10 A human burning with passion (Leo)

Julia is so cute. Too cute for her own good.

She's waiting for something, with her eyes closed and her breath heavy. She's so lucky that I'm not thirsty, or I would have...

Ah, let's not think about it right now.

That weird feeling hasn't disappeared yet, but it's way less burdening right now. I would be able to live with it, but Julia looks so desperate.

It's odd to see a human burning with passion: all their emotions have a low amplitude. Amadeus said that their bodies couldn't stand it if they felt like we do.

Looking at her right now, I just want to help her. Yet, I can't just take advantage of this. What if she gets scared and runs away? Who will look at me with such pleading eyes, then?

My first hypothesis was that Julia was empathic. It happens with humans. They have some ways of sharing emotions, maybe to make up for the truth that they don't feel emotions to the fullest. But, there was no contact between us when it started.

We weren't even sharing the bed when it began: I was on the other side of the room, reading.

When I heard her breathing change, I walked to her and found out that she was sweating. Only after checking her vitals, I confirmed that she wasn't having a nightmare.

On the other side, the feeling started to reach me as well.

So, I lay down next to her and waited to see how her body would react to my proximity. I only found out that her limit is ridiculously short: all of a sudden, she woke up and started to search for relief. Unfortunately, skin contact wasn't enough. We had to kiss, and only then the feeling was smoothed down.

Now, it's bearable. Only a trace of it is itching my muscles to touch Julia, but I have it under control. I can say the same for this girl.

She's still waiting for my move, even though I've just said that I won't bite her.

«Relax,» I whisper, noticing that her heart is getting tired of all this excitement. «And breathe slowly...»

She looks at me with resentment as if I stole her last candy.

Oh, little girl, don't you see that I'm helping you?

Still, she obeys my orders. She's trying to calm down, but I can sense her distress. Meditation techniques won't help her right now.

Her little heart is still racing, and I don't want her to suffer because of it. All her muscles are tense, and humans don't usually pass unscathed after so much pressure.

«What a pity,» I utter and kiss her neck slowly.

She winces, surprised, and her breathing accelerates. Here we go again.

«Calm down,» I tell her. «If you don't calm down, I'll stop here.»

She widens her eyes and nods, showing me that she understood the situation.

When she's in control of her actions, I let go of her wrists.

«Don't move.»

I push her hair away from her shoulder and uncover her skin. If it were for me, I would have torn apart this damn t-shirt. Yet, Julia wouldn't approve of it.

Or worse: she would again go into that crazy state.

I nibble her shoulder, and she sighs. She tilts her head, showing me the sight of her veins. Just for a second, the thought of sinking my teeth in her neck crosses my mind.

Fortunately, it's just a moment.

«Now, you're feeling better,» I deduct.

Her heart is finally beating normally. The rhythm is still fast, but it's within what humans experience during frights or sex. I'm not in the mood to guess which of these two is the cause for Julia.

«Thank you,» she says, finally rational. She's at a loss of breath but calm.

She's expecting that I back away, but I'm so comfortable in this position. Her thirst has calmed down, but I'm starting to feel selfish.

I don't want to let go.

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It's not synchronised like last time, as she doesn't feel anything.

Amadeus will have a lot to explain to me, damn it.

«It's gone,» she utters. Is she trying to cheer me... or herself?

«And there wasn't blood involved, this time,» I notice while lying back on my side of the bed. In the end, I don't have any right to expect more.

Julia clenches her fists and offers me her tiny wrist.

Oh, dear! She doesn't know when to feel fear.

«Calm down, kitten. And don't offer your blood so easily. Someone may take advantage of you.»

«I'm not offering it to just anybody,» she explains.

She's sitting on my bed, wearing one of my t-shirts. Her hair is messy because of sleeping. And because of me. Offering her blood with a dull expression, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. Her eyes look at me, unbothered.

Why did I let her go?

Oh, right: morality.

For the same reason, I have to ignore her pulsing arteries. Her scent is mixed with mine. If we got out of this room, anyone could guess what we were doing.

«When the sun sets, we'll have a chat with Amadeus. I'm sure he knows what's happening to us,» I say.

«Will he find the solution?»

«I hope so. However, Amadeus is the elder here, and he knows a lot. If he doesn't help, no one can.»

«How old is he?» she asks, curious.

«I think around four hundred.»

«Oh, not that much! And you?»

«Twenty-seven.»

She tilts her head and observes me attentively.

«You look younger,» she says. «But I guess it's normal for your kind. You age way slower, don't you?»

«We grow up with the same speed as humans. It changes after puberty. I'll probably stay like this for a couple of centuries.»

She presses her finger on her chin, the nail grazing on her lower lip. She's counting, supposedly. Her eyes look a void in the air, at something not visible to anyone else. Then, she seems to have figured out something.

«You were born not long before the beginning of the wars. I heard that vampires' natality rate increased so much after their presence was revealed to the world. Is that true or another lie they taught us?»

«That's true.»

«Your students, too. Are they this young?»

«They're all teenagers, born after the first wave of calamities. It turned out that what we needed to bear children was death.»

«It's so strange to look at: you, teaching a bunch of students so near in age to you,» she giggles. «It doesn't happen where I come from, so I was surprised at first.»

«Age is not that important around here. I'm their teacher because I'm the strongest around. Well, except maybe Amadeus, but he doesn't like to spar, so it's difficult to determine.»

She doesn't even doubt a word, accepting my explanation with a nod. How funny.

«I knew I did the right thing by entrusting my life to you!» she exclaims with a big grin. She's in such a good mood after the rush of emotions she experienced a while ago. Her cheeks are slightly red and warmer, while her eyes are smiling.

Damn it, I shouldn't have let go...

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