A/N: It's been a long time since I've updated this, so I'll just warn you there's a minor sex scene half way through this chapter. Nothing too special, but just in case I thought I'd mention it.
Cue jaw-drop. I blinked, once, twice, three times, until Dale's face in front of me started to blur. His father tried to kill him? "How – what – I mean—" I didn't even know what I meant, only that the unimaginable horror he must have experienced touched me so deep that the tears started rolling down my face with more force than before.
Dale sighed, closing his eyes and pulling me closer, so that our bodies were pressed together. His legs entwined with mine, and he exhaled slowly. For a long time, he didn't say anything, and I thought that maybe he wouldn't. Nothing in his mother and his' unspoken conversation had seemed to be hiding anything as absolutely horrendous as this; I thought back to Clarisse, and her ominous warning. "The Dale that I first met, many years ago, was not the same one you depend upon today … I must warn you to proceed with caution."
I swallowed, throat tightening. What do you even say to someone who has undergone an experience so deeply traumatic that it changes the very person – or species, I guess – that you are? Sorry about that Dale, your dad sounds like a right douche-bag.
While I was pondering how to comfort a guy who I was bound to for all of eternity but in actual fact had only known for somewhere around forty-eight hours, he coughed, considering his words.
"My father was… is…" He trailed off, eyes still closed so that I couldn't see the emotions playing across his mind.
"An arsehole?" I suggested, trying to help him out. Too late, I realised that the way to a man's heart is through food, not by verbally abusing his family members.
Dale managed half a laugh, and nodded against my forehead. "Yeah. My whole childhood I was terrified of him. Angry, aggressive, moody… he'd come home and Mum and I would shit ourselves, trying to figure out what mood he'd be in next. If we did something he didn't like, shit would hit the fan. He'd throw things at us… got a plate in my shin once, Mum had to pull a piece out with tweezers later."
I squeezed him tighter, sniffing. Sorry Dad, for that time you wouldn't let me go to the movies with Pete Evans when I was thirteen, and I didn't speak to you for a month. I'm pretty sure he's in jail now, so I guess you weren't the worst father around.
"He was involved with some fuckers, other vampires that were so cold and so cruel I dreaded every time they came around. Once, Dad left me by myself with them and I vomited from fear."
I frowned, still not entirely understanding vampire biology. "So you always knew he was a vampire?"
Dale nodded shortly. "It was just a fact of life. Some people's fathers were bankers, mine was a vampire. I never knew anything different. I used to think that because he was a vampire, it gave him an excuse to be such an aggressive prick." He laughed mirthlessly. "I know better now. He's just a dick, regardless of what he is. I think Mum was always too scared to leave him; that he was too powerful to hide from, so she just never tried."
"Did she know he was a vampire when they married?" As someone who was still grappling with the existence of the supernatural, I could definitely relate if he'd sprung it on her without warning. Surprise, honey! I know it's our wedding night, but let me show you my awesome pointy teeth!
He gave me half a smile, as though he knew where my thoughts were going. "Yeah, he told her after they'd be going out for a while. But I guess she fell in love with the romance of it all, I think she got pregnant with me and that was it. It didn't get really bad until – my eighteenth birthday." He paused, and if we weren't flush against each other I might have missed the slight shake in his inhalation.
"It was my eighteenth birthday that it happened. I had probably forty people over for it, in the yard. My dad had been missing for two weeks, but Mum and I were so relieved we didn't think anything of it. Big mistake. He came in around midnight, snuck down the side of the house. I was standing near the fence, my back to the bushes. I was pretty drunk; what kid doesn't get smashed on their eighteenth birthday?" He lifted his shoulder in an imitation of a shrug, and when he spoke again, his voice was steel.
"I wouldn't have had so much as a drop if I'd know what the bastard was going to do. It was all so fast, it's still a blur. I remember being grabbed from behind, his grip was so hard that it broke my collarbone, and was dragged off into the bushes, like an animal. There were no lights in the corner, and I'd been standing by myself, having a breather. I remember the glint in his eyes, the smug, self-satisfied way he looked at me, as though I was some kind of prize he'd won for himself. Even when I was human, in that pitch-black hole, I could see the way his teeth were angled… I knew I was done for." He gave a self-deprecating laugh and opened his eyes to connect with my own. Pain, sadness, and anger, white-hot anger, flashed across them, and I slipped my leg under his a little further.
"I didn't even yell out, not once. It could have been five, ten seconds, that I could have shouted, screamed… and I didn't."
"You couldn't have known he was going to turn you," I said in what I hoped was a reassuring manner. No one had ever turned to me for comfort before. I'd never been the dependable, deep friend. I was the friend that you took to the theme park to have a good time; when people wanted help with their personal issues they'd always looked elsewhere, and up until now, I'd been fine with that. Hell, I'd liked that. But now, there was another part of me – the same part that all the other weird, vampiric-things were coming from – that liked this new sensation. Not necessarily that someone needed me, but that Dale needed me.
