Stepping out the back door, Lou carried the garbage bag toward the dumpster and huffed it in. Her long braid swung over her shoulder and rested along the skin of her neck. She tugged her jeans up a little, cursing her hips in her mind, and then went back to the door. A muffled moan caught her by surprise and she froze with the handle in hand.
She waited patiently to experience the sound once again. In a moment, it repeated.
Lou was cloaked in darkness, hidden by the silent night that kept the offices to the west obscured. She looked to the street and the bold red light that pierced the evening sky. Facing the door again, Lou turned the handle, but once more, the moaning echoed from the brick.
Light steps to the side of the building and Lou could hear scuffling on the sidewalk. At the corner of the building, Lou froze again. There, in the stillness of the impending night, stood a man in a long, black coat. Pressing over a woman in a flowery brown dress, her hair a mess of curls, the man appeared to be in a trance of passion and fever. Lou could feel herself blush. With a silent gasp, and a tender grin, she turned her eyes and decided to go back inside.
Now, however, the moaning became a shriek, soft and inaudible beneath the man’s pressing hand. Lou turned back, her body mostly hidden behind the brick, and watched with wide eyes. The man rose tall above the woman as her hands searched for the stability of the wall behind. Beneath the perimeter light, the glowing orange light meant to deter loitering, Lou could clearly see the crimson flow of blood stream from the man’s mouth and across the woman’s neck. One final kiss to her skin and the man caught the fainting body of the woman in his arms.
Another silent gasp and Lou found herself in foreign territory. With trembling legs, she managed to reach the door and slip inside. She locked the bolt with shaking fingers and felt her heart thump quicker with each passing breath. Into the stock room, Lou paced the floor and wished she hadn’t let Ari leave early.
Lou stopped at the sugar bags, took in a long breath and then shook out her arms and exhaled. Nonsense, she thought. She argued with herself for seconds over the reality of what she saw. It isn’t possible, she continued. With her mind in a fuss, she barely heard the front door open. A long blank stare to the floor only heightened her fear.
“Hello?” a voice, a man’s voice, she registered, entered the air. Heavy blinks and watery eyes, the hair on her arms shot tall. She could hear his footsteps as he stepped around near the counter. With her heart in her throat, she realized she had to make him leave. Out of the stock room, Lou approached the counter to find the man—the same man from outside—staring to her with onyx eyes. “Are you closed?” his voice was cultivated, inherently musical.
“Not yet,” she answered, struggling to tame her frantic hands. The man stepped closer to the counter as his cloak slightly opened. Lou caught sight of the silver vest he wore, the four buttons in black that secured the garment, and the ribbed tie pulled a bit loose. His shirt, unbuttoned at the collar beneath that tie was steel gray. No white, she thought. Blood would have stained the white.
“Would you make me a ristretto?” he asked of her as he placed his hand on the counter. She glanced to his fingers, long and smooth, clean nails and a sharp metallic watch that must’ve weighed a pound. And then she traced his arm up to his face and studied his slender lips and his strong nose. Finally, her eyes fell upon his as he awaited her answer. With a nod, she turned her back to him and started his drink.
The blood—the river of red—it was all gone. No stains on his clothes, no drops on his face. Maybe it wasn’t him, she thought. Maybe it was.
“Cream?” she spoke.
Lou’s jaw clenched tight as the last few drops of coffee dripped from the machine. She moved the cup to the adjacent counter and pulled a lid from the basket on the shelf above. The moonlight from the drive-thru window cascaded over the counter and gleamed on her red polish. She turned and faced the man with the hot beverage in her hands.
“Thank you,” he cleared, tipping his head slightly to the left. He slid a ten-dollar bill across the counter and the corner of his mouth turned up.
“It’s on the house,” Lou muttered and then tiptoed back to the counter behind. She felt the wood with her hands and grasped tight.
“It’s yours then,” he smiled, lifting the cup and turning for the door. After his body passed the window and slipped from sight, Lou exhaled and held her chest with clammy palms. Without break, she rushed to the stock room, then to the small office where the workers kept their things. There was a small desk and a couple of filing cabinets the managers used. Lou took her handbag from the chair and fished for her phone.
“Ari, can you give me a ride home?” Lou begged her friend. “Yeah, I drove, but I… I, um, ran out of gas,” she lied. Her friend stammered on the other end. “Please,” Lou begged. As she continued to argue with her friend, pacing around the office and tugging at her hair until her braid almost fell out, Lou did not realize he had returned.
