Valentine's Day. My favourite day of the year.
Tommy arrived at six o'clock, which was the earliest he could come since before then the sunlight was too strong. He looked stunning as usual. Soft brown hair that caught the golden rays of sun and shone like the moon; deep blue eyes whose depths swallowed you up and were always full of some strong emotion; and an expression which always suggested that he understood (which he most probably did).
"Shall we get the chore out of the way, love?" he asked.
"It's not a chore," I replied.
He sighed. "It's dangerous, love."
"Well, turn me and you'll never have to worry again," I said boldly.
Tommy gazed deep into my eyes.
"Is that what you really want, my love?"
I nodded. "Of course." I had wanted it since we had met.
Tommy looked away. "I couldn't bear it if something happened to you."
Sighing, I stepped out of my house and closed the door behind me.
I led Tommy around to a shaded part of my garden. We sat together on the wooden bench. I tilted my neck so that one side was exposed to Tommy. You see, the supernatural weren't so far from real life as we thought. Tommy was a vampire.
He gently caressed my skin with a finger, but as well as stroking me, he was searching out a good place to drink from. He leant in closer, moving his hand away and bit down. Ever so tenderly. I loved the way everything he did conveyed his love for me. Even when it was just smiling at me, Tommy communicated through his wonderful eyes a warmth and a soulfulness any girl would die for.
The rhythmic lapping was soothing and I felt pleasure roll around inside me, ensuring no part of me wasn't content.
He ended the blood-drinking with a kiss."I love you," he murmured.
"I love you too," I replied, turning to kiss him.
He kissed back, filling me with greater happiness.
The evening was spent watching a fantastic play at the theatre (I forget the small details because my thoughts are always overwhelmed by Tommy on such occasions) and sitting on a swing while Tommy pushed me and now and again murmured a few words on how much he loved me and how beautiful I was.
At about ten o'clock, Tommy led me out to a meadow. We lay down upon the soft grass and looked up, admiring the stars above. Between us, our fingers interlocked, and Tommy occasionally moved our hands to kiss my fingers or stroke my hair.
The moon shone down brilliantly, bathing us in a silver glow.
Suddenly, Tommy sat up.
"Do you want to change?" he asked, a bright fervour in his eyes.
I sat up too. "Yes please!" I didn't care about the motive behind his change of heart - ever since that fateful day when Tommy had asked me out on our first date, I had wanted to be with him forever.
Tommy darted forwards and bit my neck. The speed and force of impact made it slightly painful but the pain soon disappeared to be replaced by those familiar enjoyable sensations.
A few minutes later, I was feeling slightly light-headed and a little ill.
"Is this going to be an exchange?" I asked.
‘Yes,' Tommy replied in his gorgeous mental voice. ‘I just need to take a little more.'
By this time, I was feeling quite sick.. I wasn't sure I wanted to go through with this anymore.
Tommy withdrew, and bit his wrist. The excitement in his eyes filled me with new resolve and bravely I leant forwards and sampled a little of his blood.
I drew back and spat it out. It was disgusting. Like human blood, it was salty and metallic, but it was cold which made it taste even worse.
"Tammy, you need to drink." Tommy's voice was urgent.
Once again, I tried to drink the crimson liquid. Once again, I had to spit it out.
Tommy looked guilty, but he shoved his wrist into my mouth and held my head with his free hand so that I was forced to swallow his blood. As it travelled down my throat, I wanted to retch.
"I'm sorry. It's for your own good, I promise."
I had to stop. My knee made hard contact below Tommy's belt. He fell backwards, groaning in pain.
"Tammy!" He sounded despairing as he got back up. I quickly stood up, prepared to run if it came to it. "Tammy, you could die!"
I didn't care. I was not going to drink his blood. I started sprinting away, not caring what direction I was going in. By now, my head was spinning and black spots were appearing before my eyes. I wasn't getting enough air.
I hadn't run very far before I fainted.
I woke up, starving. Famished. My stomach was a ball of agony. I was starting to regret disobeying Tommy.
Speak of the devil. Tommy appeared, looked frazzled. His hair was stuck up in all directions and he was very pale.
"Tammy?" he whispered.
"I'm sorry," I mumbled. To my horror, my voice was unrecognisable. Hoarse and low.
I suddenly noticed Tommy's bleeding wrist. My eyes focused on the blood and I crawled forwards towards him.
