Lazarus let her words sink in. ‘I have a bad feeling about this.’ Her words seemed to echo ominously. He shook his head and held her at arm’s length.
‘I’ll be fine, I promise. I just can’t bear the thought that he’s unharmed after hurting you. After I even warned him to stay away... that... idiot!’ Lazarus felt his blood pressure rise even at the thought of Connor... Connor. Face of an angel, yet neither the manners nor the personality to match. No... I won’t regret a thing this time. He steered Melissa over to the bed and laid her down, ignoring the messy tangle of sheets, the blood on his clothes, the rips that exposed his skin to the light.
‘I just... I want him to die, but not by your hand,’ she sighed, mumbling slightly into the pillow.
‘Who else is gonna do it? You?’ Lazarus asked. Melissa shifted away from him a little, stung.
‘No! You know I would never,’ she growled. ‘I just don’t like the thought of what might happen if you do.’ She finished quietly. Lazarus kissed her again, tenderly on the lips.
‘I’m touched, but really, there isn’t any need for concern, okay?’ He smiled weakly, though she couldn’t see.
‘Lazarus... please. Be safe.’ She murmured through her tears. ‘I don’t want to see you go, not so soon.’ She pleaded with him, her emerald eyes searching his pale blue ones over the ridge the covers formed between them. He patted the covers down and kissed her again.
‘Sleep.’ He said in a quietly commanding voice.
‘No. If I sleep, you’ll go. You’ll be gone. I’d rather die than see you go.’ Her words were vehement, but they were softly spoken. Lazarus’ heart pounded, hating himself for this.
‘I won’t go. I’m not going anywhere. If I’m not right here when you wake up, I’ll be on the sofa. Or at the piano. I won’t leave this flat, okay?’ He lifted a finger and gently closed her eyes, but they snapped back open again the second his finger left her face. She swallowed uncomfortably.
‘I don’t trust you.’ It was Lazarus’ turn to be stung, but he didn’t even grimace.
‘I suppose I deserve that.’ He muttered, closing his own eyes with a soft sigh.
‘I might as well sleep, right? Either way you won’t be here when I wake up.’ Melissa huffed and turned over, facing away. But her eyes wouldn’t close. She stared angrily at the wardrobe, the mess of clothes within and the empty hangers dangling just above them on the rail. Long, drawn out seconds became minutes and eventually spilled over into an hour. Lazarus never left her side. He waited patiently, his warm, pulsing arm draped across her waist. She felt the blood pump through his limb. It was strangely comforting. Slowly, though, sleep pulled at her and she fell into its arms unwillingly.
Lazarus waited another twenty minutes before moving. Slowly he moved, kissing Melissa’s cheek, sliding his arm back towards him. Cautiously, he rose and shuffled out of the bedroom, stiff from lying in one position while his body was strengthening again. Wincing, he balled his fist, making his knuckles crack loudly. He made for the door but hesitated as his hand rested on the handle. I should leave her a note... just... just in case. He felt uneasy. When Melisa had told him she had a bad feeling about it, he knew exactly how she felt. But he couldn’t... wouldn’t leave that lunatic running around. Not if it put his town in danger. Not if it put them in danger. He wouldn’t have Connor alive if it was going to put Melissa at risk. He grabbed his latest composition and turned over the last sheet, putting the nib of a pen to the paper.
I’m sorry. You’re right to not trust me, and I deserve every shred of contempt this earns me. But I love you. I’ve already said this, but I can’t let him run around like that, putting us in danger. I’m doing this to protect us, and if it means you’re cold with me, but can forgive me for this, I’m willing to do this. That’s better than you hurt, surely. On the other hand... if this only serves to tear us apart even more, I swear you will never hear from me again. I will never stop loving you, I don’t think. Same as Gabriel.
If you find this when you wake up, then something has probably happened to me, since I won’t be back to hide this. Apologies in advance. It’s so hard to think when I’m this agitated. All I want is him dead and for us to be in peace for once. I should go now, before you wake up and try to stop me again. Yet I find myself wanting to say something that I can’t put into words. I’m sure I’ll find the words if when I get back.
I love you.
He sighed heavily and left the note on the table, clear of the newspapers and mess. He left the apartment as quietly as he could, slipping out into the corridor. He stopped halfway down the corridor, the hesitation in his stride halting him. He anxiously chewed on his lower lip, and set off again. Liquor. It was no answer to anything, but just... supposing he was caught. It would give him an excuse to be acting irrationally. Any excuse to drink, eh? A voice in the back of his mind sneered. He shook his head and pushed the voice away, heading for the off-licence.
Lazarus staggered to Connor’s door, a near empty bottle of vodka in his hand. He knocked and leant his head on the door frame, waiting for Connor to answer. The door opened and Connor’s tired face peered out from the gap.
‘I just wanted to say sorry,’ Lazarus slurred, faking a big grin. Connor looked at him dubiously and opened the door fully so he could take a better look at the drunken wreck giggling to himself outside his door.
‘What for?’ Connor asked threateningly.
‘This.’ Lazarus leered dangerously and lifted the bottle. Connor had about a second to react between seeing the bottle rise and it smashing over his head. He crumpled to Lazarus’ feet and the werewolf dragged him back inside.
Lazarus dropped the broken bottle and crouched beside Connor’s unconscious body, his gorgeous face serene and unmarred by Connor’s personality. Lazarus swallowed and fought back the tears as memories came floating up. It’s not Gabriel, it’s Connor. Connor hurt Melissa. He deserves this. Gently, almost tenderly, Lazarus took Connor’s head in his hands and twisted sharply, snapping his neck. Connor’s quiet heartbeat faltered and died. Shaking, Lazarus stumbled to his feet, his own heart racing before the wailing sirens that tore after him.