Ryder froze her eyes darting to Taven who was still standing, but barely. His legs shook with exaustion, and pain. He didn't look able to stand let alone fine.
"Taven...don't do this." She begged. Her hands gripped Dimitris arm where he had a death grip on her hair.
"I have to Sunshine." Taven said softly trying to push his curly black hair from his eyes, but it fell back in his eyes.
"No, you don't." She said with a sob, and Dimitri tightened his hold on her hair attempting to silence her.
"Get yourself ready Taven. This fight will be the death of you." Dimitri said with venom in his voice.
He shoved Ryder to the ground, and she winced when she collided with the pavement. Dimitri walked a few feet away to shed his coat.
She saw Tavens shoes approach her, and she wanted nothing more than to curl up into a ball, and just lay there on the cement. She was to exausted both physically, and emotionally to keep going. She pushed onto her hands, and knees as warm hands touched her. She couldn't help it. The pain from her beatings plus the fear of Dimitri made her wince, and pull away.
Taven pulled back instantly, and she felt guilty. She stood up, but her wouldn't look at her.
"I'm sorry Sunshine." He said softly.
"Taven...don't do this. Let's just fight them." She begged. She grabbed his hands trying to get him to see, and feel how much she meant what she was saying.
"I can't Sunshine. I can't rish your life like that." He said pulling his hands free, and turning his back to her.
"I want to risk it. It's my life Taven, My choice I want to risk it. Can't you see that?" She cried.
"I won't let you die." He said shaking his head in frustration.
"I'd rather die that have to live with out you! let them kill me the only death I could ever feel is yours." She started out yelling, but the end of her sentence came out as a weak whisper, but she knew he heard her. He was a vampire their hearing was amazing.
"Ryder..."He turned around, and the look in his eyes was one she'd never seen before. One she couldn't even begin to read.
"Alright Taven. Let's do this." Dimitri taunted from behind her.
Taven looked past her, and took a deep breath seeming to draw strength from somewhere unseen. She shook her head, and felt tears in her eyes. She grabbed his arm.
"No, Taven...please...not like this." He shrugged her off, and another vampire grabbed her arm pulling her away from where the fight was about to begin.
Taven look slightly stronger than a minute or two ago, either from adrenaline or as a show. His clothes were ripped, and dirty. His black hair was curly, and wet hanging all over the place. His face, and arms had bruises, and cuts on them.
Dimitri was slightly taller than Taven. His blonde hair was shoulder length, and currently pulled back in a ponytail. His black jeans, and shirt were clean, and fresh looking. He told tall, and strong his ice blue eyes leveling on Taven. He was slightly wider than Taven as well, and looked far more fierce. He had thrown his long black coat aside.
The two men faced each other both slowly walking in a circle checking out the other. Dimitri cracked his own jaw before letting his fangs silently out to their full length. They shined like glass. Taven copied the action his slipping out as well, but they weren't nearly as long as Dimitris.
Ryder felt herself begin to shake hard enough her teeth chattered. She was so nervous for Taven. He had proved himself a more than capable fighter mutiple times, but never a case like this. He was already exausted, and beat down. He was also out sized.
"She's mine Taven..."Dimitri said.
"Never." Taven replied.
"I'll enjoy every last drop." Dimitri taunted.
Taven let out a low growl deep in his throat that sounded more like an animal than any human. Even Ryder felt a shiver of fear at the sound. The vampire holding her as well as the others moved away from the fight. Anytime Taven fought vampires he had a stake. She had never seen two vampired fight with their bare hands before, but she guessed it would be ugly.
Dimitri laughed, and Taven launched at him. His hands locked around Dimitris neck, and they both collided onto the wet cement. Dimitri growled, and threw a punch that landed perfectly on Tavens face. Taven let go, and Dimitri flipped him over, and threw a couple more punches. Taven brought a knee into Dimitris side before sinking his teeth into his neck.
Dimitri tried to push Taven off, but Taven held on. Dimitri finally managed to rip Taven loose tearing a piece of his neck along with the Taven. He punched Taven again, and this time Taven collapsed, and didn't get back up.
"Taven!" Ryder yelled his name, and he turned his head to look at her, but didn't move.
Dimitri went for a stake. Ryder elbowed the vampire holding her, and dove ontop of Dimitri knocking him over. He growled at her, and flipped her beneath him bearing his teeth. She winced, and shrunk as far away as she could into the concrete.
"The woman is interfering! Kill him now!" Dimitri yelled over his shoulder at the other vampires. He pinned her arms down with his hands his weight on her body.
"NO!" She tried to sit up, but couldn't do anymore than lift her head.
"You're mine..."He grinned his eyes darkening. She whimpered, and tried to wiggle loose, but he laughed.
"Fight me, I like it." He said in a low voice leaning in close to her neck.
She tried to pull herself away from him, but she couldn't move. She kicked her feet, but he was sitting on her hips, and her mobility was non-existant.
He leaned in closer. Close enough she could feel his fangs break the sensitive skin on her neck, and a tiny drop of blood surface. She pinched her eyes shut, and held her breath. Trying to imagine this was Taven. The man she loved.
