The FireMature

Quickly, Lazarus and Melisa packed. He placed the note somewhere easy to see and with one carrier bag full of clothes and a bit of food, they discreetly left the apartment block. Together they tore through the town and left it behind like a bad memory. But like bad memories, it was bound to haunt them. Melissa clutched onto Lazarus' hand as they walked down the empty streets. Soon they took a detour from the main road and began to walk through the forest.

The forest itself was a dark, primal place but they found it more homely than the looming, pollutive towns. The snow had melted leaving the ground moist and soggy beneath their feet. Small leaf bud's began to sprout from the tree's dark branches, they seemed to give a new life to the forest.

Their pace began to slow as they moved further away from the town. "I think I know somewhere we could stay... but it's a bit, primal." She looked at Lazarus, she could hear a stream flowing nearby, she knew where she was. The sounds of the forest were quiet; a rustling here and there, the trickling of a stream in the distance and above it all she could hear Lazarus' steady heartbeat. It was like an ancient lullaby to her.

"You think what it looks like matters when I'm an over-sized uncontrollable wolf thing?" He laughed, stopping them for a moment.

"Hmm, I suppose not." She smiled, showing a little bit of concern. "It's just there will be hardly anything to keep you warm. Unless we build a fire."

"I'll be fine." He reassured, kissing her forehead and squeezing her hand gently.

"You sure? I mean, I won't be much help. Unless you have a fever." She laughed softly, although she never did like the cold.

"You can build a fire if you want, but it's not as cold as it was last time," he shrugged as they began to walk again, this time Melissa led the way.

"No, it's okay. Your the one that feels the cold, you should know." She sighed, looking at their hands.

"It'll probably be cold after I've turned back but, I think there's a hoodie in the bag."

Melissa nodded. "Okay, here it is. It should suit our needs until your cycle ends." They stopped outside a large cave, it wasn't a damp cave but it was really dark. She walked into it and sighed, even the noise of her breathing echoed around it. Whether it was cold or not, they would still need a fire to see. "Stay here. I'll go get some firewood." She smiled. 

Lazarus nodded and sat down, feeling where he sat before actually doing so to make sure he didn't sit on anything. "Okay." He sighed, he was going to argue to help her but he knew she could do it better on her own. Melissa bent down and kissed his lips gently. "Don't worry, I'll be back soon."

Melissa ran her way around the woods trying to find dead, dry pieces of wood. She placed them in a pile just at the entrance to the woods and headed back into town. There she found the nearest store and bought a bottle of vodka and some matches and put them in a brown bag which she held under her arm. She gathered the wood back up and sprinted back to the cave.

She placed the wood on the floor and set the pile on fire using the matches, she then handed the brown bag to Lazarus. "I hate to see you drink, but if it helps." She sighed as the sun appeared from the horizon. With the position of the cave when the sun came up it would cast the tree's shadows into the cave so she would be safe.

"Thank you." He said, the appreciation in his voice was clear. "It helps, it helps alot. And it minimizes the chance I will hurt you." He grimaced.

"I know." She mumbled, looking away from him into the fire for a moment before laying down beside him, resting her head on his lap. "But the only down-side is, you wake up drunk." She sighed.

Lazarus ran his fingers through her hair as she stared into the fire. "It's a small price to pay." He whispered softly, his voice was like a lullaby to her, the soft tones floating on the gentle breeze around her.

"Depends what you do when you're drunk." She turned herself so she looked up at Lazarus.

"Still a small price to pay." He brushed one of her brunette locks from her face. "You have no idea how painful the transformation is. And if I do something stupid when I'm drunk, it's not likely to be ripping you apart." He stopped, even the thought of it happening made his spine shiver. "The way it would be if the wolf was allowed to be sober."

"What about here?" She asked, placing a hand on her chest. "Remember a time before, when you were drunk and you held me, by the neck, against a wall?" Her hand turned to a fist over her heart as she spoke.

"Sorry." He muttered, ashamed.

"But you understand why I don't like to see you drunk." She sighed, reaching a hand up to caress his cheek.

"Of course." He smiled, his blue eyes softening as his gaze fell onto her own.

As she held Lazarus' gaze in her own her eyes began to flicker closed. She sat up abruptly. "I'm sorry." She yawned, "I'm just so tired, it's been such a long night." She shook her head in an attempt to wake up, but failed.

"It's fine." He spoke, in his soft voice. He placed a hand on the back of Melissa's head and drew her closer, planting a gentle kiss on her cold lips. Melissa smiled, kissing him back.

Lazarus leaned back, his arm wrapped around Melissa. "I love you." He whispered, as Melissa moved closer toward him, partly pulled in by his arm. "I love you too." She smiled curling herself up in his embrace, her head on his chest listening to his heartbeat. The rhythm of his heart, with the soft lilt of his voice made her fall to sleep as she stared into the dancing flames of the fire. She cold swear, at that moment her heart began to beat and she felt warm again.

The End

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