“Tell her not to come,” the man commanded, facing her straight on. Lou’s eyes enlarged and her throat dried. He leaned close and raised his brow, waiting for her to comply.
“Um, never mind,” Lou mumbled. “I was wrong.” Ari countered Lou’s words in confusion, rambling in the background. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
With the call ended, the man held his hand out and Lou placed the phone in his palm. Standing only inches from him, she could smell the coffee on his breath. He actually drank it, she thought.
“Are you frightened?” he asked her. Her eyes filled with terror as she nodded in a hurried, panicked manor. “Oh, shush, little bird,” he consoled. “I won’t hurt you.”
“What do you want?” she whispered.
“You saw me, out back,” he spoke to her as though he was asking for the truth. Lou nodded. “You saw what I am.”
“What happened to the woman?”
The man grinned wide and glanced to the floor briefly. “I sent her away.”
“I won’t tell anyone, I swear,” Lou pleaded. The man straightened up and took a second to think to himself. “I’ll do whatever you ask, just please, please don’t hurt me,” Lou rambled as a tear fell down her cheek.
“I already said I wouldn’t,” he repeated in a sigh, his brow crooked as he studied her face. Gazing with heaviness in her chest, Lou awaited his next move. She wondered if he was still hungry, if she would leave the coffee bar at all. The man shifted his weight to his other foot and Lou jerked back. He lifted his hand to her face, slowly and cautiously as she held very still. Wiping the tear from her face, the man absorbed the moment with calm breaths. His fingertips lightly touched her ear as a strand of her hair fell over his skin.
“You can leave,” she urged. “I won’t tell anyone.”
“No,” he smiled. “I know you won’t.”
Lou finished cleaning the canisters and machines, then turned the lights out. The man had sat at the window waiting for her to finish. His gaze troubled her, but she shrugged it off.
“You don’t have to stay,” she suggested. The man shook his head but didn’t look at her. “I’ll be here tomorrow.”
“I’m taking you somewhere when you’re finished,” he uncrossed his legs and stood from the booth. He met Lou at the counter and leaned over her, his eyes shining from the low light of the fluorescents beneath the counter. She stepped back, but he took hold of her wrist and held her firm.
“Be still,” he directed. Lou relaxed her hand into his cradling hold. His hand felt like he had been standing out in the cold, chilling her skin and her nerves in the most pleasing way. She shivered as her eyes rolled back and her voice purred. After a few seconds, Lou regained her posture and met the man’s eyes with a soft glare. He couldn’t hide his smiling eyes.
In his hand, her wrist began to glow until her veins were visible through her skin. She gasped by disbelief, but found the sight enthralling.
“How are you doing that?” she exclaimed.
“I just am,” was his reply. He swiped his fingers down her veins and traced the indigo bloodline to her inner elbow. “This blood is mine,” he advised. On her toes, Lou couldn’t argue. “Are you ready?” Wide eyed, the mortal, with no previous desire to believe in wild fiction, accepted that the man was indeed a vampire. And that she was his.
After rounding the counter, his eyes watching her every move, Lou met the man where he stood. He wrapped her arm around his and tangled his fingers between hers. They walked out the door and up to his car where he opened the passenger door for her to slide in.
The car smelled of leather and purity, a freshness that comes with men dressed in black. The lingering scent of the snow outside crept in the air as well. When the man joined Lou and closed his door, she suddenly felt a wave of fear overcome her. She didn’t know him, or if he was really what she had decided he was. She was alone, in his car and under his command. She looked back to the coffee bar and reached for the handle, but the man was quick to lock the doors.
“I won’t hurt you,” he reiterated with exhaustion. “Be patient.”
“What will you do?” she wrapped her arms in a knot. The man, however, laughed to himself as he began to drive. Lou wrestled with the thoughts in her mind. Why did I get in this car? What is wrong with me? Her bottom lip held firm between her teeth, her toes fidgeted inside her shoes.
“My parents will come looking for me,” she urged. “You should just drive me home.”
“Don’t lie to me, little bird,” he spoke plain. “Your mother lives in California.” Lou sat back as her eyes shifted across the lights of the city. Then she rocked forward and leaned to the window. Then again, she sat back.
“Your anxiety will only heighten my reflexes,” he warned.
“How do you know about my mother?” Lou changed the subject.
“I’ve… watched you,” he confessed in an allowing tone.
