Michael and Gwen arrived at home well before dawn. They both still felt unclean, but their baths did not help. Michael then sat before the shrine Livia and Gwen had made, with various statues of divinity. To the compassionate and colorful Kwan Yin, and the regal and pale Cybele, had been added a gentle Virgin Mary and a peaceful meditating Buddha.
The celtic goddess Brigit and the snake goddess had been set into the array, as well. A huge white quartz crystal cluster sat in the middle.|
Gwen joined Michael, and her own position mirrored that of the Buddha figure, as well. She, too, prayed fervently that the badness of the blood be taken from them. They'd absorbed SOMETHING from it, that was certain. She remembered the old Highlander episodes, in which the handsome, dark haired McCloud had to go purify himself after the head removal of an evil Immortal, and felt similar.
But not to the extent Michael did. He would not leave his meditation spot. He would sip from a nearby mug of water, but that was it. He did not go out to feed. Days went by like this. He just kept staring forward, intense in his prayers. One day, he took scissors to his beautiful long black hair. ''Not the HAIR, Michael! Not the hair! We don't know if it will grow back!'' The chunks of it fell down around him in patches here and there.
She did so love his long hair. The vampires in the Ricean mythology grew their hair back to its state at the time of making. Cut it off each twilight, and it would be full length by the next twilight, but how close to reality was it? In most ways, the Ricean view did seem on target. Meanwhile, a more pressing matter than his hair concerned her, ''Please, Michael, I'll bring you squirrels and rabbits, won't you EAT something?''
''No!'' Michael resolutely refused.
There was no stopping him. ''When will he at last feel purged enough?'' Gwen grew frightened, as his eyes became glassy. Livia, who had been watching all of this silently, grew concerned, as well. She, who still had kept her human blood, had shied away from Gwen after she'd come home that early morning, all changed, with her Michael alongside of her. It had been one thing to play and joke as vampires. It was another thing all together to be one. And yet, as she saw Michael's torment, compassion grew in her heart for him. She began to see the noble qualities that Gwen had seen in him all along. It broke her heart to see him suffer so.
He had become a frozen statue by now, mirroring the ones on the shrine in more ways than one. ''Please, FEED!'' Livia shouted to him, as if somehow he'd grown deaf, as she bared her human wrist in front of him. Michael did stir, he turned his head to face that wrist and almostly unconsciously plunged his teeth into it. It had been weeks since he'd fed. Unfortunately, in that state of dim consciousness, instincts took over, and he kept on drinking of Livia's blood. She, ever the gentle, passive one, did not resist. Gwen, upon seeing what was happening, cried out to her, ''Please, we must make you one of us now. I fear he's drank too much of you. Won't you please join us? You know that's what we've wanted from the first. Please?'' She begged with great insistence.
''Yes, yes, do what you must. I am ready,'' Livia responded timidly. It is well she agreed, for Michael had just kept on drinking. The thing in him that drove him to survive at all costs was not stopping. When she was nearly drained, he came to, and embraced her, ''Oh, you beautiful woman, sacrificing yourself this way. You must take my gift, you must!'' Both Livia and Michael caressed her, as he took the last few sips, and then set about for the magical transfer.
From her vantage point, Gwen could better understand what had happened to her not so long ago. It was not as the movies showed it, a cutting of the wrist and pouring his blood in her mouth. His mouth fastened tighter to her neck, and she knew a slender tendril came forth from his tongue, which bored into the artery and made the deposit directly into it. She'd thought her tongue looked different after transformation. A tiny opening appeared on the tip, and from this aperture is where the tendril arose from.
She wanted to offer her own blood, but knew herself to be still weak. Michael had the stronger, and more suitable. This hadn't happened as it played out in her mind, the lovely scene of seduction. Maybe it was richer and better for it. When Livia came to, after the first deposit, they both showered her with tender kisses, and then Michael went to sleep to restore himself for the next deposit. As he slept, she held Livia securely while she to sleep peacefully.
Gwen felt of her neck. What used to be the lymph nodes had been transformed into repositories for the changing substance. She could sense the embryonic essence within them. This way, Michael's own blood supply was not lessened. She was joyful that Lucius had confirmed her theory of invisible once-alien beings inhabiting them. Nothing was evil about them, unless the original human host had chosen a path of evil, before their transformation. She was sure there were those like that, which she hoped they'd be able to avoid.
Meanwhile Michael and Livia slept peacefully, and Gwen, too, drifted off. A couple of hours later, they all woke up, and Michael gave Livia some more of the changing substance. It would take one more deposit to make sure she had enough of it.
All the while, they lovingly caressed her and Gwen kissed her. After the last injection had been made, Livia came to. ''I feel at peace, '' she announced, and relaxed to enjoy her delicious mellow. Looking at Micheal and Gwen, she thought ''They look radiant, their white skin looks luminious, like angels, I wonder why I'd never noticed it before,'' as she smiled, feeling more joyful than she'd had in a long time. They curled up cozy and all three fell asleep, to dream the sweetest of dreams they'd ever had.