Chapter 04: In Your Arms

Warning: I felt that this chapter also needed a warning. There is sex in this chapter, not very strong sex, but still sex. I didn't think it was strong enough to merit an NC-17 rating, so I will leave the story's rating at R, but if I receive a complaint I might change it. It all depends on the response I get. Thank you for taking note.

Adrift in a moment

So sacred and pure

Alive for you only

I am yours

As you touch me so sweetly

And you whisper my name

I feel you love me

We are the same

- Mariah Carey "So Blessed

It had been a fortnight and two days since Robert had opened his soul to Roxanne. He'd been gone all that time, leaving only a note as an indication as to where he might have gone. After they'd fallen asleep together on the beach, he must have carried her back to her room and scribbled a quick note, which he pinned to her curtains. In the morning when Roxanne found the note, she felt a pit in her stomach form out of longing and worry.

As Roxanne was a quiet person by nature, no one at school the Monday afterwards seem to notice the change, not even Lillian. Lillian did smile at her in the hallways and sat next to her during Health, but besides that, it almost seemed as if everything was back to normal. Roxanne was back into her usual school outfit: tight, form-fitting jeans, a tight shirt, usually white, red or black and a grungy plaid over-shirt on over that. Her tiny reading glasses were perched on the end of her nose during lunch while she read.

Lillian saw her sitting in the corner with a book propped open in front of her and immediately moved to sit next to her. Roxanne jumped as she plunked her tray down on the table and sat next to her.

"Hello, Lillian. I wasn't expecting you to sit with me today." Roxanne mumbled, moving to shut the book.

"Well, you looked lonely. I hate it when people sit alone at lunch. It's awful to eat alone." She picked up her soggy, greasy piece of pizza and made a face as she dropped it down onto her tray. It made a soft plunk as it hit the hard plastic and Roxanne smiled. "So, what're you reading?" Lillian reached for the book, a paperback with a tangerine-colored cover and a picture of four young men in very odd clothing. "A Clockwork Orange?" Lillian asked, raising her eyebrows. "You read the weirdest books. What was the weirdest you ever read?"

"Lolita." Roxanne said simply, nervously biting her fingernails.

"Haven't heard of it. So, how did the hot date go?"

Roxanne's head snapped up in annoyance. "I told you, it wasn't a date."

"Well, did you kiss him?" Lillian asked eagerly, leaning in closer.

Roxanne shrugged. "That's my business."

"You did, didn't you? Ooh, I knew it! What did it feel like? Is he a good kisser? Did he try to feel you up?" Lillian's eyes looked ridiculously large and she leaned in excessively far. Roxanne scooted her chair away a little bit, continuing to look at her hands, refusing to meet Lillian's eager gaze.

"Since I have no past kisses to compare his to, I could say that they were excellent. And no, he didn't try to feel me up. He isn't like that. He isn't some immature teenager. When he kissed me, it felt as if I was bursting into flames, painful but satisfying at the same time. I felt as if I were melting, I felt as if I were dying. This isn't lust, so don't even say it." Roxanne shot Lillian a look as if to tell her not to even think about that. "I believe that I'm in love, and he's in love with me."

"Roxanne," Lillian whispered, looking around at the surrounding students, "You do realize that you're only sixteen. You have your whole life ahead of you. How do you know that you're in love?" Sweat was beading on her forehead and her eyes were even more grotesquely wide.

"How do I know I'm in love, you ask. I've read books about love, I've seen movies, I'd watched my…parents conversing, talking, reacting to each other. It all seemed to mean nothing to me until the first time he kissed me. My knees became weak, my heart pounded. He whispered sweet words in my ear, calling me beautiful even though I know I'm not. He spoke to me about times that I'd never know, people I'd never meet. He opened his soul to me and I to him." Roxanne's voice kept become louder and louder without her realizing it. She spoke quickly, her words sometimes running together, but still she spoke. "You don't understand us! We're connected."

Lillian's voice was calm, unfazed by Roxanne's reaction. "How?" She whispered. "How are you connected?"

Roxanne faltered, her eyes loosing their fire. "How? I-I can't tell you that…" She mumbled, reaching for her book. Lillian's hand shot out and grasped her wrist.

"You're not leaving until you tell me."

"No!" Roxanne wrenched free of her grasp and ran out of the cafeteria. She didn't care about school. She was going home. Her head pounded with ever step and she stumbled, her heart pounding in her temples, skinning her knee in the process. All she could hear was her overpowering heartbeat, taking over her mind, her senses. Tears blurred her vision and she could feel blood starting to bubble out of her knee.

Her knee throbbed and she curled up in a little ball on the side of the road. What was wrong with her? Why did she have to act like such an idiot? She cursed herself. She shouldn't cause a scene like that for it only made the people at school think that she was even weirder than they already think. She reluctantly uncurled herself and continued the walk home at a slower pace, limping whenever her knee released a fresh pang of pain.

