I wasn’t sure how much time had passed since I had returned to Cosette’s floor. My sense of time was greatly thrown off by the changes that occurred in me. I was certain having time frozen around me didn’t help either. Would my phone’s clock have corrected itself by now?
My thoughts were somewhat interrupted when Cosette said, “I really should get something to eat before the sun comes up.”
“You said you don’t kill people, so how do you get food? Blood banks?” I asked.
“Well, no. From people, generally. I just am careful about how much I take and from whom I take it.” she replied.
“Oh. I suppose that makes sense. Isn’t that dangerous for them?” I inquired.
Cosette quickly assured me “They certainly feel tired afterward, but I don’t think it’s too dangerous. I always watch after them for a while after feeding. They really are safe, at least as safe as I can keep them.”
“What about the bite marks and their memories? I’d certainly go to a hospital if someone bit me, so there must be a strangely high number of reports.” I commented pondering what being a vampire was like.
“Why don’t I just show you?” she told me.
“What!?” I exclaimed. “Sorry. I wasn’t meaning to pry too much. I am really curious, but… well…” I started really considering letting this girl bite me. The idea was somewhat horrifying to me, thinking about how helpless victims always seem in movies. Yet I wanted to know what people go through to assure myself that vampires really could leave people unharmed. “I suppose, but you have to bite me somewhere that I can hide. How does this work even? You don’t seem to have long fangs or anything.” I told her, not wanting Alma to know about this.
Cosette smiled and took hold of my hand. “Don’t worry. You won’t feel a thing. Or… Maybe.” She looked confused. “What are you?” she asked.
“Umm… Human.” I told her.
“No, you’re obviously not.” she claimed.
“The master is far more than a human.” commented Mila, still standing nearby.
“Yeah… You won’t be able to use your magic on him, Cosette. Sorry. He really is human-ish though!” exclaimed Aaliyah.
“I’m missing something here. What magic? What did you try to do?” I asked.
“I usually don’t bite people. My parents taught me all of their tricks. When feeding, I touch a person’s skin and send some of my blood inside them, using it to cut off their sensations temporarily as I create an opening. Then I take a little blood and heal their wound.” claimed Cosette.
“Oh. That’s… different. Sorry, I seem to be pretty good at blocking magic by reflex now.” I admitted.
“I noticed.” she replied with a smile. Then she let go of my hand.
“Is that how most vampires go about feeding then?” I asked
“No, I’m afraid not. Many do bite people, literally drink their blood, and kill their victims. It’s more efficient, you see.” stated Cosette with a frown.
“Well, not really. How’s that more efficient? Sounds messy to say the least.” I told her.
Aaliyah explained “They don’t use up their magic to feed, boss-man, sir. The whole point of feeding is to get energy. How Cosette feeds uses up energy, so she’s getting far less from any given person than she could.”
Cosette was quick to inform me “I’ll get better though. My father was really skilled at it. My kind tend to hone their skills a great deal over the years, making the use of our magic far more efficient than when we start.”
“Pardon, but Portentia would like to enter.” stated Mila.
“That’s fine. Please let her in.” replied Cosette.
The door swung open in front of Portentia who looked ready to knock.
“Hi. Mila told me Cosette was hungry, so I thought I’d save her a trip.” explained Portentia after quickly lowering her hand.
“Oh. You were serious earlier?” asked Cosette.
“Well, yeah. I’ve had a few vampire friends, and it’s not like you can hurt me.” commented Portentia with a shrug.
Cosette look confused, so I told her “Portentia does feel pain, but she regenerates incredibly fast.”
Looking from me to Portentia, Cosette said, “I see. Well, not really. What are you then?”
“I might as well tell you, since everyone else here knows. I mean, Aaliyah trusts you, right? I’m Calamity, the superhero.” stated Portentia, obviously quite proud of herself.
Cosette giggled. Seeing Portentia frown, she quickly said, “Sorry. Really. I’ve never met someone who refers to herself as a superhero before. About the name… don’t you feel that’s a bit less than heroic sounding?”
“Don’t worry about it. I like to think of myself as the Calamity that comes to those who do evil. If you’re ever interested in helping people, I wouldn’t mind a vampire sidekick.” replied Portentia.
Still looking amused, Cosette said, “I’ll be sure to keep that in mind.”
“So how do you like to do this? Quick bite and be done, or do you like something more elaborate? One of my friends liked to act out a horror scene as often as not.” explained Portentia quite nonchalantly.
“Here. Let me see your hand.” stated Cosette as she walked over to Portentia.
Portentia met her halfway and held out her hand, which Cosette grasped. Cosette’s eyes appeared to glaze over, and then she fell to the ground.
“Cosette?” I asked, rising from the couch.
Portentia knelt down and lifted her up. Then she assured me “Don’t worry about it. She’s fine. Vampires sort of get high off my blood. She’ll be back with us any…”
“Oh my gosh! What are you!?” exclaimed Cosette, suddenly leaning up.
Portentia quickly adjusted her hold and then set Cosette on her feet. “Superhero.” she replied with a shrug.
“I’ve never felt anything like that before. I feel like running or dancing. There’s so much energy!” exclaimed Cosette with a huge smile.
“Dancing! Yay!” exclaimed Aaliyah.
“Dancing? What? What time is it? Oh. Hey, Portentia.” asked Emma, still seeming quite groggy.
I told her “Sorry, Emma. I’ve been learning about vampires, and Cosette’s feeling a bit energetic.”
Emma nodded and said, “Yeah. Not really her bedtime, is it.”
I shrugged, knowing I had a great deal more to learn about vampires. Things were just getting started.