Monday, February 20, 2006Chapter 9: Being there for him
Omaga took charge. First he got a special saw that effortlessly removed the titanium chains from around my friend and his hands. Then he carried Lestat up onto the couch so he could be more comfortable. After settling the patient into a calmer state of mind, he introduced me to some of the healers, Avro the one who handled serious wounds, Nina a female golden eagle specializing in administering pain killers, Juros, Logorith, Metric and Erin. Avro explained to Lestat gently, touching his hair to reassure him how they were going to try and mend his wounds.
“Close the curtains or sunlight will come in. It will soon be daybreak. Can you hear me, Child?” Lestat nodded and smiled. The Seer had the effect of charming over injured folk.
Avro addressed me, “Miss Bianca, would you like to stay and watch? Our healing will delay the process of decaying until Marius comes. Do you know where he is?” I updated him. But the problem was, where did Lestat keep the phone numbers of his contacts? I watched Juros and Erin feel him up, try to strip his garments. Lestat cried out mentally. I decided I would come back later. Omaga nodded to me.
Bianca, please,stay with me. I’m hurting everywhere!-----he screamed. It broke my heart.
“Lestat, where is your contacts book? I have to phone Marius.” The vampire winced as he gestured to the table. Now I had come closer, I fought not to weep again upon seeing the bony figure. He had not altered into disfigurement but if it happened would I be able to bear it?
“Underneath… bring it here. I have to flip the page.” He fell back panting. His sharp fingernail, now looking more like a claw from a withered hand, touched the name. Omaga dialed up the number, then broke into Greek.
Wow he knew Greek! We were impressed. Lestat relaxed as the white light seeped into him, and the chanting of the healers around us became gentle. The French did not give off radiating agony anymore.
Bianca, come sit with me. It’s all right now. Did I look ghastly? I must have freaked you out.
I smiled. Nah. Lestat flashed to the typhoon I had made, asking how it was possible.
Oh yes, I had learnt it in my practical lesson. If only I had done a healing. You wouldn’t have suffered so much pain… sorry Lestat. So sorry. We stopped as Omaga handed over the receiver.
“Yes I have been poisoned. Could you come and heal me with a drink? Is it all right?” Lestat was very serious now. He looked more crestfallen. Darn.
He won’t come. I readied some tissue papers but Lestat shook his head. I’ve been poisoned, I wasn’t playing the fool when I was shot…. He must think that I’m playing tricks on him. Hahaha. Once a brat, always a brat….
The rest of the physicians stoked the fire to heat up the place. Warmth helped to ease a patient in shock to sleep and rest a bit. I was concerned that he might go into a coma but Omaga said my friend needed it. He was still murmuring feverishly to himself, not letting go of my hand. I kissed his cheek, told him to relax.
I have lived too long already, my friend moaned dejectedly.
Nonsense. We will help you. Have hope Lestat. Hang on for a bit, Master Omaga responded. Is there anyone you want to see? We can contact him.
Louis! The same thought occured to me. I searched for the note which the meticulous guy had left and was glad he had nagged us to keep on the fridge. I dialed the number of the hotel he was staying in. A woman answered and asked me to hang on.
Louis was that slow. It was ages before his voice said,“Hello?”
“Louis, something terrible has happened. Lestat is injured badly. Marius won’t listen to us. He needs him now! Can you convince him?”
‘Oh god, oh my god. Why? How? Who?”
Louis was confused… of course! How could anything be clear to him from so far-off? I repeated the info, omitting the long story.
“Louis, hurry. Call him. I think you can convince him. Marius is ok with you right? The poison takes a week. My friends are delaying the process. There’s no danger of coma.”
We hung up, the tension still hanging.
I could not bear it if Lestat were to die. He was having a fever now and exceedingly, abnormally quiet. Too sick to talk. He smiled in recognition when I came and asked me not to worry. He would fight the pain. The only time he had lost it was when I seemed to favour Louis over him. Jealousy aside, he genuinely liked me. He was really nice, helpful, adorable. I loved his letters, his uniqueness, his affection. Artemis, Diane, in your wisdom please save him. Give him strength.
When Lestat fell asleep, Omaga brought him back to the Rue Royale II (named after the original). He was settled in his soft big bed, and they insisted on propriety in making him wear pajamas. To make things easier, for injections Avro allowed the patient to be unbuttoned.
“Bianca, I’m so hot. Can I take it off?”
Avro was mad. He smacked his hand. Lestat lay down, grumbling. “You will catch a cold. Where is your decency?”
“I always sleep naked.” We knew that wasn’t true. “This is my house. I don’t feel cold! I can do whatever the hell I like.”
“Lestat, cher, please be good. Rest up. My people believe in covering up. Please,” I gently told him. He seemed ready to burst into tears. I touched his hot skin. His fingers and throat were blistering. Because of the poison, his wounds were festering, only at a slower rate. The darts were removed and bleeding had stopped temporarily.
“I’m very tired. Do I look like I'm decaying?” I lied to him appropriately. Lestat gazed at me with blankness. He could not breathe without opening his mouth. The healers decided that it was better for him to lie sideways. If it worsened, Avro recommended oxygen mask.
Bianca, will Marius come? I badly need him. Please, tell them to come. Thanks for staying. You’re not leaving me? But you need to go home? What is the time? You have to sleep-- Lestat’s concern for me became prevalent once more, pushing aside his agony.
No I have to stay! I can’t go when you’re so badly hurt. It was partly my fault. I tried to warm him, though it was burning hot from fever. Lestat felt so human right now.
