“Hey, if you need to talk, call us.”
Tiana didn’t sleep very well that night. Added to what she had witnessed earlier and the fact that visions of Lestat drinking blood were still imprinted in her mind, she was could never get used to sleeping in a strange cama no matter how nice the place was. Eventually, she was glad when the sun broke through the clouds and she dragged her still half asleep body out of cama and down to the dining hall where her friends already sat awaiting her arrival.
“Hey,” smiled Belle, getting to her feet to give her a hug. “How’d you sleep?”
“Ok,” Tiana lied.
“You sure?” Adam offered her a smile as he slid a plate full of breakfast towards her. “You look tired.”
“No need to sugarcoat it; she looks awful,” Meg said.
“Thanks,” smiled Tiana.
“Look, I’m ok, really, and thank you for letting me spend the night, I really appreciate it.”
“You’re welcome any time,” Adam replied.
Tiana slid into a assento and began to eat her breakfast. “Mm, this is delicious.” She smiled at Belle. “You’re so lucky.”
Belle blushed as Adam reached under the mesa, tabela and squeezed her hand. “Thanks, Tia.”
“I’ll say,” agreed Meg, with her mouth full.
Tiana knew that they knew better than to try and bring up anything about Lestat just yet. Added to that, both Meg and Belle felt guilty now knowing that Tiana had such deep feelings for Lestat and yet here they were wondering whether it wouldn’t be better for everyone if they followed in Adam’s mother’s footsteps and, well, took up vampire slaying. At any rate, they all ate in silence, and once she was done, Tiana got to her feet.
“I’d better get to work. I’ll see you guys later, ok?”
“Yeah, of course.” Belle and Meg both gave her a hug.
“Hey, if you need to talk, call us,” Meg added.
“Definitely,” Tiana smiled. “You guys have been great, but now I really need to get going.”
“Ok, well, take care,” Belle said.
“I will, believe me.”
“Tiana, sweetie, you look like you didn’t get any sleep last night,” Smee commented when she came into the bar.
“I kind of had a rough night,” Tiana confessed, and then she quickly got to work lest Facilier decided to berate her for not getting enough sleep and shirking her work. Working put all thought of Lestat out of her mind, in spite of the fact that the bar had been where the pair of them had met. Even when she had to pour red wine for an elderly couple celebrating their anniversary that evening, she didn’t think about him once.
“Any plans for tonight, Smee?” she asked him at the end of the evening, trying to sound cheerful.
He laughed. “Nah, just another night in with Max.” Max was Smee’s large, playful sheepdog who kept him in shape, somewhat. “I hope you haven’t got plans; you need some sleep.”
Tiana smiled. “Alright, I hear you. See you tomorrow.”
Tiana buttoned up her coat, picked up her bag and started for home. The last thing she expected to see was Lestat sitting on the steps of her porch, clearly waiting for her. She stopped dead, a few inches away from her.
“Hi,” was all he said, softly.
“Hi,” Tiana managed, and then she walked straight past him into the house, making a point of shutting the door loudly behind her. Taking off her coat, she realised that she was suddenly nervous.
“Tiana, you should know that you might as well let me in because if you don’t I’m going to wait out here until you decide to talk to me; and being a vampire I can wait for as long as it takes,” Lestat called to her.
Tiana sighed. “Fine, ok, you can come in.”
She rubbed her forehead, thinking hard. How could this work if she couldn’t get past the fact that Lestat drank blood?
“You didn’t get any sleep, did you?” Lestat guessed, already in front of her.
Tiana looked up at him, steadily meeting his gaze. “Would you have if you were still human and you’d seen someone close to you doing that?”
“No.” Lestat touched her arm, hesitantly and she realised that he sensed she was going to pull away from him. “I can understand your reaction; and if you never want to see me again I’ll understand that too.”
Tiana stared up at him. That thought had never even crossed her mind. “No!” she exclaimed, flinging her arms around him. “How could you think that? I amor you!”
Lestat wrapped his arms around her, holding her close. “And I amor you, Tiana.” He pressed him lips to the topo, início of her head and inhaled her scent once more.
“Then could you just try not to...drink from humans? Couldn’t you drink from animais or something?” Tiana asked.
Lestat half laughed. “You sound like Louis!”
“A man I turned into a vampire a long time ago. When I first turned him, he tried to cling onto what was left of his humanity por drinking from rats. And poodles.”
“Poodles?” Tiana looked up at him. “Really?”
“Yeah, that was quite a messy night.” Lestat let go of her and sat down on the floor in front of her sofa. “I can try, if that’s what you want, but I think I’m too far gone to stick to it. I’ll just end up back on the humans again before you know it.”
Tiana sank to her knees beside him. “But it’s just so...so...”
“Animalistic?” Lestat finished for her. “I know. I felt the same way before I was turned. Then, afterwards, I just understood that it was a way of life for us. It was a natural instinct, like a human eating human food.” He shrugged. “If anything, I enjoyed it, as I recall.”
Tiana tucked a few limp strands of hair behind her ears. “So, um, you’re saying that if I were a vampire, I wouldn’t think it was a big deal?”
Lestat turned to her. “Forget it. I’m not turning you.”
“No! I’m not subjecting you to my fate!”
Tiana sighed. “But if you won’t turn me into a vampire, and you can’t turn back into a human, then what? You said it yourself; I’ll grow old and die and you’ll live forever...”
“Unless someone drives a stake through my heart,” Lestat cut in, bluntly.
“The point is,” Tiana persisted, feeling weak. “I don’t want to outlive you.”
She sighed, defeated, and rested her head on his shoulder. Lestat rested his head on hers and gripped her hand, lacing his fingers through hers. “We’ll work it out somehow,” he told her. “I promise.”
“You’re really not going to change your mind about turning me? Ever?”
Lestat sighed. “If I say “I’ll think about it,” what would you say to that?”
“I’d say “Thanks.”
Lestat smiled at her for the first time that evening. “Then I’ll think about it.”
“Thanks,” Tiana smiled up at him. “That’s all I ask.”
Lestat dropped a kiss to her forehead. “You need to sleep.”
“I think you do too,” Tiana said, noticing for the first time that, in spite of his normal appearance, Lestat looked somewhat tired. “Have you even been to bed...I mean, coffin?” she added, blushing.
Lestat laughed, softly. “No, I spent the whole dia sitting up wondering whether I ought to call on you or not. In the end, my coração overruled my head.”
“Well, would you stay the night with me?” Tiana asked. “Please? I’d like you to.”
He smiled. “Then how can I not?”
They both got to their feet, and then Tiana slid into his arms again. “Lestat?”
“When you...if you turn me, will I be able to survive in sunlight too?”
“Yes.” He stroked her hair. “My blood’ll be in your system so you’ll be protected.”
She felt him inhale her scent once again. “Can I ask you something else?”
“Do I smell of anything...specifically?”
“Strawberries and alcohol, but I’m guessing the latter’s from working in a bar, right?”
“No, I mean, when you cheirado, cheirava, smelt my neck the other night...my blood...does it smell like anything?”
“Just blood.” Lestat smiled. “But a very rich kind.”
“Lestat, you already ate today, right?” Tiana asked, worriedly.
“Yes, you can relax. I said I wouldn’t ever feed on you and I stand por that promise,” Lestat replied, beijar her hair. “Trust me.”