A Few Sips Ch. 14
Day forty-three started at midnight for Domino. She wanted to spend a little time with Faith before she changed. Jo had said that the transition would take a few hours and that she would be unable to care for her daughter during that time. Samir and Shi had promised to stay up and see to Faith's needs. Domino knew who she was doing this for, and who she wasn't doing it for. Faith would need her, and she would need her as her mother and not as someone she could compel to do her bidding through the years. Becoming a vampire would ensure that Faith had a parent no matter what happened with Alexandru.
Every time she thought of Alexandru and him having lied to and left her, Domino reminded herself of what she had named her sweet little baby. Faith. She had to have faith that things would work out. With or without him. Preferably with, but she had no way of fixing it. It was a problem that she could not solve. No one could, except Klaus, and he was obviously getting exactly what he wanted so he would have no reason to release Alexandru.
They had decided to use the room that she'd shared with Alexandru in the basement for her transition, and Domino was sitting in a chair beside the bed, patiently allowing herself to be readied for the procedure that would make her into a vampire. It seemed very...medical...to her, the way they were doing this, but if it kept anyone from being able to control her, then so be it. She would rather it be this way. Mr. Hughes had remained with her, and Jo's companions, Cooper and Fionna had introduced themselves as they'd brought their equipment into the room. The young couple seemed friendly, and they were trying to explain everything to her as they went through their many checklists.
"Is this going to hurt?" Domino asked, looking at the large machine that had been set up right next to her.
"When we start draining the blood from your body, your heart is going to start pounding, it can be quite uncomfortable, it's trying to get blood to your organs. Yes, it will hurt at first, and then you'll pass out. Once we have removed a sufficient volume, we will begin infusing you with the vampire blood that we've collected. You'll wake up and for just a second, you will not be...happy. Then you'll get really thirsty and we have blood on hand to feed you with at that point." Jo pointed to a cooler that was set up at the foot of the bed.
"And the wings?" Domino nodded towards the furred black set on the three vampires in the room.
"That's the part I remember most." Fionna frowned, "The bones grow extremely fast, it's why the transition takes so long. You'll want to feed, and then you'll just want to sleep because you'll feel so exhausted, but you won't be able to because of the ache. You won't be able to do anything really as they grow, but once they're grown, you'll be able to sleep and it will be fine. You'll be a vampire."
"It will be a week or so before you can start taking the elixir. I feel like it's just safe to wait until your body is fully adjusted to the change. But after that, I'll make sure you have a steady supply of it for when you want to use it. I wouldn't suggest using it with Faith until she is older. Generally speaking, vampire children need that day rest much more than we do." Jo spoke as she sat on a chair beside Domino and put her hands on her knees.
"You are absolutely certain?" Mr. Hughes questioned from the far corner of the room where he leaned against the wall with his arms crossed in front of him.
"Yes, Arc. I want this. For me." She nodded, she was sure, 100% so, that she was making the right decision.
"Should we get started, then?" Jo smiled.
Domino nodded, "Nothing like the present, right?"
Jo chuckled and switched the machine on, "It'll take a bit for you to feel anything, but when you do, you're probably gonna get a little scared, but we are here with you and you will be okay. Oh, and I forgot to mention, you're gonna sleep extremely well, maybe even a little past dusk, and when you wake up, you're gonna have a pretty desperate need to feed."Domino bit her lip, "Even after all the blood you inject?"
Jo nodded, "Yeah, you're gonna be hungry, you'll feel a serious need to feed for the first few weeks, but nothing unmanageable. You're not going to go on some blood driven warpath or anything."
"Your senses will be really overwhelmed, remember that, right when you wake up. You're gonna be all jumpy." Jo grinned, her eyes sparkling as she leaned forward and took Domino's pulse.
"Like, my hearing and stuff? The things that you said get more intense?"
"Yeah...really intense. But you will figure it out. I promise." Jo adjusted the infusion level a bit and sat back in her chair.
"Oh, fuck. That feels fucking awful." Domino bit her lip and looked over at Mr. Hughes, who approached her at a brisk pace and sat on the edge of the bed, clutching her unattached arm in his.
