Adder reached out and stroked the side of my face lovingly. We were standing only inches apart, and the rest of the world had long since fallen away. Waves crashed at our feet. I leaned into him, wrapped my arms around his neck.
"Oh, Calla, I missed you," he whispered, hot breath tickling my ear as he planted a trail of kisses up and down my neck. I clutched desperately to his shirt. Pleading with him to stay. To never, never let me out of his arms again.
When his lips met mine, I pressed my body into his and let him consume me. It had felt like an eternity since I'd felt him so near to me. There was something so comforting in the familiarity of it all. Adder would always remain to me the most perfect of lovers.
The scene changed, suddenly. Across the pale waves there came a faint glowing. I broke the kiss to watch it come, the light that danced upon the surface of the waters. My eyes went wide as it moved closer, closer, until it hit us. The warmth felt blissful upon my face, yet it was a mangled scream that fell from my lips.
I shrieked, holding onto him, trying to keep him there with me. It was no use. The light devoured him entirely. Tears streamed down my face, but all that remained was a pile of ash, which the wind had already blurred into the sand.
I sat up in a cold sweat, threw the covers back off of me. Around me, the room was dark, and perfectly still. Judging from the moonlight seeping in from the half opened shades, it was well into the night.
I managed to catch my breath a few moments later. Not that it did me any good; the sinking feeling, the certainly that I was about to be sick, did not pass. Sure, I'd awoken from the dream, but the real nightmare was still waging on right around me. Adder was gone.
"Are you alright?"
The gentle voice from beside me startled me. I looked over to see Demrin, head still resting upon his pillow. "You were having the dreams again, werent you?" His words were emotionless. A stabbing pain ran through my chest. I couldnt believe how he so passionately loved me when it was so apparent how torn my feelings were.
"Yes," I replied eventually. "Always the same. Always about his death."
Demrin sat up then, opened his arms as an invitation to me. I crawled over into them, let him cradle me against his chest. "I know this is hard for you," he murmured. I knew he was thinking what he would never actually say. That twice now, my vampire lovers had killed myself.
Adder had followed directly in the path of his maker. I wondered if he was with Everette now. My memories of Everette, my first lover, were so fragmented. But with Adder, I could so clearly recall every moment, every touch.
But it was Demrin holding me now, Demrin I needed to focus on. I'd made my choice, hadnt I? No one but me had made the decision to be with him. And now he was all that was left. Jester was gone. Ana was so lost in her own little world. And my beautiful angel of death...well, he'd met his fate at last.
"I'm going to get a drink," I mumbled. Pushing myself away from Demrin, I stumbled out of the bed and scanned through the shadows for some clothes. All I could find was a skimpy lace nightgown, but it would have to do. I pulled it over my head and left the warlock behind.
The halls were eerily silent and dark. It had been two weeks. Two weeks since my rescue, when all Adder's memories of me had been stolen. Two weeks since Demrin had woken me and told me the news.
Ever since then, it was like I was cursed to forever wander aimlessly. Everywhere I looked, I thought I saw him creeping in the shadows. Or heard his voice calling out to me, begging me to forgive him for how he'd hurt me. Or felt his fingertips gliding over my skin, pushing deep into my most delicate parts.
I shook my head to shake away the thoughts. Those were things better left forgotten.
I'd just about reached the staircase when I heard it. The most haunting sound, the most mournful melody. As if in a trance, I followed the music until I found myself standing in the doorway of my piano room.
Only someone else was sitting upon the bench, stroking the keys so softly. Creating a song of passion and sorrow. Regret. And that someone was Adder.