I awoke in the night with a gasp of pain, barely made it out of the bed before I felt the vomit rising, spilling from my lips. On my hands and knees beside the bed, I cried, because it was all I could think to do.
"Demrin," I called through the darkness, but to no response. "Demrin?"
It took a minute, but I managed to push myself to my feet, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. I squinted through the darkness to the place where the warlock had been sleeping.
Empty. I was alone.
I stumbled to the bathroom and flipped on the light, squeezing my eyes shut as the brightness stabbed them straight through. Eventually I dared to look at my reflection, the image of a shattered girl brought to the brink of madness. No longer did I believe myself to be the beautiful, enticing demon of lust. Now I was only a mess, a tangled wreck.
I reached for a washcloth, wet it and dabbed at my face to clean it up. The thought of returning to the cold bed alone was absolutely unappealing. It was so unlike Demrin to leave me alone, without so much as a warning. I realized that I hadnt the slightest idea where he was, or if he was okay. Perhaps he hadnt wanted to worry me.
Or maybe he was pulling away even more than I knew.
I dropped the washcloth with no regard for where it landed, pulled my skimpy nightgown closer around me, and started off into the darkness of the manor.
The way through the halls was so engraved in my mind, I didnt even need to watch where I was going. A few moments passed, and then I was in that familiar place again, waiting on the outside for the angel within.
Adder opened the door before I'd even knocked; his heightened senses must have picked up on my presence. For a long while, we only stood there like that, inches apart, eyes locked.
"Calla," he said slowly. My name had never sounded as sweet as it did, falling from his lips. "What are you doing here?"
I cocked my head ever so slightly. "Do you not want me here?" I asked him hoarsely.
"No! No, I didnt mean that at all," he stumbled over his words. "I just meant...well, Demrin..."
I shrugged, taking a small step towards him. His chest was pressed right against me now; he was close enough to kiss. All the temptation was there, because I knew that with Adder everything else would fade away. All my doubts and worries and fears would just disappear.
"I dont exactly know where he is," I admitted. "And I dont really want to be alone..."
Adder nodded in understanding, stepping aside so that I might enter the room. Like always, it was dark, and impeccably clean, except the mass of sheets half on the floor.
"You can sleep, if you wish," he said quietly, closing the door. He still hadnt made any movements towards me. Like he was scared to touch me, or something. Like he was afraid I might just shatter in his arms.
I shook my head, lingering hesitantly by the bed. "Come here," I whispered. "Hold me. I miss the way you used to hold me."
There was a moment of hesitation, and then he was beside me, taking me up in his arms. Cradling me to his chest. Gently he took me to the bed, set me down atop the mattress. Adder positioned himself beside me, smiled and traced his fingers over my skin.
I wanted to tell him everything. Tell him that I loved him in a way I couldnt ever love anyone else. Tell him that my heart was fluttering every time I came near him, and that I was sick with longing for him. I looked up to him with wide eyes, his face hovering just inches above my own.
"Adder...I want you so much more than you know," I murmured. There was a sleepiness in my voice that made me sound so vulnerable. Or maybe I just was, when it came to him. Maybe for once I was deathly terrified of losing someone.
The vampire smiled at me, revealing his pointed fangs. "And I love you more than you know," he told me, leaning in to kiss me on the cheek. "I just want you to be happy, Calla. You know that."
I did know. Adder wanted me to be happy, and so did Demrin. And I wasnt quite sure which one made me happier, only that both loved me with such a fierce intensity. Adder kissed my forehead, and I closed my eyes in hopes that sleep might take me. And that the morning would bring me answers to questions I didnt fully know.