Lou caught her breath. “You have?” she uttered to herself, fingers picking at her nails in her lap. “What are you going to do with me?” The man grinned as he cocked his head and looked out the window to the bridge ahead. “Manhattan?”
“There’s a nice pub next to my apartment,” he stated. Lou watched as he gripped the wheel on the turn and then released. Then he accelerated. Merging onto the bridge, weaving between the other vehicles at speeds Lou found unsettling, the man continued to grin. She closed her eyes and slipped to a memory she had of a beach in California. It was a cool day in August, the sky nearly overcast. She enjoyed the waves nonetheless.
“Don’t fall asleep, little bird,” the man’s voice slithered into her ears, hooking to her inner desires.
The heat from inside her body poured out between her lips in a dragging manner. “Why do you keep calling me that?”
“Alouette,” he put with the same musical infliction he revealed at the coffee bar. “That is your name, isn’t it?”
Lou nodded with a long breath.
“Are you alright?”
“I’m nauseas,” she whispered, closing her eyes and holding tight to the arm rest between them.
“We’re almost there,” he advised, turning down side streets and maneuvering through alleys she had never seen.
“What’s your name?” she muttered.
“I know this place,” Lou glanced over the quaint pub. “This is Ryan’s pub.” Jack parked around the side and turned off the engine. He leaned over the center console, close to her as she took in his scent, and pulled a shirt from the backseat. He turned to face her prying eyes and handed her the article. “I can’t be this stupid,” she mumbled to herself.
“What do you mean?”
“You told me that you’ve been watching me. You even have clothes that fit me,” her voice perked. “Are you really…,” she struggled to say it out loud, “really a…” But before she could muster the courage, the man turned to her and opened his mouth and his two eye-teeth enlarged. They crawled outward, sharpening into spears under the ambient glow of the car’s interior. Brilliantly white, strong and firm; the teeth glowed, they pulled at her attention. Lou slipped back in her seat, as far away as she could from the creature she could no longer doubt.
“I am,” and his fangs receded.
Lou gasped and reached for the door handle, but the locks were still on. She searched for a button, but felt Jack grab her arm instead. “Please don’t,” she pleaded. With her back pressed tight to his chest, the man hummed in her ear as though it wasn’t difficult to hold her struggling body still for so long.
“You are mine. If you do not fight me, you will never need to fear me,” he scolded. His words flooded her ears as he sighed, murmuring against her body. She could feel him breathing her in, listening—she thought—to every sound her heart made. A reluctant, well-thought nod, and Lou rested her body against the vampire. “Good then.”
Lou lifted the shirt, a soft garment in pink with sleeves just past the elbows, and then looked to Jack and caught his onyx eyes awaiting her. She lifted her brow. The vampire instinctively turned and faced forward. Slipping her work shirt off, Lou left her white camisole underneath on, and put the pink shirt over her head. The vampire unlocked the doors and met the mortal as she stepped out. A shiver in the crisp air of December and Lou pulled in a slow breath.
In the pub, Jack walked Lou to a private table diagonal from the bar. There were lights strung around the woodwork, hanging near paintings and illuminating the gold-stained wood tables. The bar had more than thirty bottles of different types of spirits, and there were enough stools to fit a dozen people.
“Do you come here often?” the mortal questioned.
“More than I should,” he replied. He didn’t lead her by the arm as she had expected. Instead, he paced behind her with ease; his hands tucked in his pockets and his stride smooth.
“I know the owner,” Lou spoke. “He’s my friends brother. If you do anything—”
“You wouldn’t be so calm if you thought I’d do something you wouldn’t like,” sharply put, eyes tight and moody. After taking a seat at the back of the building, Jack looked across the table to Lou and breathed in and paused. She could tell he had something to say, but wasn’t able to articulate.
“Why me?” she asked.
Lou stared on, through the man before her, and then turned away with a sigh. “I’m dreaming,” she mumbled.
“This isn’t a dream,” the man cleared. Lou, however, wouldn’t look to him. The vampire slid around to the booth seat beside her and put his arm around her, holding her close. “I chose you because you were curious.”
Lou shook her head. “I don’t understand.”
“You and I have met before,” he spoke, then licked his lips. “At the grocery store. You were there for mozzarella, but they were out,” Lou listened with high interest to his words. “You stood there for a while until choosing provolone, and I grabbed the same.” Lou concentrated for a moment until she found the memory. “At the register, I saw you watching me,” he continued. “I wasn’t sure why until I noticed the blood on my shirt.” Jack’s eyes trailed.
