The loud crash of the glass hitting the tiles caused the family to rush into the kitchen from all corners of the house, just before they filed in Gregory had managed to slip out of the back door and vanish into the darkness. As the crowd stared at Fabian with alarm he tried to move himself back to allow room for them to crowd around the pile of broken glass and inspect it, standing on dust like shards of glass in the process. With a wince, Fabian looked down and spotted the small amount of blood dripping out from his shredded foot, and as he tried to move away from the glass he stood in a puddle of water, allowing the blood to spread across the tiles with ease. The family stared at him, obviously confused and triggered by the intense scent of his blood. Gulping, Fabian rested against one of the countertops as he stared at the mess in front of him with a sigh. Rudolph and Anna frowned at him, aware that he was distressed by the idea of having all of their gazes on him at once, especially while he was bleeding. He exchanged glances with his mother before she made her way towards Fabian, gracefully dodging the water and glass.
"My dear, are you alright?" she lifted her hand and gently placed it on his shoulder.
Hesitantly, he nodded at her, "I think so."
Freda nodded her head slightly, "What happened?"
Fabian's mouth felt dry as he tried to conjure up an excuse for the mess, he didn't want to throw Gregory under the bus, he'd already gotten him into enough trouble. "It slipped out of my hand, I'm just really tired I guess I wasn't holding it properly. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you..."
"Oh, it's nothing to apologise for, dear. We all make silly mistakes." Freda gave him a playful and reassuring smile before she stepped back from him, "We'll be out for a while now, we're going to go back down to that barn you showed us."
Fabian nodded in understanding and muttered an okay as he walked them to the door. But before the door was completely shut Fredrick had reappeared in the doorway.
"If you happen to see Gregory sulking around tell him we need to talk."
With that, the family shuffled out the door and soon disappeared out of sight. Fabian felt relieved until a painful throbbing sensation rose from the soul of his foot. He'd almost forgotten about dropping the glass, and was now devastated that he had to waste time cleaning it up and dressing the wounds on his foot instead of going straight to bed as he'd planned. As the backdoor slammed shut, Fabian got to cleaning.
After spending nearly twenty minutes thoroughly cleaning up the water and blood off the kitchen floor then limping up a flight of stairs, all Fabian wanted to do was lay down and sleep. But as he limped closer to his bedroom door, he noticed that the door was lying open. Hesitantly he approached his door and mustered up the courage to flick on the light switch. To his surprise, Gregory stood by one of his half unpacked suitcases flipping mindlessly through a well read book. Fabian recognised it as his own, it was one of his favourites and he'd read it so many times the cover had began to deteriorate. Surprised, he stood in his doorway taking in the sight with wide eyes.
"It's your room, you can come in." Gregory continued to flip through the pages without turning to look at him.
Shuffling inside, he nervously eased his way towards Gregory. "Uh… What are you doing?"
Gregory gave him a quick straight faced glance before turning his attention back to the book in his hands.
Fabian attempted to peek over his shoulder to see what part of the book Gregory had gotten so invested in, but before he could make it out Gregory slammed it shut and held it tightly by his side. "You need to eat something."
Dumbstruck and taken aback, Fabian's mouth moved without making any sound as he struggled for words.
"It's bad for you if you don't. To put it one way, some people can't get food. Meanwhile your chucking yours into the bin without remorse." Gregory's stare held a glint of something, but Fabian couldn't make out if it was sympathy or concern.
"I get it, but I wasn't hungry, it actually made me feel a little sick… And if Dottie came back and seen it was still sitting there she'd be so mad…" he slowly lowered his head in shame, feeling that his explanation wouldn't be satisfactory.
Gregory let out a small grunt, "You need to eat something soon or you will get sick. I can't explain right now, I was told not to, you'll just have to take my word."
Fabian searched his features and could see the frustration painted on his face, despite his confusion he chose not to press him with questions and instead tried to come up with an excuse to make him leave. "Okay, well… I kinda just want to sleep now…"
"How's your arm?" Gregory cut him off, gesturing with the book towards his previously wounded arm.
The question caught Fabian off guard and he felt his face heat up as well as a large lump start to grow in his throat. Then he realised the only way Gregory would know was if he was there. It couldn't have been from his intense scent of blood from before, as his fresh wounds on the soul of his foot would have masked that by now and he directly pointed to the spot that it was. Therefore Gregory would have had to seen it to know about it. Fabian thought back to his dream like state from before, he realised that one of the unclear figures must have been Gregory. As he daydreamed about his recent discovery, Gregory had set the book down and yanked his arm from his side to pull up his sleeve and check for himself. His arm hadn't changed much from before, it was scarred with pink and deep fleshy tissue.
"It's healing quicker than we expected, I may have given you too much…" Gregory murmured, deep in thought as he ran a cold finger tip across the skin.
"What do you mean?" He stuttered as he yanked his arm back and covered it defensively.
Gregory broke from his thoughts and stared at him calmly and questioningly.
"Gregory, are you the one that… helped me?" The pair continued to stare at each other uncomfortably as Fabian's eyes silently begged for answers.
Gregory nodded slowly, "I did, yes."
"Why…?" Fabian had changed his mind now that he knew it was Gregory, he wanted all of the answers.
