Gentlemen's Manners

Even as it lay dead in her chest she felt he heart skip. "I..." She tried to think, but instead simply shook her head.  "Really?" Her eyes softened, she smiled. Her red lips became full of joy at his words. However, her own words seemed lost. She began to blush in the awkward silence.

He pulled her in close and hugged her tight, "I think so. Yes... I love you, Melissa." His words were sincere, his embrace warm.

"I love you too." She wrapped her arms around him. She felt weak as she lay there, her emotions bare.

Lazarus and Melissa just stayed there, enjoying the moment. A flesh colour appeared in Melissa's cheeks as Lazarus' hug warmed her. Melissa stopped, logic breaking her moment.

"What made you realise? I mean... Why?" She really wished she had a better way of asking, but she was only just re-gaining her words.

"Gabriel... He's just a memory now. He's been that way for so long, and though I wished I could see him again, I know now that it's possible to move on. You are in no way second best to him, don't worry about that, ever, please. He's gone, and you're here. Something new, something that I should have found many years ago, instead of becoming a worthless waste of space." He moved his head, so their eyes connected in a loving gaze.

"You're not a waste of space. Never will be." She smiled, placing one of her cool hands on his cheek, caressing it softly. Not able to tear herself away from his blue eyes.

"I was though, till you arrived."

Melissa shook her head, her brown curls bouncing anglically around her head. "No. I refuse to believe that someone like you, could become a waste of space."

"I was worse, before you met me. But it doesn't really matter now. You've taught me to move on. Mostly."

"Mostly?" Her face dropped slightly.

"It's very hard to forget someone like Gabriel. But... you never knew him, and I can't explain it."

"I'm sorry. I'm sure he was a great man." Her smile dropped. A hint of sorrow showing in her face.

"It's ok. I have you, and you're a great woman. Harder to break when I can't catch you..." He paused and pushed the thoughts from his mind, replacing them with a kiss.

Melissa pulled away. "I'm sorry. I love you. I do, you know that, but how did you change your feelings like that?" She sighed, breaking away from him, she turned her head towards the window. "I'm sorry. I ruin everything."

He pulled her back and laughed gently, "no, you don't. And I never said it was a quick change, in fact, I said 'slowly falling in love'... I'm moving on, and I feel my love for you growing all the time, but it's not been fast, and it's not been easy."

Melissa nodded. "I know. I'm sorry. If I never said I love you first you would have never have thought any of this." She sighed, still looking towards the wall.

"You will never realise how glad I am that you did say it." He turned her head with his hand and kissed her, his eyes beaming at her.

She smiled, "so now what?" She muttered, kissing him back.

"What do you mean, now what?" He chuckled, "I have no idea. We stay here forever." He suggested only half joking.

Melissa smiled. "Unfortunatly the sun comes up soon. So forever is a little out of the question." She looked at the little strips of sun filtering through the blinds.

"I know. I wish I could stop time and keep this moment forever," he sighed.

"Well, I must go. If I don't there will be no more moments." She sighed, getting up from the sofa.

Lazarus' hands slipped from her waist as she moved, though he wanted to hold her there longer. She was right; the sun was rising and she had to hide from it. "I'll walk you back to your place," he said with a slight laugh.

"No need, it's only next door."

"I suppose these days there's no need for the gentleman to be so gentlemanly." He grimaced "Whatever happened to polite society, eh? I miss those days."

"I'm sorry." She muttered, hanging her head.

"What for?"

"For generally being annoying. For..." She sighed, "i'm gonna go." She walked to his door, mumbling the rest of her sentence. "To my horrible underworld of a flat." She giggled.

"Why don't you stay here again?"

"I couldn't."

Lazarus rolled his eyes and got up. "Why not?" He asked.

"I would love to spend more time with you but... I just don't want to take advantage of you. I have spent more time here than I have at my own!"

"Melissa, if anything I have taken advantage of you more than you have of me. Trust me, I'm happy you want to spend so much time with me."

"How? I haven't done anything for you."

Lazarus let a growl slip out accidentally; her words frustrated him. "Look at me!" he gestured to his clean shaven face, "I'm clean - mostly, the clothes need to be washed, but then I'm clean - and I'm sober!" His emphasis on the word sober made Melissa look at him and smile with a little hurt.

"You know. Maybe I should just go. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you angry." She pulled on the handle of the door, opening it.

"I'm not angry!" He cried, catching her shoulder with his hand. He rested it there, letting his warmth seep into her. "I just don't know how I'm supposed to make you see what you're really doing for me!"

She turned round,"don't tell me. Show me." She smiled. "I don't believe it, because I have never done any good for anybody."

"But how am I supposed to show you? You can see that I'm sober, you can see I'm trying to clean myself up... I don't know what else I can show you...?"

She walked in, closing the door behind her. She draped her arms around his neck and kissed him. Her cold lips became warm when they touched his. She felt it was sull of emotion, not just from her side. She pulled away. "I believe you." She smiled, keeping her green eyes, staring into his.

"Thank you" he whispered, smiling. "I'd forgotten how much lovers argue."

"Hmm?" She tilted her head slightly, as if asking him to elaborate.

" 'Lovers' quarrells. I'd forgotten about them." He smiled as if remembering an amusing memory.

She looked to the window over her shoulder. "I must go to sleep. But please, stay with me?" Her voice turning into a soft plea.

"Of course. But... I believe my bed is better equipped for this. It's got covers and everything," he laughed.

She tilted her head gently, "Hmm?" She muttered while walking towards the door to his bedroom.

"Your bed is a matresson the floor, going rotten. Mine isn't, therefore making mine the best choice." He stated and hastily straightened the duvet.

"You don't have to try so hard around me. Please, relax." She smiled, pulling off her boots.

"It's just being polite, that's all. Make the most of it." He chuckled.

She nodded and closed the blinds, sitting on the bed. "Lazarus..." She closed her eyes for a moment, falling back so she now lay on the bed. "Please. Never leave me. I don't think I could ever live without you." She opened her eyes, staring at him.

"I won't. Just make sure you never leave me either." He layed down beside her, turning on his side so he could look at her.

Her eyes followed him as he lay beside her. He opened his arms and brought her to his chest. "I love you." She murrmerred, turning round so she was facing him. She kissed him, rather passionatly on the lips. Her cold lips crushing his own. She could feel the sunlight outside, the sun moving round from the horizon to the middle of the sky.

"I love you too." He replied in between shorter kisses.

She nestled herself in his arms and smiled. He pulled the covers over them as she began to sleep. Even in her sleep she smiled, feeling warmth course through her. She dreamt, for the first time in years, of happy thoughts. Of her and Lazarus. A happy tear ran down her cheek, clear and pure.

The End

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