After another confusing night of dreams, Drew opened his eyes only to see Essie looking down at him.
"Hey sleepy head. Get up, we're getting our blood allotments." And with that, she turned around and walked away.
Drew sat up in his coffin. Blood allotments? At this hour? he thought. He got up and walked over to where his fellow vampires were feasting on plastic bags of blood. He picked one up and let it wobble in his pale hand. He became entranced as it shook at his command. He was so busy looking at it; he didn't notice Merrill behind him.
"Good night, Drew. Sleep well?" she asked in her usual calm manner.
Drew turned on his heel to face her. "Not particularly."
"Yeah, I guess. Just that ever since I spent that time in the library with Sherry." He paused. "I guess now I realize how hard it would be to love someone whose blood you lust for." He couldn't bear to look into Merrill's eyes as he said those words. He knew that she had been right all along. He looked down expecting to see Merrill but she was not there. So he shifted his attention back to the blood in his hand.
Merrill had run to find Essie, who was fixing her hair while humming a tune. "Essie?"
"Yes, Merrill?" Essie looked over her shoulder and twirled her chair around to face Merrill. "Merrill, is there any particular reason that you have a look of triumph on your face?" Essie's perfectly shaped eyebrows arched.
"Drew told me he realized he and Sherry could never be together."
Essie's gray eyes lit up. "Finally the idiot realizes the cold hard truth."
Merrill couldn't help but smile more due to the fact that she and Essie finally had something to talk about. Although, they were the only female vampires in the experiment, they had never really found anything they had in common.
Essie shot Merrill a Rachimova grin. "Come on, let's go to class."
Just as they arrived, Dr. Murdoch entered the room. Yet he was not holding the usual stack of books or pictures for them to study. Instead he held several keys.
"Good morning, or should I say night." He smirked at his own little joke. "I trust you ate well."
"Why the early snack?" asked Karl as he took a seat beside Essie.
"You will need plenty of energy for today's assignment. First, I will have to do some explaining. Vampires are solitary creatures except for one or two allies. What you do not know is, allies are not for friendship. They are for survival. Today you will find an ally and you will fuse your powers together to make them something stronger, something never seen before. Now this is normally done with makers and children but the Elders have informed me that I am to try with you." He turned to Marty. "Now Marty, you have been working on holding and throwing, correct?"
Marty nodded and smiled that "I am the KING!" smile of his. "Yeah, and I'm getting pretty good."
"Excellent. Today will be quite a challenge for you because you have learned how to control tangible things: chairs, plates, etc. Today you will have to throw Essie's hypnotic powers."
Essie stood up and crossed her arms. "HELL NO! I am not going to let this creep throw my powers!"
"Relax, Essie. No harm will be brought to you…hopefully," said Dr. Murdoch. He handed Essie a key. "This is the key to that room," and pointed to a barred area. "You are to go in there with Marty and learn to control his powers and your own."
Essie rolled her eyes and walked over to the iron door of the so-called room.
Marty followed closely after. "Why do we have to be barred in here?"
Dr. Murdoch looked at them. "For your own protection."
"Now everyone, pay attention," he said the students as the heavy metal door shut. "This is what you are going to have to do. Hold hands so that you are connected as one." Marty willingly took Essie's hand.
Merrill noticed Karl's quiet hiss.
"Now Essie, tell Marty to throw your power to me. Make me come over to the door and open it. Marty, do what the voice tells you."
Essie closed her eyes and thought deeply. Marty could see her pupils turning madly in her eyes.
Marty, throw my power to Dr. Murdoch.
Instantly, Marty began to twitch violently and Essie let out a bloodcurdling scream as if she were in pain. Karl immediately shot up and tried to open the door but Drew held him back. Dr. Murdoch walked over the door and opened it, breaking some sort of seal.
"Very good Essie and Marty. Very good."
By that time, Essie was close to passing out and Marty was gasping as if he needed the air.
"What the hell was that?" he asked.