He shook his head almost imperceptibly. "I knew. I knew that if he didn't, he'd kill me. He said I was his ticket, that with me he'd be on his way to having a monopoly on the 'legendary' powers of the fated few. That once he had me with him, he'd be unstoppable. I might have asked him what that meant or to leave me alone, I don't remember. The next thing I know, his teeth were tearing into my throat and then I remember waking up, covered in blood with Mum screaming my name."
I gasped. "What—"
Dale shrugged, looking impassive. "Then I was a vampire."
"Clarisse had to give me some of her blood so I didn't die. That finished off the process."
I frowned; it was fair enough that he'd been through a horrifically traumatising experience and probably didn't want to talk about it, but he was making so much progress. Now he'd just closed up, reverting back to the terse man who had first accosted me in the street. "I thought your dad turned you?"
Dale sighed, releasing me and rolling over onto his back, turning his gaze to the ceiling. "He drained me of enough blood so that I was on the precipice of dying or turning. Then he gave me some of his blood, enough to start the change, but he was interrupted before he could finish. Mum found me, half-changed with blood all over me, and the only option was to complete it or stake me. So she sought Clarisse's help."
I rolled onto my back as well, so that we were shoulder to shoulder. Like always, his explanations left more questions than answers, although by now I more than understood just what Clarisse was talking about when she said that he often kept his feelings hidden deep inside.
"How do you know Clarisse?" I asked, thinking of the familiar way she had addressed him and made mention of his mother. If she was a hundred-and-sixty-seven years old like Dale had told me, then there was no way she could be related to him.
He rubbed a hand over his face, exhaling gustily. "Can we just drop it?" His tone was hard, and when I glanced over his brow was furrowed, as though he was waiting for me to try and argue.
Just to throw him off, I didn't say anything further. Ha, take that! So much for knowing me 'better than I know myself'.
I couldn't detect any surprise from him, but then again, nothing I did around Dale seemed to surprise him. The silence ticked on for several long minutes, until I couldn't stand it any longer.
"So what's next?"
"This," he said, and before I could so much as blink he had rolled on top of me, pinning my body to the mattress with his own. His hand reached up to grab mine, and for a split second his brown eyes met mine, before he leaned down and pressed his lips to mine. There was no soft melding, or gentle seeking of entry like in the romance books that Monique loved. It was all hard, hot passion, the physical eruption of anger and frustration and grief all at once. His kiss was bruising, and I instinctively allowed his tongue entry to my mouth. He was possessive, dominating, and some part of me – pretty much all of me – loved it.
He pressed me further down, our hips meeting so that I could feel his arousal. I moaned, from the idea or the kiss or the way he was brushing his arms down my side, I wasn't sure. Just that I wanted more. His lips left my mouth, trailing down the side of my face to my neck, biting hard enough that I was sure I would have an impressive hickey the next time I looked. Still further down his mouth travelled, biting again at my collarbone in a way that very nearly made me arch off the bed. I moaned again, and this only seemed to encourage Dale more, because his hands moved from their almost bruising grip of my hips up to my breasts, firmly kneading first the left, then the right.
I dug my fingers through his thick, dark hair, his answering groan when I scratched his scalp letting me know that I was on the right track. His mouth came back up to mine, meeting my tongue in a deep, almost painful kiss that made my toes curl and fogged my brain to the point that I could barely think past where my hands were, where his hands were, and what his mouth was doing to me. It wasn't all arousal that was wrapping my mind in a cloud to the point that I was no better than a walking door-knob – I mean sure, that was a part of it, but I could feel, instinctively, that whatever was affecting me so much to the point of near delirium was coming from the same place that the night-time eyesight and sugar-withdrawals lived. It was the fact that I was with Dale, and we were making out. It was a hundred times better than the warm, ecstatic feeling that had happened when we had made eye-contact, it felt—
Before I even realised he had done it, Dale pulled my shirt off, leaving me exposed in the black bra that he'd had found somewhere under my bed only the day before. He exhaled lowly, rising off me enough so that he could sit back and stare. I'd never been particularly insecure about my body – my lack of common sense and general penchant for falling over/into things far outweighed that particular worry – but at that moment I could have cursed my mother for the small to average sized boobs that ran in the family. And of course, my sister miraculously grew 14Ds before she was halfway through high school, the bitch.
If anything, Dale didn't seem to mind – or care – about the size of my breasts, as he rolled them in his hands, testing their feel and weight through the bra. Before I could say so much as a, sorry you're stuck with someone for all eternity who doesn't have giant cans, he had reached around and unhooked my bra, with almost practiced nonchalance. That, if anything, seemed to snap me out of my speechless state.
