Living Heart Ch. 04bycawastedyouth©
My thoughts swirled around all the information my former lover had left me. I stayed in bed until the sun's last rays had disappeared over the horizon. Grace had not come home. There was a note by the bed.
'I will be home late; I have a few things at work that I need to finish. Yours, Grace.'
I was grateful for the lengthened moment of peace. My desire to feed was the foremost thought in my life. Sex with Grace had heightened my need to feed. I was skirting disaster, certain that if I bedded Grace again tonight, I would have her blood coursing through my digestive system.
The thought tormented me. I wanted her. Nothing more. My mind was convinced that her blood was what I wanted. No, that was wrong. I wanted her blood. But not in a way I had ever wanted another's blood before.
Feeding to me previously had been the same as any other mundane life task. You did it because you needed to do it. With Grace, the desire to feed was lessened, but not the desire to have her. I thought of her on that white silken bed, disrobed with her rosy swollen nipples. Just that image called to me. I wanted my fangs to sink into her creamy skin. Not once, but everywhere she would allow me to. I would satisfy myself with the endless torment of slowly draining her of her blood as I made love to her all night long.
Grace heard my thoughts. If it is what you want Angel, you only have to ask.
It tore into me. Feeding on her would only satisfy one element. I wanted more of her, but I couldn't ask that. I closed my eyes as if the simple act would block the thought that invaded every ounce of my senses.
But you could. The hunger gnawed at me. However, once I tasted of her blood, she would be nothing more and I would once again wander about, as lonely as I had ever been before. Grace was different. I was not wholly convinced of the 'living heart' as my former lover had worded herself, but Grace was not destined to be neither a corpse nor a vampire. I would not wish that on someone who had trusted me and protected me in return. I owed her more than I knew how to repay her.
Angel! My head snapped; it wasn't the sob that had echoed the previous day from Grace. My fangs lengthened in anger. She called out for me in fear for her safety.
I saw in my mind that Grace had been walking alone through the park only blocks away from her apartment and was now surrounded by a group of shadows. A chide was at the tip of my tongue but that wasn't the most important issue at hand. It was more than flight. I was there in a heartbeat. She was in danger.
My fangs grew stabbing my lower lip. I did not care who would see. I was going to protect my living heart. I thrust myself through the curtains and through the window to get to Grace as quickly as I could. I hovered behind one of the stragglers and turned him around before he knew what was about to happen. I left him in a heap on the ground, unaware that I had taken his life without a moment's hesitation. His blood sated my hunger, though it did nothing for my anger that Grace was being threatened.
"Come on Miss. We just want what you have." Said one who was advancing on her. He had her pressed against the ground, leaves getting in her hair. He reached to push his jeans down further, rubbing himself lewdly against her unmarred skin. She twisted and tried to fight him, but she lacked the strength. The larger threat on her face was the realization that her fear only seemed to encourage him.
I reached him as he pushed Grace again as she struggled and began to reach further down. "She's mine." I growled and took his blood as I stood over Grace.
Another tried to fight me. I dodged his advances with his knife, finding away around him and then dug my teeth deep into his neck, drawing his blood for my own needs. The remaining men turned tail and ran. I hesitated a moment to consider the thought to let them run free.
Before I returned to Grace who sat by a short, brick wall, I wiped my chin. Blood lust was not something I wanted to frighten her with. Not just yet. She had been scared witless already. I did not want to compound her fears.
"Grace are you all right?" I asked from near the trees, hidden in a veil of shadows.
I heard her sniffle. "Yes. Thank you. Where did you come from?"
I ignored her question and came up behind her to help her up, keeping her back to me. "Are you hurt?"
"No." she tried to brush the dust and dirt that had gathered on her skirt, torn white blouse and hair.
"Can you make it home without me?" I insisted. I had work to do. I glanced around and wondered if she would ask me about the men who lay dead around us.