“I don’t remember you being there,” she uttered.
“No,” his eyes flicked around the room. “You wouldn’t.”
“I cleared it from your memory,” his gaze tightened. With that particular memory fresh in his mind, he focused on the first glimpse he had had of her. “I rushed from the store so that no one else would see. And in the parking lot, you asked me if I was alright.”
“You waited there for me,” she stated, more as a question than a remark as the memory filtered through her mind.
“You were there,” her eyes brightened with uncertainty.
“I showed you what I was, and you weren’t afraid.” The vampire lowered his head, blinking heavily. “We spent that evening together… and I made you forget it all.”
“Why are you telling me this?” she furthered, then grew wise. “You’re going to do it again, aren’t you? Has this happened more than once?” Jack didn’t answer. “Is it because I’m yours? I belong to you, you can do whatever you want,” she assumed. She tossed the napkin from her hand onto the table and stood up.
“Lou,” he called in a tender voice, standing to follow her out the door. Searching the street with troubled eyes, Jack listened to the subtle sounds of the neighborhood to detect his little bird. He called to her again. Behind him, at his car, he heard her cry.
“Just get it over with. I want to go home,” she told him as she shivered in the cold.
“Get in the car,” he directed.
The ride out of Manhattan was a silent and uneasy one. Lou wasn’t bothered by his nature anymore, it was the experiences she had lost that bothered her. When Jack pulled up beside her car at the coffee bar, she remained in her seat.
“How does it work?” she mumbled.
“I’m not going to this time,” he returned, his jaw tight. “I don’t want to be a stranger anymore.”
“Why did you before?”
He smiled with a nervous flutter of his eyes. “I thought it was better for you.”
“How many times?” she faced him. “Jack, how many?”
“Twice,” he whispered. “After the store, I started to watch over you, soon you discovered what I was,” he took a deep breath through his nose. “I let it go on until you were almost killed.” Lou winced, the unknown reality of her own life was deeply disturbing. “I had to let you go.”
“And now, do you expect me to just… let you get close again?” her voice peaked. “What exactly was our relationship?” The vampire turned from her and looked to the coffee bar ahead. “Why were you… why would you feed on someone where I work? Wouldn’t you think I’d see?”
“I wanted you to,” he exhaled. “I’m tired of being apart,” he reached for her hands. Lou, however, pulled away.
“How was I almost killed?”
Jack faced forward and lifted his chin. He wasn’t ready to tell her everything.
“Do you want this?” she taunted as she pulled her sleeve up and put her wrist out to him. “You said it was yours,” she forced on, her jaw tight, her nose flared. “Don’t you crave it?” she snarled.
“Not tonight,” he drudged. Lou stepped out of the car and slammed the door. She got in her own car and started the engine. Before she had her belt fastened, he sped off into the night.
“I just need to clear my mind and get away from stuff,” Lou explained to Ari as they both removed the polish from their nails. Ari’s colorful apartment was two streets away from Lou’s in Brooklyn.
“Uh, I guess,” Ari winced with disgust. “You owe me big, though,” she went on. “I hate working Sundays.”
“I know, but I really need a few days off,” Lou unscrewed the cap to the blue-gray polish. It was her favorite, and it was almost gone. “I had an ex show up, I guess,” she tried to make sense of the encounter.
“Was it that tall guy?” Ari rambled as she snapped her fingers. “Messy hair, big watch?” Lou’s eyes opened wide. “He asked for you the other day, but you were off.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Lou jetted forward.
“He was kinda creepy,” Ari slid the polish over her nail. “All in black… asking questions. And his eyes,” the mortal paused. Lou took a moment to remember Jack’s eyes and how daunting, how present they were. “They were dark as night.”
Lou spent a day to herself, then decided she wanted answers. She drove to Manhattan on Saturday and directly to Ryan’s pub. There’s a nice pub next to my apartment, she remembered the vampire’s words. She parked next to the pub and got out. So many apartments, she thought. Determination ran thick in her blood.
She thought about how a vampire would live. Would he actually be hurt by the sun? Would he choose an apartment facing away from the light? Would his neighbors know of him? Are there apartment buildings filled with vampires in Manhattan? She had to laugh.
“Little Lou,” a foreign voice spoke to her from behind. She was standing at the second apartment building down from the pub. The sun was directly overhead and the air was crisp and sweet.