"Get off of her." A deep voice said.
Dimitri froze, and slowly sat up straight he looked over his shoulder. Ryder opened her eyes, and lifted her head. The vampires that had been told to kill Taven all lay dead on the ground. Taven was breathing hard, and move beat up than before. He was on his hands, and knees. He was bleeding from somewhere.
"I'm sorry?" Dimitri asked.
"I said...get the hell off of her." Taven said a little louder.
Dimitri stood, and Ryder moved out from between his legs scurrying backwards. Taven looked at her briefly, but then gazed up at Dimitri.
"You just couldn't stay down. Could you?" Dimitri asked delivering a quick kick to Tavens ribs.
Taven collapsed onto his face on the concrete. Dimitri laughed. A horrible, twisted laugh that Ryder was sure would haunt her nightmares forever. She looked around wildly, and saw the stake that Dimitri had given her to kill Taven with a few feet away. She rushed to grab it.
Dimitri kicked Taven two more times. Taven didn't even jerk in response anymore. Ryder grabbed the stake walked up behind Dimitri, and used her last bit of strength to plunge it deep into his heart.
He tensed, and made a choking sound dropping to his knees. He tried to breathe a few times. Before finally collapsing to the right into a useless heap. Ryder stumbled over to Taven dropping to her knees beside him. She rolled him onto his back cradling his head with her hands.
"Taven...Taven..."She shook him lightly tears filling her eyes, and running down her bruised cheeks.
"Sunshine..."His eyes opened, and he tried to smile at her, but his busted lip made it difficult.
She felt the blood soaking her clothes, and she searched for a wound finally finding one. Where his shoulder connected to his neck had a very large bite mark, and he was bleeding out slowly.
"I don't know what to do Taven...I don't know what to do." She said.
"Don't...do anything...just stay with me...please." He grabbed her arm.
"No, Taven. Don't die on me."
"I'm so sorry Sunshine." He said before he began to cough. A little blood came up.
"It's not your fault. It's not." She said crying harder.
"At least...you're ok." He said softly. He reached out to touch her cheek with one hand.
"Tell me what to do Taven. Is there anything I can do?" She asked.
"No, nothing." He said.
"There has to be a way to save you." She sobbed holding him closer.
His eyes met hers for a brief minute, and then he looked away.
"No, Sunshine...it's time to let me go now." He said with a determined clench of his jaw.
"You're lying." She said, and she knew he was she read it in his eyes.
He wouldn't look at her which only confirmed that he was lying. She shook him trying to get him too look at her, but he refused.
"Tell me what to do!" She demanded angry that he was going to lay there, and allow himself to just die.
He turned his head, and his eyes met hers, and suddenly she knew what he needed. She swallowed past the lump in her throat, and stared at him before taking a deep breath.
"Take it then. If you need my blood Taven take it." She insisted, and he shook his head.
"No, I can't Sunshine. If I took enough to save myself...it would kill you." He said.
She froze, but didn't say anything at first. She just looked at him. He was dying that was the reality of it. Even if he made it to sunrise he couldn't survive the sun. He moved grabbing a stake from one of the closer vampires he pressed it into her hand.
"Kill me now. Sunshine."
"No, I can't just take what you need from me." She said shaking her hand.
"Kill me!" He yelled at her, and she tried to pull away from him.
"No, there has to be something we can do there has to be another way I..."
"This is the only way." He said interrupting her. He reached out with the hand that wasn't holding the stake in her hand, and grabbe her head making her look at him.
"I love you." She said softly. Hoping that was enough to make him see his request wasn't possible.
"Then please..don't let me lay like this." He begged.
"I can't Taven..."She cried.
He tried to sit up, but completely lacked the energy. The bleeding in his neck was slowing down a sure sign that he was dying. Vampires could bleed out, but it took longer than an average person, and he knew that when the sunrise came over the hill he was going to burn to death if she didn't kill him now.
"Do it Sunshine...you have to. I know you can do this." He said finally managing to sit up slightly. He pulled her head down resting her forehead against his. She cried harder.
"Listen to me. You were the most important person in the world to me. Did you ever wonder why I called you Sunshine?" He asked, and she nodded.
"Because for the past six years..."
"Seven." She interrupted, and he smiled.
"Seven years...you were the only sunshine in my life. Since the day I became a vampire the Sun was the only thing I ever craved, and couldn never have...you were my sunshine."
"Then please Taven...don't ask me to do this."
"You can do it. I never trusted anyone like I do you. You can do this." He said, and she bit her lip, but gave a slight nod.
"Ok...but I love you Taven."
"Then kiss me, and kill me...NOW" He said.
She whimpered, and pressed her lips to his. His hand tangled in her hair kissing her back. She pulled the stake from between their bodies, and thrust it into his chest. He tensed, but didn't break their kiss. She pulled her head away first with a sob. He smiled softly at her, and pulled her close into his arms.
She held him tight like if she held him close enough even death couldn't take him. She cried, and held him. A second ticked by then two, and his arms went limp around her his body weight finally becoming to much for her to hold she lay him back down on the concrete, and lay ontop of him crying, and clutching him as close as she physically could.
