Friday, May 27, 2011

Flashfiction - A Date

This is a repost of a flash fiction story I wrote in 2007 and that was lost when I revamped my site. I was writing a 'how this story came to be' paragraph on Goodreads about His Lover's Fangs and figured to tell the full anecdote I needed to repost this. If you've read His Lover's Fangs, you'll notice some very obvious differences...
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The gravel crunched beneath Theo’s boots, the sound so familiar and inconsequential he had never paid it any mind — not until that moment. It had never seemed as loud as it now did, the sound rising in the clear night air, warning anyone nearby that he was walking to the back of the house. He remembered hours of working in the sun with Alice to create this path, just days after they’d bought the house. He remembered how hot it had been, and the sun playing over her golden skin. The entire thing seemed ludicrous, now, from the time and energy he had given this stupid path to the fact that sunlight had once been harmless.
A curtain of evergreen trees lined up across the back of the property, giving privacy to the backyard but also to the master bedroom. Curtains hung at each side of the French window, but Alice rarely remembered to draw them until she closed the window before slipping into bed. He had lectured her about it dozens of times, warning her that an intruder might take that open window as an invitation. She had always answered the same way. She could defend herself. The truth was, he knew she could. Ever since they had met at the Academy, he had never seen anyone get the upper hand on her, with or without weapons. He would be the first.

As soon as he passed the corner of the house, he knew the window was open. He could see light pooling over the backyard, could hear water running inside from the master bath, as clearly as though he had been in there. Stepping more lightly than ever, he continued to advance, keeping to the shadows. A gust of wind swept by him, cool, carrying the scent of the evergreens. He’d never noticed it before.

Three more steps took him to the window. He gave up on the pretense of hiding and stood just beyond the open glass door, looking in. The bedroom was as he had left it — had it been only three nights? It felt like much longer. An entire lifetime. Random items of clothing were scattered across the floor, waiting to be thrown into the laundry basket. On the wall, the crossbow seemed as odd as it ever had, but the sense of comfort and security it had once given Theo was gone. The bed was unmade, heavy cotton sheets rumpled and askew…

A flash of memory coursed through Theo like a bolt of lightning, and for a second, just a second, he was back to three nights earlier, lying on those same sheets, his hands tightly clutching Alice’s hips as she thrust herself down onto his cock, over and over and—

Unconsciously, he took a deep breath in to clear his mind. It didn’t help, far from it, and his cock stirred in the confines of his pants. After three nights, the scent of sex had to have faded in the room, and he doubted Alice would have noticed it. But to him, to what he now was, the scent was there, heavy and musky, the scent of his come filling her lovely cunt, of their shared pleasure before they had gone to hunt. His Sire had told him he smelled good, before the bite, before the blood. Theo hadn’t understood then. He did now.

Movement caught his eye through the open bathroom door. His sudden smile bared his fangs. Alice was sitting in the tub, oblivious to the show she was offering. His eyes followed the curve of her neck, left exposed by the way she had piled her long hair on top of her head, and slid down along her torso and lovely breasts. Silly, silly woman. How had he ever…

Another memory seared his mind and senses, overwhelming him. They’d been sharing a bath, and one thing had led to another, and she had soon been bent over, her hands flat on the porcelain edge of the tub, groaning with each slide of Theo’s cock inside her, so hot and warm and tight—

This time, the memory was so strong he had to touch himself. He rubbed his palm hard along his cock, adjusting himself so it wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable. Maybe he’d have her one last time, before he killed her. He would just play the confused card, like he had seen so many vamps do over the years. Pretend he didn’t understand what was happening to him, profess his continued love for her, ask for her help. She’d fall for it, of course. She’d always been a hopeless romantic. She’d invite him inside what had been their home and take him to the bed they had shared. She might even offer him her neck, along with pleas for him to be careful and not take too much. He’d heard that blood tasted even better, right after sex. He couldn’t wait to try.

He almost cursed when he realized his daydreaming had made him miss her stepping out of the tub. She was wearing a robe, now, his robe. It was too big on her small frame, and seemed even bigger as it hung open, revealing a lovely stretch of cleavage, tanned skin and dark curls. Theo’s eyes followed her as she walked around the room, oblivious to his presence — or not that oblivious, after all. She had just picked up the crossbow from the wall and turned straight toward him, aiming the wooden arrow through the open window. Her accuracy with that thing had always been excellent.

“Alice, my love,” he started, raising a hand to his still heart. “It’s all so different—”

“Don’t even try.” Her voice was sharp as a knife. “You’re the one who taught me to see through that act.”

He shrugged, grinning. “What can I say? You look so fuckable, I had to try.”

She didn’t acknowledge he had spoken, but for just a second, the crossbow wavered.

“Why are you here?”

He dropped the smile. “You know why. You killed my Sire.”

“I did my job. And I avenged the man I loved.”

Despite himself, he growled. “You tore a hole in my chest and in my mind, that’s what you did. Did you even stop to think about it? You knew it would happen. They told us at the Academy about that. Don’t you remember?”

“Go for Childer first,” she quoted, straight out of the textbook. “Killing their Sire might make them insane with pain and that much harder to kill.”

He took a step closer to the window and rested both his hands on the barrier of air that was stopping him from entering. “Why didn’t you do it, then?” he asked. “Why not follow protocol?”

She lowered the crossbow and used her free hand to hold the robe closed. When she met his gaze, he could see the tears in her eyes. Closing his fists, he pounded on the immaterial barrier that protected her, with no more result than her small start of surprise.

“I knew he had killed,” she said softly. “I didn’t know if you…”

He snorted when she couldn’t even finish. And to think he’d once believed she was a better Special Enforcer than he was!

“Why don’t you come out here, my love?” he taunted. “You’ll know firsthand if—”

Without warning, she raised the crossbow again and pulled the trigger. Caught by surprise, Theo didn’t have time to move. He felt the arrow tear his flesh and…

The memory, this time, was pure light exploding in his mind. When he could see, feel, hear, he remembered at once. He’d just come home from the hospital, with the doctor’s strict orders to take things slow and easy for a while. And they had slipped in bed and done just that. Slow and easy. Lying on their sides, kissing and touching and holding as they rocked against each other, not trying to reach a climax but merely reassuring each other. It had been a close call. He could still hear her voice, repeating over and again as he fell asleep in her arms—

“I love you.”

Blinking back to the present, Theo looked at the teary woman in front of him, just beyond his reach, then at the arrow embedded in his shoulder.

“I love you,” she repeated. “But if you kill, I will stake you.”

With a groan of pain, he ripped the arrow free and let it fall to the ground. “Not if I kill you first, lover,” he replied, snarling.

For just an instant, he thought he saw her smile.

“It’s a date, then.”

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