I sat there with my feet up on the desk, the night had come and gone by this time and I had spent all of it just staring at the wall. That was, until something flicked in my mind; “Eyes like ebbing tide... hair like spun gold, eyes like... hair... tide... spun gold... do you think of her? Never... gold... eyes... tide,” they slammed into me like a brick thrown straight at my brain. It was enough to send me falling back off my chair.
I scrambled to my feet and held my head as the pain flooded through and the memories forced themselves to the surface. The crisp golden autumn, bronze leaves had fallen to the ground and I was sprawled across her lap, her fingers caressing my caramel fur. Her long copper hair spilled over her shoulders and golden eyes looked down at me. “Do you ever think of her? Never,”
I whimpered as I staggered forward, a low whine forced from my throat as my human form began to crumble, like I had lost all control of my actions; my mental wall had been destroyed. But just as the scream left my throat the hand that tightened around my heart let go and I felt the air rush into my lungs. I can feel you...
But my daydreaming couldn’t last long and I was kinda glad. My attention was drawn to the garage entry-way... I don’t remember that being open...
Flora. But my attention was more drawn to the thing behind her, his breath was cold and artificial – no heart beat. Rugged, handsome features set upon a corpse’s face? Vampire. The last thing I wanted to see was a piece of trash like that.
"Hey, Alex," she called. "D'you wanna meet my friend?" She seemed happy, joyful. Quite the opposite to the morning I’d had. Coupled with the pretty zombie following her this day could get no worse.
"No. No, I definitely don't,” I embedded a snarl into my response and glared at them, blonde hair, blue eyes and the stench of death... could this be him?
She frowned. I thought there was a hint of anxiety in her expression. She glanced at him. "I know what it looks like but..."
"But what, what do you want, Flora?"
"I." She looked lost, helpless. The blond guy stepped forward and in a perfect Californian accent said "She wanted to let you know that I'll be coming along whenever you go out together, dog." For a second, I could swear there was confusion in Flora's expression but she quickly masked it with a look of discomfort.
Her looks, his accent... the way they acted together, I was no fool. It was all an elaborate show. Was this just them trying to twist the knife? "Alex, I'm sorry," she murmured, yeah, right.
"Get the hell out of my shop leech; I don't serve your kind."
"You think I would come to you if I wanted any kind of help?" he asked, looking amused.
"Then why are you here?" I stated. I did not want any of this, I didn’t want anybody here. It had been a week now and she’d turned my life upside down. At first, it was good, like I was riding a tidal wave but slowly, it was engulfing me and I was drowning.
He shrugged. "Maybe I wanted to check out the local competition. There's not much. But we're both friends of Flora, so perhaps we should try to get on." His voice felt like a knife in my heart but something much deeper was stirring.
The sharp pain clutched around my insides, closed my windpipe and ran my blood cold and I tried my very hardest not to keel over in pain, though my hand flew to my chest I wrenched it down to my side with the other. "I couldn't care less about that worthless piece of meat, or the corpse she drags around with her." I spat, turning to her sharply, "hasn't your 'handsome’ vampire come to kill you yet?"
"Alex," Flora cried, running forward. She flinched at my comment about her vampire ex but still came toward me, throwing her arms around me. "I'm so sorry," she whispered, but her sweetness meant nothing.
"GET OFF!" I roared a snickering laugh edging my primal growl. Oh God, I'm losing it, aren't I, my humanity – my sanity. "Let go. You have your body-guard now, someone to care... go back to him," I whispered with my last remnant of control.
"I still care about you," she whispered. The leech looked displeased but I dismissed it, like a flick of my tail.
"Flora," he called. "Flora, come here, darling. He obviously doesn't value you."
She buried her head in my shoulder. "If only I could tell you..."
"Flora!" the leech said sharply.
"Go, please..." I whispered back, kissing the hollow where her neck met her shoulder before pushing her away. "You heard your zombie, go!"
She stared at me. "Oh dear," she whispered. "You should not have kissed me." I didn’t think it would matter... the pain couldn’t be any worse. But my mind flared into a raging ball of fire and I felt an immense power sweep over me. "Don't!" Flora cried, standing up and turning to face the parasite.
The leech had crossed his arms. "Come back to me now or I'll kill him." The pain intensified. The sound of roaring filled my ears.
But it was fought with the cool air that was freezing my insides and I was torn in two, the pain unbearable. I screamed out as the two fought in my chest. "Emilia!" I shouted, falling to my knees in tears.
I heard footsteps as Flora ran to him and shouted "Stop it!" in her painfully sweet tone.
The flames instantly stopped. I was left with the cool freeze and she noticed I was still in pain, her hand flying up to his face but he caught it, his eyes flashing. "That pain is his own," he told her. "Now look at me."
I watched helplessly as he waved a hand before her gaze - his hand moving across horizontally - and her defiance disappeared. "Who's more important to you?" he asked, lowering his hand.
"You," she whispered submissively.
He leant in and kissed her passionately, and I knew it was because I was there. She started to moan as the kiss became rougher. He withdrew at lightning speed, leaving her breathless. "I love you, Thorn," she whispered. And then, even more quietly, so that I could've been imagining it, "It doesn't have to be this way."
It meant nothing, I was cold. My leash back around my neck and I knew, then, that I needed her. If only to save Flora – I needed her.
Flora turned to face me. "Are you okay, Alex?" she asked, softly. She quickly looked at the leech to say "I'm just checking he's not dead. That's allowed, isn't it?" There was no trace of scorn in her tone and he nodded. She turned back to me. "Alex?"
I whimpered, repeating her name, "Emilia... my autumn rose... golden spun... copper... copper. Blue... gold," I murmured, the words spilling from my thoughts into the air as I continued to cry.
Then, just behind Thorn stood a shadow. The sun ignited the long, straight copper hair that spilled over her shoulders and her golden eyes glinted with joy. I could see her fangs glimmer as she grinned, ear to ear. "Did I just feel someone touch my wolf?" She muttered in her elegant, smooth tone that lacked any distinct accent. She stood in darkness, the light casting a heavenly glow around her as the slight breeze made her hair dance.
Thorn stiffened and swore under his breath. Flora, who had turned to face Emilia as she had spoken, looked alarmed. "NO! You can't touch him! No!" She threw her arms protectively around Thorn. "Don't kill him," she pleaded. "It was my fault. My entire fault. Drink my blood. Drain me if you like: just don't do anything to Thorn."
She stepped forward, showing the short Chinese style dress that she wore that was lined with gold, showing a golden wolf prowling down her back. She wore pure black stilettos and her skin seemed flushed with colour; almost human-like if she didn’t look so much like a porcelain doll. Her grin only widened in response.