"Hold me please." She stood shakily, her shoes were lost, and she was wearing pantyhose that might as well have been nothing at all as they had been shredded by one of the men as they advanced on her.
"I can't Sweeting. I'll see you tomorrow night. I have something I need to do. I need you to make it home without me." I watched her stumble in a step.
"Angel are you hurt? Let me help you." Her crying was getting worse. I sighed and turned my head so she might not see my blood coated fangs.
In the fight, the second man clawed at me in frantic desperation for his life had torn my silk shirt. He had even begged me, having seen the fate of the other man. I had said nothing but taken his blood, finally being able to quell my hunger. Another had tried brandishing a knife on me as I speared his shoulder with my fangs. He had sliced my skin, but that would heal shortly.
My fangs dripped blood. I did not want Grace to see me like this. I picked her up in my arms and cradled her to me tightly.
"I was so frightened Angel. How did you find me so quickly?" she asked kissing my exposed shoulder, her tears burning my pale skin.
I hushed her softly, keeping my face from hers. "I'll take you home."
"Are they dead?" she asked.
I nodded my reply, unsure if I should seek her forgiveness for what I had done.
"Angel, I …" she shrieked and I turned just in time to protect Grace as one of the men I had let free charged at us with a broken white picket fence board.
The shaft of wood stood straight in my chest. I trembled as I fell to my knees. I found I could not draw a breath. The man stood heroically over me as if he expected Grace to come running over and exclaim proudly, "You saved me!"
Instead, with my draining ounces of strength, I lunged at him, slashing at his throat, leaving him to crumple into a pile, his precious life force pooling beneath him.
I had never imagined my death would take so long to come and take me away. Now that as I lay gasping for my last struggling breaths Death standing ominously at my feet and Grace rushing towards me, I wanted to leave this world quickly. I did not want to linger with the look of horror on Grace's face. I closed my eyes, perhaps out of fear of the inevitable or perhaps to recall those sweet memories that Grace and I shared.
I felt her hot tears and as she gathered me in her arms.
"Angel, don't leave me." She pleaded with heavy sobs.
I felt her lean close to my ear and whisper. "I gave you my heart." Another sob and then, "I love you."
The pain twisted into my broken body right then. I imagined it was penance for the pain I inflicted on those whose lives I took.
Grace continued sobbing. "Don't you leave me, not now, not this way Angel."
I looked at Death, a shadowy figure cloaked in his robe standing there almost ready to part Grace and I from the lover's perfect world.
Grace pulled the pointed shaft of wood out of my chest, leaving me on the ground, coughing and shaking. She stared at the tip streaming with rivers of blood. The night air swirled into the hole in my chest. I kept my eyes closed.
The clatter of the fence piece had Grace crying over my body yet again. Her warm tears splashed over the gaping wound in my chest.
I love you Grace. I am sorry I cannot stay. I could not get the words to make it to my mouth. Perhaps it was a will of Death to let Grace find someone like myself who wanted her more than life itself.
No Pet, you are much too pretty to leave to Death yet still. It was the last time I heard the voice of my first lover.
As those last words filtered through my mind, I felt something different. It was if I had forgotten that sensation. Slowly but surely, there was a tightening in my chest, air filled my nostrils and made their way into my lungs. Slowed from the years of dormancy, the muscles contracted in a familiar pattern. The remaining stolen blood converged into the holes of my body, closing the typical vampire fatal wound.
"Angel?" she grabbed at my sore shoulder and shook me.
"What is happening, Angel, you need to tell me." Grace was nearly shouting.
My eyes flew open and I placed my hand on my chest. My heart was beating. Slowly and rhythmically, the beats came until they were steady and regular.
Carefully, I sat up and looked at Grace covered in leaves, blood and the tears in her clothes.
"Angel? Isn't this supposed to kill vampires?" she eyed the wood lying on the ground between us.
"Help me home Sweeting. We have a lot to talk about."