Quite aware that Melanie was trying to speak softly so that the elders didn’t hear, Razi picked up her words and gave a small nod, but didn’t elaborate on the subject. She didn’t care about speaking out against the elders, but she could respect the fact that Melanie was not okay with it, especially since she wanted something from them. Razi didn’t notice Melanie’s poor health until after she checked in with her mother, and the vampiress slunk off to a wall. She had expected the girl to stay right beside Tok.
Before Razi could stay anything to her though, Tok began to stir, his fever dissipating enough for him to be aware of the situation. ”Mother” Tok mumbled, his voice confused. His mother answered, hushing him and saying that everything was alright. Tok wouldn’t be hushed though. He could see his mother, and that he was home. But he could not see Melanie. “No… Mel… Melanie?” He questioned, trying to wiggle his head from his mother’s lap so that he could get a better look around. His Melanie had to be close. When he spotted her, he managed a small smile. “Mel… brought me home… you’re crazy.” He said between breaths. His eyes finally began to focus a little, and he saw how hurt she was. “Mel… you…”
“She needs to feed.” Shey said, walking in to the hut. Tok grew silent, saving his energy. He still watched Melanie though, unwilling to look away. Shey looked at Melanie and then at Tok’s mother. Bringing a vampire into their territory was simply far too dangerous.
“Dinner is just about prepared.” Tok’s mother said, though the statement almost came out as a question for Shey. He nodded. “That will help.” He said, revealing to Tok’s mother that he had, in fact, meant the other kind of feeding. Her smile fell, and she looked down at Tok with sadness. No doubt Melanie had already been feeding on her son, she thought to herself. Tok was far too sick now, though, which meant it had to be someone else.
Tok’s mother asked Shey if it could wait until they left, and Shey adamantly refused. He didn’t state it, but he feared that Melanie wouldn’t make it home if she didn’t feed, and then the vampires would come and enslave them all. It simply wasn’t worth it. One of them would have to make the sacrifice. They spoke in their tongue, trying to figure out how to handle the situation. At the same time, more gangers appeared, having brought dinner for the family. They were filled in by the other siblings as to what happened, and most simply accepted the new face and moved on with their routine. One of them gave an extra bowl of the nutritious soup to Razi, who brought it to Melanie. She had picked up that the vampire needed two kinds of food though, and she turned to Shey after seeing Melanie up close once more. “I will volunteer.” She said, a bit louder than she had anticipated.
At first her mother refused, but Shey convinced her to let it happen. Razi sat down to eat her meal beside Melanie watching her nervously. “I…will it hurt? A lot I mean? I once fell out of a tree and broke my arm, so it isn’t like I don’t know that things can hurt... I just… I want to kind of prepare myself, you know?” Razi rambled to Melanie, hoping for some sort of comfort from the stranger. After the main meal, quite a few of the siblings departed, finding the hut a bit too crowded with a vampire there. Others simply had things that they wanted to do with their peers, or didn’t like the elder being in their home, and so found excuses to leave. Tok’s father never returned, but his mother stayed by his side. Shey came in and out with some herbs and things, though with a nervous look from Tok’s mother, he sat and stayed when he noticed that Melanie was going to feed.
Razi helped her over to a corner, so they would have some space, and yet still be in the room and near Tok. There wasn’t anyone else in the corner, and Razi quietly said that they needed some time undisturbed. Tok’s mother nodded, too nervous to actually speak to her daughter at the moment. Razi sat down, and tried to relax as Melanie prepared to feed off of her. The feeling of the venom, despite any warnings from Melanie, was a complete shock to Razi. She didn’t have a human body, or the need to try to counteract the drug, and so she was swept away by the euphoric feelings they brought. There was absolutely no pain, just the wondrous venom coursing through her veins.
Melanie would notice something strange too in Razi’s blood. Namely, it wasn’t really blood at all. The clearish blue liquid provided all of the nutrients that gangers needed, including the healing properties that kept them alive for so long. Of course, vampires already had an ability like this, and so their desire to enslave the gangers came from something else, another attribute they gained from feeding on the doppelgangers. What Melanie wouldn’t know until she finished feeding, and perhaps moved around a bit, was that her body could tolerate the sunlight once more. It wouldn’t last forever, but the more she fed on a ganger, the longer it would last. Melanie had been very weak, and she fed for a while. When she had finished, Shey waited for her to join them, so that he could explain what he would be doing with Tok.
“Melanie, you need to be very strong, are you sure that you are ready? This is what we need to happen. Tok’s body doesn’t recognize that the vampiric state is appropriate. It won’t let him complete the change. We need to tell his body that this is alright, and that he doesn’t need to heal. To do that, we have to almost completely drain him of his blood, and then he needs to feed on yours. If we can get enough of his blood replaced with yours, his body will accept that as the normal, and adapt.” Shey looked outside of the hut. The sun was setting, and the rays were poking through. He knew the effects of feeding on a vampire, and turned back to Melanie as some of the rays had hit her side. “Are you alright?” He asked. They could certainly move into a darker area if she needed.
Tok was simply grateful to have Melanie close once more, and clutched her hand when it was within reach. “Mother…” He tried to speak, ignoring Shey’s protests that he should remain quiet and save his energy. “Mother, I love her.” He said. Once those words were spoken, he was able to relax a bit more, and turn his attention back to the ceiling above him. Shey waited for Melanie, and made sure that Tok’s body was as relaxed as it could be. He pulled out a few more herbs, things usually used for interrogation, but they were necessary now.
“These will slow down his healing to give us enough time to do this. If he replenishes his blood before we can replace it, we have to try again and he will be much weaker.” He explained, and helped Tok swallow those as well. The herbs slowed his body down even more, and he seemed almost paralyzed. He was still breathing though, and Shey pulled out a knife. “I can take care of the draining, if you don’t want to.” He said. He would have to get a bucket or something, and in his opinion, it would be more painful for Tok’s mother and siblings to see than Melanie feeding off of him.