Lazarus did not sleep for very long. Melissa's cool hand stroked across his forehead as he twitched and moaned, his nightmares returning once more. He woke up to the contact, but he didn't open his eyes, simply lying there, regaining his breath once more, the images of the hunter before and after his resolution to track down and kill werewolves lingering in his mind's eye. He cursed softly and rolled over onto his back, staring at the ceiling.
‘Another bad dream?' Melissa asked, her voice soothing.
‘I can't tell what's a dream and what's a memory anymore.' He replied quietly, his eyes fixed on the textured plaster above him. She let out a short sigh before pulling the covers off him. He recoiled at the rush of cold air that swept over his body.
‘Come on, we have a train to catch.' She smiled, in an attempt to change the subject.
‘Yeah. I'll just have a shower and get dressed.' He got up and grabbed clean clothes from his bag, making his way to the bathroom.
‘Hurry,' he heard her say as he closed the door. She smiled and sat on the bed, waiting for him to return. He stood under the water, scrubbing the sweat and sex from his skin, but he was more focused on washing the hunter's face from his mind. It didn't work. Dejected, he shut off the water and dried off. He left the bathroom with the towel around his neck, his hair dripping into it.
‘I need a haircut,' he said as he picked up his discarded clothes from the previous night and packed them into his bag. When he was done packing, he straightened and bent over, pulling the towel over his head and rubbing it dry. Melissa nodded wordlessly.
‘If you say so,' she replied. He looked up and gazed at her in surprise.
‘Does that mean you disagree?' he asked.
‘I think you look fine, but it's your hair.' She shrugged. He paused and pulled the towel from his hair, standing straight again.
‘You don't think it's too long? It's nearly at my shoulders.' He tugged at it and held it out in front of his face, glaring at it.
‘It's only hair,' she laughed, ‘cut it if you want to cut it.' Lazarus dropped the damp strands again, pushing them out of his eyes.
‘I'm being vain, aren't I?' he muttered, putting the towel back on its rail in the bathroom. She shook her head as he turned back to face her.
‘Not really, you're just worrying over something stupid.' He smiled wryly and moved to make the bed out of habit.
‘I've never been good at coping with stress.' He straightened his pillows and pulled the covers back over the bed. ‘But I guess I don't need to tell you that,'
‘No, you don't,' she agreed with a laugh. ‘But now you have me for that.' Lazarus nodded and sat down beside her on the bed.
‘I think I just need to settle down and get used to not being in control of the patch now. All I can do is hope that the hunter doesn't come here. I'm more worried about being ripped apart by the local pack than I am about the hunter now,' he trailed off with a weak smile. She sighed.
‘This was a really bad idea,' she muttered, shaking her head a little.
‘No, it's fine, as long as we keep a low profile, everything will settle after a couple of months. You'll see,' his voice was more confident than he felt, but he had to trust his own words.
‘Sure. Right,' she let out another small sigh, ‘when we get back to Paris, I'll go see the coven.' He looked at her with worried eyes.
‘You'll be fine.' Lazarus tried to comfort her, but he didn't really know what else to say.
‘I beg to differ.' She replied a little snappishly.
‘Well what do you expect they'll do? Forgive me if I sound ignorant, but isn't it your choice? I mean you guys seem to be a bit more civilised than a pack of dogs.'
‘Hmm... kill me is about the worse they could do. Sure it's my choice but still it's probably against their coven's rules. Their probably scared of mix genes.' She shrugged.
‘Well you don't have to tell them we're together, just say I'm your guard dog or something.' He replied looking at the floor.
‘And if one of the vampires is like James?' she asked coldly.
‘Is there no way to hide that kinda stuff?'
‘My mind is too weak...' she trailed off. Lazarus hesitantly put an arm around her.
‘Sorry.' He whispered.
‘No it's fine; it's not your fault.' She smiled, wrapping her arms around him. ‘I don't want them to think you're my guard dog though. I mean, have you seen you?' She laughed. He scowled at her, but he had to agree. He was still feeling inferior from the werewolf bouncer.
‘Fine, a pet, then.' He huffed.
‘Oh I didn't mean...' She sighed shaking her head in apology. ‘I'm sorry, I didn't mean to...' Lazarus cut her off, laughing.
‘I know. It's fine. I was joking. I'd make a rubbish guard dog, and an equally rubbish pet.' He smiled and kissed her on the cheek.
‘I dunno. I think you'd make a cute pet.' She grinned. ‘And it is so easy for you to overpower me.'
‘A cute pet? A wolf is a cute pet now? At least I'm housetrained, I guess.'
‘I never said the wolf.' She smirked, a little giggle escaping her lips. He arched an eyebrow.
‘Vampire humour. Very funny.' He said dryly, hiding the smile that twitched at the muscles in his face.
‘I wasn't on about drinking from you either.' She laughed at his oblivious nature to her comment and smiled. ‘But we have a train to catch.'
‘Huh. What were you on about then?' he asked, picking up the bag. She shook her head and tapped her nose secretively.
'No, that's not fair.' He complained and scowled at her.
‘How come?' she asked innocently.
