Aqui está, graças ao inspirador primeiro parágrafo do Ricardo-dono. Domo arigato gozeimasu!
Nowadays, one had to be crazy to be walking alone at night. Surely, no woman was walking through the dim streetlights. There was not even the sounds of her quick footsteps. Rachel had took a cab to get home from work, that's what she did, she could afford it even. No one would have been so desperate to have decided to save every penny for a one-way trip away from this wretched city. Not that she liked London, or any of it. Not the briliant mix of people that crowded the streets everyday. Not the Queen and the bright-red honour guard. Not the music, the people and their rythym. Not the riverside where Jacob had took her to have a drink beneath the rain. Not her appartment where she could count the stars before falling asleep. None of it would keep her here. Nor could Rachel consider even for a moment Jacob's most surprising offer. No money, no way. Who was she kidding?
She turned a blind corner and was startled by an alley cat hurrying away. She instinctively tightened the mace spray can in her purse. It had helped her already once before, but fortunately she had still to use it since the riots had begun.
She turned back to her thoughts. For the most part of her adult life, her goal had been to get away, to travel, to acquire enough wealth, by whatever means necessary, so that she could enjoy life as she saw fit without relying on anyone. Once, when she was younger, she had depended on a man, and that had not turned out well. She recalled it vividly. The creak of the room door opening. The alcohol in his breath. She holding out a gun towards him in trembling hands. The wickedness of his grin and bloodshot eyes. The pure, sheer terror which had made her pull the trigger.
She had promised herself that very night two things, two guiding principles which she had adhered to ever since. One, never to depend on anyone, be it friend, family, employer or lover, ever again. Two, to stop at nothing to pull from Fate's grasp what she felt was rightfully hers. She did not feel she asked for too much.
For a time, she had focused on her chosen profession, taking up as many nursing shifts as she could just to save some extra cash. But the brutal wear of such a schedule had caught up with her, leaving her on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She was forced to take vacations for a whole month. It was during that time one of her patients asked her if she would like to do some photo shooting for a web dating agency. With her sharp wits, Rachel was on to the guy before he even knew it. But she still accepted.
She allowed herself to be taken in and seduced by the man, and consciously embraced the many others who naturally followed. Her training as a nurse gave her some insights on psichology, and she was able to use that to her advantage, molding men's behavior to better suit her interests. That had gained her decent fame and status as a prostitute, and more than once saved her from the rough treatment that her co-workers invariably ended up encountering.
She had told herself how long she would keep that life. She had even done the math, extrapolating from her average monthly savings how much time she would need before she could cut loose. That moment was still some way off. "No problem", she thought, "I still have quite a few good years in me for this shit". But secretly she knew she didn't.
How filled with renewed hope she had felt when she heard Jacob's proposal about the pharmacy! How much lighter her days had seemed just imagining the profits she could make from that association. Here were three people who were, like her, unwilling to stop at anything to make their fortune, yet at the same time, still innocent in some ways, not the hard-core cold-hearted gangster which she would fear. One of them even seemed to care for her. And he seemed decent enough, a well-spoken College Professor. He was not the cutest of the bunch, but he was not unattractive. Rachel was not about to give her her guiding principles, but for a while she entertained the thought of taking Jacob along when she would finally leave...
Then Jacob had turned out to be a vampire.
She recalled that night when he had told her. She had half-believed when she had seen his fangs, but it had been his eyes, truly and wholeheartedly thankful for her acceptance of his nature, that had convinced her. Rachel had never been one to naturally disbelief the supernatural. In her lines of work, one saw ocasionally some damn near supernatural things. She accepted Jacob was a vampire, without caring to know why, how, or, really, what. Part of her was even thrilled at their developing relationship - much like one feels when dating for the first time. This guy was cold as a corpse, yet he still seemed to appreciate human warmth. He was apparently not really interested in sex, yet he still craved to possess her (or her blood) in some not-so-different predatorial manner. Rachel had more than enough contact with humanity's basic instincts in her daily and nightly jobs. The vampiric instincts she felt instead in Jacob Hart offered an all-too-welcome change.
Yes she was starting to feel closer to Jacob, so much that she hated herself when he had gone alone into a gang's safehouse and had almost been killed and she had been worried for him. But the dream of the pharmacy, the silver lining that would allow her finally to fulfill her dream and escape the eternal fog of London, that was more important to her than anything. When Jacob had destroyed the pharmacy, and with it that dream, for all the proximity she was feeling towards him, for all the relief he brought from the routine of her days and nights, she could not bring herself to forgive him.
"And now he comes back into my life", she thought. No dream this time. No pharmacy. Just the unexpected bargain Jacob had tried to strike with her. Rachel would give him blood, and in return Jacob would help her invest and multiply her earnings. Wow. This being the same Jacob who had burnt to the ground a pharmacy worth easily over 500,000£, and with it the possibility to make much much more, somehow that didn't strike her as a very good idea. "The guy had it all, Rachel. He blew it. They always do. You've got to rely on yourself again. Man to think you even had to take crap from that Gorsky creep!"
Of course, there was the *other* part of Jacob's offer to consider. This one required her to let go of her rational beliefs and go all the way with the supernatural. Jacob - or rather his blood - could supposedly make Rachel free from illness and even delay old age - all extremely desirable effects for one in her line of work. Being a nurse, Rachel always took the proper precautions with all her customers, but she also knew the risks she was still exposed to. AIDS, hepathytis, herpes, name it. And as for delaying old age, that meant of course delaying the time of her retirement from her nightly job. Surely that was worth some money?
"You want to trust him Rachel - admit it. You want the escapade into his vampire world open again. You want to feel him drink your blood again - god, what am I thinking?"
She turned the key in the lock, opened it and turned on the light.
"There may be those lucky enough to choose only the safest catches from what life throws at them", Rachel thought, "but I am not one of those people. Whether Jacob is lying or not, whether he is unstable or unreliable or crazy, he is part of the hand I was dealt. He's got money, and he may still have some connections to important people. I can not, will not, throw him away."
She was in the shower now, letting the hot water soothe the wear in her body and mind. Could she catch any disease by letting Jacob drink her blood? Her training said no: as there was no contact with *Jacob's* blood, the risk was all his. But what if? And what about the addiction that Jacob had warned her about? Was he exagerating? Could it be a prank that older vampires had pulled on him? So many doubts, so many questions...
"He crushed my hopes of a better life. He'll have to call again to prove he is really interested in this deal now." Would Jacob turn to someone else's blood instead? No no no never mind that now, you'll drive yourself crazy if you keep questioning everything.
"I must know if he's serious about this deal. I'll give him until the end of the week to call me back. If he doesn't, well we'll see, but maybe *I* will call him and ask for some proof of his commitment up front. Who knows? In the nights of London, anything can happen." And with those thoughts she tucked into her sheets and instantly fell asleep.