They made their way back into Lazarus’ apartment, holding hands.
‘I have to get changed for work, now,’ He pouted making Melissa laugh gently. He turned away and pulled his uniform out of the mess of clothes scattered across his floor. When he was wearing his uniform, he returned to Melissa, folding her in his arms with a quick kiss.
‘Well,’ Lazarus sighed, ‘I should really go to work...’ He didn’t pull away from Melissa though, strengthening his grip on here. ‘Don’t make me go,’ he whined like a child being sent to school.
She looked at him, ‘Do you want money?’ She sighed, then looked at him, realising this might not work she turned to another method. ‘You won't get your gift if you don't go anyway.’ He laughed.
‘Well,’ she said as she pushed him towards the door. ‘Here. I will give it to you before you go.’ She reached up, placing her arms around his neck she leaned into him, putting more passion and desire into it than anything else, she kissed him. When she withdrew she looked at him. ‘Now, though, you have to go.’ She smiled, stroking a hand across his rough cheek. He held her cool hand there for a moment longer, his eyes betraying the desire she had left burning in him.
‘Sending me off to work like this? I hope I get another of these when I get back.’ He grinned, opening the door. He planted a teasing kiss on her lips and left. Racing down the dark stairs, he rushed to his car, hoping his boss didn’t yell too much about him being late.
Stepping into the back room where he left his extra jumper in his locker, he saw James’ locker was now occupied by someone else. Their dark brown hair and tall figure was all he could see while the locker door was open. Lazarus slammed his own locker shut and the tall figure behind the locker door bent back slightly, turning curious chocolate eyes towards Lazarus. He was glad he wasn’t holding anything when he saw those eyes. He froze momentarily, gazing at Gabriel Connor.
‘Connor,’ he managed to get out, by way of greeting.
‘Lazarus,’ he grinned. ‘Didn’t know you worked here.’
‘Some coincidence, huh?’ Lazarus tried to smile, but he could feel the edge of hysteria creeping into his manner. It’s just some guy with an uncanny resemblance to him. It’s not him, it’s not him.
‘Yeah! You mind if I walk with you tonight? Seeing as it's my first day an' all.’ He beamed at Lazarus, who swallowed uncomfortably. He looked around and seeing that they were alone, he had no choice but to nod.
‘Fine, sure. It’s not an exciting job, though. You get bored of looking at the stuff pretty quickly.’ Lazarus held the back room door open, leading Connor out into the main body of the museum. As they walked, Connor thought back to earlier, how Melissa was stood outside his door, crying, the shouting and commotion.
‘What was up today?’ he blurted. Lazarus gave him a strange look.
‘I had too much to drink and very nearly screwed everything up in a big way.’ Lazarus told him eventually, thinking of a way to skirt around the part where Connor reminded him of his dead boyfriend, where he had pinned Melissa to a wall and been generally horrible, leaving her to burn while he got his alcohol. The part where Melissa was a vampire and when he cut himself by accident she couldn’t quite control herself.
‘You’re an... alcoholic?’ Connor asked, attempting to put it as nicely as possible. And failing. Lazarus turned his gaze to his feet.
‘I...’ he sighed. ‘Yes. Kind of. It’s weird. I can go a week without a drop, but the moment my mood dips, I find myself in the off-licence. I s’pose that makes me an alcoholic though, doesn’t it.’ Lazarus forced a mirthless laugh and Connor looked about a little frantically, as if looking for something to change the subject.
‘What about Melissa? She seems cool.’ He said.
‘Cool is one word for it,’ Lazarus muttered, hiding his smile.
‘You're lucky to have someone like her. People like her are hard to come by.’ He grinned, remembering her just made him smile too.
‘Especially when you sit in your apartment alone for so long,’ Lazarus laughed. Connor forced a smile.
‘Yeah. I bet she's great company.’ He let his mind wander. ‘With such a great figure as well.’ He smiled to himself, not noticing Lazarus’ disapproving look. Lazarus clipped him on the back of the head.
‘Shut up about her like that already!’ he growled.
‘Sorry... but...’ He stopped himself, fearing he would get hit again. ‘It’s true though.’ He mumbled. Lazarus shook his head and fell silent, doing his best to concentrate on his route, considering changing it in case Connor decided to follow him again the next night. Connor glanced up at Lazarus and tried to spark up a new conversation.
‘Do you like music?’ He asked hesitantly. Lazarus nodded, a genuine smile on his face. You should know that, Gabriel, he thought momentarily, before having to remind himself that this man was not his angel.
‘Classical is my favourite. You?’
‘Rock,’ he smiled, relieved and glad that Lazarus was talking again.
‘I don’t listen to much rock music; it sounds like a big mess of noise to me.’ Lazarus grimaced.
‘Ha. Figures. You sound like an old man.’ Conner chuckled and Lazarus stifled his own laughter. If only you knew.
‘It’s not that I’m old, I just have an appreciation for classical music, though I admire the talent rock musicians possess. If they can play a good set live, then I can appreciate them, too. If they have play back, I don’t see the point.’ He argued his point, resisting the urge to tell Connor that he was indeed an old man, in truth, though he looked not a day older than twenty something.
‘What about Melissa?’ Connor asked, his mind constantly flicking back to thoughts about her standing in the hall in that thin silk robe, knocking on his door. Lazarus rolled his eyes, tempted to spray that useless little can of pepper spray in Connor’s face.
‘She likes classical too. I’m not sure what she thinks of other genres.’ He muttered, wishing Connor would stop talking about Melissa incessantly.
‘Cool. Do you play?’ He asked, seeing the hint of frustration on Lazarus’ face.
‘Piano. And a little bit of violin. Melissa,’ he didn’t bother waiting for Connor to ask about Melissa, ‘plays the violin, a little piano, and she sings like an angel.’
‘I’d love to hear her sing for me,’ Connor said dreamily, seeming to drift off into his own world. Lazarus shook his head, hoping his shift would be over quickly. He didn’t know how long he could stay with this man who looked so much like Gabriel, but was so unlike Gabriel.