To my surprise, Rory's eyes remained the colour of caramel they had been before. Also, there were streaks of pure silver like beams of moonlight in his hair contrasting with the predominant black. Although he looked relaxed and content, his face was in sharp detail (his cheekbones and jawbone seemingly more clearly defined). Rather disconcertingly, it appeared to have an unearthly glow. He looked exactly as he had done in my nightmare.
I couldn't look away, even though I was scared: those eyes were hypnotic and I felt compelled to stare into them.
"What is this?" I whispered.
"It's the real me," Rory said quietly.
I almost cried with relief because his voice was neither hard nor cold as it had been in that horrendous dream though I was still petrified.
"I'm sorry," he whispered. "It's so hard not to let go of the façade when I'm like this: happy, in love, calm. It's like putting up a wall between us."
"What are you?" I choked out.
Rory smiled wryly. "Like I said before, I'm unnatural."
I stepped backwards. He let go of me and his skin, face, eyes and hair went back to normal.
"At least you don't have fangs," I said nervously, trying to remember the fact that he'd been lonely before he'd met me.
"It's okay," he murmured. "I know you're scared right now. Do you just want to walk away? I'd understand." He sighed. "I had hoped you'd react differently. I wasn't asking for fascination... just acceptance."
He looked at me strangely. "What were you saying about fangs?"
"Oh just a silly dream I had," I said dismissively, fighting the urge to run.
"Don't fight it," Rory said, sensing my distress. "It's okay to be frightened, it's right to run. I could help you forget me and then you wouldn't feel guilty about it."
"Forget? Like repress the memories somehow?"
Rory shook his head. "Better. Take them away."
"How?" I whispered, not sure I wanted to know.
"One look in the eyes, one word, one touch of the shoulder - you'd wake up not knowing who I am."
"Hypnosis?" I asked, beginning to tremble.
Rory nodded once.
My heart was racing. ‘Run,' my mind was screaming; ‘Run!'
"Run," Rory said, echoing my thoughts. He sounded almost imploring.
"No," I said, my heart crying at my fear.
"Y-you're not g-going to hurt me," I stammered, voice shaking.
"I know but..." He hesitated. "You're killing me."
I sank to the ground and began to cry.
"I'm sorry," I sobbed. "I trust you, I do. I want to stay."
Rory crouched down. He placed a hand on my shoulder. I looked up into sad brown eyes.
"Don't be sorry," he said. "It's natural to be scared. Fear of the unknown, remember?"
The memory of the afternoon of the trust exercises came back to me.
"I proved I trusted you," I said confidently.
"Charley you can't trust me!" Rory said, sounding despairing. "I'm a vampire!"
My world came crashing down around me.
"No," I sobbed. "No!"
I threw myself down so I was lying on my stomach on my mat.
"No," I continued to cry.
Rory rolled me over.
"One look, one word, one touch," he said soothingly.
"No, don't do this!" I shouted as he pulled me (with surprising strength) into a sitting position.
"I can deal with this! Give me time to deal with this!"
The intense caramel eyes silenced me.
‘NO!' I screamed in my mind. ‘I can accept you!'
My thoughts went blank.