The sun came up behind her a few minutes later chasing away the chill, and darkness. The vampires around her began to disappear into mist, and she watched them go holding Taven begging any God that was listening not to take him from her. The sun finally came the rest of the way into the sky, and she could feel his body slowly losing it's solidness. She held him until he was completely gone, and her arms held nothing, but air, and emptiness.
She sat there until her body began to relax, and ache with the events that had led up until this point. Her adrenaline wore off, and her body was out of crying. She felt numb, and completely exausted.
She pushed to her feet, and wiped her eyes. Looking around for any kind of vehicle. She saw Tavens Mustang parked a few yards away. He loved that car. It was an all original 1966 Mustang. All black with tinted windows, and black leather interior his pride, and joy was that car.
She opened the door, and was greeted with that amazing scent of his aftershave, and it comforted her. She slid in behind the steering wheel, and was relieved to find his keys still in the ignition.
She drove to her house, and parked in front of the small garage that held her car. She drug herself up the stairs into the seemed to take all ehr strength to do that. She couldn't remember the last time she was up during the daylight.
She stood in her living room that looked as trashed, and broken as she felt. Her stereo, and television were laying smashed on the floor. Her couch had the legs broken off, and the cushions had been gutted. All her books, cds, and dvds lay scattered around the room. The first thing she noticed was the picture of her, and Taven from last Christmas was laying on the floor. She knelt to pick it up, and cut herself on a small shard of glass.
She set the picture, and its frame back up on it's proper stand, but couldn't bring her eyes away. Taven was standing in a doorway holding mistletoe over his head in his usual black clothes, she was kissing his cheek while snapping a picture. They both looked happy.
Looking at the picture now she was filled with remorse. She should have told Taven how she felt, before it was too late. She always knew that he was aware of her feelings, but she didn't want to come clean, and admit to them so instead she had pushed them down, and let them grow. Now she wished she had told him sooner, even if he rejected her it wouldn't hurt as bad as the pain she felt right now.
She looked down at where her hand was bleeding from the small cut, and she felt tears in her eyes. She took a deep breath, and held it all in. She shut, and locked the door to her house before moving into the bathroom. Her shower was a large glass block in the one corner of her bathroom. She turned on the spray, and began to strip off her clothes. Her clothes were a total loss. They were ripped, and covered in dirt, and blood. She tossed them into the trash stepping into the hot shower.
She stood under the spray letting it burn it's way across her sore body, and when she grew tired of standing she dropped to her knees in the middle of she shower, and cried. She didn't know how long she sat in there like that weak, and broken, but when she pulled herself from the shower she finally felt clean again.
She pulled on her favorite button up pj shirt, and matching bottoms, and climbed into her bed. She rolled over, and it was then she noticed the envelope laying on the pillow beside hers. She sat up, and grabbed it eagerly tearing it open.
If you're reading this than I guess that means I'm not laying next to you like I hoped I would be right now. I must be dead.
I won't lie to you, and pretend I didn't predict this exact outcome, but I was hoping for the best. I don't know how I died, but I know you're alive because no matter what happened that was always the plan. I lived the past two hundred ,and twenty years as a vampire. Hating everything I was, and had become, but I never felt true hatred at myself until I rejected you. The only thing I truly missed since turning is the sun on my shoulders ,the warmth, and the light. I found all of it in you Sunshine. You were the one thing I ached for the most, but never could have had. I know you'll argue this point, but I couldn't have had you Sunshine. Not really, I could never turn you, and I could never be human it would never work between us. So, I kept you as a friend instead feeling it was better for both of us than to lose you completely. I was stupid. Life is about taking chances. I called you Sunshine because you were the only thing that could truly kill me or hurt me, and the only thing I truly wanted. Learn from my mistakes. Quit your job. Go out during the daytime, be happy, and fell the sunshine on your face, and know that my love is warming you too.
All my love, All my life.
She held the letter in her hands, and felt her heart break even more. Taven lived such a lonely secretive life that she knew nothing about, and that killed her. He was gone, but she could still feel his prescence in every word that she had read. Maybe, it was better this way.
She would have grown old, and he wouldn't. She would have died, and Taven would have lingered on alone. Children would have been physically impossible. The only problem was without Taven she had nothing either.
The next day she got up bright, and early like Taven had told her, and quit her job. She showered, and dressed. She went shopping all day, and realized Taven was right the sun was beautiful, and she felt him with the warmth. When the sun went down she went to FANG, and found Lucy bartending.
"Hey, Where's your sidekick?" Lucy asked with a bright smile.
"He couldn't make it. Can I get a glass of wine please?"
"Sure, Aren't you working tonight?" Lucy asked pouring a glass of wine, and Ryder shook her head.
"Well I get off in about an hour. You want to grab something to eat?" Lucy offered, and Ryder smiled.
"That sounds great." She said honestly.
She took a sip of wine, and a deep breath. Maybe, it hurt that Taven was gone, but as long as she had friends, and her own sunshine, Maybe, just maybe, She'd be ok.