Noah smelled it before it even reached the door, and if he had hackles, they'd up and stiff. It was unlike anything he had ever encountered before, and yet despite its unfamiliarity, he felt the urge to curl his lip over his teeth and snarl. This completely feral reaction shocked him so much that he completely failed to notice Charlie's reaction to the loud knocks on the door. But when the thing sprang into the apartment and toward her...
Noah understood what the word "vampire" meant. Or at least he thought he did. Actually becoming one broadened his perspective of that understanding. And yet all this time, after all he knew and learned, he had never felt as wild and predator-like as he did when that thing-that-looked-like-a-human walked into Charlie's home. All at once, he wanted to race in front of Charlie, tear the thing away from her, and make sure it never threatened her again. As if he had the right to protect her. As if he had any sort of authority over her. The vampire side of him understood it as protecting what he had already instinctively claimed as his responsibility.
But the child that still lived in the inner-most core of his no-longer-beating-heart was startled, confused, and a little scared.
Charlie was staring at the new thing a look of equal parts rapture, fear, and embarrassment, and Noah suddenly wondered if the tears on the couch weren't partially the fault of this thing. Was she scared of it? If she was, he would defend her no matter what. But then, why the other looks on her face? Why could he sense happiness? And why were there flowers?
She leaned forward to sniff them, never taking her eyes off of the thing, and quickly spun around with the bouquet in hand. Then she looked up to see him sitting stiffly on his chair, surprised. He figured she had momentarily forgotten he was there, and felt a little sad. But then she looked guilty, and he instantly smiled hesitantly at her to make her feel better.
For the second time, he wished he could have run in another direction after the hunt with the gophers...
Charlie sighed, and looked back at The Thing. "Yeah, Royce, this is Noah. Noah, Royce."