A/N: Second story in my apparent quartet. First one is Storm's Witch for those newer people who happen to stumble upon this. I'd also like to make a point before you read on. AIDS affects werewolves and witches differently than humans. They actually have no immune system and when they suddenly get sick, they're brain freaks out and makes them not only sicker, but also eats away at the grey matter. Eventually they either have a brian aneurysm or kill themselves because of the pain. Just so no one points out that what I've got is wrong. I'm not stupid. I passed Health, thank you.
I watched, numb, as the coffin- I couldn't yet think of it as Tori's, I doubted if I ever could, was lowered slowly into the ground. I tossed the blood red rose I held onto it's shiny mahogany lid.
I didn't cry. I wanted to, I knew I should have, but I couldn't. I felt an odd sense of joy. I hated myself for that, but she'd suffered so much… and I'd been there, through every gut-wrenching, Goddessdamn second. I guess my tears were used up then.
A soft hand touched my shoulder. I glanced down. Erin's soft pale face and royal purple flecked with emerald green and topaz blue eyes greeted me. She wrapped her arms around me, hugging me tightly.
"Goddess Damon… I'm sorry. Damn, that so weak but it's all I got." She murmured softly. I felt her tears against my neck.
"So what, is she, like, one of your whores, you sick bastard? Do you like killing girls or something?" A thin, silvery haired girl- probably around twenty, spat, her grey eyes blazed. Tori's sister, Ellie.
Erin pull back and glared at her. "Look, here, hon, you don't call the man that stayed with your sister until the end a bastard. Where the hell were you? Huh?" Silent tears streaked down Erin's face, and she was quivering slightly.
Ellie was about to say something, I'd bet it was creative, too, but at that moment Tori's mom walked stiffly over, glared at me, then Erin, and pulled her daughter away.
"Bitches." Erin muttered softly.
"So where's Storm?" I asked, glancing down as Ven padded over. Of coarse, he would have been fairly old by now, but magic kept him young, and gave him the ability to speak.
"The doctor. Test results came in today." She said softly, now meeting my gaze.
"If he was sick, I'd think you'd know it. The man's healthy as a Goddessdamn horse. Yours back yet?"
"Nope. Should be soon though."
"Storm and Erin aren't sick. Smell fine to Ven." The big grey and white wolf growled. "Damon smell fine too."
I grinned half-heartedly. Ven could always lighten things. The grin didn't last long, though. Erin hugged me again. "Your so strong, Damon. I'd kill myself if Storm died." She whispered.
You're so wrong, honey. I wanted to tell her. You don't know how many times I look at the Valium and wonder how many will kill me. How many times I wonder how hard to crash a car into a tree to crack my skull. How many Goddessdamn times I want to just slit my wrists and bleed it out.
"Damon… there's a cabin, up in the mountains, my family owns it. If you want you can use it. However long you want." She sort of clicked her fingers and I felt her magic brush mine. "The directions and keys are in your car." She sniffed softly. "I have to go now, but I'll see you sometime, 'kay?"
I smiled slightly. "Okay." I kissed her forehead. "See ya, babe." I watched her and Ven walk away. Above, thunder snarled and rain began to fall.
I heaved a sigh and started to my car- a black Charger. One of the newer ones. I got in and started it, then just sat there, watching the rain splatter the windshield. Why does it always rain at funerals? It's weird how that happens.
I rested my head against the window, feeling the cool glass. Thunder rumbled loudly and lightning flared in the summer sky. Tori had loved storms. The thunder and lightning made her happy, soothed her when she was at her very worst. It had been raining the first time we'd made love.
I shuddered and waited for the tears to come then. But they didn't. I figured it'd be safe to drive. So I did. To the apartment Tori and I had shared for the past ten years. I could have gotten a house, but I didn't want to live in a place that would have been Tori's holding pen, once she had died.
I'm a regular ball of sunshine, I know. Obviously Tori had been doomed since she'd been diagnosed with AIDS. Though she'd only freaked out over me. I was trying to be practical. I had actually begged her- on several occasions, to sleep with me again. Mostly on her rough days when I was going as crazy as she already was.
She'd always refused, even when the full moon burned her, she'd refused me to even touch her. Eventually she'd been restrained with a bit of silver. At her request, not mine.
The apartment complex held mostly weres and a vampire or two. I found the lady who owned it's room, and knocked. She answered after a moment, looking worn out.
"Can help you, Damon?" She asked gently, her powder blue eyes held compassion.
"Yeah," I told her and handed her the keys to my apartment. She nodded slowly.
"When will your stuff be gone, hon?" She asked, her voice implied she'd keep the apartment free for me as long as I needed. She had liked Tori, and they'd gotten along well until Tori's mind had started to give. Then, well, Tori hadn't been able to go much of anywhere or know anyone except me, Storm, and Erin, who'd visited whenever they could.
I let the magic holding them go and they vanished. Well, I guess they vanished. Poofed something I guess. "They're gone."
She nodded. "You okay, kid?" She asked.
I shrugged. "I don't know." I left after that and found Erin's directions. Simple enough. I followed them, watching as the cityscape changed to forest, then to mountains. It was about midnight when I got to the cabin. It was picturesque and secluded. And fairly big. Altogether nice. I unlocked the door and found the light switch. The floor was polished wood with a rug in the center. A widescreen and sound system dominated a wall, across from a huge leather couch that possessed it's own wall. A coffee table was the center and two leather recliners stood on each side.
There was three bedrooms. One decked out in leather as well. One with a wall that was all windows, though it had metal storm shudders on. I didn't open them. And one with a red and black canopy bed. They all had TVs. There was one bathroom with a large tub. An un-remarkable kitchen. But the thing that caught my eye most was the very well stocked liquor cabinet.
Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, and tons more whiskey labels. Some I'd never heard of. Vodka, some I'd heard or, some I hadn't. Tequila and margarita mix, even a bit of Smirnoff Ice. Hell yeah. My heart's lonely. My liver can join him in the grave.