Knitted Fingerless Gloves
Kaddlin went to pick up her coffee cup, but her trembling hands made it a difficult task. After spilling the majority of the espresso down the front of her blouse she grew instantly irritated and gave up on the motion altogether.
She had always hated Tuesday mornings. However, if asked to offer a valid reason for this, she would falter, stumble, grow frustrated, and ultimately be unable to offer one.
Every other morning of the week brought with it standard emotions and actions- make the coffee, shower, dress, work, and all those other lovely and deliciously human things. But on mornings such as this one, she bore some ridiculous mental block that forced a frown upon her face for the entirety of the rising hours.
The woman skulked back to her room, hoping that she had a clean top to change into. God, it had been a month since she'd done laundry. Every morning venture to the closet was an experiment in patience and memory, a moment of self-loathing when she was reminded of how terribly unadjusted she was to this lifestyle.
Before venturing within her closet doors, she stopped and opened the top drawer of her mahogany dresser, retrieving from it a pair of knitted fingerless gloves. She pulled them on with some difficulty over her trembling hands and slowly but surely the shaking subsided. What was left in its place, however, was a since of phantom movement and the endurance of a subtle ache.
Her fingers, now stilled, she made quick work of unbuttoning her blouse, tossing it into the massive pile of dirty laundry. She retrieved a large black sweater- one of three tops left hanging in the closet- and tugged it over her head.
The weather outside threatened downpour, but then again, that was to be expected. It rained about 200 days out of the year here. With a cold and thorough overcast, she bore little fear of sunlight and the burning sensation it caused to her skin. Luckily, she had outgrown the vampiric tendency to set fire in the presence of natural light, but that wasn't to say that she bore extreme sensitivity to the light. For this morning at least, with dark clouds looming above, her anxiety seemed distant.
Perhaps this particular Tuesday morning could be looking up. What was the point in getting upset over something as arbitrary as a morning anyway? She had been alive for hundreds of years, experienced thousands of Tuesday mornings and if she maintained her affinity for longevity, who's to say she wouldn't experience thousands more? Maybe she should try to perk up, put an optimistic spin on things, be…positive?
A smirk was creeping across her face for the first time in months; it was on the very precipice of forming a smile, when the woman took a deep inhale.
And her expression dropped as if it were made of lead.
"If you're here for the peepshow, you're about ten seconds late." She sighed, turning around. "But then again, timing really never was your strong point, was it Leandro?"
A man loomed in the corner of her room. Sanguine eyes fixed on her through a mop of dark locks and the lifted hood of a black pea coat.
"It would seem that living with mortals has done more than changed your…dietary preferences. It's made you undeniably crude." The rising and falling of the cadence in his Italian accent was enough to make Kaddlin nauseous.
What little morning light that endured the dark clouds was cast onto his face through the window, illuminating the sharp, flawless features of his skin as he stepped towards her.
He was beautiful in his immortality, his pale skin reminiscent of marble.
"I recall a young woman who was the very definition of refinement and elegance. A little on the…emotional side, but a princess born and bred."
"And I remember a self-centered sycophant whose every action is dictated by an animalistic need to stuff his face." She looked him over once. "I suppose that some people never change." Kaddlin tossed her cell phone into a satchel and tugged on an overcoat.
Leon now stood but inches from her, his lips brushing against her ears as he spoke.
"Oh, my love. Time has made you cruel and bitter. Assuming you have not endured any blunt force trauma to your frontal lobe, then I know for certain you recall a time when you loved me as dearly as I love you. You and I, we were going to spend an eternity together 'gazing at the stars and divining some sense out of it all'. Your words, not mine."
The woman seemed all but completely unphased.
"I know it has been a while since we last spoke, sweetheart, but I don't recall you being so dramatic. I suppose Alphonse's influence is finally taking its toll. Small talk is over now, Leon. Who sent you to get me this time? Al? Hendrick? It couldn't have possibly been the old man himself now, could it?" She turned her back to him, pulling her hair out from where it had been pressed inside her coat. It cascaded in black waves down her back.
"Frankly, I surprised he didn't send the twins again. I was almost growing accustomed to their bi-weekly visits."
Leon laced his arms around her waist, pulling her to him and burying his face in her hair.
"Kaddlin, Kaddlin, Kaddlin. Always the narcissist. Does everything really have to be about to poor little princess throwing a temper tantrum. Do you really think that everyone in the coven fell apart because little princess Kaddlin wasn't home before the street lights came on? Did it ever occur to you that maybe I am here for personal reasons. Maybe I just wanted to-" he pressed his lips to an exposed part of her neck "-reconnect with you."
With a frustrated scough, Kaddlin broke free from his grasp and walked purposefully out of the room. "Piss off, Leon."
He was waiting for her at her dining room table, absentmindedly scraping strawberry preservers overtop a scone.
"You know, my love, I cannot believe you haven't offered me some refreshments in all the while I've been here. I realize that you are persisting your hardest to forsake every last bit of your own culture, but come on, even you have to admit that that is barbaric." He held the pastry up to his lips, taking a large bite from it.
"Could you hurry this up? I am running late for work as it is." She continued tossing various things into her satchel- keys, a bottle of hand sanitizer, another pair of gloves, sunglasses.
"Oh, yes. That sweet little job of yours. You teach that class on World History at the University, don't you? Admittedly it makes perfect sense for you, Kadd, seeing as you've lived it. Oh, I bet you spend the entire hour telling your students all the lovely anecdotes from the dark ages. And wait, what was the adorable little name you go by? Sigrid Anderson? You really are an absolute doll, my pet, what with this entire personality you've invented. I'm surprised you are not a novelist." Leon's laughter was bordering on hysterical.
Kaddlin had reached her breaking point; this was enough.
"Goodbye Leon. Send Hendrick my love and be sure to tell him that I am not nor ever will be a part of his elitist hive of demons again. "
Leon's expression dropped. It was clear that her words had brought play time to a screeching halt. After swallowing the rest of the scone and brushing off a few crumbs from his cuff, he spoke. His accent seemed less pronounced and was without all of its dramatic flavor.
"The king is dead, Kaddlin. That is why I was sent here to fetch you."
Kaddlin's expression waned. It was certainly a great shock but she tried to play it off.
"About time the old man passed. He was bordering on ancient status as it was. I don't see why you need me though."
"You are his only living child, the sole heir to the throne. You don't need me to tell you that. As much as we all hate to admit it, the coven is reliant on you."
"You know as well as I do that I relinquished my title a long time ago. If you are so desperate for a new monarch, then why don't you apply for the job."
Leon was now the one turning frustrated. "Would you just stop that incessant wining of yours for one moment! Stop playing coy! Dmitri would never, and I cannot stress never, would approve of someone outside the bloodline taking power. I was there when your father passed; it was Hendrick's dying wish that you take the throne."
"I gave you my answer, Leon. Find yourself another heir because unless Dmitri shows up and drags me back himself, I am not going."
And with that she left the flat, slamming the front door behind her.
She was several steps away that the bite of guilt hit her.
Her father was dead. Her father was dead. Her father was dead.
It wasn't until she felt the drops hit her hands that she realized she was crying.
AN: Brought to you by a creatively frustrated hormonal person who has been watching a lot of Being Human (U.K.). Reviews always welcomed with open arms.