'I wanna know.' Lazarus let a pout spring to his lips
'Oh use your imagination.' She laughed.
'Sex slave?' he pondered, only half joking.
'Not a slave!' She exclaimed, shaking her head furiously, her curls whipping around her as she vehemently denied his suggestion.
'Close enough,' he winked.
She shook her head again. 'Oh look what you've turned me into!' She moaned, a shiver running down her spine as she remembered the night before. He chuckled and grabbed his wallet, shoving it in his pocket.
'And how does that feel?' he asked opening the hotel room door for her.
'How does what feel?' she asked, gliding through into the hall, turning to wait for him as he closed the door.
'Whatever it is you think you've become?'
'Strange and... dirty.' She shivered turning her nose up slightly. Lazarus felt his eyebrows making a dash for his hair line at her words.
'Sorry about that.' He mumbled.
'I mean I see what everyone likes about it but it gets addictive...' she trailed, shaking her head once more. He laughed and moved to shade her as they left the building, sheltering her from the pale morning light as they walked through the quiet town.
'Some addictions are much better for you than others. And I've heard lots of good things about this one.'
'Like?' She asked, hugging herself as close to him as she could get.
'It's good exercise, which is a good thing if you wanna keep your pet nice and healthy,' he laughed. Melissa looked at herself: ‘What about for me? I mean I don't need exercise.'
'Gives you good skin? I dunno, that was something to do with chemical reactions, but I'm not sure what your body does and doesn't do, to be honest.' He muttered, a little embarrassed that he still lacked in the vampire knowledge department.
'It burns in sunlight, it doesn't breath, it doesn't really get out of breath or tired, it doesn't eat or drink normal stuff, it doesn't get acne or oily skin either.' She shrugged. 'I have three times the speed and twice the strength of a normal human.' He considered this for a moment, and another benefit came to mind.
'What about stress relief?' he asked.
'What stress?' She lied, looking around as they reached the train station. Together they moved towards the ticket booths and Lazarus slotted his card in the machine, pushing the button that would make the thing spit out their tickets.
'Any stress,' he shrugged, 'the stress that moving here is causing comes to mind.' Grabbing the tickets and looking from them to the times on the board above them.
'Yeah I suppose. You get more out of it though.' She smiled.
'Well the kind of benefits it has for a normal human I guess, but I'm sure as long as it feels good to you, you won't mind?' he led her onto the platform and stood holding her hand as they waited for the train.
'No. I don't.' She grinned. 'You need to build up your stamina though.' She laughed, wrapping her arms around him tightly.
'I know. That's not my fault.' he whined.
‘I know, I know.' She soothed, kissing his cheek softly.
'As long as you don't mind helping me build up my stamina?' Melissa smiled, 'I don't mind.' She shook her head softly and looked up as the train pulled into the station. People parted, letting them on, Melissa's beauty stemming the conversation around them for a moment as she walked past.
'Mmm, that's good. Don't let me fall asleep this time.' he muttered sitting down at an empty table.
‘I won't.' She smiled, sitting beside him. ‘Do you think, when we get married... we could get married in that old Victorian church?'
'Sure. Why not?' he matched her smile, putting an arm around her waist.
'Do you think I'd get away with white?' She giggled.
'Why wouldn't you?' he asked, laughing a little.
'Well it means innocence and purity. I am neither.'
'You're enough of those things to me, it's the priest you have to convince of that,' he chuckled.
'Yeah and the fact that I'm as white as the dress.'
'Enlighten me, is that a problem?'
'Hmm, how many humans do you know that is snow white?'
'Not many,' he agreed, nodding thoughtfully as he looked at her skin.
'How long do I have to wait...' she moaned.
'I thought I was impatient.'
‘You know how much I want this.' She whined.
'I do, I want it too, but good things come to those who wait, surely?' he asked in a soothing voice
'But how long?'
‘Till we're all settled and know someone that can be our witness?'
'We never will! We can't ask someone from the coven or the pack.'
He shrugged. 'I was thinking of trading a few night's piano playing to use that waiter as best man and witness. You never know. We might become friends.' he couldn't help the chuckle that left him.
She nodded, 'Oh my...' she mumbled.
'I feel so sleepy...' she mumbled.
She shook her head. 'But I'm in a public place... I shouldn't.'
'It's not like you're gonna turn into a wolf intent on destroying whatever is nearby,' he murmured in a low voice that only she could hear. 'And it doesn't really matter; everyone on here is half asleep anyways.' She put her hand over her mouth as she yawned. 'What will you do? Who will keep you awake?'
'I'm not tired, it's fine. You should have slept earlier.'
'I don't /need/ to sleep. Sleep is just my body's way of telling me it's day time.'
'You'd have thought that you would be able to figure that one out alone.'
'Well it's a warning, like "If you don't sleep you're gonna die!" Or something like that." She shrugged.
He smiled. 'It's up to you.'
"I really shouldn't but I..." Her speech was cut off by another yawn.
he ran a hand through her brown locks, pushing them away from her face. Kissing her sleepy lips he smiled, 'sleep.'
She kissed him back lazily, letting her lips fall from his as her eyes flickered closed. "Good day." She smiled.