexual assault, and intentional harm to another."
"You simply do not understand! You are not trained to help someone like her."
"I have seen more types of birth than you would know what to do with! Do not fuck with me, Theodore Wagner." There was a stillness, and the silence echoed fiercely between the two of us. Suddenly Mariella turned. Theo's head snapped over to look at her, growling warningly. She glared back at him and walked straight over to me.
"I don't care what Theo says, you sound like you know what you're doing. I was there with her earlier, and I'll be the first to admit that I was scared. I am scared. We need you." She took my hand and looked over her shoulder at Theo who was silently fuming. "This may be a little uncomfortable, and a little distressing, but if you're coming with us, you're just going to have to get used to strange things happening, ok?"
I nodded, confused yet willing, and I felt a tug behind my navel. The whole world went blurry and I felt a wave of nausea and dizziness. It was almost as if I were weightless, and yet moving at an extreme speed. It felt endless, but only moments later I felt pavement beneath my feet and I fell forward to my knees on a long dark driveway. At the end of the driveway was an imposing house, not quite a mansion, but definitely very classy and very secluded. We were surrounded by nothing but trees. I took a few deep gulping breaths, feeling the ground beneath my knees and my hands, letting the dizziness subside and I looked up to see both Mariella and Theo looking at me curiously. I pushed the thousands of questions out of my mind and looked up to the house.
"Is that where she is?" I asked, trying to stand up. Mariella nodded, stepping forward to grab my hand and help me up. She held my elbow firmly, giving me solid boost and directing me towards the house. I was still terribly dizzy, but I allowed myself to relax into it, and just moved my feet as I let Mariella steer me. Most important right now was to keep Theo from seeing me weak--I didn't want him to have any excuse to stop me from seeing the woman in labor. By the time we reached the front door I had my sense of direction back again, and Mariella let go of me to unlock the door, leading me into a long, dark hallway. I heard a moaning coming from the top of the stairs where a single light leaked out from the crack of a door. I pushed past Mariella and Theo, walking up the stairs. I knocked on the door and pushed it open a crack to look in. It was a large bedroom decorated very tastefully but in the most expensive materials. Folded over the end of the bed was a woman on her knees, her head pressed into the comforter. Next to her was a tall man whom I assumed usually looked imposing and serious, but now only looked scared. I strode over, placing my hand on her back. She looked up at me suddenly, scared and confused. Mariella spoke up behind me.
"It's ok, Inga, she's a doctor. She can help."
Inga looked up at me and I was amazed by her beauty. Even so scared as she was she radiated warmth and grace, her hair a stunning red gold held back in a long braid. I sat down beside her, moving my hand down to massage her lower back. Immediately she closed her eyes and dropped her head back to the bed, moaning.
"You just relax, Inga, and tell me when you're ready to talk. My name is Lana and I'm here to help you." I moved my hands down a little bit, searching for the sweet spot I knew so well. Having worked for so long in the Labor and Delivery hall I knew the process of birth front and back, and I knew just where she was hurting. I looked up at the man again.
"Are you her partner?"
"Yes, I'm Lux."
"Okay Lux, I need you to come here and massage Inga." He kneeled down behind her and I grabbed his hands, feeling the same burning attraction I had to Theo. I shook it out of my head and pressed his fingers right into the small triangle of her sacrum. "That's right. Now move in circles, right. Okay." I turned to Mariella. "I need you to go find clean towels, lots of them--big, small, anything. I need a bin for the dirty towels, and I need gloves. Do you have any sterile gloves?"
"I think there are some in the first aid kit--I'll go look." Mariella hurried out the door and I looked to Theo where he stood, face unreadable, by the door. I turned away when I heard my name being called by Inga. She looked weak and her voice wavered.
"Lana, I can talk now for a moment."
"Wonderful. Can I give you an exam?"
"Yes, of course. What do you need me to do?"
"I'll need you to get on the bed on your back. It'll be quick, and I'll let you guide me, okay?"
Lux and I helped Inga to stand up and lay back on the bed. I shoved pillows behind her so she could sit up a bit, and I directed Lux to massage her hands while we waited for Mariella. When she came back she held up one package of sterile gloves. I sent her out to make tea and bring back some toast, water, and juice, but everyone just sort of looked at me. Mariella shifted uncomfortably. Theo snorted. I looked over at him.
"What is it?" I asked, disliking his expression.
"Go ahead, Mariella, tell her. You're the one who brought her here. Tell her why you don't have a scrap of food in this house."
Mariella looked straight at me, and handed me the gloves. She seemed torn, but a moan from Inga, who was very uncomfortable on her back, and she looked back at me determinedly.
"We are vampires, Lana. We only drink blood."
I laughed, and said, "Are you serious?" thinking it must have been a joke. Mariella opened her mouth and pulled back her lips, and I watched her already unusually sharp canines lengthen into fangs. I froze, feeling scared for the first time that evening. She must have seen my terror and she put them away hastily, smiling apologetically.
"I'm seeing things, right?
"No...we honestly are vampires. I'm sorry to have to break it to you this way, but that's why we couldn't bring her to the hospital."
I took a deep breath. The dizziness I had felt upon the otherworldly travel earlier came back. I closed my eyes, breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth when I heard Theo laugh scornfully.
"I told you this was a mistake. Now we're going to have to deal with Inga and a catatonic human. Jesus, Mariella, why couldn't you keep your big mouth shut!"
I looked up at him, furious. "How dare you speak to her like that? You selfish ass! Your sister is in terrible pain right now because she's scared, you don't know what the fuck to do about it, and Mariella is only trying to help! Now it has become quite clear to me in the past half hour that you find me terribly dull and burdensome, but no matter how you personally feel, please do not insult my professionalism. If you would be so kind as to explain to me how you feed, I would like to make sure that Inga gets some energy because she is looking quite weak now, and she has a long, tiring process ahead of her."
The room was silent and I could practically feel Theo's anger at me it was so thick in the air. The laughter was so quiet I might not have heard it, but I turned around and there was Inga, laughing harder and harder at her brother's furious face.