It was Sunday, so we naturally spent the whole day together; Rory even attending church with my mother and I. Most of the day was spent basking in the hot sun.
Today, we didn't kiss so much. We conveyed our undying love for each other with our gazed and that was enough. Kissing was sharing, but when you began to emanate the love which had become part of your nature, emotion travelled across the air between you and your boyfriend (or girlfriend) and you continued to express the same pleasre and feel the same contentment of your loved one which made kissing almost unnecessary. As for the bonding element of a kiss, you and your beloved became almost unwittingly closer at this stage in the relationship and the air which carried your emotions was a perfect representation of the irrevocable tie of your hearts and fates.
Receiving and reciprocating love in this way became as natural as breathing and I knew that if I were to do comparatively normal things with Rory, my love would be no less intense than if we were doing extraordinary things with him.
Time passed in that wonderful slow way it likes when people aren't hurrying, able to ignore its mere ability to grow monotonous as it shared our happiness. I adored its pace, for it meant that the hours felt like two long days rather than one short one. I was totally relaxed and towards the end of the afternoon became drowsy. Aided by the sun, whose blaze mirrored the fires in our souls, and Rory's eyes, I fell asleep to dream of paradise islands.
I awoke on my bed. I half-hoped the day had been a dream so I could relive it but since Rory was with me, there was no urgency or despair at the realisation I had in fact been awake.
"What time is it?" I asked quietly, intending to maintain the tranquillity of the moment.
"7 o'clock," Rory replied, in equally muted tones, obviously appreciating and respecting the peacefulness as well. "I think your mum's taking a nap."
"That's good," I said, sighing contentedly. "She obviously trusts you enough to let us be alone together."
I gazed, smiling, up at Rory. He smiled back with such warmth and love in his expression that I felt like we were still outside, bathing in the luxurious and golden rays of the sun.
"Are you hungry at all?" he asked. "It's a while since you last had lunch - I could fix up some sandwiches for you."
"I wouldn't make you prepare food for me."
"I'm offering so it's okay."
"I'll help you do it. I'll be fine for a little while longer."
"Yeah. What about you?"
Rory sighed. "I really don't like doing that to you."
"But I insist. Besides, even if you don't enjoy the consequence, you can't deny you enjoy the experience."
Rory frowned. "I don't like enjoying it, though: it's like betraying you, and even if you don't care, it's like betraying myself."
"Why?" I asked, puzzled.
Rory raised an eyebrow. "Why do you think?"
"I don't know," I replied, shrugging.
Rory shook his head. "Because it hurts you," he said patiently.
"Oh don't worry about that," I said dismissively.
"I'm not just talking about that initial sting - that's brief pain, inconsequential. But when I drink your blood, I'm draining you of what keeps you alive. If I ever accidentally drank too much, I would have to turn you and I just couldn't bear to cause you to suffer in that way. Or if not and you had an accident later on, you might die. It would be all my fault and my heart would just break."
I was shocked by this revelation.
"That's what you think about?!"
"Rory, you would never kill me!"
"Not intentionally. But accidents happen and with a vampire, consequences are terrifying ... and permanent." The last two words were spoken in a subdued whisper. Fear had replaced the love in his eyes and his face looked drawn.
"Oh, Rory..." I pushed myself up into a sitting position and hugged him tightly. "I don't believe you'll make such a mistake."
"One tiny slip up," Rory continued, in that same haunted voice. He buried his head in my shoulder. "That's all it would take."
I stroked Rory's back. "Well, I believe you're perfect. It's obvious you exercise the greatest care around me."
"I try to," he murmured, and then his arms came around me and he was gripping me tightly.
"I love you, Charley," he said, his tone fiercely protective.
"Don't you worry about anything."
Rory lifted his head, leant back slightly and started kissing me. I could feel his desperation and I tried to soothe him by stroking his shoulders.
I broke away and said something to change the subject. "You looking forward to our walk tonight?"
He nodded, but still looked despairing and kissed me again.
A few minutes later, he looked a lot better.
"I'll be the most careful vampire in existence," he promised.
I nodded, slightly breathless from the kisses.
He lightly caressed my cheek. "You're the best girlfriend in the world," he told me.
I tilted my neck to lean on his hand. "You're the best boyfriend."