"David! David, stop, what are you doing?!" Her voice was hoarse as she backed away from the advancing figure creeping down the alley toward her, his face contorted into some strange expression that made her blood freeze. He looked murderous. Adelaide Connors shrieked as his hand shot out, backwards, the heavy revolver in his hand making contact with her skin, striking hard enough that she felt bones give way in her face, her body falling backwards with the shock.
"You just aren't worth it anymore, Bird." His voice was cold with indifference, and he aimed the revolver at the flat of her chest, just above her breasts, on the left hand side.
The sound of the blast deafened her ears momentarily, and then even the ringing was drowned out from the all consuming pain that exploded through her limbs, centered on her left hand side. She gasped, feeling blood pooling within her lungs, time splashing agonizingly by. She convulsed, her body jerking as it was apparently attempting to reject the bullet that had already passed through her, and was lodged in the pavement beneath her. She coughed, lungs trying to dislodge the red liquid that was beginning to drown her, splatters of blood decorating her face, and the pavement beside her as she struggled for air.
It became apparent a few minutes (hours, it felt like) later, that she was not dying. She hadn't bled out, was not asphyxiating on her own blood. She was still alive, and in too much pain to think clearly. Hearing footsteps approaching her limp form, she managed to rasp, "please. Please, kill me."
Her eyes focused through the pain as the assailant knelt beside her, and she found herself staring into a pair of warm brown eyes. "Please, kill me, oh, please, I can't take this." She begged, knowing her vision was blurring again from the tears that occluded her stark green eyes.
A cool hand pressed against her demolished cheek, and she heard a sharp intake of breath that wasn't hers. Why was this hand so cold? "Please, it hurts." She gasped. The haze of tears cleared from her eyes and she realized the person was a male, and he was scouring her face with his eyes, brown hair dusting across his eyelashes. His features were kind, concerned even, and she thought that maybe he was going to call 9-1-1. But he did something strange instead, and she watched as the whites of his eyes bled red, the skin around them turning dark as the veins dried, a pair of fangs dropping low into his mouth. He was going to kill her. She smiled, closing her eyes, knowing that death was finally going to claim her.
Tanner Scott had never quite believed he was capable of showing mercy, or kindness, knowing his kind and what he had done in the past, but some distant, deep part of him wanted to change that, and he roamed the streets seeking some sort of redemption. He hadn't counted on stumbling across the broken body of a dying girl. She looked like she was dead, but as he approached, his sensitive hearing picked up on her rasping voice, begging for him to kill her.
If he was merciful at all, he would end it for her. Snap her neck and call it done, but something about her called to him, and he stopped, made the mistake of looking down. In all his 500 years, he had never seen anyone quite like her, no one with nearly enough fight as she had. Her face was nearly obliterated, crushed by a blow from something metal, but the features that hadn't been affected were smooth, angular and striking, and her eyes reminded him of Ireland.
The gunshot wound in her chest was fairly severe, and he knew if he didn't act soon, she would drown in her own blood, although he was surprised that she hadn't by now. He felt his eyes bleed red as his fangs descended into the cavern of his mouth. He had intended to kill her, but now that he had seen her face, he couldn't bring himself to end it. Instead, he brought his wrist to his mouth and bit, ripping open his flesh to let his blood fall free. He pressed it to her mouth, and let it trickle down her throat, hoping, praying, that it worked. Having never saved a life before, he wasn't sold on the idea that his blood could heal her.
What he was doing was not mercy. He was helping her live a few more years in misery. Mercy would be killing her.
He watched as the open hole in her chest closed, and the bones in her fragile face rejoined, color returning to her cheeks, her eyes opening as she glanced around, bewildered. "W-what?" She rasped, staring at him, no doubt wondering why he had done it.
When he spoke, he lied through his teeth. "Letting a life like yours slip would be a detriment to society." The expression on her features told him that she didn't believe him for a second. He sighed, and holding out his hand, helped the tiny young woman to her feet.
Looking at her now, he realized she was beautiful. Her features were perfectly symmetrical, and, while covered in droplets of blood, her skin was porcelain, almost translucent. Her red hair fell down her back in ringlets, and he imagined when it wasn't soaked in her own blood, it would fall, tousled, over her tiny shoulders. Want surged his veins, and he found that he wasn't letting go of her hand.
"W-who are you?"
Reading her own name from her thoughts, he smiled gently, unable to help himself. She didn't seem so scared of him, as most others would be. "Tanner." He replied, and pulled her closer to him, absently thumbing the blood from her face.
"I'm Adelaide." She said, staring at him, almost in awe. "Y-you saved my life. I... I owe you, big." She murmured. He merely nodded, realizing that his eyes were still red, his fangs still lowered in his mouth, the scent of her blood still affecting him. But he didn't want her blood. He wanted to taste her a different way. Unable to help himself, he leaned forward, and captured her lips with his, kissing her deeply. He was surprised that she responded to it at all, as he found her leaning into him. He pulled away a few moments later, and looked her keen into her Irish eyes.
"You won't remember that." And using his compulsion, erased the kiss from her mind. But he wouldn't erase himself. Those eyes would haunt him forever if he did.
And he realized, in that moment, that she was someone special, someone who he could live with saving, maybe even protect. Even vampires needed a friend at some point (although he had a sinking feeling that she would end up being something more.)
Sighing, he lead his Irish eyes back to his apartment to get cleaned up, and recover, reading her story from his mind, and deciding this was safer. Well, as safe as one could be, when he had to feed soon. Somehow, some way, he had hope that maybe, possibly, he was going to change, that he would finally be okay.