“I’m sorry?” Lou faced a man with large blue eyes and bright hair.
“It’s been months,” the man spoke as he studied her face. “I know you. I remember you well,” he said taking a step closer to Lou.
“Eli,” Jack called from the door. “She’s with me.”
“So, I guess the sun isn’t a problem,” Lou assumed as Jack led her up the stairs.
“Not entirely. How did you find me?”
“You told me you lived nearby,” she scoffed. On the second floor, Jack paused at his door and looked over Lou. “What?”
“I can restore your memories, if you want,” he cleared. Lou leaped into his arms and held him tight to her body. Her arms around his neck, his hands firm to her sides; Lou filled with curiosity. Then she wondered about how her life would change. How the knowledge of her relationship to Jack would influence her life—her balanced life. Jack give her long to think. He moved her away and kept his eyes low.
“Why does it bother you?”
“Let’s talk inside,” he suggested, opening the door and leading her in. As much as she might have doubted their relationship until that moment, the reality of it all came flooding in. There were pictures of them on the fridge, a pair of sandals that she thought she had lost were behind the door; she had spent time there in his life. A tube of lip gloss sat beside the lamp next to the couch. She walked around the place for several minutes, taking everything in and trying hard to remember what she had lost.
At the mirror in the hall, Lou picked up a keychain with a metallic birdcage charm and a single key. “This doesn’t seem like something you would own,” she laughed.
“It’s yours,” he cleared as he dug his hands deeper into his pockets. “It was your spare.” Further through the apartment, as Jack followed close behind, Lou examined the things that she discovered to be hers. In the bathroom were hair ties and a purple brush. Then the mortal stopped. One door was closed—the bedroom door. She turned to face Jack and felt her heart skip. She had been close to him, that she knew. How close exactly is what frightened her. Jack stepped around her and opened the door.
“I don’t really need to—”
“It’s fine,” he urged. Jack moved aside as Lou entered the foggy-blue room. The walls were muted, as was the comforter. On the dresser, there was a folded white shirt. Lou went and picked it up, and then held it close to her face. It smelled like him and a churning deep in her body came to light. Her eyes glossed as goosebumps trickled over her skin.
“Why did you try to scare me?” she asked as she sat on the bed.
“I didn’t mean to,” he approached her. “There were times, though… when you found it exciting.”
“I didn’t the other night,” she affirmed. Jack, however, knew better. He let out his fangs and rushed to her neck, his body hovering over hers with an inescapable presence. Lou, awaiting the bite, didn’t move.
“It’s exhilarating, isn’t it?” he taunted in a whisper, his lips skimming her ear. She had to breathe deep to rid the churning once again. “Tell me you’re bothered and I won’t do it again.” Lou shook her head. Jack leaned back and took a seat.
“Let me remember you,” she begged, her hands twisting in her lap. “You’ve taken the memories, but I still feel something.”
“You won’t like everything you see,” he warned, taking her hand and holding it in his own.
“That’s okay,” Lou tightened her grip on his hand. She barely knew the man before her, yet, deep in her heart she felt a bond. “How did we exist together?” curiously put.
Jack licked his lips and then grinned. “It was nice,” he started, his eyes to the floor. He took his time lifting his gaze to hers, but when he did, she remembered a little more of what she had lost. Together, she and Jack were sitting on the couch in late summer. The sun was strong through the window and the birds were loud.
“You’ll always be mine,” he whispered to her ear, kissing her skin and resting his head on her shoulder. She remembered how satisfied she felt to be pressed to him.
“Always,” she repeated, now sitting in the present time. “You told me always.”
“It should have been,” he agreed with a blank face.
“When did I become yours?” she sat up a little, wondering more about what it meant to be declared his property. In any other sense of the word, Lou would have been bothered. But in his world, a place filled with beings that many people would never encounter, Lou understood it meant something powerful, something divine.
“After a while, you and I were constantly together,” he explained, taking her hand to his lips and kissing her knuckles. One by one, he placed a slow and delicate kiss on the bone. And, as before, he focused to her eyes. Lou fell into another memory, one where Jack was doing the same motion.
“You’ve been weak,” she remarked, watching his eyes float around in a haze.
“I’m alright,” he assured her, continuing to kiss each bone.
“You should feed,” Lou continued, locking her eyes deep into his even though he fought to avoid her. “Here,” she offered, her wrist exposed in the dim light of the television.
“It was late, maybe around one in the morning,” Jack recounted in the present. “I was starved,” he laughed a little, “just like you said.”