"Lots of practice?" I asked, my voice coming out far huskier, with a hint of irrational irritation, than I would have liked. You've known the guy for two days, Reeve. So what if he has some concubine on the side? You don't own him.
"Stop thinking," he murmured, rolling my nipple with his thumb.
I paused, arching forward so that my breast was pushed further into his hand, before the same doubt came back. Dale with a whole bunch of sluts with massive plastic boobs, Dale making out with plastic Barbies the same way he was making out with me now—
He sighed, pressing a kiss to my mouth and caressing my tongue with his. He groaned, not in an I'm-so-hot-for-you way, but in the same way I'd come to associate with him saying something emasculating but that was inherently designed to cheer me up. "I practiced with this bra before I gave it back to you," he said, flashing me a grin before enveloping my nipple in his warm mouth. All rational thought flew out the window before I had so much as a chance at formulating a response, and I sighed, revelling in the intoxicating feelings of Dale and warmth and the toe-curling rightness of the moment.
My hands worked their way under Dale's shirt, feeling along a smooth chest, following the light trail of hair that slowly became coarser and thicker the further south it grew. My hands paused on the edge of his waistband, before Dale made the decision for me and unbuttoned his jeans, pushing them down his legs faster than I would have ever thought humanely possible. Oh, that's right; he's my supernatural husband-thing who just happens to be a blood-sucker of the night.
His legs were thick and solid as they settled over mine, and his mouth came back down on my breast with a fervour that had me almost writhing. His other hand massaged my right breast firmly, almost aggressively, but even the intense pressure didn't seem enough – I wanted more. I moaned, a combination of unbelievable frustration and arousal, and Dale's hips jerked in response, the length of him pressing against me through his cotton underwear. He was ready, I was ready, and I was sick of waiting, so I began unbuttoning my own jeans, sliding them down my legs with my typical lack of grace that had them getting stuck around my ankles.
Dale pulled them off, then, barely pausing to examine my underwear, pulled them off with such force I half-thought they'd break like in the movies. They didn't, and I would have squirmed under the intensity of his gaze if I hadn't been so focused on what I wanted. I'd never felt anything like the need I did right then, and the vampiric tendencies that my brain was emitting were only forcing the feelings higher, so that I wanted – no, needed – Dale on a level that I'd never needed anyone before. Instinctively, I could feel that he felt it too.
There was nothing gentle about this encounter; it was all hot, hard and aggressive. Boldly, keeping eye contact with me, Dale stroked a finger down the length of me, and, finding me ready, pushed a finger into me. I moaned loudly, almost coming undone, but he pushed back, thumb rubbing against me, taking me higher until I could have sworn that I could feel my pleasure through him and vice versa; that whatever I was feeling was more than just me, that it was the combination of a hundred different things.
It was those feelings, that one that lived at the back of my head, that were amplifying my pleasure, bringing it to the point of pain as Dale persevered, adding another finger so that for one split second, the world around me stopped. I tensed, my eyes rolled to the back of my head as the pleasure-pain exploded inside of me, the vampire-feelings intensifying all the pleasure in the world, creating a crescendo of pleasure, ecstasy and euphoric pain, swirling together, building up inside of me until my body could no longer contain it, and I blacked out.
The first thing I felt when I woke up was pain. Pain in my head, in my shoulders, in my arms, in my pelvis, and most oddly, in my heart. Hopefully just heart-hearting instead of heart-broken… Way to have an awesome sense of humour, Reeve.
The next thing I noticed, opening my eyes, was that it was dark. I was lying on my bed, the blinds were closed, and the bedside table was angrily flashing that the time was four-thirty-seven in the morning, and I should still be asleep. In fact, I couldn't remember when I'd gone to sleep in the first place. The last thing I remembered was coming home, and fighting with Dale, Dale telling me his sordid history, Dale kissing me, Dale – oh.
Said man was sitting at the end of my bed, staring at the mirror above my dresser. The angle was too hard for me to see, but strangely, I could sense the dark anger and sorrow emanating from him.
"Someone's a bit vain," I said cheerily, or as cheerfully as I could muster when my throat felt like day-old parchment.
He jerked, almost as if he'd been so engrossed in his own self-pity that he hadn't realised I'd awoken. Reeve, one; Dale, somewhere in the vicinity of twenty-thousand and one.
I moved to sit up and groaned, my body was telling me that a truck had run over, me, reversed, and then run over me several thousand times more. I threw a hand over my eyes, mumbling. "Why are you up?"
If possible, the ache in my breastbone sharpened with every increase in physical pain I felt, as though my physical agony was directly correlated with my emotional state. Confused, I hesitantly opened my eyes. "Dale?"
He flinched, and that, if anything, worried me the most. From what I could remember – or at least, up until the point that I'd presumably passed out (how embarrassing) – the night before had been amazing, something that I'd never felt in my entire life. Right, because twenty-one years is soooo long.
