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Dark Lords: Book One, Shadows Chapter 21

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Chapter Twenty-One

Warm Up

New Oxford General University Hospital, New Oxford, Planet Albion, Realm

 

Alex had slept through Friday and woke Saturday afternoon. Jason had taken to calling him Treacle-Head to the clear disapproval of the hospital staff. Jason joked that he was still getting nothing when he tried to read Alex. The doctors had warned Alex that another major mental attack would most likely result in incapacitation. Jason had translated that to mean a drooling vegetable.

When the doctors had gone, Jason leaned in close.

“I’m happy you’re no longer talking gibberish, boy-yo.” Jason said seriously.

“What aren’t they telling me, Jason?”

“You were stroking, Alex. Micro-strokes all through your brain. If I hadn’t bit you —even then it wasn’t looking too good. But that treacle you call a brain, hung in there. I heard them talking, you might have holes in your head now.”

“You bit me and that saved my life?”

“No,” Jason shrugged, “not really your life, though it helped.”

Alex understood. He nodded. “Thank you, Jason. I don’t understand this Vampire bite stuff, but thanks. Um, not to sound ungrateful, but am I going to, you know, turn into a Vampire?”

Jason laughed, then looked thoughtful, he pursed his lips, one eyebrow raised.

“Normally I’d say no. But you Treacle Head, hmmm, they took antigens from me. Usually that’s only a concern with Thralls. People who get addicted, they even drink Vampyre blood. Mind you, I drank more than a liter of your blood and,” Jason’s face was all serious, “they’re not going to tell you everything, they never do. But we should be connected, we’re not. I mean, I had some strange dreams last night, but … you’ve had three doses of my serum.”

“Three?”

Jason nodded.

Alex took a deep breath. “Antigens?”

“Every Vampyre’s bite is unique. No one can be turned into a Vampyre by a bite alone, at least not without multiple exposures and you’d have to be over eighty percent compatible. Mind you, I was bleeding all over you. And the bacta-virus can transfer directly through blood.”

They were silent as Alex lay in his bed and Jason sat on the chair. The room was nice, better than most hospital rooms Alex had seen, not that he’d been in that many. He looked at Jason. Dreams.

“Bouncing a ball on a patio?” Alex asked.

Jason nodded, then he said, “Swimming in an ocean and watching for someone. I wanted them, her with me, but she had to watch from a transport.”

“My mother suffers from agoraphobia.” Alex looked at Jason. He took a deep breath. “An airfield, crowds of people. A shot …”

Jason’s smile was sad, his voice soft, “Hey, treacle-head, let’s not … go there, okay?”

Alex nodded. The silence again settled.

“I thought you might want to keep this?” Jason handed Alex his personal taser. “Just carry it on you and it’ll recharge from body heat, just takes a few hours. I put it on a charger earlier. If you want it—”

“Yes, thank you, Jason. This thing sure packs a discharge.”

“Yes, well, it’s not quite legal.” Jason said leaning in close. “It scans like an external battery back up.”

Alex nodded thanks. “Jason, if there is anything I can do for you, I mean you saved my, um, mental capacities. Anything?”

“There is one thing that seriously concerns me.” Jason shrugged. “I’m just not sure how to bring it up.”

Alex looked at Jason. “Just say it, Jason.”

“Well, Alex.”

“Yes?”

“In the bathroom, at the Clover …”

“Yes?”

“You didn’t wash your hands.”

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