‘Right then,’ Lazarus said, the warmth in his eyes finally returning as they faced each other outside their doors. ‘I’ll get myself sorted out, shower, clothes wash. You’ll no doubt want to be alone, to think about what happened and figure out what you want?’ His face betrayed his emotion as he considered what she might choose.
‘I... yeah. I’ll see you in a couple of hours?’ Melissa faltered. She smiled at him, her lips curving haltingly as he gazed at her. He wasn’t sure, but... He shook his head and shoved his key in the lock on his door.
‘Yeah, see you.’ He left her standing there, cursing himself. He closed the door and leant on it, shutting his eyes, hating himself more and more every moment. What an idiot you are, Lazarus.
Melissa watched Lazarus disappear into his apartment, leaving her alone in the hall way. Her forced smile fell off her porcelain face and she turned to her own door, kicking it open. She couldn’t get the image of Lazarus’ icy eyes on her in the car out of her mind. If it weren’t or the fact that she was already cold, the memory of his deathly expression would have chilled her to the bone. Her thoughts snapped to his hug, and the smell of blood that clung to him. Blood. That’s what she needed, and her eyes focused on the fridge as she shut her door.
Ripping open one of the bags, she put her lips to the tear, drinking as desperately as Lazarus seemed to cling to her remaining there. She drained every last droplet of the precious liquid in the bag, managing to not spill any in her haste. The blood flooded through her and instantly she began to feel better, though she did her best to block out what she had just ingested. She dropped the empty bag in the bin, grimacing as she saw Lazarus’ torn shirt from the night before. Letting out a small sigh, she wondered what to do to pass the time, cursing the lack of violin.
Lazarus grabbed armfuls of clothing, not caring if they were light or dark colours, and shoved them unceremoniously in his dying washing machine. He exhaled gustily, trying to remember how to make it work.
‘Ahh whatever. Screw you machine.’ He muttered to himself and got up, grabbing the shaving foam. He wondered how long it would take to shave his facial hair off. Over a week’s growth covered the lower half of his face. He stared at his reflection in the bathroom mirror and ran a hand over his chin, glancing at the pathetic little disposable razor on the side of the sink. Might need another one in a minute. With an exasperated sigh, he got to work.
Finally Lazarus finished shaving and ran a finger over his skin, glad it was smooth again. He turned now to the shower, stripping and stepping under the hot water with a smile on his face as the blood rushed away down the drain. When he got out, he dried himself off and wrapped his rough towel around his waist, stalking into the kitchen to see if he could figure out the washing machine again. Just as he thought he understood what he was supposed to do, there was a knock at the door. He looked up and forgetting what he thought was the right way to use a washing machine, he banged his head on the counted, letting out an irritated sigh.
‘Coming.’ He called to the person at his door. As he walked to his door, he considered the fact that he was wearing just a towel, and then realised he didn’t care. It was likely to be Melissa at the door, and let’s face it; she had seen it all after his transformations anyway. He answered the door to find Melissa standing on the other side of the thin slab of wood.
‘Hi, come in. I was just trying to make the washing machine work... all my clothes are in there. One sec.’ Melissa on the other hand, had put on yet another of her seemingly endless outfits, consisting of a pair of close fitting trousers, a short sleeved black blouse fitted to her figure with a red laced bodice. Her heeled boots clicked on the floor as she walked to the sofa. Lazarus smiled at her appearance, having to tear his eyes away from her swaying hips. ‘I’ll just get something out, sorry if it looks like crap.’ He muttered, embarrassed that he was living out of his dirty laundry.
‘Not at all.’ She smiled looking toward him. ‘I don't care what you look like.’ She finished, mumbling it under her breath. Lazarus smiled as he bent down, hearing the muttered words.
‘Well that’s good to know,’ he said, picking out the cleanest looking shirt and trousers, ‘excuse me a moment,’ he smiled and shut the door. Melissa laughed softly at his intermittent politeness. She wondered momentarily what he must have been like when he was a human, in his era. Happy, she thought. She tried to imagine him with Gabriel, hiding from the persecution they both faced if they were discovered. She pushed the thought from her mind and smiled up at him as he emerged from the kitchen, dressed, his towel draped over one arm. He put the towel back in the bathroom and sat beside Melissa.
‘You need a new violin.’ Lazarus stated, ‘I’ve been itching to compose again, I had an idea in the shower. But to play it I need a violinist that owns a violin.’ He grinned and laughed gently.
‘Fine, I will buy one. But I shan't repair the old one. The inscription upon it... it brings back memories that are better left dead.’ Her tone was cool and a little empty. Lazarus’ eyes widened.
‘No, no! I want to buy you a new one.’ His blue orbs sparkled with more life than Melissa had seen in them since she had met him.
‘Oh! But I can't do that... really, I broke it. I should buy a new one...’ Melissa protested, but Lazarus held up a hand and she fell silent. He shook his head and gazed at her for a moment before speaking.
‘I want to buy it for you Melissa. Please? Let me?’ He lowered his hand and reached for Melissa’s own hand.
‘I...’ she started, but the words died on her lips, the life in his eyes enthralling her. His touch was gentle and sincere, she smiled slightly and her eyes became softer. ‘Okay... but I still don’t think it’s right.’ Lazarus shook his head again.
‘Is it wrong for a gentleman to buy a lady a gift?’ he paused, but left her no time to think of an argument, ‘A gentleman who believes he is slowly falling in love with that lady?’ He bit his lower lip a little, waiting with baited breath.