Chapter 8:

Weakened and Reliant

Blood and Silver

A couple of days passed as Nadia recovered in bed. During that period, Elizabeth would periodically bring blood for her guest to drink. As time passed and Nadia fed more, her night vision began to return to her. When it did, she began to see that the room she was in was nothing like she had expected. When she had heard that the place was in the world projects, she had assumed this place would be run-down like almost everywhere else in that area of the city. But in reality, this place was the absolute opposite. The furniture in the room will as of comparable quality to that in the Cruxius mansion. Bookmark here

“Elizabeth, did you pick up the bag I had with me?” Asked Nadia when she finally gained the strength to get out of bed. Bookmark here

“You mean the one that the needle was in?” replied Elizabeth, “It’s just over their,” she said, pointing to the foot of a dresser in the room.Bookmark here

“Thank you,” said Nadia as she got up to sit on the side of the bed. She lingered there as Elizabeth left the room and began to contemplate her options. Nadia still needed to find a place to hideout until the current situation with the other family passed. There was an option right in front of her, however she was hesitant to take it. But it didn’t take long for Nadia to overcome this hesitation and get up. She opened up her bag and grabbed the phone and the machine that connected to it. Nadia set it up on the nightstand next to the bed and dialed in a number. After ringing for only a few moments, Kayla picked up.Bookmark here

“Kayla, send someone with supplies to set up the new hideout. Tell them that an IV machine won’t be necessary”Bookmark here

“Understood, Lady Nadia,” replied Kayla as she promptly hung the phone up. Nadia then headed back to her bag and grabbed some clothes out of it. After changing into the new set of clothes, she left the room. As she did, she realized that while she could walk now, she still felt pain with each step. Nadia was, however, more than prepared to deal with the pain. Bookmark here

When she stepped through the door, she was met with a room that was just as finely decorated as the bedroom. In the middle of the room was a coffee table and a couch next to it. Sitting in this couch cross-legged was Elizabeth, who looked at Nadia as she left the room. Bookmark here

“On your feet already?” said Elizabeth with a slight tone of disappointment, “I guess you’ll be heading off now that you don’t need me?”Bookmark here

“Actually,” said Nadia, “I’ve been in need of a place to stay, so if you wouldn’t mind-“Bookmark here

“I would be more than happy for you to stay!” exclaimed Elizabeth, nearly jumping from her seat, “but are you sure you want to stay here? With me?”Bookmark here

“The place needs a few things, but I called someone that can bring things here,” replied Nadia, half-answering her blue-haired host.Bookmark here

“Wait, someone else is going to be coming?” said Elizabeth, the excitement in her voice suddenly leaving, “can’t you bring the stuff yourself?”Bookmark here

“Why? Is there a problem with that?”Bookmark here

“Well, I just don’t want many people knowing about this place”Bookmark here

“Why’s that?”Bookmark here

“Well you see...” said Elizabeth, her eyes drifting to the ground, “it’s a long story”Bookmark here

“Well, if that’s the case, then why don’t you come with me to help bring my stuff over? I’m meeting them half the ways here anyways”Bookmark here

”That should be alright, but how far away from here will we be going?”Bookmark here

“Not sure, but once I’m able to get my bearings I can tell you” said Nadia. Bookmark here

“Fine, I’ll go with you”Bookmark here

• • •Bookmark here

When Nadia exited the building via a metallic door, she found that it led onto metal scaffolding at the side of a brick building. The exit was three stories up from the ground. Nadia stepped out onto the scaffolding, Elizabeth following suit. Bookmark here

“Follow me,” said Nadia as soon as Elizabeth closed the door behind her, as she began to race up the stairs of the fire exit. Elizabeth did as her guest had said and stayed only a few steps behind her. They soon reached the roof of the building of Elizabeth’s residence. When they did, Nadia began to look about with her hand over her eyes, a gesture that was normally used to block out the sunlight, though in this case it was merely habitual. Eventually, her eyes fell upon a particular landmark—a billboard that a soda company that had, in vain, tried to advertise with in the world projects during days long passed. This billboard was one of a kind, and as such, seeing it told Nadia exactly where in the world projects she was. She looked about for a short time longer to confirm where she next needed to go.Bookmark here

“There,” said Nadia, pointing to a nondescript brick building whose only discernible characteristic was the use of purple as a color secondary to the brick red, “I’m meeting them in that building”Bookmark here

“The one with purple?” Bookmark here

“Yes,” affirmed Nadia, who, without any warning, began to run towards the edge of the rooftop. Bookmark here

“Wait, Nadia-!” started Elizabeth, though she was too late to stop Nadia from leaping to a nearby rooftop. Elizabeth realized what would happen as soon as Nadia began running, though it took the pain in her legs at the moment of her jump to make Nadia herself realize it. As she soared through the air, both Nadia and Elizabeth could tell her trajectory was too low. Bookmark here

Nadia instinctively put her hands out as she flew towards the wall of the other building. Right as she made contact with it, Nadia was able to grab onto the edge of the roof. She hadn’t fell. Her grip, however, was uneasy.Bookmark here

