Lazarus took swigs from his bottle the whole walk back to the block of flats, staggering up the steps. He cursed as he patted his pockets for a key, not finding it immediately. Eventually he found it in the pocket of his jacket. He slotted it in the key hole after a couple of shivering attempts as the cold set into his muscles. Twisting sharply, he let himself in, slamming the door shut behind him, ignoring Melissa trailing him completely. The elevators were working for once, so Lazarus wandered over and hit the “call elevator” buttons, tapping his foot impatiently.
‘Come on, come on. Don’t make me take the stairs.’ He grumbled as the elevators rattled slowly down the shafts. The door to his right dinged open and he smiled to himself as a rush of cold air announced Melissa’s entrance to the building. He closed himself into the claustrophobic little box, just him and his vodka. Gotta stop. He hit button that closed the doors before Melissa could call to him. He sighed and slouched against the back wall of the box, staring at the door.
When the doors finally opened, he looked up and made to get out, but Melissa was standing in the way, her hand holding the door back.
‘Oh god. What, what?’ he groaned.
‘I’m not going to let you just go and destroy yourself.’ Her voice was firm but gentle, though to Lazarus by now it was just a muffled noise that annoyed him.
‘I’m not... not destroying myself.’ He grumbled, attempting to pass her, but she wouldn’t yield. ‘What gives?! People wanna use the thing... lift thing.’
‘What do you think Gabriel would say about this?’ Melissa asked quietly. Lazarus’ eyes widened at the mention of Gabriel and he scowled at the vampire.
‘He wouldn’t say nothing, would he? He’s dead, isnnee.’ Lazarus sneered, but Melissa saw the hurt in his eyes as he thought about what Gabriel would probably say, were he alive.
‘You can’t think like that! He lives here, right here.’ She placed a hand on his chest. He looked down at her pale hand and back up at her with a bemused expression.
‘He don’t live nowhere.’ He mumbled quietly, his shoulders slumping further over. Melissa’s lips thinned a little as he said this.
‘Lazarus, why are you doing this to yourself?’
‘Cuz... cuz I deserve it, don’t I? Cuz he’s dead n gone, n I’m a werewolf.’ He laughed loudly at his own words. ‘He’s dead n gone. Why’s he gone?’
‘Fate works like that.’ She paused and looked at him, a small sigh escaping her lips. ‘You deserve everything everyone else has.’
‘A werewolf! I shouldn’t even exist! Why’s he gone Meh... Melissa? Thass your name yeh?’ Lazarus continued, hardly hearing her previous reply.
‘Yeah, that’s my name.’ She took his arm and led him back to his apartment, helping him unlock the door. ‘This is more than a one off, isn’t it?’ she mutters, half dragging him to his bedroom. The scent of stale alcohol and despair filled his room and she was sure if she looked, she would find a myriad of empty bottles. She took the new bottle from him and set it down on his bedside table, laying him out on his bed on his side. He began to snore almost the moment the duvet covered him.
Melissa heaved a breath of relief as he settled in the bed. She perched on the side of his bed, brushing his greasy blonde locks out of his face as she watched him sleeping. She couldn’t let him keep this up any longer. She glared at the bottle of vodka. Though she didn’t like to waste his money – it was pretty obvious he had a low paying job – she took the bottle to the kitchen and tipped it down the sink.