While Erkan had been in the hospital the coffee obtaining schedule had returned to old habits. Erkan’s return didn’t do much to change that. He picked up one day like he had before, but that was it. He wasn’t sure he wanted to see Savina every day.
He didn’t have anything in particular against her, but his initial infatuation had worn off. Coupled with learning about the supernatural world, he wasn’t really sure how to act. He wasn’t sure if she would still want to date him, nor was he sure he would want to date her. Erkan knew that if asked ‘do you want to date a vampire’ a large amount of the internet would say ‘yes’, but when faced with the question for real, it was a rather different situation. He still had a lot of questions to ask himself about what he actually wanted.
Eventually, Erkan realized that he was being foolish. He was still friends with Savina, so asking her questions about things was a good approach.
What do people do?
Like, for entertainment
Hang out in their homes
Binge watch old shows
Yeah but like…
I thought they’d all hang out in weird nightclubs
Some people do that
Not a huge fan
Since some of you only operate at night
It seems like there are fewer options
There are a few places open at night
Uncle Nico is still having trouble with that
Finding one person in a city this size isn’t easy
That’s not the real problem
Maybe you should talk to Uncle Nico
Erkan did have his number. He was also modern enough to use texting, even though Erkan thought it weird to text his blood magic teacher. It also felt weird to call him by his first name, but he had explained he didn’t want to be called ‘officer’ in private and ‘master’ felt weird. Mr. Nervetti was, of course, even more out of the question.
This is Erkan
I heard you had new information on… Vittore?…
I forgot to contact you
The whole situation has been… difficult
Savina said you found him?
Yes, but we haven’t been able to bring him in.
You know Marconi?
Well, I’ve heard of him
Right, well, he’s working for someone else.
… there’s a vampire mafia?
That’s where Vittore came from
I might be in over my head.
Hopefully they don’t still have it in for me…
You’re probably safe
But stay out of the north part of town
And make sure to practice your lessons
But I doubt someone trying to kill me
Will let me go pick up a gallon of pig blood and some brushes
… should I carry some with me?
Though there’s no point yet
Later… well, other blood will be more effective
That sounds like a terrible idea
I have haemophilia after all
Good thing we’re learning blood control next session, hmm?
Any news on Justin?
Actually is it safe to text?
As safe as anything electronic is
Maybe a bit safer because some people are… oldschool
He’s definitely in the Shadowlands
Which would put him more in danger, but he’s proven his ability to survive there
They’re probably trying to track him down
Who’s ‘they’ anyway?
The vampire mafia?
Do they have a name?
Erkan supposed it made sense. The word mafia wasn’t just used for no reason. The most prominent organized crime had been heard of out of Italy. Even Marconi was probably real mafia. Likewise, it made sense for the vampire mafia to be Nervetti. That would also explain why Savina didn’t speak of most of her family. Only her immediate family and uncle’s family. It had been easy enough to assume they were the only ones or that they didn’t keep track out to third cousins like his family.
It was easy enough to say that you wouldn’t judge people for their families, but when their family was the vampire mafia… it was harder than Erkan had thought. That was dumb, because logically it shouldn’t have mattered. Savina and Nico had done nothing but treat him well. However, humans weren’t made up of just logic. They were also made of flesh and blood and other squishy living parts that made things difficult. Erkan was glad he had a few more days before meeting up with Nico again.
Nico Nervetti pricked the tip of his finger with a sharp knife. A drop of blood came out and hung down… then stretched. Then it shrank and pulled against gravity. “Blood control is an important skill to have, not just for vampires also for blood mages. When you are required to use your own blood, you don’t want to bleed out. This is especially important for those who cannot regenerate… and even if you later cease to practice blood magic it will be useful. You have haemophilia, correct? You will be able to make your blood clot with practice. It has more immediate results than medicine.”
“Hmm. I hadn’t thought about that.”
“I wouldn’t have expected it. It’s quite outside of normal expectations. Now, what is different about what I am currently doing and what you have seen my niece doing?”
“Umm… no magic circle.”
“Quite right.” Nico nodded, “If you required a magic circle, it would barely be of use except in extreme circumstances. However, with practice controlling your own blood is trivial and only takes very little energy.”
“What about controlling someone else’s blood?”
“Difficult. Without a magic circle, nigh impossible.” Nico inclined his head, “Though it is one step easier for vampires, who have a strong affinity for blood and blood magic. Regardless, controlling blood inside another person is difficult to the point of being useless. At least, with any finesse. Even causing someone to faint requires a magic circle or prolonged physical contact, at which point you might as well just strangle them. Regardless, we aren’t here for that today. We’re here for personal blood control.”
“Right, how do we get started?”
“First, another circle. That will give you a feel for how it’s done. Then maybe next week you can do it without.”
“Next week? Is today going to be short?”
Nico smiled, “It’s not so easy to learn. Besides, you will be using your own blood. There’s only so much of that to practice with.”
“Don’t worry. I can stop the bleeding. We will also be using pig’s blood as a power source, so you don’t need much of your own.”
“Okay.” Erkan nodded. He wasn’t much fond of bleeding, but he did like the idea of controlling his own blood. He just hoped it didn’t hurt much.