I sat on the floor of Demrin's room, amidst piles of clothes. I'd tried to muster the energy to put them away, but just couldnt bring myself to move. Paralyzed by the swells of regret within me.
This would all have been so much easier if only I'd known what I wanted. Really, truly wanted. Because I did love Demrin, and being with him came so naturally. But Adder...he was everything dangerous and wild. He was like an unpredictable drumline that sent my heartbeat racing and then brought it to the verge of stopping.
I'd seen the look in Ana's eyes when she'd asked me about him. Like she just knew. Like she could see the way I longed for him.
There was only one thing I could do. And it wouldnt be easy, and it might be the death of everything I held dear. But I knew that, really, I had no choice. One could only spend so long thinking of others before they had to do something for themselves. Maybe it was selfish of me. Or maybe it was the only option left.
The walk to Adder's room was oh so familiar. I moved like a wraith through the shadowy halls, unnaturally silent. I didnt bother to ponder on where the others might be. I just couldnt bring myself to care.
One knock. That was all it took. Adder opened the door a moment later, slowly, peeking out around the side. "Calla," he said when he saw me. I heard how his voice quievered at the mere mention of my name. It pained me to see the lost expression in his eyes, knowing that once it had been me who would take that sorrow away.
"Hey," I murmured, for it was all I could think to say. "Can I, uh, come in?"
The vampire hesistated. I knew he was scared, terrified to be alone with me. Because all he knew was the way he'd hurt me, but never the way he'd so tenderly loved me. No, Demrin had stolen those memories from him.
"Sure," he said at last. Or maybe I just imagined him saying it; he spoke too softly to be certain. Either way, he pulled back the door to let me in, and then promptly closed it behind me.
Memories of nights spent in the room came back to me in an instant, the way he'd pulled me into his arms and loved me with such a fiery passion. Sometimes I could still feel the lingering touch of his fingers upon my skin. He was only a few feet away now, and we were so alone. There was nothing from stopping me...
"Why are you looking at me like that?" Adder asked me. His tone was mostly emotionless, but I thought there was a trace of amusement to it. Like the Adder I'd fallen so madly in love with might be in there after all.
"Like what?" I replied with an air of perfect innocence. I saw the way his red eyes flared.
"Like you're going to tear me apart."
I cracked a half smile at that one. He knew me too well. Even if he didnt think that he did. Underneath his scarred skin he still knew me.
"Adder," I began, then stopped abruptly. I had to choose every word very carefully. He was so delicate. I couldnt bear the thought of hurting him further. "There is something I need to tell you."
The vampire was staring at me with a heavy gaze, one that sent my stomach into knots and set my veins on fire. He took a few tentative steps towards me, until he was close enough to reach out, to touch me. Only he didnt. He remained very, very still. Motionless.
"I dont really know how to say this, so I suppose I'll just be blunt about it. There's a lot more to you and I than you remember. We...well, we were lovers, once."
A series of emotions played out across his face. Some were happy, and others sad, but mostly he just seemed terribly frightened. "But I hurt you," he mumbled. "If I loved you why would I hurt you?"
"None of that matters now," I said gently, and then I collapsed against him, and we were kissing passionately, like there was no tomorrow. Adder crushed me to his chest, fisting his hands into my hair. Everything about it was so natural, so breathtakingly perfect.
I pulled away when it all became too much, panting for air. Adder was still holding me tightly, gazing down upon me like he'd never seen me before. "Bite me," I pleaded in a hoarse voice. "Oh, God, Adder. I missed you."
His fangs pricked against the surface of my neck. I knew how he was holding back, scared to lose control of himself. He licked at the skin ever so slightly, sending a shiver up my spine. I clutched to the front of his shirt for support just as his teeth slid into my veins.
I was lost, then, on a wave of ecstasy. Moans and cries fell from my lips, echoing about the room. Perhaps even the whole mansion. I hardly cared. The whole world could hear.
Adder pulled away roughly, tearing my skin a little. I winced at the pain, watching him lick my blood away from his lips. "I remember," he growled. A shiver of fear ran through me. It faded the instant Adder reached to me and held me against him, stroking my hair. "I remember now. I'm so sorry, Calla."
I let a few tears slip out, let him hold me and whisper his sweet words. And nothing else mattered to me then. It was clear to me where my heart rested. Where it belonged.