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Waves tore her body in different directions, at the same time as something pulled her down beneath the surface. She saw everything as clearly as if she hadn't been under water, and the tingle in her eyes from the saltwater was missing, something was clearly wrong. Vampires wouldn't die from drowning immortal as they were, but it could still be experienced as unpleasant if not terrifying. Then suddenly, just as the blondes body had started to seize due to the lack of oxygen the scene changed and a mirror came in to view. The reflection was familiar a long slender body and long blonde curls, the face however was odd Serena's usually kind green eyes were replaced with a predictors her teeth were sharp, long and cover in blood. Voices whispered monster.
Serena knew it was a dream she'd been having this weird dream every time she closed her eyes the past weeks. The doctor's eyes flew open she awakened from her nightmare. Her breathing and pulse was elevated but after focusing on slow even breaths both went back to normal. When she'd calmed down she glanced over at her nightstand watch. 15 minutes she had only been able to sleep for 15 minutes again. A sigh escaped her lips and she rose from the king sized bed. No point going back to sleep it would only result in going back to drowning. Am I losing it? The female asked herself as she stared at her reflection, this time her kind but tired eyes were the ones she meet. If she hadn't known better she'd seen these sleepless nights and almost panic attack things during the day as signs that the work at the hospital had made her burned-out. Was it even possible?
Serena was well read, and had even bothered to research it further for more information. Exercising was suppose to help, it hadn't so far. Losing control at work was a concern, this new side of herself she didn't trust and especially not when voices in her head cheered for her to fail. What was wrong with her? Could a vampire be burned-out? Insecurity, doubt and self loathing was a part of life, but it had never been this bad before.
Another reason for the madness could be loneliness according to the websites. The surgeon lived a lonely life but had never had a problem with it and didn't most vampires prefer being by themselves? Her empty life was self chosen she didn't hate other people or even disliked them she just never had time to bond with people, and once she had time she was to shy and afraid to disturb anyone to approach new people.
One person might have some answers to the questions swirling around in her head but it would feel like she'd lost a battle if she had to ask him for advice, The vampire king Mr Gideon Ashworth. Serena was already an outsider in the vampire faction, a freaky person without social competence.
"I am sure he won't mind" Her soft melodic voice said trying to be convincing. Quickly before she could change her mind she turned away from the mirror and out of the room. On her way to her car she braided her hair and got properly dressed in jeans and a white blouse.
Her ruler was most likely at the coven castle were many of the faction members had their permanent residency, so that was were she was heading. "What will I even say to him? Hello my mighty leader I am sorry for disturbing you in the middle of the night but I have gone mental" she blurted as she drove through the dark.
“No no no no no. I talked to Mrs. Kopesh twice last week and both times it was over the same thing. I’ve given her my answer, NO.” Chuckling, though the exacerbation in his tone was clearly present the King of the Vampires shook his head at his young assistant. Tessa was quick and efficient, much like her mother, though a bit more driven in certain areas which was highly entertaining at times. Every since Deliliah’s departure he’d been at a loss as to what to do with the young Vampire only to have her solve the issue herself. Being King and Ambassador brought with it a whole slew of responsibilities and appointments that had been difficult to keep track of alone, so the young woman had taken it upon herself to keep him on schedule and be the first line of contact between himself and everyone else. Save the Bastion of course, all efforts to curb their rude entrances were met with laughs and eye rolling.
Tessa nodded her head, making a note in her book as he came around his desk. Gideon enjoyed watching her work, seeing the varying expressions that crossed her face in a combination of her mother’s fine breeding and her father’s severity. As the pair of them continued to take care of some other side notes of business the Ancient felt a slight stirring in his gut that had the smile dropping from his face, a look of far of concern replacing the expression as he politely held up a hand. The brunette went instantly quiet, watching him with interest though he paid her no mind. Internally he sought out the source the disturbance, coming to the conclusion that it wasn’t the death of one of his people that had set him off.
Curiously he pinpointed the shift, rising from behind the behemoth desk that dominated the space in his office. A slight smile tugged at the corner of his lips as he recognized the Vampire entering his domain and it both surprised and intrigued him. “Tessa cancel my audience’s for the rest of the night and reschedule them as soon as you can. Something has just come up that requires my attention.” Much to her credit the young woman didn’t argue, taking her leave with a slight nod of her head and moving from his path. Striding from the room he wondered what would bring the good Doctor to the mansion, a place she had yet to visit even when they had held events for the whole of the city within its walls.
