It was hard to keep my composure, knelt there beside Demrin. Caught between the two men I so loved. Adder was asleep, strewn across the couch. I'd never seen him look so at peace, even with the way the black marks twisted over his bare arms and chest.
"Thank you for doing this, Demrin," I murmured, hoping the sincerity and the way I couldnt keep my eyes off of Adder didnt hurt him too much. "I love you." The warlock nodded, but said nothing, and so I sat by in silence as he started the ritual that would remove the shadow curse from the vampire.
I was struggling to wrap my head around the whole thing. A month ago, Adder had been my love, everything sweet and perfect and gentle. Then, Demrin had returned, and the feelings I'd repressed had all come breaking free. Now I was standing at a crossroad, torn between the love I had for both of them, wondering who would be the one to save me, and whose heart was going to inevietably break.
When Adder opened his eyes, beautiful and dark, something inside me snapped. Tears broke free, streaming down my face in crimson rivulets. "Oh, you're back," I cried. I was about to reach for him, when Demrin slung an arm around my waist, holding me back from the vampire.
Adder rubbed his eyes as though rubbing sleep away from them. He cocked his head and turned to look at me. "Who are you?"
I swear my heart stopped beating. "I...but..."
I whirled around in Demrin's grasp, vemon seeping into my violet eyes. "Tell me you didnt."
Demrin's face remained perfectly composed. "It was for your own safety, Calla," he said calmly, as if it was no big deal whatsoever. Like we were talking about the weather or something.
"Oh, fuck off," I shouted, pushing him away and rising to my feet. I could feel all their eyes upon me, Ana and Jester and Adder. "Like hell you did this for me." With that, I stormed out of the room, just barely managing to hold back my tears until I was gone.
Not even my piano was enough to distract me, to stop the endless crying. This was not happening, was not real. I would wake up soon, back in that cursed bed, with Adder perched possesively beside me. Trapped, yes, but at least he would have some faint idea as to who I was.
But, no. This was reality, and the truth was that Adder had no memories of me whatsoever. Endless nights of passion, hours of rolling around in the dark. Stolen kisses as he reached out to wipe away my tears. The look of complete betrayal when he had discovered the secrets of my past. A past with Demrin.
I didnt even realize I was still playing until the door opened softly, and I stopped abruptly. I could hear someone approaching, but I couldnt bring myself to look and see who it was.
"I'm sorry," they said, and then Adder stepped into my view. He looked different, younger and somehow more innocent. Perhaps it was only because he was not trying to kill me, or pouring his heart out as if we might die tomorrow. Maybe we would.
"I didnt mean to intrude," he went on. "But I heard music...I dont know why, but it sounded so familiar." His words damn near shattered what was left of my heart.
"It's okay," I whispered, because I didnt have the strength to speak any louder. "I dont mind the company."
I slid over so that Adder might sit beside me on the bench. He hesitated, but then came over and sat down. His fingers hovered over the ivory keys, but he never touched them once. It was as though he was scared, terrified.
"Ana said your name is Calla," he said eventually. Softly. I nodded. "I'm Adder."
I know, I almost said, but then I only smiled at him. "Nice to meet you," I replied in a hoarse voice. It would have been so easy to tell him everything, right then and there. I wondered if he would even believe me. Or where I would even start.
But in the end I decided that maybe a clean start wouldnt be so bad after all. Of course, I would never forget what he would never remember, but perhaps we could build something new from this point, and I could find a way to keep both him and Demrin safe in my heart.
"Play for me again, please," Adder asked of me, and so I did. A smile came over his lips, however small it might have been. All the while I was fighting off tears. When the song came to a close, I looked over to find him staring at me intensely.
"Ana said that you belong with Demrin," he stated quietly. He almost looked like he wanted to say more, but chose not to. Or maybe I was only hoping he wanted to.
"Yes," I said after a moment. "Yes, I belong with Demrin." Adder nodded like he understood, even though he had no fucking idea. Then he rose to his feet, fingers brushing my arm lightly.
"Goodnight, Calla," he said on his way out. "It was nice meeting you." The slamming of the door was like a bullet to my heart.