Gregory turned his head to avoid his gaze, "You don't deserve to die. Like I said, I was told not to give you information yet, you need to rest."
Gregory brushed past him and made his way towards the door, however Fabian had reached out and latched his hands around Gregory's arm. Gregory shot him a surprised stare at the sudden grip on his arm and looked to Fabian with the same stare. Fabian's eyes bore into Gregory's, his gaze making it clear that he wasn't going to give up. For the first time, Fabian felt a form of emotional strength within him that pushed him to continue, to take what he wanted from life.
"Tell me." Fabian's voice shook as he let his grip slide from Gregory's arm and Gregory turned to face him, closing the gap between them as they both stared each other down.
"I had to give you my blood for you to survive."
Fabian let out a small gasp as a woozy feeling came over him, "So what will happen to me?"
"You need to eat. If you don't, you will turn."
Gregory's voice was plain and emotionless as he spoke to him, his attitude showed no sign of remorse for his actions either. Fabian felt his nerves sky rocket as millions of thoughts passed around his brain at once. Despite what he'd done, he didn't want to die, and he especially didn't want to become a vampire either. He suddenly felt as though his throat was closing and he couldn't breathe, so out of impulse he reached out and put his hands on Gregory's shoulders to stabilize himself. With eyes shut tight, he tried to come to terms with the fact he had the blood of a deceased boy running through his body, attacking his immune system and trying to kill him from the inside out. It made him feel sick and afraid, suddenly his euphoric feeling made sense, it was what it truly felt like to die, just very slowly. Gregory's hands gently placed themselves onto the top of Fabian's arms as he bent his head to meet his gaze. His attitude and tone had changed, he seemed like a different person, compassionate and kind.
"Look at me, it's okay." He hushed him as their eyes locked, Fabian was unable to pull his gaze away from him. "Calm down, take deep breaths."
Fabian felt all of the fear leave his body and his breathing suddenly became normal again as if he'd automatically obeyed Gregory, "How did you do that?"
"There's many things we can do," a small smile creeped over his face before he pushed it away again, "but that doesn't matter. I'm sorry I scared you, it was on purpose but I didn't realise it would freak you out this much."
"So it wasn't true?!" Fabian felt a wave of anger come over him as he pushed against Gregory's shoulders, knocking him back a couple of steps.
"On the contrary, it was true." Gregory put his hands up in defence, "I just exaggerated the truth, you won't turn." He lowered his hands again as he took the steps back into Fabian's personal space, "If I didn't give you my blood you would have died. I had no choice."
Fabian slowly nodding in understanding, his head was still baffled by the information but there wasn't much he could do about it. Gregory stared over his features as Fabian avoided his gaze before he slowly backed up and turned to walk out of the room. However, after a couple of steps he felt a small and gentle tug on his arm stopping him from going any further. As he turned, he seen Fabian's hand clutching onto the sleeve of his jacket with his gaze still fixed on the floor.
"Thank you." Fabian stuttered out as he let go of Gregory's sleeve, "I'd hug you, but I don't think either of us are comfortable with that…"
Gregory felt a smile take over his face as Fabian's gaze slowly rose to meet his, "You're welcome."
Fabian felt his cheeks heat up at Gregory's smile, he looked so much more attractive when he smiled, and Fabian hadn't expected the sudden attack of emotions. Before Gregory could notice the change in his skin tone he shook his head quickly and spotted the book Gregory was reading before the conversation started, "Hey, do you wanna borrow the book?"
Gregory's whole demeanor seemed to shift as he faced him completely and and tilted his head questioningly, "If it's no bother to you?"
"Not at all. I mean, it's the least I can do considering what you've done for me." Fabian laughed slightly.
Gregory carefully reached out and lifted the book from where he'd placed it on the bed and held it by his side once more. He gave him a quick nod of gratitude before he wished him goodnight and disappeared out of the door, shutting it gently behind him. Once the door had clicked shut Fabian let out a sigh of relief and fell back onto his bed. He tried not to think about the information Gregory had given him, although it had made him feel sick and uncomfortable he was grateful for what he'd done. If it weren't for Gregory, Fabian would have died the night before, and he felt as if he owed him a lot more than just letting him borrow a book. Finally alone, he buried himself under his covers, although he was tired he couldn't sleep, he'd a lot of thinking to do.
Gregory was silent as he made his way downstairs and towards the cellar. He just hoped his family was already half dosed so they wouldn't notice his return and question him on his absence for the entire night. Creaking open the cellar door, Gregory peered down the cellar stairs and listened closely to their breathing. His family lay in their normal makeshift resting places, unaware of his presence as he tip toes down the stairs and cautiously opened his wicker casket to slip inside. As he closed it, he shifted to get comfortable and lifted the book above his head to set himself to a day's worth of reading. He wanted to distract himself from his situation with Fabian, he'd already spent a whole day worrying and thinking about him, he didn't want to do it again. With a sigh, he attempted to switch his brain off as he skipped to the page he'd left off.
The sun was almost blinding to Fabian as he woke to his alarm ringing in his ears at 7:30am. Bright streaks of orange, yellow and pink laced the sky as they faded off into a bright ocean blue. Ocean blue, just like the eyes belonging to…