Lazarus sat in the bar, a glass of sweet white wine and some kind of French delicacy that he didn't really like the look of in front of him. He ate it anyway, but didn't touch the wine. He rested his elbow on the edge of the bar and curled his fist up to support his chin on it. He wasn't looking at the bottles of liquor in front of him; he was looking at his reflection in the mirror behind the bottles.
His icy eyes stared back at him blankly, and he wondered what exactly had been going through his mind as he provoked Melissa so badly. Fear of losing her. The selfish need for her to be strong enough to want to hug me and not have to fight herself. When he noticed the waiter that had let him play on the piano glancing at him hopefully, trying to catch his eye, he sighed and got up. He dropped a few coins on the bar by his glass as a tip and left, his hands shoved deep in his pockets. We managed to get through her rejecting me altogether, we'll get through this... he told himself as he walked up the stairs back to their room.
Unlocking the door, he was greeted by an open window and a cool breeze. Oh and an empty room. Neither of these things impressed Lazarus too much.
‘Melissa?' he asked the empty room, not expecting an answer. He swore under his breath and locked the door behind him. He hesitated for about a second, before stripping his clothes off, ignoring the cold air that made his skin crawl.
With an irritable sigh, he threw his boxers onto the bed and crouched down on the floor, forcing the transformation once again. He was too angry at himself for what had happened to notice the pain much. He didn't think twice as he picked himself up off the floor and leapt out of the window, his senses in over drive, looking for any trace or scent trail of Melissa. Unfortunately for him, being in a new environment had sent his wolf instincts wild. Half of him was looking for Melissa, and half of him was trying to find who was dominant over this patch.
Suddenly, he caught a mixed scent of both things he was looking for - a marked patch of territory, and Melissa. Naturally, the internal fight that ensued was brief, gave Lazarus and the wolf both a headache and did nothing to improve their mood. He allowed the wolf to follow the marked scent until it broke away from Melissa's trail, where he would follow Melissa.
Melissa's trail flitted through a residential area and was cut off by the overwhelming scent of humans and their polluting habits. He swore, and attempted to find the trail again, scouting the area and around it, but the scent was gone, washed away with a breeze of pollution and cigarette smoke. He growled and tried to think of the places she might go. Somewhere quiet. The only quiet places he had noticed that she might have gone to were the park and the small church. Remembering their last fall out, he decided to check the church first.
The church in this town was... well it didn't hold the same kind of warm charm that the one in his old town. It was an austere Victorian building, and a stern silence surrounded it. The graveyard was hidden behind it, out of sight, as though the tombstones that littered the grass were something to be ashamed of. The door was slightly open, though. He padded towards it silently, poking his muzzle in through the gap. He pushes into the church before someone sees him and sees Melissa kneeling before the altar.
She made as little noise as he did as he sat and watched her at the altar. She didn't react to his presence at all, though she must have heard him through the blood link from a block away. After a few minutes of unbearable silence, Lazarus rose again and padded to her side, sitting next to her. Swallowing his pride, he lowered himself to the ground and rested his head on his paws, hushed. Melissa looked down at him, then back at the candles that adorned the altar. Still she said nothing, not even letting a thought stray. He shifted uncomfortably on the hard floor so that he could gaze up at her, no specific thoughts in his mind, just a quiet confusion that stirred restlessly inside of him.
Finally, she grew tired of the silence between them, turning to him.
‘Dogs aren't supposed to be in churches.' She said, speaking to him in his mind. He blinked slowly.
‘According to popular beliefs, neither should vampires,' he replied with a small shift in his shoulders that had meant to be a shrug. She nodded and rose.
‘No, you're right. I am a vampire. We can't attain forgiveness from God, or even tread upon holy land. I'm sorry.' She sighed, walking down the aisle noiselessly. Lazarus sat up and turned to watch her.
‘I said "according to popular belief". I never said that I believe it. Melissa!' he wanted to follow her, but he wondered if he was intruding on something. Melissa sat on the wall outside the church, beside the graveyard. She let out a long sigh and gazed up at the sky absently. Lazarus followed her hesitantly. ‘I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you.' Lazarus said, sitting at a short distance, wondering if he was either too close or not close enough.
‘No. You're right. I'm not allowed absolution.' She said exhaling heavily, pushing another sigh past her lips. She looked at him sitting there like an obedient dog, waiting for its master's command.
‘I never said that, Melissa. Go to confession, believe me, you'll feel better for it,' he laughed a little, his lips pulling back, his tongue lolling out a little. She shook her head firmly.
