The sun rose slowly over the horizon, the blinds at the window sheltering the slumbering naked bodies of Lazarus and Melissa. They clung to one another under the duvet, smiles lasting on their faces as they slept. The sun moved over the town slowly, the shadows in the front room moving as the day passed them by. Lazarus opened his eyes slowly, not wanting to lift out of his sleep. He hadn’t dreamt of falling for once, but of spending the rest of his life with Melissa. He wondered briefly if she was allergic to religious relics as the image of a church wedding flashed in his mind. He blinked, surprised at himself.
He didn’t want to move out of Melissa’s arms. He could swear that she didn’t feel as cold as usual. Maybe I’m just colder than usual? Deciding it didn’t matter, he closed his eyes again and remembered the previous night. He grinned to himself and pecked Melissa’s lips, opening his eyes again to take in her beauty. I am one of the luckiest guys in the world, he thought, despite being a werewolf and being wanted dead. He chuckled to himself and Melissa’s eyes fluttered open.
‘What are you laughing at?’ she muttered sleepily.
‘Just thinking about how lucky I am, despite all the people that want me dead,’ he laughed again.
‘There is always hope in the last place you look,’ she said, smiling.
‘Of course it would be the last place. Once you find it, you stop looking,’ he couldn’t seem to stop laughing.
‘Well it’s good to know you’re happy,’ she laughed with him gently, putting a hand on his face. She kissed him lightly and felt a tug of joy as she saw the happiness shining brightly in his eyes. They lay in comfortable silence for a few minutes until Lazarus sighed.
‘I need a shower,’ he muttered, but made no move to get up. ‘Don’t wanna,’ he moaned, tightening his grip on Melissa.
‘Lazarus, do you intend to spend all your time here?’ she sighed, though she didn’t resist his embrace.
‘No, I just want to make the moment last,’ he said, planting another warm kiss on her lips.
‘Remember what happened to the last moment?’ she laughed, returning the kiss.
‘I remember it very well. Did you enjoy said moment?’ he enquired, curious. It had been a long time – too long since he had made love to someone. Melissa nodded, blushing furiously at how blunt the question was. She pulled herself closer to him, despite her acute awareness of their nakedness.
‘I didn’t hurt you?’ he asked, apprehensive.
‘No,’ she mumbled into his shoulder and he let out a relieved breath. He ran his fingers through her hair, brushing his lips on her forehead.
‘Good, I’m glad.’ He murmured.
‘I love you,’ she smiled, reaching up and kissing him firmly on the lips, her body still rushing with the constant warmth of his touch.
‘And I you.’ He replied. He held their embrace for a few more moments before speaking again: ‘but now I must shower,’ he gently disentangled himself from her and with a final peck on the lips he swung his legs out of the bed, stretching as he sat on the edge of the mattress. Melissa watched the muscles in his back ripple as he moved, a small smile remaining on her lips. He stood up and she blushed again at his bare body, but she didn’t close her eyes or look away. He flashed her a grin as he left the room, clean clothes in hand.
Melissa’s mind was focused entirely on what had happened. Four hundred years and not even a kiss... yet here she was, enjoying the morning after feeling as she waited for Lazarus to clean himself up. It had all happened so quickly. I've never felt this warm before without blood. It's so... strange and yet still in a few hours I will become nothing more than an animated corpse, she thought, staring up at the ceiling.
Lazarus scrubbed his skin dry with his towel and reached for his clothes, but he paused. He still wanted to try transforming at will. He put a bit of the towel between his teeth to muffle his cries if it worked, and sat on the floor, closing his eyes. He focused inward and searched his mind for that protective layer the wolf provided him that Melissa had mentioned before. He didn’t know what he was looking for, but persisted, trying to coax the wolf inside of him to come out. He imagined James, the threat he posed, the wolf ripping the vampire apart, but his human form being broken and killed without the wolf. His side twitched and his teeth clamped down on the material in his mouth.
Encouraged by the sudden pang of pain, he kept going, telling the wolf he needed to be strong for Melissa. The mention of Melissa did it and he hunched over, his body racked with the wolf’s anger. Through the pain, he felt the wolf’s rage and tried to calm it, he just wanted to be ready. The wolf seemed to understand, though it didn’t make the cramps any less painful. He clawed at the linoleum floor and widened his eyes, the effort to stay quiet as he changed intense. The agony faded and he blinked, vaguely put off by being in his wolf form in his own home. But for once, Lazarus was totally in control. And he smiled. He nudged the door open and padded back to the bedroom, jumping up on the bed beside Melissa.
Melissa jumped, surprised and pulled the covers up over her. He sat down close to her, his weight pulling the duvet in her grip a little.
‘Lazarus, you scared me,’ she cried, trying to regain the covers. He shifted, letting her pull the sheets up around her again, though he didn’t see the need for her to. He whined at her apologetically and let his eyes widen as he attempted to say sorry without words. Melissa sighed and stroked his fur gently with one hand, holding the duvet up to her with the other.
‘So... how do you stop it?’ she asked and then wondered how he was supposed to reply. She jumped again at an unexpected flash of a memory. He lifted a paw and put it on her arm, trying to relay the memory of what he thought as he transformed and how he was surprised at his level of control over the wolf now. When she had seen the memories of the transformation, he played them out again, bt in the reverse order and hoped she understood.