Down in the kitchens, we were not alone. Servants flitted around, sculley maids whisking bottles of blood, I could see meats in the pantry along with some bread. I sat down on the rocking chair next to the fire, my ankles crossed and my arms resting on the sides of the chair. Felix handed me some buttered bread, and poured himself a glass of blood. I grimaced as the thick, viscous liquid swirled in the cup. He raised the glass to his lips, his throat pulsing as he drank. When the glass was gone, blood stained his bottom lip, but he quickly licked it away. 

"Why do vampires drink blood?" I asked him.

"I beg your pardon?" 

"You heard, why?" I asked him, suddenly feeling curious.

"Why do human's eat? Sustenance, energy, taste" he shrugged, sitting across from me. 

"But vampires aren't alive, so why do you need it? Surely you could live without it" I countered.

"Blood contains a person's essence, by drinking it, we take that life force to give life to our frozen bodies. It is essentially like giving me life"

"So without it you would die?"

He shook his head, "don't think you could kill me that way. Yes, I suppose in a way you could, I would rot away to nothing, but blood would bring me back all the same, you can't starve the dead Beatrice"

"Does it taste...different?" I wrinkled my nose, "Like, the difference between rabbit and steak?"

"Yes, it varies greatly, your blood for example, is the darkest I have tasted, it's heady and well, to tell you the truth erotic"

I blushed furiously, "how can blood be...erotic?" 

He laughed, "you say that word like it is a sin on your lips"

"Perhaps it is, I do not speak so crudely" I said, remaining somewhat aloof.

"Mayhap not" he mused, "but you can speak boldly, too boldly sometimes"

I laughed, "you sound like my masters at Rowhurst"

"You often got into trouble for your language?"

"Most frequently, and they all took great delight in punishing me for it" I said, "but the place was still home, and I still miss it"

He did not say anything, he did not have to, we were both thinking the same thing; that soon he would destroy it. I wondered if I'd ever forgive him, though banished the thought as if it happened I would be dead. I suddenly longed for the outdoors, for sunlight, but it was not to be mine and I knew i'd been condemed to a world of shadows. Don't fool yourself, you chose this. 

My thoughts were cruel, and judgmental of my own actions, had I killed Felix sooner, would we be in the position we were in? "Can I go outside?" I asked, setting my plate aside.

"Beatrice, you know that-"

"I cannot leave the grounds, but I need air Felix, I cannot stay trapped indoors, it's torture"

He thought carefully for a moment, then nodded, his face was austere which I was beginning to learn was just his manner; Felix was not a man to share emotion with ease, though I was starting to believe that he had shared far more than me than he would with another. I had to jog to keep up, but we left by the servants door and for a moment, I was filled with such joy, and an overwhelming peace that came from being outside. 

"Can we go to the lake?" I asked him. He nodded, and I eagerly kicked off my slippers and started running, the gown trailing behind me as my hair worked it's way out of the band, loose strands flying in all directions. I stripped out of the dressing robe, leaving it away from the water and undid the corset laces, I was left in just my under garments, but oddly didn't care. I felt concealed by the dark, though the moon provided plenty of light. The clouds hid the stars that blanketed the sky, the oily look reminding my of a painting as light resonated behind the floating vapours. 

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