Oliver's Hunger
Page 13

 Tina Folsom

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Oliver nodded. He sure hadn’t taken it, and since Quinn and Rose had been gone for a week already, nobody would have touched the supplies since they had been restocked just before their departure. “I’ll get it.”
“Two bottles,” Maya called after him.
Oliver ran into the kitchen and jerked the door to the pantry open where a large refrigerator stood in one corner. Inside, bottles of AB-Pos lined up with bottles of A-Neg and other varietals. Every conceivable blood type was represented. Quinn had thought that maybe if Oliver found his preferred blood type, he would be better able to curb his hunger and resist the urge to hunt for blood. Oliver had humored him and said he would try, but in the end, even after tasting all eight blood types, he had no particular preference for either. Blood coming straight from a human’s vein was still his preference.
Oliver snatched two bottles of O-Neg from the shelf and let the refrigerator door fall shut.
By the time he was back in the living room, Maya had pulled more supplies from her black bag: needles, a long elastic tube, alcohol, and some ties. She was already preparing the girl’s arm by swabbing the inside of her elbow with rubbing alcohol.
Maya gave him a sideways glance. “Swab the lid with alcohol, then push this through it.” She handed him a needle that was already attached to a tube. “Hold the bottle upright for now.”
He did as he was told while watching Maya binding the girl’s upper arm with the plastic tie, then inserting a different needle into her vein. At the end of it, a plastic contraption made sure that no blood flowing back from the vein would escape.
“Are you done?” she asked.
Oliver nodded. “Yes, what now?”
“Turn the bottle upside down and hold it up. Give me the end of the tube.”
He watched as the red liquid from the bottle started making its way down inside the long tube. Before it reached the end, Maya squeezed the end of it, so no blood could escape. Then she connected it to the needle in the girl’s arm. Turning the plastic valve at the side of it, Maya released the pressure on the tube, allowing some of the blood to escape and with it the remaining air. Then she turned the valve fully. The blood ran to the needle, then disappeared inside the girl’s arm.
Turning the valve a little more, Maya looked at the bottle, regulating the speed with which the blood flowed into her patient. With bated breath, Oliver watched as the level of blood sank with each minute. It was a slow process, but he stood there almost frozen, not daring to move the bottle in case it disrupted the flow. He only let his eyes stray.
The girl still looked pale, and her breathing was shallow, the rise and fall of her chest barely noticeable. At the same time, her beauty was undeniable, her lips seeming redder than any human’s—maybe an optical illusion because of the fact that she was so pale. Her eyes were closed, but he still remembered how she’d looked at him: with desperation and fear in them. She remembered clearly what the other vampire had done to her. For some odd reason, he wished it wasn’t so. Rather, he wished that she had no memories of what had been done to her, when he knew instinctively that her memories would clear him of any wrongdoing. Yet the frightened look in her eyes had cut right through his chest.
“You’ve done this before, right?” he asked Maya, keeping his voice low, not wanting to disturb the quiet in the room.
“During residency, sure.” She shrugged. “A long time ago.”
Oliver shifted nervously. Did Maya know what she was doing? “But once you’ve learned it, you never forget it, right?”
“Hardly.” She glanced up at him. “I was a Urologist, not an Emergency physician.”
Before she’d been turned—that’s what Maya meant, but she didn’t need to say it. Even he knew that much about her past. She’d been attacked by one of their own, one of Scanguards, and turned against her will. In the end, everything had worked out for her, and she had bonded with the second-in-command at Scanguards, Gabriel.
Maya pointed to the injury on the girl’s other arm. “That aside, I’m sure I can fix this.”
“Should I lick her wound?” It would make sure the injury healed quickly, probably within minutes.
“Did you wipe her memory?”
Surprised at her question, Oliver shook his head. “No, I didn’t. I wasn’t the one who did this!”
“Stop it, Oliver! I’m not discussing this now.”
“But I am!” He sucked in a breath of air. “I didn’t do it. I didn’t bite her, I didn’t drain her, I didn’t wipe her memory. She practically fell into my arms, running from another vampire. She begged me to help her escape. So I did. And she’ll tell you that when she wakes up.”