the end, yes. does it make or break the story? you decide.

thanks all who reviewed!

thursday, april 26, 2007. 7:45 pm

After a few moments of lying there, I found myself asking, "You ever sleep?" His hand rubbed its way down my spine; "Not the way you do." "…You watch me as I sleep, then?" I yawned in the middle of the request, and he laughed as he replied, "'Course. You need to rest, anyway. I'll be here when you wake." Even pressed as I was against his chest, I managed a snarky grin; "You damn well better be."

--- --- ---

"Marcus, can I get this?"

I glanced down at the eight year old boy tugging on my wrist; he held up a fifty-cent piece of specialty candy, and I rolled my eyes. "Your father will kill me."

"Jacob told me to ask you."

His began to pout, but his blue eyes sparkled with cheerful mischief; laughing, I poked him on the forehead and gave a nod. I also gave a nod towards the candy to the cashier, and she reached out to ring it up before handing it back to my youngest nephew, Anderson. Putting my hand to his head as we walked from the registers, I steered the boy who was already making headway through his sugary treat; we found his older brother, whose blonde head was bent in close to Jacob's as they examined whatever was in both of their hands.

"You think it's genuine? Look at this here—there's no imperfection to implicate hand-rolled clay."

The fourteen year old held up the marble in question, and the two of them peered at it in the light. Jacob pointed a finger; "No, look at that there, see it? What does it mean, Chase?"

My nephew stared before he excitedly pronounced, "It's real, isn't it?!"

My lover chuckled, his eyes sliding over to meet mine even as he congratulated Chase for having a good eye.

"What are you two doing? And where's Kari?"

Chase grunted, vaguely pointing over his shoulder; "She's talking to an Indigo again; you know how she always finds them no matter where we go."

My eyes swiveled over and quickly pinpointed the precocious eleven-year-old; she jumped as my pointed stare fixated on her back, turning around with wide eyes before she sheepishly waved at me. I cocked a finger and motioned her over, and she turned back to mumble a hasty farewell to the amused middle-aged woman she'd been chattering to before she ran over and into my up-sweeping hug.

"Hey, what I did I say before we came here?"

She was apologetic; "Not to talk to strangers."

"Exactly. You are far too pretty not to hang on my arm and be an ornament, you hear me?" She laughed at my teasing jibe, nodding her head even as I let her feet slide down onto the floor.

Her hand found mine, and I looked at Jacob, not needing to say anything before he nodded in agreement; "We'll be out in a minute, Marcus."

I took the two younger ones outside to the large-cab truck I own; they climbed into the bed, sitting down on the sides as they basked in the sun. I stood by the truck, my fingers absently playing with my niece's hair while we waited for Jacob and Chase to reemerge from the eclectic shop that offers everything from pointless knickknacks to handmade treasures.



Karina turned her head to look at me, curiosity on her face as she asked, "Will Jacob ever die?"

I was surprised by the abrupt question, and had to school my face as I quietly responded, "We don't know yet."

She realized that her question had caused me pain, her eyes sorrowful as she reached out and touched my shoulder; "I'm sorry."

My smile was honest, if a bit subdued; "It's ok to be curious. It's just…we don't know. Maybe he'll live for a very long time before he dies."

She stared at me for a time before quietly voicing, "He'll be sad without you, though."

"I know, honey. I'd be sad without him, too."

"Would you now?"

We turned at Jacob's semi-amused voice, and my face eased into a grin; "I have no idea what you're talking about."


Our grins became wider, but I turned to my niece and nephew, telling them to jump from the bed so that they can get into the truck to buckle up. Chase and Kari crawled into the backseat, while Anderson ensconced himself between me and Jacob in the front seat; he was still working on his candy, and my lover leaned down to whisper into his ear that he better finish it before getting home if he didn't want to get me into trouble. My nephew's eyes grew round and his efforts doubled, causing me to laugh.

"Andy, don't make yourself sick, your dad isn't going to get mad at me."

"I know, but I'm a-gonna eat it before he can yell at me."

We laughed, and I drove the kids to their home. Pauline took one look at the evidence left on her youngest son's face and gave me a reproving glare that was softened by the laughter in her eyes as she told him to go wash his face and hands before supper.

"Are you staying, Marcus?"

I shook my head at the warm question; "No, not tonight, P. You tell my brother that he needs to call me tonight though, won't you?"

"Sure. Thanks for taking the kids out for me; they've been pestering and looking forward to this since Monday."

I laughed, giving her a warm hug; "No problem. See you later."

