The Morning After
Even though Leslie’s room was dark, my body knew it was daytime, and I awoke feeling refreshed and energized despite the odd dreams. I was smelly from sparring with Justin and wrestling with Leslie. A smile spread across my face as I thought of the shower with hot water.
More quickly and more silently than I had ever moved, I slipped off the bed and into the bathroom. Leslie’s blood cured my ills and apparently made me more agile. I flicked on the bathroom light and squinted against the glare. After being in complete darkness, it was too bright, so I turned my back to the bathroom. That’s when I saw Leslie, resting just as peacefully as in my dream.
My brow furrowed. If I remembered correctly (and I did), Leslie told me he hid when he rested. I shook my head. Another mystery.
When the spray hit me, it felt heavenly. Even though I don’t sing all that well, I couldn’t help myself when in such a positive mood. Whenever we took out a nest or stayed in an abandoned house, we took the music CDs for playing in the car. We weren’t picky about what we took. My parents considered CDs a way to educate Aster and me about music. My father clearly preferred what he called “nineties alternative” and “classic rock.” My mother’s tastes were more eclectic.
Other than nursery rhymes, I didn’t know the words to many songs, but the music tended to stick with me. As I shampooed my hair, I sang and stomped out a beat that matched my perky mood.
As I washed my face and body, I thought about the books we had found and read over the years. We rarely took them with us, so I got in the habit of writing down summaries of them in my journal. Oh, my journal! I needed to retrieve it from the old house. I had a lot of action to write about now.
Body clean and steaming, I dried off and searched through Leslie’s bathroom drawers for a comb. I found one with wide teeth that would do just fine. I hummed the chorus of an old folk song my mother loved as I worked out the tangles in my hair. Once that job was completed, I headed back into the bedroom.
The light from the bathroom showed me that the previously sleeping Leslie was now awake. On his side and propped up on one arm, a smile spread across his face. “What a wonderful way to wake up,” he said. “You’re singing isn’t that great, but still,” he gestured to me, “wonderful.”
In my bubbling, happy zone, I had completely forgotten about him. There I stood, naked. I would not be embarrassed. My mother had not raised me to be shy or ashamed of my body. Justin had admired it many times.
Someone had the good sense to put some clothes in the dresser. I rummaged through the top drawer and found underwear, my underwear. In another drawer, I found new clothes and, under them, my clothes. I turned around holding a shirt.
“I made a trip to your old house last night. I thought you’d like what was yours. Mm.” Leslie sounded as if he had smelled or tasted something delicious.
“What?” I asked as I tugged on a sports bra.
“Nothing,” he waved his fingers through the air dismissively. “Continue. I’m enjoying watching you dress.”
“No, you said, ‘Mm,’ so I want to know what that’s about because you’re creeping me out just a little.”
“Then, be prepared to be creeped out even more.” He lifted his nose in the air. “Your scent is strong today. Must be a result of my blood.”
“My scent? Like my hormones?” I whipped a long sleeve T-shirt over my head and searched for panties. I had so few pairs.
“No,” Leslie drew out the word. “Your blood. It perfumes the air.” I stopped shuffling clothes and turned to find him sniffing at me. “Delicious.”
I made a face and fake-gagged. “That’s just disgusting. Human blood tastes gross.”
“Just like my blood tasted gross to you?” he countered.
“At least I don’t go berserk every time I get a drop of yours in me,” Leslie said superiorly.
“You should’ve seen your face when you were sucking on my knuckles,” I shot back. “You just keep laughing. You weren’t so jolly last night.”
“No, that was…intense. I wanted to bite you and tear off your clothes.”
“Have you ever done that before?”
“Yes, but not with someone…” He waved his hand again. “Yes, I have ripped clothes off of women and drank from them until they were dry.”
The thought made me shiver, and I could almost see Leslie’s mind sifting through memories that, from the looks of his face, were a mixture of horror and ecstasy. His lips parted slightly, and he sucked in a breath just before he said, “Dress, please. You make it very hard for me to be a gentleman.”