"That is very normal for fusion of power. There will be certain forces that will try to prevent you but over time, you will feel the effects less and less."
Marty and Essie hobbled out of the room and collapsed in their chairs.
Dr. Murdoch turned around and looked straight at Merrill.
Merrill's eyes showed only fear. She was a delicate object and pain was not a favourite thing to experience. Merrill shot a glance at Essie who winked at her. Then the look on Merrill's face changed and she courageously got up and walked into the barred room.
Dr. Murdoch looked at Merrill with a look of surprise on his face. "My, my, Merrill. You seem to be very courageous today."
"Things seem to be going my way."
"Drew you are going to be working with Merrill and Karl, you get to be the guinea pig. Run up to the main floor of the school. Make sure there are no day students there and sit by the fireplace. Drew, stand with Merrill."
Drew got out of his chair and walked into the room. The door slammed shut.
"Thank you Marty," said Dr. Murdoch.
"Now hold hands and Merrill, you are going to read Drew's thoughts while he travels upstairs to Karl. Then you are going to read Karl's mind. It's as simple as that. Good luck."
Drew took Merrill's hand into his own. It fit perfectly. He closed his eyes as Merrill closed hers.
Suddenly Merrill felt a shock go through her body, like lightning.
Essie looked at Merrill with concern. "What's wrong with her, Dr. Murdoch?"
"Quiet, Essie. She's in a trance."
Merrill traveled with Drew up to the main floor. They zoomed past the furniture and found Karl pacing by the fireplace.
Why do I have to be the stupid guinea pig? Why couldn't they read Murdoch's mind?
As Merrill read Karl's thoughts, Drew heard them too. They shared powers. They were no longer two different bodies. They were one.
Another strike of lightning surged through them as Merrill and Drew opened their eyes. They looked at each other knowing that they had shared something amazing.
"Why do I have to be the stupid guinea pig? Why couldn't they read Murdoch's mind?" they recited together.
"Excellent, you two. Excellent!"
Karl was coming down the stairs just as Merrill and Drew were returning to their seats.
"Here comes the guinea pig now," remarked Marty. It appeared that he was feeling better.
"Now for the rest of the lesson, I want Marty and Essie to work on their fusion powers. Use Karl as the test subject. Merrill and Drew, go have some fun," said Dr. Murdoch. And with that, he left.
"Have some fun? What did he mean by that?" asked Drew.
Merrill realized that he had not let go of her hand. "There's some sort of commotion upstairs. I heard voices when I was sleeping. Let's see what it's about."
Drew closed his eyes and Merrill looked to see that Marty and Essie were busy making Karl do the funky chicken.
This trance was very different. No lightning, just mist as if they were in a dream. She followed Drew to what looked like a room upstairs. Merrill recognized the annoying voice that belonged to Eric.
"Man, I am so psyched. Finally Murdoch loosens up and let's us have some fun," said Eric.
"Yeah. This carnival should be a blast," replied Eric's roommate.
Merrill looked through Eric's thoughts: naked girls, naked girls, school, naked girls, naked girls, Sherry, naked girls, naked girls, carnival.
Merrill was sucked back to reality as she realized that Drew had opened his eyes.
Drew had been looking at Merrill as she was reading Eric's mind. Her pale face looked as fragile as fine china under the light. Merrill opened her eyes. She brought her head down as if mourning the visions she had lost.
He lifted her chin with his finger and made her look in his eyes. "Read my mind."
She looked in his dark eyes and realized he was being serious. She closed her eyes and concentrated. But Drew was blocking her. She concentrated harder, going deeper, trying to get past the wall Drew had built.
Drew's attempts to build the wall were effortless. He looked at Merrill as she struggled. Her smooth skin shone. Her lips so red.
In an instant, she was brought back to reality by the feeling of Drew's cool lips against her own. The kiss was innocent and it grew deeper and more urgent as they got closer.
"Yeah baby!" yelled Marty as Essie smacked him upside the head.
But this did not disturb either of them. Drew held Merrill in his arms, where she belonged and would stay for eternity.