Embrace

Melissa walked into her room and rooted through the boxes for her nightgown. She pulled it out of the box, its frail lace glimmered in the rising sun. She slipped it on and collapsed into the couch. She looked to the table for her violin, but remembered it had gone.

She closed her eyes, trying to sleep. She saw Lazarus, his cold stare haunting her consciousness. Then she drifted to sleep, at first there was nothing but darkness but then she heard voices. Her mother and... her Sire arguing. She crept down the stairs to see her mother being ripped apart. "No!" She growled, bolting upright. "No..." She sobbed, a single tear rolling down her cheek, she wiped it away and stared at the wall.

By the shadows on the floor only a few hours had passed. She laid back down and tried to sleep, but she couldn't. She bit her lip as she contemplated what to do, it was still early morning, she had no violin and she couldn't sleep. She sighed, moving to the door.

She knocked three times on Lazarus' door. Pulling at her lace night gown, contemplating whether it was too short. She knocked again, this time more rapidly. "What?" He called from behind the door.

Melissa looked at her hands. "I...I couldn't sleep." She muttered, a hint of shame tipping her voice.

She heard the unlocking of the door as Lazarus opened it, looking down at her. "What's up?" He asked, somewhat bemused.

"I couldn't sleep, could I come in? Please?" She whispered, not looking up from the floor. A slight blush coming to her cheeks.

"Why couldn't you sleep?" He ushered her inside, forgetting the pizza scattered all over the floor with broken plate.

"I, I had a bad dream. Every time I closed my eyes it just recurred." She looked at the mess, but didn't remark. She couldn't stop thinking of her mother and that... beast.

He folded Melissa in his arms, nodding. "It's alright. just a dream, just a memory." His mind flickered briefly to Gabriel and that particular memory. He pushed it away, he needed to be strong for Melissa.

"I know it's just so... vivid." Her voice quiet and wavering as she fought back tears, she pressed her head against his chest. "I'm sorry. I, I didn't know what else to do. I don't want to be a burden."

"You're not a burden." He said, kissing her forehead softly, then her lips.

Melissa smiled, then looked into his eyes. "What am I going to do though? I can't stay up in this light... I'll..." She stopped, hoping Lazarus' knew what she meant. She hated to even think of the thought of dying.

"Yeah, I'll close all the blinds, gimme a minute." He began to close all the blinds, clearing up the pizza in the process.

"Thank you. I'm sorry." She sighed, tugging at her night gown again uncomfortably.

"Don't be sorry, it's fine. I just hope you get enough sleep before I have to go." He switched off the TV and moved back to Melissa, who looked rather uncomfortable.

"I hope so too... I just can't." She stopped and sighed.

"Can't what?" He used a thin finger to push up her face, staring into her eyes.

"Can't sleep. I don't know why." She began to shiver although, she couldn't feel the cold. It was like ice had frozen her from the inside. She knew why she couldn't sleep. She just hated to say.

"Tell you what; I'll get something to eat, since I made a mess of the last pizza, and then we can go to bed, yeah?" He moved over to the fridge, searching through it for some food.

She looked at him, then at the floor. "I couldn't. I couldn't impose like that."

"How would you be imposing? It wouldn't be anything... intimate, if that's what you're worried about? Just a hug on the bed till you're asleep, like before. Except I promise I won't disappear and drink anything." He stopped looking through the fridge and turned to her.

Melissa began to blush again, shaking her head violently. "No! No... that's not what I thought at all." She brushed one of her stray curls behind her ear. "It's your bed, thats all. I couldn't do that. I know, before but... no. I couldn't."

"I'm not going to be using it for a while, it doesn't matter. You need to sleep somewhere."

She sighed, running out of arguments. "Okay." She watched as he got another pizza out and began cooking it. "Please, be careful though. I probably won't be awake when you... change."

"I've lasted this long." He stated, pulling the pizza out the oven and began eating it.

Melissa nodded. "Yeah." But a hidden worry was betrayed in her voice.

She waited for him to finish, when he did he simply ran water over the plate and placed it back. "Come on." He wrapped his arms round her. She laid in his bed, he pulled the covers over her. Laying beside her, his arms holding her close to his chest. She moved closer, taking in his warmth. "Thank you." She smiled, listening to the gentle beating of his heart.

"Don't mention it. I hope you can sleep this time." He kissed the top of her head and gently squeezed, closing his eyes, doing his best not to fall asleep too. He couldn't be here when the moon was out.

Melissa smiled, reaching up she kissed him back softly upon his lips. "I love you." She whispered, nestling herself in his arms she closed her eyes. The words echoing in her head as sleep replaced his warm embrace, but somewhere in the back of her mind she was worried.

The End

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