When we stepped out of the trees, I saw Connelly making rounds. I smiled when I saw that he was annoyed. He was back to normal. Then, just as I was about to take a step towards him, Vincent put a hand on my shoulder again and led me to a tree in the middle of the clearing. I was really tired of this, but since I knew they meant well I went along with it. I sat at the base of the tree and waited with Aubrey and Ivan until Connelly had made his third round.
He then made his way up to Vincent, who was standing in front of us like a guard. They stared at each other for a few minutes, and then Vincent stepped aside. Connelly’s eyes locked on mine again and he smiled as he walked towards me. My eyes were dazzled as he stood in front of me, his hand extended. “Hi there.” he said.
“Hi.” I said, taking his hand and standing.
“You can all leave now. Ivan, I know you need to get back to Sue. She still thinks you’re in the bathroom doesn’t she.” he said, looking at them all and back to me.
Ivan laughed once, looking down and messing with his ear. “Well, I’d better go.” he said. He gave me a quick hug and then disappeared. Aubrey gave both of us a hug and then walked into the trees, followed by Vincent, who looked back at us before stepping into the trees.
I looked after him, but then a finger touched my cheek and made me look at Connelly, who wrapped his arms around my waist. He smiled softly at me and ran his hand gently across my cheek. I closed my eyes and smiled. To be truthfully honest, after that fiasco earlier, I thought I’d never feel his touch again.
His fingers traced down my cheek to my jaw, down my neck and then brushed up my other cheek to my eyes, down my nose, and then across my lips. They brushed over my lips again and then again lighter and slower. I opened my eyes and looked at him.
He was looking at me so softly and so caringly. He smiled and took my hands, putting them on his shoulders, and then we started slow dancing. “Do you know what I was thinking back there in the woods?” he asked as we turned.
“How stupid I was.” I said and he gave me a look. “What.” I asked, glancing down.
“I was thinking about why we were having so many problems. And that got me thinking about why I was even doing this in the first place. Why was I endangering you, me, and my whole family? Not to mention my whole species.” he said.
“And what did you come up with?” I asked, no idea where he was going with this. For all I knew he could be breaking up with me because none of this is worth someone you just liked.
Our steps slowed and then stopped. He looked at me and his fingers traced my lips again. I looked at him as he smiled and knew that this was good news. “I love you.” he said and my heart almost exploded out of my chest.
I took a deep breath, fighting back tears of extreme happiness, and said, “I love you too.”
He smiled and then leaned in, stopping just short of my lips, but this time he wasn’t tense, he was smiling. “Okay, enough with the suspenseful pause.” I said. “I think we’ve been through enough suspense to skip that for a while.”
He smiled even bigger and said, “As you wish.” He then let one of his hands snake up my back while the other one was on my neck. Then, finally, after all this time and all the disaster, he finally kissed me, free of nervousness and fear, hesitation and tenseness. It was one of the most intense kisses I had ever experienced.
I tightened my arms around his neck and brought one hand to his cheek and jaw, holding him to me while he did the same. A few seconds after he started kissing me, or really as soon as his lips touched mine, he started growling again, but it didn’t scare me this time. I knew he wasn’t dangerous anymore. And actually, it made me start laughing because when he growled severely enough, it vibrated his mouth and mine, tickling my lips.
I had to break free a few minutes into it so I could laugh. “What’s so funny?” he asked, smiling and laughing slightly.
“When you growled, it tickled my lips.” I laughed and sat down on the little pond beach. He sat down too, looking at me, and then started laughing too. I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe, and when I tried, I snorted and we both busted out laughing all over again. We laughed so long that my stomach muscles started hurting and I had to lie down. He laid back too and we just stayed like that for a while, looking at the clear sky.
“Interesting day, isn’t it?” he said and I laughed.
“By far, the most disastrous and most exhilarating day of my life.” I said and laid on my side, smiling at him. He smiled and brushed my cheek. Then he got on his side too and kissed me.
I smiled and said, “Well, you’re definitely not nervous anymore.”
He kissed me and said, “No I’m not.” Then he kissed me again and didn’t let go, putting his hand on my neck. I laid back on my back and he laid on me, still kissing me.
Then, later, when we came up for air, he smiled down at me. Our lips were swollen and we were both gasping for breath. “What?” I asked.
“I have an idea.” he said, standing up and holding out his hand. “Come on!” he said and I took his hand, standing beside him.
“You know how we’re in that dancing competition?” he said as we walked off the little beach and onto the grass.
“Yeah?” I said as he stopped and turned to face me.
“Well, I was thinking. If we’re going to be in it, we might as well win, and to do that we have to practice. Which I know for a fact that you have not been doing.” he said, positioning ourselves ready to dance.
“And just how do you know I haven’t?” I asked, looking at him suspiciously with a smile.
He looked around, not meeting my eye completely. “Well, I’ve kind of been watching you.” he said, looking at me sideways like he thought I was going to explode.
“You’ve been watching me? When? For how long?” I asked, suddenly self-conscious.
“Not that long.” he said quickly. “Just since we were together.”
“Well, I guess the myth about vampires not being able to come in uninvited is false.” I said, smiling.
He smiled back and said, “I thought you were going to be mad.”
“Well actually, I don’t know what to think about it.” I said and shrugged, looking at him. He smiled and kissed me.
“Now, how are we going to dance to no music?” I asked.
“Hm.” he said and looked away for a minute. “Hang on just a second.” he said and disappeared, coming back a few minutes later with a small stereo. He hung it on a thick tree branch and pushed play. A fast beat tango song came on and I was already moving to the beat in one spot.
Connelly walked over and took his stance. And then we danced like we’d never danced before. We put all the moves in it we could and there was so much attraction in the way we moved with each other, I almost felt like a real dancer. I moved as sexily as I could, trying all the while not to be too enraptured and drool over the way Connelly was moving.