"Tammy," he said warily, watching me carefully.
I had no idea what the appeal of his blood was. Just a few minutes earlier, I had found it horrible.
"I think I'm ready to complete the exchange now," I said, in my weird, frightening voice.
Tommy took a step back. "I don't think exchange is what you have in mind, l-love." The last word was choked out, sounding so forced.
I cocked my head to the side as I continued to approach. "Why's that, darling?"
"Y-you're not a vampire." Tommy was watching me with a kind of fascinated horror that didn't really make sense to my hunger-confused brain. He suddenly collapsed to his knees. "Oh, Tammy, what have I done?"
"Nothing, darling." I closed the gap between us and began suckling at his wrist.
"But I have! You're a ... a..." He couldn't bring himself to say it. I gazed up into his wonderful eyes. He looked back down. The amazing blue depths were depressed.
"What's wrong, darling?"
"Oh Tammy!" He leant down and kissed me with a passion that surprised me. I stopped drinking the delicious fluid to kiss him back. But then I wanted the blood again so I broke away and returned to his wrist.
He chuckled. "That tickles, Tammy." He sighed. "I'm so sorry. I didn't mean for it to happen this way."
"You still haven't told me what happened," I said, between gulps of blood.
In a very low voice, Tommy said "You're a zombie, Tammy."
"I'm a what?!" I jumped up, horrified.
Tommy looked sad. "I'm sorry. At least you'll live forever." He stood too. He held my hands. "I can take you like this, Tammy. Knowing it's my fault. And, didn't I always say I'd always love you."
He kissed my hands. "I don't care that you're ...a rotting corpse. You're still my lovely Tammy."
"A rotting corpse?!" I yelled.
"Shh, it's okay. I'll be with you every step of the way."
He picked me up and carried me home, stopping every now and again to kiss me. No one was there on the route and I felt comfortable about drinking from his wrist in the open.
At home, Tommy squeezed my hand as we stood before a mirror.
I nearly screamed. My eyes were blood red. My skin was creased, grey and dry. My body looked shrunken somehow. My hair was limp, lifeless and lacklustre.
"Will I die completely?" I whispered.
"No, my love. And if you keep yourself all in one piece, you can stay like this. It's not so bad. I'll feed you my blood. You'll crave flesh but I'll help you control it. That's what lovers are for, right?"
I looked up at him, feeling lost and helpless like a child. "Yes."
"And, you know, you'll always be the Tammy I met seven years ago in my memory."
"Thank you," I murmured, overwhelmed by his kindness. But a new sensation was creeping over me. The hunger that had briefly been satiated by Tommy's blood was growing again, gnawing at my stomach.
"You don't look too bad," Tommy said, smiling and ruffling my hair like he always used to.
"I need to take a shower," I said quickly, as the hunger pangs began.
"Of course, my love. I'll be waiting."
I hurried to the bathroom, distraught.
In the shower, I tried to ignore the message my body was sending me: that I needed to eat Tommy. I loved him, remember? I couldn't devour my lover.
I changed into a nightdress and returned to him. Again, my eyes focused on his wrist.
He noticed and smiled. "D'you need some more, darling?"
I nodded. He sat on my bed and I wandered over to sit beside him. I took his wrist and started drinking his blood again.
"Hey, maybe we could go out hunting together," Tommy suggested.
"Mm," I murmured in assent while his blood hydrated me, if not stopped the hunger. Hey, if humans could survive on water, why couldn't zombies survive on blood? But I wasn't entirely sure why I thought humans could survive on water. I had a sneaky suspicion that my mind had made up that fact to make me feel better.
Still ravenous, I wondered if it would be so bad to eat ... just a little bit of Tommy. I bit down on an area of unbroken flesh.
"Ouch!" Tommy said.
"Sorry," I said, as I chewed the skin I had pulled away with my teeth.
"Tammy, you mustn't," he said, sounding concerned. "You'll only want more. Stick to the blood."
"You taste really good," I told him, smiling.
Tommy frowned. "No more. Promise."
I sighed dejectedly. "Promise."
And so, it went on like that. Tommy fed me blood and trained me not to feel the need to eat humans. We continued our relationship, still loving each other as much as before.
It was only on Hallowe'en that I couldn't resist the urge and crept around after trick-or-treaters to devour the odd human child...