"Breathe slowly, Dom. It shouldn't be too long until you're out." Jo put a hand on her shoulder as she whimpered a little.
"Arc." Domino leaned against his shoulder. Her heart was pounding like a marathon runner, trying to supply her body with oxygen, and the lack of it was starting to burn and make her dizzy.
No amount of deep breathing was helping and she felt her eyes stink with tears that there was suddenly no fluid for and she felt her head start to lull, and her eyelids sank. She felt Jo rub her shoulder, knew Arc was still holding onto her, and just before she lost consciousness, the image of her daughter shined before her face, and she knew she was going to be okay. She knew that this would keep the two of them together forever.
There was a knife in her chest. Someone had just thrust a knife deep into her chest and Domino opened her eyes and screamed at the top of her lungs. Sweet Jesus, that stung, she thought as she moved her hand up to take the knife out, not understanding when she didn't feel the blade where she knew it had been pushed through her rib cage. What the hell was going on? Looking down, she realized that she was naked from the waist up and lying on the large bed she shared with Alexandru. The sheets were different, a different shade even, and they smelled like the ocean, and chemicals. She could smell the chemicals, and that jarred her a little bit.
Looking around her, she had a hard time focusing for a minute as she felt the pain in her chest lighten a little bit and the growing ache in her back seem to intensity. Rolling to her side, she moaned and brought her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around her legs to keep herself in a fetal position.
"Dom, can you hear me?" Wow, who was on speaker? Dom put her hands over her ears a minute.
"Speak in a whisper, Arc, her hearing is really sensitive right now. It'll pass as she gets used to it." Domino could hear Jo say.
"Please stop screaming." Domino groaned as she rolled to lay on her shins, her face smashed into the mattress and her back pointed up.
"Your wings are already starting to protrude from your back, Domino. At this rate, you'll have them grown in about an hour and a half. Just in time for sunrise." Cooper whispered from the other side of the room, she felt like he was yelling in her ear.
"Great. Can you, can you guys just stop breathing for a little bit?" Domino moaned and covered her head with the pillow and squeezed her eyes shut.
"We should really go. She's gonna be okay in here alone." Jo waved at the others to leave and Domino shook, she could feel the air move as if she was getting him with waves of water, "Dom, there is a table right next to the bed to your left and there are several bags of blood on it. Just cut them open and there are glasses there to use. You'll be okay. I'll check on you later."
Domino moved a hand in the direction of the voice and then in the direction of the door and she heard Jo sigh and leave the room, closing the door as gently as possible behind her. Domino stayed where she was once she was alone. She could feel her back, could feel the growth of bone and tissue and while it didn't exactly hurt, it certainly didn't feel good in any way whatsoever. She was pretty sure her scapulas had become the base of the wings, and she could feel her back muscles growing and making new connections in order for her to have use of her new appendages.
Focusing on her breathing, she kept them deep and slow, and finally realized that there was, in fact, an ache in her stomach that was growing more and more insistent as she stayed hunched over on the bed. Eventually, that ache turned into a raging hungry cry and Domino jerked herself into a seated position on the bed and looked over at the table that Jo had mentioned. She could smell the blood, as if it were right in front of her nose, and she scooted over to sit on the side of the bed.
Lifting the closest bag, she took the scissors and cut it open. Domino was about to dump it into a glass when she frowned, looking down at the bag she held and lifted it directly to her lips. She drank the entire contents in one long, satisfying gulp and gasped in pleasure when it was empty, her eyes wide at just how delicious it had felt. Wow, no wonder Alexandru had always enjoyed feeding from her so much. Well, he couldn't anymore, not that she intended to let him, or could. Tossing the bag aside, she picked up another one and cut it and walked slowly over to the bathroom.
Flicking on the light, she walked inside, ignoring the hum from the fan above her head and the way the light seemed way too bright for her. Domino took a smaller sip from the bag and held it in her hands as she looked at herself in the reflection of the mirror. She was not sure what to expect, but she was pretty sure she looked amazing. Her blond hair was a mess, but it looked fuller, sexier, and she smiled, that was a nice side effect. Her skin was a bit paler, which she still thought was weird because vampires drank blood, they should be dark red. Her eyes, the brown was gone, it had been replaced by a deep, ruby red. Her already thick lashes seemed to have lengthened and she couldn't see any flaws to her skin.
