First Blood – by Rose Dantis

It’s finally time. We’re in my car… alone in the dark car park. A car guard stands some fifty meters away from us. I feel… completely safe. I remove my elbow-length velvet gloves, and put them in the door pocket. You stare at my arms. I ask you to open the glove compartment. There’s a towel, a small box of blades, a bandage, and a shot glass in there. I sense your disappointment in seeing the shot glass.

You watch me press the blade gently to my right wrist. I cut quickly, four times, shuddering at the slight pain as I cut easily through my skin. I hear your sharp intake of breath, your desire mirroring my surprise. Blood bubbles up quickly from the two small X’s on my wrist. I look at you. Your fists are clenched, as if you’re fighting the urge to grab my wrist. Luckily, it’s not the wrist closest to you. I giggle nervously.

You know you can’t feed directly from me, so you wait as blood runs quickly into the shot glass. Some of it drips onto my fingers. I pass you the glass. With one hand, you take the glass – with the other, you grip my left wrist. You hold my hand to your face and slowly lick the blood from my fingers.

Blood is still flowing fast from my right hand, so I tell you to drink quickly so I can have the glass back. You try to lick the inside of the glass, but I need it back right now. The blood drips slower now, but enough for another full glass. You lick the outside and inside of the painfully small shot glass.

As the blood flows from my wrist into the glass, my breathing becomes ragged. This is not the same as the cutting I’ve been doing since I was 10. Perhaps it’s the fact that you’re watching me, perhaps it’s because I know I’m prey to you. This time, my bloodletting isn’t done to numb my grief and anger at the world. It’s done as a willing sacrifice, to feed the one who craves what I hate.

Seeing you drink, I imagine what it’s like for you. Do you taste the sadness that comes from the crimson tears I cannot cry? Can you feel the suppressed rage that pounds in my blood when I’m alone? Can you taste my hopes, my fears, and my weaknesses in the small amount you drank? I look at you, wanting to ask, and not knowing how.

Your eyes burn now with intensity I hadn’t seen when you were hungry. The dim light inside the car seems to make your eyes shine. When you smile, I see my blood on your lips, teeth and tongue. I stare at you, breathless and shaky, wondering what you think of me now.

I unwrap the bandage, and wrap it twice around my wrist, struggling to do it with one hand. Blood seeps through the gauze. You offer to help me. I hold my wrist out to you. You take it with surprising gentleness, considering the size of your hands. You unwrap the bandage from my arm. You raise my arm to your lips and inhale slowly. A shiver runs through us both. I can almost taste the tension between us. You lick the dried blood from my wrist, careful not to touch the cuts.

The cutting has made every nerve in my body more sensitive, especially to your touch. You want more. I can feel it. I want more too. I give you the blade. You turn my arm around, and place my palm on your leg. You look uncertain. “I trust you”, I say. “You won’t go too deep.” But in the back of my mind, I suddenly think, what if he doesn’t know how sharp the blade is? What if he overestimates the pressure needed to cut? Nonetheless, I don’t flinch when you bring it to my skin.

You press down lightly, timidly, and I smile at the drop of blood that trickles from the small incision. We both follow its path as it drips from my arm onto your jeans. “Close your eyes” you say. I look away from you, but don’t close my eyes. You run your hand down my arm, feeling the scars. I hear you breathe deeply. We exhale in unison. My whole body stiffens and I throw my head back into the neck rest as I feel searing pain shoot from my elbow to my wrist. My nails bite into your leg as I clench my fists, and a hiss escapes through my gritted teeth. I look down at my arm, sliced open for your need. Vertical over the many horizontal scars I left there myself, a long, deep red line runs the length of my forearm.

Time stands still. Your left hand squeezes my wrist, your right hand still holds the blade. “Too deep?” You ask. I smile and shake my head. Blood spills over my arm, onto the handbrake, gear lever, and passenger seat. You lick up the drips on my arm before touching the cut. Your eyes never leave mine. As your lips close around the cut, the pain is replaced by burning desire for you. I never want to stop bleeding, I never want your lips to leave my arm. My heartbeat slows. I feel myself breathing in time with you. Your mouth follows the path of the cut from wrist to elbow and back again, sending shivers up my spine, giving me goose bumps.

I’m seized by the sudden desire to draw your lips to mine, to taste the crimson liquid that sustains you. I raise my hand to my face. Your nails dig into my skin, slippery with blood, but your mouth doesn’t break contact with my arm. You run your mouth up and down my arm, your tongue licking deep into my arm, into my very soul.

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