4. Encounter

It was when I suddenly woke up did I realize that I had fallen asleep, probably for quite some time. I frowned, as the vampire inside me growled again. My self-imposed chains of control were breaking apart as the exceptionally alluring scent lingered in the dusty air, like a gift from heaven.

Of all the things that could have happened, it had to be this.

Without a second thought, I popped another two more tablets as a precaution. It was pathetic that I had to depend on an overdose of this drug to prevent any unwanted 'accidents' from happening. But I didn't have a choice. Breaking any of the rules here would be equivalent to expelling myself from this hideout.

I got up, and immediately saw the delicious figure walking down the dark corridor towards my direction. It was her again, the same eyes, hair, and most obviously, scent. I grimaced. I didn't like the effect she was bringing onto me. It was a disturbance, an unwanted intrusion. What was she doing here? This area was supposed to be out of bounds to all. Her attention seemed to be wandering everywhere except at the fact that she was in the same location with a vampire alone. But then again, her limited human senses could only lead her to realise whatever was in front of her.

Humans are weak. They have no special ability, no enhanced senses; they basically have nothing useful that would put them on an advantage against others. Driven most of the time by their emotions, their defenceless physique made them a very easy prey. There was no need to put in much effort to capture one; they just naively walk into danger themselves, just like what she was doing now.

Her scent wasn't as overwhelming as before, since my hunger had been curbed, but it was still strong enough to remind me of the incentives if I attacked her now. The setting was perfect. There was no one else here. I was confident of doing a clean and quiet job. Besides, if she was really a new student, then no one would notice if she disappeared. I could just make this quick and easy for the both of us.

She kept walking, but came to a sudden halt right in front of the row of lockers that I was on. She turned behind abruptly, as though hoping to catch some non-existent stalker standing behind her. She seemed tensed for some reason, but I didn't think that she had found out my being here by now. I jumped off the lockers agilely while she was still trying to convince herself that there was no one else here with her. I initially wanted to wait until she finally realised that this wasn't somewhere she should be and leave by herself.

But my patience and thirst weren't that gracious today.

"Hey," I called out. She was startled by it and her bag crashed hard onto the floor. Something inside shattered lightly. She turned back cautiously, and the same fear resurfaced back into her eyes.

How predictable.

"What are you doing here? Don't you know that this part of the school is forbidden to all?"

"I didn't know that… I…I got lost…," she stuttered nervously. She looked like I was going to eat her up. "I was trying to find the cafeteria…"

One would need to have a horrible sense of direction in order to end up lost in a place like this. She was a lost sheep, wandering in the lair of the beast. It just encouraged me further to take the opportunity to devour her. In addition, her scent…it was indescribable how appealing she was just by standing there. She was the ultimate satisfaction, a luxury, brought directly in front of me. However, I was forcing myself to waste away this chance. I had to concentrate on forcing myself to stay rational or she would be dead by now.

I had to make her leave now.

"You are very tempting, you know?" I frowned, "Human and all."

She bit her lip nervously. "And…that is bad news?"

"Very bad. I can even imagine what you would taste like in my head now. Nothing beats the taste of pure human blood." Just a mouthful would be more than enough to satisfy my longing thirst. The taste would be exquisite, incomparable.

I thought that my words would be more than enough to send her running like how it had always been with my other potential prey. However, it didn't seem to have an effect on her. Strangely enough, her original fear was gradually dissipating. She just remained there, staring back at me innocently, as though waiting for me to come up with another trick to scare her away.

"Aren't you afraid that I might harm you? I'm a vampire, you know."

"I knew that," she muttered to herself.

"You do?"

That surprised me a little. She knew I was a vampire. She knew I was dangerous. She knew that I could just grab her any moment and kill her. And she was still standing here speaking to me?

Is she out of her mind?

"Then why are you still here? Normal humans would have made a run for it," I said, "Wait, let me correct that. A normal and sane human wouldn't even think about coming to this school." Normal humans would have stayed in their little human town leading their vulnerable human lives rather than come to a school like this and risk getting harmed.

"Are you saying that all humans in this school are weird?" she rebuked, obviously more offended than scared.

"Something like that." She did deserve a little credit for taking such a tone of voice with a vampire. Not many people have the guts to speak to me like that. "So, are you going to make a run for it or not? If you are looking for the cafeteria, it's out the door behind you and turn left."

"You are letting me go?!" she exclaimed, staring at me like I had made the biggest mistake in my life, "I thought I was going to be your lunch?!"

So she did know how tempting she was. And yet she didn't run away. Things were getting more interesting than I thought. No one had ever offered themselves up to me as food. She was the first one ever to do so.

"You want to be my lunch?" I scoffed, "You've got to be the weirdest human I've ever come across."

She was confused. Well, at least she still had the common sense to know that it was illogical that I was rejecting someone as mouth-watering as her.