Domino could tell her face was just a tad narrower, but other than that, she looked the same. Except for maybe the thin line of blood that had fallen down her chin as she drank. Licking at it, she turned so that she could see the wings she knew were growing. The sight of them was a bit startling and Domino shivered a little as she saw that the foot and a half that was already protruding from her back was covered in that super soft coat of black fur. She watched in wonder for a while as they lengthened, and then finally, she could see them start to unfold. They weren't as big as Alexandru's but he was such a big vampire. They were more like Jo's and Fionna's. Walking back into the bedroom, she sat down on the bed and finished off the second bag and grabbed a third.
The noise in the room was deafening and so was the air movement and smells that she was surrounded with. She could tell that the yoghurt in the kitchenette refrigerator was close to going bad, and she knew that Faith was giving Shi a run for her money on a diaper change that the two were in current negotiations with. She smiled, her baby girl was happy, loved, and protected now. And so was she. Domino drank the third bag and tossed it to the side before going to lay on her back. Her wings had a little longer to go, and she couldn't really focus on anything for long because of that weird ache in her back as they lengthened. She kept her eyes closed and let her thoughts drift to what would come next for her and for Faith. It didn't involve the spa, nor did it involve waiting around for Alexandru or finding someone to take his place. Sure, she'd suggested just such a thing to Mr. Hughes, but she knew he would never have said yes, they were friends. She wanted them to remain that way. The most important thing on her mind as she started to feel extremely tired, was that she had the ability to make plans, that there was no reason to be afraid anymore. She had her daughter, she was not going to lose her, and they were going to be together forever. That was all that mattered now.
"You're really leaving? This soon?" Samir asked quietly a week and a half later, on day fifty-three. He was sitting on the couch in the sitting room in the basement as Domino sat on the floor, her daughter on the carpet in front of her on her back, sucking on one of Dom's fingers, Jo had assured her that once Faith smelled that she was a vampire, the little infant would not try to bite her, even when she had teeth.
"Of course. I don't have any reason to stay here. I want to get a fresh start. Arc found me this little farmhouse just outside of Oshkosh near a lake. It's really pretty and I had more than enough to get it." Domino frowned at the giant, he'd been moping around about it ever since he came down to visit with her tonight.
"How will you feed with Faith? It's not like you can prowl about for people when you've got an infant with you, even one who needs what you need." He asked, it was a logical question, but she already knew the answer.
"Jo has access to human blood. Until Faith is older, she can feed from that. I can, too, when I need to. It doesn't take long to curb my needs, Samir. Cooper and Fionna live nearby, too, and they're more than happy to watch Faith a few times a week so that I can go out and get something a little...fresher." Domino lifted the corners of her mouth up just a little, fresh blood did taste better, she'd gotten to feed in Toronto the last few nights with the other vampires. She hadn't realized that a vampire can release a fluid in their saliva that acts as an amnesiac, so that the people she fed on didn't even remember meeting her, let alone having a pint of blood removed from them. Alexandra had never done that, he'd wanted her to remember what he'd done.
"You've transitioned yourself into this new world of yours pretty quickly." He muttered, his eyes on her red ones that were again focused on her daughter.
"Yes. I have. I'm happy now, Samir. I'm not scared anymore. I don't feel like I need to be, I don't feel like I need to be protected, either. Alexandru was like a living security blanket for me. Him leaving, it sucks, it always will I think, but him leaving has forced me to make my life about me and what I want, and I don't want to be scared. I want to be happy, and I want to raise our daughter to be happy, too."
"I'm not trying to argue with you, Dom, I just am gonna miss you, that's all. It's been fun having you here." Samir waved his arms in defeat as she looked up at him exasperated.
"I'm going to miss you, too. And Arc." She frowned as she thought about her closest friend, "You need to keep an eye on him for me, he's got his own demons, Samir, and I don't like the thought of him being alone with them again."
