He got up and stumbled into the front room, where his shredded clothes sat in a crumpled pile on the floor. He pulled what was left of his loose jeans up, trying to do up the zipper, which was caught with wolf fur. He pulled out the coarse fur with a muttered curse and zipped his jeans up. His shirt was beyond saving, however – the buttons had been ripped off and the back of it was ripped open. Not bothered enough to mend it, he balled the material up and threw it in the bin. He quietly left, returning to his apartment. Unable to face the vampire, he sat at his desk, still half naked, to write a letter.
I am so, so sorry about what happened. I suppose that if there was any shred of doubt in your mind about leaving, it’s gone after that. When you told me that when I transform I am not myself, I didn’t believe you, but I think I realise what you mean, now.
For fear of sounding like I am clinging to you with as much dependency as I do to a bottle of vodka, I am reluctant to tell you I wish you would stay, but it’s true. I will not interfere any longer with your life; I’m sorry you had the misfortune of meeting me.
I shall get your violin fixed, and leave you in peace.
He signed the letter and sighed as he folded the paper. There was a knock at the door and he twitched, surprised. He left the letter on the desk and ignored the person at the door, looking for his uniform. He was late for work, and he usually managed to control the wolf the day before the moon was full. He listened to his stomach growling with hunger as he pulled his uniform on, the creases brushing against his skin. The person at the door knocked again, growing more impatient.
Uniform on, ready for work, Lazarus picked up the letter, pocketing it, and braced himself for whoever was trying to break down his door. He unlatched the door and stared down at Melissa.
‘I have to go to work.’ He said flatly, pulling the letter back out of his pocket. ‘I’ll see you around.’ He added, pushing past her, his voice totally emotionless. ‘Bye.’ He walked down the corridor and disappeared around the corner of the stairwell, leaving Melissa by his door.
Melissa read through the letter, standing dumbly, staring at his neat writing. Making a snap decision, she practically flew down the corridors, trailing behind the werewolf slipping unnoticed into the museum behind him. She hardly noticed the array of ancient discoveries that surrounded them as they travelled through the centuries. She didn’t notice that Lazarus’ path included most of the museum except for their own era and the music section, though she may have noticed where they were going had his path included their own time. When she was certain they were alone, she let her footsteps grow louder as they passed between cabinets of Victorian clothing.
‘Lazarus,’ she said quietly, her voice echoing off the glass. ‘I would never want to bother you at work... but I need to talk to you.’ She told him. He turned slowly, attempting to contain his irritation.
‘What are you doing? You should have asked one of the guys outside, and he would have come found me! You’ll get me fired!’ he snarled, beginning to push her towards the exit.
‘Fine.’ She snapped and disappeared. He sighed and shook his head, carrying on with his route around the museum. A few moments later, footsteps were trying to catch up with him – the heavy puffing steps of Cal, and the lighter pattering of Melissa’s steps.
‘This young lady wants a word with you, Lazarus. Better take it outside, we’ve already had enough things smashed when you’re alone with people that shouldn’t be here,’ he said gruffly, his eyes flickering around, as if looking for someone that might drain them of their blood right there and then. If only he knew.
‘Thanks, I’ll finish this round and go outside in a minute. We can walk and talk.’ He set off, not waiting for Melissa.
‘What do you want, then?’ He asked, knowing that she was behind him without having to look.
‘One thing,’ she started cryptically. She put a hand on his shoulder and wordlessly asked him to turn around. He froze, but complied, feeling her cool hand through his thin work shirt. She leaned forward and kissed him softly. When she pulled away, Lazarus blinked rapidly, struggling for words.
‘You... I... Make your mind up!’ he spluttered.
‘I have, I’m sorry. Please take me, with all my flaws.’ She looked up into his pale eyes for an answer, but he didn’t know what to say.
‘Is that likely to change again?’ he asked coolly.
‘No,’ she said confidently. ‘Never. If it does, you can kill me. After all, what is eternity with no one to spend it with?’ He gazed at her uneasily, not sure what to say. He nodded slowly and spoke:
‘I think I might. I don’t deal with stress like that well.’ He muttered quietly.
‘I’m sorry.’ Melissa said the emotion in her voice bolstering the sincerity behind the apology. He nodded again and took her hand.
‘So now we’ve overcome that... obstacle, what do we do about that murdering vampire?’ he asked, leading her out into the cold night, leaving with the excuse of a family emergency.