I'd come to recognise Dale as sturdy, strong and – well, kind of brave. I mean, he did walk right into Monique's house when her boyfriend was possibly kidnapped. So the fact that he was flinching at the mere sound of my voice was not a good indicator. Unless—
"What are you doing?" he yelled, shifting off the bed to the wall faster that my eyesight could follow.
I ignored him and stayed where I was, with my face pressed against the mirror. Nope, not dead-ugly or half-bloody vampire or some other supernatural creature that might have utterly repulsed him. In fact, even the boils covering my face were all gone, leaving my usual pale and freckle-smattered skin. Incredibly enough, it was this that caused the breakdown.
"What have you done?" I shrieked, rounding on Dale. I pointed at my face, gesturing wildly. "What happened?"
Dale's expression smoothed to blank. "What?"
"My face!" I yelled, whirling around to look at the mirror in case the disgusting pustules had come back to ravage my face. Nope, still clear. I was miraculously fine – no sores, no scars, nothing that one would expect from someone who had great gaping holes in their face just a few days before.
"What about it?" Dale shrugged, although I sensed a bit of tension easing out of him.
"It's – normal!"
He looked at me dryly. "Isn't that a good thing?"
"How? How did you do it? And why do I feel so weird?" I asked, my shrieking easing to a slightly high-pitched whine. If anything, Dale should have counted himself lucky his eternal girlfriend only had minor breakdowns; otherwise eternity could have seemed a hell of a lot longer.
This, however, caused the steel-cut edge I had come to loathe creep back into his voice. His shoulders tensed, and he looked at me, expression once again blank. Oddly, the pain in my heart intensified.
"Just forget about it, Reeve."
The fire in me, however, wouldn't let me forget about it. "We had sex last night, and now I feel all weird and – I think I'm having a heart attack," I ended, short of breath, sinking back down onto the bed.
Dale took half a step towards me, brows furrowed in concern. "Reeve—"
"And my head feels so weird, but not like before my brain-cells die and I need life-savers. Like there's something there…" As Dale stepped closer again, the feeling intensified, a niggling that was not particularly uncomfortable but that nagged at me, almost urging me to understand what it was trying to tell me. Dale took another step, and the weirdness in my head lurched almost simultaneously. If not for that, I might never have realised it, but looking at Dale was like a light-bulb going off in my head.
"It's you," I accused, still sounding somewhat like a petulant child. "You're making my head weird." The second I spoke the words aloud, the pain in my heart jumped too, and I gasped, shrinking back. "And my heart! That's you too, isn't it?"
Dale sighed, looking almost as miserable as he had the night before when he was telling me how his dad tried to murder him. Hmm… this must be pretty serious, if it's even worse than his own dad sinking fang into his neck for some nefarious plan to rule the world.
"I'm so sorry, Reeve." He sat down beside me, staring at my old beige-grey carpet. "Last night… was a mistake. I got carried away, we got carried away… and the bond fed off it. What you're feeling… you're feeling some of my emotions, and I'm feeling some of yours." He paused, exhaling slowly, avoiding eye contact.
I narrowed my eyes suspiciously. "Can you read my thoughts?" If you can, you are a jerk.
"No. Although I bet that wasn't something particularly flattering, was it?"
"I called you a jerk," I admitted, and he flashed me a weak grin. The smile was gone before I was even sure I'd really seen it. "If we're stuck together forever, what's so bad? As long as you can't read my thoughts…"
Somehow, without realising it, our hands had entwined with each other, and Dale picked them up, turning my palm over in his hand. "Reeve, this kind of thing has never happened before. It's making it more and more likely… that you're the one they mention in the prophecy. That Daniels and Cordello are right."
I felt the blood drain from my face. "So I really am going to be a blood-sucking evil vampire weapon?"
Dale paused, waiting a long moment before reply. "Not in those words… but yes. I think so. There's something else, Reeve."
"What?" I asked, apprehensively. I didn't know how much more I could take. Take that, Monique. I am way braver than you ever thought, now take back that time you called me a 'fraidy-cat because I wouldn't run in front of a truck with you so that we were in time for one-dollar cheeseburgers.
"The bond… it's doing something to your physiology as well. The change has started, Reeve. Even without blood. I can smell you dying. And I don't know what to do, because in the entire history of vampires, this has never happened before."
Oh that's right, I remember now. I'm a freaky freak. Fan-bloody-tastic.
A/N: Sorry it's been so long, most of you probably don't remember this story. For some reason it just popped into my head, and I was determined to try and update it. I want to try and finish it, but writing this chapter just reminded me how many loose ends I have to tie up, which led to me calculating how much longer the story will be… and the final result was that I have no idea haha. Thank you for reading