ShadowedMature

"Yes. I do disagree, you find four hundred years hard? Try one thousand three hundred years. it wouldn't have been so long if I never had the... fortune of meeting your species." He sighed. Realising, it was not Lazarus that night. So he needn't bother.

"Four hundred years is all I've had the chance to experience. forgive me for having been born a few centuries after you." His tone seemed bitter, and James growled in reply.

"Maybe you would be dead, if you had been born earlier. At least then you would have been no trouble to me."

"If I'd been born earlier I would have been less trouble to everyone."

James sighed,"Apart from one." He pointed to Melissa still wrapped in Lazarus' arms. "You know. She battles the shadow within her heart, it is harder for her than you know." His voice became full of wisdom as he spoke, he knew that he would never find love, but maybe he could help theirs.

"I still don't know why she loves me. I'm not sure I'll ever understand it, really." He shrugged, gazing down at her.

"You must be sure of yourself. Every time you doubt why she loves you, she questions herself and it breaks her heart more!" He sighed, He really knows not that love is blind. He shook his head.

"Why would she question herself? she's never the one at fault, I am. The only reason I'm here having this conversation with you is because I screwed everything up for us!" He tried to keep his voice down, but his pain and rage was evident in his voice.

"No. She respects that you killed for her, she would die with you." He shook his head, "she questions herself because she fears you may leave her, that maybe your love isn't as strong as she thinks."Then, as if on cue Melissa stirred, moaning Lazarus' name in her sleep.

Lazarus kissed her forehead, then tightened his embrace to which Melissa stopped calling his name. "I would never leave her willingly. never. They would have to tear her out of my cold dead arms before they could have her. And after that I would haunt them for eternity." He laughed weakly.

He sighed, looking out the window as the sun began to set. "It's not me you have to convince. Lazarus." He slowly made his way out the room, closing the door softly behind him.

Melissa stirred, opening her eyes slowly she smiled. "Lazarus?" She mumbled, still trying to regain her voice.

"I'm still here." He smiled back.

"Good." She re-adjusted herself so she could look up at him. "I... I had a dream, that..." She paused, shaking her head. "No. It's silly. Your here now." "What did you dream?" He asked softly, managing to make his voice soothing.

"That you had gone. Left me. It... it all fell to darkness and I was alone." She paused, "It's silly, but it was if I could feel my heart break, I was so terrified, it seemed so real." She stopped, realising she was starting to ramble. Her voice shook as she spoke.

Remembering what James had said, Lazarus kissed her softly on the lips and promised her: "I'm never going to leave you again, I swear. They'd have to pry you out of my dead arms," he chuckled gently, "and even after that, I'd haunt them."

"Please." She shook her head. "Don't joke about that." She wrapped her arms around him. "I..." She felt the shadow in her stomach tighten, although she knew Lazarus loved her. "I don't even want to think of that." She shivered, even though Lazarus had kept her warm all day.

"You think I'm joking?"

"I think it's a terrible thought."

"That I'd never let you go?"

"Of your dead arms wrapped around me."

Lazarus laughed. "Just my arms then." He said, pulling her closer to him.

"Lazarus. What are we going to do? I'm scared that this will never end." She gladly let herself be hugged closer towards him, the smell of dog had become, reassuring towards her now that she no longer associated it with the tales of murder and blood-shed.

"Humans don't live very long. It'll last a generation perhaps. Depends on the hunters and whether they have family, I guess." He paused for a moment, "I'm sorry. I wish I could make it stop sooner."

"Its...okay." She sighed. "I just fear it might never end, that I will never be able to settle down and have a life without running, without... death."

"It'll settle down soon enough, I promise."

"It's not that I don't trust you... it's just, I don't think that's true. I have been at the wrong end of hunters before." her brow furrowed as she remembered.

"So have I. Hunts for me have only ever spanned a generation, and then I would return to the same town I was found in for another sixty, seventy years. Next time I, we, settle, I think we should choose a new town. One with no hunters."

Melissa shook her head. "Hunters are everywhere. They are every human. This world is theirs, ours. We cannot escape them."

"Huh. A town where they're not as violent as the ones that got me, then!"

"Lazarus. All men are killers. You can't get less violent than that." She broke their embrace and stood up, moving to the window where she threw open the curtains.

"I beg to differ. I even had the courtesy to knock Connor out before I broke his neck, I didn't spend three weeks torturing the guy!"

Melissa shrugged, staring blankly into the town before her. "Death is death."

"But in case you hadn't noticed, I'm not dead. Half starved and battered, yes. Dead? I'm not dead. Those hunters were just cruel." He got up, wandering over to her. He placed a hand on her shoulder but still she did not turn round.

"Would you..." She paused. "Would you rather be dead?"

"No." He shook his head, but she could not see.

"Hmm." She still did not turn to face him. "Good. Dying is such a... horrible experience."

Lazarus paused, unsure what to say. "It only happens once though."

Melissa shook her head. "Not always, Logan died twice. If I pass, so will I." She stopped, turning so that she face Lazarus. "I'm sorry, my mind's just been... full of thoughts lately."

"Can you die if you're already dead? I hadn't really thought about that before..." He looked up to meet her eyes, the deep green orbs seemed to show sorrow and pain. "What thoughts?"

She looked to the floor, breaking his gaze. "Point taken. I suppose, I am already dead. But what would you call it if I passed?" She ignored his second question, refusing to look up at him.

"I don't know, like I said I've not really thought too hard about that before.'Passing' perhaps?" He smiled awkwardly, before continuing in a more serious tone. "Don't ignore me. What thoughts?"

"Hmm, very imaginative." She shook her head, leaning against the window frame.

"I'm not a very imaginative person."

"Hmm, I noticed." She sighed, staring at Lazarus' feet.

"Why won't you tell me what's on your mind?"

"Why do you want to know so much?"

"Sorry, I thought it was called 'caring'"

"Caring." She nodded. "Yes, but it's hard to explain." She looked up at his chest, but not into his eyes.

He hooked a finger under her chin and lifted her head gently so she met his eyes. Kissing her gently, he spoke in a quiet voice: "Whenever you're ready to explain. I won't push any more."

She sighed, "I want to explain, I'm just not sure how."

The End

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