The rhythm of his days in Tariq's room were remarkably halcyon. They slept through the daylight, the boy's aching body eager for the rest. They awoke to the cool breath of night sighing through the window. Fabien ate well, although the routine of his meals was sporadic and hinged largely on whenever the vampire remembered he ought to. He was, eventually, clothed in loose clothes that bared a great deal of his collar. Rarely was there a time the vampire did not have excuses to lay his hands or lips upon him.
His inability to remain mobile for long was a burden on the youth and he was prone to restlessness. When the urge to fidget grew overwhelming, the pair spoke. Fabien found if he were careful he could coax the vampire into sharing tales from his long life. These stories often lacked context, unknown names and places that could not be found on a modern map, but they proved a powerful distraction. He told him of children suckled by wolves, priestesses with the gift of prophecy, men who died but whose bodies did not lay down to rest in the earth until they had their revenge.
He spoke of all things as though he were present to witness them, and it was difficult to distinguish myth from fact, exaggeration from truth, legend from personal anecdote.
One such story was how he discovered the stranger that had interrupted their bath was still in the house - the vampire off-handedly mentioned she was staying with them. When pressed, he told Fabien her name was Fakhir, and then continued his tale with little space for more questions.
Further details would be uncovered slowly, like excavating bones from dust and clay, in the next few days - they had known one another for a very long time. He spoke fondly of her, although it was tempered with an exasperation that was hard to place. He spoke of her and her Lacrima - always her Lacrima - as though they were a pair, although details were sparse on what that meant. He idly referred to her once as une sorcière, which was certain to be both confounding and compelling to the boy, who was starved for information on whatever creature it was that was staying beneath his feet.
The vampire did not abide by the same confinement as his guest and there were long hours in which Fabien was left to his own devices. He had taken once such opportunity to pilfer cigarettes from his room and took to smoking them from the balcony that led out to the courtyard below. The moon-soaked hawthorn tree seemed always to greet him with a stately rustling.
He could see Colombe's window from the balcony. Occasionally, something moved beyond the glass, but he never caught sight of his friend.
The vampire returned from such absences flushed, the glittering constellations in his eyes whirling. If the boy were awake he would be hard-pressed to avoid the bloody taste of his master's sharp-toothed mouth on his, his hands pressed possessively under his clothes as though he meant to crack his ribs to get to the heart beneath.
It was only after about a week that Fabien made the case he was well enough to return to the rest of the house. The vampire resisted, at first, with a reluctance that betrayed a great deal of his enjoyment at having his warm body waiting in his bed for him, but after a day of listening to his protests, he relented.
“I have an engagement I must keep,” he had said, pulling his boots over his calves. "Fakhir is here. You may speak to her if you wish, although you may regret it once she does." He stood and swept his boy close to press his lips to his forehead.
"Mind your heart," he said lowly. It was all he had to say before collecting cane and mantle and departing.
With that, the vampire was gone and the boy was left alone in his room. The bloody curtains stirred gently, the cool evening air sighing through the windows.