"We are banned from consuming any form of blood within school compounds."

I paused. I decided to try and scare her one more time.

"But if you really want to become my food, I don't mind bringing you out of school. I would prefer to savour you for myself than share with the others."

"No thanks," she quickly said.

Out of nowhere, a sudden rush of craving inside me triggered my suppressed thirst. This was bad. I was gradually giving in to my instincts as we speak. I was getting thirsty again. The blood tablets weren't enough anymore.

I picked up her stuff and passed it to her, directly showing her my intentions of wanting her gone. That bit of shortened distance was more than enough to tear my insides apart. But I tried to hold myself back before I could hurt her. "You'd better get going. You wouldn't want anyone to catch you here."

"If it's a forbidden area, then why are you here?" she challenged, taking the bag from my hands.

I was caught unprepared by her reply again. Her reaction was deviating from how a normal person would behave in front of a vampire. How did she manage to care so little that it was a vampire she was speaking to? Such mannerisms towards a blue blood would never be tolerated in the vampire society. In addition, the way she associated me to her was as though I was her equal. It was audacity to associate me with that of a mere weak human…

But I wasn't turned off by it. I didn't despise it. Perhaps I was so sick of those fake attitudes that the others wore while facing me that a little impudence once a while was actually refreshing. It was something different from what I faced every day.

This human girl right in front of me didn't even seem to care that I was a vampire.

The thirst was no doubt unbearable, but my ignited interest in how else she would react urged me to just keep her here a little while longer.

"To be alone," I answered.

"From your bodyguards?" she immediately questioned back. I had never been asked so much before. Most of the time, no one dared to care about my business.

"Hmm…you know about that too?" For someone new, she sure knew quite a bit.

She immediately placed a restraint on her curiosity, finally giving the respect that a vampire was meant to receive. "Am I not supposed to? It's okay if you don't want to answer."

"It's no big deal I guess. Besides, I have no need to hide from them. They come and go as I tell them to. I just wanted to be alone, to get some peace of mind, until you came along…and triggered my senses."

"Oh, sorry…. I'll go now…" Her tone sank straight into disappointment realising that she was the disturbing factor here. Her expression was plain honest. I didn't have to know how to read minds to tell how she was feeling.

"It's fine. I should go too. I've cut classes the entire morning anyway." Her tasty scent has tainted the air here and every single breath had become a struggle. No point staying here any further and torture myself.

"Okay then," she mumbled, pushing up a faint smile, "See you around…, I guess…?"

"You are still thinking about being my meal?" I scoffed in disbelief.

This was classic. Anyone who was lucky enough to make it out alive after an encounter with a vampire would never think of meeting another one again. She was starting to make me suspect if I was a total failure. I should have frightened her from the very beginning and made her wished that she had never met me. I was supposed to carry the traditional perception that had been imposed on vampires. I was made to put fear into people. In addition, I was sure she knew that there was the possibility that I might lose control the next time we meet. But it turned out that she didn't mind seeing me in school again?

Her scent aside, this would definitely leave a lasting impression.

"By the way, I heard something crack when you dropped your bag," I added, "You should check it out."

There were few seconds of blank on her expression as she tried to make sense of my words.

"Oh no!!" she exclaimed in horror all of a sudden, "My laptop!!!"

She stood down to ground level and started to pour the contents out from her bag. Carefully, she took out her laptop and opened up the screen slowly. There was a large crack drawn across it, and although it was obvious that it had spoilt, she was still trying to switch it on stubbornly, hoping that some miracle would occur and revive her laptop.

"I'm sorry," I said. I couldn't prevent feeling slightly apologetic at how pitiful she seemed. Perhaps humans have the ability to make you empathise with them? I guessed if I hadn't scared her just now, it wouldn't have spoilt.

"Why did you apologise?" she grumbled, "It's my own fault that it's spoilt."

She didn't think that it was my fault? "How so?"

"If I hadn't been so paranoid, I wouldn't be startled by you, and I wouldn't have dropped my bag and cracked it."

That didn't make sense.

"Why were you being paranoid?" I asked.

"Never mind that," she groaned, rolling her eyes, "I was just being stupid like always."

She stuffed everything back carelessly into her bag and stood back up. Her ruined mood was written all over her face.

"See you," she muttered before walking off towards the directions I had given her earlier.

Our conversation lasted for only a few minutes, and yet it was definitely more interesting and entertaining that anything else that I had encountered in a very long time. I believed that this was going to be the last time we would meet. I wasn't going to put myself in this torturous position anymore.

Since that was case, I guessed it wouldn't do much harm to at least know her name.

"Hey, what's your name?"

She was slightly taken aback as she turned back to face me. I seemed to have caught her off guard by my sudden initiative that she needed a few seconds to find the right words, even though it was something as simple as a name, to say.

"Chris…," she finally said, "Short for Christabel."

"Right…, Chris. See you then."

To be continued...