Rory gently shook my shoulder. I woke up ... sort of. In my dreamlike state, everything seemed terribly romantic: Rory's presence in my room, the very fact we were in my room, the darkness and the stars outside my window. To help me appreciate the moment more, the memory of falling asleep from Rory's many, many kisses floated into my mind.
Wordlessly, I sat up. Rory read my mind and himself remained silent as he rose from where he'd been sitting on my mattress. I put my feet on the floor and stood up too.
We climbed out of my bedroom window and waited until we'd walked a safe distance from the house to talk.
"Did you have a nice sleep?" Rory asked.
"Wonderful, thanks," I replied.
The air was warm and muggy, and it stifled my senses so that I felt as though wrapped in a thick, heavy blanket. Above me, the night sky was breathtaking in its awe-inspiring vastness and powerful beauty. But instead of marvelling at it as I had done in the days before I'd met Rory, I gazed upon the face of the one I loved.
Rory leant down and kissed me. I was filled with such overwhelming ecstasy that I collapsed forwards slightly. Rory grabbed my waist, still kissing me, and steadied me. I was now leant at an angle towards Rory's body with my knees bent, clutching Rory's shoulders to support myself. The fact that we hadn't kissed since we'd got off my bed and Rory had left the house to avoid a nasty confrontation with my mother made this one extra special, as if it were some elusive experience which only the closest of couples could share.
When we broke away, I felt slightly light-headed and I though of altitude sickness since it felt like I had been raised to the height of a mountain peak. As well as this, I didn't feel like my feet were planted quite firmly on the ground. I was somehow floating without anything having changed around me.
Rory led me over to sit down near a tree. I gazed around at nature, marvelling in its beauty which seemed unparalleled by day but equally magnificent by night. I felt safe with Rory there. It actually helped that he was a vampire.
"How d'you become a vampire?" I asked curiously.
Rory frowned slightly. "The vampire drinks a lot of the human's blood before the human drinks the vampire's blood while the vampire injects vampire blood directly into the human veins. Basically, the blood vessels are emptied as much as is safely possible and filled equally quickly with vampire blood. The human faints, entering a comatose state and wakes up a couple of days later as a vampire."
He looked at me and almost significantly said "It's a very painful experience and can mentally scar the person becoming a vampire."
"Oh," I said, trying to sound like I'd not been contemplating it and had been merely asking out of curiosity.
Rory read my mind and said "No."
"But we could be together forever then. And I wouldn't grow old while you stayed looking seventeen. Also, I'd be able to read your mind and feel more of you, making our relationship better and..."
"Charley," Rory interrupted impatiently, looking annoyed, "I am not turning you into a vampire. Together forever? I don't even know if I'm immortal. I'm not going to risk ending up changing you for no reason. I don't care about you looking older than me and if you think that will affect our relationship, one has to ask if you really know what love is. I can already read your mind and completely convey my feelings and essence to you - I often do - so our relationship would still be the same. And do you really think our relationship needs to be better? Do you not feel totally happy with me? Are you unsure whether this is love? Because if that's the way it is, Charley, we might not be right for each other."
I was shocked by what Rory was saying. "No! I didn't mean that!"
"Why is perfect and indescribable not enough then?"
"It is enough. I'm sorry if I gave you the wrong idea."
"Don't bring this up again or I'll deliberately get the wrong idea. As far as I'm concerned, the only time I'm turning you into a vampire is if you're on the brink of dying - and even then, only if it's not of natural causes."
"Define natural causes," I said, tears springing to my eyes. He'd let me die?
"Dying in your sleep, of old age. I would try CPR and mouth-to-mouth, of course I would, but if that didn't work, I wouldn't change you."
"Even if I wanted to be changed?"
Rory looked agonised. "Charley, being changed is like dying. And I wouldn't want to condemn you to lead a life of drinking blood."
"But if I were on my deathbed and I told you I wanted to be a vampire, would you ignore me?"
Rory sighed. "I don't know, Charley. I just don't know."
I swore. "How could you? You traitor! You don't love me, you just want me for my blood."
Rory looked horrified. "No, Charley! I care about you! That's why changing you would always be the very last resort!"
"I don't believe you! You jerk! Go away!"
"I don't want to hear it! Get out of my life and stay out!"
Rory stood up, looking tortured. "I'm sorry, darling."
"Don't you dare call me darling! And undo what you did to my mum: it seems like she had the right idea all along."
"Charley, I love you," Rory said pleadingly.
"Let me at least take you home."
Rory winced. "Be careful. The night is dangerous."
"I said 'GO!'."
And with that, Rory went. I burst into tears. How could he have said that? That he might not change me if I wanted to and was about to die. I thought he'd loved me. Stupid idiot. Well, I suppose this was what you got for falling in love with a cold-blooded monster whose heart no longer beated.