Chapter Six

Rose stared at her lover in anguished silence. His right cheek and most of his right hand had been charred and the Doctor was gritting his teeth in agony at the pain.

“Doctor,” she whispered.

He shook his head prompting her to be quiet. He sat in the treetops holding her tightly to him while he watched their pursuers searching for them far below. She glanced down at the burnt hand holding her tightly against her body and she grimaced at it, thanking God she had retrieved the force field and given it to him before he became a pile of ashes. They sat there waiting and watching while the guards combed the forest looking for them. Luckily they didn’t think to look up and the branches and leaves of the tree hid them from view. While they waited for them to stop the Doctor managed to get his pain under control and listened while the lead guard barked orders at the others to find them at any cost.

“Nice to know we’re so popular now,” the Doctor muttered to Rose.

“Oh Doctor, how are you gonna repair your skin?”

Blood, I need fresh blood to stimulate my cells and get them to repair the damage,” he whispered. “Unfortunately, the artificial stuff isn’t gonna work. I need real blood.”

“Take mine then.”

He looked at her and shook his head.

“Rose, no. I was just kidding about taking your blood. I could never do that to you.”

“I want to do it. I want you to be healed. Please take what you need.”

The Doctor’s eyes shown with love and he held her close while they waited for an opportunity to leave.

It came about fifteen minutes later when the guards finally moved to a different part of the forest. The Doctor shifted Rose so she was against him. She put her arms around his neck while she held him tightly. He slowly flew up against the tree and when he was past all the branches and limbs, he quickly zoomed up into the clouds before they were spotted. He flew high up in the air, his sharp eyes picking out the guards moving through the forest. He spotted his TARDIS on the other side of the village and headed towards it while Rose held on tightly. When he was over it, he glanced back and held Rose as tight as he could while he zoomed down towards it at top speed. He stopped himself just before he hit the ground and gently floated down beside it. Once they were on the ground he unlocked the door and ushered Rose inside before he shut and locked it again.

Alright, Rose,” the Doctor said as they sat together on the jump seat. “I’m gonna take the blood from your wrist and take just enough to heal me. So just relax. I won’t go overboard and kill you and you won’t become a vampire.”

“Just do what you have to in order to heal your skin,” she replied.

He kissed her lips and stroked her cheek briefly before he took her right wrist and studied it for a moment determining the ideal spot to bite her. Then he brought it up to his lips.

“This will hurt for just a second, but then it’ll numb and you won’t feel anything.”

Rose nodded. She braced herself when the Doctor opened his mouth and his canines elongated. He kissed the area he was going to bite and murmured an apology before he positioned his fangs over the vein. Then with a silent count of three he bit down. Rose winced for a second and then her face became passive as the Doctor withdrew his fangs and began to feed on her precious blood. Rose scooted nearer to him and stroked the back of his jet black hair while he drank her life-force. He drank for about three minutes and then stopped.

“That’s it. That’ll be enough,” he said.

He gave her a grateful smile.

“Thank you, my Rose.”

“You’re welcome,” she whispered.

He licked the blood off his lips and helped her to stand. He led her back to med bay where he put antiseptic on the wounds, put gauze over them and wrapped the wrist in a bandage tying the ends of it together. He then walked over to a bed and lay down.

“I have to rest for a moment so the blood can work,” he explained.

Rose knelt down beside the bed and the Doctor stroked her cheek.

“Thank you for that,” he said. “You didn’t have to do that for me.”

“I know but I wanted to. You’re hurt and if my blood can heal you than I’ll give it to you willingly.”

He smiled tenderly at her.

“You taste good, you know that? You taste every bit as sweet as I thought you would.”

“Well, nice to know my blood isn’t foul tastin’”

“We’ll have to go back. We have to stop her before she slaughters any more innocent women.”

She nodded.

“Elizabeth Bathory’s reign of terror has lasted long enough. I won’t let another girl end up like that poor thing in her bathroom,” he added. “She needs to be brought to justice now and we’re gonna be the ones who do it.”

He glanced at his hand and showed Rose. She breathed a sigh of relief when she noticed the burnt area had shrunk considerably. She turned his face so she could see his right cheek and noticed that wound was shrinking too. She ran her fingers though his tousle while he smiled at her.

Andor, the head guard, flinched when his mistress picked up a vase and threw it across her bedroom where it shattered into several large pieces against the stone wall.

“I will not accept excuses!” she yelled at him. “You and your men were ordered to find the intruders and I will not hear you telling me that you can’t find them! I have a feeling these are the two who prevented the capture of the young girl earlier and I want them both alive and kneeling at my feet, especially the young woman! Now why can’t you find them? Out with it!”

“Forgive me, Mistress, but we have searched almost the entire forest. We have fanned out and looked around every tree and looked up the shorter ones that they could have climbed. There is no sign of them. It’s like they vanished into thin…”

He grunted when the Countess smacked him hard across the face. She ran over, grabbed the largest shard of the vase, ran back and held the jagged end to his throat.

“I will not accept excuses, do you hear! Especially weak ones like that! I want them found. I want you to search the village, the mountains, the countryside and every single acre of Hungarian earth and if you can’t find them here, search beyond the borders and don’t stop until you have them because if I see you back in here telling me they must have vanished into thin air, I will have your head for a trophy! Do you understand me?”

“Y…yes, Mistress.”

“The girl is mine now. I claim her for my own and I’m not about to let her get away, not after she cost me the life of the other one. The male will be brought before me, tied down and whipped. Then he will watch while I drain the girl, sup on her blood and bathe in it. Then he will be tied hand, foot and head to my finest horses and torn apart. That is why they must be found at any cost, is that understood?”

“Yes, my Mistress.”

She stood up and dropped the shard.

“Good, then go and carry out my orders before they are able to escape.”

“At once, my Mistress.”

She watched while he got up and hurried out of the room. She gnashed her teeth and kicked the shard across the room before she got back into bed and tried to relax.

Dorottya was getting frustrated. She, Ilona, Katalin and Zsuzsanna were looking for the man and the woman in the village. They had question several of the ignorant peasants and some told of two strange gypsies that matched their descriptions but all they could tell them was they were ordered out of the village before they were imprisoned. No one had seen them since.

“Come on,” Dorottya said after they questioned the tenth person. “These idiots know nothing. We need to keep looking before they get away.”

Ilona shoved Katalin when she hesitated.

“And that means you, little toad,” she snarled at her. “You’re in this just as deeply as we are and if you resist any more we are going to tell the Countess and you know what that means.”

Katalin swallowed hard and nodded. She followed the others while they headed out of the village.

“Ah, much better,” the Doctor said, sitting up.

He showed his hand to Rose and she rejoiced. There was not a single burn mark on his hand or his cheek. If she didn’t know better she could have sworn nothing happened to him. He smiled and leaned over to give her a kiss.

“My Angel came through for me again,” he said. “I’m so grateful to you for doing this.”

“It’s my pleasure. I’m just glad you’re healed,” she said.

He breathed a sigh of relief when he stood and helped Rose to her feet.

“Now, my faithful mortal companion and supplier of blood whenever I request it, let’s go see about sorting out the Blood Countess once and for all, eh?’

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