Fate didn’t return after that. I guess I didn’t blame him, really. I didn’t really sulk all that much though. As much as I liked having the kid around, Lazarus had let me know just how neglected he’d been feeling. Needless to say, we more than made up for the time I’d spent with Fate.
After a couple of weeks, I was sort of beginning to not miss him anymore, when on one of my nights out looking for someone stupid enough to follow me down a dark alley, I saw him with someone new. One sniff told me exactly what sort of person he was with. Inexplicable jealousy surged through me as I watched this new vampire. I’d marked him, whether it was because of my episode or not. He was mine. The vampire met my eyes and smirked, almost like he knew.
Lazarus tried to slip out of bed quietly in the morning, doing his best to not wake me up as he got dressed and ready for his weekly trip to the local Catholic Church. I didn’t really understand why he bothered. I mean, he’d spent the last three hundred years or so praying to a god that clearly didn’t give a shit about him. He hadn’t lost patience with it, though, so I just stayed away from it and said as little about it as possible. I watched him looking at himself in the wardrobe mirror through one eye, admiring the fact I’d managed to at least keep him around.
“Sorry,” he smiled at me, his blue eyes sincere as he looked over at me. I opened my eyes properly and flashed him a small smile back.
“It’s okay. I was thinking of coming with you anyway.” He arched an eyebrow at that. Vampires, or at least in my experience, don’t all have the same reaction to religion. I think it depends on how religious you are as an individual, and what religion you belong to. My theory is that if you’re a devout Catholic like blondie is, other religions will make you sick, but Catholicism won’t, or at least, not so badly. As for me? I was never too sure what to believe in, so pretty much every religion going makes me sick, but I s’pose being raised in a Christian family must have had some kind of influence, because I can go near churches and Christian stuff without getting too ill.
“Doesn’t church make you throw up?”
“Sometimes,” I shrugged. He shook his head in disbelief.
“Well if you’re coming, you’ve got ten minutes to get ready.”
“I wasn’t planning on coming inside. The more believers around, the worse I feel.”
“No, c’mon. You said you wanted to come, so you’re coming inside too. You’ll be okay. We’ll sit at the back.”
I shied away from the holy water at the entrance of the church, watching as Lazarus dipped his fingers in it and made the cross sign over himself. He looked kind of amused to see me standing a good few metres away from him. I knew I probably looked as wary as I felt, but at least I wasn’t getting a headache yet. A few other worshippers were already kneeling on those little cushions, apparently getting in the zone for the mass or whatever it is they do when they get here early.
He pulled me to one of the pews at the back, chuckling a little as I glared at the holy water. It was peaceful in there, though. One of the whole reasons I’d ever bothered going with my family when I was growing up. I preferred Catholic churches – they have those candle racks. I’d always light one for the grandparents, even if I didn’t feel the need to pray while I was doing it.
His hand found mine as the priest appeared, making me wince. A small, persistent throb started up in the back of my head, growing as the service went on.
“Why did you come today?” Lazarus whispered in my ear when he noticed I’d stopped standing up for hymns.
“The more I believe, the less it hurts,” I muttered back. I think, though, the real reason may have been a little more shallow than that. I just wanted to prove I was better than whatever scumbag Fate was hanging out with now. If I could sit through Mass and feel fine after, surely it would mean I was better, right?