Eve had been invited by Ty to participate to a series of tests at the science faculty. She had brought Eloise with her as Ty had grown quite fond of the little girl he had helped to be safely delivered.
She heard someone call her name and turning around, saw Tristan coming across the parking to meet her. “Fancy seeing you here!”
“Have you come for the tests too? I volunteered to Prof. Huey but it seems I was the only one.”
– Aren’t the other vampires interested in studying their genetics?
– They are too cautious, I assume. Our race is not exactly social as you may know.
For someone coming from an antisocial race, Tristan was extremely social.
Ty’s research was of course secret. Except for Stella, his young assistant, the rest of the staff had been told they were working on a new vaccine. Which was not too far from the truth.
It was the first time that Stella met vampires. She couldn’t help staring.
Eve had told Ty that it was not natural for vampires to have children, something he had already suspected when he had studied her father’s DNA but had to give up due to the lack of evidence. He now wanted to compare her DNA with the one of another vampire from a different bloodline, like Tristan.
His assumption was that Eve’s vampire gene was somehow stronger because it had merged with human genes.
“Let’s try, Eve. I’m sure this will lead to an interesting discovery. I can take care of Eloise while you are taking the tests, if you wish.”
But Stella suggested taking care of Eloise herself.
– That way, you can both go through the testing at the same time.
– Are you sure?
– I really don’t mind, I like children.
“So, we’ll start with you, is that ok?”
“I’ll… I’ll go and change.” For some reason, Tristan was now acting a bit shy.
Ty took several blood samples from them and monitored them as they went through the tests he had prepared. It didn’t take long to complete and by the time they were over, Tristan was again his usual self. He even allowed himself a little joke.
Then Ty asked them to wait until he made a first analysis and could assess if he needed more samples. Eve smiled at Tristan. “I’m actually glad you’re there. The only vampires we met have all been sociopaths so it’s good to see some of us can be nice people. It feels less lonely.”
“That is very nice of you. So you feel lonely sometimes? Even with Cain at your side?”
– Cain is… He still has some issues with his situation and… I can’t rely on him too much. He has already suffered enough because of me.
– Because of you?
– I… I turned him, you know.
“I nearly killed him, and I turned him so that he wouldn’t die… He is stuck with that condition because of my carelessness. Oh, he resented me so much at first… He was going out of control and I had to cover up for him…”
“I’m sorry for bringing this up, it is obviously very painful to you. You feel very guilty towards him, don’t you?”
“But your guilt isn’t quite justified. You know, Eve… We vampires are very clannish creatures. Your clan is made up by the people you turn. And you… you would be their liege. They are the ones who are obligated to you, not the other way round.”
Eve was thunderstruck. She turned around so that he couldn’t see her face.
– What… what do you mean, their liege?
– When you turn someone, there is an indelible bond between you. I have the impression you took that bond the wrong way. You have been Cain’s slave because you felt guilty, and that’s what still guides you both. Am I correct?
– I… I don’t know…
– Did you have a child out of love then?
– We… didn’t think we would have a child.
– Eve… all I’m saying is that your feelings may be misleading. There is clearly a power struggle between you and Cain, and you should naturally be the one in control.
“You were saying that Cain had suffered enough, but haven’t you suffered enough as well?”
Ty burst in at that moment and Eve and Tristan broke apart abruptly. “That is incredible…” he said, looking more worried than happy. “What is it?” Eve asked eargerly.
– Your father didn’t pass the gene on to you. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it must have been Tanya.
– Mum?! But she’s human!
Tristan was deep in thought and said almost to himself: “So humans can be carriers?”
“I still don’t understand how it is possible, but that is my assumption. Eve, could you ask Tanya to come and see me as soon as possible? I’d like to get to the bottom of it.”
Eve changed her clothes, feeling a bit dazed. Was it true that she and Cain were only bound by guilt? Why would her mother carry a vampire gene? She was still out of space when she went to Stella to fetch her daughter. “She has been a good girl” Stella reassured her.
While she was playing with Eloise, Stella had built up a little scenario in her head. She would study Eloise’s genes and assist Prof. Huey in his research. Eloise was a curious child and looked particularly bright. So Stella took the plunge: “Say, I was wondering if you could let me perform a few tests on Eloise. Nothing painful, I promise. We have no data at all on vampire babies.”
Since Eve was still looking very confused, Tristan came to her rescue and Eve smiled gratefully at him.
– Not now, please. She has just heard a rough announcement, so please let her get some rest first.
– I wasn’t… I mean, of course, I understand.
– Thank you.