“Hold on, Nadia!” said Elizabeth as she did as Nadia attempted, and landed atop the rooftop feet first. She immediately turned around and lent a hand to Nadia, who still hadn’t gotten a good grip on the roof. Bookmark here

“Here,” said Elizabeth. She was, however, turned away by Nadia, who shook her head and continued to struggle upwards. After about fifteen seconds of doing so, Nadia managed to get herself on top of the rooftop. Bookmark here

“I don’t think you should do that again,” said Elizabeth with earnest worry.Bookmark here

“I have no choice, going down into the streets isn’t an option,” replied Nadia, who readied herself for another jump. But just as she started her sprint, Nadia’s hand had been grabbed and she was pulled back. Before she could react, her legs had been swept off the ground and she laid within the arms of Elizabeth.Bookmark here

“In that case, I’ll have to carry you across the rooftops,” said Elizabeth.Bookmark here

“E-excuse me!?” said Nadia bashfully, forcing her way back onto her own two feet, “Why is that your first solution!?”Bookmark here

“You’re going to waste time if you keep messing up jumps like that,” said Elizabeth, “also, if you fail badly enough, you may end up in the street, which is the reason you’re up here”Bookmark here

“Well that doesn’t mean you have to carry me like that!” said Nadia, trying to hide her emotion aside from anger.Bookmark here

“Then what do you suggest as an alternative?”Bookmark here

“Well, I could...” started Nadia, her voice trailing off.Bookmark here

“See? There’s no other option, right?”Bookmark here

“Well, still...” started Nadia as she glanced away from Elizabeth.Bookmark here

“Fine, I’ll do it,” said Nadia, submitting.Bookmark here

As soon as she gave her consent, Nadia was once again picked up off her feet. Bookmark here

“Hang on tight,” said Elizabeth to Nadia, who obliged. Elizabeth took a couple steps back and lowered her stance before going into an inhumanly fast sprint. After only half a dozen steps or so, Elizabeth reached the other end of the rooftop and leapt off it, easily reaching the rooftop across from the gap. As soon as she landed, she went off into another sprint and leapt to another rooftop.Bookmark here

Elizabeth continued to do this for the next several minutes. As she did, Nadia felt something that she seldom felt; Nadia felt small. Mainly, she felt vulnerable and defenseless, something she hadn’t felt since before her days with the Cruxius family. Her lingering injuries had rendered her inadequate for the physical feats she often performed. As such, Nadia now could not perform these tasks alone, and needed to rely on Elizabeth. She held mixed feelings about this. On one hand she felt pride in her own independence, and as such, was hesitant to accept Elizabeth’s helping hand. On the other hand, however, there was still a part of Nadia that wished to let go of her ego and allow herself to rely on others. Bookmark here

However, there was another sense of feeling small that this situation evoked from Nadia, a feeling of inadequacy. This stemmed from a place mere inches away from Nadia’s face: Elizabeth’s bosom. The Cruxius family was not short of well-endowed women, as Natalia enjoyed surrounding herself with women of a wide array of assets. This blue-haired woman that carried Nadia, however, put to shame even the Cruxius women that built their entire portfolio in the chest area. However, these “investments” that bounced in front of Nadia’s face did not evoke jealousy alone. Instead, it brought forth an emotion that Nadia was not entirely unfamiliar with, but was ultimately alien to her. Bookmark here

“Calm down, Nadia,” the Cruxius had thought to herself, “you don’t even know if she’s down for girls. I mean, she’s probably just lonely, looking for a friend to keep her company. She definitely wouldn’t be letting me stay if she knew the truth, right? Hell, what do I see in her anyways? I mean, yeah, she’s smoking hot and all, but so is almost everyone back at Cruxius. So why her, Nadia? Why now?”Bookmark here

“We’re here,” said Elizabeth, interrupting Nadia’s thoughts and letting her back down on her feet. Once back on her feet, Nadia did a stretch with her arms in the air before she spoke.Bookmark here

“I’m going to be meeting them two floors down from here,” said Nadia, her earlier bashfulness nowhere to be seen, “We’ll probably end up talking about a lot of personal stuff before we start hauling the stuff, so I’d like you to stay here until further notice”Bookmark here

“Fair enough,” replied Elizabeth. After hearing that, Nadia immediately turned to go into the building via a door on the roof.Bookmark here

“Nadia, I changed my mind from earlier”Bookmark here

“About what?” said Nadia, stopping in her tracks and looking back at Elizabeth.Bookmark here

“Well, I don’t think I’ll be able to carry you and the stuff back on my own, so I’ll let the other person carry the stuff back to my place”Bookmark here

“That’s fine,” replied Nadia, turning away before she did so. The reason for this—even though it was impossible due to her lack of blood and vampirism—was to hide her bashful expression from the blue-haired woman.Bookmark here

“No, seriously Nadia, why now?” she thought to herself once again. Bookmark here


Blood and Silver

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