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- What Comes Around... -

Port Royale, Jamaica

Known as Port Royal, this city was once the capital of Jamaica, being the stage to acts of piracy, of massive commerce overseas and many stories and legends regarding the Caribbean in colonial period. It was stricken by two earthquakes and one tsunami, which razed most of the city, who bears a historical part sunken.
As soon as Melchior and Maya arrived, she covered him with a dark, long hooded tunic and rushed into an alley, which was completely covered in shadows. The city had most of its original architecture intact, with buildings from 17th to 19th century. As they walked into the stone walls of Port Royal, a green stone sign caught their attention. It said:
"Welcome to Port Royal

Once called the 'richest and wickedest city on the world',
Port Royal was also the virtual capital of Jamaica. To it came
men of all races, treasures of silks, doubloons and gold from
Spanish ships,  looted by the notorious "Brethren on the Coast"
as pirates were called. From here sailed the fleets of Henry
Morgan, later lieutenant- governor of Jamaica, for the sacking
of Camaguey, Maracaibo, and Panama - and died here, despite
the ministrations of his Jamaican folk-doctor. Admirals Lord Nelson
and  Benbow, the chilling Edward 'Blackbeard' Teach, were among
its inhabitants. The town flourished for 32 years until 20 minutes to
noon,  June 7, 1692, it was partially buried in the Sea by an earthquake.

 -- Jamaica National Heritage Trust --

"Wow!" Maya said, bewildered. "We are on pirate soil! Amazing!"

Melchior couldn't say much, for he was weak and using Maya as a way to keep standing up.

"Oh god..." Maya said, looking at Melchior with concern. "You are too pale... I have to take you out of here."

"He hasn't had a single drop of blood since his journey, has he?"

Maya looked towards the direction of which the rough, yet feminine voice came; a slightly tall figure (considering women's average height), wearing a dark overcoat with a large, black feathered hat, like those worn by some fearsome pirates, was just seven steps away from them.

"Oh my god!" Maya said, happily. "You came! You are actually here."

"I... I recognize... This voice..." Whispered Melchior at the verge of a complete pass out.

"Not now, honey." Said the mysterious figure. "You guys are coming with me to my place. My brother Morgan is driving, and he is not far from here. Let me carry him..."

Jasmine came closer to Maya and Melchior, carrying the last one in her arms. She looked to his eyes, which were so dreadful that seemed like a shadow from Melchior she once met.

"I..." He whispered, smiling mischievously. "I would recognize these eyes... From miles away..."

He fainted before Jasmine could say anything else; the Jamaican girl smiled at him. It took just a few minutes of walking for them to reach Morgan's van.

"Hey, brother!" Jasmine said as she was approaching the van. "My friends have arrived! Come take a look!"

Morgan came out of the driver's seat. He was a tall, slightly muscular black man with long, black dreadlocks which reached his waist. He was wearing a white blouse with a dark jacket, dark pants and a pair of leather boots, similar to those once worn by pirates. He had dark blue eyes, like Jasmine's, and he was smiling at them.

"Greetings, foreigners." He said, amazing Maya with his low bass voice. "I am Morgan Waterfall, and I am here to serve you, in the name of my beloved treasure, my beautiful sister Jasmine."

"Oh, stop it!" Jasmine answered, flattered. "Well... This is the fellow..." She said, showing him Melchior.

"Lord!" Morgan said, impressed. "So, he is real..."

"Yes." Maya replied. "A real Vampire, but not an ordinary one - he has powers beyond his own imagination."

Morgan opened the back of his van, which had a mattress on the left side and some boxes full of books, notes and other equipment on the right.

"So..." He said, putting Melchior on the mattress and getting a bag of blood and a needle. "What am I supposed to do?"

"Well... We are seeking some kind of cure to Melchior's vampirism." Maya said, concerned.

"Well... If that's so, I am afraid I'll disappoint you." He replied, piercing one Melchior's vein in order to give him blood. "At this rate, his vampirism is irreversible - once you begin to show the symptoms, it is a one-way road, and usually a highway, if I am allowed to say."

"Oh..." Maya sighed, quite disappointed. "Is there no hope for him?"

"I wouldn't say that." Replied Morgan with a smile. "See, if he has friends to help him deal with it, then it is going to be a piece of cake. Come, we'll take you to our place!"

It took around forty five minutes for them to arrive at Jasmine's place; a one-floored brick house with colonial designs; they also had a small orchard on the left side of the house, with a coconut tree, an avocado tree, some coffee bushes and strawberries.  A medium-height, slightly chubby woman around her 50's was on the doorstep, waiting for the van to appear.

"Finally you are home!" She said, crossing her arms. "And who are these ones?"

Morgan was carrying Melchior in his arms, while Maya was carrying a cellaret, which contained the blood Melchior so desperately needed.

"Friends of mine, Ma'am." Jasmine answered with a smile. "Mama, these are Maya and the guy who's knocked out in Morgan's arms is Melchior. I met them many months ago, remember?"

"Ah!" Jasmine mother's said with a smile. "I remember that... It was in Guatemala, right? Well, you can answer that later, for breakfast is ready!"

"Hmmm!" Jasmine commented, licking her lips. "I can smell some Cornmeal Porridge! As always, Mama, you are the best!"

"What's that?" Maya asked, curious.

"It is one of the most traditional recipes of Jamaican breakfast. Come on!" She pulled Maya's hands. "Let's eat! Morgan can take care of Melchior!"

Maya smiled at Jasmine and let her gently pull her towards Waterfall's living room, which had a modest round chair containing a large bowl of cornmeal porridge, which distinct smell of cinnamon and vanilla filled the air nicely. Also, a bowl with a mixture of beef, onion, sweet and hot peppers, garlic, tomato and thyme was near the cornmeal. Both dishes were attractive and full of flavour. Also, some tropical juices, such as pineapple, mango, orange and passion fruit were on large jars near the food.