‘No. What am I meant to confess? Hmm? I'm a bloodsucking murder who has killed her own daughter, got her father murdered, has given in to every sin you can come up with and broken the biggest commandments? Yeah. I'm sure I would feel better.' She bit back a growl. Lazarus yelped as his head stung with her angry thoughts. Wincing, he glanced up at her.
‘I'm hardly any better than you, Melissa. Worse, perhaps, in some ways. You've never enjoyed what you did.' The humour was completely absent now, as he spoke in his mind.
‘Lazarus,' Melissa cut him off, bored of the conversation, ‘why did you come here?' For a moment he didn't answer, more tempted to reply with a snappish comment, or a shrug.
‘I thought I'd come and see if you're okay. I guess you're fine; you clearly don't need me here. I'll see you later.' he sighed and turned away, heading back for the hotel.
‘Go now, and lose me forever,' Melissa's cool voice gave him a slap around the face. He twisted back.
‘Then what do you want, Melissa?' he asked, exasperated. ‘You're acting like you would rather I didn't exist right now, yet you're telling me that if I go I'll lose you?'
‘I...' She sighed once more. ‘I've always had this problem, you know I have. I want you, but if you stay I'm afraid I'll hurt you. But I know that if you walk away now, I'm ending this. You are my only connection left to this world Lazarus.' The wolf sat back down where he was.
‘Then you should know by now that I can't live without you,' Lazarus said slowly. ‘You can't just come into my life and give me hope then take it all away like that.' He instantly cursed himself. ‘I'm being selfish. Sorry.'
‘I can't give hope, Lazarus. I have non to give.'
‘Then how am I here? If you had no hope to give, why am I not lying asleep on my sofa, an empty bottle of vodka in one hand and the TV remote in the other?'
‘Because you took me as your salvation and I am not fit for that role. Lazarus, you supply yourself with hope and I have been leading you. It was wrong of me.' Melissa's voice in his head was beginning to make his mind hurt. Well, her words were. He was completely at a loss for what to say. He wanted to skulk away and sleep, pretend it was all a dream. He wanted to drink the conversation out of his mind, and yet, the fact that Melissa would end everything if he moved anywhere was an all too real. And he didn't think he would survive that.
‘What do you want from me?' his mental voice screamed and he let out a whine, scratching at the ground.
‘I wish I weren't talking to a dog...' She mumbled, rolling her eyes. ‘Just peace. I want nothing from you other than for you to know how I feel. I'm sorry I wanted to talk to you.'
‘I'm not a dog,' he growled defensively, ‘I didn't know how else I was supposed to find you without following your scent. You can talk to me properly at the hotel, I'm not transforming here.' She shrugged. ‘
‘Fine. I'll meet you there.' She grumbled, disappearing from his sight almost immediately. He blinked and stared at where she had sat on the wall for a second, before padding back through the town, his head reeling. He leapt at the open window of his hotel room, the height of the jump not bothering him. Much. He caught his back leg on the window sill and fell into the room in an undignified mess of fur and growling. He picked himself up and stood beneath the window, glad that he couldn't blush in this form. Melissa, watching this, shook her head and rolled her eyes.
‘So graceful.' She said dryly.
‘I never claimed to be perfect. I've proved it more than enough tonight.' He grumbled as he curled up to transform back. She nodded and leant back against the wall, waiting for him to change. He screamed his way back to humanity as quietly as he could. Which wasn't very quiet, to be honest. He lay there for a moment when he was finished, curled in a tight ball on the floor, as if shielding his naked form from the world. ‘I'm all ears,' he muttered hoarsely, not moving. She bent down beside him, curling her own body protectively around his.
‘You shouldn't force yourself like this. Twice in one night.' She murmured.
‘What does it matter?' He asked.
‘You'll become weak?' She stated but shook her head, knowing he'd fight about it. ‘So you're all ears?'
‘You say that like I was strong.' He whispered. ‘But yes, I'm listening.'
‘You are strong.' She spoke softly into his ear before pulling away again. ‘All I want is peace, you know? I don't want this eternal darkness, and this may sound like some suicide note but I just can't face what I am.'
‘You're right; it does sound like a suicide note.' He said, his expression blank.
‘Well I'm sorry. I just can't. I never wanted this and I can't deal with it!' Melissa replied.
‘So is that what this is, then? A verbal suicide note?' he asked, a tremor cracking his voice.
‘No, because I can't. I'm too weak to kill myself, no matter what I think. That is why it's driving me insane.' Lazarus was silent for a moment, his mind simultaneously raging and completely blank, numb with the shock of her words.
‘I guess I wasn't salvation enough for you, huh?' He tried to smile, but it failed and he felt his lip tremble as he fought the desire to break down.