Lazarus really didn’t want to wake up. Melissa’s fluffy arms were still around him in a tight hug – bear hug – and he was so warm and comfortable. It was better than any bed he had ever slept in, certainly. But slowly, his eyes opened anyway, and he looked around, shifting slightly in her arms, pushing his hands gently into her fur, enjoying how soft her fur was.

“What’s the time?” he asked his voice quietly hoarse from lack of use. She twisted her great head around, to find the clock, rolling onto her back so she could see properly, Lazarus now laying on her stomach.

"One o'clock in the afternoon." She grumbled in her head.

 "When did I go to sleep?" He blinked slowly, wondering just how long he had managed to sleep.

“About nine o'clock."

"Wow. A long time then," he laughed softly, smiling. "Did I dream?"

She shrugged her massive shoulders. "I don't know, you slept well, but I can't see into your mind as well in this form."

"Thank you." he mumbled into her fur, hugging her.

"Whatever for?"

For being you." He lifted his head and smiled at her, his eyes sparkling.  She changed back into her human form, still clad in her black dress.

"You're welcome." She smiled warmly back.

"Any ideas what's on the agenda for today?" he asked, shuffling over to his bag, looking for a towel in the mess he had made, and a clean change of clothes.

"Not really, although I should go to the coven tonight so we should make the most of today. Just in case."

He glanced at her, feeling his lips pull down out of the smile. "You'll be fine. It's me they'll be after, if anything, surely?"

"No, I'd be just as bad for fraternising with you."

A grimace distorted his face and he abandoned his search for clothes to wear, returning to her side. "You'll be fine," but he wasn't sure if he was trying to convince her, or himself.

"Hmm, I hope so; I want to live long enough to kill Albert."

"Why do you want to kill him?" Lazarus asked, a little bit shocked.

Her eyes became slightly glassy as she thought. "What would you do?"

"I'd not attempt to kill the pack beta, that's what I'd do." He said sharply, looking at Melissa.

"Oh right, he's protected by his rank. So, he can break my heart but I can't even touch his!"

"That's not what I meant. Have you never fought a whole pack before? They defend even their weaker members. Believe me; if I hadn't learnt from experience, I would have challenged their position here."

"It's unfair!" She cried, stamping her foot rather softly, for fear she would break the apartment further.

"I know. But..." he trailed off, thinking.

"But I can't do anything! He's going to get away with everything..." she trailed off, thinking about what he had actually done wrong. He had died for her; surely he could have done nothing for her...

"No, there might be a way. The job of the beta is to protect the pack, act as a kind of scout, making sure things are safe. He will spend a lot of time ahead of the pack. Just out of sight. There might be a way to get him on his own, and you can do whatever you like to him, if you like."

"How?" She mumbled.

"Full moon is in less than a week from now. Unless they've mastered control the way I have, they'll all be running on instinct. You can trick them, somehow. I don't know how, that bit will need some work. But it's up to you, really."

"No. I need to talk to him more than anything."

Huh. Get him on his own and wait for the change to finish. You can talk to him then."

"Oh why can't anything be simple? Why can't anything just go away, just for a moment or two?"

"Life's a bitch."

"Death sucks too." She noted, "Remember, I don't suffer life anymore."

"Mm. Sorry."

"It's okay. Not your fault." She stood at the blinds, longing to open them and gaze upon the humans going about their lives below them. "I want to open them Lazarus, I want to breathe the air that they do, I want to live as they do." He didn't know what to say, simply watching her sadly.  She placed her hand on the beaded lever that would open the blinds, her grip freezing around it.

The End

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