Why oh why didn't he leave like he was supposed to? Why was he standing in front of an apartment in the corner of town, knocking on a door? Did he want to get in trouble?
No, Noah reasoned. I don't, but... but I smelled her!
He honestly had intended to leave. Noah fed yesterday and this morning off of a colony of gophers that he had a little fun hunting. They were fast to scurry into their burrows, and catching the little heads that popped out of the ground was a little like playing Whack-A-Mole at the arcade. The memory of himself playing that games with other boys his age made him want to stay to see if any other memories would resurface. And when the sun rose and passed its highest point in the sky and there were no longer enough gopher heads popping out of the ground to interest him, he turned and darted back into the forest in a random direction, ready to move on.
It honestly wasn't his fault that he happened to travel in a direction that brought him close to town. Nor was it his fault that he ground to a stop near a grove of tall pines surrounding a grungy trio of buildings that looked like apartments. At first he didn't even know what made him stop, but a brief sniff made it clear- it was her, the nice lady. Charlie. She was here.
Quite without meaning to, his feet took him toward the nearest building, up a single flight of stairs, and to stand in front of a single door, identical to all the other doors on this floor. But it was her door. He could smell her on the door handle, and he could tell by listening that there were sounds from inside the apartment consistent with a human sitting or laying on a couch. He took another cautionary sniff, careful this time of the much more pungent aroma of blood, both human and animal, from the same apartment. But rather than that, he paid better attention to the distinct smell of cookies and vanilla spice and cat hair, among other things, that seemed to make up her natural scent. He held the smell in his nostrils, enjoying the warm coziness of it, and told his body to leave now.
But it did not. Instead, his arm lifted and wrapped against the door three times.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
There was a brief moment of apprehension which, sadly, got smoothed down by excitement. He liked the nice lad- Charlie, the lady who was nice to him and offered to let him see the animals, then smiled and didn't mind when he had to leave abruptly. After a year of self-imposed isolation and several years before that of haphazardly adjusting to his new life as a vampire, she was one of a very very few number of people who had been kind to him during this confusing and dangerous time. Noah, the well-bred boy that he was, liked to repay these rare individuals for their precious kindness in any way he could.
As he knocked a second time, he suddenly became aware of a fourth scent he hadn't recognized before. He thought he had identified the scents that surrounded Charlie like a cloud, but as he heard her move from the couch toward the door, his nose twitched at the salt-water aroma of what he guessed to be tears. When she opened the door, took in his presence and froze from shock, he could see the red stains on her face, the glisten of hastily-wiped off tears on her cheeks and the inside of her arm (which explained why he didn't smell them at once if she had been blocking them with her arm), and the red-rimmed eyes that stared uncertainly at him.
Though he no longer had a heart, Noah thought it twitched at seeing his new favorite person being so distraught.