It is not your fault, Little Hawk. It could not be prevented… don’t blame yourself. He covered his mouth. They shoved a pail and he threw up. Finally the vampire collapsed back and smiled faintly. Go home now. I need rest.
I didn’t want to go. Omaga stood behind me and touched my shoulders. “We need to talk, Child. Your talents need controlling.”
I told Lestat I was leaving now, and he could call me if he needed me.
My Master pointed outside. The damage was extensive and could be seen visibly now it was dawn. The trees were mostly off their branches, stumps, lightning burn marks were all over the forest. I had basically deforested the place! Oh goddess!
“I understand you did it because you needed to stall for time. And it was also my fault that I hadn’t offered to help. I am deeply sorry for this incident,” the Owl seer said gently. He hooted his sorrow. Countless animals might have perished.
“Master, I just want Lestat to get better…. I don’t want him to die. It doesn’t matter about this. We cannot afford to war with the Hunters, who are much more advanced than we are. Right?” Seeing him nod, regarding me with a respect, I was surprised.
Child, Lestat will survive… I have heard legends about the vampires, but none as prevalent and infamous as Monsieur de Lioncourt. He’s the bravest and noblest preternatural I have ever beheld! His magnificence was what made us change our minds and arrest the remaining culprits. Their leader is gone, to Artemis’s knowledge? Lestat did not harm them or their families. That I know for sure----
It wasn’t fair! He didn’t! All this time he only went out with me and Louis! They’re not cruel!----- I shouted mentally. I bristled.
“Lestat takes lives, yes but because he needs to. He is honorable. He saved my father. Perhaps you can tell him next time… it’s such a small world. He rescued my father the General Dominica when he was still young. It was so long ago, but till his dying day he told me never to forget it. I can repay Lestat now.” I clung to my mentor and cried.
Deep inside I wished so much I had done more to prevent this tragedy from happening.
I got back in the morning. Mom stopped questioning me about school upon seeing my tearstained face. Bro nodded, sending me that he had told them. Dad too! He was silent too. They both looked sympathetic. My swollen eyes took in the scene of the blood, still not cleaned off.
Never would be. Lestat’s blood…. This loss would have killed a human being!
“Is there anything we can do for your friend?”
“No need to go to school. Krys honey, go to bed.” In my dream I saw this figure in old clothes, not old tattered, but old fashioned. Marius?
Bianca, Louis told me what happened. I need the exact bearings. I will come as soon as I can.
How soon? -------- I pressed. Lestat has about a week. After that my healer friends can’t guarantee his survival. Marius sir…
The other ancient vampire nodded gravely as I showed him what sort of darts the Hunters drove into Lestat. He analysed this a while then vanished. His presence had left a huge mark in my mind. So powerful.
I awoke not knowing whether it was just a dream. It was evening. I had slept through the day! Mom left me a note for absence of school for 2 days. Thanks man! ‘You can concentrate on your boyfriend for now. He needs your support.’ Marc hovered by, giving me food. I ate testily. The first call I got was from Louis, confirming he would return by tomorrow night if all went well.
“Louis, you sound terrible. I’m sorry, I should have taken care of him. I’ll go over and see how he is now.”
“Ok. Send him my love. I’ll call him later. What time is it?”
“Um 7.30pm. Yea, maybe he’s sleeping. Don’t worry too much,” I added that Marius had dreamshifted. Louis said it was true and he would come. I smiled. First piece of good news!
“Bianca, you’re an angel. Don’t blame yourself. Lestat will pull through. He always does.”
I went to the house, taking a cab because I was so worn out. After so much sleep, it still wasn’t enough! Lestat was awake, on drip. He looked really thin and according to Nina had heaved out blood they had fed him. He was dehydrated and exhausted. Some of the Owl healers were having a break from the healing session. I changed and flew in. My friend broke into a grin.
Hi Lestat. Here! I dropped the flowers I bought onto his lap. He smelled them. I landed beside him, let him stroke my feathers. He felt hot to the touch.
Thank you..These are so cheerful. Did you have dinner?
I nodded. He asked me to Change back, was awed by my power. I simply melted backwards, instead of throwing out my arms to become wings, I curved in and flowed into limbs, fingers and toes. Lestat coughed.
“Are you ok?” He laid back on the pillows, swallowed a little.
“Except for dry throat, yea. Your friends are very kind. Everytime I hurt they will come. Immediately…”
I told him Omaga’s story. Lestat grinned. “I didn’t think he would remember for so long. But his father has died now isn’t it? Yes, we were friends. I remember clearly I found him trapped in a net and he was half drowned and wing broken. I cut him loose and took him home. He was feisty, cherie.”
“How?” One of the nurses warned me not to tire Lestat. I sat down and took his hand. He closed his eyes for a brief rest. “Did you sleep? The morning?”
“Um. A little. It was excruciating to breathe though. Now at least I can, and it’s less painful. Thank you. Louis?”
“I forgot, the most important. Louis sends you his love. Marius, he came in my dream, Lestat. He will help. Louis talked him round.” I was heartened by the brightness of his smile. The charming brat prince smile. I hugged my friend, leaned against his sticky chest and tried to give him comfort.
“Oh Bianca,” He sounded close to crying. He stroked my hair and kissed my head. Affectionate little princess of mine. Do not worry. I am a Child of Darkness and I will hold on. You need to sleep and eat as per normal you hear me? I laughed. Ordering me around.