The following takes place on the London subway, heading towards St. James College at 10PM Thursday evening.
Rachel. Erika. Katherine. Sophia. The names lingered in Jacob's mind. He felt drawn to each through similar emotions but, he was sure, for different motives.
Rachel he was closer to. She had understood and accepted what he was. She was perhaps too materialistic, but was he not too so often cold and calculating? He did not forget the walk along the river with her, nor her cool reaction when she had found out he had taken her blood before, and most of all he did not forget the feel of her warm hug when he had thanked her for understanding and accepting what he was. As a rational plus, she was mortal and could do for him in the day what Jacob himself could not do in the night...
Erika had been close to his father, and of all the four, had helped him without him asking for it. He did not know her that well yet, but he felt a kind soul within her, with a luring touch of frailty. He could not forget how anxious she had seemed to confide in him at the shooting range. That had touched him. As he felt himself needing to rely more on another for support, it was reassuring at least to be relied on as well...
Katherine was incredibly beautiful, of course. Even when he had seen her more exalted, with the full might predator's aura, she had been a wonder to behold. One could wake up next to such beauty for eternity and never grow tired of it. But what he thought attracted him most about her was her wisdom, her knowledge, the wisdom with which she spoke. In a way, Jacob was uncertain if he did not see in Katherine Pole the mother he had never needed before - until now. But when he had first seen her, at his admittance presentation, the empathy he had felt had been more than motherly...
Sophia had the irresistible lure of danger. Her luscious attractive body might not now arouse quite the same effect on Jacob as it would have done a month ago, the vampiric perception of sexual attraction being more related with the desire to "hunt" and "possess" the object of that desire in the taking of her blood. But she had still that overwhelming feel of power about her. And, if he could only unlock the means to converse with her, she could teach him more than anyone else he knew. The exceedingly powerful aura she irradiated only added to her attractiveness. Dating Sofia would be like walking around inside a Faraday cage - you feel that you are inches away from getting seriously hurt, but the experience is unforgettable...
As often happened when he let his emotions do the thinking, he could not come to a conclusion. Time for the rational weighing of pros and cons which he was so good at. Time for the power of the mind to tip the scales that the weakness of the heart could not.
Sophia was too "out" for him. He remembered his talk with Dimitri, only the night before - how awkward it was to converse with these old ones! What manner of subject could he discuss with Sofia? What interest could she have in *him*?
He could probably show her around modern-day London if she was interested. But he would not be able to understand her thoughts and feelings for a *very* long time. One could not be "close" to such a person, no matter how attractive her aura might be.
In dating Katherine he would feel like dating a teacher or worse, in some ways, a boss. Like Sophia, he would want to drag her out of St. James' College, to show her the world he came from and had grown up in. He wanted to have that to offer her, for no man wants a woman who needs nothing from him. At the very least, the man wants to provide laughter, or "a good time". But would Katherine Pole care for such things?
So, the vampire love interests were down for the count, at least for now. He might bring Sofia a rose though... or ask her and Dimitri out on a tour of London. Yes. That should be exciting!
What about Erika and Rachel?
In both he saw something he could relate to, some aspect of their being which made them like him, and drew him to them. After all, humans and vampires alike seek, everything considered, someone to help get us through the nights with the quiet assurance that we are not alone in our thoughts, emotions, and experiences.
In Erika Jacob saw the frailty he also had when that misterious voice in his brain was silent, the uncertainty of what to do and how to handle the harsh world he was now immersed into.
In Rachel he saw the ambition that drove him through the nights, seeking to know more, learn more, do more. He saw also the will to survive that filled the void of loneliness in him when he fought for his life.
But in both he felt a little betrayed. He could not forget how Erika had done little to help him with his father, or how Rachel had hung up on him after the "pharmacy incident". Was he ready to trust either of them?
More importantly, was he ready to trust himself?