Morgan went upstairs with Melchior, and Maya sat on the table with Jasmine and her mother, who gave her a dish and a small bowl. While talking, she served both girls with the food.

"My name is Satianna, sweetie." Jasmine mother's said. "My daughter always spoke about you and... Iracema, right?"

Maya swallowed her juice with pain. How could she forget Iracema, the astonishing Brazilian who always had a smile in her face and positive attitudes, despite how tough the situations was?

"Yes..." She gloomy answered. "We were with her in Guatemala... Good times, I must say!"

"I am glad to hear it..." Answered Satianna with a smile. "Jas, my love, I am going to meet your father at his workplace; I'll be home only at eight, so take good care of Louise, okay?

"Yes, Ma'am!" Jasmine answered after eating her porridge.

Satianna kissed Jasmine's face and left with some food ready to go. Maya looked at her with a smile.

"Mama is a weaver." Jasmine said. "Dad works as a doctor, but I can only see him after nine. He works a lot, you know? Sometimes, I spend days without seeing him."

"Am I the only one who doesn't live with my parents?" Maya asked sadly. "Mine died due to a hurricane in Honduras, and my aunt and uncle are bringing me up."

"Iracema also had her parents..." Jasmine said sadly. "And I am deeply sorry for you, lil' witch. You are a too nice of a person to deserve such suffering."

Maya agreed with her head as she finished to eat her bully beef course. She was helping Jasmine to store the food when a question rapidly came into her mind.

"Who's Louise?" She asked.

"My little adoptive sister." Jasmine answered. "My dad worked for Doctors Without Borders a few years ago in Somalia and brought her with us. She is so lovely, you'll adore her! She is about three now... She is such a delight!"

Maya smiled, happy for her friend. All her life, she wished to have siblings, for she feels completely lonely. Maya would never say it, for envy is such an ugly feel, but she wished she had Jasmine's life for one mere day.

***

Meanwhile, Morgan was with Melchior upstairs. Again, the Salvadorian slowly woke up, feeling as lost as he had ever been. He looked to his right arm and saw the needle which was giving him the blood he so desperately needed.

"Well, it seems you'll need plenty of those." Said Morgan, who was to his left.

Melchior slowly turned his head in his direction; he saw a tall, dark man, whose traits were quite similar to those borne by Jasmine. Morgan was smiling at him.

"My name is Morgan. Morgan Waterfall." The Jamaican man introduced himself politely. "I am the vampirology expert Maya was talking about."

"Oh..." Melchior answered, sighing with a discrete laugh afterwards. "I thought Jasmine was..."

"My sister knows stuff, but I know best." Morgan answered with a smile, helping Melchior to sit straight. "I'll give you some quick explanations regarding what's happening to you, my friend."

"I am all ears." Melchior answered.

"Very well." Morgan commented. "You haven't been bitten, I can affirm that. Therefore, you are not a classical Vampire - usually, Vampires are people who, at the verge of their death, made a pact with Satan or other evil deity to return to life in exchange for their souls, of course. For Vampires to keep alive, they must drain the vital energy of living beings - here represented by blood. Vampire increase their numbers by biting others and offering their blood, which is purple and made out of Cobalt, for the victim to drink. If he or she drinks more than three swallows, this person will become a Vampire within five days."

"Wow!" Melchior said, impressed. "Vampires bleed? I thought they couldn't!"

"Well, it isn't exactly blood, but it may be considered a match." Morgan said crossing his arms. "Another way that Vampires have to increase their numbers is by pregnancy. However, the breeding occurs with regular humans and Vampires. So, if a male Vampire wants to have a baby vampire, he must breed with a regular woman. If a female Vampire wants a baby, she must found a regular man for that to happen."

"So... I must be the second choice..." Melchior said, reflexive.

"Exactly." Morgan agreed with his head. "In that case, it varies when the vampirism symptoms are shown. In most cases, the child is born and already behaves as a Vampire - it has weakness towards light, garlic, some metals and even blessed objects, but they still are fed by milk until more or less six months. Then, they proceed to blood."

"Again, I am one exception." Melchior said with his arms crossed. "I have found out I am a Vampire about... Five days ago." He widened his eyes when he finished his sentence.

"So, your vampirism process is almost complete. " Morgan said reflexive. "Your regular blood already boiled in your veins and started being replaced by vampire fluid. Also, your fangs are already fully grown and your skin became paler. Are you sensitive towards Silver or Palladium?"

"I am sensitive to both." Melchior said, sad. "I cannot touch them even if it is for a few seconds, for they start to burn my skin rapidly."

"I won't even ask about your sunlight weakness." Morgan said. "Now, what's missing is your bloodthirst. As you know, Vampires need to feed, and you are no exception; what I need you to do is to get blood transfusions almost every day. This way, you'll prevent running out of blood and becoming a raging animal seeking for victims. Do you understand?"

"Yes, sir!" Melchior answered with a smile. "getting bloodthirsty is what worries me the most..."

The two men got interrupted by a little dark girl around three years old. She had dark, very short curly hair and rushed towards Morgan, who held her in his arms with a smile and a laughter.

"Oh, look who's here!" He said happily. "You woke up sooner than thought, little Louise! Breakfast is ready downstairs! Go see Jasmine, my darling!"

The little girl waved at Melchior, who replied with a shy wave and a smile. She then ran towards the stair in her childish walk, which made Melchior feel really happy.

"You've got a great family, Jasmine." He thought. "I think you have been blessed with Eclipse's defeat, for you have the life I always wanted. I'll do my best to keep you all safe; it is a promise."


To Be Continued...

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