Darkar listened to her go. Listened to the heartbeat moving strong in her stomach. Stella knew just as Darkar knew. Tapping his fingers on the arm of his arm chair, he waits. That’s all he could do now. With the book gone, a weight lifts from his chest that he hadn’t known was there in the first place. Rolling his shoulders, he attempts to relax. Feeling that it was useless, feeling the familiar burn in his throat of hunger, he considers his options. How could a blind mind eat? He questions himself mentally, pushing himself from his chair and fumbling with his cane for a moment. Tapping the silver tipped end on the hardwood floor, he listens to the sound bounce off things and return to him. Closing his eyes he tries his hardest to focus. To see.
Uselessly, he bumps his cane against the floor and against each lip of the stairs. Defeated, he creeps upstairs passed the library, and into his room. Laying still dressed, Darkar wonders how long he would be blind. In theory he shouldn’t be blind forever. Yet that was just a theory. Modern medicine could do anything. Laying in the dark, unable to see, Darkar felt himself grow angry. Anger stemming from the realization that he would have to get all his book translated to brail. Or as many as he could. Along with learn to read brail. Also came the next conclusion of restocking his wardrobe. Dark colors have always matched well together, at least he thought so, in that case he would have to hire someone to help him buy new clothes. No sense in looking ridiculous when already blind to begin with.
Darkar didn’t know the answer to her questions, he wished he did. Slowly, deliberately he tells her to place it in a box and to put it in her attic and forget about it. If anyone were to ask about it, it was gift from a friend, she never read it. Darkar knew that he was condemning her and possibly himself. In his weakened state, he needed her to take it.
“I’ll come back for it when I’m strong enough. Surer of myself. I will return for it.” He answers further, hoping to put away all over her fears. Now no one knew the book existed, let alone knew that vampire existed besides her. A strong sense of knowing kept Darkar from telling her it was okay, that she didn’t have to take it. That he would tell someone else that they could take it. The fate of Darkar’s species depended on them remaining a secret in normal society. They had tried being a part of the human world, it didn’t work out well.
“Stella Darling,” Darkar begins, using her pet-name as though it were her real name. “I’ve been hurt seriously. I cannot protect myself, let alone tome. I need it to be hidden. I need it to be protected until I am back to full strength.” He answers her coolly, her friendly kiss nearly startled him. Just the same he leans into it tenderly as he always had. Questions drift from her like the beating of her heart, uncontrollable and strong. Exactly what had happened to him? Carefully he lifts his right hand, waiting for her to take it rather than him searching for hers.
“I was gravely injured during the war. That’s why I’m back so early.” Darkar could easily see how she would assume it was a knee or leg injure rather than something more serious. “I’ve been blinded dear. I cannot see at all.” His own heart sinks to his stomach at the words. For the last few weeks adjusting, he’d avoiding thinking them. Saying them entirely. He knew he would have to say them to her, not that she was ignorant or dull in anyway, but because eventually he would have to say them. To think them and come to terms with his new state of living.
“Shards of metal from a bomb imbedded themselves into my eyes. They are permanently there, that if I live long enough to have them removed.” He finished. Darkar’s voice drops several octaves as he relates the story to her. How it had happened and the heroes that carted him away from the battlefield. All fresh memories.
“I’m sorry, I’m sure you don’t want to hear this.” He apologizes after his reenactment. He nods toward the bookshelf. “The tome is there, you know which one right?” He asks finally. “Take it, protect it.”
Everything and yet nothing had happened. The small town just outside of New Orleans still stood. Untouched by the death and glory still floating over the open ocean like a fine morning mist. Newspapers still called for praise. Even though the war had been over a few months now, Darkar still heard the screams. Wearing a dark blue button up shirt and dark pants, he was transported back in time to a year ago. Bomb shells his broken earth, sending rocks and dirt into the air. In the distance a boy, barely eighteen, screamed. Fresh blood soaked the air, choking him and the boy’s bellows of pain rooted in the back of Darkar’s mind. Black and white images of mortars going off, tanks thrumming in the back ground, and bullets whining passed his head kept him far away. Swallowing thickly around the memories, he fought the emotions rising in his sightless eyes. Gentle rapping at his door pulled him sharply back to reality. Struggling to his feet, unsure, he starts toward the door. Helping him navigate the now unfamiliar black room is a silver capped cane of ebony wood. Carefully he taps it against the coffee table, trying to find the edge to walk around. A few tense moments of struggling pass. Finally, Darkar finds the front door, his vampiric smell letting him know immediately that it was her. Lowly her heart hammered in her chest, his hearing not used to being used so heavily yet. Swallowing again, Darkar tastes the air, using ever sense that he has left to determine if she was alone like he’d asked. A young man, a neighbor, comes over every day to help the him. The boy’s name was Jackson Witherspoon. Jack had helped him write the letter to Stella, asking her to come over and see him. Darkar had made sure that Jack mentioned an ancient tone that he wanted her to have.
“Welcome.” He cuts through her harsh interruption. Blindly Darkar bumps his way back to a new velvet armchair. Wavering he takes his time in putting his ass in the chair.
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