Ten minutes later, my dad found Charlie and me on the swing, chatting amiably about yesterday.
“Lunch is ready,” he told us.
“Thanks, Dad.” I stood up, followed shortly by Charlie.
Lunch was ham and cucumber sandwiches. During the meal, I reflected upon how peaceful things seemed at the table. Mum and Dad were talking about holiday memories while Charlie and I just smiled at each other. When everyone had finished eating, Charlie stood up.
“Thank you for lunch, Mr and Mrs Reynolds,” he said. “When can Terri and I see each other next?”
“Next week,” my dad replied.
“Until next week, then,” Charlie said to me.
“Love you, too.” And with that, he left through the open back door.
“He seems a decent chap,” my mother observed before I went upstairs to sit quietly in my bedroom.
I decided to start a diary. I grabbed an empty notebook from the table I do my work at, and wrote on the first page ‘Terri’s Diary’. I absent-mindedly decorated this page with doodles. Then, I turned the page and entered today’s date. I recounted all that had happened with Christopher and Charlie since that beautiful serenade three nights ago. So much had happened in three days that I filled pages with memories, beautiful, funny and sad alike.
I went to bed feeling extremely contented. I hid the diary under my pillow and dreamt about what Christopher and I would do at night time on a beach similar to the one Harry and Roxanna used to spend the night on.
I woke up in the middle of the night to find Christopher perched on the end of my bed, holding a small torch and looking as if he were reading the book in his hands. I sat up quietly and felt under my pillow. There was nothing there.
‘If you’d asked, I would’ve given you permission,’ I thought in slight annoyance.
Christopher looked up, startled. ‘Sorry,’ he thought quickly, shutting my diary. I just wondered what you saw in me, that’s all.
I’m wondering that right now.
‘Sorry.’ He came over to replace the diary under my pillows, but pushed tit against the wall and stood the pillows up so I could slide back and lean against them.
Are you mad?
I sighed. ‘I could never get mad at you. I love you.’
He smiled, his face illuminated by moonlight. ‘I love you too.’
We sat staring at each other for a while, Christopher twirling strands of my hair between his fingers and me staring into his eyes and feeling the blank depths of my mind being filled with their warmth.
Suddenly, Christopher thought to me, ‘Roxanna’s only letting me come here so we can test that final theory for your hyper-suggestibility. She didn’t know we were sneaking out and so she’s grounding me until you’re ungrounded.’
‘Oh no,’ I thought, unwilling to break the beautiful physical silence that made me feel like Christopher and I were in our own little world.
‘The final theory... That was... the one about my blood increasing your power over me?’ I struggled to remember back before Harry’s wonderful story last night.
‘Yes, well remembered.’ Christopher sounded impressed.
I guess that means you’ve fed.
Yes. I couldn’t drink your blood two days straight anyway. It’d be dangerous.
Before you test the theory, I have a question. Do you have to leave after you’ve tested it?
He chuckled. ‘I can see you holding the test until it’s almost time for the sun to rise, if that were true. The answer is no; but I have to be back before midnight.’
What’s the time now?
‘Let’s get the theory testing out of the way, then,’ I thought grudgingly. ‘How are you going to test it?’
By suggesting something out loud, like with the tea.
Okay. When you’re ready then.
“Get out of bed and close the window. Then, come back and sit down.” His voice was slightly startling because it seemed comparatively loud to our mental conversation, but it was still enchanting and musical. I vaguely noticed I was moving toward the window. I closed it. Christopher waited for me to get back.
When I was sitting where I’d been before, he thought to me, ‘Well that disproves that theory.’ He was frowning.
What does it mean?
It means you naturally follow my suggestions more than others’. I appear to have a lot of influence on you.
‘Oh, okay then’ was all I could think.
In a way, it would’ve been easier if your blood had enhanced my power over you. I can’t see an easy solution to you following every suggestion I make.
What would’ve been the easy solution, had I ‘passed’ tonight’s test?
Oh, I’d have just stopped drinking your blood.
‘So, what do we do now?’ I mused.
Enjoy tonight so we have lots to think about while we’re grounded, I suppose.
That sounds like a good idea.
‘Stand up,’ Christopher thought to me mysteriously, a smile playing on his face.
I got off the bed and he stood up, too. He picked up my duvet and laid it beneath my bedroom window so that it was bathed in pale moonlight.
He sat cross-legged on it and I came to join him.
‘Now, close your eyes and stay still.’ He was almost whispering in my head.
I closed my eyes. I felt something brush down my cheek before resting on my shoulder. On the other side of my body, something held my hand and then cool lips brushed mine. We sat there kissing.
The hand on my shoulder pulled me so I was lying on him. My legs slid down to stretch behind me as legs uncrossed out from under me. Time elapsed.
The sensation was wonderful. Calm and contentment seeped through me. Fingers brushed my cheek and stroked my hair while I toyed with his, my arms around his shoulders. I opened my eyes to find myself dizzyingly close to blue depths. I fell into them as they wrapped around me. I suddenly craved to be totally immersed in him - a similar desire to this afternoon’s.
‘Talk to me,’ I thought to him.
‘Talk to you? About what, my dove?’ His voice was an enchanting and captivating melody in my mind.
Anything! Stars and moonshine, if you like. Just surround me with your ... perfection.
My dove. My beautiful, sweet, enchanting dove. I love you. You mentioned stars and moonshine, and I believe they have brought us together. He was almost singing now. Everything around me sings the song of our love. The rose petals are like your soft skin, so pleasant to touch. Birdsong is constant inspiration for the serenades I want to sing you.
Sing me a serenade now, my darling.
Each time I hear your voice, a thrill
Does travel down my spine and chill,
Reminding me that you are warmth surrounding
My heart so full of love that we are founding.
A song you sing to me each night
By loving me is pure delight
Reminding me, my dove, that I love you
And I hope that I can always be true.
Yes, my dove, I really, truly love you.
And, my dove, I always want to be with you.
Tears slid down my cheeks. ‘Oh, Christopher, that was beautiful.’
I’m glad you liked it.
‘Oh, I more than liked it, I adored it.’ I hugged him tighter.
Christopher gently pushed me away. My dove, I’m afraid I must go now.
I was crying softly as he helped me stand up, carried me to lie on my bed and tucked me in under my duvet. I fell asleep with wet cheeks.