Negative Space Ch. 07by_bloom_©
Over the next few weeks I lived in a dream. Although I technically still had my own room I woke up each night in Theo's bed, ate a professionally prepared breakfast, and walked down the street to my office. There I met up with Sandra, and we spent all night planning, ordering supplies, organizing, and putting together my practice. I had never worked with someone so accomplished, and I had never worked with such an endless stream of money to back me up. When the exam tables arrived only a week after I had ordered them, I was amazed. A little money and a little power can make miracles happen. Sandra even got me a few young vampires who had trained as nurses within the past 20 years, and I'd weeded through them till I found one who really knew what he was doing. Nurse Elliott was a medium sized, sturdy man with a mouth like a pirate but an amazing eye for detail and healing. I met with him twice before deciding to hire him, since I was nervous his age and his attitude would keep him from giving me the respect I felt I deserved. On the second time that I met him, however, I grilled him, asking him every trick question in the book, trying to catch him in a wrong answer. Finally he turned to me, saying,
"Listen, Doc, you're just not going to know if I'm the right one for the job unless you try me out. I heard about what you did for the princess, and I want you to know that I would have done the same. It's not training, it's not brains, it's just something that is born within a person--that need to be of aid, to help and to cure. That deep guttural feeling when you're in the room with someone in pain that forces you to help them out of that pain. I have that. So I do hope that you hire me--I'd love to work with you, but please don't keep drilling me. You know I'll answer every one right."
I was quiet for a moment, and smiled. "Well of course you've got the job, Elliott. That's just what I wanted to hear."
About three weeks after I first went home with Theo, I decided to open the clinic. It wasn't ready by any means, but I was getting anxious just filling out paper work and ordering medications. It wasn't like most of my usual training would apply--vampire skin is impossible to break by anything but fang, silver, or fire. No syringes, no scalpels. Vampire sicknesses range from delirium, hunger, and sunburn to certain more mysterious illnesses that were cropping up more and more often, and no one knew how to heal them. In most cases the vampire would simply waste away, drinking as much blood as possible, but receiving no sustenance. Occasionally vampires went mad and sometimes they were wounded--all things I would probably deal with. I was nervous, but thrilled. I came home that night and sat on the edge of Theo's bed.
"So, do you think I'd have patients if I opened this week?" I asked him as I bent over to take off my shoes. Theo came over to help me, holding each foot in his smooth hands and kissing my arches and ankles.
"Of course. And if not, I have quite a few subjects I could order to go to you." He smiled, nipping at my calves.
"Oh shut up, Theo. I mean really. Do you think anyone actually wants to see me?" I laid back on the bed and Theo pulled up my shirt and softly kissed around my belly button.
"Absolutely. Stevens has been fielding hundreds of requests for your contact information since this whole debacle started." I put my hands on either side of Theo's face and pulled him up to me.
"Debacle? Is that what I am?" I asked, acting distressed, but knowing that Theo meant nothing of the sort. He chuckled and leaned forward, letting his lips gently graze mine. I closed my eyes--no matter how used to the sensation I was, Theo's lips made me feel like I was falling backward, rotating, drifting, every piece of me spreading away from my core. He leaned closer, lightly licking my bottom lip and all the wandering pieces of me came zooming back and smacked together at full force, deep in my abdomen. I sucked in, inhaling his warm, cedar scented breath, and caught his lips in mine. Immediately he began sucking and diving his tongue between my lips, sending me hurtling backward into space. He shifted between my legs and grabbed my legs by the knees, pulling them up to my shoulders. Breaking free of my lips he held my knees with one hand while freeing his dick with the other, lifting the hem of my skirt and pulling aside the thin cotton of my panties. The feeling of his knuckles grazing my pussy had me panting and gasping, but I didn't move. He had me pinned with my ass in the air--I stop him if I wanted to. I watched his huge cock come closer, nuzzling my wet entrance. His broad shoulders blocked out the lamp, throwing me into shadow as he teased my slit with the tip of his cock. I tried to push my pussy forward so that he would enter me, but he pulled away, shaking his head.
"Not till I say so." He growled, slapping my upturned ass. I shouted as the smack resonated through the room.
