“And by watching the Foundlings fight you picked up on their movements?”
“Yes, but it went deeper than just that. They Foundlings that survived were fed and they got better with each fight, and they learned some of their abilities, and again I watched, and made mental notes.”
“It must have sucked to be trapped like that.”
“I could stand being a junkie, but I could not stand being food and I took steps.” Dominick stood up and removed his shirt.
“Oh no, dear God,” His student was brought to tears by what she was now gazing at. Dominick was covered with scars. Some from blades, some obviously surgical, others from what looked like claws, but an alarming number of them were unmistakably bite marks, thousands upon thousands of them.
“I could never once relax enough for the feedings,” Dominick redressed himself. “I instead learned to ignore pain.”
“You said you took steps, how did you get out?”
“I began cutting back on my dosage. A little at first, then more and more,” Dominick sat back down. “It took eight years, but I had cut my dosage in half. I was in constant pain, but that was something I had learned to ignore.”
“Didn’t they suspect anything?”
“Not at first, we were so little in their eyes that they barely cared for us. Hundreds died from Nightblood including Sally. She found my half full needle and took the rest of dosage herself.” Dominick’s eyes welled up.
“You loved her.”
“I did, but I’d rather her be in the Lord’s hands, than in that hell hole.”
“So how did you escape?”
“I walked right out of the front door. I thought that at half dosage I could ride out the withdrawals, but I was wrong. The pain was too much and I started walking back to the Rapture, but then the Lord saved me,” Dominick looked and pointed up.
“What happened?” His student was on the edge of her seat.
“I received my calling, and as I looked around, I found that in my mindless wanderings, I was now standing in front of a church. I began walking up the steps and passed out as I reached the top leading to the entrance. A priest and two seminary students found me and brought me inside.”
“The students were Father Benny and Mr. Guerrero weren’t they?”
“The very same,” Dominick smiled as he recalled meeting his two best friends. “The other was Father Hubert, our mentor and teacher. With Ernie’s help, I broke free from the grips of Nightblood, but it nearly killed me. The rest as they say is history.”
“Wow, thank you for sharing that story with me. I know it must have been hard to relive that.”
“You deserved to know.” Dominick could see she was troubled.
“I wish Carmela had gotten what she deserved though.” Dominick smiled.
“What makes you think she didn’t?”
“Oh really tell me!”
“That is a story for another time. We can talk about that after next weeks training session.”
“Ok, but I will hold you to that.”
“CeeCee, do you think I could keep that story from you now? It’s one of the greatest blows I ever dealt to the vampire scum that walk this earth.”
“You better not,” Cecelia smiled as she got up. She happened to look down into Father Dominick’s gym bag and noticed a glint of gold. Without thinking she reached in and pulled out six gold medals, “1984 and 1986.” She turned around with her mouth agape.