“Once I had tasted them, they enjoyed the way I made them feel. Instead of being afraid or angry, they were first confused, then trusting and welcoming, eager for more of the pleasure that I could give them. It happened that way each time. I didn’t understand it, but I had done it in a comfortable, knowing way. I had done it as though it was what I was supposed to do.
Was there something in my saliva that pacified people and pleasured them? What else could it be? It must also help them heal. Wright had been surprised with how quickly his hand was healing. That meant healing must normally take longer for him. And that meant I could at least help the people who helped me. That felt important” (Butler 26).
This passage comes right after the main character wandered through town to feed on some of Wright’s neighbors. Wright had been unable to provide her with enough blood, so she ended up feeding on Theodora and a couple others. During and after feeding on both Wright and Theodora, Renee realized that they enjoyed when she drank their blood. Because Renee was unable to remember anything before she woke up the other day, she was surprised at their reactions. They were not hurt by her bites and, as long as she didn’t take too much, they were not overly weakened when she was done; they actually wanted her to take more. This suggests that vampires are a known part of this community. Wright and Theodora were not shocked or scared when Renee bit them. This leads Renee to think a lot about who she is and what she is. She begins to realize that when she drinks their blood, it somehow benefits them as well. She is unsure as to how it benefits them, but she realizes that they are ‘pacified and pleasured’ by it. Renee says that this comforts her because she is unsure as to how she fits into this community. Renee also believes that there is some sort of healing power in her blood. This would mean that vampires are very valuable to humans in this society. Wright was very surprised that his wounds healed so quickly, which suggests that humans are unaware of the benefits of vampires. This passage is very early in the novel and brings up a lot of unanswered questions, but it does a good job of foreshadowing.