"Ow, Theo, that hurt!" I cried, but he responded only by smacking the other cheek as well. The sharp pain burned through my body. "Ow!" He smacked me again, shaking my whole body. "Theo," I shouted, angry now. I began to push with my thighs and wriggle my shoulders to get him to stop, but I was pinned. There was no way I could move anywhere, and he was in complete control. He slapped my ass again, and I could feel a flush rise to the skin. He slapped the other cheek now, and I gasped. The heat and the prickly pain was flooding through my body, embarrassingly landing right in my pussy. With the next slap I felt a gush of wetness squeeze from my cunt and dribble down my asscrack. Again he slapped me, growling now.
"Look at you, you slut. You love this. Don't ever try to tell me what to do." His voice had become hard and cruel, and it filled my body. He slapped me again, and another dribble of wetness eased out and dripped over my asshole as I closed my eyes in shame. I had never done this before, I thought, and started to say, but another slap took my breath away.
Suddenly he pulled his cock away from my burning cunt and leaned down, dipping his tongue into the pool of wetness he had created. I gasped and jerked, but couldn't move my hips away from his mouth. He licked straight up to my clit and I felt my whole body exploding, torrents of sensation and desire overcoming me. He smacked my ass again and caught the next rush with his tongue, groaning. He dragged his tongue down, touching it to my little puckered asshole and I screamed. Bouncing and bucking I tried to push off his arm, but his tongue kept contact with my asshole and licked around it in circles that mirrored the rolling waves of heat inside me. His tongue slowed, settling right on the opening, slowly adding more and more pressure until I cried out and my sphincter gave in, letting his tongue enter me. I could not believe he was putting his mouth there but the soft, wet, warmth of it had my whole body aching to come. My blood was pounding and my pussy was throbbing. I moaned and tossed my head side to side as he tongued my ass and sent my orgasm crashing over me, completely taking over my whole body.
He licked up all the come that rushed from my pussy and stood back up, thrusting his cock into me before I realized what he was doing. Again, I screamed. My sensitive tunnel was full and swollen and he groaned with pleasure as he pushed himself farther into me. He fucked me as hard as he could, letting go of my knees, grabbing my hips, and with his big hands pulling my whole body up into his. My pussy sucked and slurped as his cock rammed into me and I felt the orgasm I thought had just finish begin to build again, wrapping around my core like a snake, tightening and squeezing me as he slammed his dick as deeply into me as possible. I began to cry out and moan as he slapped my ass one more time, grabbed my leg and sunk his fangs into my calf. He sucked deeply, pulling my blood out of me and into him and I came, clamping down hard on his cock. He let go of my leg and lifted my hips off the bed as he came, pumping his seed into me.
Theo collapsed on the bed next to me and let my legs fall down again. I rotated my ankles to let the blood back in and rolled on my side to look at him.
"Fuck, Theo... That was amazing."
Theo smiled, my blood still on his lips. "Listen to me when I tell you what to do, and you'll always come like that," he said, still grinning.
I shook my head, a little disturbed by the sincerity in his words. I sat up and pulled my clothing back to its place. "I'm awfully hungry, you need anything?" I asked, walking to the door.
"No, I'm perfectly satisfied." He mumbled, sliding underneath the covers. I walked down to the first floor, thinking hard about that experience. I had loved it--being told what to do and feeling like there was nothing I could do about it. But that was the thing. There actually was nothing I could do about it. I needed Theo to understand that even though I liked the sensation, he needed to respect the fact that as a human there was no possible way I could push him off me. I was a strong human, definitely, but vampires could hold me down with their little finger, no problem. I found Stevens in the first floor receiving parlor speaking with a few guests. As I walked in, everyone turned to me, staring.
"Oh, excuse me, I didn't mean to intrude."
"Not in the least, Dr. Crane. Is there anything I can do for you?" Stevens responded, ever polite.
"Oh, I was looking for some dinner," I said, hesitantly. "Also, um, do you mind if I ask you a question real quick?"
"Absolutely, Madam. I'm certain these guests will not mind." He said, eyeing them coldly, as if suggesting that they leave. The group of men and women shuffled their legs, but no one moved to go.
