Sandra took a deep breath, exhaling slowly. “Go ahead.”
Drea allowed her fangs to grow slowly. Her features changed slightly, becoming pale and hollow cheeked. Her eyes were no longer their normal blue, but an eerie red tinged brown.
Sandra’s eyes grew wide, her nostrils flared with fear. She backed away, her hand reaching for the door. Kirk gently touched her arm, but she flinched away. Drea changed back quickly. Dizzy, she staggered back a step. Kirk placed a capsule in her hand. Putting it under her tongue, she relaxed as the medication hit her system.
“You’re—vampires?” Sandra breathed huskily, quickly. “My God! It’s like a nightmare!”
“No,” Drea said. “Not us. Whoever is hunting us, they’re the true nightmare. Our people live on synthetic blood. We take medicine to control the blood lust and never turn anyone without their consent.”
“How do I know I can trust you?”
Drea smiled benevolently. “We’ve taken you into our confidence, Sandra. We haven’t attacked you, nor do we intend to. However, that man you’ve arrested has killed at least one person and is either responsible for, or has knowledge of, the kidnapping of at least a dozen more.”
“Do you think that the others are dead?”
“I fear so,” Kirk said. “What reason would they have to kidnap them otherwise? They haven’t asked for ransom.”
“I’m confused,” Sandra admitted quietly. “You have to admit, this is a lot to absorb like this.”
“We understand completely,” Kirk said. “Believe me, it wasn’t easy for me to accept when Drea first told me.”
“He threatened to tell,” Drea added. “It wasn’t easy to keep him quiet without hurting him. It took all my persuasive power to keep him from waking the entire household.”
“She put up a very convincing argument,” Kirk replied with a sly grin. “She took off all her clothes.”
Sandra laughed loudly, the fear gone from her. “That would about do it. Most men are pretty easy to convince when you’re naked.”
Drea giggled. “Not that he got to do more than look—I wasn’t modest, but I certainly wasn’t a slattern. I had to promise to come back for visits. We talked for hours at a time and eventually, we fell in love.” She brushed Kirk’s hair from his brow.
“It was at that point she offered to turn me. How could I refuse? How often is a man given the chance to be with his soul mate forever?”
Sandra couldn’t conceal a little sigh when he kissed her. “You make it sound so romantic. Don’t you ever…? I mean, aren’t you tempted…?”
“To drink human blood?” Drea asked. “Not often, unless we skip our medicine. Then, we’re no better than the animals who prey on humans. What sets our group apart is that we found ways to live in harmony with humans rather than use them.”
“I promise to look into this,” Sandra said. “I’ll help you find them.” She squinted at them a moment, thinking. “You know, I think I might be able to help you. We can set up a surveillance team to watch you while you work undercover.”