“Please,” Lou held her arm out in the past memory. “I love you,” she whispered. Jack, leaned up slightly toward her arm, then jolted to see her watching eyes. He then licked his lips and exhaled. Trembling fingers took hold of Lou’s wrist, but quickly released.
“I want to, I’ve craved your blood,” his voice was dry. “But I could hurt you.”
“You won’t,” she piped. “It doesn’t take much,” she smiled. Jack rushed her lips with his own, settling his mouth to hers in a long pause of breath and heat. She took him in, every bit of him, welcoming his gaping desire.
Lifting from her with a finishing taste, Jack took Lou’s wrist in his hand. He ran his fingers over her skin until the veins and the blood therein were visible. The swirling indigo hue of her life force appeared to glisten in the night. Jack held Lou’s wrist to his face, smelling her skin and her blood as his eyes closed slowly. His teeth emerged, swollen and thirsty. In a single motion, he bit.
In the present, while lost in the reflection of the past memory, Lou gasped like she had that night. The pain and the release that came from the bite of her lover hit her like a wave, and the churning began again—deeper, longer and insistent.
Lou opened her eyes and found her arm resting in Jack’s hands. The tension of his fingers flooded her veins, pumping the one thing he desired directly to his fingertips. He sat there, eyes intent on the blood, feeling her pulse and its melodic thump. He inhaled and lowered his head, but paused.
“Do it,” she urged, her lower lip then pinned between her teeth. Just like the memory, Jack’s fangs crawled out and he did not hesitate to bite down. A rush of emotion befell Lou as she watched her blood seep from his mouth and drip to the floor. The indigo turned crimson as Jack sucked from her flesh.
Rising with a steep inhale, Jack’s flesh brightened and his eyes turned blacker than night. He revisited the wound to clean the blood with his tongue, leaving only the two small holes made by his teeth. A wipe to the mouth and Lou’s blood was gone. Her eyes soared into his and again she was in the memory.
“This is mine,” Jack told as he cradled Lou in his arms there in the night. His fingers traced the indigo from her wrist to her inner elbow as she snuggled deeper into his body.
“How do you choose a vein?” she perked.
“It’s misleading, really,” he smiled, speaking next to her ear in a soft tone only she could hear. “There isn’t a good way to pierce a single, slender vein. It’s often better to just cut into the skin and drain the flesh.”
“And in my neck?” she continued, leaning away and exposing her skin.
“Your vein is thicker, but it could be dangerous,” he advised. “I prefer the wrist.”
In the present time, Lou regained her reality and looked over her wrist. The spot was fresh, but it was healing.
“Why isn’t it bleeding still?” she questioned him.
“You have my blood in you,” he spoke, and then watched as she batted her eyes, processing the notion. “I gave it to you, not that long ago,” he finished and stood from the bed.
“Why?” she followed him to the living room.
“I think that’s enough,” he kept his eyes from her, putting his hands on his belt and lifting his chin. “I can make you dinner, if you want.”
“I’m not hungry,” she expelled. “I want answers. I want my memories.”
“Not tonight,” he countered, still his eyes were far.
“Did you hurt me?” she concluded, stepping to him and pushing at his chest. “Is that why you won’t tell me? Why I have your blood?”
“No more, Lou,” he tightened his jaw and crossed his arms. His eyes, however, glanced to her momentarily, leaving her gaze with a slithering sneer.
“Don’t call me that,” she pumped her fists at her sides while her toes tapped inside her shoes. “You never call me that.” Her ankles danced awaiting his reply, but he was silent, motionless. “Jack, don’t tune me out. Please, don’t,” she softened her voice. He started to turn away, but she kept in his vision. She reached to his temples, caressing his dark hair and tracing over the tops of his ears.
Jack grabbed Lou in his hands and lifted her to his chest. She wrapped her legs around his body and let him take her mouth by force as before. Hurried by passion, Jack carried Lou to the couch and laid her down. She remembered more then, another time when she was held. A moment of pause while Jack peered over Lou, taking in her beauty and her mortality. And she, gazing up to the man she once loved, waited with patience.
“Don’t take this away,” she pleaded to him, her lips quivering. “Please, don’t ever take this away from me.” Jack agreed with a nod, his onyx eyes glaring over her face. Lou felt his arms as they held him steady; she clawed at his back as he silenced the churning. Lying there, entangled in his flesh, Lou found the satisfaction of being claimed.