"Oh, well, I just wanted to let you know that I've decided to open the clinic on Monday. I know that you have been handling all the messages for me about matters of healing, and I was wondering if you could send out a notice to let everyone know I'll be taking patients starting around 8pm?" The crowd began talking loudly to each other, making quite a bit of noise. When I turned around, however, they were entirely silent. Stevens shook his head.
"Here are some of those people in the flesh," he said. "I tried to get them to leave, but they insisted on seeing you. Even when I told them the clinic would be open soon, they refused to leave. I'm sorry, milady."
"Oh, don't be sorry, Stevens. I'll handle this, no problem." I walked over to the crowd. There were seven vampires there, four men and three women. "How can I help you?" I asked.
One woman stepped forward, and bowed. "Dr. Crane, ma'am," she began, looking at me straight in the eyes. "We understand that you'd like to wait until you officially open your clinic, but we were wondering if you would do us the invaluable favor of coming tonight to see someone who is very dear to us?" She paused, as if hoping I would respond immediately. Of course I wanted to, but I thought I should be safe. I was in a new world now, one where people were often persuasive, vindictive, and very good at manipulating others.
"Tell me more," I said, attempting a cool I certainly did not feel.
"Our coven leader, the most gracious and just woman any of us has ever served under, has fallen ill. We cannot identify the cause, nor do we know a cure. We just--" and here she faltered, her face betraying her emotions. "It would be a terrible thing to lose her, milady. Please help us."
I sighed. So much for a cozy dinner and some sleep. "Alright. Stevens, please secure me three guards. I'd rather not die tonight in an ambush." Stevens nodded, respectfully bowing and rushing out of the room. I left the crowd of vampires in the receiving room and hurried to my bedroom to change. I packed up a bag with snacks, a change of clothes, a few books on vampires that I'd gathered over the last few weeks, and my medical kit. I was heading back downstairs when I ran into Theo.
"Where are you going?" He asked, growing large and blocking the way.
"I've been requested for a house-call. I'm heading out. I'll be back as soon as possible."
Theo didn't move. He growled slightly as I tried to push past him. "No. Not tonight. I do not trust those peasants."
I turned to Theo, shocked and angry. "When I entered into this agreement, I made it clear to you that I will not follow your orders, and I will not stand for jealousy or dominance. I work for you like any other employee, except I am not replaceable. So, if you want to say something, you may, though you risk me quitting. If I quit working for you I will work for others, and neither you nor the rest of your kingdom will be welcome at my clinic." I pushed him aside and marched past. He grabbed my wrist at the last moment, jerking my whole body backward.
"Well at least take some guards," he said, venomously.
I scoffed. "Not to worry, I already have them stationed out front." I continued down the hallway and down to the front door. Stevens was waiting for me with a cellphone.
"Here, ma'am. Take this, and call for anything. All our information is programmed into it already. The guards are waiting for you at the car."
I thanked him and left, hopping into the car with two large, grizzled men, and one wiry, springy woman. The car sped away.
There was a single crystal hanging from the rear view mirror that was swaying slightly as we pulled up to the building. The car ahead of us stopped, its brake lights glaring red through the crystal and glowing on the seat beside me. I could feel my heart thudding, and knew that every vampire in the car could hear it as well. The group of vampires that had come to me at Theo's mansion piled out of the other car and I took a deep breath, steadying myself. The door swung open, and I stepped out, following behind the woman who had spoken to me back in the receiving parlor. It was an old railroad apartment building and we marched up 6 flights of crumbling stairs before she opened up the door to apartment 6C. I walked in behind her, unprepared for the stench of rot that wafted over me. She turned.
"Dr. Crane. I have to tell you: we're not rich. We're not trying to trick you into anything. This is our leader, Helena. Please tell us you can fix her."
She pointed to what looked like a skeleton. The skeleton moved, and I nearly peed myself in fright. I controlled myself, though, and knelt down beside her. The vampire's skin was withered and sunken in, her eyes looked hollow and dead. I introduced myself, and placed my hand on her arm. She was cold to the touch, and even though vampires rarely decided to exert the energy to make themselves warm like Theo did, I was a little unnerved. I used my fingers to gently touch her forehead, moving the pads of my fingers down her face, neck, chest, and shoulders. I gave her a breast exam, though there was little left of her breasts, but when I touched the space between her breasts her whole body jumped, and a faint but high-pitched keening sound came from her mouth. The woman from earlier knelt down next to use, holding Helena's head between her hands.