Passing by residents within the maner Gideon nodded his head in greeting, pushing through the large oak doors just as the blonde parked her car in one of the designated slots. When she didn’t immediately exit the vehicle the monarch made his way down the steps and politely opened her door with a congenial smile, “Ms. Hamilton, it is a pleasure as always to see you. Won’t you come in?” He could tell she was flustered, upset by something she had yet to name and whatever it was had sent her here. To his doorstep. It both worried and intrigued him, as it was his duty to see to his people he wanted to help in any way that he could.
Extending his hand he offered her help from the vehicle, hoping to set her at ease and make it easier to get to the bottom of whatever was bothering her.
Chuckling Gideon waved away Serena’s concern’s as he tucked her arm into the crook of his elbow, gently closing the door to her vehicle. She seemed as jumpy as a rabbit, ready to bolt at the slightest provocation. Studying her as she looked around, her eyes darting from one thing to another she seemed especially preoccupied with something and whatever it is must be important to have driven her here. As the King, he kept a close watch on all of his subjects while also letting them have the freedom to do as they wish with their lives.
Serena was a special case, a Turned who managed to work in the medical field despite her species difficulty around blood. From what he’d been able to glean she was exceptional at her job and compassionate to a fault. Their last talk had been some months ago, more a meeting of the minds than an interview and the Ancient found he liked her. The young doctor was smart, intuitive, and for all intents and purposes a credit to their species. It was nice to see her though and despite her obvious discomfort.
Following her gaze, to the gardens, he waved a hand in front of them, “Let’s take a stroll through the garden, I think I need some fresh air.” Gently he began guiding her toward the side of the castle, stepping onto the dirt path that led into the gardens. “So tell me what is on your mind Serena, I have to say I was surprised when I felt you coming.” It wasn’t a secret what he was able to do, that his family could sense their kind.
He could tell Serena had something on her mind, something that was bothering her enough that she was coming to him for help. It was rare that one such as herself came to anyone, let alone the King of their species. The blonde doctor had been a force unto herself since the moment he’d met her, living her own eternity by her own rules. To date, this was the first time he’d ever seen her step foot on coven grounds which meant that whatever was bothering her was serious. He sensed her concern mixed with unease and that worried him.
Stepping into the garden they were instantly surrounded by greenery, shut off and insulated from the rest of the world. When she finally broke the silence her voice was quiet, barely discernible above the quiet crunch of wilted foliage beneath their feet. “There grounds are always open to you, you know that.” Gideon wasn’t going to force his people to live on the castle grounds, he rather enjoyed the fact that they felt at ease enough to go off on their own. Still, he would keep the Castle open to all of his people, a safe place they could go when they needed it. The King also prided himself on being an open source to the vampires, whether by advice or just keeping the doors open.
He let her finish speaking before he stopped, turning to face her in the middle of the garden path. “Nothing is more important to me than the well being of my people Serena, that includes you.” He spoke earnestly, every word a truth that he believed and lived by. He didn’t care what issues were in front of him none were more important or pertinent than those of his people. When she finally did speak on what was bothering her it took the Ancient a moment to process it all. His mind churning over the fact that she was hearing voices and seeing things that she shouldn’t.
“Have you fed recently?” Perhaps it was a mundane question but sometimes the most obvious solution was the hardest to see.
”Your doing a great job Sir, I haven’t heard anyone speak one bad word about you” She assured him. Interactions and social weren’t her strong suit but she was attentive and no one had anything but praising words to say about the Vampires leader. A deed itself as vampires weren’t the most beloved creatures of the world. Feared by most and for a reason. Months of training had helped her to drop the scary aura that kept human instincts at their toes even thaw they didn’t know the reason behind the reaction.
”Yes and it does not seem to help much” Although Serena had come to terms with what she was, the blonde had never hated what she had become at times it actually helped her make a diagnosis, however she hated the fact that she had to feed of others to survive. While human her diet had been strictly vegan, animal friend as she was, from that it was a big step to sink your fangs into a living being even thaw it didn’t hurt. It felt barbaric and horrible so a few friends gave her blood bags with their blood for her to feed on. Still she only drank the minimum quantity possible for her to stay in control and healthy.
”Maybe I just need to be around her more” The thought wasn’t thrilling, she got along with almost everyone but her introvert personality didn’t exactly help in making conversation. Besides she knew that children all over the world needed medical attention and the more she worked the more she contributed to lowering that count. Her theory had come from other species behaviour she knew that many lost it if they were isolated from their kind for two long. From what she knew Vampires had no such problems.