I smiled mischievously. “What if I were to walk over here and…Oops! I dropped my panties.” I held my hand up to my mouth and bent over suggestively in front of him.
“Do you enjoy playing games with me? You know I’ve killed. You know I drink blood.” His Adam’s apple bobbed, and his nostrils flared. “You should take care, have a better sense of self-preservation.” His eyes lost focus.
Instead of picking up my panties and going back into the bathroom like a smart person, I stood up, turned, and walked over to the edge of the bed. His blood made my senses stronger. I caught the scent of him—rosemary, mint, and male—and found myself suddenly aroused. He bit his lower lip, and I smiled.
“Step away from me,” he growled.
“I’m not afraid of you.”
In one flash of movement, he snatched me onto the bed and hovered over me, kissing me like a starved man who has found a feast. “I shouldn’t—” he started to say, but it came out strangled, as I met his hunger with my own. “Rah,” he yelled and pushed me up the bed until the top of my head smacked into the headboard.
His fangs sank into the tender skin of my upper inner thigh. The sensation was nothing like the faux fangs. There was no pain and all pleasure, pure exhilaration. My lower body flooded with heat from the saliva. The humming sensation filled me. I grabbed the headboard with my hands and held on while Leslie fed. I panted, called his name hoarsely. When he lapped at the bite and then nipped higher, I screamed as I reached the strongest peak I had ever experienced.
In one swift move, Leslie was off me and in the bathroom. I felt warm and incredibly fulfilled and then suddenly awkward. This was Leslie. Leslie was a vampire. Leslie had bitten me, and boy had I liked it. I stifled a crazed laugh.
Slowly, I got off the bed and retrieved my panties. I walked into the bathroom and found Leslie staring at himself in the mirror.
“I…am…a…monster.” He said each word slowly and precisely.
“You were provoked.” I waved a hand at him before re-combing my hair.
“It’s no excuse. I didn’t have your permission.” He looked at his reflection disgustedly. “I really didn’t want to make any mistakes with you.”
I slapped the comb down on the counter. “I waved myself in front of you like a red flag.” His eyes flashed up to the reflection of my face. “Don’t be so angry. So, you bit me. Big deal. You’ve already had my blood.”
“I went for your femoral. I fed on you like an animal.” He closed his eyes. “I should have more control, but it is very hard when you act like you want me. At least I didn’t force myself on you.”
I knew I wasn’t acting. I really wanted him, and if he had taken me, it wouldn’t have been against my will. I didn’t know what to make of myself, so I said nothing. Leslie looked so dejected.
“I’m sorry if I hurt you,” he said quietly. “Can you forgive me?”
“Like I said, I provoked you.” I shrugged.
“That’s no excuse for me to hurt you.”
“You didn’t hurt me.”
“Camellia.” He lowered his head and opened his eyes. His voice sounded pained. “You cried out.”
“I had an orgasm, you idiot.”
If vampires could blush, he would have. He turned his head ever-so-slightly to look at me and must have seen the truth in my face. “I…I didn’t realize you, ah, enjoyed it.”
“It surprised me, too.” I couldn’t hold back a smile. “Woke me up better than the shower.”
Leslie returned my smile. “You’re really okay with what just happened?” he asked as he dabbed at his lips with my washcloth.
I held up my hands and then placed them firmly on the counter. “Let’s agree we’re not going to act weird about it. I taunted you after you warned me, and I got bitten. That’s only to be expected. What I didn’t expect was the orgasm, but now that I think about it, I can say I had both of them coming at your expense.”
Leslie shook his head, but he genuinely smiled now. “You have a wonderful flavor.”
“Okay, if this whole not-acting-weird thing is going to work, you can’t say things like that.” He laughed at me, and I smiled back at him. “But, thank you, I guess. You taste like the best dessert I ever had.”
“Okay, thank you.”
“Right, so we’re delicious.”
This time, I didn’t hold back the laughter when it came. Yep, life had definitely gotten weird.
END CH12 P1