"It'll be alright, love, it's me, Augustina. I'm here, sweetest. Don't worry--I've brought the doctor to make you well."
Coven leader indeed. I could see the love flowing forth from Augustina, and wrapping itself gently about Helena. I lifted up Helena's shirt and saw an orange-sized wound in the middle of her chest. It looked like something was eating away her flesh.
"Have you seen this before?" I asked Augustina.
"Yes, it's been growing larger. When she first started feeling ill wasn't there, but it quickly turned from a small rash to an open sore, and then grew larger and larger. We've tried cleaning it out, putting all sorts of antiseptics on it--nothing helps." I nodded, slipping on a pair of gloves and taking a ten inch thin steel rod. I placed my left hand in Helena's hand, and used the other to prod the sore gently with the steel rod. Helena's crooning came back and she grabbed my hand desperately. Tears of blood welled from her eyes as I investigated, but I found no sign of fungus, infection, or foreign object. I sighed. I checked the rest of her body and found nothing unusual, except for the starvation state she had gone into.
"And you've tried different kinds of blood?"
"Certainly! From men, women, children, the elderly. We've gotten her cold blood, blood straight from the body, blood from humans who are healthy and from those who are ill. We even gave her lifeblood, but it did nothing!"
"What is lifeblood?" I asked, curious but nervous.
Augustina's head dropped a little, as though she were embarrassed. "It is said that the best curative of all, for vampires, is the lifeblood of any young human. Lifeblood is the very last blood to come before you drain and kill them. It is that which if left behind, would allow them to continue living." I nodded, disgusted but understanding. People will do anything to save their loved ones. I took from my bag an instrument I had devised and was made for me the next day. IT was a long, silver tube with a flap at the end.
"I'm going to have to biopsy this flesh here so that I can analyze it in my lab. I need to know if there's some sort of infection that I'm missing. It is going to hurt like hell. Can you please hold her arms so that she does not try to kill me for this?"
"Of course," Augustina said, her eyes fearful and slightly mistrusting. I took that moment to push the instrument into the wound, and the flesh sizzled and popped. I clicked the button on the end of it and the flap snapped shut, cutting off a piece of flesh. I withdrew it from the now-smoldering biopsy, and placed the sample in a jar.
"Now I need blood. Can you open one of her veins for me?"
Augustina nodded again. I pointed out the vein that I wanted and she extended her fangs, nicking her lover's skin just perfectly so the blood came running out into my test tube. As it filled I pulled away the test tube so that Augustina could lick Helena's puncture wound shut. I packed away the samples, and took vital signs, even though I knew they would not reflect human numbers in the slightest. I found an extremely low blood pressure and very faint heart rate. Her temperature was the same as the room, so I didn't even bother writing it down. I shined my flashlight in her eyes to check her pupillary responses, and they responded, slowly but surely. It looked to me like her body was just breaking down, entering a starvation state. I leaned over her and asked her if she was able to respond to me. She nodded gingerly, wincing. I took her medical history as quickly as possible, trying to identify any potential causes, but it seemed like nothing had changed, she hadn't been exposed to anything, and for all I could tell, there was no reason for this illness. I thanked her, thanked the group, and took their contact information.
"I'm going to do some tests on the samples I took and do as much research as I can. If anything changes, call my cellphone, and I'll come as soon as possible. I promise I will do my absolute best to care for Helena." They showed me out the door, and as I stepped back out into the hot night I took a deep breath. The air was heavy with humidity and subway steam, but it felt good to breathe it deeply into my lungs, washing away the stink of that apartment. I shivered, despite the oppressive heat of the night, thinking about her dry, withered skin. I rolled down the windows of the car, thinking hard about the wound on her chest.
"Um, excuse me, driver?" I asked, leaning forward. The man looked up, making eye contact with me through the rear view mirror. "I'm sorry, what's your name?"
"Michael, ma'am." His voice was low and quiet, and I leaned forward to hear him.
"Well Michael, do you mind taking me to my office instead?" I gave him the address and he nodded, changing course as he came upon our neighborhood. As he dropped me off in front of my building he got out of the car and held his hat in his hand, looking expectant.