A cold breath chilled my neck and raised goose bumps on my skin.
"Soon you will be my bride for eternity!"
A pair of fangs rested innocently against my skin. My rapid heartbeat steadied as I was met by a quiet chuckle.
"Woke you up, didn't I?"
I rubbed the crust off the corners of my eyes and looked at the jester. He had sat up, taking advantage of me having fallen asleep on the chair right beside him, my head lying on his mattress. Obviously, he wasn't deterred by something as trivial as lying in a hospital bed and being attached to dozens of tubes.
May I present you, my boyfriend, the ever so clever, Adrian. A vampire after my heart. He always had a certain friskiness reserved only for me. Because of this, I hadn't always been completely sure whether he was joking or being truthful. It was only recently that I had become accustomed to it. He still kept a lot to himself and wasn't too willing in sharing all the details.
I didn't even know that he was a vampire until recently. We almost broke up. Now we're somewhere between good and blissful.
Adrian mistook my silence for resentment. "Relax, I was just screwing around."
"Don't do the Bram Stroker on me next time," I mumbled incoherently as I rubbed some life into my face. I can't believe I fell asleep in the middle of the day. Watching movie marathons last night was definitely not worth it.
"But that's how we met, remember? The Dracula convention?"
"I did my act, you giggled and thought it was adorable."
Don't even get me started on that. It was so embarrassing now that I had actually met a real vampire. Well, actually known that I had met a real vampire.
"I was young and stupid." I rolled my eyes.
"You're right. Now you're so much older by a whopping two years."
"All right, I'm still young."
"But never stupid?"
"I've got to hand it to you. If anything, I love your self-confidence."
I fended off his response with sarcasm. "Thank you, sweet heart."
There was nothing to say after that. Nothing. According to the clock on the wall we still had plenty of time before the visiting hours were over, but I didn't want us to lapse into an other silence. This time he might dwell on some pretty depressing thoughts.
Sadly enough, it meant I'd have to crack up some idiotic joke or two. Sitting beside him, not on the chair but on the bed this time, I squeezed his right hand to get his complete attention. "What does a vampire and a cat have in common?"
"I think you're referring to us somehow."
"I said cat, not cat shifter." Me being able to turn into a nice, little kitty cat had nothing to do with my attempt at being funny.
"They're thought be spawns of evil hell lords?"
"What the heck? No. Both have fangs."
He actually laughed, but not for any obvious reason. "What? You actually think that your blunt, little incisors are fangs? I'm amazed you can even puncture tomatoes with them. I'm sorry to say, but they're way out of their league when it comes to my winning team." I felt oddly offended by his remark. If it were someone else, I'd agree, but now I felt like the honor of my teeth had to be defended.
"High and mighty can only bring you so far. They're not even that special. I might as well get mine filed and voila! Sharp as pins."
"Here I thought that they were one of my most striking qualities, which, might I add, also made you fall madly in love with me."
What started out as a defense has now turned to baiting. Getting the rise out of him was too golden of an opportunity to miss. "No, what made me weak in my knees were you and your twisted smirk."
"Not the fangs?"
"And your intoxicating smell."
"Hallo, how 'bout my pointy fellows? C'mon, they're the most attractive point in me, right?"
"That would be your messed up hair." I gave the subject in question a hearty shake. "But I do like your fangs, too."
"Like?" I quite liked how desperate he was beginning to sound. The exasperation in his expression was refreshing. The only thing missing was him visibly pouting in childish discontent.
"What's wrong with that?"
He shrugged. "Like is such a weak word, love was what I was searching for, or adore. Whichever fits your taste."
"Fine. I love your fangs." I pecked his nose and was awarded by a surprised look. It didn't happen much these days.
"Less sarcasm and it'd almost sound believable. I think someone deserves a prize."
He took hold of my wrist in a slack grip and with his unoccupied hand he placed his palm to cup my cheek. My heart took a dip, soon pounding in a mad frenzy. Then, he kissed me. Sweetly, softly, gently. The physical and mental closeness warmed me. I didn't dare to move, in fear of disrupting the elation. He didn't share my point of view. From stroking my jaw to squeezing me closer to his chest, no problem. When his movements slowed down, I pulled out, choosing to stare at him in a dazed sort of fashion.
His dark eyes blended in with his pupils and his breath came out in a heated huff against my skin. "You and me, Minnie, we'll have the world for ourselves. I promise." He had come up with the endearing when I had briefly mentioned a childhood memory involving me thinking that Minnie was my real name. What a stupid nickname, and I loved it, just as I loved him.
I buried onto his shoulder as he kept me in the safety of his arm. Still, I had to be cautious with my every move.
"If something really bad is going on with you, you'd tell me about it, right?" I mumbled against his shoulder.
"Like not finding the right pair of socks?" He stroked my hair, then lightly tugging them at the ends.
"Seriously, I'm not joking." I choked out and lifted my chin.
I could see how exhausted he looked. The dark eye bags, chapped lips and pasty skin. Were he a complete stranger, I'd judge him to be on the brink of forfeiting, but I knew better. I let my fingers wander to his cheek, trailing to his jaw. He buried onto my neck and inhaled deeply.
"It's just anemia. I can't wait to get out of here."
Just anemia. I know that. Perfectly well. But last week it was just flu and tomorrow it could be heart failure. He was always sick. It came with being a vampire. Their immune system was useless. Yet, nobody was willing to put money in the medical researching. People thought they're invincible anyways. And it frustrated me to no end when his condition was constantly belittled. What the hell is wrong with people? Were we really the only ones who cared? Screw equal rights, apparently!
I forced my tears back and steadied my breath. "You'd better be healthy on your birthday or I'll hit you with a phone book again."
"Left out the punching." He still had the nasty bruise to prove it and a huge lump on his head from the phone book.
"I don't think a guy of your sensitivity has the stamina to go through that again."
"But I taught you how to punch," he insisted.
True. What was funny was that he couldn't actually put enough power to his own punch. It was weird how he was taller and lankier than me, but I was the muscle of our relationship.
"Concentrate on the present." I kissed him again to quench any oncoming retorts.
He smiled against my lips. "Aren't we eager?"
I nipped his upper lip in impatience. "Still talking? I haven't done my job well."
"You're so cute, you know that?" I was then taken by surprise as he smothered me with cuddles and kisses.
It was our moment, and for a little while, we forgot everything else.
I just forced myself to publish this in order to gather up my courage to put up my other stories here. It's just so nerve wreaking, you know? This one almost took me a year. Anyways, Adrian and Maddy (Minnie) are side characters of my upcoming dryad story and I hope people will stick around and get to read it. I'm starting to put some of my art revolving their world on my profile if anyone is interested.
I'd love to get feedback on my writing, so that I can improve. Be brutally honest, please. :)