"Yeah. Bye Jacob; Marcus."

We took our leave, driving home in a comfortable silence that lasted all the way through the dinner I made up for myself.


"Something bothering you?" I looked at my lover for a few moments before looking away, my silence the only answer he needed before coming over to press a light kiss to my temple.

"You're still thinking about your lifespan." It wasn't a question, because it didn't have to be; he knows.

"I'm turning thirty-five in four months, Jacob. And yet you still feel that I'm too young…."

His cool hands came up and stilled my words, his tone forceful; "Because you are."

I snorted; "If I get any older, I'll look like a pervert when I'm with you. You do realize that it's borderline already, don't you?"

He couldn't help snickering; "I'm well aware of the way I look, you jerk."

"Exactly my point."

He sighed, his amber eyes boring into mine; "This is permanent, Galen."

My lips touched his, lingering just enough before I pulled back and placed my palm on his chest, feeling the thump of his heart. "This is permanent," I pressed another kiss to his mouth, "And that is permanent; our bond is permanent. I love you."

His eyes filled with indecision, and my arm snaked around his slender hips and pulled him forward, our bodies flush as I huskily whispered, "Do you really want to live without me? Because the thought of losing you kills me inside-"

His mouth crushed against mine, his tangible anguish stealing my breath away; my control loosened and my force rose to the surface in response to our turbulent emotions. We grew warm as a result, and his arms circled around my neck--pulling me even closer--as if attempting to absorb me into his body. If I could, I would willingly do just that.

He pulled back to allow me to breath, his murmur barely audible; "If I lose you, I will cease."

"Then don't allow me to fade away."

My force rippled along the surface of my skin, transferring over to him as it washed us with that same warmth; this always happens; we just don't spontaneously orgasm as often these days. More's the pity.

"Ian will kill me."

I grinned at the spoken warning, my eyes flashing with mirth; "Only when he figures it out."

--- --- ---

My body flushed with fire and ice, my eyes closed as Jacob fed from my neck; this is nothing new, as I've been his food source for over fifteen years, the intimacy of this something both of us enjoy. This is something that I would sorely miss; it's not that we can't exchange blood after the change, it just won't be the same.

I felt weak and dizzy when he finally pulled away, his cheeks flushed and hot from my blood coursing his veins; he closed his eyes in a moment of hesitancy, before flicking them open to gaze upon the violet of mine.

"You're certain?"

My smile was thin, the most I could offer as I was already feeling lightheaded; "For the past ten years, I've wanted this."

That startled him; I have been keeping this desire to myself for a while, knowing exactly his thoughts on the matter. But time has brought it to a head, and he knows this; I'm not getting any younger, quite the opposite, really. His lips shook slightly when he pressed them against mine, and I sorely wanted to return the gesture, but just couldn't quite…manage it. The room started spinning, and I felt his concern as he rubbed his thumb over my cheekbone.

"Love you, Galen."

I nodded, and he offered a gentle smile, his fingers closing around the sharp blade we'd put aside earlier. Bringing it up, he placed the tip to his neck, his face remaining still as he drew it in a downward curve, blood welling up quickly against the hollow of his throat, so very dark against his pale skin.

I felt blood start to drip onto my bare chest, but he was already moving downwards, his palm cradling my head as he brought my mouth to the wound. Weak, I still managed to latch on and swallow the thin liquid, my eyes burning with unconscious tears as I ingested his blood into my body. He had to cut it again twice before he decided that I had received enough, gently laying me back against the bed and smoothing cooling fingers across my brow as the wound once again closed.

"This is going to hurt, Galen."

"I know—you've only said so a million times."

My voice was breathy, my chest rapidly rising and falling as I tried to catch enough oxygen into my lungs; already, a dull burning was occurring in my chest and stomach, a creeping sensation as it settled throughout my torso. The burning started to intensify, my face twisting up from the pain; his presence was comforting despite this, his voice murmuring into my ears. There was still worry there, I could feel it; not everyone survives the transition, because first…I have to die before I can become reanimated. Whatever is in his blood that causes the mutation occurs in the very cells, changing genetic makeup even as my body starts to die.

I'm already dying; pain drawing my body up as my throat closed off the shrill cries I otherwise couldn't stop. I'm dying.

"I love you, Galen; you're going to return to me…please return to me."

His quiet whisper was the last I heard before I faded into darkness.

--- --- ---

Jacob was right; Ian was furious. But he was still my first willing 'blood donor.'

A/N: bah, that's it.