Once at home, she drew herself a scalding hot bath and sank down into it, sighing. Her muscles ached, her head ached, her knee ached. She hurt all over and was glad that she had the hot water to help relax her. She'd been so cold lately, chilled. Her fingers were practically numb with cold and she was always shivering. She wished that Robert would hold her in his warm, strong arms and comfort her again, for she desperately needed it. Jasper wasn't much help. He was always moping around the house, sleeping, eating, drinking, anything to take his mind off his unemployment. He'd been out of a job for the past four months. Following their parents' deaths he became an alcoholic and was often late to work or he showed up drunk. They'd fired him and he'd taken a turn for the worse since then.

She stayed in the bath until the water began to cool. She dried herself and changed into a comfortable skirt and sweater. Coming out of her room, she could see Jasper sitting on the couch putting his shoes on.

"Where are you going?" She asked, sitting down next to him.

"To work." He mumbled, fumbling with his shoelaces. Roxanne bent down and pushed his hands away, tying the laces herself.

"To work? That's wonderful Jasper!" Roxanne hugged her older brother. She was so glad to hear that he had something else to do besides mope around the house.

"I know," He smiled at his sister lovingly before getting up and heading to the door. As he moved to leave, he turned back. "Don't expect me home tonight. Will you be alright?" Roxanne nodded and he left, shutting the door behind him.

Great, now she had to be alone all night. No Jasper, no Robert, no Lillian - not after what happened at school that day. Roxanne sighed. It was going to be a long night.

Night descended quickly upon the house and the feeling of aloneness was driving Roxanne insane. She had to leave and go somewhere. The beach… She could go to the beach. Grabbing her coat, she silently left and began to walk down the beaten path to the beach.

The night sky was clear that evening. The stars were bright, twinkling impishly at her and the fingernail moon shown bright against a backdrop of wide, black nothingness. It was quite cold and as Roxanne sat, she pulled her bare legs to her chest and wrapped her thick black coat around her whole self.

There was a stiff wind blowing from the east and Roxanne shielded her face from it with her arm. Sand began blowing, whipping her with tiny, sharp spikes. Her skin stung, but still she sat there, staring at the ocean with her wide eyes.

Then she could feel something inside of her. Her heart began to beat rapidly, and her muscles tensed up. Someone was watching her… Robert! She whipped her head around. There he was, slightly stooped but still there. She jumped up and rushed to him, crying his name. He stumbled as she embraced him, his face laced with pain, but his arms still moved to hold her.

"Oh, Robert!" She sighed, breathing in his familiar pine scent. "Where have you been? I've waited for you."

"I'm sorry, angel." He croaked. His voice was hoarse, husky with pain and emotion. She could feel him shaking and loosened her grip on him out of worry.

"Robert, are you alright?" Roxanne grasped his arms and held him away from her. "Robert? You're shaking and you feel like ice."

"Oh, I'm fine. Quite, actually, now that I may hold you again. May I?" Roxanne nodded silently and closed the distance between them, wrapping her arms around his wounded, beaten body. She was shivering, chilled by both the crisp wind that blew and by the state that Robert was in. He'd always seemed so confident before, invincible almost. She hated seeing him like this. It reminded her of how she used to act, and that was a horrible, scary thing in itself.

"Robert, tell me what's wrong?" Roxanne asked as they began to walk down the beach, Robert's hulking figure protecting Roxanne from the wind. His dark hair stuck up in funny angles as the wind blew it from every direction. She reached up and tried to smooth it down, but as soon as she did another great gust of wind would blow and his hair would stick straight up again.

Robert smiled wanly, his usual dimples only appearing for a fleeting second. "Roxanne, my love, I am in great physical pain right now. Not emotional, I will assure you, for you have cured me of whatever emotional troubles I might have had, but as for my physical pain, there is nothing you nor anyone could do to sooth me." He cringed, pausing a moment as his face screwed up with pain. Sweat was beading on his forehead. Roxanne leaned closer, and pressed her head gently against his arm in an attempt to comfort him. He smiled softly, and drew her to him, his arm protectively resting on the small of her back. She fit perfectly into the crook of his arm.

"Are you sure?" She asked, trying to steady her voice through the shivers. Robert nodded and tried to wipe the sweat away.

'Yes, I'm quite sure. You see, a vampire has a high tolerance for pain and often heals quickly unless the wound was made with silver."

"I thought that silver burned werewolves, not vampires."

"Oh, silver is a harmful, harmful metal." Robert shuddered, his pallid skin turning an even whiter shade of pale. "It burns any creature of darkness. It is most harmful to werewolves, but that doesn't mean that it will only hurt werewolves. It is the only true substance that can obliterate a vampire. A wooden stake through the heart does kill us, though anyone, vampire or human, would certainly die if someone staked them. Garlic, though having an extremely unpleasant smell, does not actually keep us away, nor do crosses. We can step inside churches, though the effect is often unpleasant, and the same goes for synagogues, though the affect sometimes is lesser. I even knew of a vampire rabbi once. He was a wonderful, kind soul, only drinking kosher blood." Robert chuckled and immediately gasped. Roxanne immediately reached to console him, but he held up a hand. "N-No, that's quite alright," He manage to say, his voice husky and heavy with pain. "It's just a small cuts and a nice pair of broken ribs. The ribs will be fine in twenty minutes, probably, but the cuts might last awhile."