Gideon smiled fondly at the compliment the young blonde gave him, her tone telling him how serious and sincere she was. He knew there were rumors circulating around the city about him, though he didn’t care much for what they were. Even before he’d become King of his race, the talk of others was never something he cared to indulge in. Things often got thrown out of whack and over exaggerated much to the detriment of the person being spoken about. He’d never been able to understand why people chose to invent little white lies the built off the truth, honest was always so stark and simple.
“I appreciate you saying so, little one. It’s always nice to hear from my own people how they view things.” The male often enjoyed hearing from his people, their perspective made it easier for him to tailor his rule, though he was rather lax as long as individuals followed the laws. Bringing his mind back to the problem at hand he looked down at Serena as she answered his question. The tone of her voice gave him pause, his mind filtering through all the things he knew about the young fledgling.
“Are you feeding fully, completely satisfying yourself?” He suspected not and his next question was going to how exactly she fed. He’d known many vampires who subsisted on blood bags but occasionally they had to tap the vein. Something about fresh blood straight from a living body kept them at their strongest and most level.
"Will you ever be completely satisfied?" She asked answering his question with a question of her own, or maybe more of a speculation. Could anyone be completely satisfied not wanting anything more? She doubted more developed species could feel that way, utterly satisfied, as their intelligence and curiosity, a key to their continued development. "I am sorry that was ludicrous, I understood what you meant" He had told her to stop apologizing but it was a hard habit to break, she struggled keeping to the subject.
During the conversations she was used to having she was the one with the answers, the one people came to for advice. The doctor was generously payed for her knowledge and mostly knew what to expect. In this situation it was the opposite, and she didn´t know what her king wished. It played trix with her mind making her blurt things like a nervous child on their first interview. If someone came to her in this state she wouldn´t be annoyed or stressed to get rid of them, so she knew her ruler wouldn´t either but still she couldn´t help but feel like she was disturbing his very busy schedule.
"I feed enough to keep me from losing control" she admitted looking down. Less than recommended but a shameful amount to her. The blood she feed on could´ve been used saving lives, research and so much more and she craved it to keep from going on a killing spree, her worst nightmare. The blonde had always been a control freak, all doctors were, so it worried her that someday she might be tempted enough to lose control and maybe even take a life.
"I like being outside, I miss the sun thaw" The young vampire blurted her mind changing the subject again to distract herself from the path her thought had taken her.
Gideon had never sired another vampire. Had never felt the need nor the justification to turn a human being into one of his kind. Yet over his very long life, the King had mentored a great number of fledglings, teaching them how to feed and survive without taking that step into madness. He made sure to impart to each what being a rogue would mean and sadly he’d had to dispatch a few who hadn't heeded his words. Serena was another case he was willing to guide though he had to admit he had never encountered a young vampire as adverse to feeding as she was. Having no idea just where her aversion was stemming from it was a challenge that the male took seriously.
Raising an eyebrow at her question the Ancient took a few moments to form his answer. “It depends. If you are asking from a professional or personal standpoint the answer would be maybe.” Professionally his people could find peace among themselves and with all those who would bear them ill will. Wouldn't it ever happen? Probably not but it was always possible. Personally, he might find the one he had been searching centuries for and bear children, but his hope for their future would be a never-ending endeavor. Again, possibly but not entirely probable.
He leveled his dark gaze on her pixie-like face, “Physically, however, it is within our power to become completely satisfied. If one keeps up with one's needs and feeds completely then the hunger and side effects become negligible.” Gideon wasn't sure what was behind the young woman’s reluctance to feeding, no not just feeding but satisfying herself completely. He understood the facets of her character that drove her to being a doctor, the fulfillment she felt when practicing as a doctor. He understood her aversion to taking what she considered most valuable and yet what could be lost from her lack of understanding in herself could ultimately lose her everything.
“Tell me, Serena, what scares you more: you will take too much or that you will enjoy the act of taking too much?” He’d posed the question to many individuals and always the answer revealed to him what the root of the true problem was. The King suspected the answer but he wanted to hear it from her lips. Acknowledging her aside comment with a nod he remained quiet, letting her work out the answer in her own time. He didn't mind the wait or the walk, it was better than being cooped up inside with a stack of paperwork he’d been neglecting.