"I love you"
I barely heard his words as he whispered into my ear, but the emotions collided into me, a tidal wave of ecstasy. I barely heard him, but I could hear his soft breathing, his warm hands on my arms, his towering figure engulfing me. I could barely hear him, but I felt my skin tingle, hoping that he would think that the goosebumps were due to the cold, night air.
Suddenly the euphoria vanished. Instead it was replaced by a cold bitter disappointment. He didn't mean that. Any of it. He would say anything to get what he wanted. Anything.
"One last assignment, Ruby. Just one, and then you and I will be together."
I pulled away from him, tears welling up in my eyes. Around us, the leaves started to stir, a cold draft blowing them further down the deserted parking lot. Only silence covered the space between us, a space that felt like a giant void. The void of his heart.
"You're just saying that," I said in gasps. "You don't love me. You just want me to do your dirty work." I felt my eyes sting, but forced myself to continue.
"All I've been is your little toy, Clive. This can't go on."
Clive ran his hands through his hair, and his honey-brown eyes looked skywards. Three months ago, I had fallen in love with this man, and now I like a fly, I was trapped in his web, unable to get out.
He grabbed my shoulders, "I love you Ruby. I do. This is the last one. No more after that. You and me will be with each other. Together forever. A happily ever after. You do want that, right?"
He grinned, and let go of me. I staggered backwards, pausing once, my eyes flitting over his god-like build and then turned and ran, hot tears burning my cheeks. My feet pounded on the sidewalk. I had no idea where I was going, I just wanted to get away from Clive. As far as possible.
Only when a rusty iron gate blocked my way, did I realize where my feet had brought me. Tarfley cemetery. The ground was crowded with blackened gravestones which had failed to stand the test of time. The stones were chipped in places, and rubble and overgrown weeds covered any empty spaces.
I took a deep breath. One last assignment, Clive had said. Then no more of this horror. He and I would be together. I pushed the gate open and walked in
Don't do it! My mind screamed. I didn't take any notice of it, but walked further down the rugged path. I stopped in front of the grave of Naomi Wenxling. Clive was there, his arm wrapped lazily around the stone. A shovel dangled from his other arm. I was hardly surprised to see him. He was one of the undead, after all. He travelled through the shadows. I took the shovel from his hand and watched him smirk.
"I had a feeling, you'd be here Ruby."
I tore my eyes from him and started to dig the moist earth. It was a relatively simple task. Naomi was one of the undead. She would be in her coffin, asleep, only to wake when the right time came. I had to kill her, before she woke. Take away a strong enough life, and Clive would grow stronger. He could become human.
"You have Hunter's blood. You can destroy the undead," Clive said.
"I can't kill, I'm just an ordinary woman."
Clive laughed, "Darling, every woman needs someone in their life. You found me. I found you. We're meant to be. Don't you see that. You and me, we're perfect. You do want us to be together, don't you ...?
I shook my head, trying to shake away the memory. I had to concentrate. Clive and I, we could be together after this. The shovel hit something hard. The coffin, presumably. I threw the shovel to the side and sliding my fingers under the box, pulled it out. It was surprisingly light, and I placed the box on the space in front of me.
Clive gave me an approving look and stepped forward. The task was only half done, but he scooped me into his arms and kissed me. With his mouth still over mine, I shifted my weight a little to open the coffin with tip of my sneaker, and heard the top open and fall with a thud. Clive and I, both looked down. Looked down into the empty box.
I pushed away to take a good look. No, there was definitely no Naomi Wenxling in that coffin. Suddenly, my mouth felt bitter. It wasn't because of the shock of not seeing the body in the coffin. Clive. What had he put in my mouth while kissing me?
My vision started to blur, and my knees went weak. I didn't know what was happening, but I felt the dull sensation of falling into the empty coffin. Through the corner of my eye I could see Naomi walk up to Clive from behind a tree.
"Are you sure," she asked Clive uncertainly.
"She's a hunter. Her soul is strong. Her death will make us both human." Clive said. His face lit up, and he smiled, his expression full of love.
"I've waited this long,"he was saying. "This long to be with you.
Naomi wrapped her hands around him and they kissed, as the cold surrounded me, to take the heat from my lips, my knuckles, my toes.
Then the darkness came, to snuff everything out.