"Are you sure I can't do anything to help?" Robert shook his head as they gingerly lay down in the sand together.

Robert lay on his back, gazing up at the clear, starry sky. The stars sparkled and shined, winking at them, it seemed. Roxanne could've sworn she'd seen one actually move, but then the light disappeared and reappeared, leading her to believe that it was just a plane. She then heard the low, rumbling roar that confirmed her theory. As the plane roared off towards the horizon, Roxanne snuggled up against Robert, smelling his midnight hair, his ancient flesh, his wonderful scent that intoxicated her senses, filling her with warmth and a refreshing cool. Robert chuckled.

"Do you like my cologne, or do you just smell people to find out whether you trust them or not?"

Roxanne playfully hit his arm. "Ooh, you. I just like the way you smell. Piney." She leaned her head against his gently, trying not to hurt him. She could see him cringe and immediately moved away.

"No," Robert grunted through clenched teeth, "Don't. I don't care about the pain. I just-I just need to hold you." His voice sounded choked as if he were about to cry. "Roxanne, please. You won't hurt me much. Just five more minutes and then I'll be fine." He held out a hand to her. "I'm serious. I'll just hurt more if you refuse to touch me."

Roxanne hesitated, before sliding into his cool grip once more, her eyes ever gazing upon his beautiful face. His teeth clenched, and his face seemed permanently contorted into a violent grimace, but it lessened with every passing second. "Robert…?" Roxanne cocked her head, looking at him quizzically. "What's happening to you?"

Robert's face shone with relieved pain. "You. You're happening to me. You've healed me, darling!" He pressed his mouth to hers in a quick, chaste kiss before flopping back down onto the sand.

"H-How, though? How did I heal you?" Roxanne's lips tingled from the kiss and she propped herself up on one elbow, ogling him with quizzical eyes.

"Love." Robert answered simply. "You healed me with your love." Sensing Roxanne's confusing, he added, "Vampires are a cursed species. We are doomed to wander the Earth with no one. No friends, no family, no lovers. A few of us are lucky enough to find someone to love them, but it is rare, which is why I'm so lucky to have found you. Pain is a punishment to us. We can stand great deals of it, but only in moderation and even then our wounds heal more quickly than what is the norm. Broken ribs, for example, would heal in about two days for us, while it would take much longer for humans. But with love, the very few blessed of us heal much quickly. And that is what you've done for me: healed me with your love. Do you understand?"

Roxanne nodded, smiling slightly. "I understand." Robert gruffly smiled and pulled her close, enveloping her lips in an achingly sweet kiss, so heartfelt and meaningful than Roxanne felt a lump in her throat form, and tears began to well up in her eyes. She moved closer to him, closing whatever distance might have been between them as he moved her under him. She could feel his weight pressing down against her, his lips ever on hers, almost as if he were sucking the life out of her. She shivered, realizing the irony of her last thought.

Robert pulled his lips away from hers, resting his forehead on hers as she gasped for breath. "Roxanne, will you make love to me?" He whispered, trailing kisses down her jaw, down her neck, resting them upon her shoulder.

Roxanne gasped, feeling a wash of pleasure come over her as he nibbled at her neck. "Yes, Robert. Make love to me." She succumbed to him as his face lit up the brightest she'd ever seen it. His fingers traveled down to her waist and then up her soft sweater. He slowly slid it over her head, gently caressing her stomach. He pulled her up slightly to unhook her bra and peeled it off her, exposing her large breasts to him. He kissed them slowly, and set to work on her skirt and then his own clothes until they both were naked.

"Have you ever done this before?" Robert asked her, caressing her face gently.

Roxanne shook her head. "No. Please be gentle." She felt so vulnerable, so open, so…free. To be there with Robert, her love, her soul mate, on the cusp of passion was an exhilarating moment. She was nervous, yes, but she knew that Robert wouldn't cause her any pain intentionally.

"Don't worry, my sweet. I'll be as gentle as a lamb with you." And with that, his lips claimed hers once more and with their arms wrapped around each other, sank back down in the sand.

They held each other close, Roxanne feeling pain, then waves of refreshing delight as their bodies moved together rhythmically, his hips against hers.

The twinkling stars must have smiled as they looked down upon the two lovers, entwined in love's purest of all matrimonies. For Roxanne and Robert, this was the beginning of a beautiful, passionate affair with love. And as Roxanne's heart beat close to Robert's cold, smooth chest, she could feel it slowly breaking apart. Such was the force of her emotions that the immense pressure on her heart shattered it into an oblivion worthy of only the most loving and loved in our world.