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Maxine's Choice: Chapter Two

I woke screaming. Every nerve in my body seemed to be on fire. The burning pain was excruciating. My body thrashed and shuddered.

“Shh, Maxine, relax. You need to relax your body.” A man’s voice said. “It will make things a lot easier if you relax.”

I felt cool hands on my shoulders, pinning me down.

I breathed through my nose and tried to relax my muscles. It made the pain a little more bearable but I still moaned and convulsed. I opened my eyes to slits to see who this man was. It was the man from the park.

He smiled down at me and said, “See? I know, the pain…it hurts. But it will be over soon. I have to leave but I’ll be back when it’s over.”

Another burning pain made me spasm out of control. He released my shoulders then left. I rolled over on my stomach.

I don’t know how long this went on but it felt like weeks.

Soon the pain receeded leaving me weak and I felt like passing out. I could feel my heartbeat slowing which wasn't as comforting as I thought it would be. And soon I did pass out.
 
I sat up quickly gasping for air and looking at my surroundings. I was in a dark room. There were no windows and no furniture. A door was the only entrance.
Then it opened and the man walked in.

“How are we today, Maxine?” His voice was velvet and his skin was pale. He wore nice clothes, they looked expensive. He seemed to be waiting for an answer.

“Where am I? Who-who are you?” I rasped out.

“All in do time, child.” He smiled and put out his hand.

I backed away from it but instead of scooting a few inches away I was on my feet and across the room. I took everything in quickly.

“Wha-what hap-”

“Maxine, I need you to relax.”

“How do you know my name?!” I shouted.

“Maxine.” He now stood in front of me. “Relax.”

I gasped at his closeness and moved to my right. In the process I slammed into the wall. He was on me in an instant; hands holding my forearms. I looked into his silver eyes then at the door he’d left open.

“Wait!”

Before he could finish I broke free of him and was out the door. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was running, I was just running. I ran up some stairs and out another door. It led me outside then onto an empty street. The world around me blurred as I ran faster than I’d ever ran before.

The night sky seemed bright though it was night. The buildings were abnormal.
Then it hit me. A sweet aroma that burned my throat. I came to an abrupt stop.
I lifted my head and smelt the air. I let out a pained shudder as I exhaled.

I took off again this time letting my nose be my guide. It took me to a small dirty ally. There was grind everywhere and the stench of garbage nearly made my gag.

But I wasn’t here for that. I jumped what my nose told me to go after.

It screamed and thrashed as I sank my teeth into it but soon stopped. We fell to the floor and I drank till it was empty, loving the way it soothed the burn in my chest. When it was empty I brought my face from its neck and pushed myself off.

I stared down at what I had just done. The ‘it’ was a person. A lonely hobo that had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I coughed out a cry as the realization hit. I’d killed someone. I could feel his blood rushing through my veins. It made me stronger, I was now able to think a little clearer.

The ground underneath me shook as I fell to my knees crying. I let out an ear shattering scream, not caring who heard.

A hand caressed my back gently but I didn’t run this time. I already knew who it was.

I looked up into his eyes and saw disapproval. He didn’t look into my eyes but took in my bloody face and the corpse in front of me.

“Maxine.” Was all he said and he need not say anything else. I knew I’d done wrong.

“What am I?” I asked. My voice was small, almost childlike.

He walked past me and examined the homeless man’s body. He shook his head as he saw the man’s neck. His hand snaked out and I heard a searing noise. He’d cut the man’s neck to look as if someone had slit his throat. It was normal in this city. Was I even still in New York? He pulled the man against the wall then came to stand in front of me.

He took my arm and lifted me to my feet.

“You’ve made such a mess,” he said wiping my face.

A car horn blared and I nearly jumped two feet in the air. I looked for the source
franticly then looked back at him. My body shook with fear.

“Relax, Maxine,” he said caressing my cheek. “You’re alright.”

“Wh-who are you?” I asked. “What am I?”

“My name is Gabriel and you, Maxine…are a vampire. As am I.”

I stared at him like he was insane. But what other explanation was there? I’d just sucked some poor man dry.

“Come on.” He placed an arm around me. “Let’s go home.”

I pulled away from him and he raised an eyebrow.

“I’m not going to hurt you Max, just…come on. Someone was bound to hear that scream of yours.”

He waved his hand forward and I stepped into him. He guided me back to the street and we walked on the sidewalk. His hips brushed against mine and the feel of his hand on my stomach made me a little dizzy. I looked up at him and saw he was looking down at me. His face was expressionless but his eyes showed warmth. I looked down immediately then shivered but it wasn’t from the cold winter air.

Gabriel took of his jacket and placed it around my shoulders. It had come to his hips but on me it went to my knees.

Who was this man?

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