"I'm not sure he'd want me holding his hand like you do, Domino. He's older than me."
"Oh, I know that. Just...just be there. Keep him singing."
"I don't know if he'll sing when you leave, at least not for me to hear. He only ever did that with you."
"Well, he better keep singing."
"I'll try." Samir promised, he would, but he wasn't sure his employer would agree to his suggestion.
"That's all I ask. And he's already promised to email and text, but let me know how things go. I am still going to do a little bookkeeping stuff for Vorhees from my computer, but the other stuff, I want to know how things go." She picked Faith up and nuzzled the baby's chubby little neck.
"You're totally going to spoil her, you hold her all the time." Samir chuckled.
"That just proves that you're a goob, Samir. You can't spoil babies, no you can't." Domino cooed at her daughter and kissed her again before putting the baby to her chest, she immediately started rooting.
"She eats more than me." Samir chuckled as Domino set about baring her breast for Faith to latch on to.
"She certainly does. But it's because she doesn't have all day to do it like a normal baby." Domino ran the pads of her fingers down the back of her daughter's head, feeling that strong pull of love that she always felt when she held her little girl.
Two days later, they were on Mr. Hughes' private plane just after dusk and on their way to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The flight was uneventful for her, and Domino spent the time aboard playing with her daughter, feeding her, feeding herself, and looking out the window at the blackening sky. When they landed, she saw that there was a black sedan waiting for her, also courtesy of Mr. Hughes, and she was soon settled inside with her daughter in a carseat, and their luggage in the trunk. Her apartment had been packed up about a week ago and Mr. Hughes had told her that everything would already be in place at the farm house that he had made sure was purchased with her money. He had also arranged for the rooms to be better equipped for their needs. The windows had been reinforced, as well as shutters put in that completely blocked the sunlight.
The farmhouse wasn't big, but it did have two bedrooms and a bath upstairs, a living room, dining room and kitchen downstairs, and a full basement. Mr. Hughes had arranged for the basement to be waterproofed and finished off, complete with two additional bedrooms and a bathroom between them. He had wanted to make sure that Domino and Faith had a safe place to sleep during the day. In fact, he'd had the entire interior renovated rather quickly without telling Domino about it. He'd wanted her not to have to worry about a thing when she moved it.
So when Domino finally felt the sedan pull to a stop in front of a pretty periwinkle blue house with white shutters and a white picket fence around the front of it, she felt her breath catch a little in her throat. There was a porch that ran along the front of the house and a porch swing was on the left side, complete with large, comfy looking outdoor pillows. Old, gorgeous oak and maple trees lined the yard, and there were woods behind and snow covered fields to either side as her door was opened and she stepped out, pulling out the carseat with her as she looked around them.
Domino didn't know if the man driving the sedan knew she was a vampire or not, and she was glad that her wings wrapped easily around her shoulders and were able to be covered by the large, long cloak that she wore. It was a thick, dark crimson velvet cloak that Deandra had made for her as a housewarming gift of sorts, since she was moving to a northern state. Looking down at her daughter, who was looking around her with wide, searching eyes, she was glad that she'd bundled the little one in a few thick blankets. Her little wings were covered as well as they walked through the cold air up the path to the front of the house and then up the few short stairs to the front door.
Domino pulled the key out of her pocket that Mr. Hughes had given her right before getting on the plane, and turned it in the lock. The door opened easily, and Domino walked into the front hallway of a nicely warmed home. She smiled as she looked around, someone had unpacked all of her things and she'd apparently been gifted with a bit more furniture to fill the lovely place. Setting the carseat down, she tossed her purse to the side and held the door open for the driver who was bringing in her suitcase and the one that held most of Faith's clothes and cloth diapers.
"Thank you so much." She looked at the driver who had put both suitcases against the hallway wall near the staircase before turning to look at her.
"You're welcome, Miss Ashburn," The driver said, his brown eyes on hers as he took a step towards her and the open door, "Mr. Hughes said that you might be hungry when we arrived. If you would like to feed, I am willing to help you." His deep voice and the words he said made her eyes widen and Domino felt that tug of hunger fill her a bit. He knew what she was.